Life is a Journey: Dress for it
A profile of André Wilson
Interview by Kelly Vrajitoru
From an early age, Chicago native André Wilson always had an interest in style and design. He recalls how growing up in a large family and attending church every week sparked his interest in fashion. ”I understood at a very early age that how you look and present yourself matters. In those days, and still today, it’s a form of good manners.”
This passion for fashion, coupled with a strong sense of style, a creative eye and a strong relationship to color eventually culminated in his dream of becoming a professional image consultant. Life is a journey, and as André believes, fashion is what you buy, style is what you do with it. So, after spending fifteen years in the corporate world as an HR professional and witnessing what he calls, “the casualization of America,” Wilson’s journey led him to confidently leave his former life behind. In 2018 he started Black Garment Bag, his image consulting business, to help cultivate and bring a sense of style to the masses.
According to Wilson, he enjoys assisting his clients in building their confidence. ”For those gentlemen looking to empower themselves through style and elevate their confidence, let’s work together on a custom experience tailored just for you,” he says. “My job is to help express your inward qualities through your outer appearance. It’s important to ask whether you’re projecting the image you’d like to project.”
“We offer full scale premium styling services for the professional man. And it starts with a consultation before I even come to your house for a closet renovation,” he explains. “From there, we decide what our concept will be and form a plan for what your goals are.” The personalized approach is customized for every client, and no two people are alike. Sometimes, Wilson said, you don’t need to purchase a new wardrobe; it’s possible to use what you already have or just add a few key pieces. “Recently I did a closet consultation for a client, and I brought creativity and originality to edit his looks. You don’t always know what you already have,” explains Wilson. “I like to help people step out of the box and expand their horizons, use existing pieces and mix and match to make an entirely new look.”
As a board member of The Fashion Group International (FGI), André Wilson met the founder and CEO of David Edwards Clothier, at an industry event and they bonded over mutual interests. From there, he began modeling the unique limited-edition collections for David Edwards Clothier. Being a naturally visual person, what he appreciates about the clothes he models has a lot to do with the happiness and joy that comes from color and fine tailoring. “I am drawn to beauty in all its forms. Inspiration truly comes from anywhere and I feel like color is the icing on the cake, so to speak,” says Wilson. “For example, fall and winter tends to be dull and dreary and adding color helps with that. Color brings happiness and joy, and couldn’t we all use a little more of that?”
Speaking of inspiration, Wilson’s love of travel, being out in nature and art all influence his approach to life. Some fun facts include his recent experiences zip-lining in Costa Rica, and his love of Barcelona, “...the food, the cocktails! You can’t help but walk down the street and be inspired.” Wilson also has an immediate goal of resuming piano lessons and a love of horseback riding. “I feel really connected to nature when I’m with horses.” When asked if he could have anyone, living or dead, take his portrait, Wilson didn’t hesitate. His admiration of the American artist Jacob Lawrence, and his depictions of African-American daily life in the 1940s-1950s, encourage and inspire him. “His paintings tell the story of resilience,” says Wilson.
Life is a journey, indeed. For more information about André Wilson, the services he provides through Black Garment Bag and to follow him, check out his website: www.blackgarmentbag.com or follow him on Instagram at #blackgarmentbag
About the Author
Kelly Vrajitoru has been a journalist, writer and freelancer for over twenty years. She has written for corporate and strategic communications, non-profit organizations, and contributed to diverse brand campaigns with PR/Ad agencies. When not writing, she spends her time reading, traveling and with her family. Contact her directly at http://linkedin.com/in/kelly-vrajitoru-37129620 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.