top of page

The Fashion Geek Podcast

53 | Is James Baldwin A Fashion Hero? Just Ask Trevor Jones

Reg talks with Trevor about the impression James Baldwin has made not only in his academic life but in his interest in fashion. This episode is so interesting you might want to “Go Tell It On The Mountain."

Guest Links


00:00 Introduction and Welcome
00:34 Guest Introduction: Trevor Jones
00:59 Discussing James Baldwin's Influence
01:43 Trevor's Background and Style
02:47 Challenges of Selling on eBay
05:53 James Baldwin's Unique Style
08:21 Influences and Personal Style
12:46 Harlem Renaissance and Baldwin's Upbringing
20:32 Miles Davis' Unique Style Evolution
20:55 Defining African American Style
24:09 The Influence of Personal Backgrounds
26:34 The Role of Details in Fashion
28:44 James Baldwin's Iconic Style
36:27 The Impact of Dr. Cornel West

Listen and subscribe for free


Reginald Ferguson [00:00:00]: I mean, what's he wearing? Right? Like I said, he's wearing these staples. Okay? He's wearing a button down shirt. He's wearing a, a tweed sport coat. But what else does he have? He's wearing an ascot that's flared at the neck. He's wearing these gigantic bug eye glasses. And, you know, I mean, those are things that the average guy, they would be petrified to wear. And he was doing it with so much charisma because he had that natural flare ingrained in him from a young age, from growing up around that type of stuff. Hello. Reginald Ferguson [00:00:35]: I'm Red. And I'm Tiff. And we're the fashion geeks. Reginald Ferguson [00:00:38]: Trying to make New York. Reginald Ferguson [00:00:39]: And the world. Well, Reginald Ferguson [00:00:40]: New York is the world. Reginald Ferguson [00:00:41]: A little flyer, one outfit Reginald Ferguson [00:00:43]: And podcast. Reginald Ferguson [00:00:44]: At a time. Reginald Ferguson [00:00:51]: James Baldwin was my mom's hero. She had all of his books. Your mother is your first teacher and since she liked him, I liked him too. Not only was he a prolific writer of books and magazine articles, he was a playwright too. My mom saw Blues from Mr. Charlie at the Anta Theatre which is now the August Wilson Theatre on 52nd Street in 1964. It starred Pat Hingle, Al Freeman Junior, Rip Torn, Diana Sand, and Burgess Meredith. Google them. Reginald Ferguson [00:01:25]: All lines of stage and screen. All gone. Just like my mom. Many years ago, I was at the Virginia Film Festival in Charlottesville for work. I'd only been at my job for a few months. We were lobbying and trying to curry favor with the head of the festival. Rip Torn was at a reception that we sponsored, and my boss and my co workers were in awe of seeing them. Didn't know what to do with themselves. Reginald Ferguson [00:01:55]: I walked up to him and reintroduced myself. I went to prep school with the San Jong un. We talked for hours. My boss and coworkers were shocked, flabbergasted and jealous. Trevor Jones [00:02:09]: Welcome to Corporate America. Reginald Ferguson [00:02:12]: I never got to meet James Baldwin. I wondered if he would make up himself being deemed a fashion icon, much less amongst young, impressionable white men. Yo. This is Reg Ferguson, Fashion Geek number 1. How are you? Welcome to the ride, and thank you so much for listening. Please tell your friends about us. Please tell them to subscribe, and please give us a review on Apple Podcasts. A special shout goes to our producer, Serge, and everyone down with The Fashion Geeks. Reginald Ferguson [00:02:51]: If you have a question or a story suggestion, you can email me at, or hit me up on the insta@newyorkfashiongeek. Today, we're gonna talk with Trevor Jones, who's a writer for Ivy style, a purveyor of classic menswear with his eBay shop and his consignment killings, and who is in Hamilton, Massachusetts. We're gonna talk about a person who's an icon in many categories for the everyday man. But we're gonna single him out for menswear. We are going to talk about James Baldwin. Trevor Jones in the building. Trevor Jones [00:03:34]: Reg, what's going on, man? Reginald Ferguson [00:03:37]: How are you, man? Good. Trevor Jones [00:03:38]: How are you? Reginald Ferguson [00:03:39]: I'm well. I'm well. You keeping safe out there? Trevor Jones [00:03:42]: Yeah. I'm doing my best, you know, just trying to limit risk and limit exposure as much as possible. So, doing the best I can with that. Reginald Ferguson [00:03:51]: Sounds good. You are your mother's son. She wants to make sure you're safe. Trevor Jones [00:03:54]: That's right. Reginald Ferguson [00:03:58]: Well, I really appreciate you taking the time. I know, we had to do some rescheduling, and that was my, that was my fault. I had a personal situation a few weeks ago. But we finally, we finally are here together. Trevor Jones [00:04:11]: Yeah. I mean, listen, anytime that I can talk and specifically talk about style, you know, I'm happy I'm just happy to do that. So thanks for having me. Reginald Ferguson [00:04:21]: No. No. No. No. No. Absolutely. Of course, we met on the Gram quite a while ago. Trevor Jones [00:04:27]: Yep. Reginald Ferguson [00:04:28]: And that's a wonderful lead in to the reason why you're on. So we met on the Gram, followed each other. I like watching your stuff. I know you're an aspiring school teacher. Trevor Jones [00:04:41]: That's right. Reginald Ferguson [00:04:43]: And, you're in grad school. Trevor Jones [00:04:45]: Yep, last semester. Reginald Ferguson [00:04:48]: But as everyone, we look at each other's stories. My stories candidly to me serve as a mood board. I think they do for you as well. Trevor Jones [00:04:57]: Yeah. Very much. It's usually for me, it's one of 2 things. It's, it's a mood board like you said, or if I just got a bunch of new stuff in, it's usually me kinda shamelessly trying to plug my eBay store. Reginald Ferguson [00:05:11]: Yeah. You are well, first of all, first of all, you are successful. I've Trevor Jones [00:05:16]: been bringing on Reginald Ferguson [00:05:17]: the eBay store stuff, which to let you know, I've been procrastinating. Mine, as you know and now for the listeners, is not about menswear. It's about my late mom's and really my grandma's stuff that I have in my possession now when I had to go through the house. So I actually went through a set of china, and I've got it priced out and everything. But, of course, I have not taken the photos. So maybe after speaking with you Trevor Jones [00:05:44]: I mean, that's that's the killer. It's just, like, taking the photos and for I I don't know what it's like for, you know, for, like, home goods and furnishings and that type of stuff, but, for clothes, you gotta do the measurements, and that that is just the killer part. It's like, it takes forever to get, you know because the thing is, you have to you have to mark every single, like, flaw or stain or anything like that. Because if you don't, the, you know, the person on the other end, they're gonna get it and they're gonna like, what is what is this? I thought this was in perfect condition. There's a tiny little millimeter hole that's, you know, at the bottom left shoulder seam. Okay. Alright. Whatever. Reginald Ferguson [00:06:24]: Sounds like the lunatic fringe. But I I'm I'm ready. Like I said, I priced them. The photography really isn't going to be difficult at all. I did a search. I saved a search on this one particular brand of China, and there are a bunch of sellers out there. My big difference is I only want to do local pickup because I'm terrified I'm terrified to try to package this China signal. Trevor Jones [00:06:50]: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Totally. Especially this year too with, like, you know, the way the, the PS has been in terms of, just kinda being delayed and and items getting lost. And And so then you add on top of that, like like you said, yours are, you know, valuables. They're fragile. Trevor Jones [00:07:08]: So, you gotta be real careful with that. Reginald Ferguson [00:07:10]: Exactly. So, again, looking at your stories, I realized every once in a while that you would highlight African Trevor Jones [00:07:20]: Americans. Reginald Ferguson [00:07:21]: And I'm not saying that is that for the reason of it to be surprising per se because you live in the world. But as an African American man, I think what happens sometimes with me is that people who have affected my culture, specifically African American culture, if you're lucky and if they're lucky, they go into the grander sphere of popular culture Trevor Jones [00:07:48]: Yep. Reginald Ferguson [00:07:49]: Which essentially is white culture. Yep. And then individuals like yourself, in a good way, because you're soaking things up at a sponge, as a sponge, you lap it up. And you're interested, and you're fascinated. And oftentimes, that throws me off. And then I have to take a moment and go, right. These individuals are not just ours. They're the world's. Reginald Ferguson [00:08:15]: So tell us why James Baldwin is your fashion hero. Fashion heroes. Trevor Jones [00:08:36]: Yeah. I mean, that's a, that's a that's a big question. So We We got some time. Right. Good. So so what I do just kind of for background for people maybe who don't who don't know, on my I have a I have a clothing, basically, an Instagram page dedicated to clothing, and it's it's super self interested. It's it's, you know, 90%. Basically, the the photos I post, not my stories, are mostly just what I'm wearing. Trevor Jones [00:09:05]: And that's why the account is my name, trevor.wiwt, what I'm wearing today. And it's basically, again, just to show off people who are interested, about, you know, men's wear and that type of stuff. But another part of it is, places that I draw inspiration from. And, one thing over the past 2 or 3 years that I've really been doing is kind of expanding my sphere to go outside of the maybe more traditional or more expected influences. So, kind of my style background is that kind of traditional Ivy style, trad, preppy, whatever you wanna call it. Okay? Right. So in that world, there, there are kinda like a list of almost like accepted icons. So one of those that immediately comes to mind that people think of is like Steve McQueen. Trevor Jones [00:10:01]: Okay? Steve McQueen, oh, Reginald Ferguson [00:10:02]: he's the king of Oh my. He's the king Trevor Jones [00:10:03]: of cool or whatever. Alright. Reginald Ferguson [00:10:05]: It's so crazy for me. Trevor Jones [00:10:07]: Yeah, exactly. So everyone, you know, Steve McQueen is like the pinnacle. And then, you know, there's guys like Miles Davis. So it's not necessarily a a a color thing, it's more of a, you know, you have to kind of be specific to the rules. And and the thing that's funny, you know, people people bring it up a lot and I think it's a great point is that, like, for example, Miles Davis. Right? He dressed in the Ivy style look, the Ivy League look, for a max, a max of 5 years. And so after that, right, he was doing all sorts of crazy different things. But Which is Reginald Ferguson [00:10:43]: real. Yeah. Trevor Jones [00:10:44]: Yeah. And and that's what people do. They change and they evolve. But It does. But the people who look at Miles Davis as an Ivy League look icon, look at him in those 5 years and in those 5 years only. And so the thing, that I've been trying to do personally is kinda expand, who I look at as influences a little bit. And that is not beholden to any demographics like race or gender. There's a lot of female, female people who I look to as style icons, but what what I am trying to do is kind of consciously break the barriers a little bit of just looking at Ivy style people. Trevor Jones [00:11:30]: So, I mean, there has to be more people out there than Steve McQueen and John F. Kennedy, right? Like, other people dress well too. They just dress well in a different way. And so, you know, as I'm getting older, I'm realizing I don't have to stick to those rigid guidelines. I can, you know, push the boundaries a little bit. And for me, pushing the boundaries is, you know, still to the to the normal person, like, exceedingly traditional. Like, I'm still I'm still wearing a tie and that's all they see. And they're like, oh, wow. Trevor Jones [00:12:03]: You you know, you're wearing a tie. And I'm like, yeah. But check out these, like, patch pockets and this belted back on my jacket. They're like, what the hell are you talking about? So, anyway, the point is I'm trying to, expand those influences a little bit so they come from different places. And I think James Baldwin kinda sits at that place where when he was at the height of his writing fame, it was it coincided with the absolute peak of the popularity of the Ivy style look in the US, and abroad, because, of course, he lived in Paris for a long while. And Reginald Ferguson [00:12:48]: Yeah. The remain he when he left, he stayed in Paris for the remainder of his life, essentially. Trevor Jones [00:12:53]: Yeah. Yeah. Paris and and the South of France. Right. And so, one of the reasons I instantly, as as my first one of my first, like, non traditional, non typical Ivy style influences was James Baldwin, was because if you look at his looks, a lot of the foundations are still very traditional. They still fit into that Ivy canon. Right? So he has, you know, button down colors with a really nice roll. He has, tweed sport coats. Trevor Jones [00:13:25]: He has kind of the the the shearling overcoat, but what Baldwin does is he adds personal flair to that in a way that makes it truly personal style. So, he is not John F. Kennedy in the sense that, okay, Kennedy is a bad example because he wasn't really Ivy style, but let's say Miles Davis. Right? Miles Davis, for those 5 years, was Ivy style and Ivy style only. Baldwin was not that because what he did is he took some of those elements and then added his own personal flare to that. And Right. It's it's my kind of personal theory that his upbringing, during the Harlem Renaissance was a huge influence on, obviously, his whole lifestyle, but his his his clothing specifically. Can I go off on a little bit of a tangent for a second? Yeah. Trevor Jones [00:14:21]: Yeah. Certainly. Okay. Yeah. Yeah. I read Reginald Ferguson [00:14:23]: my mom. Trevor Jones [00:14:24]: Yeah. In in preparation for this for this podcast the other day, I was thinking about this and, you know, what I was gonna say and one of the things, I was thinking about with Baldwin Now, before I before I go into this, I think it's important for me to say I've actually only read a few of Baldwin's books. I'm by no Reginald Ferguson [00:14:42]: means No, you have. Trevor Jones [00:14:43]: Yeah. No, you have. By no means a Baldwin scholar. I know Reginald Ferguson [00:14:46]: you're not. Trevor Jones [00:14:47]: And more of his books are on my list. I have a huge reading list because when I'm in my grad semesters, I don't really do any personal reading just, you know, to get my work out of the way. So as soon as that ends in April or May, I'll be diving into another country, which has been on my list for a while. But Giovanni's Room, maybe we can get into that later. Sure. Probably my all time favorite book. I mean, that is just unbelievably well written. Wow. Trevor Jones [00:15:17]: But, anyway, so sorry. Sorry. I know I'm all over the place. Reginald Ferguson [00:15:20]: No. No. No. No. You're fine. I'm Baldwin. Trevor Jones [00:15:22]: Baldwin. That's right. So to bring it back to, his roots. So he was not a Harlem Renaissance transplant in the way that his parents were. No. Right. Reginald Ferguson [00:15:37]: His parents were from the South. He was a Harlemite. Trevor Jones [00:15:40]: Exactly. Him and Reginald Ferguson [00:15:41]: his sister and his brother. Trevor Jones [00:15:42]: So many of those, so many of those people that moved to Harlem either at the dawn of or during the Harlem Renaissance, like you said, were from the south. They were from other places. And so, you know, obviously, they contributed to that zeitgeist in Harlem at the time, but they they didn't have the luxury of growing up with it. James Baldwin was born in the middle of it. So when he was growing up, it was, you know, everyday food and drink for him to see, black excellence really in a way that no one else in this country ever had. And so, for Baldwin, it was possible to see a really successful black entrepreneur, a successful black musician, a successful black, athlete, all in the same place. And Harlem Renaissance, Harlem during the time of the Harlem Renaissance, I mean, it was a hopping place. You know, it was it was, obviously, you know, there was there was poverty, there's poverty everywhere and they didn't, you know, they weren't excused from problems. Trevor Jones [00:16:53]: Just like any other city, there's problems everywhere. But on a really large scale, Harlem during the Harlem Renaissance was just a really happening place. And James Baldwin grew up with this and it's my theory that that kind of flare and that, that kind of, I I won't say flamboyance because that kinda has a a negative connotation, but that that idea, right, that flamboyance that you can kinda go out on a limb, you can do things, I think that really rubbed off on him. And I think one of the places that it shows up best is in his clothing. And because if if you look at so many of his looks, I mean, what's he wearing? Right? Like I said, he's wearing these staples, okay? He's wearing a button down shirt. He's wearing a tweed sport coat. But what else does he have? He's wearing an ascot that's flared at the neck. He's wearing these gigantic bug eye glasses. Trevor Jones [00:17:55]: And, you know, I mean, those are things that the average guy, they would be petrified to wear. And he was doing it with so much charisma because he had that natural flare ingrained in him from a young age, from growing up around that type of stuff. So it's my kinda my, you know, very non academic theory that growing up in the Harlem Renaissance, also in the fact that he was openly gay, which is a whole another can of worms, those two things really contributed to the way that he was able to express his personal style. Reginald Ferguson [00:18:34]: Well, certainly, you talk about influences. And obviously, being African American in Harlem, which is a cultural mecca and touchstone for all the things that you mentioned earlier, makes absolute sense. I will also make it a little bit more simpler for your ears. He put his black on it. Trevor Jones [00:19:00]: Yeah, definitely. Reginald Ferguson [00:19:01]: That's what we do. And of course, one could argue that's reductive or that's a generalization. But the point is his remix, so to speak, of these traditional styles is inherently African American. Trevor Jones [00:19:17]: Interesting. Yeah. So there's no there's no question about that. It's really interesting for me to hear you say that. Right? Because I I mean, I'm white. I live in a predominantly white community. So I like, that's not my perspective. That's not the way I'm looking at it. Trevor Jones [00:19:33]: But for you, it just jumps out at you. It's obvious because that's, you know, that's your perspective. That's the way you're looking at it, and it makes total sense. Reginald Ferguson [00:19:40]: Right. But still, I value your opinion. And that's the reason why you're on. Because like I said, for me, I take it for granted. Like I said, when I saw that consistently you were putting James Baldwin in your stories, it grabbed my attention. Because to be honest and not that I survey the whole landscape that is Instagram from classic menswear, but I truly believe, not to give you a complex as my girlfriend Trevor Jones [00:20:11]: would say, Reginald Ferguson [00:20:12]: I think you're the only cat who's doing this. So like I said, it clearly grabbed my attention, and that's why I sought you out to come on the pod. Trevor Jones [00:20:21]: Yeah, I mean, I think people draw influences from a variety of places and for everyone, that in an influence will be somewhat different. And for me, James Baldwin is kinda like the perfect. I mean, obviously, you know, I got turned on to him not because of his style, because of his writing. I was an English major in college and, you know, I'm studying to be an English teacher, and then kinda, you know, learning a little bit about, a little bit more about his personal life. He is like the perfect example of like you said, he he puts you know, for him, it was putting his black on it. Like, that those are your words. But for me, it's him him putting his his own personal style into in infusing it into a look. And and there is no because there's no one that looks like him. Trevor Jones [00:21:16]: No one else. Reginald Ferguson [00:21:18]: No. No. No. You're right. I mean, he broke the mold. And you're right. Let's say that the foundation was a traditional style, AKA Trad Preppy, IP, the 3 in 1. And then putting that African American spin and then putting, in addition, his unique touch. Trevor Jones [00:21:40]: Yes. Yes. Reginald Ferguson [00:21:41]: So that's a significant triumvirate which caught your eye. Trevor Jones [00:21:45]: Yep, totally. Because those are 2 things, like you said. All right. So traditional men's wear is kind of one big category. Amorphous? Right. Yeah. African American style isn't really a thing, but African American vibes, I guess you could say. I I don't really know another word for it. Trevor Jones [00:22:16]: That's its own, you know, that's its own whole thing. And then there's the James Baldwin thing which is only possible for James Baldwin. So like you said, that's there's only one person who's possible who it's possible for to bring all those things together, and that's him. Reginald Ferguson [00:22:32]: The fashion geeks are hosted and powered by blueberry. Trevor Jones [00:22:34]: That's blueberry, blubrry. Reginald Ferguson [00:22:38]: Thinking of launching a podcast? Want your episodes to be deployed smoothly? Go to, type in the word fashion, and get a deal on us. Trevor Jones [00:22:46]: Just put in the word fashion. Reginald Ferguson [00:22:47]: Blueberry always host Trevor Jones [00:22:50]: fly. And so now let's let's take those 2 other things. Okay? And let's look at Miles Davis. So Miles Davis had the trad and Miles Davis had the black, but what he didn't have what he what he did have later was his own Miles Davis style. But when he was in his Ivy style days, he it was almost a little bit textbook. Right? And I'm not saying he didn't look good. He looked amazing. But it was like, it's it's, you know, like he's following the the Ivy style rules. Trevor Jones [00:23:18]: And so he only had 2 of those things that he was putting into it, which is why I personally think Baldwin looks better is because he's putting his own style onto that. And so then when Miles kinda came into his own, in terms of style later on in the sixties seventies eighties, he looks totally different. And that's because he put his own style into Reginald Ferguson [00:23:43]: it. I would disagree on, on 2 points. 1, something from earlier I have to refute quickly. Trevor Jones [00:23:50]: There Reginald Ferguson [00:23:52]: is such a thing as African American style. So your vibe personification or delineation, that's fine. But there is something specifically to be claimed as African American style. Getting back to Miles with the comparison to Baldwin, I would disagree respectfully as well because Miles so the story behind that look, which I'm sure you know because you're from New England, is he goes to the Newport Jazz Festival, and I can't remember the tailor's name. Trevor Jones [00:24:28]: Yeah. Char Charlie Davidson. He he met up with Charlie before he went down to Newport. Reginald Ferguson [00:24:33]: There you go. So you already know the story, but for the listeners, let's make it clear for them, shall we? Yeah. He was suited and suited. Totally. That's how he came. Trevor Jones [00:24:44]: Like a lot of those guys were. Reginald Ferguson [00:24:45]: Right, of the time and of this place, Harlem. Trevor Jones [00:24:49]: Yep. Reginald Ferguson [00:24:49]: So he comes up to New England. That gentleman stops him in his tracks and goes, that's not going to work And then leads him down this path of Ivy Preppy Trad. Trevor Jones [00:25:06]: Yep. Reginald Ferguson [00:25:08]: So I would respectfully say that it wasn't as cookie cutter as I think you make it because particularly the cut of his jackets, He was getting all that custom. And it was a very shortened jacket. You know the skirt was very short Right. When you look at the photos. No one was doing that. That was his spin. That was his individuality. That wasn't Charles. Reginald Ferguson [00:25:34]: That was him. Trevor Jones [00:25:35]: Yeah. I mean, that's definitely an interesting way to look at it, playing with the details like that. Reginald Ferguson [00:25:42]: Details of Android. Trevor Jones [00:25:43]: Yeah. Of course. Of course. Yeah. I I haven't really looked at it that way. Reginald Ferguson [00:25:47]: Give it a gander next time. Trevor Jones [00:25:49]: Yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:25:50]: I mean, even, you know, the cool 2 button, double breasted, I mean, that's Yeah. That is Trevor Jones [00:25:57]: a good is an incredible look. Reginald Ferguson [00:25:59]: Right. That's him. That's him. There's nothing cookie cutter there. That's his individual steez. But I think what we're I think what we're driving at is the African American style that I aforementioned is not monolithic. Trevor Jones [00:26:15]: Right. And that's what I was trying basically, the point I was trying to make. Reginald Ferguson [00:26:19]: Right. And here are 2 shining examples. I'm not saying they're polar opposites, but I'm saying they're on a spectrum. Yeah. And that's cool. Trevor Jones [00:26:28]: Yeah. Totally. Reginald Ferguson [00:26:32]: So with Baldwin, to me, we're talking specifically about Ivy Preppy Trad. But we know that ultimately he's just a style icon. We're just taking one sliver. Right? So why do you think no one has come close to approximating his look ever since? Trevor Jones [00:27:05]: Yeah. I mean, I think I think it's part of it is that that personal touch that I mean, there was there were just so many unique experiences to him that no one else had. Like I mentioned, obviously, growing up, in Harlem during the Harlem Renaissance, then, you know, being openly gay at a time where that was incredibly dangerous, living abroad in Paris, coming back and helping lead the civil rights movement. I mean, these are experiences that just to to have one of these experiences would be incredible. And he has all of these in a melting pot, that are all contributing to his persona and to his style, to his characteristics. So I I I think that's a big part of it. Personal background is different for everybody, and for Baldwin, I mean, he you know, his background is just incredible. So I think that's a big part of it. Trevor Jones [00:28:13]: I I I don't I don't really know that there's much more I could say. He just it's kind of beating a dead horse. We've talked about it. He just put his own spin on it and he looks good doing Reginald Ferguson [00:28:28]: it. Right. Right. No. No. I mean, you're absolutely correct. In comparison, I want to revisit again with Miles, as I'm sure you know. But again, for the listeners, you talk about personal influence and your experiences, the stimuli around you. Reginald Ferguson [00:28:45]: I totally agree because I have often on this podcast talked about mine. I'm a native New Yorker as well. Trevor Jones [00:28:52]: I Reginald Ferguson [00:28:53]: did not grow up in Harlem. I grew up in the West Village. Then I went to live with my grandparents in the Bronx. And now I live in Brooklyn. I lived in 3 of the 5 boroughs. And Trevor Jones [00:29:03]: 2 more to go. Reginald Ferguson [00:29:05]: No. What are you talking about, Travis? I'm done. Brooklyn's live now. I love my place. Okay. Been in the same place for quite a while now. So I've only lived 2 places in Brooklyn. This is the second one, and I've been here over 10 years. Reginald Ferguson [00:29:20]: It's a wrap. Nice. Knock on wood. So But my point is I often review my influences. And essentially, I literally went to prep school. So to me, I have a prep perspective. Trevor Jones [00:29:37]: There's Reginald Ferguson [00:29:37]: no question about that. But also being the 1st generation of hip hop and living in the Bronx with my grandparents, particularly the South Bronx, boom. That was my other influence. And I feel still to this day, those 2 play a role. Maybe no one can see it immediately. Right. But I would like to say it dictates or it has set a foundation for the choices I make. And certainly my family, my family influence, which I always mention Right. Reginald Ferguson [00:30:09]: My late grandparents and my mom who were my fashion and style teachers literally. So you know, it's where you're from. But Miles grew up middle class, son of a dentist, St. Louis. Trevor Jones [00:30:24]: Yep. Reginald Ferguson [00:30:26]: So he had his own steez too. But I can imagine him coming to the jazz festival with the zoot suit. And fortunately, that gentleman went, woah. Trevor Jones [00:30:38]: Yeah. Hang on a second. Reginald Ferguson [00:30:40]: Stop. Stop. Trevor Jones [00:30:41]: And yeah. And Newport at that time, that wouldn't have been wouldn't have been too big of a hit. Newport at this time still wouldn't have been that big a hit. But, yeah, I mean, those 2, you know, for you personally, growing up kinda, you know, going to prep school and then kinda coming of age in that that formation era, that formative era of hip hop, I mean, those are just 2 I mean, talk about palpable influences. And I think it's important, like you said, sometimes people might not see it. Sometimes, you know, you're wearing a suit and tie and people are like, so where's the hip hop and that? It's it's not, you know, like you said, it's not always what you wear on your sleeve. Sometimes it's how you wear it, how you conduct yourself. And and that's just as important. Reginald Ferguson [00:31:32]: Right. No. Absolutely correct. What is it about because I know you're, you know, you're that OBCD crew. What is it about the collar roll of James Baldwin's shirts that just set you afire? Trevor Jones [00:31:50]: Okay. Reginald Ferguson [00:31:51]: No, because you're into this trailer. Let's keep it real. Trevor Jones [00:31:54]: I am. I am. Reginald Ferguson [00:31:55]: This is your thing. Don't hide. Be proud of who you are. No. Trevor Jones [00:32:00]: It does. Reginald Ferguson [00:32:00]: You can too, mister Jones. Trevor Jones [00:32:02]: It does set me afire. And it is I I I just love that way of putting it. Now, before I go into that, I will say, lately, like I said, like you said, like I said, you know, we're always reviewing our influences. I have been getting into some different color styles. Some of the kinda old school, pinned collars, the club collar, the tab collar, things that now are considered a little bit of a novelty. Kinda kinda getting into those. I think those are pretty cool, so I'm playing around with those a little bit. Anyway, that's unrelated. Trevor Jones [00:32:37]: So, in those days, the the the the shirts were just cut differently. I mean, they, you know, they were they were cut, bigger. They were cut with longer collars. They were cut with completely unlined collars. And the the front, placket of buttons was different. There were 6 buttons instead of, 7 buttons, which you see now. And so, these all these little details contribute to make a shirt with totally different personality. I mean, if you look at, go, you know, go to 1955 and go to a department store and buy any oxford cloth button down off the rack. Trevor Jones [00:33:28]: Go to 2021, a department store, and buy first of all, try to find 1. But buy a, you know, buy a button down collar shirt off the rack. They are gonna be totally different. And because it's all these little, little details that contribute to make the shirt. Nowadays, a lot of what you see is non iron, which essentially means it's kind of resistant to wrinkles, and it's a little bit more of a firm shape. And on the surface, that that might seem like a good thing. Like, oh, it's it's, you know, not really wrinkling. I don't really have to iron it. Trevor Jones [00:34:03]: Kinda easy care. That that's what it appears. But a lot of times, that beefy, thick, cotton, wrinkled shirt, the wrinkles that you accrue over the course of the day, they tell something about you as a person. They they give they give your shirt a little bit of personality. They tell where you've been and what you've been up to. And, you know, I'm not, a a lot of people, especially in the trad community, try and put you know, try and conflate clothes with meaning. Oh, you know, if you're wearing a blue blazer and a and a rep tie and a button down shirt, it must mean that, you know, you're a traditional man who believes in traditional values. No. Reginald Ferguson [00:34:49]: That's crazy. Think of all that. Yeah. It's Trevor Jones [00:34:50]: not That's ridiculous. I I don't believe in that at all. But I do think, you know, everyone has their own opinion. And in my opinion, those shirts, those old shirts are just better better made than the new ones. Reginald Ferguson [00:35:08]: Sure. No. I mean, that makes that makes sense to me. What other things like I said, the collar roll Yep. I know, like I said, drives you bananas. Trevor Jones [00:35:20]: Yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:35:22]: What other aspects of Baldwin's specific you know, ivory preppy trad elements make you excited? Trevor Jones [00:35:35]: Well, the thing is, he blends them into his personal style in such a way that they don't always jump out at you because they serve as the base layer, which I think works really effectively. So, what you see when you look at James Baldwin is you see his enormous bug eye sunglasses. You see his neckerchief that's flaring out the side of his shirt And that's what you're supposed to see. That's the way he's designed it. So that these traditional, kind of more more, traditionally accepted garments, the the garments that are the foundation of the Ivy style look, those serve as the base layer, so that these items that are designed to give a little bit of flare do their job really well. Reginald Ferguson [00:36:22]: So, essentially, you're saying that the accessories make it happen because he made it happen. Trevor Jones [00:36:30]: Yeah. And it's and it's not always about the accessories. Right? So, like, sometimes it'll be, there's a there's a great, picture of him wearing, a shearling overcoat. I don't know where I was going with that. It's a great picture. You should go look at it. It looks great. Reginald Ferguson [00:36:53]: I've seen it. I just can't remember any more detail, but it's a black and white photo. Trevor Jones [00:36:57]: Yeah. Yeah. I I think he's Reginald Ferguson [00:36:59]: I vaguely I vaguely know the photo you're talking about. Trevor Jones [00:37:01]: Yeah. So I I don't know where I was going with that. But but but the point is, they those those items from the Trad canon, the Ivy style canon, they serve as the foundation of his look, which then sets him up to bring his personal items into it to create that personal style. Reginald Ferguson [00:37:25]: Well, Trev, I got to tell you, I am really looking forward to seeing more Post. Trevor Jones [00:37:34]: Thank you. Reginald Ferguson [00:37:35]: Because like I said, I just was really surprised. And I wanted to follow the story, because I figured there was a story to it. In light of what we're talking about Trevor Jones [00:37:47]: Yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:37:49]: What does the phrase always be fly mean to you? Trevor Jones [00:37:55]: Oh, that's a good one. Reginald Ferguson [00:37:58]: I try. Trevor Jones [00:38:02]: To me, that is your that hip hop roots you talked about just shining through right there. Reginald Ferguson [00:38:11]: You're right. Yeah. Trevor Jones [00:38:12]: Yeah. And and that, you know, as you know, that hip hop culture is so much about, like, there's always whatever you're doing, always make sure that it's it's it's just, you know, you gotta make sure. If you're gonna if you're gonna wear the shoes, shine them. And so that that to me is is kinda that that same sentiment, you know, always be fly. Like, if you're gonna if you're gonna wear a button down shirt, why not, you know, make it the best one you can, and then let that set you up to do to do your own thing so that your style speaks to your personality. Reginald Ferguson [00:38:50]: Yeah. That seems to make sense. It's me and Trevor Jones, me and Trevor Jones. Trevor Jones [00:38:58]: Yeah. You wouldn't delete the, some of the songs the students come up with. I get mister Jones by the Counting Crows all the time. Me and missus Jones, I I get them all. Reginald Ferguson [00:39:09]: I had to do it. I don't Trevor Jones [00:39:10]: know one of no one's trying to That's a good one. That is a good one. And that's that's one that gets caught in your head really easily too. That's beautiful. One thing I I know, we're on a time limit here. One thing I did just wanna bring up really quickly, because because I know that we've talked about him personally, and I think it would be an important person to add, just to add to the discussion is doctor Cornel West. Reginald Ferguson [00:39:36]: Oh, okay. Trevor Jones [00:39:37]: He is like not not from a style, perspective, just Yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:39:42]: He doesn't come into my mind. Trevor Jones [00:39:44]: No. No. No. Yeah. He's definitely I mean, he's got a uniform. You know, he wears a black No. Reginald Ferguson [00:39:49]: He wears a black suit. Trevor Jones [00:39:50]: The black scarf. Reginald Ferguson [00:39:51]: It's the preacher it's the preacher's it's the preacher's outfit Trevor Jones [00:39:54]: Totally. Reginald Ferguson [00:39:54]: From how he grew up. I mean, that's his tease. Trevor Jones [00:39:58]: Yeah, exactly. That's what he does and he does it well. But he, you know, he he talks about Baldwin a lot because he's obviously an incredible academic, and Baldwin's writings are just so rich. And so about, almost a year ago to the day now, I actually got the opportunity right before the whole you know, before everything hit the fan. I was in my senior year of undergrad, and Doctor Cornell West came to the university I was at, which was incredible because, you know, it's Salve Regina University. It's a small school in Newport, actually. So it's not really, like, you know, we don't really get a lot of, like, big name speakers like that. So it was kinda weird that he would come there. Trevor Jones [00:40:49]: But it was so he's he's someone that I've looked up to as a look up looked up to for a long time. In 2016, I very much was backing the green ticket for presidency, and he was the vice presidential, candidate for that, with doctor Jill Stein. And so basically, since then, he's been someone that I've I've looked up to as just I mean, I mean, he's just so intelligent, and he's so well spoken. And so I got to see him speak live, which was like and and then best best best of all, afterwards, I went up and actually got to meet him. And I swear to god, my knees were shaking. I was, like, you know, out of my mind. It was unbelievable. I got to, you know, sit there and talk with the man. Trevor Jones [00:41:43]: But he he actually brings up Baldwin a lot because he talks about Baldwin bringing in that combination of of the serious, hardcore intellectual thought, but also being in touch with the people. You know, talking about making it relevant. What's going on? And to bring this back to Baldwin, I think that's something that Baldwin does so well. I read some of his writings, and and sometimes, you know, he writes almost from a from too much of an academic perspective, and sometimes he writes from the street perspective. But he's able to blend them in a way that it's his I know we're talking about his style, but his writing is truly like nothing else. There's no one else that writes like him. And and to bring it back to the clothing, it's it's the same with his clothes. He he wrote in the James Baldwin style and he dressed in the James Baldwin style. Reginald Ferguson [00:42:47]: I like it.
bottom of page