XL Tribe Trailblazer Milton Lawrence
1. What are your biggest fashion obstacles?
Being in my late 30’s, standing 6 feet tall and approximately 260 pounds, my biggest fashion obstacle would be my ability to go into a store and put together an outfit from “off the rack”. To be honest, I am not an “off the rack” type of guy anyway. Somewhat of an impossible feat, is to find stylish items that match my personal Grown Man-Ish style. Very seldom can you find affordable everyday wear that will not only fit but be stylish and on trend too.
2. Where are you from and what are the biggest fashion trends in your city?
I am from Baltimore MD, with West Indian roots from the Island of Trinidad. Fashion trends are relative and in my opinion, depending upon your age bracket. Those under 21 are typically wearing jeans and fitted sweats. To be honest, they are a lot more fashion-forward than I was at that age. Young male adults 25 to 35 are surprisingly wearing suits. The grown men and Blue Collar types can step it up a bit, however. What I see a lot of the time is that they are kind of stuck in between wanting to dress like a grown man, but still have the desire to dress like they are in their 20’s again.
Music and artist play a major role in the fashion trends that society adopts as well. Women play a major influence, as their expectations for how a man dresses has increased and as such, (some) men are stepping up their game.
3. Tell us about your biggest fashion nightmare and if it came true do explain. (attach a picture if you can)
As I stated, I am from the inner city of Baltimore. And a style nightmare that has plagued Baltimore has to be the fellas buttoning shirts up to the top. Regardless of if the shirt is a polo or button down, you can catch too many dudes rocking this fashion nightmare. I believed that its derived from the Jail, but has somehow made a mainstay in the hood. You will never see me caught dead in this fashion nightmare.
4. What are some of your biggest style inspirations?
Believe it or not, and this may sound crazy, but I get a lot of inspiration from the aquarium. I used to always wonder where companies like Nike came up with the inspiration for color combinations that they put on some of their shoes and used in the design of their apparel. As a father of three girls, I recall one time taking them to the aquarium and stopping at the jellyfish exhibit. It never dawned on me that the various color combinations that were there have become an inspiration for my own style. Looking at nature and the color combinations that are innately around me provide the style inspiration for some of my best outfits and suits. You would be amazed at the color combinations that I’ve put together the not only compliment my skin tone but that is flattering to the eye.
5.Where do you see yourself in five years and how do you see yourself accomplishing it?
Currently, I run a production company specializing in photography and cinematography. In 5 years I see myself producing featured films and distributing them on demand across the world.
I also see myself teaching what I have been able to accomplish. Helping others to leverage their skills and creativity in order to create a self-serving career. Many of us, specifically African American men, are pigeon-holed into Military, Warehouse or trade employment, with production or a creative outlet like photography not typically on the radar. If you hone in on your skills and craft, production and photography can create a tremendous lifestyle.
I will continue to travel the world. Just doing dope stuff is where is see me.
6.What do you feel is missing in fashion for the men of size?
Commercially there needs to be a bigger push for men and suit wear. Everyday menswear for men of size is pretty drab, and what’s missing in fashion. There is K&G and the Big and Tall store with nothing in between. I would totally back a push for trendy threads geared for men of my stature. Styles and pieces that enhance our inner swag so to speak.
Photo Credit: Justin B. Crawford Aimpoint Photo
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Hola Mi Tribesmen I guess I’ll start by introducing myself. I’m Kirklan Hawes the Founder and creator of XLTribe.com. This site was birthed from an old idea I had to create a community of like-minded guys that was tired of being miss represented and wanted to be displayed in the truest form. Changing the way Big & Tall Men are perceived is the goal for XLTribe.com.