On October 12, 2011, the New York Times published an article entitled “The
Campus as Runway.” After reading the article, I realized how much people were
using the campus environment as a place to express themselves through the way
they dressed. The common stereotype that the campus was for sweatpants, or jeans
and t-shirts, is being put to death…in style. Campus fashion groups, and websites are
starting to develop on various campuses across the nation flaunting their style and
also giving tips and advice to others. Students are starting to put more of a thought
into what they wear; taking their appearance more seriously.
I recently came across a group of suave young men from Delaware State
University through their blog: Avid Courtesy League. What caught my attention
about these young men was that they truly embodied the characteristics of ‘Suave’
men and wanted to share that with others. I had the opportunity to ask Hanif Castle,
Founder of Avid Courtesy League a few questions about the blog and also got a few
fashion tips for the fellas.
What is your definition of a “Suave Man?”
Our definition of that would be a confident and humble gentleman. Someone who isn't afraid to be themselves with their style, and also kind enough to give others knowledge about it.
Please introduce yourself/ the league in a few sentences.
Avid Courtesy League is a menswear and lifestyle blog created by young college students to exemplify better style, and to educate our peers on what we believe makes great style.
What’s the story behind the League? How did you guys come about?
Really it came to us as a negative interchanging into a positive. Myself (Hanif Castle) and the 2 other founders of ACL Michael Corbitt and Joseph Moore, wanted to bridge the gap we show in menswear of today and what it was in college over 50 years ago. We wanted to re-illustrate the renaissance of black ivy.
Who or what inspires you?
I really inspired by street style. The people that i may see walking down the street in a 3-piece suit may give me inspiration for tomorrow. For us, inspiration isn't something that you get from your television screen or your favorite recording artist; it should be someone or a group of people that genuinely love style as much as you do.
What does the League hope to accomplish?
We take everything day by day. We are in no rush for success to be honest; we've had a few personal accomplishments that have kept us going with what we do. Innovation is something that we always look to do and that just comes from one's own passion. Someone once told me that when you want to succeed more than you want to breathe, then you'll fulfill all of your accomplishments.
How would you describe your styles? Is it easier or harder as men, to establish a unique personal style?
Well for myself specifically, I'm a jack-of-all-trades. My style is different within the days. It can go from prep, to professional, vintage, ethnological, militant, and urban. I like to mix these different styles together which helps me to be more versatile with what I wear. There is only difficulty with style when its not something that your use to. I let things come to me naturally; I've always had this idea of being different. I didn't like looking like everyone else. I needed something that helped me stand out from the crowd. Menswear was my tool for individuality. As a man, style is either your opinion, or everyone else's.
What is your favorite piece in your closet & why?
That is quite hard to say being that I'm very open to a lot of different items and garments in menswear. But my wingtip shoes are forever a staple in my closet and the most reliable.
Begin to wear garments that will last forever. This means it is durable and genuine. It will NEVER go out of style. And don't be afraid to step out of the box. Trend following isn't a go idea; let your style fit you, and not the world around you.
To know more about these your gentlemen:
Contact Avid Courtesy League: