Friday, April 17, 2009

New School Dandy Profile: Dino-Ray Ramos

Over the past several months we have been introduced to many amazing people through our Facebook fan page. With this post we continue a regular series of profiles of New School Dandies. This week we feature fashion/entertainment writer Dino-Ray Ramos.

Where did you grow up? My father was in the military, so we moved around a bit. He ended up retiring in San Antonio, TX and that’s where I spent the majority of my life – yes, you heard that right Texas. It’s not as bad as everyone thinks – especially the food. Damn. I miss that Tex Mex. I decided after college if I had to live in Texas I would stay in Austin– and that’s where I lived before I left the Lone Star State.

Where do you live now? San Francisco, CA.

Where did you go to school? Are you ready for this answer? I went to Texas A&M University – yeah, it is one of the most conservative schools in the world. I think I went there because I had an infatuation with small town college culture.

What’s your occupation? I’m a freelance fashion and entertainment writer (self-promotion alert: check out my clips at and a journalism instructor at Academy of Art University.

When did you establish your personal style? Was there a pivotal moment? How has it changed? I don’t think my style is really established. Whether it’s in leaps and bounds or in baby steps, my style is always evolving. Right now I am on this whole mature dapper look. I feel the need to wear a tie all the time. It’s kind of conservative, but I always try to add a modern detail in the mix to make someone do a double take. But before all that I went through some hellacious style eras: there was the whole Jnco phase; the punk rock Goth phase; the Girbaud and rayon shirt phase; the Cross Colors phase – but as a supposed “adult” I think I have learned that simple chic is the way to go. Bells and whistles on an outfit are good, but with thoughtful discretion. If you put too many elements into an outfit it becomes over styled and your outfit starts to look more like a costume. I learned this when I started to take my writing career more seriously. I’m a writer so I wanted to look the part. I wanted to look professional, but at the same time, I wanted people to get a sense of my personality through my style. I’m fun and aware of fashion, but at the same time, I’m not uptight about it – at least that’s what I hope to portray.

What are your sources of inspiration? Words. I find inspiration in quotes that are both profound and absurd. I also take a lot of inspiration from books, film and anything under the pop culture umbrella. I am a die hard pop culture junkie and am a vessel of useless knowledge. I am all about combining high and lowbrow culture. In terms of inspirational people, J.J. Abrams and Diablo Cody are two of my favorite contemporary storytellers/writers. I worship them.

Who is your style icon? Steve McQueen, James Dean and Johnny Depp – anyone who has a swagger that compliments their style. It’s all about personality. If someone has the right attitude, then they can wear anything and it just makes them look cool.

What are your preferred dandy reading materials? The staples: GQ and Details. I also devour every single issue of Entertainment Weekly. When I want to look smart I make sure that an issue of the New Yorker is sticking out of my Jack Spade bag in plain sight so everyone can see. I am also a huge book nerd, but it’s mostly mainstream stuff. I am all about the pop-lit. I am a fan of Augusten Burroughs, but lately, I have been on a huge book-to-movie kick. I read the whole “Twilight” series as if I was a teenage girl. Some other books I just read are “How To Lose Friends and Alienate People,” “The Lovely Bones” and “Revolutionary Road.” I am not one of those pompous literary douche bags that try to make everyone feel stupid by discussing obscure books – I’m usually on the receiving end of those conversations.

Do you have a favorite website? Does my own site count (The Finer Dandy!)? What about Facebook and Twitter (shameless plug number 2: follow me at Other than that, I have tons of blogs and websites on my GoogleReader: Gawker, Huffington Post, Jezebel, Refinery29, ConcreteLoop,, SFGate, Mens Rag, Dazed and Confused…I could go on forever but I won’t.

What is your favorite personal item (non-clothing/accessories)? My Moleskine journal. If people like Hemingway and Van Gogh used it, then I am bound to reach legendary status as well, right?

What is your favorite clothing article or accessory? My dad’s dog tag – it’s the one piece of “man jewelry” that I wear without hesitation.

What are some of your essentials on your Tivo or DVR? Lost, Skins, Mad Men (gotta love Don Draper), The Office, The United States of Tara…damn, I watch too much TV.

What song is currently on repeat on your iPod? Is it bad that I can’t stop listening to Kelly Clarkson’s new album?

Tell us the best kept secret in your city. Like any metropolitan city, there are tons of spots in San Francisco I frequent – but they aren’t usually that much of a secret because word spreads fast here. As of now, I am obsessed with a new ice cream joint called Humphrey Slocombe’s that serves up some tasty olive oil ice cream (along with other unconventional flavors). I frequent PPQ, a place to inhale Dungeness crab and garlic noodles. I also can’t get enough of freshly baked cookies from Specialty’s across the street from the Academy of Art. They are like crack. I also enjoy a mean cup of Blue Bottle Coffee while chillin’ out at Mint Plaza. Oh wait – you asked for one place and I gave you four. I’ll shut up now.

What would you be doing ten years from now? Reaping the benefits from my best-selling Pulitzer Prize-winning novel and writing scripts to my own Emmy-award winning television series produced by J.J. Abrams. I also hope to be the first Filipino-American to win an Academy Award for best original screenplay. All of this is on my “vision board,” so it has to come true.

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