Pop Style: Boy Wonder (Tampa/Brazil)

Words and Photos by Jahneen

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Welcome back to LargeUpโ€™s street style series, Pop Style. Every other Friday, we talk sartorial shop with the most impeccably dressed men and women of the Caribbean and the diaspora, from familiar faces to everyday people pon di corner. This week, our subject comes from someplace a little different… See what he has to say below, and make sure

Boy Wonder
Spotted In: Miamiย 
Occupation: Recording Artistย 
From: Brazil via Tampa

Youโ€™re describing your outfit today as the DONโ€™Ts of fashion. Why is that?

I strive for a unique look, so Iโ€™m wearing the DONโ€™Ts. I wear what nobody else is wearing, or what people arenโ€™t supposed to be wearing. These shorts, for example. White shorts are known to be tacky for men to wear but I make them work. Iโ€™m rocking shorts and boots too which work for me, but has been a no-no in fashion. My style is just a big juxtaposition of freedom and culture.

What juxtaposition of cultures do you consist of?

I was born in San Francisco, and moved to Tampa when I was 3, and my family is Brazilian. Growing with Brazilian parents defined my character into a warm, friendly, engaging one. Something I did not take from my American culture. My parents came to America when a lot culturally was going on. Michael Jackson and Bob Marley were topping the charts, and that was passed on to me.

Do you see a parallel between Brazil and the West Indies?

It goes back to the spirit of the people. There is something that compels us to live a certain way. We have all been displaced from Africa. As I vibrate with West Indians I feel the connection even more. Iโ€™m about coming together. Brazil makes a lot of money, but you donโ€™t see any funding in the infrastructure. The people are suffering, and there are a lot of bright minds in Brazil that deserve a chance. Itโ€™s a great place. I think thatโ€™s what connects the cultures.

Tell me more about your headgear. It looks handmade!

This hat was made by Josh Chung, the founder and mind behind Rebels to Dons. Itโ€™s a genuine product, made by a genuine person, with a genuine purpose. There are so many brands out there that strive to follow breaking trends. Brands like Rebels to Dons are focused on their own aesthetic and place a great hold on quality. I respect that.

You recently posed for LFANT brand, how was that?

That was an experience for me, and people got to see me in a light Iโ€™ve never been seen in before. Iโ€™m a musician, and recently Iโ€™ve been modeling. I got the chance to see what goes into making the product. Conceptualization, and execution was a major factor at LFANT. I like wearing clothing that I know will last me until Iโ€™m 80.

Do you think dreadlocks are now fashion forward?

Dreads are almost like the return of a tribe, subconsciously. A lot of my friends have dreads; different kinds of dreads, different looks, and lengths. But we are all high energy, positive people. I think it always will be something more cultural than fashionable but I think the hairstyle will continue to spread.

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ย See Jahneen’s Buffalo Soldiers photo series on dreadlocks culture in America.

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