If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook then you might have noticed that #StylishPittsburgh now has it’s own Instagram feed!  Tori, Kim, Ashley and I have been growing our Style Socials in Pittsburgh and are on a mission to share our city’s style and grow our tribe!  Pop on over to see the best of our local style and if you want to join in and be in with a chance of begin featured, then tag your Instagram photos with #StylishPittsburgh so we can find you!  That is exactly how I spotted Quito.  

Photo thanks to Heather Liebling

Quito is
the only guy so far that has used our hashtag so he stood out straight away, but more importantly than that he has such a great
eye for style!  He’s a graphic designer and his passion for making things look good clearly
doesn’t stop at design.  His outfits ooze creativity and his attention to
detail is flawless, from the turned up cuffs to the handkerchief in the
top pocket.

Clients often ask me if I’m critical of people’s outfits when I’m out and about, and they’re often surprised when I reply with a resounding no.  I rarely think “what is she wearing?!” or “that looks terrible!”, instead I find myself watching and learning, garnering ideas to share with my clients; I’m always learning and improving – fashion is constantly evolving so I must too.  And now Quito has been added to my list of people to watch and learn from.

In our interview Quito talks about his inspirations which unlike a lot of us do not come from the same narrow set of celebrities, he talks about his shopping habits which find him  picking and mixing from a large range of brands to create his personal style and he shares his favorite male fashion blogs.  It’s an interesting read!

Photo thanks to Heather Liebling

Tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been in Pittsburgh.

I’m originally from the Philippines, but I moved to the US when I was very young and grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts (across the river Fenway Park). I’ve bounced around the East Coast a bit, from Cambridge to Arlington, Virginia (right outside of D.C.), to New York City before moving to Pittsburgh with my wife (then girlfriend) in 2007.

I’m a graphic designer, and while art has always been my passion, I didn’t realize it could be a profession outside of comic book artist and animator. I originally wanted to be writer but realized that I was far more obsessed with making the things I write look good than anything else. That’s when I discovered graphic design, and I’ve been doing that for almost six years now.

And in case you can’t tell from my tumblr blog, I’m kind of a nerd.

Pittsburgh gets a bad rep as place to live and for its style, what do you think about Pittsburgh’s style, and how would you describe it? 

Pittsburgh style is really sort of evolving, I think. The city itself is really working out it’s identity, and as it grows and changes, so does the style. I mean, sure you’ve got the cargo shorts and tube socks year round, and every kind of black and yellow jersey imaginable, but Pittsburgh style is so much more than that. Because it’s a college city and it attracts a lot of young professionals, there is a very healthy amount of experimentation with fashion. And since there’s room for exploration, there’s opportunity to develop a unique style. I mean I moved here from Manhattan, and I know I’ve been far more adventurous with my style here in Pittsburgh.

You clearly have a strong eye for style, I’d love to know where you get your inspiration from and who, if anyone, influences your personal style. 

My personal style has really grown a lot, but the basis has always been about adding a twist – a little something (or sometimes a big something) that takes a look out of the realm of what’s expected.

To that end, my earliest style inspiration is actually my mom. She has this mix of glamour and IDGAF that continues to inspire me. She always pulled some kind of swerve that could elevate a look, like making her Sunday-best look both totally runway AND appropriate for church. That and she has always been an amazing budget shopper, preferring discount and consignment to regular retail while still finding amazing pieces. To this day I think of her as the Imelda Marcos of Marshalls.

I’ve also got to mention the style blog that has had the most influence on me, Style Girlfriend. Megan Collins and her team have had a huge influence on my personal style – and one of her contributors, Gabi Meyers, is basically my spirit animal. They do a really great job of letting regular guys know that right outside of your comfort zone is a whole entire world of possibilities that you may actually love. Megan and co. have turned me on to so many things that are now just part and parcel of my everyday wardrobe.

The majority of my friends are women and I’ve always been more comfortable talking to women, so when I found out there was a men’s fashion blog/community run by women, it was a natural fit for me. There are definitely a few others I follow, like Fashion Beans, Articles of Style, He Spoke Style, and Scout Sixteen, but Style Girlfriend is like my home for reading and talking about menswear.

Photo thanks to Heather Liebling

Is there something you’d never be seen dead wearing?

Crocs. I’ve opened up about a lot of things I’ve had aversions to in the past like camo print, joggers, and even cargo pockets, but I just can’t picture any kind of swerve that makes Crocs work.
Where are your favorite place to shop locally?

You know I’d love to say that I frequent some of the best menswear shops here in Pittsburgh, but I’m just a regular dude with a 9-5 job working with a budget, so I shop a lot of chain retail with coupons and discount codes, and second-hand shops like Plato’s Closet (you know, teenagers in the burbs sometimes get rid of some really choice brands) and Avalon Exchange. Mixing and matching within retail on a budget actually helps facilitate those style swerves I aim for, though. It kind of challenges you and dares you to be creative.

What’s your most treasured item in your closet?

This is actually a bit difficult. Last March I went on a weight loss journey and ended up losing close to 50 lbs. It’s great, and I love the way I look and feel now, but a lot of my favorite pieces no longer fit. And I’m not talking like stuff just needed to get nipped in a few inches at a tailor. Everything would need to be totally re-cut. And while I love my tailor (Alfredo at Andy’s Tailoring in Sq. Hill) I just couldn’t do that with my entire wardrobe.

In rebuilding from scratch I certainly have acquired some great new pieces, but my favorite piece that’s currently in my wardrobe is probably a mauve sack blazer from Brooks Brothers (followed closely by my indispensable gold leather Vans slip-ons and my go-to skinny navy Burberry tie that my wife gave me for my birthday).


If you’d like to check out the other stylish Pittsburghers I’ve
interviewed, and find out more about #stylishpittsburgh campaign then
head over here!

if you’re a local boutique or style-obsessed Pittsburgher and would
like to be featured, or maybe you know someone who you think deserves to
be featured?  Get in touch!!