Black pinstripe suit, White linen 3-piece suit, navy espadrilles, rust colored linen blazer: SuitSupply
Blue stripe cuban shirt: SOULLAND
Hats: Goorin Bros
Cane, Briefcase, gold accessories, Tinted yellow wayfarer sunglasses & props: Vintage, Etsy
Yellow leather jacket: Mitchell Evan
Featured watch: Timex southview multi function
Wifebeaters/tanks: fruit of the loom
Navy chinos, brown loafers, white linen shirt, white dress shirt, suspenders: Club Monaco
Happy Summer everyone. It’s been a minute since I’ve posted on here, I feel like we have so much to catch up on. I’m going to give you a quick life update then I’ll hop straight into Cuba.
So many of you noticed that after my Japan series I didn’t post on Instagram for one month. I first would like to apologize for that because I never like to leave my audience and readers hanging without any reason why. The short of it is that I’ve been very depressed lately. I know I don’t share a lot of my personal life online (I plan to keep it that way) but I do want to share with this with you guys because I think it’s important. I’ve been blogging for over 7 years now and participating on Instagram for 5 and honestly, I’m growing tired of it. Maybe if it wasn’t such a saturated community, with everyone quitting their jobs and taking all the same photos in the same places I’d be feel different, and special, but unfortunately that’s not the case. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy everyone is able to be artistic and share their lives but gone are the days where people did it as a hobby or for the art of it. Let’s be honest, it’s quick paycheck left and right. Now I know this might make me sound bitter or jaded but you have to understand that I started all of this out of a hobby and even though I’m doing well (which I’m extremely grateful for) I can’t help but to feel squished in a crowded room now. Don’t worry I’m not quitting (yet) but I do have to vent. With all that being said, you can probably understand why I’ve decided to elevate my branding by using only DSLR cameras, Photoshop as opposed to phone apps/filters & overall raising the bar because guess what? You have too. In any industry, especially ones involving art, you need to keep pushing yourself, take risks and step out of the crowd.
The other stem of my depression comes from personal reasons. Despite having the AMAZING opportunity to travel the world it does have downsides too. Before you judge me, please realize that if you were never home what friendships would you be able to hold onto? How would you manage juggling quality time with family, friends, girlfriends, boyfriends, and YOURSELF? I’ve been living in the fast lane for so long that I didn’t realize I missed a couple stops along the way, and it makes me really, really sad. I’ll go into this more in-depth with another more personal blogpost soon, but for now let us dive into the colorful and vintage world of Havana Cuba. DISCLAIMER: Distractions aren’t the best pass time.
WHERE TO STAY
WHERE TO EAT
WHAT TO SEE
-If you hold an American passport, make sure that the airline you book can provide you with a visa. Tourism is not allowed in Cuba so you must be travelling for business reasons.
-Another note for American passport holders, stay up-to-date with the new developing travel laws
-Internet connectivity is borderline impossible so be prepared for that.
-Bring as much cash as possible!! There is no ATMs and credit cards are not accepted. If you run out of money you have to go back to the airport.
-Download the ‘Maps With Me’ app prior to going. There is a lack of wi-fi available in Cuba and this app will have everything pre-loaded.
-English is barely spoken in Cuba so download a translation app or bring a spanish book or better yet hire a spanish speaking person to bring along like we did lol.
The inspiration behind ‘The Havana Gangster’ really came from my affinity of the 50’s decade. Lately I’ve been drawn to the masculine, casual styles that meet sophisticated formal suiting. Luckily for us Americans, we recently have been granted access to the country via Obama so I thought it was the perfect backdrop for the story in mind(cue eye-roll for Trumps back peddling). Ever since my 1920’s inspired Africa trip I knew that I wanted that creativity, and story-telling to carry over. I ordered numerous props over the course of 2 months, styled modern pieces with classic staples like wife-beaters and booked authentic properties to stay in and photograph while there. Even though every image is not 100% in-line with the story I wanted the red-thread to be a tale about a young business man partaking in shady, mafia dealings around central Havana. Some of the images are open to interpretation and others are very straight forward. Obviously the briefcase was the repeat offender that pushed the plot forward. I want to quickly thank every single one of you who commented, followed and championed this series. If you haven’t given your feedback already, I’d love to hear it!
Big thanks to my team who helped make it happen:
Photography assistance: Nick Pierce
Production Assistance: David White
Set runner/Intern: Stephanie Vera
Modeling, Creative & art direction, Photography, Production, Retouching, Styling, Writing: Adam Gallagher