I am a New York City native, born and raised in the Bronx. I believe this has contributed to my overall aesthetic. If the USA is the melting pot for culture then New York is the gumbo that is created in that pot. I draw my inspiration from a multitude of things such as interior design, automobiles, architecture, paintings, sculptures, photography, dance and music. Pretty much everything inspires me when it’s filtered through my lens as you can tell.
My dad and grandfather were my early style heroes. They were living examples that, " what you do for a living should never define you. You should bring excellence to whatever you do." My Dad was a general manager at a meat plant, not necessarily a glamorous job by today's standards . He would dress in blood stained denim by day and would transform into a sartorial masterpiece when given the opportunity. My grandfather was a share cropper turned pastor, who vowed not to wear denim when he left the fields of North Carolina. They really set the standards for presentation extremely high for me.
I was born eldest of six and we never really grew up with a surplus of clothes but we cultivated the ability to make whatever we had look amazing. Even in my earlier years, going to the corner store required choosing a well put together outfit and pressing (ironing) my clothes before I would even dare venture out to grab a loaf of bread. From those days to the present, it reminds me that creating a detailed presentation is something that comes natural to me.
I was afforded the opportunity to attend the Art & Design high school in midtown Manhattan. My daily commute required walking through the Bloomingdales flagship store and in that environment was where I fell in love with the presentation of fashion. My commute became my front row seat to the "greatest fashion show ever" also known as the streets Manhattan and all that it had to offer. I was 34 years of age when I attended an interior design course and little did I know that it would reignite my zeal for all things art & fashion. My primary advice to everyone soon became, " it's never too late to begin your journey ".
Since then I've worked for retailers like J.Crew , Madewell , Nordstrom and have styled various music videos and photo shoots. I have been featured in the hit music video " Classic Man." I also lend my talents to personal clients where I help them to identify their personal style and teach them how to invest their finances when it comes to their wardrobe. The key is to identify the things that you make an attachment to. Things that, “tickle your fancy” because clothing should make you feel good and help others see just what lies inside of you. Sometimes you get three seconds before people decide if they are going to buy into what you have to say or you may never get a chance to open your mouth to prove how amazing you are. Why not impact them on site and have your audience hanging from every word you say?
The key to all of this is to share the information I've acquired and help others to reach their highest potential, there is greatness in all of us! Just recently I've had the opportunity to shoot with a group of gentleman called " The Bearded Dapper Gents." We have set out on a mission to help to challenge the stereotype of young men and men in general. Being authentic to ones self is important as we endeavor to reach young inner city boys and men to preach the message that, "how you carry yourself is importan.t" Not only to others but how you view yourself. What good is information if it can't be shared to assist our fellow man as well as ourselves?
I wear multiple hats these day's which can be pretty challenging but at the end of the day, it's all of my ventures that help me to express all of the gifts that sit inside of me. I'm really focused on making sure that I mature every gift to its full potential. I want it to be said that I made a difference and when I'm gone the void of my presence is felt.