Southern Businessmen: A.G. Gaston, My Grandfather, and No Excuse Success + Matching Entrepreneur Style

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Last month my grandfather turned 80. Yep, the big 8-0. *round of applause*. He's the man in The Urban Gentleman classic logo. Georgia born and bred. This Southern Urban Gentleman is still moving the same way he did 10 years ago, 20 years ago, shoot 30+ years ago from my perspective. He owns two businesses and just keeps it moving. The oldest of 8 children and a true pillar, a backbone, in our family. I enjoy talking to him about life, business, and generally any topic at all… 80 years of knowledge will certainly give gold nuggets to those who listen. 

Well, one Sunday dinner, not too long ago, he told us about A.G. Gaston. I, shamefully admit, that I hadn't heard of him, or perhaps I had, but not in any sort of memorable way. Long story short, A.G. Gaston is nothing short of amazing, truly amazing. He was born in Alabama (the super deep south) in 1893, and he was a multi-millionaire. When he passed away in 1996 at 103 years old, his net worth was over $130,000,000. Many think that’s a gross underestimation– it may have been closer to half a billion. So of course, as my grandaddy was sitting their talking and reminiscing about Gaston, to a table full of his grandkids, I had to do a little internet searching (I'm a millennial that's what we do). I discovered a wealth of practical and inspirational information.
 
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The Style and Music of Michael Kiwanuka

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I found myself in the little town of Hapeville, Georgia today, working out of Drip Coffee Shop. As I was there preparing the final looks for a wedding I'm styling (the groom and groomsmen of course)  the song, "Cold Little Heart" calmly started playing in the background. The mood of the shop shifted from bustling energy to a sort of 70s haven of soulful soft rock. I decided to figure out who the person was captivating us all– I swore the song had to be from the 70s or 80s, but nope 2016. The artist is Michael Kiwanuka. After a mini youtube study session of his music, I make the preemptive conclusion that he's the UK version of our US country soul singer Leon Bridges. Some even say he gives them Otis Redding vibes. He's a talented guy, so today we listen to his music and analyze his style.

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In The Nude.

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ART: William Blake – Europe Supported by Africa and America (1796), Dino Muradian – Beauty

FASHION: Topman Design, Balmain, Issey Miyake

 

One doesn't have to look further than a carton of Neapolitan ice cream to know what colors are dominating the palette of our lives these days. Whites, Browns, Pinks. Whether it’s a blonde Kanye, A$AP Rocky, or the first man of footballer style David Beckham, being vanilla has never been so sweet.  We've translated these colors into the perfect Spring Summer 2017 looks below:

Men in Floral Prints Fashion Trend: History, Celebrity, and Look Book

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Celebrity Men in Floral Prints: rapper A$AP Rocky;  rockstar Jimmy Hendrix; UK rapper Tinie Tempah; menswear editor Nick Wooster

 

Floral – a print that was thought to be for women only has beautifully made its way into menswear. It's always been around, but more commonly seen on Hawaiian shirts and in paisley prints on ties and pocket squares.  Now, it has expanded to so much more than just a vacation shirt. Why? It's the mood of the world, I suppose. I don't know if it's debut, several years back, was indirectly a political thing— making its way into designers hearts from the happy loving years of President Barack and First Lady Michelle Obama being in the White House. OR Like many trends it could be based on the growing success of a particular designerand other designers being greatly inspired by their creativity and style (Etro maybe? They've always had prints, which is why I've always adored them so). Then there's the widespread expression that, "What Comes Around Goes Around", and perhaps it's the natural way of trends recycling themselves… a little 1960s – 1970s Jimi Hendrix swag never hurt nobody, right? Or lastly, one could guess the likeliest cause might be the natural need for more variety. With the menswear industry growing and more men spending time (and money) to uniquely outfit their wardrobe, they want more than just solid colors and stripes to choose from– floral is one of those options.

As a men's fashion stylist, I humbly recommend having atleast one floral piece in your wardrobe– a hat, a backpack, a shirt, or if you're really feeling yourself, a suit that can be worn as separates when you're feeling less audacious. From tonal to brights, Gucci slippers to Etro polos, I've custom chosen several pieces for you below…

 

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