As far back as I can remember I wanted to be a designer , I share a similar sentiment for fatherhood. The big issue I faced in both arenas was lack of role models. Sure black designers existed but none rose to tabloid status of the likes of Versace or Armani, or just anyone for that matter that your average white American would know! I use this demographic because ethnic minorities are for the most part cool and experimental, they are in the know of most things, but when a blonde housewife from Texas knows who you are congratulations you have arrived. From the onset of this dream it seemed impossible but hey ! there is always a first , so why can't it be me. I graduated fashion in the mid 90's with no cash or family money I immediately shelved the concept and became a hairstylist. I figured one way or the other I was going to get backstage at a runway show.i had a plan which was very clear , move to the city take a low paying bullshit job in a salon that happened to be in the same building as Elite model management. The strategy is do every client to their fiercest and eventually a super model would end up in your chair. One afternoon a pleasant leggy blond walked in
I was summoned and next thing you know I injected personality to my fabulous work and we left together for a photo shoot. Over a hundred shoots later , and some editorial recognition I out grew toronto and went off to london. Talk about an eye opener, the hair was my survival but the streets of london became my university. On my days off I would put together interesting outfits finished off by my identifiable Afro and take to the high streets. Most of the times I would indulge in the smallest items from a luxury brand , usually underwear. It was not for a need but it was important for me to be a customer and have the full experience. At times i requested the largest retail bag , with the excuse of consolidation of my other items but mostly it was to give validation to my look and create a greater allure with my public. I was often mistaken for a musician or an actor , God forbid I'm just an interesting young black man with taste and money. I was always aware of my place in the world but never will I let it define me or where I'll end up. I took my show on the road every Monday, I touched everything, I often tried things on, I told my self if ever money came I would know exactly where to spend it. Little did I know this personal exercise would provide me with an education. I understood the customer ,from the it girls who trolled the markets and Fontthill Road seeking salacious finds to the bankers meandering around Seville row seeking the next best tweed .If a friend so much as whispered a need for an item I could locate it down to the tube station. I would spend the next two decades working my lucrative hairstyling jobs , solely to finance my collection of objects desired till I could no longer ignore the voice inside. A chance encounter with Allan Hernandez led to a visit to Colombia where I arrived stylish, rekindled my passion for creation and returned to assume my role as "el diseñador"
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I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!