#GramGen is a series profiling the most radical characters in youth culture, who continue to shape trend behavior and spark controversy through their avant fashion sense and candid social media personalities.
Meet Moon Insung, aka @wapez_gizmo. Like most fashion-forward Seoul denizens (which is pretty much everyone), Moon's sartorial palette is anything but understated. At 25-years-old, the style savant has already spent time living between Seoul, California and Tokyo, where he's currently at university studying economics.
We caught up with Moon to find out more about style tips, the meaning behind his weird IG handle and what Highsnob readers should know about Korea's buzzy fashion scene.
How old are you?
I’m 25 years old.
Where are you from and where are you currently based?
I was born and raised in South Korea, lived in California for five years and now currently living in Tokyo.
How did you come up with your IG handle, @wapez_gizmo? What does it mean?
It’s just a symbol of things that matter to me. I ride a fixed gear bike and Wapez is my crew. Gizmo is an inside joke between me and my girlfriend so you will never know what it means.
What is your current occupation? If you are a student, what are you studying and how do you make money?
I’m majoring in economics. How do I get my money? I just work hard. I hate wasting time so I try to do a little bit of everything. I study hard and get scholarships, do part-time jobs, work as a personal buyer, etc.
What first got you interested in fashion?
Fashion has just been around for me as long as I can remember. My mom majored in art and she had a unique ability with coordinating colors so I guess it was just natural for me to be interested in fashion.
But it wasn’t until middle school that I really started to put outfits together. We had this field trip where we could dress freely (we had to wear uniforms normally). I remember wearing white cargo pants with a denim vest and finishing off with a Gucci fanny pack. I don’t know if you've seen my recent posts, but yeah, that’s why I bought '05 number nine hybrid cargo pants because it brought nostalgic memories.
What excites you the most about fashion in general?
People. No matter what your background is, I feel like fashion can break barriers. You can just start talking endlessly with a random stranger who loves fashion as much as you do. It also gives you insight into a person’s personal interests outside of clothes such as favorite films, music tastes and even cultural upbringing.
Like for instance, I met my closest brother Will while camping at BAPE's 10th anniversary drop. We talked so much that day and I realized we had a lot in common, so he became one of my closest friends. Now, we talk about much deeper shit, such as politics, culture, life, etc.
Koreans are known for having amazing style. What do Koreans know how to do from a styling perspective that other people can learn from?
We are fast at responding to a new trend. Actually, this can be both a good thing and a bad thing. Overall, Koreans dress very well but this brought a lack of creativity. This goes not just for Koreans but most people, too.
Instagram has helped people get more into fashion but at a cost. People are so exposed to seeing the same styles over and over that it got to a point that we all dress the same. That’s why I am trying to experiment new styles combining vintage and old archive pieces with less familiar brands.
What is the state of the Korean fashion industry at the moment? What should the fashion community, as a whole, be paying attention to when it comes to Korean fashion?
Of course there is room for improvement, but the fashion scene in Korea is starting to blow up. There are just so many great designers right now in our country. I don’t own any pieces from Junn.J, but damn he slays with every collection. HYEINSEO, 99% IS and Yoon Ambush are also some designers that the fashion community should be paying attention to. Also smaller independent brands such as Dominansstravan and Ader Error are worth paying attention to.
What are some of your favorite designers right now and why?
No doubt, Haider Ackermann. Not one piece by that brand has let me down. Other brands I dig currently are Prada, Balenciaga, Needles, Greg Lauren and Facetasm. But honestly, I don’t really care much about brands anymore. If I see something and I like it, I just buy it.
I’m blessed to live in Tokyo where all the consignment stores, vintage shops, thrift stores and luxury brands are all gathered in the same spot.
What are your plans post-graduation?
Fashion is just what I love doing, so I plan to work in the fashion industry. I may end up being a stylist or even maybe a merchandiser. But in five years, I plan to live and work in Europe. Until now, I’ve lived in Korea, the US and Japan and have embraced the different cultural influences in my style.
I am constantly trying to evolve in style and of course as a person. Now, I want to experience European culture and develop myself more. I just have a feeling that Europe will open up much more possibilities for me in the future.
Now meet the Israeli sneakerheads killing it on Instagram.
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