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The Fashion Geek Podcast

79 | Arthur Ashe Brand x Rowing Blazers: Legit Or Not? With Glen Gilliam

Host Reginald Ferguson is joined by guest Glenn Gilliam to discuss the Arthur Ashe brand, a spinoff of Rowing Blazers (created by Jack Carlson). They critique the multiple logos and typefaces associated with the Arthur Ashe brand, suggesting a more powerful and cohesive brand statement.



Guest Links

Timestamps

00:00 - Intro+Welcome
01:56 - Introduction to Glenn
02:33 - Glenn Gilliam's Journey
03:13 - Discussion About Documentary & Film
04:51 - Passion for Tennis
06:34 - Discussing the Brand
08:21 - Brand Critique
13:42 - Importance of Design, Fashion and Style
39:24 - Importance of Fashion in Glenn Gilliam's Life
45:37 - Closing & Future Hopes for Rowing Blazers

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Transcript

Reginald Ferguson [00:00:31]: 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 wanna help you learn more about men's wear, the entrepreneurs, the brands, and top fashion tips on The Fashion Geek podcast. Growing up, Arthur Ashe was one of my heroes. He was black, and he played tennis. That was enough for me and my family. He was the only one. That was cool to me. Reginald Ferguson [00:01:10]: He was nerdy smooth, and I liked that. I dressed up as him once for Halloween. I have his 1st autobiography, which no one remembers, and I have Days of Grace, his last one. He is an iconic figure. So if you were going to launch a brand to burnish his legacy, how would you do it? Yo. This is Reg Ferguson, fashion geek number 1. How are you? Welcome to the ride. Thank you so much for listening. Reginald Ferguson [00:01:47]: I am a men's fashion consultant in New York City, and I help fashion challenged men go from confused to confident. 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 the show for you. My goal with every episode is to help make looking good feel easy. If you ever want my help, email me at regnyfashiongeek.com 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 a rating And review, please can do, please consider doing so now. Your shares, ratings, and reviews help us grow the show, And help us get the best possible guess and help more men dress their best. Ladies and gentlemen, As you know, this is my 1st video version of the podcast. Reginald Ferguson [00:02:53]: So, you know, if you're hearing me now, you get to see me And, this happened before the new year, so here we go. Bear with me. Today, we're gonna talk with Glenn Gilliam, One of the leaders in getting tennis legend Althea Gibson a street named after her on 143rd Street, who's in Queens, New York, We're Crossborough brothers right now. I'm in BK. And we're gonna talk about something the everyday man should have an interest in. Should we be buying gear from the newly launched Arthur Ashe tennis brand? Glenn in the building. How are you, Glenn Gilliam [00:03:36]: sir? Fantastic, Reg. Long time, you know, no speak to. I'm so glad we reconnected. It's beautiful what you're doing with New York fashion geek. Really amazing stuff, and my little entree into the fashion world for many years, never imagined doing what you're doing. I was a personal shopper for a little bit. That's another story. But as far as tennis is concerned, yeah, definitely elevating legacies wherever I can, and Althea Gibson has been, my, virtual wife for the last 7 years. Glenn Gilliam [00:04:08]: So it's been a real good ride so far. Reginald Ferguson [00:04:12]: Well, that's fantastic. And, you know, before we go into the topic, which I know you're well versed in, that's the reason why you're here on the show. Please tell us. So what do you do? So what do you what do you do? Glenn Gilliam [00:04:40]: Yeah. About, well, for the last 15 years or so, I've been supporting documentaries, and providing financing. I come out of the advertising and marketing world, so I had a lot of interest in film and actually the, what was the Acapulco Black Film Festival actually got started at the same time that I started at Uniworld. My friend, Jeff Friday, ended up taking the lead on that. Byron Lewis, though, the founder of the, the agency Mhmm. Was the, the brainchild of that. I know Jeff likes to take a little more credit for that than maybe he should, but nothing against Jeff. He did an amazing job. Glenn Gilliam [00:05:19]: They've been around now for 25 years plus. But I've been interested in documentaries for a long time. So as an advertiser handling the, the Burger King business, I was able to support a lot of up and coming documentarians. One of the main ones that I really loved, was about black inventors, something I'm doing a project on that later. But sports really was a foundation because most of my stuff definitely send it around African American contribution. So, you know, it's been bringing my sponsorship and my advertising clients to the table, when possible to support these filmmakers. And I'm a wannabe documentarian, and hopefully, my project is up next. But, but, yeah, I ran into Rex Miller at the American Black Film Festival back in 2015 and told them I'd love to do anything I could to support Althea's documentary and elevating her story since it's been one of those hidden figure stories for so many years. Glenn Gilliam [00:06:18]: And so, yeah, to this day, we've been, we've been doing a pretty good job, I think. Reginald Ferguson [00:06:24]: So the reason why you're on this show goes beyond that. You are into tennis. Glenn Gilliam [00:06:31]: Definitely. I mean, you know, I've been, I've been a lover of tennis for, you know, as long as I can remember in terms of watching those black and whites of Arthur Ashe on PBS and, other stations. And, I wish I had played it as you know. I played team sports. Tennis was not seen as a real masculine kind of thing, I guess, in my community, back in the day. I ended up going to Forest Hills High School, but that's about as close as I got to the Westside Tennis Club, which, back in those days, they weren't too keen about people that look like us kinda going over that way. But, yeah, it's been easily over 25 years, I've been going out to US Open and enjoying, you know, the growth, especially with this William sisters, and the legacy that they've, they've brought with all these American, African American women. And now Frances Tiafoe, Chris Eubanks on the men's side are really starting to have their way. Glenn Gilliam [00:07:29]: And, I've adopted Felix Ojair Ali Asim from Canada. People like to call him baby Ash, but he's really starting to put his foot on the pedal, and he's having an amazing 2022. So, yeah, it's been a long time. Reginald Ferguson [00:07:50]: Because we know those grounds are the home of the 1st US Open, and Arthur Ashe that's it. Glenn Gilliam [00:08:00]: Yeah. 1968. Reginald Ferguson [00:08:03]: So we've talked before this About this, really, this is a this is the 2nd time that an Arthur Ashe brand has come out, to really be honest. But we wanna talk about this one because it's it's new on the scene. I think it's catching a lot of fire, Meaning, you know, people are into it. The streetwear crew is into it, but I know I know that you have opinions on it as well as I. Glenn Gilliam [00:08:39]: Well, I gotta ask you a quick question. Can I ask you a quick question? Sure. Yeah. Absolutely. 2018 was the 50th anniversary of Arthur Ashe's signature win, that first US Open. And the director and creator of the Althea documentary has now also created Citizen Ash, which you may or may not be aware of. But yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:09:00]: Yes. I've seen it. Glenn Gilliam [00:09:01]: It's been a beautiful tribute, and this is a great documentary because it's in Arthur's words. These are, you know, never heard before recordings in a lot of cases of actually Arthur talking about his life, his journey. So it's really interesting. Sam Pollard is part of it, great director. But in 2018, at the US Open, I think Lacoste Sportif might have been the o right. The only ones Yes. Part of the rationale for Reginald Ferguson [00:09:27]: saying, this is the 2nd time. Glenn Gilliam [00:09:28]: On the ground. Yes. And what was interesting was that they did have a separate kind of booth with some of those T shirt and other items that his foundation was kind of promoting, I think the medical a foundation out at UCLA had, you know, control of that. But, yeah, Arthur, you know, is is a long time hero. And, supposedly, these guys, I'm sure, did it with miss, miss Montesumi, his wife, Montesumi Ash, with her blessing. I'm assuming that's been the case. And it it's interesting to see how it evolves, but, like I say, presently, I I thought it was a little underwhelming. I don't wanna get too far into it, but I I just I wasn't necessarily impressed. Glenn Gilliam [00:10:23]: I mean, the Ash name has so much legacy tied to it. It's going to be something that people would wanna support. I just think that they could have, you know, done some other things in terms of the actual illustrations, the actual creative, the the actual graphics of all those things. And I don't know if I was trying to find out if they were still involved at all with Ash Reginald Ferguson [00:10:49]: Doesn't seem like it. Glenn Gilliam [00:10:50]: Yeah. I haven't seen anything since that that anniversary. Reginald Ferguson [00:10:55]: Well, you know, you're here because I want you to think. So you you have an opinion. I definitely have an opinion too. You seem to be wah wah. Glenn Gilliam [00:11:06]: Yeah. I mean, well, I I I'll just say, you know, knowing well, let me just say this. The Ash Foundation who used to have a kiosk, if anybody who's been out to the US Open, would be aware they had an Arthur Ashe Foundation kiosk, which had beautiful t shirts actually created by kids. They'd have these different designs that kids had done. They would print them on the T shirts, and you could donate and purchase one of those those T shirts. I think they might have had some hoodies there as well or at least some sweatshirts, which was a great, you know, premise, obviously, with the ArthRash Kids Day as a backdrop on that Saturday before the main draw. So everything was, you know, really about, obviously, Arthur Ashe, with the statue, with the stadium, of course, with this kiosk but it wasn't a licensed line at that point. Unfortunately, that foundation kiosk went away several years ago. Glenn Gilliam [00:12:03]: And consequently until the anniversary in in 2018, there wasn't a whole lot of ash representation in terms of premiums. So, you know, it was a little discouraging on the one hand. But as you may see, I have my own Althea line, which, you know, I will be glad to talk about a little bit. But, you know, the idea is that, I'm proposing literally as we speak, an Althea Gibson Day. They always called her the Jackie Robinson of tennis because as Jeanie Ash says in the documentary, she has to correct people. Everybody thinks Arthur Ash broke the color barrier. She says, no. No. Glenn Gilliam [00:12:43]: No. No. Althea came first, which ends up being my tagline and the, the name of our our overarching brand is Althea came first. So, you know, it's, it's been a a a joyful ride on the one hand, in terms of trying to promote that, getting folks to get comfortable with the fact that you've ignored Althea for a long time, is is is a little bit of a difficult I'll say a challenge. But in terms of Arthur, his legacy is secure. I mean, you know, we we've we've seen the monument, in his hometown of Richmond, Virginia, thankfully, finally, there's Yeah. Finally. There's the that's the home of the Confederacy. Glenn Gilliam [00:13:24]: So there's still people who Right. Who push back on that. I'm sorry? Reginald Ferguson [00:13:28]: Right. No. No. I was agreeing Glenn Gilliam [00:13:29]: with you. Reginald Ferguson [00:13:29]: I was agreeing with you. I know there's a statute Glenn Gilliam [00:13:31]: Long time coming, long overdue, of course. But it's it's a beautiful thing that finally he can get appropriate recognition in his hometown. We just had a beautiful kind of, resellibration commemoration for Althea in her birth state of South Carolina earlier this year, in Charleston at the Charleston Open, which was great. But we're looking at doing some of the same things that Arthur Ashe's foundation did in terms of setting up a kiosk, having some premiums on hand. Because as you know, we finally got a attributed, a tribute statue erected to Althea, back in 2019. So, you know, hopefully, Arthur's brand can reemerge. I don't know if that ASH brand is going to be on the US Open shelves in terms of officially on their shelves or if they're gonna be relegated to similar kind of not kiosk, but they have their little setup in what are essentially kinda garage style booths along the alley near Court 17. So, you know, where that goes, I don't know. Glenn Gilliam [00:14:36]: But, like I say, what I've seen on the website and what was available at the US Open was somewhat underwhelming. Reginald Ferguson [00:14:45]: Why was it underwhelming Glenn Gilliam [00:14:46]: to you? I I just think, you know and let's say, not knowing the specific licensing that they agreed be to what those what those terms or those contracts might look like in terms of likeness, use of likeness, all of that. I don't wanna he suppose that they had access to everything. But they had a kind of a stick figure, which was one of their, graphics, which Yeah. I just I didn't understand why you would relegate such a beautiful human being with so many different points of of of view in terms of images that have been out there, the afro, the glasses, all of the things, the serve, the backhand, all the things that made Arthur Arthur as a tennis player, why would you relegate him to a stick figure with what looks like a lollipop head or on it or something. I don't know. It was just underwhelming, undeserving for such an an important icon. Reginald Ferguson [00:15:44]: I have to I have to agree. So so ladies and gentlemen, this Arthur Ashe brand is a sister brand of rowing blazers, And I like rowing blazers. Glenn Gilliam [00:15:56]: I do too. I I I checked out their site when you told me about that, so I like their stuff. Reginald Ferguson [00:16:00]: Yeah. Yeah. I like their stuff. I like Jack Carlson. Also, ladies and gentlemen, I wanna be clear about something. I reached out to Jack Carlson He did not get back to me. We had a brief communication. He gave me emails for him and for Karl Raphael Blanchard, Who's the who's the brand director for the Arberash brand? Because, again, this is a sister brand of Rolling Blazers. Reginald Ferguson [00:16:32]: I never heard back. So my point is they had the opportunity. They still have an opportunity, But Glenn and I are going in. So, yeah, the Arthur Ashe icon logo as they call it. Well, Glenn Gilliam [00:16:52]: you know what? Let me just say this because they they they they I guess they have a couple of them. The one that just uses the name, Reginald Ferguson [00:17:00]: Well, that's let's talk about that. There are I'm counting, ladies and gentlemen. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Six logos, 6 different typefaces. Glenn Gilliam [00:17:13]: Yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:17:15]: I am no brand designer. Heck, I have a website that's about to get revamped as we speak. Glenn Gilliam [00:17:21]: Right. Reginald Ferguson [00:17:22]: A big shout out to, to my team. Hopefully, that'll get done in the next 30 to 60 days. But I am a person who makes selections For men in terms of fabrics, colors, patterns. Here's the deal ladies and gentlemen, If you look, I like Babar, I grew up reading Babar. Rowing Blazers has a collab with Babar. Look at the Babar logo, look at the Arthur Ashe logo, polo to polo. Now here's the point that I'm making. Time is fluid. Reginald Ferguson [00:18:04]: Maybe they can do something different. I feel that some of the products hit, they slap. And some of them, it's a clear miss. I don't understand why they're they're 6 different typefaces. I don't understand that, but the the polo Exactly. Again, the what they called the Arthur Ashe icon logo, AKA the tennis player logo. I agree with you. Again, I'm no designer. Reginald Ferguson [00:18:34]: The Aviators, if that was at the breast, maybe the Aviators and his signature, which they have the signature at the bottom of the shirts. I just feel this like you said, it's accurate. It's a illustrated stick figure. I don't think of Arthur Ash. He was he was my hero. He was your hero. So we are subjective. Neither one of us are graphic designers. Reginald Ferguson [00:19:03]: We're not brand strategist. Glenn Gilliam [00:19:04]: Well, I am a brand strategist. I will say that. Reginald Ferguson [00:19:07]: Alright. Well, you are a brand strategist. I'm not a brand strategist. Alright. Well, then, alright, brand strategist, so go a little deeper. I mean What you got? Glenn Gilliam [00:19:13]: Let me just say this. And and coming from seeing Rowan Blazers website, they are obviously, there's a plethora of colors they use, I mean, their colorways are great, they're bright, they're popping, they're trendy. And I think and let me I want to go back to just say, because I love Francis Tiafoe so much, he's been the most prominent player I've seen. Reginald Ferguson [00:19:39]: He rocked. He right. That's the logo that I actually like, the one in the letterbox. I can I can mess with that? Glenn Gilliam [00:19:48]: Sure. Reginald Ferguson [00:19:49]: But I just don't understand why there there's a team of typefaces, a team of logos. I don't get it. Well, that's Glenn Gilliam [00:19:55]: I mean and and Reginald Ferguson [00:19:56]: feel like it's a little bit all over the place. Well, I Glenn Gilliam [00:19:58]: think and I think you're right. I mean, that there's that's the only way to interpret it. And like I said, you don't have to be a brand strategist or a graphic designer to know what's appealing and to understand that you're you're muddying the waters, by having so many different typefaces, you're you're you're not solidifying the connection with the brand, outside of the fact that you have a graphic, like, say, that stick figure, which I I can't believe how childish that looks. It's it's and nothing against Reginald Ferguson [00:20:27]: I can't believe I wanna know if Missus Ash literally saw that and gave it the green light. Glenn Gilliam [00:20:36]: No. I look. And I believe, you know, as as many may know, licensing works a little differently in the sense that once you've contracted a license from the kind of title holder or the authorized person, you know, you you do get approval on certain things, but there's parameters of what you can use it for, shirts, jeans, whatever it might be. And then in terms of as long as it's obviously nothing consequentially disrespectful, you know, you have some leeway as to what you plan on presenting. I think it's you know, without knowing those details, I don't wanna presume that that she's giving the thumbs up on everything, for sure. I think the licensing company says, hey. You guys are gonna crank out x number of units in these particular, you know, whatever it is, warm ups or shirts or hoodies, and and they get a check. And they get a check whether you sell all of them or you sell half of them or whatever. Glenn Gilliam [00:21:37]: But in a licensing deal, that is you know, it's really incumbent upon, who is the licensing agency to say, yes, this is on brand, and that's not on brand. So, let's say, not knowing those particulars, it's a little difficult to to lay complete blame at rowing blazers or the the the executives in charge of the brand. But, I mean, gosh, you can go out to the US Open. You can go anywhere and see iconic figures of Arthur everywhere. You know, he's being he's been celebrated for so long. I just don't understand why, they would result to that stick figure. The the the letterbox was a nice look. Mean, it's a nice look. Reginald Ferguson [00:22:21]: I like that. Glenn Gilliam [00:22:22]: Yeah. But it's it's almost the only one that I like. I mean Reginald Ferguson [00:22:26]: It's the only one I I it's the only one I like well. I mean, Glenn Gilliam [00:22:29]: that rock that. I would rock that. I would rock that. Reginald Ferguson [00:22:32]: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And if that was if that was on the breast as a polo, come on. Glenn Gilliam [00:22:37]: And and look Reginald Ferguson [00:22:38]: and you're getting Glenn Gilliam [00:22:39]: away with stolen money because the Ash name is so iconic, you can get away with that. But you don't really need to you don't need to fool with it too much. Yes. You know, adding some panache, giving it, you know, a more contemporary feel would be nice, but, you know, having, you know, that that letterbox with the likes of Francis Tiafoe and any number of other prominent players who will be willing to wear it. I mean, he's got that advantage. That's the advantage they have is he's a celebrity. These are people who revere Arthur above all others. And so, yeah, to make and and just the prominence of black players right now in the game, you know, it's it's like I say, it's a it's a unfortunate situation that they've come out with kind of a money lineup and not really, I guess, in terms of brand, hard hard, zoning in on exactly who Arthur was. Glenn Gilliam [00:23:38]: I have a great T shirt of of that I got at the US Open, and it just says love with Arthur's face in the middle of the o. I'm sure someone at the brand could construct something that really identifies who Arthur was as humanitarian, activists, all of that, and bring it to the to the clothing line in a way that would be really powerful without a whole lot of effort. I mean, I just I just don't think there's a lot you have to do to manipulate Arthur or images in order to get something that and, like I say, I don't know if they have access to his actual image like I have on on this shirt here with Althea. So it would be interesting to find that out. But, hopefully, your guy at at rowing blazers will accommodate a call at some point and and give you some insight as to what what they're working with. Reginald Ferguson [00:24:32]: From the research I did, I know that this effort was not slapdash. Meaning, they worked On this brand for, I believe, a year to 2 years. Glenn Gilliam [00:24:43]: Okay. Reginald Ferguson [00:24:46]: I'm gonna I'm gonna rattle off for the audience The logos. Well, I'm not gonna beat to death the stick figure. There's the ash Glenn Gilliam [00:24:55]: I'm sorry. I I Reginald Ferguson [00:24:57]: I know. Me too. No. I'm like, why? Why? Glenn Gilliam [00:25:00]: That was that's wrong. That's just wrong. Reginald Ferguson [00:25:02]: Yeah. It's it's it's underwhelming to your point. The ash with the tennis ball and the s, I think is over. Glenn Gilliam [00:25:09]: We show any of that, or are you gonna be able Reginald Ferguson [00:25:11]: to hopefully, I can do it in post. Which probably shows the reason why we both have gray and and Jack doesn't because he's much younger. Glenn Gilliam [00:25:28]: You are not telling the truth. I got snow everywhere. You are looking fresh as a daisy. I can't believe how you've maintained. Oh, you just you always look pretty good. So yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:25:38]: Thank you. There's the ASH citizen of the world. That's the logo with the tennis ball and globe. I love that phrase because my my late mother used to always tell me that that you weren't a citizen of America. You were a citizen of Glenn Gilliam [00:25:53]: the world. Reginald Ferguson [00:25:55]: But still, it's it's meh. The author Ash logo on the court jacket with the chain stitch script, I like that. And then what you were speaking to in terms of the kiosk, the Arthur Ash US Open 2022 logo, I think I think it's cool. But here's here's, again, me not being a designer. The track jacket, now I know a little bit about that track jacket. The track jacket first was part of the rowing Blazers brand. And I remember when they launched it. I remember going to one of their parties at the old location over on Grand. Reginald Ferguson [00:26:37]: I immediately, when I saw that jacket, I don't know why I was able to do it. Well, I know why memory and and imagery. I said to myself, that's the Arthur Ashe track jacket. But they made no reference to that, if I recall. Correct me if I'm wrong, anyone, on the website at that time. I met someone who no longer works. I can't remember his name. Nice dude. Reginald Ferguson [00:26:59]: And I said to him, I said, you know, that track jacket, that's like the Arthur Ashe track jacket from back in the day. And he said, yeah. We almost got in trouble for that. Glenn Gilliam [00:27:10]: Oh, really? Reginald Ferguson [00:27:10]: And, you know, I had to chuckle. Yeah. I don't know. I don't know why. Maybe, you know, license or whatever. Glenn Gilliam [00:27:16]: Yeah. So now Reginald Ferguson [00:27:16]: fast forward, that jacket is part of the Arthur Ashe brand. I like that. I like track jackets. Glenn Gilliam [00:27:23]: Me too. Reginald Ferguson [00:27:24]: I like that one. The whole USA, I've always dug that. Glenn Gilliam [00:27:28]: I'm like, man, that's freaking cool, and he's cool. Oh, man. I want 1. Reginald Ferguson [00:27:34]: But ladies and gentlemen, go on the website and look at the back of the track jacket, And it spells ash. Here's the deal. It comes in 2 different colorways. It's inconsistent if you look. On the back of 1, it's outlined. Glenn Gilliam [00:27:57]: Right, Reginald Ferguson [00:27:58]: right. And the other one, it isn't. I don't know. Again, this is not what I do for a living. It just it just seems to be inconsistent. Glenn Gilliam [00:28:10]: Yeah. And I well, I'll just, you know, chime in just to say, I don't know if they had if there's any connection, direct connection or otherwise with Lacoste Sportif. I'm just curious as because Lacotte Sportif didn't Reginald Ferguson [00:28:23]: Don't think so. Glenn Gilliam [00:28:24]: Probably not. Didn't use Reginald Ferguson [00:28:26]: I mean, I don't know, Glenn Gilliam [00:28:26]: but I don't text, but words. They didn't have any any images that I recall I mean, obviously, they have their little logo, the little rooster there. Yeah. And it was, you know, it was nice to see. You know, once again, as usual, US Open is overpriced. But but, you know, it was nice to see that tribute. I think it's unfortunate because well, I shouldn't say unfortunate. I mean, there's that 50th anniversary is huge. Glenn Gilliam [00:28:55]: And as you can see, I have a little commemorative anniversary, patch here for Althea breaking the color barrier, at the US Open and at Wimbledon. And, and those things are really important. I mean, for fans, for folks who know the history, who wanna celebrate, adding those touches, whether it's on a track jacket or whether it's on a hoodie or what have you. There's embellishments. Like I say, I've done a couple of of of shirts with I mean, Arthur Ash had some very memorable lines, some very memorable quotes, you know, things that could be used without stretching yourself too much. And like I say, I don't know if licensing wise, those things are out of reach for them or wasn't incorporated into their their contract or the terms, but those are things that I would imagine they would wanna take advantage of, because they're so powerful. And and in a lot of ways, what Arthur is remembered for, is a number of his his famous quotes. So, yeah, I you know, it would just be very interesting to to to have a a deep dive with the folks at Rowing Blazers to just get an idea. Glenn Gilliam [00:30:05]: And I gotta tell you, I feel a little underwhelmed. You wear you're rocking the tie and the and the, you know, the Reginald Ferguson [00:30:11]: you know Let's be clear. Alright. Ladies and gentlemen, whether you're on audio or video, yes, he's right. I have an event to go to this evening. But now, but now since you tried to play, Glenn Gilliam [00:30:23]: you know, I have to, Reginald Ferguson [00:30:24]: you know, I have to, well, I wanna be clear because only you know this, Glenn, I had a classic Fila joint on, but we had some technical difficulties. Glenn Gilliam [00:30:45]: Little bit of on my side So completely on my side. Reginald Ferguson [00:30:48]: It no. It just we just had technical difficulties. I'm not pointing. So So, you know, Glenn Gilliam [00:30:56]: I can't looking sharp. You look sharp. Reginald Ferguson [00:30:58]: No. But I was looking I wanted to I was trying to be on brand, and I had a cool Fila I'm recording this with Glenn now, and after this, I have to work with my interns, because I'm blessed to have Glenn Gilliam [00:31:20]: 2 of them. You are now you, darling. Reginald Ferguson [00:31:22]: I am really blessed. Big shout out to Ariane and Samantha. This is week 2, I only have them for 6 weeks. An hour a piece. Glenn Gilliam [00:31:31]: Yeah. I gotta find out what your source was because I'm in desperate need. Reginald Ferguson [00:31:35]: Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. They're great. They're great ladies. This is my 3rd lady intern. Glenn Gilliam [00:31:42]: Can can we ask on air what what your event is tonight? Just curious. I mean, Reginald Ferguson [00:31:48]: you Glenn Gilliam [00:31:48]: know, your damn business. So Look. I was supposed to go to the Urban League's gala tonight, black tie and sneakers. But Reginald Ferguson [00:31:55]: Oh, I didn't even Glenn Gilliam [00:31:56]: know about that. Reginald Ferguson [00:31:57]: So look at so look at you. Look at the circles you roll in. Glenn Gilliam [00:32:00]: Aren't I, though? I am doing the Netflix, little power deal at their penthouse on 19th Street. Oh. Yes. That's right. Okay. I'm not even in, but I gotta binge watch Ozark and The Crown now. Reginald Ferguson [00:32:13]: So you could be relevant. No. I I have no problem, telling you. I'm going to the National Arts Club Oh, Glenn Gilliam [00:32:18]: nice. Reginald Ferguson [00:32:20]: This evening, to check out to check out an event. Here's what I do like about the brand. I like That they're using the classic polo patterns. Sure. Contrasting placket. I mean, they literally, you talk about an archive, that major prop. Definitely. I love that. Reginald Ferguson [00:32:47]: I love that style, and that's why, again, you know, if we could have, I would have I would have had my Fila join on. That to me is cool. Well, And some of those polos are selling out. It's crazy on the website. Glenn Gilliam [00:32:59]: Gotta say. I mean, just to think of the behemoth that you know, and not to give them any plugs. But it's not it's not a plug because I've been disturbed by their, fits, as we call them, or kits, if you wanna get technical. Nike has been horrible for years, in my opinion, let me just say. In my opinion, I have not I mean, for the last several years, you could see, obviously, they have so many players out there, and they and they show up on the same outfit. And it seems like I mean, I don't know if they're just they're they're they've trimmed down their design team. I don't know what's going but it it's it's been underwhelming for a $25,000,000,000 plus a year company. And I guess I'd say an alumnus of my class, John Donnie, who's running things. Glenn Gilliam [00:33:53]: John, you're you're you're great. I know you kinda just took over the last couple of years, but, Yeah. I mean, it's gotten a little better. It it it the this past year has been a lot of the color blocking. Some of the things they've done has has been, to me, more contemporary, more of a a a good feel. I think Adidas had their number for several years. It just you know, not to not to be too one-sided about it. But, but, yeah, but, I mean, you've got this huge company that could do any number of things. Glenn Gilliam [00:34:24]: And, I I thought they they they they missed the mark on on several things. Even with, you know, somebody as great as Serena, who has their own building, at the campus, the the I thought for years, why weren't they doing a signature shoe? She didn't have her own name, shoe, for a long time. And yeah. So, I mean, there's a that's a a different show. I don't wanna go there. But but, yeah, just to say that Rowing Blazers or this ASH group, they've got time to recoup. They they can yeah. They can come back. Reginald Ferguson [00:34:58]: It's no question. No. No. No. No. That's what I'm saying. Time is fluid. We we wanna be clear, everyone who's listening. Reginald Ferguson [00:35:04]: Are we critical? Absolutely. But the beauty of criticism Is to improve one's craft. Glenn Gilliam [00:35:10]: There you go. No. Hopefully, they'll they'll get a chance to view this, and it won't be too too personally harsh and just, understand that we we care about the brand. Reginald Ferguson [00:35:22]: We love right. We love Arthur Ashe. Glenn Gilliam [00:35:25]: We do. Reginald Ferguson [00:35:26]: And and this is the reason why we're having this episode because he was both our heroes, and we want him to be represented As strongly and effectively as possible. Glenn Gilliam [00:35:38]: I mean, it it it couldn't be I mean, like I say, with all the things that we I mean, I'm a big Black Panther fan, obviously. You know? Wakanda Forever is out now. Disney does all the things they do with, you know, figurines and, you know, every type of premium. But and and that's important for Marvel, what have you. But these are our icons. These are people who changed history. These are folks who, you know, care and love and sensitivity need to be brought to to the table whenever you're you're dealing with these kinds of of, of contributors. So I I just I hope that they will be a little more sensitive in the next round of, of designs and and take take to heart what you're doing, and I really appreciate you getting in touch with me to talk about it because it it is important. Glenn Gilliam [00:36:28]: These are not throwaway things. These are important things. And like you say, the polos, would love to see those make a return in some strong way, to to the actual court. Reginald Ferguson [00:36:39]: The Polos the Polos are cool. The Polos are clean. Again, they're retro, And I think they're needed. And it's funny you had mentioned Nike, and I don't wanna go off topic either, but I'm wondering if you feel like the eighties, You know, Nike Nike court stuff, you know, was dope, like, the eighties, nineties stuff versus now. And, Again, that's a separate conversation. I'm just throwing it out there because I know gear. Right. And, you know, I'm like, hey. Glenn Gilliam [00:37:08]: That's when when shorts are more like Speedos, but yeah. The the tight little the tight little shorts that that Mack and Row and those guys used to wear. Just, but, yeah, I mean, like I say, you know, fashion is, you know, obviously, it's important. It it it it has so much weight, especially for, I'll just say, for African Americans in particular, that's something we're we're we're cultural leaders. We're we're trendsetters. We take it very seriously a lot of times because, you know, you wanted to maybe look above your station even, potentially. You want to represent, you know, like they say, you don't get a second chance for a first impression. You wanna make sure that you're representing well. Glenn Gilliam [00:37:57]: And a lot of times, you know, our cars and our our outfits look better than our homes, but but but that's a that's that's old stuff. No. But, I mean, I I just think it's something where, you can't be too sensitive about these particular I mean, when you're talking about Arthur Ashe, talking about Althea Gibson, you're talking about people who really affected, so much change and so much important, progress. So, yeah, I think this is a super healthy debate and super important that they, hopefully, find their way back to what made Arthur Ashe who he was and, and come out with a a better set. And like I said, the polos are great. Extend that, narrow down that brand so that people can connect to it. Reginald Ferguson [00:38:47]: You hit on something. Why is fashion important? Glenn Gilliam [00:38:50]: Oh, boy. I mean, I don't know if we have enough time. No. I mean, fashion, you know, like I say, for myself, I wish I had any clue that fashion could be an actual career. I think I conveyed to you when I, you know, was coming out of school, I was one of the better dressed people, I'll just say, on my campus. And a lot of my frat brothers, a lot of folks who we were all going to work down on Wall Street, I was buying their suits and shirts and ties because they just really didn't have a clue. And, of course, you don't wanna be in these new surroundings with especially folks who are doing very well, you know, in terms of affluence and and net worth, and not be, you know, not be a sore thumb. You wanna be, you know, I mean, yes, it's it's it's somewhat easy. Glenn Gilliam [00:39:41]: You go to Brooks Brothers, you go to Barney's back in the day, you could you could get straightened out pretty pretty easily. But there is, you know, something to not overdoing it, less is still more. I've always been a more monochromatic kinda guy. I've got neutral colors have always been kind of my thing, black, white, and gray, and whatever. I mean, but there's just a way to present yourself. And I think, like I say, fashion can be a statement without talking, without saying anything, of course. That is so I mean, women have always had to be, you know, at the at the point of the spear as far as wanting to be attractive, you know, the whole idea of social interaction for women is a much more strenuous. I mean, I just wanna bow down to the guy who invented heels because stilettos are my that's my love language. Glenn Gilliam [00:40:38]: Anyway, enough about it. But fashion, really represents so much not just about yourself or your family, but your community, you know, who you are. There's just so much wrapped up in it. And the industry itself, I mean, I had no idea of what the industry was like, in terms of how big it was. These fashion shows that, you know, are take years to to make, and you have to the seasonal, you know, just the constant treadmill of cranking out these new looks. And then you have retro looks, people going back to the well, some of them finding gems, a lot of them just filling the filling the orders and not really doing too much. But I think fashion is it's something that and once again, I mean, unfortunately, as as a person of color, we didn't have a lot of icons that they were making visible to us. They, you know, the folks who have been in the game for such a long time I mean, look. Glenn Gilliam [00:41:40]: We we we lost Andre Leon Talley, not too long ago. This guy was huge. He made Vogue in a lot of ways what it is. Anna Wintour has been the beneficiary, of, you know, his craftsmanship, his his knowledge, his, you know, just universal understanding of these designers and what they meant and and what they what they are trying to convey. So, you know, knowing what that is now, I wish I had known that back then. I would have loved to have been, you know, a buyer traveling the world, going to Milan, you know, watching the shows, I gotta say I thought it was something that other folks did. I didn't I just didn't understand the parameters. But yeah. Glenn Gilliam [00:42:23]: No. Fashion is immensely important, and it's a great thing that somebody like yourself has you know, I was out here trying to help men. Do you also help women? Do you work with women at all? Reginald Ferguson [00:42:34]: Yeah. But, I mean, the focus Glenn Gilliam [00:42:35]: is that no. That yes. Reginald Ferguson [00:42:36]: I I would never Which Glenn Gilliam [00:42:37]: is what it needs to be because men need help. You know? And that's and that's a and and that's a huge positive. I'd like to say, I I was completely blown away seeing you in this this milieu, and so, grateful to see it because it's important. I'll just say, I'm not this vegan guy. I like real leather and suede. We won't get into that too much. But but no. But, I mean, it it's, it's it's it's it's important because, as much as I mean, it influences architecture and other design, you know, buildings and hotels, are influenced by what these designers do. Glenn Gilliam [00:43:19]: You have a have a ton of designers who have gotten into those fields because their eye, what they see, their vision is something that the the hospitality industry said we gotta tap into that. So fashion is everywhere. I mean, it's it's in everything. Automobiles, homes, you name it. It's, it's all really part of the fashion industry. Reginald Ferguson [00:43:41]: What difference has fashion made in your life? Glenn Gilliam [00:43:45]: Huge, I'd I'd say. Because, my brother, whose clothes I stole a lot, thankfully, he was a he was a well dressed person. My dad also, I'll say pretty sharp. I I never got into the fedoras like he had. I I I would love to rock that. Unfortunately, I was blessed with a very large head. So buying hats has never been an easy thing. But, but, no, but fashion for me has been, you know, a chance to stand out, a chance to be, you know, a little bigger in I mean, look. Glenn Gilliam [00:44:23]: It was always about chasing women. Not chasing women, but, you know, was always about dating and courting and all of that stuff and, I mean, to be old fashioned. So you wanted to impress, and, I was always I'm sure you've heard the the statement as well. You can always I've always been a big shoe guy. So I I I always take a look at people's shoes and and I yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:44:45]: And Glenn Gilliam [00:44:45]: I've got I've got a shoe, wardrobe that's ridiculous. I gotta clear it out. But I I love I love shoes. I love suede shoes. You know, so yeah. I mean, boots. I mean, the whole nine. So, yeah, it's it's been it's been it's been something that I've enjoyed. Glenn Gilliam [00:45:03]: And I think for somebody who knows me, that's something that they might say, hey. You know, Len's always tried to represent in terms of, you know, his style, his fashion. And, hopefully, it it hasn't changed a whole lot. I mean, we've gone from wide lapels to narrow lapels or whatever in between. But, hopefully, the fashion statement, I think for me has been fairly consistent, and I enjoy that. And the fact that other people will recognize something, you know, some some, you know, creativity or some flare or something is is just that's a that's a blessing. But for me, it was definitely a launch into something I didn't know was important. And like I say, helping people out being a personal shopper, for many years, it's, it's been nice. Glenn Gilliam [00:45:52]: It's a it's a good thing. Reginald Ferguson [00:45:55]: What's the fashion tip you would give the everyday man so he could look his best? Glenn Gilliam [00:46:00]: Okay. I I guess that that that motto for me is is keeping it simple in terms of I'm not big for plaids, and I I like solids. So I would just say, you know, and I think I've seen some of your stuff. I think you've you've given this advice out as well. You know, get those staples, you know. You know, navy, camel, you know, black, white. I mean, crisp cotton shirts, for me as always, you know, whether they're white or blue or pink, whatever it is, but, you know, keep it keep the best the most important thing for me, I'll say is materials. What is it made of? Is it all natural? Is it pima cotton? Is it Egyptian? Is it you know, as far as your shirts are concerned, get a 100%. Glenn Gilliam [00:46:50]: Like buying linen for your bed. Get get the don't don't go with the the new microfiber nonsense. As far as, you know, like I say, coats, get wool, get cashmere, get good stuff that will last a long time. You don't wanna deal with synthetics as as much as you can avoid those. And, and, you know, like I say, less is more, for me, you know, keep it tight. You know? I mean, there's nothing wrong with adding some panache with a hat or with a a scarf or whatever you might wanna put on there, but I would say keep the color colorway simple, and and what you like, of course, you wanna add your flare to it. But materials are so important. I see people buying, you know, polyester this and that. Glenn Gilliam [00:47:38]: And, and I'm just like, you know, it may be cheaper, of course, because that's that's what it is. But invest in good stuff, and and I think you'll be extremely happy. Yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:47:54]: The last question I ask every guest. So what does always be fly mean Glenn Gilliam [00:48:00]: to you? I love that line for you. Yeah. Thank you. I mean, I think it's you know, look. It's it's really just about being deliberate. You know, think about what you're putting on. You know, give it some thought because it's important. You know? I know folks like to just run out, and everybody's on the on the airplane in a warm up suit and, you know, it's that's what it's come it used to be where you got dressed up to be on, you know, a flight, and now everybody's wearing pajamas and and flip flops, which I'm not a guy who likes to see. Glenn Gilliam [00:48:34]: Women, yes. I don't wanna see a man's feet. Okay. That's something else. But, no, I I think always being fly is is just kinda it's a lifestyle. I mean, it is just about yeah, I mean, yes, I'm I'm just going to this or maybe I'm just going to the movies or whatever, but look your best. Present yourself in a way that you wanna be received. And I think that's, you know and that's I mean, that goes beyond just the apparel, of course, you know, hopefully, your hair is, you know, coiffed appropriately. Glenn Gilliam [00:49:10]: You know, you've taken the time out to get that that shave. Maybe it's a manicure. You know? But I think being fly, may maybe it's a pedicure. I have done that before. Not proud of it, but I I have done the pedagogyre in the past. But I think that's always being fly, I think, is, is just a nice a nice way to go about life and lifestyle is is keeping look. Self care is everything now. I mean, in terms of health and well-being, and always being fly is like, are you taking care of yourself? And are you loving yourself enough to put an extra bit of thought into what you what you show up as. Glenn Gilliam [00:49:56]: And, I think that's a I think it's a great great philosophy. Reginald Ferguson [00:50:03]: Oh, let's hope the Arthur Ash brand Glenn Gilliam [00:50:05]: No doubt. Reginald Ferguson [00:50:06]: Takes good care of itself. We're we're hopeful. Glenn Gilliam [00:50:08]: No. I I look. I I think they're they've got all of the, yeah, they've got all of the, wherewithal. I mean, they're in a a nice position. They've obviously got the licensing to use the name. Yeah, just just put some intention behind it, and, and I think they can go. And just know who you're talking about. I don't I don't know if there's a connection between the folks designing and who Arthur was. Glenn Gilliam [00:50:35]: That's the part that's missing for me. So I hope they can find a way to to to connect with that and and let it show in their, in their designs. Reginald Ferguson [00:50:47]: We'll soon find out. Thank you so much for the time, Glenn. Glenn Gilliam [00:50:52]: Thank you, Reg, for what you're doing, and always happy to to, come on. And if I can be of any help, please ring me up. Reginald Ferguson [00:51:01]: You got it, brother. Glenn Gilliam [00:51:02]: Great. Reginald Ferguson [00:51:06]: I think the Arthur Ashe brand is experiencing growing pains. I think the execution is inconsistent, especially if this was in the making for 2 years. I think the logo could have been done a lot better. There are other creatives that could have been chosen for the logo on the polo. Something much stronger and identifiable. I don't understand why there are 5 different typefaces for the brand. I find the messaging confusing. I believe the role of criticism is to improve one's craft. Reginald Ferguson [00:51:47]: It's a young brand. It can learn and grow. The late Arthur Ashe said, start where you are, use what you have, do what you can. I hope the brand takes that ethos and aspires to greatness. Well, that's a wrap. Thank you so much for listening. We hope you had fun and are down for another Please give us a rating and review on Apple Podcast. Lastly, if you constantly struggle putting an outfit together Now looking to turn that confusion into confidence, I'd love to talk about how we can improve with it. Reginald Ferguson [00:52:32]: Check me out at n y fashion geek.com, and email me at reg@nyfashion geek.com for a consultation. A special shout goes to our producer, Serge, 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@newyorkfashion geek. And remember, always be fly.
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