(Photo: Jeff Henrikson)
From the moment we begin speaking, it's apparent that Chris Black strives to live by the guidelines he disseminates through his first book, I Know You Think You Know It All ($10). Almost immediately, we get into his past. Growing up in suburban Atlanta, he'd regularly shoplift men's magazines (primarily European versions) from the local shops in an effort to learn as much as he could about whatever interested him at the time: fashion, travel, books, music—you name it, he knew at least something about it. After dropping out of high school, he stumbled into a gig at one of the cooler retail boutiques in the neighborhood where he worked until he was 23 years old. It was this thirst for knowledge and experience in branding that ultimately led him to New York, where he's been ever since.
The descriptives for Black, a world-class dabbler, go on and on: designer, writer, brand strategist, producer, lifestylist. This universal experience makes him the perfect person to point out what guys have been doing wrong lately, both online and in real life. His discerning Twitter feed, which filters some of the best content around the web—often with a joke—sparked the attention of powerHouse Books, a publisher based out of Brooklyn. Perhaps, the two parties inquired, there was a book somewhere to be written? After those initial meetings, ten months of observations and some opinionated diatribes were transcribed and organized into a coherent, fun, and wildly useful read that debuts today.