We had a chat with Denny Balmaceda who is a SEB MAN Ambassador, fashion blogger and menswear stylist from NYC. In 2007, way before the days of Instagram, Denny was one of the first to document his daily outfits and thrift shop finds with his loyal fans on Facebook and other social channels.
How do we describe Denny? He’s a slasher……
PHOTOGRAPHER \MIDNIGHT COWBOY \SKATER \VINTAGE COLLECTOR \AUTHOR
Canadian Hairdresser: How did you get started as a stylist and blogger?
Denny: I started as a blogger posting my daily outfits on Facebook in 2008. After high school I passed on going to college and needed to make money so I became a travel agent. During my spare time I got a Nikon Coolpix camera and started taking photos of my outfits. I kept a digital diary. On Facebook I made albums called Fashion Games. No one was doing that on Facebook back then. It was an artistic outlet for me. I wanted to use the camera because I just got it.
CH: How would you describe your style?
Denny: I used to dress for me which was outside the box. I would wear a suit at gym class in school. I was always into art and drawing and painting. I was a class clown that wore whatever I want. My style is modern vintage. I like streetwear and was a skateboarder as a kid which is why I love sneakers. The 70’s it’s my favorite decade. I am Filipino but people think I’m Hispanic. I sample styles and make it my own. It’s my mash up like the Western look mixed with Jordans. Gucci is one of my favorite designers but I am not a fashion snob. I don’t need to wear brand names. I see the piece not the price or the brand and would put out there if it was cool to me.
CH: What inspires your style?:
Denny: I’m like an indy movie character. Because I worked in a video store my looks are inspired by movies and music. My favorite bands are The Cure and Tribe called Quest and 80’s new wave also 90’s hip hop. My other favorite is Kanye West. I love how he samples and makes it his own. It’s a mash up which is how I create my style. I don’t do it to sell something. I pick and choose who I work with. My brand is very important and must be authentic to me.
CH: When did you start blogging?
Denny: I discovered Lookbook.nu and started posted there. I started a blog at 2011 to present my styles and tell a story and take detail shots, then I was on Tumbler as well as Facebook,. I organically grew a following from the three platforms. I used to sew back in the day. On You Tube I started Denny Taught Me and would show how to cut off jeans or a DIY with shoes and shirts. I would show how to customize snapback hats.
CH: What kind of looks where you presenting back then?:
Denny: I grew up not a rich kid so I was thrifting at a young age with my allowance. I put together Look Rich Shop Cheap on my blog. I showed the latest runway looks with thrift items. I showed people that if you aren’t rich you can still look cool.
CH: You have lots of hair. What products do you use?:
Denny: My favorite products is SebMan The Dandy pomade. I never used to use products in my hair because it would feel heavy and dirty. This pomade smells good like a cologne. It’s very light weight. I just take a shower and put the product in and let it dry on its own. I never paid attention to my hair until people started commented on it. I didn’t know that my natural hair would be what people like. I have accepted what my natural hair is. Sometimes I would put it in a french braid or slicked back. It depends on the outfit.
CH: Where do you shop in Jersey?:
Denny: Another Man’s Treasure is my favorite Jersey vintage shop. I have about five good stores I like. I like Dover St. Market or Supreme. Shopping is a treasure hunt. As soon as I see something I have a superpower to see a piece and see ten or fifteen looks that I can create with it. I don’t think twice I just get it if I want it. Sometimes if I do a campaign and get paid well I would splurge and buy designer too. I like Modern Vintage which is a mix of streetwear and thrift. People would scoff at you for wearing old vintage before and now its a cool thing.
CH: What do you think about sustainability in fashion?:
Denny: I try my best to support the idea of sustainability when I am buying vintage. I don’t buy as many big name brands or big companies. When I buy vintage I am wearing recycled clothing.
CH: What is important for you when you create your Instagram posts?:
Denny: I want you to feel a whole story which is why I hashtag #scenestobescene. I am a photographer as well so I know how to edit my own photos. I always have the creative direction and do the editing then have a friend shoot me. I always add a soundtrack to my posts like a song I would listen to with my look.
“Before I knew I was influencing my idea was to be yourself, present yourself the way you love yourself”.
CH: What are your thoughts on Influencers?:
Denny: Try to stay real in these competitive times. People are not real and buying followers and taking on sponsorship just for fame or to get rich. I am all for taking aways the “likes” on Instagram because people let the likes affect their ego. At the end of the day you didn’t start with the likes, you start because you love creating. Fall in love with that again. When the likes go away It will push people to be creative again. All the people cheating the system will fall back because their are not going to know what to do when the likes are not showing. Their egos will be affected.
CH: Tell us about Pledge World:
Denny: Pledge World is a campaign created by Blu the electronic cigarette company that collaborates with influencers. They have approached Influencers they found interesting. It’s about reaching your dreams and making it happen. I am transitioning to get into TV and make movies. Currently, I am writing movie ideas that I plan on pitching. I want a skit show with all my personalities with fashion and comedy. Pledge World has helped me make my own pilot for You Tube.
CH: What advice would you give a new Influencer out there?:
Denny: There are a lot of kids out there like me which is why I am doing podcasts to tell my story. I want to let them know that even though you feel like you are stuck and you might not go anywhere there is a silver lining all the time. You will always find a way if you as long as you dedicate to yourself. Don’t give up. Follow what you feel you want to do. I found blogging when it was really dark for me. It was all a part of me to become who I am.