Charleston's New Class of Gentlemen
It's the #1 city in the country to visit, a cultural tourist destination with historical tours, cruise ships and now plenty of fanny packs. Peel back the commercial pomp and circumstance, and you'll find a passionate local community and yes, fashion. Charleston's Southern charm is well documented, as well as its perception of southern style, even with a thriving yearly fashion week, the men's style in the Holy City portrayed in magazines, blogs and TV is fairly fabricated. It's hard to swallow, but the fact is, bow-ties and long ties are still mostly only seen at weddings and other special occasions. The southern man has a "newer" long standing uniform that needs to go - Khakis, polo shirts, Costa del Mar's on croakies, sandals or the ugly version of Sperry's, visors if their super douchey, North Face fleece if cold - done.
Don't think this means you need to rush and call 911 for a fashion emergency, the men's fashion in the low country has taken a shift for the better in the past couple years which means there's still hope. Retail plays a big part in what men wear, in Charleston, newer downtown additions like Billy Read and Indigo & Cotton have brought in new collections of clothing that weren't options before. These shops with modern fitted more dapper menswear have a new class of fashion forward gentlemen dressing the part. New comer Desmond Kinlaw isn't playing games, voted one of Charleston's most stylish early 2012, he's since launched his personal style Chinos and Cheesecake and is taking on the men's style front full force. He's banded together a few fellow Charleston based dandies for the most dapper of afternoon meals followed by cocktails captured by non-other than the King of Southern Streets Style, David Verde! I'm certainly no stranger to sharp dressing, but happily made myself at home behind the camera while Kinlaw and his crew took the spot light and showed off some ankle.
It might be a short commencement this year, but often the first group of graduates are in small numbers. It's only a matter of time till more Low Country men will become alum of the new wave of men's fashion elite.
Without further ado, here's to Charleston's New Class of gentlemen, class of 2012.
All photos courtesy of Angel David Verde