Sunday, October 10, 2010

Only the Brave

When one uses the expression “fresh kicks” in the context of Wake Forest University, it’s undeniable that the first three styles that come to mind are Clark’s Wallabees, the ever-popular Sperry Top-Sider and Duck boots for the frattiest of frat stars. In my experience as a fashion enthusiast residing in a less-than-creative atmosphere, it’s been rare to find guys who venture outside of the usual Wake mold. When I do notice these innovators, they’re forever appreciated in my book as style drivers responsible for making the world a better place. I met Joe Sciarrino two years ago at a bar party. I’ll never forget how I struck up a conversation with him about his green Obey t-shirt (leave it to me to become bff’s with someone over their choice of garments), and I’ve admired his style ever since. Yes, he’s from New Canaan, Connecticut, and was a star private banking intern at Merrill Lynch, but please don’t peg this hip-hop-loving kid as your typical prep school boy from the northeast.

In keeping with the spirit of our established fashion philosophy, Joe was naturally an ideal candidate to personify individual style and originality. “I would say I transition from urban to preppy dependent on my surroundings, well-versed in both due to my hometown’s preppiness and my proximity to NYC.” Wise words if I do say so myself. Personally, my style has evolved quicker than ever with my summer experience interning for Diesel in Chelsea, the neighborhood so saturated by fresh-to-death hipsters and portfolio-toting models that style anywhere else just can't compare. I quickly became unfazed by the coolness of downtown fashion—it was the norm, not the exception. It wasn’t until I came back to campus that I could pick out elements of city looks and observe if and how they worked in a totally different environment. Exhibit A: Joseph Sciarrino’s Diesel sneakers.


“I try to pick out one item that I form my outfit around. Whether that is a bold tie or these sneakers, I do this so I have one defining item so that the overall look is not too loud,” Joe asserts. In this case, the shoes definitely make the outfit. Matching them with a pair of dark-wash jeans works equally as well as with some black denim straight leggers, balanced on top with a graphic tee or button-down. What’s perhaps most interesting about this entire situation is that the sneakers feature a stamp of Diesel’s logo, a profile of the Native American tribal chief with the words, “Only the Brave”, the name of Diesel’s holding company. Only the Brave: what a wildly appropriate term to describe these dressers who beg to challenge the process of typical Wake style. A few famous last words from our resident style master, Joe explains, “I think kids dress well at Wake and clearly care more about appearance than do those at other schools—that’s a good thing— but there is also a fear of not being too out-there, which poorly affects personal identity.” Props, Joe. I could not have said it better myself.

Cross-posted HERE.

Here's to you, fashion. Cheers.

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