Our co-founder Jesse Garza turns 50 today. We’re incredibly grateful to be working with such a warm-hearted, positive, talented and inspiring person. Without further ado, here are some inspiring words from the birthday boy himself. – VT Team
With age comes wisdom. I can honestly say that I’m living a full life and I’ve checked off many of the boxes on my list — both good and bad. I’ve been realizing that one of the best things you can do in your time here is to become a mentor and an inspiration to others. This understanding has led me to a place of wanting to live my life with compassion for myself and others, and to really focus on showing by example that being balanced in mind, body and soul, and loving yourself is the answer to everything (or at least a very powerful place to begin.)
Feeling this clarity affected not only my work, but also my style. As I was approaching 50, I entered a stage of reinvention. There’s something about the avant-garde style type blended with a “superhero” silhouette that helped carry me through this relaunch. I wanted to be invincible inside and out, and this led me away from safe (classic style type) and towards fearless (avant-garde style type). It took over a year, and now I can really say that in a big way, it feels like I’ve arrived to my authentic self.
What you wear and how you wear it can absolutely be a catalyst in personal transformation. When I first moved to New York, I adopted the classic style type, creating a clean, trustworthy impression to build Visual Therapy with Joe Lupo. Once the business was established, I went from classic to chic. Now I’m ready for a new chapter, being more edgy and authentic in avant-garde. Through this process of peeling back the layers of who I really am, I am finding a new place of external self-acceptance. I feel liberated, and living in this new defined style gets me excited to get out there, do my thing, and push the limits of what is possible.
Just like clothes, hair is also a way to hide what’s really going on inside. Having worn my hair long and on my face for years, I was inspired in Paris and found the courage to walk into a hip salon and chop it all off – shorter than I’ve ever had it before, symbolically ‘unhiding’ myself. There’s nothing more empowering than being comfortable with the more natural version of yourself. For me, it feels more masculine and powerful.
The goal in all of this is to discover your outer image that aligns with your inner self, helping you to become the most authentic version of you. Call it crazy, but it affects everything from your confidence, well being and how you move through the world, to productivity at your workplace. Style and life are one-in-the-same.
Every day on my way to work I see people on the subway and on the streets wearing clothes that send mixed signals, and don’t necessarily reflect who they are inside. Usually those are the people who dread their jobs and aren’t following their passion – you can see it in their eyes. Whoever you are, you can define your style and if you put the time and energy into it, it will pay off. You don’t have to spend a lot of money, and it doesn’t have to happen overnight because we are all a work in progress. You can piece the look together by finding items in your closet that work, and filling in the blanks by shopping sales, as well as places like Zara and H&M. There will come a moment when it all comes together and that moment is the definition of Feelin’ It.
Rick Owens Sweater
Vince Charcoal Drawstring Pants