If you want to know how to make it, get your mama to give you one hell of a memorable name. Take Kwesi Blair for instance.
Originally from South Carolina, Kwesi (a Ghanian name meaning conquerer, but his parent are Caribbean) went to Duke University and then headed to New York City where he landed his first job at the ode to all things gentlemanly, The Ralph Lauren Mansion. He then worked in PR a bit before becoming a shoe buyer for Saks Fifth Avenue before landing a job in 2006 at Robert Burke Associates where he is Vice President of Business Development and has worked with clients such as Bulgari, Saks and Vera Wang. As Blair explained to us, “We are the business behind the fashion. We provide strategies for brands and retailers while they are growing. We also help investors looking for assets in the fashion world and scout global markets to see what is happening and where.” Kwesi just got back from Nigeria to see if it is ready for key brand growth (Keep a look out for Lagos, people!). In the new year they will be working heavily in the Middle East with some partners to create several cool retail destinations.
For such a fashionable man on the go we were curious to hear what brands he goes to for every day wear. Here is what Kwesi had to say:
Suits and Blazers – I am more of a traditional dresser. I like structured and tailored suits. Working at Ralph for so long I pivot a lot towards him. His Black Label is great and modern. I have purchased a few amazing Suit Supply suits in the last six months. Michael Bastian is very much aligned with my brand identity too. He loves structure but has fun with it. I am also a double breasted fan!
Khakis- I love Unis. They are very easy and basic.
Denim – I am a big Acne fan.
Shoes – Since I was a footwear buyer I love shoes. A favorite pair is from J.M. Weston; they are chocolate brown lace ups. Alden does great boots to dress up and down. Margiela has excellent basic sneakers in different colors. The past summer I wore lots of Superga’s.
Outwear- I have a handsome Simon Spurr jacket that I bought a couple of years ago. It’s a black cashmere blend that fits well. Aspesi is Italian and they had a great basic bomber I got off of Mr. Porter. I have a Barbour which is kind of a go-to. I also have a couple of Uniqlo puffers that are lightweight and perfect when it is super cold.
Accessories- I went with my boss to J.J. Hat’s and bought a handsome fedora. I love it and it fits me well. It will be my winter go-to. My watch is from the Swedish brand Uniform Wares. My office gave it to me for my 30th birthday. I got married last year so I wear my gold band and that is the extent of my accessories.
Tech Accessory- I am going to say my Bose headphones. I take them everywhere and I wouldn’t be able to work without them!
Apps- There is a new app called Photos to Art. It is an art.com app and you upload your photos from your phone and art.com will put them on canvas and frame them for you. It was the perfect app after my trip to Nigeria.
Your next tech purchase- The new iPad Air! Maybe Santa will be kind to me this year.