You may have seen this snazzy little trumpet player, bustin' out a tune and dancing like nobody's business in front of the Ferry Building or behind Bloomingdale's. Well, this kid is one Mr. Gabriel Angelo, just 12-years-old, but well beyond his years when it comes to talent and style.
Gabriel, a 7th grader at the Candle Academy for Excellence in Oakland, took up the trumpet at age 6, and has been trekking into SF to street-perform since 2009. Since then, he's built up quite the reputation in SF as "that cute trumpet kid." But, as Gabriel brushes it off as good practice, "Entertaining people really helps me increase my practice time, and since I'm shooting for ten thousand hours of practice, I need every minute I can get." By all means, Gabriel, play on.
What he's wearing: White long sleeved turtleneck shirt, Herringbone jacket, and Rust brown flat cab all from Zara; Cotton camel cardigan, Cuffed khaki chinos, and British tan leather belt and cap toe oxfords from Brooks Brothers; Antoine Courtois cornet gifted by Grammy award-winning trumpet player and composer, Arturo Sandoval.
Dare I say... Gabriel is one of the best dressed men in SF.
Playing that trumpet wears out those elbows so Gabriel was smart to get a stylish jacket with elbow patches.
Gabriel swears by his Brooks Brothers oxfords and gets custom heel taps attached at Shoe Wiz.
Gabriel lists Louis Armstrong, Arturo Sandoval and Wynton Marsalis as his main musical influences because, "All three of these musicians are passionate and are constantly giving back to their community." For his dance and swagger, he looks to the great Fred Astaire for tips and tricks.
The funds from Gabriel's street act go toward his music education and performance costumes. Gabriel takes lessons at the Acme School of Music and San Francisco Conservatory of Music, as well as with several veteran trumpet players.
7 Style Questions for Gabriel:
1. When and how did you become interested in fashion?
I think I was about 3 years old. I remember wanting to keep my dress shoes on all day even when my mother said it was time to take them off. My mother also sparked my interest in fashion by buying me dress clothes and reading GQ magazine with me when I was just a toddler. She would point to the brands of clothing and name them. Now I regularly do fashion research just because I enjoy it.
2. Who are your ultimate style icons?
Ralph Lauren was my first inspirational designer. I love his story of how he started out selling ties in high school. Miles Davis definitely had swag, too.
3. What are your style secrets?
I try to choose clothes that look good on me, not just on the hanger. Just because it looks good in the window doesn't mean it will give me swag. Certain pieces might look better on a wider frame. Sometimes I have to get stuff altered otherwise I just won't wear it. Clothes that don't fit right are my pet peeve -- I just can't do it.
4. Other than buying clothing that fits, what's the single biggest style tip you can give all the gents out there?
I'd say get a good pair of black cap toe shoes from Brooks Brothers. They'll last a long time and go with everything. Shoes can really make an outfit jump off the page. I love my British tan shoes from Brooks Brothers, too. They give any outfit a “just walked out of the 18th Century” look.
5. What's the best part about living in the Bay?
The variety of people who live here and visit here from all over the world and country. And the events. There are so many events happening all the time. I like the bustling city life.
6. What's your dream in life?
To be a gentleman always, and then I want to achieve every educational goal that I can, as well as be a skilled and inspirational entertainer. I want people to look at my life and say, “I'm not giving up on my dreams. If Gabriel can do it, so can I.”
7. What are you asking for this Christmas?
To make people forget their problems and see the best in their situations this Christmas. To keep on living this wonderful life, developing my career and practicing the art of being a gentleman.
Lily Ko (lily.7x7 @ gmail.com) studied fashion design and merchandising at Central Saint Martins and the Academy of Art University. In addition to writing for 7x7, Lily is an editor at SF Station, works as a freelance stylist and covers food, fashion and fun on her blog, Curated SF.