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2022 Style Disruptors

Style is more than what you wear. Style is a particular way of expressing yourself in other ways outside of just fashion. It is the way you carry and present yourself. Style is your vibe. Style isn't a trend, it's a timeless self-expression that may evolve as you continue to grow and be exposed to different ways of life. For Black men, style continues to set us apart and assists us to stand out above the rest. Some may call it swagger, some may call it steelo, in the end, the Black man's style is unforgettable and cannot be duplicated. The five men featured on our 2022 Style Disruptor list represent class, grace, and are breaking down barriers while doing so.



RK Jackson

Company: Twitter

Position/Role: Conversation Lead, Global Social & Editorial

Instagram: Therkj

Twitter: Theerkj


How do you define your personal style?


Comfy chic.


When did you realize that your career choice could make an impact on our culture?


I strive to do nothing without intention so supporting and elevating Black creators, creators of color and the intersections of these marginalized communities will always be my north star.


Why is it important for Black men to prioritize their image?


Your image is your brand and brand validity is paramount to your mission and message.


What advice do you give to future creatives who are looking to begin their career?

There is no linear path for anything. How you learn, create and grow will continue to evolve as you become the best version of yourself daily.


Photo Credits: RK Jackson


Derek Blanks

Company: Derek Blanks Productions

Position/Role: Owner & CEO

Instagram: Mrdblanks

Twitter: Dblanks


How do you define your personal style?


Fashionable, eclectic and artistic.


When did you realize that your career choice could make an impact on our culture?


I realized my art form and future career would impact our culture when I won my first award for a painting I did as a kid. It was displayed at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.


Why is it important for Black men to prioritize their image?


Personally, image is everything and it's the core of my business. It's important for Black men to prioritize their image because ultimately, how you show up for yourself and others IS your brand and business, no matter what industry you work in.


What advice do you give to future creatives who are looking to begin their career?

When beginning your career, make sure it's from a place of passion. Do what you do for the love of it and constantly work on improving your craft.


Photo Credits: Alexis Smith


Robert Lucas

Company: The Sweet Impact

Position/Role: Owner

Instagram: Thesweetimpact

Twitter: Thesweetimpact


How do you define your personal style?


I define my style as modern and minimal. I love pairing patterns with interesting color schemes.


When did you realize that your career choice could make an impact on our culture?


I realized this when my first video went viral on social media. It allowed more people to see a Black man create something that is usually not seen in the media.


Why is it important for Black men to prioritize their image?


I've learned that first impressions can be very important. Sometimes judgment can be placed upon you before anything else so your image will be what is recognized first before you're able to showcase your intelligence or any skills.


What advice do you give to future creatives who are looking to begin their career?

Always push yourself to be different in order to stand out. Taking inspiration from others can be a great thing, but you then have to figure out how to put yourself into whatever you present to the world.


Photo Credits: Cris Jan Lim



Shawn Pean

Company: June79

Position/Role: Founder / Creative Director

Instagram: Mr.shawn.p

Twitter: PeanShawn


How do you define your personal style?


I believe my personal style walks a fine line of timeless, modern and edgy. It's a blend of multiple genres smartly wardrobed together.


When did you realize that your career choice could make an impact on our culture?


I realized I had an impact on the culture when I found my voice in the boardroom.


Why is it important for Black men to prioritize their image?


I think image matters to some degree but I would love to see Black men prioritize their mental health and wellness.


What advice do you give to future creatives who are looking to begin their career?

Take the time to plan your vision, and understand your strength, opportunities, and threats. This will help you navigate the landscape with purpose.


Photo Credits: Block and Noble


Bryant K. Von Woodson II

Company: Chapter 2 Agency

Position/Role: Director of VIP Services

Instagram: Bryantvonwoodson



How do you define your personal style?


I define my style as comfortable yet sophisticated. I grew up always thinking, "dress for the job you want and not the job you have." I love to have fun with fashion, but I'm always in a blazer. The balance is how I like to keep it.


When did you realize that your career choice could make an impact on our culture?


As a publicist, it's my job to amplify my clients’ businesses through various media channels. To be their liaison and a second voice to spread their message and work. I realized this heavily during the 2020 pandemic with Black Lives Matter. The news angles shifted and there was a high interest in speaking with Black designers. I knew then that I had to work with my team to protect our designers and their integrity. We weren't going to use George Floyd's death as a moment to have a press opportunity. That's when I fully understood how all of this made sense.


Why is it important for Black men to prioritize their image?


Because he's a king, I'm a king, and your demographic of readers are kings. Why would we not? I never understood the concept of not taking pride in our image. It's what represents us before we even have an opportunity to speak and it's our first impression. It's important because we have one life. Why spend it not looking and feeling your finest?


What advice do you give to future creatives who are looking to begin their career?

There's a lot of opportunity in the world, so don't take no for an answer and find a way to do what you've set forth to do. Each small win is a step further toward the dream. A dream that you should have strategized out, but also know that your vision will evolve as you gain more access.


When the going gets tough, don't give up. That's when you revisit goals, perseverance, and bet on yourself. You will overcome!


Lastly, mentorship. Embrace it, cherish relationships, and make sure people only can say positive things about you, your work, your attitude, and the way you carry yourself. Your relationships, reputation, and work ethic will take you a long way.


Photo Credits: Bryant K. Von Woodson II


Check out the 2022 Style Issue.


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