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Ermenegildo Zegna's XXX sneakers are giving these men a boost of boldness for trying new things

New tricks

Text: Ryan Sng

Interview: Jolene Khor


Trying fresh experiences and switching things up is never as easy as it looks. From learning a brand new language to fulfiling childhood musical ambitions, it takes boldness and vulnerability to lay bare works in progress that — good intentions notwithstanding — are never as fully-formed or perfect as we wish them to be. We all need an occasional confidence boost, and there are few things in the world better for this purpose than fashion. Fashion is superficial, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's an easy means of stretching and playing with our identities, which are as pliable as Play-Doh, and can teach us that the things we define ourselves by (e.g. our accomplishments and failures) are, for better or worse, impermanent, just like some weird outfit choice you made ten years ago.

This season, Ermenegildo Zegna's XXX sneakers have stepped up to the plate as conduits for the experimental boldness residing within each of us. We invited three Friends of Buro. to give them a test-drive, and to attempt a daunting challenge: namely, each other's jobs. Below, you'll find their takes on what it felt like to push their personal boundaries, all while looking fly AF.

GLEN WEE, SONGWRITER/MUSICIAN

GLEN WEE, SONGWRITER/MUSICIAN


What does being bold mean to you?
Glen Wee (GW):
To me, it's about taking that first step, in anything. What you did yesterday will always seem easy. What will happen tomorrow, however, is always a mystery. Sometimes you'll be tempted to not try new things and stick to what's familiar, but to be bold, you must be willing to step out of the comfort zone you've worked so hard to create, dismantle it and rebuild it even stronger than before.

Why is learning a new skill as an adult such a scary concept?
GW: Adults have gone through a fair bit in life, some moreso than others. Most of us spend our youth building a life for ourselves, and settle into comfortable patterns. The truth is, we could do anything we wanted to, but to pick up new skills takes a lot of energy and courage.

What was it like to learn a new skill today? 
GW:
 Tattooing myself was absolutely terrifying but 100% worth it. Every time I held the tattoo gun, it felt like I had so much power in my hands. I'd definitely do it again.

 

GABRIEL DE SOUZA, TATTOO ARTIST/MUSICIAN

GABRIEL DE SOUZA, TATTOO ARTIST/MUSICIAN


What does being bold mean to you?
Gabriel de Souza (GS):
To me, boldness means ignoring social conformity, and taking a gamble to find out what really you love or what really works for you, so you can be the best version of yourself. 

Why is learning a new skill as an adult such a scary concept?
GS:
It can be intimidating if it's something completely new, especially if you put pressure on yourself to master things within a short amount of time; as an adult, time is really a luxury. 

What was it like to learn a new skill today? 
GS:
I'd never attempted making coffee before. I guess a lot of the time we underestimate how much precision goes behind a good cup of coffee.

 

TRAN QUANG DAI, ENTREPRENEUR

TRAN QUANG DAI, ENTREPRENEUR


What does being bold mean to you?
Tran Quang Dai (TQD):
To me, boldness means not hesitating to do what you want. 

Why is learning a new skill as an adult such a scary concept?
TQD:
Because you want to be good! Few people can nail things on their first try, but just keep going and remember that you're better than you were yesterday.

What was it like to learn a new skill today? 
TQD:
Learning to play the guitar today opened my mind... Maybe there's more music in my future!


Producer: Vanessa Caitlin
Director of Photography: David Bay

Fashion Direction: Jolene Khor
Sound: Hazirah Rahim
Grooming: Fiona Bennett
Production assistant: Andy Leow
Fashion assistant: Isabel Kua

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