Devid Gualandris and Thibaud Guyonnet are known
as the faces behind STARECASERS, a menswear style and fashion diary established in Berlin in 2011. Since its inception, STARECASERS has pushed the boundaries
of menswear style and presented us with their signature looks such as high-waist & wide-leg pants, tucked-in white tees, shirts, colorful coats and velcro-strap trainers. Also, what distinctly sets STARECASERS apart from many other style blogs is their commitment to showcasing intimate lifestyle snapshots, shaped by the compelling narrative of two men in love. We are excited to hear from Devid and Thibaud as they tell us the details about their contributions to today’s fashion blogosphere.
Tell us the story behind STARECASERS.
Devid: We created STARECASERS – a made-up name – back in 2011 as an online diary filled with Polaroid pictures reflecting our everyday life as two young transplants in Berlin. It slowly evolved into a personal creative outlet to explore fashion, lifestyle and photography, and, eventually, into a small business.
Thibaud: Today, 6 years later, STARECASERS is still going through a creative phase and maturing into it. It’s essentially a style-blog, clean-cut and curated, yet always with an element of surprise. And it’s Devid and Thibaud, online and offline.
How did you two meet?
Devid: We met in Milan, Italy, during a night-out at our favorite club, Plastic. That was back in 2010 before dating apps existed. Thibaud was dancing on Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ “Heads Will Roll”, I leaned close to him and kissed him on the shoulder. And then the magic happened …
Thibaud: Four months later, and we are in Berlin. We both grew up in small towns and wanted to get away from it all, I guess. It was a scary move and took a lot of adjusting to, but we’ve always fancied a challenge. Berlin is such a diverse city; it’s got personality and rawness. Neither of us are born Berliners but 7 years later, we feel very much so.
Do you have any personal fashion regrets?
Devid: I once wore a pair of 90s Buffalo platform sneakers – they were a thing at that time – with some horrendous high-waist leather pants and a girl’s leather jacket. That wasn’t a good look.
Thibaud: We often crossed the line between reality and theatricality during our first years in Berlin. We used to wear head-to-toe vintage, mix-n-matching eras, glitter, faux-fur and leopard prints. I still cringe when I see photos from those days. Note to self: No more shoulder pads.
How does one train their eye in the fashion business when there are so many brands and even more designs to pick from?
Devid: We tend to stick to brands that have figured out their fashion identity since day one, that have a clear and consistent brand message and do not jump on a trend. Personal tip: Wear what you know and master the art of mixing high and low fashion.
Thibaud: Image is the key. And so is communication. We like brands that tell a story, that build on heritage and are careful and selected in what they do, yet always a little unexpected.
What are your passions other than fashion?
Devid: We have always shared a passion for ceramics and interior objects.
Thibaud: Devid has also a passion for all things literary – our shelves are crammed with gender and English literature.
What about your latest obsession in fashion?
Devid: Classic retro bowling shirts, I’d say.
Thibaud: … and I’m obsessed with fluffy knitwear.
Is there any young fashion designer or small brands that you closely follow?
Devid: Berlin-based fashion brands GmbH and GOETZE. They combine elements in a very interesting way, merging streetwear with haute fashion.
Thibaud: We also follow the young Italian brand Sunnei and London- based designer Craig Green – they both tell very powerful stories through every collection.
What are your thoughts about the latest ugly sneakers trend going on?
Devid: They are just a continuation of the streetwear trend of this last decade – they’re having a moment right now, but are definitely not timeless. We never really followed street-style trends, but we have always liked chunky dad sneakers, be it for our 90s nostalgia or their interesting color and texture palette. We like ugly, I guess.
Thibaud: And ugly sells. These sneakers clearly blur the line between luxury and streetwear. You need a great styling to pull them off, though. You don’t wanna look like you are trying too hard. Next fashion regret? Very possible.
As we can see, social media especially Instagram is a great tool for you. What do you think the future will bring for the fashion influences in the digital platform?
Devid: We live in the Instagram era and the development of fashion is, in
a way, in the hands of influencers and fashion enthusiasts. Social media dictates everything today and the fashion industries will continue rely heavily on its power of story-telling. It is a double-edged sword though. Digital platforms are undoubtedly making engagement effective, setting trends and giving brands monetary benefits, but they can also overexpose and kill a trend’s edge, e.g. with the ugly sneakers. The risk of losing control of a brand image will get much higher in the future; brands will have to constantly nurture their image while trying not to succumb to the pressure of innovation.
Thibaud: Everything we see is so curated. There is a serious need for a filter. The era of the micro-influencers has started already, for example. And, there’s a need for a change in behavior. I definitely see an emergence of attitudes towards buy less and buy better. The fashion industry will also break more and more from its traditional cycle, and more interesting new business models will, eventually, develop. It will be quite an interesting and exciting time to be blogging.
What is the biggest challenge for you as the co-founders of STARECASERS?
Devid: To last in this business you have to constantly update yourself, build relationships, be flexible and try new things, even if you are not comfortable with them. Sometimes we wish we could show less of our faces, other times we question the worth of what we are doing. Luckily, there’s always a part of us that believes in the project and that feeling always wins out.
Thibaud: STARECASERS requires a lot of personal attention, too. The biggest challenge is probably to balance our time between the project and our personal work and education careers. Also, STARECASERS is where our personalities – which are shockingly similar – merge together; and that comes with its hurdles.
What do you admire the most about Devid/Thibaud?
Devid: Thibaud is very genuine and has an incredible attention to details. Oh, and he makes me laugh.
Thibaud: Devid always has a vision and a plan to get there. His organizational skills and positive attitude never stop to surprise me.