I am so happy to announce our first Trendsetter of the Month Raphael Murphy. Trend Elements Magazine trendsetter of the month is a man who creates trends, and doesn’t follow them. He is handling his business, be it education, career, fashion anything. He also needs to be a pillar of his community. Raphael fits all these qualifications and more. He is an educated businessman, stylist, and fashion director. I honestly found him on Instagram because he inspired me for my personal style. After coming up with the idea of trendsetter of the month, I know who I had to get. Raphael was a great sport through this interview and gave some great extensive answers. Check out the interview, pictures, and his online clothing store below…..
Where are you from?
I was born and raised on the westside of Detroit, MI.
What college did you attend?
I started my college experience in 2005 when I graduated from high school at WC3 (Wayne County Community College) but later realized after 1 year, that I wanted to attend a university in a totally different state. Also, I wanted the university to be a HBCU. The college I attended from August of 2006 until I graduated in May of 2011 was Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, NC.
Are you apart of a fraternity?
Yes, I am a part of a fraternity. I am a proud Fall 2007 initiate of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. My Chapter is the Alpha Epsilon Chapter, which is the oldest Chapter in The Middle Eastern Province.
What does fashion mean to you?
What fashion means to me can be simply described as an expression by way of your clothing. When I think of fashion I instantly think of whats the latest trends, how someone is feeling based on how they’re dressed and the person’s sense of style. The misconception of fashion is that it is only for the petite, slim figured men or women in the world and that is a myth. Fashion comes in every size, shape and form and influenced by all cultures and ethnic groups. Fashion has no limitations whatsoever. I hold fashion very dear to me and it plays the largest role in my everyday life solely because I use fashion as my nonverbal tool to speak to the world and voice to them exactly how I feel at that specific time and moment. Fashion will always change and evolve but ultimately it is reoccurring.
What is a trendsetter to you?
A trendsetter to me is a person who has a large amount of influence. A person that is not afraid to step outside the box. Most of all, a person that can establish a new trend, fashion or idea and have groups of people follow that same trend. I like to think of myself as a trendsetter because I like to dress in ways that is not over the top but different at the same time. Ways that are out of the norm yet very distinctive. I succeed by doing this with the colors I choose to wear and blend and also how I like my clothing to fit.
How would you classify your style?
I classify my style as being unique, versatile, tasteful and timeless. I use those four adjectives to describe my style because I like to standout and my style is a mix of the past and present with my own twist. My style has the ability to be appreciated by individuals that are very knowledgeable of fashion and individuals who are not. I have the ability to pull off sweat pants or slacks on any given day. Seeing that past fashions contribute to my sense of style and I add present fashions with it, comes along that timeless attribute.
What are some of your favorite fashion labels?
My favorite fashion labels include Tom Ford, Cavalli, Givenchy, Yves Saint Laurent, Ralph Lauren, Balmain, Maison Martin Margiela and Brooks Brothers just to name a few. These are some of my favorite because they acquire versatility in their fashions and they all bring something unique to the fashion industry.
Fashion has definitely been very influential in music, who are some of your favorite artist as far as style?
Some of my favorite music artists based on their individual style is Kanye West, Jay-Z, Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, Usher and Chris Brown just to name a few. These different artists are very creative in their style of dress. They all have been trend setters and some point in their career and some have even had collaborations with well-established fashion designers.
You are currently a fashion stylist can you name some clients?
I have had plenty of clients which include personal friends and peers, people who were referred to me by mutual friends and people I meet in public. As of yet, I have had no celebrity clients but I do see that in the near future.
How can we get in contact with you?
I am very accessible and easy to get in contact with. I have Facebook (Raphael Murphy), Instagram (rjm_styln), twitter (@rjm_styln), tumblr (www.rjmstyln.tumblr.com), gmail (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I just started an online high-end resale store (www.rjmstyln.webs.com)
Tell the world about your upcoming projects?
My first upcoming project is my online exclusive store which will include men and women’s high-end clothing, shoes and accessories for a discounted price. All items are certified authentic and some are lightly worn but never damaged. I premiered the store in early December of 2012 and received a great deal of interest. The first quarter of 2013 the store will be complete and ready for purchases. The foundation of RJM is fashion styling and fashion consulting so that’s a project that is always in the works and constantly being perfected. So with that, I’ll be publicizing my services and business to gain A list clients. I am also working on a virtual look book of my styling work so I can directly point potential clients to what I have done for not only myself but others. That will be complete by the start of the second quarter of 2013. I will be playing the lead stylist for several modeling events in the metropolitan Detroit area during the second quarter of 2013 as well attending and participating in the Detroit Fashion Week and the Charlotte Fashion Week. Lastly, I am working on opening up a clothing store front in my hometown of Detroit, MI by the start of the third quarter of 2013. The store front will be very similar to my online store. There are a lot of other projects that have not been set in stone as of yet but these are the projects that are currently on my calendar. As you can see, I am very busy with upcoming projects and I am looking forward to contributing what I have to offer to the fashion industry.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I get my inspiration from my mother. She is very fashionable and she taught me everything I know. She has always expressed how I need to be presentable no matter where I am going nor how I feel because I never know who I may meet. That one statement that she used repeatedly, always stuck with me throughout life. Even if I am going to the grocery store I make sure I am well-dressed not only because I don’t know who I may meet but I take pride in my appearance under any circumstances. Your appearance is everything. Before someone here’s a word come out of your mouth they physically see you and that’s how they’ll always remember you. I’m also inspired by others who have paved the way for someone like me to have the opportunity to live out my dream.
What would you tell an aspiring fashion designer or stylist?
My words of advice to aspiring fashion designers or stylists would be to create a blueprint of exactly what it is that you want to do and brainstorm. After you do that, begin to execute. It’s always best to know exactly what it is that you want to do and what market you want to take part in. No matter what you want to do in life, have a plan and achieve every part of that plan. Nothing is impossible. Personally, I am nowhere near the level of success I want to be on in the fashion industry but I work hard to reaching and exceeding my expectations. If you continue to set higher expectations and goals for yourself, you’ll never become complacent or settled and you’ll always surpass your potential. It’s not good at all to just have potential without implementation, you have to plant your feet to the ground and pound the pavement step by step. Anything worth having takes hard work. Find your niche and a place in the industry that best fits and represents you and grow off that. If you do these things and never give up, I can guarantee that I will see you at the top.
What is the next trend in fashion for the Spring/Summer season?
The next trends for the spring and summer season are going to be more of the animal print pieces. There is going to be more mixing and matching of different patterns like stripes with polka dots or plaid with floral prints. We are definitely going to see more over-sized tees with fitted bottoms as well as the cropped pant. There will be more men wearing more of the brighter colors other than just the darker ones. Guys will be wearing a lot of the cut off sleeve and cut off denim shorts. The women will wear more of the pencil skirt and cut off dresses. They will also wear more cut up stonewashed denim with wedge heels or the 6 inch pump. There will be a lot of cut up and animal print clothing being worn this spring and summer season.
Any words for your supporters?
First I would like to thank God because without him none of this would be possible and also to those who has been supporting my vision since day 1. There has been people who didn’t believe in me or doubted me but there has been more people who have been behind the movement. I just want to say thank you to anyone that has ever supported RJM in any form or fashion. I greatly appreciate it there is so much more to come in the near future. My supporters mean so much to me and I would like to also thank anyone who has ever asked me for advice or to join with them on a project. Lastly, I want to thank the entire Trend Element family for blessing me with this opportunity to be featured in their magazine with my own article. This means so much to me and I look forward to a continued strong relationship with all you guys.
Rights to the pictures are reserved to the owner. This is an online magazine on Men’s Fashion Trends. Est. 2012 Trend Elements Magazine