On a recent trip to Los Angeles I headed over to Melrose to catch-up with Tommy Lei, one of the city’s leading bloggers. My Belonging showcases Tommy’s style – a blend California ease meets East Coast cool. His choices are consistently thoughtful, with a slight androgynous edge. While shooting we chatted about living in Los Angeles, blogging, coffee shops and his fascination with very expensive shoes.
“My Belonging initially began as a diary for me to document and instill meaning into my material possessions. I am all about worthwhile material investments – the blog was a visual tribute of sorts to my addiction. Since then it’s morphed into so much more! I love experiencing and wearing brands – both established and emerging. The blog has also opened up so many doors in terms of brand collaborations and befriending likeminded individuals.
I’m attracted to a mixture of high and low. It all comes down to the overall aesthetic and quality. In terms of high I love classic and rare pieces by Balenciaga, Givenchy, Comme des Garçons, Alexander Wang, Phillip Lim and Yohji Yamamoto. On the flip side Zara, ASOS, Topman and H&M are my go-to, especially for trendy designer replicas and exclusive collaborations. My Balenciaga cutout buckle boots are literally my favorite ‘hooves’! I call them that because of the galloping sound they make [laughs]! Initially I had my doubts about the fit and comfort but I’ve been enamored by them for so long. During NYFW I caved after seeing them at a brunch with Simon Doonan and called Barney’s to see if they were still in stock. They were.
One of my favorite pastimes is to explore every nook and cranny of this beautiful, expansive city. I’m always hanging at coffee shops like Coffee Tomo, Balconi Coffee, Lamill, Demitasse and Intelligentsia. I also love getting meditative by going on hikes and absorbing the breathtaking views of Runyon Canyon, Will Rogers State Park and Solstice Canyon in Malibu. [Laughs] I definitely don’t wear Balenciaga on my hikes.”