The Menswear Movement

There’s been a shift in men’s styling. While fleece zip-ups still outnumber sports coats in the Northwest by a long shot, there’s a growing network of guys investing in their personal image. From tailored suits, to shiny oxfords, to rainbow socks, and silk pocket squares — men’s closets seem to be becoming more dynamic. On the following pages, we highlight seven local men who are shaking up the status quo in menswear.

 

Ollis Caudill, Menswear, Fall Fashion - 425 Magazine

Ollis Caudill

Ollis Caudill grew up in a log cabin in the middle of the woods in Missouri. Home-schooled with five sisters, he lived a sheltered middle-America life. And then, he watched Fight Club.

“I was 15, and I saw Brad Pitt in his leather jacket. I don’t know, the way he was dressed, he portrayed himself through what he was wearing. He just had this swagger. And I was like, ‘I want that.’”

Caudill searched for the same red leather jacket. He found a “dinky” one at Goodwill and started spiking his hair. But among the hay fields and cows, he stood out like a sore thumb.

“I don’t really concern myself with other guys. I’ve definitely found myself in a circle of men that appreciate dressing well.”

“I looked like a clown. All my friends made fun of me,” he said.

At the time, he considered a career in fashion, but it felt like a distant, unrealistic dream given his small hometown roots. Instead, he joined the Coast Guard at the age of 20. Not long after that, he realized he was an alcoholic. When he got sober about two years ago, he found that he didn’t have any passions or hobbies.

One day, he was searching for pair of leather shoes to wear to church and couldn’t find anything suitable. He had hardly any clothes in his closet.

“I got online and started researching shoes, and shoes turned into jackets, and jackets turned into suits. Now, I’m where I am. It’s my full-time hobby.”

Next year, Caudill will begin The Fashion School at Kent State University. @ollisleander

 

Godfried Addae, Menswear, Fall Fashion - 425 Magazine

Godfried Addae

When Godfried Addae was a young boy, he studied the details that went into a polished outfit. His family emigrated to the United States from Ghana, and his mother was very particular about what her kids wore to church. Her high expectations became the foundation of his style career.

“It all started when my mom would put me in a bowtie and pleated pants and a dress shirt for church when I was 5 and it just stuck with me ever since. I’ll always hear my mom’s voice in the back of my head saying, ‘Make sure you iron your pants. Make sure you tuck in your shirt.”

“Guys need to cut through (the noise) and figure out their own individual style. What works for one doesn’t always work for others.”

Today, Addae provides personal branding and style coaching through The Urbane Gentleman, theurbanegentleman.com. He also designs some of his own clothing. For his wedding at the Woodmark Hotel in Kirkland, he designed his own royal blue tuxedo.

Addae is not afraid to stand out. Detailed embellishments or gold lapel pins are a part of his wardrobe. This fall, he’s excited to break out the velvet.

“There’s a luxury to velvet that kind of elevates a look,” he said. @godfried.addae

 

Brent Henry Martin, Menswear, Fall Fashion - 425 Magazine

Brent Henry Martin

Brent Henry Martin calls himself an executive image and wardrobe coach because he often works with a niche group of high-power business people who need to look polished and professional.

“More and more executives don’t sit in a boardroom. They’re really spokespersons for product, for their company. So, they’re in front of people.”

“There’s a heightened awareness of men’s style. (Men) feel that it’s OK now to have a sense of style.”

Before entering the styling world, Martin worked in the coffee industry for 15 years. When he decided to make a career move, he joined the personal styling team at the flagship Nordstrom store. Working there gave him the tools and confidence to start his own business.

These days, Martin is interested in style on the eastern side of the world.

“My style is pretty eclectic and weird and pretty evolving. I mean, style should evolve … My style is moving toward more of a Japanese street style that I’m kind of embracing.” @therealbrentmartin

 

Antonio Smith and Avi Soor, Menswear, Fall Fashion - 425 Magazine

Antonio Smith and Avi Soor

Antonio Smith and Avi Soor, both menswear style influencers, started the SeattleGents — a group that connects stylish guys with each other and fashion brands. They host SeattleGents events, where a large assortment of finely dressed men network.

“With the influx of Instagram, we see (more stylish men) more often.” — Antonio Smith

The idea for the group blossomed at Bellevue Fashion Week last year. Both Soor and Smith bonded over the opportunity to start a local men’s style group. Soor had recently moved to the Eastside from Los Angeles, where he was a part of a similar network.

“I’ve noticed a lot more (men) coming out and saying (they’re into style).” — Avi Soor

Smith, who originally hails from Detroit, is a multimedia designer. He’s long had an appreciation for creative pairings and original flair.

“My style has a wide range because I can’t stick to one style,” said Smith, with a laugh.

Soor tends to dabble in professional dress. While he sports sneakers around the office sometimes, he often makes a statement in a tailored suit. @antoniocdsmith; @suitedsoor

 

Andrew Hoge, Menswear, Fall Fashion - 425 Magazine

Andrew Hoge

Andrew Hoge always makes a grand entrance. If it weren’t for his style, his height would be enough to draw eyes. He towers over crowds at about 6 feet 6 inches.

Hoge has been in the center of the local women’s fashion industry for nearly a decade. He was a manager for Luly Yang — an architect turned fashion designer known for her elaborate gowns. Since then, Hoge has moved on to coordinating luxurious weddings at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel while keeping close ties to the local style world. On a typical day, Hoge is dressed to the nines, but his creative style choices really shine when he’s off the clock.

“There is a huge influx of gentlemen from all over who are bringing a sense of style and care for dressing up to Seattle. And I think that’s heavily influenced by … larger companies moving in and bringing their people with them.”

“For the last eight years, I’ve had to wear a suit and tie every single day. And I love it! Personally, I love it. But I feel like my off-duty outfits are where I feel most at home,” he said.

Hoge discusses style and fashion on his blog, andrewhoge.com. He loves to take urban pieces and tailor them. Growing up in Yakima, the son of an Indian mother and a German father, he’s never been afraid to mix the best of both worlds. @andrewhoge

 

Anthony Ukaogo Jr., Menswear, Fall Fashion - 425 Magazine

Anthony Ukaogo Jr.

By day, Anthony Ukaogo is an engineer at Boeing. By night, he runs his own podcast, Cognac Small Talk, in which he becomes “the connoisseur of smooth.” On the show, Ukaogo covers everything from hip hop to adversity to dreaming big. Menswear, of course, is a frequent subject. He defines his personal style as “suitorial edge.”

“There’s times when my favorite pieces are like my cowhide leather jacket, but then I also like to wear a suit, too,” he said.

Ukaogo, a transplant from Atlanta, finds inspiration everywhere — a picture of a young Fred Williamson in a plaid suit, a quote by DJ Khaled about living large. For him, style is less about materialistic things and more about how you carry yourself.

“Most of my role models didn’t grow up with money but had million-dollar ideas,” he said. @anthonyujr

 


Shot at Civility and Unrest in Bellevue. Special thanks to ArcMedia Studios.

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is the managing editor at 425 magazine. Email her.
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