Kendell is a Government and African American Studies double major and a Justice and Peace Studies minor, in the College, class of 2019.
[Kendell has a soft voice, and his pauses are gentle, not jarring. He tends to look up when he’s thinking. This interview was conducted at the end of the shoot.]
Sam K Lee: Oh! I forgot to ask you questions on fashion.
Kendell Long: Wutchu wanna know
S: What about fashion inspos?
K: Oof – that’s a hard one. Errmm… I would say – a mix of folks from actual people like forreal, to like A$AP Rocky to like…
S: Oooh A$AP Rocky? Really? Why A$AP?
K: He has a very interesting style. He has a wide spectrum of like – I don’t know how to describe it – hmm… I think he has a wide spectrum for a rapper that you wouldn’t necessarily expect and that I appreciate. And outside of actual people are Instagram and Pinterest hahaha.
S: Wait, who? Who do you actually know that you get style inspo from?
K: I guess it’s naturally my friends – we have similar wardrobes which are mostly – or a good amount of them – are thrifted. Or just like the typical polo and khakis – or, I guess, typical really good styles which I appreciate. We definitely keep each other on our toes when we wear outfits or style and whatnot – and we’re all involved in creative things, whether that be photography or filmmaking or stuff like that. I feel like by having a group of friends who are creative or – like that’s a good portion of what they do – you get these creative wardrobes, creative outfits, things like that, or even fashion, from a wide range of places.
S: Do you have a favorite article of clothing?
K: [Only took a hot second to think about it] My denim jacket, actually.
S: Yeah [nodding], yeah, for sure.
K: You know, cause I’ve had it for so long. It also goes through changes and phases – like the buttons, they differ based on what phase or season I’m at in my life – yeah – and just seeing how like you accumulate buttons and pins on the jacket and stuff – cause I feel like it’s most reflective of my journey – it’s been with me for a while now.
[Earlier during the shoot, Kendell told me about his denim jacket. He’s had it since his sophomore year of high school. And he remembered where and when he got every pin. Some are from shows and museums. Others were thrifted or gifted… It’s an impressive collection.]