You and Robert Brown probably have some mutual interests. He worships the Rat Pack, loves his desert boots, and counts F. Scott Fitzgerald among his favorite authors. One thing you probably don't have in common with the style blogger: He's 16, a high-school student from New Orleans East—and his site, Robert I. Brown Style, is a fresh, sophisticated, and charming voice in the echo-chamber-y fashion blogosphere. Oh, and did we mention he's our newest guest writer? He'll be posting every Monday on Details.com, and now he'll introduce himself.
Ever since I was a kid, I've noticed stylish characters everywhere I've looked, and I've developed a passion for how I present myself to the world. As I started reading websites like The Sartorialist and The Brooklyn Circus, when I was 14, I began to express myself creatively though my dress. I want that double-look when I pass people on the street—I'd like to think of style as my second religion.
I began Robert I. Brown Style in 2008, and now I think of it as both a hobby and a job. After I finally drilled it into my friends' heads to keep checking for new posts, they began to do the same to peers around school. I've had students I don't know come up to me and tell me I'm wise beyond my years. I've even had people come to me and say that I've motivated them to create their own blogs.
While I always like collections by Ralph Lauren, Tom Ford, Paul Smith, and Thom Browne, I don't consider myself a designer-brand type of guy. In fact, most of the people I think of as fashion icons are from previous eras. In addition to Fred Astaire, my style hero, I'm drawn to the untouchable charm and sophistication of Steve McQueen, the Rat Pack, and Sean Connery (in the Bond films). When I'm not watching old movies, I get my inspiration from contemporary Italian men, Fonzworth Bentley, and André 3000. The Outkast rapper is partially responsible for helping me find my sartorial side. When I look at photographs of him dressed in the craziest ensembles, I see a man who simply lives life and shows his flamboyance and passion through his vibrant garments.
To me, style is life. Style is something that everyone has, but they may not discover it until they stop being afraid of opinionated critics. I am a strong believer in simplicity and the idea of "all things essential." I know that since I'm only 16, most of my clothes will become too small for me to wear, but I am still committed to buying garments that are high-quality and taking care of them so that I can pass them down. I'd always rather splurge on one item than waste money on trendy things everyone else is wearing. Style is what you make of it, and it allows you to be as creative as you'd like.
—Robert I. Brown