The Last Dance Documentary

The Last Dance Documentary has brought us more together than we’d like to admit. At a time where everyone is in dire need of human interaction we look to sports as the catalyst brings us together with great moments of excitement and nostalgia. What better way to do that than turning back the clock to a time where basketball was at the peak of entertainment and competition.

The 90’s, well to put it simply, was a golden age of all things popular and mainstream culture. From Air Jordan, Reebok Pumps, Converse, high top fades and flattops, to wearing clothes backwards; Martin, the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Ahh yes, the “Clinton” years were a marvelous time for entertainment indeed.

You see during the 90’s, there were bold print patterns mixed with loud bright colors. If you look back at Martin, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, music videos… anyway I think you get my point. Everything at the time was vibrant, baggy, and eccentric.

When you look at the NBA today, there’s less baggy attire and individual style is flourishing with whole new perspective. Most players have made a conscious effort to up their game whether to show looks that express their own personality or simply building their brand. We can all agree that we are here for it. The good, the bad, the ugly and the suit shorts SMH.

I wanted to revisit the 90’s, take a look at some of fly guys in the NBA and compare their style to their modern day contemporaries. So without further ado, let’s take a look at the captains and co-captains for each team.

Dennis Rodman vs. Russell Westbrook

The one thing that these two have in common, is not that they dress crazy. On the contrary both Rodman and Russ see fashion as an expression of art.

Most people saw Dennis Rodman as the wild child, because he changed the color of his hair so often. Maybe they thought he was weird for having painted nails, facial piercings and for incorporating goth and pieces of BDSM into his style. In short Rodman embraced gender fluidity and sexual positivity just by being himself, a free spirit.

Now Russ has a knack for being a risk taker and leaving us in awe. Russ uses style more like a psychological tool. Think about it who is more authentic on the court and in fashion than him? The way he drives through the lane in a blazing fury is the same way he attacks fashion, with fearlessness.

Michael Jordan vs PJ Tucker

Now many of you may be scratching your heads about this one but hear me out. This is a royal rumble. Air Jordan vs the NBA’s Undisputed Sneaker King. Both styles are authentic and original.

Let’s take Mike. See when it was game time, you’d probably catch MJ in an Italian suit and loafers. But outside of the NBA, and any other media/press obligations you’d, mostly likely you’d catch him dress down, in athleisure. Jordans grew to be a cultural phenomenon and at the helm you had Mike himself, who stayed in the flyest gear. When everyone wants to be like Mike, how can you not stay on point?!

Pj Tucker has become a household name in the sneaker community. Actually, he’s much more than that. In his own right he’s become one of the most recognizable style icons in the culture and fashion space today. Starting to sound familiar right? The mantra “Look good, feel good” certainly comes to mind when you think about PJ Tucker. On the court you can see his passion for the game. One could also argue the way he dresses shows his love for fashion. It looks so effortless!

Looking the comparisons between captains and co-captains, hopefully it peaks your interest on who else I have in these lineups. Let know your thoughts on who else you think should be included.

Cheers.

CURATE – EPISODE 5 ft. JORDEN JAKOBS

Happy holidays and happy new year! I’m back with the last episode, of the year of season 1, of Curate with none other than Jorden Jakobs! Man how crazy is that, we got to an entire season of Curate!

Jorden and I talked about a lot! From starting a blog to help to, learning photography to being an established fashion influencer in Seattle we talked to Jorden about her fashion sense, her journey to doing editorial fashion styling, and maintaining her authentic and original style in every look she wears.

Also this is one of very few moments that we got to see them having fun and really catching up. It’s been quite the journey, and it was only fitting that Jorden come on as a guest and talk about her journey  to being a prominent influencer in Seattle.

In addition to that, we really got deep into her passion; and as a result you get to learn why she started vlogging and how much fun she has when she creates outfits with her best friend Mandee.

Check out all the looks curated for Jorden Jakobs!

Finally, I cannot thank you all enough for your support this year! Thanks for tuning it, I hope you enjoy it, share it  and thank for watching! 

Stream and make sure to subscribe to my channel!

CURATE -EPISODE 4 ft. PORSCHA SHAW

Seattle is an interesting place. For many that are transplants it’s a place to cultivate new memories and opportunities. For the natives, it’s home, no place they’d rather be. For others it’s point along the journey to the real destination.  Can’t it be a destination along the journey?

I had to chance to chop it up with the illustrious Porscha Shaw. From growing up in Houston, to being an actress in Seattle. We talk about her fashion sense, women’s fashion and how using bold colors, patterns and accessories help make an outfit.

Stream and make sure to subscribe to my channel!

CURATE – EPISODE 4 ft. PORSCHA SHAW

Seattle is an interesting place. Like most cities it harbors lost of talented artists, creatives and individuals. Take our next guest, Porscha Shaw for instance, she’s lived here almost 5 years and continues to thrive. But it may not be a final destination for her or others.

Many that are transplants it’s a place to cultivate new memories and opportunities. Two, the natives of the Seattle area refer to it as home, no place they’d rather be. And then you have others, who have found Seattle to be a point along the journey to the real destination.  Can’t it be a destination along the journey?

I had to chance to chop it up with the illustrious Porscha Shaw. We sat down and talked about growing up in Houston, to being an actress in Seattle. Also I had the opportunity to talk about her fashion sense, women’s fashion and how using bold colors, patterns and accessories help make an outfit.

A big thing I’m learning is the many facets to Seattle aesthetic or style aesthetic. It’s a multitude of lifestyles, cultures that have fostered different aesthetics. 

In addition to that with the community of creatives within Seattle, I’m sure that Seattle’s aesthetic will continue to thrive even more.

Stream and make sure to subscribe to my channel!

CURATE -EPISODE 3 ft. AUSTIN WEIGE

Remember your first job? What was the work place dress code like? It was probably a button up shirt or a nice top with some slacks, or a skirt right?

Man those were the times where khaki pants, and polo shirts reigned supreme. Now it seems like things have gotten a bit easier so to speak.

We can all agree that you can spend a lot of time figuring out what to wear in the current work force. For those that don’t have this dilemma, congrats beloved you are one of the very few.

In the last couple of years, the work place dress code has become more and more lenient. With the way things are shifting, the increase in tech jobs, you see more and more tech employees dressing more “comfortably” than the standard dress code.

So who better to talk work attire than a fellow Amazon employee?! I had the chance to chop it up with Austin Weige. From figuring out what to wear in the morning for work, to corporate fashion, Austin gives his takes in how he became a sneaker head and how the Seattle fashion community has grown.

We had a great conversation, it’s always interesting the types of things you can pick up from one another. Austin is one of very very few people that I know working at Amazon that has a great sense of style. For the rest of you, there’s still hope.

Take a look all the outfits I styled for Austin 

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CURATE – EPISODE 2 FT. RYAN WEBB

We are in an time where everyone expresses themselves through their personal style. In addition to that, for those wondering how to develop or simply upscale their personal style, this one is for you.

First we start here. Sometimes it can be hard figuring out exactly what to wear. But your closet may have too much of this color, not enough of these staples. Maybe you don’t have enough, and need to buy more etc.

There are moments when we’re getting dressed we think there has to be a way to find a look and make it yours. And also still be able to supplement it with different aesthetics and occasions… it’s called balance.

I sat down Ryan Webb to discuss what style is to him. We had a lot to talk about, first of course is being an assistant coach with the Seattle Storm, to being the founder of Seattle FAM and running CultureFest. Ryan spoke on sneaker culture, who has the most fly kicks on the team, and finally what inspires his look.

Being a Seattle native Ryan talked about what it means growing up in the city, and the secret to what’s overlooked about Seattle’s style aesthetic. When you watch the episode let me know how it helped you.

We had a great time, and I hope you enjoy it to. Check out how much fun Ryan had in the shoot!

Lastly thank you all for tuning in and showing your supporting. Please continue to share with others and give me your feedback in the comments haha!

Stream and make sure to subscribe to my channel!

Curate – Episode 1 ft. Anthony J.R.

So with the season transitioning from fall to winter, instead of providing more lookbooks, why not give you some style advice and inspiration from the Connoisseur of Smooth himself, Anthony J.R., debuts in the first episode of Curate!

I’m honored to have Anthony J.R. as my first guest. To be honest, the reason why I asked for him to be my first guest was so I could really prove that I had an eye for style.

When you first meet Anthony, the first thing you’ll see is his sense of style. He’d tell you it’s his uniform, but nonetheless it is one of a kind. Him being for East Atlanta, his style was a gateway to understand a deeper understanding to style.

I sat down with my good friend Anthony J.R. (@Anthonyujr) to discuss what style is to him. As well as being a media personality to creating the lifestyle brand, LaidBack Allure, we dive deep and gives details about his signature style;  Seattle’s aesthetic and at last the upscale experience he’s managed to create within the city.

One of the biggest takeaways that I hope you guys gain from this is understanding who your style icons are. Style icons don’t have to be celebrities, but rather there’s something about their style that resonates with you.

Take a look at his fits!

To watch Curate, stream and make sure to subscribe to my channel!

Breaking up with your average suit

Hey guys, lately I’ve been working on some big projects that I thought I’d be able to reveal sooner than later, but life happens. Anyway, I wanted to talk about something that’s been on my mind for a while now.

Layering

Since the weather has changed in the last few months, I’ve had to wear more layers. I imagine that you all would need to do the same. When I was younger, bundling up for the cold meant wearing uncomfortable clothes that were too many sizes too big while keeping me feverishly warm. You remember Macaulay Culkin as Kevin McCallister in Home Alone? The scene where he tried to walk to the grocery store is the perfect visual for how much layering my parents applied so my siblings and I wouldn’t catch a cold.

When wearing layers for the change in weather, we don’t really think about it, but we tend to focus on patterns, textures and fabrics. It’s these concepts that got me thinking, about using pieces in unconventional/ uncomfortable methods to create more options for the same look.

Recently I decided to explore this idea with suits. Now most of us tend to wear the trousers and blazer of a suit together; let alone in the cold would we ever decide to put a suit on. So, what I decided to do was breakdown that dynamic duo and figure out just how many options I could come up with using blazer and trousers.

Using the blazer of your suit

The first thing I tried I was figuring out how to wear a blazer primarily as an outer jacket. There can be a number of reasons for this to happen, it may be cold enough that your blazer keeps you warm and all your jackets are too big and heavy to wear all the time. That could very well be the problem, also because you may work in a warm building you don’t want to wear your jacket the entire day, so you take it off once you’re inside.

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There could be any number of reasons similar to the ones I mentioned to substitute a blazer as on outer jacket. For me I know that I like to mix in different patterns and textures so maybe a ribbed cardigan would be useful, or a cable knit sweater etc.

Here are a couple of the looks I was able to put together.

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Being able to use a blazer as an outer jacket add an extra dimension of options into your arsenal. Here in the pictures above, I was to curate simple looks that don’t give off that formal vibe like most suits do. You can easily trade in a pair of trousers for a pair of jeans and swap those dress shoes, for some boots or sneakers.

Trousers of a suit

Before you go all gung-ho on this concept, I’d like to trade these looks in to focus the different types of looks you can do with just the trousers.

Growing up trousers were always uncomfortable for me to wear. Because of the fabric it always made me hot and to be honest it’s just not as versatile as sweats. Or so I thought… Sometimes the end of the week rolls on by and there are days when I just don’t want to wear jeans.

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Trousers are another option to include in your wardrobe. Over time they can become quite comfortable, and depending on the fabric and weather it may be lighter or heavy than you jeans, depending on what you’re looking for.

Throwing on that favorite jacket with a nice shirt or hoodie underneath will give you a nice casual aesthetic. Not only is it a great look but you can quickly switch into it once you’re off work.

Now that we’ve went over that, there’s one ore point I’d like to discuss. And that  is wearing different blazers and trousers with each other.

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If you ever had that feeling like you don’t know what to wear, now you have a couple options to test and tryout. Take time to see which looks you favor and have fun doing so.

Time to time as the weather changes, we’ll review more options and different concepts to add to your style to give you more versatility.

Cheers

Right back where I started…

Hey, long time no see right? I know I know… okay don’t be mad, I know you’re probably wondering what have I been up to and why I haven’t posted in awhile. Fair! These are all valid questions I’d be happy to answer. I appreciate your candor, but for now can we sit back and bask in being here together?

*Sigh* Well I guess that was short lived right haaha?!

So where should I start?… So the last thing I think most people remember was the post in April or March about brunch with my guys. I think it was after that where things started to get rough. Like rough rough, like no direction, barely enough cash to pay bills and get by rough. Yeah I was struggling…

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I was struggling to survive and not feel like a failure, but also creatively I felt like I was limiting myself. On one side I’m going through a really bad time (probably the toughest moments I’ve ever gone through) in life, where most people in my situation would just pack it in and give up. And on the other it felt like there was this ceiling on my creative genius that I could feel above me and I was desperately trying to break that.

As the Curator of Cool, I stated that I would help men, “curate their own cool,” by showing them how to build their own versatile wardrobe. During my downtime in the midst of barely supporting myself I took a second to really study my work. I simply didn’t see that I was holding myself accountable to that standard. I still felt like I was boxing myself into the same conventional ideal of menswear.

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I mean, you’ve heard me say it before that menswear is more than just suits. But I couldn’t be totally honest to myself and say that I explored that ideal thoroughly to understand what that meant for me. But now I do or rather I’m constantly tapped into  exploring that ideal boldly. So that’s the good part, the bad part was that my reality wasn’t an environment conducive for me to change and grow.

As you know we all go through hardships,  I had to really go through some humbling changes, and really take account for the part I played in allowing certain situations to happen. Not only that but I wasn’t at a place mentally, emotionally,, physically, and spiritually where I was able to handle all this change that was happening. Being an introvert I keep a lot of things to myself. Like I keep things really close the vest and close friends and family were questioning what was gong on with me.

All the events that you’ve seen me attend on social media outlets are cool, but part of me felt that i needed to take a step back from them and focus on my needs rather than my wants. Sometimes you’re going to have to sacrifice what you want to do in order to handle the things that you need to do.

Anyway, somewhere along the way I learned to live in my truth and accept the things that where happening. Looking back, I think I realized that my circumstances didn’t define me nor what my outcome is. I had to also admit that I needed help and to allow others to really know what’s going on and let them help me.

See I told you it was a lot right?!

So awhile back I remember this thought that constantly would come up. When I had an event or had to go meet with clients that I was styling, I’d scour my closet to find something to wear, most of which didn’t fit anymore. So I had to “take time and figure out what works.” With the clothes I did have, I started figuring out a uniform that I could put on and from there I simply relied on the staple pieces that I had to create even newer looks.

That same idea of taking time to figure out what works was also what I had to practice constantly.

So enough about the past guys, how about we switch gears and  talk about what I’m doing now and what I’m working on?

*Deep breaths here*

Alright, so I’m not sure if you all know it or not but outside of being a creative I have two other jobs. Yup 2 more. I have a full-time job as a Financial Analyst for a tech startup which is great, then my other job is part-time as a style guide at Indochino.

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This is Kason, a model I styled fora Scotch and Soda shoot

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So fashion stylist, personal stylist, financial analyst, style guide, and creative director. Yeah I do a lot, but none of it feels overwhelming honestly. My creative side gives that analytical side a break and vice versa.

As for what I’m working on, I’m honestly working on doing more styled editorial shoots and building a solid clientele base. I have more visuals that I’m posting which is great but I also want to get my foot into the editorial shoot game and dominate. The most important thing I’d say that I’m constantly working on is a versatile wardrobe of staple pieces.

Don’t worry, what kind of friend would I be if I didn’t come bearing any gifts?

I wanted to show you these 3 looks that give the fall some much needed color, without doing to much, as well as showing appreciation for neutral colors too.

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Burgundy is a color is that is often overlooked. It’s smooth and works well with most colors if you know how to pair it accordingly. Why a burgundy suit? Well why not! Most people have seen the traditional navy, black and grey suits and that’s not me.

For the me a key thing is figuring out what colors work well with my skin tone. Once you understand that, then figuring out accessories, and other color combinations is the fun part.

With a burgundy suit I decided to add, a light blue dress shirt with funky paisley tie. And from there I let the art do the talking.

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This second look, I was inspired to dress down a suit. I really wanted to feature the trousers but not make them a focal point of the outfit. For me trousers feel like sweats so I have no problem wearing them. You don’t always have to wear dress shoes with trousers, you can wear boots and sneakers as I did.

Make them work for you as comfortably as you need to. All I did here was add a nice sweater.

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This is last look, has a lot of staple favorites for me. Look  you already know my cardigan game is top notch, but my sweater game is just as tough also.

Listen, there are days were I just wanna chill in sweats all day, this look is more of an elevated athleisure look. I’m always cozy in a sweater, so adding that with some distressed Levi’s is a simple fit. The reason for the boots is simple… I like dress boots and in case a I need to head out it adds a nice casual vibe to it.

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More and more of my work will be touching all realms of menswear for you to see the cohesion that all parts can bring together. So whether it’s showing you my newest looks, or looks from my shoots, you will be seeing different styles of menswear from now on.

With that said, I’m back, I hope you enjoy the work that I will be coming out from now on. Don’t worry the blogs will coming and will be consistent. Stay tuned for what’s to come next month.

P.S. For 2019 I have big things in store.

Cheers

Photos by John

One time for OneTribeMag and Africanist podcast

For the past year my mantra has been “My black is beautiful” a constant echo to myself that all that I am is a gift to this world. No matter the adversity, my blackness is strong, is love, is culture (being 1st generation Nigerian American),  and is my own as an individual and community.

This mantra served as my muse which helped manifest and propel the idea of showing other Africans like myself creating positive images of African men; shifting the stereotypes away from “African booty scratchers”, “scammers” – notably the illustrious (419) that most Nigerians detest, to creating new dynamics of prominence that paints a better light for African men. More and more you’re seeing Africans innovating the more ways to use their talents to tell their stories their way.

On Thursday November 24th, 2017 a group of young African men composed of different skin tones, sizes, talents; each gifted with their own individual styles got together, used Union Market in Washington D.C. as their canvas to illustrate vast collections of beauty embodied with a message.

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The moment was truly an incredible experience. It was a great turn out, better yet it was amazing to take part in the camaraderie shown by on another. Some like myself who took part, we’re just meeting that day for the first time but you couldn’t tell though because of how much fun we were having.

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The Africanist podcast, Kwaku, Femi, Hamid, and Yaw created a platform where they maintain a certain comfort level with who they are, as they present a different perspective on life’s everyday trials and tribulations, the struggle of Africans in America; reminiscent with the voices of an African household they give their listeners enough gems, laughter and hope to get through the week.

“It’ s such an ambitious niche we’re in, infusing, culture humor, comfort and style to the people.”

Founder of One Tribe Magazine, Ayo, created a publication for African creatives within the diaspora to create a global platform their demographic can relate and connect with.

“We’re giving you a platform to promote yourself”

Heading into the shoot, I thought about things we all tend to reflect as the year comes to end. How I did at work, outside of work, what goals I set, whether I accomplished them or not are just some of the thoughts that flipped through my mind. I thought about the things I’ve yet to process or things I’ve become numb to, like how much worse it’s gotten the last couple of years for people of color. Mainly because we’re used to it; what’s even worse is every day we’re reminded that our skin tone is still not considered human in most places. With all the bad that’s happened, there have certainly been great things that we continue to create and share to the world through television, fashion, art, music and entertainment. Nevertheless, we push through, we preserve and overcome like it’s business as usual.

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“We’re at an age that there’s so much talent and people want to express it. I definitely think you should cultivate it… You have to be a creator man.”

As we wrapped up the shoot, I later sat down with each of the them to pick their brains and allow their audience to get a feel for their own sense style and fashion, their own goals for their brand, growing up in a African household and using their brands to impact the culture.

How would you define your own individual style?

 

Most of us have a 9-5 job, so with your platform what the goal?

 

How is your identity integrated into your work?

 

How do you distinguish yourself from other brands?

 

We’ve all grown up in an African household where we’ve been conditioned into a belief system that professionalism and success were being a doctor, lawyer, engineer etc. How do you think your brand and steeping out of that traditional mold impacts the culture?

 

My hope is that after you’ve read this you have something to take away from this; maybe you’re inspired to follow you own passion, or have a renewed sense of vigor balancing you 9-5 and side hustle. These guys are doing what they’re passionate about and better yet serving their communities as they do it.

To my African and African American brothers and sisters whatever you decide to do and be in life, be the best at it while being you. Not watered down, nor making yourself small for anyone. Just be your most unapologetic and authentic self and remember…

“OUR BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL”

A HUGE THANKS TO MICHAEL MEADOWS AND JULIAN THOMAS FOR MAKING THIS PROJECT HAPPEN.

Cheers