Meet Grammy Award winning songwriter Vincent Berry II, who wrote the heartbreaking Sandcastles for Beyonce’s Lemonade album and went from homeless to winning Best Dressed at the 2017 Grammy Awards. I asked him what shaped his personal sense of style and grooming.
Detroit has always been a staple of urban fashion, culture and renaissance for the urban centers of the west. Being born and raised there the son of a prominent preacher and businessman, I was always surrounded by men who took grooming and style very seriously. As early as I can remember, my outfit of choice was a nice pair of dark slacks, a clean white shirt, tie with matching suspenders, a stylish blazer and a pair of wingtips. I just enjoyed how people interpreted who I was when I dressed in a suit or ancestral attire as opposed to urban wear.
After losing my father to an untimely death at the age of 13, I began gleaming style and fashion ideas from every man that inspired me. It wasn't until much later in my life, after deciding to return to college that I really learned how to fully express my personality through my style.
For 12 years I sought after impartation. Seeking men that could help me adjust to the changes that were happening in my body and mind. I decided to leave Detroit at 25 in search of a community of men that would be largely responsible for my refinement.
I owe a large part of my stylistic expression to several of the men, both students and faculty of my alma mater Morehouse College, the premier Historically Black College exclusively for men in the world. I remember Dr. Robert Michael Franklin, former president of the college, would constantly reiterate his definition of the "renaissance man", forever changing perspective of the purpose of the black man in this millennial age. He defined what he called a "Renaissance Man" as a man who exemplified the 5 Wells. This man must be well read, well spoken, well balanced, well traveled and well dressed."
From that moment until today, nearly 8 years later I have purposed to be an example of This Renaissance Man in word, deed and fashion!