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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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Fashion

Born in the (Madison) USA: Streetwear provides convenient ways for men to boost their wardrobe

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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Fashion

I Feel Pretty

I discovered tweezers at the ripe age of 12 and immediately developed an obsessive relationship with them. I pluck, pluck, plucked my brows until I couldn’t pluck anymore. (Literally. My mom had to physically disarm me and hide the tool for good.) By the end of it, you could count my remaining hairs on just [...]
Regina Fox

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I discovered tweezers at the ripe age of 12 and immediately developed an obsessive relationship with them. I pluck, pluck, plucked my brows until I couldn’t pluck anymore. (Literally. My mom had to physically disarm me and hide the tool for good.) By the end of it, you could count my remaining hairs on just a few fingers.My brows never really bounced back from my pre-teen years and to be honest, I don’t blame them—I clearly couldn’t handle the responsibility. So when the “boy brow” became the one and only style to sport, I was left out in the cold. That is until I discovered Pretty In Ink and got my eyebrows cosmetically tattooed.Mandi Chisholm, the owner of the gorgeous downtown loft, goes simply by her first name. She has been beautifying brows since 2008 when she became formally trained, certified, and licensed for cosmetic tattoo applications. With some conversation, numbing cream, and a whole lot of expertise, she turned me into the “after” version of myself I didn’t know I could be. Let me tell you a little more about how I ditched my brow burden.ConsultationThe first step to my brow makeover was a consultation. Mandi and I met to discuss three things—skin type, lifestyle, and expectations—in order to pinpoint which tattooing service was best suited for me. Oily skin, a fast metabolism, and exercise can all contribute to rapid fading. Lucky for me, I check all three boxes. I also told Mandi that I was in the market for a natural-looking fix to my 90s eyebrows which narrowed my options down to two: machine tattooed brows and microblading.Machine brows are done using a fine needle within a hand piece powered by electricity to puncture and deposit pigment. Microblading, on the other hand, is a very popular, manual application using a simple blade to place the pigment into the skin. Machine brows tend to last a little longer, while microblading is more of a superficial application of pigment placed just a little higher in the dermis.To be honest, I had never heard of the former and the sounds of it intimidated me a bit. But, considering the toll my skin type and lifestyle would take from microblading, Mandi and I both agreed that machine tattooed brows were the best, most durable option to meet my eyebrow expectations.DrawingAfter considering the shape of my face and some #browgoals photos I showed her, Mandi used a makeup pencil to fill in my brows. This would ultimately become the shape of my tattooed brows, so I made sure to take my time and vocalize any changes I wanted to make. Once we settled on a shape, Mandi leaned me back in the chair and booted up the tattoo machine.TattooingNow, we all have different levels of tolerance, but in my opinion, the pain was minimal. The cosmetic tattoo machine hurts far less than a typical tattoo machine. Plus, after the first pass, Mandi slathered me up with numbing cream which eliminated the pain entirely. All I had to do was sit back and relax for about 90 minutes while Mandi worked her magic.The RevealWhen Mandi handed me the mirror for the first time, my jaw dropped—even further than it did when I got my braces off in 9th grade. My eyebrows looked fantastic! You couldn’t tell where my real eyebrows ended and the tattooing began! I couldn’t wait to go show them off.AftercareWith cosmetically tattooed eyebrows, you really have to channel your inner Philadelphia 76er and trust the process. On day one, my brows were precise and bold. By day three, the tattooed hair strokes had seemingly disappeared into clumps of brown scabs. And when the scabs healed, my tattoo pigment underneath was faded and did not match my natural eyebrow hair. But, this is all part of the process.Touch upI used a makeup pencil to supplement my faded tattoos until it was time for my touch up appointment a few weeks later. Mandi retraced my hair strokes and the healing process began all over but this time, when the scabs healed, my perfect brows miraculously reemerged and were there to stay. As long as I avoid the sun and excessive moisturization, I expect to not be back in the Pretty In Ink chair until this time next year.There’s a meme floating around FaceSpace that says, “When I was little, I never thought eyebrows would be this important.” What I’ve learned is that eyebrows themselves are just a couple stretches of hair on your forehead, but the confidence they give you is what’s so important. I can “face” each day self-assuredly without a lick of makeup and that is the power of cosmetic tattoos.
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