They say the rise of the male fashionister is the next game changer when it comes to the rag trade industry. Jaheb Barnett is a rare breed of male consumer who isn’t interested in the standard hoodie and thong uniform that so many New Zealand and Australian men adorn/adore. Being straight doesn’t have to mean being safe or boring when it comes to menswear and he encourages the average bloke to be comfortable raising the bar in terms of dress standards. Our newest contributor wants to disrupt the preconceived notion that looking good is hard, complicated and only for Kanye. His aim is to show the everyday guy that adding in a drop crotch, cool kicks, grey marle and distressed leather needn’t be hard and should be your new norm. So sit down, relax your tie, follow his advice and you might just get lucky.
Name: Jaheb Barnett
Occupation: Ad man
What did you study and what was your original intended career path?
My younger self wanted to be a journalist and there’s a part of me that still does. I guess if there were another me out there, he’d be doing just that. My passion is based around storytelling and advertising allows me to do so. I studied Communications at AUT. No surprises there as that’s one of the best courses to get you into the game.
Give us a brief background on your career to date:
While studying I worked for a radio station ZM for 3 years. It was a blast and gave me some pocket money to fund my adventures.
Fresh from graduating, I landed a job with Air New Zealand to travel the globe and market New Zealand to the world. Did this for 4 years until I had that moment where I realised I wasn’t being challenged and ultimately needed to focus on a career. I had two options on the table, journalism or advertising. I said to myself whichever door opened first I’d jump right on in.
Started advertising in 2012 for DDB Auckland and am now the Senior Account Manager on the McDonald’s account. Yes, I do get free Big Macs. It’s superb.
[line][pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”]You’ll do well in advertising if you make your clients look good and help them get their promotion.[/pullquote] [line]
What are some of the unexpected aspects of being in advertising?
We don’t all pour booze into our coffee cups first thing Monday morning and wear expensive suits……….unfortunately. I guess I never knew the value clients put on such simple measures like being punctual, knowing how they like their coffees and generally making their lives easier. One of my bosses said to me, ‘you’ll do well in advertising if you make your clients look good and help them get their promotion. Do that and you’ll go far’. I live by that, and so far so good.
What advice would you give to people aspiring to be in advertising?
Understand why advertising exists. Is it to sell more products, change people’s behaviour, shape the culture and society we live in?
Ask yourself what motivates you to be a part of this industry and find inspiration from what has been done and why it moves you.
Be different. Advertising is about capturing someone’s attention and motivating them to take a desired action. Do the same with your CV, your interview and think about what you could do to follow up – how many people ever do?
If you want to be a suit, the bread & butter of your job is client servicing. It’s about being a host, knowing their demands and needs before they even ask. It’s relationship building, getting them to trust you and when they do, they’ll have confidence in the ideas they might not be initially be comfortable with. If you do this, you’ll be halfway there. The rest is trusting your gut.
[line][pullquote width=”600″ float=”left”]The moment you start caring what people think, you start to compromise who you are. Screw that.[/pullquote] [line]
Straight male fashion bloggers are rare in the industry. What makes you drawn to writing for The Unimpossibles?
I think there’s probably a bunch of straight guys out there that want to comment on the industry, but are too afraid. I’m clearly not one of them. The moment you start caring what people think, you start to compromise who you are. Screw that.
I like that it’s rare, it gives me the opportunity to break the mould and give some realistic and applicable advice for males who want a few tips on how to be the modern man. I hope to be able to share what I know, what I’m continuing to learn and help some guys who want to look and feel good but don’t know exactly how.
What sort of content can our lovely readers expect from you?
It’ll be like a lucky dip. From health and lifestyle to travel and social commentary, I’ll be sharing content that I hope can educate, inspire and help you along this ride called life.
[line][pullquote width=”300″ float=”right”]Live dangerously. Be stupid.[/pullquote] [line]
What would you say to your 21 year old self?
Live dangerously. Be stupid.
What person dead or alive would you invite to a dinner party and why?
Michael Jackson. The man was incredible and I’ve always wanted to see the moon walk in real life.