I’ve known Antonio “Cavalli” Lee since I was a senior in high school looking up which colleges to attend. When I finally decided on Ball State University, I instantly headed to Facebook to see who I could introduce myself to. I was immediately drawn to Antonio. His style was bold, fearless and intense. He DEMANDS your attention with his presence. Long story short, I only stayed at BSU for one semester, but the people that I met there have remained great friends to me to this day. That’s why, for my very first Style Spotlight post, I wanted to feature Antonio.
I asked him a series of style-related questions and here were his responses:
1. How would you describe your style?
My style is all about breaking away from the norm. I don’t like to fit in, and look like everyone else. I believe in Individualism. So I would describe my style as “ECCENTRIC”. Moreover, I CAN’T STAND dressing in 1 particular way. I dress my mood. One day I may feel Bohemian Chic, the next may be Parisian Luxe, and other days I could be caught wearing some J’s and a fitted. My style is not one dimensional, it’s eclectic. I guess it’s a part of my Gemini trait, I like to switch my style like I switch my moods. lol
What designers inspire you?
My top designer right off the back is Legendary Karl Lagerfeld (lowkey he’s my uncle haha). Karl is the modern Renaissance man! I mean, who turns a McDonald’s Combo meal into a tastefully chic photograph- only Karl. Mr. Lagerfeld inspires me to take on other roles in fashion besides just being a designer or fashion stylist. Like Mr. Lagerfeld, I also like to photograph fashion and sketch my ideas. My talents are not limited to styling when it comes to fashion– I SLAY in other areas as well haha! My second designer who inspires me is Marc Jacobs because his vision and fashion outlook is similar to my own. I love how he’s not afraid to go against the grain with his wild ideas, and introduce other people to his style. Marc Jacobs is doing a REMARKABLE job at Louis Vuitton! My other inspirational designers are Tom Ford, Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, and Riccardo Tisci.
Me: Naturally, we share the same love for Uncle Karl and my beloved Tisci!
If you could be anyone in the fashion industry for a day, who would you choose? Why?
Anyone who knows me, already KNOOOOW the answer to this question… ANNA WINTOUR of course *grabs blonde wig and black shades*. That woman is EVERYTHING! I respect her work ethic and everything she stands for. She is the “Mother” to the fashion industry! I would like to know what it feels like to have the top fashion designers, stylists, and bloggers crave my opinion. I want to know the pressure she feels when making major decisions like the cover of U.S Vogue or plans for the next MET GALA! She takes on a vast amount of roles in the fashion industry, and I would like to know what it’s like to step in the wonderful heels of LEGENDARY MS. ANNA WINTOUR!!!!
What sparked your love for fashion?
Weeeeeeellll (Antoine Dodson voice)… My mom always dressed me with impeccable style when I was younger. Then as I got older, my dad and grandmother Materialized my style at a young age. That’s when I became obsessed with high-fashion labels. But I grew up in a predominately African American neighborhood so I still loved my urban labels like Akademiks, Sean John, and Timberland. So I guess I always had a love for fashion and style! It wasn’t until my college years when I started branching out and learning the ins-and-outs of the fashion industry– including the stylists, models, and photographers.
What does style mean to you?
There’s this quote by Tom Ford that I love! Mr. Ford stated, “STYLE, for me, is someone who figures out WHO they are, WHAT works on them, WHAT they feel good in and develops their character…and the OUTTER EXPRESSION of their character is what is STYLE.” I agree with this quote because I feel any and everyone has style, it’s all about what works for that individual and what makes that person feel good.
What is one item that you cannot live without?
My cell phone. Communication is key, and my phone is how I communicate with all my friends and loved ones…. ESPECIALLY when it comes to law school! I check emails and submit assignments 24/7 on my phone. With that said, I’m #TeamiPhone all the way! Nothing beats the iPhone. Before that, I was a T-mobile Sidekick lover! Lol those were the days!
If you could create your “dream closet” what are 3 things that it would consist of?
Texture, bags, and endless shoes! I’m in love with edgy textures. Whether its leather, fur, patent leather, crocodile, or snakeskin, I believe textures provide an excellent contrast to any ensemble—It takes the look to the next level. BAGS: I’ve carried a bag with me ever since I was a kid. When I was little, I carried a backpack everywhere I went–stuffed with toys, UNO cards, fashion magazines, chapstick, you-name-it. So quite naturally I still wear bags today, and it’s important to have a nice accent piece to your ensemble. Last but not least SHOES, yes SHOES! My closet is filled with every crazy kind of shoe you can think of: Jordans, Nikes, Boots, Gothic sneakers, Wedges, Heels—I have them all! lol
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
That’s an interesting question because my life is divided between Fashion (styling, modeling, and photographing) and Law (Criminal Prosecution and Defense). On the legal side, I see myself working as a criminal prosecutor. On the fashion side, I see myself working as an editor/writer for a major magazine, like an “Andre Leon Talley” or “Hamish Bowles” for Vogue. My love for fashion outweighs my passion for law, simply because I love to express my creative talents through fashion. However, in 5 years I see myself working for the state as a legal attorney….But if I get the opportunity to work in the fashion industry, I’LL TAKE THE FIRST CHANCE I GET! I’ve always been told to follow my dreams, so I shall see where life takes me.
“The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” – Steve Jobs. (I love this quote!)
Add me on Instagram (@Omglee3). I love meeting new and creative people. Last but not least, Be Great and Always follow your heart! Thanks for reading!
From me to Antonio: You are certainly one of the most amazing people that I have ever had the pleasure of coming across. Not only are a genius, stylistically, but you are also one of the sweetest and most humble people that I know. You have something incredibly amazing inside of you to lend to this world and I just hope that, no matter where life takes you, that you NEVER forget that. Stay true to who you are and PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE follow your heart. Can’t wait to meet you at the top. Let’s fly to Paris one day for tea; Birkin bags in tow. 🙂
For my readers: I encourage ALL OF YOU to check out Anonio on IG. His photos are phenomenal!
That’s all for now,