I was often amazed by his uncanny ability to remain as fresh, energetic and characteristically quick-witted at 1 am as he had been at 6 am call. Though he has plenty to share with his well-written, accessible style guides, he comes alive on-screen. The camera loves him and so do those who work with him. He is courteous to all and quick to shine light on the efforts of his crew — he gives credit wherever credit is due. He embodies Gemini’s duality: professional and driven, yet knows how to relax; confident yet surprisingly shy. He is an impeccable gentleman, his mama raised him right.
That unpretentiously gorgeous mother, Lynell raised her only child in New Brunswick, New Jersey and sent him to Catholic Schools. Perhaps the wearing of uniforms for most of his early life indoctrinated him in the classic silhouettes that he still favors, while the introduction to men’s fashion magazines in the eighties taught him to tweak them with style.
He was a Fine Arts student at the historically Black Morehouse College when he crossed paths with Tommy Hilfiger at a mall appearance. Dressed for the occasion, he waited patiently amid the 200 or so young people waiting for an autographed duffel bag and then proceeded to proffer his advice on strengthening the collection to the celebrated designer. “Shocked by my moxie,” but impressed with his vision, Hilfiger “offered me an internship on the spot.” The Morehouse Man returned to his home state, transferring to Rutgers University at the end of the semester to get that internship. Hilfiger so believed in him that he paid for his last year of college and for the next ten years Lloyd grew with and helped guide the look of the brand. When he left, with Tommy’s blessings and goodwill, to transition into his current career, he was Vice President of Art Direction for the Hilfiger company.
In the years since, his trajectory has been stellar: authoring four style books, one with his illustrations; covering NY Fashion Week and all the major red carpet events: Oscars, Emmys and Golden Globes as a fashion correspondent and hosting television programs as a fashion/lifestyle authority. Since 2007, he has been the exclusive “style guy” for mega-brand Jones New York–their first male spokesperson–representing the company’s many brands and sharing his “less is modern” style philosophy at appearances across the country.
Working as Style Editor last summer on Lloyd’s fourth book was an absolutely delightful experience. No melodrama, just experienced people doing what they do in a relaxed yet efficient manner. Fantastic photographer Robert Tardio’s equanimity and genuine good nature paralleled Lloyd’s. The fruit of that labor, The Style Checklist: The Ultimate Wardrobe Essentials for You, launched this week. Look for personal nods from each of us: a hoodie from Lloyd’s alma mater; Robert’s favorite Montblanc pen and my Grandma’s ornate sterling lipstick holder. The book presents a list of Lloyd’s suggested classics for the well-dressed woman’s closet. With 100 entries, there truly is something for every woman. Knowledgeable about fashion history, Lloyd shares the genesis of each item and its ultimate ascent into the pantheon of wardrobe essentials– the why and how it works. A mix of garments and accessories from affordable to luxury brands (with, I am proud to say, several African-American designers represented) in Robert’s lush, artful still-lifes, The Style Checklist looks like a coffee table book, but its diminutive size allows for portability–even more so on Amazon Kindle. The book is a go-to, carry-along guide that should stand the test of time.
The latest from Lloyd: The Style Checklist.
Check his appropriately well-designed website LloydBoston.com, to learn more about his illustrious career and view his on-air clips.
2. A Good Crab Cake. “My mom’s are clearly the best! (get her recipe at JNY.com) If out and about, I run to Houston’s, Legal Sea Foods or Oceanaire for the best chain restaurant versions. The trick at any restaurant is in asking if there is any bread in the crab cake. The moment they say no, I am all in!”
Crab cake perfection at The Oceanaire Seafood Room in Dallas. Photo: Steven Doyle.
4. New Year’s in Brazil. “I visited Rio for New Year’s Eve once, and went back four more years in a row. Sexy, spiritual, and so much fun! I love the people, the food, the architecture, and especially the easy lifestyle. This is one little jewel that American culture hasn’t totally invaded. And that is refreshing when you really want to get totally away.”
The white-robed throngs on Copacabana Beach.
5. Laura Mercier Lip Silk. “Yes, it runs you $20, but it lasts you forever. Once you leave those $3 drugstore brands for this, you will never go back. It is marketed for women—but is perfect for guys who don’t want shiny lips. It holds nearly all day too. I literally have one in every bag.”
This lip treatment from Laura Mercier Skin Care, exfoliates, hydrates and softens.
6. J.Crew. “I could spend hours in J.Crew. It is like they are designing just for me. I am preppy at my core, but love an ethnic or bohemian twist on top of all of my stiffness. They strike the perfect balance these days. I can sometimes fit a few of the women’s XL t-shirts too. They are much softer than the mens’. Don’t sleep, guys.”
From JCrew.com, a look for fall.
7. The Vitamix Pro Blender. “I love juicing, but hate the clean up. I invested in the Vitamix and it changed me. I try to start the day with an organic green drink a few days a week, and this allows you to get the juice and the pulpy fiber. The clean up is so easy too—that I have no excuse to not be healthy (at least for the first meal.)”
Lloyd marvels over the efficient power of the Vitamix: “You can literally liquefy a shoe on these blades!”
8. Michael Kors Menswear. “He could dress me every day all day. The lifestyle he translates through his collections is what I dream of living one day. From après ski to cocktails on a terrace in Capri—I dream big when I see his vision for men. We are friendly, and I love him as a person (and personality) too.”
From the Michael Kors Fall 2010 ad campaign.
9. Spa as Sport. “I am a total spa junkie. I love spending time in L.A. for this addiction, as there are reputable massage spots on every corner. From a quick chair massage at Whole Foods, to a power 90 minute Deep Tissue almost anywhere—I am in heaven. I travel about 20-30 cities a year on average, so these bones need reviving more and more lately.”
“I could literally get rubbed down daily.”
10. Biographies of Any Kind. “Books, TV shows, documentaries, you name it. I love stories about successful people, tragic folk, decade long romances, the works. The entrepreneurial ones really hit home. I love when someone you admire shares all the victories and pitfalls—and you actually can count the similarities in yourself. Those moments make me feel connected to a tribe of winners. And all my dreams seem less crazy.”
The biography of Barack Obama shown at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.