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ROB MANGANO, 26, RETAIL MANAGER, UNITED STATES
ROB’S STYLE: I think the best word to describe my style is “collection”. That word takes on several different meanings. First, the word collection brings the idea of curating something. Whether it’s art, cars, anything really, I feel a well-sourced, eclectic collection creates the best grouping. Likewise, my wardrobe epitomizes this idea. For something to work in a collection, there are several elements that go into it, like working well in any era, taking time to be collected, and something that will last for a long time. I have some pieces from big brands, some small. Some brand new and some twice my age. But collectively these pieces work together to create my style overall.
INSPIRATION: Stylistically, I try to not be inspired by other people. Sure, you can easily see how someone dresses and look to improve in some way, but it’s important to be original and not derivative in your wardrobe. Nevertheless, I’ve recently been inspired by the style of a few instagrammers from South Korea, Japan and China. Ironically they dress in traditional American workwear better than most Americans!
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL COMMUNITIES? #menswear has an impressive community of brands and writers that through one way or another have all worked together. Unlike women’s clothing, menswear is incredibly small by comparison. Menswear in this way is like a small family.
HOMETOWN GLORY: No matter what, people are a product of their environment, it’s impossible not to be. I grew up in a middle class town surrounded by every mix of cultures and classes in neighboring cities. I think that’s why there is a mix of prep with street wear in my looks. I find that more and more style is less influenced by environment due to the advent of social media and the internet. Selfie is a tossed around term usually used in a jocular way but the reality is people taking pictures of how they dress opens up a whole new world for style. Whether you’re in the Midwest or SOHO, a simple hashtag can reveal a mode of dress that you’ve never seen before.
WHAT IS ONE QUESTION YOU WISH PEOPLE ASKED MORE OFTEN? “Am I projecting who I am?” Your personal style should project an aspect of your personality. To me, someone polished is organized. And wearing bright colors projects confidence and energy. When I see someone dressed in all black, that elicits an image of a non-creative, drab personality. Likewise, I wear my heart on my sleeve, or with my sleeves, for that matter!
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CHERALEE LYLE, 24, STUDENT SOUTH AFRICA//UNITED STATES
CHERALEE’S STYLE IN ONE WORD: Eclectic.
INSPIRATION: So many different things inspire me; street art, independent film, innovations in the tech world, beautifully designed packaging and typography, new music, vintage textiles, travel books, old Life magazines. I like everything in my life, clothing, music, décor, accessories to be a big diverse mix; old, new, ladylike, masculine, vintage and modern. By keeping everything different and constantly changing I am always inspired. I also love my daily dose of instant inspiration from friends and strangers; seeing the little squares of what they are doing, wearing and making on Instagram.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL COMMUNITIES? The lines of my personal community of friends and professional community are totally blurred because so many of my friends are in the same industry as me. When I came to America from South Africa I didn’t know anyone here, the first friends I made were through blogging and photo shoots. I feel so lucky to made real friendships though the industry. I have a solid group of incredible people close to me that are so supportive and motivating but also inspire me creatively. I think your environment has a huge effect on you, so it is important to surround yourself with great, smart, positive people.
HOMETOWN GLORY: Cape Town has a naturally laid back vibe, people dress pretty comfortably. The weather is always gorgeous we have stunning beaches and mountains right next to the city. And the fashion industry is rapidly growing there because there are so many talented emerging fashion designers putting out great work. Plus there is insanely good vintage shopping in Cape Town. A big chunk of my wardrobe is vintage pieces I collected when I was growing up in South Africa so I am reminded of home often when I wear them.
WHAT IS ONE QUESTION YOU WISH PEOPLE ASKED MORE OFTEN? I love getting into long chats with people about their favorite films and movie characters currently and from childhood. So I wish people asked me what my favorites were more often so I can find out what theirs are too and add some new titles to my watch list
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