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Style Profile: In the Genes

Guitarist Thomas Hunter inherited his style from his father, literally.


Thomas Hunter is a standout at any show he plays, and not just because of his considerable talents as a guitarist. A member of Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground, Wild Orchid Children, Damien Jurado’s backing band and, more recently, his own solo project, Hunter has become a fashion icon in the world of Seattle music. The look starts with his curled mustache, groomed in the style of baseball great Rollie Fingers, and extends to an array of vintage threads, often topped off with a dramatic scarf. While it is well known where his guitar-playing talent comes from – lots of hard work – we wondered where he gets his look. 

Describe your personal style in three words. Hand. Me. Down. 

Which style sources do you consult frequently? My dad. He gives me clothes. I’ve also recently received an amazing hand-me-down wardrobe from my wife’s grandfather, may he rest in peace.

How did you become interested in your field? Apparently, I’ve always been into music. There’s this picture of me on my second or third Christmas up in Anchorage. I’m holding a guitar with a picture of Mickey Mouse on it, and I have a maniacal smile on my face. Not unlike the faces I make when I play guitar now.

How do music and fashion intersect in your life? I practice somewhere in the neighborhood of ten hours a day. Sometimes I like to dress up really weird when I’m practicing. It makes me feel like I’m performing, maybe for myself. If you ever see me looking super fucked up on the street, I’m probably just taking a break from a crazy practice session. 

What is your fail-safe clothing item? My pops just gave me this sheepskin coat over the holidays. When my mother was pregnant with me, they were driving their old beater pickup down some snowy road outside of Anchorage. They ended up hitting some crazy black ice and driving off the road. They were miles out of town, so they had to hike for help. They just so happened to have their matching sheepskin coats in the canopied truck bed. It was probably the only reason they didn’t die out there. So I always feel pretty safe when I’m wearing it, considering it’s probably the only reason I’m alive.

Were any style values instilled in you during your childhood? This one: if I constantly work to be a powerful human being, I can do anything I want and look any way I want and no one can fuck with me. 

Was there any item or style of clothing that you desperately wanted as a child but could never get? Or, perhaps by the time you got it, it was no longer cool? Hammer pants. I never got them. I still want them just as bad, though.•

See more in the March 2011 issue   →