Stylist, blogger and colourful fashion week street style setter, Kechi “The Eccentric Dandy” has a unique point of view on all things fashion. His eclectic style and bold dressing is exciting and rule-breaking and infectious to all. Having met at Paris Fashion Week in 2019, Victoria Brunton reconnected with him online in this interview for our menswear series on accessories and style.
Has your way of dressing always been received positively outside of our industry and have you always had such a strong confidence in your style, as you portray? I don’t think anyone is confident immediately; for me personally, it was a process of growing my confidence. I grew up in a small mid-western college town where much of dressing was about being ‘cool’, which ultimately served a culture of conformity. It wasn’t until the last couple of years leading to my jump to New York that I really began to play with my style. Cultivating my personal aesthetic took work— and lots of it – and while it was fun to do, dressing differently wasn’t always easy; one often encounters resistance when fighting against the grain, and that’s okay. More importantly the benefits to dressing, and in doing so being true to yourself and having others respond well to that, far overrides any criticism. To put it simply; if someone has something negative to say about me, or about how I dress that’s a reflection on them – not me. Above: photo by @scander9
What do you look for when selecting a frame? Perhaps you could tell us about your favorite pair of glasses in your collection… I adore eyewear because it is such an easy way to transform your look! As far as choosing frames; I look for how they suit my face and their overall suitability. I really enjoy different kinds of lens tints because there is so much choice; two-tone, a rose tint, a full black out lens or a nice hunter yellow — the options are endless! Different styles of frame definitely speak to different eras and moods; right now, my favorite frame is a pair of brown-tinted Tom Ford aviators – they go with everything. I do love my extremes in eyewear, but nothing beats a good classic pair of shades you can grab on your way out of the door.
When planning an outfit, what role do accessories play for you? Accessories aren’t any more or any less important than any other piece of clothing I wear; you can have great accessories and still be poorly dressed, in my opinion. So, having that balance between all of your pieces is essential. Sometimes your clothes are doing the talking while your accessories take the back seat – and vice versa, and if you really wanna party, everything; your clothes, accessories and hair are all talking at once – AKA me at every fashion week.
Is there a growing demand for more choice in the male accessories market? Do you often find yourself having to seek out an accessory categorized as “woman’s”, simply because it is not provided for in “men’s”? Looking at guys on the street there is certainly a growing demand for men’s and gender non-specific accessories. The fact that men are finding new ways to wear old accessories speaks to this; a recent example being men wearing fanny packs slung around the torso as a pseudo-purse VS the traditional way of wearing it around the waist. This has expanded to the more daring men wearing actual handbags and purses that are generally geared towards women. I remember seeing one of the members of the rap trio Migos rocking a Goyard purse; the hyper-masculinity generally associated with rap music and culture combined with the feminine connotations of a designer purse made this really stand out to me. Times are changing, in recent seasons some big brands are responding to this need; Prada, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Fendi are offering styles of accessories that are much more gender neutral in their utility and how they’re marketed. This can be seen further when you are really, as the kids say – ‘in your bag’ (pun intended) – the designated gender for that particular item shouldn’t matter; it’s just fabric at the end of the day, and if it speaks to you, it speaks to you. As they say; ‘if the shoe fits, wear it’ – I find this to be particularly true for all accessories; bags, eyewear— you name it. (more…)