Tag Archives: men’s fashion

Bringing Men Easy Tips, Fashion Advice from Online to Real Life

Aaron Marino, StyleCon, Atlanta, fashion, men's style, grooming, expert

Aaron Marino

Aaron Marino likes to tell a story about a friend named Steve.

“He had a hot date coming up,” Marino recalls. “And, not knowing what to wear, he asked me for some suggestions. I said, ‘Why don’t I swing by your place, check out what you have, and if you need something we can go shopping? While we’re out and about, we should visit my hair stylist for a new cut. And by the way… you have got to do something about those nose hairs!’ ”

With that initial make-over a few years ago, Marino not only proved himself a good friend, but he unknowingly started his Atlanta-based business as a men’s style consultant.

That tale also leads to an interesting example of taking online relationships into the real world, and of building your brand through social media.

Online branding

Marino started blogging at iamalpham.com and built a multi-channel social media presence that includes more than 2,000 YouTube videos.

Antonio Centeno, Aaron Marino, StyleCon, Atlanta ,men's style, fashion, grooming

Antonio Centeno

And now he’s promoting a men’s conference on style this Friday-Sunday (May 1-3) in Atlanta, called StyleCon2015. His partner on the project is ex-Marine Antonio Centeno, founder of the Real Men Real Style site The friends have invited other bloggers and Internet coaches to meet and counsel their readers and others men who are looking for help in bumping up their style and confidence.

“This is so much more than just style,” Centeno says. “This is lifestyle – fitness, relationships, career, life…”

Marino says the goal is to give men a place to talk comfortably about issues like accessorizing and manscaping – without having to defend their masculinity or listen to a bunch of lame “metrosexual” cracks. (If it matters to you, Marino and Centeno are straight, and the StyleCon agenda includes advice on impressing women.)

Looking Good as a Competitive Advantage

“It’s a competitive world, and there is nothing wrong with trying to put your best foot forward at all times,” Marino says.

Seminar titles include:

  • Modern Manliness: How to ‘Man Up’ in Your Daily life
  • 10 Masculine Style Essentials
  • Art of Charm: Going from Ordinary to Extraordinary in 7 Steps

Marino and Centeno promise tailors and hairstylists onsite at StyleCon, along with whisky and wine tastings. And the list of bloggers on the schedule includes:

Keeping It Real – and Social

I’m no style expert, but I love the idea of Internet entrepreneurs (in any line of work) taking their online personas out into the real world, meeting their readers and sharing tips and camaraderie.

It keeps the focus on “social” in social media.

And while I’m not a slob by any means, I have been in poor Steve’s worn-out shoes a few times. Maybe I’ll go and see if I can pick up some pointers.

You can get more details on the StyleCon site. Mention this blog and you’ll get a deal – three days admission for the price of one. 


RELATED: Modern masculinity in today’s barbershop PHOTOS

RELATED: Keeping the first word in ‘social media’

RELATED: J-Hey fans react on Twitter

Advertisements

Modern Masculinity at the Barber Shop around the Corner

 

The Shave, barbershop, atlanta, poncey-highland, inman park, midtown, virginia-highland, jackson butler, new masculinity, barber, shop, men's haircuts, shaves, beards, hipster, gay, in town, style

Hipster lumberjack-barber-model?

The Shave, barbershop, atlanta, poncey-highland, inman park, midtown, virginia-highland, jackson butler, new masculinity, barber, shop, men's haircuts, shaves, beards, hipster, gay, in town, style

The neon mustache above The Shave’s door.

The neon mustache caught my eye.

The simple design burns above the door at The Shave Barbershop, one of the newest additions to my Poncey-Highland neighborhood.

What I found inside intrigued me further: an authentic barber shop, handsome and hip with hardwood floors, a pool table and Michael Jackson and Franz Ferdinand in the audio mix. Hunting trophies and old-school photos of bearded men on the walls. No appointments taken.

Does it sound like too much? I think it might now that I’ve written all of that.

The Shave Barbershop, Atlanta, Poncey-Highland, barber, shop, men's hairstyles, hep, hip, cool, hipsters, in town

Me after: Suddenly I’m Adam Levine. (Ha!)

The Shave Barbershop, Atlanta, Poncey-Highland, barber, shop, men's hairstyles, hep, hip, cool, hipsters, in town

Me before: not a total disaster.

But it’s not.

I also got a snazzy haircut, reasonably priced, and a great talk with my barber, Michael Sponsel. (Check out this amazing transition he shared on Instagram.) The barbers use old-school tools and modern techniques for contemporary styles. Beard trims. Shaves.

What’s His Story?

And I met owner Jackson Butler, who told me the tale of his business. A Gwinnett native who spent a decade in Los Angeles, Butler came home recently to visit the folks. Needing a haircut, he went in search of a barber shop like he’d seen in L.A. — not a chain and not your grandfather’s barbershop.

The Shave, barbershop, atlanta, poncey-highland, inman park, midtown, virginia-highland, jackson butler, new masculinity, barber, shop, men's haircuts, shaves, beards, hipster, gay, in town, style

Jackson Butler and his dad put in the wood floors. I also dig the back wall — and the pool tables and hunting trophies are great conversation pieces.

The Shave Barbershop, atlanta, poncey-highland, barber, shop, men's hairstyles, hep, hip, cool, hipsters, in town

Barbers Michael Sponsel and Mo Gonzalez

Long story short, he opened The Shave late last year, after laboring side by side with his father for weeks, refreshing their bond with a whole wave of new memories and stories. The shop is on Highland Avenue near North Avenue, the corner that’s home to Manuel’s Tavern, Videodrome, the King of Pops’ original cart — and lots of bearded dudes with trendy haircuts.

It’s a specific neighborhood, close to Inman Park, Virginia-Highland and Midtown — and The Shave reflects all of that as skillfully as it does the new masculinity inside. You’ll see hipsters, sure, but also a mix of ethnicities, ages, orientations… It’s hard to imagine anyone feeling uncomfortable.

In fact, I couldn’t help but imagine my own father there. It’s a lifelong association, since my career Army dad always took me to the base barbershop in the PX when I was a kid. Some things linger, you know — that jar of blue disinfectant. The hum of the clippers. The nothing-feminine-here aesthetic.

Because it’s not a salon, you know?

I like the spot, I like the dudes, I like the cut.

I like the story and the father-son connection.

Check it out: The Shave Barbershop, 630 N. Highland Ave., N.E. 404-565-0730. theshavebarber.com. And on Facebook.


RELATED: Success Tips from the King of Pops

RELATED: Ex-reporter Now Serves as Atlanta Mayor’s Spokesman

RELATED: A photo tour of Ponce City Market