While working on my last big project, I needed to do a lot of research about the fashion blog scene in Austria and Germany. Devoted to the research, I kept bumping into one name, “New Kiss On The Blog“. First I saw an interview at A List, then again in Ugly Mag and I asked myself “Who is this guy?”. He is obviously doing something different and noticeable if he’s everywhere…Curiosity kept growing, because men’s fashion blogs are really hard to find these days and with a bit more digging I found out that the man behind the Blog was Jean-Claude Mpassy. He is actually a Berlin street style photographer, based in Vienna, searching for muses for his fashion inspiration. After a couple of weeks, our paths crossed at a Vienna Fashion Week street style event, where I got the chance to meet him and we had an interesting talk that just kind of turned into this short interview. Take a look:
Tell us, Jean-Claude, what „keeps you moving“ more, fashion or photography? Or do you like to see them as one?
They definitely coexist. Fashion wouldn’t be what it is today without photography. Especially now days where blogs and social media changed the game of fashion and made it accessible for everyone out there. For my part it’s fashion that keeps me moving in the first place. But in order to bring out the best of it, I had to learn how to use a camera properly. My good friend and photographer Stefan Joham taught me what it needed to make great street style pictures.
How does your day look like? Can we see you on the streets of Vienna with your camera?
I work full time for the swiss menswear label Strellson. We launched our first retail store in Austria some month ago. Whenever I am free I go out on the streets with my camera to shoot some pictures for my blog.
How do you choose your outfits? Is it “whatever comes to my hand first” mode or something else?
It’s all about my mood and how I feel when I wake up in the morning. Sometimes it takes me a while to decide what to wear, because I like to mix different styles and to try new things. At the end of the day my outfit needs to be unique. Just different from others.
What are 5 men’s must-haves for this season?
Basic over lenght shirts. A parka. Some sweatpants that are not too sporty. A nice pair of boots. A hat.
What would you never wear?
Loafers and moccasins.
Have you ever seen street style so bad you wanted to stage an intervention? What were they wearing?
Of course. Especially men are not always interested in fashion and the way they appear. Always a chance for me to inspire them and to teach them the rules of fashion.
What’s your perspective on the Vienna fashion scene versus the one in Berlin?
Berlin fashion scene is open minded and doesn’t really follow particular rules. You can see some crazy styles over there that don’t seem fashionable at first sight and become really cool after a second look. Vienna is different. It’s not as extravagant as Berlin. Yet the city adopted things like the hipster scene that goes viral right now, especially in the 7th district. But it needs more than some hipsters and hip hop influenced styles to become a hotspot in fashion: The international influence plays a major role. Eastern Europe is just around the corner, so why not profit from that fact? And people here definitely need more courage and shouldn’t be ashamed to be outstanding.
Living or dead who is your fashion inspiration? Do you find yourself trying to channel the style of someone else? Like WW_W (What would ______ wear).
I basically try to have my own style and to pick the best of what I like and what influences me. One of my role models would be Kanye. He’ is always well dressed and looks good in different styles.
Do you surround yourself with stylish people? Or are you “the trendy one” of the group? What role do your friends’ style and the style of the city have on your personal flair?
I have friends who are not into fashion at all. And thats good. But working in the fashion industry lets me surround myself a lot with stylish people, especially when I am in Germany or travel elsewhere. Those trips are always are great inspiration for me. Vienna’s influence on me isn’t that big. I would already consider myself to be one of the best dressed man of the country with great knowledge about menswear. So my influence on the style of the city is far bigger that the other way around.
What are your favorite shops in Vienna?
After the talk, I can really say that Jean-Claude is dedicated to his love of fashion and photography, he keeps it simple, classy, and still recognizable due to his personal style. Keep up the good work.
Visit New Kiss On The Blog HERE!
Visit his Facebook Fan Page HERE!