Kofi Smith. Executive Director . Atlanta Airlines Terminal Corporation
HOMETOWN | FLORENCE, ALABAMA | MARRIED
Interviewed by : Sigele Winbush | Atlanta Ballet | Director of Public Relations
What’s your favorite fashion trend right now? I can’t say that I really follow trends, but I have incorporated “happy socks” into my wardrobe. I’m having fun playing with different styles and prints. It’s a great way to show personality.
What is your signature look? Definitely a suit – a well-tailored suit - and tie.
Who’s your sartorial hero? Who has inspired your style the most? Without question my grandfather – Granddaddy Johnny – my mother’s father. He always told my mom and her siblings growing up that if you step out looking like a millions bucks, someone might give you a million bucks. My mother then instilled that in me, and I took it to heart. You only have one chance to make a first impression and your style is a big part of that. Your style can communicate so much about who you are, how you perceive yourself and how you want others to perceive you. That’s why being chosen as a Bloomingdale's Man of Style has been the greatest honor, because I feel I’m paying homage to my grandfather. I hope he’s looking down from heaven now saying I made him proud.
What advice would you give to others searching for their own personal style? Find clothes that make you look good and feel good. That confidence will then help you perform at the highest level across all areas of your life.
Favorite article of clothing? Ties! I probably have more than 150 in my closet right now.
When you’re not working, how do you spend your free time? Being with my sonis my favorite past time. I’m totally in love with my 2 ½ year old son. When I’m not with family, I’m watching CNBC or reading success books. Two of my favorites are Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich” and “The Law of Success.”
Out of your select fashion pieces from Bloomingdales, which was your favorite and why? The tie! It was a great accent to the ensemble and one I could also easily transition into my existing wardrobe!
Best advice you have ever received? Whenever you have a chance to sit with a leader or someone you admire, ask them what their genius is.
Describe your style in three words: Sophisticated. Polished. Debonair.
How do you define success? Working as hard as you can to achieve as much as you can and then helping others do the same. I believe in leveraging your success to help others become successful.
You were an athlete in college. How did that experience help prepare you for life and your career? It taught me everything about hard work and people. My college football coach taught me that there is no substitute for hard work and you are ultimately only competing against yourself. He would always emphasize showing up early and staying late. I’ve brought that same mentality into the corporate world, and it’s served me well.
Top 5 places in Atlanta:
Outdoor space: Piedmont Park
Shopping: Lenox Mall and Phipps Plaza
Area of town: Downtown Atlanta
Place to feed my love of sports: Georgia Tech’s Bobby Dodd Stadium in the fall
Favorite restaurant: King & Duke