Lifestyle

Meet Silicon Valley’s most stylish geek-chic guys

By fashion writer  Photographs by Molly DeCoudreaux

This piece originally ran in Refinery29. Read the full story for additional profiles of handsome devils Matt Galligan, Cesar Torres, Baldwin Cunningham, Cullen Wilson, Rob LaFave, and Daniel Burka.

The entire world is eyeing San Francisco as we continue to crush it with standout technology. The financial bets are big, the innovation is intoxicating, and the city is buzzing with possibilities. But, as you can tell just by looking around, dapper dressing is still pretty low on the priority list for many digital-minded dudes.

However, in a scene filled with ill-fitting hoodies, we’ve had our eye on a few gentlemen who are bucking this trend. The nine coolest guys in tech are keeping style top of mind while making waves in the industry. We’ve asked them to get real with us about fashion disasters, their perspectives on S.F. style, and how they’re changing the world’s idea of what it looks like to work in tech. With not a flip-flop in sight, we promise — this is geek chic at its finest.

Name: J Sider
Gig: CEO and founder of BandPage

Tell us exactly what you do.
“We help musicians set up and manage their online presence. So, if you are a musician and need to set up a Facebook page, a website, or a blog — we can help. We have over 500,000 musicians around the world that use BandPage, from musicians that are just starting out to the largest artists in the world.”

How did you get started in tech?
“I slept on a couch in San Francisco for four months, going to tech meet-ups every day, talking to over 1,000 people. Then I found an amazing engineer, Chris Tholen. We would build products every day until 2 a.m. and then sleep for a few hours and wake up and start again. It’s true, ask his patient and awesome wife, Kate.”

What is the coolest part about your job?
“I get to build stuff I love for the people I care most about: musicians. We get to change an industry with an office full of amazing people. There is music playing all day at the office, great conversations, and tons of innovation.”

How would you describe your style?
“Virginia mountain man meets urban San Francisco.”
What are your go-to wardrobe staples?
“Levi’s, flannel, and a red cap.”

Photo: J Sider kicking it in Levi’s jeans, a thrifted shirt, and that infamous red beanie! 

Name: Danny Trinh
Gig: Product designer at Path

Tell us exactly what you do.
“As a designer, I work with a really talented team to build a mobile app for your iPhone or Android called Path.”

You’re only 21 and have been working in tech for four years. Why did you choose to go into the tech field right after high school? 
“It is one of the most accessible places to leave a mark on the world. That said, I owe a great deal to Daniel Burka and the family at Digg, who took me in at 17. Their friendship and guidance are mostly responsible for how I survived out here.”

How would you describe your style?
“Amateur Daniel Burka.”

What are your go-to wardrobe staples? 
“Bombers, jackets, and boots.”

What’s the biggest fashion offense you’ve witnessed in the tech industry?
“People who wear something branded by the company they work for 24/7. So sad to see.”

Photo: Danny rocking very blue hues! He sports a Bespoken jacket, Shipley & Halmos shirt, Vanishing Elephant sweater, J Brand jeans, and J.D. Fisk boots.

Name: Nick Bilton
Gig: Technology columnist, The New York Times 

Tell us exactly what you do.
“I explain, in layman’s terms, for non-tech folks, how technology is impacting society and what these massive changes will mean in the future.”

What is the coolest part about your job?
“My job allows me to help protect people from companies that are trying to take advantage of them — or, government when it enforces nonsensical arcane rules, like the F.A.A., which I have taken on for not allowing people to use Kindles and iPads on planes during take-off and landing.”

What are your go-to wardrobe staples?
“Jeans, a white or light blue slim-fit shirt, slim dark blazer or cardigan, and brown pointed shoes. Oh, and some very colorful socks.”

You’re a recent NYC transplant, what are your observations of NYC versus S.F. for fashion?
“New York City is the epitome of style. Everyone looks like they’re walking on a runway, not the grimy concrete streets of the city. In San Francisco, people think a hoodie is stylistic. But, I know a number of people that are trying to change that by dressing well, myself included.”

Read the full story on Refinery29 for additional information on each of these three gentlemen, plus profiles of handsome devils Matt Galligan, Cesar Torres, Baldwin Cunningham, Cullen Wilson, Rob LaFave, and Daniel Burka.

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