By Keri Carder, Buffalo Exchange New Orleans
We took a moment to sit down with Buffalo Exchange shopper and personal stylist, Kris, and discussed all things fashion from his personal style to influences.
Keri: So how long have you been shopping with Buffalo Exchange?
Kris: I’ve been shopping with Buffalo for the past four years now, and that’s between New York, Atlanta, and here—all different stores.
Keri: How would you describe your personal style?
Kris: Oh man, the perfect word I use all the time is ‘cultural’. Why I use cultural is, because I like to mix in different cultures of fashion into my every day style and steez. You know, everything from militant fashion to ya know… I’ve done sailor hats with sailor shirts. I even have this one picture on Instagram where I had on some Jordans with a karate shirt and some oversized joggers and I had this bandana tied around my head. I didn’t know a ninja could be cool like that. Same with super heroes, I’ve done pictures where I had a suit on, but a mask on my face. I like being able to turn into other people with fashion. So just very cultural.
Keri: That’s a good word, cultural. It’s just so broad.
Kris: Yeah! ‘Cause you’ve got the guys who skateboard and ride bikes to like, a Nascar driver or you know, your business CEO or even the milk guy. It’s just so well-rounded. That’s why I use that word. Because I never know what I’m gonna feel like tomorrow.
Keri: So have you always been into fashion, and is there somebody or something that inspired that?
Kris: Um, the inspiration for fashion started when I was young, but when I was younger it was more about wearing things I don’t see everyone else wear, because I wanted to be different. So that was kind of my thing back when I was younger, so of course, it was the baggier look. But I was into colors. I used to love colors. I used to wear a lot of bright colors and I’d match certain accessories with my sneakers or a certain piece of clothing that I had on. As I’ve grown I fell in love with more people out there that I became fans of like you know, like Lenny Kravitz. To me his fashion is crazy. He has this eclectic style that’s like grungy but clean. He wears everything from All Saints to Saint Laurent. He’s just one of my favorites, like Pharrell and Kanye. I’m also really a fan of people like the rat pack back in the day with that clean look. To me, they were the perfect definition of being cool; the cool guys that liked to get dressed, entertain women, and go out and have a good time. I just feel like that level of cool just isn’t around today. I think the definition of cool has just died down, so I try to live my life by the cool. From the cars I drive; my 1976 Nissan Z kind of gives me this cool Sean Connery, James Bond feel when I get out of it. I feel like all of that brings it back to my culture and fashion.
Keri: Yeah, it’s not just a look; you’ve gotta live the lifestyle. Speaking of; what do you do for a living?
Kris: I’m a personal stylist. But you know, my clients hire me because they like the way I dress, but I try not to make people into someone they’re not. I work more on personality. I’m big on knowing about that person and getting to know their likes; then putting my twist on it.
Keri: That’s cool. It can help teach them what their style is. It’s not just like, ‘I dress cool, now you can dress cool, too.
Kris: Yeah, it’s more about ‘Let me enhance what you’re into’ and kind of give you the ideas of being a tad bit different but still keeping you in your comfort zone and what you’re used to.
Keri: That’s nice, very kind. Now, you’ve already mentioned a few, but who are some of your style icons?
Kris: Like I said, the rat pack, Lenny, Kanye, Pharrell, um… I’m a big fan of Andy Warhol.
Keri: Oh yeah, he had the whole ‘cool’ thing going on as well!
Kris: You know who else had a very really cool look to himself, even though he’s not real? Austin Powers. If he was a real person; man… whoever was the stylist for that movie played it to the part. I really like 60s fashion. There’s something about the 60s, it was about fun. It was about making your own clothing, about having fun, being different, and tying on different looks. I love that whole era of fashion… Who else is one of my icons? Pssh, of course the King of Pop, Michael Jackson. He’s like the best dressed EVER. When it came down to different silhouettes, you know; shiny, rhinestones, etc. He definitely deserved the name. Not only was he the king of pop, but he dressed like the king. That’s what made him who he is. He’s definitely one of my favorites. When he did the “Bad” video, he had the whole look with the motorcycle jacket with the fitted pants, the penny loafers, and the white tee shirt. He had “Remember the Time” with the Egyptian theme. He did gold bodysuits, I mean, who did gold bodysuits? Like, come on. He was just on another level.
Keri: So what is your favorite Buffalo find and which store did you find it in?
Kris: My favorite Buffalo Exchange find is my red leather Harley Davidson motorcycle jacket. I walked into the Buffalo Exchange in Atlanta and I saw it. It was during the summer, so of course it was on one of the 50% off racks. The girl was just like ‘You should try it on!’ It was like a small so I tried it on and I was like ‘oh my god, do you know how long I’ve been wanting a red leather jacket?’ It’s my favorite jacket. It has all the bells and whistles, with the long belt hanging down and the zippers. I’ll wear all black, put that on, and I’m ready to go. That’s one of my favorite clothing pieces in general. Oh, and I have an original fedora, like a real fedora. I think it says ‘1967’ on the inside of it and it has someone’s initials in it as well. It gives this great vintage look. It’s one of my favorite hats from Buffalo. Of course I’ve got boots as well; I found some red cowboy boots from the one of the New York stores. Most of my favorite pieces are leather pieces; I’ve had them for a long time and plan on keeping them forever. I don’t like new leather as much, it’s not the same.
Keri: Yeah, you’ve gotta get some weathered leather.
Kris: Yes! Weathered leather, haha.
Keri: I love that kind of stuff. I’m not good at breaking in my clothes so I like buying second hand because you get that wear that I can’t seem to achieve. I’m just too careful with my stuff. Like, I can’t rip my jeans. Did you cut yours? ‘Cause I can’t rip mine at all.
Kris: Yeah, I cut ‘em. You’ve just got to use a razor. You can’t use scissors.
Keri: Ahhh, I’m going to have to try that… Okay, okay, last question for ya, what advice would you give to someone trying to find their personal style?
Kris: Just look into your life, not just into fashion. Think about movies that you like, everyday things that you love, and try to move into the fashion part of that. But think about things that YOU love. For me, I love watching movies. So watching “Pirates of the Caribbean” got me into boots. I can honestly say that’s the reason that I like boots so much was just seeing Jack Sparrow in those boots. You know, you’ve just got to be yourself and pull that into your fashion. Don’t be afraid to just step out of the box a little bit. Don’t be afraid. If you like it and you’re comfortable wearing it; it doesn’t matter if someone else doesn’t like it. You’re still going to rock it.