To say were excited is a bit of an understatement. Today were excited to announce the newest member of the Article team, Brian Humenik. Brian’s passion and knowledge for menswear goes unrivaled. This man also has some great stories to tell. Brian has lived in different corners of the country stretching from Chicago to Tucson. In our conversation, we get to learn how living in these areas shaped his personal style today, his initial interest in menswear, and how Brian is a connoisseur in something you may not expect.
You have been a bit of a journeyman throughout the years, living from Illinois to Arizona. How has this influenced your personal style?
Spending my life so far in two completely different parts of the country has definitely had a number of effects on my own personal style. I didn’t begin to realize this until I moved to the Southwest and was able to see just how differently everyone was dressed compared to what I was used to in the Midwest. Whether or not you could imagine, Arizona is close enough to the coast of California that it wouldn’t be able to avoid the influence of beach/surf culture if it tried. Now if you were to mix that with looks frequently seen in old country western flicks, you may just be able to envision what Tucson looks like from a fashion standpoint.
As an individual inspired by skateboarding, workwear, and a variety of trends from the twentieth century, I was able to combine different aspects that grabbed my attention from the western influences that surrounded me. There’s no question that living relatively close to the coast was beneficial in helping shape my style today and I feel very fortunate to have experienced the diversity that exists there.
If there is one grail article of clothing you could own today, what would it be and why?
Ah, yes, the grail item. We’ve all got one and I can happily say that mine is in my possession. The Alden 405 Indy Boot.
Not long after I started wearing boots regularly, the Indy boot became my absolute favorite to look at. I would always find myself obsessing over photos of them and a little less than two years ago, I saved up my pennies, purchased a pair and made my obsession a reality. Since then, they have been the overall most-worn item in my closet and I can’t imagine a day when that will change. You can also bet that I still obsess over photos of them.
All that said, I am still in search of a pair of vintage PF Flyers. They are hands down my favorite shoes to wear and I am extremely intrigued by the history and longevity of the brand and its role in American style. If I could get my hands on a dead-stock pair with a BF Goodrich label, I would freak.
What initially sparked your interest into menswear or fashion in general?
Now as far back as I can remember, I’ve always been fascinated with clothing and the different styles of individuals that embody them. However, there is no question, that through skateboarding, I developed a strong interest in menswear and developed my own. Growing up, I was introduced to skateboarding at a young age and instantly fell in love with everything it had to offer. Not only was I hooked to the physical act but exposed to an entirely new outlook on life as a whole.
It didn’t take long to realize that not much, if anything, was ever handed to skateboarders. If you wanted something, you had to make it happen. If you didn’t have access to a skatepark, you gathered up your friends and put together the best makeshift one that you could. You were forced to be able to push boundaries and think outside of the box to find solutions.
As I grew a little older and my horizons broadened, I noticed that this same DIY attitude was shared amongst individuals in the menswear community. In a vast world of big business and greed, smaller menswear brands are rather accustomed to going about things in very different ways that challenge the norms of our society. Fast-fashion has become the most popular option in purchasing clothes and quality made goods are now designed and produced from an “outsider’s” perspective.
Upon becoming aware of these different views and outlooks possessed by smaller business owners, I knew that I wanted to not only support but play a part in it myself. Thinking about the amount of love and passion that goes into cutting out the denim for a great pair of jeans or stitching together two pieces of the greatest leather accessible is something I easily get ecstatic about. Quality made menswear is not only built to look good and feel good but beautifully age more and more with every passing year. Getting behind these products and the culture they live in was a no-brainer for me as I gained interest and knowledge.
Favorite City and why?
Having not only visited but lived in a handful of cities myself, this one doesn’t come with ease. The hometown pride in me would immediately say Chicago, given I was born just outside in the suburb of Frankfort, Illinois. However, if my heart were in charge of pointing at the map, we would be looking at Tucson, Arizona.
My family and I moved to the Southwest right before I started high school and I lived there for a solid nine years before relocating back to the Midwest. These years were prime for creating great memories and lasting friendships while the whole time gaining maturity and developing into the adult that I am now. To top it all off, I met and fell in love with my life partner within the city’s coordinates. For all of that, I hold Tucson closest.
Now, if I were to say which city I find to be the most visually and aesthetically pleasing, it would be Cincinnati. I must say that I am very excited to be living here again after spending a handful of years in West Chester, Ohio when I was a kid. With the historic architecture spread throughout Over-the-Rhine and other neighboring areas, Cincinnati is filled with aspects of an earlier time undergoing modern twists. It is a city of beauty and diversity, that sits conveniently close to other sought out destinations and I couldn’t ask for more.
I don’t personally drink alcoholic beverages so I do apologize that I won’t be introducing anyone to their new favorite concoction, however I do have two go-to’s for my drink of choice.
First, coffee. Hot throughout the colder months and over ice during the warmer ones. My day starts with coffee and occasionally ends with it as well. If you know me, It definitely isn’t rare to hear talk of reaching for the afternoon cup to fuel the days existing momentum.
In addition, I am an active craft root beer connoisseur. I’m always in search of a new brew and my bottle collection is ever-growing. Number one on my list so far is Olde Brooklyn from Williamsburg and I’ve tried too many others to count. If you’ve got any suggestions, let me know!
What do you like to do when you’re not working/studying menswear?
When I’m not busy working, I enjoy spending as much time as I can with my girlfriend, Delaney. Together, we are active in exploring and taking photos, trying new restaurants and re-visiting our favorites, digging for hidden gems at thrift stores, and attending shows when our schedules allow. Whenever we can get away for a little while, we also find great joy in being outdoors and taking in nature.
During my own free time, you can usually find me searching for new music. It’s not too often that I stop listening throughout the day and I am fond of just about every genre with the exception of EDM and radio country. With that being said, before visiting the shop, you probably won’t be able to guess what will be playing from our speakers when you arrive.