I first met Butch Stevenson years ago when I was starting the Art Institute of Seattle. Back then I was impressed by the knowledge he possessed in styling and fashion. Butch has worked in different downtown Seattle clothing boutiques for over 10yrs and has acuminated a lot of knowledge about the Seattle fashion scene. I recently reconnected with him at ian (Seattle boutique located downtown Seattle) and decided to interview him and share some of his knowledge with all of my readers.
All photos taken at ian 1919 2nd Ave Seattle, WA 98101
Who are you and how long have you been with the shop?
My name is Butch Stevenson, manager at ian. I’ve been with the store for almost 9 years.
Why do you enjoy fashion?
I guess I’ve been interested in fashion since I was a kid, watching Style with Elsa Klensch on CNN with my aunt Cauleen Williams. I would also design clothes in my spiral binder at school.
I love fashion because it’s a way of self-expression. To see what a designer is into that moment and see how they interpret it into a collection always intrigues me. Some designers have a similar vision season-to-season but reimagining it so it becomes interesting again. Ralph Lauren, Daiki Suzuki of Engineered Garments, Junya Watanabe, and Brunello Cuccinelli are masters of that and kill it every season. In the store I always look forward to what Levi’s Made & Crafted does. This season was brilliant with the texture and colorful prints.
I’m actually more interested in personal style and how people put things together. It’s interesting when two individuals can have the same garment and see it in a different way. I always love to see the end result.
I’m also really interested in ‘fashionless’ fashion. You know, the clothes that people stray from because it’s not hip enough or too “out there”. You know that red trench that was hanging in the sale rack that makes you wonder who would buy it? Hi there! I love those pieces! I always find ways to make it work; and if it doesn’t come to me right then, I keep it in the closet until it comes to me.
How would you describe Seattle fashion scene?
Safe!!! I have to give props to some of those people, though for stepping up their game and to those who always are never afraid to bring it (shout outs to Liana Kegley and Joshua David Meacham at Barneys, Max Jarkow at Mario’s); but for the most part people here are afraid to go against the grain even a little bit. But I do see it getting better…
Are there any trends shoppers should be looking out for?
Floral prints are going to be a thing this spring and I think you can do it in smaller doses (ie. accessories) if you can’t picture yourself in a floral anorak! My advice to people though is if you don’t want to be too trendy is just make sure your clothes fit correctly. Fit is key. I see way too many guys wear the wrong size (usually too big) thinking they’re hiding something; but all it does is draw attention to what they’re hiding! Tighten up!