A Sunday stroll through Ballard with Stephen Baxter, chatting about one of his favorite things: sneakers.Read More
After a long hiatus we are bringing Man Crush Mondays BACK! Aside from being an Instagram hashtag of attractive men, it is also a featured series on Jiaxin Machine where I showcase some of the awesome guys in my life.
This week highlights a fellow Wolverine, Daniel, who I met my freshman year. Daniel and I brushed shoulders a lot in the Winter garden, the main lobby of our only somewhat pretentious undergraduate business school. We ended up in a lot of the same classes due to our major, and I remember Daniel always chiming in to class discussions with solid contributions (I'm sure you had 100% for all participation grades).
What makes Daniel and I connect is that he's willing to be vulnerable with me. At a time where we're all trying to figure out what it is that we want in life (career? love? grad school? promotion?), Daniel is always happy to get real with me. Every other sentence ends with either me or him locking eyes and saying "YESS!", while laughing of course.
Daniel is both determined and empathetic. I think his way of dressing subtly captures that: dark blues and blacks, combined with soft grays and turquoises. Intense yet calm, you can see it in his eyes.
Daniel currently works as a consultant so I see him once in a blue moon. But that's partially what I'm appreciating in my post graduate adult life right now: friends that you know love you and are thinking about you even if you don't see them all the time. Catch ya in like July Daniel?
You know those guys that are smart, fit, and just so genuinely nice that they're like a fairy tale? That's Tim for ya, a cute smarty and Ann Arbor native who just graduated with a Computer Engineering degree from the University of Michigan.
I first met Tim at the beginning of this school year during ballroom recruitment. He was so willing to try everything, and had the most infectious smile on during all of it-two qualities that enabled him to achieve huge dancing success in his first year. He's quite the charmer too: through the grapevine I've heard that he once watched my foxtrot, thinking he would be quite content if he was ever half as graceful as me. Pitter patter goes my heart!
Tim describes his aesthetic as comfortable, outdoorsy, simple, and athletic. You can see that when he wears his favorite red Arcteryx patterned fleece sweater, alongside his watch he got for graduation (how else would he be 10 minutes late to everything?!). Above all, he's got a personality that shines. His next adventure will be in California, working at Nimble Storage where he'll continue to code and seek knowledge.
Tim my friend, you have definitely achieved a level of dancing mastery that you should be proud of and continue to strengthen! I wish you the best.
Not everyone in the Stephen M. Ross School of Business is an arrogant and heartless "rosshole", and the existence of a calm chill dude like my friend Nick assures me that there is hope for the rest of us.
I met Nick through Marketing 300, the first ever step towards what is now my major. Through candid discussion about Burger King's questionable advertisement choices, we both got our first exposure to the ideas surrounding the industry. Nick was such a baller group mate in MKT300 that I thought it would be cool to continue working together in next semester's MKT425 class where we truly became BFFs. I have really fond memories of developing our group's drink sharing app idea with Nick, which maybe someday will come to fruition (probably not though).
As a now retired swimmer for the University of Michigan, he's trying to avoid sweatpants and recover from his former preppy days. He has a favorite pair of dark jeans (everyone should), and his favorite accessories include his watch and clubmasters.
Wishing the best of luck to Nick as he moves away from his hometown of Wilmette, IL to his new job in Manhattan this summer!
As the President of the Michigan Ballroom Dance Team, I am always trying to spread the joy of dancing. I love telling people my story of having no prior dancing experience but then discovering a passion for ballroom, and consequently becoming so infatuated with learning all the styles that I stuck around for four years.
Accordingly, it brings me so much happiness when others are so convinced by my stories that they not only give dancing a try, but they also join the team! Victor, a Shanghai native studying Computer Engineering, was one of those people who gave dancing a try and found joy in our community. Not only does he consistently come to lesson, but he reached out to me and another friend to get dinner sometime. Super cool to not only put yourself out there on the dance floor, but also in friendships and relationships with new people.
Victor's aesthetic incorporates a classic look, contrasting dark and bright colors to achieve either an elegant or energetic look. From taking inspiration from a lot of different places (Silicon Valley, Shanghai, Ann Arbor, etc), he brings a unique perspective to getting dressed everyday. One of his favorite outfits that I see him in is a thick gray cardigan with a Facebook tshirt underneath (where he interned this past summer), and he loves his sunglasses too.
As a senior, it can be very easy to be close minded to meeting new people. However, getting ice cream with a cool person like Victor has definitely re-emphasized the importance of always being willing to grab coffee with someone new and getting to know them better.
John and I have built a lot of memories together in the short span of time we've known each other. Loose associations formed through both being in ballroom at the start of junior year, we started sorta kinda hanging out a little bit at the end of junior year, and then didn't really start being real *friends* until the start of this year. Our adventures have taken us through episodes of Freaks and Geeks, across state lines for ballroom competitions, into basement practice rooms to sing acoustic versions of crude rap songs, and of course up and down the streets of Ann Arbor for whatever the weekend beckons.
I love how John puts himself together everyday, and there's definitely certain pieces in his closet that I repeatedly tell him I love every time he wears them. With a relaxed, individualist, and versatile look (with a little bit of prep mixed in), his wardrobe features great boots like the brown ones above.
Indeed, John has built a really diverse closet ranging from student org shirts to knitted rainbow sweaters, and his current favorite is his Eaux Claires festival t-shirt. There's lots of meaning behind his favorite things too: he wears is grandfather's belt buckle everyday.
James, Ann Arbor native with a comfortable, accented, and changing aesthetic.Read More
Within our very humanities focused group of friends, Mike and I are like two sore thumbs with our pursuit of business focused jobs. We bond over how stressful it is when recruiters don't respond to emails, how emotionally taxing it is to attend networking events, and overall how anxiety ridden it is to compete against super intense type A business students. While I sometimes fit that b-school student description quite well, I appreciate that Mike (along with the rest of my crew) doesn't judge me as a "sellout" for pursuing my marketing career at a large corporation.
Indeed, we go way back to our first Econ 101 class together at the University of Michigan. Mike, also a Columbus native like his good friend Brendan, is pursuing enlightenment in International Studies and Economics. Mike's aesthetic is guided by classic American menswear with a twist, as particularly evidenced through his Ray Ban aviators (which he has had for 10 years -- kudos for being able to keep something in your life for so long).
Mike is definitely in the core of my Friday night pregame crew and we always have really great candid conversations about life, politics, music, etc. We never hesitate to call each other out, so it kept our time in Puerto Rico both feisty and interesting.
Brendan is my half Asian/half blend of white European something who helps me appreciate high quality food and drink. Every morning in Puerto Rico, he woke up and made breakfast potatoes, well done eggs, and tilapia. He was almost never caught without a cigarette and I've been fighting the urge to go buy a pack since returning home from vacation.
A Columbus native, Brendan studies Chinese and Computer Science at the University of Michigan. He masters lots of different looks, but keeps me guessing at what his closet essential or favorite accessory is. My fondest memory of our friendship is hiking 10+ miles through El Yunque National Forest whilst he smoked cigarettes the entire time. I'll still be fighting the urges today.
Another week, another great guy brought to you by Jiaxin Machine. Stuart, an Alpena, Michigan native, has the best of all worlds. Behind his strapping face and body, he is an International Studies and German major who will be pursuing a master's in International Security at Sciences Po in Paris, France this coming fall. Stuart describes his aesthetic as warm, eclectic, and timeless and his favorite wardrobe stable is a pair of light tan corduroys. With his intellectual pursuits taking him to Paris though, I anticipate perhaps a new look the next time we see each other.
Our history together hails all the way back to freshman year welcome week where we became close friends. From our first daytime pregame to our Puerto Rico spring break trip that we're on right now, Stuart's kindness has been a source of laughter and light in my life and I know I'm going to miss him so much after graduation.
Mondays are tough. Luckily, there are plenty of beautiful men in my life that make it easier; at least on the eyes. To help kickstart your week, every Monday I'll be featuring one of the multiple bangin' dudes I have the pleasure of knowing. It'll be pretty straightforward and untamed.
Cellik is the freshest face of my new #ManCrushMonday series. He is an Ann Arbor native studying Cognitive Science. His aesthetic is casual and neutral toned, with a few statement accessories and pieces that he switches up like his favorite Celtic knot ring. When asked to describe his aesthetic in 3 words, he said "whatever fits me". So awesome, cause whatever he wears looks comfortable yet contemporary. I love Doc Martens myself so 10 points to Gryffindor for your choice of shoes.
We met through a mutual acquaintance (who you'll see featured on JM next week), of course over photography. I had just upgraded from a Nikon D5000 to Nikon D7000, and he was the first subject I photographed (the camera was literally just taken out of the box maybe 10 minutes before I met him). He's incredibly nice to work with, and has a calm demeanor that makes it easy to shoot with him both behind and in front of the camera. Our fondest memory together is taking pictures in the law quad where we bumped into multiple wedding parties that were also shooting that day. Oops.
Please enjoy the pictures of Cellik and his billowy soft brown hair.
Ladies and gents that camera is no prop, Cellik creates some absolutely stunning art.
Going into a women's clothing store can be terrifying: there are often an overwhelming amount of choices and other shoppers at arm's length. The idea of walking into a store like Forever 21 alone gives me anxiety, and perhaps explains why I have started frequenting online stores more. Men's clothing shops like Ps & Qs and previously visited Today Clothing, however, are quite the opposite experience. Rather than dealing with an overbearing clothing to square-foot ratio, these unique top-shelf menswear shops often utilize a minimalistic space that is very open and uncluttered. The overarching feeling is one that is free of stress as you breeze down the sides of the store, browsing quality made in the USA shirts and quirky socks. In addition, the presence of Brooklyn (the dog) then made the store feel extremely warm and welcoming, which made my experience a far more comfortable one (as nicer menswear shops can sometimes feel intimidating and unnecessarily posh).
I was asked to write a more in-depth article detailing what the typical men in Ann Arbor wear that was featured in The Huffington Post today. One of my favorite shoots so far, as he has an awesome pair of glasses that show off some beautiful facial features.
A younger Jiaxin always wanted a messenger bag - they looked so hip and modern, and seemed so much cooler than backpacks. Not much has changed in the mind of an older Jiaxin, as I elaborate on my love for this accessory here.
The world of menswear is rapidly changing. While the gaping disparity in the availability of clothing between the two genders still exists, smaller contemporary clothing stores like Today Clothing are growing in popularity all across the nation. Here are some glimpses into the cool menswear they have presented in a beautifully minimalistic space.