Author: <span class="vcard">Fok-Yan Leung</span>

This week, GQ ran a short article on the 5EP for Styleforum jean, which I’d had some hand in bringing to reality. 5EP is a small American company that makes some…

I saw The Great Escape when I was about eleven years old, and I thought that “The Cooler King” was the coolest dude ever. He wasn’t the smartest or even toughest of the escapees, and he didn’t even manage to escape, but he was definitely the coolest. I had no idea who Steve McQueen was at the time (obviously), but the cooler king sure was cool. Best way to describe how he always had a way of effortlessly annoying his guards and staying alive. Everyone cites the scene in which, trapped between most of the German Army and a really high barb wire barricade, he goes for the barricade. But in my opinion, he is at his coolest when, captured at last, he pulls his dogtags out of his shirt, with a look that said “hah, you think you caught me spying, but I’m still a prisoner of war. I live another day.”

I recently got an email flyer from one of my favorite websites,, which is the internet presence of Oi Polloi in Manchester, UK, announcing that they were now carrying Nom de Guerre clothing and denim. Only a year ago, there were fewer than a dozen stockists worldwide for the brand. The ones I was familiar with were Nomad in Toronto, Canada, Stels in Boston, who, incidentally have opened up a very nice website,, with some Nom de Guerre on sale now, and with much more to come, and Blackbird in Seattle, and of course, the eponymous Nom de Guerre store, irritatingly difficult to find, on Broadway in Manhattan.

In the latest issue of GQ (U.S. edition,) there was a fashion feature on buying suits for atypical body types. Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell of the Ultimate Fighting Championship featured as the “muscular” body type. Raja Bell of the Phoenix Suns (my favorite pro-basketball team – robbed by the NBA of a possible victory over the Spurs) represented the “tall and slim” type, and Horatio Sanz of Saturday Night Live was the “short and stout” guy.

I have just about eight years to go before hitting the forty year old mark, so I am not sure what to expect, but here is what I hope to have going into that year, in my virtual suitcase.

As you reach your thirties (where I am now) you realize that unless you are in academics or in a creative field, you can’t wear jeans and sneakers everyday, and putting on a suit becomes a daily thing rather than something you do for interviews and weddings. You don’t even try to stick it to the man anymore, because you are fast becoming him (or at least his peon.) But at least you can be the most stylish corporate drone out their. Yup, you may be waiting for the train to arrive to take you to the 8:30 meeting where you are going to get chewed out by the senior partners, but boy, you can look good doing so.

Top ten lists are always fun to read. And around this time of year, everyone starts to print 10 essential lists, usually incorporating a few things from the new Fall-Winter collections along with old chestnuts. Here is a list written with no reference to any new collections.

I hate summer. Well, I like running and biking and playing sports, but I strongly believe that sweating should be reserved for the gym, the track, and the soccer pitch. Yesterday, with the temperature in the high eighties and the humidity reaching 93% (and in my opinion, anything over 50% humidity is unconscionable), I was sweating just going a block to get lunch. And getting home, it was even worse. I grew up in Canada, so spare me the “You’d miss it if it were gone” speech. No, give me cool, crisp air that nips at your nose and a hot drink in hand any day. Yesterday, I was threatening to move our family to Norway, where the weather is reasonable year round.

One of my favorite methods of procrastination is to read reviews of men’s clothing stores on sites like Yelp. I especially like to read the reviews of stores that I am familiar with, and those I am about to visit. By and large, the reviews confirm my opinions of the stores and the service, though there are some surprises.

For the past 10+ years, I have lived in Los Angeles and Boston, with easy access to world class shopping. In Los Angeles, I shopped at Maxfield, Traffic, and Ron Herman, all world famous boutiques known for bringing new talent to market. In Boston, I shopped at the world famous Louis Boston, which has, in my opinion, the best cuts from Kiton in North America, and at Alan Bilzerian, who has a better eye than anyone else in Boston, and whose collections, with a strong focus on Japanese and Belgian designers, are a full lap in front of the competition.