Wednesday January 02nd 2013, 12:15 pm
Style Inspiration: Zak Salazar
Filed under: Style Inspiration | Posted by:

Zak Salazar

Zak Salazar

We are starting off the new year with a new series here on When You Awake where we highlight some of our real-life style inspirations. You know, those friends, family or colleagues that you actually look forward to seeing new photos of on Instagram or Facebook. First up, we have wilderness park ranger, organic chicken farmer, musician (you can currently hear him in Live Oak Revue) and old college pal Zak Salazar. Check out our interview and more photos of him, taken by Matthew Morgan, Kristy Ahumada of Volatile Photography, Hugh Forte and Lauren Beitel, after the jump.

Zak Salazar

Q: Where do you live?
A: I live in a small rustic country community called Modjeska Canyon in the Cleveland National Forest. Believe it or not it’s still part of Orange County, but we’re talking no streetlights or cell phone service. I have a seasonal creek that runs through my backyard and a chicken coop my buddy Jason and I built with our own hands. It’s a homestead really, or at least as close to one as you can get while still living in Orange County.

Zak Salazar

Q: How does where you live or where you grew up effect your style?
A: Most of my style is driven by practicality out of where I live. I wear boots because they’re easy to work in and offer good support; besides, they’re just gonna get wet or covered in chicken manure anyways. I wear a full-brimmed hat and collared shirts because they keep me from getting burnt.

Zak Salazar

But when I’m not on the range or working on the homestead I embrace that country gentleman sort of look. I try to emulate my grandfathers and great grandfathers mixed with that ol’ tyme bluegrass feel. I feel like I live in a sort of antiquated environment anyways, so I may as well dress the part. It worked then and today it works for the same reasons.

Zak Salazar

Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I’m a self-proclaimed old man in and out. My inspiration really comes from those gentleman most people overlook. Don’t tell anyone but there is an untapped goldmine of inspiration there. Even more so, I would I say I am driven by roots music: bluegrass, hymnals, country, and the blues. I admire the men who worked the field all day in slacks and a vest, then grabbed the fiddle and started sawing away in the barn. Or the traveling blues men, riding the rails in a three piece suit. Hell, even Woody Guthrie wore a collar and kept his hair cut! Musicians work hard these days to look disheveled; they fail to realize that the ones who had every right to look like hobos still played shows with some class. To me, the tradition, culture, and heritage is just as important to roots music as the lyrics and musical style. To really experience the music you have to figure out what that lifestyle really looked and felt like.

Zak Salazar

Q: Which shops or online stores do you visit?
A: Joyride: Vintage for Men in the Orange Circle is the only place to go if you want that ol’ tyme look. The guys in there not only care about style but the history and tradition behind all their pieces. They’ll treat you right and won’t mind if you just want to shoot the breeze or browse without being hounded. I love that whole area. It has that real small town America feel to it.

Zak

Q: How has your style evolved over the years?
A: I grew up in Dana Point, CA, where most of the guys are surfers. One day my good friend Scott became a barber and started giving all the young men real gentleman hair cuts. It was pretty funny to see us former ‘long hairs’ walking around with a nice side part and some Layrite in our hair. I took it one step further I guess.

Zak Salazar

I used to think I was Jim Morrison, then Wyatt Earp, but I had to stop playing make believe and I adopted a more classic timeless look. That’s why a tailored suit and a watch is a must for any man, they never go out of style. Don’t get my wrong, I’ll still throw on my cowboy boots, but now I feel I’ve earned them a bit more. Our grandfathers really had it right.

Zak

Q: Do you collect anything in particular?
A: I collect turquoise, pipes, feathers and belt buckles. I recently started looking for vintage compasses; I’m up to three.

Zak Salazar

Q: What is your most cherished heirloom?
A: I have a silver and turquoise cuff my father handed down to me on my twenty-first birthday. Also my great-grandfather’s 1910’s F.E. Olds Slide Trombone. He was a composer and big band conductor. While raising a family in L.A. he would cross the border into Mexico to play the nightclubs during prohibition. The story goes that he would have to ‘hock’ his instruments at pawnshops to make ends meet, so it’s a miracle that it is still in the family. It even has the original ivory mouthpiece.

Zak Salazar

Q: What do you consider to be your first ‘grown up’ style purchase?
A: I would have to say it was the decision to cut off my long hair. It was kind of symbolic for me that I wasn’t going to toy around with childish things anymore. Now going to the King’s Club Barbershop is one of life’s simple pleasures, I have a standing appointment every other week. They’ll greet you with a firm handshake, cold beer, and a haircut your grandfather would be proud of.

Zak Salazar

Q: If your style had a theme song, what song would it be?
A: Indian War Whoop performed by John Hartford. You might have heard it off the ‘Oh Brother Where Art Thou’ soundtrack. Like most traditionals,  no one is quite sure who wrote it or where it came from, but it’s old, and it still wails. It’s simple really, not too flashy, a classic fiddle jig, but boy howdy it makes me want to groove. This song has kicks. I hear it and I just start dancing like a damn fool. It reminds me why I want to learn how to flat foot, and to howl at the moon. Most importantly this song doesn’t take itself too seriously, and I think that’s important. I got a lot to smile about but sometimes forget to, this song reminds me. Photos by

YouTube Preview Image

No Comments so far
Leave a comment



Leave a comment

(required)

(required)