Friday, August 16, 2013

Friday Feature: Stylist + Blogger, Raphael Sarmiento

I appreciate unique, personal style. Replication just can't be done so easily when a person puts so much thought and effort into creating a specific tone and statement in mixing eras, putting together prints and hues and finalizing the finishing touches. When I met Raphael Sarmiento, aka Rap, that's one of the first things I noticed about him-- his awesome, unique style that is completely unpredictable and it works every damn time. Every week that I see him, I yell, "Yesssss!" Clearly, I just can't get enough. As we got to know one another, it made perfect sense that he was a stylist. So you know what that meant-- I had to pick his brain on his thoughts about fashion and style.

Check out an exclusive interview below:

Xiomara: What inspires your style?

Raphael: California. California style is laid back and simple. I think California has a kind of effortless glamour. I like to build looks around 'California characters' like Hollywood star, Dolores Park hipster, surfer dude, etc. I also feel an obligation to live up to my nickname, Rap Star, so I can get a little gaudy because you know… Rap is offensive.

Xiomara: Recent/most notable styling work you've done?

Raphael: A photo I styled got published in Vanity Fair! I was on set at another photo shoot I was styling back in May when I found out the news. It was a photo shoot I styled last summer and I had no idea that the photographer was going to submit it. Even though the photo in the magazine occupies a little corner, it was a crazy feeling to run my fingers over my work on a glossy page.

Xiomara: Describe your style?

Raphael: My style is eclectic, but well assembled. I like taking different genres of styles and mixing them together. I love to dress for occasion and play somewhat with themes but making sure that I don't make it too literal so that it's costume-y.

Xiomara: Favorite fashion/style icons?
Raphael: Pharrell, Andre 3000, Willy Cartier, Tony Montana aka Scarface, Cassie, Rihanna, Prince and Jean Michel Basquiat.

Xiomara: What inspired you to start styling and blogging?

Raphael: I've kept a personal blog since high school but it wasn't until about a couple years ago that I decided to create a style blog. I started posting my OOTD's on Instagram on International Suit Up Day 2011 and it's grown since then. I began styling back in college when my friend asked me to put together outfits for her performances and since then have just taken on styling gigs when the opportunity comes. It feels a little arrogant to say this, but I've always had a way with clothes so it's something that came natural.

Xiomara: What are some of your favorite go-to looks?

Raphael: I love stunting in some all black everything! But to break it up and keep it interesting, I add subtle details with pops of color, prints, and patterns. On lazy days nothing is better than a clean white tee, ripped up jeans, a snapback, and Timbs or Jordans.

Xiomara: Fave color? Fave print?

Raphael: Red is my favorite color. It's always striking and with so many shades, it's the easiest way to add a pop of color to any look. For prints, or patterns rather, I would have to go with snakeskin because it's both luxe and edgy.


Make sure to follow my stylist bud, Rap, on Twitter and Instagram and check out his blog, The Rap Star Life !

Have a great Friday!

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