Styled By Crite

Posted on August 18, 2012

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From Memphis to New York to Los Angeles to Paris, style can serve as a universal passport that can take you over borders, across oceans, and make you the topic of conversation no matter where you land. Style can’t be bought or duplicated, it has to be developed and nurtured by each individual that is fortunate enough to find it. Enter Harrison Crite full time stylist, effortless innovator, and your favorite, best dressed celeb’s role model. Trust us, with his keen eye and natural born style Harrison can go wherever he wants….no passport required.

EnfinitE: So when did you first realize you had a passion for fashion? Did you realize it early on or did you really start paying attention to fashion as you got older?

H.Crite: I kind of always knew growing up, but really didn’t get heavily involved in fashion and dressing until junior high school. I was raised by a single mother who was and still is very fashion forward. My entire family is pretty fashionable I must say. Growing up my mom would really only buy me the essentials, we didn’t have a lot of money. My needs were met, but most of the time my wants were only for birthdays, holidays and special occasions and I was ok with that. Those lessons really taught me to value what’s truly important. I can remember going through my 7th and 8th grade year with the same pair of Classic Rebooks (oh the horror). If you remember anything about them, they didn’t last long at all. I use to get checked all the time about those shoes. Once I turned 16, I got a job at Rally’s (now Checkers) and with my 1st check I purchased a new pair of shoes– I’ve been shopping ever since. A funny story is in junior high my 9th grade year, Tommy Hilfiger and Old Navy were really popular. With every check I earned, I was running to the stores to buy clothes. When Senior Superlatives were announced, I was nominated for “Best Dressed”. I wanted the title so bad because finally I had a sense of personal style. Long story short I got 2nd place and my 10th grade year we had to wear uniforms, so I never got my chance. Since then I’ve made it a point to prove they made a mistake (lol); that experience really started me in fashion.

EnfinitE: I definitely remember when Tommy Hilfiger was in style and trust you weren’t the only one to get left out of the superlatives llol. So who do you attribute to helping you develop your style? Was it a certain person, or did you just develop your own style as you matured?

H.Crite: Honestly, I would say I developed my own sense of personal style but, if I had to choose a person that helped inspire me, it would be Kanye West. He is still a HUGE influence on my emerging style. Ye’ came on the scene my 12th grade year of high school. After my first time seeing him on 106 and Park, I knew that his style was something I could build on. I was always into colored blazers with button downs and jeans (similar to Ye’). He was wearing loads of color at the time, sweaters, blazers and button downs as well. I even went out and purchased a Louis Vuitton backpack because of his infamous picture (it was fake, the horror). I always dressed up a lot. I still do. Guess that’s the southern church boy in me.

EnfinitE: Have you ever considered getting involved in design or do you only have a passion for styling at this point?

H.Crite: Good question. I feel like it’s very important in this industry to stay in your own lane and involve yourself in the things that you know you can conquer which will prevent you from falling short by having your hands in everything. I may be talented in many areas, but I have to stay focused on the main components to continue to learn and evolve in my field. I’ve drawn up some sketches in the past for my tailor to make for an event or two, but nothing major. I know I would be good at it, but it’s not my time just yet. I’ve always said if I were to design, I’d do shoes first. As just a thought, I would love to design in the future, but for now it’s not my thing– styling is. I’ve always been taught that appearance is very important. Your style sends a visual message first before you introduce yourself. Of course we all know that, but I’ve made it a habit. To wake up every morning and think about it makes it my passion. That is why I chose styling as a profession because it is something about making people look their best and coming up with visual concepts that excites me.

EnfinitE: Obviously, you are a walking marketing campaign for what you do. Being a stylist yourself, you must display your fashion savvy at all times. What message do you like to display to your potential clients through your appearance?

H.Crite: Class– no matter if I have on a t-shirt and jeans I want my clients to see me as a class act. Style has and will always evolve and repeat, but having class by the way you carry yourself will always be stately. I live by this quote: “Boys have swag, men have style, but a gentleman will always have class”.

EnfinitE: That makes a lot of sense seeing as how class never goes out of style. That definitely segues into my next question. One day in the future when someone says they were styled by Harrison Crite; what do you want to be associated with that statement? How do you want to come across to people through the way you style others?

H.Crite: Effortless Style! I eventually want to get to the point where you know my work. Take video director Hype Williams for example, he doesn’t have to put his name in the credits, but when his videos air you know it’s him. That’s the point where your branding works for you when people start to recognize your work without it having to be stated. Just look at Picasso. I’ll measure my success when people say “That looks like some of Harrison’s work,” and then in doing their research they see their assumptions were correct.

EnfinitE: Branding and longevity definitely go hand in hand; I’m sure even more so in the fashion industry. Switching up topics a little bit, what would you consider your greatest influences? For instance, most musicians can tell you that they have certain influences that put them in the mood to create. Is there one specific thing that inspires you, or can you find inspiration from many sources, and if so what are they?

H.Crite: I would definitely say many sources. I get much of my inspiration from editorial magazines (W, Nylon, Denim, Paper, GQ, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Marie Claire, etc.). I have more of an editorial eye when it comes to styling. That sometimes hinders me. I do have to step back and say this is too high fashion, let me tone this down (based on the job assignment). I can draw inspiration from a painting, commercial, words I over hear, or the fly elderly woman walking down the street that just makes me say “Wow she’s got style; I wonder what’s her story.” Fashion is everywhere! I just walk outside and I’m already inspired.

EnfinitE: Inspiration is always a big component when it comes to fashion, whether you’re dressing yourself or styling someone else. I’ve always believed that the main determinate to how people dressed had to do with the seasons (and by seasons I mean what’s current and trendy in fashion) How do the seasons inspire or determine how you style someone else and how you style yourself? On a regular day how do you decided whether to go with an old school retro look or an up to date fashion?

H.Crite: On someone else: It really depends on the job assignment. It could be 100 degrees outside but the photo-shoot is for a winter look book (next season clothing always comes out the season before). However, if I’m doing personal shopping for a client that needs every day wear, I style them based on what compliments their body the best and what’s currently in the “fashion season”. Although styling is essentially selecting clothing, there is a science to it. It can also be difficult because although you may love the pieces, the client isn’t always receptive. It’s a gamble, that’s where my marketing degree comes in. You have to put it on a platter and sale it (lol).

H.Crite (Continued): On Me: I’m not really a get dressed at night type of guy. I wake up in the morning and get dressed based on how I feel and that doesn’t necessary have to coexist with what’s hot for the “season”. I may wake up after having a good night’s sleep and want to get real fly for no reason at all, and sometimes I may have a mood swing and want to throw on a hat and an oversized top and call it a day. I change like the weather. I’m in love with the fall. Regardless of the weather, 9 times out of 10 I’m layering. I can’t help it, it’s in my nature. Like recently since it’s been so hot, I’ll wear a t-shirt and shorts (or cropped pant) but I’ll add a hat, glasses, assorted bracelets a rosary etc. just to add more to it. I can never just wear a shirt and pants. I’ll feel naked.

EnfinitE: Definitely makes sense. For all the readers that don’t know, you’re originally from the South. Moving up to New York what have you noticed is the biggest difference, style wise, between the two regions, and the rest of the country for that matter? Also, do you think there is a huge difference in the need to be fashion trendy, and what do you think is the reason for that?

H.Crite: The biggest difference I see is down south we tend to be very “matchey matchey”. Our hat has to match our shirt, which blends with our shoes and comes back up to the detailing on your pants, which coordinates with our belt and socks (just country, we can’t help it). We stay in the 3 to 4 color scheme and we won’t go outside of it. I’m not saying everyone in the south does it, but the majority of us do. Up north I have noticed fashion is well rounded. It focuses less on the outfit and more on style. You can have mixed-matched pieces, but because of the individual components and the way it’s worn, you can be the flyest, tacky person walking down the street. That’s what I like about living up north; people aren’t scared to try new things. Personal style is a staple in NYC. Everyone is so eclectic and brings something new to the table. No one really stands out because everyone makes their own style statement.

EnfinitE: When styling someone & you’re in a hurry to finish, do you have a go to style that you think is just a universal look for everyone?

H.Crite: A good stylist always plans ahead, even for the mishaps. You will learn to always have an assistant– ALWAYS. The worst things that can happen WILL HAPPEN! I wouldn’t really say there is a go to style that works with everyone because people have so much variety from skin tone, to hair color, bone structure to weight.

EnfinitE: You’re a natural born connoisseur of fashion, with that being said what’s one tip you can give to our readers as far as developing their own style?

H.Crite: Comfort. Always stay comfortable. That can transcend so many ways to so many people. You have girls that love heels that start getting dressed shoes first. Then you may have a girl that embraces her curves and feels more comfortable in body conscious garments. You have your fellas who work out religiously that love showing off their arms in a fitted polo, to guys that love Jordan’s and normally base their outfit for the day off what color palette is in their sneaker. Whatever you consider comfortable and what works for you, go there to develop your personal style. I look at people like Tracee Ellis Ross and Andre 3000, they’ve got style and they stay in their comfort area. Looking at blogs such as (www.TheXStylez.blogspot.com….shameless plug) is another great way to stay in tune with what’s current and helping you get inspired by developing/advancing your personal style. It’s all out there if you care to look for it!

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www.TheXStylez.blogspot.com

www.HarrisonTCrite.com

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