NO: Congratulations on being the December Luxe Man of the month.Tell our readers a little about yourself?
MB: My name is Marq Bee…affectionately known as “King B” or “B”. I am an entrepreneur, salon owner, master licensed cosmetologist, fashion stylist, image consultant, and celebrity wig maker. I have made wigs some of the ladies on ” Married to Medicine” , “Four Weddings”, “Braxton Family Values”, & Miss USA 2016 Deshauna Barber. I was born in a small town in southwest Georgia (Albany). My mother was a hair model in the early 80’s and I have always loved fashion. Growing up I had low self esteem….we were poor and I was picked on for being a preachers son, not having nice clothes, and being ugly (bad skin and teeth). I graduated from the Unsinkable Albany State University with degrees in Biology, Education, and Leadership & Administration. I became a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc in the fall of 2010. God turned my life upside down and I ended up at Albany Technical College learning to use my hands to make others feel better about themselves. Once I was able to afford nice clothes, people always asked me where I got certain pieces from. I was never afraid to wear bold colors, prints, or fabrics that most men would be afraid to wear. It was just recently that I was able to brand my salon business into fashion/modeling. I started a men’s fashion page dedicated to current trends, styles, and accessories in men’s fashion.
NO: Men’s fashion has been making a huge comeback and impact in society over the past year, why do you think that is?
MB: Men’s fashion has made a HUGE comeback in recent years. For so long men have taken a backseat to females when it comes to fashion. In my opinion, there is nothing better than to see a beautiful, stylish woman with a well groomed and tailored man by her side. Men have decided not to take a backseat in fashion any more and decided to show personality through style. Believe it or not….men like to look good. The “Black barbershop” is a culture within itself…grooming, making a man feel good about his appearance…there is nothing better than to pair a great fit with a fresh cut….making a man feel like a million bucks.
NO: In what way do you feel the “Black Man’s” style has influenced the fashion industry?
MB: So many of the current trends are based on OUR history…black men of the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s. Taking these classic styles and adding a modern spin on them has truly broken barriers, especially with so many of our athletes, celebrities, and even the up and coming young fashion designers. They are not afraid of color, prints, and patterns. Allowing men to express themselves through how they look. So many of the designers that are mainstream are using bolder color choices, ethnic fabrics, and other cultures as their inspiration to design amazing pieces.
NO: What designers have influenced your style of any?
MB: Lets see…there are so many amazing designers that have influenced my personal style. My all time favorite Designer would have to be Dapper Dan. He is an fashion designer based out of New Your and has designed for some of the top A-list celebs. In 2017 he launched a fashion line with Gucci. Willie Smith is another black fashion designer who died in 1987, but I loved the vintage look of his clothing and I try to take that vintage and classic style but add a modern spin on it to create a trendy look for today’s fashion. I can’t leave out my personal fashion designer Maurice Gardner based out of my home town Albany, Ga. He is an up and coming self taught fashion designer that is not afraid to push fashion boundaries. He started making prom dresses and has founded his own fashion brand “Amity Fracas”. He has even designed pieces for NBA Young Boy. All 3 of these black men have influenced my own personal style.
NO: The climate in the world today is at an all-time high of people showing more hatred. What are your views and thoughts about it? What do we need as a community to improve it?
MB: I agree 150%. Hate is at an all time high. I contribute so much of it due to biases taught to us about people who are not like us based on sex, religion, race, sexual orientation, and so many other factors. I personally have had to deal with this and its not a good feeling. To be ridiculed or embarrassed by others because of something that usually doesn’t even affect them directly or indirectly. As a community I truly believe that we need to learn to love and accept ourselves…flaws and all. Once we learn to love an accept ourselves then we can learn to accept and love others like God has loved us…despite all of our flaws, imperfections, and our shortcomings.
NO: As a black man in today’s society, what can you tell the young men who are seeing all the hate and racism? What advice would you give them?
MB: I believe so much of the hate and racism starts at home and hate among our own community. We can’t expect any other race of people to accept us and respect us when we don’t accept and respect each other. So many of our black men are not in the home to help our women to raise these young boys into motivated, loving, and educated young men. We have lost so many of our young black brothers to prisons, gangs, and senseless deaths. We should be building more higher learning institutions, and advancement opportunities but yet prisons are being built instead. So many times we see someone in need and we just turn our heads instead of reaching out a helping hand to our brother or sister in need. We would much rather tear someone down instead of uplifting the next person..even in our differences. My advice would be to encourage, uplift, and educate. Spread truth, knowledge, and love….not hate, violence, and racism. Follow your dreams and help someone else follow theirs on your way…even if you fall down on the way.
NO: If you were able to have a 10-minute conversation with Kanye West, what would you tell him?
MB: No disrespect, I think Kanye West is an undeniable talent and and has made major influences on many current topics lately but if I had the opportunity to have a 10 minute conversation with anyone it would probably be President Barack Obama or Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. These two men have been major inspirations in my life and have contributed so much to the world and our community. Despite ridicule and racism they carried themselves with dignity and respect at all times. I would probably ask them what what motivated them to do what they did and what would they do differently if they had the opportunity.
NO: What is one thing you would say to all women?
MB: As a stylist and salon owner I deal with women everyday. These women are beautiful, hardworking, and educated but deal with so much in their daily lives that many men wouldn’t even realize. I would tell them to never settle, know your worth, and to love yourself…even your flaws. Your flaws help to make you who you are. Live life, love, laugh, and be you…no matter what anyone else thinks.
NO: How would you define the “Luxe Man?”
MB: I would define the “Luxe Man” as a well groomed and stylish man who aspires to achieve greatness. Always being open minded, always eager to learn, always willing to lend a helping hand. One who carries himself at all times with dignity, grace, and a classic style that commands attention whenever he enters a room or wherever he goes. He is one of few words but wise beyond years. He allows his actions to take place of words and uses his influences for good and to benefit his family and community.
NO: What do you want your legacy to be?
MB: I want my legacy to be one of self love, determination, and resilience. I want to be remembered for not giving up through all of my hardships and adversities. Also a legacy of love, acceptance, and treating others right. One of my mentors Chaka White says daily ” Treat People Right”, everything else will fall in place.
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