I love fashion but I hate you.

interview: F.E. Castleberry of Unabashedly Prep.

Unabashedly Prep, in terms of internet years and influence, is practically Old Testament-level text for the menswear world. Guy was one of the first who showed that a viable business could be spun out of taking pretty pictures and talking about vacations. Also, you think the photo above was staged? No. DUDE LOOKS JUST LIKE HE DOES IN PICTURES. He practically wakes up with a tie on.

Castleberry, whose busier now than ever with various projects, answered a few questions sitting, I imagine, at the helm of his old clipper ship.

Who are you and why should we care? 
My name is Frederick Egan Castleberry. I’m a father, brother, son, photographer, fashion designer, all-around A-OK guy. Why should the Post Modern Gentlemen readership care? Well I suppose it might be for the same reasons they read your blog…a specific point of view on living and dressing.

How did Unabashedly Prep first come about?

Unabashedly Prep was born out of boredom. I was bored one day and looking for something to do.

Describe your photography style.

My photography style is best represented by what you mostly don’t see on my blog Unabashedly Prep. Much of my work is about beautiful people having fun…it’s often bright, happy, in motion. “Commercial lifestyle” is probably the correct term.

Describe your personal style.

My sense of style is rooted in a classic approach to dressing but I like folding the old into the new. It’s preppy, classic…yet tongue-in-cheek. Classic with a wink.

You sometimes get into some heated discussions on your blog’s comments. How do you handle the occasional derision?

There is this really cool function in the back end of my blog called the “delete” button. I just hit that.

I’ve often read others argue that prep is intrinsically tied to region. Do you think that true prep can only come from certain geographies?

Yes, I do. Palm Beach, New England, the South…it is those places in which Preppy in it’s purest form is seen in the context of a community. Individual preppy style could feasibly be seen anywhere in the world but as a whole, its roots will always be regional.

Photo via Tommy Ton.

Where do you think Prep is going?

I can honestly see the it going baggier, looser, easier. “Slim fit” seems a bit long in the tooth at times.

If you had to dress in a non-prep style, what would it be?

Late 1800s cowboy. Think [the film] “Tombstone.”

Many street photographers shy away from the camera but you’re often in front of the camera as well as behind. Is this something you planned?

One of the primary motives of creating Unabashedly Prep was to inspire men (and women) to simply dress better. I have a specific point of view on how that should look. Showing other people’s style can only convey so much before showing what/how you’re wearing it is most effective.

What do you think of #menswear and its direction?

I hate that hash tag and everything that it drudges along in its wake. This seems like a trend question and I really don’t pay too much attention to that.

You have a lot of projects going on at once. Would you describe yourself as a photographer first? A designer? A dad? What?

Professionally, I’m a creative. Photography, fashion design, writing—they’re all outlets. I like the mix. It keeps things interesting.

Who are your role models? Professionally, personally, whatever. Why?

I don’t have one living person that I often think “I want to be just like him in every way.” I take bits and pieces from people I come across in my life…that list would be too long to list here and probably far too mundane. I’d be remiss if I didn’t say my character isn’t formed through infinite (though often failed) attempts to be like Jesus the Christ. He was the perfect human being.

Who is the most stylish person you know? What makes them so damn stylish?

The most stylish gentleman I’ve had the pleasure of meeting is Sid Mashburn. He pays attention to fit (then forgets about it), approaches dressing in a timeless yet timely manner, and polishes it off with being comfortable in his own skin.

F.E. Castleberry Interview 3

Who are your heroes in real life?

My sons. They reveal more about myself than anyone else ever could.

My favorite virtue: Hope.

My idea of happiness: A world with no advertising.

My idea of misery: repeating the same day five days a week.

How I wish to die: With purpose.

My motto: The better you dress, the worse you can behave.

My favorite prose author: J.R.R. Tolkien

My chief characteristic: passion.

My favorite quality in a woman: an uninhibited laugh.

3 Responses to “interview: F.E. Castleberry of Unabashedly Prep.”

  1. WFB says:

    Ersatz of the ersatz

  2. Skip says:

    This guy is such a wannabee. what 32 year old father of 2 decides to reinvent himself from west texas bible school grad to fake northeast prep? I mean really…..aren’t there more important things he should be doing….like staying in Texas to see his kids once in a while. The world is full of clowns

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