From Biology to Blogosphere
Emily Thwaites, Staff Writer
It’s not every day you find a cancer biology researcher by day and a ‘fashionisto’ by night, but that’s exactly how Calgarian fashion and lifestyle blogger, Vincent Law, describes himself. A Hong Kong native, Law moved to Calgary during his teens and has remained here ever since.
“I finished my undergrad and grad school in cancer biology, so I do clinical research,” says Law. “Fashion [has been] a passion of mine since I was little, but I never really got the chance to focus my passion to be a part of my education.”
Four years ago, Law established his blog, Binzento (“Vincent” in Japanese). “I guess I wasn’t very creative… the domain ‘Vincent’ had been taken,” he laughs.
“It’s my name, and for the longest time I’ve had this huge appreciation of the Japanese culture and Japanese fashion,” says Law. “It’s just very unique and distinctive from other cultures.”
What’s interesting about his blog, is Law has really thought outside the fashion-blogging-box.
“I’ve seen a lot of blogs online that talk about personal style, or fashion design,” says Law. “And for me, they’re all interesting but there [was] nothing really at that time in Calgary… or even Canada for that matter, that really highlighted and embraced Canadian talent and emerging designers.”
The motive behind his blog was to provide a platform to showcase the work of fashion entrepreneurs. Law says he owes his blog’s success to his engagement with designers.
“When I travel to Milan or Paris, I don’t just go to shows. I visit studios; I visit designers. Go to their workspace, go to their home and learn the story behind their work,” says Law. “Fashion’s all glamour upfront, but there’s so much work behind it. I guess the backstage component, people kind of forget about all the dirty work behind the scenes.”
The personal touch and emotion that Law brings to his blog truly makes it distinct from others of its kind. What’s more, the connections he makes with the designers are genuine and long lasting.
“I’ve met so many people in the last four years, and some of them became really close friends.”
Currently contributing for Vogue Italia, Law says he writes about Canadian designers in order to promote them to editors he meets in Italy. On top of his already jam-packed schedule, Law somehow manages to find the time to run his first entrepreneurial venture, Vinegar Designs Lab. This advertising company focuses on creative designs, productions and advertising for brands.
When asked where his favourite place is to shop in Calgary, Law reflects for a moment.
“That’s a hard question because I think Calgary is growing [in terms of] the fashion community. I don’t think I have a favourite shop.”
Law usually shops for designs, so if a “particular store carries that particular piece or particular collection, then I would definitely shop there.” Law adds that he often shops online and also frequents Holt Renfrew when looking for certain designers.
“I’m a huge supporter of Canadian designers and fashion because we’re such a small community, so you know, I go for Canadian brands once in a while.” Personal favourites of Law’s include Leo Boutique, Frank & Oak, Caitlin Power, Travis Taddeo and local menswear designer KaaDiki.
“If I’m travelling to Fashion Week in another country, then I definitely would pick out all the Canadian fashions that I think are pieces for that week, cause’ I just want to, represent in a way.”
When it comes to personal style, Law says he doesn’t really have a set style. “It really depends on what captures my attention and captures my eye. I try to be versatile that way.”
Law says he likes anything that’s unique, beautiful and exhibits really great designs. “A lot of fashion personalities, Anna Wintour, or Anna Piaggi or Anna Della Russo, they all have a very unique sense of style. I think for me though, because I’m not really putting myself out there as a fashion icon per se, I’m more of a creator, I guess.”
A lover of avant-garde fashions, it is no surprise Law’s favourite designer is Vivienne Westwood, responsible for bringing modern punk into the mainstream. Other fashion inspirations of his include Belgian designer Martin Margiela and Japanese designer Yojhi Yamamoto, both very non-conventional street designers.
“I like things that are not always in order,” says Law. “Some people want everything perfectly done, like everything has to be pale outfits, everything has to be symmetrical. I like things that are intentionally being distorted, designs that are very unique, but, they have a theory or mathematics or physics behind [the design].”
Channeling his inner scientist, Law always looks for a rationale as to why the designer created the piece. “If the designer [tells] me there’s no rationale behind it, then it would not be something I would be attracted to.”
To check out Law’s blog, head over to his website www.binzento.com, or check him out on Instagram @binzento