TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF, WHAT DOES A DAY IN THE LIFE OF CARL LOOK LIKE?
I'm originally from Harlem, and it’s where I currently live with my wife and two amazing daughters. My days usually kick off early. During the summer, things are more laid-back because my girls are on vacation from school. Depending on the day, I try to squeeze in a run or a workout before work. I'm a freelance photographer and lighting tech, it's a hustle, but I absolutely love it. Some days, you'll find me on set in a studio, whether it's in the city or Brooklyn. Other times, I'm out and about, capturing moments on location in New York or even beyond. Of course, there are those days when I'm at home, editing images, sending emails, and plotting my next moves. Got to stay ahead of the game.
I've been getting more serious about shooting some #dadfits content too. I mean, come on, I get dressed every day, so why not document those dope outfits, haha? Got to stay fresh, whether it's for myself or to inspire others to do the same.
WHAT WAS THE FIRST SHOE IN YOUR COLLECTION THAT MADE YOU FEEL LIKE YOU WERE ‘OFFICIAL’?
There were so many kicks that gave me that "official" feeling and held so many memories. If we're talking top of the list, it's got to be the Tiffany SB Dunks. I ordered those from Flightclub LA in 2007, after I got them I hid an engagement ring in the box and proposed to my wife in the store that was on Nassau St. in the city. Much love to Chris Vidal for helping me pull off that surprise.
Now, like everyone else, I was all about SB Dunks in the early days. My absolute favorite had to be the Unkle Highs. I got those off eBay and wore them to the ground. Picking up the Lucky 7's and Unlucky 13's SB’s back then made me feel like the man. I still got those both in my closet, though I rocked the Lucky's a few years ago and they got completely wrecked. But, I managed to pull off a solid #dadfits post with them. Haha, gotta wear your kicks.
Back in the day, I used to get a lot of pairs from Atmos. They always had some dope stuff, especially those co.jp and overseas sneakers you wouldn't find in other stores. I remember grabbing the LA and London Stussy World Tour kicks, as well as the Kick Hi Dunks from Yos, who used to work at Atmos back then.
It was such a dope time in sneaker culture, with everyone buying and trading kicks. Atmos, Alife, Vault, and DQM were the absolute best spots to hang out at.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE SNEAKER GENRE AND WHY? (I.E., BASKETBALL, RUNNING, TRAIL/ACG, HIGH TOPS, LOW TOPS, ETC.)
Lately, I've been really into those technical, material-focused, and unconventional sneakers from Nike Lab, ISPA, and ACG. Right now, my favorite classic sneaker is the Humara, and my top choice for a new shoe is the Terra Forma.
Growing up in New York and having the chance to travel around the country and world, I've learned to be ready for anything. Sometimes I need shoes that can handle rainy days, and other times I need something breathable for beach shoots. There are moments when a sturdy boot is essential for rocky hikes with my family, but there are also times when I just want something casual and comfortable for walking around the city and heading to meetings. It's all about being prepared for whatever comes my way.
Over time, my shoe collection has become more diverse. I'm always switching things up. I'm a Nikehead, but I also have a few pairs of Adidas, Converse, Merrills, and other brands thrown into the mix. I've got some Jordans, other retro basketball sneakers, and a couple of running shoes.
#DADFITS - HOW HAS BEING A DAD IMPACTED HOW YOU DRESS AND SHOP?
One of the biggest impacts of being a dad is how it's helped me find more balance in life, even when it comes to shopping. I've actually scaled back on buying sneakers. Don't get me wrong, there are still certain pairs that I can't resist, but I don't feel that constant urge to buy them like I used to. Now, I'm all about finding sneakers and clothes that really mean something to me and that I know I'll wear for a long time.
My style has taken on a more utilitarian and workwear vibe, which I got from my dad's fashion sense. Comfort and practicality play a bigger role for me now. I've got brands like Carhartt/WIP, Levi's, Nike, Uniform Experiment, Maharishi, and Neighborhood as my go-to choices. When it comes to affordable classics, I rely on Gap and J.Crew, and for keeping up with trends, Asos and MNML are my top spots.
It's all about finding that balance. Expressing my personal style while also making sure I'm meeting my everyday needs. If I can inspire some other dads along the way that's a plus too.
DO YOUR KIDS DIG YOUR STYLE?
I like to think they do. I often ask my daughters for their opinions on my sneakers and clothes, and you know what? Their feedback is pretty on point. They've talked me out of buying certain shoes, and honestly, it's been helpful. Usually, I’ll get a thumbs up or thumbs down and deeper explanations when I ask them.
One of my all-time favorite #dadfits was actually put together by my daughters. It was a combo of a coverall that used to belong to my dad, a shirr from a friend’s brand named MakeShift paired with the Tiffany Dunks. We shot some pictures in our backyard during the pandemic. I pinned it on IG because I loved it so much. It genuinely makes me happy that they take an interest in what I wear, and it sends a powerful message to them that they have the freedom to mix, match, and express themselves however they want when it comes to their own style. It's all about them learning to embrace and showcase their unique personalities.
YOU WEAR A SZ.14, THIS IS A VERY HARD SIZE TO COME BY IN MOST RETAIL STORES THESE DAYS - HOW DO YOU KEEP YOUR SHOE GAME ON POINT DESPITE THE RARITY OF YOUR SIZE?
Yeah man, I wear a size 14 or 15, depending on the shoe. It can be hit or miss, though. I've noticed that a lot of sneaker stores stock larger sizes in-store, so I can get lucky sometimes with new releases. But these days, I do most of my shopping online. Nike/SNKRS along with stores like ATMOS, Slam Jam, Bodega, and End for both regular and sale deals. When I'm hunting for those hard-to-find pairs, I turn to platforms like GOAT and StockX. eBay is cool too, especially if I'm looking for some older kicks.
WHAT WAS YOUR LATEST PICK-UP? WHAT’S YOUR MOST WORN SHOE?
My latest pick up was the Air Humara in the Wheat colorway. My most worn over the last few years without question has been the Patta Jordan 7 in both the Shimmer and Icicle colorways.
WHAT SHOES DID YOU CHOOSE TO HIGHLIGHT? (STYLE NAMES) IS THERE A CONNECTION OR COMMON THEME AMONGST THE CHOSEN FEW?
I picked shoes that represent everything I love in sneakers. A lot of the shoes sparked nostalgia, while others have new elements and a material-focused design that I love.
The Nike Air Force 1 High Stash One Night Only from 2007 was released at the AF1 25th Anniversary celebration. It was an early grail that I bought in 2010. I love the spray cap design and the colorway. The midsole broke down and crumbled, so I recently had them resoled with a Vibram boot sole by Goods and Services in LA.
The Irak Adidas ZX 8000 in the friends and family colorway, white 3M reflective on the upper, subtle branding, and a good classic running/training silhouette. I've always been a fan of the products Irak puts out, and this 2020 release reminded me of the Irak Adidas EQT Support Runner that dropped in 2007.
The Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT% is a dope shoe to me because of the materials and technology put into the design. I got hyped after watching the doc Breaking2 in 2017 when Eliud Kipchoge, Lelisa Desisa, and Zersenay Tadese attempted to run a marathon in under two hours. I tried running in these, but they weren't for me. Haha! Now I wear them strictly as a lifestyle shoe, like a futuristic Air Max 95.
The Jacquemus Nike Air Humara has perfect materials and a tonal brown colorway. I love the branding, and the gold swoosh is a nice touch. Humaras, in general, are one of the best classic sneakers of all time. I wear these a lot.
The Nike ISPA Sense Flyknit is a weird one, but I really like the feel of them on foot. They have a sock upper, solid foam midsole/outsole, and are lightweight overall. These are cool, kind of like an updated Footscape.
The Patta Jordan 7 Icicle collaboration didn't disappoint me. Patta always puts out great products on their own, and I had to buy these. I was able to get a pair of the shimmer colorway as well when I had a chance to visit their store on a trip to Milan in 2019. I wear both colors all the time, as they work well with a lot of my closet.
The Nike Zoom MMW 4 has a super futuristic technical look to them. I love the design, the material choices, and the colorway feels like something Ironman would wear. They're not the most practical pair, so I don't break these out too often. They look good with a pair of Carhartt double knee pants.
The Nike Off White Terra Forma has an oversized design of the outsole that fits my style and aesthetic. They are a new shoe design but really reminiscent of the Air Max Terra Sertig from 2012. These were an instant classic in my mind.