A talk with Buzz Tang
From Hong Kong to London: the passion for tailoring beyond the lands.
Buzz, a 20-year-old entrepreneur, who is currently splitting the time between Hong Kong and London. Some of you may know him as @buzzspoke on Instagram, where he shares his daily musings on all things related to classic menswear. He have also recently started a new venture, The Anthology, a series of classic menswear shops based in Hong Kong and Taiwan, with the hopes to bring a more modern approach to classic menswear whilst staying relevant to its historical origin. He began developing this interest in classic menswear ever since he was 16, a passion further fuelled moving to London for university, where he progressed from a suit enthusiast to a fabric merchant on Savile Row.
A guy so young, with such a distinctive style. Where does this great passion for fashion and tailoring come from?
My mother has always been very interested in arts and aesthetics, so I’ve always assumed it runs in the blood. The day I properly ventured into the fine crafts and details of classic menswear was when I was around 16 when my uncle bought me my first pair of Purple Label dress trousers and my first pair of John Lobb loafers. The intrinsic value and the longevity of tailoring draws me in, and I am fascinated by how suits never go out of style after years or even decades. It's also interesting to me that subtle details in the design of a suit can speak volumes about the regional culture and subculture it originates from.
Divided between London and Hong Kong. What of these two realities always carry with you, and is it expressly shown in your style?
Obviously the climate makes a huge difference and it strongly correlates to the way I dress. Hong Kong tends to be warm and humid throughout the year, so I usually dress more casually with lighter fabrics, brighter shades and vivider pocket squares. Whereas in London, people tend to dress more traditionally, so you see understated blues and greys everywhere on Savile Row, Jermyn Street and all the way from Mayfair down to the West. If you know where to look, you might even find some interesting country looks such as burgundy or mustard corduroys, vintage tweed jackets, and felt fedoras or trilbys, things that I seldom wear in Hong Kong but often in England! To summarise, I would say you will be more likely to see me sporting full suits in darker colours during London’s winter and more jacketings and unlined loafers during Hong Kong’s summer.
Future of Fashion. What you see changed, what remains.
The way a product is marketed today is largely different from the way it used to be. Nowadays, social media has become essential and nicely done photography would be one of the most important aspects of curating a good brand. Speaking of what remains, I would say it’s the controversial two facets of market consumers; the fast-fashion crowd that follows trends and seasons versus the classic lovers, people who mostly shop at vintage stores or bespoke houses.
An object or a piece from which you can never separate.
My gold bracelet with personal engravings from Codis Maya. That was a gift for myself and my girlfriend for Christmas 2017. I personally think yellow gold suits me quite well and I tend to incline towards gold time-only watches these days. Furthermore, a spot of colour on the wrist brings a little fun to the outfit without being overly obnoxious.
Cran Classic Tortoise // Bottle Green
In the era of consumerism, of 'easy' and cheap fashion, how difficult is it to communicate the values of 'well done' in an ethical way, in your opinion, and why?
Living in a generation where the market is over-saturated with goods manufactured by fast fashion companies, most consumers are easily swayed to over-consume and over-discard. I’m a strong believer of ensuring the longevity of a garment and the “natural patina” of it. Wearing a garment is more than just pulling off the look, but also to tell a story. However, it is a very difficult job to do because today’s fashion is more about high turnover and riding trends. Regardless, curating a wardrobe of timeless pieces is the key to staying relevant no matter the trend.
If you had the chance to go back to a historical era. Which would you choose? And what piece of that wardrobe would you bring with you and why?
A throwback to the 1920s-30s would certainly be interesting. The Art Deco age was a remarkable period where music, architecture and culture was thriving. A cream double breasted suit would be my choice since I would need a remake of my previous one as it no longer fits. I think the particular colour has always been a good representation of the period likely due to the old-fashioned impression it invokes and the upmost delicacy required to wear and maintain the suit. Plus, I love the subtle nod towards ’The Great Gatsby’, although the one worn by Robert Redford/Leonardo DiCaprio was a three piece suit.
Summer 2018. Must have of season?
A seersucker jacket or shirt seems to be quite popular this season as major brands are taking inspiration from the Ivy ages, going for a preppy or riviera summer look. Of course, no summer outfit is complete without the trusty panama hat.
How would you explain craftsmanship to the new generation.
I would start from the most noticeable element. If we’re talking about a good handmade jacket, the handmade buttonholes and a strong lapel roll definitely speaks for itself. Moving on to the finer details, it’s always best to try on the jacket and experience it for yourself. I personally emphasise on comfort a lot because I believe comfort should coexist with style, and that originates from the incredible craftsmanship behind the jacket.
‘Italian' for you.
Vivid, casual, and carefree.
Credits: Buzz Tang // Ph: Jamie Ferguson