21 Questions with Rudy Vaughn about Fashion.

1) Where are you from and how would you describe your fashion style growing up?

  • I grew up in the Midwest, mainly Indiana, so for me- any expressive kind of fashion was not something that surrounded me growing up.  I had to figure it out on my own.  But even as a kid growing up, I can remember having an eye for style.  My friends and I would anticipate new trends before they were anything, and I would try and wear things that nobody else was wearing, like purple jeans.

2) What is your go-to item of clothing that you know works best for you?

  • I have this black soft leather shirt I bought in Soho, New York City, that looks like a jacket.  It’s amazing, I’m not gonna lie.  I paid a ton of money for it, but it’s been my absolute go-to ‘thing’ for like 3 years.  I’m a jacket whore, and this one is my “precious”.

3) One word to describe your current fashion style.

  • Only one word?  I guess probably “London”.  Or “Londonian”.  Or “Londonianistic”.

4) Favorite place to shop- National Store- Local Store.

  • I hate this question, not because it’s a bad question, but as soon as I find a place I love, I wear it out, and I can’t call it my favorite anymore, because I’m already looking for the next place.  I really love NYC and LA standards like “All Saints” which are just now beginning to have plans to be in Atlanta, and I really appreciate the more unique designer shops like “Bill Hallman” where the guy who makes the clothes is also working there.  Bill has designed some great stuff that I wear all of the time.  But I’m always looking.

5) What advice would you give to Atlanta men who are trying to dress fashionable?

  • Be you.  Be you.  And be you. Dress up when you can, dress down when you should.  But in my mind, fashion is more than clothes.  Clothes emphasize who you are, and it’s all about having confidence, and knowing yourself, and not being afraid to thrive in your own skin.  Have you ever noticed that you find your girl the most attractive when she isn’t trying to be attractive?  Like when she’s hanging around laughing in her sweats, or just got rained on?  You don’t always have to try, but be natural.  What makes you happy?  What makes you comfortable?  Thrive in that place.  But at the same time, when it’s time to go out, don’t be scared to push it a bit out of your comfort zone, especially if ‘she’ likes it.  At the end of the day, you’re gonna wear the things that you visualize yourself in, but don’t get stuck, keep awakening.

6) If you have a stylist who is it and why did you select him/her to be your stylist?

  • I have a guy named Cody who cuts my hair, and he gives me quite a bit of advice on fashion and style.  He’s a rocker, wears custom leather stuff from LA, and even top hats.  He’s great because he’s probably the coolest guy on the planet, but I can’t completely figure him out.  I don’t know where he fits in, I mean I don’t know where he fits into planet earth!   Everything he does seems to be completely 100% on purpose, and simultaneously effortless.  And afterall, isn’t that the enlightenment of fashion, to be completely intentional and effortless?  Fashion is just like the perfect case of bed head.

7) What are your thoughts on the current fashion scene in Atlanta?

  • Here’s my honest thing:  Atlanta is in a really cool era of growth.  We are starting to get noticed as an important city in America, it’s not just LA or NYC or Chicago anymore.  However, it’s so easy to be typical and not even realize it.  I didn’t grow up in ATL, so I feel like I am fortunate to see with reasonably clear vision.  Once you get inside of the hwy 285 perimeter, you start to notice the “typical” Atlanta style.  It’s not all bad, and can vary slightly depending on what part of town you live in.  Take guys for example, it might be black frame trendy Ray Bans, or worn out pants that looks like the 1800s, or a huge mountain-man beard with a hanky hanging out of your back pocket, and let’s not forget skinny jeans everywhere you look, but you cannot act as if you were the only one who ever thought of it.  I’m not calling these folks out, but they should realize that they are unique…. Just like everybody else.  I feel like the Atlanta scene is cool, but there’s a lot of people who look just like everybody, and they don’t realize it.

It’s beyond mere clothing, and ranges from everything to tattoos to hipster mentality.

  • My hope is that we can continue to press into the fashion advice that the most valuable thing you can be is yourself, and to be completely self-aware.  Sometimes the sexiest thing you can do is wear the right T-Shirt, or dress up formal.  It’s more about opening up your gaze to the bigger picture.  We live in Atlanta, so how do folks in NYC or London, or Toyko view us?  You have to get out of ATL to dress FOR Atlanta.  I’ll never forget several years ago, while visiting New York City, I was wearing my trendiest “not ATL” outfit at the time, and I still had someone say I looked like a southerner.  I was so surprised to have that shift in my paradigm.

How do you think it could get better?

  • Give it time.  It’s a slow fade.  But in the meantime, I guess I wish that Atlanta would take more chances, allow for more diversity, and people who weren’t afraid of being truly different.  I have spent time over-seas and you think you’re diverse until you see a place that has several cultures in one location, with people see the world in totally strange and bold ways.  That’s where fashion lives.  It doesn’t fit in, it pushes you forward, and it’s always moving.

8) One thing you would never be caught dead in.

  • Khakis.  Crisp ironed Khakis, with a thin brown Walmart belt.

9) What is your typical morning routine to get ready for the day? How long does it take you to get ready?

  • I don’t really have a routine.  I wish I did, but it never really took hold.  I don’t take very long to get ready.

10) If you could bring back one trend from your childhood what would it be and why?

  • Wow, that’s so hard to decide on just one!  Do you remember the early 90s overalls with one strap hanging down?  Boyz 2 Men style.  I always liked that, but I don’t think I ever had any, so I need to have some reckoning.

11) Hottest trend right now?

  • It’s been in effect for a bit, but I dig it.  Bowties.  Another thing that’s trying to happen is cargo pants, but I’m thinking that is a quicker death.

12) Favorite fashion event in Atlanta.

  • Whichever has the prettiest girls and the coolest guys, I guess, I dunno.

13) Favorite person to follow on twitter.

  • Jesus.  I follow him outside of twitter too.

14) Favorite fashion magazine.

  • The Kohl’s catalog.  If I look in it and I’m wearing anything that anybody is wearing, I immediately burn my entire house down.

15) Anything else you would like to add about yourself, your fashion, your thoughts, etc.

  • I’m just a touring musician and singer.  I’m not a fashion expert.  I have a random sense of humor, so some of my statements are rather tongue and cheek, not meant to be offensive.  But, I consider myself extremely aware the human condition, that is for certain.. I hang with trends, and I watch them fade, I desire to be present and relevant.  I hope to be a cool old man, but self-aware.  Not the Ed Hardy T-Shirt, Chuck Taylor shoes trying to fake it old man, but the old man who understands.  Just, understands.

16) Fav quote.

  • “I just discovered air quotes” (Tracy Morgan slowly saying it while air quoting)

17) Biggest fashion splurge?

  • I dropped a “pant load” of money for 3 or 4 pairs of boots in New York one day.  The lady saw my stack of boxes and said, “um, excuse me, you realize that there are no returns, right?” I had spent 2 hours there making sure I wasn’t gonna regret it.  I didn’t.

18) One “dive” store you love to shop?

  • The scuba shop down off of exit 88.  Did I take this question too literally?

19) If you could be one celeb for a day, who would it by and why?

  • I would want to be Abraham Lincoln, day of assassination, having full awareness of what was gonna happen.  Right before I get shot, I turn around and I disarm John Wilkes Booth, rendering him unconscious.  Then I turn to the crowd and have an awesome quote like Swartzzenager at the end of a film.  I’m still trying to think of what I would say, but it would be epic.

20) What advice do you give to those who want be successful?

  • The most important thing that I can say is that it is absolutely critical to DEFINE what ‘being successful’ is.  Most people want to be successful, but at the end of the day, nowhere in their lives have they ever written it down or clearly defined EXACTLY what that means.  I’m successful all of the time, because my success is defined by important mile-markers in my life, and once I arrive there, I celebrate my success.  Then I proceed to the next mile marker, I really do this, it’s very satisfying.  People usually don’t wake up one day and say, ‘hey, I made it to success!’  It’s a bittersweet pill for most people because when they get all they want, they’re not as happy as they thought they’d be, or they broke their character or their important relationships to get there.  There’s a better way to live.  Is that too deep?  What I meant to say is, “follow your dreams, stay in school, say no to drugs”.

21) College football team for the Fall you hope to win it all?

  • Who’s winning the match pop?  (Team Zoolander)

 

Much Love,

@RudyVaughn 

 

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