Taste Coach: Kedrick Walker

4 Mar

Just as getting to thin isn’t a destination but a way of like thus is such for developing your own “taste.” NO one; no matter how taunt, coiffed or stylish they are nor their education, upbringing or pedigree naturally have a well refined and matured level of taste. Taste is developed over time, experience and having a natural zest for life. It’s about learning yourself and the world. As in recent editions of the “Taste Coach” series we have learn taste doesn’t stop or begin at just one medium of art.

So, how do we get there or even gear up to travel the world of cultivating and/or curating our own idea of taste. Well, then who better to train us or do the heaving lifting than an Editor-in-Cheif of a magazine!

Stylish entrepreneur and writer Kedrick Walker is the most recent interview. I sprinted at the opportunity to have a conversation with this thinpsiring and headstrong young man for this week Taste Coach feature. Running a business is a tough daunting job in itself, but when your business is to enlighten the mind of other’s how does one determine their own enlightenment and standard on what other’s should be partaking in to be enlighten. Magazines are what everyone turn to and rely on howbeit, whatever your fancy (sports, style, culture, design, music or politics), as a point of reference as to what taste is.

Here is your chance to really see it from the other side of the taste-maker himself. Read about what goes into creating a magazine from scratch; the research, the goals, the hard work and the ability to grow from your own work as Kedrick help others to do the same all the while being motivational and stylish. Nothing more says taste than the man who is deciding it himself.

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Kedrick Walker E.I.C. of www.rlegacymag.com a self described visionary, editor, and artist. Originally from Columbia, SC now in NYC at the age of 18 in 2012 on a mission to pursue HIS American Dream. During freshman year after a series of photographic essays a motivation from a close friends later transform into the brand (OU)R.LEGACY today. Being a lover of all facets of life artistically, Kedrick’s legacy and mission is to help each and every individual develop the stepping stones for their own legacies.

How long have you been writing?
KW- Professionally I’ve been writing for about 3 years, but ever since childhood I would love to write. English was my favorite subject.

Name of your site?
KW- www.rlegacymag.com

What are the many topics or themes you cover?
KW- Our topics and themes range anywhere from lifestyle to fashion, from the importance of african-american men in our community to technology. We try to have a broad range, since our audience and typical individual has a broad mindset. They want to know and understand all aspects of life.

What inspired you to launch your site?
KW- After seeing the process of the magazine really take shape and form, we decided why not branch out and create a website for it. So people can have one experience with the magazine, and an equal but greater experience on the website.

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Favorite aspect of being a commentator or curator (so to speak) on the many facets of art?
KW- My favorite aspect of being a commentator on the many facets of art is that I get to research, develop, and learn from all areas of art. I’m not forced to comment on… lets say fashion 24/7. I can still talk about fashion, however I can talk about different components that help support it like the marketing, advertising, etc.

Being the EIC (Editor-in-Chief) and constantly needing new content for your site how do you get out of a creative rut?
KW- I usually try to listen to music, and explore. I’ve been living in NYC for over 2 years but the way my smile lights up whenever I see someone preforming on the train, you would’ve thought I was visiting for the first time. Witnessing those interactions and taking that burst of excitement and energy usually helps me get out of a creative rut.

How do you stay motivated?
KW- The biggest way I stay motivated is by looking up to my influencers. Jae Joseph, is my biggest influencer, and is a father figure to me (he calls me son haha) but witnessing him juggle so many projects at once with style and a fresh pair of kicks really motivates me. Also, listening to my friends’ problems, and thinking about the well-being of my family back at home. It’s like If I work harder and faster these problems can disappear for us if I make it. I want to be the elixir for my loved ones.

What would you describe your style (fashion and business)?
KW- My style is so basic! I wear the same black jeans everyday because they are so comfy, but I alternate them some days. I love shoes and bags but can’t afford many at the time, so my style is very “start-up editor”. I faithfully wear all black 93% of the time, and when I have a statement piece I usually accent it the most. Far as business I would say turtleneck, and blazer type of guy. My best, Melvin Nichols, is my style inspiration for business wear.

How would you describe the tone your magazine?
KW- The tone of the magazine is very liberal. We’re open to a wide range of ideas and thoughts. The one thing I stress the most whenever I’m collaborating with someone is total creative freedom. I believe society places enough restrictions on us already, that I want the magazine to be a creative safe haven. You can come here to express whatever your want. It’s the sense of community we’re building.

What factors most influences your decision when constructing an issue?
KW- I’m a business major student so my mindset is wired for positive outcomes with facts and figures. One factor is interviewing/collaborating with individuals who have a strong social media presence or fan base. We still collaborate with the fairly new people start off, however the cover story and main articles we use that as decision factors. Then it boils down to how much content we’re going to use, what the season is, what’s our budget, etc. People believe we’re just slapping together images and text and calling it R.LEGACY. If they could witness the behind the scenes process they’ll really see why I personally go so hard for my brand.

Where do you find inspiration?
KW- Easily I log onto Instagram. In a matter of seconds of scrolling up my timeline, I’ve already imagined an editorial, formatted a story, or developed a theme. The amount of inspiration on Instagram is crazy, and I wish people would utilize the social application a lot better. Every person I’ve interviewed or connected with is by liking and leaving a thumbs up emoji to show that I’m a supporter. But for faster inspiration I just type in @saintrecords haha !

What do you enjoy about menswear now?
KW- That the gender rules are starting to merge a little bit. More stuff is starting to become unisex.

Favorite men’s magazines you go to the most for reference or turn to for inspiration?
KW- The bible for them all, GQ. However, I do enjoy Complex and Men’s Health also.

Who are some writers, stylists or photographers that have played a major part in cultivating your eye for whats NOW?
KW- Antwaun Sargent, who I had the pleasure to interview for the upcoming issue, that’s what I envision my career to become hopefully like his. Jovel Roystan and Kenneth Kyrell of The-No-Names. Jae Joseph of Freide+Co. Jean-Paul Quashie who is currently the Art Director at Next Models. Maxwell and Dao Yi of Public School. The list literally can go on, but these individuals help cultivate my eye for what’s now.

Any other artistic men on the scene you’re currently salivating over their work?
KW- Paul Jung @pauljungdiary… his Instagram feed says it all.

Your ultimate goal you want to achieve with your magazine?
KW- My ultimate goal I want to achieve with the magazine is getting it printed, and respected enough that it can sit beside Complex, Vogue, Elle, Dazed & Confused, Bullett, Vibe, etc. on the newsstand and people contemplate whether they should by R.LEGACY or Vogue this month. Which more than likely they’ll pick R.LEGACY!

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Three words to describe your personal style?
KW- Basic, black, chic .. a BBC! lol

What topics do you cover the most? Why?
KW- I mainly cover lifestyle pieces the most. That’s our average reader is someone with an ordinary story but enjoys reading about the possibility of “what if”.

How would you describe your managing style?
KW- My managing style is very frantic. I’m always texting my team, emailing at random times, etc. We’re all in one big group message, mind you it’s only 5 of us. But we’re all communicating around the clock, throwing out ideas, discussing what time all of us can do Google Hangouts, keep up to date on tasks, and deadlines. They know I have big goals and ideas for the brand and I’ve stated over and over, once we make it big the reward is going to be amazing. My only pet peeve is someone not responding to my emails, or not formatting it correct ! >:/

Do you trust your team?
KW- Absolutely. My business partner Akil Sharperson, probably dislikes when I label him as co-founder but I really do appreciate the bond and level of respect we have for each other. He’s really the Jay-Z to my Kanye, and I couldn’t imagine myself running R.LEGACY with no one else. Then there’s K.B., Breanna, Justin, and Felicia. I always tell them I want us to be the team that travels together to Japan, get the job done, then fly back to NYC just in time to rest up, and get ready for the next task in LA. I love my team.

Hardest aspect of running your own site?
KW- Content schedule, The devil’s work. In our generation we’re so “thirsty” for fast information. We want content thats going to grab our attention. So feeding and keeping up with the demands for individuals who want that instant content is hectic at times.

Do you prefer to work alone when creating an issue or collaborate heavily with others involved?
KW- Collaboration is the answer to everything. On the first issue I did it majority all by myself from the photography, layout, interviews, the whole package. I had my phone and a cheap borrowed camera from a friend. But when I published the first issue you couldn’t tell me nothing. Now looking back at it I’m like “Dang, what was I thinking with this big ass text!” So collaborating has helped everything tremendously.

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What goes into producing a fashion editorial, expose or covering pop culture for your magazine?
KW- Constant research, pulling inspiration, and making sure we have all the right components of creating it. We’re not going to push out weak content, it’s going to be strong, heavily thought out, and more importantly clean.

What does “taste” mean to you?
KW- Having a general understanding and knowledge of a certain aspect of life to the point where it compliments you. I hope that makes sense!

Most savored section of your site?
KW- Well when we were using Squarespace it was the editorials section that was popping. On our new site, I believe users may have a hard time trying to decide. 🙂

Most distasteful thing you’ve published?
KW- There’s an editorial in the very first issue I shot on my phone. That’s all I’m going to say.

Ideal person you’d like to interview?
Kanye West. He’s going to be on the cover of the Fall 2015 issue. Just wait on it.

How important is your social media in marketing yourself and the magazine?
KW- Social Media is so important. These users can make or break you. It’s all statistics and analytics. You want to learn what your audience likes, and dislikes. You get to figure out what time social media traffic is high to post your content. My instagram is a direct reflection of myself and the magazine. People are not going to take myself or the magazine serious if I’m posting constant shoutout’s or other blasphemy objects on my feed.

Most savored artist you’ve worked with? Stylist, Blogger, Writer, Photographer. Musician, and Designer?
KW- Our Art / Creative Director for the magazine K.B Ansari. He’s a wizard, a force to be reckoned with and one of the brightest gems. He has really transformed and set the stage for what R.LEGACY is about to become.

Faux pas you made at the beginning of your career that you would advise other novice writes, editors or business owners to heed?
KW- Research. I wish I would’ve took the time to research what exactly this career entrails, instead of rushing into the process. The same rule applies to business owners, and honestly anyone with a dream and plan. Do your research.

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Most memorable editorial thus far.
KW- The cover story for The Technology Issue. It was our first time shooting a cover in a studio, after K.B. had revamped the logo, etc. We had a professional model shot by Breanna Nichelle, styled by Olivia Marie and Harrison Crite. It was magical, very beautiful process. In that very moment I realized this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. Thats when I knew R.LEGACY had potential.

Most embarrassing moment with someone being featured in your magazine?
The most embarrassing moment I would say is the interview with albino actor/model , Sir Maejor, in the second issue. It’s such a long story, but just know it was a “crafty” encounter.

Where do you wish to take (elevate) your work?
KW- I want to elevate my work to reach it’s highest caliber. I want to a be a reference for the next generation. I want them to view my work and recreate it, gain inspiration for it, and say if Kedrick can do it then I can also. I want to reach my highest form of self expression.

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