A Conversation with Sean Hotchkiss

Fashion & Style Writer

Photograph by Justin Chung

Where are you from and how has your location affected your sense of style?

I’m from Maine — a small suburb of Portland called Falmouth. I always liked clothes growing up but didn’t gain exposure to a wide range of styles, so to speak, until leaving Maine for New York - first for college and then to live in NYC. Like many in my generation, I never really had anyone older teaching me how to dress, so I learned mainly from my peers — for better or worse. If I liked something on someone, I tried it. Living in the Northeast made it easier to adapt to what has now become commonplace: practical staples that transition well, made for all types of weather. Now that I’m a little older, I’m super proud of where I grew up, and I love how well-made stuff is now de rigeur. I also wear LL Bean boots as much as possible, bring on the rain.

How did you get your start in blogging about menswear? What is it like knowing you are writing and running the blog for GQ—a massive heavyweight in the game?

I started blogging in late 2008 on a golf style blog I started called the Khaki Crusader, at the suggestion of a friend. I’ve been a golfer since roughly age 12, and there was nothing to read on the web for a young man interested in golf and style. I knew I didn’t want to be where I was, career-wise (I was in real estate), but had nothing on my resume to get me over into the fashion world, so I started writing like a madman to prove I knew something. Luckily, it caught the right eyes, and I ended up getting internships at J. Lindeberg and designing at Ralph Lauren. I kept writing, made connections, and eventually ended up at GO.com. GO is an amazing brand with an amazing voice, and I’m pumped to be a part of the team.

Photograph by Collin Hughes

With blogs like How To Talk To Girls At Parties(Lawrence Schlossman), A Continuous Lean (Michael Williams), Jak And Jil (Tommy Ton), among plenty of others buzzing in a time like this, what are your feelings on the current explosion of menswear?

What’s your opinion on men all of a sudden wanting to get into the “game” just because it’s getting more and more popular? And what’s your response to how your mug pops up on these sites that get some pretty high view counts?

I think the menswear blogging community is predominantly a good, entertaining, and beneficial thing, and I think the interest from the mainstream has allowed guys like (to your point) Lawrence, Michael, and Tommy to become big voices, and rightfully so, they’re all great at what they do. Meeting like-minded and cool-ass people is what it’s been about for me, regardless of where any of this goes — that ability to engage creatively and make sweet projects happen. The web has allowed transparency like never before, and the ability for the everyman to access his favorite designer and vice versa in terms of designers getting direct feedback — which I think is an amazing concept, but at the same time, it’s become overwhelming at times how much information and media comes across our peripheral on a daily basis. You have to filter it like anything else — too much of anything is rarely good. As for people jumping into the fray, it’s easy to see who’s actually passionate about clothing, and who’s in it to try and ride the wave — those “publishers” won’t be around in a year — you have to keep at it if you want to make progress and show you’re committed, audiences can sniff that stuff out — they’re more educated than ever before. As far as me, I’m blogging to pay my rent (mom’s so proud), so you better believe I’m going to try to get you over to our site.

What are a few of your favorite pieces that you’ll be wearing this spring? And where can you get them?

A few things that jump to mind are that gorgeous aqua blue hooded jacket from J. Crew’s spring presentation (we featured it in the magazine recently), UNIS spring chinos, and APC’s twill camo coat (I tried it on today, it’s butter). I’d also like to get some new canvas sneakers, and some soft sport coats from Engineered Garments. Ah, and a bag from South 2 West 8 at Nepenthes. I’ve been really trying to simplify everything recently, identifying pieces I absolutely love and donating everything else — abbreviating the choices I have to make on daily basis. I don’t want a closet full of shit I’m not going to wear, I’d rather have 3 shirts I want to wear every single day.

Interview/Edited by John Liwag
Article originally published: February 2012