While all of my Aces are people I admire in one way or another, sometimes they also feel like family. Today's Ace is just that. Meet Frank Guanco!
Frank and I worked together at Niketown Seattle, during what could arguably be considered its golden era (when the store opened until whenever it was that I left LOL.) There were so many stylish, hilarious and smart people working together in one retail space, it truly felt like a second home. I know for sure NTS is where I met most of my friends during college. I spent more time at the Swoosh than on extracurricular activities on campus for sure.
Anyway, Frank and I were on the visual merchandising team, and naturally our mad skillz in impeccable t-shirt folds, steaming, wall sets and mannequin outfits have served us well post-Swoosh. I considered Frank and the other guys on my team big brothers. I learned a lot about fashion from a guy's perspective, and from Frank in particular, how raw denim is superior to every other bottom that exists on planet Earth. More on that later.
LULZ. At one of the infamous FB soirees, back when FB only meant "Frank's Birthday"
Post-Nike, Frank and I don't see each other quite as often but have kept in touch more than with other NTS friends. We've both "come up" in the blogosphere and the Seattle social media community, sharing advice and tips whenever we can meet at Il Corvo for the best pasta lunch ever in life. I adore Sarah, Frank's longtime girlfriend, and knowing they are out there dodging the "When ya gonna get married?" question while preserving a solid, low-profile relationship, I stay inspired in my own, equally-long relationship with Jacob. Also I remember when Frank was still trying to convince Sarah to date him and that's one of my favorite memories to tell mutual friends.
Probably what I admire most about and share with Frank is a voracious appetite for culture. When we want to learn something, we LEARN IT. Learn more about Frank now:
What's on your playlist right now?
I'm a bit eclectic in what I listen to. Right now, I'm listening to a lot of podcasts (Nerdist, Marc Maron, Bill Simmons, Wine without Worry by Jameson Fink) and anticipating Christmas music. Because Christmas music is rad. Holla to Warm 106.9 this holiday season. Here are the last few albums I've recently bought:
John Legend's Love in the Future
John Mayer's Paradise Valley
Keith Urban's Fuze
Arcade Fire's Reflektor
Pearl Jam's Lightning Bolt
Kelly Clarkson's Wrapped in Red
Miguel's Kaleidoscope Dream.
Feel free to throw shade, snobs.
Describe your style.
In a word, evolving. I tend to go casual (jeans, tees, and a hoody), but as I get older and care more about what I'm wearing, I've become more cognizant of construction, detail, quality, and what I think is representative of my brand. A typical look would be a wool sport coat, graphic tee, raw selvedge denim, and Lunar Flyknit Chukkas. I love raw denim and the process of wear that jeans go through. And I'm in that weird sub-group of denim nerds that rarely wash their jeans. Again, feel free to throw shade. But I enjoy little details and embellishments; funky Nikes, pops of color, a nice pocket square or tie, a pattern that is vibrant; anything that is a bit skewed to what I think is cool.
Who inspires you?
To begin with, my mom. She's amazing. A hurricane of relentless and caring. I'm continually amazed by her. I'm also inspired by those that I'm close to and what drives them. How their uniqueness as to what they strive for is very inspiring. I love that I've been fortunate to be around people that are driven to get theirs. It's awesome.
What are you reading?
Have two books that I'm going through at the moment: David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell (interesting how haters are starting to surface about him when he created an entire movement of writers that have taken his style); The Loved Dog Method by Tamar Geller (because I'm always looking at more ways to connect and train my dog; she's a bit of a handful). Here's what is on deck; The Juice by Jay McInerney (he wrote Bright Lights, Big City and is probably the best wine writer in the world); The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer (can't wait to tackle this one).
I also love food and go through cookbooks like Marshawn Lynch goes through suckas. I love reading cookbooks for inspiration and to understand what goes into a chef, restaurant, style, region, whatever; here are my recent cookbooks; Scarpetta by Scott Conant, Le Pigeon by Gabriel Rucker, The Food of Vietnam by Luke Nguyen, Toro Bravo by John Gorham, and the Pitt Cue Co. Cookbook.
What are you most excited about in the coming months?
Everything. I'm excited for Christmas. I'm excited to get back on my game with wine. I'm excited for some upcoming trips; Napa Valley to cover Flavor Napa Valley. Napa and Sonoma for Thanksgiving. San Francisco to revisit State Bird Provisions. I'm excited to get back to writing and pick up some ideas that have been bouncing around in my head for sometime; the Unicorn of South Lake Union, Run for Croissants, Pho Week 2.0, my recent juice cleanse, and to maybe, finally, start writing my lifestyle blog.
I'm also excited to watch my puppy grow up. To see her evolve and become the dog she can be.
Finally, I'm excited to see what's in store. For all of us. Let's get it.