Who are you?
That’s still being written. What? Would you rather I lie to you?
Who are your top 3 influences fashion-wise?
The DANDIEST old men on my block from way back. Whether it was a trip to the corner store or a Sunday dinner after church, these men never went out without a suit or a hat. There was never a day where they would succumb to what I call “casualessness” (a hybrid of “casual” and “carelessness”) which is something a lot of people now-a-days are guilty of. I’ll never forget what “Old Man Charlie” told me one day while he was on his way into town: “[The outfit] ain’t right if you not gliding on the pavement.” In retrospect, that taught me the importance of swagger in fashion—bringing life to the clothes. VK Nagrani, designer “Ovadafût Company” Known affectionately within the industry as “The Philosopher,” V.K. taught me to look at clothes in more holistic terms. Some people have this lofty dream that fashion will change the world or something close to that effect, but when we place fashion in a more realistic view, it’s merely another way for us to tell our story/perspective to the world. Soccer Players, particularly from Latin America. The same finesse that Latin players are known for (versus the more rugged European approach) carries over into their clothes as well. Adidas Sambas. Beanies. A wild assortment of bracelets adorning the wrist. The cool leather necklace. Proper proportion (especially for the shorts). All of these elements are subtly placed into their lifestyle off the field. It’s as if they are literally placing their hearts (passion for the game) on their sleeves, or neck, or chest, or feet, for the entire world to see. It’s that concept that I carry with me everyday when I get dressed.
How about musically?
Santana. Miles Davis. Pete Rock & CL Smooth
Favorite place(s) to shop locally?
Sportscape! A local sneaker boutique with the ILLEST sneakers available in southwestern Connecticut!! And being from Connecticut, I have to make the occasional trips to Vineyard Vines, Rugby, and J. Crew for the preppy purchases of fresh polo shirts, boat shoes, and Nantucket-braided bracelets.
Shoes you're wearing right now:
My very favorite chocolate brown saddle shoes, accented nicely with my “dark blue” socks (it’s not navy, I swear, I just can’t think of a better way to describe it).
Bracelet or watch?
Check it: BOTH. I enjoy the idea of taking two completely contrasting elements and placing them together to form a synthesis. You’ve got the sleek modern lines of a well-made watch and the very organic appeal of a rugged bracelet from some fabric or rope wrapped closely around the watch and, done correctly, I think it makes sense.
Necklace or scarf?
The scarf is my pocket square. It’s been my thing ever since I watched “Alfie” (2004) with Jude Law in it. I’ve always been a sucker for very deep, rich, colored scarves like burgundy, gray, and hunter green (black and navy, of course, are in the mix as well). Most of all, I love the relaxed OR distinguished effect it can create depending upon the way you wrap it. If you have trouble picturing what I’m talking about, just imagine that now-famous photo with Miles Davis sitting at the piano with his head on his left hand and looking creatively stuck during a session in the studio. The way that scarf sits on him absolutely helps to create that picture.
Prince or Michael Jackson:
I vote for Prince because of his self-restraint with not only his music, but his credibility. If Prince were to come out with material today (and he has), I think you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who thought that was a bad idea. If Michael were to come out with material, everyone is like, “WHY bother!?” because he just went so far left field that we lost our connection to him. Prince and his music will always be relevant and there is a growth in creative genius that we can chart through the years and appreciate that growth. We appreciate Michael for the music and inspiration he gave to the artists who followed afterward, but musically I can’t see him making something without the help of a big name producer. That said, both are amazing artists and created such meaningful work, but since this is a matter of preference, I’m going with Prince.
It’d definitely be Anthony Bourdain’s job (obvious shout out). The man gets paid to travel around the world, talk to real people, drinks strong spirits, eat their food, and tell other people of his experience. Welcome to the good life…
Last movie you watched:
The Wrestler (2008) What a painful, gut-wrenching story, right? It’s been two weeks already and yet the impact of that movie still lingers with me.
Favorite blog(s)/websites to browse:
a) Lifestyle Blogs:
a. The Real Assanova blog – Most people will likely not understand this blog because of the writer’s level of candor and frat-boy humor. They’ll likely dismiss it as a “how to get laid” guide for computer nerds or something. This is more than just a “seduction” blog; this is one man’s daily search (among his other priorities in life) to inject romantic and erotic love (at times only erotic love) back into modern-day society. We’ve lost this polarity of the sexes and with that, the courtship process has shifted into a more level-playing field and too many men are operating on failed out-dated methods. Today’s women absolutely want to be gamed, they just want it done in the right way that respects our progression in time. And even if you’re not an idealist about it all, his stories are HILARIOUS.
b) Celebrity Blogs:
a. The Mark Cuban blog – Even if you’re not a finance or technology fan, you have to respect Cuban’s thought-process. He talks, people listen to him. Why exactly? I think it’s because he’s determined to do this on his own terms.
b. The Kanye West Universecity blog— there is so much depth to Kanye that it’s evident even in his sometimes impersonal entry posts. The blog is picture happy with little text included (except when he’s ranting off about something that pissed him off), but it works for him; you see how his mind works. And it’s a mind worth watching…
c) Fashion Blogs:
a. Stockholm Street Style blog
b. The Sartorialist blog
c. Lateboots blog
a. Gourmet Magazine. Simply put, this is food porn at its best! Of course, after the culinary boner subsides, I do manage to find inspiration in the content away from the pictures.
Song stuck in your head right now?
Milli Vanilli’s “Blame it on the Rain” (and ONLY the chorus, at that). Prometheus himself probably couldn’t steal it out of my head…[sigh]
If you could have a comeback album from any artist...who would it be?
The Fugees used to be number one on that list and we all know what happened to that comeback attempt in 2005. Do pardon the hint of cynicism but I’ll just appreciate my #2 on the list for what they did so as not to jinx them in anyway…
The first concert you ever went to:
Britney Spears, who was on tour for her first album. Listen, I was 13 years old and had just discovered breasts and ovaries at that awkward pubescent time. Never mind that I was whoring my masculinity, this was my chance to see beautiful 18 year old Britney Spears in person, and damn it, I went for it…
The dumbest thing you've ever done:
playing it safe for the majority of my life. Luckily, God introduced me to myself through a series of events in 2007 & 2008 and now there is a self-awareness to my day-to-day lifestyle that I think has contributed to me thinking more vertically in terms of recognizing potential opportunities and seeing those choices in front of me that either help or hinder my chances to those opportunities. That isn’t to say that I’m some opportunist because I don’t look at people as only a means to an end. All I’m saying is that when you can see life more clearly beyond just the old saying of “same stuff, different day” then there is more of an excitement to each day because your frame of thinking is rooted in more holistic terms rather than what is only in front of you. You simply begin to enjoy the journey more because you aren’t fixated only on chasing the temporary highs of life.
The best decision you ever made:
I definitely answered that above. I see the person you’ve grown to be, but not who you were before what was it that changed your life to get where you are now? …again see the dumbest thing ever comment above. (loL)
Go ahead...give a few shout outs
Certainly I want to give a shout out to all my sisters, Lupita, Eddie B, el “Sin Condon” Crew (HOLLA!), Andrew Cruz, and last but not least, to the people who inspire me to do better everyday. People talk so passionately about others who abuse power in high places, but many fail to see the little moments in life where we have a measure of power that impacts someone else's day either negatively or positively depending upon the choices we make at any particular moment. Here’s to the ones who make the right choice even when virtue is less convenient.
Finally....last famous words
There’s a scene in the movie “Phenomenon” (1996) between “Doc” (Robert Duvall) and “George Malley” (John Travolta) that I think best illustrates my point. Doc: George, how did you manage to get your pressure to come down? George Malley: Oh... I found my pace. Simple thing really. Hard to explain. That scene always reminds me of the fact that no matter what, we all have to figure this thing out on our own. You can’t have personal freedom if someone does the work for you—freedom requires that you liberate yourself. The natural question for some people is “how?” I blame this culture of “how to” lists and books that give people too much dependency on everything but their own thought-process.
People can articulate how they made it but the story really only makes perfect sense to them.
Your story is written, it’s just up to you to write it.