Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to interview Cordell Green at Chilton Hall on the University of North Texas campus. Having changed majors from dance, to fashion design, to merchandising, Cordell is known as a hard-working student with goals of becoming the next best talent in visual merchandising or styling. According to Cordell, he “loves anything visually appealing,” and enjoys shaking up his style by wearing unique outfits on the streets of Denton. He is outgoing, amiable, stylish, and captures the attention of many onlookers. I witnessed this personally while I snapped pictures of Cordell for this article, as several students stopped to compliment his fashion sense, muscularly toned legs, and outrageous hair color. Contributing to his distinct style, Cordell likes to dress in moderate colors and garments that are both simple and comfortable.
Keep reading to reveal the one-on-one I had with Cordell, and learn a little more about the inspirations behind this student’s unique fashion sense.
Where are you from?
I’m from Rowlett, Texas. It’s far enough, but not too far. Before UNT, I really wanted to go to FIDM, but… let’s be real now. Tuition was no joke.
What do you want to do with fashion?
I want to [do work] that deals with visuals. I can work as a stylist for photo shoots… creating looks for specific photos that revolve highly around the clothing.
What retail experience do you have?
I used to work at Macy’s as a sales associate. I was one of the youngest [employees] working there; therefore, I was picked on a lot. I [also] used to work at Express. I loved that job more than Macy’s because [their merchandise was] geared more towards my demographics and style.
What inspired you to wear today’s outfit?
The weather outside was really nice. Luckily it [the weather] feels this way today since this is one of my longest days on campus. I like to be comfortable on long days. I also woke up happy and excited about the interview!
Can you describe your personal style?
[I’d describe my style as] urban but unique, so urban with a twist. What that means is [I like] being able to look comfortable and slightly edgy. Usually, [my edginess] depend[s] on how I feel. Typically a song would ignite the emotion that influences my dress that day. If I want to feel like a badass, I would wear a black mesh top, studded shoes and hat. Anything studded [is ideal].
What makes your style unique?
What makes my outfits unique is [the fact that] I add personality to my fits. For example, wearing a fashion jersey with super high socks. Who does that? Me.
Where do you pull inspiration from?
[I pull inspiration from] anywhere and everywhere, from music to my natural surroundings. I love flowers, so I love floral print. Rihanna is my number one icon, and the way she dresses is similar to my urban [and] unique style. I love jamming to her [songs]. Also, [I find inspiration in] being a student in fashion merchandising! If I like the way they [my peers] wear something, I would want to try it too. Every now and then I would look into trends online or through magazines, but last fall I was really into Alexander Wang and kept up with his designs. Creeper shoes were my favorite from him.
Do you see hairstyles as a part of fashion?
Hair is definitely a big factor in [completing] my look. I consider it fashion. Fashion is change, and my hair colors change all the time. If I can remember [correctly], I went from blonde to red to gray and now to blue.
Why did you settle with blue hair?
Blue is my favorite color and it is very vibrant.
How often do you change your hair color?
I usually change my hair color once I’m bored with it. From the outside looking in, [one may assume] I spend a lot of money dyeing my hair but [I actually don’t] since I do it myself.
Who is your fashion role model?
Like I said earlier, Rihanna is my icon. I just love her effortless style. She is so beautiful.
What is your favorite item in your wardrobe and why?
My favorite is my first pair of Jeremy Scotts. They are so different and unique. The shoes are gold and black Adidas with wings coming out. They are my first pair of designer [shoes] so I cherish them.
What is your favorite apparel brand and why?
I have several brands that are my favorites, but one that I can afford [the most] would be ASOS. It [ASOS] is an English brand known for their individualistic graphic tees. They have many pieces that are not common, so [I spend] a lot of time [looking at them online], and money [on their pieces].
What makes you stand out from your peers?
Besides my hair, I would say the energy I exude. I am always positive and smiling. If I could describe myself in one word, [it would be] outgoing. I’m super chill and down to try new things.
What trends are you seeing recently? Do you follow them?
In my product development class, we do a lot of labs using WGSN [Worth Global Style Network] and what I have been seeing a lot from the trend forecasting website is athletic leisure. [That trend is] very similar to my style. The use of [those] textiles reminds me of what I like about fashion, such as holographic textiles and mesh. I also find the iridescent fabric intriguing.
Your style of dress is different from your peers. In a day in the life of Cordell, what are some comments you get about your outfit?
“Are you wearing any pants?” Or, “I like it, where’d you get that from?”
Do such comments affect your self esteem?
I usually laugh at them [questions about not wearing pants] because why would I not wear pants? It becomes annoying.
Are you the type to pick out clothes in the morning or the night before?
I like to plan the night before so in the morning I can just wake up and get ready for school. [Planning] takes about 15 minutes to pick something out.
Describe your accessories collection.
It’s GROWING. I have about 50 different rings in gold and silver, 20 chains and necklaces, 10 to 20 earrings, 15 to16 pairs of shoes, 8 to 10 snapbacks, 6 or 7 beanies, and 2 scarves. I have mainly silver jewelry because the color SILVER is a ‘cool’ color. As for gold, it’s better worn in colder climates [since it’s a warmer color].
You say you own about 16 pairs of shoes. What do the 16 consist of?
A lot of high tops! A few creepers. And of course boat shoes.
Today, tattoo is known as an art form and can also be related to fashion and self-expression. Can you tell me about yours?
I have four tattoos total. One tattoo is in Japanese [lettering] called Kanji, which [translates to] moods. Another is [of] images representing freedom and eternal happiness. I really want to get more [and have] ideas up in the air. Some of my ideas are my date of birth on my shoulder, and a crown on my chest because a crown stands for royalty and leadership. As a natural born leader, you are the leader of your life.
What fashion item could you not live without?
I probably couldn't live without any of my accessories! I feel like they truly complete all of my outfits.
What advice would you give to someone seeking to create their own unique sense of style?
I would probably tell them to dress and wear whatever they want. As long as they feel comfortable and confident about their look, [then] they will be just fine!
What is your most favorite outfit you have ever worn?
I would say that my [most] favorite outfit would probably be my "cao Bella" tank top with an oversized denim shirt over it. Simple, but also very comfortable. I could probably sleep with it [that outfit] on.
What fall trends do you love?
My favorite fall trend would have to be the "oversized" look that a lot of designers are starting to lean towards.
What are you excited to wear this fall?
I’m most excited to wear all of my jackets! They've just been sitting in my closet all sad!
Although school does get restless, Cordell does his best to always look good. Outgoing, sweet, and honest about his styling tips, he's one to get to know more by checking out his Instagram @_cordabulous_ and by chatting with him around campus!
Copy and Photography: Elizabeth Phan, Fashion Writer
Graphics: Ashley Nudge, Editor-In-Chief