FOUNDER OF MANHOOD.TV
SENSE OF BELONGING Issue #10
With all your experience how did that get you to popular men publications like GQ, Complex and even Men’s Health? How did that change the way you think about men’s grooming?
Well most publications were always coming to me for grooming pieces, bits of advice on grooming and then some. Now days I get calls to teach the concept of making a steak on a grill. Being in and working with the magazines has not changed my outlook on grooming in anyway; in fact it’s made me want to make the information better. Because I feel the magazines are missing the boat.
What made you take your career a step further and create the first Baber-spa and grooming lounge?
Well the name Grooming Lounge now has become like Xerox or Kleenex anyone who opens a barbershop with spa services or some special tweak uses the name Grooming Lounge. Shame on us for not spending enough on the trademark, I actually came up with the name on the back of a napkin. Having said that, when I first started, I knew I didn’t want to hire the typical hairstylist and barbers, so I set out created my own educational system, brought in barbers and hairstylist out of school, trained from scratch (three months before the first location ever opened. I had already created the website (which is still going strong without my involvement) my goal had always been to create a catalog for men, like Bliss, I did that as well as create the first product ever created on the barber shop floor. How else can I explain this, the Grooming Lounge was 12 years of my life and then knowing that I wanted to take to a different level, I got myself pushed out of the concept I created (which is a sad but inspiring story) and I rebooted to Manhood Tv.
VIDEOGRAPHER / DIRECTOR
OUT OF THIS WORLD Issue #8
Helvetica Light is an easy to read font, with tall and narrow letters, that works well on almost every site.
MODEL / ACTIVIST
SENSE OF BELONGING Issue #9
Slowly but surely androgynous modeling/fashion is becoming bigger and bigger each year. There are a lot of young people who fit this “genre” who are afraid to peruse modeling because they don’t fit the normal “fashion standards”. What would you say to this young person?
No matter what your pursuit is, you have to get rid of the fear. You should never fear trying anything. You have the right to go for what you truly want out of life. Don't let your fear stop you. The world is changing, and it orders for the positive change that is taking place to continue, we are going to need fiercely fearless people who don't care about the odds... who don't care about the fear.
You have the cool quote, “express and excel.” that you say. Explain to us what does that mean to you and why did that stick to you.
Express yourself freely and you will naturally excel in life! You have to embrace who you are whole-heartedly and be that. Be your own very special creation and true success will come eventually. I came to this realization after going through top model and my hashtag, #ExpressandExcel is a quick and easy reminder to always be true to yourself!!!
VIDEOGRAPHER / DIRECTOR
OUT OF THIS WORLD Issue #8
Your only 20 and you have put more work into your craft and exceed so much then I have seen in a 30 year old! Where does all this drive come from?
I really appreciate the compliment and my drive comes from me. I want a better life for my loved ones, and myself but overall I want to be FREE. Free to create anything I imagine without any restrictions. So,I continue to make due with whatever I have and make the best of it until I am blessed with more to work with.
Can I say your special affects are so dead on and crisp! What inspire you to take your videography to the next level?
Once again, I appreciate the compliment, and in my eyes my effects aren't good enough until I can create something similar to the Transformers sequel. When I create an effect, I try very hard to make it as realistic as possible. I feel like my effects get the point across but it’s still room for improvement. I want my effects to literally be ‘Out of This World.
OUT OF THIS WORLD Issue #7
Project Runway! Yes, I ‘am a fan of that show. Tell us your experience on the show?
Project Runway was such a great experience. I was a fan of the show, so getting on the show and only having to audition once was a blessing and an honor.
What was it like being taped for a couple of months for the show? Did it take a while to adjust?
Yes it took some time getting used to having to be mic’d before speaking and having a camera in your face 24/7. Gave a whole new respect for being a Kardashians lol
How did the world take you as a brand and designer?
Since first starting, which isn’t that long ago, it has been all love, especially after being on the show.
What are 3 top things you would say that set your designs and artistry apart from the rest?
It is not so much three words but the work and the passion that I put in is very evident. Also that every collection that I create has strong ties to the person I was, am and will be. And this September everyone will be reminded of that.
FASHION // BEAUTY PHOTOGRAPHER
CHAMPION Issue #6
To be a fashion photographer it seems that you need to have other talents to become great. Was this true when you went to school for graphic design? Why didn’t you take fashion design or marketing instead?
Another good question, I pretty much sacrificed my youth and enslaved my self to this industry.
I worked extremely hard and never slept, partied or went out. What agencies look for in photographers is quality and deliverance. But every agency is different and has different ways they like to represent their models. So your shooting style might not be for every agency and for the really big agencies like IMG and DNA it's all about who you know and who you have worked for. Credibility, quality, and reputation is what will get you through the doors.
I know fashion agencies can be a tricky business to please and get into and maintain a great relationship with them. What are some hidden secrets that agencies look for to become their favorite? What were some key advice that you were given in the past?
This question is funny. Becoming an agency’s favorite photographer is a lot of work and no play or pay. I build my relationships more with the models then the bookers because the bookers aren't doing anything for me but that model might be able to get you into a show or magazine down the road. Agencies have hundreds of photographers they work with. You are nothing but a number to them. The best way to leave your mark is shoot a few of their models, kill it, and then never hit them up again. It worked for me with Major models, and I still get model packages when they got new models flying into town.