Normally, the experience of interacting with people from older generations on Facebook can either be pretty bad, hilarious, or both. I’m talking about people who have almost no computer literacy because they lived way before that was even a thing. They’re the baby boomers who don’t understand the millennial milieu and who struggle to make a connection with the rest of the digital world.
But there are exceptions, and even standouts. In High Fashion Talk, a private Facebook group dedicated to fashion criticism, 60-year-old Katsuyuki Hamada is revered for his immaculate outfits which include archival pieces of legendary fashion designers like Yohji Yamamoto, Takeo Kikuchi, and Comme des Garçons. In a way, Hamada embodies the Facebook group’s desire to move away from hype and into a more personal sense of style.
His photos are simpler than most—candidly shot inside his home, unedited, his face looking straight at the camera—but his style is impeccable and non-derivative. “What makes Mr. Hamada’s style iconic is the way he puts advanced pieces together and how natural it looks on him,” Paulo Reyes, creative director and member of High Fashion Talk said to VICE. “I still doubt myself a tiny bit when I think about putting on a Yohji or CDG piece, but his personal style is so effortless and cool that even an oversized jacket with padded shoulders or some pleated trousers look so normal.”
Other High Fashion Talk members are also all praise and admiration for Hamada. "I actually look up to this man so much. Love him," said one member. Another member said, "He’s honestly goals for when I’m old." Many other members called him "king" and "legend."
Despite the praise, Hamada said he's just being himself. Using an electronic dictionary, he shared lengthy descriptions of designers he’s fond of, but also music he likes: David Bowie and Kraftwerk to name a few. On his personal Facebook account, he showed pictures of his home filled with DVDs and vinyl records – he was a DVD salesman for 39 years. Fashion to him, he said, is a pleasure in his life.
How did he get to amass such an impressive collection? A lifetime of dedication is the only answer. In a recent post in High Fashion Talk, Hamada shared a nugget of wisdom: “Hey young guys, I advice you, if you wear famous brand clothes you must wear one brand totally. Because if you wear different [brands] there [is] no unification sense.”