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

21 February 2010

Eye, Seen: Mr. Hanley

   This is the first installment of a new segment that I’m adding to my blog. It’s a take from one of my major influences, Scott Schuman, with shots of people that have an honest sense of style and love for presentation. He does an amazing job, and I want to provide my take and my eye on a similar concept.

    Mr. Hanley: I met Mr. Hanley, while he was purchasing his sons first made-to-measure blazer. His joy was obvious! Mr. Hanley is a man of Style. He quite simply has a great understanding of color, fabrics,quality and has his own quirks that are great. The fact he pulled out a “Pocket Knife” comb before the shot, justified the shot completely. Enjoy.

“ sure you want to shoot me today? I can dress nice when I come to pick up his blazer.” ~ Mr. Hanley

16 February 2010

Born, A Star: Fausto (Lavie Clothing)

    I met this young Designer/CEO Fausto, around 18 months ago, through a mutual associate. I was instantly impressed by his ability to “Do”. Many of us, including myself, want to many things that we say we love, yet never do. Fasco, is someone who has done. Starting his own clothing company with only independent partnerships, he has build a strong following in the High-End Street wear scene with his company “LaVie”. LaVie can be found at numerous boutiques around New York, as well other locations. The lifestyle his company presents, its hard not to become intrigued by. His hard work and determination to get what he wants out of life, done. Gives another example, that a Star is born.

  1. Where do you derive from?
        The Concrete Jungle, by way of The Dominican Republic!

    2.How did you get involved in the fashion industry? 
        I always loved fashion, so I just made it my business to get into that busines.
    3.Tell us a little about your fashion company. 
       We are a unique brand, unique in the sense of trying to mix "street wear" with "high end" at a great price! we are selling swagg!
    4. What has been your inspiration? 
        LIFE,  hence the name of the brand LIVE LAVIE 
    5. Who do you consider to have great style? 
        Anyone that takes its time in the morning to get dress!

    6. What is a fashion “No” to you? 
        Everything is fashion, because fashion is self expression. There are things that someone else can pull off, that i might not be able to or vice versa. That’s the great part of fashion, anything is possible.
    7. Who is your ideal customer? 
         Simply, a person who appreciates fashion, period.

    8. What is the ideal future of your company? 
        To have our own concept, LaVie store and sell everything from bed sheets to board games.

     9. Greatest fashion memory as a child? 
       Watching my big bro get dress, I used him as motivation to have this swag!

    10. Whats the best piece in your closet? 
       I have too many, to be honest with you but the fact I can wear my own brand, LaVie, is the best thing in the world. Especially, I want to wear LaVie, I know others will follow suit

      11. Any words of advice for people of dreams being in the fashion industry? 
        Don’t stop no matter what they say, keep grinding till you reach your ultimate goal! 

Fashion, for Men: Tom Ford

    At this point, Tom Ford, has moved beyond the fashion word into a more dominant “Entertainment” world one might say. For the last 4 years, He has been one of my top designers in Menswear. I try not to act like I know much about Womens wear, because I don’t. I do know and love Menswear and Tom Ford represents the Luxury I love in fashion for men today. 
    Despite being HIGHLY successful, he doesn’t do many interviews to tell you how great he is. When I came across this video interview, I thought it was only right to present it to the world of CAMjA. Enjoy. Understand.

03 February 2010

Now, a public service announcement from Emeka Obi...

“.... Lets turn positive energy into paychecks this year.” ~ Emeka Obi   

Editor’s Note: If you don’t know who this man is, get in the know. This was and excerpt from a short message exchange I recently had. Probably the realist statement, I’ve heard in a long time. 

Fashion, for Men: Gucci

     For the first installment of my review of Men’s Fashion Week in Milan and Paris, I’m presenting the obvious name in the game. Gucci. One name sentences is okay when they are mentioned. They continue to impress me with the reinvention of the line and how they present the company. My design eye also respects their appreciation to deal, also one of my loves. Its the small things that blow me away. If they did “GG” prints on everything, I wouldn’t even be mentioning them in this segment. Period. Instead, they continue to please with beautiful cut lines and quality assortment of pigments for one to gander.
The highlight of the show for me with Gucci is the snap (also in button-tabs) bottom cuffs on the slacks, small and subtle but EXACTLY what I respect about quality designers. Its the little things that can reinvent a simple male trouser and they were successful at doing this. I’ve also included some of my favorite looks from their FA ’10 collection. Thank you Gucci, for being who you are suppose to be. Again.

This kinds fucked everybody else up for Fashion Week.

No thats not the light, the crocodile motorcycle jacket actually had gradation.

They were kind enough to give us the look in a Button-Tab as well. Gucci is so thoughtful.

Flavor of the Month: Plum Rasberry

Life, Soundtrack of Mine

Two things.
1. Have never and probably never will sell crack cocaine.
2. I have the ability to adapt “Life” rap and use it as motivation for my own life circumstances.

   This is one the most important songs that I have ever listened to. For one major reason, the verbal inspiration that the rapper Killer Mike speaks of in the song. “... how can you sleep tonite, knowing you can’t buy what you want in the morning.” True story: I got this cd in the summer of 2008, always been a fan so I picked it up. My current situation was getting tired as hell,  waiting tables 5 days a week (note: good money though.) and I was losing hope that I would get any chance to step foot in a design office for a major clothing company. After purchasing this cd, this track hit me right in the chest, gut check per say. With this song on repeat, I was inspired to “... get off my ass and do something about it.” With in two weeks of this purchase , no lie, I landed an internship with the urban fashion company, Coogi. I literally went from 10- 100 in two weeks, because of this song. It was one of the life changing experiences in my life, similar to the previous Soundtrack post. It continues to push me to do what I truly want without hesitation on what is “possible”. This is one of many Rap songs, why, I will always allow my children to listen to quality Rap music. Don’t allow yourself to be discouraged by some of the lyrics, cause we have all spoken ungodly before. Thank you, Killer Mike aka Mike Bigga for punching me in the chest to go hustle for what I felt I deserved. Don’t judge where inspiration comes from, just use it as fuel.

“... I’m gonna fire my boss, I’m gonna be my own boss...” ~ Killer Mike

Book: The Extraordinary Career of a Champion Bicycle Racer, Major Taylor

    As I reported weeks ago, I’ve been reading the biography of ‘Major’ Taylor. Well to the pleasure of my brain cells and cultured spirit, I have finally finished it. Not by any means am I a big reader, so let me encourage many people who are like me. This was a great read, very educational and encouraging. The great obstacles this man faced need to be share, but also the , shall I say, bizarre success this great man had in his day and age is unmatched by any male athlete of color during this time. 
   He traveled the world with his beautiful wife, and child (only had one daughter named Sydney). Taylor received  accolades from Europe, Germany, to Australia. Collecting animals, artifacts, and a great sense of self along the way. The book was wonderfully written, with great first hand accounts on his life. From the first race he was in to the the infamous “6 Day Race” at Madison Square Garden, up til his untimely death.  Although being the most important figure in bicycle racing at the time, he still didn’t receive the love and acknowledgment that one would expect from being the world champion.

     There are truly to many amazing facts to put into this blog. His life and tragic fall from grace are very intriguing. This isn’t a man who fell to the demons of drugs or alcohol, just stubbornness was his downfall. In fact, Mr. Taylor was a true god fearing man. A great example of extreme belief in self and his god. He actually, up til his latter years, refused to race on Sunday’s out of respect of the Sabbath. Which led to him losing an estimated 15-10,000 dollars, in the early 1900’s! Which is crazy, imagine if Kobe refused to play on Sundays?! HA!
     Not only have I been inspired by his courageous efforts as a man, but also his style and grace are true inspirations to me as well. Traveling the world, he was introduced to many different styles and customs. This led to him having his own unique, classic, almost “Preacher” style. It was noted, that even at his lowest,  penniless, loneliest points in his life, he always maintained a great presentation for any public appearance. He saw his clothing as an extension of himself off the track. Also his true bond to numbers “13” and unique color uniforms have pushed me into starting to design a collection based around him and his life. It is truly amazing were creativity can strike and about the 8 chapter, my brain started going crazy for ideas on how I would design the Major Taylor clothing line. It may never come into true fruition, but I will def add it to my portfolio. I would definitely thank the amazing artist, Patrick Earl Barnes for introducing me to such and incredible subject matter and inspiration. Our collaboration will turn out amazing! And a special thank you to the son of Gilbert Taylor and Saphronia Kelter, Marshall Walter “Major” Taylor for living an extraordinary courageous life. Being an example for all people that want to live a life of success despite the adversity they might face.

“... Life is too short for a man to hold bitterness in his heart, and that is why I have no feeling against anybody... never hated any rider that I ever competed against.” ~ “Major” Taylor