if you happen to be a man in Calgary who pays close attention to men's fashion in style, you may have noticed a distinct lack of guy's-focused style blogs in the city. If you really took notice, you probably would've been sparked by the lack of competition in this segment and started your own blog by now. Like myself, Paul Schneider is one of the few guys in YYC looking to fill in that niche of guys style blogging with his blog, titled "A Perpetual State." However, his distinct stylistic attitude doesn't just stand out in the typically female-dominated and traditional Calgary fashion landscape, it stands out as forward-thinking and advanced wherever he goes.
Yes, Paul is one of the few fashion-conscious Calgary men. But don't think for a second that it de-facto got him a spot as TOPMAN brand ambassador for Calgary, a coveted staff position at Nordstrom YYC, or my own declaration of him as one of the top three most stylish men of Calgary. In fact, with his unconventional personal style, and his focus on designer fashion, it's more likely that Paul got where he is in spite of the small scene in YYC, rather than because of it. For my own analysis of his style, check out this article, and for his own words on his motivation and opinion of Calgary's scene, read on!
First off, tell me a bit about your background. Do you hail originally from Calgary? What sort of previous jobs and/or education led you up to where you are now?
A: I’m a bit of a shit-mix. I’m German, Polish, Ukrainian, Russian and Hungarian.
I’ve done visual/design for American Apparel, and Visual/creative for topshop. Now I’m on the Women’s Designer team for Nordstrom!
What originally sparked your interest in fashion? Have you always been into it, or was there a particular moment or period that really sparked your interest?
A: I remember surfing the internet and saw a recommended video of Alexander McQueen’s “Horn Of Plenty” runway show. It was absolutely captivating and I fell in love with the mixture of art, theatrics and fashion into one. I had to learn EVERYTHING about him, and it pulled me into this insane world. When he died, I forced my mom to drive me to Holt Renfrew to buy my first designer piece: and Alexander McQueen Skull scarf.
How and when did you decide to start a blog? What message did you want to get across with your blog?
A: I started my blog when I was in Grade 12. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, and had used it as more of a joke thing to show my friends what I was wearing. Now it’s gotten me some amazing opportunities! I’ve been fortunate enough to go to New York Fashion Week through it and have had some amazing blog partnerships.
If you could pick any, what do you think would be your top three favorite sub-genres within fashion (men’s and women’s)?
A: I’m obsessed with Minimalism. Like Ann Demeulemeester. Outlandish runway fashion like Walter Van Bierendonck, and the massive 70s influence from Gucci.
What sort of people and things would you say you most draw inspiration from in your fashion and lifestyle as a whole?
A: Honestly, I’d say my biggest inspirations come from music. Depending on what I’m listening to at the moment, it heavily influences my style. But I get a lot of inspiration from my favourite Designers: J.W. Anderson, Loewe (Jonathan Anderson), Ann Demeulemeester, Proenza Schouler, Wooyoungmi, Thom Browne, ETC.
What do you think of the fashion scene in Calgary as compared to Canada and the rest of the world? What do you think some benefits and/or drawbacks are to having a relatively small and young scene here?
A: Personally, I think Calgary has a LONG way to go to consider itself a fashionable city. The trend rate here is so slow, that by the time everyone hops on the big trends, they’re already over. I think Calgary needs to really establish it’s art/fashion scene before it’ll grow. It’s trying, but there aren’t enough influencers and people that are interested left in this city. We all leaving haha.
I think the small scene is an extreme drawback. We don’t have any fashion credentials. If we had a designer here that was extremely popular, it would help boost us. And I also find our main issue comes from retailers in this city. They don’t believe in Calgary as a fashion city so we don’t get anything worthwhile here. It all goes to Vancouver/Toronto.
What are some of your current favorite brands/designers from Calgary and Canada?
A: House of Nonie is one of my faves. S.P.Badu, and Lennard Taylor from Winnipeg.
Where do you plan to take your blog and personal brand in the future? Is there anything you haven’t tried or anywhere you haven’t explored yet that you still want to experience?
A: I really hope it takes it’s place as an actual career and I can focus all my time on it. Ideally I won’t be in Calgary much longer. Hopefully it takes me to Toronto and keeps me there.
What has been your favourite moment or period in your blogging career?
A: getting to Open Topshop/Topman with Ania. It was awesome. They outfitted us and we got to cut the ribbon to the store and spend the day as VIPs and host a few little things around the store throughout the day. I loved it.
Any last shout outs or comments?
A: Holler at my instagram @paulconradschneider (shameless self promotion lololol)