Dwight Venson is a sophomore at John Carroll University (JCU) who was recently featured in The Plain Dealer for his unique sense of style—which he has, on multiple occasions, described as “in your face.” Venson’s sense of style transcends his clothes and has iconicized the “can do, will do” personality, as he pushes to defy every boundary he faces.
Venson’s style is derived from eras of bright colors and patterns that speak just as loudly as his personality, even though its words might be softer. Some eras he noted having an influence on him are the 1970s, as well as the 90s. One of his favorite aspects relating back to 70s fashion is that natural hairstyles were popular; in fact a few weeks ago, for an African American History Month event at JCU, Venson participated in a panel that debated the acceptance of natural hair, especially in the professional setting.
Having been at the receiving end of many critiques of his style, Venson says that the criticisms have typically always revolved around others perceiving his style as unprofessional. To this critique Venson retorted, “What people do not know is that I have had two professional jobs since beginning college and still hold one.”
This does not mean Venson is unaware of what is appropriate to wear in a professional setting, but instead understands how to represent a few key pieces from his wardrobe in an overall professional appearance.
Venson was more than enthusiastic, he commented, about trying to land the Fashion Flash slideshow at The Plain Dealer. He said the real story of how he got the spot was that he consistently communicated his interest from the beginning of the application to the day he received the gratifying news.
Getting the Fashion Flash slideshow was just another way Venson was able to send his message on being proud of his character, personality and style. This message is something that Venson wants to help others achieve in their lives, and he wants to create a greater sense of acceptance within his broader community. Other than his style, Venson tries to push for greater acceptance in his community, starting at the university level, through being a part of an African American society on campus.
Venson’s style began as a way to have a voice through his otherwise very shy personality. Some artists that specifically had a large influence on this progression included Lady Gaga, Prince and, more recently, Miguel. One of Venson’s greatest aspirations is to take over a family-owned theater and create a communal space for kids to freely express themselves and learn what their personalities, styles and characters mean to them, as well as understand how others want to be perceived.
In a community of people who do outstanding things, Dwight Venson shines just as brightly as his style; for more information, visit his Fashion Flash page on The Plain Dealer, and help spread his message of acceptance further throughout the community.