It’s hard to fathom growing up in a place like Communist Poland, where the shops were filled primarily with vinegar and butter. And when you see the burst of color and pattern on Filip, it’s proof that the imagination, no matter what your circumstances, can take you anywhere. He artfully combines fast or high fashion with almost any color and every texture. The combination of a Club Monaco take on the tartan cardigan, a polkadot Commes des Garcon polo, and a Topshop plaid bow tie is one example of how Filip layers classic-upon-classic until it becomes a new eclectic standard. Making preppy surreal, he puts suspenders over an argyle sweater, and ties a Moschino scarf around a Vivienne Westwood pullover. Socks are an important new fetish for expressing Filip’s not-too-serious take on dressing. They are almost without fail, a tastefully whimsical exclamation, like the ones that mimic a spectator shoe. Many of Filip’s unusual finds come from his beloved Century 21 – “I am obsessed. I applied for an internship for a discount.” Making his playful mark on what can be the somber clothing palette of the Big Apple, the “boy with the blue sneakers” is how he became lovingly known.