This was a complete surprise. I went out on a freezing cold night to a fragrance event and met a dapper young man with a an amazing sense of humor. It turned out that I was talking to no less than Robert Max Twitty, who happens to be the brains behind Gents Among Men…and the guy who was once voted Most Stylish New Yorker by Time Out NY.
Sassy Ethnic Bohemian: First things first: how and why did you start blogging?
Robert Max Twitty: As my style started to mature I found myself wanting to dress like the men I always admired as a child, but I didn’t have the budget to do so. I started thrifting a lot and found clothes that were discounted but in still good condition. I read articles on which classic menswear items to buy, what to say to your tailor, and how to put together a classic wardrobe.
I took that knowledge,applied and decided to pass it along to my peers. I received my BA in marketing and advertising and while I was trying to find job in the field it seemed impossible, so i started blogging as a creative outlet but also a way for me to interact with brands and agencies that I once reached out to for a job.
SEB: What would you say was your lucky break as a blogger?
RMT: My big break was winning a Most Stylish New Yorker contest for Time Out NY. People had to vote for their favorite instagrammer in order to be featured in the magazine. The competition was stiff, honestly. I mean if you think about how large Instagram is and to be one of the top 10 was a great feeling. Actually winning was amazing. This was around the second year of me starting the blog, and to get that acknowledgement was an honorable feeling.
SEB: I really love how you put things together. At what age did you start noticing fashion and style?
RMT: Fashion was something I noticed due to my uncle and father, but style I noticed it once I reached high school. That was the time I experimented a lot with various outfits to see what worked for me.
SEB: Who are your biggest and most enduring influences?
RBT: My family. My close friends are like my family, so that’s why I just say family. My family knew who I was then, but RESPECT who I am now, and to them there isn’t a difference. I still stand behind the same moral code as I did when I wore FUBU. They influence me to be better man and to always try to be a healthy influence towards my peers.
SEB: I went out with someone who not only refused to do facials, but shunned all grooming products. What’s your advice to girlfriends who want to introduce some male grooming to the relationship?
RMT: Well first I want to say good for you, that you are not with that person anymore. Men (and those who are dating men) need to understand grooming has been around for centuries. It is not a “homosexual” or “metrosexual” act for being well-groomed. Yes, some people are a bit extreme when it comes down to it, but overall, being groomed is a sign of taking care of yourself.
If you want to introduce grooming into the relationship, find a way where it doesn’t make the man feel uncomfortable. Try giving him a manicure instead of saying he should get one. Compliments work wonders for anyone’s ego, especially men. Tell him how great his facial hair looks trimmed down, or how well his skin looks after you introduced him to that new cleanser.
SEB: Where do you see Gents Among Men in say, 5 years?
RMT: Bigger and Better. That sounds generic, but because I am from St. Louis (the Show Me State) I was always taught to “Show and Prove.”
SEB: What is the main message that you want to impart to your readers?
RMT: Don’t talk about unity if you aren’t ready to UNITE. I hear all of the time people say, we should work together and stick together but rarely offer a helping hand. I started the #GentsUnited™ series on the site as a way to highlight creative and stylish individuals regardless of their social media followers. The point I am making is understand when things are bigger than you and try to at least help someone reach their goals in some way.
*All images provided by Robert Max Twitty of Gents Among Men
xoxo, Faith/Sassy Ethnic Bohemian