At what age did you become fascinated with fashion?
I began to develop my personal style when I started high school. I noticed that my taste was different from many of my peers. My brothers and a few of my friends would comment on what I chose to wear as "weird, " but I didn't care. I think that at that moment, I knew that I had something special and developed a new passion.
How would you describe your personal style?
My friends dubbed me the "Modern Sophisticate." In that, I have a love for classic styles, but I will add a modern twist to showcase my personality.
What inspired you to create thebettermanual.co?
I experienced a great deal of personal change in my life. I lost 130 pounds, moved away from home, and changed careers. I was on the path to creating a better person. I decided to begin sharing what I had learned while encouraging others to step out of their comfort zones, get introspective, embrace their truest self, and look good while doing it.
What are the top essentials every man should have in his wardrobe?
Some essentials are a navy and a gray suit, a denim jacket, crisp white dress shirts (and a few other colors), a watch, brown lace ups, a pair of loafers, a few pairs of sneakers, two pairs of quality denim, a bag and an umbrella. I am creating a complete list on my blog very soon.
Who are your favorite designers or brands? How do they influence you?
I enjoy learning and following independent suiting specialists and boutiques with solid branding campaigns. I love seeing their process and their personalities shine through in their pieces and how they help their clients gain confidence through their clothing. A few of note are F.E. Castleberry, Angel Bespoke (Angel Ramos), The Dirty Inc., The Brooklyn Circus, Beckett and Robb, Ikire Jones, and Sid Mashburn. They influence me to find my own voice and be comfortable. Also, they inspire me to continue building my personal and business brand, and these brands taught me that caring about the way you look as a guy is not only acceptable but should be the norm.
What would be your dream job?
In a dream world, I would have a men's grooming lounge, a boutique, and consult in regards to personal branding. I would also travel as a professional background singer as well.
On upcoming projects:
I host menswear brunches in Nashville, and I am looking to expand that reach. I love the community that is building in the process. I may also do some recording soon.