If We Know, You Know: Xavier

“The fine line between dreaming something and achieving something is only as fine as you make it...”


Xavier explained while sitting on our Brooklyn Studio couch. 

Two years ago, our mutual friend Ladon was in New York for his first ever solo show. After spending the week together, helping him set up and find his rhythm in our city, Ladon had his show “In Defense of Nihilism” in Downtown Brooklyn. It was there that we met Xavier. In effortlessly stylish fashion, he was standing with a few of his friends and Sarah noted how much she loved his bag.

In the midst of what seemed like was going to be a passing interaction, Ladon ran over and interrupted our conversation with Xavier, explaining how he wanted all of us to meet the whole night. Fast forward to today, where Xavier has put Brigade on artists like BKTHERULA and has become Brigade family. Our mutual appreciation led us to sit down with Xavier to talk about his journey.

Internet.x Shot By Aaron Maldonado in Studio
Xavier’s self-made path has been one blazed through confidence and determination, with a focus on helping others. After a year in college in New Orleans studying Music Industry, Xavier came back to Brooklyn, where he was born and raised. While being in school he quickly realized his drive was better suited in New York where he could start putting together the pieces to advance his career, and work with others to make a name for himself. Growing up in a family with strong educational and business backgrounds, Xavier initially faced skepticism from his father regarding his career choices in the arts. Despite this, he pursued his interests, eventually finding his niche in styling and creative production. His early experiences in retail and knowledge of music industry set the foundation for his career.

Xavier’s first solo styling gig with Talia Goddess set him on a path where he was able to not only focus on his passion for styling, but also his love for creative direction. Creating cohesive brand identities and developing an artist is one of the reasons he was first interested in the business of music industry, but he has skillfully been able to take his adept eye for creative direction and builds his own freelance work around it. This expertise has led him to well deserved collaborations with the Queer Ball and Converse, and has also led him to create relationships for his clients with brands like Diesel and Supreme.

Were you always into fashion?

I was always into fashion. My grandmother tells me this one story from when I was younger where she took me on vacation and my parents explicitly told her “do not try to pick out his outfits. He's not going to let you do it. He's going to lay out his stuff on the bed and he's going to tell you exactly what he wants to wear and that's the one.”

My grandma always tells that story and I'm like that sounds pretty true. I've definitely always cared about what I wore.

What did your path look like to get to styling? 

I was a vocal major in high school, so I studied classical music for four years. I'm like a musical theater kid, so I was doing theater all throughout middle school, and then went to high school as a vocal major.

Then when I went to college for one year, I studied Music Industry, the business track. I wanted to have a production company where I develop artists, so basically everything up until you get assigned. I felt like creative production and creative development is something that was not as prevalent as it is now, and I love to help people. I feel like I also had a lot of different sides of it. I knew music, I knew theory, I knew all the elements of music, and I knew a lot about fashion, so I was like, I can do style stuff. I went to a performing arts school, so I have friends who are dancers and I felt I could literally turn somebody into a star.

When I was doing Music Industry, I used to write music also. I used to want to do that because songwriting was another aspect that I could put into it. Then during the pandemic I was writing music and just making YouTube videos and stuff like that. I had also always made YouTube videos about fashion from high school, so I was always doing that.

Literally, when I moved back to New York in 2021, one of my friends at the time, was an artist and she had a lot of friends who were musicians. She was just like, "Do you want to style me for a music video?" and I was like, "Why not?" I had assisted people before, just fun kind of, but I didn't have a real identity of what it was to be a stylist, so I got a little glimpse of it doing that.

I was literally like, "I want to do this." 

What was your first ever styling gig?

I used to work at Topshop when I was 17 for like two months.
They had a personal styling department at Topshop and one of the stylists I became cool with, and he asked me randomly one day to assist him on an actual shoot outside of the store. I think it was for Chanel or some magazine. That was the first styling thing that I ever really did.

What was your first solo styling gig?

The first one was Talia Goddess, who's my main client now. I went to her a week or two weeks after we shot that video. I was like, "I want to work with you full-time."
It's cool because the whole wanting to develop artists and stuff, she has a label, Trance Records, that she runs and she does events. We do this big event, Queer Ball, where we basically wanted to create a queer experience for people who didn't get the chance to really live out their high school prom and their full identity. It's like a music festival during the day and then at night it turns into a big party. It's our third year doing it, and we sold out every year, so it's been really fun.

I also do the creative production for all of her [Talia’s] things. I ended up still being in that creative production world. I found that cool because in styling and working with artists, I got to do a lot more, assert myself a lot more than just being a stylist. I'm definitely combining all the things that I've ever wanted to do.

How has your style changed over time both personally and for styling others?

I always say that people who are into fashion have this trajectory that when they get into fashion they're a lot more experimental, they're so out there, their fits are a lot more dramatic. Then as you slowly continue to get into fashion it becomes more about the fit, the piece, the fabric. It's not as much about expressing yourself through the actual piece. It's more about making the piece really work for you. So I feel like my style has gotten progressively more chill. Like I used to be extra. I used to take so long to figure out what I was going to wear because I wanted it to be this look.

There are days where I definitely try my hardest and you can see that there are days where I'm okay with running around in a pair of soft pants. I've become really comfortable in my style and I know when to use it and in what ways, and I know when it's not that serious.

It's chill but it's still calculated. I always felt like with style I had to use it to show the world something. I used to use my style for people to want to let me style them. Now I got that already. Now it's about creating my work to create bigger things. So it's like my work at the beginning was me, it was like my style, it was my portfolio. Now I am able to not give a fuck about what I wear and people are like “I see what you're doing like for other people.”

To answer how my styling work has changed, it took me a while to get out of the mind frame that I wasn't catering to my style. I used to try to think about what I would wear, and I think now I've really got a better grasp that this isn't me.
It’s a reflection of my experiences but how I express myself isn't how every character expresses themselves. I look at my clients and the people that I style as characters and I think, what kind of story are we creating now? It's become a lot more calculated, a lot more personal to them rather than to me, like a project. I would consider a project as a person.

What part of your job do you look forward to every time?

Making things happen and connecting the pieces. My favorite part is moments when it works because all this stuff is really theory, even styling is not guaranteed that everything's going to happen and even ideas that you have are not going to come true. Creating those moments that you dreamed of is the best part of my job.

For example, for fashion week not only do I style my clients but I do the PR so I get them invited to shows and I do their whole schedule and all that communication. I had a client, the influencer that I work with this year, and it was their first fashion week with me so I didn't know what the response was going to look like. I'm like “let's see what happens, let's be optimistic” and we had a really good New York and halfway through New York I was like, “would you do London? I have a client in London so I know the market out there, we can see what it's like.” This was just an idea I had, but then I had to see if it would work. The client said they would do it if I could get them into at least two shows. Then I did what I did, and we got into five shows in London and it was exactly what I mean when I'm an idea actually happens.

What’s your favorite project to date, and what is your dream project?

My most recent project for Converse. I say it’s my favorite project because when I talk about wanting to style and be a creative producer, this was a project where I really got to do that. It was for 2-3 months where I was meeting with a group of 4 other creatives, and we basically were able to sit there and come up with concepts for a show. We had to literally create this show it wasn't one of those situations where we're like okay, you're styling this show here's the creative, here's the cast we had to literally sit down and pitch 3 concepts to Converse, then once we got it approved we had to cast the campaign. I was in charge of getting hair and makeup people there, and obviously had to style it too. That was cool because it wasn't just styling it was literally producing a campaign for a major brand. For them to trust us to do that was really cool, but to have the experience to produce a shoot for Converse and for that to be on my resume is really cool to me.

My dream project is doing broadcast journalism in a way that's like a Speedy Morgan or like something in that world. It’s the reason why I even created Talking to the Internet in the first place. I want the conversation to be around fashion and to be talking to people in the fashion industry.

I want to have a show of me talking to different people, for a big company so that I don't have to like produce it, and I want to work with a company where if there's a new collection releasing I can do a video like styling the collection, showing people how to put the collection together. That's a big goal for me so me doing my Talking to the Internet show was literally to put that on my resume for a company to take over.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

I wish I was more consistent because I always think about where certain things would take me if I would have really continued it. YouTube is one of those things. I did YouTube but I was always on and off, I would do YouTube for like 3 months, then not posting for 6. I would always jump in and I have a good amount of subscribers on YouTube, so I wish I really honed in on that because I feel like I could be somewhere different. I don't really regret that but like real advice I would say that everything happens for a reason, because I feel like that understanding now has gotten me places. The understanding that everything happens for a reason, literally every single thing. The worst thing in the world happens for the best reason, and understanding that has made a lot of things easier for me to get through getting older. It's also just made me more appreciative for everything that happens and I feel like when I was younger something small could happen I would feel like the world was against me. I guess that's also advice I would give myself to know that this isn't the prime. I always tell people when I was in high school I really thought that that was going to be the determining factor of what I was growing up, but you get to college and you realize that that was actually nothing, that was just the appetizer. So one, to know that everything happens for a reason and then two, now is not the height, it's a journey.

Where do you go for inspiration or to keep things fresh for yourself 

I'm a Pinterest person. Pinterest is so generic but it's my biggest source of inspiration, but I would say my other biggest source of inspiration is my life experience in general. I always used to say my favorite part about New York is literally the fact that the style isn't one style here, so you see everything. Sometimes I’ll just take a picture of a random person that's in front of me because I'm like, this is so cool. Also, I feel like working at retail stores when I was younger, I used to work at a lot of retail stores because that was the only thing I used to like doing, but working at different stores with different vibes let me see a different type of style aesthetics.

For example, & Other Stories is really specific to a certain type of style, like very Blake Lively and springy, but I like working there. I learned how that style looks really cool for people, and I was just seeing a lot of different people putting shit on in different genres of fashion. I saw how different things worked and it has helped influence my style.

If you could have any superpower what would it be?

Oh my god, the teleportation with my bags, not just me, because I'm pretty good about time except I can be really late when it's more on casual terms, so teleportation.

What do you think is the biggest fashion mistake people make or a fashion pet peeve that you have?

That's a great question but I have a controversial answer, influences are my fashion pet peeve. Influencers are my biggest pet peeve because it's not authentic, and it's created inauthenticity, but their progression is literally what is in season. Their style progression is what is trying to be marketed, so it's not authentic. I feel like people need to dig a little deeper than just like what's in front of them and I feel like for influencer fashion it just created over saturation in so many things.

If you could just make your closet one brand, who would it be?

I've never tried anything from this brand, but recently I've been seeing a lot of it and I've been like “dang I would be this person.” The brand is called Egonlab.

But if there was one that I've actually experienced, I would say probably Acne Studios just because they always have something experimental and fun, but they'll always have that good fitting basic black pant and that nice crisp white shirt. I feel like they'll always have the pieces that can come in and out of season but they'll always have the staples.

Tell us about Talking to the Internet; how did it get started, what's your inspiration, where is it going?

I knew that broadcast journalism is something I see in my trajectory at some point sooner than later and I just wanted to be proactive about making it happen so I created it as a proof of concept. I did it especially because being a college dropout not many people trust you for your word, they have to see it. When I dropped out of college the internet is how I learned more about fashion. I had some internships, yes, but when I didn't know things or wanted to ask certain questions, I would go to the internet. I wanted Talking to the Internet to be conversations about what I wasn't able to find on the internet, and I wanted people to be able to access that information. I wanted it to be a place where people can be like, “okay YouTube University I can find anything.” The internet is literally my friend. I can create a career just off of the internet, and I can do most things in a year because of the internet. It's called talking to the internet for that reason, but also because of Internet X, that's the dual purpose. I want to be able to show people that they can do what they want to do and not have to work any other job to fund it. I want to be able to show that these people have these careers that aren't traditional. You can be a photographer full time and not be touring with an artist, you can do all these different things, even these niche jobs. As I go further into it I want to get into more niche jobs in the industry, even fashion market where you can literally make so much money and that's something that people don't even think about. So just one, showing the different career paths within the industry, but also just showing people that the fine line between dreaming something and achieving something is only as fine as you make it so that was the reason for creating it.

Looking ahead, Xavier aspires to merge his multifaceted talents within fashion and broadcast journalism, aiming to create content that educates and inspires others. His show, "Talking to the Internet," serves as a platform to explore career paths in the fashion industry and to demonstrate that success can be achieved through non-traditional routes. Xavier's ultimate goal is to continue growing as a creative professional, potentially moving abroad, and to help others realize their dreams by providing opportunities and mentorship. His journey is a testament to the power of determination, creativity, and self-confidence.


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