Nonprofit group distributes professional attire for men
by Benjamin Fang
Oct 18, 2017 | 1697 views | 0 0 comments | 106 106 recommendations | email to a friend | print
As young men walked by a rack of dress shirts and a table full of ties and socks on Myrtle Avenue in Fort Greene, Kevin Livingston stopped them to ask if they knew how to tie a tie or wanted a shirt.

Some bristled or laughed, but many stopped by the table, interested to see what he had to offer.

Livingston is the president and owner of 100 Suits For 100 Men, a Jamaica-based nonprofit organization that helps underprivileged men and women by providing professional attire, haircuts and mentorship.

The group was among the community organizations that received support and donations from quarterback Colin Kaepernick as part of his $1 million pledge.

On Friday, working together with Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo’s office, 100 Suits For 100 Men set up a resource table on Myrtle Avenue. Between 3 and 5 p.m., they were chatting with passersby, measuring men for suits and handing out clothing.

Livingston even showed some young men how to tie a tie.

“To me, it represents growth and maturity,” said Jahar Luchie, an assistant at 100 Suits For 100 Men, when asked why suits are important. “Most of the kids from where come from in the urban areas, we normally wear Nikes and stuff like that.

“I feel like after a certain age, as a man, you should have a suit on,” he added.

He said many youth are not taught to dress professionally, but it’s something they will need to know further on in their lives.

“You should always keep a suit, just in case. You might have a wedding to go to, a job interview,” he said. “If you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready. If you always have one on deck, you don’t have to go out and rush last minute to obtain one.”

Luchie said the organization assists formerly incarcerated people who are coming home from prison by giving them professional attire and preparing them for interviews. But they also go to different neighborhoods to hand out suits to boys and young men.

Two weeks ago, they had a similar event in Harlem, and were even joined by Kaepernick himself.

“He came to donate to the cause, so it means a lot to us,” Luchie said. “That shows us his heart and what he stands for, and he wants to give back.”

Ty Celestin, a 14-year-old student from Fort Greene, was among the many youth who stopped by to chat with Livingston. He walked away with a new suit.

“I actually think it’s a great idea to give them out because certain people don’t have the money to actually get a suit,” he said. “It’s helping somebody if they have a special occasion and they need it.”

“I think every man will need a suit at a certain point and time,” added Chris Robinson, 15. “They just don’t know when.”

In a statement, Cumbo said she was proud to work with 100 Suits for 100 Men to help underserved youth “dress for success,” which will boost their confidence and make a strong first impression.

“Youth of all ages and backgrounds deserve an equal opportunity to earn a living wage that can support themselves and their families,” she said.
Comments-icon Post a Comment
No Comments Yet