Stylist Andrew Michael Says Phoenix's Fashion Scene Is "Sort of Embarrassing"

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Andie Flores
Andrew Michael knows style is all about how you carry yourself.

Phoenix native Andrew Wesson -- or as he's known in fashion, Andrew Michael -- says he didn't come into his own style until he left the city.

Now that he's back, the 26-year-old stylist is ready to make a big impact.

See also: "Fashion Architect" Eman Fendi Says Lululemon Is Destroying Women's Fashion

Wesson's moved around a lot. During his undergrad in Boston, Wesson interned with designer Zac Posen, an experience he calls "a dream come true." The opportunity to be behind the scenes during New York Fashion Week taught him that while fashion is glamorous, it's also a lot of work.

Another internship with designer Ronald Shamask put Wesson on the production side of things. "I helped create the color story for one of his lines. I'd go to the fabric store and help with picking swatches. At first I was really nervous, but he actually liked what I picked out. He told me I had a great eye and was going to go far."

Shamask was right. More recently, Wesson has worked with brands like Thriftqueened and has taken his expertise to L.A. Fashion Week. Now, with his image-consulting company, The Look by Andrew Michael, in its beginning stages, he hopes to make an impact here in Phoenix.

"In order to be successful, you have to brand yourself," he says. "Surviving on your résumé alone is not enough. You need to build your empire, and imaging is part of that.

"Phoenix is the fifth-largest city in the country, and for us to only be three cities behind L.A. and four behind New York in size and for our fashion scene to be what it is now is sort of embarrassing. We're so close! We should have no excuse."

For styling inspiration, Wesson turns to old Janet Jackson, Cameo, or Chaka Khan videos. He is also a big believer of mixing high-end and low-end pieces to create a great look.

"Growing up, people used to think I had money cause of how I dressed," Wesson says, "But it's all about how you carry yourself."

That, he says, is the main thing he wants to teach people through The Look.

"Money doesn't make you fabulous! It's not about the money. It's about the look. That's people's first impression, so you have to come correct!"


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136 comments
Kiran Rogers
Kiran Rogers

I have an idea... be yourself, wear what you like and feel comfortable and confident in. When you start dressing a certain way because someone else said you should, you have already lost.

Jennifer Underwood
Jennifer Underwood

Fashion goes right out the window when it's 115 degrees outside. We have far bigger things to worry about...like finding a parking spot under a tree at the mall and the potential third degree burns on our hands and asses (for those poor souls who have the misfortune of having leather seats.)

Nikki Anam Cara
Nikki Anam Cara

Fashion embarrassment is the least of Phoenix's worries - tour bass-akwards legislature...now THAT's an embarrassment!

Tyler Tunstall
Tyler Tunstall

I can't agree or disagree. Be yourself, that's what matters most.

Lisa Kaiser
Lisa Kaiser

Agreed, and this Arizonan is guilty as charged!

John Cady
John Cady

From a guy wearing yellow pants with a blazer and rolled up sleeves, Ill take that as a compliment

Kevin Flanagan
Kevin Flanagan

Are we sure he actually said this, or was he just lip-synching?

Kevin Flanagan
Kevin Flanagan

And, living in Arizona, it's highly unlikely he can Blame It On the Rain.

Scott Hecker
Scott Hecker

Definitely. Fashion for me consists of plaid button ups and jeans. To each their own is what I always say.

Terry Scott
Terry Scott

You should see how ppl go to job interviews here...pathetic !!!

Scott Hecker
Scott Hecker

I picked up the sarcasm and agree, but I'll expand. I think he had some good advice in regarding the "must haves", but I'm not sure what he really meant by "keep it simple" when he turns right around and says that he actually means to "keep it tasteful". Other than that, I'd likely not take fashion advice from a man wearing capri pants and boat shoes.

Christopher Saint Paul
Christopher Saint Paul

Arizona is sort of embarrassing on all fronts. I'm a visual designer in Phoenix, and our city's business owners are just now catching up in understanding the importance of quality commercial design and awareness of keeping current and up to date with design trends as well as the historical fundamentals. That being said, compared to other well-established major cities with much older histories we are doing just fine. All with only having a couple hundred years under our belt. I mentioned a belt to keep this comment fashion related.

Molly Fuzat
Molly Fuzat

Haha true! Well you can only help those that want to be helped. I love fashion but it's definitely not important to a lot. Go to summer outfit? Any dress that won't wrinkle, show sweat, or give me horrendous tan lines ;)

Claudia Wallace
Claudia Wallace

disagree. My brother lives out there and the only thing different is the fact they dress in flip flops a lot but you have to, it's hot!

Jackalope Ranch
Jackalope Ranch

Good points! Though I do suppose that if style's your business, then you'd want everyone to look their best at all times. What's your go-to summer outfit?

Molly Fuzat
Molly Fuzat

I have been burned by jewelry too! From being outside or getting in a car and getting blasted by hot A/C before it cools down. In any case, I just find it odd that he and the girl from the other linked article care so much about how an entire population dresses like a revolution is needed. A lot of good points have been brought up, especially in that our climate makes dressing quite a challenge compared to other states. Sweat stains aren't stylish and neither are clothes that wrinkle in thirty seconds in the heat after moving or sitting down. Just because we are one of the biggest cities doesn't mean we need to adhere to any type of standard (fashion or otherwise) of other cities. If people want to wear yoga pants, by all means let them! Those Wunder Unders are f-ing comfortable! There are so many active people in this state, yoga or other active clothes is what you find them in most of the time they're not at work. Fashion may be their job so it's important to look the part. I get it. But it's not all of ours and to say the rest of their community is embarrassing or lazy and overall lacking style is neither warranted, objective, or tactful. Both parties indicate that they are working to build up their own brands and images and I'm just not sure either's article accomplished that. Like at all. In my opinion they actually may have to work to reverse the bad taste their statements have left on their communities

Molly Fuzat
Molly Fuzat

I have been burned by jewelry too! From being outside or getting in a car and getting blasted by hot A/C before it cools down. In any case, I just find it odd that he and the girl from the other linked article care so much about how an entire population dresses like a revolution is needed. A lot of good points have been brought up, especially in that our climate makes dressing quite a challenge compared to other states. Sweat stains aren't stylish and neither are clothes that wrinkle in thirty seconds in the heat after moving or sitting down. Just because we are one of the biggest cities doesn't mean we need to adhere to any type of standard (fashion or otherwise) of other cities. If people want to wear yoga pants, by all means let them! Those Wunder Unders are f-ing comfortable! There are so many active people in this state, yoga or other active clothes is what you find them in most of the time they're not at work. Fashion may be their job so it's important to look the part. I get it. But it's not all of ours and to say the rest of their community is embarrassing or lazy and overall lacking style is neither warranted, objective, or tactful. Both parties indicate that they are working to build up their own brands and images and I'm just not sure either's article accomplished that. Like at all. In my opinion they actually may have to work to reverse the bad taste their statements have left on their communities

Jimmy Smith
Jimmy Smith

AGREE or DISAGREE? Don't care, means LESS than ZERO to me. Talk about a completely useless industry....

Kirk Dooley
Kirk Dooley

Somebody played a cruel joke on folks in Phoenix, telling them polka-dots made you look thinner. ;)

Kirk Dooley
Kirk Dooley

Sort of??? "Phoenix Fashion" is the ultimate oxymoron. With emphasis on "moron."

Cassandra Ross
Cassandra Ross

It's because our state discriminates against gays. That's why there is no fashion!

Joe Downs
Joe Downs

So you're saying that Affliction t-shirts AREN'T cool??!?!?!?!

Shane McShane
Shane McShane

Felicia will u marry me?! Hands down best comment ever!

John Dillon
John Dillon

Take the hair and glasses off and its pookie from new jack city wearing circa fresh prince of bel air rags!

Felicia Salazar
Felicia Salazar

I wish I could put this guy in my vagina because he is a fine douche

Jesse Thomas
Jesse Thomas

This guy looks annoying. New Times finds some real unqualified assclowns to speak to.

Curt Granstrom
Curt Granstrom

Important in life: wearing things tthat make you feel like who you really are. Not important in life: people thinking you have more money than you actually do, and wearing t y at as a badge of honor. Sucker. His world of fashion: spending money you dont have to buy shit you dont need to impress people you dont like. And rolling up sleeves on your purple blazer? Priceless.

Cindi Tracy Aune
Cindi Tracy Aune

When people wear sequined tennis shoes and baseball caps you know all is lost!

Melinda Interpreter
Melinda Interpreter

Yes and no. Maybe, maybe not.... Go with the flow and live it up comfortably. You Are Style!

Amy Hansen
Amy Hansen

I think the yellow pants and the man camel toe is far more embarrassing. Nice moose knuckle, dude.

Jimmy Green
Jimmy Green

He sHould check the fashion in New Mexico

Eman B Fendi
Eman B Fendi

Honestly, AZ is still growing. If you compare it to a big city, we're obviously not going to match up but that's not to say there is no style at all. No way jose

Jim Wagner
Jim Wagner

I put on old Cameo & Chaka Kahn video's to help me get dressed everyday. This guy is genius.

Brian Wilson
Brian Wilson

You mean when it's 60 and people are wearing heavy coats and big, furry boots?

Kyle Hague
Kyle Hague

who cares about what some asshole says about something that only assholes care about?

taj.garmon
taj.garmon

Are you an asshole for what you care about? Thank god people like us care about style and fashion. Do you have any idea what it takes to create clothing meant to appeal to an unimaginable amount of people. I work in the industry and am from AZ, I take clothing design very serious and want only the best for everyone that puts on my clothing. You should be a little more appreciative to the people that make clothes for you. They cover your body from elements, show your emotions, attract people, get you jobs, comfort you while you sleep. What people forget is that we depend heavily on clothing. And while you will deny it til you turn blue, clothing says so much about you and who you are. 

logicman
logicman

@taj.garmon  Keep telling yourself you and your job are important and one day it will come true.

logicman
logicman

@taj.garmon @logicman  Correct, I am speaking from an uneducated point of view so if I get a free night or two,  I'll learn how to design a garment.  Please don't tell me you are one of the suckers that got a degree in fashion design LOL.  Its pretty simple, if kids weren't making my clothes in Bangladesh, I would make my own.

taj.garmon
taj.garmon

@logicman @taj.garmon  So tell me what do you do that is so important? Again you speak from an uneducated point of view. You don't know the first thing about designing a garment, let alone producing/marketing/shipping/selling said garment. My job is important, as is your job. If no one was making clothes for you what would you wear? You should respect those that do which you can't. 

UraHack
UraHack

@logicman @taj.garmon BUT WE MAKE CLOTHING TO COVER YOU FROM THE ELEMENTS, GUYS!!! Yeah, because that shit wasn't invented since the beginning of modern civilization.

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