Thursday, May 7, 2009

New School Dandy Profile: Joshua Kissi

Over the past several months we have been introduced to many amazing people through our Facebook fan page. With this post we continue a regular series of profiles of New School Dandies. This week we feature Joshua Kissi of Street Etiquette.

Where did you grow up? I was born and raised in New York City, particularly the Bronx and it's still where I reside today. Don't have any plans on moving out this borough anytime soon to hot spots like Brooklyn or Manhattan.

Where did you go to school? Still enrolled at community college until Fall of 2009; then I could transfer to a different school of my choice.

What's your occupation? Presently I work at the UK fashion retailer Topshop/Topman as a Sales Advisor. The hype and reputation of the store has been nothing short of chaos, as loads of people hit the store floor daily. As an employee I can't complain about the store; it consists of a real family type environment. This is only a stepping stone in my chapter and I'm trying to enjoy it while I'm still at this position.

When did you establish your personal style? Wow, this response will be quite a long one. I would say I started to first solidify my style around the 10th grade of high school. I started off as a sneaker head and continued to find my niche as I was growing up. The transition for me took some research in my likings and dis-likings, and to just simply broaden my knowledge about fashion in general. For years I was so accustomed to loose t-shirts, baggy jeans with sneakers, but soon that would change. Doing this would result in a little bit of backlash from my peers and people in general. The Bronx's location is distant from the style and influences of Manhattans as and as a result, if an individual changed their style to something more "fitted" or "tight" they would probably be labeled homosexual. Personally people wanted to see you a certain way, listen to a certain type of music, and so forth. Anything going out of the box of norms would be deemed strange. By the time I found online fashion forums my style started to turn into it's own, not trying to only replicate what I liked, but place my own spin on it to make it personal to me. My style literally went through phases of evolution on the Internet. I went into more detail with this with a post on my own blog.

How would you describe your style? People always ask me that. It's more funny that I'm totally speechless to these answers no matter how many times asked. My mind goes into a whirlwind of possible answers and I usually I just say "Street Etiquette", it may sound cliche or senseless but the term hits it right on the head. My style isn't too driven by Etiquette if you had to assume someone with suits and really dressy type outfits. My style isn't too driven by Street, it has accents of street like it contains some sort of etiquette. The term Street Etiquette perfectly describes me and Trav's style (the other half of Street Etiquette), that's what it is.

What are your sources of inspiration? I have several sources of inspirations that constantly inspire me. Music, that is like the universal language to every population in the world. It takes you on a journey through rhythm and sounds processing it what ever way you want it to be. I play several instruments so music plays a vital part in my life, I could never give it up. My main inspiration is the ordinary people on the street who are considered "fashionable", but rather see their dressing as just a lifestyle and nothing more.

Who is your style icon? Wow, style icon that is a tough one to be honest. I would have to side with Miles Davis, but ultimately I admire the Harlem Renaissance era of style.

What are your preferred dandy reading materials? Outside of magazines such as GQ, Vman and Monocle I try to get my hands on anything that grabs my interest. There are a lot of cool international magazines I would like to get my hands on, but I'm pretty satisfied with the scans on the Internet.

Do you have a favorite website? My favorite website outside of Street Etiquette would be hard to choose. I do frequently read Hyr collective , Jake Davis , The Award Tour and The Sartoralist of course. A website has to keep me coming back day in and day out for me to consider it among one of my favorites. There is an over saturation of reading material on the Internet revolved around fashion, I try to read the interesting ones.

What is your favorite personal item (non clothing/accessories)? My favorite personal item would have to be my family portrait I took of my whole family during Thanksgiving portraying the generation gap between the family.

What is your favorite clothing article or accessory? It is difficult for me to pick one specific article of clothing and label it my favorite out of all. It would be my J.Crew Newport Rain Slicker jacket I got off of ebay for a good price compared to retail. The function of the jacket works perfectly while the cut of the jacket looks amazing for the rain. In general rain jackets come off as everything , but "fashionable" I have to say I simply love this jacket.

Where is your favorite or dream vacation spot? My dream vacation spot would have to be in Honolulu, Hawaii a beautiful place from what I can tell. I dreamt once of having dinner on side of the water while a volcano erupted with a nice lady friend. From that day on I vowed that I must visit Hawaii and maybe fulfill that dream with everything except for the lava.(lol)

Tell us the best kept secret in your city. Aside from Manhattan, Brooklyn and all the other highly publicized places in New York City, the best kept secret is the Bronx. Yes, I said it, the Bronx, the borough that never recovered from the 1970s/1980s mis-happenings. It will be the next place to be, mark my words.

At which establishments would you consider yourself a regular? I would consider myself a regular at D&D's Deli on Spring St, the first place I go to when my stomach rumbles on my lunch break. Working down in the city makes you easily prone to eat a lot of should I say "unhealthy" food, but I try to eat healthy at the deli.

What would you be doing ten years from now? Ten years from now, that would make me 30 years old, I would like to be living comfortably in New York City, preferably the Bronx. The name of Street Etiquette will be globally known and will have had accomplished an abundance of things. A clothing boutique named Street Etiquette accompanied by a great following is also a vision we have. The Bronx will contain a place where things like the arts and being prosperous will be common. In fact we created one of the most expressive forms of musical arts "Hip-Hop".

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NY 2 LA said...

Love this guys style, real unique .

Phil said...

Brap Brap! Shout outs to the brother Josh, good people. Good read.

-h said...

this guy has really great style.

Keith said...

Great interview. I really admire the men of Street Etiquette.

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