I guess it all started with my mum, Jamaican born but moved to England at 11 oldest of 4 she had to be the toughest and most flexible adapting to a new country climate and attitude Mum had everything 2nd hand or hand me downs from neighbours or cousins whilst adjusting to life in England. So when I was born mum said to herself no child of mine will ever have 2nd hand clothes or want for anything and I never did even now. I thank my mum for that statement and believe that has set me up for who and what I am today.
I remember looking back through pictures and seeing how sharp I looked. Usually jumper, polo shirt, and trousers. Very preppy who said Kanye made College drop out style cool!! I was a mini Carlton Banks, (before Alfonso Ribero gave us his most classic performance), with a slick bow tie and penny loafers to this day I still prefer a bow tie to a traditional tie.
Fashion wasn't a real thing, it was just what we liked, we wore and had the confidence to wear it. I saw my mum as the icon always looking sharp rocking her own style. I guess coming from the Caribbean you had to work harder, look smarter than anyone else, to be taken seriously you already stand out from the crowd so why not really stand out bring the native vibe to English attire.
I was the first grandchild and nephew so was well looked after and dress to impress all the time, without thinking it's just what we did, it's not just Sunday best everyday counts. I recently watched the film on Jesse Owens life and I will never forget this quote "a man has to present an image to the world". And it really has stuck with me and made sense to my journey.
I was never the most talkative or confident in groups so my fashion talked for me, putting clothes together experimenting with colour, pattern and textures was the real me crying out. I didn't care what people thought, I was curious about fashion and confident I can carry it off. I won't single out specific looks but it goes back to not following a trend but wearing what I felt I wanted to wear, I always used fashion as my thing to start a conversation knowing I was confident in my look gave me confidence in myself to talk, express myself and ultimately forge a career.
The old saying is don't judge a book by its cover but we all ultimately do, whether it's someone with a beard and rucksack to a banker in a pinstripe suit. You are all judging and being judged, it's the first thing people see, before you've even opened your mouth so you better make it count. I did, I have and will continue to be curious about clothes, my heritage, my friendships, my family, my career and reinforce the values that have put me on this path. But without having the confidence in yourself people will see through it. Trends come and go brands evolve and shapeshift to fit within the world but style and confidence is what really matters. My mum brought that Jamaican swagger I edited the English gent and created a curious boy.
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