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The Fashion Geek Podcast

72 | A Conversation With John Marks of The American Traditional

Reg talks with John about French terry cloth sweatpants, dressing for travel and the “EBay cul de sac.” Fortunately, there are no dead ends to this episode.

Guest Links


00:00 Introduction to the Fashion Geek Show
01:14 Meet John Marks: The American Traditional
01:55 New York City Vibes and Fashion Lingo
03:27 John's Background and The American Traditional Blog
05:27 The Connection Over a Jacket
11:26 Travel Attire: A Debate
13:32 The Influence of Family on Fashion
27:42 Writing for Uncommon Man
30:27 Introduction to SMU and Brand Shoutout
31:09 Hometown Stories and Florida Connections
34:45 New York City Living and Moving Around
36:26 Hip Hop Influences and Favorite Artists
38:48 Vintage Fashion Finds and eBay Adventures
45:48 Philosophy on Aging and Life Reflections
53:38 Fashion's Role and Personal Impact

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John Marks [00:00:00]: Isn't that cool though how, you know, some rag from, like, the sixties that somebody wanted to get rid of and threw it on eBay, You can buy it and then it connects to people like, you know, like you and me, for instance. I don't know. I find that kind of interesting. Like, human connections could be made over, you know, clothes. Reginald Ferguson [00:00:22]: I'm Reg Ferguson, and I'm a fashion consultant from New York City, born and raised. I've been helping men look fly for years. And now, I want to help you learn more about menswear, the entrepreneurs, the brands, and top fashion tips on the Fashion Geek podcast. Yo. This is Reg Ferguson, Fashion Geek number 1. How are you? Welcome to the ride. Thank you so much for listening. I'm a men's fashion consultant here in New York City and I help fashion challenged men go from confused to confident. Reginald Ferguson [00:01:02]: Consider me a personal trainer for fashion. If you ever found yourself staring at the closet not knowing what to wear or if the idea of shopping for clothes makes you feel physically ill, then this is a show for you. My goal with every episode is to help you learn about the people behind the brands and to help make looking good feel easy. If you ever want my help, email me at for a consultation. If you have a friend who's looking to level up his fashion style wardrobe game, please share an episode with them. While you're at it, if you dig the show and haven't already left us a rating or review, please consider doing so now. Your shares, ratings, and reviews help us grow the show and help us get the best possible guests and help more men dress their best. Today, we're going to talk with John Marks of the American traditional who is in New York City, just like me. Reginald Ferguson [00:02:05]: And he and I are going to talk about something that the everyday man should be interested in. We're going to talk about classic menswear and beyond. John in the building. John Marks [00:02:18]: What's up? How you doing, sir? Reginald Ferguson [00:02:20]: I'm well. How are you, man? John Marks [00:02:23]: Couldn't be better. Couldn't be better. Thanks for putting this together. Thanks for having me. I know we've been trying to link up since November, and you've accommodated my crazy schedule. So finally made it, and I appreciate it. Reginald Ferguson [00:02:35]: Yeah. No. Absolutely. I'm, dogged in, getting the right guest. Cool. So you keeping safe out there? John Marks [00:02:48]: Yes. Yes. I feel like the the ground shook a little bit in New York City when we just hopped on together. Did you feel that? Reginald Ferguson [00:02:56]: Oh my god. Okay. John Marks [00:02:58]: I think Eric Adams just got a alert. Like, what? These 2 New York Cityers are meeting? Reginald Ferguson [00:03:05]: Alright. Well, John, already, you played yourself because I never heard anyone say New York City ers. So John Marks [00:03:12]: And I've been here 6 years, so I think that that qualifies me as a true New Yorker. Reginald Ferguson [00:03:19]: You're off by 4 years, bro. I don't know. I don't know. We Yeah. I do. No. Yeah. I'm a native. Reginald Ferguson [00:03:28]: And, yeah, you gotta you gotta put a little bit more time in. John Marks [00:03:31]: Dang. Alright. Glad to hear. Reginald Ferguson [00:03:33]: Yeah. Yeah. And you you can't you can't start saying New York City or this to people because then you are really you're outing yourself. John Marks [00:03:41]: Alright. What's the lingo then? Reginald Ferguson [00:03:44]: You know, city people, city kids, New Yorkers. I mean, just New Yorkers. John Marks [00:03:48]: You know? Reginald Ferguson [00:03:49]: These 2 New Yorkers met John Marks [00:03:51]: Boom. There you go. Reginald Ferguson [00:03:53]: Right. But we're gonna rephrase and then go, the New Yorker and the honorary John Marks [00:03:58]: New Yorker. Deputy New Yorker. Reginald Ferguson [00:04:01]: Yeah. But you're getting close. Alright. And I have a feeling in this conversation, we're gonna we're gonna really determine how close you you've gotten so far. Okay. John Marks [00:04:10]: Yeah. Let's do that. Reginald Ferguson [00:04:11]: Cool. So before we go into our topic, please tell us, so what do you do? John Marks [00:04:33]: Full time on in education. So I'm a director of student life for a private school in the city. So that takes up, you know, 50:50 hours of my week, and I'm kind of in the middle of a pivot at the moment. I'm trying to go back to school in the fall. So, yeah, so that's kinda where I'm at. Reginald Ferguson [00:04:56]: Okay. But how we met was on the gram. Oh, John Marks [00:05:02]: of course. Of course. Reginald Ferguson [00:05:04]: In which you have this whole blog called the American traditional. John Marks [00:05:09]: Yeah. Yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:05:11]: Break it down. John Marks [00:05:13]: It kinda started during COVID. You know, I needed, like, a creative outlet when I was stuck in my apartment like everybody else. So I kinda wanted to just leverage the things that I was obsessed with and kinda put it together and try and share it with other people that I'm sure were equally obsessed with those things. You know, I'm a big, I love history. I love films. I love art. I love, style. I love poetry, and it seemed like an easy way to kind of dabble in all of those things and have fun with it and share it with other people. John Marks [00:05:48]: And it kinda just, you know, one post built on another, and it's kinda taken shape to something that I still enjoy. Reginald Ferguson [00:05:57]: Well, like I said, the majority of the guests I meet is through the gram. And the beauty of the algorithm, I don't really truthfully remember how it happened, but you came across my feed, some of your other, and, you know, started following you, started checking out your stuff. John Marks [00:06:19]: Yeah. Likewise. Reginald Ferguson [00:06:20]: Yeah. Thank you. And really, you know, really enjoyed it. I wanna keep it real with you, John. You've got a you've got a jacket that, I made a compliment John Marks [00:06:31]: on. Oh, really? Which one? Reginald Ferguson [00:06:33]: It's the it's the one I don't know the make, but I'm going to try to describe it as best I can, not only for you but for the listeners. John Marks [00:06:41]: Okay. Reginald Ferguson [00:06:42]: It's the one it essentially has it's an off white ivory background, but it's, like, red and blue stripes, and it has elbow patches. John Marks [00:06:51]: Oh, yeah. That's, it's like a Pendleton Reginald Ferguson [00:06:56]: That was it? Is it Pendleton? Thing. Yeah. John Marks [00:06:58]: Yeah. Yep. That's Bro? At, off of eBay. One of those treasures. Reginald Ferguson [00:07:04]: Bro, if, if you were if you were my size, it would be a problem. John Marks [00:07:09]: Yeah. Luckily, I'm my size. Reginald Ferguson [00:07:17]: It is it is mighty fly. John Marks [00:07:19]: Yeah. It's really cool. Reginald Ferguson [00:07:21]: Yeah. And I gave you props on it. John Marks [00:07:23]: Okay. Reginald Ferguson [00:07:23]: So that's how it John Marks [00:07:24]: that's how our first connection started. It was over that decade. Reginald Ferguson [00:07:28]: Yeah. I think so. And there's another one that I'll mention either now or maybe I'll I'll save it for a bit, springing on you. John Marks [00:07:36]: Okay. But Isn't that isn't that cool, though, how, you know, some rag from, like, the sixties that somebody wanted to get rid of and threw it on eBay. You can buy it, and then it connects to people, like, you know, like you and me for instance. I don't know. I find that kind of interesting. Like, human connections could be made over, you know, clothes. Reginald Ferguson [00:08:00]: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, certainly, you know, through the technology, the world is smaller than it's ever been. Yeah. And like I said, you know, because it's always innocent how I connect with people who eventually become guests on the pod. Mhmm. So you're looking at something or maybe someone reposted your stuff and I'm like, who is this? Okay. You know? And if it's if it intrigues me, then, you know, I follow. Reginald Ferguson [00:08:31]: And, you know, looking at your setup and really, I could I could learn from you offline. Maybe you could give me some tips because, you know, you're you're into photography. I can tell you I can teach you what not to do, John. You're doing the darn thing. So John Marks [00:08:46]: I just copy everybody that's Reginald Ferguson [00:08:48]: Well, you know, I know you love photography, and and we actually had a brief conversation about that and maybe, hopefully, we can delve into that a little further this evening. John Marks [00:08:57]: Yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:08:57]: But, yeah, just, you know, seeing what you were doing and then realizing, oh, wait. He also has a blog, you know, attached to this profile and seeing the, you know, the related symbiotic relationship between the 2. Mhmm. And I just found you, and hopefully the listeners will too, I just found you an interesting cat because I think one of the themes that you intentionally get across is and it's really in the name, is the concept of America. John Marks [00:09:33]: Yeah. The idea of it. Reginald Ferguson [00:09:35]: Yes. The idea and potentially the ideal. Mhmm. And I think that's interesting because we're a generation apart, and I look at you as a younger cat. And I go, okay. This is interesting. This viewpoint is singular, but it it intrigues me. Mhmm. Reginald Ferguson [00:09:58]: So and you relate that to close, but it goes beyond the close. John Marks [00:10:02]: Cool. Good. Okay. Reginald Ferguson [00:10:05]: That was that was my take on it. John Marks [00:10:08]: Yeah. I mean, those are the things that, you know, that are always floating around in my head, and I hope that they translate without being so deliberate about it. You know? So it's always nice to hear someone who picks up on those things without me being, like, so obvious, I guess. Reginald Ferguson [00:10:25]: Yeah. Yeah. You're not hitting anyone over the head like I would. Alright. Did you feel that? That's what I'm trying to tell you. Bam. Bam. Bam. John Marks [00:10:35]: Yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:10:36]: Yeah. Because it's it's a John Marks [00:10:37]: cool thing to me. It's, you know, how do you I think the younger generation, myself, my generation, and the, you know, the Gen z that came after me, we're in this place where we're questioning, like, what is America? Because the world's changed and, you know, America's changed and technology's changed. Everything about our society's changed. So you have this whole new generation questioning what is America, looking at the ideals, seeing how it weighs up to those ideals and seeing, you know, hey. Maybe we should keep this part, Maybe work past that part, yada yada yada. So it's kinda like a cool thought experiment for me, I guess. Reginald Ferguson [00:11:20]: Yeah. Well, it seems like you're gaining major traction, which is the reason that, you know, maybe maybe you'll break some stuff down to me so I can I can learn from you? John Marks [00:11:32]: Do it. Reginald Ferguson [00:11:34]: But I want to get into one thing John Marks [00:11:36]: Yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:11:37]: That that, I immediately thought of because I recently just came from my first trip since COVID, and it was a bus trip to DC. John Marks [00:11:49]: Oh, cool. How was that? Reginald Ferguson [00:11:51]: It was nice. It was I hung out with a friend of mine. Big shout out to my buddy, Elizabeth Burke. Cool. It was very nice. She was the hostess with the mostest. She used to live here in New York. And now she's there in DC. Reginald Ferguson [00:12:05]: It's her 3rd stint there. Okay. And she had been inviting me, but we finally, you know, we made it happen. John Marks [00:12:12]: Good. Reginald Ferguson [00:12:13]: The reason why I'm bringing this up is I'm going to make a link to something that I saw in one of your posts on your blog. Okay. Let's talk about travel attire. John Marks [00:12:28]: Oh, okay. Cool. Reginald Ferguson [00:12:30]: Because I know you have an opinion and so do I. Alright. Let's do it. Your your post was about the plane and air travel. I just have bus travel. Let's make this let's make this one thing. John Marks [00:12:43]: This is a good topic. I've actually been thinking about this one lately because I may have changed my opinion. Reginald Ferguson [00:12:51]: Let's see how you changed it. John Marks [00:12:53]: So so I went back. I always wanna go back and erase, like, old stuff that I did. So I really I've resist the urge to erase the old things. But I was I went back and read it, and I was like, man, what is I don't know why I felt so, so divisive about it. You know? Like, men should be traveling in sport jackets, and that's it. But I've recently been, I don't know, I guess, relaxing on that a little bit. I've been traveling more. I've also, like, picked up a few, like, really nice, like, French terrycloth leisure, like, sweatsuits. John Marks [00:13:33]: And I'm like, you know, it's not kinda comfortable to wear these sweatpants outside. So I'm totally contradicting what I wrote, you know, last summer. What are your thoughts on it? Reginald Ferguson [00:13:47]: Well, hopefully, that noise telegraphed my opinion on the on the subject. John Marks [00:13:53]: Lay it on me. Reginald Ferguson [00:13:55]: You should not be revisionist, mister Marks, and hold tight Alright. To what you originally said. Certainly, you have the right to change and alter your opinion. But when you say erase, I immediately I think of things from an American standpoint, much as a world standpoint. John Marks [00:14:17]: Red flag. Right? Reginald Ferguson [00:14:18]: Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. And revisionism, I don't like. John Marks [00:14:22]: Yeah. So Reginald Ferguson [00:14:25]: here's what you and the listeners don't know. I grew up traveling via plane since I was a child. Mhmm. Since I was a toddler. And the main reason is my mom worked for Pan American. Oh, cool. Right. So the pinnacle John Marks [00:14:49]: Yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:14:50]: Of air travel. So when you are the child, much less just a family member of someone who works for an airline, there are guidelines. John Marks [00:15:05]: Yeah. There are rules. Reginald Ferguson [00:15:06]: There are rules. And I literally remember my mom opening this Pan Am guidebook and breaking down how I would be dressed. Now you have to understand this. Yeah. You have to understand this. I grew up in a classic menswear household, and I grew up with style and fashion being important. John Marks [00:15:27]: Oh, cool. Okay. Reginald Ferguson [00:15:28]: That is a lot. Yeah. I literally grew up in it. There's no radical transformation for me. I know for you and that's what I also found fascinating, you are finding your way right now. John Marks [00:15:38]: Yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:15:39]: It doesn't mean that I didn't have evolutions. Of course, I did. John Marks [00:15:42]: Right. Reginald Ferguson [00:15:42]: But I literally started that way. John Marks [00:15:45]: You had early influences. Reginald Ferguson [00:15:47]: Yes. Early. John Marks [00:15:48]: Cool. And your your dad or, like, you know, all of the men in your family or what? Reginald Ferguson [00:15:53]: It was specifically my grandfather. John Marks [00:15:56]: Ah, cool. Reginald Ferguson [00:15:57]: But also it was my grandma and it was my mom. John Marks [00:16:00]: Okay. Reginald Ferguson [00:16:01]: Wonderful. So it was the triumvirate. Yeah. And they always stress the importance of style and fashion. Nice. So she's revealing these guidelines, and there's nothing for me to think about. John Marks [00:16:15]: Yeah. That's just a little kid. Yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:16:17]: I'm a little kid. I'm sub 10. Alright? You know, my mom was still really dressing me. John Marks [00:16:23]: Okay. Reginald Ferguson [00:16:23]: I didn't have amazing opinions to articulate or to really lean on as a stance. Right? That doesn't happen until you're a teenager. John Marks [00:16:32]: Yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:16:33]: So when I read that blog post, it resonated with me because I feel and I got to tell you that Terry cloth, that sounds very nice, but I hope, I hope you don't cross a gate with that terrycloth. I feel haven't yet. Good. Good. I'm gonna talk to your wife. John Marks [00:16:54]: Alright. Lay down lay down the real law. Reginald Ferguson [00:16:57]: It's gonna yeah. It's gonna have to be a team effort possibly. I just feel listen. The Lagerfeld, you've given up if you're wearing sweats. Here's the deal. When I was in high school and playing sports, wearing sweats made sense. John Marks [00:17:17]: Right. Reginald Ferguson [00:17:17]: Right? That was the true application of them. Right. John Marks [00:17:21]: That's what they were meant for or not. You know? Reginald Ferguson [00:17:25]: When I see guys going on a plane or going on a bus with sneakers, sweatpants, I just feel they look bummy. Yeah. And I do agree. Saying I'm not saying they have to go the other extreme necessarily. John Marks [00:17:40]: Mhmm. Reginald Ferguson [00:17:41]: It's just the loosening is the loosening. John Marks [00:17:45]: Yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:17:45]: And I just feel like now, particularly in reference to your post on air travel, a plane is a flying bus. I was on a bus. Yeah. So I had on now that you asked, I had a sport jacket on. Check. Bounce to. John Marks [00:18:08]: Check. Reginald Ferguson [00:18:08]: And I had a dress shirt on, open collar. John Marks [00:18:11]: Nice. Reginald Ferguson [00:18:12]: I had a sweater vest. John Marks [00:18:14]: Alright. Reginald Ferguson [00:18:15]: I had, as I always affectionately call them because that's what my grandpa called them, I had dungarees on. Nice. Because no one thinks I have them, but I do. And I had Chelsea boots on. John Marks [00:18:27]: Okay. Nice. Reginald Ferguson [00:18:29]: And I had a parker. And, of course. Oh, hey, man. I don't mess around. John Marks [00:18:33]: Nothing else? Reginald Ferguson [00:18:35]: So and I had a parker because this is how we roll in New York. Right. John Marks [00:18:39]: So New Yorkers. Right? Reginald Ferguson [00:18:42]: That's how we roll in New York honorary. So you're getting close, man. You have 4 more years. John Marks [00:18:50]: Alright. Reginald Ferguson [00:18:50]: I will award you I will award you the medal. John Marks [00:18:54]: I will let you know when that anniversary hits, and we will celebrate. Reginald Ferguson [00:19:00]: You will celebrate. John Marks [00:19:01]: And I will have gotten the word New York Cityers out of my system. Reginald Ferguson [00:19:05]: Yes. Oh my god. Yeah. That was freaky. So what is it? That's just because I was John Marks [00:19:09]: I was just nervous. We'll brush past that. Reginald Ferguson [00:19:14]: So, you know, to me, the the things that I was taught as a child still I identify with as an adult. John Marks [00:19:25]: Yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:19:26]: Again, to reiterate, had there been evolutions? Of course, there have. Right. Of course. But but I just don't wanna dress slovenly if I'm traveling. I don't want to dress slovenly, period. John Marks [00:19:40]: Right. Where for you and your family and what you were taught, where why? Like, where did that come from? Reginald Ferguson [00:19:48]: I don't truly know where it came from, but I will tell you through time why I believe it happened. John Marks [00:19:57]: Mhmm. Reginald Ferguson [00:19:58]: So your mother is your first teacher. Right. And like I said, she instilled it. And again, she's not only that, she's your first dresser. John Marks [00:20:07]: Yeah. It's true. Reginald Ferguson [00:20:08]: Right? Yeah. So, you know, I was little Reggie back then because my dad was big Reggie. John Marks [00:20:14]: Okay. Reginald Ferguson [00:20:15]: And my mom, I guess, through my grandparents, it was always, you know, classic menswear. Mhmm. My grandparents were very well dressed, and they always stressed the importance of style and fashion. Mhmm. My late grandfather it was like a mantra, really, with one of them. Keep up your appearance, Reggie. Keep up your appearance. Always keep up your appearance. Reginald Ferguson [00:20:40]: Wow. And my late grandfather used to have a parable in which he said that if 2 brothers had to go to court and one was dressed slovenly and one was dressed well, that the one who was dressed well would get a better shake at court. John Marks [00:20:57]: Yep. Reginald Ferguson [00:20:59]: And, you know, you asked about the male figure. So it was specifically my grandfather. He taught me how to tie a tie. He He taught me how to shine shoes. John Marks [00:21:08]: Wow. Reginald Ferguson [00:21:09]: My grandparents were arbiters of selections for me when I went shopping with them. Mhmm. And, you know, it was a consistent through line through my mom because those were her parents to be clear. And so you literally grow up that way. And then as I always tell people, and I often have on the pod, and I appreciate everyone's patience, I'm also the 1st generation of hip hop. John Marks [00:21:35]: True. Okay. Reginald Ferguson [00:21:36]: And I went to prep school. So so the prep school thing, well, that's a continuation of my career. John Marks [00:21:44]: Right. Reginald Ferguson [00:21:45]: And then the hip hop thing is what I can do after school and what I can do on the weekends. John Marks [00:21:50]: And how you can express yourself outside of, you know, the the rules that you've grown up with? Reginald Ferguson [00:21:56]: Exactly. Not that I didn't like that expression, but again, you're adolescent, you're trying to find yourself. So to me, it was always a balance between the 2, which to me in my mind still are the foundational points of whatever I wear and purchase to this day. John Marks [00:22:14]: Cool. That's really cool. And I see that from, you know, from me scoping your stuff on Instagram. I noticed that you have a very traditional side, and then you have that love for streetwear too. Reginald Ferguson [00:22:27]: Right. John Marks [00:22:27]: Right. Reginald Ferguson [00:22:28]: Because for my generation, streetwear isn't streetwear. It's New York Citywear, which is ultimately hip hopwear. John Marks [00:22:37]: Okay. Gotcha. Reginald Ferguson [00:22:38]: And one day matter of fact, you know what? I may pick your brain after after we do this. I have a I have something to say about that through writing. Okay. So so soon come, potentially. Fingers crossed. So, again, as time goes on, yeah, the foundation is the foundation. So that's why me and Sweats on a bus on a plane, no. John Marks [00:23:06]: No go. Yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:23:07]: No. No effing go. John Marks [00:23:10]: Yeah. Yeah. I feel you. I feel you. It's like I I kind of get, I stray a little bit sometimes, and then I, you know, like, in this moment, I'm like, okay. That makes sense. Reginald Ferguson [00:23:25]: I mean, it's you know, listen, all these things are about choices. And, certainly, again, you have you have the right to to change and to alter. As as strict as I come off, it doesn't mean that there's been no fluidity in my life. Right. John Marks [00:23:47]: Yeah. But Varying degrees. Reginald Ferguson [00:23:50]: Exactly. But you you just hit on it, varying degrees. Because what I have found, even with my own generation, much less yours and the one that is younger than you, I literally grew up in this. John Marks [00:24:04]: Mhmm. Reginald Ferguson [00:24:05]: I literally did. I grew up in classic Ben's Wear. Yeah. I didn't discover it. So it was given to me. It was bequeathed to me. But I realized I didn't finally answer your question. The reason why I think that happened through my family, 1, is because I think they just genuinely had a love for style and fashion. Reginald Ferguson [00:24:28]: Yeah. Right? And I don't know their touch points. I just don't. Right? Because they precede me. Mhmm. But I'll tell you another reason, which I think you'll like just in light of, like I said, how you get down on the gram and on your blog post. Definitions change over time. John Marks [00:24:46]: Mhmm. Reginald Ferguson [00:24:47]: Just like right now, you're wrapping your head around, hey, I may do this French terrycloth thing. You're entitled to do that. That's what time does. And for me, when I was a child, dressing the way I did and learning from them was just because that's how it is and that's it. And that was fine. Mhmm. But what I what I think and all these people are gone, unfortunately. I believe another reason, out of their genuine interest because they were consumers. Reginald Ferguson [00:25:16]: They weren't garmentos. John Marks [00:25:18]: I Reginald Ferguson [00:25:19]: think it's because of how we have to operate in this society. And when I mentioned to you that parable, I think that parable was shared to me for a reason. John Marks [00:25:30]: Right. Right. Reginald Ferguson [00:25:32]: Because dressing well gives you license. It gives you credibility. Mhmm. But for people who look like me, it gives you an opportunity to hopefully not be treated so poorly, so consistently. John Marks [00:25:50]: Right. Right. To break a misconception or, you know, to challenge somebody's thought or assumption. Reginald Ferguson [00:25:58]: Yep. John Marks [00:25:59]: Is that is that track with what you mean? Reginald Ferguson [00:26:02]: Yeah. Yeah. That's that's what I'm yeah. John Marks [00:26:04]: Yeah. That's a good point. It's a good point. Reginald Ferguson [00:26:07]: That's the answer. John Marks [00:26:09]: Yeah. I like that. It's even even more powerful when you put it in that lens. You know? Reginald Ferguson [00:26:14]: Every month when something important is going on, I send out my New York Fashion Geek newsletter to my fellow geeks. It drops on Fridays, and it offers a quick glimpse into the world of The Fashion Geek. I offer some tips, and it's a nice breezy read. To sign up, just head over to and fill out the welcome sheet. Yeah. Well, they were they were my heroes. And that's why, as I often share with people, when you go to my website, that's why there's a family page. John Marks [00:26:49]: Oh, nice. Reginald Ferguson [00:26:50]: I couldn't even attempt to even think that I would have a podcast and a business that's, you know, slowly growing and burgeoning Mhmm. If it weren't for them. John Marks [00:27:01]: Yeah. Yeah. Truly. I was actually thinking about that today. I was writing something for a, for an application, and, you know, it made me survey kind of my life and made me survey, you know, what my parents went through just for me to be where I'm at. And it was it's so humbling to think about, you know, what our parents and our grandparents go through in order, you know, to to hand us the torch to keep going. It's a beautiful thing. Reginald Ferguson [00:27:35]: Yeah. Yeah. It is. So continue to act right, John. John Marks [00:27:41]: Yes. Yeah. That's what we arrived at. And I think there's a you know, when I think about the why at this point, because our culture is so casual that, like, the average person doesn't really bat an eye if someone is in sweat pants. Right? No. So I think the why, it always brings me back to this thing about dignity and respect. You know, to to put on clothes that reflect your respect that you have for yourself or the respect that you have for the occasion that you're going to, you know, if you're going to work or if you're going to a a dinner or a meeting or a court date, you know, your dress always reflecting the respect that you have for what you're engaging in. And that's what always brings me back from, like, hey. John Marks [00:28:34]: Don't put the sweatpants on because, you know, you wanna communicate that you care about what you're about to do. And it's hard to do that with, you know, some baggy French Terry Clubs on. Reginald Ferguson [00:28:46]: Exactly. John Marks [00:28:49]: Yeah. Yeah. Don't do it. You're bringing me back home. Reginald Ferguson [00:28:54]: Well, good. Well, someone had to. I mean, jeez. I have to take you off this terrycloth ledge. So, going into your blog, and also I want the audience to know, so you have the American traditional blog, but in addition, I want to give you your time to shine. You also write for a menswear brand, don't you? John Marks [00:29:20]: Yeah. Yeah. For, the brand Uncommon Man. Reginald Ferguson [00:29:25]: So how did that happen? John Marks [00:29:29]: Last year, you know, I think the algorithm pitted my account with uncommon man, and we came across each other. And, you know, we followed each other, and we would just kinda react and send each other stuff and kinda built a a little relationship. I really love the products that they make. The founder, Kyle, and his partner, Travis, it's 2 guys out of Dallas, Texas, and they do everything from soup to nuts, from design to branding to, you know, running their their brick and mortar store there in Dallas. So I just kinda built up a relationship with them, and, eventually, we saw an opportunity where we could collaborate and make something together. And they were wanting to get into, you know, building out their cultural aspect on their website and, you know, to kinda just build on their brand and add a little something extra for people to enjoy. And so Travis came up with this idea for the digest. And so we did that for a while, and the digest was, you know, like a weekly periodical with different topics that ranged from films or even style topics to art to, you know, esoteric bits of history, things that people like us all enjoy. John Marks [00:30:57]: And you know? Yeah. So did that for a while, and then I think that we we took a break over the fall to kinda regroup. And I've been going through my my, studies, and they were going through some reshuffling. But we have connected again recently, and we're putting together another plan to relaunch the digest and, you know, kinda go further with some of these topics and and send it out so that it's, you know, some good tidbits for everyone to enjoy. Nice. Yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:31:35]: Yeah. So I I looked at their side, and like you said, they're in Dallas. Essentially, it seems like they're a hop skip from the smooth campus. John Marks [00:31:45]: Yeah. Yeah. They're, like, right around the corner. Right. Reginald Ferguson [00:31:48]: And for everyone else, SMU is Southern Methodist University, home of the Mustangs. John Marks [00:31:57]: Yeah. They're a really, really great brand that, you know, if your listeners were wanting to see something fresh, go check them out. They're awesome. They do these beautiful garments, and they're all handmade in Naples. And they're they have a lot of Shetland knitwear that comes out of Scotland, but really fine really fine work. Reginald Ferguson [00:32:20]: Yeah. I glanced at their stuff and, you know, checked out your post, and I'm the big research guy. So I wanted to Yeah. John Marks [00:32:28]: Nice. Wanted to try Reginald Ferguson [00:32:29]: to get to know you. So now, John, are you originally from Florida? John Marks [00:32:35]: Yeah. I grew up in a small paper mill town called Palatka, Florida. That is yeah. I know. It's about 30 minutes west of Saint Augustine. So it's in the northeast coast. Yeah. A little little tiny town no one's heard of. John Marks [00:32:57]: So when people ask me where I'm from, I always just say Jacksonville, the closest city that people know. Reginald Ferguson [00:33:05]: Alright. Well, yeah. When you say that, then I I can refocus. Yeah. John Marks [00:33:09]: I kinda put the point on a map. Reginald Ferguson [00:33:11]: Right. Yeah. Well, the reason why I had to ask you that, and I hope you know why I did, is because one day in your stories, during the holiday season John Marks [00:33:25]: Mhmm. Reginald Ferguson [00:33:26]: You did a you did a post of a store called Burdine's. John Marks [00:33:31]: I did. Reginald Ferguson [00:33:33]: You did. Now, you're probably going, why does he know Burdine's? John Marks [00:33:37]: Burdine's in Miami? Reginald Ferguson [00:33:39]: I believe that was I don't know if it was Miami, but it was a old school Santa Claus neon John Marks [00:33:45]: Oh, yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:33:46]: Yeah. Berdawns. Okay. I remember that. I don't I I can't literally I'm not that good. Bro, you're you're the one who sourced it. I don't remember this from that. But I, as a New Yorker, know that store. Reginald Ferguson [00:33:58]: Oh, cool. And that's why I went, Bert Bert is in Florida? And you were like, yeah. And then I was like, this kid must be from Florida. John Marks [00:34:05]: Yep. Florida boy at heart, man. Gotcha. Reginald Ferguson [00:34:08]: So for the listeners, because John doesn't seem to be that interested, Berdine's is the Macy's of Florida. John Marks [00:34:17]: Yep. Yep. Reginald Ferguson [00:34:19]: And the reason why I know that is because I have family in Florida. So that's John Marks [00:34:25]: Oh, what part of Florida? Reginald Ferguson [00:34:27]: I have family. Some of them are gone, in Broward and in Dade. John Marks [00:34:32]: Cool. Okay. Nice. Reginald Ferguson [00:34:34]: So that's why I know Berghans, bro. John Marks [00:34:36]: There you go. Reginald Ferguson [00:34:38]: I was like, well, he yeah. He's not just just riffing on this. He must be from FLA. Like, what what is he doing with that? John Marks [00:34:44]: Your your Florida roots go back further than than mine do. Reginald Ferguson [00:34:48]: Yeah. That's true. Though I'm a 3rd generation New Yorker, but I do have family from Florida. You know, some of them are gone. My uncle Archie, my aunt Minnie. But but, yeah, I remember going there, and I remember saying this is a really nice store. Yeah. So to see that, yeah, you you took me back, bro. Reginald Ferguson [00:35:16]: So John Marks [00:35:17]: Good. Reginald Ferguson [00:35:17]: I wanna let Reginald Ferguson [00:35:18]: you know that, you know, New Yorkers, New Yorkers traveled to. John Marks [00:35:22]: Yeah. Florida is the 6th borough, so it makes sense. Reginald Ferguson [00:35:26]: Yeah. Yeah. Particularly if we're talking about Miami. Yeah. I mean, it's crazy. Yeah. It really it really is. John Marks [00:35:34]: So many people that I know up here moved to Florida, you know, over the past 2 years. New Yorkers, life lifelong New Yorkers now are Floridian. Reginald Ferguson [00:35:42]: Really? Yeah. Ugh. Yuck. No offense. But I'm just like, really? You're leaving permanently? You're a permanent snowbird? Yeah. Yeah. John Marks [00:35:54]: It's hard to it's hard to hate the sunshine and the low taxes, but it will never replace New York City, man. There's no place like it. Reginald Ferguson [00:36:02]: No. That's true. Now do you live uptown? John Marks [00:36:06]: No. I live currently, I live downtown. Reginald Ferguson [00:36:09]: You live downtown. But you used to live uptown, but now you're downtown. John Marks [00:36:12]: Yeah. When I first moved to New York City in 2016, I lived on Staten Island for 2 years. Wow. Wow. And then I moved to Harlem for 3 years, and I've been in now I'm in the financial district. I've been here for almost a year now. Reginald Ferguson [00:36:29]: Oh, okay. Well, that would hopping around. Right. But that would also make sense because sometimes there's some photos and, you know, I shout out the spots John Marks [00:36:39]: Yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:36:39]: On the DM with you. I'm like, Reginald Ferguson [00:36:41]: is that, so and so? John Marks [00:36:43]: Yeah. That's how that fun is looking where people are. Reginald Ferguson [00:36:46]: Like, is that street? Yeah. Is that that? John Marks [00:36:48]: I know that bodega. Reginald Ferguson [00:36:50]: Yeah. I mean, I do that a lot. So John Marks [00:36:53]: Yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:36:54]: So okay. Alright. John Marks [00:36:56]: Where are you at in the city? Reginald Ferguson [00:36:57]: I am in Carroll Gardens. I'm in Brooklyn. John Marks [00:37:00]: Oh, cool. Cool. Cool. That's, hopefully, my next borough. Reginald Ferguson [00:37:04]: I was gonna say, I mean, you're getting around, bro. John Marks [00:37:06]: I know. It's like it's either Brooklyn or Queens next. That's the natural trajectory. Reginald Ferguson [00:37:11]: Well, you gotta do Brooklyn first. I mean, I'm biased. And I'm from Manhattan. But Yeah. I've lived in 3 of the 5 boroughs. Okay. You have entered 2. So it seems like, yeah, it seems like it's a fait accompli for you. John Marks [00:37:26]: Where, where did you spend most of your childhood in the city? Reginald Ferguson [00:37:31]: I was split between the West Village and the Bronx. Very John Marks [00:37:35]: cool. Okay. Reginald Ferguson [00:37:37]: So I was born and raised in Manhattan. I grew up in the West Village. John Marks [00:37:42]: Mhmm. Reginald Ferguson [00:37:43]: And then I went to live with my grandparents in the Bronx. John Marks [00:37:46]: Okay. Reginald Ferguson [00:37:47]: And when I made that move, it was right when hip hop was starting to blow. Oh, man. Right. You're in in the mecca. I was in the mecca. That's cool. So yeah. John Marks [00:37:59]: Who are some of your favorite, your favorite hip hop artists that you grew up listening to? Reginald Ferguson [00:38:05]: Sheesh. I mean, I don't know if we have that much time, but, I mean, I certainly if we really go back to the essence, I certainly love Sugar Hill. John Marks [00:38:16]: Mhmm. Reginald Ferguson [00:38:17]: I certainly love Flash and the Furious 5. And then, you know, and then fast forward a little bit, love Run DMC. Okay. My cousin, Ernie, big shout out to him. He can attest to that. I freaking love them. Then, you know, fast forward a little bit more, Eric B. And Rakim, Public Enemy, Boogie Down Productions, then KRS 1 when he went solo, LL Cool J. Reginald Ferguson [00:38:50]: I mean John Marks [00:38:51]: Man, you gotta we have to maybe you gotta send me a, like, a required listening list one day. Reginald Ferguson [00:38:59]: Oh, I'd be flattered. John Marks [00:39:00]: Yeah. I'd brush up on my my hip hop history. Reginald Ferguson [00:39:03]: Hey. You DM me right now. That gets done. That's good. That's a pleasure. Sweet. Yeah. So yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:39:12]: So that music, you know, was just all around me and obviously other musics too. But literally, you're growing up with an art form that's growing with you. Yeah. And, you know, thank you for noticing that on the Gram because it's true. I mean, my casual you know, there's different ways to be casual. Mhmm. But if I'm putting on sneakers, then it's a reflection to an extent. John Marks [00:39:35]: Of that history. Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah. Those experiences. That's pretty cool. Reginald Ferguson [00:39:40]: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. There's no question about that. And it's funny that you asked me that because now, surprisingly enough, I'm gonna flip it back to you because because you've been doing a great job interviewing me, John. No one's done that. So Reginald Ferguson [00:39:52]: why why is you're asking me all these questions. Reginald Ferguson [00:39:56]: You had recently a post of something that I thought of because that was my error. John Marks [00:40:04]: Oh, okay. Reginald Ferguson [00:40:05]: You recently copped an Izod Lacoste cardigan. John Marks [00:40:09]: Yeah. Yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:40:11]: Why don't you talk about that? John Marks [00:40:12]: I I love that thing. Reginald Ferguson [00:40:15]: Why do you love it? John Marks [00:40:17]: You know, last year what was it? Last April when the masters were going on Mhmm. They were showing a lot of old clips of Arnold Palmer Reginald Ferguson [00:40:28]: Sure. John Marks [00:40:28]: And just how, like, charismatic and camera savvy he was, and I couldn't help but love his fit. You know, that, like, mid century golf leisure sportwear Mhmm. Kinda look was really cool to me. And there was one, one clip where he was wearing an IZOD, Lacoste cardigan, and I was like, man, I gotta find one of those. And so, naturally, I scoured the bay for a long time and found one for, like, $20 and bought it and got it, and it's, you know, one of my favorite, favorite, like, little easy knitwear pieces and wear the crap out of that thing. It's great. Reginald Ferguson [00:41:16]: A cool color. John Marks [00:41:18]: Yeah. Yeah. It's like this heathered gray kinda color. Reginald Ferguson [00:41:22]: I like gray. Yeah. That's you know? Now that's funny. Right? Because I'm immediately ready to stay claim like, that's my error. But then meanwhile, you're Reginald Ferguson [00:41:32]: like, well, this is really Reginald Ferguson [00:41:39]: a test of time Yeah. They really do. Go through a generation to another generation, and in this case, to another generation. Yeah. That's that's that's big, that's my grandparents' time. John Marks [00:41:53]: Yeah. Right? It's like this big, long jazz session where people are just handing things off to each other, and everybody riffs on it and adds their flavor to it and passes it on, and it keeps going. Reginald Ferguson [00:42:07]: So it seems like you really are into buying these pieces from eBay? John Marks [00:42:17]: Yeah. Funny enough. For a couple of reasons too. Like, when I first started really getting into menswear, you know, I was doing the the Spier and Mackay thing for a long time Mhmm. Trying to build, like, a, you know, functional wardrobe for a good price, and, actually, I still love Stuart McKay. I I think that they get a bad rap by a lot of snobby people. But I got to where I was, like, wanting more interesting things and older things. And New York City has a ton of really good hyper curated vintage stores, but they're also expensive. Reginald Ferguson [00:42:54]: They are. You know? John Marks [00:42:55]: And I'm not taking away anything from those people because they do a lot of hard work to curate those items, and they want to be paid a fair Yeah. You know, a fair fair price for their work. But for me, you know, I would rather resort to finding them cheaper for my position and where I'm at in life right now. So eBay for me has been amazing, and it helps to kind of it tempers my desires a little bit because everything isn't always available. You know? So it makes me really hunt for things and really make sure that the dimensions are right and to make sure that I like that piece so that when I do find, you know, these these things, I've, like, done a a good hunt. So, yeah, I've really been getting tons of vintage stuff off eBay recently, and it's it's really fun. Reginald Ferguson [00:43:43]: And it sounds like you're scoring great deals. So how does how does that feel when you achieve that? John Marks [00:43:49]: Oh, dude. It's like like playing a slot machine. Yeah. Maybe it's it's probably actually, I'm sure that chemically somewhere in my brain, there is an addiction process happening. Right? It's dopamine. Right? The the cycle is real. So, you know, it's it's fun to to find these old things, and you feel like you're, like, digitally fishing. Reginald Ferguson [00:44:16]: Yeah. You are. Yeah. So far, what is the best acquisition you've gotten on the Bay? John Marks [00:44:25]: Oh, that would be, that Pendleton shirt jacket that you mentioned at the beginning. Reginald Ferguson [00:44:34]: No. Linda, don't do it. Why are you bringing it up again? I moved on. Oh, I You know, that thing is fire, man. I'm like, man, John Marks [00:44:43]: I don't have Reginald Ferguson [00:44:44]: anything like that in my closet. John Marks [00:44:46]: Yeah. And I found that thing for $20. Reginald Ferguson [00:44:49]: Oh, don't do Reginald Ferguson [00:44:50]: it to me. Oh, it's so dope. They're out there, John Marks [00:44:54]: man. They're up there. Reginald Ferguson [00:44:55]: Oh, I don't need a damn thing. My clothes have clothes, bro. I'm I know. John Marks [00:44:59]: Yeah. I know. Reginald Ferguson [00:45:00]: I'm a lesson in excess. I I John Marks [00:45:02]: You could open a store. Right? Reginald Ferguson [00:45:04]: I definitely could. It'd be called Ferguson's, and I embody that American ideal that you don't talk about. Yeah. Gluttony. Hey, man. So it could be worse than life. And I got a lot of gear. John Marks [00:45:22]: That's good. That's good. I mean, what is your favorite piece that you've gotten recently? Reginald Ferguson [00:45:28]: I'm not a big eBay guy, so you have to understand because I'm older than you. Mhmm. I probably have a lot of vintage in my closet, John. So Is John Marks [00:45:39]: there anything you've been coming back to a lot recently? Reginald Ferguson [00:45:43]: No. Honestly, because with COVID, I don't go out as much. I really apply the same habits from day 1 that I have now 2 years later. John Marks [00:45:57]: Okay. Reginald Ferguson [00:45:57]: That only go out when needed, you know, and that's it. So prior to COVID, I was suited and booted 5 days a week. John Marks [00:46:06]: Yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:46:07]: And then casualties on the weekend. Mhmm. Now when I have to go to some type of appointment or event that warrants a suit, I get giddy or even a sport jacket. John Marks [00:46:21]: Yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:46:21]: I'm pumped. John Marks [00:46:22]: Like, you get to get to play again. Reginald Ferguson [00:46:25]: Yeah. I get to exactly. I get to play again. So but I'm not the biggest eBay person. I don't go to generally the the vintage shops. Mhmm. Because like I said, I mean, my my size, my weight hasn't fluctuated that greatly since undergrad. That's good. John Marks [00:46:46]: That's good. It's a blessing. Yeah. To know all your stuff is still you know? Reginald Ferguson [00:46:51]: I mean, the stuff from that time that, you know, that has lasted. Yeah. But it's, you know, that's vintage. But I got you if you said something was vintage in my house. I'm not really this is something I wear. What are you talking about? John Marks [00:47:04]: Yeah. Right. I'm not that old. Reginald Ferguson [00:47:06]: Yeah. Yeah. That's it too. I'm entering the second half, and I'm I'm having a hard time. So John Marks [00:47:12]: you are You are arriving at your best years. Every every, like, every subsequent year that we live is the best year that we've been alive. Reginald Ferguson [00:47:24]: John, I wasn't gonna have to carry that. I may have to just clip that and and just play that anytime I need a pick me up. John Marks [00:47:33]: I really believe that. I I feel very that. So obsessed with youth, and I think a lot of people see aging as something that's a bad or something to resist or fight or wanna run away from. But you get wiser. You get smarter. Hopefully, you are more accomplished. It's beautiful. Reginald Ferguson [00:47:56]: I'm doing all three things. I'm resisting, I'm fighting, and I'm running. Embreeze. And so John Marks [00:48:07]: Because then what happens if we spend sorry. I'm going on a tangent. Reginald Ferguson [00:48:11]: No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. Reginald Ferguson [00:48:12]: No. You do your thing. I see this is a co interview. What so break it down. John Marks [00:48:17]: If we spend the majority of our lives resisting and hiding from the inevitable end, like, aren't we robbing ourselves of embracing life fully? Are we robbing ourselves of, you know, putting our energies in other places and, like, living new experiences and really kind of coming into our own? Reginald Ferguson [00:48:41]: I don't know, John. That's one hundred. Be able to answer that until the end. I know. John Marks [00:48:48]: You You can send me a message. Reginald Ferguson [00:48:49]: And I'm trying to write. And I'm trying to avoid that. John, why do you what is the I think I know, but I have to ask you specifically. What is the eBay cul de sac? John Marks [00:49:07]: Buying things that you thought you liked or you thought you wanted, but you end up just selling it right back. Reginald Ferguson [00:49:18]: Oh. Yeah. I've been curious about what this meant. John Marks [00:49:23]: Yeah. The coldest fast was the language game. You drive in, and you end up driving out the same way that you came. You know, you bought something. You either didn't like it or you got tired of it really quick, and you sold it. Reginald Ferguson [00:49:38]: Oh. Yeah. Now I understand. John Marks [00:49:43]: I had a I had a pastor one time who used that analogy for, you know, just coveting things and buying things, and he just called it the the cul de sac of stupidity. Like, you buy all of these things, and you ended up not liking them or they, you know, they end up at a goodwill or your kids have to donate them once you die. Reginald Ferguson [00:50:08]: Yeah. Well, the donation will be an incredible one for me, I guess. But John Marks [00:50:13]: Yeah. Right? Reginald Ferguson [00:50:14]: I love all my purchases. John Marks [00:50:16]: That's great, though. Like, how did you did you always feel that way about your purchases, or did you get better at knowing what you wanted to buy? Reginald Ferguson [00:50:27]: Yeah. I would never deny that there's been a learning curve, right? I always feel like when I converse about this topic that I'm that I probably appear to be amazingly static. And that's only because the one thing I know makes me peerless, and I know how this sounds. I'm not trying to blow smoke, is because I literally grew up in classic menswear. Yeah. And I don't I don't have any peers that did. Mhmm. So to me, I see literally amongst my peers, sometimes they're having explorations now. Reginald Ferguson [00:51:02]: And in my mind, I say, wow, I I did that decades ago. John Marks [00:51:05]: Yeah. That's interesting. So Reginald Ferguson [00:51:09]: so everything now is the slightest of tweaks. Okay. John Marks [00:51:13]: It's already been dialed in. Reginald Ferguson [00:51:15]: Yeah. It it really has. John Marks [00:51:17]: And like I Reginald Ferguson [00:51:17]: said, I almost feel apologetic when I have this conversation with someone because it doesn't mean that I'm exactly the same way, satorily now than I was then. John Marks [00:51:29]: Right. Reginald Ferguson [00:51:29]: But the foundation and even you quickly said, hey. Yeah. When I see you in streetwear, oh, that makes sense that you said hip hop plays a role. Alright. Boom. See? You figured that out. I don't look like I'm frozen in time. John Marks [00:51:46]: Right. Reginald Ferguson [00:51:48]: Right. But that is that's my foundational touchstone. Classic men's wear the same thing. Yeah. Hey. I don't I'm not wearing a lot of 3 button jackets from 20 some odd years ago. John Marks [00:52:01]: Yeah. Yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:52:02]: You know? And I'm not talking about the role. So but I also didn't have a gazillion. I've always been emblematic of my time, but I've always been classic within that time. John Marks [00:52:14]: Very cool. Reginald Ferguson [00:52:16]: So that's why, unfortunately, making the selections I have I have had Mhmm. And not fluctuating wildly in size. Mhmm. I bought quality items, and some of them have lasted. And, of course, if something doesn't last, particularly due to size, then I give it away. I give my stuff to the Bowery Mission, And I Yeah. I ask clients to do the same thing. Yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:52:49]: Because They do the good work. Yeah. They do. And that's a replacement for me versus donating to church. Because growing up, that's what my family did at our family church Mhmm. Which I was also a 3rd generation member. Mhmm. And that's what we always did. Reginald Ferguson [00:53:05]: Well, I don't live anywhere near there anymore. I don't go up there. Mhmm. So the equivalent for me is the Bowery Mission. John Marks [00:53:12]: With the Bowery. Very cool. Reginald Ferguson [00:53:14]: Yeah. And I just love doing it, and I never I never take the paperwork for a write off. I'm like, no. That defeats the purpose of what I'm doing. Yeah. Then it's John Marks [00:53:24]: not a, you know, it's not a gift or a donation at that point. Reginald Ferguson [00:53:27]: Right. Yeah. No. This is, like, this is for real. So that's, you know yeah. That's that's that's what I do. Mhmm. So John Marks [00:53:40]: I love that. Reginald Ferguson [00:53:41]: Thank you. I appreciate that. John Marks [00:53:43]: We should man, I'm I'm kinda having an idea right now, and maybe we can talk about this in the future. And we should kinda we should try to organize some kind of menswear Bowery donation drive and you know? I feel like I don't see enough I don't see enough, like, men's wear on the ground helping their local community kind of Reginald Ferguson [00:54:08]: stuff. Let's do it. John Marks [00:54:10]: Yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:54:10]: I love it. Yeah. John Marks [00:54:11]: I would love to to collab with you on that. I think that'd be really cool. Reginald Ferguson [00:54:15]: Yeah. I to be candid, Reginald Ferguson [00:54:17]: this is as we continue to love fest, and I'm like, hey. Maybe we should just collab on something. John Marks [00:54:24]: So so now Reginald Ferguson [00:54:25]: you found you found the first thing. So yeah. No. Let's work on that. Yeah. And, yeah, we can make this happen. And anyone who's listening, you've been warned. We're gonna do something really great for people, and we're gonna need your help. John Marks [00:54:38]: Yeah. Get ready. Reginald Ferguson [00:54:39]: Yep. John Marks [00:54:39]: All those all those coats you don't wear, keep them. Reginald Ferguson [00:54:43]: We can do this. John Marks [00:54:44]: Yeah. Yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:54:45]: Let's figure this out. Absolutely. Okay. So we'll table that. John, why is fashion important? John Marks [00:54:58]: Why is fashion important? That's a good question. You know, the my first reaction is to question, you know, what is fashion? Is is fashion what's in style, or is fashion, like, a self expression? Is it a social movement? And I think it's probably all of those things. Right? Yeah. So it's I think it's important because it's a way to express yourself. I think it's a way for a group of people to express themselves. I think it's, you know, you've you've seen fashion be a form of protest. You've seen fashion be a form of celebration, a way to unify people, a way to, fight people. So I guess fashion is a it's a powerful tool of communication. Reginald Ferguson [00:55:53]: I would agree. No. What difference has fashion made in your life? John Marks [00:55:58]: It's helped me to find my voice a little bit. You know? I I grew up in a very particular kinda community, and I didn't fit in in that community at all. So it helped me to find my voice, but it also helped me to find like minded people. And it's always, like, inspiring to just keep refining yourself and to keep growing and learning and, you know, talking to other people, and I don't know. It's kinda this way that helps life push forward in a, in a growing direction, if that makes sense. Reginald Ferguson [00:56:36]: Yes. It does. John Marks [00:56:37]: Yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:56:38]: What's the top fashion tip you would give the everyday man so he could look his best? John Marks [00:56:45]: I would say don't see fashion or don't see dressing yourself or getting excited about it as feminine. Where I grew up, anything like fashion or style centric was automatically seen as feminine and for girls. And I think a lot of guys would, I don't know, maybe unchain themselves if they lost that that, that stigma. You know, fashion can be masculine. It can communicate strength and confidence and flexibility and all of these masculine values that we seek to gain. Reginald Ferguson [00:57:26]: I would agree. John Marks [00:57:28]: Yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:57:29]: So what does always be fly mean to you? John Marks [00:57:36]: Always show up your best, your best self. You know, I feel like I've said this a few times when my students ask me why I dress up all the time, and I like to be tongue in cheek and kinda morbid with them. And I say that, you know, today might be the day that you die. So don't you wanna look good, at least? If today is your last day, don't you wanna be dressed for the occasion? So that's what I think of when I hear always be fly, always be just your best. Life is Reginald Ferguson [00:58:10]: short. Outside of the, fatalism, I I really like that take. John Marks [00:58:15]: Yeah. See, I think it's, what do you call it? I don't see it as fatalism. I see it as, like, just readiness. I don't know if that makes any sense. Reginald Ferguson [00:58:30]: No. It it it makes sense. John Marks [00:58:32]: Yeah. You know, life is beautiful, but I think death is also beautiful. I think our the American culture likes to kinda shy away from talking about death a lot. But I think there's a lot of beauty in in talking about it and looking forward to it in a way. You know? Not violence, of course. That's different. But, you know, ending your life, there's gotta be some beauty in that. Reginald Ferguson [00:58:58]: Yeah. I'm afraid. So John Marks [00:59:00]: Yeah. Yeah. Nice balance. I think a lot of people feel that. Reginald Ferguson [00:59:08]: Well, I think that's a good that's a good approach for the kids, and, heck, I think it's a good approach for your peers. Yeah. So please don't wear any sweatpants on the plane. John Marks [00:59:21]: No sweatpants on the plane. Reginald Ferguson [00:59:25]: John Marks is finding his way through fashion. He's buying new pieces, he's buying vintage pieces, and he's learning what he likes. I hope he doesn't rock a sweatsuit onto a plane even if it's French terry claw. Check out his blog, the American tradition. You can also see his work at the Well, that's a wrap. Thank you so much for listening. We hope you had fun and are down for another one. Reginald Ferguson [00:59:59]: Please tell a friend who could use some fashion help about the podcast or share an episode with them directly. If you enjoy the show, please give us a rating and review on Apple Podcast. Lastly, if you constantly struggle putting an outfit together and are looking to turn that confusion into confidence, I'd love to talk about how we can improve your work. Check me out at and email me at John Marks [01:00:27]: for a Reginald Ferguson [01:00:27]: consultation. A special shout out to our producer, Serge, and everyone down with the Fashion Geek podcast. If you have a story suggestion, you can email me at podcast@nyfashiongeek dotcom, or hit me up on the insta@newyorkfashiongeek. And remember, always be fly.
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