Fashion & Identity with Xavier Rernard
1. Let’s start with a little bit of background about your experience that have led to your expertise in fashion and/styling?
Well, I’d have to start by giving all credit to my Mom. She’s been the biggest influencer in my style. I come from a family of fashion retail aficionados with my Mom having over 25 years of experience in the field. A top moment in my journey was spending a year studying at University of Arts London. My focus was Strategic Fashion Marketing and the best part about graduate education is debunking all the myths you once thought to be absolute truths. Though I have experience working with major labels and brands, I still feel like a student of this art just sharing my interpretation with others who might be drawn to it. Truth be told, I'm most inspired by the small boutiques around the world. To me they are the culture and heart beat of fashion.
2. What do you love most about fashion (what you do)? (Share an exciting moment on the job or during your process that never gets old to you)
Oh man! It’s hard to truly pick one thing I love most about Fashion but I’d have to say I love how it tells a story without using words. You know that reminiscent feeling you get when hear a certain melody or the way actors can take you into another world through their display of emotion, for me Fashion does the same thing. It’s such a personal art form because you literally live in it every day of your life. You can’t avoid it. It can instantly change the way your feel about yourself or the way others perceive you. At risk of sounding whimsical, it has a magic sort of quality to me. My Day time hustle is centered in the Tech Industry and my night hustle is focused on men’s style education and influence. For me the most exciting part about my new venture of fashion experience curation is connecting with new people everyday who allow me space to share my passion and why it’s important to me.
3. Xavier, For someone in your field, what’s a primary challenge you often notice that people face as it pertains to style and/or personal branding – what’s your perspective on it?
I think a primary challenge for everyone in all fields is finding that sweet spot of fitting in versus standing out. If you take the Tech industry for instance, the business casual, sneaker and t-shirt culture is touted as a reward of the industry’s culture however over time that can dull your senses of style or desire to even expression your unique flare. You may like colorful tall hats but you’re surrounded in an environment that you know may not embrace it. The same goes for the fashion industry believe it or not. Resisting the urge to follow the trend is a major challenge that can stifle creativity. It's the duty of those who would deem themselves the creators and purveyor of the Industry to challenge group think and imitation. Original thought and expression is key to keep the Art thriving and growing.
4: As someone who is currently building a brand, what is a unique challenge you are currently facing?
This is a tough one as well. I would have to say staying in the moment and not looking too far down the road. Once you unlock your creative subconscious and all this data of ideas starts flowing to you, it’s easy to get lost in a web of creative thoughts. Staying focused and consistent on the first goal, writing it down and going full tilt provides the best foundation for success. This takes tons of patience though, it’s a constant battle. I consider myself to have above average patience with most situations and still the human part of me wants to push things out now and make moves. The rational otherworldly side of me says, Wakanda wasn’t built in a day and your brand won’t be either.
Defining Your Lifestyle:
5. How would you define or characterize your style – lifestyle?
You know I don’t think I ever really considered defining my lifestyle. I’m a southern guy who enjoys organic interaction with people often. It could be simply getting together to watch a movie but I’d like to think I center most things around being present with good people.As far as my fashion style is concerned, a phrase I live by is "Dress Up Your Casual and Dress Down Your Formal.” You will often see me in a pair of tailored trousers with sneakers, maybe a sweater and a waistcoat. This allows me to navigate in just about any circle at all time. I guess you can label it, The Causal Dandy if you will.
6. How is your lifestyle and/or attributes leading to the bigger picture you see for yourself?
I think my lifestyle has positioned me in a perfect place physically and socially to tackle the intersection of Fashion and Tech. Ultimately, I would love to explore better ways for technology to create experiences and spaces where people can interact organically with the Art of Fashion. No different then theater, music, painting or any of the arts, they are important to a society’s health.
7. Since building your brand, what has been the biggest win for you thus far? Did you celebrate – How?
I can be quite sentimental in nature and so the small wins really have the biggest impact on me. Whenever I step outside and someone's inspired by an outfit I put together and I can tell them where to go to get similar pieces, that's major for me. On a wider spectrum, in the last few weeks my social media presence has grown by a few hundred followers who are really engaging. For me that’s the key, not just paying for followers or growing virally for the sake of doing it but content and having engagement with the people who subscribe to my content creation. Do to this, some notable Fashion Media companies have reached out to me for brand partnerships, that’s always a humbling feeling.
8. What obstacles made that win most rewarding?
You know, I think the biggest obstacle we often have to get over is ourselves. Be it self doubt, over analyzing or not seising the moment for. I’ve been quietly taken steps that I’m confident can make an impact but that often takes time and patience. Some of those steps have now begun to lead to doors that I’m looking to open. Each win is just a reminder to myself “Keep Pushin and You’ll get there”. As far as celebrations go, I should definitely take the time to do it more. I will say anyone who lives in my neighborhood or ever caught me walking down the street will tell you they’ve probably seen me breaking out some unorthodox dance moves lol. That’s usually how I release my joy. Take me to a nice Salsa spot, with good food and great people. Best celebration for me.
9. You have an event approaching called Sip N' Style: Wine & Whiskey. Tell us about it.
Seriously, I’m beyond amped about the Sip N’ Style! Anyone attending should expect to be encouraged, inspired, and engaged about all things style and fashion. We have some amazing local vendors to display their new lines but also just swap stories and general perspectives on style. This will be a full blown growing experience not just a room full of well dressed people.
Ultimately, we want people to walk away feeling like they didn’t attend a fashion event but they had a life experience. The next time they walk into a clothing or shoe store, if they recant at least one lesson and memory from the Sip N’ Style and it empowers their style choice, then we’ve done our jobs.
TO learn more or reach out to Xavier, hit him up here: