I often encourage people to try to take the time to look at everyone on SLU, because I feel there is at least one inspiring thing to take from each person, if not many things. After years of styling models and celebrities, I have come to the conclusion that though I love clothes and live for the moment when it all comes together on a shoot, in some original and exciting way, the ultimate creative encounter and high is the connection between people and their shared ideas and individual stories. I was beginning my quest for the new victims for this site during the Fall 2010 fashion shows when I spotted John’s gigantic red coral Tibetan ring, and then noticed his two entire handfuls of breathtaking indigenous pieces in the vein of Karl’s in Lagerfeld Confidential, and I knew I had found someone for us. No doubt, anyone with this kind of aesthetic has something to say. In fact, every single thing that John wears has a story and is a reflection of his own love of people and culture – “I can find something I appreciate in everyone.” One of his necklaces was given to him while on a trip to Belize by someone who loved his jewelry style so much that he took it out of a buried treasure chest – John is now the godfather to four of that man’s children. Once, a vendor who was aware of John’s passion for stones dropped a museum-quality ring into his bag at one of his beloved gem shows. He travels constantly and seeks out the unknown, what’s behind the obvious.
Among many finds, John knows a shop in Camden market where the designer makes all of her own clothes and dresses like a nurse. She calls her customers patients and if you buy something, she gives you a shot. Until John found Tucson, where he has finally planted roots (he takes vacations at home now), he has lived a nomadic life. When he graduated from college, he took the Transiberian express across Russia to China, and ended up staying for a year and a half in Asia, teaching English. Too laid back to be a typical Leo, but the usual lion-type in his love for luxury, John is all extraordinary warmth and taste. For him, the fashion shows are both a a big lovefest and a mecca of material eye candy. Or to be more precise, in his embracing words, a “chicer Grateful Dead society going from show to show, instead of concert to concert – you recognize each other from city to city and know you are part of the tribe.”