chi-ke-a-tu |’chekay-ahto|
1. judged over a period of time to be of the highest quality and outstanding of its kind.
2. all of me

28 January 2010

Fashion, for Men: Kanye West

  Anyone that knows me, as far as celebrities go, Kanye West is my Idol. It’s more than the “documenative” music that he makes, that I have been following since my senior year of high school. It’s his creative spirit that he has the ability to let shine. I also love his fashion sense and also willingness to play characters when he is out in public. If you believe he takes himself serious all the time, you clearly don’t see his vision. I do. He does what the average guy, or the Kanye before the MegaStardom couldn’t do  with his fashions. Last season hit the fashion world with a storm of outfits at the Fall shows that made every fashion editor take notice of what he visually had to say. Also was the premiere of his Louis Vuitton collaboration trainer. Which also led to the infamous “Patnas and Dem” picture that has more patterns and colors than any inspiration board in your local design room.

    This year he took it to another level. A basic, either you love it or you hate it, statement towards mens current fashion. Almost doing a retrospect in Black Men’s Fashion in America. Wearing everything from tall t-shirts to studded Christian Louboutin slippers. Also with an added Beautiful accessory named Amber Rose (see: Body of a Goddess), he made a statement that will garner some kind of reaction from all that followed the “What the hell is he gonna wear next?” mantra of the week. I loved what he did, represented himself, brought the Southside to Beverly Hills then to Paris. He is becoming a performance artist of sorts, and I love that.

 “... Can I talk my shit again? Even if I don’t hit again. Dog are you fucking kidding? My Hat, my shoes, my coat, Louis Vuitton stitch, with Donatello Versace, That’s Louis Vuitton bitch...” ~ Kanye West

Fashion, for Men

    The past week there was a thunder and some lighting across the pond in Paris and Milan. Over the next couple days and post I will give my personal review of my favorite Fall/Winter ’10 collections that were presented at these two great showcases. Since I’m not a paid editor for a major fashion magazine, my opinions will not be filtered to anyones pleasing. So let me apologize for any hate that I might bring to the table. It was a great week all in all, from the many celebs acting like the know anything about fashion (see: Chris Brown) but we know they know nothing. To the great quotes that Adam Rapport made via his twitter page. “... Can Men’s Fashion, get any whiter?!”. No Mr. Rapport, I don’t think it can. I hope you enjoy my honest review.

 Blessings. Chike Atu

Seacrest Out, Eletric

   Please respect and understand my lack of post for the past 18 days. I have a true valid reason. I DIDN’T/DONT’T electricity!  I have been royally screwed by my building manager and haven’t had lights for the last 18 days. The things we do to live in the great borough of Brooklyn. I am back  now though, staying at my Big Bro Mu crib for the time being. While my Building Manager gets her shit together! Thank the Almighty for loving family. 

In the meantime, I know I have a lot of updating to do, and i surely will. New (actually old) tunes, Men’s Fashion Week, Clothing Designs, and everyday inspiration. So strap in, for blog overdrive.

Be Blessed

Chike Atu

10 January 2010

Its 10 minutes you need to waste today.

“... He who says he can and he who says he can’t, are both usually right.” ~ Will Smith

Fashion, for Men

    I recently ended a tenor interning ,then being promoted to freelance at Coogi Menswear. It was a true learning experience and alot of knowledge came from it. Just had to leave for a more financial stable situation! LOL. I was given the opportunity to work directly with the Creative Director, Barrie Blue, to start two collections with him based on samples he gave me. This the first time in my career in fashion that worked on designing a complete collection. The first of the two collections I worked on while at Coogi is  “The Establishment". Its the design process of minimalism for the Coogi consumer. Taking it back to the essence of urban sportswear. The basics and build from there, I helped start it and a great designer by the name of Lucione Oh finished it to a perfection. I’m very proud to be part of Establishing a new standard for urban sportswear.

08 January 2010

Born, A Star: Duncan Quinn

     I was introduced to this company around 2 years, 6 months ago. A good friend of me suggested I go check out this Bespoke company in soho she stumbled upon one afternoon. “This shit looks like something you would do with suiting...”, so I was intrigued to see what my ideas/designs could possibly come to look like it, if brought to fruition. The store being proposed was Duncan Quinn, which quite frankly feel in love with the style and quality of the company. Through some inquiry I have actually been able to meet with the founder of the company, Duncan Quinn, on numerous occasions in the past. I continue to be impressed by this brand and the owner whole is always winning to assist an aspiring designer. I had the pleasure to do a 11 Q & A with Mr. Duncan Quinn, that left me on google to find out more about some of his references and idols. Enjoy.

1.  Where do you derive from?
Tradition, nature, physiology, psychology and whim.
2.  How did you get involved in the fashion industry?
I had a bad habit of buying way too many tailored suits, shirts and ties.  When I moved to NY there was nowhere to buy well constructed fun pieces.  They were either fun, or well constructed, but not both.
3.  Tell us a little about your fashion company.
We make unique short run pieces for characters.  Probably best known for our bespoke suits but we also make shirts, ties, cufflinks, umbrellas, socks, pocket squares, tee shirts, croquet shirts, fine cocktails, great dinner parties, fun car rallys, crazy yachtracing weeks and all kinds of other shenanigans.  All are crafted using artisanal methods and only the best materials.
4.  What has been your inspiration?
Mainly having the luxury of doing something I love that isn't work for me to do.  Fortunately I've found some supporters in those who purchase the products we make and so I can reflect upon the influences that lead to the aesthetic I enjoy - a lot of 1960's mixed with punk, mixed with two fingers to convention...a time when men were men, drove fast cars, had three martini lunches and didn't give a damn.
5.  Who do you consider to have great style?
Sir Michael Caine.
6.  What is a fashion “No” to you?
The Pee Wee Herman suit.
7.  Who is your ideal customer?
One who communicates very clearly what he wants to achieve.
8.  What is the ideal future of your company?
To continue to grow, provide a platform for a viewpoint that isn't all about making things as cheaply as possible using inexpensive labor and cheap materials, and allow me the luxury of providing jobs to people who are passionate about the way people dress and what that means.
9.  Greatest fashion memory as a child?
Sir Hardy Amies.
10. Whats the best piece in your closet?
13oz black chalkstripe with blood red lining.  One button, notch lapel.  Timeless.
11. Any words of advice for people of dreams being in the fashion industry?
 Its the same as any other industry.  Do it because you love it and give it your all.  If you don't and you can't someone else will.

05 January 2010

Fashion, for Men


Bespoke is a British English term employed in a variety of applications to mean an item custom-made to the buyer's specification.

   For me Bespoke / Made to Measure means so much more to me. It is truly a representation of growth, style, and pure intelligence of the man. It is a conscience decision made by the consumer when he decides he wants to declare himself on another plateau in his professional or lifestyle career. The details that go into constructing a garment made simply for that individual to his/her complete liking. The fittings, the stitch details, all the way down to the functional sleeve buttons on the blazer. All these things set one apart from the norm, off the rack attire of the common man. Man times this can be a VERY expensive gift to ones self, but in many financially stable eyes, it is a well worth the time and money. The possibilities are simply endless and fruitful when designing a suit made simply for you. It can simply be, a life changing experience to finally have a suit that fits you in every corner and curve of the make up of ones body. I haven’t had the splendid opportunity to live out this dream, but I recently had the opportunity to begin the process of getting my first Made To Measure suit and the anticipation is killing me!

“Having suits custom-made sends a message about confidence and success that is invaluable during uncertain economic periods.” - Unknown Tailor

Fashion, for Men

      Style is natural, never forced or even sometimes obvious to the common eye. Style in simple context is that, “... damn that looks dope” aspect to the presentation that each individual presents to the viewer. Andre Benjamin is someone that has THAT. I am an individual with southern heritage and even stronger roots. So I get it. I get his natural style, that may seem exaggerated to the outside individual. Being a lover of color, I get the mix of colors that still for some beautiful reason still work beautifully and even together. Begin a designer, I get the movement of the lines in his custom pieces. The high waist don’t scare me, the straw hats intrigue me, and the fit makes me jealous. Andre’ Benjamin, I get you.

"My soliloquy may be hard for some to swallow, but so is cod liver oil” ~ Andre’ Benjamin

Life, Soundtrack of Mine


    In the Summer of 2002, I made journey from Little Rock, AR to Harlem USA to spend the summer with my brother. Still not sure of my future and exactly what the next would be for me. Using a summer program at the prestigious Pratt Institute, I was able to spend the summer in Harlem with my brother getting a “real life” experience and one song accompanied me on this unforgettable trip. From the bus to Harlem, to the bus back to StoryBook Little Rock. This song is defiantly a representation of a summer and a great change in my life. Enjoy.