It can’t be taught. It can’t be bought. So we asked some of our well-dressed friends and neighbors how they got their sartorial mojo.
KEY INFLUENCES: As my style was developing, it was Miles Davis and other jazz musicians of that time. The coolness and the way black men interpret traditional fashions inspired me.
IF MY STYLE WERE A SONG, IT WOULD BE: Henry Mancini’s “Charade”.
HOW DOES NYC INFORM THE WAY YOU DRESS?I live in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn which has a lot of Caribbean influences. And a lot of construction. I’m inspired by both of these things and pull a lot of notes from this environment. I wear a lot more work wear And bright construction-like colors. And oddly enough, this all seems to tie back into my Midwestern, working-class upbringing.
KEY INFLUENCES: I look at the late Julian Bond as a kind of pitch- perfect example of where style meets purpose. The Avedon photo of him standing with fellow SNCC activists in Atlanta, 1963 feels like it could be right now.
IF MY STYLE WERE A SONG, IT WOULD BE: D’Angelo’s “I Found My Smile Again.” That opening guitar chord riff, the vocals — all oriented around a kind of slow joy and softer way of being.
HOW DOES NYC INFORM THE WAY YOU DRESS? I’m truly inspired by the people I see on my commute. My style has collegiate, tailored influences, but I’ve really appreciated how those codes have broken down and rounded their substance and edges in the hands of a more diverse audience and community of creatives.
KEY INFLUENCES: Sometimes I think most of my style is inspired in some way
by Rothko and his use of color combinations. Also [as a kid], I used to look up to Kirk and Derrick Miller and wait during the year for their mom to drop off a box of hand me downs.
IF MY STYLE WERE A SONG, IT WOULD BE: Anything by Waylon Jennings. He’s just a badass dude, and all his songs have a F@&k-It attitude. My current style is a bit unconstrained with a F@&k-It attitude.
HOW DOES NYC INFORM THE WAY YOU DRESS? I think the surrounding energy of wherever you are determines alot. When I went home and spent time on our family farm in Wisconsin, I was wearing the same work clothes everyday. And that felt good as hell. When I got back to the city, the energy of the city put my mind in a very different place, and in turn my aesthetic changed.
KEY INFLUENCES: My father was a contractor and always just wore a basic tee and some jeans. To this day that is what I wear 90% of the time. Working with him I also grew to love the way my clothes aged naturally. But I also really love the style from 1920’s period pieces such as Boardwalk Empire and Peaky Blinders.
IF MY STYLE WERE A SONG, IT WOULD BE: John Lee Hooker’s “Everybody’s Rockin.”
HOW DOES NYC INFORM THE WAY YOU DRESS? Brooklyn is my home and has definitely influenced my style. That classic backwards hat, tee, jeans and some cool sneakers. Being from the Bay Area I still haven’t convinced myself to rock a Yankees hat yet. My Oakland A’s hat gets a lot of run though.