One Sneakerhead’s Advice to Wannabe Style Leaders

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Ambrial Smith

Chimemeka Ugoji, known on Instagram as @luxeluce00, is a 27-year-old content creator sweeping the men’s style scene with an active community of almost 77,000 followers stalking his daily swag. We’re tapping Ugoji in partnership with Kenneth Cole’s “What Moves You campaign—an initiative that highlights the movers and shakers in style, business, culture and sports. Here, he answers a few of our most pressing questions:

Were you into fashion as a kid?

Chimemeka Ugoji: I was always into fashion, but I don’t think it actually was in my head as “I can do this to make money.” I kind of thought that I dressed better than my friends, but that’s it. I used to work at an Italian restaurant when I was 13 to 17. Every week, I’d take all my tips—I got paid like $5 an hour, under the table—and I’d go buy a pair of sneakers and a fitted cap. Every single week. That was cool back then. I had so many pairs of sneakers, and kids would wonder “How?” and I was like, “Yo, I literally just spent all my money on sneakers, hats and jeans.”

How would you describe your own style now?

Ugoji: I love the baggy, loose-fitted look. In my lifetime, I never thought I’d see something go out of style and then come all the way back. In middle school, I used to wear huge jeans. Then I got to the point where I was only wearing skinny jeans. Now I have three or four pairs of skinny jeans and all my pants are loose-fitting. I love pairing them with my Kenneth Cole Futurepod Cap Toe Suede Oxfords with Techni-Cole in tobacco. The Rebound System IP makes these sleek oxfords feel like my favorite sneakers but lets my fits look fly. I can move through my day with comfort. 

Did you have a turning point when you realized you could be self-employed?

Ugoji: When I started doing this, I was doing a lot of work that I wasn’t getting paid for. I would shoot all the time, and my friends would get annoyed: I wasn’t making moves. It was just me doing it for me. My mom thought I was crazy, saying, “What are you doing this for? Stop it. Get a better job.” And I was like, “Nah, I’ve got it.” Then I got a three-year job that was amazing. When I got it, I felt like, “I’m here. I’m good. I’ve made the strides I’ve been trying to make.”

Were you scared?

Ugoji: I feel like there’s double the hustle before the payoff. When I had to ask companies for money for the first time, I was scared they were just going to delete my email.

There’s double the hustle before the payoff.

- Chimemeka Ugoji, Style Leader

What are your tips for the next class of style leaders?

Ugoji: First, be yourself. Do it for you and nobody else and the people will come. Next, work very hard. There is always someone who is less talented than you that’ll work twice as hard. Always keep that in mind. You have to do what other people will not do to get to the next level.

The tagline of this campaign is “What matters is what moves you.” What moves you?

Ugoji: I just want people to be themselves. If you like something, like it because you do, not because someone else likes it. Friends ask me, “Hey, do you like this? Should I get this?” Why would you ask me if you should get something, bro? It’s not for me. It’s for you. Be 100 percent you. Don’t let anybody change who you are because you feel like you have to fit a certain mold.

What are your craziest dreams for the future?

Ugoji: I definitely want to start some type of nonprofit that’s based around fashion and education. Then I want to start an agency, build that up and let that operate itself.