My Style

Walter Mak doesn’t deny that his hair, styled in an Afro, attracts attention. Nor does he claim credit for originating the idea.

“My inspiration was a Japanese woman who I saw on TV playing in a FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament one night when I couldn’t sleep” he says. “That was five years ago. I wanted something new, something that not everyone else had.”

Twenty-three-year old Walter, who is Chinese-American, is studying industrial design at CSM. He spends late afternoons/evenings at the Royal Badminton Academy in Menlo Park, where he holds the title of “Royal Experience Manager” and “Head Designer and Stringer.”

“I was playing badminton at another club and heard that Hadi Lazuardi opened this place, so I came over here to play,” recalls Walter.  “I’m not playing as much lately due to a knee surgery.”

Walter Mak in referee chair at Royal Badmitton AcademyWhen it’s suggested that he’s stylish, Walter demurs. But, he’s at ease talking about this clothing choices:

“I favor dark clothes — nothing too bright or light. Nothing so outstanding that it sticks out.

“I used to collect shoes a lot. But now I look for stuff that’s minimal. Not too flashy. Most of my shoes are black now. Half high tops and half  sneakers.

“I’m really picky about jeans. Sometimes it’s hard to find the right fit. I don’t like to wash jeans because they fade. So, if I have jeans that need washing, I get a new pair. I like the feel of new, raw demon — it’s rough and fresh.

“For shirts, lately it’s just been a white t-shirt or v-neck. I used to buy stuff from street wear companies, but I feel like I’m getting too old for that.

“I have a lot of jackets and used to like pea coats a lot. But, now it’s more about outerwear that I can layer, wearing two jackets at a time.”

Back to his hair, Walter says it’s not hard to care for. He gets it permed only every six months and does trims himself.

“One thing I know — I’m not going to change my hair anytime soon.”

Photos by Scott R. Kline

Editor’s note: Do you know someone who has a distinctive style? Send your suggestions to tips[at]

{ Be the first to comment }

My Style: Bryan Kolozsi, cowboy chiropractor

Bryan Kolozsi was born and raised in Menlo Park, attending Laurel and Encinal Schools and Menlo-Atherton High School. He opened his chiropractic practice on Oak Grove Ave. in 1998. He talked to InMenlo about how and why his style shifted from polo to cowboy shirts. InMenlo: So what’s with the cowboy hat, shirt, and boots? […]

Click to read more →

My Style: Kelly Fergusson, hat fancier

Willows resident Kelly Fergusson is serving her second term on the Menlo Park City Council, having also served as Mayor in 2007. In addition to her public service work on the Council, she sits on a number of regional boards, including the Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency. Wherever she goes, she’s attired with […]

Click to read more →

My Style: Ali Elsafy, restaurateur

Born in Cairo, Ali Elsafy came to the Peninsula in 1979 after living first in Paris and then New York City. He was waiting tables at a restaurant in Palo Alto and frequented La Luna in Menlo Park on his days off or after his shift. Lucky circumstances allowed him to eventually buy that restaurant […]

Click to read more →