Like most artists, Brooks Hardison considers style a form of expression and an extension of his personality. Brooks is still perfecting his outward style, but his inner style is a distinct reflection of culture, faith and earthiness. A spoken word poet (Eternal Fiyah) and jewelry maker, he fuses these elements into a rare combination.
Style foundation: How would you describe your style?
I’m working on the style that I want to show… I want it to look ethnic, creative and professional— all at the same time.
What do you feel best wearing?
Since I’ve gotten these dashikis from Africa Style Imports, Abyssinia Culture Shop, and Genius Goods, I’m really liking the wear of them. When it’s cooler outside, I like wearing a button-up shirt and sports coat with some jeans… The sports coat and the shirt are saying where I’m heading, while the jeans say that I’m still down.
Style Influence: Is there something that made you want to dress in a more Afrocentric manner?
It’s been something I’ve always gravitated to. It probably originated in the late 80s/early 90s during the Golden Age of hip-hop or the Daisy Age, when there was a lot of sociopolitical consciousness in hip-hop. At that time, it was more of just fitting into what was popular. But, as it became less popular, I still felt myself identifying with that…Another reason I’m dressing Afrocentric is because…It’s almost like when you’re Christian, you’re allergic to being Afrocentric. As a Christian, we need to be doing things that are impacting culture, more so than just seeing church as a members-only club.
Which celebrities or icons have influenced your style?
I’m influenced by some of the spoken word poets from the late 60s and early 70s, like Gil Scott-Heron, The Watts Prophets and The Last Poets. They had a streetwise-side, yet, they still had an Afrocentric side to them.
Jewelry: You’ve embraced both aspects of that through your jewelry. How do you create the jewelry?
A lot of what I’ve done recently is to take familiar shapes and turn them into wooden jewelry. My jewelry is going to evolve… I’m going to focus more on the aesthetic of the wood and surrealist images, so my new jewelry will have more abstract shapes. A lot of the supplies I gather from Fire Mountain Gems and WoodCraft, then I sell the pieces I make under eN-Graff Concepts.
If interested in Brooks and his jewelry, contact him through his Facebook page, facebook.com/engraff.concepts