Dressed to the nines, chic, GQ, snazzy, swag, flawless, on fleek. Whatever your slang of choice, West Coast Shaving is all about making sure you have the tools to step out in style. So whether you need to rock a mohawk or groom a face fleece, we’ve got you covered. If you shave every day or just when the spirit moves, we can handle that. We’ve got scents, splashes, and soaps to improve your mood AND your look. But sometimes we need help with the intangibles –what do you wear on the first date, which shoes go with meeting the parents, or even if your watch says “hire me”. When you really want to be in the know, you go to the experts.
So we sat down for a little Q&A with Denny Balmaceda, fashion influencer, blogger, internet icon.
Photographer: Joan Michel / Photo Assistant: Joseph Rivera
Since 2007, Denny has been leading the charge in menswear styling. First through Facebook and then on to Instagram and other social media outlets, Denny has inspired 90k+ followers from around the globe. Leading with the idea that fashion is temporary and style is independent of that, he encourages men to see style as storytelling. Dress confidently.
WCS: What does it mean to be a mens' lifestyle influencer? What are some cool projects that you have done recently and what was that like?
Denny: Recently, I've worked with Joseph Abboud on a few collaborations like custom suits and traveling with the brand. I take pride on myself for being a content creator that prefers repeat partnerships over one-offs so it's been incredible to build a relationship with one of my favorite brands. I also got the chance to attend SXSW last March on behalf of Sperry, a brand I've worn and blogged about for a while. The brand put myself and other influencers in a house and we got to experience the event and help each other to create content.
WCS: At what point did you feel that you made a career being an influencer and why?
Denny: I really believe I had "made it" long before I had made actually made it. Only a few years ago I was working full time at a local thrift store making way under minimum wage. But every chance I got, I was shooting looks and slowly became recognized by the brands I genuinely loved. For a long time, I blogged for free or for gift cards or maybe free merch and then for paid sponsorships which didn't actually pay much AT ALL. But to me, I was ballin'! Not monetarily at first but my currency was the connection I was making with my peers and within the fashion community.
WCS: What do you use to shve your face and how often do you shave?
Day or night?
Denny: I've been growing my goatee since the day after my wedding. I usually shower at night and so that's when I'll shave or trim any stragglers.
WCS: What's your advice for anyone who wants to get into men's lifestyle or becoming an influencer?
Denny: First of all, honestly identify why you want to do it. Do you have a vision or point of view that is unique? Or a look/market that is underserved that you feel you can speak to? Or are you going in to expand your follower count and make some fast cash and a shot at fame? If you have the right hustle, you can probably make it for either reason, but I wouldn't advocate getting into the business for fame. When I started blogging, this was not a career; it was a passion. I recommend anyone getting started treat it as such. Develop your own point of view, seek out other creative minds from various backgrounds to shoot, art direct, style, and write. Most importantly, view your collaborations as a team effort and not a platform to launch a solo career. The partnerships you work on are for mutual benefit and gain.
The Lawyer Look
"The Edwin Jagger Faux Ivory Razor is a classic traditional razor, but elegant. The razor is slightly heavier to provide that extra smooth shave. The Simpson Commodore X1 Best Badger Brush is a perfect brush to use with the Stirling Sharp Dress Man Soap. The Commordore will help whip up the perfect lather and the Scent of the Sharp Dress Man is very masculine, but still impresses the ladies. Following up with the Speick Active Aftershave Splash provides a nice soothing feeling without much of a sting. The scent is not to overpowering, but has a scent of a true gentleman."
The Accountant Look:
"The Feather AS-D2 razor is an impressive piece of art and the quality of the shave is one of the best. The razor is milder, but with a Feather Razor Blade in the razor will provide one magical experience. The De Vinci 290 Silvertip is a very unique brush and lathers easily. Using the Truefitt & Hill Grafton Shaving Cream will give you that luxurious experience every gentleman is looking for. The scent has a unique spicy and woody fragrance with a hint of leather that will become a favorite of your routine. Followed with the Grafton Aftershave Splash will soothing the skin and the scent will last a little while to give you that unique scent. The Grafton will make you feel Dapper each time you use the shave cream and aftershave."