In Medias Res: Chicquelo Smith
- Words Chris Fenimore
- Date November 13, 2017
In Medias Res is a column in which photographer Chris Fenimore links up with some of fashion's most interesting people to see what they're wearing throughout the week.
Who are you, how old are you and where do you currently work?
Chicquelo Smith, 26-years-old, Nike.
Where did you grow up and how did that impact you?
I grew up in the D.C., Maryland area. That impacted me in a multitude of ways, one of those being able to process different walks of life. In a matter of a weekend I can go from being in the Section 8 projects to dealing with someone who has a full basketball court in their backyard with a heated swimming pool because their parents were well-off. The exposure to both ends of the spectrum from a young age allowed me to feel comfortable in any room.
Where do you currently live?
I currently live in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, but I'm in the process of being fully moved in on the UES.
What's your favorite place to shop in NYC?
Totokaelo for sentimental reasons and their offerings. I was a part of the original staff in NYC and ended up running the men’s floor at the time of my departure. I know what that store brought to the city. Totokaelo and La Garconne were the first to introduce Vetements to New York, and then in the following seasons everyone clamored for the brand. The original staff that Totokaelo put together was amazing. If y’all reading this, I love y’all. In addition to Totokaelo, I’d have to say Dover Street Market for the simple fact that it’s as eclectic as me and checks that high/low box. I rock with a lot of the staff as well. They do a great job of recruiting people with personality. More companies should do the same.
What's your favorite restaurant in NYC?
Downtown: Lucien, Joseph Leonard, Empanada Mama, Blue Ribbon, Morimoto. Uptown: UVA, The Smith.
What are you currently listening to?
Yung Nudy's Nudyland, Mach-Hommy's H.B.O and Dump Gawd: Hommy Edition, Tha God Fahim's Dump Goat, and Tuamie's My Spirit Is Very Necessary.
What's a typical weekend look like for you?
I try to keep it super chill cause my weeks are typically hectic. I’m probably with wifey, doing a group dinner or some home improvements on the new crib or else wifey has me trying to hike with her and shit.
How did you get into fashion?
Growing up, I just always wanted to look good to be honest and in the early 00’s that meant the new Jordans on Saturday, a New Era fitted, white tee from DTLR and Helly Hansen or North Face. I lucked out 'cause my older cousin was the security guard, and the other was a sales associate so they would call my mother to ask her if I wanted the Jordans when they would come in (on a Wednesday I believe) and we’d come get them on Saturday.
As time went on, the desire to play basketball professionally diminished and I was introduced to BAPE and BBC. It was over after that. In D.C. we had Major DC, Commonwealth and a Stüssy DC Chapter store, which all made an impression on me during my formative years. That got me off of a dangerous path and I began to develop friendships with people where clothes and the niche culture around them was the common denominator as opposed to something counterproductive to my future.
Over the years I went deeper down the rabbit hole and got more into collecting shoes, so there was definitely a NIKE SB phase that I went through. You name it, I had it—Dinosaur Jr., De La Soul, Papa Bears, Rayguns, Melvins, Supreme, etc.
The older I got and the more purchasing power I got allowed for me to get into Visvim, Junya Watanabe, Comme des Garçons, Yohji Yamamoto, Issey Miyake, etc.
How would you describe your personal style?
At this point in the game, it's all about comfort and essentially having a uniform with subtle changes in the silhouette. More times than not I’m in a pair of loose trousers paired with sneakers and a white tee of some sort—strong I-care-but-not-that-much looks.
What are your current favorite pieces in your closet?
J.W. Anderson x Uniqlo black trousers, Stüssy + IDEA Books tee, Supreme Hanes white tees, Cactus Plant Flea Market “Community Resource” tee, Margiela twisted ring and my Kiko Kostadinov x Stüssy Hoodie.
What are your favorite pairs of Nikes?
Tom Sachs Mars Yard, very few shoes check multiple boxes like it. It may be Nike’s best effort when it comes to making form meets function meets exclusivity meets versatility meets grail.
How long have you been using Grailed?
I’ve been on there for about 2 years now.
What's your most memorable Grailed come-up?
Easy, my Junya Watanabe S/S 02 “Love Letters” collection button-up.
Do you have any favorite fashion designers? Why are they your favorites
Rei Kawakubo because if you’ve ever liked something Rei/CdG probably did it first and better.
Phoebe Philo. She’s the best at proportions and minimalism that’s not boring. I remember seeing her at The Mercer one year where she was nominated for a CFDA and I have never seen a more sophisticated, chic, statuesque woman that wasn’t revealing anything, but was still exuding sex-appeal. That’s style.
Hiroki Nakamura. His approach to form meets function is second to none in menswear. It’s like, yeah, other people pay attention to detail, but he cares on an OCD-like level and that’s what makes him the best. Some people have “a really technical piece” but he takes the same approach to every piece, from the 20L Ballistic to Social Sculpture Jacket to Christo to Lhamo.
What's your ultimate grail?
Takashi Murakami “Time Bokan” tee that was release at the Brooklyn Museum in like 2008. This might be the most opportune time to put this out there, I need that in a L-XL, beloved, haha!