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London Lawrence has an obvious knack for style. Blogging under the handle LondoLaw, the stylist and branding expert emphasizes the importance of style over fashion and tells us how he flips basic thrift store finds into something extraordinary.

How would you describe your style?

I would describe my style as urban with a mix of bohemian. I’m not afraid to experiment with new things like unisex fashion (think romp-him). I’m a fan of denim but I also like to mix it up with patterns and prints. I also have a thing for hats. Whenever I leave the house I always try to wear either a dad cap or a fedora. Overall, I just have fun incorporating different pieces into my personal look.

Do you have any specific experiences that molded your take on fashion?

Every weekend when I was little, my grandparents would let us grandkids draw from a hat a place we wanted to go. I would always put in places like the Galleria or Baybrook Mall because I enjoyed the fashion but I also liked to people watch. As I got older I would put in different cities because I enjoy traveling and seeing how styles differ in each area.

Also studying anthropology has influenced my style in a sense. I enjoy learning about different cultures and in turn seeing how cultures are influenced by style and vice versa.

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How do you create a stylish outfit without breaking the bank?

I’m the king of finding a great deal. For me, the items either need to be on clearance or near clearance price. The first thing I do when I walk into any store is go straight to the clearance section. Nine times out of ten you will find something you like. But I also like the idea of taking something old and making it new – for example, take some of your thrift purchases and refurbish them into something different.

Who are some of your biggest style inspirations?

There are few people that have inspired me and my style. Andy Warhol’s artistic interpretation of style and photography has definitely inspired me. I’m a big fan of patterns, and I love that Solange Knowles utilizes color blocking, patterns and prints within her own style. I’m also inspired by Iris Apfel. Her eclectic taste and ability to style a look around one specific piece and make it her own is incredible—especially since I’m a big believer in styling your outfit around a key piece.

My family also influenced my style in a sense. Growing up, they showed me new ways to reinvent things and the value of “flipping the piece,” finding something and making it your own. I took this lesson and eventually used it to help create my online thrift store.

Can you tell us a bit more about that?

It started in 2012 when I graduated from high school. It was the culmination of me wanting to give everyone the opportunity to have a fashionable piece without breaking the bank.

Fast-forward five years and I’ve developed my brand into so much more than fashion. Now it’s developed into more of a lifestyle brand—I help people plan trips, I’m a stylist, I help people with fashion and I do photography. Anything that can impact someone’s life in a positive way—that’s the brand that I’ve created.

Where do you like to shop?

I love Zara. It can be expensive but the key is to download the app. I’ve literally purchased a pair of $125 jeans for $5.99. I also shop at thrift stores. My favorites are Family Thrift Center and Value Village—you can not go wrong with either.

What are your everyday go-to products?

For my beard I use Scotch Porter. It’s a great product that conditions and softens my beard. I also use the Cup O’ Coffee face and body mask from Lush. This mask is invigorating and refreshing. The smell of fresh coffee grounds on my skin gives me a burst of energy and also smells really good which is perfect for me since I get up pretty early and am gone most of the day.

What's your best advice about style?

For men: Don’t be dull and don’t be confined to what society tells you what you have to wear or what you have to look like. Experiment with pieces and wear what you feel comfortable in. Fashion should be fun, functional, funky and fresh!

For everyone: don’t be defined by a trend. Find your own style. Once you know your style and what you personally like, then you can start adapting to everything else because it will just come natural once you know who you are.

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