Born, A Star is a new segment that I am introducing for the ChikeAtu followers. It will become a platform for well established, as well up and coming clothing company owners that I have received direct or indirect influence from. Many of these designers will be brand new to you, which is the purpose of this platform. It will be a simple 11 question and answer, that I conducted with the different rising stars. I will post one segment a week. First will be introduced at the top of the year, literally. I’m giving the platform, “so clap for ‘em, clap for ‘em, clap for ‘em....”
1. A fixed luminous point in the night sky that is a large, remote incandescent body like the sun.
Any man can go to there dept. store, tailor, specialty store and be catered or lack of a better word, force feed, what to wear to make themselves look appropriate and seemingly “Fashionable”. That part is easy. The real fun and creative blood starts flowing, when a man has the willingness and ability to show his personality in his socks. Note to all, take your time, and pick out a funky sock that represents you the best. Rules? why follow any rules on socks. Well maybe no white socks, yep. That’s it. Now separate yourself from the crowd and let your socks tell the story.
“...Choose your friends by their character and your socks by their color...” ~ Unknown
I know my sister meant well, but I’m pretty sure that no 16 year old should be reading the autobiography of Miles Davis! Pretty sure she didn’t know his story before giving me, the pictured book, for my 16th birthday. OR maybe she did and understood the profound affect it would have on me. This book truly inspired me and completely frightened me beyond understanding. The music, the lifestyle all made me envious of his life. the drugs, the addictions made me aware of future temptations I will continue to face the rest of my life. I fell in love with his music and his“...I don’t really give a fuck”attitude. Only until recent years, did I even take notice of his natural ability to make clothing and style become effortless. The following pics, express my sentiments visually. Thank you, Mr. Miles Davis.
“... for me, music and life are all about style.” ~ Miles Davis
It is not about elitism, or anti-elitism. We don’t abide by the rules.~ Rei Kawakubo
Sidenote: I have a history of studying surface design while I attended Memphis College of Art. This Holiday Collection by Comme des Garcon, puts me back in the studio dying fabrics and over dying them again to see what happens. I truly appreciate when designers allow the natural to happen and let it become something organically beautiful. The stark contrast, but still the knit/ woven pattern slippin through is very nicely done, and might be done to some of my old plaids to give them new life!
I have an incredible appreciation for sneakers, steps, kicks, or whatever clever name comes to mind on that particular day. Like the average, I have always been a long time fan of the big heavy weights in footwear, i.e. Nike, Adidas, or Jordan. Always doing my best to pick up the latest release of limited athletic shoes. Yet now, in the last 2 years I have grown a strong appreciation for casual athletic footwear with a beautiful design and quality materials. This may contribute to my ever growing knowledge and appreciation of the Men’s Fashion industry or it simply could be that I don’t want to always look like “...I have a bad jump shot, might shoot a brick.” So i have grown to love some alternative brands as well high brands that have clean quality design. As my Bestfriend refers to as “White Box” swag, because many high-end sneakers/trainers come in white boxes, I have fallen for these classic silhouettes . Many times these designs derive from old gym shoes from the 50’s and 60’s with modern design aspects. Another great aspect of updating your footwear collection, is the versatility a great sneaker gives your wardrobe and the crossover appeal it can add to a suit or jean/blazer combination. Please don't be misinformed, I can’t afford a pair of Lanvin or even a pair of Common Projects for that matter at the current financial state that I’m in, but the designs are truly beautiful. You can easily find alternatives of these high-end designs at your local retail stores, i.e. Zara or an Aldo, for a more reasonable recession friendly price. Now, just step in the name of love.
Finally, Finally... FINALLY!!
First I was able to get my first EVER computer of my own, now I was able to get my hands on the ever evasive, Adobe Illustrator CS4. I know as many people say, “Dude, that shit is easy as hell to get! WTF are you doing?!”, but for me it was some kinda of struggle to finally get it. If it wasn't one thing, it was the other, but for some reason i could never just the damn thing to work for me. That story is of my past now, as I have finally gotten it in my system! I’m extremely happy about having it now. Being a designer in this day and age, its almost pointless, if u don't have accurate computer illustrations of your work. So getting CS4 is a continuous representation of me taking steps in the right direction. Thank you, to myself, for beginning to believe in me as much as others have in the past.
P.S. now be prepared for an influx of work on my end.
Being a young and yearning man, I’ve began taking steps toward laying out a foundation on how I want to present myself as a man in America. Approaching my mid-twenties, everyday has become an adventure. “Do I look like a kid in this?” and “What kind of woman am I attracting?” are questions I ask myself on a regular basis. I’d like to represent that young adult with a good head on his shoulders, not come off as a college kid or even someone who doesn’t have a solid five year plan. When answering theses matters, I look to others for examples and solutions. From family members and community leaders to celebrities and reality favorites, I’ve been given many examples on how to transition into manhood with dignity and class, and still maintain the swagger that allows me to have my own identity.
I found my prime example on how to present myself in this elegant, masculine way on B.E.T. While watching a tribute performance dedicated to Al Green in 2008, I received inspiration from the performance of
Maxwell. It was not necessarily his voice, which was magnetic, but it was his presence and the response he got from the women in the audience that gained my attention. How he gracefully entertained the crowd, never in a rush and seemingly never broke into a sweat made me realized the true confidence this man had. Not the typical large chain hanging pride or shirt-off attitude of the typical celebrity artist, but he had the respect of the men by this un-glorified attitude.
After this performance, Maxwell made a strong resurgence in his career. I grew up with older siblings, so I experienced Maxwell when
he originally came out with the sultry sound and smooth ad-libs. With therelease of his latest critically acclaimed album BLACKsummersnight, it wasn’t just the music that caught me, but also his confidence and being a vulnerable asset to the female audience that made me respect him as a man. Now growing from a boy to a man, I’m experiencing more essence of the artist in a whole new light. I see him as a mentor on how to present myself and show respect to women that I come in contact with by having an impeccably appeal, masculine presence, and never being off kilter.
These cues I have taken from Maxwell have been applied to my own life and have seen amazing results. I never rush for anything now, just like when I saw him grace the stage at the B.E.T. awards performance. I always stay on kilter and have the self-assurance that
allows the next person to feel secure in my presence. Being in the fashion world with sense comes easy to me as casual clothing and wearing suits that fit me compliments by taste. But through Maxwell’s example, the common man can easily meet this quota by accessing pieces at a time, instead of full outfits every weekend. And the most important thing I’ve learned from Maxwell during his resurgence is the way he allows himself to seamlessly have a strong self-confidence that doesn’t come off as abrasive or even slightly annoying.
This man has become my theoretical mentor, by simply setting a quality persona that any young man like me can follow. So when I leave the house, approach a woman at the club, select a drink at the bar or shake a possible future associate’s hand, I always try to consider the obvious: What would Maxwell do?