Closet DUMP: A conversation and closet sale with WASTE.
This interview has been condensed for the sake of clarity.
What’s your name, where’d you grow up, and how’d you come up with your username?
PH: My Name’s Phillip, most people just call me Phill and I grew up in Clearwater, FL. I came up with username WASTE from a realization of the growing consumer culture and excess in fashion.
How’d you develop your style, and what were your early influences?
PH: My style was developed over about 10 years of pure experimentation. Trying to find the middle ground between my social life here in Florida where fashion really isn’t a thing and expressing my own philosophies & interests through my style. As I got older I stopped caring about the whole idea of “fitting in” and went balls to the walls with what I wear and through traveling, I even expanded my style into so many subcultures from Avant-Garde to even dressing like a burnt out hippie from woodstock.
My style influences have been pretty consistent my whole life. The big ones have always been my mom, Frank Ocean, Rick Owens, Riccardi in Boston, Tokyo, and Music in general. Sounds like a weird mix, but i promise you it all makes sense.
My mom was the first person to even make me think about fashion, she always showed up everywhere head to toe in Chanel, Dior, Hermes, and etc. She sparked the deep dive into this rabbit hole.
Frank is really meaningful to me not only from how poetic he is but how he dresses. He finds a perfect balance between wearing just normal APC jeans and then like a Raf Simons bauhaus parka. It’s insane that he’s able to look so cool with minimum effort also his love of Tom Sachs’ work parallels mine so I got respect for that.
Rick Owens has always amazed me that he was able to create his own universe everytime he puts on a runway show. His designs are so recognizable and revolutionary, I’ve loved his work ever since i saw my first pair of geobaskets on frank in that gq shoot when he was with Odd Future.
I started getting into more niche stuff when I took a trip to Boston in 2016 and I stumbled upon the store Riccardi. I became familiar with the owner Riccardo over the years after and was introduced to these more niche brands that have now blown up into the stratosphere.
Tokyo was super important because I was able to see people dress differently and no one seemed to care. It also introduced me to Japanese brands and the culture in general that allows me to take a bit of a wabi-sabi approach to fashion
Although music has been my NUMBER ONE influence. If i put on Streaky by Death Grips when i first wake up to get everything rolling I’m putting on head to toe CCP or Rick Owens and looking like a goth militant stepping out with that hardcore aesthetic in mind where as if I put on Estimated Prophet by Grateful Dead I’m wearing a tie dye Kapital shirt, some ripped denim, and Visvim mocs, or if I put on Hyperion by Gesaffelstein I’m stepping out in some futuristic Balenciaga or Acronym to match that techno.
Who was the first person you met that shared similar interests around you?
PH: First person I met was my friend Jared Closterman who passed away in early 2021 day after the Bucs won the super bowl. He was only 21 years old and battled an autoimmune disease his whole life that sadly took him. We first met when I was in 4th grade in a comic book shop and then a week later he transferred to my school and I recognized him so I started talking to him and we became friends. He was a grade above me and me being that young I always looked up to him cause he kinda validated & made me feel comfortable with enjoying the niche stuff I liked from Daft Punk to Anime to Fashion. He taught me stuff and I dove deeper with research which in turn I taught him stuff. He gave me a solid structure to become who I am today, I’m forever grateful for him and will always miss him.
What about “culture” interested you the most?
PH: I loved how everything somehow was able to tie together, music, cinema, fashion, art, and etc. Once I started getting into it I couldn’t stop. More than anything I appreciate the variety of different self expression and how theres a mutual respect for between each major designer. It’s almost like competition but everyone has the same goal to create something beautiful and significant. I also just really enjoy the way dressing can change a person it’s almost like a new persona.
What are you thoughts about fashion now?
PH: Fashion now is becoming increasingly more consumer focused and less about actual styling, tailoring, or any craftsmanship. You’ll have someone put on a t-shirt from Chrome Hearts and call it fashion when it’s a lifestyle/jewelery brand not a fashion brand. It’s literally merch when people wear those tees. It pains me to see the decline of any legitimately talented designers. Throwing logos on a tee is cool Kim Jones, but show me if you could have ever pulled off tailoring the way Daniel Lee did at Bottega Veneta. Also most designers are afraid to step out of their comfort zone. A lot of people don’t realize how huge it was when Rick started using the colors he uses in collections now, thats a major leap for him. However, Gucci still keeps Alessandro Michele even though he is completely unable to break out of this repetitive narrative he presents every season. Brands as big as Gucci need to push their designers to keep expanding their vision instead of putting it into one consistent stream that guarantees profit. Most of these massive companies have sacrificed artistic ingenuity for profit.
How would you describe your style now?
PH: My style now is becoming more focused and less all over the place. I typically only wear black on a day to basis and stick with a consistent rotation of the same brands that in my mind somehow intersect with each other. I mostly wear Rick Owens, Deepti Barth, CCP, Balenciaga, Vetements, Enfants Riches Deprimes, Bottega Veneta, and Acronym. For basics I do Prada, Arc’teryx Veilance, Visvim, and stuff from Tom Sachs. So I guess my style is kinda Avant-garde with Techwear and brands that give commentaries on the corporate state of fashion.
What are you doing nowadays and where can people find you online?
PH: Nowadays I take care of my lil Samoyed puppy named Patek who’s about 2 months old, I cycle, rock climb, and spend time on finishing my last year at University of Tampa. People can find me online @WASTE.INC on Instagram. There’s no content on there yet but it’s going to be an educational page almost. Where I post an outfit and give a list of each piece. Then each post after is highlighting each individual piece providing it’s references, what season its from, who the designer is, its cultural significance, and any other facts I can give about it. Also I will being doing historical designer highlights as well as opinion pieces on recent collections, events in fashion, and the state of fashion as a whole. My goal is to shift the narrative that fashion isn’t about showing that you’re in with the trends, how much money you have, or having an abundance of clothes. Fashion is about the art. It’s about the self expression, the advancement of art using technique, accentuating the human form, making a statement, and other substantial things. I’m seeing fashion fall into the corporate pit of wasteful consumerism and I want to change some people’s minds, get them to wake up & hopefully one day influence brands to market their technically and artistically impressive pieces instead of tees with logos slapped on them.
This was WASTE with eightonethree. thank you for your time.