There are certainly things that come to mind when one is told to envision a 19-year-old biracial male that graduated from high school in Miami, just shy over a year ago. Probably listens to Future, is plotting how to finesse his parents into getting him a pair of Yeezy Boosts for Christmas, or finding a way to sneak into Ivy this Friday. This might be a reality for many young adults in this generation, but not Elisha.
At just 19 years old, Elisha has already started the beginnings of his fashion empire and has become an inspiration and a stylist to men twice his age.
Let me introduce you to the young man that isn’t afraid to make a statement, and often allows his sense of fashion to speak more than he does.
Q: When do you start getting into men’s fashion?
A: I guess probably around the time I started going to King Jesus (Church located in Kendall) and started serving there, I was surrounded by a lot of people who dressed very well and that’s when it kind of just clicked.
So, maybe around 15 or so, that’s when I first started getting into clothing. At the time my knowledge of it was limited so it was a bit rough, I also didn’t necessarily have the funding to get lots of clothing either.
Q: What are some affordable places or brands that people can go that are just starting to get into men’s fashion?
A: I’d say probably Burlington, Marshalls, Nordstrom Rack sometimes, Men’s Wearhouse Outlet, Macy’s. I’d say mainly those stores to start with.
Q: Do you have any favorite items currently?
A: Yes, yes I do. My favorite brand at the moment is Coke Hann, I have about five pairs of them I believe. I like wingtip alot, but then there are also cap toes, plain, and lots of others. I really like their lunar grand OS shoes. I also love loafers and slippers too.
Q: Why do you think the way one dresses is important, especially when speaking of manhood?
A: Well the way dresses always makes the first impression and sets the mood for the rest of the conversation or meeting. Also, you can tell who is clean, responsible or even how they will act by the way they dress or the way they use their clothing.
Q: What would you say your clothing says about you?
A: I’ve had people tell me that my clothing talks more than I do. It shows that even though I’m young, I know and have the knowledge to dress apart from most people my age. It speaks maturity and experience too. I think I like to have what I wear do the talking more than myself sometimes (chuckles).
It can also earn respect as well; people see how I dress and want me to help them dress and pick stuff out. I like to try and stand apart from the mainstream youth as it is. I think many people look down on [the] youth because of the way they dress. I think young men and men in general have declined in their sense of fashion. I’ve numerous times for have seen couples on a date and you’ll see the girl very dressed up, but the guy wears nothing more than a t-shirt, some joggers and some Jordan’s or Sperrys. I’m not saying people need to dress up all the time, but at least make an effort. A lot is said by the way you look, that’s why I always do my best to be presentable whether I’m very casual or very dressed up.
Q: Tell me about your lapel business. How did that happened? Do you have a name for it?
A: I had many people asking me where they can buy the ones I have so, I found a way to get them at fairly low price, so I was ‘like I sell them.’ It’s still kind of in the developmental stage and I haven’t had a huge amount of time to work on it recently so I don’t have a name for it yet. Mainly because I would like to branch out into other things to sell, so I need a name that is all-inclusive.
Q: Last question, do you think your sense of style changes the perception the society of young black men?
A: Yes, it definitely it does. Most people, adults and young, have the concept that black people don’t know how to dress and/or have no class about them. I believe that many people see us as only being thugs and gangsters. I get a lot of surprised looks when I walk around in a suit in public or even just wearing nice clothes.
As you can see, Elisha is far from done impacting this generation and the fashion industry. If you have any questions on Elisha and to see more of his style, you can email him at Elishacordeau@gmail.com or check out his IG: elisha_cordeau