BOYS OF SUMMER
BY: JONATHAN URBINA
It's not everyday that I have the opportunity to highlight a friend through my work, so when the opportunity came to do just that I jumped on it. Meet Austin: he's tall, lanky and utterly the king of quirk with more knowledge on New Orleans in his pinky than I'll ever be able to fit into my cluttered brain. We first met as freshmen in our college dorm in 2012 and somehow managed to weave all of our post-adolescent/pre-adult memories into somewhat of a beautiful masterpiece. When I realized the time had come to conclude my Boys ofSummer series with one last guy, I knew he was the only one person fit for the job. For the shoot, we rummaged through Friend, a New Orleans' menswear boutique, for clothing and took to the Ace Hotel for thebackdrop. We planned nothing and made every decision on the spot. With clothing I wanted to keep his looks as authentic as possible,only putting him in clothes he would naturally be drawn to wear. The idea was to keep this shoot less of a "photoshoot" and more ofcapturing a moment in time. for me (and for Austin), it's safe to say this Summer was the grace period of figuring out life before entering the adult world this Fall. With this conclusion to my series, I hope I am not only able to share with you one of my stylish friends but also preserve this time in ourlives before we open the chapter of adulthood. So cheers to preservation, cheers to friendship and, as always, cheers to style.
How did your personal style develop?
My personal style developed when I started exploring thrift stores during my time in high school. I made some goofy style decisions and mistakes that have currently lead to the way I dress now. My father is relatively young, he just turned forty-nine this July, and he has some of the best pieces of clothing from the late eighties and early nineties that he has passed down to me. When I entered my twenties I realized I needed to present myself in a more polished way when I began working in professional environments as a graphic designer.
Describe your personal style in five words.
Fun. Colorful. Graphic. Vintage. Unique.
Who is your biggest style inspiration?
I have worked at Hansen’s Sno-Bliz on Tchoupitoulas for about three years, and we attract a variety of patrons from all over the city. New Orleanians will walk out of their homes wearing whatever they want. Obviously I don’t agree with every style decision that I see walk into the doors of Hansen’s Sno-Bliz, but I admire the courageous style decisions that the people of New Orleans make in their everyday lives.
What clothing item do you own the most of?
I own so many Hawaiian print shirts. It’s almost comical that I’ve garnered around fifteen tropically patterned shirts over the last six years.
What has been your biggest fashion splurge?
I love glasses. What can I say? I’m all about the frame game. When I was twenty I bought a pair of Salt Optics glasses that I couldn’t live without, and were pretty expensive for me at the time. I wore them until they were slightly crooked, but they went with everything I owned (and added some quirky character to my wardrobe).
What is a purchase that is currently on your fashion wish list?
A new pair of Stan Smith Adidas shoes. The white tennis shoe is such an enduring classic piece of footwear that I just cannot get enough of!
If you had to wear one outfit everyday for the rest of your life, what would it be?
My style decisions are usually based on comfort. If I could wear my favorite pair of denim shorts and this tie dye shirt that I have borrowed (stolen) from my boyfriend everyday for the rest of my life, I’d be one happy guy.
What is one item of clothing all men should have in their wardrobe?
A well tailored suit is pretty essential in a young man’s wardrobe. A great suit can help you land an interview as well as look super dapper at a dinner party.
What do you think is the biggest style mistake men are making?
Men wearing socks with flip flops. Ew. I guess my only fashion advice for men is be authentic in the fashion choices they make and to leave the old, faded pair of athletic socks at home.
Why should men care about developing a strong sense of personal style?
Personal style is one of the most exciting forms of self expression.The way one presents themselves on a daily basis, though clothing in the long run, can and should be fun. The style choices we make allows others to see what thrills, moves, vexes, and inspires us.
Where do you hope to see your style go in the future?
I’ve seen myself make more in tuned and genuine style choices as I’ve gotten older. I know what I like, and I’m not afraid to choose the clothing that I feel most comfortable in. I hope to see my style to continue towards this sense of authenticity and sincerity.
Check out the full spread from our photoshoot with Austin: