Ethnic background: Mandjaco and Mandinga
Place of origin: Guinea Bissau, Africa
Fashion-related occupation: Blogger
Facebook/Twitter/IG: Abdel Queta Tavares & Black Fashion Stars; @; abdelkeitatavares
Weapon of choice: “my red hat”
Go-to accessory: red hat
“Super heroes have sidekicks, but all I need is my red hat to save the day.”
“Somebody call the cops, it should be a crime the way my red hat makes jaws drop and traffic stop.”
Filled with African pride, Abdel Tavares’ style is hot like fire from the Motherland. (And sizzling like the color of what’s obviously his favorite red hat.) He makes vintage threads look oh so modern, and his fancy flicks will have you convinced that he’s a fiercely seasoned model. It doesn’t take long to notice that this uniquely-fashioned blogger is in a lane all his own. And that’s exactly how he likes it.
CM: You seem to really be into vintage threads. What is it about that look that intrigues you?
Abdel: I like vintage clothing because it is different and beautiful. I hate being like others.
I noticed. How would you describe your unique sense of style?
[My style] is vintage/ Afropolitan. Vintage because I love vintage style, and Afropolitan because I am an African boy and never run away from my roots. I always try to give color and life to African culture.
Who, or what, has been your biggest fashion inspiration?
My inspiration comes from my rich continent of Africa [and] the singers of the ’60s from the Democratic Republic of Congo. They sang the music style called Soukous, Makossa. The way they dressed makes me [admire] them because they were great artists. Miss Grace Jones also inspires me a lot because she was a powerful woman and always will be.
Mr. Sam Lambert and Shaka Maidoh (of Art Comes First), they also inspire me a lot. They are artists and fashionistos, both have vintage styles. And others who inspire me are: [UK-based fashion designer/blogger] Martell Campbell, [designer/blogger] Donya Patrice, [South African stylist/model] Funeka Ngwevela, André 3000, Solange Knowles, [designer/Brooklyn Circus founder] Ouigi Theodore and [fashion editor/stylist] Mboko Ndimba Mobutu.
You have a unique sense of style and you seemed to have mastered the art of mixing and matching colors and patterns. Where does this talent come from?
Wow thank you! [Smiles.] My talent for styling came from me. I am a very creative person. I love colors because they make me happy and full of joy and inspiration.
Why do you have this love for fashion–when did it begin?
I like fashion because I’ve always been a person who [stays] abreast with new trends. When I was seven-years-old, I always worried myself about what I would wear. I think fashion was born in me.
What encouraged you to start blogging about fashion?
I have a blog because I think my talent has to be shared with people from other countries. The name of my blog is ‘Black Fashion Stars’ because I’m a Black fashion star And [every person] that is reading this now is a fashion star. We are all fashion stars! [Smiles.]
When did you start blogging?
I created the blog in August 2014.
Besides blogging, you have some pretty awesome photography and modeling skills. Are you pursuing modeling and/or fashion photography professionally?
Thank you again [smiles]. I’m not model, but I hope one day to be a great role model.
I like to photograph people with style and beautiful people. But I never thought of be a professional fashion photographer. But maybe one day…
Do you have any plans of becoming a stylist or designer?
No. My biggest dream is to be a producer of fashion. I have many ideas but I can not express it on a sheet with pencil because I don’t [know how to] draw.
What are your goals as a fashion professional?
My goal in the fashion world is to realize my dreams and be a great professional in the fashion area. It’s what I want most.
Who is your favorite fashion designer?
I really like [the Holland-based fabric line] Vlisco. I do not know who is behind the brand, [but] it is always good to find designers who value the African culture in the fashion world. And the Vlisco brand is [admirable] because it shows the world the true elegance and beauty of our African women. I also really like Karl Lagerfeld. He is the chief designer and creative director of Chanel, and has power in the fashion world. It’s always good to follow the footsteps of the people who know much of what we [aspire to pursue].
What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to anyone when it comes to putting together a killer outfit?
Be confident and have attitude [smiles].
When it comes to his fashion chops, Abdel serves up plenty. Flip the pages for glance at some of his best looks.