This particular post is a labor of love for me..To help you to understand why lets go back to about a year ago. After getting my walking papers from my corporate job, I set out to try to establish myself as a menswear blogger…. I just had no idea how I get started , then I remembered sitting one night with my friend months ago playing around on Vimeo and seeing videos of Grant explaining his transition from corporate life into world of style. I figured if anybody could offer me advice and steer me in the right direction it would certainly be this gentleman. I It all started with a direct message on twitter and here we are a year later, but back to Grant.
Grant Harris,MBA is the owner of Image Granted and a style contributor for Primer Magazine and featured in several international publications such as The Wall Street Journal, TIME Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, CNN, AOL, Men’s Health and others. His Washington, DC based Image Consulting company is dedicated to solving image and style issues for men.
Grant was kind enough to stop by A Life Suited for a bit of Style Q&A for today’s Style Profile. So without further adieu …
1. How did you get into style writing?
Style writing? I think you’re really asking what makes me think I can write anything that anyone will care to read and get away with it. In that case I guess I fell into it the same as anyone else might. I wasn’t born writing, but I’ve always been comfortable doing it. In high school and college it was theses on philosophy, abnormal behavior. Now the subject matter has changed, but the audience hasn’t. It’s still for anyone who will listen and have a tolerable and coherent response. There are too many other “writers” with more skill, flair, and practice than myself, but I take pride in the fact that someone somewhere gets enjoyment out of my work and see fit to ask me questions about it.
2. Image Granted is so much more than just a blog. I find it to be more of a style and personal branding guide. Where did the idea of Image Granted come from?
You would be correct. There are enough clothing blogs out there. There are enough pictures for everyone to look at. Instead, I’m more concerned with helping my audience learn something they didn’t before, have access to something they didn’t before, or be able to apply something in a way they couldn’t before. True style is not only about building a relationship with your tailor and then fussing about the buttonholes in your shirt. It’s about building a relationship with your tailor and helping your tailor build relationships with your friends and his friends and their friends and passing on the art of style and enjoying the process. I treat dressing well as a personal business, and my business is personal
3. Are there currently some upcoming events or projects that you would like to tell our readers about?
Too many to count. While I don’t put stock in quantity—except when it comes to socks, one can never have enough—the quality of the projects is what counts. You can normally tell the quality of a project by how many hours you’ve invested in it. Hours of thought, process, procedure, step after step until you’re able to look back and see the journey and appreciate where you’ve come. IG is currently involved in several individual and collective projects which will be manifesting themselves in the short and long-term. Panel discussions with some of DC’s brightest minds, co-hosting boutique events, major magazine features, and the first of its kind lifestyle showcase in DC in the spring. My plate is full but I’m still hungry.
4. I’ve read that you attended the prestigious Virginia Military Institute. How did your experience at VMI influence how you view style and grooming?
The military has an effect on everyone either positively or negatively. You can fight the establishment and buck the system, or you can conceded to the fact that the machine is bigger than you and while you do not surrender to it, you allow it to be the leader and take from it what you can. I chose the latter. Wearing a uniform everyday instills discipline, it engenders routine, and it nourishes appreciation and care…if you allow it. If not then it promotes laziness, fosters incontinence, and nurtures complacency. Fortunately, in my case I chose the former.
5. How would you describe your own personal style?
So many people ask this question. Sometimes I give the technical tried and true explanation. Classic, manicured, polished, approachable, versatile etc. Other times I leave it up to the viewer. My style is still evolving. Most people assume I’m wearing either designer labels or custom. Yes, many of my pieces are custom, not nearly as many as I’d like but I’m a man of meaning means. The majority of my wardrobe is thrifted or gifted. I only buy something new if it’s old. While my style is nothing to boost about I do have the ability to make my clothes that are cheap look as if they cost much more than they did. This also keeps me out of the poor house while being able to build my wardrobe until I’m care free enough to have everything in my closet made for me.
6. Name 4 items you can’t live without on a daily basis?
Cashmere or silk scarf.
Randolph Engineering Sunglasses
My VMI class ring
7. What are some things and or items that men should absolutely avoid when developing their own personal style?
Avoid nothing. Try it all. If you avoid something you’ll never know if it truly works for you or not. One man telling another man to avoid something is based off of the first man’s personal experience which is probably based off the experience of someone else, which in turn makes the second man a pawn. Try as much as you want, until you make decisions for yourself that it doesn’t work, just don’t make the general public and those in your vicinity pay for your transgressions.
8. Are there any other jewels that you’d like to bestow upon our readers today?
If you’ve read this far you’ve gotten plenty of them. It’s up to you to polish them and let them shine.
DC King CSC-ALS
Photo from a recent shoot I styled for Christopher March Photography this past Thursday . Model : Michael Ryann Clothing: Christopher Schafer Clothiers
You may not know the man behind the lens, but his resume’ speaks volumes. Rob Morton is a self taught veteran photographer with 30 years of experience. His studio Tre’ Lynn a combination of the names of his oldest son and his wife has been producing high quality work for highly satisfied clients is tucked away in historic Mount Vernon . Since discovering his passion for photography in 1983 , the New Jersey native has had the pleasure of having an esteemed client list that includes but not limited to Maserati , Dolce & Gabbana , Southwest Airlines and The Baltimore Ravens just to name a few. I caught up with our featured visionary to get to know more about what inspires his work and his personal style.
DCK-ALS : What was your first fashion gig?
RM:Oh wow.. That was so long ago. It was a Debutante Ball sponsored by the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and the designer that made all of the young ladies gowns wanted to do a shoot of her gowns… I was in H.S. when I did that shoot….
DCK-ALS : What was your most memorable shoot and why?
RM: There have been so many, but I think the most memorable shoot was comercial shoot for an ad agency, having accomplished it and having the shoot published internationally.. That one and my shoot with Maserati and seeing those images in an Italian magazine, I will never forget those.
DCK-ALS : Who or what inspired you to get into fashion photography?
RM: I wouldn’t label myself as a “Fashion Photographer” per se however my inspiration to start photographing Fashion came from a friend of mine that works for the Washington Post.. He’s been a mentor for a number of years and has always been a helpful hyper critical eye of my work. I appreciate that. Especially from a helpful critical eye.. My leaning towards Fashion is because it’s pretty neat, it continuously changes, but then my life has always been a life through a lens.
DCK-ALS: How would you describe your own personal style?
RM:I’ve never had to do that.. Wow… I get inspired by my client. I derive a style that gel’s with them and their personality, it’s always a combination style that I like to infuse with a bit of me.. To make us both excited yet different… Not sure if that makes sense, but my style depends on my subject, the result though is a look that’s completely mine.
DCK-ALS: Who or what do you draw inspiration from when it comes to your style of dress?
RM: I love being a sharp dressed man, i get inspired by some current trends mixed with my ability to clothe my body type…. Just because someone makes a garment does not mean that you have to wear it. but Classic Vintage will never fade, that’s my style…
DCK-ALS: Name four items you can’t live w/o on a day to day basis?
RM: 1. My Ties… all 150+ of them (With room for more..)
2.My variety of unique pocket squares.
3. My love affair with Nordstroms (shoe Dept)
4. my HAPPY SOCKS… Man I love them things…
DCK-ALS: How do you see the future of Baltimore’s emerging fashion scene?
RM: “I think that some of the right people are on top of the Men’s Fashion scene here there is room for more however designers need to be careful not to cast a shadow on the functionality of a garment with their personal artistic expression… The garment still needs to fulfill a function, not just look good to you because that’s what you, (the designer) woke up and felt like creating that day..”
DCK-ALS: On the international scene is there a fashion photographer whose work you admire?
RM: “I’m an admirer of Photographers in general but if I had to narrow it down it would be
Patrick Demarchelier, Anna-Lou “Annie” Leibovitz and of course the founders of light and shadow”
Derrick C. King-ALS