Editor's note: We're shining a spotlight on the six finalists in the 2017 CultureMap Stylemaker Awards, continuing with finalist Brad Pritchett. Voting for the readers' choice winner continues through October 24 at 11:59 pm. The winners will be named at our Reveal Party on October 26 at Tootsies in The Plaza.
Brad Pritchett lives by just one fashion rule — that fashion rules are meant to be bent, stretched, broken, or abandoned.
His 4,000-plus Instagram followers know this from his wildly popular #StairwellSeries of self-portraits taken outside his office. The 37-year-old director of marketing and communications for Dallas Theater Center is used to being in front of the camera. He started modeling for JC Penney catalogs when he was juat 7 years old.
Pritchett, who also is a TV correspondent for WFAA and Dallas Voice DVtv, chatted with us recently about his life and style.
CultureMap: What are your earliest memories of being a stylish kid?
Brad Pritchett: "When I was 7 years old — almost as early as I could smile — my mother threw me into JC Penney catalog modeling. It was always instilled to me to be polished, no matter where you were going or what you were doing. Every year before we went back to school, we would go shopping, and we would have a fashion show the night before school started. My brother and I would walk down the hallway and model our clothes, and the fireplace would be our stage. And I’m always a little bit extra with everything, so I would do posing and turns. That carried all the way to my fashion decisions now."
What is your fashion philosophy?
BP: "I'm really big on a polished look from head to toe — something that looks like you at least put put more than five minutes into what you're presenting, because it's all about building your brand, and your brand is part of your aesthetic, as well."
How has social media influenced the way you present your personal style?
BP: "Social media plays a huge part in style these days because all eyes are on you. You have all of one but frame or one post or one picture to tell your story. Years ago, I was walking into work and found out that the stairwell that I take into my office had such great natural lighting, so I threw my camera up against the wall in self-portrait mode and put on a timer and walked down the stairs, and I came up with my Instagram #StairwellSeries, and it has blown up with amount of people that look forward to those and comment on those and see those ... which is great for me because I sit and stress about what I'm going to wear to work at night. I play through my mind, 'What have I not worn in a while? What can I pair together that I haven’t paired together?'”
CM: What's your fashion advice for men over 30?
BP: "There are two things that a guy, when he hits 30, should really pay attention to, two new best friends: Your aesthetician and your tailor. If you’re not working to get your face fixed and that outfit fit properly, then you’re doing something wrong. It’s all about the fit and how you present yourself.”
CM: And what's your shopping advice for men who hate to shop?
BP: “Get a gay best friend really quickly. It’s 2017; you should have one already. And/or bring your fashionable girlfriend or wife along, because I think having some people with a second set of eyes on your look helps a lot. What you should invest in immediately, if you’re a guy who doesn’t have anything in his closet, are the quintessential basics like a good, fitted pair of trousers, a classic solid dress shirt. Partner that with a nice blazer that’s fitted — honey, you’re set.”
CM: What's something people would be surprised to learn about you?
BP: “I’m covered in tattoos, so one thing I love about my particular look is it's 'polished meets punk.' It’s not uncommon for me, on Saturday during the day, to just be in some hole-y jeans and a ripped-up vintage rocker tee showing my sleeve, then run home, have a drink, put on a head-to-toe formal look and go to a charity event in Dallas. At least once a week I’m having to dress up and go to things, but I’m actually most comfortable in jeans and a T-shirt.”
CM: How did you react when you found out you were nominated for a CultureMap Stylemaker Award?
BP: “I immediately made sure it wasn’t a spam email because I got nervous. It was finally my opportunity to tell my fashion story, which I think is personally different from everyone else’s who’s nominated."
CM: Your story certainly includes a lot of rule-breaking.
BP: "You don’t have to be cookie-cutter with your look. You should bend the rules. You should partner things that typically wouldn’t pair together. You should cross vendor. You should literally put things together that most people don’t. And that’s what I love about my look. It’s not gonna look like anybody else’s look in Dallas, I can guarantee you that.”