Everyone who cares about clothes has a style icon—someone who inspires his or her style moves day in and day out. Some people look to the depths of fashion folklore for their style icon. Others seek a sartorial muse deep in their tumblr feed. Me? I’m a bit different. My style icon is only just figuring out facebook, which is such a mom move in 2016. But hey, I guess that’s acceptable since SHE IS MY MOM.
That’s right, people. My Mom is my style icon—always has been, always will be. Not even my imaginary best friends from Public School are going to change that.
Our mother-son relationship began to turn sartorial before your boy could even crawl. Apparently during my first year or two on planet earth my Mom loved to take me shopping at Stanford Shopping Mall. And I don’t mean shopping for dope toys for me to play with; we shopped for her. I have zero recollection of this (I was 9 months old), but I’ve heard the stories so often that I can perfectly envision my Mom pushing me in the stroller through the shoe section at some chic department store. She was probably wearing something most other people would look very average in. Seriously, she makes 5-dollar tees look like they came off the rack at Saint Laurent. I imagine my Mom asking the salesperson where she got her shoes and effectively becoming the girl’s new best friend. Meanwhile, I can see myself, baby Jake, The Intern, sitting in the stroller basking in the fluorescent lights, subconsciously soaking up my surroundings: the branding, the silhouettes, the patterns, and of course the sale racks. I’m sure my abnormally chubby face wore that classic contemplative look babies sport when they are experiencing something new. And I’m positive that look soon morphed into a very cute smile of approval. Before I had even blown out my first birthday candle, I was hooked.
Eventually I graduated from my stroller and I was no longer confined to the women’s section. I was finally unleashed into the world of clothing that was actually for guys (read: toddler boys) and thankfully for me, my Mom was always there to help. I remember when she taught me the color chartreuse because of a tee shirt I tried on at the Gap. I remember when she taught me that tee shirts made of 100% cotton would shrink (RIP to my favorite blue long-sleeve tee with a silver skateboard graphic on the chest). I remember when she made me do chores so I could buy some camouflage cargo pants. She thought they were too aggressive. I thought they were dope. I know it’s Mother’s Day so I’m supposed to be cordial, but I still think I was spot-on about that one. LOVE YOU.
Every mom strives to teach their kids important life lessons and values. Every great mom has successfully taught their kids these lessons and values. But my Mom isn’t like other moms. She’s unique because she has taught me these lessons and looked super fresh doing it. For 22 years she has played two very important roles in my life: Mom and style icon. And for 22 years she has never let the latter hinder the former. Mom always came first.
She’s my Mom because she placed more importance on getting her kids to school on time than she did on what shoes she was wearing. She’s my style icon because she still manages to make white converse look better than common projects.
She’s my Mom because she never missed a soccer game or a track meet. She’s my style icon because always subtly flexed on all the other moms in the stands in her Isabel Marant moto jacket or some Celine shades.
She’s my Mom because she calls me while I’m at school to make sure I’m taking my allergy medicine and putting on sunscreen at the beach. She’s my style icon because she will send me texts about Rag and Bone’s new sale or how she’s digging Biebers’ elongated tees.
She’s my Mom because she always encourages me to pursue my passions. She’s my style icon because she birthed (pun intended) my passion that fuels the words that get posted here.
Thanks For Everything.
Happy Mother’s Day.
-Jake, Your Son