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Style has been something of a journey for me. Growing up in Southeast Wisconsin, I did not have many resources in which to look for inspiration for how I would dress myself. Much of my surroundings consisted of farmland and fields and places like Gap and American Eagle were popular.
I moved to Minneapolis to study marketing at the University of Minnesota when I was 18. I considered this my ticket out of my hometown, but instead focusing on my major, I decided to study the people and surroundings of the city. Most of my time was spent in Downtown working as a server. I would see the local businessmen coming in for lunch, with their crisp button ups and trousers and at night, I got the crowds going to shows at First Ave and Target Center. Minneapolis was the big city back for me and a place where I had the opportunity to try on different personas through my own style.
Four years ago, I moved west. First to San Diego as a Visual Merchandiser and then to Honolulu as a Store Manager for American Apparel. The West Coast brought a different energy and look that was new to me. It was much more easy going and the style of the people around me reflected that. Tanks and board shorts were everyday staples and loose fitting shirts and skinny jeans was the standard uniform for night time antics. Really anything that kept you cool from the heat. I tried it, but it got old fast. I missed my knits and layering from the days in the Midwest.
So now I am back and it feels great to be in a city that continues to inspire me. I can see the definite evolution in what has been going on since I left, especially when it comes to menswear. Stores are in touch with the wants of the men of Minneapolis and providing more options than before. I’m seeing men putting themselves together in a polished way that both represents who they are as individuals and the scene collectively. In these next few weeks, I hope to show my take on the Mill City Man, through my work as a stylist and my own experiences as I get to fall back in love with the city that has meant so much to me.
Trevor Small is a Minneapolis-based stylist and writer. Follow his latest project at www.drkdnm.com.