About

L E V I T A T E    S T Y L E

Men's Style & Travel Fashion Blog based in New York City


Leo Chan
Founder & Creative Director

Hey I’m Leo! I was born in Hong Kong and moved to New York City when I was 10. I started Levitate Style in 2014 to show my passion in photography, modeling, style, and traveling around the world all in one. I first started with photography as a hobby for back in high school and then some modeling part-time for two years. I worked in corporate banking for 4 years before starting  Levitate Style with my lady Alicia Mara. We both quit our full-time jobs when we got the a sponsorship project to travel the world for 5 months on a world cruise. Since then, I've been working full-time on Levitate Style.

*** UPDATED NOV 2018 ***
(I've been getting a lot of messages on how and why I started Levitate Style so I wanted to write something more in-depth for you guys!)

WHY?
* Potential Career Change - I was getting bored at my job at Morgan Stanley/Barclays and wanted to explore a new career field in Marketing and Advertising. But I did not want to go back to school so I figured Instagram and blog was a great way to learn about SEO, social media and marketing. Alicia wanted to learn about HTML, building a website, and SEO as well. We did it all by googling every question we had, and most importantly we tried things over and over again until it was great.

* Interests and Skills set - I've been taking photos as a hobby since I was in high school so I knew my way around a DSLR camera and take great photos. I've always been into fashion since I was a teenager and I was always "dress to impress" at work.

* Instagram Market - Market fit. Opportunity. Back in 2014, we noticed there was only a handful of menswear bloggers. About 90% Female bloggers, 10% male. It was still a niche market, a minority in a sea of other influencers. On top of that...

* Asian Representation - There were like no other Asian guys doing this. I wanted to represent my community by putting myself out there as the confidence and stylish Asian guy. A well put together Asian guy in suits, sharp business casual looks, and smart weekend casual outfits. Bringing out a positive image for asian guys as opposed to the negativity in tv and movies (think nerdy, unattractive...) I remember flipping through magazines and shopping online and didn't see anyone represent me. Representation Matters.

HOW?
* Quantity of Quality - Putting out quality content and then consistently and abundantly. We were working our full-time jobs in NYC from 9-6, then change to attend events, and shoot outfits on the weekend. We spent hours at the cafe working on our website and content on the weekends. We were, still are, constantly working to improve our work. Over the past year, we've taught ourselves to create quality video content.

* NETWORK - NYC is such an amazing city because the major industries are all here. I researched PR companies in NYC to sign up on their mailing list. We would attend one event and network with five people - bloggers, writers, or PR. We attend another event and pushed ourselves to meet more people. Within a year, we've met most NYC menswear bloggers and networked with GQ.

* WORK FOR "FREE" - There are lots of influencer platforms out there that connect you directly with big national brands. In our beginnings, we worked with brands like Uniqlo for exchange of product and possibly a repost. There was no money involved but the love of the game. The repost on Uniqlo's instagram account would help with exposure to grow my account. Collaborate with brands, collaborate with other bloggers/photographers who are also starting out to help build each other's portfolio.



ABOUT MY STYLE:

My style is a reflection of an urban/modern take of NYC, mixing classic menswear like suits with casual style pieces like sneakers and leather jackets. My style allows me to be on the go and ready for all occasions in life, from stepping into a corporate office to attending fashion events to traveling around the world.

My style is also adaptable and international – I take my style on trips around the world and translate it to fit with the new culture and customs. I am a strong believer that style is attainable and affordable at any price range. Style isn’t about the brand or how expensive an item is but the fit, look, and material. Growing up with little, I had to make sure to get the best quality and bang for my buck. I love discovering new brands that offer quality and value that fits my style

Since starting Levitate Style, I've been blessed by the opportunity to work with great brands like GQ Magazine, Movado, Longines, and Audi just to name a few. Check out more about me from PRESS page!

PS: I also love the NBA, Eating all kinds of good food, and Hillsong NYC is my second home!



Alicia Mara
Co-Founder, Photographer, Website 

Hey there! I'm Alicia Mara and I am the Co-Founder and the behind the scenes face of Levitate Style. I'm mostly behind the camera, but you will see me make special appearances in our Levitate Travel posts! I work on everything behind the scenes at Levitate Style including our website development and analytics. I was born and raised in Buffalo, NY and made the move to NYC to pursue my human rights career after graduating university with degrees in International Studies and Music with a minor in Chinese. My background is in refugee resettlement, but I currently do remote nonprofit consulting on the side while I'm not working on the blog.


My personal style is minimalist and monochromatic. Nothing looks better than a sharp black suit with black double monk straps (man or woman)!

I love to travel, read books, drink coffee, watch cat videos, and check out universities!


Why Levitate Style?
Levitate Style means to rise above in effortless style. I personally believe that everyone has their own style & preferences. Money doesn't buy you style and style is timeless.

Instagram: @levitatestyle