New York-based Travis Gumbs and Joshua Kissi. Picture / Supplied.

Mind your manners

Meet the pair behind the creative agency and leading men’s fashion website, Street Etiquette

New York-based Travis Gumbs and Joshua Kissi are the duo behind popular men's lifestyle website Street Etiquette. They recently visited New Zealand to speak alongside I Love Ugly's Valentin Ozich and Barnaby Marshall at the sold-out Spark Lab session. We caught up with the style professionals to talk men's fashion.

What sets Street Etiquette apart from other men's style websites?
Street Etiquette has always been more than just a style site and we think that is what has set us apart from other websites that are thrown into the same category as us. We have always been about exploring culture and interpreting it into our own stories. Using style to tell those stories just happened naturally.

What item of clothing do you swear by? 
A white Oxford shirt! You can't ever go wrong with one. Everyone should have one or 10 in their closet.

What advice would you give men wanting to be bolder with their style?
Have confidence! Nothing is really that bad if you truly feel good. The fact that you are comfortable always shows.

Where were you when you started Street Etiquette?
We started Street Etiquette right in our rooms in The Bronx, New York.

What have been the biggest highlights since starting Street Etiquette?
The biggest highlight for us is definitely the ton of positive press we have gotten from the likes of the New York Times to GQ magazine. These were things you only dreamed of seeing your name in growing up. Also how patient, loyal and understanding our fan base has been throughout the years.

What does an average day look like?
An average day for us is very sporadic. Some days are meant for us to stay inspired and see what is happening in fashion and culture as a whole and other days we are super busy with the business side of the brand. It has definitely been interesting balancing all the different worlds and facets of SE.

Where do you find inspiration?
We find inspiration from everything. Whether it be travelling or just scrolling through the internet for hours or walking the streets of New York, there is always something around to be inspired by, you just have to constantly be open and looking for it.

Where do you start when you're putting an outfit combination together?
We usually base my outfit around one item that we're obsessing over at that particular moment. Some days it's the shoes, other days it's the coat, shirt or pant. Some days it's even the hat or any other accessories. It is much simpler picking out an outfit that way (for us at least).

How did you discover I Love Ugly?
We first came across I Love Ugly a few years back when they were still a fairly new brand. we were searching online and somehow came across their website and immediately fell in love with their branding. We loved how everything was so simple yet so bold but at the same time casual. It is a very hard atheistic to master. It was definitely captivating, especially with a name like I Love Ugly.

How would you describe your style aesthetic?
Our style is what we love to describe as "Street Etiquette". It is the that common ground, that sweet spot between high and low.

What have you listened to or read lately?
Mick Jenkins' song Rain and Zadie Smith's novel White Teeth.

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