DEMYSTIFYING STYLE CULTURE
by Jeremy Danté
style to me, is beyond clothing- its a mental process. much like the processes of understanding the world of fashion that you have witnessed here, i have grown more knowledgable & able to execute outside of the work that i do here, through the structure that i have created. beyond that structure, i’ve come to better understand the concept of trend, marketing, commercial & high-end casting, art direction, editorial styling & production. amidst my own journalistic passage- i’ve discovered a greater resonance of self value.
it’s the idea that you are worth a $2,000 handbag. clothes aren’t everything- but when you look good, you feel good. it’s that simple. in drowning myself in creative references, whether i was understanding the inspiration of a collection; in my understanding that trend is a marketing tool- you learn to become the person that you want to be. you create this idea in your mind, and eventually live through these references. it’s manifestation at it’s best. you choose the price point you’re willing to shell out to become that person, or you learn to replicate that aesthetic. growing up, when you’re from the hood- you make it work. whether it’s a fresh white tee and a creased khaki or a silk blouse paired with a linen pant- you learn to develop an eye and rise above the challenge of creating a look. whether it’s a solid gold chain, or gold plated- you fake it until you make it. these days, it’s not completely uncommon for students to use their loans or federal student aid to buy some of their first luxury goods. fashion for individuals in the hood is a symbol of success. if you can buy it, you have the money. middle markets in the luxury sector are among the most profitable because of this. sales of accessories are much more concentrated now, more than ever. much like gas prices- prices of handbags are not what they used to be. in the early 80’s, a gucci bag would run you about $200. we’re talking signature GG monogram, in brown or blue- iconic of the gucci label. today, these bags can go from the mid $800’s upwards to $19,000. times have changed, granted the publics greater understanding of style as it relates to an associated angle of success. the price tag from days of old can get you, maybe a wallet on sale or a pair of sunglasses. of course, because the middle market between low end & high end has expanded, greater attention to craftsmanship & detail is paid. of label hierarchy, gucci is regarded as a starter designer label, an evolved place existing outside the world of coach, cole haan or michael kors. as you segue onto gucci, you soon grow to louis vuitton, prada or more luxe labels like celine or givenchy- learning to lust after the handbag holy grail of an hermés birkin- which is so exclusive you are given a pair of white gloves to wear when you’re permitted to touch in person at the boutique. this is luxury today.
through this demystification process, the desire for what success looks like & what cost you’re willing to surrender is seen in the fact that gucci is the best selling italian label of all time. the fashion industry is rapidly expanding with more jobs, as creativity becomes more difficult to identify. financials & sales statistics cloud and take away from the potential of the clothes. it distracts from the most important element- which is design. but that’s the challenge of fashion that makes it so beautiful to understand & so thrilling to decode. through my own self instruction & analysis- we’ve learned to distinguish fashion capitals. i think, for me, a large part of me thought that i didn’t really have a place- i felt as though i was such a hybrid that there would never be a place that was so distinctively intended for me. as i have grown, i have come to understand that this is completely untrue. no categories exist for any of us; these places that society or culture tells us that we are suppose to fit in are imaginary. we are the people we want to be through the choices we make. whether it’s opting to buy that pair of designer kicks or whether we’re gonna use that money to pay bills- the choice is all yours. style is nothing more than the mere art of choice.
i’ve prefaced a re-direction for an entire year, in an effort to better understand that the changes were significantly accurate to where i am in my life. beyond my work as a writer, beyond my artistry of analysis or manipulation of image- i am very concerned with how i portray myself. i want to equally balance aspects of fantasy with those of reality because i don’t want for there to be a departure between the real me, and what you see on screen. it’s all about accuracy. the ways that my eye has developed, has also morphed my mindset. which is so important for who i am both as an individual & artist. beyond representing aspects of fantasy with the way i self-shoot or edit images of myself, my voice when i write- it’s all intentionally stylized. this is who i am to the core. in the last year, i choose to submerge myself in an overzealous work ethic, in an attempt to challenge my own goals as well as my priorities. as i fought through the haze things re-aligned naturally, through a few struggles of my own faith & techniques of perseverance. i pushed myself to remember that, regardless of what i do- the style which i have conveyed through consistent execution is so distinctly me that i can’t really lose my way. i can’t possibly lose sight of my style influences, because they have become a permanent element to the DNA of my own style. i think a lot about design signatures, or branding presence- in the context of style & think of the ways that i represent myself. how is art being represented through commercial or high end forms of marketing in fashion? how is this a reflection of us as people, how do these elements misrepresent us. it’s all relative, as it is an art form whether you’re able to recognize it or not. through fashion writing & analyzing both creativity & culture alike, i’ve re-centered my own focus and connection with the world around me.
inspiration is the theme that has headlined this space since late 2008. direction has driven the content here even further beyond the established date. yes, i’ve taken a step back to become more of an observer- but my interest was never once lost. throughout the process of demystification, i’ve uncovered harsh realities & these have reshaped my view of not only the world of fashion, but of the world that we live in. through some changes in content, one thing remains & that is jeremy danté. beyond inspiration, style is the one common thread that connects all avenues of this space to you. i continue to show gratitude for your support in my decision to deliver only the best of what i feel in my heart is valuable content. thank you for allowing me not only into your mind but for sharing a piece of my heart. you & i have learned together, in turn we have grown together; we have learned more about the ways in which we are different, which has shed light on the ways we are the same through beauty & perception.