Jason “Cheech” Hall is always bluntly honest—but that’s why we go to him first for the best recommendations.
As VICE’s director of merchandise and the driving force behind the Shorty-nominated show, Sauce Talk , Hall has an exacting eye for style and quality. But it wasn’t until Hall was in college that he first developed his passion for fashion, streetwear, and design. Thanks to the help of his Hofstra University classmate Kerby Jean-Raymond, who was working at Diesel at the time and is now the founder of menswear brand Pyer Moss, Hall snagged his first job in fashion.
“I was on the wrong path doing a lot of shit that I shouldn't have been doing while in school, and [Jean-Raymond] was just like, Yo, stop doing this and just come work here [at Diesel],” Cheech says. “He literally got me a job on the spot, and I worked at Diesel, and I never stopped working in fashion since.”
After graduation, Cheech began working at Ralph Lauren—a learning experience he describes as “the best school [he’s] ever gone to”—that taught him to value quality just as much as aesthetics when it comes to designer goods. Not long after, Cheech began blending his passion for streetwear and design by starting a BMX-inspired line, and opening his own boutique, in Queens. Today, Cheech focuses on the wholesale side of merchandising at VICE’s Brooklyn headquarters, overseeing collabs with different brands and designing the goods available on VICE’s merch store.
While Cheech—who describes his style as “preppy ’90s drug dealer chic”—always has his eye on the hottest drops, the ethos behind Sauce Talk, both the show and this column, is for Cheech to give honest, expert recommendations or opinions on all things style and streetwear. He calls himself an “info junkie” with a design background that allows him to cut through the noise and determine what’s just hype, and what’s actually worth it.
Each week on Sauce Talk, he shares advice or curates his picks for the month’s best drops and collabs and rates them by his signature sauce ranking. From worst to best, that’s wack, mild, hot, spicy, and elite.
“I want people to understand, I'm not going to steer you wrong. I'm definitely not a sheeple herder,” Cheech says. “It's never about the dollar. It's always about the style in which you put it together.”