The Five Things I Can’t Live Without: Multi-Hyphenate Amani Olu

Amani Olu

Just call Amani Olu a modern-day Renaissance man. A Brooklynite who was born and raised in Philadelphia, Olu wears many hats. He’s an artist, who has done his lie-detector performance pieces a the Spring/Break art fair and Garis & Hahn; a publicist, an editor at M Daily and a curator. He does so many things, we can barely keep up with him (we’re sure we forgot to mention many of the other things he does.). With such a hectic schedule, Olu depends on a few things to keep him going. Here, he tells The Manual about the five things he can’t live without.

The Story of English
“I’ve been doing some research on African American Vernacular English for a series of paintings I plan to make. I thought it important to start from the beginning, so lately I’ve been reading “The Story of English.” It’s a fascinating book about how the world came to speak the English language, taking readers back to its Anglo-Saxon origins some two thousand years ago to its present day.”
The Story of English, $12.76 at amazon.com.

Moleskine Notebook
“I take probably 7 to 10 meetings a week, so it’s important to have my Moleskin notebook. I prefer the small, black one: it’s classic and chic. It makes a nice statement, says that I’m a minimalist: I only write down the things that are important, like resolutions, Robert’s Rules style.”
Moleskine Notebook, $12.95 at moleskine.com.

Mayfourteenth Sunglasses
“I have a pair of Mayfourteenth sunglasses that I wear everywhere, sometimes in doors, a move taken from the playbook of rappers and other cultural icons, like Sid Vicious. The frames are one-of-a-kind, handmade from recycled material and made in Buenos Aires. These shades are in a league of their own and take the lead when I’m having an uninspired style day.”
Visit mayfourteenth.com for more information.

G.H. Bass & Co. Larson Weeguns
“Everyone who knows me knows that I wear short, tailored pants with loafers, specifically the G.H. Bass & Co. Larson Weeguns. My feet are wider than most, so I can’t wear Italian shoes or any of the trendier stuff made today, so out of necessity, I keep it classic with these, only rockin’ the Burg Brush color.”
G.H. Bass & Co. Weeguns, $118 at ghbass.com.

Chanel Égoïste
I was vehemently against “scents” for men some years ago, but then I discovered Chanel Egoiste. I do three sprays in the morning just to hear my wife say, “you smell nice.” I wear it daily, even on those short trips to pick up laundry.
Chanel Égoïste, $87 at chanel.com.