Scrolling through “Tumblr-famous” Ian Connor’s instagram, clicking the little heart in the corner of every picture, his jaws drop in awe of Connor’s sense of style. Senior Cardell Mike is inspired by a collage of never before seen outfits, colors, patterns, clothing, hairstyles, shoes, chains, rings, glasses, hats and other swag that is rampant on Connor’s Instagram and Tumblr. Mike has been deeply influenced by Connor’s sense for fashion, which has inspired his own “underground hip-hop” style.
“[Connor] is kind of like one of my role models, because he is a very influential person on social media,” Mike said.
Mike’s interest in fashion in general came into play his freshman year.
“I was very interested in shoes and stuff like that, and that kind of just transformed into clothing,” Mike said.
Mike has found a way of incorporating his own style, both in clothing and personality, into his other passion, golf. Mike, who has been playing golf since he was six-years-old, is known for wearing very large, old-school polos on the golf course.
“I would say he is definitely one of the funniest players I have ever played with, and he makes every round really fun by just adding his own little twist to it,” teammate sophomore Quinn Willrich said.
One of Mike’s close friends, junior Walker Johnson, always notices the explosion of color and patterns whenever he sees Mike. Johnson described it as “rare.”
Mike’s outside-of-the-box style inspired Johnson to be more spontaneous and take risks with his own outfits instead of worrying about making them perfect, Johnson said.
Fellow students have complimented Mike on his colorful, bold and innovative style, and some have told Mike that they come to school anxious to see what he has picked out for the day, Mike said.
As is the case with all artists, controversy and criticism find a way to the artwork, and Mike has had his fair share of critics, and in some cases, hateful remarks.
“I have a lot of people saying that it is too much outside of the box, and I’m pushing the limits too far, and I am dressing kind of, people want to say, homosexual and stuff like that,” Mike said.
Mike does not mind these comments because he knows he is confident in his sexuality (Mike is heterosexual) and, as a dedicated artist, he wants to push the boundaries.
“If you have such the nerves to even question that thought, then that means you are really putting a lot of attention into what I am wearing,” Mike said.
Mike has found himself looking back to his role model in those times of distress, specifically to one of his favorites of Connor’s tweets: “Because Sexuality and Style Are 2 Different Things That Only Interact With Each Other Only If You Allow Them Too [sic].”
One reason why the bond between Mike and Johnson is so strong is that they have a common passion of fashion.
“We want to be Tumblr famous by the age of 21,” Mike said.
For those interested in Mike’s new age fashion, he spilled his favorite outfit.
“You can never go wrong with European style jeans with low top shoes like Jordan’s, New Balances, or Air Maxs with a hoodie or [I would wear] an oversized t-shirt,” Mike said.