Drop, Cover, and Hold On: Lakeith Stanfield

by Chelsey Sanchez

Lakeith Stanfield | Photos by Carlos Serrao |  PRADA  jacket, sweater, pants, and belt.

Lakeith Stanfield | Photos by Carlos Serrao | PRADA jacket, sweater, pants, and belt.

“I was just reflecting on how many opportunities I have being from California,” Lakeith Stanfield, who has played roles in the likes of movies such as Straight Outta Compton (2015) and Get Out (2017), tells me, “how fortunate I am to be born in a place where I can pursue my goals. Not everyone has that.”

Opportunities are like ripples in water: starting out with just one touch, they metamorphose from tiny to small to big to bigger circles; shifting waves that, when channeled by those with the dedication and talent necessary to make most of them, eventually lap up onto the shore of success.

PRADA  sweater, pants, belt, and necklace. 

PRADA sweater, pants, belt, and necklace. 

Stanfield speaks like a man who has touched ground on these shores, wisdom flowing from his tongue in a way that soothes the ear. His wisdom can boil, like when he speaks of the passion and dedication required in both relationships and art:  “Commitment in human relationships is devotion and sacrifice. Consistency and a willingness to see each endeavor through to its final product when it comes to art.” His wisdom can freeze, like when he talks of the personal perils in taking leaps of faith: “I’ve risked being judged in order to speak what I think.”

And, as is the nature of water, he dips in and out of different phases and forms, calling out the state of humanity when it comes to that classic dichotomy between pop culture and fine art, saying, “Pop culture is constantly in a state of metamorphosis. As we evolve so do our tastes and interests. Also our capacity for more information. What we consider to be fine art tries to pull from the pool of pop culture to set an oftentimes arbitrary pedestal derived from a select and revered few.”

Lakeith wears  PRADA  sweater, pants, belt, and necklace. 

Lakeith wears PRADA sweater, pants, belt, and necklace. 

Is it cyclical of man to precipitate knowledge from the clouds of thought that fog his mind? Is it cyclical of magazines to treat interview questions like a philosophy course more often than they treat it like an actual interview? Perhaps. But science, and life, dictate that there are cycles for a reason. For water, it is to renew the resources of earth. For man, it is to renew the spirits of the mind. And, to that, Stanfield imparts some lasting, timeless knowledge to us: “Confidence is moving in the direction of fear, despite fear. If it’s not that, then it’s not confidence, it’s just being blind. Even though you know you’re scared, knowing you can push through.”

Written by Chelsey Sanchez   
Photographed by Carlos Serrao   
Styled by Mui-Hai Chu featuring prada fall/winter 2017

Hair: Sascha Breuer
Makeup: Kristen Hilton

Issue 155

The Aftershock Issue: New America

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