School: Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development
Year: Senior
Major: Professional Studies
Style Inspiration: Hip-hop and underground brands

When it comes to fashion, Steinhardt senior Jeff Ng has an eye for things that typically go unnoticed. Rather than concerning himself with staying on top of trends, the professional studies major is more interested in the backstory behind every label and article of clothing he supports.

“Knowing the history of an item is really important to me,” Ng said. “That satisfies me more than someone thinking it looks good.”

This kind of perspective extends far beyond fashion for this insightful senior. Ng draws inspiration from “the people who are underrepresented,” and tends to root for the underdog. He is also interested in hip-hop, but not in the way most people are.

“I care more about what [hip-hop artists] do than what they are,” he said. “It’s the effects of that [which interest] me.”

As a self-proclaimed “baller on a budget,” Ng brings his enviably easygoing attitude to his everyday style. His practical, comfortable and unpretentious wardrobe consists of colorful flannels, funky sweaters and an out-of-place floral sweatshirt from Supreme, a New York-based skate shop.

The item that really defines Ng is his pair of A.P.C. raw jeans. With multiple rips, fades, stains and patches — which his mom kindly sewed on for him — this pair of beat-up jeans is anything but cookie-cutter chic. Ng calls them his “fourth layer of skin.”

“These are the jeans that are well-traveled, they’ve gone through many problems in my life,” he said. “There’s blood, sweat … these are collectibles worthy of being framed.”

It wouldn’t be fair to talk about Ng’s look without mentioning that he doesn’t care much about fashion. Unlike some of his peers, he understands that clothes are just clothes. When it comes down to it, it’s about how a person feels in his clothes that really matters.

“Fashion is what I do to stay warm,” Ng said. “It’s 1 percent of what I’m actually about. Style is ultimately 95 percent personality and 5 percent clothes.”

Although he certainly has a keen sense of fashion, it’s Ng’s charmingly genuine and refreshingly down-to-earth vibe that makes him stand out.