By John M. Hayden
Sexy guys in stylish clothes in the service of others. It’s a trifecta of fabulousness and it’s going down on Thursday, December 5, 2019, at the Galleria Mall in Fort Lauderdale. Men of Style honors twelve local men and a cause close to their heart.
The guys will be styled by various sponsors and walk the runway with the right combination of altruism and attitude. Guests will be able to munch on food from some of the best local restaurants including Cucina Caruso Italian Market and NYY Steak (from Seminole Casino Coconut Creek), and wash it down with wines from places including Cooper’s Hawk.
One of the men working the runway is the always stylish Roman Foster, owner of Southern Sands Design. For him, style is an ever-evolving way of life. “I have fun creating and evolving my own personal style,” he told me. “I like to be authentic with my choices, choosing clothes that speak to me rather than chasing after a current trend. I would consider my wardrobe to be experimental yet sleek.” Roman loves a classic look, and it’s a choice that goes back to his college days. “With a degree in English Literature, I tend to draw inspiration from the classics – gravitating towards dapper things like a sharp pair of trousers or vintage inspired patterns.”
Roman grew up in western North Carolina in the shadow of the Appalachian mountains. But living in South Florida for so long has definitely helped evolve his look. “In part due to the ‘Miami Style’ influence in South Florida, my clothes have become more playful, sexy and urban. Lastly, I love to throw in an element of surprise, from anything to a western bolo, unique bracelet or over-the-top shoes.”
When he walks at Men of Style, he’ll be dressed by one of Macy’s Brand Representatives, but that’s as much as he’s willing to share with us. You’ll just have to hit up the show to catch his looks for yourself.
And he’s not there for himself, or our enjoyment, he’s there for a great organization, HANDY (Helping Abused Neglected Disadvantaged Youth). Their goal is to develop customized programs for the individual needs of a child that takes them from early childhood to adulthood. The kids and young adults helped range in age from nine to 25, and include many who identify as LGBTQ.
“I learned about HANDY after getting involved with fundraising for their yearly Prom, an adult fundraising gala focused on a Prom Court whose candidates campaign to raise money for HANDY,” Roman says. “I think they selected me to represent them in this year’s Men of Style due to my love for their organization and heartfelt appreciation for what they do.”
And it’s what they do so well that impresses him most. “Program activities include things like tutoring, mentoring, social and recreational activities, and emergency needs assistance for food, clothing, and housing. They also do education workshops, life skills training and post secondary educational support,” Roman said.
For Roman, style isn’t just something to wear, it’s a career and a way of life. The owner of Southern Sands Designs, on 26th Street in Wilton Manors, he sees style in everything from a century old canoe to a fallen tree. He curates his space with custom pieces, some made by his dad, who’s still back in North Carolina. When he’s not out at his shop, Roman hits the road to search out designers creating new and innovative designs.
Southern Sands has a huge array of unique products. Even if your personal space is pretty well filled out, you may walk in and find that last, perfect thing you need to complete your look.
This will be Roman’s first time in the Men of Style event, and he’s excited. “There is always great food and fun entertainment but my favorite part is the runway show. I’m super excited to be walking in it this year and representing such an awesome organization like HANDY.”
For more info and tickets to Men of Style, go to www.galleriamall-fl.com/men-of-style-2019/ You can check out Roman’s cool designs at www.SouthernSandsDesign.com. And to learn more about the great work HANDY does, go to www.HandyInc.org.