@EdgyAlbert Is a TikTok Style Influencer We Can All Get Behind

Albert Muzquiz, aka @EdgyAlbert, on social media stardom (and really big pants)

June 15, 2022 8:50 am
a photo of Albert Muzquiz, aka @EdgyAlbert
TikTok style influencer Albert Muzquiz, AKA EdgyAlbert

Albert Muzquiz is convinced that every guy should own some serious raw denim. In fact, he recommends it as not just a bona fide style move, but as a worthwhile journey. “I think it teaches you so much about how long it takes for something to become beautiful,” Muzquiz tells InsideHook. “There’s a kind of discipline there, where you also learn so much about the construction quality of a garment in this very intimate way, and it just serves a great intro to clothing and style and wearing stuff in.”

Philosophical commentary on subjects like raw denim — “Distressed denim conforms to your body, so it becomes like a one-of-a-kind art piece that nobody else has,” as he explains — and the ideal party loafer have made Muzquiz an unlikely renaissance man on TikTok. The rising star, who sports the username @EdgyAlbert, has racked up hundreds of thousands of followers and an incredible 6.3 million likes on the platform since joining in 2021.

Albert’s contribution to the app’s host of topics mostly centers around fashion and style-adjacent content, ranging from good-spirited Los Angeles satire to patient explainers on the nuances of hemming pants to “when will my husband return from the war” thirst traps. It’s all wholesome and approachable, a refreshing bit of fun for anyone vaguely interested in clothes, vintage or great mustaches.

And while massive popularity and inherent virality of forums like TikTok have established overnight (and equally fleeting) fame as a commonplace, Muzquiz’s in particular doesn’t go unnoticed, or seem to be going anywhere. Even in a saturated “FashionTok” he stands out; spurred on his charming good looks and penchant for dressing “like a hot dad,” Muzquiz’s content has struck a chord with millions of users looking for honest advice on how to dress well. 

The intrigue with dressing well is at an all-time high, proliferated by an abundance of podcasts, articles, and yes, TikTok videos. The tag #mensfasahion has claimed 6.3 billion views and counting, and shorts discussing the intimacies of camp collar shirts and the resurgence of Blokecore alike routinely garner millions of views. There’s a whole ecosystem of flashy influencers each vying for digital eyes with tailored recommendations, sponsored hauls, or aesthetically pleasing ‘fit checks.

However, Muzquiz isn’t quite who you might imagine a blossoming social media star to be; at the tender age of twenty-six, he actually teters on the “elderly side” of an app dominated by Gen Z users. But as he tells Insidehook, in a roundabout way, this very fact may have contributed to his success. 

“I think it has something to do with the fact that I’m a little bit older than people on the platform, and I’m just coming from a different place. I’m not the most web-literate person, so it’s funny that I’m even on the app and that it’s going well for me. I have a very varied background, and I also have a lot of genuine love for products and clothing, and I’ve worked as a fashion journalist at various points in my life, so I feel like I’ve done the interviews, I’ve gone to the factories, I’ve done the research.”

The “varied background” Muziquiz is referring to includes a degree from the prestigious Vassar College, where he studied history — his thesis involves the minutia of denim history, a fact he proudly relays — before returning to Los Angeles and working with premier denim dealers Heddels in both editorial and retail. Muzquiz credits the “considerable lag time” as a crucial time for him, where, unlike many of his younger contemporaries, he immersed himself in less-than-glamourous realities of men’s fashion: working retail and consuming content online on blog forums and chat boards.

When the pandemic rolled around, Albert, having joined the app during a particular boring stint of pre-post-pandemic life, began posting short, palatable videos not only about bullying terrible boyfriends and general despair, but his passion for style. He was almost immediately drawn in by the community available on the app. “I’ve always wanted to talk about clothes with people,” Albert explains. “And so a few of my friends are really into that, so it provided this place for me to just talk about things that I liked and was super refreshing.”

And as @EdgyAlbert quickly realized, there was an appetite for more than just friendly banter about Our Legacy Boots and 1980s trucker jackets. “One of the earliest videos I did, I said something about vintage, and people were like, ‘What’s vintage?’ ’cause it’s like, ‘Oh, these are like 16-year-olds using the app, how can I make this as digestible and friendly as possible?’”

For Muzquiz, he views his role on the app and beyond as an educator. He revels in the basics. He cherishes old denim that looks to be stolen directly from a 70-year-old’s closet. He has no inhibitions about sharing information about where to find the best vintage pants, what to look for in a cowboy boot.

“I think the way to get the good stuff is you’re gonna have to do a little digging, do a little research, and I’m trying to encourage that way of thinking. And much to my surprise, I think that there are a lot of people that watch my stuff who are starting to do that, and that’s really cool. You know, with great power comes great responsibility.”

Equally appealing about Muzquiz’s approach is the general earnestness he brings to an industry that can feel inaccessible and elitist to those not on seeding lists or part of the “friends and family” group. Among the oft-pedaled designer tees and hyped collaboration, Muzquiz’s taste skews affordable and easy to find. 

An avid proponent of shopping, thrifting or otherwise consuming “pre-loved” garments on sights like eBay and Depop, he constantly offers tips and tricks for finding, purchasing and wearing great stuff for relatively low overhead.

“Gen Z is being marketed to so aggressively, but they are also probably the most web-literate generation thus far, so I think they have a great sense of what is authentic and what isn’t it,” he tells InsideHook. “They appreciate somebody giving them options that have some Chutzpah.”

This approach has paid dividends for Muzquiz, who now counts TikTok as not only a full-time gig, but as a serious door-opening opportunity. He has appeared on podcasts, collaborated with brands and has a variety of projects in the works, all born on the back of his minute-long videos.

Of course, fame, however niche, has its pitfalls. Albert is willing to admit that the uncertainty of platforms like social media routinely gives him pause. “You go through these peaks and valleys where the algorithm is prioritizing you, or it’s not… And you can drive yourself crazy thinking. Like, what is it about what I’m doing that’s different than what I used to do?”

Moreover, there’s some concern about the blurred lines between content and real life. “This platform in this way of being public didn’t exist that long ago, so it’s a little surreal,”Muzquiz tells InsideHook. “I know that there are people that want to consume more of me as the person, but that’s not really what I’m interested in giving, because I just think it’s really strange when people, especially on Tiktok, are really involving people in the minutia of their lives, they’re kind of dating ups and downs, and I might keep that to yourself. You know, have some decorum.”

Still, for Muzquiz, there’s some assurance to what he’s doing that there might not have been ten, five or even two years ago. 

“I think that we’re coming to a place where people understand how this works. I didn’t come into this wanting to be an ‘influencer’, but it’s been a happy accident that I’ve been able to begin supporting myself using this, as long as it means that I can make more interesting things down the line. I think that’s what people finally understand, that if you’re putting in the more commercial side, the hope, and I think understanding is that you’re gonna use that to continue pushing the boundaries of what you can make and what you can do.”

For now, Mr. Muzquiz is set to continue on his path of success, happy to spread the good word of big pants (it’s a universally flattering silhouette) on the like of TikTok and Instagram. While he’s non-committal to what his future holds, he is certain about one thing: a fabric measuring tape and some inseam numbers can take you a hell of a long way.

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