Profiling Fashion at Amherst: Sam Callahan ’18
A self-described food and fashion aficionado, Sam Callahan, a first-year from San Antonio, Texas, is known for brewing his own coffee in the Charles Pratt common room and having an encyclopedic knowledge of men’s fashion. His style is never ostentatious; rather, it’s quietly polished. He has a keen eye for details. Thoughtful and introspective in person with a dry and surprising sense of humor, Sam can usually be spotted around campus wearing his signature wire-rimmed glasses and leather high top sneakers.
Q: Tell me about where you’re from and what your hobbies are.
A: Well, I’m from San Antonio, and I guess I don’t really relate much to San Antonio, but it’s okay. I’m interested in fashion, obviously, coffee … I like cinema. I like reading a lot, but I don’t really like literature classes, too much writing for me. I like economics. What else do I like? I like food generally, but I don’t like eating, especially at Val. I really only eat a lot whenever it’s good food. Yeah, I guess I’m a little picky. You could call it tasteful, I don’t know [laughs]. And I’m interested in music.
Q: Is your family also interested in fashion, or is it something that you took to on your own?
A: I guess I kind of took to it on my own. My aunt is pretty into fashion. She’s in the fashion industry. She is the vice president of marketing or something for Michael Kors.
Q: How would you describe your sense of style?
A: I knew this question was coming and I knew I wasn’t going to have a real answer. Yeah, I don’t know, I don’t know if I can describe it. It’s definitely still in flux. Definitely trending towards darker stuff. I think I’m trying to move into kind of a slightly looser silhouette, at least on top. I don’t know. I really like Undercover [the designer]. I really like their spring/summer ’15 line, I thought that was really good. Raf Simons x Sterling Ruby this season, that was very good as well. I actually really wanted one of their coats, but it didn’t make it off the runway. I was going to save up for it. I don’t know how I was going to save up for it, since I don’t have an income [laughs]. So that kind of makes an interest in fashion difficult when you don’t have an income, but I make do. I actually have zero outerwear right now. Well, I have one coat, but it’s kind of ugly.
Q: Do you have any style icons or influences?
A: Well, Raf Simons, I like him a lot. Earlier Hedi Slimane … I kind of hated his spring/summer ’15 line, but other people liked it, whatever. I thought it was pretty empty. Yohji Yamamoto I think is so cool. Rei Kawakubo…I don’t have any Comme des Garçons stuff, but I’d love to pick some up. I’m looking at a few things actually to pick up on the secondhand market. Oh yeah, I use the secondhand market a lot for stuff.
Q: What is your favorite thing in your closet?
A: I was also prepared for this [laughs]. There are two things I’m kind of torn between: these Balmain high tops from Spring/Summer 14, and this Yohji Yamamoto sweater. I don’t know what season the sweater is from actually, because I bought it secondhand. It’s got some cool detailing, it drapes really well. It’s slightly oversized, so I think it fits pretty well. I would offer to put it on for you, but it’s a little hot for that [laughs].
Q: Do you plan your outfits out or do you just throw them on in the morning?
A: Kind of both. I kind of already know what works in my closet and what doesn’t, and I work from that. So it’s not super planned but it definitely has an element of thought to it.
Q: If you could wear one outfit for the rest of your life, what would it be?
A: Do I have to own it currently? From what I own currently, it would be black jeans with my Balmain hightops and then depending on season, it would either be the Yohji Yamamoto sweater I showed you, or the t-shirt I wore yesterday. It’s Stephan Schneider from his candlelight collection.
Q: What is one thing you think every guy should have in his wardrobe?
A: There are the obvious ones, like nice jeans or whatever, but like I think the ideal one is white sneakers, white lowtops.
Q: Ultimately, what interests you about fashion?
A: I like looking good. I’m interested in art, generally. It’s like art I can wear. Unfortunately, its also art I can’t really afford [laughs].