THE TENACIOUS HUSTLE OF…Christopher Kenji

Hello, my name is Christopher Kenji. I’m a 24-year-old singer-songwriter, graduate of Berklee College of Music and a print/runway model.

HOW DID YOU GET INTO BOTH MUSIC AND MODELING?
Ever since I was a young kid, I’ve always had a deep passion for music. I picked up the guitar when I was about 10 years old and fell in love — I would spend all my free time playing and writing music (sometimes seven hours a day until my fingers hurt and I couldn’t play anymore). Music has always been and will always be my biggest passion in life; there’s nothing that compares to performing on stage, wearing your heart on your sleeve with your lyrics and melodies and having people connect with you so purely and intimately. Before anything else, I am first and foremost a musician.

As for modeling, it’s kind of funny — I never in a million years ever thought I would become a male model. I know a lot of people grow up having dreams of becoming a supermodel and living that glamorous lifestyle or something but that was never me as a kid. Growing up, I never really thought of myself as a physically attractive person; if anything, I was told the opposite at times so it’s still kind of surreal to me when I think about it. Anyway, my modeling journey started last September when I was at my friend’s show in LA and he introduced me to a woman there who happened to have spent years working in the fashion industry (little did I know, she would go on to become my mentor). She told me that I should become a model and I kind of laughed it off at first but then I realized she was actually very serious about it. I was kind of tipsy at the time, but I told her I guess I could give it a shot and she held me to it.

She then signed me up for a runway show casting in San Francisco. I went, got placed in two shows and ended up being awarded best model of 2018. They made me make a speech in front of the whole audience and it was one of the few moments in my life where I was truly and utterly dumbfounded. It almost felt like the world was playing a big joke on me but it wasn’t a joke; it was real. Having that experience really gave me the motivation to seriously pursue modeling and ever since then, it’s become a huge part of my life.

DO YOU DO ANYTHING SPECIFIC TO KEEP UP YOUR APPEARANCE FOR MODELING?

Yes, I actually kind of changed my life for modeling. I treat modeling like a job now because, well… it is my job. So, that means I can’t just make poor lifestyle choices all the time anymore. I remember getting an interview with IMG Models in New York City, which was pretty much the biggest interview of my entire life and asking my mentor what I should do to prepare. The first thing she told me was to completely cut out booze for the two weeks before I met with them. I said to her, “I’ll cut it out after tonight when I’m done performing at the bar” and she said “no, cut it out starting right now”. I remember feeling super weird playing 100% sober to a packed crowd of wasted people that night but it really taught me something. After just four days, I noticed that I looked and felt better than I had in literally years. Nowadays, I don’t drink alcohol, don’t eat sugar, I work out super hard in the gym at least 3-4 days a week, I don’t drink any caffeine and I take ice cold showers to wake myself up every morning. Despite it seeming like I gave up all the things that I love in life, as a byproduct, I feel the most healthy and confident in myself that I have ever been. To me, that’s the most rewarding feeling of all.

DID YOU ALWAYS BOTH SING AND PLAY GUITAR OR DID ONE COME AFTER THE OTHER?

No, I used to never sing. I was terrified of the idea. I remember specifically not applying to a music school I was really interested in because they required all of their students to sing. Singing always really fascinated me but I was always too nervous to try to do it myself. When I first ever tried to sing, I immediately realized my voice was weird. An astounding majority of the famous male vocalists we all know and love such as Freddy Mercury, Michael Jackson, Sting, Bon Jovi, Paul McCartney, etc. are all tenors with very beautiful, clear, high-pitched voices. I am basically the complete opposite (a bass/baritone with a very low, gritty voice) and I found out pretty quickly that I would never sound like any of them no matter how hard I tried.

It took me a long time to really find my voice. When I finally first gathered up the courage to start singing in front of people, I remember getting comments like, “you’re good at guitar, I think you should stick to that” and whatnot. It was a lot of work behind the scenes to get my singing to where it is today but it’s interesting —the qualities of my voice that I used to view as imperfections are now often the things that people tell me they like most about my voice. It’s crazy how things work out like that ––I’ve come to realize that sometimes a lot of the things in life that seem like curses really are just blessings in disguise.
DO YOUR TATTOOS HAVE MEANINGS? IF SO, WHAT DO THEY SYMBOLIZE?

Yes, all of my tattoos have meanings. I’m a very OCD person and all of my tattoos are organized. The right side of my body reflects my internal qualities (my birth name, birth year/place and birth order) and the left side of my body reflects my external qualities (my music and my martial arts). On my right side: being a quarter Japanese, I have my Japanese middle name “Kenji” (which translates to ‘healthy; rule’) on my right upper arm. I was born in New York City in 1994 and when I was in New York last year, I got that tattooed on my right forearm. I’m also the oldest of three boys and under my right collarbone, I have an arrow with three circles in it symbolizing me and my brothers; the biggest circle represents me (the oldest) and the other two smaller circles represent my two younger brothers.

As for my left side: I have a guitar fretboard which symbolizes my passion for guitar/music on the back of my left forearm ––pretty self-explanatory. And lastly, after training three days a week for 14 years, I wanted to have something on my body representing my black belt in mixed martial arts, so on my left shoulder, I have a rising sun blended with an American flag, which is a symbol that was on the wall of my martial arts studio all the years I trained there.

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST GOAL FOR THE FUTURE?

The short simple answer is that I just want to be a rockstar — not going to lie that would be pretty cool. But really, the bigger answer is I want to create art that brings people together. It’s so easy to feel lonely and lost in this world and I hope to make art that helps people feel less alone and inspires them to use their own voice and be heard. When you feel like no one in the world understands you or knows what you’re going through and you hear that one song that just somehow you gets you when no one else does ––a song from a person you’ve never even met but who’s music and lyrics help you know that they’re there living somewhere in this same, big world as you and they feel it too; that’s power. It could also be a character from a story you connect with or a piece of art — it’s something bigger than you or me or anyone.

That’s the reason I chose to be an artist. If I could just even make one person’s life a little bit better or inspire them to express their own individuality whether that be through my music, fashion/modeling work, art, etc., it would make my purpose feel served. I would rather have one person really connect with my art and be invested in what I am trying to say than a million people who don’t really care that much. I’ll either shoot for the stars or die trying but I refuse to be mediocre — that’s how it’s always been and that’s how it’ll always be for the future!

… RECORDING ARTIST – SONGWRITER

HOW TO LOOK GREAT IN THE GYM, EVEN WHEN YOU’RE A MEDIOCRE ATHLETE

Gyms don’t exactly lend themselves to chic dress codes. Mirrors, sweat and suspect protein shakes are a fairly potent cocktail in the first place – add in subpar active wear and you’d be forgiven for never stepping foot in one again.

Be that as it may, those guns aren’t going to sculpt themselves. Recognising that the gym is a necessary evil, we’ll delve into the best way to wear gym gear so that you stay fresh even if you’re feeling anything but.

The most basic of gym kits, everything you need for sweating it out rotates around the standard singlet and shorts. But with such a surplus of options, it can be a little daunting knowing where to start. For me, it’s all about finding a style that fits well. And remember, regardless of what size your pecs are, no one wants to see them spilling out of a stringlet.

When it comes to finding a top that’s appropriate and chic, look at the likes of Lululemon and Under Armour for interesting colours and weaves. A personal favourite is grey blues – they’re forgiving on sweat patches and are easy to pair with dark shorts.

Speaking of shorts, this is one of those times where less is more. And when I say less, I’m referring to less of your upper thighs. No one wants to see more than they bargained for when you’re doing a deadlift, so look at mid length options that have a boy leg liner built in.

It’s a truly brave chap that dons a pair of compression tights sans cover up. However, for those that are a little more, ahem, demure, there is a way they can be worn that won’t cause offence to the rest of the weights room. Cue the classic jogging short. These fellas are a great way to feel all the freedom of tights without some of the unfortunate side effects.

When it comes to styling, build off a base of black 2XUcompression tights, jogging shorts and a lightweight singlet. Make sure you choose slim fits that are in keeping with the streamlined nature of the look and prioritise dark block colours like black and navy. Pictured above are good points of reference.

It’s a truly brave chap that dons a pair of compression tights sans cover up. However, for those that are a little more, ahem, demure, there is a way they can be worn that won’t cause offence to the rest of the weights room. Cue the classic jogging short. These fellas are a great way to feel all the freedom of tights without some of the unfortunate side effects.

When it comes to styling, build off a base of black 2XUcompression tights, jogging shorts and a lightweight singlet. Make sure you choose slim fits that are in keeping with the streamlined nature of the look and prioritise dark block colours like black and navy. Pictured above are good points of reference.

Runners can make or break your gym ensemble – choose a pair of chunky dad runners and you risk throwing off the equilibrium of your outfit; choose something with not enough support and you risk spraining an ankle. It’s a tricky trade off.

Given that the bulk of gym activity doesn’t require long distance running (at least, it shouldn’t) most cross training sneakers from the likes of Adidas and Nike should fit the bill. Look for versatile colours like black and grey that can be paired with most of your kits to optimise wears.

On the flipside, if you’re a little more flamboyantly persuaded, the sneaker is a great way to show some flare. Whether it be a pair of monogrammed kicks or a splash of colour and print – Epic Reacts with hot pink detailing, I’m looking at you – sneakers are a great way to put a spring in your step, both literally and style wise.

Sports socks have come a hell of a long way in the past few years. Whereas once, the chunky white tube sock was the ultimate sporty statement, recent style dictates a move to more streamlined, thinner equivalents.

When you’re shopping around, there are two versions worth considering. One is the standard ankle sock which will ideally sit below the top of your sneaker. These are great if you fancy getting your pegs out as they elongate your leg. Alternatively, the likes of Nike make a strong case for statement compression socks. Our preference are black socks as their less likely to show dirt.

READ MORE: https://www.dmarge.com/2019/02/what-to-wear-in-gym.html

CURLY HAIRSTYLES FOR BLACK MEN

This black men’s curly hairstyle is a high and tight haircut for men with curly hair. The hairstyle is very modern and represents the style of today. The hard part on one side is very similar to the normal parting and you will need the services of a good stylist who will be able to create one for you with his skills.

The 70’s Hairstyle

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The hipster trends have the foundation in borrowing the styling elements from other decades. This is one of the main reasons why we love this subculture, isn’t it. This black men’s curly hairstyle has got its inspiration from the afro, which was famous for the paisley shirts and bell-bottomed corduroys.

High and Tight Curly Hairstyle

This is a minimalist hairstyle. They will love this high and tight haircut as a solution to their curly hair problems. This haircut comes with a bald fade on the sides to keep you up to date with the latest trends in hairstyles.

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Bearded Curly Hairstyles

The bearded fade has taken over the fashion world by storm. The cool looking fades and the beard are a great combination that works just fine. This is a trendsetting and cool hairstyle that suits black men with curly hairstyle.

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Corkscrew Curly Hairstyles for Black Men

A corkscrew curl is the most beautiful looking hairstyle if they are cut to medium length. If you have natural curls and have this amazing looking style, then don’t hesitate to flaunt it with style.

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Blonde Tips

Blonde tips have been around for a longtime and this particular style is seeing a revival of sorts along with various other things from the 90s era. It is natural to see many fashion trends coming back after a few decades and people are happily embracing them with open arms and same is the case with the blonde tips for black men with curly hairstyles.

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Loose Curly Hairstyles for Black Men

Don’t have natural loose curls, but want to sport them? No need to worry, as loose curls can be styled or created if you don’t have them naturally. You can use a soft brush and a leave in conditioner that can be a creamy formula or either a spray and make your own tight curls to go with the trend.

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Short Curly Hairstyles for Black Men

If you have naturally curly hair, then this haircut is the easy way out to look cool. A short curly hairstyle is easy to manage and maintaining it every day won’t be a big task. You still have to condition your hair to maintain it in good shape and health.

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Long Curly Hairstyles for Black Men

Long hair is quite popular since a long time for men. Though a large portion of men don’t prefer it because of the maintenance issues, but if you want to join the long hair trend bandwagon, then be ready to accessorize it accordingly. Include some facial piercings, earrings and hair accessories to completely own the long curly hairstyle.

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Top Knot

The man bun and the top knot have ruled the trendiest men’s hairstyles last year. If you have curly hair, the top knot looks all the more attractive. Even though the top knot may look messy, it will surely make all the ladies swoon.

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Extra Long Curly Hairstyles for Black Men

There are medium, long and extra long hairstyles for curly hair black men. Though, you should be brave and bold enough to sport such a long and curly hair. You are sure to get some good comments on trying this brave hairstyle and don’t hesitate to show-off your pictures on various social media sites with style. People are sure to appreciate your effort.

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Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott on Love, Making It Work, and the Kardashian Curse

She’s a billionaire business mogul. He’s the most electric rapper in the game. How did they come together? How do they make it work? And can they survive the Kardashian Curse? Mark Anthony Green sits down with the world’s most powerhouse power couple.

It’s Kylie, from the jump, who controls the tempo. The youngest Jenner and her well-oiled glam squad bounce around Milk Studios, in Hollywood, with supreme purpose. Her half-male, half-female contingent is like Ocean’s Eleven, except with more crop tops and lip fillers. And instead of a case full of phony casino chips, there’s just a roller bag full of luscious hair extensions that need meticulous untangling. Midway through the shoot, the photographer and stylists start praising a particular photo on the monitor, but King Kylie shuts it down. “People are going to turn it into a meme,” she says, like some kind of social-media medium. “Let’s move to something else.” She later tells me that Kim and Kanye are the ones who taught her to be more assertive on creative things. “I just want the best cover photos for me and for you guys.”

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Joining her in the studio is her 27-year-old partner, Travis Scott. They’ve been together for about a year, but this is their first photo shoot together. What’s the binding force between a rage-thirsty rock star from Missouri City, Texas, and a beauty mogul of Calabasas royalty? Other than their newborn baby girl, Stormi? What’s that shared frequency that’s responsible for the most dynamic celebrity couple of modern times? We’ll get to that, but what I can report is that it’s not a mutual admiration for posing in front of a seamless. Taking pictures is a lucrative sport for one and medieval torture for the other.

Travis has a much smaller team with him. Just his manager—who works from a laptop the entire shoot—and a bag of what smells like some of California’s loudest weed. Between shots, he just kind of paces around, with his head down and his lanky limbs covered in expensive clothes. A wall or photo light would stop him and send him in a different direction. He looks like one of those Microsoft screen savers from the ’90s, careening off the edges of the monitor. “He was whispering to me the whole time,” Kylie tells me afterward, smirking. “He just doesn’t like taking the photos.” Travis hates anything that slows him down. (He even hates restaurants; the man despises wasting time in restaurants.) And he admits that he’s “impatient as a motherfucker” during photo shoots, despite really liking the end result. But it isn’t simply young angst that makes hurry-up-and-wait painful for Travis. It’s “la flame”—the internal fire, the rage, “the piss,” as he calls it, aggression in its funnest form. It’s why Travis, a decade into a notoriously energetic career, has made his case for having the best live show in hip-hop history.

A few years ago, at a nightclub, I saw Travis swing from a chandelier while performing. One of the gold baroque leaves he held on to for dear life cut his hand, and he was beginning to bleed pretty badly. He paused for a second. Smiled. Then pressed his bloody palm against the ceiling, leaving a red handprint, and kept rapping. That energy, that commitment—that’s why there’s an entire generation of young tattooed daredevil rappers coming up behind him who look to Travis as the source, and who’ve taken his lead.

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That may be the thing between the two of them, the binding force: influence. Not in some Adweek marketing sense—in direct-contact-with-the-people kind of way. When they say jump, kids will do it…off a balcony. (That actually happened to Travis.) These two make the mosh pits, memes, and moments that trend and move the needle. They forge 2017’s most overused four-letter word—vibe—and they’re masters at 2018’s: wave. You can’t pause when catching a wave. And that’s their art. Their common thread. Which helps explain how their relationship went from zero to Stormi in just a few months.

“We don’t go on dates,” Kylie tells me. In fact, their first date wasn’t really a date. They were at Coachella—neither can remember where, exactly, they first met—and the whole thing just turned into a hang that went well. While she tells me about it, she begins to giggle about the story she told Travis that got his attention that night. The story wasn’t anything special, but that’s what made it real. How’d you meet your significant other? It starts normal, right?

But then their second date, by all definitions, was anything but normal. They caught the wave. Kylie Jenner—and nearly 100 million followers of hers—just abandoned her life in California and took off on tour with Travis Scott.

“Coachella was one of the stops on his tour,” she explains. “So he said, ‘I’m going back on tour—what do we want to do about this?’ Because we obviously liked each other.”

What do we want to do about this? That’s an early-2000s Matthew McConaughey big-screen-heartthrob line. Holy shit. “And I was like, ‘I guess I’m going with you,’ ” she said, to complete the scene.

READ MORE:https://www.gq.com/story/kylie-travis-cover-2018

jacquemus launched his menswear line with a love letter to the boys of marseille

Who?
“I don’t just do clothes, I write a story and then come the clothes,” Simon Porte Jacquemus explained to i-D back in 2014. It’s a design process that has propelled this self-taught Provençal-born talent from staging guerrilla presentations to winning the Special Jury LVMH Prize and becoming one of Paris’s hottest (and most successful) talents, with 230 stockists worldwide and over 40 employees. While each seasonal chapter focusses on different characters, the story can always be read as a love letter to France. Now that he has launched Jacquemus menswear for spring/summer 19, the offshoot will have its own narrative but will always be France, je t’aime. “They aren’t together, the man and woman,” Jacquemus explained as the sun set on his debut show. “He is much younger and more naive but in a good way; it’s about colorful, simple, and easy clothes.”

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Why?
After a throwaway Instagram “I will do men’s” declaration and tongue-in-cheek #newjob teasing caused a social stir, he confirmed that he would be launching menswear when he took his bow at the end of his Le Souk fall/winter 18 women’s show wearing a sweatshirt that read “L’Homme Jacquemus.” “I fell in love and it pushed me to speak about men and realize my first menswear collection — it was very spontaneous,” Jacquemus explained. He wanted his debut menswear collection to celebrate Marseille. “I grew up here, where you don’t call them guy or boy but gadjo,” read the designer-penned show notes. “I grew up here, barefoot, bare chest, strong perfume. I grew up here, in the Mediterranean. My Mediterranean.”

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Where?
As the collection was inspired by the sun, sea, and sexiness of his hometown, Jacquemus immersed us in the sun, sea, and sexiness of his hometown. Instead of joining the Paris men’s show schedule, he chose Calanque de Sormiou to debut his menswear. While the show was watched by family, friends, and locals alike, for many of us it was our first time in Marseille. “I’m happy to bring so many people here. The idea was not to just show a collection, it was to provide a real vacation moment.” The FROW consisted of a few towels on the sand and everyone else found a space on the rocks or in the sea to watch. It was magical. Not only did this #outofoffice opportunity provide the perfect punctuation to a long season of shows, it enabled us to experience the France that Jacquemus knows. We could see the world through his eyes. “I’ve always dreamed about doing a show in the South of France but never thought it would be possible to show here because it’s a national park,” he explained. “I had to fight but they understood that it wasn’t just a location for me, I care about this place. I live 45 minutes away and started coming here as a teenager with friends so to do an event here is unbelievable.”

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What?
“The collection, Le Gadjo, explores all the cliche boys of Marseille,” Jacquemus said. “I was obsessed by the different guys in Marseille — from the soccer player to the clubbers — and how they’re unknowingly fashionable with their blue tracksuits, blue hats, blue wallets, and gold chains. Everything is very precise.” Jacquemus and his design studio worked closely with The Woolmark Company in creating this debut menswear collection with 27 pieces in 100% merino wool, which covered every summer staple, from T-shirts to sweaters, jackets to shorts. Now, you might not think of wool as a holiday friendly fabric, but Jacquemus has demonstrated throughout this three season long collaboration that he can make it as light and as sexy as possible.