A Day in the Life, with John Lee
by Ian Peterson·
At Likelihood, we pride ourselves on providing you - our community - the most unique shopping experience possible. Whether it’s through the various community activities we pursue or the style guides we provide for each changing season, it is of utmost importance to highlight the individuals that make the Seattle fashion & footwear scene what it is today, as well as how we wish to see it evolve in the future.
Currently at the forefront of Seattle’s fashion sphere, creator John Lee’s unique “outfit grid” style allows his audience to get a detailed glimpse of his styling process from his own perspective, ultimately laying out a solid understanding of his vision and the story with each post. John sees the local fashion scene beginning to break through the classic PNW barrier, with individuals and brands utilizing their own creative aesthetic while shining a light on what it means to be a Seattleite.
We are excited to announce that we have officially partnered with John, with the hope of acting as a source of inspiration for individuals who want to participate in the ever-changing fashion industry. Our creative writer, Max Slade, recently sat down with John to learn more about his creative process, what he thinks of the Seattle fashion market, and much more.
So, without further ado, we introduce you to John Lee.
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
My name is John Lee and I'm a native Seattlite, having been born and raised in the Emerald City! I'm a fashion content creator, UX design leader and design instructor. Fashion and design have been the biggest passions in my life ever since I can remember. They really go hand in hand for me, as I've always been an artistic person and love finding different ways of expressing my creativity. I grew up on hip-hop culture and I think that's where my obsession with sneakers really began and haven't stopped since.
I noticed your feed follows the “outfit grid” style, how do you go about creating those outfits? Do you start around a specific piece, or with top/bottom, etc.?
For me, there's a sense of nostalgia with an outfit grid, reminiscent of throwing clothes on your bed back in the day preparing your fit for school the next day. Perhaps that's one of the reasons I connected with the concept so many years ago. Shoutout to my guy Dennis Todisco for creating the movement and the OG gridgang. There's a few different factors that influence creating a fit for me -- mood, weather and occasion. There may be days where I have a specific piece in mind, whether it's a sneaker or article of clothing, or other days might be an overall vibe I'm looking to achieve.
What’s a brand you can’t take your eyes off of right now?
There's honestly so many brands I've been feeling lately, but one stand-out is definitely Aimé Leon Dore. They're consistently killing it with the drops and their fall/winter collection is one of their strongest to date. In addition, their editorials are always on point, as well as their collabs with brands like New Era and New Balance.
What is your favorite sneaker of 2021 so far?
It's the A Ma Maniere x Air Jordan 3 for me. The quality, craftsmanship and details are insane. Plus the colorway is so clean and minimal. A truly timeless shoe.
Was there a first piece you got that really pushed you into sneakers and/or high fashion?
I don't think I can attribute my push to one specific item, but rather a set of experiences. Like many, Jordans and streetwear propelled my interest in fashion. Growing up we couldn't afford much, but one of my favorite traditions was going back to school shopping with my grandparents and sister. It was one of only a few times in the year we could get new gear and the feeling it gave was indescribable. This may sound corny but it's more than just the pieces themselves, but rather the feeling it gives you. When you look good, you feel good. It serves almost like an armor of confidence.
If you had to wear one sneaker for the rest of your life, what would you pick?
AJ1 Bred. The Jordan 1 is one of my favorite silhouettes and the Bred colorway is classic and extremely versatile.
I noticed from your Instagram that you are really detail-driven... everything is specifically curated. How would you recommend getting to this point for someone just getting into fashion?
Try to find your distinct POV. Think about what makes you different and run with it. It may take some trial and error, so don't be afraid to experiment and take some risks. I recommend planning ahead and thinking about your narrative in-advance.
I personally break down my feed into mini stories or campaigns, in groups of 3s, 6s, or 9s; since an IG feed consists of 3 columns. I then consider different visual connection points to stitch each tile together -- whether it's a fit story, color story, brand story, etc. Something that ties everything together and creates a cohesive visual flow. I also play with a variety of angles, backgrounds and textures to create more dimension and depth. Remember to have fun and get creative. Do what makes you happy!
What are your thoughts on the current fashion landscape in Seattle?
The fashion scene in Seattle has come such a long way! I love seeing a diversified pool of styles developing here. It's dope seeing more fashion-forward people taking risks and having their own individual styles vs. following whatever the masses are doing or falling into old PNW stereotypes.
How do you see or want to see the Seattle fashion scene evolving in the future?
I used to serve on the Board of Directors for Seattle Fashion Week and pre-covid it was so exciting to meet up and coming talent in our own backyard. I'd love to see more homegrown brands and retailers flourish and make a bigger name for our city on both a national and international level. There's so much talent that's slept on and really deserves broader recognition.
What does Likelihood mean to you?
Likelihood is a true gem in our city. It's more than just a store, it's a community hub. It's one of my favorite places to shop because the company mission and principles align with my own, the staff's customer service is top-notch, they give back to the community and of course have the latest and greatest heat. It's a place where everyone is welcome and there's honestly something for everyone.