- Video by Happy Monday | Photography by George Elder
“I’d describe my style as offbeat but functional. I like my clothes to work for me, but don’t want them to speak for me.”
Taj Reed made his career as a writer and producer by keeping an open mind, taking chances, and trusting his instincts. Having worked for some of the biggest names in style publishing, he now has a full schedule of what can only be described as storytelling; creating videos, interviewing, writing, directing, crafting social media campaigns and photographing just about everything.
Taj recently moved to Brooklyn after living in Manhattan for seven years, but even after settling in, he is constantly in motion. “When I was introduced to the creative industry, I never imagined it would take me to so many parts of the world to meet and work with such interesting people.”
Since Taj travels a lot, he appreciates EFM for functionality and style. His travel schedule has him on the road for a good portion of the year, hopping between L.A., Europe, and other parts of the world for various projects. “My work is very hands-on and I can't have my clothes look unkempt if I need to chase a flight or carry gear to set.”
Even when he is home for a bit, there are always meetings to run between and personal friends to see across the city. He likes that Brooklyn offers a chance to step away from the pace and clutter of Manhattan, “but whenever you feel like jumping back into the mosh pit you’re just a few train stops away.”
We caught up with Taj during one of his “typically atypical” days, and realized pretty quickly why he likes clothes that breathe, stretch, and allow him to move effortlessly from a casual hang to a business meeting. Taj never plays by the rules when it comes to fashion and way of life. The rules are his to create.
I never really decided to pursue my career. The formula had always just been the baseline of how I went about life - make things, listen to people’s stories. In my mid-twenties I convinced a publisher that hiring me to plan advertising for their magazine was a good idea. There I realized that making things about other people’s stories was a career, and something I could do for the rest of my life.
Always coffee (black with one tablespoon of sugar,) then e-mails. There isn’t too much that’s typical after those two things happen.
My parents taught me the importance of empathy and my younger siblings have made me a more responsible adult. Their lessons encourage me to work with purpose. I’m now at a point in my career where I’m considering how I can do some good with my work. It’s manifested into content that, I’m hoping, can be of some resource for younger creatives.
I can’t really answer that question, because I don’t think that way. If I had laid out a 5 year plan for myself at any point, I would have missed so many opportunities. Being open to change and living in the moment is why I am where I am today.