LEAD Scholars Get Fashion, Life Lessons

Men of Color in LEADership event takes Scholars to Hot Sam’s men’s clothing store.
By Jeremy Carroll


Read time: 2 minutes

Several LEAD Scholar students recently got a lesson on what it means to dress to impress for every occasion.

As part of a Men of Color in LEADership event on March 12, the students visited Hot Sam’s, a men’s clothing store in Detroit. The owners of the 102-year-old shop, Cliff Green and Tony Stovall, and stylist Terence Beasley talked to the students about the importance of clothing in first impressions.

LEAD Scholar Donovan Johnson says he enjoyed the visit, and he learned how to match certain colors, the proper way to apply cologne, and that you always want to make a good first impression.

“When you show up wearing proper dress clothes, it presents to the person that you mean business, you are serious, and this is how you want them to remember you,” Johnson says. “It also shows that you are a person who takes pride in what you wear and how you present yourself.”

Phyllis Taylor, LEAD Scholars and student recruitment Assistant Director for the Alumni Association, says the store’s owners dropped words of wisdom along with clothing knowledge on the LEAD Scholars.

“The Scholars received more than a ‘How to Dress for Success’ presentation,” she says. “They left wiser about the world and how to show up for it.”

LEAD Scholar Neal Sinha says the store’s owner discussed with them how they started as sales associates but eventually bought the store.

“They gave some great lessons in business and entrepreneurship, and about what goes into running a company,” Sinha says. “They explained the professional relationships that are needed, and how at its foundation, fashion plays a role in every conversation we have.”

As part of the trip, the students received an allotted amount of money and were able to pick out anything in the store.

The LEAD Scholars program offers merit-based scholarships and empowering community support to admitted underrepresented minority students, affording them the opportunity to expand their knowledge and showcase their talent at the University of Michigan without financial burden.

For more information on the program and how to contribute, visit alumni.umich.edu/LEAD.

Jeremy Carroll is the content strategist for the Alumni Association of the University of Michigan.

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