I’ve been following Justin Livingston’s blog, Scout Sixteen, for a year or so. Justin’s ability to piece together stylish outfits, without subscribing to trend, is one of my favorite things about his blog. The way he writes, however, is what drives me to his site. Justin eloquently and vulnerably shares his outlook on life, giving his blog substance beyond fashion advice. I was so inspired by Justin that I reached out to him and was able to schedule a coffee date on my last visit to New York City. I sent an email while at the airport waiting to board my flight, not expecting a response considering we didn’t know each other. To my surprise, Justin graciously set aside some time to sit down with me and talk about blogging, Scout Sixteen, and how his blog came to be.
I know that you grew up in Mississippi, can you tell me a little about growing up in the south and some of the lessons you learned that formed you into the person you are today?
Growing up in the south falls somewhere between a hardship and a blessing in my life. I have the most wonderful family and amazing friends but my environment didn’t foster the wild type of creativity that was growing inside of me. It wasn’t until after I left that I realized how impactful the south was on me. I learned the importance of chasing dreams, paving your own path, and the necessity of being a good person – all of which aid me on a daily basis running Scout Sixteen.
You have a very original sense of style, did anyone influence you growing up?
My style is one of the few constants in my life. There wasn’t one particular person who influenced my style but I found inspiration in the people who passed through my life over the years.
At what age did you move to NY and what inspired you to start Scout Sixteen?
At nineteen, I moved to New York City on a whim. There weren’t many ties binding me to Mississippi; I desperately needed a change of scenery. It wasn’t until much later (close to 6 years) that I started Scout Sixteen. It was a project I undertook because my full-time job was lacking the creativity it once provided. My blog ended up becoming something I never knew I wanted to do – it was the perfect way to interact with and engage a community of like-minded readers!
Since starting Scout Sixteen, how has your style and creativity changed? What have you learned along the way?
Surprisingly, my style hasn’t changed all that much since I’ve started Scout Sixteen. It’s like my style went through puberty; it’s still the same base layers but they’ve just been graduated a bit. I will say – I have infused some urban influences (via New York City) over the years that weren’t directly part of my rural upbringing.
You’ve been able to collaborate with a ton of respected brands. What has been your favorite collaboration thus far?
There have been so many fun projects over the last two years that I couldn’t pick just one, but I do love working with brands that understand my aesthetic and proactively look for ways to work with me.
What has been your most humbling moment since starting Scout Sixteen?
The most humbling part of building Scout Sixteen from the ground up has been giving myself (and many others) a platform to express themselves, communicate their interests, and connect with like-minded creators. I love being able to meet my readers in person and hear their stories.
What is your must-have items for fall?
My ultimate fall must-have is without a doubt a fur-collared trench coat. I saw one recently from Sandro Paris and fell in lust with it.
Photos courtesy of: Scout Sixteen