Member Focus: Techwear with Rais

@Rais is a well-known streetwear poster for a reason. He’s the resident master of futuristic techwear; taking inspiration from speculative fiction, film, and his own environment. The subject of many admiring Blade Runner jokes, Rais excels at styling avant-garde designers with readily-available brands, and putting his own out-of-time stamp on the results. Here, he talks about what directs his buying and styling.

I enjoy challenges, and one interest that I’ve always had in terms of clothing, even before I took a more dedicated approach to “fashion” was in creating comfortable, disposable and practical looks from inexpensive and readily-available pieces. These looks are not particularly interesting to look at and are definitely not fashion forward for the style-conscious. Nor are the pieces themselves particularly remarkable to be of interest to those who collect clothing for their novelty. Yet these are the clothing I find myself wearing most days. The versatility of being able to work out in the gym with clothing that I can still wear into a bar to meet new friends or that wouldn’t look out of place in a Chinese tea house as I work on my laptop; that I could be comfortable resting in on an airplane and that I could replace at the ready, and rather inexpensively, if my outfit was damaged while being out or my luggage lost on a trip, is all very attractive to me.

It is easy to achieve those aims with a variety of approaches; techwear, one of my hobby styles that I experiment in, is typically robust, allows for extreme activity both in- and outdoors, and has a good degree more modesty than a tank top and gym shorts for casual contexts. But techwear is not particularly socially-inviting, it is actually quite anti-social due to its reliance on the colour black, and it stands out in a crowd communicating to others that you are different, in a way that you want to be left alone. I also find it affected in that on the days when I need to drive, stepping out of my air-conditioned vehicle with its plush leather seats and cruise control while dressed in preparation for the apocalypse seems a bit disingenuous.

rais styleforum member focus

Rais in a go-to techwear outfit

This is one of my favourite tech looks. It is high performance, water-resistant, extremely lightweight, comfortable and, outside, at night it blends in well with its surroundings. I take a more activewear approach to this style compared to the typical streetwear aesthetic that many other techwear enthusiasts gravitate towards. Everything here is from Nike, save the pants.

On the other side of the spectrum, my more fashionable, designer looks from Lanvin, Gaultier or Dior can be very attractive in various social engagements but obviously lack the comfort or the durability that I’d want for going to work in each day, particularly if I wished to walk or cycle on my commute, and obviously they aren’t suitable for any kind of physical exercise while wearing them. Thus, these fashionable looks require a sacrifice in comfort and practicality; necessitate that I drive when I go out and also that I pack a second set of gym clothing for exercise in a dedicated duffle bag. I am not sure that I am comfortable with that kind of investment in time each day for looks that I am not overly drawn to.

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Rais in Lanvin, Yves Saint Laurent, Prada, and Gaultier

This look is comprised of a Lanvin linen jacket, Yves Saint Laurent cotton shirt, Prada silk tie and Jean Paul Gaultier polyester-blend trousers.

I took a photo today for this article to illustrate the kind of versatile, casual clothing and look that I find myself wearing regularly. It is disposable, relaxed in fit, and stylistically I’ve tried to find a middle ground between contemporary ideals of men’s fashion and the minimal, athletic futurism I enjoy in my tech looks.

rais styleforum member focus

rais styleforum member focus

Rais in readily-available fast-fashion brands

The polyamide bomber from H&M was RIT dyed and the collar and cuffs were cut off and left raw. The light olive tee is from Cotton-On in their “Other Crew” cut and the jogger pants were bought in Namdaemun market in South Korea. The slip-on sneakers are from Muji.

I remember reading a chapter from Gibson’s Virtual Light, where the protagonist, Rydell, went on a shopping trip to a large mall/port called Container City where large freighters from around the world docked to unload inexpensive merchandise stored in shipping containers to a swarming hive of consumers. Rydell purchased a new outfit of cheap basics; I believe it was a burgundy bomber jacket and a few black tees and a pair of jeans. That imagery appealed to me somehow, and even though I was attempting similar looks years prior to reading that book, I still remember and feel influenced by that particular passage with its apt representation of the modern man’s relationship with his clothing and how it has manifested into a practical uniform for the 21st century.

Styleforum Visits Evan Kinori


“I don’t like calling it workwear,” says Evan Kinori. We’re standing in his beautiful studio loft in San Francisco, and I’m trying to do the horrible media thing where we pigeonhole something special using as few words as possible.

“It just has so many strong…connotations,” he finishes. “Let’s call it…well-made clothing for everyday life.”

This intentional vagueness is a better descriptor than my SEO-verified marketing lingo. Evan Kinori’s line of beautifully clean and comfortable garments is vague, in a pleasant way – even anonymous. Built for everyone, to wear everywhere.

The garments are familiar on first look: a chore jacket. A four-pocket pant. An overshirt. But it’s the details – or their absence – that make the clothes special. Consider the four pocket pants that I wear while writing this. No one but me will ever see the corduroy waistband facing or the veg-tan leather-backed buttons on the fly. Few will appreciate the beautifully finished seam that shows when I roll the pant cuff, or the subtle darting of the waist, or how good your hand feels in the pocket. It doesn’t matter: I appreciate these gestures, and that’s what matters.

Consider also Evan’s reversible denim jacket, a design he’s played with a handful of times since launching his brand. Denim on one side, and wool (or twill, or whatever strikes his fancy) on the other, the jacket is fully reversible – including double-faced buttons to preserve the left-sided buttoning stance, should the wearer want to swap them. Said wooden buttons are hand-dyed in indigo on the roof of the building.

We could certainly draw parallels to other brands, such as Margaret Howell’s chic utilitarianism or even Adam Kimmel’s short-lived workwear experiments, but that would be short-sighted. The back wall of Evan’s studio displays a collection of beautiful vintage garments, ranging from patchwork noragi to Swedish military anoraks to vintage baseball shirts, and that intelligent cosmopolitanism is much more illuminating of the product than sideways references to other brands. Evan tells me that it helped that he “Knew what he wanted to make” before going to patterning school to learn how to make it. He has taken available inspiration, stripped it down, and re-focused the results – and the results are polished.

Evan’s studio, courtesy


Details: the 3-pocket jacket and 4-pocket pant in rinsed denim.

The clothes themselves are something of a blank slate, made to showcase the process and the fabric. They are beautiful as individual objects, and Evan takes great pride in the clean construction. Each piece is billed as looking “just as nice on the inside as it does on the outside,” and it rings true for everything I saw. Beyond that, Evan encourages various styling options. He himself prefers to wear an oversized pant with a tighter top, but his website shows how items fit across a range of sizes. The pair of pants I purchased are effectively one size up, but many people buy two full sizes up for extra roominess.


Various offerings on display at the studio.

Evan calls the seasons his “editions.” Each piece he makes is part of a numbered run, and once they’re gone there’s no guarantee they’re coming back. He’ll keep the pattern – say, the four-pocket relaxed-leg overpant, based on a US Navy model – but change the fabric as inspiration strikes him. This season it’s a black Japanese twill, and he’s done rinsed denims, double-indigo twills (the pair I own), and un-dyed twill.

After laying out his ideas and his fabric on the massive drafting table at the back of the studio, he sews the samples and some of the retail pieces himself on an unassuming Juki sewing machine. The rest are produced by a small factory in LA, but Evan double-checks each piece before sending them out to the handful of retailers he works with: one in San Francisco, two in LA, and three in Japan.

He’s focusing on growing the brand slowly, hand-picking his partners the same way he hand picks the fabrics. Because of it, the brand is intensely personal and intensely compelling. This is one young maker I recommend keeping an eye on – despite the familiar shapes, the clothes are forward-looking, and it’s my guess that we’ll be seeing more of Evan in the near future.

Evan’s most recent releases are up now on his website, including a lookbook featuring the new products. Here are a few shots, but you can see the full thing, as well as several beautifully-shot videos, at

You can watch a great video on the reversible jacket here, courtesy of Jack Knife and Evan Kinori:

Evan Kinori • “The Reversible Jacket” from Jarod Taber on Vimeo.



Currently, Evan Kinori is stocked at the following retailers:

 Reliquary / 544 Hayes St, San Francisco, CA 94102

– RTH / 529 & 537 N La Cienega Blvd West Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA 90048

– County Ltd.  /  1837 Hyperion Ave Los Angeles, CA 90027

Loftman / Loftman B.D. (Kyoto) & Loftman COOP UMEDA (Osaka)

Lantiki / Kobe & Tokyo Locations

–  CPCM /  Tokyo