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Mike Farmer On Inspiration & Style

Mike Farmer On Inspiration & Style
Tell us a little bit about yourself - what do you do for fun and how did you get into Instagram?
I started my instagram account as a photo album because I kept getting a new phone and my photos would be gone.  It quickly morphed into posting about clothes.  At first I was trying to be anonymous and not show my face.  Even before my instagram I was filming a lot at work and of my kids sports.  Fun for me is just hanging out with friends and family.  It doesn't matter what we do.  I really enjoy my work too, sometimes you could call it fun.  I'm also a big auto enthusiast, I used to race professionally, which was so fun. So anything to do with cars and trucks is fun!  But at this point in my life the most fun for me is watching my kids in sports and as they get older, becoming adults.  
How did you get into fashion and how was your style developed over the years?
Believe it or not, I started getting into fashion in the early 80's.  I was in Jr. High and got my first Georgio Armani shirt.  I didn't know who he was but I liked the eagle logo. Then I started noticing Gloria Vanderbilt and Calvin Klein jeans for girls.  Guys could only get Levis or Lee where I lived.  Maybe some off brands too.  In high school it was Guess jeans and Marithe and Francois Girbaud.  I would drive hours to find them.  Remember there was no internet then.  I started "pegging" them so they were more tapered.  Sometimes I would buy girls jeans if that's all I could find.  We had a retail surf skate shop and I was a buyer for clothes and hard goods.  That's how I met a lot of pro skaters and rock stars.  Thats when I got into a weird mix of rock and roll surf/skate wear, Stussy, Schroff, Maui and sons, and high end designer clothes like Jean Paul Gualtier, Gianni Versace, Kansai Yamamoto, among others.  But denim was still a favorite.  Diesel Jeans was probably my biggest go-to.  Cochise, Saddle, were some of the cuts I had a lot of.  Also Blue System.  I went to Los Angeles a few times a year and would frequent Fred Segal and Maxfield.  Melrose Ave shops etc.  I saw Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maxfield once but he gave me a look like "don't you dare approach me".  This was all in the early 90's.  Late 90's I was busy working at a screen printing company and full time racing.  2000's brought more changes, kids.  Re locating to Frankfort MI after some bad business choices and starting over.  Now I was painting signs for a living.  I got my first Selvedge jeans in 2005.  Nudie regular Ralph.  I still have them and wear them sometimes.  I then became obsessed with selvedge.  I have to order them from different shops as no stores around here has anything. I'm not sure how many selvedge jeans I have but I'm guessing 30 or so.  Regular jeans, probably 150.  Some are 20+ years old.   So thats a somewhat short version of how I got into clothes!
How do you put together your looks and where do you get your inspiration from?
I don't really have a method for putting looks together.  I've become a little weird about mixing brands.  I feel like some brands are fine to mix and some shouldn't be mixed.  Its just a weird thing I do I guess.  I also wear a lot of skinny jeans.  I think most guys my age look kind of silly in them.  I probably look silly to some people too, but its all what you feel comfortable with.  I like the way certain people look in skinny, slim, straight and even baggy!  Some bootcut and flares are cool too.  Inspiration definitely comes from instagram and the internet.  Sometimes its more of seeing what I don't want to wear!  I also think color is important.  I don't wear a lot of color but I like it on people and think it plays a huge role in how they look.  
What are your favorite products by KATO?
My favorite Kato products are the needle jeans and the blade jacket.  The stretch fabric has really spoiled me.  My work in very physical and the stretch selvedge helps a ton!  Sometimes if I'm wearing regular selvedge and its bugging me I will go home and change into my Kato jeans.   The way the jeans and jacket move with you and don't bind and pinch is so nice!  I also really like the cut of the needle jeans.  The Keith wash on my 14oz Needle jeans is a thing of beauty!  Whoever does it is a genius. The blade jacket is also a work of art.  
For those new to denim, what are some things you'd pass down to those looking to get into the world of denim?
For those just getting into denim:  Don't baby your jeans.  Wear them and enjoy them!  Do your homework before you buy.  Lots of companies have the measurements listed, use that for your size and not the tag size.  I have jeans in sizes 28, 29, 30, 31, and 32 and they all fit similar. You've probably seen the advice to measure your favorite jeans and base your new jeans off those measurements.   More expensive doesn't mean better.  I have $800-1000 jeans that I don't like the fit.  Sometimes I think companies over do it and they get too much fabric on the inside by the pockets and seems etc. and they end up not hanging right.  The stretch selvedge jeans are far more comfortable and forgiving.  Even some very traditional selvedge jean companies are starting to incorporate stretch. I will still wear non-stretch sometimes, but its getting less frequent.  Give the jeans time.  They will form to you but it takes many wears.  In order to get good fades, you need to be active in your jeans.  Simply putting them on and getting in your car and sitting at a desk will take forever to get good fades.  Don't wash them unless they are dirty.  Get the fit that you like.  Don't be critical of others.  Don't worry about what people think of you.  Smile more.  Pursue your ideas and remember it's never too late.  
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