styling the vegetable-tanned pillar low with Eli
Posted on September 12 2017
Meet Eliezer Infante
Or better known as "Elisoul01" on Instagram, he is a progressive men style connoisseur from the Bronx that merges dapper gentlemen wear with an urban flavor. He is also the founder and creator of North Of Man, a menswear and lifestyle vision blog.
Read our interview below with Eli and see how he styled the Triumph Series: Pillar Low Vegetable-Tanned.
Collegium: Describe your styling process.
Eli: First, I break it down into two situations: how I’m feeling that day and what the weather is like. I make sure I dress for function first.
Then, in choosing what I wear I’ll break it down into color, texture, and pattern. I choose the colors I want to use, then the texture being dependent on the weather and how I’m feeling, and then patterns. I’ll mix 2-3 different textures at most, and I throw in 3 patterns max.
I use that guide as a solid base of where I want to go when I style.
How do shoes play a part in how you style?
A lot of people say their outfits are based on their shoes. But, for me, I get dressed first in my outfit, and my footwear is my finishing piece, the final touch. It’s the last piece I throw on that I know will complete my outfit.
How do you see your style categorized as?
I would categorize it as the gentleman meeting the rebel. I’ve always carried an eye for detail and the nature of elegance. I always want to keep it classy, but my background of what I used to wear is streetwear, so I try to bridge the dapper gentleman and the urban rebel.
When you bridge the gap, what’s one piece you really find that helps do that?
I find denim as a great piece, for example I can take this denim vest that I made and throw it on top with some slacks. Denim can help break up my suits, and make them into more casual outfits.
But my most important piece is my shoes. My shoes dictate whether something is casual, dressed up or right in between.
What have you appreciated about COLLEGIUM and its footwear?
I’m a fan of things that are elegant and clean, and I see those characteristics in the shoes. I use my shoes as a canvas, to tell my story and express my style. The great thing about COLLEGIUM’s shoes is that it can go with everything. Worn with suits or with streetwear, it works.
What do you look for in your sneaker rotation?
Comfort has always been a good leading factor of what I like, but when I got into suits and got more tailored, I began to start selecting shoes by design over comfort. However now I’m looking for something that’s both comfortable and aesthetically appealing.
How has being from the Bronx influenced your style?
Being from the Bronx, there’s a certain way people wear their clothes, how they rock their sneakers, the brands they associate with, you can tell where they’re from. For me I found that style was a way for me to play around with who you are, my upbringing allowed me to use streetwear and mix it with the elegant nature of the clothes I now wear.
Not only being from the Bronx, but being a Latino from the Bronx, it adds a different flavor to the way I choose to style and wear my pieces. As Latinos, we are such vibrant people with colors, it influences how I dress. Dressing in all white or all black is super clean, no matter what. But, wearing bold colors, that’s something I feel like my culture always embraces, and that allows me to play more with patterns and different textures.
North of MAN, what was your inspiration and purpose?
Initially when I started, I was just using it to catalog my style, I still didn’t really have a name for it yet. People started to respond to my outfits and saying that they copied an outfit for this day, or giving me feedback on when they wore an outfit and what it did for them, someone even told me that they copied an outfit for a job interview and landed it! Even though the fashion world can be a shallow industry, there was still something that came out of it where I saw some positive impact being made, this was more than just styling and looking cool. This was about showing a different side of who you could be just through your clothes and bettering your life. I was able to see the progression in men happening just solely from caring about your appearance and how you took care of yourself. So, the name “North of MAN” came from the concept of the progression of man, but to go along with that, it also means north of Manhattan, which is where the Bronx is, where I’m from.