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Gerald: Happy New Year again love! How did you bring in 2017 and what were your key takeaways from 2016?
Amer: Happy New Year! I brought it in in Washington, D.C. with a few of my friends and a few of their friends. My key takeaway from 2016 was to let go and grow; meaning get out of your comfort zone and go for whatever it is that you want. If you want growth that is the best way to get it. I also took away that a positive attitude and consistency will change your life. I went through a lot of hard transitions in 2016 so not worrying and just consistently putting in the work made those transitions feel virtually seamless.
G: When times get rough, what do you do to tap into some strength to keep progressing? Would you say your strong-willed?
A: I do believe I have a strong will but I also have an amazing support system. When I feel like I'm going through a rough time I seek counsel from any and every one. I am not ashamed to ask for help. I also use meditation and yoga as a way to refocus and gain clarity. I also try to think about other rough times that I’ve made it through to put things into perspective.
G: So Amer, to be quite frank with you, we met on a boat this summer technically and I didn't remember nothing we talked about lol. How do you feel about first impressions? What is important to you in terms of standing out in your industry?
A: That’s funny. I definitely believe the tone you set when you meet new people is important. However, I never put on a front when I meet new people. I feel like being authentic is the best impression to make in any industry where you need to stand out. With that being said, when you stay ready you don’t have to get ready! Since starting my business I've tried to keep that in the back of my mind.
G: I'm the type that would literally wear a black t-shirt and some jewelry to go have a meeting with Oprah and truly not care how she would feel, but will get dressed up to go on a date with my girlfriend. Backwards right lol. So I admire the way you put together vintage pieces and have an edgy funky style. My problem is I think I need to have a lot of money to get the stuff I truly like. If I could get anything I want, I would buy really expensive sweaters from Paris, a Jesus piece, and some corduroy pants I can't even pronounce the name of lmao. If you had to be a stylist for someone like me, how would you help maximize my lean tall body fashionable potential lol?
A: Being a stylist is all about helping your clients be the best version of themselves. I don’t see anything wrong with a black tee and chain but with your lean tall frame a well-tailored blazer on top with the right fit of jean will make you feel ready to meet anyone. You could easily find vintage pieces and get them tailored. When dressing athletic bodies, FIT is very important.
G: How has Chicago and your roots inspired your fashion?
A: I was raised to closely identify with African traditionalism and I definitely feel it still influences me. Growing up my mom would take us all to the dress maker to get tailored dresses in African fabric and around 5th grade I started to design them myself. As far as Chicago influence… Don’t take this wrong I love my city…. I just feel that being in Chicago narrowed my view of fashion because the industry is not heavy here. Everything I gravitated towards was on TV or in magazines. When I visited NY I remember thinking… wow like everyone here has style and unfortunately I don’t feel the same about Chicago.
G: Do you look up to any fashionable people or staple people in the industry?
A: I have so many I look up to… But I guess to randomly name a few.
June Ambrose - she is a famous stylist that works with many hip hop legends including Jay-Z
Rhianna - I love how she transforms herself so often… I am an avid believer in switching it up.
Sophia Amoruso - She started out like me selling vintage clothes and now she is the owner and founder of Nasty Gal a very popular women’s boutique.
G: How did you come up with the idea for a online vintage boutique? And tell our readers about this upcoming magazine.
A: I came up with the idea when I wanted to build my portfolio as a stylist. I needed clothes for my look book photoshoots and the most affordable way I thought of was to thrift. I’ve been thrifting my whole life and I have a knack for sifting through the pile to find that needle in a haystack. People started asking me could they buy the clothes so I decided to start my boutique selling vintage pieces. Eventually I will carry new clothes as well as vintage. The magazine that I’m working on will serve as entertainment, informational and an inspirational place where women of different cultural backgrounds can read and be entertained by topics that pertain to their fabulous lifestyle.
G: When we talked on FaceTime you mentioned you wanted to move to LA. Do you think you'll be able to continue differentiating yourself from the competition out there?
A: I think that moving to LA is more about immersing myself in the craft and rubbing shoulders with the people I hope to learn from and work with. I think as long as I remain authentic, I will be able to accomplish my goals and even surpass them.
G: In what ways do you think you can take advantage of technology to separate yourself and innovate ?
A: I’m hoping to capitalize on the popularity and accessibility of apps to help build my brand and offer services. I think that if you have your services offered in all tech ready ways then it will help you reach your client and stay connected.
G: What is your advice to the next Amer who is in 5th grade right now or in high school favoring peer pressure or struggling to follow her calling? How do you want to help the next girl coming up?
A: That’s funny that you ask that because I work with 5th graders every day and they do struggle with seeing the future as I did. I would tell them don’t be afraid to be yourself because the more you practice being yourself the less peer pressure will affect you. I would tell her to find what she loves about herself and always hone in on that. Hone in on what makes you different rather than what makes you fit in because that is probably where your passion lies.
G: Pick one of the three below and explain why.
Aaliyah , Michael Jordan , or Rihanna
A: Hmm…. Those names don’t really mean that much to me because they all had ups and downs. But if we are talking about branding, then I would say Michael Jordan because he's always associated with being the GOAT and that is what I will always strive for.
G: Favorite : Book , movie, or song?
A: My favorite movie is Love and Basketball… Issa vibe.
G: Anything else you think our readers should know about you or the future or both?
A: I think that readers should know to definitely keep a look out for the relaunch of my boutique and a full launch of my magazine in 2017. This year I am letting my work do the talking.
G: Thanks a lot Amer! Please share your website info below and social media handles.
A: Thank you so much for the opportunity for your readers to get to know me and my brand!
Please follow us on
FB: Cultural Capital &Co
Personal IG: @Amer_aka_beloved
And shop with us at www.culturalcapitalco.com
Personal Stylist and Creator of Cultural Capital & Co.