It’s extremely difficult to define or summarise the work of Ryan Leslie in the small space afforded by a blog post, but I shall aim to try. A Harvard graduate at 19, Leslie is credited for his discovery of young rnb star Cassie, and famed for producing work for artists such as Beyonce, Britney Spears and Donell Jones just to name a few.
Do a little googling and you can’t help but be impressed by the level of interaction he maintains with his fan base. With a regularly updated video blog, and myspace page, Leslie also puts his extensive knowledge of online marketing into his global marketing and media company NextSelection Lifestyle Group.
One can only wonder where he finds the time to tour, promote his own musical career and stay fashionable. I managed to grab a little of Leslie’s time to get an insight into his fashion life…
Favourite designer: My favourite designer would have to be myself. Second would have to be Hedi Slimane, John Galliano, and Tom Ford.
Definition of your style:
My style is defined by my state of mind at any given moment, which is perpetually evolving.
How much work/effort is put into your clothing and style? Is there a process which an artist has to go through to ensure the right image is portrayed?
I basically wear a uniform everyday which affords me the opportunity to focus on new entrepreneurial ventures to expand the NextSelection brand. That uniform is a personal style statement reflecting a mind state that is focused on the advancement of an enterprise. Most artists have stylists.
Piece of clothing in your wardrobe which gets the most wear?
My pair of custom jeans made by my personal tailor, Roger Hinds in Boston.
It’s extremely common now for an artist to have a fashion label, infact it’s practically part of the job description. Have you thought about venturing into the fashion industry or are you of the view that musicians should stick to music?
Music and fashion are inextricably linked, if there’s any other venture the right strategic partner would be essential in the launch of a NextSelection fashion line – one that brings expertise in that industry and is aligned with our standards of excellence.
Do you use a stylist? If not would you consider using one?
No, I don’t use a stylist but I do remain open to utilizing someone’s creative genius to enhance my daily expression through style. Photographs are lasting images in time; therefore I definitely am open to consulting a stylist for those occasions when my image will be etched in history.
Which cities would you say have the best fashion districts?
New York and London.
To achieve global name familiarity with the NextSelection brand, and then use the power and influence of the brand to affect positive change in the world.
Best piece of advice you’ve been given?
“Build equity in yourself” and “Get equity in ventures to which you add value.”
-Dr. Sandy Green, Harvard Business School