The effortless style of Mr. Chung
Since leaving Sharp (one of Canada’s leading men’s luxury publications) last year, Banff-born Lance Chung, the creative online editorial force behind much of the magazine’s sartorial wisdom, has been busy focused on his own thing—and boy, has he been busy.
Whether it’s interviewing Warby Parker founder Jeffrey Raider for the In Good Company interview series, consulting for luxury brands, or fashion directing photo shoots, Chung never ceases to bring his fun-loving spirit and of-the-moment intuition to everything he does.
Here he gets super honest about his social media know-how and reveals his go-to greatest hits of Toronto exclusively for us. You can also follow his every (stylish) move here.
How would you describe your personal style?
I like to mix things up, but for the most part, my personal style usually revolves around great tailoring. When it comes to menswear, fit is king, so I try to make sure that everything looks proportional and right. I also love how the Italians put themselves together, that whole “sprezzatura” thing. To me, simplicity is key and has become somewhat of a pillar for my style. Clean, classic pieces that speak to a sense of effortlessness – into it.
How has social media changed the fashion and design game?
I love how social media has allowed people access to knowledge they would never have had before it came around, and the speed at which they can get it. The great thing about it is that it’s really broken down a lot of barriers to entry when it comes to the fashion industry and having a voice here. Now, if you have the right idea and a certain degree of consistency, you can create your own personal brand that has more influence than entire corporations. That’s pretty powerful. Not to make this industry sound like some sort of regime or anything, but I think the future of fashion and style will really be dictated by the people because they in themselves will have their own followers, who will have their own followers, and so on so forth.
In your opinion what are some of the best menswear stores in Toronto?
Pertaining to fashion, that’s a hard one. The menswear scene in this city is strong. We’ve got some incredible stores that really know what they’re doing. I’ll round it up to a top five instead. In no particular order:
Sydney’s Sydney does an absolutely amazing job at curating the products in his store. The merchandising is simple and nothing out of the ordinary, only so you can focus on his collection of quality goods, which includes a mix of Canadian talent (winning!), small Japanese brands and more. You can find everything from a suit to outerwear to your new favorite pair of kicks here.
Nomad If I had to describe this store in one word, it would be “cool”. They embody everything that is current and modern in the menswear scene, and really know their customer well. If you were looking for Yeezy’s collaboration with A.P.C. when it came out, this is the place you would have found it, along with a number of other great brands like Reigning Champ, Filson, Common Projects, wings + horns and more. I go in and end up walking out either depressed that I can’t, for some reason, buy everything or with a sizeable chunk suddenly missing from my bank account (well worth it, I might add.)
Lost & Found It’s a small and unassuming store on the Ossington strip, but step one foot inside and you know you’ll find a few (if not several) things that you like. Aside from the fact that my barbers are at the back of their store, I love popping in just to say hi and see what these guys have. It’s usually a mix of great off-duty pieces, perfect for a weekend getaway or jaunt around the city. They have an espresso bar as well, which is always a plus.
GotStyle I love GotStyle for a couple reasons. One, their selection is next level and basically a one-stop menswear emporium for whatever a guy may be looking for. Two, they support emerging Canadian talent and really give these designers a chance to get their product on the sales floor and, hopefully, onto consumers’ backs. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, I love the fact that GotStyle is much more than a store, but rather a destination that customers can really engage with, which is so key in today’s marketplace. They create their own content and really immerse their clients in an environment that educates and makes them feel comfortable. Plus, they throw the best parties in town. That definitely counts for something.
It’s a tie between these tailors: Gian-Paolo Mazzotta Gian-Paolo isn’t a store, but rather a master tailor and designer that I visit when I need to pull a beautiful suit for a shoot. I only own one suit from this guy (so far), but it is one that I have, by a mile, received the most compliments on (a beautiful burgundy, single-breasted number with peak lapels, if you must know.) This guy can make anyone look good. The fact that his prices won’t force you to starve for a month either is an added bonus.
Garrison Bespoke I’ve been in Toronto for three years now, and in that short amount of time i’ve seen these guys blow up as one of the best bespoke tailors in the city. While they do have a store that you can visit, what I love about the Garrison is that they’ve made an craft that can often come across as dry and dusty, as cool and modern. Custom suits for almost all (if not all) the major sports teams in the city, wardrobe for a few big shows and bulletproof suits are just a small number of cool shit they’ve done in the recent past.
How would you spend your dream day off in Toronto?
Slightly cooler, crisp weather (I’m from the mountains, I don’t cope well with the heat) during the day for a stroll along on the west side with a friend and coffee in hand, followed by an evening of great food, great drink and great company. People’s Eatery and the SoHo House are popular favorites in our group.