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In The Hot Seat with Will Varnam

This week we interviewed Will Varnam of Rugged Style Instagram and Sales Manager at Liquor Store Clothing, Birmingham.

Will Varnam wearing Yogi Footwear

Describe your personal style: 

I’m inspired by vintage military garments, heritage denim, elements of streetwear and contemporary Japanese brands. 

What was the first item of clothing you ever bought yourself?

Tough one. I’m going to say a black zip-through hoodie with a large yellow and orange ‘Nirvana’ smiley logo on the back (I went through a ‘Grunge’ phase!)

Any faux-pas you’d rather forget? 

Plenty. I’ve burned the evidence! (Wish I kept the Nirvana hoodie) 

Tell us about the oldest item in your wardrobe: 

Ive been collecting vintage garments for almost 20 years, so I have some US military pieces dating back to the early Twentieth Century with a strong focus on the Second World War. I don’t wear many of them but use them as design reference points and for research. 

What’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought, clothing-wise?

I have some Nigel Cabourn outerwear which hurt the bank balance. My favourite is a Ventile parka with removable lining based on the style used by the RAF.

How do you style your Yogi shoes?

I like to wear my Yogi shoes with a wide leg pant or jean. Usually Selvedge denim with a cuff, showing off the profile of the shoes with a nice sock. I like oversized and looser fits these days and Yogi are perfect to compliment that aesthetic. 

Will Varnam wearing Yogi shoes

Yogi was born in the 90s, what were you doing, what were you wearing, and what were you listening to back in the day? 

I was born in the 80’s and a child of the 90’s, so I was most likely wearing band tees, old Levi’s jeans and Vans. Music wise I’d just discovered Metal, Punk and Post-Hardcore, which were the soundtrack to my skateboarding years. Growing up close to Manchester I rebelled against the UK music scene (didn’t like Oasis until much later) and gravitated towards US sounds. 

This season you’ll be wearing… 

More pieces from Japanese brands like Danton and OrSlow, alongside staples from Kestin Hare, Nigel Cabourn and YMC. Selvedge denim is a must, alongside a nice drop-crotch tapered fit pant (like the orSlow Billy or New Yorker and Albam Pleated Trouser). I also wear a lot of Rototo watch caps lately, as we stock them in the store. They’re great value and Japanese quality.  

Who are you style heroes (past and present)?

Past: Steve McQueen, James Dean, Kurt Cobain, Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Jack Kerouac.

Present: John Mayer, Tetsu Nishiyama, Jian and Noah from Highsnobiety, Ralph Lauren, Eric Clapton, Nigel Cabourn and anyone I follow on Instagram. 

What fragrance do you wear?

Currently wearing Issey Miyake.

Which is the best dressed nation?

Japan. Fits on lock!

What can we expect to see for Spring Summer 20?

From me? More of the above. Generally, I’d love to see people continue to mix unexpected styles and pieces that represent their personality. 

Which Yogi shoes will you be adding to your Spring/Summer wardrobe?

I’m currently wearing the Lawson Boot from SS20 with the contrast uppers and I love them. They’re eye catching, super comfortable and very lightweight. They have the look of a traditional moccasin which also appeals to me. But, I’d love to grab some Willards this season as they’re crazy comfortable with the negative heal and really unique! 


Enjoyed reading this? why not read our interview with Jordan Bunker, a menswear blogger and freelance writer here.


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