No holds barred! Chad Burton, a visionary with the Midas touch – dabbling in all aspects of fashion and art; creating an kaleidoscopic realm that is surreal yet crazy-fun at the same time! We caught up with the wunderkind recently, chatted about his inspirations and the life-size cutout of Paris Hilton in his room.
Take us back to how it all began.
I had been living in Seoul for almost a year, enjoying the underground stylish kids & parties when I took a trip to Tokyo with my friend Cory. In Tokyo the underground scene was everywhere – so much more mainstream and easy to find than in Seoul. Street fashion was EVERYWHERE and you didn’t have to hunt it down – and the parties were insane. Fancy HIM was one of the parties that stick out in my memory and I knew I wanted to document this stuff, and so thexoxokids was created.
As a Canadian, why choose Korea?
I was backpacking around Asia after graduating from university, running out of money fast when a friend of mine told me about promises of free flights, free apartments and a year contract just for teaching my native language. So I came here as an English teacher no questions asked – loved the culture and the people and was slowly inspired by the fashion.
How do you define your style?
%100 mix & match. I’m inspired by everything and love anything from designer brands to fast-paced fashion like H&M to vintage finds. I usually create outfits inspired around one key piece, be that a gift from a designer or an amazing jacket I thrifted from a flea market. Reformed & handmade items also catch my eye – something unique to draw your attention.
Who are your inspirations/fashion heroes?
My grandparents were definite inspirations, he always wore a hat of some sort which I frequently emulated and my grandmother had a love of big jewelry & luxurious fabrics. I definitely learned an appreciation of dressing up, not dressing down for any occasion.
A day in your life, what occurs?
Oh wow, every day is so different. My schedule is all over the place! Weekends are usually spent covering different parties or events or concerts or thrifting a few of the outdoor vintage markets. But many hours are spent at home too – blogging of course but these days I’ve been reforming a lot of vintage clothes & making necklaces,etc. to sell at trendy night flea markets that are popping up all over Seoul.
Describe your humble abode.
I love my home. It’s very cozy, very bright and a little bit…grandma. I’ve collected quite a few pieces from the gutters or from flea markets or acquired from friends & roommates. It’s full of random things like a cuckoo clock, mannequins of all shapes and sizes, a stuffed pheasant, an ornate area rug, a paper mache unicorn mask, a globe, a framed acupuncture chart of different trigger points on the body, a 3-D portrait of Jesus, a life-size cutout of Paris Hilton, a huge Korea beer girl calendar from the 90’s, a gold ghetto blaster & a primary colored My First Sony stereo and of course hundreds of fashion magazines (most of which I ‘borrow’ from coffee shops in Seoul haha). By far my favorite thing in my house is the vintage red, black & white Marimekko tapestry that I found in my grandparents basement.
Your favorite fashion capital and why?
That’s a hard question actually. Trends travel so fast on the internet that fashion is sort of homogenizing worldwide. I guess Tokyo stands out as someplace that is totally unique in terms of fashion – but everything is so extreme there that I saw equally as much horrendously bad fashion as I did good.
How do you see yourself as a blogger?
I guess I would say that I’m pretty flexible in that I’m constantly trying to change/evolve my content and even my style somewhat – but I also try to be selective about what I’m writing about or promoting or what events I cover. Also I think I’ve got quite a unique style & point of view that doesn’t revolve around brands – I’m all about look, shape, design so what brand it is or how expensive the clothing is doesn’t factor into my decision much at all. Cheap & cheerful is a motto I can totally follow.
With the rise of fashion blogging, how do you differentiate from the rest?
I guess just being a foreigner in an Asian country makes me stand out. Another way I’m different is that I’ve been on all sides of the fashion camera – I’m behind the camera snapping kids photos on the streets or backstage and in the photo pit during fashion week, I’m beside the camera working as a stylist & trying to create new looks, and I’m in front of the camera on the runway or in photo shoots trying to work it as a model. So I’ve had the benefit of seeing the industry from many different angles.
What has been the biggest highlight in your blogging career?
Definitely just being featured or having something written about thexoxokids in magazines that I love like NYLON Guys (US), Elle (Korea) and Harper’s Bazaar (Korea). Also I got to be the cover story for the launch of an underground magazine in Seoul called ‘New Kids on the Magazine’ last summer so that was definitely exciting.
It’s also an amazing feeling when you are just out taking pictures on the street and someone recognizes you. It’s a fun experience and I’m sure things can only get better.
– Chad Burton
Chad Burton website: thexoxokids
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