We had the good fortune of connecting with Brandon Jenkins and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Brandon, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
This started as an opportunity for me to be authentically myself and solidify myself as a creative, I wanted to construct a space for men to gain inspiration from clothing. When building my brand I knew that I wanted to target primarily black men in educational settings where the expectation of apparel is very black and white. I wanted to introduce new styling components and inspiration for black men to freely express themselves in academic settings with fashion. Although that idea is much broader now with my brand influencing various men of different nationalities, it started off as a refuge for black men with an affinity for fashion.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
As I mentioned before, I created my brand as a safe space for men of color to freely express themselves through clothing. In my previous interview with Voyage, I spoke about influencing young children in educational settings and now I am branching out into the world of social media influence. I know that we hear about the rise of social media content creators and how it is now normalized but I think that what sets me apart from other content creators is my unique approach to my aesthetic: minimalist meets sophistication. I blend the two worlds creating a gentlemen’s approach to menswear while also keeping it fresh and modern.

I am most proud of the confidence and power that I exude through my artistry, when I started this journey I didn’t think much of the impact that I would make on other men but daily I receive messages from men around the world who are looking for advice and how me showing up authentically on social media gives them hope to do the same. I am most excited about the opportunities that this has opened up for me and what is next in store for my brand, I have been able to work with some of my favorite brands creating content for various audiences.

It was not easy starting my brand, the hardest part was getting out of my own head. I doubted my ability to enter a highly competitive social community and overall confidence in myself. The saying “you are your worst critic” was a reality for me because I was very critical of what I produced but once I started to embrace my art and find my particular aesthetic it became effortless.

The first lesson I have learned while on this journey is to create a community for your brand, reaching out to other creators and nourishing your following is key to growth. The second lesson I learned was to not be afraid to experiment and step outside of the box when creating.

What I want the world to know about my brand is that as an educator you can create a space for yourself on social media as an influencer. Menswear in educational settings doesn’t have to be singular it can have many parts to it and look many different ways.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Houston has some of the best restaurants, attractions, and nightlife! I have always been a fan of museums so visiting the Museum of Fine arts is always a great day adventure. Another popular spot to visit is Teahouse, they have some of the best boba tea creations ranging from milk teas to frozen blends.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to dedicate this shoutout to my mother, she has been a steady support in my life and has always guided me in the right direction. As a single mother, she has shown resilience and has been the true embodiment of a warrior woman.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/allabout.brandon/?hl=en

Image Credits
Cory Quantez

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