NYFW planning is in full swing, and I’m getting anxious/nervous/excited/etc. Yesterday I realized that this time last year I was making plans to attend my first season at Lincoln Center, and that this season will be last season there. It’s a bit of a bittersweet moment, especially as Mercedes Benz is leaving as the title sponsor and Lincoln Center ended their lease agreement with fashion week. You win some, you lose some.
But fashion week isn’t the only one to have gone through some changes over the last year. I’ve definitely changed a lot, and as a direct result of that this blog has grown up quite a bit as well. The first season I attended as someone’s guest, and this will be my second season attending as press, under my name for this little blog I started a year ago. It’s such a surreal moment.
My first season attending I had no idea what I was getting myself into, and hell – let’s be honest here, I still don’t. All I know is that I’ve come a hell of a long way since last February. I’ve teamed up with some brands (local & international) brands to outfit myself for this season, have meetings scheduled with big brands (think red bottoms), and am getting to meet some online friends for the first time. I’ve got a feeling this is going to be my best season yet, and to the person that told me as a blogger I’d never make it at fashion week this post is for you.
Last week I asked y’all if you still wanted to see “Out N Lou” posts, and only one of you replied – don’t worry, I can take a hint. Instead of getting rid of it entirely (I love Louisville a little too much for that) I’m just giving it a face lift. I don’t know why it didn’t hit me sooner, but once I remembered that not all of my readers reside in Louisville it dawned on me that writing solely about what’s going on in town doesn’t fully serve anyone. I’m still going to feature a few things that are happening around Louisville on the weekends, but starting today I’ll be also be sharing photos, blog posts, events, clothing, etc. that has caught my eye in a series entitled “Thursday Things.”
Join myself and Yelp Louisville at Actors Theatre of Louisville tomorrow (January 30th) for a free pre-show reception before their newest play, “At The Vanishing Point.”
Mike & Gabi’s snowy retreat makes me actually like snow, which is saying a lot, and I mean what’s not to love about that pooch of theirs?
The Rebel Cavalier also has me wanting to drop what little dollars I have in my bank account on a new wardrobe with his roundup of the best of Europe’s Fall 2015 menswear shows.
One piece of clothing that I never feel badly about buying though? Jeans. Especially when they fit like this.
It’s safe to say that I’ve got a little bit of a crush on The Fox and She (that floral midi skirt + sweater combo, seriously so good), and her adventures around Chicago make me want to visit The Windy City.
Sadly, the next trip I have planned to Chicago at the moment is for Lollapalooza, which leaves me more than ready to start busting out some shorts and tank top combos.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed the Lolla line up is as good as it was last year, cause the only person I’m really looking forward to seeing at Forecastle is Sam Smith (chubby gays unite, right?)
Last, but not least I’m officially a sponsor of this year’s Best of Louisville, which will be held on July 31st again this year at Play Louisville. Planning has already begun, and tickets go on sale next week. Trust me when I say this is one party you’re not gonna want to miss.
I’ve always been transparent about my dating life; here, there, and everywhere. There’s not much of it – a dating life that is – so it’s not usually hard to be honest about it. I tend to go on more dates or meet more men when I travel than I do whenever I’m at home. I’ve been told by several guys over the years that I’m not the type of guy that guys from here, which makes dating other locals hard for me. On the rare occasion that I do go on a date in Louisville it’s usually with someone that’s visiting town for work, or are new to town.
Monday night I went on a date with a guy who’s working in Louisville for the next month. We began chatting on Tinder (don’t judge, times are hard and Grindr is still Grindr), and we hit off fairly quickly over a love for food. One thing led to another, and before I knew it we were sitting across from one another in a booth where I was explaining the slew of house-made sauces Silver Dollar has to offer.
There was no lull in conversation, he was even cuter in person than in his photos, and I was slightly nervous (doesn’t usually happen for me on dates) so I thought all was right in the world. Once dinner wrapped up we headed back to my place and got into a 3 hour Law & Order SVU session coupled with a bit of cuddling on the couch. We ended the night like two respectable gentleman, with a hug and a kiss on the cheek.
Yeah – everything was good up until that kiss on the cheek, you’re right. He was a bit hard to read throughout the night, and his exit made me wonder how was feeling about the night. Being the upfront guy I am, I texted once I figured he was home saying thanks for hanging out and asking for a round two, essentially to test the waters without flat-out asking how he felt about the night. He replied that he didn’t really feel any chemistry, and that a round two wasn’t in the cards. To be honest, I wasn’t surprised by it. There weren’t any fireworks for me either, but it still got to me.
Not because I wasn’t upset or let down by it (I’ve learned to not count my eggs before they hatch, sad but true), but mostly because I felt led on. Which got me to thinking about something I wrote about in yesterday’s post, being authentic. In this day and age we’re all so concerned with being politically correct and not wanting to offend that we often times lose sight of what really offends people. It’s not our honesty that offends, but more often than not it’s the lack there of that does. Moral of the story: stay true to yourself and to others in your life; everyone will be better off because of it.
This week I turned 25, and The Kentucky Gent got a new logo thanks to my friend Aaron over at Made By A; the latter gave me the idea to share some tips on figuring out your brand. I’ve met with a handful of locals to give guidance on branding, and realize that while I’d love to meet up and help out all of y’all there just aren’t enough hours in the day (or money in my bank account) to facilitate that.
Whether you’re a newbie blogger, small business, or just about anyone in between having an authentic brand is as essential to being successful both on and offline as anything else. Once you decide to start treating your creative pursuits like a business YOU are your brand. You’re your own PR firm, social media manager, content creator, and any other hat you can think to wear. With all that being said you’re in complete control of what your brand looks like, keep reading to figure out how to get started on your branding.
Get A Logo
Seems simple enough, but a solid logo helps others recognize your brand whether online or in print. If you’re like me and no whiz at graphic design – or your creativity is better spent elsewhere, you’ve still got a few options. Try trading services with a friend who happens to be graphic designer. Maybe you’re a social media whiz, and could offer your services in exchange for a fresh logo. If you’re not up for bartering; try services like Fiver, or workshops like Blog Shop (which can now be taken in person or online.) Moral of the story, make the logo look professional.
Find Your Voice
While this is the most important part of branding it’s also the hardest one to figure out. It’s taken me over a year to find my voice. My biggest piece of advice here? Be you. I learned this while writing for Thrillist. Part of their on-boarding packet for freelancers included a bit that said something along the lines of “don’t try to sound cool”, and it’s a simple as that.
Your brand should translate seamlessly across all outlets of creativity, both on and offline, and be an extension of yourself. Don’t accept opportunities (paid or unpaid) that don’t vibe with what you’re “selling” for a lack of better words. You’ll lose your authenticity and supporters in the process.
If you start a fashion blog for free clothes, brands will see right through you (eventually.) In this online world we live in there’s a million and one people trying to do exactly what you’re doing. Don’t lose what makes you, you, by trying to appeal to the masses. If you’re going to be remembered, you’ll have to stand out from the crowd.
Know Who’s On Your Team
“Only put people on your team that are passionate about your brand.” That goes doubly for yourself. If you second guess yourself, you’re second guessing your brand and giving others the permission to do the exact same thing. Unlike large brands you’re the only person responsible for your brand’s image, make sure it’s the most positive one that you can paint.
I’ve officially been twenty five for a few days now, and there’s not much visible change (minus the loss of a beard.) Birthday’s have always been funny to me for that reason. When we’re young we spend hours, days, maybe even months, planning out how to celebrate our big days, but the older we get the less of a fuss we make about it. This year for instance, I completely spaced that it was my birthday weekend until a friend asked what my plans were.
Now that the Holidays + my birthday are officially over I feel like I can finally go full speed ahead on my plans for 2015. First up: NYFW. Invites have started to roll in, and I’m excited to say that the interest in me attending shows this season is ten times higher than seasons in the past. I’ve already RSVP’d for some of my favorites from last season like Lacoste, and set up interviews with Son Jung Wan, as the designer debuts menswear for this season’s show. I’ve got a feeling that this season could be a game changer for me, and I’m ready for the wild ride that it’s gonna be.
- All images on The Kentucky Gent are taken by me (Josh Johnson) unless otherwise noted. Please feel free to use these photos for non commercial purposes; I only ask that you link back to the original content when possible.
- While The Kentucky Gent may sometimes receive product in exchange for coverage or review, however I will never publish items that I wouldn't wear myself.
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