The Fashion Renaissance is Coming

you never could have predicted this

ROCK PAPER RADIO is a dispatch for misfits & unlikely optimists by your favorite hapa haole, beet-pickling, public radio nerd. It’s a weekly email newsletter that shares three curiosities every Thursday - something to hold on to (that’s the ‘rock’), something to read (that’s the ‘paper‘), and something to listen to (you guessed it, that’s the ‘radio’). Themes include but are not limited to: rebel violinists, immortal jellyfish, revolution. Thanks for subscribing and spreading the word.


Over the last few weeks when I told people I was producing an episode of KUOW’s Seattle Now podcast all about style and identity in the socks-with-sandals capital of the world, I consistently received two reactions: confusion or laughter.

Joke’s on them! Behold the 15-minute episode that dares to proclaim that not only is a fashion renaissance is on its way in Seattle, it’s being led by a Texas transplant with red dreadlocks who adores Audrey Hepburn: Local designer aims to turn Seattle into fashion hot spot.

Bonus: I was able to tell the world that my favorite tough guy skateboarder is actually a big softie. Sorry not sorry, Ryan. Another bonus: The shock and horror of designer Jamen Lanogwa Saziru reacting to Patricia Murphy’s “public radio fashion hack” at the end. Shout out to Trish for her brave reveal! That moment made for some priceless radio magic and I loved it so much.

Saziru is a visionary. Here’s your chance to say you knew him when. Thanks for listening and sharing, fashion icons.


Speaking of dreadlocks and skateboarders, Nyjah Huston’s signature hair might be locked safety away in a box now, but nothing else about him is contained as he gleams the cube as the most unlikely hero of the Tokyo Olympics.

This summer is the first time skateboarding is making an appearance at the Olympics, probably to the chagrin of most non-Olympic skateboarders. This fascinating feature by John Branch for the New York Times is about so much more than the global sports competition I’m not really interested in, but apparently keep writing about anyway: A Skateboarder’s Secret Grind.

There’s a broken father-son relationship fueled by a family court war. There’s Huston as a teenage millionaire with a Lamborghini and a knack for throwing parties. There’s a family marijuana business. There’s an escape from Puerto Rico. There’s Huston in the shortest of shorts in Tokyo with his calm and focused vibes, determined to be more than the abandonment he’s trying to skate away from. Enjoy this ride. It’s a wild one.


Two things I’m great at are being socially awkward and overthinking. If you’re anything like me, or, if your social and letting-it-go skills are rusty after 17 months of interacting almost exclusively with your pets and family members, I have just the visual learning tool you need from The Oatmeal: Why it breaks your brain to take a compliment. Don’t thank me later, because I’ll probably say something weird.



That’s a wrap for issue 52, friends. Thanks for listening, reading, holding on.

Covid’s Delta variant is sweeping through the land of the free, so put your mask back on and paste the entire body of this story into an email for your unvaccinated and essential oil-advocating sisters ASAP.

We’re going to see the end of this someday, friends. But for now, we have to keep depending on each other virtually. Good news is, we now have more time to plan our outfits for the great reemergence.

See you next Thursday.


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