Starting his Instagram account at the age of 16, young Stephen Kotsanlee (@theyounggent) is showing the world that dapper does not have an age barrier. Hear from the man himself, about how he brought about his own dapper style to the world.
“I guess I always liked the idea of presentation being a big part of other people’s perception and attitude towards you. I also enjoyed the whole idea of ‘chivalry’ and ‘traditional’ values of a gentleman, which is a lost art. So I wanted to somehow bring it back to people my age. I had seen pics on Instagram and I thought ‘why not?’ and just went for it!”
We all have people we aspire to or take inspiration from, if you ever note @theyounggent for his Instagram stories you may pick up on a few of his.
“In terms of influence, I have three people who I aspire to replicate, and that is my Dad, Frank Sinatra and James Bond. I always credit my Dad because he passed his old values on to me to which I aim to replicate and I wouldn’t be where I among without his support.
Sinatra is a mixture of the time he lived in and his music. Frank was always impeccably dressed, even in casual wear. He took care in his appearance and his music just makes me want to dress up, sit down, and have a glass of scotch.
I not only admire Bond for the way he dresses but his confidence in facing his enemies and women. He’s seductive and I quite enjoy the quirky pickup lines and one-liners are fun to copy (they also work most of the time).”
We are always shown barriers due to age, so I was curious as to whether the world of Instagram was more equal.
“I guess the hardest part was what your mates would think about you. I was afraid that they’d see me as a bit of a wanker but at the end of the day, I was the one that was doing something and getting somewhere. Their attitudes will eventually turn into appreciation, respect and in some cases jealousy. So at the end of the day, you have to be selfish and do what you want to do and say ‘f**k them’.
Stephen was also a guest speaker at our The Dappertude Seminar in Melbourne, read about it here
In regards to the age difference between bloggers, there will obviously be a difference in the age of each one’s audience. However, I wouldn’t say there is an advantage even if majority of Instagram users are quite young. I don’t find myself following people because of their age, but rather the inspiration and entertainment their page provides.”
Despite the world of Instagram not seeing age as a barrier, there are ultimately things outside of our online profiles that can force as to better ourselves. Stephen is currently in year 12 finishing his VCE, known as one of the most stressful time periods I was amazed to see Stephen seemingly accomplishing more than he ever has in this year.
“I knew it [year 12] would be a challenge, but there’s no better way to develop your skills than by challenging yourself. So as tough as it used to be, I’ve really developed my time management skills, not just for Instagram but with studying and scheduling, so it’s been great. You learn to find ways to overcome barriers, like I obviously don’t post what I’m wearing or doing everyday, so when I do take shots, I take multiple which I can them spread out across the upcoming weeks.”
As always you have to look forward in your career, whether it be trying something new or developing on what you know. I asked Stephen what keeps him going in the cut-throat world of professional Instagram.
“I’m not too sure if ‘professional Instagrammer’ is the most rewarding term but I’ll stick with it! The main thing that inspires me is receiving a message from someone who you don’t know, someone who doesn’t even live in the same country, and they’re saying ‘thank you for what you are doing. You inspire me to dress well and be the best I can,’ because that’s why we are called ‘influencers’; to influence people. So it’s an absolutely incredible feeling because you know that you are helping, inspiring, and being admired by others. That’s what keeps me going.”
Lastly, Stephen it’s time to think fast….
Q. Favourite film?
A. Any of the Bond films, Kingsman: The Secret Service, and The Wolf of Wall Street
Q. Current binge TV show?
A. Just finished Mad Men, so I’m moving on to Peaky Blinders
Q. Favourite accessory piece?
A. A timepiece
Q. My go-to junk food is?
A. I haven’t had junk food for over a year now, but if I have to choose probably chicken nuggets
Q. Something you wish you could do more of?
Q. Favourite hashtag?
A. #dapper, I get a lot of inspiration from the looks seen in it!
Best Instagram posting time?
A. I like to aim for the 8 am and 8 pm mark