The way African-American men dress has always been highly-criticized. Baggy jeans have been chastised by everyone from celebrities to politicians. Tight pants have been made fun of publicly by rappers who regrettably have questioned the wearer’s sexuality on account of the fit of their slacks.
The New York Times reported on a style blog called Street Etiquette founded by Mount Vernon, NY natives, Travis Gumbs and Joshua Kissi that pushes the boundaries of black male style. Established in 2008, it has become one of the top go-to sites for Mens Fashion.
Gumbs is determined to prove that when it comes to fashion, black men are not a monolith. “There’s more than one cool now for black people,” he says. While vintage hip hop ushered in an era where men rarely strayed from baggy jeans, Air Jordans, jerseys and white tees, now black men feel more empowered to take risks with their style.
Street Etiquette celebrates that kind of fearlessness. The bloggers’ sense of cultural pride is evident in their choice of fabric as well as their appreciation for great tailoring and vibrant accessories. Travis Gumbs and Joshua Kissi are providing a safe place online where men can explore what it means to be black, creative and stylish.
Our men need the freedom to be able to express themselves through Fashion without being isolated, criticized or condemned. Street Etiquette is a valiant step in the right direction.
Do you think black male style is evolving? If so, what’s causing this change? What do you think of Street Etiquette?