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Phoenix Artist Zach Bootz on Ditching Denim for Slacks

Zach Bootz loves graphic T-shirts done right.
Zach Bootz loves graphic T-shirts done right.
Andie Flores

Phoenix native Zach Bootz knows that the way men dress in Phoenix is very much restricted by the state's weather.

"It's easy to dress well here," says Bootz, "but a lot of people wear boat shoes and boring shorts and Ts because of the heat."

The 23-year-old has put his own spin on dressing up and dressing well every day and still manages to stay cool.

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Bootz is a printmaking major at Arizona State University, where he does both print work and creates large-scale drawings. His Instagram account, @yourpalbootz, is filled with his illustrations, many of which have streetwear and sports influences.

The artist's love of streetwear began as a kid. "I found graffiti artists that I really liked, and in sixth grade, I started to draw graffiti and thought it was really cool, but I sucked at it," says Bootz. "I kept practicing and it was a pretty short lived phase, but street art was a gateway into finer arts."

Bootz says before Obey clothing is what it is today -- think wheatpaste and Andre the Giant days -- he was an avid fan. Once he began to see Obey shirts everywhere, his tastes developed into newer brands.

"The graphic stuff has definitely come back," he says. "Now I wear a lot of Hood By Air, Been Trill, and Heron Preston because it's not gaudy. The graphics are done cleanly and it looks really dope."

Bootz knows streetwear has changed a lot in the past few years and that it's becoming more and more high end. "Brands like Hood by Air are bridging this gap that there's always been between streetwear and fashion, and it's cool."

The streetwear fan says he doesn't see himself as being that fashionable, but he does have a formula. "I always start with slacks, I revolve around three pairs of shoes, and then I'll just tuck in my shirt or roll my sleeves.

"I don't know why more people don't wear slacks every day. I haven't worn denim in almost a year because I wear slacks all the time."

Bootz posts his illustrations and prints regularly on his Instagram, and fans will be able to purchase his work this summer on his web store.

 

What are you wearing? I'm wearing a Been Trill shirt, some dress pants, and Nike Mayfly Wovens, and Framed Ewe sunglasses.

Where do you usually shop? Ebay, Trés Bien, and Need Supply

What was the last item of clothing you bought? I just bought these MOSCOT sunglasses at Framed Ewe, which is at the Union in the Biltmore.

Name five things every man should have in his closet. 1) A go-to pair of sunglasses 2) Slacks 3) Nice boots 4) Great sneakers 5) Quality basics, like a solid undershirt

What's a trend you can't stand? I see a lot of kids wearing boat shoes, mid-calf socks, and typical frat wear. I'm over it.

Give us a childhood memory of you and clothes. I had this Space Jam T-shirt as a kid, and it was so sick. I wore it every day. If they made it now in my size, I'd buy it. I'd be unstoppable.

What's your one piece of fashion advice for Phoenix? Guys can trade their denim for everyday slacks. I stopped wearing denim altogether because slacks look and feel really great. They're so thin and easy to wear, especially for this weather. Cuff them and wear them with some sneakers.

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Biltmore Fashion Park

24th St. & Camelback Road
Phoenix, AZ 85016

602-955-8400

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