When Davidson Petit-Frère steps into the room, it's all eyes on him.
Everything about his look is a reflection of who he is and what he values. Nicely fitted blazer? He's willing to spend a little extra for that perfect fit. Pressed pants, slightly loose but not young man low? He's patient enough to iron out the wrinkles, and mature enough to understand the importance of keeping it above the waistline. Tastefully polished shoes? He's aware that even the smallest details can make or break a carefully selected suit.
He's a man's man—one who knows what he likes and isn't afraid to go after it. The 26-year-old fashion designer and co-founder of Musika Frère has dressed everyone from Jay-Z to Omari Hardwick in his European-inspired threads, and his designs have been seen on runways at the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week and on the backs of celebrities stylin' on the red carpet.
Not too shabby for a kid from Flatbush, Brooklyn.
Fashion wasn't always his business, but he's always been about his business. At 18, he chose to forgo spending six figures attending a four-year college to earning six figures pursuing a career in real estate. Selling luxury homes became the catalyst to his career in fashion. Having a baby face made it difficult for him to be taken seriously by clients, so he ditched the polos, khakis and square-toed shoes and flipped through the pages of GQ to craft a more cultured look—one that would separate him from the masses and give him a little credibility. But at a slim 6'4, he couldn't just shop anywhere; so he broke out his sketchpad, created styles to fit his frame, and found tailors to bring his designs to life.
Looking for ways to share his designs, he hopped on the social media bandwagon and began showcasing his portfolio of colorful outfits on Instagram and quickly garnered a large following. By this time he was three years deep into real estate, but found that the money wasn't worth sacrificing his happiness, and instead turned his full attention to fashion. He reached out to his tailor for an apprenticeship, and after six months launched his first brand P.Frère. Soon he was receiving requests for his custom suits from celebrities and other notables working in the entertainment industry, but the product wasn't quite at the level where he wanted it to be. Using his large following as leverage, he approached his tailors with the idea of partnering for a brand. They turned him down.
“I remember the day I left the meeting, they told me 'you'll be out of business in six months. You're a 21-year-old kid and your head is all blown up with Instagram and you think you can succeed.'"
"Adversity drives me more, so I left very confident."
Taking his real estate savings, business contacts, and devoted Instagram followers, the young boss connected with business partner Aleks Musika in Miami, and found an investor to fund the brand Musika Frère.
Two years in the game, and Petit-Frère shows no signs of slowing down. He's now garnered over 144,000 followers—including an extensive list of celebrity clientele—and travels the world doing the one thing that he's truly passionate about—fashion.
Looking to snag this xoMan? Well, you'll have to do more than sliding into his DMs and telling him that he's sexy. He already knows that. I spoke with Petit-Frère about the kind of woman that gets his attention, lessons life has taught him, and how he plans to build his legacy.
Being that you were already a businessman by the time you were 18, I'm sure you've had more than enough experiences that have impacted the way you move in life. What have you learned thus far that has shaped who you are today?
In terms of life, just integrity and how to be a good man and businessman, you can't put all of your eggs in one basket. I've learned that you can't trust everyone, because everyone's intentions are not to see you do well. My philosophy now is to be very aware of your surroundings in terms of whom you're around and what you do. For instance, I drink here and there, but I don't do anything to myself that's going to put my in a bad light because my image is everything now. Be honest in business, and never let any type of accomplishment get to your head. People don't' know that I'm the most humble, down to earth guy. I still have friends where I was from in Brooklyn that I'm cool with. I'm never going to shy away from where I came from. I'm never going to be that guy who's fake now because I'm this type of guy. I never want to them to think that I'm someone who's a bourgeois guy or a fake guy because I'm still a 25-year-old growing man. I'm still learning everyday. I'm not going to sit here and say I've learned every life lesson in life because I haven't. I can't predict the future so I have to pretty much live everyday embracing life because all I have is me. I'm still going to make mistakes. I'm not perfect.
"Be honest in business, and never let any type of accomplishment get to your head."
So you live a busy lifestyle between running your business and traveling all over the world, what do you do for fun?
I like to work out, cook, and read.
Oh?! What are you cooking?
Oh, you tell me! I have the best teacher in the world, my mother. I've been living alone since I was 18, so I kind of had to adapt to life being single [in New York City], and if I had a girl I may cook for her. I'm not cocky or conceited, but you give me a recipe and I'll make it for you.
Dinner at your house then (laughs). You mentioned dating is hard for you being a successful entrepreneur in the fashion industry, so what type of women do you normally go for? Who would be your #WCW?
I like girls who are career-oriented and who have their head on their shoulders. You don't have to be a CEO, you can be working at Staples, but as long as you know what the hell you're going to do [in life]. You know, someone who's driven and motivated. What's more sexy to me is a girl who likes to work. I want a girl who will make me work harder. I hate bringing this into the scenario, but I want my Beyoncé. I'm stronger with you than apart, so I'm going to do everything that I can to love you and to make sure that you're happy. I don't want a sit-at-home wife. I don't want a girl that I marry and you stay home and take care of the kids. I'm going to feel some type of way because both my parents were hard workers, so it's hard for me to be around anyone lazy. I also like to go for girls who have respect [for themselves], and who know what they bring to the table.
Well, you definitely know what you want! What would be your ideal date if a girl were to surprise you?
This is tough…I wouldn't mind just going and walking down Madison Ave. and just talking about life and fashion, you know, something simple. I feel like that's just me. I don't have a fantasy date; I can do anything. I can go to Chipotle or Burger King, as long as we're having good conversation and we're enjoying each other's company. I've had dates in Starbucks before. I can go to France or Abu Dhabi—have a date anywhere. Just show me a good time, and I'll have fun with you.
Being a fashion designer, do you want a girl to dress up if she's going to some place simple like the movies?
Not at all. If we're going to the movies, wear sweats. I just want a girl with her own personal style. When a girl knows what she likes, that's sexy to me. We can learn together. You might tell me, 'I don't like this coat on you and I'd be like oh wow you're right.' You might tell me something that I might not like, but you can learn from me too. That's just how I look at life.
What are some signs that a guy is a true gentleman?
Respect and how you treat a lady. If you've ever walked around with a girl who's comfortable in a thong when you guys are walking down the block in Miami, it shows you have no type of respect for yourself. You don't have to show your body just to have some type of acceptance in the world. For me, I just feel being respectful to a female is what she wants. She wants to feel like your all. Don't degrade women. Just uplift her, make her feel like she's the only thing like outside of family, like she's god. The ground that she walks on, you have to kiss it every time that she walks because you love her that much. I'm a hopeless romantic. I've had girlfriends that I cook dinner for, and I love surprises. I love bringing you flowers to work and showing your friends that I'm a good man and that I appreciate you.
"Being respectful to a female is what she wants. She wants to feel like your all."
What's a lesson that your mom taught you about women?
She told me to treat every girl like you'd treat me. You have to treat your best friends and your girl like your mother. I would never curse a woman; I would never put my hands on a woman, or disrespect a female because I would never do that to my mother. Don't do what you don't want done to yourself. You call a girl a b*tch, you don't know what type of emotional damage you can do to a female because in the world we live in now suicide is a real thing, so I would never put my hands on a female, I'd rather walk away.
What are some turnoffs for you with women?
A relationship is not a job interview. If you like me, then say you like me and let's rock. But if you want me to chase you while you are giving me the runaround, then listen, you can go to the other guys. Because girls who do that run the risk of being single for the rest of their lives, because a guy is not going to waste his time. He'll be like, I'll go and treat somebody else better with a girl who actually appreciates it instead of you just wanting me to text you everyday, chase you, call you. Why can't you call me as well? Why does it always have to be that a man has to chase a woman? I hate the stigma. I think it's the dumbest thing in the world. Like all of my [female] friends are like I'd never ask a man out. Why? He might like you but might not know how to approach you. Don't ever put your ego and say you're never going to ask a guy out. I think that's the problem now, people think that they're too good to ask a man out. I've had so many friends who are beautiful girls and I tell them if you like that guy just go up to him.
That's real. So what are you reading?
I read a lot about fashion. I love learning the business and the industry—a lot of autobiographies and documentaries. My big idol is Ozwald Boateng, he was the first black tailor on Savile Row [in England]. he started at 23, and now he's 45. A great documentary to watch is A Man's Story, where he documented his life from 1998 to 2013. It shows the growth of him. He was ahead of his time; he was 6'4 or 6'5 black man who loved color like me.
What do you want your legacy to be?
I want my legacy to be a hardworking individual who did what he loved. I want people to appreciate the work that I do, and express how I feel about the world and how I feel about fashion through the clothes that I design. I want people to appreciate that. There are things that I want to do outside of fashion, like charity work. I'm Haitian, so I want to go back and give back to my country. I'm not doing this to be famous or rich, but because I love this. I wake up everyday with ideas like, oh this zipper would look great with this jacket or this fabric would look great. I can't sleep at night because I wake up sometimes to sketch. I'll have a dream like, that's a dope color combination. Just bringing in imagination and making it a reality.
Featured image by @davidson_frere
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
Imma tell y’all what — it seems like not one week goes by when I don’t see some sort of so-called term that has me like, “What in the world?” For instance, when I first stumbled upon “self-partnering,” honestly, I laughed. Then shared it with some other single people as well as married folks I know. And I kid you not, every individual was like, “What the heck does that mean?” When I told them that it was yet, one more way to seemingly define single living, basically everyone’s follow-up was, “Oh, brother.”
Why can’t (more) singles just be single and be okay with that? Good Lord. Why does there need to be some sort of relational play-on-words to make it sound like we’re with someone — even if we’re not?
Now masterdating? Even though it’s not even close to being a “real” word, it’s something that also brought a laugh outta me — although it was then followed by a genuine smile. The laugh because I almost immediately caught the play-on-words. The smile was due to the intention behind it all.
If you’re not familiar with what masterdating is and you’re curious about why you should even care, take a few moments to at least skim through what it’s about and why I think participating, as a single person, is a pretty cool (and effective) concept.
Masturdate: a date w oneself
What’s Masterdating All About?
Masterdating. Okay, so let the word marinate for just a moment. What does it sound like? Yeah…exactly. And since a huge part of masturbation centers around self-pleasure, it’s cool to explore how “self-dating” could produce similar (as far as pleasure is concerned in a broader sense) results. Because masterdating is all about spending quality time with yourself, pampering yourself, treating yourself— and yes, taking yourself out on dates.
Any of you who may think that masterdating is a consolation prize — and a pitiful one at that — for not being able to go out with another human being or get that dream $200 first date that social media was all in a tizzy about last year (bookmark that) — personally, I think that you’re the demographic who needs to try out masterdating first and the most. Why? Off top, I’ll share my three good reasons.
3 Reasons To Strongly Consider Masterdating
1. It’s an intimate way to get to know yourself better. I’ve been working with couples for a pretty long time at this point and if there’s a pattern that I see arise, OFTEN, it’s that two people are oftentimes so busy trying to “find their person” that they didn’t even know who they were. As a direct result, they found themselves in a relationship with someone who only complemented the “kiddie pool version” of who they were.
That’s why it can be so beneficial to spend time getting to know yourself on the “deep end” of things: what makes you tick, what your passions are, what you want most out of life, what are your interests beyond obvious things — and masterdating can help you to discover all of this. Whether it’s traveling alone or taking out a weekend to drink some wine and journal, the more you get to know yourself, the clearer you’ll be about who complements you on a romantic and friendship level.
2. It will definitely help to boost your confidence levels. I guess since I’m an ambivert, I don’t really get why people freak out at the mere thought of going to a restaurant or movie alone. Personally, I think it requires a helluva lot more energy and gumption to wait around and plan stuff with other people (#Elmoshrug). However, whether you’re an introvert, extrovert, or ambivert, there’s no way around the fact that the more comfortable you get with doing things alone, the more your confidence levels will increase — no, soar — because of it.
One article that I read on the topic said that doing things alone can make you more creative, improve your mental health, and help you to be totally okay with being alone (so that you’re not “needy” for other people’s attention). A psychotherapist from a New York Times article on the benefits of spending time alone said, “Getting better at identifying moments when we need solitude to recharge and reflect can help us better handle negative emotions and experiences, like stress and burnout.” And when you’re able to stare negativity in its face without flinching, how could that not make you bolder, more self-secure, and hopeful about your life?
3. It will teach you to value your time more effectively. In every facet of your world, you’re gonna operate from a healthier place if you’re operating from a “full cup” rather than an empty one. When it comes to this topic, think about it — if you’re constantly waiting on someone to call you to go out or wishing for a dream date with some guy, all you’re doing is wasting precious time that you could be spending taking a cooking class or hell, hiring a chef to make you dinner at your own home.
Indeed, waiting has two sides to it: when it’s in the form of patience, it is indeed a virtue, yet when it’s wrapped up in the notion that you’re not really living life unless you have an audience…it is totally working against you. Choose wisely.
10 Solo Date Ideas To Help You To “Master” Masterdating
So, what if you’re someone who has either never considered actually masterdating before or you don’t really know what to do beyond dinner and the movies? Here are a few ideas to consider:
1. Attend a workshop or masterclass that you’re interested in. If there’s something that you’ve always wanted to learn, sign up for a workshop or masterclass. The cool thing about this option is there are probably some in your city, as well as some that you can find online (like here) that are convenient and affordable.
2. Binge-read at a local coffee shop. Aside from their coziness and oftentimes inviting scents, I once read that a lot of us gravitate to coffee shops because we can be around people without having to actually socialize with them. So, if you want to “hang out” while still being able to enjoy a bit of solitude, take a book that you’ve been trying to finish to a local coffee shop, order your favorite latte, and sit in a big-ass comfy chair. Usually, you can sit there for hours, and the staff will be just fine with it (another bonus).
3. Have a spa day in the next town. You can never go wrong with a spa day. And while going with a friend can be fun, sometimes there’s too much talking transpiring to be able to fully chill out and relax. So, go off of the grid, get a change of scenery, and hit up a spa in the next city (or town). There are lots of studies out here supporting that day trips or “daycations” can actually be really good for your long-term health and well-being.
4. See a community play. Some of the best solo dates that I’ve ever been on consisted of taking in some of the local arts in my city. What’s really cool about this particular option is, oftentimes, they are extremely inexpensive, if not totally free of charge (in exchange for making a donation or putting money into a tip jar).
5. Plan a trip. Whenever people say something along the lines of, “If you don’t expect anything, you won’t be disappointed,” I know that they low-key have some (additional) healing to do from past disappointments. There’s simply too much intel out here to support that anticipation (of good stuff) makes us more motivated and optimistic, keeps our dopamine levels up, and makes life more exciting overall.
Since traveling alone is more cost-effective, gives you the freedom to do whatever you want (when you want), and increases the possibility of meeting new people and having new experiences on your journey — why not devote a day this weekend to planning a solo trip? All the way around, it’s good for you.
6. Try your hand at your own “$200 date.” Uh-huh. Roll your eyes if you want to, but it’s real easy to talk left about how a man should be able to just drop $200 like it’s nothing…until you actually try to do it. So yes, while taking yourself out on this type of date could serve as a bit of a reality check, it can also “scratch the itch” of waiting on some dude to do it for you. It’s also way less emotionally draining because, at least when you’re taking your own self out, it’s guaranteed that you’ll enjoy the company…right?
7. DIY some pampering. When you get a chance, check out “5 Reasons You Should Unapologetically Pamper Yourself,” “Want To Love On Yourself? Try These 10 Things At Home.,” “I’ve Got Some Ways For You To Start Pampering Your Soul,” and “When's The Last Time You Actually Pampered Your Vagina?” The bottom line here is pampering is all about, not mere self-maintenance; it’s all about treating yourself to levels of EXTREME SELF-INDULGENCE. So, if nothing else tickles your fancy on this list, at least consider doing that, chile.
8. Feed your creativity. Something that I used to be really good at is art. That said, one of my goddaughters is insanely talented, so she has reminded me to tap back into it. Also, a big part of what got me into the writing world is poetry; I actually used to be a house poet at a local spot. Sometimes, my best quality time moments with myself have been revisiting these creative sides of me — and this is definitely easier to do (and enjoy) alone.
9. Try some stargazing. When’s the last time you took a blanket into your backyard, laid down on it, and just stared at the stars for hours on end? While some say that stargazing can teach you to be mindful, others say that being in that form of nature reduces stress, while others believe that looking up at the universe at night can increase your attention span. All solid reasons to give it a shot, if you ask me.
10. DO. ABSOLUTELY. NOTHING. Let me tell you something that nobody will ever be able to make me feel bad about: doing absolutely nothing. I’ve got data to back me up. Good Housekeeping shares that doing nothing can help you decide how you want to respond or react to certain things. I like howThe Guardian says that taking this approach helps you to regain control of what you give your attention to.
TIME magazine says that it can ultimately make you more productive.BBC offers up that it can help you tap into your ingenuity.Henry Ford Health says that it can make you kinder and a better problem-solver. So, if you want to invest in yourself, do nothing sometimes.
Closing Thoughts from the Lovely Javicia Leslie
While some of y'all may know Javicia Leslie from being the former Batwoman, I discovered her back in the day from the indie series Chef Julian (and yes, "Julian" was right to say that "Mo" looks like Tatyana Ali...the real ones know). Sometimes I'll hop on her IG to see what she's got going on and this story popped up within a few hours of me penning this...so, I took it as hella confirmation.
TREAT YO SELF. WAIT FOR NO ONE.
WAIT FOR NO ONE. TREAT YO SELF.
RINSE AND REPEAT.
Sooo…what kind of masterdating plans do you have for this coming weekend? While going out with others has its perks, hanging out with yourself has a ton of ‘em too. Enjoy!
No…for real. ENJOY!
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Featured image by FOTOGRAFIA, INC./Getty Images