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Do It Well: Eugene Canidy Offers To Help Men With 'The Look'

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Carla Eckels
/
KMUW

Eugene Canidy has worked in the retail business for 40 years, more than half of them as a visual merchandiser.

"My daddy is a tailor, my brother is a tailor and I am a tailor and this is what I do," Canidy tells KMUW's Carla Eckels. "I love dressing men and designing things for them to wear. This brought out my gift as a visual merchandiser." 

Interview Highlights

What's the difference between a visual merchandiser and a visual designer?

A visual designer is designing the look. My job is to put up the look. How you present it is the gift.

Explain that to me.

I'm doing what they call a "Brooks Brothers look," which is the white pants and a solid blue nylon shirt with a cotton dress coat. The whole purpose of this is to make it where this is the silent seller. You don’t have to say a word. The mannequin speaks for you. It just gives you a vision of what you could look like. So by putting together, you are putting up the look. The customer can see your dream or your vision.

Does that happen all the time?

It happens all the time. They see something in the window, that's what they want to look like. You don’t have to do anything but put them in that look.

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Credit Carla Eckels / KMUW

What should we look for this spring? What are some of the new trends?

Your golds, your tans, your browns are going to be really heavy — your new blue, your postman blue. The jeans for men are not going to be so tight this year. They are going to go back to the old school, the old knit look — with the zipper on the button, short sleeve, long sleeve look, the nylon — that’s all coming back.

Usually, men don't dress themselves — it's their girlfriend, their mama, their sister or they find somebody. They like the way they look at work and oh, man, "you got to come help me dress," so I'm here to say that you can do this and it doesn’t take much. All you have to do is learn the basics. Blue, black and gray, that never goes away. Tan, green, all those colors are beautiful colors, but blue, black and gray are what men wear 24/7, 365 days a year.

The things that the millennials are wearing — the skinny, tight look, a more slender look. The skinny suits, the 1960s, early 1970s is what is coming back in style now. What you were wearing in 1960 is what they are wearing now. If you go back to the old Temptations album, the old Smokey Robinson music — look at the album covers — this is what your kids look like now.

Carla Eckels is director of cultural diversity and the host of Soulsations. Follow her on Twitter @Eckels. To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.