Happy Wednesday my loves!
I got a chance to catch up with a 22-year-old fashion entrepreneur from Toronto, Canada. Ohhhh FYI, he made sure he emphasized "TORONTO"; he has something against us U.S.A folks. (Just kidding). I am the same way when people ask where am I from. I literally yell OHIO as if they didn't hear or understand me. This guy is pretty funny and I think you all will enjoy the interview! It is Wine Down Wednesday so grab a glass of wine, kick your feet up, and enjoy.
Make sure you all follow Jalen.
CC: Hi Jalen, tell us a little bit about you, age, where you are from, what you do etc.?
Jalen: “Well first off I would like to start with my name which is Jalen of course, real first name is hyphenated as Jalen-Juwan but nobody really knows that other than my family and well, now you all know! I currently work at TOPSHOP/TOPMAN. I went to school for about a year and a bit but took a pause just too focus on my fashion career because it’s a passion to me and I am destined to make it in this industry. I’m currently a fashion blogger and have my own website that covers my day to day outfits, tips on what to wear, and how you can look good with key items. My blog doesn’t consist of just fashion, it consists of different things such as blog posts on different topics, contests, the struggles I went through to get to where I am today and I try to encourage others!"
CC: What does style mean to you?
Jalen: “What does style mean to me? Good question, style to me is literally a work of art, expressing yourself in ways where people can genuinely realize that you’re creative. Some people may understand while others don’t, but being able to wear clothing in such a way where it turns itself into art and creativity is style. Style means not just thinking outside of the box, but thinking with no box. Having the ability to be comfortable in your own skin despite what people have to say because you know who you are. Style means NO LABLES, so many people believe you must wear expensive things to look good or fit in with the fashion industry and it’s a source of style but is it a source of you? Setting yourself apart from everybody is essential when being in the fashion industry. Always think to yourself when getting dressed: are you wearing the clothes or are the clothes wearing you?”
CC: What is your go-to item to complete a look?
Jalen: “Anyone that knows me knows that my go-to item to complete a look would be my messenger/duffle bags or a hat. Anything hand related that I could carry completes my look for any outfit if I just want to have that extra item. To me, a bag just makes the look more chic, more interesting. To have this outfit and then to have a popping bag with it just eventuates the look. On top of that I just love bags and how they’re made; it’s kind of like a signature look for me. Another item would be a hat of course! Want that extra fashion forward item? Throw on a leather fitted cap, fedora, or bucket hat and your outfit will look more amazing that it already does. These two items are a big signature look for me!”
CC: Winter, Fall or Summer Fashion & why?
Jalen: “Fall fashion hands down. Well to be honest, everyone could dress nice or look decent in the summer. Nobody really has a "stand out style" to much in the summer because people will wear the same thing: shirts, shorts, shoes, skirts, crop tops, shades etc.. However in the fall and winter you could create your own personal style a lot more when it comes to layering, pieces and key items of warmth. If you could look amazing in the fall and winter, your style is definitely a winner in my eyes but don’t get me wrong some people still style out in the summer and set themselves apart, but fall fashion you could look more creative and unique when putting together a load warm of looks from your wardrobe articulating it into art.”
CC: Top 5 must have items in a men’s wardrobe for this fall?
1. Long Trench: I feel like this a key piece to have in the fall just because it’s very fashion forward; trench coats look good with anything basically. You just throw it on with the outfit your wearing and your outfit will look better than you thought it did before! Trench coats will make an outfit you feel doesn’t look your best, great!
2. Booties: Every male needs a pair of combat boots in their wardrobe to differentiate their looks. A nice pair of Chelsea boots will make your outfit look clean and efficient! However, it’s essential to have colors like black and brown so a lot of your outfits could go well!
3. Jean Jackets: Jean Jackets will always be in style for the fall, every time you think of Jean Jackets you automatically think fall fashion. This amazing fall piece goes go with majority of your wardrobe, if it’s either a black jean jacket or a denim one, it’s always an essential piece to have in your closet to look great with!
4. SCARFS: I put that in caps because I really love Scarf’s! It can make an outfit look so intricate it’s unreal. Wrap scarves, Infinity scarves, any type of fashion forward scarf will not only keep you warm but it will have you looking great also!
5. Leather, Leather, Leather: Leather is a great item to have in the fall because it speaks fall fashion. Whether it is leather hats, pants or ties, leather will have you looking edgy & creative all the time!
CC: Top 5 Fashion brands/Designers/Stores?
Jalen: "To be honest I couldn’t really name 5 because I’m not really into designers but the 2 designers that really impress me are Michael Costello and Olivier Rousteing (Balmain Brand). These two individuals set themselves from the rest, being unique and creative as they can be. Always trying to figure out what they can do to better their outfits each time and they succeed in that very well. I would love to meet them one day let alone wear their designs if they do Men’s clothing because I’ve only seen females rock their stuff, but I don’t doubt that they have Men’s clothing at all! My favorite brand/stores would have to be Zara, H&M, & Topshop/Topman. These three stores have a fashion forward brand of their own! Always has the latest fashion and will make you look like a bag of money for an affordable price, now that’s what I’m talking about!"
CC: Top five shoes for this fall?
1. Chelsea Boots: Having this type of boot in your wardrobe will make your outfit look great. You can see these boots at places like Topman, Aldo any type of dress shoe store you come across, these are definitely on this list for the type five for fall
2. Oxfords: A type of dress shoe that will have your outfit looking clean, if you are into that GQ look then this definitely for you, this a such a top five item for fall, it’s been in for a while but this year it’s becoming more intense
3. Knee High Boots: Fall fashion always consisted of knee-high boots whether it is leather, suede or a regular material. Want your outfit to pop on your “bad” days, knee high boots will be your rescue and this also makes the list as a top five item.
4. Heels: Fall Fashion is the best time to wear heels when it comes to women, a classic heel with boyfriend jeans and a long trench can really have you looking spot on! Never be afraid to try something new when it comes to a classic heel in the fall.
5. Classic retro shoe: anything from Adidas to air max to air forces, these are always a top five on my list when it comes to fall shoes. It’s always essential to have a classic retro shoe!
CC: How would you describe your personal style?
Jalen: "Passion, Inspiration, art, RISK TAKER. To be honest, I feel like these four things are what sets me apart from everyone else in this industry. I’ve always had a passion for fashion since I was younger and it stuck with me until now, people think I wake up in the morning, go to my closet and automatically assume that I probably dress to impress or dress for attention but that’s not it, It’s just in me. Something I was born with, a talent God created me with so I use it to the best of my ability. You probably would think I take hours to get ready but if I told you that those hours would be minutes, you wouldn’t believe me. Fashion is something I breathe, live, eat, conquer and work hard to get better at every day in my life. I like to be inspirational when I put on clothing because so many people are afraid to be that inspiration and shine through their fashion. I want people to be able to shine as well and have them realize that people will always have something to say but when you continue to do regardless, people respect your ethics and follow. I want to be that role model for people who aren’t comfortable in their own skin, people who are afraid to be themselves because the norm wants them to be something totally different from what they actually want to be. Art is an essential fact when it comes to the way I dress, I don’t just want people to say my style is incredible but I want people to realize that what I do is a work of art. Being able to create different looks unconditionally is what I stand for and I believe you can always get better and better. RISK TAKER is a very important statement to me, that’s what I live by and go through EVERY SINGLE DAY. Taking risks in the fashion world is such a beautiful thing because so many people will respect it and then the people that don’t will have so much to say but will eventually grow on them. If you’re not willing to step outside of your comfort zone when it comes to your wardrobe, how do you expect to have a better style or creative critique? I’m not saying that you need to dress super crazy, but if you want to set that standard of being different when it comes to style, you got to push your comfort zone to the next level!"
CC: “Lastly, The Prevailing Effect is someone who has prevailed and overcame many obstacles in life to get where they are today: Do you consider yourself a “Prevailing Effect”?”
Jalen: "I definitely consider myself to be a prevailing Effect and I’m still going through obstacles till this day. It’s pretty funny because you look at where you originally started up until where you are now and you get impressive. I was bullied, ridiculed, judged, hurt, confused and so many other things that I could touch base on. Wondering how I overcame this? GOD. I found myself through him and believe it or not it was a struggle but it was worth it because I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I’m happy doing something that I love because he blessed me with such a beautiful talent and I can’t thank him enough. Just when I thought I was going down I really leaned toward God and he heeled my heart, my mind and my soul. You see when you look to him, everything is possible, and anything is possible. So many people in this generation are doing something they dislike rather than chasing their dreams they absolutely love because they think they can’t make it or won’t succeed and the real statement is, you will SUCCEED. It’s a tough obstacle but you can always overcome any obstacle by the grace of God. Don’t be afraid to chase your dream because trust me when you do something you love, you’ll NEVER have to work a day in your life and I promise you that. I’m here to encourage others and to give them that mental stability that they can do anything and will achieve it by working hard! It may not blossom right way but you will blossom eventually and see all that you can be."