Style Star

What I Wear to Work: Black Bird Lifestyle’s Wayne Rollins

Wayne Rollins, owner of downtown Sarasota's Black Bird Lifestyle, shares the secrets to his sharp style.

By Alicia King Robinson August 16, 2016

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This Atlanta native moved to Sarasota after living in Los Angeles for 11 years. He tells us all about his six-year-old downtown Sarasota store and his take on his sharp, classic-but-edgy style.

WHO: Wayne Rollins, 42, founder and co-owner of Black Bird Lifestyle

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WHAT I DO: I handle the day-to- day operations of Black Bird Lifestyle, including the design of the store and purchasing for the furniture as well as the menswear. We’ve been on Main Street for six years now, and while I love the lines I currently carry, I’m always searching for new brands to add to our clothing and home design lines.

I have two young children (ages 7 and 4), and I like to spend my mornings with them. I get to the store around 11 a.m. We have a lot of repeat customers, and I try to talk to our clients and develop personal relationships with them. If I’m not out assisting them, I’m in the back of the shop because there’s always work to be done.

MY STYLE: I think I have a more classic style than expected, just with an edgy twist. To me, clothing should have the parameters of a classic menswear look but with your own spin. It’s an emotional part of my personality. I dress for how I’m feeling that day. I’ve tried to solidify a look, but it never sticks. The fun part about fashion is that you can portray how you’re feeling and turn that random feeling into a cool look.

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HOW HAS YOUR STYLE EVOLVED? It’s constantly evolving. I think it ebbs and flows. Living in Florida and selling what I sell, I dress more casual.

I’ve always been a denim person more than a suit person. I find it hard to wear suits in a climate like this, and living in L.A. just cemented my comfort with denim going anywhere. With Black Bird Lifestyle, we try to encourage men to dress in an elegant but comfortable way for southern Florida. It’s easier now that it has become more mainstream across the board for men’s clothing.

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FAVORITE DESIGNERS: Being where I am right now and having children, I haven’t kept up with all the most current designers. I do like how design is trending more toward simple styles made with quality. I still love all the old houses like Ralph Lauren, Tom Ford, YSL and Hermes (because it’s classic and hasn’t changed). The designers that really impress me can go through various periods with their classic items and stay true to themselves.

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MY GO-TO ITEMS: I like the Frank and Eileen linen and cotton shirts we have in the store because you can be elegant and causal at the same time. An Oxford shirt is a sexy look, and there’s a reason why it stands the test of time. To me, it’s a cool way to not cheapen or under-dress your look. The Frank and Eileen are cut well and you can style them differently. I wear it with bathing suits, shorts or jeans, and it’s much more comfortable than a T-shirt.

I’m almost always wearing a belt chain and at least one bracelet and necklace.

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FAVORITE ITEM IN THE STORE RIGHT NOW: Besides the Frank and Eileen shirts, I really find that all the Joe’s jeans fit well, feel amazing and run the gamut between classic and the newest trend.

But our leather goods somehow end up at home with me before they hit the shelves. They are well-made, handsome and I always want one for myself.

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FAVORITE ITEM I OWN: I’m always more connected to my jewelry than even clothes. I have a large black Tahitian pearl that I got on my honeymoon that has a lot of sentimental value to me.

I was also gifted with a "heart of gold" necklace that is special to me. It’s yellow gold, with rubies encrusted in the heart within the chambers.

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FOR A NIGHT OUT ON THE TOWN: I would probably wear slim jeans, a Madras shirt and always has some sort of boot, loafer or hard-bottom shoe. Every once in a while, I'll wear Vans.

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HIS TIPS FOR GUYS: A classic white shirt is really important. Fit is even more important. Stop being restricted by what you wore before.

Wayne is wearing a shirt from Kamakura Shirts, jeans by Fidelity, TOD’s shoes, bracelets by Tiffany and Craig Hill (sold in his store), rings by King Baby, a custom-made chain by Ned Bowman Originals, a gifted heart necklace by Strange Fruit, Hermes belt and a custom wedding ring. Most of his tattoos, which he has had since his 18th birthday and all represent something meaningful to him, were done at Webber Street.

Similar Styles | Button-down shirt: here or here | Jeans: here, here, here or here | Loafers: here, here or here | Belt: here, here or here | Heart necklace: here

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 A Florida native, Alicia King Robinson is the director of public relations at Sarasota-based ThreeSixOh Public Relations and the blogger behind New Version of You. Her love of fashion and eye for stylish living began at an early age. Meant to inspire, she explores fashion and the evolution and ever-changing versions of ourselves with style-inspired content.

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