A familiar name in men’s clothing editorial for the past decade and known for his eclectic style that is nothing short of fun, Jian DeLeon has thrived in the fashion industry. Holding top editorial positions at Highsnobiety before and Nordstrom Men now, the way his career has evolved is as inspiring as it is eventful.
In a feature with Esquire, Jian DeLeon talked about his career path—from starting out editing press releases for a company based in Washington DC to moving to New York City to work as a full-time writer for Complex to becoming Highsnobiety’s Editorial Director to now helming Nordstrom Men as Editorial and Fashion Director.
The key to his illustrious career progression? Having the balance of building a solid portfolio of work while also striving to create real connections with people. “That first network of New York contacts can be so integral to how your life progresses in an industry or the city itself; you’re all riding different waves but somehow want to help each other succeed. More or less that’s how I ended up at GQ, Highsnobiety, trend forecasting agency WGSN, and now Nordstrom,” he said when he recalled his move from DC to NYC.
When it comes to streetwear and fashion, DeLeon is known to have a rather encyclopedic knowledge, he shared that reverse engineering references out of sheer intellectual curiosity has always been a point of pride of his.
Recalling something his old boss in his college job said to him, “You can’t really understand Nirvana until you listen to the Meat Puppets” which echoes the adage: “Who influences the influencers?”