How many times have you felt an adrenaline rush from connecting with like-minded individuals over a similar interest? That feeling was what inspired freelance interior decorator Dick Clarke and Omar Lisandro, vintage curator and manager of Leopard Lounge, to create STRUT, a Facebook group to bring forth community in the Houston fashion scene.
“Fashion has always been a form of expression, a way to start a conversation and connect,” said Lisandro, who met Clarke at Montrose vintage shop Pavement and bonded over their love of vintage accessories, menswear and all things fashion. Since its launch, the secret-but-not-so-secret group has amassed almost 1,000 members who post their outfits, share their fashion finds and discuss articles about the business of fashion.
“STRUT is here to give a voice to those in the fashion community that don’t have one. Houston has a voice. We want the world to hear it,” says Clarke.
How did you come up with the idea of STRUT?
Clarke: STRUT was created when we started to get flack for always "dressing up" in our pictures on a Facebook group we were in. Through talking about our experience to others, we found out that there was a lot of need for a safe place for people to post their outfits. STRUT was our response to that.
Where did the group name come from?
Lisandro: The name STRUT comes from the mindset one usually is in when you feel and look the best true to self you can be and you have 'the walk.'
What do you want Houston to know about this online community?
Clarke: I believe that Houston is a bunch of small towns smashed together. I believe that those towns have a problem communicating with each other. The goal of STRUT is to give a voice to those communities and bridge the gaps. If we can get those communities talking and collaborating, we can make Houston a better place.
Lisandro: STRUT is here for the people. We are about making connections and collaborations, strengthening the support and resources available within the community and always providing a platform to express your style. We don't want Houston to be the industry standard—we want Houston's uniqueness to redefine it.
Describe your personal styles.
Clarke: "Go to Hell." Back in the '50s and '60s men were stuck with the uniform of grey suits and ties. Some of these men started to wear tons of color and mixed patterns. It was their way of saying "go to hell" to the rules. Now we would just call it preppy, but back then it was rebellion.
Lisandro: My style has been described as 'retrocentric.' I almost exclusively wear vintage. I season-to-season push myself to try a new style, garment, hat style, etc., and find a past style icon best associated with that particular thing. I then make it personal to me. My default style teeters between Miami Vice in the summer and Arsenio Hall in the fall/winter, or anything with power shoulders/leather.