Bobby Whigham, who has served as Creative Director for multiple large scale fashion brands, started saving pictures of Shia LaBeouf on his phone because he appreciated Shia’s effortless and functional approach to fashion. Before he realized it, he had amassed a small collection of Shia’s best outfits and that’s when he decided to curate them on a newly created, and aptly named, Instagram account Shia’s Outfits. In its first week, the account grew from just a handful of followers to well over three thousand. Clearly, other people were just as infatuated with Shia’s fashion choices as Whigham was. What started for Whigham as a side project has now grown into a full fledge sensation with over ninety-one thousand followers on Instagram.
We recently chatted with Whigham to learn more about why he sees Shia as such a style icon and how Shia’s Outfits first came to be.
Some may not know this, but you spend your days as a Creative Director for both PacSun and Urban Outfitters. Where did your career begin?
I worked for Urban Outfitters for over a decade, really working my way up from in the stores and leaving the company as the creative director. About a year and a half ago, I started a dialogue with Pac Sun in an effort to switch things up and maybe take a journey to the West Coast. I’ve been living here for the last year at a great little beach shack, but I’m actually in the process of moving back east to work for Ralph Lauren.
Where did your infatuation with Shia’s way of dressing start?
It’s crazy because overseeing styling for companies, it’s always hard to see who’s the guy whose effortlessly functional and doesn’t look too over-stylized. The answer is that it’s Shia and it’s been him. I always think dressing for function whether it’s rain or snow or just the normal day-to-day weather condition always puts together the best luck. Shia is great at that while also adding his own personality to it. I started saving images of him on my phone and realized I had quite the collection, so I started the account.
You started Shia’s Outfits literally as a joke and overnight it just took off. When did you know you were on to something?
Honestly, I had no idea in the first week. I went from about 15 followers to 3,000 and it just kept climbing and started getting press immediately. GQ and The Cut were the first people to catch wind.
Have you heard from Shia or anyone in his camp about your passion project?
Unfortunately, I haven’t heard anything.
You started a line of merchandise - a slew of t-shirts in various designs - to pay homage to Shia. What has the response been so far?
It’s been great. I’ve partnered on the blank with a dear friend who does the basics company Rxmance. It’s probably something I could take a bit more serious, but I look at it as a souvenir for fans that like the account, like going to Hard Rock Café here and grabbing a t-shirt.
When it comes to your style, how much inspiration do you take from Shia’s pieces?
I think of my dad, my littlest brother who lives in Vermont, and Shia all as my style muses.
In such a crowded space of guys who flaunt their style - what is it about Shia that you think stands out and really resonates with a global crowd?
His style is function first and effortless. Also, the way he reworks his essentials into a multitude of different looks.
Do you have a favorite look that he’s worn? If so, what is it and why?
I have to say any outfit that consists of shorts paired with boots or a sweatshirt and shorts. Those are two of my favorite things to wear year-round.