Photography: Andy Madeleine
Noah Thomas Is Optimistic About the Future of Fashion
And No, We're Not All Wearing Yeezy

Noah Thomas (like many of us) is nostalgic for the past. Hailing from Alexandria, Virginia, he grew up with creative roots from the get-go, surrounded by family who fueled his confidence that anything was possible if you put your mind to it. When he nabbed a prized internship at Highsnobiety after dropping out of F.I.T., the multi-hyphenate “held on for dear life” as he flourished in the world he had admired in his adolescence. He forged ahead to land an Editor title, his own podcast (that he co-hosts with Highsnobiety Editorial Director Jian DeLeon), and a digital shrine to his favorite overlooked shoe, the mule.

While chatting with Noah, it was clear that intent is present in everything that he does. He is equal parts well-researched, inquisitive, and hilarious. Listening to Noah speak is akin to taking a masterclass on how sneakers, music, and culture intersect. 

Last month, the Miilkiina team chatted with Noah about his interviewing style, creative endeavors at Highsnobiety, and his biggest fears (a post-COVID world where we’re all wearing Yeezys). 

Why did you pursue fashion? What made you want to become an editor?

Well for as long as I can remember, I’ve always cared about what I wore. But it wasn’t until middle school that I really started to think about what I wanted to do with my life. Now that I think about it, in the sixth grade I was really nervous about what I wanted to be. At that time, I thought that I was late to the game, so I really started to try to figure it out. I wanted to be a chef but then I started thinking … I don’t really want to sweat in the kitchen so much. Then I was like, I prefer to be outside, looking nice, eating good. So then I figured, I’ll dress people for nice occasions.

I ended up getting into the fashion program at F.I.T. for Menswear Design but didn’t finish (my grades were bad and they told me not to come back). After that, I did a number of internships at different companies and started to learn about trend forecasting. I saw that Highsnobiety was looking for a fashion intern, so I applied and held on for dear life. Highsnob, at the time, was something that I had been reading for almost 10 years, but I never thought it was somewhere I would work. I never thought I would be an editor there.

Speaking of Highsnobiety, what do you think drives purpose in your work?

When it comes to interviewing, for example, I really try and ask questions like, “What made you realize you wanted to do this?” “What was the thing that made you realize this was possible?” I like to get answers that can help people that aren’t necessarily even into fashion. You can listen to this article that might be really niche and you might not be into reworked Japanese denim, but listening to this person talk about their craft and the steps they took to make their business flourish, those are the questions I like to ask. So when it comes to the things that I’m a part of, I definitely want people to figure out how they can take that advice and use it for themselves.

Because that’s one thing that I always do. Before this was such a massive culture, you know, this sort of sneaker/fashion/music all-in-one thing, it was very small. Being a lover of fashion in Alexandria, Virginia, was so rare and random. I would listen to all the interviews, read articles, and watch documentaries on how my favorite people did it. So now, when I’m in the position to ask my favorite people those questions, I totally do. As long I can try to help that next person answer the questions like, “How do I actually do this? I have no resources, I’m in this town that is not poppin’.”

As someone who has gone from Intern to Editor, with many of your own personal projects under your belt, what kind of advice do you have for someone who wants to pitch ideas or move up the corporate ladder?

In order to truly be successful, you have to really find what you’re good at. Liking something is one thing, but we all have those things that we do so effortlessly — the things that don’t take too long for you, but take others forever to figure out, that’s what you should focus on. And once you’re in the workplace, just make sure that whatever you care about, you’re super well-versed in. You’ve seen the books, you’ve read the tutorials, you’ve worked in that field, you know what you’re talking about, even if you don’t really have that much experience.

To me, being comfortable is truly knowing what I’m talking about and actually having something to offer in a conversation —being able to chime in and say, “Hm, I don’t really think that’s a good idea. That isn’t cool, this is actually cool.” You know what I’m saying? Be confident in what you’re doing, and it’ll show. It’s like an energy, when you kind of act like you’re supposed to be there, it’s the truth. We’ve all snuck into parties, just act like you’ve got the part, and eventually, you will have the part.

Do you think that any part of your upbringing influences what you do? Who you interview, the topics you want to write about, etc.

100%. I mean, I grew up in a pretty creative family and many of them have done some pretty extraordinary things. That made me believe that achieving anything was possible. To be around that grandeur, to have met that person, to have been in that room.

On top of that, I’m such a fan of fashion, music, and culture. When I’m put in these positions where I can now say, “Oh word, Omarion wants to do an interview? Of course, we’re doing an interview with Omarion.” I wanted to be him the first ten years of my life, you know what I mean? I can definitely be like, “Yo, we should interview this person. What about doing this?” As long as it makes sense too. I definitely like to throw in as much nostalgic, legendary content in there as possible.

How did the Dropcast come to life?

I was an intern at Highsnobiety for about six, seven months and then when my internship ended, I was like, “Hey, I’m not in school anymore, can I just stay?” They liked me so they kept me, but I didn’t really have a real responsibility. I didn’t really have a thing that I did at that point. So they let me hang around and they put me on camera one day. They wanted me to go with a camera person one day and look at this Supreme line, to interview people there. It ended up being really boring and no one was talking.

Supreme is really secure with the way that they handle lines now and it’s not a mess anymore, so we didn’t get those fun, pandemonium shots. They made me ask the kids that were walking out of the store, questions like “What’d you buy? How long did you wait?” They really liked it, and I became kind of like the host and face of Highsnob a little bit.

When Highsnobiety was finally able to hire me, they created some responsibilities for me. So Highsnob actually came up with the idea for the Dropcast. When coming up for different duties I could have, trying to figure out what I could do, they were like, “Oh well, he should totally talk about what’s going on.” Jian and I, our Editorial Director record the Dropcast weekly.

What’s your favorite part of working at Highsnob?

Truly, I’d say it’s not like work for real for me. We get to dress however we want, we’re working with our friends, and we get to meet the coolest people. We get invited to everything and we get to go to everything. There are so many opportunities for us to travel and meet creative people all over the world. It’s not working, and that’s what I really love — I truly love the stuff I write and speak about. I get to wake up and say, “Alright cool, I get to talk to my friends about sneakers.”

Let’s talk about Muleboyz. Tell us about your passion for mules and how that came about.

I really wish I could pinpoint it. Maybe Jian was wearing Birkenstocks one day, or I was wearing Crocs, or I had just gotten a pair of crocs … I don’t even wear Crocs, but I was clearly wearing a mule. I happen to be obsessed with this pair of Birstenstocks, it’s kind of like a chef’s shoe or a painter’s shoe — they’re in my rotation and I wear them all the time, they go with everything. Jian kind of went like, “Muleboyz!”, and from there we just became Muleboyz. We kept posting mules and hash-tagging it. People kept sending us mules and photos of them in mules in response to our stories, so we made a page for them.

That’s kind of the funny thing about being in this industry, you never know who your friends are, who’s watching you and who can help you — because we’re doing this funny thing and we happen to be editors. If you’re into fashion, media, or sneakers, you might know Highsnob, you might know something about their editors. One day, one of Jian’s friends messaged us and said, “I have a budget, would you want to do this project with us and make a couple of mules?” That’s how we had our collaboration.

We’re starting to take it a little bit more seriously, but it was really just a joke. It was all about us loving this style that no one really seems to care about, that’s so cool, and looks so good with anything. Mules are such a luxury item, you can’t even run in them. 

What’s your perfect WFH outfit (since we are currently are in the middle of a pandemic)?

I kind of like what I’m wearing right now. I’m currently wearing these bright, lemon tart sweatpants from Jacquemus and a grey, boxy tee. 

What’s a new trend that you see becoming popular or that’s currently on your radar?

I mean, it’s hard now because I feel like this is going to totally throw off any trend forecasting that’s happened. Before this, I really excited for suit suits, for real menswear to come back. People were wearing loafers, maybe a nice scarf moment — like a thin, silk Hermes scarf.

noah thomas

How do you think the fashion industry is going to change after this? I’m imagining the future in a super dystopian and uniform way, with sleek haircuts and laser guns.

That’s my biggest fear. That we all are wearing Yeezy’s. I hate it. I mean, I liked the last Yeezy collection, no one else did. It’s cool, but for everyone to wear that? I hate that. I’m so scared of that. I don’t know, I have a more optimistic approach. I think that when this ends, it’s going to kill so many brands and bring everything to a halt. When people do decide that they want to spend money on fashion, they’re going to want something that’s beautifully made. I hope it might bring back fashion fashion. I think it’ll totally dead this idea of $700 hoodies, I think that’s over. When consumers are going to want to purchase clothing, it’ll be on something really nice.

And finally, where do you see yourself in five years?

That question haunts me. I mean, the truth is, I really don’t know right now, but I know it’ll be cool. In my mind, you can make your life whatever you want it to be, so I’m just going with the flow and seeing where life takes me. 

Photography: Andy Madeleine
Noah Thomas Is Optimistic About the Future of Fashion
And No, We're Not All Wearing Yeezy

Noah Thomas (like many of us) is nostalgic for the past. Hailing from Alexandria, Virginia, he grew up with creative roots from the get-go, surrounded by family who fueled his confidence that anything was possible if you put your mind to it. When he nabbed a prized internship at Highsnobiety after dropping out of F.I.T., the multi-hyphenate “held on for dear life” as he flourished in the world he had admired in his adolescence. He forged ahead to land an Editor title, his own podcast (that he co-hosts with Highsnobiety Editorial Director Jian DeLeon), and a digital shrine to his favorite overlooked shoe, the mule.

While chatting with Noah, it was clear that intent is present in everything that he does. He is equal parts well-researched, inquisitive, and hilarious. Listening to Noah speak is akin to taking a masterclass on how sneakers, music, and culture intersect. 

Last month, the Miilkiina team chatted with Noah about his interviewing style, creative endeavors at Highsnobiety, and his biggest fears (a post-COVID world where we’re all wearing Yeezys). 

Why did you pursue fashion? What made you want to become an editor?

Well for as long as I can remember, I’ve always cared about what I wore. But it wasn’t until middle school that I really started to think about what I wanted to do with my life. Now that I think about it, in the sixth grade I was really nervous about what I wanted to be. At that time, I thought that I was late to the game, so I really started to try to figure it out. I wanted to be a chef but then I started thinking … I don’t really want to sweat in the kitchen so much. Then I was like, I prefer to be outside, looking nice, eating good. So then I figured, I’ll dress people for nice occasions.

I ended up getting into the fashion program at F.I.T. for Menswear Design but didn’t finish (my grades were bad and they told me not to come back). After that, I did a number of internships at different companies and started to learn about trend forecasting. I saw that Highsnobiety was looking for a fashion intern, so I applied and held on for dear life. Highsnob, at the time, was something that I had been reading for almost 10 years, but I never thought it was somewhere I would work. I never thought I would be an editor there.

Speaking of Highsnobiety, what do you think drives purpose in your work?

When it comes to interviewing, for example, I really try and ask questions like, “What made you realize you wanted to do this?” “What was the thing that made you realize this was possible?” I like to get answers that can help people that aren’t necessarily even into fashion. You can listen to this article that might be really niche and you might not be into reworked Japanese denim, but listening to this person talk about their craft and the steps they took to make their business flourish, those are the questions I like to ask. So when it comes to the things that I’m a part of, I definitely want people to figure out how they can take that advice and use it for themselves.

Because that’s one thing that I always do. Before this was such a massive culture, you know, this sort of sneaker/fashion/music all-in-one thing, it was very small. Being a lover of fashion in Alexandria, Virginia, was so rare and random. I would listen to all the interviews, read articles, and watch documentaries on how my favorite people did it. So now, when I’m in the position to ask my favorite people those questions, I totally do. As long I can try to help that next person answer the questions like, “How do I actually do this? I have no resources, I’m in this town that is not poppin’.”

As someone who has gone from Intern to Editor, with many of your own personal projects under your belt, what kind of advice do you have for someone who wants to pitch ideas or move up the corporate ladder?

In order to truly be successful, you have to really find what you’re good at. Liking something is one thing, but we all have those things that we do so effortlessly — the things that don’t take too long for you, but take others forever to figure out, that’s what you should focus on. And once you’re in the workplace, just make sure that whatever you care about, you’re super well-versed in. You’ve seen the books, you’ve read the tutorials, you’ve worked in that field, you know what you’re talking about, even if you don’t really have that much experience.

To me, being comfortable is truly knowing what I’m talking about and actually having something to offer in a conversation —being able to chime in and say, “Hm, I don’t really think that’s a good idea. That isn’t cool, this is actually cool.” You know what I’m saying? Be confident in what you’re doing, and it’ll show. It’s like an energy, when you kind of act like you’re supposed to be there, it’s the truth. We’ve all snuck into parties, just act like you’ve got the part, and eventually, you will have the part.

Do you think that any part of your upbringing influences what you do? Who you interview, the topics you want to write about, etc.

100%. I mean, I grew up in a pretty creative family and many of them have done some pretty extraordinary things. That made me believe that achieving anything was possible. To be around that grandeur, to have met that person, to have been in that room.

On top of that, I’m such a fan of fashion, music, and culture. When I’m put in these positions where I can now say, “Oh word, Omarion wants to do an interview? Of course, we’re doing an interview with Omarion.” I wanted to be him the first ten years of my life, you know what I mean? I can definitely be like, “Yo, we should interview this person. What about doing this?” As long as it makes sense too. I definitely like to throw in as much nostalgic, legendary content in there as possible.

How did the Dropcast come to life?

I was an intern at Highsnobiety for about six, seven months and then when my internship ended, I was like, “Hey, I’m not in school anymore, can I just stay?” They liked me so they kept me, but I didn’t really have a real responsibility. I didn’t really have a thing that I did at that point. So they let me hang around and they put me on camera one day. They wanted me to go with a camera person one day and look at this Supreme line, to interview people there. It ended up being really boring and no one was talking.

Supreme is really secure with the way that they handle lines now and it’s not a mess anymore, so we didn’t get those fun, pandemonium shots. They made me ask the kids that were walking out of the store, questions like “What’d you buy? How long did you wait?” They really liked it, and I became kind of like the host and face of Highsnob a little bit.

When Highsnobiety was finally able to hire me, they created some responsibilities for me. So Highsnob actually came up with the idea for the Dropcast. When coming up for different duties I could have, trying to figure out what I could do, they were like, “Oh well, he should totally talk about what’s going on.” Jian and I, our Editorial Director record the Dropcast weekly.

What’s your favorite part of working at Highsnob?

Truly, I’d say it’s not like work for real for me. We get to dress however we want, we’re working with our friends, and we get to meet the coolest people. We get invited to everything and we get to go to everything. There are so many opportunities for us to travel and meet creative people all over the world. It’s not working, and that’s what I really love — I truly love the stuff I write and speak about. I get to wake up and say, “Alright cool, I get to talk to my friends about sneakers.”

Let’s talk about Muleboyz. Tell us about your passion for mules and how that came about.

I really wish I could pinpoint it. Maybe Jian was wearing Birkenstocks one day, or I was wearing Crocs, or I had just gotten a pair of crocs … I don’t even wear Crocs, but I was clearly wearing a mule. I happen to be obsessed with this pair of Birstenstocks, it’s kind of like a chef’s shoe or a painter’s shoe — they’re in my rotation and I wear them all the time, they go with everything. Jian kind of went like, “Muleboyz!”, and from there we just became Muleboyz. We kept posting mules and hash-tagging it. People kept sending us mules and photos of them in mules in response to our stories, so we made a page for them.

That’s kind of the funny thing about being in this industry, you never know who your friends are, who’s watching you and who can help you — because we’re doing this funny thing and we happen to be editors. If you’re into fashion, media, or sneakers, you might know Highsnob, you might know something about their editors. One day, one of Jian’s friends messaged us and said, “I have a budget, would you want to do this project with us and make a couple of mules?” That’s how we had our collaboration.

We’re starting to take it a little bit more seriously, but it was really just a joke. It was all about us loving this style that no one really seems to care about, that’s so cool, and looks so good with anything. Mules are such a luxury item, you can’t even run in them. 

What’s your perfect WFH outfit (since we are currently are in the middle of a pandemic)?

I kind of like what I’m wearing right now. I’m currently wearing these bright, lemon tart sweatpants from Jacquemus and a grey, boxy tee. 

What’s a new trend that you see becoming popular or that’s currently on your radar?

I mean, it’s hard now because I feel like this is going to totally throw off any trend forecasting that’s happened. Before this, I really excited for suit suits, for real menswear to come back. People were wearing loafers, maybe a nice scarf moment — like a thin, silk Hermes scarf.

noah thomas

How do you think the fashion industry is going to change after this? I’m imagining the future in a super dystopian and uniform way, with sleek haircuts and laser guns.

That’s my biggest fear. That we all are wearing Yeezy’s. I hate it. I mean, I liked the last Yeezy collection, no one else did. It’s cool, but for everyone to wear that? I hate that. I’m so scared of that. I don’t know, I have a more optimistic approach. I think that when this ends, it’s going to kill so many brands and bring everything to a halt. When people do decide that they want to spend money on fashion, they’re going to want something that’s beautifully made. I hope it might bring back fashion fashion. I think it’ll totally dead this idea of $700 hoodies, I think that’s over. When consumers are going to want to purchase clothing, it’ll be on something really nice.

And finally, where do you see yourself in five years?

That question haunts me. I mean, the truth is, I really don’t know right now, but I know it’ll be cool. In my mind, you can make your life whatever you want it to be, so I’m just going with the flow and seeing where life takes me. 

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