Cody Grosse is the definition of "suited up."
The 22-year-old musician, model, and marketing pro prides himself on always looking his best, from the streets of downtown to his in-house studio.
Music is Grosse's main passion. He performs regularly around town and spends his free time playing piano and guitar, singing, and working at home on his songs. Beginning as a singer with a classical choir background, Grosse knew he could only go so far with just his voice and turned to YouTube videos of guitar and piano how-tos to teach himself different instruments.
The multi-talented Grosse also owns a marketing company. For a while, he was focused specifically on fashion marketing and spent his time connecting with local designers, linking them to local photographers. One of his coolest accomplishments was coordinating Latino Fashion Live's last runway show at Wild Horse Pass Casino.
"I model at a modeling agency, so I'm used to being around photographers and other models," he says. "Part of my job is to be around business owners and model for them, so that was my first step toward becoming tied into everything I'm involved in now. When I moved to downtown Phoenix two years ago and started my marketing business, I knew I needed to branch out. Everywhere I went, I would meet new people, and I always made it an effort to take time to learn what they do, because you never know who's sitting next to you."
The Agency Arizona model is originally from Vallejo, California, but has spent time in Manhattan as well as his fair share of time in the West Valley. "Arizona is great," Grosse says, "But you need to know where to go. The coolest thing in Glendale was the Applebee's down the street, so that was my experience growing up in the suburbs. I moved to Tempe, have lived in Scottsdale, but when I got downtown, everything changed for me. Everywhere you go, on every street, there are art gallery openings, poetry slams, and comedy shows. The people there actually want to talk and have personalities."
When it comes to his style, Grosse has his personality on lock. He has two key looks: "suited-up" business wear and street wear. "I pride myself very much on trying to give off the best appearance that I can. I always make an effort, and I always make sure the color and fitting is just right."
As fashion changes, Grosse always tries to stay up to date, whether it means checking Pinterest or looking through men's fashion blogs. "Even with suits," he says, "I can't imagine the things I do now being stylish 20 years ago. Fashion always evolves. I might adopt a third go-to look in case we get into some Space Age technology fashion down the road. You might see me in a neon jumpsuit."
What are you wearing? A blazer and fitted vest from H&M, two pocket squares: one for my jacket and one under my vest, a Diesel watch and ring, brown and blue Cole Haan shoes, and some fitted Levi 510 denim
What is the last item of clothing you bought? I just bought a fitted trench coat from Express. It's a beige color but has a bit of a shimmer over it, and is a very military-style jacket.
Where do you usually shop? If I'm looking for cheap staples to put in an outfit, I'll go to Zara or H&M. I really like vintage wear, so I also shop around with a couple of local designers, like my close friend Amir Saebi. I'll shop from his store Amir's La Voûte. I like Express and eBay, too. I've gotten some Saint Laurent from eBay. I go there if I'm looking for something a little more high-end for a cheaper price.
Name five items every man should have in his closet. 1) A great pair of shoes; They're the staple of an outfit. 2) A fitted pair of jeans to transition you in and out of street style and classy-wear 3) Neckwear -- If you're going out, it's easy to upgrade your outfit with some nice colors or a bowtie. 4) At the very least, one fitted suit jacket 5) A hat for bad hair days
What's one fashion trend you can't stand? I can't stand when people don't try to do anything. That bugs me a lot more than people rocking the weirdest outfits. I see it as people's personalities. I just can't stand a lack of effort or just gym shorts and a shirt.
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Give us a childhood memory of you and clothes. I've come a long way. In middle school, my ultimate all-time-low outfit -- since my mom dressed me at the time -- were these beige pants that went above my knee like short shorts, a shirt that had boats on it, and some white Adidas. Best of all, my socks weren't super high or low, they were half-calf size. If you had a picture, you'd see my big crazy afro and think it was amusing.
What is your one piece of fashion advice for Phoenix? Be different. If you go to Vegas or some nice event, you're going to look like everybody else if you're wearing a black and white suit. Throw some colors in. Colors are going to change so much. Whatever you're doing, make sure you're picking out what you want to represent as yourself, not just something you've seen in a magazine.