PHOTOGRAPHY DP Jolly
STYLIST Brandon Davis
SUBJECT Darnell L. Moore
AGE 42
OCCUPATION Editor-at-Large at CASSIUS, Writer
NEIGHBORHOOD Bed-Stuy

What do you say to someone who’s fly without fail, every time you see them? Whose off-days, when they’ve just “thrown something together,” makes you reconsider what an on-day looks like? And who always looks as if they’re going somewhere even when they’re not?

When seeing writer Darnell L. Moore swag down Lewis Avenue, I’ve considered asking him, with Kanye-esque audacity, “How?!” But as Darnell’s style is one that speaks for itself, I’ve learned to listen. Darnell’s sense of style is informed, in many ways, by the freedom he allows his body to have. That freedom enables him to take risks that seem impossible at the onset, but once done, become common sense—which is what freedom should be.

LOOK 1
LEATHER VEST Stand & Deliver
SHIRT Versace
PANTS Zara
BOOTS Timberland

ON FIRST LOOK:
“I’d call that “shortly before and after midnight looks” That’s a fit I’d wear to a grown ass club or weekend party sipping on cocktails, and two-stepping, with a few friends.”

ON HOW HE DESCRIBES HIS STYLE
“I dress and ornament myself according to how I am feeling at any moment. So, I would describe my style as affectual.”

ON FIRST STYLE MEMORY
“I grew up in Camden, NJ, where the Easter holiday was that one time of the year when we would throw on our flyest gear. Black working poor families saved money to get pretty. Once, when I was nine or ten, my mama dressed me in burgundy leather pants, a light pink ruffle shirt, burgundy bowtie and burgundy leather shoes. Oh, and a wide brim hat. I was way ahead of my time but I rocked that outfit with confidence.”

ON WHAT STYLE MEANS TO HIM
Style is a manifestation of one’s unique ability to create  representations. It’s the moves any of us decides to give a middle finger to (or forge new) rules and norms regarding “decorum” and “traditional dress.” It can be political also, especially in terms of how we can use style to rewrite the terms of class and gender.



LOOK 2

HAT Y3
TANK TOP Skingraft
NETTED SHIRT – Biko020
PANTS Zara
JACKET 10Deep with Custom Design by Walter Cruz
SNEAKERS Comme des Garçons

ON SECOND LOOK
“It’s an ensemble of individual pieces that may not seem like they would work together but they do. I’d wear this fit during the day, while on a date, shopping or hitting up brunch.”

ON WHERE DARNELL SHOPS IN BK
“Don’t judge me, but I love Barney’s on Atlantic Avenue, Goose Barnacle, The Brooklyn Circus and a range of thrift stores throughout the borough.”

ON WHERE HE DRAWS INSPIRATION
“I draw inspiration from a range of sources: random strangers I pass on the streets in my neighborhood (or on the A train platform); fashion houses in places in West and South African countries like Maxhosa; and my imagination.”

ON WHY HE LOVE SNEAKERS
“I love shoes and sneakers. Hands down, they are the keys to my heart. Good footwear can add life to any outfit. When I put together an outfit, I begin with footwear.”

LOOK 3
HAT
Lite Felt
PATENT LEATHER BOMBER Calvin Klein
SWEATER Zara
GREY SLACKS Sandro
BOOTS Calvin Klein
BAG Vintage
BOOK Danez Smith’s, Don’t Call Us Dead (Graywolf)

ON THIRD LOOK
This fit is something I’d wear to work — whether behind or in front of the camera, whether giving a talk or listening to one, whether in a meeting or on the run getting things done.

ON WHAT BED-STUY MEANS TO HIM
“Bed-Stuy means community (the type of I-am-your-neighbor-and-I-know-your-name-and-people kind of community). It also is fashion-forward place. We be free.”

ON HIS NEW MEMOIR
No Ashes in the Fire: Coming of Age Black and Free in America, is my first book and I am excited and nervous about its release. I’ve left my heart–full of its’ pains and joys—on the pages. In the book, I grapple with what it took to remain aware, buoyant, and alive as a black boy growing up in the age of hip hop, in the age of AIDS, and in urban America, amid the state’s always-waging war on Black spaces, families, culture and bodies. It’s a nod to the peoples who raised me from Camden, NJ to Brooklyn, NY. And I hope folk read it when it is formally released in May 2018.”

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