Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a ﬁrst-generation Dominican-American, born in New York City and raised in Providence. I grew up in the Hartford Projects, near Olneyville Square. Growing up in the projects, I wore Timberland boots, Air Force One Nikes, tall tees and ill ﬁtting jeans. It wasn’t until a trip to the Dominican Republic that all of that changed. I was captivated by the elegance and dignity of the local countrymen. After that trip, I became interested in men’s clothing, and slowly developed my own unique style.
You have used your love of style to develop Spiffy Gents. What can someone expect when they visit the site?
The men’s apparel at Spiffy Gents aims to offer gentlemen a collection of unique, sharp designs that will help them develop their personal style. I want all men, even those of us on a budget, to have the opportunity to look our best.
How would you describe your personal style?
Tailored. I have apprenticed with tailors who have taught me to appreciate the craft, and the quality of the perfect ﬁt. The ﬁt of a pant leg or a waistline can make or break an outﬁt; the garments I choose for my own wardrobe are speciﬁc to my measurements. Fitted clothing is not only more comfortable, but tailoring compliments your body.
When talking about Spiffy Gents you use the word dignity. How can a person’s dress promote dignity?
When I was a mentor at New Urban Arts, I worked with a student, who like myself, went from dressing in baggy, indifferent clothing to button up shirts, dress pants and dress shoes. It was amazing how the change of clothes improved his conﬁdence, self-respect and positive behavior. If someone is wearing an outﬁt that emphasizes the importance of his or her presentation, that person starts carrying him or herself with more dignity.
How does living in Providence inspire your personal style?
Providence is a city dense with culture; there is a lot for an artist to draw from. One aspect of my aesthetic that I can deﬁnitely attribute to the Providence community is my love for bright, bold pops of color inﬂuenced by my Dominican heritage and the rich Caribbean culture of the South and West sides. Our city is a blend of the old and the new, which is how I describe my personal style.