Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

Kyle Ng Explores Origins of Menswear in Cool New Series ‘Social Fabric’

My Style with Mayer Hawthorne | Social Fabric Bonus Scene
There’s a brand-new binge-worthy television series that a) has nothing to do with dragons and b) doesn’t require a subscription. Social Fabric premiered online via Red Bull TV on Friday, September 1, and this 12-episode, totally free, on-demand show has a fascinating premise. In each approximately 25-minute installment, Los Angeles-based streetwear designer Kyle Ng explores the history, cultural significance, fan bases, and craftspeople behind an iconic item or theme of menswear by traveling to different parts of the world, from Africa and Asia to Europe and North America. Episode topics include denim jeans, T-shirts, sneakers, fedoras, plaid, cowboy boots, leather jackets, crazy pants, suits, bling, religious clothes, and camouflage. The series is available online indefinitely.

On the eve of the show’s premiere last week, Ng shared with us how the project came about and what it taught him about men’s fashion and guys’ love of storytelling.

Related Videos

How did you get involved with Social Fabric?

I had a friend over at Red Bull and we talked about different ideas, and one idea was to find the deeper meaning behind the garments that we wear. We wanted to dive deep into that and ask, for example: What is a T-shirt and how is it appropriate nowadays? Where did it come from? Who is making it interesting now? And what are some of the different ways you can wear it? From there, we explored different ideas around the world.

How long did it take to film?

About three to four months.

Do you have a favorite episode or piece that you explored?

Right now, I really like the denim episode. There are some good things in there. I really like this [denim] brand called 69. It’s really fun. And then I really like bull riding a lot.

What did you learn from the whole experience?

Meeting with all the different cultures and people was super awesome. I think traveling and seeing the way people live in different communities is really helpful to you. You get a sense of style through an international scope.

How do you define “style”?

For me, style is anything that connects to one’s culture. Depending on your individual look on life or what music you like or what religion you are, that will dictate your style.

What’s next? Do you think you will shoot a second season?

Potentially. I have a brand called Brain Dead that I do most of the time, but this has just kind of been a side thing and I have been very fortunate and happy to work with such a great team and brand.

What’s your take on men’s apparel these days?

I think men’s apparel is kind of an open playground. I think that people are just expressing themselves in so many different ways that are not the typical ways that you’ve expected. People are blurring the lines between menswear, streetwear, casual, and formal. It’s anything goes nowadays.

Why do you think so many guys have such an interest in the history of their clothing today?

I think guys like stories. Men like stories. They like listening about war, and the heritage and history. At the end of the day we are just comic book nerds. We just want to hear stories around the campfire. Guys really get into storytelling. We like that context of legend and the idea of hunters and brave people. So if you can dress like that and have confidence, that’s what we want. Nowadays, the confidence is looking like a rapper or a rock star, or like you ride a motorcycle or a bull. That’s the thing you learn around the world, is that everyone wants that confidence in the way that they dress.

Editors' Recommendations

The 10 best men’s workout shirts to help you get fit in 2023

There are multiple things to consider when purchasing new workout apparel. You want to make sure you do your due diligence beforehand. When looking for the optimal workout shirt, functionality often takes precedence over style, for most men. After all, a minimalist cotton t-shirt is ideal, but it won't look (or smell) so great after an hour-long workout, especially if your working out, outdoors. That's why, in the past decade, some of our favorite activewear brands like Lululemon, Vuori, and Under Armour have developed breathable fabrics with moisture-wicking and odor-fighting technology that are now practically must-haves for any exercise gear, especially when it comes to making high-quality shirts.

That being said, not all workout tops are created equal. When it comes to finding the right workout fit, make sure it doesn't feel too tight or baggy around your underarms, your shoulders, or across your chest, i.e., the areas you exercise most. We sifted through some of the most popular brands to select the best workout shirts that are as practical as they are fashionable. Here are our top picks for the best men's workout shirts of 2023.

Read more
St. Patrick’s Day: What to wear (without looking like a leprechaun)
Look stylish while participating in St. Patrick's Day customs

Every holiday has its own traditions and customs. And St. Patrick's Day is no different. While it is customary for people to wear green to honor the patron saint of Ireland, one of the most significant customs is that you get pinched if you forget to wear emerald, forest, sage, or lime green. Here are a few ideas on subtly keeping your style intact while protecting against the invasion of pinches the day brings.

We've rounded up our favorite gear picks from our favorite brands for this green-centric holiday. You don't have to go over the top and throw on shamrocks left and right. Subtle retro sneakers, a handsome olive green crewneck, a classic green tie ... all of these picks will work more than acceptable for a day we love to celebrate (in style and responsibly, of course).

Read more
How to tie your shoes and make any pair in your closet slip-on shoes
YouTube videos with genius ways to tie your shoes so you never have to tie them again
man tying sneakers outside

It turns out that learning to tie your shoes in Kindergarten may not have been the win you and your parents thought it was. Men’s slip-on shoes are all the rage these days. Call them ugly all you want — they’re easy to slip on when you’re in a rush and cozy to boot.

Maybe you’re a resident sneakerhead, or perhaps you simply don’t feel like splurging on a pair of designer men’s slip-on shoes. You might simply not be able to get passed the “ugly shoe” label of Birkenstocks (or the more budget-friendly dupes). Still, the ease of slip-on shoes is a massive perk.

Read more