As far as pen names go,
is pretty spot on for Gedidiah Starks.
The Little Rock blogger, stylist and brand collaborator shares his days with his online audience not only through expertly-curated wardrobes and playlists, but also through often intimate reflections on his life experiences.
We caught up with Starks to talk creativity, family and how he channeled a love of fashion into giving back to the community.
Let's start with fashion. From the name of your blog to your team efforts with your brother, style is clearly a big part of your life. How did this interest begin for you, and how did it evolve?
I believe the interest in creativity overall has been there from the beginning. Fashion was just a vessel of self-expression I used and I didn’t realize it. My parents taught us that people see us before they hear us, so they prepared us for both. That stuck with me.
My brother is founder and designer of Geoff Duran Menswear and I’m a writer and stylist who created the blog The Stylish Writer, formerly The Write Up. We’ve encouraged each other over the years to be our best, and we are seeing success as a result.
You talk about having a family full of creatives. How did you discover your own creative passion for writing?
Most of my family could draw very well growing up. I absolutely did not have that talent. I’m very competitive, so I tried to get better, but no such luck. By the ninth grade I started to experience more in life, and the lyrics in music became more powerful. I fell in love with painting pictures with words. I started writing hip-hop lyrics and poetry, and I’ve been going down that rabbit hole ever since. Creative writing has always given me a safe space to communicate what I feel when the world around me couldn’t hear me.
One of the many hats you wear is as a brand collaborator. We know that can mean a lot of things these days, but how does it translate for you in your work?
When I collaborate, I look at what the goal is for the brand and allow that to guide how I use my skill set. I believe it is very important to use the gifts God has given me to serve, you just have to know in what capacity.
For example, I serve as one of the writers for the women’s line/blog Classic Chic Couture, and I serve as a stylist and writer for the luxury men’s line Geoff Duran. I am also a proud member of the Heart and Soles nonprofit organization where we use our love for sneakers and philanthropy to provide an avenue to give back in style and have fun.
You describe your blog as a place to explore your own multitudes and a "platform to inspire healthy discussion about any and everything." What have been some of the best or most meaningful dialogues to come from that?
The blog has inspired some great conversations. A popular topic is the Style Story Saturday posts in which I usually take a trip down memory lane about a childhood experience that shaped me. Another popular topic is The COVID Chronicles, where I do a check in and share how I’m feeling. Some of the topics I have coming up will be popular also. These posts will be about how COVID changed fashion and what returning to work looks like for us. We are relaunching my blog this month and will continue to cater to fashion-forward creatives and professionals discussing life from our perspective.
You mentioned your involvement with the nonprofit Heart and Soles. What made this mission stand out to you and what keeps you coming back?
Giving back to the community is one of the highest honors and a unique way of philanthropy. The organization has become increasingly visible in the community. We conducted shoe drives for the homeless, and we are excited about our biggest fundraiser, which is the annual Sneaker Ball. We attend the event in formal attire, but instead of red-bottom heels or tuxedo shoes, we wear sneakers. The Sneaker Ball will be held this year on Nov. 27, and I hope you all come and kick it with us.
It's not uncommon for you to make playlists to share with followers. What albums or artists have you not been able to get enough of this year?
Trading playlists is a love language of mine. It’s been a while since I’ve listened to an entire album. The artists that I’ve really enjoyed listening to this year are Nick Broadway, Drake, Pink Dolph, Gary Clark Jr., 33GOD and The Black Keys. My musical palate is all over the place. You know what? I just got an idea. I’d love to make a playlist for Soirée as a gift for the holidays.
And finally, what upcoming projects are you most excited about?
I have a couple of things in the works, but my passion project is the series of quote books that I am releasing. I share many of my quotes on Instagram and I love the dialogue that it generates. Another project I’m super excited about is creating merch for the blog. I am truly blessed to have started these ventures during a pandemic. My creative voices got really loud while being stuck at home, and I refused to ignore them.
Bandana by JENNI EARLE, hat by YELLOW 108, sunglasses by RAEN, boots by RED WING SHOES from DOMESTIC DOMESTIC. Shirt by STENSTROMS, pants by S.M.N. STUDIO from BAUMANS.
Shirt by GEOFF DURAN. Sweater by FEDELI from BAUMANS. Shorts by RALPH LAUREN, shoes by STEVE MADDEN from DILLARD'S. Briefcase by FILSON from DOMESTIC DOMESTIC.
Shirt by VUORI, vest by CREMIEUX from DILLARD'S. Pants by VUORI, shoes by LEMS, hat from DOMESTIC DOMESTIC.
Shirt by MICHAEL KORS, shoes by STEVE MADDEN from DILLARD'S. Pants by GEOFF DURAN.
Hat by LOVELY BIRD, sunglasses by RANDOLPH from DOMESTIC DOMESTIC. Pants by
S.M.N. STUDIO from BAUMANS. Shirt by MURANO, shoes by MAGNANNI from DILLARD'S.
How long you've lived in Little Rock: My entire life, minus two years in Los Angeles
Your favorite thing about Little Rock: My parents live in LR and I don’t take for granted the time I get to spend with them.
You're shopping for a new look. Where do you go? I’ll start with Geoff Duran online. I’ll then go to Rock City Kicks, Sophisticated Urban, Dillard’s and Baumans.
Favorite social media platform: That’s easy, Instagram. I am getting better with Twitter and I need to learn TikTok.
Favorite local account to follow: My mom’s IG (@denicestarks.38hot) because we pushed her to start showing her interior designs.