Our Favorite Instagrammers – @medium.raw
Name: Stephen S.
Instagram Name: @medium.raw
Amount of followers: 460
Residence: Montreal, Canada
Occupation: Visual Merchandiser
My name is Stephen and I always think of myself as a man of juxtaposition. I mean this in the sense that I often like things that don’t always make sense together. I love blending my modern, technologically world with the best from the past. Whether it’s shuttle loom denim, vinyl, fine whisky or a vintage road bike, my preferences are intergenerational. I’m a passionate cyclist, occasional sneaker collector, book reader and proud Canadian. I live in Montréal which means I’m lucky to speak both English and French so I can tell you the word for “denim” in French is “denim.”
Why do you share your outfits? And why Instagram?
As far back as my childhood, I have always been very particular about how I dress. While this doesn’t mean I have always had great style, I have always been very deliberate about what I choose to wear and how it makes me feel. I think Instagram is a wonderfully easy platform to share the particular things I like with other discerning people, while also giving me inspiration and motivation to always try new things. Generally, not many of my friends here in Montreal are as interested in menswear and style as I am so Instagram let’s me find new friends who share the same level of passion!
What makes your Instagram feed so special?
I definitely try to mix it up in terms of what kind of pictures I post and what aspects of my wardrobe are being featured. My Instagram has always been, at its core, my personal pictorial diary of the things I wear so it makes me really happy that there are people interested in joining me on the journey.
Where does your inspiration come from?
I’ve long held a philosophy about clothing: As a human in a conventional society, putting on clothes every day is a simple fact of life. So, each morning we all have two options: put on whatever is easiest/functional or to take this daily task and turn it into a way of expressing yourself. I’m constantly challenging myself to keep questioning who I am and what my style reflects about me. I’m extremely lucky to have a beautiful and style conscious girlfriend who is my advisor, muse and constant supporter. I also can’t forget to mention the inspiration I get from the global community on the internet and Insta, from giant fashion blogs to the tiny Instagram account, they all remind me to keep pushing myself to new heights!
Where does your love for denim come from? When did it start?
At its root, it all began when I got caught in a torrential rainstorm and my cousin lent me a pair of Naked & Famous jeans to replace my soaking pants. They were so incredibly comfortable I couldn’t believe they were jeans. This sparked an interest that was always in the back of my mind and, a few years down the road, a different cousin started raving about the pair of APCs he bought and I knew I needed a pair of raws. I got a pair of Uniqlo stretch selvedge on a trip to New York but never liked the fit very much coming from years of wearing super tight skinny fits. Finally, I stumbled upon a pair of Naked & Famous for $40 and fell in love.
Your top 3 favorite (denim)brands?
Naked & Famous/Unbranded – They are the company that started it all for me. I love that they make super interesting and wild materials available at an affordable price point. I also have a special place in my heart for the N&F brand in particular as they are founded and manufacture their products in my hometown of Montreal!
Momotaro Jeans – The battle stripes caught my attention but the beautiful quality and craftsmanship kept my interest. Oh, and have you seen how they fade?! My Type 3 jacket is one of my all-time favorite wardrobe staples.
Lee 101 – While they might not be in the same tier as many Japanese brands, I have lots of love for Lee 101. I feel a connection with the brand since my dad used to wear Lee Riders when he was my age. Plus, in my opinion, the rear pocket shape, lazy S and the Rider/Storm Rider Jacket are true denim icons.
TCB Jeans: I love love love these crazy cats, unbelievable fades, tiny factory and an even crazier price point.
What is your favorite accessory?
Tough question. My closest companion is certainly my Raised by Wolves 5-panel cap that I’ve worn anywhere and everywhere I’ve been the last 4 years (another cool Montreal brand). I’m also really getting into horology and someday soon I hope to invest in a quality mechanical timepiece. For now, I’m always wearing a murdered-out Nixon Rollo that my girlfriend gave me or a gloriously Dieter Rams styled Braun that my parents gave me.
7. Which items do you wear most at the moment?
Aside from the accessories I just mentioned, my Momotaro 3105SP jacket is always on me or in my bag as a second layer even though it’s really hot here in the summer.
My summer denim rotation is currently split between my N&F Sumi Ink & Lee 101z. The Sumis have a nice slim fit, the black ink makes them really dark for now and they are only 12 oz. so a good weight for warm to hot weather. When it’s really hot and humid I have the Lee 101z; loose fit, beautiful pale Natural Indigo and lightweight. Once the fall rolls around I’ll transition back into my heavier pairs.
What is your favorite shop? And what is your favorite webstore?
I’m lucky to have Tate+Yoko here in Montreal which is basically half museum/gallery, half retail store. It’s also great that they sell made in Japan brands and not just Naked and Famous.
I’ve only had experience online with Denimio and Blue Owl Workshop but both have great selection and fantastic customer service.
Do you care about the production process?
Absolutely. I believe, with any product, when someone passionate about their work takes the time and energy to be precise and discriminating then the consumer gets a better and more special product. I’d argue this applies both the physical manufacturing of products as well as the design. It gives me great pleasure to support brands committed to manufacturing products responsibly and placing quality ahead of higher profits. Brands like Raised by Wolves, N&F, Arcteryx Veilance, Wings+Horns and Viberg are a few of the more popular “made in Canada” brands that echo this ethos and I really enjoy seeing succeed.
What are your dreams for the future?
I studied Marketing in university so if definitely like to get back into something related. I’d mostly like to find the right company with passionate people and great product to help develop and grow (hint hint denim industry). I hope to keep spending time with all the amazing people in my life and to remember not to take this life thing too seriously. It’s the simple things that often bring the most joy, like breaking in a new pair of jeans!