Crafter-blogger-creative David Morgan wowed us with his great ideas the minute we met him over at BurdaStyle – then we noticed his vintage & DIY wardrobe. Wow! It’s clear this Bronx-based Project-Coordinator-by-day, singer-by-night is 100% a GoodwillNyNj Style Icon.
We got the chance to chat with David about his style, his job, and his blog Yes, David Is Here, over the weekend. We hope you enjoy his wit, whimsy and wisdom as much as we did!
Hi David! How did you first get involved with crafting and fashion?
My mother, a pre-school teacher, always emphasized the importance of getting the most out of what you already have, and this philosophy greatly contributed to my early interest into crafting. I had a really big imagination (still do) and would always look at items different from their intended use. Paper towel rolls always became microphones and bath towels were always superhero capes. My parents encouraged us kids to actively engage our imaginations, which fed daily explorations into making everything from noodle necklaces and paper mache masks to Rice Krispie treats and poems.
The need to reuse and reinterpret items certainly led to a creative sense of fashion for me. Growing up, we didn’t have the luxury of buying a lot of clothes, so I would often have to make due with my brothers’ hand-me-downs and things I found at thrift stores. Thus crafting was less a hobby but more a way of life. My interest in both crafting and fashion really evolved out of a way to express myself using what resources I had available.
How would you describe your own personal style?
Colorful, fun, bohemian, nerdy and relaxed. I draw inspiration from writers like Langston Hughes and James Baldwin, 1990s hip hop, rural farmers and blue collar workers, the paintings of Basquiat and Gerhard Richter, the music of Fela Kuti and Bjork, the suave style of Gene Kelly and Nat King Cole, and tons more. My goal is to make my wardrobe a complete museum of curiosities, filled with unique pieces from various cultures, time periods, influences and places. I think I’m certainly heading in that direction.
What role does your budget play in shaping your style?
I doubt I would be as into fashion if I had the luxury of a lot of money. Lacking an expendable income forces me to be creative with everything I wear. I’ve gotten clothes from discount and thrift stores more than I’ve purchased them from name-brand places. I’ve always had an unconventional sense of style because I have always had to make due with what I could afford. Now, I’m so grateful to have had this challenge, and wouldn’t trade my style for anything in the world.
What does “style” mean to you?
Style means expression. It should evolve and change just as one’s life evolves and changes, and should truly represent who you are. There is no such thing as being “in” or “out” of style. Once you’ve got your own look, it becomes timeless.
When someone has a great sense of style, the clothes are secondary. The secret to style is self-assurance and confidence. You can pull off anything when you’ve got those two under your belt.
Who do you wish would donate their entire wardrobe to a Goodwill near you? (Supermodels, big sisters, rock stars, and politicos are all fair game…)
In a perfect world, I wish Bjork, Kanye West, Erykah Badu, the people of the Massai tribe and the indigenous people of Papau New Guinea would all donate their clothes to my nearest Goodwill! It would be so much fun to mix all of their unique cultures and tastes. I would have a blast!
What’s your favorite Goodwill find?
My favorite thrifted find is a brown pair of vintage farmer’s overalls – the same pair in my bio photo. I love them so much, and could seriously wear them everyday. They’re so comfortable and so cool to me!
Why do you shop at Goodwill?
I shop at Goodwill because it is affordable and fun. I love that I can walk away with an entire outfit for under $20. I also love the uniqueness of it. Shopping at a Goodwill makes it very rare to meet someone with a similar item. It is like a treasure hunt every time!
The affordable prices makes it really easy to experiment. You can buy items that you may never attempt to try at an expensive, name-brand store, and this advantage really helps to expand your wardrobe palette.
There you have it: proof you can find David’s nerdy-farmer-fashion-star style on a Goodwill rack near you – or, even better, you can find a style there entirely your own! And don’t forget to check in next week for Part Two of the interview. In the meantime, keep sharing your great finds and style tips with us on Twitter and Facebook – we love hearing from you!