Expanded Horizons: Kamau Hosten

khosten2Kamau Hosten, fellow menswear enthusiast, founder of Proper As Hell and Creative Services Regional Project Manager for Brioni USA recently made the move up the coast from Florida. We caught up with him at The Armoury NYC  and wanted to share some of his observations and experiences during this season of change. From taking in the sights, learning the best ways to get around, and adjusting to the temperament of city dwellers, here are some notes on his perspective, delivered in true ‘Proper as Hell’ form. Enjoy!

KH: Heading up north has been a relatively smooth transition. Fortunately, I have family up here and so already have a base. What’s more is I grew up visiting them, so I was familiar with getting around New York, a little. With that, there are some adjustments I’ve had to make over the past six weeks. Chief among them is transportation. I’ve driven since I was 16 and haven’t been without a vehicle since. Relying on public transportation, taxis and Uber has been interesting thus far.

On transportation:khosten1

– I’ve quickly learned which train seat to grab to minimize having to give it up; the corners seem to
be the best.
– Children have a tendency to stare at whomever is across from them on the train. While I’m not entirely fearful of small children, their gaze is nearly menacing sometimes, as they don’t look away. I look across, they’re staring. I look down, then to my left, then across again. They’re still staring. I’ve encountered this numerous times.
– The kids selling granola bars and Oreos, that’s just pure genius.
– Please don’t practice for the step show, talent show or peep show on the train.
– Uber drivers are incredibly polite!
– It’s difficult to travel with a package of any kind on the train.

On city life:

You all move fast. That’s fine. I appreciate it. But chill with the bitching and just go around people, not through them.
– There’s room to more quickly and still be civil throughout the sidewalk. There’s no need to barrel anyone down, folks. The extra 2 seconds won’t make a damn bit of difference.
– The tourists should really have a separate sidewalk where they can all play with their overpriced cameras, endlessly snapping away at every tree and building in sight, all of which they’ve seen in numerous films and television shows.
– ‘Consultant’ is a terribly ambiguous but, extremely popular poisition here. I may just change my title to that.
– The best dressed men work in menswear.
– I’d feel bad for finance guys, destined to a life of ill-fitting navy suits, terrible shoes and white shirts but, their bonuses trample mine.

khosten3All in all, I’ve enjoyed my transition so far. I’m fortunate to work in the field that I love and it is enormously rewarding. I appreciate the fellow clothing enthusiasts I’ve met and can meet to discuss gentlemanly topics like button stance and gorge height without resorting to internet forums (though I still do that too).
I’m still too new to really get a grasp of New York. That will take time. For now, I just explore the different neighborhoods little by little, getting a feel for the nuances of each area.

 photos by Bevin Elias

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