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Name: Guy Wood Sr.
What is your profession: Creative Director , Harlem Haberdashery and Head Designer, 5001 FLAVORS
What is your age: 52
Guy Wood Sr. followed in the hand techniques of his mother, a seamstress, to become the creative director of Harlem Haberdashery and head designer of 5001 FLAVORS. “I saw an area of creativity I had and knew I could bring to others using my input,” Wood tells BE Modern Man.
Armed with a keen sense of style and creativity, Wood does more than create, he teaches.
“Being a lover of fashion and style, I am here to give rise to a sense of style within others.”
Wood believes that our ability to pursue education and travel are an important part in breaking free from the conventionality placed upon the African American community.
He says, “a BE Modern Man means greatness. Greatness because it’s a highlight of black men being shown as well-rounded fathers, great historians, creators, innovators, rainmakers, tastemakers, mentors, and visionaries.”
Name: Kells Barnett
What is your profession: Designer, 5001 FLAVORS™ Clothing Co./Director Of Marketing & Sales. Co-Owner Of Harlem Haberdashery / Co-Founder #TakeCareOfHarlem
What is your age: 32
Inspired by Harlem and its people, Barnett feels that Harlem Haberdashery belongs to the community.
“Community is very important to me and has always been a focal point for a lot of my work,” he tells BE Modern Man. “Even when we do events at the boutique, the focus is always to promote community. We like to do fun cool events that highlight our neighborhood even if it’s done with fun.”
Fashion, or the business of fashion, seemed to be second nature for Barnett since he has always enjoyed dressing well and using how he dresses as a form of true expression.
“I think we organically evolve and what we are meant to do naturally finds us. Once 5001 FLAVORS launched, I immediately had an outlet to start doing some of my own designs and pushing them out through the brands we built.”
His continual work in the community came just as naturally.
“I believe unity and solidarity is what makes a community thrive in every aspect. The Harlem Renaissance was so successful because of that unification, so my community endeavors are merely a reflection from that. I just know what we do in our community inspires and influences others to want to join in and build community up.”
Barnett’s ability to rally like-minded individuals together and build meaningful relationships that last are key differentiation points in a cluttered industry.
“I usually stay in contact with everyone I’ve ever met in life because I believe friendship and relationships are a vital tool to our growth,” says Barnett. “I can execute most of the ideas and initiatives I have alone but it’s always been my goal to bring people together and make everything bigger than one person or bigger than any one individual.”
Coming from the projects, Barnett realized from a young age that something wasn’t right with what he was forced to deal with and the services given in his community.
“Every aspect of success is to break free from the conventionality of society,” says Barnett. “Once I went away to school and saw a different side to life, I knew I would come back home and try to effectively change my community and or the people in it. Not meaning change, as in who we are, but the mindset and the things we were accustomed too.”
Family, community and togetherness are three key anchor points for Barnett but its authenticity that brings ultimate success. In a very definitive time in our history, Barnett believes that it is crucial that we teach ourselves and our young people that what we are doing really matters.
“A BE Modern Man means being creative and using your skill and or talent to further our culture,” says Barnett. “It’s about teaching young kings and queens that anything is possible, not possible in the sense of some cliché saying of ‘you can be anything,’ but truly instilling it in them. BE Modern Man matters because it’s positively spotlighting men doing many diverse things in a positive light.”
The BlackEnterprise.com team salutes the Harlem Haberdashery team for its commitment to community and passion for design. More than a brand, Harlem Haberdashery and 5001 FLAVORS is a family that is building a pipeline of success that is being passed down through the generations.
It’s our normal to be extraordinary. Follow @blackenterprise and join the BE Modern Man conversation using #BEModernMan.