Karlmond Tang is the founder of leading menswear blog Mr Boy – a blog about personal style, photography and people as seen through a minimal perspective.
Since launching his personal fashion website in 2012, he has become the go-to guy for laid-back menswear looks laced with lots of loose-fit denims and staple white t-shirts. This has gained him coverage on similarly cool websites such as Shortlist, GQ and i-D, who regularly use him as a street-style muse for all things edgy and East London. We took 10 minutes to get to know more about this offbeat aesthetic, while discovering #TheOne fashion piece that Karlmond needs from Farfetch right now. So grab your favourite coffee, sit down, chill out and get to know him with us…
1. Name 3 words that best describe your style?
‘I’d like to think that my style is quite simple; I don’t really like complicated looks that make a loud statement. Instead I go for more considered looks that are muted, minimal and well thought-through. I know that’s probably 5 words already (laughs) but the key one here is definitely ‘considered.’ I’m not going to lie, when I wake up in the morning I spend far too much time thinking about what I’m going to wear (laughs), so I guess this leads nicely to the third word, which is personal. I like to wear items that have a sentimental value to me: things that I’ve wanted to buy for a long time for whatever reason, especially with regards to jewellery and rings and accessories; mine are all personal to me in some way.’
2. What are your top 3 essential clothing items?
‘I’m really into my trousers, I have a variety of trousers in several cuts and fits. I’m not much of a fan of skinny jeans though. I love playing with the different shapes that are available, which I think helps keep things interesting for menswear, which can typically be a bit boring compared to womenswear. I get a lot of my trousers from Farfetch actually (laughs) because of the eclectic range. I also think that every man should have a good collection of white t-shirts; if you find one that you like that fits you, I think you should buy plenty of them because they're so versatile. Aside from this, a black single-breasted jacket is also a great idea, as it's reliable.’
3. If you could collaborate with any fashion designer in the world on your blog, who would it be and why?
‘This is probably going to be an unexpected answer, and it’s not really an individual designer as such, but I would love to work with UNIQLO in the future because they make such simple and utilitarian clothes that everyone can wear; clothes which match my everyday style.’
I love the fact that they’ve collaborated with so many intriguing labels in the past like Jil Sander, Alexandre Plokhov & Christopher Lemaire. They have an interesting choice in partnering up with designers who approach minimal fashion with a modern aesthetic.’
4. Who’s style do you admire and respect the most within the blogosphere?
‘In the menswear scene it’s probably not many, at least within the blogosphere, but I do like Yan Yan Chan as she has a really cool style that's a bit quirky. She seems like she’s kind of enjoying it rather than just posing.’
‘In terms of menswear, the people I tend to admire those who actually work in the industry and are not really into showing themselves off on social media. People like William Gilchrist and Harris Elliott are interesting because they are both quite laid-back individuals, relaxed in their approaches to fashion.’
5. Which colours and patterns do you wear the most?
‘I’m quite a simple guy, I like black and navy, as they are easy to wear, and I think regarding patterns, I just stick to simple things rather than garish and colourful prints.’
6. What trends are you most excited about for the autumn/winter season?
‘I love dark green. I actually have a trench coat in the colour which I got made-to-measure a few years ago. I think the colour has a sort of elegance about it.’
7. Are there any trends you wish were never created?
‘I used to work in finance, and those square toe shoes that many of the businessmen used to wear are frankly just awful in my opinion, but I guess someone in the world can pull them off ok (haha). Anything can be pulled off really!’
8. Would you say it’s easier to make a name for yourself as a menswear blogger as opposed to a womenswear blogger and why?
‘I don't think it's particularly easier either way, but it depends on what you define as making a name for yourself. If you're simply looking to promote the same brands that everyone else is doing, as part of the same commercial cycle, then I think there is no real opportunity for that. If you're looking to create something unique, opinionated and adhere to the original concept of blogging, I think there is plenty of room.’
9. Were there any concerns or difficulties starting your blog back in 2012? How has the male blogging industry evolved since then?
‘I ultimately just wanted a platform to work on my writing and pencil my thoughts. I don't think there were many male bloggers at the time but it wasn't something I was paying huge attention to. There were no real concerns or difficulties as I just wanted to enjoy it, but then all the commercialisation comes along and that applies a bit of pressure because the industry seems weighed by quantity rather than quality. There are certainly a lot more male bloggers, but I think the majority are style focused and don't really incorporate writing as a focus. But that's why I like individuals such as Monsieur Robot, who pretty much always speaks his mind and isn't entirely focused on an image-based aesthetic.’
10. What is #TheOne item you absolutely cannot live without and why?
‘Men don't often get a huge variety in the trousers department until you reach a certain price point. Issey Miyake Homme Plissé is such a comfortable collection, and the trousers are absolutely brilliant. The designer has always just been in his own realm and world and I think it's exciting to watch.’
11. Why do you think Farfetch is #TheOne shopping destination?
‘What Farfetch does in bringing stores around the world onto one platform, to essentially offer an unrivalled offering in terms of diversity, is absolutely fantastic. I think it's very clever, catering for the casual buyer and those looking to collect or shop specific catwalk collections. Shopping on Farfetch has allowed me to discover new brands, such as Bleu de Paname who I bought some jeans from last year. I actually really like Farfetch - and that's not even a sponsored sentence.’