Rory Rockmore draws his style influence from many sources—everything from Lil' Kim to Janet Jackson's background dancers. He might be the coolest person we've met, so we wanted to ask him a few questions about how he developed his sense of style over time.
AT: When did you first develop your sense of style?
RR: I think I came out of the womb flavorful. But my style definitely started developing as a kid—let's say around the time of Zoobilee Zoo—and then continued to evolve from there.
Give us a timeline - how has your style changed over the years?
RR: In early childhood, I was all business at school, in my tie and man-sized briefcase, but once I got home I had a Melody Mouse dress I liked to kick it in.
My high school had a dress code which didn't really interest me. I did my best to navigate around it with neon polo shirts, matching backpacks, and my oversized belt buckle that read "R O R Y". Outside of that I favored a metallic parachute pant and TOMMY anything.
At the start of college, according to my Freshman ID card, I had an affinity for a starched collar, and my blowout was accompanied by two of the biggest fakest diamonds a girl could ever ask for.
The rest of college is when I started really incorporating gold into my life. I couldn't get my hands on big enough gold chains as quickly as I needed to. I remember going to Home Depot the night before my graduation party and buying gold link chain by the foot to achieve that beginner Mr. T look I so badly wanted. I loved a one button blazer with a mountain of gold plated metal resting on my chest.
AT: What do you use as inspiration now?
RR: Old shit. I still love to watch old music videos and old movies. I was watching Beverly Hills Cop on a plane last week and Eddie Murphy was really doing something for me in his fitted jeans and cut off crew neck sweatshirts. At this point in all of our lives, pretty much everything has been done already—so anytime I'm looking for inspiration I like to look at who was doing it first and draw inspiration from there because they were the true trendsetters.
AT: What are your favorite style sources?
RR: I've been blessed with a pretty legit circle of creative friends and I think we all sort of look to each other. That said, if you have no friends or your friends are lambs in the style department - tumblr and Google can be beautiful things.
AT: What advice would you give to someone who is wanting to develop a more personal sense of style?
RR: It's very true that great style starts from within. Wear your confidence first and if it doesn't come easily to you, start slow. Don't come out of the gate in that pink fur sweater to impress anyone other than yourself. Style is breezy and effortless and nobody likes to look at a try-hard. Even the most unstylish people can tell when you tried it. Dress for yourself and no one else and your style will evolve from there, I promise you. And if you need help, call me.
AT: In your opinion, what is the importance of style in one's overall pursuit of "the good life"?
RR: You look good, you feel good. If you're not 100% confident in yourself and your appearance, you're going to have a hard time getting 100% in return - from anything. An experience, a job, a relationship.
From student, dance teacher, and retail worker bee, Rory Rockmore is now the Creative Director of contemporary nail empire NCLA. With ten years of progressive and cutting edge design under his belt, Rory, (previously the Digital Design Director at MTV Networks and mens editor at MTVStyle) has his thumb ever on the pulse of what's next. After co-founding his own creative agency with clients such as Jeremy Scott and BravoTV, Rory keeps NCLA at beauty's forefront with industry leading collaborations such as Beyoncé, Hello Kitty, Guess, Marc Jacobs, and SONY Entertainment. In his spare time he enjoys leopard print, Lil' Kim, and cross-country moves to keep his mother on her toes.