In form-fitting Christian Lacroix and Alexander McQueen, Willy Moon is our kind of liberated man. By bringing back the mid-century elegance of the body-conscious suit, this New Zealand musician provides a much needed rebuttal to the male comfort culture of generic jeans and khakis. From Salvation Army sweaters to vintage designer suits, read our story below and follow Willy on his journey to becoming a laptop, hip-hop Buddy Holly.
Elisa & Lily
"I went to school during the 90s when kids wore skateboarding shoes, baggy jeans, and hoodies. I, however, would go to the thrift store and pick out strange pieces -- Polo sweaters, sheekpskin miniatures, and pilot jackets. I didn't have a sense of what was normal, which I inherited from my parents. I was brought up from a very young age to be an individual and to think for myself."
"My first tape was a live cassette by Nirvana. Then I started listening to Lou Reed, Bob Dylan, and David Bowie. I love the idea of self-creation, and each of them had the ability to get away from the constraints of other people and make a world that they wanted to inhabit. From the age of seven to twelve, I played the guitar. After my mother died, I stopped. When I was twelve, my mom wouldn't let me stay at friend's house. I told her to fuck off and went anyways. A few days later, she fell into a coma and I never had the chance to speak to her again."
After a down-and-out stint in London, the peacefulness of Berlin, a friend, Buddy Holly, and a laptop reunited Willy with his art.
About the ability to merge samples on his computer, Willy reflects, "I was free from anybody else's opinions or ideas. I could make something purely based on my own tastes."
As for Buddy Holly, Willy says, "He was the first punk. With his snarling lip and his band, the Crickets, he was just so cool and preternaturally talented. He seemed like a freak or an alien, which appealed to me."
"Men have lost the ability to be comfortable with their bodies and sexuality.They've been boxed into a corner. Being homophobic, a lot of men avoid flamboyance, because it's associated with gay men. What it means to be a man has become confused and their collective mentality -- that we are the cause of all of the world's problems -- is self-loathing. But men can be the solution. We don't need to be the oppressor.
"Women have freed themselves from being told by men what to do. It used to be that each man was the God of his own family -- the women and the children all looked up to him. He was justice, nature, and everything. Now he's been reduced to nothing. It's a difficult situation for men to deal with."
"I don't wear jeans. I've never liked denim -- the way it sits against the skin feels horrible. It's heavy and coarse. I prefer tactile clothes that I can touch, such as my suits from a Notting Hill vintage designer shop. Rather than spend 2000 pounds on a a new piece, I'll spend 300 pounds on a piece from five or ten years ago. That way, it doesn't exist within the zeitgeist. Someone else walking down the street isn't necessarily going to have it. Finding these vintage suits feels like a discovery that's all my own. Fashion isn't merely about clothing. It's about how you represent yourself as a person: the way you talk, the habits you have, the alcohol you might drink, the music you might listen to, the films you might like, and the books that you read."
If Willy's story inspires your style, then add some of his things to your closet!
Willy was interviewed and photographed by Elisa & Mona
For more about Willy Moon, visit his website