Louis Mendez


Peace not Calamity

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“I myself well know the thoughts that I am thinking toward you, . . . thoughts of peace, and not of calamity, to give you a future and a hope.”  Jeremiah 29:11

Forbidden Fruit


A dragon fruit ponders her fine skull,

Flesh roars garishly, seed germinating

Rife with succulent promise.

This mere box of a particolored cosmos,

So long a witness

How can it be surprised at an end

That is not an ending any more than

A fruit can be sold for her true worth.

-Sartoral Poet 

Tyler. No Filter.

He speaks with laughter. Echoing out from the chambers of his being, his howl ignites the dormant joy of those nearby. Arms stretched upwards, he feels every rise and fall of the journey ahead. Each twist and turn met with a stubborn joie de vivre; a refusal to let his lows infect his highs. He challenges life. Blows back at the wind. "Look Ma! No hands!" 

Black and white coats his canvas; what you see is what you get. No flash. All substance. He is the music. The dance. The party. He is the Goodfella.

Words by Rich Etienne

Layer, Snow

Last Friday, I traveled upstate with some of my boys Jeremy and Joekenneth to visit the Watchtower Educational Center in Patterson N.Y. After the experience, we purposely got lost and found ourselves on an empty road while the sun was approaching the golden hour. We stopped the engine, grabbed the camera and snapped away. Sometimes the spontaneity of shooting gives images the best result because you never know what you'll end up with.


Jeremy is wearing: overcoat, shirt and tie Jcew, Blazer and Pants Uniqlo, shoes Cole Haan

Joekenneth is wearing: suit Club Monaco, RL tie, Suitsupply shirt, vintage pocket Square and hat, J. Crew overcoat

Lou is wearing overcoat Banana Republic, suit Express, belt and gloves vintage, shoes Cole Haan, shirt Lands end, hat New York Hat Co        

L'Homme Sans Visage...Bastille, Paris

Shot by Julien Boudet

During my last week in Europe, I met up with a photo friend Julien Boudet for a photo session. He mentioned how amazing the staircase in the building was on Boulevard Richard LeNoir.  But said the best time to shoot was at noon because the light was perfect. So I followed his strict instructions and got dressed in an African Print Dent de Man jacket, black HM shorts, brown Paul Smith loafers, and my usual fedora Borsalino hat. I made to the building at noon on the dot and we took the tiny elevator to the top floor. Everything in Paris seems to be tiny. Julien started shooting me from sixth floor and I walked down to the  fifth then forth but it felt awkward to look up, so I'm faceless in most of the shots. Hence the French title of the shoot, "L'Homme Sans Visage" which means The Man Without a Face. 


Taronga Zoo | Sydney, Australia

Taronga Zoo | Sydney, Australia

I had to make a decision between Taronga Zoo or Bondi Beach and it's quite obvious what I picked. Some of the locals raved about the zoo, so I wanted to see for myself what the hype was about. Yang-Yi-Goh of Sharp Magazine accompanied me on this little zoo adventure. It was literally a journey because the only way to get to the zoo is by boat. Upon arrival, the first thing I noticed was the gondola. Normally, I associate a gondola with skiing so it was an unexpected surprise at the zoo. We spend half the day looking at animals then realized the zoo is actually a depressing place. Kinda like jail for animals, but the worst part is having people stare and photograph you all day. Poor animals! But other then that random thought, Taronga Zoo is a great spot to visit. I love Sydney.

Great Gatsby...Tiffany & Co 5th Avenue

Great Gatsby...Tiffany & Co 5th Avenue

Tonight is the eve of highly anticipated film The Great Gatsby. So I put together an outfit inspired by the movie trailers and styling I've seen in magazines. Gatsby takes place during the roaring twenties, a time of jazz music, flapper culture, bootlegging an other activities I won't mention. But the era is  especially known for it's elegance and style. So I asked photographer Benjamin Rosser to snap my style interpretation of Gatsby at the Tiffany & Co store on 5th Avenue.

In the photo set, I'm wearing a plaid jacket by Mr. Brown by Duckie Brown for Rothmans, a white waistcoat, slim trousers, a pair of Paul Smith shoes, a white french cuff made-to -measure shirt, a rose gold watch and a micro check tan tie.

Enjoy the film and your weekend. 

Louisiana Lou | Jazz Fest, New Orleans

This outfit came together by accident. I was on a mission for a boater hat and finally found one at the West Village Goorin Brothers shop. But of course they didn't have my size at that shop. Turned out the Park Slope location did, so I trooped there and snatched up the last size medium. Across the street, I noticed a little vintage store. Upon entering, I immediately saw the Pointer Brand overalls but the shop owner mention they might be too small for me. Out of curiosity, I gave the striped overalls a shot and glad I did because they fit like a glove. I lie, a little baggy in the leg but I gotta guy that can fix that problem. Paired them with double tank tops instead of a t-shirt because I knew it would get hot at Jazz Fest. I originally had on loafers but some of my followers on Instagram told me the Fest was still kinda muddy because of rain last weekend. So, that's how the Converse chucks came into play. I'd rather mess up those then my leather loafers. My Brera watch and Doori bracelet don't change often so you'll probably see them in a lot of my shots.

Any thoughts of this look? How would you styled this?


Images of me shot by Karen Blanchard

Farm & Fashion | Armidale, Australia

It's not too often that fashion takes me to Sydney, Australia. Naturally, you would expect fashion capitals cities like London, New York, Paris and Milan. So this visual voyage to the land down under was truly an eye opening experience. My role in this three day journey was to document the genesis of the suit making process which starts on a farm in New South Wales. When a little lamb is born his natural resources will produce some of the world's most prestigious fabrics. The other portion of the trip was to see the wool in action with a special Zegna Fall 2013 fashion show and 50th anniversary of the Wool award at the Royal Hall of Industries. In a nutshell, we saw the farm's way and the runway. The Zegna teams and the wool industry gave us a behind the scene look at the unbreakable bond of marriage between farm and fashion.

The media team and I woke up at the crack of dawn to visit the farm in Airdale, located one hour south of Sydney. Voyaging on an imitate aircraft overseeing the landscape views from Sydney to farms of New South Wales . Clearly, the words astonishing and breathtaking made a visual collaboration to say the least. Fresh air, cool waters, and a bright bold sun was what my eyes could see from my seat in the sky. The moment we landed we were on the road driving to Wilson Creek Farm. Motorcycle and truck drives sped through the rural area. No traffic,no need to slow down. While snapping away, I started noticing sheeps appear through my lens, a clear indication that we've arrived. Our greeting was no other then "baa." Then the wool breeders and shearers gave us a detailed tour of their role in the wool industry. Honestly, the wool production was a lot of information to process but visually everything made sense. Watching sheep shearing alongside styling gents in plaid wool suits was surreal. Something out of a menswear movie. Fashion and Farm walking side by side in a codependent relationship. Seeing the Zegna family and Farm family unite made me realize this experience was beyond clothes. This is a way of life, I mean one family happens to be an über luxe fashion brand but you get the point. Seeing the whole family participate in the wool production strengthen my appreciation for the fiber. The material has to be sent from the land down below to America, which explains the cost of a Zegna suit. So supporting the wool industry essentially means not using alternative fabrics so wool breeders don't have to use their property for alternative use. We wouldn't want to hinder this unique partnership.

The shots of me are by Filippo Fiora.

Reflections | Shot by Benjamin Rosser

To celebrate African American History month, I would like to reflect on encouraging quotes from leaders and influencers that have inspired us. These individuals have paved a way so that people like me can inspire others and have the opportunity to create in this world. So regardless of your nationality and background, let's take a moment to ponder on their greatness and appreciate their words. If any of the quotes listed below particularly stand out to you, please share your favorite. And don't hesitate to add some. 

Have a great superbowl weekend. 


1. Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better. -- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

2. I am America. I am the part you won't recognize. But get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me.-- Muhammad Ali The Greatest 

3. Have a vision. Be demanding. -- Colin Powell

4. I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up, this diminishes fear. -- Rosa Parks

5. Just like you can buy grades of silk, you can buy grades of justice.-- Ray Charles

6. Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed. -- Booker T. Washington

7. Yes we can. -- Barack Obama

8. Do not call for black power or green power. Call for brain power. -- Barbara Jordan

9. The battles that count aren't the ones for gold medals. The struggles within yourself—the invisible, inevitable battles inside all of us—that's where it's at.  -- Jesse Owens 

10. Racism is not an excuse to not do the best you can.-- Arthur Ashe quoted in Sports Illustrated

11. Be black, shine, aim high.  -- Leontyne Price

12. Greatness occurs when your children love you, when your critics respect you and when you have peace of mind. -- Quincy Jones

13. Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise I rise I rise. "Still I rise," And Still I Rise  - Maya Angelou

14. The past is a ghost, the future a dream. All we ever have is now. -- Bill Cosby

Shot by Benjamin Rooser

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