Get Weird and Own It

Dustin Slemp
Dustin Slemp

Dustin Slemp is a creative director and consultant who works with a variety of businesses on their branding, graphic design, interior design and overall aesthetics.

Hometown: I grew up right outside of Wake Forest in a small town called Creedmoor.

Your neighborhood: I live in The Dillon in the Warehouse District. I’ve been here for a little over a year and love it. It’s exciting to be in a part of this city that is growing so quickly and watching it all happen from your doorstep.

What you love most about Raleigh: The excitement for change and growth. There are so many people doing cool things and Raleigh is great at rallying behind a new idea.

Currently reading: “The Celluloid Closet.” It’s a study of the portrayal of homosexual characters in film, from silent movies to the ‘80s. So far, so interesting.

Currently listening to: Nao, Blanco White, and always Florence and the Machine. My gym playlist is basically just the “Homecoming” album by Beyoncé.

Style influencers: My style influencers are a bit random. I value the boldness and creativity of David Bowie and Freddie Mercury. The casual cool of Pharell Williams. The classic effortlessness of James Dean.

Local go-to shop: I’m a sucker for vintage so I constantly pop into Father & Son to see what they have. My favorite store that recently has vamped up their men’s offerings is Edge of Urge. Vintage leather jackets, the softest tees and I can always find something I’ve never seen before.

Go-to piece: I have two. 1) Any of my Dad’s vintage concert tees that he gave me in high school. 2) A basic Calvin Klein white tee cuffed up. When in doubt, keep it classic.

Favorite bling: I have a snake gold chain necklace from a designer based out of Wilmington that I haven’t taken off since I got it. The brand is Shelton Metal—really great custom pieces that I want to layer up and never stop.

Travel dream: Tokyo.

How you stay fit: I have a killer personal trainer named Stuart Smith out of Knuckle Up boxing studio. He mixes up our regular workouts with boxing and it’s the best workout I’ve ever had. Highly recommend him and Knuckle Up if you’re looking to try something new.

Favorite drink: Hands-down favorite drink is called Bad Guys Wear Black from The Haymaker. It’s a mix of bourbon, burnt sugar, maraschino liqueur, bitters and an orange twist. Perfection.

Style secret: Do you. If you put something on and you love it, wear it. I buy and wear clothes that make me happy and feel good. Personal style is one of the first things that attracts me to someone. I say get weird and own the way you want to present yourself to the world. Nothing looks better on someone than confidence.

Moment/event in your life that inspired your style: I’m a bit of an alien in my family when it comes to style or caring about fashion. Being a little boy growing up in the country, there aren’t a lot of opportunities to be exposed to that world. It wasn’t until I went to college and got the chance to be a buyer at Edge of Urge in Wilmington that I got to travel to NYC with the owner, Jessie Williams, buying clothes for the store and seeing so many unique takes on “fashion.” She gave me that opportunity to see that there were other people out there embracing their own vibe and that propelled me to be even more authentically myself through clothing.

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