We had the good fortune of connecting with Jalen Elliott and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jalen, what’s the most important lesson your business/career has taught you?
One thing I’ve learned is that everything that’s destined for you will play out in due time. I learned the true meaning of patience and its importance. There have been so many instances where I felt inadequate, less than, and not enough. I often thought that I would never be able to build a way for myself in this industry. I often look at the journeys of inspirational people in my field. Many creatives and artists don’t reach success until long after being in their careers. I say all of that to say, continue to work hard and strive for your dreams. Absolutely anything is possible with hard work and persistence.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
What sets me apart from others is that I’m not afraid to express my creativity. Society oftentimes tries to box men in, specifically black men. being black and queer, I often felt much trepidation in being authentically myself and I always tried living up to other people’s standards and expectations. It took so long for me to realize that ill never be where I want in life if I don’t forget what the critics say, and focus on my art and passion. I want other creative black boys to see me as an inspiration and a pioneer in the fashion industry, Growing up, I never saw anyone that looked like me in spaces that I wanted to occupy. I always use that as a driving force in whatever I do. I want the world to know about me that ill never be able to be put in a box, and that ill never try to fit a societal mold. I’m multifaceted and multi-talented!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
For a weekend visit to the city, the first stop would have to be the iconic Little Five Points. It’s a hub full of creatives, and there are so many local businesses to support. the boutiques are always plentiful, and the energy is always chill. It wouldn’t be a trip unless they’ve been to the four seasons! We would have to do a brunch at the Four seasons in the city. They have the best parfaits and the buffet will make your jaw drop! Seafood galore! Atlanta has some of the best scenery, so a walkthrough Piedmont park would be splendid. My best friend couldn’t miss out on the shopping either! There are so many black-owned fashion boutiques in Atlanta like “Le Archive” and “Sac de Lux”. Afterwards, we would go for dinner on the beltline at “Two Urban Licks”.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I believe that there are many creators who inspire me, who don’t receive the recognition that they deserve. I draw so much inspiration from these artists/creatives and id like to use this as a moment to highlight them and their artistry. Jackson Miles (@Jackksonmiles) is a content creator that produces amazing abstract visuals often drawing inspiration from infamous moments in pop culture. Zachary Domingo (@Barbiegutz) is a creative that continues to inspire me artistically. His use of archive fashion and nostalgic 90’s runway looks leave me speechless. And lastly, Ry ( @Rykeise) is an artist who started gaining popularity after his commission pieces went viral last year on social media. He’s an incredibly versatile artist who creates everything from Murals and paintings, to handcrafted original Telfar bags.