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Style Council 2013: Michael "Mega" Yabut

Photo by Angela Hau

Photo by Angela Hau

Meet this year’s cast of tastemakers who are setting the tone for fashion in San Francisco.

The reputation of Michael Yabut, aka Mega, precedes him. Yabut, 33, collaborated with artist Russ Karablin and rapper J. Money on those brilliant Comme des Fuckdown caps and tees released via locally based street wear brand Black Scale. Founded by Yabut and Alfred De Tagle in 2007, Black Scale began as a purveyor of just four T-shirt styles. Today, it’s a $10 million brand with a trio of U.S. stores and a high-profile following: Jay-Z favors Black Scale hoodies; A$AP Rocky released a capsule collection with the label last year. It’s all thanks in large part to Yabut’s classic-meets-macabre style. The Haight-Ashbury resident favors a vintage fedora by Yohji Yamamoto, collects crosses, and carries an Alexander McQueen umbrella with a wicked skull handle. His palette is typically absent of color except for purple and “blood”—burgundy, that is, in Black Scale parlance. And his dark vision has attracted a stateside cult following among those who mix his goth-inflected pieces with those from Rick Owens and Givenchy. This fall, he’s taking his game global with the opening of a boutique in Tokyo’s Shibuya district.

Signature accessory:
Gold bracelets from Black Scale.

Favorite SF shops:
Undefeated, Inc. and Polanco Gallery in Hayes Valley, Self Edge in the Mission, and Goyard in Union Square.

Style influences:
Johnny Depp meets [Huf sneaker designer] Naotake Nogata.

Most creative 
time of day:
The nocturnal hours between 3 and 5 a.m.

Suitcase essentials:
Apple 17-inch laptop; iPhone 5; Alexander McQueen umbrella; Black Scale epi leather backpack, Wing Tip Hi sneakers, and Shades of Black sunglasses; Yohji Yamamoto brim; Philippines passport; Nexus 7 notepad; reading material by Anton Lavey; Yashica Kyocera Zoom 200 camera; business 
cards; Kimberly 
graphite pencil 525.

Indulgence:
Fried spring rolls from Isetan in Japan.

Motto:
Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.

This article was published in 7x7's September issue. Click here to subscribe.