“We can be who we are and also we can be who we want to be through fashion”

“I love checkerboard prints”, said Justin to me at the How Weird Festival in September. Then we took a photo together because I wore a checkerboard print suit and he wore Vans shoes. We exchanged our IG accounts and met for a coffee on Valencia Street. We talked about life, style in San Francisco, and then about his relationship with his clothes.

What’s your story? 

I was born in Jamaica, and there were lots of trees around, flowers and colors. Then my family moved to New Mexico, in the South West, and from there to San Francisco. The earthy culture of New Mexico had a power on my inner feelings, and San Francisco had a major impact on how I see the world, beauty, art and local culture. 

Throughout your journey, did you think that clothes have power?

The first thing that comes to mind is a cousin that I had around when I was a kid. She would take care of me sometimes, her name is Misty, and she is very beautiful and stylish. She’s the first reference when it comes to defining beauty and the power of wearing yourself and your clothes. 

Then, when I was around four or five, I had a denim jacket, and I remember putting it on, and saying to the other kids – we’re cool now. Sometimes I wonder what influenced me to say such things. I didn’t have any fashion influences within my family, although my great auntie used to create her own dresses and coats, and I would always compliment her at family gatherings. 

Then, when I was around four or five, I had a denim jacket, and I remember putting it on, and saying to the other kids – we’re cool now.

I was also lucky to attend a school where uniforms weren’t mandatory. I dressed however I wanted, and I did lots of experiments and changed my tastes throughout the years. In the Mission district, the power of the clothes is on the streets. Expression is valued very highly, independence and unique styles as well. People take their time to put in a little effort and express themselves to be independent. 

In the Mission district, the power of the clothes is on the streets. Expression is valued very highly, independence and unique styles as well.

How do you define your style and how did you cultivate it?

My style is fun, casual, and sophisticated. When I was younger, I practiced music, art and acting, so I like playing and mixing different details. 

I used to work at Miss Sixty when the space was at Grant Street in ‘06. It was a pivotal time for my creative life. They had a Paper Magazine subscription and I used to read it, also the 7×7 magazine, but SOMA magazine was the one that captured my imagination the most. 

Also, back then, I became enamored with Project Runway. I learned so much from that show. I basically learned how to acquire a discerning eye from the judges on the show. And I have seen every season!

Another thing about me is that I love collecting T-shirts, and if I want to buy something new, I try to sell something old.

These days I need to use what I have and reinvent my wardrobe because I don’t have a monthly budget to buy new clothes. I still love reading magazines, looking at what’s going on in fashion, and attending exhibitions and events.

Do you think clothes are part of who you are as a person?

I’m attracted to people that have an independent style and people that make an effort professionally or socially. Clothing expresses parts, details of who we are or who we want to be in time. We can be who we are and also we can be who we want to be through fashion. 

Clothing expresses parts, details of who we are or who we want to be in time. We can be who we are and also we can be who we want to be through fashion. 

I like to think that I take care of myself and I do the same with my clothes that I love the most. For instance, I have a pair of black jeans that I’m very proud of, and my family doesn’t understand why. I take it regularly for repairings, I have it patched up. It’s beaten up, but I love it and it just goes great with t-shirts. 

Why do you think people are attached to clothes?

Just because clothes are with us when living our lives. Clothes are also selfishness and healthy narcissism. We all want to be seen, right?

Since I’ve discovered the Marie Kondo method, I’ve been trying to become minimalist to bring out the soul more.

Pants from @mnml.la

T-shirt from @cottonon

Cardigan from @uniqlo

Shoes from @vans

Mask @humanmade 

Beanie @urbanoutfitters

Watch @guess x @seikooficial

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