1. Welcome to the new Styleforum!

    We hope you’re as excited as we are to hang out in the new place. There are more new features that we’ll announce in the near future, but for now we hope you’ll enjoy the new site.

    We are currently fine-tuning the forum for your browsing pleasure, so bear with any lingering dust as we work to make Styleforum even more awesome than it was.

    Oh, and don’t forget to head over to the Styleforum Journal, because we’re giving away two pairs of Carmina shoes to celebrate our move!

    Please address any questions about using the new forum to support@styleforum.net

    Cheers,

    The Styleforum Team

    Dismiss Notice

NPR: Why Black Men Tend To Be Fashion Kings

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by chogall, Dec 31, 2012.

  1. BernieStevens

    BernieStevens Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    172
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    Location:
    NYC/LA
    I've been in the entertainment business for my whole life. Until a decade ago mostly in front of the camera. At a fitting for a feature film I was about to work on many moons ago, I had an interesting conversation with the young white wardrobe designers. Btw, I am 6-2 and black and I've always been a fan of fashion and clothing. We started to discuss clothes, style and fashion and the women informed me that they always perused and shopped in the stores in the hood because if you wanted to know what was going to be "the next thing" you'd find it in those stores 2 years before the general public picked up on it. Having grown up in Newark NJ and Manhattan, this was always the norm to me but it was fascinating to hear it from someone who came specifically for the style. And from someone who wasn't black.
     
  2. meister

    meister Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,319
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2007
    

    That "message about yourself" can often mean being comfortable in you own skin/persona. It strikes me that a lot of adverse comments about people who dress sharp/well is rooted in envy. At the same time for a lot of people dressing well is a sign of personal confidence. They might not enjoy it themselves but like you to channel it for them and often that is the source of positive comments.


    QED my avatar.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013
  3. TimelesStyle

    TimelesStyle Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,007
    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2010
    

    There's actually an interesting paradox Here: with respect to style of dress, it's very true that many trends originate in the "hood" and then go mainstream. Unfortunately one of the most prominent, sagging, wasn't one of the better ones... Now, the paradoxical part: with respect to labels it's the complete opposite, in my opinion. Guess, Coach and Gucci are three that come to mind. All three were very much white (and/or Asian), upper-class labels but at some point they fell out of favor with white buyers and became more popular with black buyers. For instance, I can't remember the last time I saw a white guy with Gucci labeled shoes, or a girl with a Gucci monogrammed bag. No idea whether a causal relationship exists or if it's just a coincidence, but just my observation.
     
  4. MyOtherLife

    MyOtherLife Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,501
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    Location:
    The Arena - Centerfield
    No one ethnicity, country or people holds title to the ownership of style. Style is as diverse and fabulous as are we all, and there are seemingly, no limits to it, where people are free to express themselves without fear of ridicule or persecution.
     
  5. apropos

    apropos Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,455
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    

    Don't think it has as much to do with race as it has to do with social class. e.g. Burberry novacheck and the Chavs in Britain.

    Your observations are skewed because wealthy folk tend to be white, and the poorer folk, black.
     
  6. TimelesStyle

    TimelesStyle Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,007
    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2010
    

    Not sure about that; Gucci, for example, is no less expensive now than any time before. Unless all the stuff I'm seeing out there now is fake my guess is that it has to do with older vs. newer money, rather than money vs. lack of money. So rather maybe what I'm seeing is skewed because the folks who have had money longer tend to be white and those who came into it more recently are non-white.
     
  7. Ivar

    Ivar Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    928
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Location:
    Stockholm
    

    Agreed. And very interesting point.
     
  8. mr monty

    mr monty Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,793
    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2002
    Location:
    Naptown (Indianapolis)
    

    Not quite the order? They became popular with some blacks and then fell out of favor with some American white buyers. I don't know where you live, but white girls everywhere still carry real and/or fake Gucci. White guys still wear Gucci shoes. Many of the young black guys have switched from Gucci shoes to Gucci sneakers. Again I must ask where do you live? You can't go to a store (retail or outlet) that sells Gucci or any high end brand and not see Asians shopping.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. chocsosa

    chocsosa Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,085
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2011
    Location:
    Fresno, CA
    I agree monty..its fascinating to hear these generalization's.. most black men I know dont wear gucci or buy coach for their significant others..so I think you might be over reaching there Timelestyle in my opinion ..one can infer from your opinion Timelestyle that white's and asians mainly are catered too by upper class labels and that when us "black" people get too these labels they are no longer considered so..most of the rappers I see wear Brietlangs, Rolexes and carry L.V bags.. those are still considered "upper class brands" where rappers have been doing so for years..I can name countless others and Gucci is still considered high class brands in most circles..so with respect to that casual relationship that you refer too, I would say in my opinion I don't see it.. that is much a stereotype that I hear so many times that's just not true..
     
  10. w.o.e.is.me.

    w.o.e.is.me. Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,710
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
    woe was here.
     
    1 person likes this.
  11. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member

    Messages:
    33,236
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2002
    Location:
    Moscow, Idaho
    

    I think that you and Bernie are talking about something quite different here than the original subject. The push and pull between "street" and "designer" is nothing new. The contrast between the more bourgeois and the more "street" inspired tastes of the house of Dior and the house of Yves St. Laurent and the way that Hedi Slimane approached design at the latter house, then the former, is a pretty interesting note in fashion history.
     
  12. add911_11

    add911_11 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,994
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2010
    

    :stirpot:
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
  13. jt10000

    jt10000 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    230
    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2012
    Generally true, but the problem ethnic minorities (or at least blacks in America) face is that in many more "accomplished" fields/professions there are not other people of the same ethnic background, so they're one of the few people of that background in the profession. And so it's only a part of "themselves" that is there - I'm not an Ivy League-educated nonprofit leader first and a black person second. I'm both.

    Baronbvp I know you mean well and are a nice guy, but a key advantage white people in the US have is that they think/act in "non-racial" ways with concepts such as "it's not about race, it's about our shared experience in this profession/hobby/whatever." In most arenas, black people and other minorities don't have that luxury. You should be aware of that. There are exceptions - sports perhaps, or the military perhaps.

    I urge you to read this piece by Peggy McIntosh http://www.amptoons.com/blog/files/mcintosh.html
     
    1 person likes this.
  14. TimelesStyle

    TimelesStyle Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,007
    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2010
    

    I think you misunderstood what I was saying, particularly about a causal relationship. I said one may or may not exist, that I have no idea, but I simply observed that I see fewer whites wearing Gucci or Coach (or True Religion for that matter, one I'd previously omitted) and more blacks wearing said labels. Who knows what, if any, relationship exists. I highly doubt it's blacks "getting too close," and more likely a question of marketing. Consumers are fickle creatures and one of the best things marketers can do is find a new demographic to go after when a core demographic starts to lose interest. True Religion is a perfect example. Won't ever have much staying power anywhere but might as well try to find a new group of customers when the original target audience loses interest.

    Finally, I'll be the first to admit that my observations (not beliefs, biases, predispositions or assumptions) may not be representative of the population at large. And it wasn't even really a question of hierarchy of consumers, rather it was more about a contrast in where I observed different types of trends (style vs. label) appear to originate and perpetuate. Was not meant to be a broad generalization.
     
  15. TimelesStyle

    TimelesStyle Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,007
    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2010
    

    I live in Chicago but have only been here about six months. Previously I was in LA for six years, which was where I made most of my observations.
     
  16. mack1

    mack1 New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2012
    I have just read this thread and it has some interesting and some nonsense replies.

    In my opinion some fashion, trends could be related to poverty. Handed down clothes that you had to make look good (single cuff, Ragga Roll), Jeans hanging around your backside and tops that drown you. I think of it like food, most of your favourite takeaways originate from the poor food of a particular nation.

    The media just jump on the latest craze and we all start looking the same for a while.

    I think any race that does not have my pasty skin will look better in white, cream suit and equally as good in a dark suit. Just be glad you dont need to embarass yourself with tanning lotion [​IMG]

    As for stereotypes- I never understand why people get mad about them, there is some truth in all of them (Although I am Irish and hate Guinness ;)). We all need to tweak our appearance, views and personality in the work place so we can fit in, the rest of the time be yourself and you will make friends accordingly.
     
  17. Godot

    Godot Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    328
    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2006
    I also live in Chicago and have many Asian friends. It seems to be almost a right of passage, that at a certain time in an Asian girls life she gets a Gucci (or LV) purse. You can almost hear the 90 year old grandmother saying in Cantonese "你現在就去!買古奇錢包的時間。" which means "You go now-buy Gucci purse". It has to come from the Gucci/LV whatever store. If it doesn't it's not real.I took my friend to Tiffany s and between Thanksgiving and New Years she dropped almost $40,000. The people I know have no trust in the grey market and I'm told it's the same in Hong Kong. Anyway they tend to buy/wear only one label item in an outfit.

    There is a class of Black people that dress very much like the UK Chavs, in that they will wear a certain fake label pattern head to toe. When you see so much of it, the item loses it's cachet. I used to like the Burberry lining and now any hint of it is too much for me.

    I ramble. There are people of all races that dress well and poorly. No single race has the prize at either end of the spectrum.
     
  18. Pawz

    Pawz Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    558
    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2009
    Location:
    *taps your shoulder*
    Found something interesting... Maybe. :p

    Source: http://www.quantcast.com

    Saks Fifth:

    [​IMG]

    You'll notice that the site receives a great deal of African American and Asian traffic.

    [​IMG]

    ^Bergdorf; same.

    Now, before I go any further, I realize that the data doesn't say anything about purchases or the ratio of men-to-women buyers - it's just traffic.
    But, it does suggest that the African American community at least has a good knowledge of high-end clothing brands (though such says nothing about
    anyone's style sense).

    But, then there's this (ShopCoogi.com):

    [​IMG]

    Maybe this information is irrelevant (again, we see the types of traffic, but we cannot connect the types of traffic together)? Or maybe it shows how versatile/eclectic the African American wardrobe can be (if we choose to interpret the data that way)?

    Just for fun, it seems cheap shops receive a lot of affluent traffic in conjunction with a good deal of white traffic.

    Land's End:

    [​IMG]

    I've also noticed that (in many cases not shown here) higher-end shops tend to receive a good deal of lower-income traffic. Window shoppers/dreamers?

    Oh, and StyleForum:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2013
  19. recondite

    recondite Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    373
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2012
    Location:
    Kulhudhuffushi, Kaafu, Maldives
    It was from NPR.

    They have the adopted dual roles of agent provocateur and agent de change intent on creating and promoting a Hegelian dialectic to influence your ideas, hence thinking, emotions, and actions.

    They always build their story on a modicum of truth, but their story is always the same.

    All men dress to impress some idea upon you. Many men dress to influence or attain access to certain social strata. Black men are no different in this than white men.

    Unfortunately there exists a strong stereotype about the dress of black men, especially in the U.S.

    It is farcical of NPR that it would create a Hegelian dialectic by promoting an idea which is the polar opposite of the stereotype.

    Yes, the truth is in the middle, but not in the direction that NPR would lead you.

    Well dressed black men of all generations, like Duke Ellington, MLK, Ralph Abernathy, and Djimon Hounsou, would never be considered "Kings of Fashion"; thankfully.

    Were they stylish? Yes. Fashionable? No.
     
  20. bigtimebuck4

    bigtimebuck4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    101
    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2012
    I work for a high end retailer everyone here has been to. My job requires me to focus almost entirely on "classic menswear." However, we have seen an increase in african american clients, largely because we sell Gucci, Louis Vitton, Chanel, etc... However, I think the issue is much more complicated than race. It is more about socio-economic culture. Our urban clients who are only interested buying these labels regardless of quality / value are predominantly african american, however not exclusively. There are white customers from the same culture with the same tastes (they tend to be mono-chromatic, and avoid mixing brands in an ensemble).

    Conversely, our core clientele are professional businessmen and are largely white / asian. However, there are also african american professionals which have the same tastes as their white counterparts whom they share a socio-economic culture. It is more about your culture, who you associate with, what your norms are, than simply race.

    My style preferences are consistent with most of the people on this board, and I would never be caught dead wearing blue Gucci products head to toe. That is because it isn't the norm for my culture. It doesn't mean my culture is superior, even if it is more established, it's simply different. I appreciate the fact our urban customer puts much effort into their appearance as opposed to the "business-casual" corporate drones.

    Just my two cents.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2013

Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by