20-year-old UIUC sophomore Myles G. is an avid skateboarder, serious hip-hop head, and has a deep affinity for all things fresh. You might catch Myles getting his Tony Hawk Pro Skater on out front of the Ikenberry Dining Hall in his Nike SB Dunk Ray Guns, but more often than not, he’ll be holed up in the Undergraduate Library, studying for rigorous courses within his area of study: finance. After graduating high school from Chicago Lab in Hyde Park, Myles’ choice of major came naturally. He’s been managing his own portfolio of stocks since the age of 12 and in eighth grade, he was named the “2008 Money Smart Kid of the Year” for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. It’s safe to say that Myles has a bright future ahead of him, and with his money savvy mind, he’ll be able to support his expensive taste for dope clothes for years to come. From designer clothing such as Y-3 baseball caps and Phillip Lim sweatpants to an extensive collection of kicks including limited edition Nikes, Pradas, Bapestas and more, his closet is chock full of rare goods. UPC sat down with Myles to discuss style, first and foremost, but our conversation ventured out to other areas such as music, skateboarding, influences, and more. Read our Q+A below.

UPC: Was there a specific age or moment when you really started to take what you wore more seriously?

Myles: I think when it really happened was in 5th grade. I’m an avid skateboarder, and I went to like a predominantly black school in inner city Chicago, and so you know, like me being a skateboarder and wearing like, skateboard clothes, it was just kind of different for them. So they used to like, make fun of my clothes and shit, and they would say all types of crazy things. I used to wear these skate shoes, Osiris’ — D3 — and they were fat as hell, so kids would call them moon boots. And I was just like, ‘Man, fuck you guys.’ So at that point, I just kind of got fed up with kids making fun of my shit and I was like you know, I can be fresh too. I remember my first day of school my fifth grade year, I came back to school with a white-on-white pair of mid-top Air Force Ones, and everybody was kind of just like, ‘Whoa, man, Myles got some Nikes? What the fuck?’ And it was just like some crazy shit because it kind of caught them off-guard. And then from that point, I just kind of started trying to blend my styles with elements of skateboard, punk rock, and rap shit. So that’s really when I started getting into that, fifth grade.

UPC: Who would you credit the most for your sense of style? Anyone specific?

Myles: Definitely my mom and dad. My parents are honestly fresh as hell. My dad used to own this upscale men’s clothing store in Chicago called Mario Uomo. It was across the street from Oprah Winfrey’s studio, so from an early age of like four, I would just remember going to the store and just seeing all these cool clothes and whatnot. So my parents always valued dressing well, that was just kind of something that really helped me as I got older, because I kind of understood why I was buying clothes and whatnot. They were just kind of my biggest influences. And my mom, she would read fashion magazines, so naturally I would look at her fashion magazines, look at high-end fashion, and my dad had subscriptions to GQ, so then I saw that. And then as far as musicians go — I feel like this is really corny to say — like, Kanye influenced my style, but I really just kind of noticed how in The College Dropout phase he was totally, you know, going against the grain from what the typical rappers would wear and whatnot. And I just thought that was kind of cool.

UPC: That’s interesting about your dad. When I was at Leaders and I asked the owner, ‘How do you know Myles?’ he was like, ‘Oh, that’s my little bro. His dad is a legend in this business, he used to work with Michael Jordan.’ Can you speak on that a little bit? What exactly did he do for the GOAT?

Myles: For the GOAT? So, my dad, when he owned his men’s clothing store, it would be a hotspot for NBA players and whatnot. A lot of basketball players would come in and get suits. He did a lot of work with a lot of NBA stars, like Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, a lot of the 90s Bulls teams. So that was really cool.

UPC: That’s dope. You mentioned Kanye as an artist that kind of influenced your style. Are there any musicians that dabble in both skateboarding and fashion — obviously, the first name that comes to mind is Pharrell — anyone of that nature that you try to emulate? Tyler The Creator is another guy.

Myles: Yeah, I try to copy EVERYTHING Tyler The Creator does (laughs).

UPC: (laughs) Emulate isn’t the right word. But, you know, look up to.

Myles: Yeah, the whole crazy thing is, when I first started skateboarding — around six — I think what really got me into it was that a lot of kids in my neighborhood skateboarded. But I remember I was watching MTV one day, and they played a commercial for the N.E.R.D. album — I forgot the name of it — (In Search Of… -Ed.) the first one though, with “Rockstar” on it and “Lapdance,” but anyway the video was just like kids doing BMX. It was Pharrell, all of the Clipse and shit. And I’m like, this shit’s cool as fuck. And I was just like, man, it’s kinda dope that the mainstream is accepting skateboarding like that because it’s always been kind of one of the outcast sports and whatnot. So it was just really kind of cool to see rappers kind of embracing the culture. When I really just became comfortable with skateboarding and fashion was when “Kick, Push” came out by Lupe Fiasco. My mom and I were in the car when we first heard the song, and my mom was like, ‘He’s describing your life.’ It was just kind of crazy. You know Lupe was super fresh, wearing like Maharishi shit, all the Japanese brands, and I think that’s really what piqued my interest in like seventh grade to just go do different shit and just kind of explore my options.

DSC_3250UPC: Let’s say your dorm is burning down and you can only grab three items. What are they?

Myles: Well first, I’d grab my Moncler because it’s cold as fuck in Champaign. Gotta stay warm. Second, I’d probably grab — it’s not clothes — but I’d probably grab my skateboard ‘cuz I fucking love skateboarding. And then, third item, what would I grab? I’d probably grab this Bulls jacket from like 1991, it’s in my closet right there. It’s fucking sick as hell. That’s actually one of the OG shits that my dad sold in 1991, and like I really love that jacket. It’s really cool and it’s quality. It’s reversible, too.

UPC: That’s fly as hell. I know you take your suit game pretty seriously, too. Which do you prefer, fresh street wear or a nice formal look?

Myles: I couldn’t even… I don’t. I don’t prefer one or the other. I just love being able to diversify my styles and be able to switch it up and catch people off-guard. ‘Cuz they may see me in like, street wear, and then I’ll have suits, and they’ll be like, ‘He cleans up really well.’ You know? I just know how to dress. Not on some cliché, corny shit, but you have to be able to diversify yourself. But let me tell you a funny story. When I was five or six, when we’d go to birthday parties, my mom used to make us wear suits. So I used to hate dressing up, but like…

UPC: …It was kind of engrained in your head.

Myles: It was just engrained. So when I got older and started doing internships, it was just something natural. A lot of people were like, ‘Oh, we love suits, I want to really start dressing formal.’ But I’m like, that was just kind of one of those natural things. I didn’t realize that not everybody’s parents were so adamant about them having formal wear and being presentable when they go out in public.

UPC: That makes a lot of sense. Is there one specific outfit, pair of kicks, etc. that got you love on campus?

Myles: The South Beach LeBron 8s.

UPC: Very rare.

Myles: I would watch people just turn around and start staring at my shoes. It was really crazy. And then kids would ask like, ‘Where’d you get them from?’ And then I’d just be like, ‘Man, you know I can’t tell you my connect. I can’t tell you about the plug!’

UPC: What are you favorite brands right now?

Myles: Right now? Let’s see, what am I feeling? Off the top, Leaders. Leaders all day. I really like Givenchy. I don’t have any pieces by them, but it’s coming. Don’t worry.

UPC: We’ll keep an eye out.

Myles: I really like what they’re doing. And then Nike. You know, Nike’s just always one of those timeless and iconic brands that everybody is always going to wear. And they’re constantly putting out dope shit and reinventing the game.

UPC: Dude, did you hear about the power laces coming out next year?

Myles: I will be camped out for ‘em.

UPC: So is there a certain style risk that you would never try, but that you respect?

Myles: That I respect? I think drop-crotch sweatpants are like, I couldn’t do it. But there are people that pull it off. One trend that I really just don’t like are the leggings shits with shorts. You know what I’m talking about? People will have the leggings and then the Pyrex shorts. I think that shit is kind of corny, honestly.

UPC: To each his own. So I know this is probably the toughest question so far, but if you had to rock one brand for the rest of your life, what would it be?

MG: Honestly, I’d probably rock Leaders because I think the message is so powerful. Growing up, my parents always told me, ‘Never follow anyone. Always be your own person.’ If someone’s jumping off a bridge, are you going to jump off the bridge? No, you’re not going to jump off the bridge. So I just think the message is really powerful, to always be yourself.

DSC_3304UPC: I agree completely. I knew about Leaders just from some of Wale’s songs and stuff like that. But I went to Leaders two weekends ago, and I don’t usually drop 30 dollars on a shirt, but part of the reason that I did is that I really like their message. And they have fresh shit, obviously. Moving on, what do you think about the outfits some of these NBA dudes are wearing? Guys like Russell Westbrook and Dwyane Wade?

Myles: Man, I don’t know what the hell they’re doing. They need to shoot their styles, honestly. ‘Cuz that shit is whack. I think Russell Westbrook needs to get larger pants, Dwyane Wade needs to stop wearing sneakers with suits — that’s just not a good look, period. I like how they’re trying, honestly, because you know, back in ’03, AI would just be on some crazy hood shit and just wear jeans and say ‘fuck suits.’ So I’m really glad that the NBA players are starting to value the sartorial look a little bit, and really trying to step up their formal game, but I think they need to tone it down and try to be a little bit more conservative. Because they’re trying to explore it, but some of the stuff just does not look good. Russell Westbrook, I swear to God, I see this dude and sometimes he looks like a big-ass grasshopper. Dwyane Wade’s pants be flooded.

UPC: (laughs) Yeah man. I was a big fan of Iverson for breaking down some of those barriers, but they do need to chill. Alright, for these next questions, you have 10 seconds to answer, each. Favorite shoe ever?

Myles: Nike Air Jordan IV.

UPC: Favorite pair of kicks that you own?

Myles: South Beach LeBron 8s.

UPC: Favorite accessory?

Myles: Probably my Fendi belt.

UPC: How would you describe style on campus?

Myles: Style on campus? Umm… basic, basic, basic, basic. Uggs, leggings, Sperry’s, Polo, Vineyard Vines, khakis. Really just kind of basic stuff. Frat gear. You know, there are some frat kids that go hard, I’m not even gonna lie. They have some dope swag. But then a lot of ‘em don’t. But there are some fresh kids on this campus, I can’t even lie.

UPC: Agreed. Alright, any shout-outs, plugs, anything else you want to mention for the people out there?

Myles: Yeah, matter of fact, big mixtape coming soon. Look out for that. It’ll probably be within the next year. But, you know, I’m really just trying to get into this rap game. You know, everybody’s a rapper now. So I might as well do it, too. But I think a lot of people are really corny with their bars, and are saying a whole lot of nothing. And if Chief Keef can do it, I can do it too.

Photography by Robert M. If you’d like to be featured or would like to recommend someone, please feel free to reach out to us.