At first glance, one would automatically assume that Farren Allen is a self-centered and obnoxious pretty boy, but in reality he's actually one of the most down to earth individuals you could ever encounter.
I met the humble 26-year-old family man in 2013 through our great mutual friends, Jovan and Julio. Prior to meeting Farren, I saw various photos of him subtly flexing on Instagram so I was aware of his stylish ways. It's his personality I was unsure about. Fortunately, after just one brief conversation with him on the second floor of BAPE, I instantly knew we would become good homies.
A month ago, while I was shooting the promotional video for my "Le Petit Prince" T-shirt in SoHo (peep it on my gram), I bumped into the fashion-forward father with his equally swagged out wife and daughter on Crosby street. So much has changed in both of our lives since we last saw each other three years ago. We spoke for a few minutes, but there was so much more to discuss. Consequently, I asked him if he would like to continue our convo on my #FrendyOriginals platform and here we are!
Check out the transcript of our dialogue below:
FRENDY: How was your workday, G?
FARREN: My day was good! I'm just always thankful for it. After a holiday, work is usually hectic, but I kind of just rolled with it.
FRENDY: I feel you. Being grateful is always key—that's how all the blessings come around. We really need to practice gratitude daily. How's the fam?
FARREN: Yessir—I'm very big on being thankful. It's important to take a second to see how far we've come. You eventually learn to be thankful for work, the day and the people involved in it. Yes, the family is good.
FRENDY: Man, that's great to hear. It's crazy how long we've known each other. I knew you since you had them dreads flourishing in these streets!
FARREN: Yeah man, it's been about 5-6 years! That's a long time. And you were around as I found myself as a man. Before the little buzz (no bragging). So definitely humble beginnings. You always had kind words and you were still the man then: "Frendy From BAPE."
FRENDY: *Laughs* Appreciate you. So fill me in, around the time we first met, were you in school or just working?
FARREN: Yes, I was working at Pink (Victoria's Secret) doing their visuals. During that time I was also attending BMCC (Borough of Manhattan Community College).
FRENDY: Grinding! Were you studying anything in particular at BMCC?
FARREN: Well, I was leaning towards being a teacher at the time. *Laughs* Believe it, man! But I was unsure. So I was just kind of going with the flow—I wasn't sure about school.
FRENDY: I totally understand. Your gut feeling can never steer you wrong. What made you so unsure about becoming a teacher?
FARREN: *Laughs* Man, just going to school and remembering the experience. I was asking myself: "do I really want to put up with that?" The answer later turned out to be "hell nah."
FRENDY: *Laughs* You ain't never lied! My mom is actually a teacher so I give her all the credit in the world for putting up with that. Did you complete your two years at BMCC?
FARREN: *Laughs* Shout out to moms. And yeah, I did get my associates degree! Honestly, I felt like I wasted my time because right after high school I went away to a school called UTI, but my dad ran into some trouble and I had to leave. So all those loans I eventually got stuck with.
FRENDY: Oh wow, where is UTI located?
FARREN: Exton, Pennsylvania.
FRENDY: Damn, I ain't never heard of that place in my entire life *Laughs*. How long did you stay in that school?
FARREN: It's an Amish town—It was bad there, man. I stayed there for one year.
FRENDY: You may not have seen it then, but I'm sure you learned a lot from just being there. What did you end up doing after graduating BMCC? Were you still working at Victoria's Secret?
FARREN: Well, I thought things would have changed, but it [my degree] was just a piece of paper. Not that I'm against school, I just thought it would have changed things. Life just kept going like nothing.
FRENDY: Did you stop working at VS?
FARREN: No, I stayed there. But of course in New York, well in any hood matter of fact, you want to make real money so I dipped in and out of the street life. Nothing hardcore—I'm not a dude of that nature—but I carried little B.S drugs around. Little drop offs.
FRENDY: When did you stop doing these little drop offs?
FARREN: Well, that went on for about 6-7 years. I stopped right after my friend Richard got killed. Different reason for his death, but I woke up and wanted to differ.
FRENDY: My condolences. The death of a loved one is the most potent wake up call. Damn, I really had no clue you even remotely dealt with the street life.
FARREN: Thank you, indeed it is. And it was nothing major, it was just fast money. Pick up, drop off. Don't dare think I was in these streets like that *Laughs*. It was a sad time then. As a younger dude, I was saying I need these designer [clothes] and whatever else I thought I needed—I wasn't trying to ask my pops.
FRENDY: What did you do to get extra cash after that?
FARREN: Well, I stopped once I started making money at the post office, which is around the same time my boy died. It ended up working out in time for me!
FRENDY: That's amazing. Was it a long process to get the post office job?
FARREN: Well, before that time I been quit VS and was working at AG Jeans on Greene street in Soho. It was just some part time gig, not good enough money. God was on my side because it usually takes a very long time to get hired by the post office—It only took me three weeks. The following week my girl told me she was pregnant.
FRENDY: Divine timing! It takes a whole lot of heart to make money the legit route, rather than doing nonsense for easy bread. Why did you choose the post office? Was it a random pick?
FARREN: Yes, man. Perfect timing! And it wasn't a random pick. I have a dear friend of mine named Idenial who told me about it and convinced me to work there.
FRENDY: What's a regular day like for you working for the US Postal Service?
FARREN: I drive the trucks. My route is on the west side of 42nd street. It's pretty quiet and calm back there. I deliver to Kristaps Porzingis and also Lance Thomas of the New York Knicks. That's the pretty cool part. There's lots of other perks, but overall it's calm. It's just the source of income.
As a matter of fact! Frendy my man, I'm going to hit you with a bomb. Around the time I met you, I was actually homeless so your kind words of always telling me I'm dope and you feel like I'm going to do something great helped me tremendously. You gave me words of encouragement and you never knew.
FRENDY: That's crazy! I'm glad I was able to have those deep convos with you. I always make sure to spread the good word, especially to the cats I know who are destined to do great things. As a matter of fact, we all have greatness in us. It's just that I can tell who is actually going to pursue what they really love to do in life and be dope at it. It can be in the arts or whatever, you know—it's my gift I guess.
FARREN: Yeah, man. You're a good dude. Always had the good words to help me get through things.
FRENDY: I'm glad you told me that—It's all about authenticity. Also, you never know who you're going to inspire with your truth. Just like the kind words I said that helped you so much, you never know how your story will impact the readers. If you don't mind me asking, what caused you and your pops to be homeless?
FARREN: We lived in a basement and it didn't have a back door. It's illegal to live in a place like that so the fire department came and told us we had to leave with the clothes on our backs. At the time, my dad used his checks to pay rent, all the money went down the drain.
FRENDY: Wow, was your mother around as well?
FARREN: Well, I came to America from Guyana when I was 11 to live with my dad. My mom is back in Guyana.
FRENDY: Damn, that's another piece of information I didn't know! I came to New York when I was seven. Do you still keep in touch with mom dukes?
FARREN: Yessir! We are very close.
FRENDY: That's great to hear! When you got kicked out the basement did you have any thoughts of going back to Guyana with your dad? Or that wasn't even the case at all?
FARREN: No. Not even a thought! You know coming from a third world country—being homeless here is still living better than you would at your home country to a certain degree. Over here in the states, there are more opportunities,
FRENDY: Yes, most def. There was an article that covered you and your father's ordeal. The Red Cross came to the rescue, am I right?
FARREN: Yeah, they placed us in a hotel for about four days. Then things got real! The whole time in the hotel I'm saying this isn't so bad. After the fourth day, we went to pick a shelter to live in. Thank God the one we got into was on top of a YMCA. It was like private rooms, just a bed and a closet. I brought over my TV. The room was about 28-35 feet. There was a big bathroom downstairs with a shower and toilet. Since I was so well-mannered, the YMCA gave me free access to everything. There was a pool, a basketball court and a computer room. It turned out kind of cool. At times I forgot where I was.
To be honest, I buried this information for years because I was embarrassed. I eventually learned to embrace it all.
FRENDY: Were you working at PINK throughout the time living in the shelter?
FARREN: Yeah, I was. I had to work because money had to come in some kind of way. Plus, I also felt embarrassed. I felt like I had to maintain an image but working at Pink wasn't going to cut it. That's where other things came into the picture.
FRENDY: Totally understandable. I'm glad everything is working out for you right now. Sheesh, you have an entire family of your own! When did you know your wife was the one?
FARREN: Yes, I do. But man! a mutual friend introduced us. She knew of me before I knew her because, of like, social media and dating other females. When I met Destinie, everything was there. I was just so curious about her and was simply impressed overall with her.
Being without a mother for so long, I lacked in showing emotions and she showed me (still is) how to love. She's able to provide me with something that I've been missing for so long. As weird as it may sound, she "babies" me *Laughs*. She makes me feel like a man, but also like a kid being loved, if that makes sense. I was raised by my dad so it was very emotionless. Des filled that role I was missing for a while and that's how I knew she was the one. It wasn't all sunshine, but we made it work!
FRENDY: Beautiful. How long were you guys dating before you popped the big question?
FARREN: It was a year into our relationship. Everything was going good—I wanted to show her that I was serious. She knew my reputation for being with a bunch of girls. Well, she gave me that label. Even though I was like that, I wasn't a messy guy. I always tried to make sure I kept a good name anywhere I went. With a certain look, people tend to label you, but I wanted to be serious this time around and actually give the relationship an honest try.
I didn't propose all extra. It was during a simple meet up in SoHo. We were talking about clothes and buying vintage band tees and I popped out the ring!
FRENDY: Too smooth, my man. A year is relatively such a short time to realize your partner is "the one," but love is one powerful drug! Especially when it's real. Speaking of fashion, I see that your wife is really into it. Can you tell me a bit more about her venture into the field?
FARREN: Yessir! Love is beautiful. When you feel it, you just know. My wife started blogging. She has a huge fashion sense. She actually styles me sometimes. This woman lives for fashion! Her hobby is looking at clothes all day, I've never seen that amount of dedication to clothes in my life.
She eventually got into reselling designer threads, reworking vintage pieces and wholesale women clothing. Her business has reached new levels! Super proud of her. From the early days I told her she would blow up and things are certainly heading towards that direction.
FRENDY: It's a match made in heaven because you're so stylish yourself. What are some of your favorite brands right now?
FARREN: Yeah, man. Because now I get styled by her, I don't have to think too much *Laughs*. Nah man, seriously she's a beautiful individual. Teaching me things every single day. The fashion is a bonus for me.
Honestly, these days I've changed; I don't want to be so loud. Most of the times you see me I'm in trousers or sweats with a vintage T-shirt. Of course, I'm always wearing something heavy on the feet. I really don't have a favorite brand, but I can say that I have tons of Saint Laurent in my closet.
FRENDY: Would you ever consider getting into the modeling business?
FARREN: I really don't think so because I love being behind the scenes. I really love being low-key so it's honestly up in the air.
FRENDY: I feel you. Hey, at least you can live vicariously through your daughter being in the spotlight. She's adorable, plus the gram loves her! *Laughs*.
FARREN: Yessir! Thank you, man. The people always show love to her, and whenever we're out, she is waving and blowing everyone kisses *Laughs*.
FRENDY: That's hilarious. She's a star!
FARREN: "She get it from her mama!" *Laughs*. I always thank God for her being a happy baby—She's always so joyful and it helps me get away from any worries I have. With my past experiences, I'm always thinking about something. Having a family is a great escape. I also have a chocolate labrador, her name is Heather. She's great company too!
FRENDY: A True blessing. You're a young man with a stable income and an amazing family. What else do you want to accomplish in life?
FARREN: The next step is to move to New Jersey and get a house. Before I moved to New York, I lived in Bloomfield, New Jersey for one year. I did my freshman year at Bloomfield high school. The school programs there are way better than New York's. In the city, kids are forced to grow up really fast—there's 15 year olds taking the train to school alone. They grow up and see so much in a fast pace. I want all my kids to enjoy being a kid as long as possible because I didn't.