Let’s face it gents: There’s more to the pod life than Joe Rogan.
Allow us to dispense with the dead horse flogging right from the jump and declare that, due to a cavalcade of complicated socio-economic reasons (well, really, just one) podcasts have never been more of ‘a thing’ than they are in 2020 (writers love a bit of hyperbole, but this time we genuinely do mean it). According to this year’s Infinite Dial survey, in the US alone — podcasting’s single most populous market — over 37 percent of the country listened to some form of episodic digital media in 2019. Give or take, that’s 68 million active listeners per week, half of whom — as it turns out — are dudes.
Bearing those stats in mind (and the almost biblical sea of content which goes with it), it’s not too surprising to note there’s been an explosion of men’s style podcasts over the past three to four years. What made the blogosphere such an organic setting for niche content in the mid-2000s once again applies.
Previously, the best you could hope for was a generic catchall radio show about ‘fashion’ — now there are dozens of podcasts each catering to a distinct identity under the wider banner of men’s style. Below, we’ve compiled our favourites of the year so far: Everything from fashion’s big picture with local Hong Kong talent to a new and irreverent ‘bantercast’ by (and for) watch collectors in Asia.
Featuring an unaffected tone of voice and minimalist production, ‘The Waiting List’ is a relatively new entrant in the burgeoning field of watch-related podcasts. Each episode, hosts Daniel Sum, Alex Lau and (former LSA guest) Lunglung Thun have a relaxed chat about “trending topics within the watch industry,” occasionally leveraging on their close friendships with collectors — especially those living and working in Asia — to bring you an unvarnished perspective on the joys and woes of mankind’s favourite wrist-mounted invention.
In addition to the professionally produced audio narratives you’ll find on their website, creative collective Maekan also fields a handful of podcasts. ‘Making It Up’ is the most regular of these, hosted by Maekan publisher Eugene Kan and designer Charis Poon. Like much of the best thematic podcasting out there, the show isn’t specifically about streetwear, sneakers or couture. Instead, each week the duo select “two of the most important topics” across a range of industries — ranging from tech to design — and unpack the broader implications those might have on popular discourse.
Started by two seasoned Aussie watch journalists — Andy Green and Felix Scholz — during the earliest days of CoViD-19, OT is a show that’s all about “watches, time and how to spend it.” Much of the format (i.e. interviews, a news roundup and each host’s own cultural recommendations) will be familiar to avid podcast listeners, though Green and Scholz keep things interesting with a recurring segment they call “watch matchmaking.” Listeners email into the show to ask for some assistance when selecting a new watch and, a week later, are blessed with half a dozen or so recommendations straight from the minds of messrs Scholz and Green — all of which conform to certain personal, technical and budgetary requirements. Mind you, that last one doesn’t always work out though.
Assuming your interest in fashion was seeded during the hazy, mercilessly memeified days of the ‘menswear internet 1.0,’ you’ll almost certainly be familiar with Fashion Bros, a YouTube mini series-turned-podcast wholly devoted to the pursuit and appreciation of men’s clothing. ‘Throwing Fits’ (formerly known as ‘Failing Upwards’) is, to coin a phrase, the next episode in that lineage. Hosted by James Harris and Lawrence Schlossman — industry insiders who’ve been called “the shock jocks of menswear” — the show is a pyrotechnic solution of fashion news, brand analysis, and guest interviews — held together by the deeply toxic, perennially hilarious friendship of its two co-hosts.
Whereas the average free-form multi-person podcast (colloquially referred to as ‘bantercasts’) can be tedious to sit through, GQ Style’s Corporate Lunch bucks that trend by betting big on personnel. All three hosts — Rachel Tashjian, Noah Johnson, and Sam Hine — are staffers at American GQ: utilising their enviable position at the centre of the zeitgeist to offer up hot takes on fashion, music, and pop culture in general.