Fashion Drive-by: on the Bull City Connector

If we had a way to plot all our missed-connections on a map and post them for public view, they would be clustered around the hubs of Durham’s mass transit. The bus, in and out of The Federal for a quick early evening beer on a Tuesday at six, rolling down Main Street towards the West End Wine Bar or Pop’s or Toast or Whiskey or Dame’s Chicken Waffles or any other spot where, despite the small metropolis feel of this, our charming little city, there are simply so many plush cultural options that it is almost impossible not to feel like a bon vivant.

To recognize the spirit, the vitality, and the importance of public transit, we wanted to shoot some of our fashionable Durham men, fully styled, riding the bus, in operation, a Fashion Drive-By on the Bull City Connector. We have a FREE bus, people. Cities this size, this culturally fly, don’t have free public transportation. Surely, not in America. Oh, but yes, here in Durham.

The route wraps around downtown, Golden Belt, old west Durham, Erwin Road, Northgate Park, and a bus comes by each stop about every fifteen minutes. A free ride to downtown on a Friday or Saturday night? Sure, we’ll take that.

Our wardrobe partner for this Fashion Drive-by, #FashioninTransit was Vert & Vogue, the environmentally conscious, gorgeous, high-end boutique located in Brightleaf Square. This shop features both women’s and men’s wear, but is one of the only boutiques in the area with such an amazing selection of men’s clothing. It is no wonder they have won the Indy Weekly’s Best Men’s Clothier award, three years running. They carefully and personally select every item that comes into the store from their fashion partners, the result is unmatched quality.

Vert & Vogue and our Creative Director, Cady Childs, channeled a late sixties, laid back look with modern twists, like Raleigh Denim jeans and pants, handmade belts by De Palma and Tanner Goods. The hair styling was done by Emma Frink and Christina Pelech of Rock Paper Scissors.

And, of course, you may recognize our models: Cody Tyler, the face behind, Totes Codes, which hosts some of the best events and DJ’d parties in the hip Durham clubs, The Pinhook and The Bar, Joe Hall of Hammer no More the Fingers, and Jolo, and Ned Phillips, the filmmaker who created Lila’s “Heart to Heart” and HNMTF’s “Kilowave” videos along with Jessi Blakely of Jessica Arden Photography (who also is the photographer behind the Clarion Content’s #FashionDriveBy movement).

Durham, the degrees of our separation just keep getting smaller and smaller.

The Clarion Content takes a ride on the bus. 
A Fashion Drive-by on the Bull City Connector

Cody Tyler of TotesCodes, seen above, wearing a Steven Alan shirt, Raleigh Denim pants, and his own bullet casing necklace. Shirt and pants available at Vert & Vogue


Joe Hall of Hammer No More Their Fingers, wearing a Steven Alan shirt, available at Vert & Vogue.

Joe will be performing his solo project Jolo, Thursday, September 20th at The Pinhook, along with long lost Durham favorite, Violent Dreams. 

Cody Tyler, an event promoter, coordinator, and, oh yeah, art teacher, will be hosting his second annual DURTYQUEER dance party on Friday, September 28th, also at The Pinhook. 


Models listed from left to right, Cody Tyler, in Steven Alan shirt, Raleigh Denim pants and De Palma belt; Ned Phillips, in Steven Alan shirt, Protege pants and Tanner Goods belt, Joe Hall in Steven Alan shirt, Protege pants and De Palma belt, all available at Vert & Vogue


Ned is currently filming a top secret project with the Clarion Content and Jessica Arden.

In Durham and on the bus, work doesn’t stop for Fashion shoots, it just keeps on rolling.


Joe Hall
Free municipal bus routes are a fantastic public service. The bus is an old school, kind of throwback, idea. It hearkens to an era when people knew their neighbors and front porch culture dominated. 
The practical personal benefits of taking the bus are legion, from decreasing the propensity to drive drunk, to saving on gas, to safety. The societal benefits of taking the bus are extensive, too. The list includes decreased pollution and traffic congestion, less need for public parking and hence more open space. The bus encourages a pedestrian culture that helps local business. People walk when they get off the bus.
This shoot was only possible with the fantastic collaborative efforts of the Durham Convention and Visitors Bureau, specifically Lauren Parker, with Go Triangle dot com and Margaret McNab. Also a special thanks to Eric Waters, who also shot behind-the-scenes at the D-TownMarket #REFASHIONED, for assisting Jessica Arden.  
Aware of the Clarion Content’s message that runs through all of our Fashion Drive-by’s: Durham is what it is because of those who stuck with it through thick and thin, laying the foundations of the cultural renaissance that has people nationally referring to us as the next Seattle, Austin, Brooklyn.
Seizing on the message and the authenticity of Durham, the DCVB and the Bull City Connector folks, like the Clarion Content, wanted to highlight how closely interlinked we all are as members of our community. People don’t have to preach diversity to Durham. We symbolize it. People don’t have to preach progressive to Durham, we live it. People don’t have to preach about the environment to Durham, do they?
Get on the bus, brothers and sisters.
The bus is about the collective, the we are in this together spirit, that says for us to be our best selves, all parts of the city, all of our citizens, young and old, black, white, Hispanic, and Asian, students, grad students, professors, transplants and natives, must feel included, part and parcel of this moment.
Duke, we know you are behind the Bus!!! And we’re grateful.
Hat by Steven Alan, belt by De Palma, shirt by Vert & Vogue
Ned Phillips, of COZMIK PRODUCTIONS, directed Lila’s “Heart to Heart” and HNMTF’s “Kilowave” videos, seen wearing a Culturata shirt, and Protege pants, both available at Vert & Vogue.
Come along for the ride… Durham’s a magical place.
Check out behind the scenes photos from friend of the Clarion Content, Ashlie White, here.
Check out behind scenes video, from friend of the Clarion Content, Seth Felder, here.

Keep in mind the Bull City Connector buses continued normal operations the whole time the Fashion Drive-by was being shot. Our special thanks to the bus passengers and the bus drivers who were all very accommodating.

And one more thank you to all those who made this shoot possible.

Jessica Blakely aka Jessica Arden Photography
Cady Childs, Creative Director
Vert & Vogue, special thanks to Tessel
Emma Frink and Christina Pelech and Rock Paper Scissors
Margaret McNabb and the Durham Convention and Visitors Bureau
Lauren Parker and Go
Cody Tyler, model
Ned Phillips, model
Joe Hall, model
Eric Waters, coordination and staging assistance
Ashlie White, second shooter
Seth Felder, videography

Clarion Content

Clarion Content is a Durham-based online magazine that curates and creates the thriving culture that gives our city its identity. Our community building is only as strong as our collective contributions. Our team of curators welcomes your comments, suggestions, and concerns. We are open to all points of view, especially those that challenge and therefore stimulate our own. We also encourage reader submitted material as well as guest columnists. See something cool, outrageous, outlandish, or important? Have a great cause? Send us a note or stop by our offices at the Mothership, 401 West Geer Street inside the MotorCo complex.

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