The Prodigy: Robert I. Brown, 16-Year-Old Style Blogger

Young men who came of age during the heyday of the Ivy League Look could largely rely on their peers for sartorial guidance.

By the ’80s, things were much different, and the budding man of style had to rely increasingly on books, magazines and movies.

But today’s young men, who’ve never known life without the Internet, are positioned to be more precociously informed about clothes and style than any generation before.

Case in point: New Orleans high school student Robert I. Brown.

I discovered Brown’s blog while performing a Google Image search for Clark’s Desert Boots (turns out they’re his favorite shoe). At the top of his home page is a shot of Brown wearing a madras jacket, white oxford-cloth buttondown, glasses, and sporting a trim haircut. He looks simultaneously early ’60s and yet timeless and modern. Another shot shows Brown in a necktie and Fair Isle sweater vest.

As I browsed his blog, I discovered the tastes of a man much older: Fred Astaire and Cary Grant films, James Bond, exotic sports cars, The Rat Pack, “Mad Men,” and books on gentlemanly style and deportment are just a few of Brown’s interests.

And as if being a teenager and running a style blog weren’t impressive enough, naming it after himself β€” Robert I. Brown Style β€” is both an admirable assertion of impetuous youth and a bold stroke of confidence considering the number of bloggers three times Brown’s age who insist on being pusillanimously anonymous.

We began corresponding, and that’s when Brown really blew me away. No juvenile IM-speak in his missives: Brown’s correspondence, like his blog posts, is pithy and direct with a mastery of punctuation. My grandfather used to say, parenthetically, that you can tell a lot about a man from his punctuation. I’ve no doubt in his senior yearbook Brown will be voted “Most Likely To Become Editor of GQ.”

Brown describes his style as “simple elegance and preppy,” adding, “I like to wear Ivy garments because they make me feel a part of this tradition and legacy that will never go out of style. It’s timeless. Even though I’m only 16 years, I’m a bit of an old soul.”

You’ll hear more from Brown in his own words in an upcoming post. β€” CC

Thanks to Valetmag.com for picking up this post.

18 Comments on "The Prodigy: Robert I. Brown, 16-Year-Old Style Blogger"

  1. What an encouraging post. This thrills the heart of a retired English teacher. His sense of style + his knowledge of grammar, usage, and rhetoric is a combination dear to me. I will definitely be adding his blog to my daily enjoyment.

    Also, I’m sure you’ve been told this many times, but your writing is a delight to read. So vivid, professional, knowledgeable, and perfect! Have a great evening!

  2. foolio_iglesias | January 6, 2010 at 7:48 pm |

    An innate sense of style-wonderful!

  3. Michael Mattis | January 7, 2010 at 3:06 am |

    An interesting young fellow. I look forward to seeing and hearing more about him, and from him.

  4. Great story (and exactly correct about those of us a little gun shy about admitting our interested and predilections!).

    My only note is that he’s wayyy too stylish to work at today’s GQ. Under Art Cooper he would have been fine. I’d turn over GQ to him NOW.

  5. G. Bruce Boyer | January 7, 2010 at 9:15 am |

    Many thanks for directing me to this site. “Prodigy” does indeed seem to be the right word to describe young Mr. Brown. Very imnpressive and very refreshing to discover new talent in the room. We should encourage and support him, and wish him the very best.

  6. Bruce, when I think of myself at that age…

    The rather scary part about our educational system is that Brown tells me no one has recognized his talent before.

  7. I like his ideas on luxury. Great find. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Edward Buckles | January 8, 2010 at 7:40 pm |

    I am very proud of my bro Robert. Thanks for noticing his great talent.

    http://www.mrmyaccomplishments.blogspot.com

  9. Courtney Chambers | January 9, 2010 at 6:52 am |

    Robert has a great feel for style, and quite personally he is the only male i’ve been able to hold an intelligent conversation with. Im very proud to be aquainted with him.

  10. When I was 16, I was chasing girls … Robert is chasing his dream! It wasn’t till I was 24 years old that I began going after my real dreams. This gentleman is beyond impressive and surpasses excellent. When I have children and they reach those dreadful teenage years, I will have a reference of someone they can look up to who beat the stereotype at 16 years young.

    You all should be afraid of what he’s going to do next …………

  11. HRH The Duke of Windsor | January 10, 2010 at 12:50 pm |

    One can’t help but be impressed by this young man.

  12. The kid’s got chutzpah. More power to him.

  13. get this kanye west wannabe outta here, he don’t know shit from shinola

  14. Rob, this is what you have to look forward to when you become a famous blogger.

    Remember what my grandpa used to say: You can tell a lot about a man from his punctuation.

  15. Robert I. Brown | January 14, 2010 at 7:46 pm |

    Mr. Chensvold, you’re correct. It was surprising, but I can only ignore it.

    I won’t ever forget that.

  16. I’ve read all his posts so far. Pretentiousness. Being well read consist of reading fashion magazines, and LIFE? Maybe considered to his peers. His goals consist entirely out of living through other people’s creations (ugh…) and that piece on Italy gave me the fits. (“I covet Italy” Who speaks like that when not being humorous!?) The soccer one as well.

    His grammar and spelling are top-notch, so I won’t criticize that. And yes, I do make these judgments based on a few months of posts, because that’s all I have to judge from.

  17. Klaus, being well read doesn’t have to mean Dostoevsky, Nietzsche or Wilde. Mr Brown is most certainly well read in terms of subject matter for his blog. What were you doing when you were sixteen/seventeen? Because unless you were pursuing your dream with the dedication that Mr Brown has I do not think you should be criticising him, even if you see his posts as pretentious. Pretentious means “pretending to be something you are not” does it not? Well tell me, what do you think Mr Brown is pretending to be?

  18. Just revisited this post today. Looked for his blog, but I don’t think it’s around anymore. Shame. Perhaps he’s moved onto different interests in life?

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