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Al Page's Hip Hop and Indie Rock Thriftiness

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Life's pretty good if you happen to be Al Page

Not only does the fly and friendly photographer, hip-hop promoter, and turntable fiend put on a few of the hippest (and most popular) nightlife events in the Valley every week at CenPho's Hidden House, he gets plenty of free clothing and other swag.

"People know who I'm out every night in the club or in the scene a lot, so they're looking to promote their stuff by giving me shirts and such," Page says. "Some of my friends are in the industry and kick down a lot of swag to me. One time I got a box with five different pairs of jeans."

If only the rest of us could be as lucky. 

When he's not dressing promotional clothing like organic t-shirts from green-minded snowboard companies, Page prefers to dress in a casual mix of urban wear and indie rock threads. More often than not, you can catch him wearing one of his favorite Western shirts, hippie love beads, and a Pageboy cap atop his trademark afro. 

What's your favorite outfit to wear?
My favorite is a vintage Western shirt, something that goes on really easy and I don't have to iron. Maybe with some fitting jeans or gentlemanly slacks. If you go too loose, too trendy, or too baggy, that's taking you back to '90s hip-hop style, which is played out.

What's the last item of clothing you bought?
I don't usually buy anything, but the last thing was a vintage t-shirt from Buffalo Exchange. It was an old Glendale Union High School District shirt that I had to wear in P.E. every day. I found one again, and that's pretty cool. I also bought a Hundreds hat, but I didn't buy it from a store. I bought it outta the trunk of car driven by one of the rappers who comes to the Hidden House. That's his side hustle.

Where do you usually shop?
I go to what I call "The Loop." If I'm shopping, I go to Last Chance, Marshall's, and Buffalo Exchange, because they're all in the same area [of Central Phoenix]. That's the move, and I can usually pick up something there for a hella cheap. I scored a pair of brand new P-Rod [a.k.a. Paul Rodriguez] Nikes for $29 that I saw on the Internet for $100. The sale racks at Marshall's are always good to raid for athletic clothing.

What do you like to accessorize with?
A lot of things around my wrists: bracelets, beads, watches...stuff like that. Occasionally, something around the neck, but only if the shirt is really plan. I like the silver cuff type of bracelets or pure wooden beads. I'm also a hat guy. I once scored a phat wool Newsboy cap for 75 cents and also wear the fitted 5150 New Era fitted caps.

What do you usually wear when snowboarding?
I got a pair of snowboard pants that are more like jeans and not as baggy. A basic black jacket, because I'm always wearing a helmet and I try to keep my colors neutral. I'm not trying to do a super-bright thing like the old snowboard clothing with all the crazy patterns.

What item of clothing do you most covet at the moment?
Everyone should have a good cashmere cardigan sweater. I had one once, but it got lost. Roommates, you know how it goes. And I've been looking for a new one but don't wanna pay retail for it. I'd rather have it used.

Who are some of your style icons.
Mos Def is pretty dope. Also Common, Q-Tip from A Tribe Called Quest, and Daniel Craig in the James Bond movies. And my friend Ali Karem, he's definitely a fashion influence.

What item of clothing will look good on any guy?
The one item that will work on anyone in any room is a vintage Western shirt with pearl buttons. Because you can dress it up or dress it down, put a coat over it, or wear slacks or jeans with it.

Give us a childhood memory of you and clothes:
These kids in high school used to jack polo shirts from the Dillards in Metrocenter in the '80s and we'd get first dibs on all their shit. They'd run in, grab a stack, and run out. And we'd catch 'em in the parking lot at school and get 'em for $10.

Name an item of clothing that's best when it's vintage:
A pair of '70s-style leather boots. Like Shaft.

Name five items every man should have in her closet:
1. A pair of Converse
2. Good jeans
3. A neutral-colored hat
4. A black leather belt for either jeans or slacks
5. A good pair of aviator-style sunglasses

What is your one piece of fashion advice for Phoenix:
Please try not to dress like everyone else you hang out with. Everybody needs to stop dressing like everybody else and get their own individuality. Take styles from everywhere but don't wear the same clothes as everyone in your crew when you go to the same bars with the same people. It looks kinda funny.

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