Friday, March 22 — Knickknacks and relics can hold sentimental value, which makes parting from them nearly impossible. Clothing is a common item that gets held on to past its prime — think of that elementary school shirt you still sleep in. Not all of these items have to hide in the bottom of a drawer, though.
Mehdi Farah, a frequent visitor to Lansing, combines borrowed, bartered and aged items for an updated style.
“I don’t like the artificiality of new clothes — buying them and putting them on, they have no story,” Farah said.
From head to foot, almost every piece he wears has an anecdote of how it got to him. His shoes — ICE CREAMs by Pharrell Williams — were acquired in a trade for some high tops. These vibrant shoes, which can now only be found through private sellers, add the necessary pop to the rest of his understated garb.
The knitted wintry sweater was a hand-me-down from distant relative. “It’s a little care-worn,” Farah said as he smiles and points out a tiny flaw.
Underneath the sweater is one of the few items that can claim only him as the owner. Farah’s Burn Rubber graphic tee was a gift but, as a brand native to Detroit, even that has meaning to him.
The Banana Republic pants also have a story, but the mix of old and new are what keeps his outfit up to date. The $70 fitted slacks have a very subtle pattern that adds texture and tailoring to his outfit.
Farah tops off his look by recalling the playfulness of his ICE CREAMs. The borrowed knitted cap doubles as a shark mask and adds some humor to his mostly black and brown outfit.
Farah’s ensemble is a timeline of memories. Some of the apparel recalls special occasions, others normal days that turned into adventures. Whatever the tales are, he puts them together in an intriguing way from beginning to end.