Teak Hodge plans on being a Culture and Politics (CULP) major in the SFS, Class of 2021.

(Teak is a pleasant mixture of strength and sweetness. He has a habit of covering his mouth when he laughs – a kind of delicate gesture. And he looks most relaxed in the warmth of the sun. Teak’s shoot was behind Yates and near Rock Creek Park.)

Teak (T): I guess I really started getting into fashion when I was really young, just because I’ve always loved to pick out my outfits, to really play with colors and different styles and do different stuff just because… I don’t know, it was maybe because I didn’t think I was creative otherwise? And so with whatever I put on, I felt like I was crafting something – in a sense.

S: When you were younger, then, who inspired you – what kind of looks did you like?

T: I definitely played a lot with color, my earlier outfits were really bad because I was just throwing things together – I just liked to see the contrast! But then… Yeah, it was definitely color that inspired me a lot when I was younger, then, as I grew up, I really started to key in to what was “in” and kind of develop my own fashion off of that.

S: Gotcha. So do you still keep up with trends, take them, make them your own –

T: Definitely! Just cause I want to do my own thing and have my own style, and it’s also that I like to keep up and know what’s in style, what’s going on – but also affordably! I thrift a lot, I’m not really a big, you know, “oh let’s go down to, like, Barneys or something and SHOPPP.” (We both laugh loudly) You know, oh God, I don’t have that kind of money, and I just love thrifting and reclaiming clothes!

S: Do you think you lean toward a certain style or vibe? At least, these days – it doesn’t have to be all the time, I mean, fashion is always evolving, changing…

T: Ahhmm I guess I could see the vintage vibe, I definitely get that, I do like to play with, like, Afropunk? I really want to tap into it, I want to explore more just cause it’s such a cool… Just – the outfits that I’ve seen – and the people! I want to do more with my hair.

S: Just for readers: can you expand on your understanding and definition of Afropunk?

T: So Afropunk, to me, is kind of like a mixture of… Hmm… I want to say a mixture of Black heavy metal, in a sense, that’s kind of how I picture it? It’s really out there, yet intricate, yet deep… Does any of that make sense –

S: Yeah! I think it does. Can you think of any names or media or –

T: I guess Shuri from Black Panther is a lighter version of that? Like she had the back of her head shaven, she’d do different stuff with hair, her outfits were of a specific type. I just thought that was really cool. Also, I know there’s an Afro-punk concert where I see big hair…

[Teak’s main styling tip, as Teak loves to style people]

For me, I would say: wear what makes you happy. It’s so hard for me to plan my outfits in advance because it really just depends on my mood for the day, how am I feeling right now, what face do I want to present today. Your outfits are always changing with your personality, changing with your mood. So… I would say wear what you want in the moment, and if you think that may not be what you want later on (with a laugh), I mean, you can always change!

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