I try to never wear the same thing twice
(Originally published in the San Diego Reader December 26, 2012)
The first day I meet Kenny King, his nipples show through a short-sleeved white button-up. So does a tattoo across his belly that reads “KING.” Oddly, the see-through shirt isn’t the first thing I notice. Instead, upon entering Frock You, the Park Boulevard vintage-clothing store where King works as the manager, I’m mesmerized by his hat. This tall, woven straw number calls to mind the Amish, though I imagine they’d consider the long (pheasant?) feather ostentatious.
King’s whole package reads as bizarre — from the hat, to the high-waisted twill (or is it tweed?) pants too short to even graze his ankles, to the bolo tie, the crocodile shoes, and the four turquoise rings that adorn his fingers.
When I suggest that the outfit reads “naughty Amish,” King laughs. “That’s the look I’ve been rocking lately. It’s a kind of minimalism.” Then he adds, “I’m all over the map. When people ask what my favorite decade is, my answer is ‘Now. Because we can mix and match.’ I can walk down the street wearing a muumuu, gold chains, and cowboy boots, which I do, and nobody cares.”
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