IDYSM: Hey Ryan. So how did you come to be involved with I Am Other and what inspires your unique take on street stories?
Ryan: A mutual friend introduced me to the original director of “Stereotypes”, Rae, who was in the process of interviewing potential hosts. I actually cancelled out on the first test shoot because I felt that I didn’t have much of a chance at doing the gig. For whatever reason, Rae pressed me about a reshoot and the rest they say is history.
IDYSM: What’s your approach to targeting people on the street; Who do you approach, why, and how do you get them to open up?
Ryan: Its all about feeling out peoples energy. Funny story, I used to do statistical analysis for a horrid survey company while working my way through college. I learned very quickly that no-one was gonna stop for you unless you gave them the grand introduction. I even used a British accent at times. It worked, honest to Jehovah, God, or whatever deity you believe in. I’ve not had to rely on that for “Stereotypes”… yet.
As far as the why and how, I really just want to know a lil bit of everyones opinion about everything I take interest in. Im a conversationalist by nature. Grew up in a home of counselors, lawyers, and a Judge. Everyone had an opinion, and a strong one at that. I learned early that if you don’t speak up you won’t be heard. I guess I want everyone to speak up, and in the process learn what defines their character; attitude, opinions, and all. By engaging people with a mix of light topics, and humor, they tend to open up. I slip serious issues in as the interview progresses. It can be a really mixed bag.
IDYSM: I understand your background is in comedy performance, does that mean you’re always looking for entertaining and uplifting people and moments?
Ryan: I take whatever may come. I like happy and entertaining folk as much as the next person, but its good to have a variety. I like the challenge of getting to the core of what a person is feeling, and while the show is often humorous, I embrace the chance to delve into serious topics when the opportunity presents itself.
IDYSM: Looking at what you wear, you seem to take great pride in presenting a unique sense of style – what is your look exactly?
Ryan: Much like my interviews its a bit of this and a bit of that. I’m a very eclectic person and I like my style to reflect that. I hate to be put into anyone category, other than cool, which I have yet to actually lay claim to. That last statement was me blatantly reaching out for pity and accolade. Never hurts to be a bit of a ham. Guess I’d say my style is all about embracing individualism.
IDYSM: Do you think your look stands out because your approach to style is outrageous, or because it’s getting harder to find fresh people with a unique sense to style these days?
Ryan: I think being 6’5″ and thin I already stand out. My mom has great style so I was always motivated to put my best foot forward. Being so tall, it was already a challenge to replicate the things I liked so I had to always improvise. Eventually I just gave into my id and jumped off the deep end. I’m sure I’ll look back at a lot of what I’ve worn and wonder what the Hell I was doing, but at least I’ve had a blast doing so. I’d rather be eccentric, and having fun than cookie cutter and unmemorable. I think people are hungry for individuals that stand out, which may have something to do with the success of “Stereotypes”.
IDYSM: How big a part do sneakers play in your look and your life?
Ryan: I’m a shoe freak. I might literally be the male Imelda Marcos. I just built a walk in closet at my apartment to house all my shoes. and it still aint enough. Sneakers are such a mainstay I can’t think of completing my look with out them, quite often. And I’ve realized Im obsessed with white sneakers. Ive worn my white Nike Blazer Mid AB TZ’s so much I had to reorder them twice. Also obsessed with Pierre Hardy sneakers. If they weren’t so damn expensive I’d own every pair! Have one pair at the moment but once I start getting real money you won’t even have to guess what I’m wearing most often.
IDYSM: There must be some serious sneaker heat at I Am Other, how does your sneaker game rate, and I have to ask, is Pharell’s the best in the office?
Ryan: Like I said, I got a shit load of shoes. And considering your interviewing me I’ll take the title of Sneaker King! Just don’t let anyone else know. As far as Pharell, he could wear mismatched flip-flops and be cool. I don’t even think he wears sneakers anymore. He just floats around on two miniature flying carpets, or those “Back to The Future” Nikes, but really from the future. He can do no wrong!
IDYSM: What have you learnt from being around Pharell?, surely one of the most influential individuals in contemporary street style.
Ryan: To just remain myself, and try to date someone as hot as Kelis at least once. I see him every once in a blue moon, but he’s always so down to earth. And dressed in such a manner that suits only him. Seeing how comfortable he is in his own skin motivates me to remain the quirky guy I am, and hopefully shape the following around me rather than toning down my image to fit in and appease the masses. I’d like a gathering of open minded individuals that allow me to fit into my own space.
IDYSM: What’s the sneaker scene like in New York at the moment?
Ryan: Just as you imagine it, All over the place encompassing every facet that sneaker culture has to offer. Not a day I don’t step out the house and find a pair of sneaks I’d like to call my own. The price of living in the New Rome. Real first world problems I’m suffering from.
IDYSM: NY’s influence has obviously been pivotal at key times in the history of sneaker culture. How influential and iconic is the current scene?
Ryan: I think its pretty global at this point. NY has had its moments, and will always have a hold, but in my travels, every city I’ve been, there’s a noticeable scene. Japan, London, France, Germany, LA, you name it, theres a scene. Plus you add in whats happening with the online community, and you’ve got sneaker freakers everywhere.
IDYSM: What’s on the horizon for you – both personally, and for I Am Other?
Ryan: Skies the limit both personally and for I Am Other. Always working on something fresh so keep your eyes peeled as I’m sure to pop up somewhere soon.
IDYSM: I like to end all ‘In Their Shoes’ interviews with this question, and I’m certainly hoping for something interesting…so, what’s on your feet right now?
Ryan: Right now its some dirty socks, but earlier I was wearing my favourite sneakers of all time; these ivory Alejandro Ingelmo Trons from his 2011 collection. I know all the details cause they’re in the dying stage and I was Ebay hunting another pair. If anyone has the connect on another pair, size 12, hit a brother back.