Out of My Closet: Edward Chiu

PUBLISHED : Friday, 28 September, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 28 September, 2012, 10:41am

Edward Chiu, editor of the men's lifestyle site hypebeast.com greets us in his apartment in Fo Tan, dressed head-to-toe in grey-toned creations by Croatian-born wunderkind Damir Doma. Six years ago, his daily uniform was more likely to be out of A Bathing Ape.

"A typical 'hypebeast' by definition," Chiu says. "I was all about Bape and that baggy street style when I was younger.

"I've changed my style and started wearing darker things. Now I don't go crazy with prints, but try to stick with a one-colour palette. It was probably because I got older. I started changing after breaking up with my girlfriend."

We are still not convinced he has fully grown out of the hypebeast phase, especially when he discloses the number of shoes he owns between his homes in Hong Kong and London. "I lost track after 600 pairs," says Chiu.

Cue the limited edition Dr Martens x Hypebeast.com brogues Chiu helped design, the lace-up boots bearing Nobita Nobi prints from the sought-after Commes des Garçons x Doraemon collection, the hip Rick Owens side pocket leather sneakers and the doll-head Jeremy Scott x Adidas Originals trainers.

He has also bought into classic styles from retro Tricker's, Creepers, Native and Prada. Chiu's Nike runners and high-top trainers (mostly in black) can't be kept in his shoe closet because of the limited space. They're in the living room.

Chiu's clothes closet is no less impressive. Neatly stacked in piles according to colour, from his vast T-shirt collection, you can tell he's a fan of Undercover, Stussy, Supreme and Number(N)ine.

"I stock up on good quality basics like T-shirts. A dark print like this Nirvana T-shirt recreated by [Japanese label] Undercover usually catches my eye," he says.

Chiu often layers a longer vest under a T-shirt, one of the things he learned from Japanese design maestro Kazuki Kuraishi, creative director with Heather Grey Wall.

"He wears many layers, but it doesn't seem bulky," he says.

Graphic designer by training, Vancouver-born Chiu grew up in Hong Kong and then London. He came upon Hypebeast.com about six years ago when he was visiting Hong Kong for a summer holiday and applied for an internship with the website in its early days.

"I didn't expect it to become a real career path back then. After the internship, I went back to London and continued contributing to the site, and two years ago, after my graduation, I came back to join Hypebeast for good," he says. The job has changed his style significantly, Chiu says, as it gave him access to design minds such as Maison Martin Margiela, Rei Kawakubo and Tatsuro Horikawa, head designer of Julius.

"I was talking to Tatsuro and he described to me all the different depths of black, the philosophical references behind it and all that. Man, we talked about black for a whole hour," he recalls.

But Chiu does not consider himself a designer brand slave.

"It's all about mixing the high and low. I'd wear my Rick Owens with Stussy, things like that."

There are also novelties such as a black Duracell batteries watch and bracelets made from the threads attached to clothing tags and the strings of a shopping bag.

"I made these by myself," he says. "It's just those fun things you can create on your own."