Menswear illustration, although nothing new, seems to be back on the up. A hugely popular medium throughout the early part of the 21st-century, with an unfortunate lull as cameras began to replace the pen.
I’ve always been taken by these sorts of illustrations; with the likes of René Gruau, Laurence Fellows, (1950-60s) Mens Club Magazine (Japan). Not forgetting the advertising work of American Ivy-league outfitters such as Gant, Brooks Brother, the list goes on and on.
I’ve been keeping an eye on Mr. Slowboy for sometime now, with his regular (daily) uploads through Instagram, it was only a matter of time before I got in touch to find out more about the person behind the pen.
My name is Fei Wang. I’ve just moved to London from Beijing since last October to be reunited with my wife, but I lived in London previously when did my MA in Illustration at Camberwell College of Arts in London in 2011/12.
Where did the name Slowboy come from?
I’m a slow person, slow on almost everything. I’m always the last one to get the joke among my friends, normally 30 secs after it’s finished. When I was setting up my illustration/fashion blog 7 months ago, I tried to think of a screen name for myself, ‘slow’ therefore popped up quite ‘quickly’. (Surprised)
Is illustration what you do, if so when did you get into it?
I have a full-time job in advertising, I’m the Head of Art and Creative Director of OgilvyOne Beijing, though my office is here in London, at my home. Besides advertising, I love illustration too. I started practicing drawing and painting when in my early age, and ever since then, I’ve never lost my passion for it.Menswear is your focus, is there anything else that you like putting together?
I’m very fascinated by menswear, I always want to work with this subject matter, and blend in with my art and creativity. I believe with smart ideas, fashion illustrations could be much more interesting and turned into a unique way of story telling. On the other hand, I hope my advertising projects could aesthetically benefit from my understanding and sense of fashion.
I see some hints of mid-century Japanese and American advertising. Would I be right in saying that?
Yes, I was very much inspired by Mad Men, the ‘misleading’ drama series on advertising. The costumes are just perfect, all carefully designed and beautifully made, classic, chic, yet, timeless. I love Roger’s wardrobe the most, and of course Sig. Salvatore Romeno is another one whom I’d like to borrow clothes from. I have to confess that I used to be influenced by Japanese fashion magazines a lot, as I admire their fashion so much, and more importantly, I have trust in their taste and their interpretations of western styles such as IVY or Preppy, even for workwear, they could always find a way to marriage a particular style with their own culture and aesthetic.
Who are your biggest influences?
Mr. Kazuo Hozumi, his iconic paper doll alike fashion illustrations are simply brilliant! His graphic and artistic style influences me a lot.
What does Retrospective Modernism mean to you?
I don’t mind being slow on fashion too. It’s absolutely fine to me if I’m one or two steps behind the trend, just like what you say: “keep one eye on the past, and the other firmly set to the future”.