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Blamo! Host Jeremy Kirkland On Big Fits And Even Bigger Watches

Blamo! Host Jeremy Kirkland On Big Fits And Even Bigger Watches

By Randy Lai
8 Nov 2023
6 min read

The fashion game’s most likable jack-of-all-trades talks us through the burgeoning Blamo! Universe, and where that famous #SeikoBois hashtag came from

Being dubbed “the nicest guy” in any industry might be a line that smacks of faint praise, yet when one considers the insiders who use this axiom to describe Mr. Jeremy Kirkland, it’s apparent those words have been uttered with nothing but affection.

Like Dick Cavett or Ira Glass, the renowned founder of the Blamo! family of podcasts has a real knack for leaving “it” (whatever that magical je ne sais quoi might be) all on the table.

For Kirkland, self-effacing humor and midwestern earnestness have unlocked a host of interesting interview opportunities - with guests who are all deep in or essentially tangential to the world of fashion.

Photo: Jeremy Kirkland
Photo: Jeremy Kirkland

Some of these personalities are certifiable titans in their field, like Bridesmaids director Paul Feig. Others, including fashion critic Eugene Rabkin or food stylist Michelle Rabin, are what our culture has christened “tastemakers”. The fact that each Blamo! interviewee is - creatively speaking - an island unto themselves feels purposeful; expressing Kirkland’s fascination with fashion as a framework for satisfying storytelling.

As you’d expect, watches are a huge part of the broader conversation: whether it’s the people Kirkland interviews, or the 'BlamFam'—the  online community around Blamo! itself, which congregates in chatrooms to discuss everything from obscure Seiko JDM editions to what else one can buy for the price of a Daytona.

Earlier this month, between back-to-back recordings, Wristcheck caught up with Kirkland to learn more about the (ever-expanding) intersection between watches and fashion. In characteristic form, he also shares a few anecdotes about his own collecting journey - complete with a story about Dad. Let’s kick on.

For those who aren’t necessarily familiar with it, how would you describe (in an ‘elevator pitch’ kinda scenario) what the Blamo! podcast is all about?

Blamo! is really just a show about the world of fashion, along with the people who shape it. For me, though, when I think of ‘fashion’ (and everything that idea encompasses), I’m not always thinking about designers. I also think of musicians, athletes, and entrepreneursthe inspiring folks who pop into our heads (and onto our phones).

Technically, it’s a podcast about clothes; but by themselves, clothes aren’t that interesting. It’s the ‘why’ of people wearing what they wear that I love to delve into. 

As a show that’s very much centered around style and stylish individuals, how exactly do watches fit into that wider narrative remit?

To me, a watch is no different than any other thing we choose to put on. These are emotional objects. Yes, they’re beautiful mechanical works of art, no question. But watches always mean far more to their wearer than what others see superficially.

Are there any watch-enthusing guests you’d be extra excited to get on the show? Ralph Lauren whom you’ve come close to profiling several times, seems like an obvious candidate.

Yep, King Ralph is definitely up there. I’ve been lucky to talk to a ton of folks who are in and adjacent to the fashion industry. It’d be great to have John Mayer come on sometime: he’s probably one of our most requested guests.

Extended members of the Blamo! community will be familiar with the term ‘Seiko Bois’ - an online colloquialism that you had a hand in popularizing. Tell us: what exactly makes a ‘Seiko Boi’?

Honestly, it doesn’t have any profound meaning [laughs]! Basically, it was a term I coined to explain my love of Seikos, and was always a bit silly. At the same time, it’s gender-inclusive; open to anyone and everyone; and, at the core of everything, just about loving Seiko.

Today, I still stand by the fact that they’re one of the funnest brands in the watch industry; in part, because they’re so easy to get into—there's an option and price point for everyone.

View post on Instagram

Considering you’ve dabbled in just about every significant fashion subculture over the last decade, ranging from runway to ‘hashtag menswear', are there any style lessons you’ve found generally transferable to the pursuit of watch collecting?

Oh dude, absolutely. Initially, I think it’s important to try everything that interests you, then settle on whatever means the most. In that regard, it’s okay to change your opinion: as most of us form ours at multiple stages of life and maturity.

So many people (particularly in watches) love to be stubborn, and sometimes we put ourselves in boxes that restrict our ability to further evolve. I’ve never felt more empty than whilst I was pursuing a watch or garment that I thought was going to ‘complete’ me.

Recognize that this stuff is all objectively silly; and that it’s more about the people you meet along the way. The joy is in the journey, folks!

Photo: @thekirkland/ Instagram

In a riff on what might be an otherwise mundane question, tell us about one wardrobe item—it could be a new purchase or an old favoritethat you’re looking forward to wearing this fall.

I have an old chambray work shirt from Engineered Garments that I’ve owned for over 15 years. It’s the first thing that goes into my luggage when I pack and is, quite honestly, the most versatile piece of clothing I own. I wear it all the time.

As far as new purchases go, I’m quite excited to pick up a new fall sport coat from J. Mueser. We opted to make it in a beautiful houndstooth fabric from the British mill, Fox Flannel. I think it’s gonna be a banger.

As a fashion multihyphenate, where do you stand on the phenomenon of luxury houses pivoting toward watchmaking? Are there any players in this space that are performing particularly well?

It’s pretty incredible to see what Louis Vuitton have been doing on the watchmaking front, and that’s honestly not something I think anyone had on their bingo card. I’m extremely impressed by the Tambour.

I also think that Hermès continues to innovate and impress everybody. Also, the stuff that Porsche Design is doing? Oh boy…

To finish: a fun hypothetical. You can only wear two watches for the rest of your life; what are they and why?

First up: my Seiko Pogue Ref. 6139. It was my first ever ‘big kid’ watch and is representative of when I started getting serious about collecting. I’ve owned a few versions of it over the years and recently let one go (thanks to Mike Nouveau). The first one, though? That stays with me forever.

Second: an old Elgin that was originally my Dad’s. He wore it constantly. There’s nothing fancy about it; in fact, it’s broken and the crystal is chipped, but it was his, and that’s all that matters. I’m now at the age my dad was when he used to wear it.

He’d choose to wear it face-down; playing the piano; taking care of the family—even writing this I’m starting to tear up. My Dad’s not quite the man he used to be these days (due to a decline in health) but his Elgin always reminds me to stay focused and reflect on how he’d make decisions in so many situations I find myself in. Thanks for asking me about this.

Seiko Pogue Ref. 6139 (left); an old Elgin that originally belong to Jeremy's Dad (right) Photo: Jeremy Kirkland
Seiko Pogue Ref. 6139 (left); an old Elgin that originally belonged to Jeremy's Dad (right) Photo: Jeremy Kirkland