Wow….where do I start?
Let’s travel back to late September. I’m in a style competition in which I have to buy a new blazer for. My good friend Malika and I head to the Macy’s in DC to search for the perfect duds. I stumble upon a rack full of colorful, vibrant blazers. I’m immediately impressed and start trying on windowpane, paisley prints, and velvet sport coats. At first, I thought this was Macy’s “funky” section. To my amazement, all this dopeness came from one company, Tallia Orange. Unlucky for me, they were sold out of my size and I had only a day to gear up for the competition. With all that being said, Tallia Orange left their mark on me.
Fast forward. October hits and I’ve gained a relationship with GQ from our collaboration with Nautica. We party hard at the GQ Gentlemen Give Back concert with Robin Thicke (pics coming soon to our MSP facebook page). Hanging with NYC’s sharpest and brightest seemed like the pinnacle of my blogging work. Was I wrong? Continue reading.
I receive an email last week from our friends at GQ informing me about an initiative they’re doing with none other than Tallia Orange. They were kind enough to consider little ole’ me for a blogger competition. They selected 10 menswear bloggers to style looks from Tallia’s Spring/Summer ’14 collection in their coveted showroom in NYC. The judges-who range from fashion directors of major department stores to fashion editors of menswear magazines you’ve all heard of or subscribe to- would pick one winner who would have an opportunity to be featured in Tallia Orange’s Spring ’14 ad campaign. Needless to say, I was more nervous than the FCC when Miley’s on stage. Stakes were high but it was time to perform.
As I enter the showroom, I’m wiping my drool with my pocket square. It was beautiful! The walls were their signature orange and the layout was boss. A wall full of blazers and suits that would make Lapo Elkann proud. Another wall lined with shirts that could have easily been used in Kendrick Lamar’s GQMOTY spread. A table filled with what I like to call “style accouterments” that ranged from bow ties, neckties, pocket squares, hats, and eyewear that would make a blind man do a double take. Oh and the orange mannequins….genius marketing tool.
Now it’s time to get to work. I had two hours to create my look. When the pressure’s on and you’re staring at pieces that you’ve never seen before, 120 minutes passes like a fart in the wind. The daunting task of styling a look admired by the big wigs and one that’s competitive with these immensely talented and cool bloggers was no easy task. To see guys like Keino Benz and Freddy Rodriguez of Blue Perk add their personal looks to their mannequins gave me the courage to stay in my lane and outfit my orange buddy with a look that I’d be proud to rock around the city.
So I go with a mint green blazer and white pants. If you’ve followed Men’s Style Point, you know I love pants with color. Shut up, white is a color. The blazer was unlike any other green blazer I’ve encountered. This isn’t Tiger Woods’ Masters jacket or the bottom of a Sprite can. I won’t hype it…the pics speak for themselves. My idea was to create a look that will attract the average man who wants to step up is game, and also keep the attention of the menswear connoisseur who dreams of kickin it at Pitti Uomo.
Tallia created a very relaxed environment filled with music, bites, and laughter that made it easy to get creative. “Clothing with a less serious attitude” is a motto of theirs and they bring that same attitude to the workplace that makes way for magic to happen. Whether I won or lost, I felt like I learned so much about the menswear industry and had such a fun time that I wasn’t going to leave empty-handed. Knowledge and experience is a prize that all contestants walk away with.
Long story short, I WON! The judges were impressed and I was speechless. It took me forever to even write this blogpost because this is still kind of surreal to me. I thank all who was involved, from the staff at Tallia Orange and GQ, to the bloggers who I met and learned lots from in a short amount of time. And a big thank you to my friends and followers who encourage me to keep learning and teaching the ins and outs of menswear. This competition reaffirmed my love for the fashion industry and gave me the confidence to do what is beyond my wildest dreams. This is only the beginning. Stay tuned for more on my journey with GQ and Tallia Orange. Stay on POINT, my people! And be sure to like and follow GQ and Tallia Orange on facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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