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Power Suit: Malcolm Jenkins

Adjusting to a new position and the speed of the game wasn’t the only challenge for Malcolm Jenkins when he entered the NFL as a rookie in 2009. He had to keep pace with elite style, too. “In the lockerroom, it’s like a fashion show,” he said. “All the guys are trying to outdo each [...]
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Adjusting to a new position and the speed of the game wasn’t the only challenge for Malcolm Jenkins when he entered the NFL as a rookie in 2009.

He had to keep pace with elite style, too.

“In the lockerroom, it’s like a fashion show,” he said. “All the guys are trying to outdo each other. You’ve gotta step your game up pretty quickly.”

The best way for the former OSU All-American to do so was to switch to the trending bowtie. Unable to find them in the color, selection, and style that he preferred, he elected to start designing his own line, Rock Avenue, named after his hometown street in New Jersey, and powered (at least in the beginning) by his mother-in-law’s sewing machine.

“That lasted about a week,” he laughed. “Then, I was looking for a manufacturer.”

His custom-designed bowties are based in New Orleans, and are currently available locally through Mizzen+Main’s unique showroom in the Short North.

Jenkins, who inked a deal to move from the Saints to the Philadelphia Eagles just last month, had no idea that when he got into the bowtie business he would also be getting into the teaching-people-how-to-tie-a-bowtie business. It’s as much his mission to get people comfortable wearing them as it is to get them to buy them.

“More people wear more neckties than bowties,” he said. “It’s not the style, or the look, they just don’t know how to tie it. That’s the only reason. Once you learn how tie it, you’ll be replacing your whole closet.”

Jenkins, in preparation for Rock Avenue’s trunk show in town this month, talked to(614) about everything from ditching the over-sized white T’s to looking to a Motown star for inspiration.

Have you sent any items to OSU’s other famous bowtie advocate, E. Gordon Gee?
They’ll be getting to him very shortly. We’re trying to get him to come to our event this month.

Worst piece you used to be proud of?
Oh man, in my rookie year, I got a few jackets that were out there…

Like Steve Harvey out there?
(laughs) Yeah. I’ve got all of them in my closet. Every now and then I try one of them on, and they’re just so big and long and boxy. You can take my whole 2009 rack. I would not wear them now.

What about when you were a kid?
Back in New Jersey, in high school, all people wore where 4 – 5XL white t-shirts and big, baggy jeans. Oh my goodness (laughs). I remember, specifically, I would not wear a pair of jeans that were smaller than a size 38. Ideal was 40, but every now and then I would let a 38 go (laughs).

Man, that’s my size. A 15-year-old Jersey kid wearing Midwest Ohio sizes. That’s tragic. Is the price-point of bowties an appealing part of Rock Avenue? Not everyone can afford a custom suit, but a bowtie seems to include a wider economic demographic.

I could justify charging a lot more [for them]. They are high-quality, American-made. But I got into this business not to make a killing; I just wanted some cool bowties in my own closet, so I figured other people had the same problem. These can go to a wide range of stores and a wide range of people. It’s right where I want it to be. I don’t want to raise it up or bring it down.

I know it’s cliché for an athlete to create “something to fall back on,” but with injuries and early retirements becoming more common, is this something you think of that way?
Most of us have been playing this game since elementary school, and it’s something we’re passionate about. So it’s about trying to find something else that you have that same passion for. Most of us can’t fathom coming out of this game and getting a desk job. I’m excited that I’ve found something else I can hang my hat on once football is over, because one day it will be over.

Who are your fashion icons?
My disclaimer: I am not a fashion guy. I’m not a guru. I just wear what I like to wear. But I love Andre 3000’s style. You know what I was inspired by…I made a velvet bowtie after I saw him wear one…Stevie Wonder. How he’s been fly his whole life being blind, I don’t know. His style is awesome.

Jenkins will debut Rock Avenue’s spring collection from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. on April 4 at Mizzen+Main (772 N High St.). For more, visit www.rockavenuebowties.com.

Shot on location:
The Ohio Union
1739 N High St.

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Short North shop offers convenient ways for men to boost wardrobes

Mitch Hooper

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Fashion trends come in waves, and at the moment in men’s fashion, it seems no wave is bigger than streetwear. It’s a combination of sleekly-designed hoodies and shirts with versatile bottoms. Graphic t-shirts—both long sleeve and short—have found new life with unlikely brands collaborating such as Supreme and Carhartt. It’s no longer a crime to walk out of the house wearing a groutfit (an all-gray outfit) and earth tones provide unique color options. And shoes? It seems shoes show no sign of slowing down as the “rare” value of finding a high end pair of Jordans or Yeezys is a race to the top. If there were a male version of Carrie Bradshaw, he’d be wearing streetwear.

This trend is no secret to our city either. Right in the heart of the Short North is Madison USA, a men’s fashion store with everything from your next favorite crew neck to a pair of shoes that might cost you upwards of $650. It’s all worth it in the end if you get that clout. Our photographer, Zane Osler, hooked us up with a few looks for men this season to get a leg up on the competition. Four Pins, if you’re reading this, put us on your fit watch 2019 list.

Brand: Darryl Brown. Top: White painter coat, $750. Pants: Paint Trouser, $308.
Brand: Aime Leon Dore. Top: Kanga Hoodie Sweatshirt, $137. Hat: Waffle Stitch beanie, $60.
Brand: Aime Leon Dore. Top: Crewneck sweatshirt w/pocket, $112. Pants: Camper pants, $112.

Madison USA is located at 1219 N. High St. For more information and to see what's new, visit madison-usa.com.

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Local vintage stores offering old school duds for Buckeye fans

Mitch Hooper

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In the modern age of sports, your fanhood is often defined by your fashion. The variations of ways to support the Buckeyes range from shirtseys—a newcomers go-to for getting a player’s number on their back without shelling out $200 for a jersey—all the way to customized jerseys with your very own last name on the back. And somewhere in between lies a world that Homage has inspired: throwback styles of sporting apparel.

90's SweatShirt: $43 (Photos: Brian Kaiser)

What’s not to love about vintage gear? Compared to an authentic jersey from Nike, you’re saving loads of money without sacrificing style. They often represent an older time of Buckeye athletics that you can wear as a badge of honor which states, “I watched the Woody Hayes days, and I remember John Cooper all too well.” The aforementioned Homage is a great entry point for anyone looking to get in the game, but thrift stores and vintage clothing stores like Smartypants Vintage in the Short North offer even more unique ways to show you bleed scarlet and gray—or at least fit the part.

Left to Right: "Columbuth" t-shirt: $36, 80s Spirograph: $40, Champion t-shirt: $40

We linked up with Smartypants Vintage to snag some throwback gear to boost your Buckeye fashion and not have to worry if someone else is rocking the same shirt as you. From t-shirts that more than likely were a freshman’s big buy at the bookstore on their first year on campus to crewnecks that are perfect for those cool fall days, here are a few looks to keep on your radar this season.

Poppin’ Tags

Have you caught the Buckeye thrifting bug? Here’s a few other spots in the city to fill your needs.

RAG-O-RAMA | 3301 N HIGH ST.
OUT OF THE CLOSET | 1230 N HIGH ST. CLOTHING UNDERGROUND, 1652 N HIGH ST.

GOODWILL | MULTIPLE LOCATIONS
SALVATION ARMY | MULTIPLE LOCATIONS
OHIO THRIFT | MULTIPLE LOCATIONS
VOLUNTEERS OF AMERICA | MULTIPLE LOCATIONS

Smartypants Vintage is located on 815 N High St. For hours and more vintage options, check out @smartypantsvintage on Instagram.

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Buy Local: Unique finds at One Six Five Jewelry

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In Clintonville, there’s a tiny pink shop that boasts a minimal lashed-eye logo and quirky adornments for everyday wear. The shop is One Six Five, owned by Kaleigh Shrigley and Claire Lowe, a budding pair who bonded after working at a boutique in the Short North during their time in college. Blending their studies of jewelry and textiles, One Six Five was named after the home address of Kaleigh’s mother, not straying too far from her childhood origins. 

Adding exclusivity to each piece, a one-of-a-kind emphasis on crafts that are rare to find, Shrigley and Lowe still have the ability to adjust jewelry for their uniquely-luxe clientele. On their Instagram for fans of “offbeat classics” (or anyone who happens to stumble on their page), viewers can scroll through intricately clever posts, from the duo’s spur-of-the-moment travels, to promotional spots featuring their newest, charming statement pieces. 

With a keen eye for shape, Shrigley and Lowe experiment with innovative jewelry that keeps their followers returning to refine their own personal collections. Now in their fifth year of creating tiny wonders, Shrigley and Lowe speak with (614) about their humble beginnings and how being a Columbus-based business has taken One Six Five far and wide.

(614): Is this your primary gig, side gig or hobby? How did it come to be?

CL:One Six Five is our primary hustle. When we started the business in 2014, we worked out of Kaleigh’s attic and we both had other part-time jobs. Over the past five years, we have opened a shop-slash-studio and work here full time.

Photos by Brian Kaiser

What was the leap in your work from “this thing I do” versus “the thing to do”? How do you promote your work?

CL:Opening the shop on High Street definitely took us to the next level. Having a physical presence in Columbus allows the exposure of our jewelry to a wider audience. The outside of our shop is painted pink, which often brings people through the door wondering about our business. Instagram is also huge for us in promoting our jewelry to people around the world. The majority of our online sales come from Instagram. Participating in markets in Ohio and elsewhere helps expose our work to more people. We love being able to meet our customers in person. There are a lot of jewelry makers out there, so we really appreciate when someone loves our work!

What ingredients come together to make Columbus fertile ground for makers, designers, and creatives?

Columbus loves to support local. The creative community is also very supportive of each other. One of our favorite events is the Columbus Flea, which gives makers the chance to sell their products to a huge amount of shoppers. We love having the opportunity to sell our jewelry there, as well as being able to see the work of other designers. For now, Columbus also has reasonably priced retail spaces, which is not always the case in other cities.

What’s your six word creative story?

KS:Offbeat classic jewelry handmade in Columbus.

Your products exude a zaniness that crafters often shy away from. Do you have a certain audience that you want to appeal to?

KS: We always create jewelry that we personally would love to wear. I think the line is an extension of our personal styles. We love using jewelry as a form of creative expression and seem to have found a customer base of many like-minded gals. Our brand also offers plenty of more understated styles. We strive to create a complete jewelry collection filled with hard-working pieces that can be worn wherever life takes you.

How do you feel that the city’s atmosphere has transformed your work?

KS: The entrepreneurial spirit in Columbus definitely inspires us to take risks. We have had the opportunity to collaborate with several other makers and it’s always so much fun! •

Find your next treasure at onesixfivejewelry.com.

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