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Glynn Turman, the Epitome of the Black Cowboy Style

Photo Credit: Bobby Quillard

When we think of fashion and style in the entertainment industry, usually what comes to mind is Gucci, Fendi, Louis Vuitton, Balenciaga, and a plethora of more high fashion names. However, that’s not all the fashion industry has to offer. Several actors and actresses prefer using the term “less is more.” Many entertainers have an eclectic range of styles from simple, to extravagant and in between. On the other hand, when you think of legendary actor Glynn Turman, think cowboy.

Actor Glynn Turman is mostly known for his roles as Lew Miles on the soap opera Peyton Place, Leroy "Preach" Jackson in Cooley High, Army Colonel Bradford Taylor on the hit sitcom A Different World and Mayor Clarence Royce on the drama series The Wire. It’s no secret the extended career Glynn has had throughout the years. His boldness, his class, and his dedication to the craft have deemed him to be one of Hollywood’s most decorated actors. “Sydney Portier played a large part on who I could become. It was Sammy Davis, Jr. when it came to style and how to present myself. Always first class, and always sharp. These guys were my mentors,” Glynn stated.

A fact that many don’t know about Glynn is his love for the cowboy! Glynn is a cowboy at heart, and he doesn’t hide it at all. It’s a part of his everyday type of style besides his normal t-shirt and jeans. Back in the day, and even now, Glynn frequented the cowboy lifestyle in addition to being an actor. “The Black cowboy is history. Cowboy work was difficult and tough work. It comes from the saying ‘get that cowboy!’ In history, the Black man historically got the hard work,” Glynn explains.

Glynn shares how his wardrobe made him who he was in the moment for every scene he portrayed. “When I get to wardrobe, I zoom in on the character I am playing. I build on the wardrobe and I put myself into that character. Whether it be a hat or a suit, those things are very important to me.” It’s apparent that the style of this legend, and many other Black cowboys and cowgirls, have transcended into today’s fashion statements. To this day, many still wear cow boots with everyday fashion. In the south, from Texas to Alabama, it’s a fashion piece that continues to make a statement.

When Glynn got the chance to collaborate with Beyonce to be styled and participate in the IVY PARK X RODEO edition of her Adidas launch, it’s something he never imagined could happen. Glynn was one of the models who got a chance to be seen in something very near and dear to him, cowboy gear. To think that this all started from a conversation Glynn had with Beyonce while vacationing in Jamaica. “Bey mentioned her rodeo line and how she was working on it and needed to put finishing touches on it. I offered the horses and my ranch for her use, and she accepted.”

As we all saw on social media, Beyonce released this line commemorating the everyday cowgirl and cowboy. From the printed denim pieces to the stylish workout gear, this line portrayed versatility and a different sense of style for all to take part in. According to Glynn, referencing the feel and fabric of the line, he told us, “it’s durability in the line. It's a good, heavy, thick and durable material. My ranch is a working ranch, so besides being a fashion statement, I need my clothes to hold up. I’m impressed by how it was all to put together.”

Glynn takes rodeo seriously and as said, he’s a cowboy at heart. To influence and share with the new generation the contributions of Black cowboys and cowgirls settlement in this country, is what he admires about Beyonce’s perception. Beyonce is from Houston and she knows the history and the importance of cowboys and cowgirls of color. Glynn goes on to say that it was brilliant for her to introduce her audience to a culture that’s been ignored. “To choose me and my granddaughter and our family ranch was something I never thought could happen in my wildest dreams.” For Glynn, this rodeo lifestyle and his continuing career are only getting hotter and more defining each day.

Check out the Style Issue.

Photo credit: Mike Marasco for IVY PARK Rodeo


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