Q&A: Sean Hotchkiss of The GQ Eye

10:59 am

Sean Hotchkiss, better known as the voice of The GQ Eye is an aficionado of fashion knowledge. Here at SINGER22, we were fortunate enough to pick Sean’s brain about double-breasted blazers, the surf/baja movement, golf, and more. We really respect someone who can bring it. AND Sean surely can.

SINGER22 kicks it with Mr. GQ Eye, Sean Hotchkiss below…

Grungy Gentleman: Can you tell us about your background and what lead you to GQ?

Sean Hotchkiss: I’ve been very fortunate with the breaks I’ve gotten. I’ve been in the industry for roughly 2 years. I started my blog, Khaki Crusader, back in late 2008 and was fortunate to land a few jobs in the summer of ’09, one being a menswear design internship at Ralph Lauren. (I ended up staying on for 8 or 9 months, it was such an amazing gig and I was learning so much – I would LOVE to have design pop back into my life at some point.) I forged some pretty cool relationships while I was there, one being with a current GQ editor. A position opened up for someone to kind of curate the blog, The GQ Eye, and I applied and got it.

GG: How would you describe your own style?

SH: Honestly, it’s always kind of changing. As a young guy, I was into like surf and skate brands and in college, I was super prepped out. I think it took me a while to come into my own. There are a few things I’m always going to like now that I know myself – I’m always going to have a prep element to my style, especially in the summer, because of golf being such a prevalent part of my life and I’m always going to like my stuff on the snug side: I am chronically anal about fit. I like short jackets and tight pants. Sorry for partying.
GG: Can you put into words what GQ means to menswear?

SH: Not sure I really can. It’s such a phenomenal brand and has always been my favorite magazine. There’s still a sense of wonder for me around it. It’s so fun meeting people of all demographics and hearing them talk about their histories with the mag. I was in Maine this past weekend and my best buddy’s mom told me it was her favorite… All I know is, I am so incredibly happy to have my current gig with them and I’m meeting some truly fantastic and creative people.

GG: What are your favorite designers/brands?

SH: I really like so much of what is going on right now. I get equal enjoyment from covering the Paris and Milan shows as I do from doing an interview with an emerging designer in LA. I just love clothes. If I had the funds, I would probably buy everything from Band of Outsiders, Michael Bastian, Rag & Bone, Brooks Black Fleece, Bespoken and A.P.C. I love Swedish brands and style, I wear a ton of J. Lindeberg. I like their very Scandinavian takes on prep. I’ve also been out to California a lot in the last 2 years and I’m seriously loving the whole Baja/sufer movement. I really like Riviera Club, Burkman Bros. NSF and this brand I just discovered called VBN – which is all sustainable. I’m not a huge eco/green dude, but thats pretty cool.

GG: Can you tell us about your personal blog, The Khaki Crusader?

SH: The KC is my baby. The original idea back in 2008 was to create a young spirited, fashion-focused blog for a sport that was in the middle of a major style transformation – golf was and is becoming cool, again. It took me so long to get it rolling. I used to sit in my office, neglecting the work someone was paying me a fair amount of money of money to do, so I could make guerilla calls and emails to people in the golf apparel industry, asking them to check out the site. I still remember my first post and talking to my friend Jess about starting it. That process is so special for me, because I was learning as I went. I had to learn about PR and self-marketing on the fly. It opened every single door for me to what I’m doing now and gave me the best gift I could have ever gotten: the chance to write and publish every day. My one regret is that I haven’t had as much time to work with the blog since I started my gig with GQ. But, I hope to find the time as I get settled.

GG: If you had to give the fellas out there 3 tips as we head into fall, what would they be?

SH: Hmm… This is the first time I’ve been asked a question like that. All I can say, is I’ll be wearing a ton of heavyweight DB’s this fall and winter and boots, lots of boots. And for the more corporate types, get some dark ties with texture in them, they are way more interesting than plain old silk and a cool way to diversify yourself. Outerwear is king in the fall – I’ve been obsessed with it for as long as I can remember. Get a couple cool jackets and mix them up. I heard once that in LA everyone judges you by your car and in New York, it’s by your coat. For some reason I’ve never forgotten that. For whatever the hell that’s worth…

GG: What are your ‘must-haves’ from SINGER22?

SH: I want some Burkman Bros. shorts and always need more of their bracelets. The Grungy Gentleman x Kiel James Patrick belt is frickin’ sick – you can tell how great they are by the photo, but I just ordered a pair and it’s even better in person. The Rogue washed and dyed slim cargo pant and a bunch of their tees. Del Toro Alto boots, some Steven Alan b-downs and everything from Riviera Club

GG: What can we expect next from the GQ Eye?

SH: Honestly, right now I’m just trying to find a nice balance curating the blog to the best of my ability. My favorite thing to do is interviews and features on people and brands I really respect and find interesting. I’m also really into highlighting blogs in the menswear community and all the cool stuff people are doing. I think people who have followed the blog for years will see just an overall push to create more of the great content that GQ is known for, as well as hopefully a few surprises. Gotta keep things fresh…

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2 Responses to Q&A: Sean Hotchkiss of The GQ Eye

  1. Raj Asarpota says:

    Good interview with Sean. Like Sean, I’m completely anal about fit. I wish more men would realize that a good fit is essential to style.

  2. Steven Stone says:

    I have followed Sean (in various ways) for many years;
    great interview;
    I just checked out a belt he refferenced, and then bought it;
    I’m smiling.

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