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NPR: Why Black Men Tend To Be Fashion Kings - Page 2

post #16 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by OinkBoink View Post

Their unique relationship with fashion can be traced back to the 17th century? I wonder how that works when 80% of them can barely trace a relationship to their father, let alone fore, fore, fore, fore, fore, fore, fore, fore fathers.


You can't trace your lineage that far back; neither can I. The argument is not genealogical, it's culturo-historical, and deals with macro-history. That's why even though I don't know my great-great-great-n grandparents' names, I know they likely had topknots, wore saris, or had boiled leather shoes. Genealogy has very little to do with it, and "diaspora" usually involves the identity of an entire ethnicity as it disperses globally.

The other point was the identity politics point, which you've proven indirectly: black people aren't get so much crap from ***theads like you that they need any advantage they can get; dressing sharply is one.

post #17 of 65
lol - let's keep it non-racist, assholes. Remember, on Styleforum, that is pretty much the one thing that will get you banned, no appeal, no questions asked.

You see similar behavior in other immigrant groups as well, for different, but related, reasons. I listened to the episode, and was hoping for a little more in the way of analysis (for me, the first few minutes could have been cut in favor of more conversation with the author,) but not a terrible episode.
post #18 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by yummyarsenic View Post

You can't trace your lineage that far back; neither can I.

Actually, I can trace my ancestry back 24 generations. I'm sorry for all you guys.
post #19 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by dapperdoctor View Post

This thread is really not necessary since we are all individuals and each one of us has a certain style.  It's a racially motivated thread and likely to bring racist comments. 

It's a thread about a piece of sociological analysis germane to the main focus of this forum. If assholes can't restrain themselves from making racist comments, I'll just ban them.
post #20 of 65
While interested in the topic, I'm not interested enough to buy a copy of the book "Slaves to Fashion: Black Dandyism and the Styling of Black Diasporic Identity " I'm sure it's a real page turner and it's due to hit the NY Times list any day now (been out 3 years), I'm going to wait and see if someone gives me a copy for my birthday. For those of you in a similar bind, I'd like to present the synopsis

Synopsis

Slaves to Fashion is a pioneering cultural history of the black dandy, from his emergence in Enlightenment England to his contemporary incarnations in the cosmopolitan art worlds of London and New York. It is populated by sartorial impresarios such as Julius Soubise, a freed slave who sometimes wore diamond-buckled, red-heeled shoes as he circulated through the social scene of eighteenth-century London, and Yinka Shonibare, a prominent Afro-British artist who not only styles himself as a fop but also creates ironic commentaries on black dandyism in his work. Interpreting performances and representations of black dandyism in particular cultural settings and literary and visual texts, Monica L. Miller emphasizes the importance of sartorial style to black identity formation in the Atlantic diaspora.

Dandyism was initially imposed on black men in eighteenth-century England, as the Atlantic slave trade and an emerging culture of conspicuous consumption generated a vogue in dandified black servants. "Luxury slaves" tweaked and reworked their uniforms, and were soon known for their sartorial novelty and sometimes flamboyant personalities. Tracing the history of the black dandy forward to contemporary celebrity incarnations such as Andre 3000 and Sean Combs, Miller explains how black people became arbiters of style and how they have historically used the dandy's signature tools-clothing, gesture, and wit-to break down limiting identity markers and propose new ways of fashioning political and social possibility in the black Atlantic world. With an aplomb worthy of her iconographic subject, she considers the black dandy in relation to nineteenth-century American literature and drama, W.E. B. Du Bois's reflections on black masculinity and cultural nationalism, the modernist aesthetics of the Harlem Renaissance, and representations of black cosmopolitanism in contemporary visual art.

The book seems to be an academic historical study of Black "Dandies" & "Fops". How NPR manages to take this and translate it into "Why Black Men Tend To Be Fashion Kings" seems to be just another example of why the National Endowment for the Arts should be shut down.
post #21 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by OinkBoink View Post

Their unique relationship with fashion can be traced back to the 17th century? I wonder how that works when 80% of them can barely trace a relationship to their father, let alone fore, fore, fore, fore, fore, fore, fore, fore fathers.

With a little help we can usually trace back to slavery and for some that could lead to your fore, fore, fore, fore, fore father?
post #22 of 65

Well as black man of abnormal size (6"8 250lbs), I feel I do have to dress impeccably. Its helps that I have a passion for fashion but its a leg-up. I can trace my lineage back to the Village where my family is from in Africa so I guess I do not fall into the category that Oink Boink claims that most of us fall into. I cannot state how many times I have been told by white friends in particular that "I speak very well for an African-American." I even had others in a conversation state one time that she was into American looking guys. When I asked her what that meant.. she stated "You know guys with blonde hair blue/brown eyes"..just stared and moved the topic on to something else eventually. So I see what the article is getting at. Everything I have achieved in my life is through hard work but also great impressions. To add to that I feel great impressions crosses any racial borders because its broadly applicable to all people. You get a white person, an asian or a person of hispanic heritage dress in appropriately they would not be taken as seriously. However where I feel it differs from my experience is people's preconception's of who I am. I have been in elevators in a beautiful suit where older women clutch at their purses or bags or tell me the success that I have is because the government gave it to me which has happened a couple times.. (actually had a drunk guy walk up to me in a bar look me up and down and ask how much did I have to save on my food stamps to afford the suit, to which my wife had to drag me out of there before something bad happened)..I feel that I have to look impeccably because I could not afford to have any weaknesses whether on interview's or now in my career client meetings. Just my two cents.

post #23 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by chocsosa View Post

(actually had a drunk guy walk up to me in a bar look me up and down and ask how much did I have to save on my food stamps to afford the suit, to which my wife had to drag me out of there before something bad happened)

Must have been to start talking smack to a 6'8 250lb dude. wink.gif
post #24 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by chocsosa View Post

Well as black man of abnormal size (6"8 250lbs), I feel I do have to dress impeccably. Its helps that I have a passion for fashion but its a leg-up. I can trace my lineage back to the Village where my family is from in Africa so I guess I do not fall into the category that Oink Boink claims that most of us fall into. I cannot state how many times I have been told by white friends in particular that "I speak very well for an African-American." I even had others in a conversation state one time that she was into American looking guys. When I asked her what that meant.. she stated "You know guys with blonde hair blue/brown eyes"..just stared and moved the topic on to something else eventually. So I see what the article is getting at. Everything I have achieved in my life is through hard work but also great impressions. To add to that I feel great impressions crosses any racial borders because its broadly applicable to all people. You get a white person, an asian or a person of hispanic heritage dress in appropriately they would not be taken as seriously. However where I feel it differs from my experience is people's preconception's of who I am. I have been in elevators in a beautiful suit where older women clutch at their purses or bags or tell me the success that I have is because the government gave it to me which has happened a couple times.. (actually had a drunk guy walk up to me in a bar look me up and down and ask how much did I have to save on my food stamps to afford the suit, to which my wife had to drag me out of there before something bad happened)..I feel that I have to look impeccably because I could not afford to have any weaknesses whether on interview's or now in my career client meetings. Just my two cents.

Interesting (and honestly, shocking) perspective, chocsosa. Thank you for sharing with the rest of us.

ETA: Noticed it's my first post in 2013, so Happy New Year, SF!
post #25 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpooPoker View Post


Must have been to start talking smack to a 6'8 250lb dude. wink.gif

 

It will surprise you how many guys try to do that when they are drunk.. they inherently are searching out the most intimidating guy in the bar.. well I'm taller than most guys (including bouncers) and well built (which comes from playing basketball in college and being involved in MMA the way I am now to keep in shape)..so I get that a lot..also did not help that I had a penchant to not smile..just who I was.. so I had to work on making myself as non threatening as possible.. never scared of a fight.. but its better to avoid those situations and I do not want to be stereo-typed..I get a lot of friends that are like "when I first saw you I was very intimidated, being big and black.." I know they don't mean it derogatorily.. but it gets to you..its sometimes what you have to live with as a person with color sometimes and I think that is what the article is getting at. By the way Happy New Year Spoo..I look forward to more awesome pictures that I can add to my collection to use as inspiration my friend..

post #26 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by bubba04 View Post


Interesting (and honestly, shocking) perspective, chocsosa. Thank you for sharing with the rest of us.
ETA: Noticed it's my first post in 2013, so Happy New Year, SF!


Same to you Bubba!

post #27 of 65
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dapperdoctor View Post

This thread is really not necessary since we are all individuals and each one of us has a certain style.  It's a racially motivated thread and likely to bring racist comments. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Godot View Post

While interested in the topic, I'm not interested enough to buy a copy of the book "Slaves to Fashion: Black Dandyism and the Styling of Black Diasporic Identity " I'm sure it's a real page turner and it's due to hit the NY Times list any day now (been out 3 years), I'm going to wait and see if someone gives me a copy for my birthday. For those of you in a similar bind, I'd like to present the synopsis
Synopsis
Slaves to Fashion is a pioneering cultural history of the black dandy, from his emergence in Enlightenment England to his contemporary incarnations in the cosmopolitan art worlds of London and New York. It is populated by sartorial impresarios such as Julius Soubise, a freed slave who sometimes wore diamond-buckled, red-heeled shoes as he circulated through the social scene of eighteenth-century London, and Yinka Shonibare, a prominent Afro-British artist who not only styles himself as a fop but also creates ironic commentaries on black dandyism in his work. Interpreting performances and representations of black dandyism in particular cultural settings and literary and visual texts, Monica L. Miller emphasizes the importance of sartorial style to black identity formation in the Atlantic diaspora.
Dandyism was initially imposed on black men in eighteenth-century England, as the Atlantic slave trade and an emerging culture of conspicuous consumption generated a vogue in dandified black servants. "Luxury slaves" tweaked and reworked their uniforms, and were soon known for their sartorial novelty and sometimes flamboyant personalities. Tracing the history of the black dandy forward to contemporary celebrity incarnations such as Andre 3000 and Sean Combs, Miller explains how black people became arbiters of style and how they have historically used the dandy's signature tools-clothing, gesture, and wit-to break down limiting identity markers and propose new ways of fashioning political and social possibility in the black Atlantic world. With an aplomb worthy of her iconographic subject, she considers the black dandy in relation to nineteenth-century American literature and drama, W.E. B. Du Bois's reflections on black masculinity and cultural nationalism, the modernist aesthetics of the Harlem Renaissance, and representations of black cosmopolitanism in contemporary visual art.
The book seems to be an academic historical study of Black "Dandies" & "Fops". How NPR manages to take this and translate it into "Why Black Men Tend To Be Fashion Kings" seems to be just another example of why the National Endowment for the Arts should be shut down.

 

Learning something new every day!

 

While NPR is directed at Americans, I think blacks across the board have more brave use of color.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chocsosa View Post

Well as black man of abnormal size (6"8 250lbs), I feel I do have to dress impeccably. Its helps that I have a passion for fashion but its a leg-up. I can trace my lineage back to the Village where my family is from in Africa so I guess I do not fall into the category that Oink Boink claims that most of us fall into. I cannot state how many times I have been told by white friends in particular that "I speak very well for an African-American." I even had others in a conversation state one time that she was into American looking guys. When I asked her what that meant.. she stated "You know guys with blonde hair blue/brown eyes"..just stared and moved the topic on to something else eventually. So I see what the article is getting at. Everything I have achieved in my life is through hard work but also great impressions. To add to that I feel great impressions crosses any racial borders because its broadly applicable to all people. You get a white person, an asian or a person of hispanic heritage dress in appropriately they would not be taken as seriously. However where I feel it differs from my experience is people's preconception's of who I am. I have been in elevators in a beautiful suit where older women clutch at their purses or bags or tell me the success that I have is because the government gave it to me which has happened a couple times.. (actually had a drunk guy walk up to me in a bar look me up and down and ask how much did I have to save on my food stamps to afford the suit, to which my wife had to drag me out of there before something bad happened)..I feel that I have to look impeccably because I could not afford to have any weaknesses whether on interview's or now in my career client meetings. Just my two cents.

 

Must be either crazy or really drunk to talk smack on a guy that's 6'8", 250lbs (dont think you are only 6"8, but don't want to know your other measurements).

 

Personally, I do have to dress seriously in my profession; my suit is my armor. 

post #28 of 65
I am Asian American so neither a representative of white or black culture.

I have noticed that black men, no matter what their budget, have a strong desire to dress well. That is where the white Americans have lost it. For them it is a race to the bottom of the sartorial degradation.Compliments to a well dressed person are also more often than not from a black person, men and women. Which clearly shows an understanding of what dressing well means and recognizing it and being comfortable complementing it. One other factor that distinguished black men is the confidence with which they wear their clothes, no matter how much they paid for it, cannot be imitated.

There is only one suit that i decided to buy on the street when I saw an elderly black gentleman get off his taxi in downtown Chicago last summer wearing a tan and white seer sucker suit. The way he carried the suit was a class act. Within a week i had found a similar suit but i know i never will have the confidence of that black gentleman who inspired the purchase.
post #29 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by chocsosa View Post

Well as black man of abnormal size (6"8 250lbs), I feel I do have to dress impeccably. Its helps that I have a passion for fashion but its a leg-up. I can trace my lineage back to the Village where my family is from in Africa so I guess I do not fall into the category that Oink Boink claims that most of us fall into. I cannot state how many times I have been told by white friends in particular that "I speak very well for an African-American." I even had others in a conversation state one time that she was into American looking guys. When I asked her what that meant.. she stated "You know guys with blonde hair blue/brown eyes"..just stared and moved the topic on to something else eventually. So I see what the article is getting at. Everything I have achieved in my life is through hard work but also great impressions. To add to that I feel great impressions crosses any racial borders because its broadly applicable to all people. You get a white person, an asian or a person of hispanic heritage dress in appropriately they would not be taken as seriously. However where I feel it differs from my experience is people's preconception's of who I am. I have been in elevators in a beautiful suit where older women clutch at their purses or bags or tell me the success that I have is because the government gave it to me which has happened a couple times.. (actually had a drunk guy walk up to me in a bar look me up and down and ask how much did I have to save on my food stamps to afford the suit, to which my wife had to drag me out of there before something bad happened)..I feel that I have to look impeccably because I could not afford to have any weaknesses whether on interview's or now in my career client meetings. Just my two cents.

I grew up in a different country, and now live in Australia where I am a distinct minority - a different situation, but I think some parallels can probably be made with your experience.

I think I understand where you come from - the casual thoughtlessness of strangers or friends can sometimes be quite painful to stomach.

In my experience it is the offhand remarks, the ones that acquaintances make in unguarded moments that often give me pause to think - it is difficult at times to not be defined by what you are apparently meant or not meant to be.

Outright racist idiots are easy to brush off, not so people who you thought saw you as you, shorn of the colour of your skin. People who you identified with, people who you thought you a part of.

I'm in a mixed race relationship, and in the beginning like perhaps a lot of folk that need a bit more maturing I thought it was a big deal - I was unjustifiably pleased with myself for whatever reason.

Now 7 years on, we just... are - I realised about a year or two ago that the colour of her skin just didn't matter at all anymore, that I saw past it and saw her as just a person, not a (insert prefix) person. That I saw past the wrapper, I guess.

At that moment I felt a mixture of elation, relief, and quiet shame that it had taken so long and I should have known better. Difficult to put into words.

Anyhow, Happy New Year chocsosa. icon_gu_b_slayer[1].gif
Edited by apropos - 1/1/13 at 3:14am
post #30 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by apropos View Post


I grew up in a different country, and now live in Australia where I am a distinct minority - a different situation, but I think some parallels can probably be made with your experience.
I think I understand where you come from - the casual thoughtlessness of strangers or friends can sometimes be quite painful to stomach.
In my experience it is the offhand remarks, the ones that acquaintances make in unguarded moments that often give me pause to think - it is difficult at times to not be defined by what you are apparently meant or not meant to be.
Outright racist idiots are easy to brush off, not so people who you thought saw you as you, shorn of the colour of your skin. People who you identified with, people who you thought you a part of.
I'm in a mixed race relationship, and in the beginning like perhaps a lot of folk that need a bit more maturing I thought it was a big deal - I was unjustifiably pleased with myself for whatever reason.
Now 7 years on, we just... are - I realised about a year or two ago that the colour of her skin just didn't matter at all anymore, that I saw past it and saw her as just a person, not a (insert prefix) person. That I saw past the wrapper, I guess.
At that moment I felt a mixture of elation, relief, and quiet shame that it had taken so long and I should have known better. Difficult to put into words.
Anyhow, Happy New Year chocsosa. icon_gu_b_slayer[1].gif


Thanks Apro's... you learn to stomach it unfortunately when you are the minority which I am in most situations..you learn to live with it and not let it get to you honestly. Vividly I remember a couple of friends of mine and I were hanging out in downtown DC in Adams Morgan. I, another African American and two of our white friends.. we were looking to bar hop and end up at a club. We first stopped by a club where the were a proportionate amount of African Americans (mostly professional) and our two white friends just looked visibly uncomfortable, like a fish out of water. Again, the African Americans in that club were professional looking (business suits and ties and professional dresses) but they just looked like they could not stay there. Thus we left and ended up at a club that was 99% white. They had the time of their lives and we just made do with the situation. My African American friend and I talked about the experience the next day and both had very similar views when it comes to those kind of situations. As a minority in most situation's we try to not appear the stereotype of what people consider us or rock the boat. If we rock the boat then we are seen as the pariah in the group and thus isolated. Thus to a certain degree you have to give up some things to blend in if that's your choice. So as I got older I had to narrow the amount of people I really hung out with which of course included exes. I realized I had to do blend in career wise but I got tired of doing that in my personal life...I did not base that choice on race but on those that accept me for me without any false perceptions or prejudices. So in relation to this thread I feel that generally dressing well gives everyone despite race a leg up.. however when you are a person of color you really have to dress well.. I have had clients in meetings that have said stuff like "you dress well..I don't see too many of your kind that do." (had a client that really said that) you just learn to brush it off and do what you need to do... Happy new year to you Apro's! And congratulations on your enlightenment..I feel that once you came to that acknowledgement, everything else was just so much clearer and better

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