A Conversation with Aaron Levy

Tim Blanchard could be considered somewhat of a veteran in Portland’s young fashion circle. The Portland-native has worked for Machus, Compound Gallery, and Lizard Lounge - and he’s only 23-years-old. Recently we sat down to discuss his ambitions to tell stories visually.

“Styling is one specific niche.” Blanchard said. “Really I’m looking at art direction as being my bigger thing. You know, being able to do most of the pre-production work for photo shoots or projects because I feel like I understand that side of it really well.”

Tim carries himself humbly. It’s refreshing to meet people that are as comfortable in their own skin as they are behind their mobile phone and Instagram presence. Blanchard, who currently works at the Pioneer Square Apple Store, definitely falls into this category.

“I personally like to network on an in-person basis as much as possible. I feel like that has a bigger impact.”

Blanchard’s latest ongoing project is a clothing line called Black Spades. When we met in North East Portland to chat, Tim was wearing several pieces of his own design, including a hoodie and bomber jacket.

“I want to make something that is classic,” he said, “something that’s not just niche to one specific type of people.”

Tim named his father, and local artists, including his friends Tron and Chester Berry as personal style inspirations. He also mentioned the timelessness and continued relevance of brands like Stussy and how he wants to create work that has a similar versatility and ability to be styled differently on different people.

“My aesthetic is a big mix of a lot of different things,” he said. “Right now, my personal style is heavily ‘70s inspired.”

Unlike some of the other people I’ve met through Instagram, Tim clearly thinks big picture and maintains a level of patience with his work and himself.

“Being 23-years-old, I see that as an opportunity,” he said. “I’m okay with failing right now because I’m young enough and I have the ability to pick back up and try again.”