Q&A with Johan Malik, ‘the Indonesian’
Indonesia is consistently ranking in the very top of the top location for followers of Denimhunters on Instagram. It’s the same for other Blue Bloods I’ve discussed insights with, including last week’s Blue Blooded Instagrammer, @robindenim.
How did heavy and raw denim denim become so popular in a country with a tropical and humid climate? That should be the topic of another blog post. For now, let’s hear the story of one of the country’s most influential Blue Blooded Instagrammers, @johanmalik80.
What’s your story
Name: Johan Malik
Birth year: 1980
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
Profession: Company owner
I’m a proud father who’s into photography, music and motorbikes. I like to spend time travelling with my family. Some people call me a “celebram”, celebrity Instagrammer or influencers.
Some people tell me I’ve inspired them to be more confident in what they wear, and I’ve somehow become the benchmark that inspires them in terms style. I feel happy and honoured to inspire anyone who wants to know about fashion and rugged style ?
How Johan Runs His Instagram Feed
Thomas: How did it all start with your Instagram feed?
Johan: I started on Instagram four years ago, in 2014. I did just as a personal account in the beginning and never thought to do it something big like it is today.
T: Why Instagram?
J: Because I like photography and Instagram gives me a lot of references and helps me find people with the same hobbies and passions.
T: What are your goals?
J: Both business and pleasure ?
T: How much time do you spend on Instagram on a daily basis?
J: 5-7 hours a day, and it can be more if I find something interesting to discuss in my story. Sometimes, I create Q&A with my followers. It’s so fun to be close with them.
T: How do you take your photos?
J: I take my photo with my Fuji XT1 camera and I edit with filters in Lightroom. I have a 35mm F1.4 lens and 56mm F1.2 lens. I have a team to help me take my photos, sometimes my wife helps me too ? Other times, I take the photos myself with a tripod ?
T: What’s your editorial flow?
J: I don’t have any special plan for my feed, I just follow my instinct. Sometimes, I search for references with my friends on Instagram and I combined that with my stuff.
T: Do you make it a priority to post on a regular schedule?
J: Yes, as a brand ambassador for @bluemoseyco, I have a contract to post regularly. But its also become a habit to post weekly on #redwingwednesday, #fadefriday, #selvedgesunday and so on.
T: And how do you remind yourself of it?
J: I make a schedule on my phone and my team reminds me.
T: What are your favourite locations to take photos? And why?
J: In the coffee shop, because in the lighting is good. I always spend time with my friends there talking about business, and they also help me take the photos.
T: Do you repost?
J: Yes, when people inspire me. If I repost their photo, I always give credit to them.
Johan’s Style and Denim Preferences
T: How did you get into denim?
J: When I was in high school, I grew fond of motorcycles. That’s how.
T: What’re your favourite features of jeans?
J: The fit, thickness of material, quality of the fabric. If they haven’t fulfilled those, I won’t buy it ?
T: How do you wash your denim?
J: Usually by hand, although I sometimes do it in the machine.
T: What’s your favourite fit?
J: Slim tapered and slim straight.
T: And what’s your least favourite fit?
T: Which boots and leather goods do you wear with your denim?
J: I always wear Red Wings, and they are the best so far. But I also like Santalum, Renav, Benzein, Junkard, Hook Heritage and others that look good when worn with denim. And also I always wear a leather wallet, belt, and messenger bag. Most of them are from Indonesian brands.
T: Which sneakers do you wear?
J: Vans Sk8 and Converse 70’s from my best friend @aditandthebandits. Check out his ‘insane’ work on his Instagram.
T: Favourite item that’s not denim or leather?
J: Cap, bracelet, necklace, ring and canvas bag.
T: Where do you buy your gear?
T: What styling tips would you give your followers if they wanted your style?
J: Be yourself, don’t imitate the style of others. Appreciate the shortcomings that exist in us. From there, we will learn and find what we like.
Ready for More Q&As?
If you’d like to read more personal stories and Q&As, you can check out all the previous ones right here. Want to make sure you never miss one? Sign up for the free weekly Denimhunters email newsletter.