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By Qadir Shabazz for Boston Compass

February 1, 2021

What does it mean to obtain a “lifestyle”? I’ve known the word to exist as a form of social status and the eagerness that tends to grow within someone to rise to the top of the paradigm, it’s been tossed around and marinated with the indication of “by any means, I will succeed”. The word tends to carry a kind of weight that drives oneself to constantly reflect and build, to constantly construct an evolution within one's daily routine hoping that it pays off - hoping that maybe one day this routine will bring me from the rags to riches. I know for a fact that where I come from there is nothing but hope and dreams, there’s an atmosphere of little patience and a lot of determination—meaning that I’ve only got one chance and I cannot blow it. Every single day that goes by we as a human being obtain the awareness of how to move to get to where it is we want to go, and this process unravels itself through the looks of our environment -- our homes -- where we sleep. In order to understand what kind of tools I need to build the next stage in my life as a young twenty-two year old man, I have got to know why I need these tools and how will these tools allow me to move forward. Building a foundation begins with a feeling that produces an abundance of extended thoughts that motivate, I can’t water a seed without soil and I can’t grow a flower without a seed.

A lifestyle, or the concept of a lifestyle is whatever you want your life to be. When understanding this definition in its most simplest matter, I’ve begun to feel less weight above my shoulders. I haven’t removed any stereotypes from the cabinets in which exist in my mind, I haven’t removed the thoughts that exist about whether or not I am welcomed somewhere or where ever I go because that is the fuel that drives the car through the wall. Being born in the Medical center of Boston, to then have nowhere to live after I am born has already made it clear that all odds are against me. That in someone’s capitalistic mind, I am of the lesser good. So to live a life you have to know something, to live a life you have to got to know someone and you have to got to love someone or something. If there is something that I love and I could care less about where I may end up 10 years from now it’s got to be the idealism of Clothing with the combination of storytelling photography.

Building a foundation comes with discipline, how often are you enlightening yourself on the things you love? How often are you recognizing that you love yourself enough to invest your time into obtaining resourceful knowledge? One person whom I’ve never met in my life and have hopes of meeting is the beauty and wonders of Rei Kawakubo who is founder and designer of one of the rebellious and spunky fashion brands in the world. Completely disregards in a such an elegant way the rules of what clothing should like in the sense of fashion runways. As she has broken many social stereotypical boundaries, she has influenced my way of viewing streetwear fashion in a different light, the colors of the color cycle and the unorthodox combinations of fabric textures. Understanding her point of view through interviews and conversations and even through her designs, I’ve began to observe the streets that I walk through. Learning that “lifestyle” could be translated through someone’s choices of garments, no matter where they are going and whom they’re with. Unraveling in my mind is a series of snapshots, sparking a bulb above my head as it leads me to grabbing my n6006 Nikon film camera and to capture these solid moments of street photography. The journey to work, the journey to corner store. The journey accompanied with the sound of music then becomes a little world called “Cinema”. I find it quite wonderful to obtain this sort of “imagination” or simply this form of perception.

Sincerely, a lifestyle is built through the conformity of loving more each and every day the things you love. People will always exist, people will always be around just like the concept of time. I’ve cherished the little things in life and they’ve brought to me an abundance of fulfillment.


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