Rogan Gregory Tells Wilbert What to Wear

June 30, 2012 12:05 PM

I’m not afraid to admit that I was one of those people who just didn’t get kids. They all smell like syrup and they spend most of their time rummaging around in filth and putting strange things in their mouth. It’s disgusting. And, as someone who is pretty concerned with what they are wearing, I was always afraid one of the little buggers would up and vomit allover me.

My distinct distaste for anyone too young to know how to wipe their own behind has gotten me into trouble in countless social situations because I would refuse to hold babies and I wouldn’t continue a conversation with an adult who broke it to speak in goofy “googoo-gaga” talk. But much of that changed when my handsome nephew Geoffrey was born earlier this year. It’s funny how having one of those little things that looks like you running around can change your perspective on kids. Now I shop for baby clothes at a trendy spot in Williamsburg where they sell punk rock t-shirts for infants and miniature Wayfarer shades. And when no one is looking, I even do a little of the goofy “gaga” talking.

Mulling over this recent transformation in the way I look at little ones, I thought it would be a great idea to talk to fashion dad, Rogan Gregory—the mastermind behind his eponymous CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award-winning line, Rogan, and the leading sustainable brand Loomstate.

Besides raising his two-and-a-half-year-old daughter Gray (and giving her the coolest name ever), Rogan has become a powerful force within fashion. Since 2001, the self-titled minimalist apparel brand he launched with his friend Scott Mackinlay Hahn has grown exponentially, pushing the boundaries utilitarianism in American fashion. He’s also worked as one of the leading creative forces behind the sustainable Bono brand, Edun, and he has collaborated frequently with Target, helping to bring affordable and sustainable quality fashion to people who shop in big-box stores.

I got on the phone with the guy who has enough energy to create a dress that can be worn seven different ways and teach a little girl how to use the potty to play my favorite game:  What to Wear When: The Daddy Edition.

 

 

So, you’ve got one of those baby things. Has it changed the way you dress?

Rogan Gregory: A little. What both of you are wearing is definitely a concern because not all of the baby’s food makes it where it is supposed to go. Some key things I have to consider are like not to give her a red popsicle if I’m wearing a white shirt.

 

That’s a good one. Anything else?

Just yesterday, I was told by her mother to feed her spaghetti in the nude, so she wont get anything on her dress. Which is actually more practical.

 

Wait, why would you be naked?

Not me! Her. But I do try to steer clear of the spaghetti on myself.

 

Is it that hard to keep yourself clean with a one of those dirty things running around?

Kids are not always walking. You end up carrying them a lot. If they have something it will end up on you, the dog, and everywhere else. It’s the sticky shit that is really difficult to deal with.

 

Were you there when she was born? What’d you wear when Gray was getting squeezed out the birth canal?

I think when that type of shit happens, you’re not thinking about what you’re wearing. And I’m a little bit boring…

 

How so?

Well, what I wear hasn’t changed too much since I’ve had a kid. But, my inspiration from a design perspective has changed a lot. When you have a kid, things become less serious. Before a kid, it’s all deadlines and so critical. Now I try and have more fun. My priorities have changed.

 

Let’s talk about things from the design side. How has Gray’s existence influenced what you create?

Well, I was a minimalist from the start. But I’ve become even more minimal and practical. I’m not interested in any kind of decoration. For me personally, I’m into uniform stuff, color blocking, shapes, and geometry. And that’s what little kids are in to. Most human beings will respond to that, instead of all the intellectual stuff.

 

That’s beautiful. Do you ever see dads when you’re doing your dad thing that dress so awful it makes you sick? I hate to discriminate, but it seems like dads have the worst style.

Totally. It’s really upsetting to me when I see a bro at the Cherry Tavern who used to give a shit about what he wore and now post-kid his clothes look far less considered.

 

You’re kind of like the odd dad, being such a stylish dude.

Yeah, when I pick up my kid at daycare they look at me like, “Wait a minute, this guy doesn’t look like a dad.” It’s because I’m dressed in all khaki or all black. It looks like I’ve just been released from prison.

 

What about your old man? Was he an unconventional fashion father?

Definitely, he is pretty eclectic. He is a professor and he’s known to wear a bolo tie. He used to wear leather shorts, just because they were functional.

 

We’ll I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. I can’t wait to see Gray get her fashion on in a few years. Thanks Rogan

 

 

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