How I Got That Look: Marketing Guru EJ James

The SVP of Marketing for DBA Worldwide really learned how to dress from the “strong black women” who raised him

EJ James, who oversees special projects for influencer marketing firm DBA, picked up his funky fashion know-how at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology in the mid-2000s. But the 36-year-old Maryland native really learned how to dress from the “strong black women” who raised him (and who gave him most of his jewelry).

“I am wearing an Hermès bangle here as well as a diamond tennis bracelet. On the other arm, I have a vintage Hermès watch.”

“These are Loewe from Style Eyes Optical, a Black female-owned eyewear boutique in New York. It’s like seeing through literal rose-tinted glasses!”

“The cap is another Black-owned brand named PHEIT! “

Earrings and Necklaces.
“One necklace is a rope chain I inherited from my grandmother when she passed. The earrings are from Amazon. I will wear the most expensive to the most affordable!”

“The pinkie ring was given to my mother by my grandmother and then to me. This ring is really significant in the Black community because every woman had this ring. Now, to have it in my possession is a true testament to my upbringing.”

“They’re from an amazing Black creative brand, TooMK. All of my work is rooted in service to others, so I am always looking for a way to promote and highlight the creativity of my own community.”

“This is a piece I wear every day as I am obsessed with Skims. It snaps underneath and I am too busy in life to constantly tuck my shirt in, so it works!”

“I wore these as part of a green sequined suit for a going-away party that a dear friend threw for me in N.Y. before I moved to L.A.”

“Something about these Gucci loafers spoke to the androgynous personality that I have—loafers are more of a manly style, but adding the heel speaks to women.”

Photographed by Lenka Ulrichova


I purchased these during a solo birthday trip to the historical Los Poblanos Lavendar Farm where I spent four uncomfortable days getting in touch with myself. Being in the desert gave me solace knowing that life still grows and moves even in the most barren of places. It prepared me for the next chapter of my life.


Margie is my eyeglass stylist at Style Optics BK – no one reads a face like Margie plus I love supporting local, Black businesses!


My good friend Donyale out of Flint, MI is a Black, female entrepreneur with an amazing accessories business showing the world that no one hustles harder than a woman from Michigan! These earrings are a testament to our people, that no matter what, we are all one – strong and beautiful!

Letterman Jacket. 

The Black Flea Market in LA is a once-a-month experience that allows us to celebrate our culture while supporting Black creatives and businesses. This letterman with the “E” on it immediately spoke to me as my high school colors were Royal Blue and Gold – I wear it to remind myself to stay in the game of life! You’re only just beginning!


The “Wake Me When I’m Free” experience in LA changed my entire outlook on what it meant to be an activist! I use my position and influence to create change no matter what room I’m in! From the picket line to the boardroom to the stage – it starts with us – it starts right where we are!


Purchasing this necklace from a Black, female-owned business at the Black Flea Market LA, reminded me of one of my favorite songs from Young Dolph, “Get Paid.” If you know you know!


Amanda Murray, a Black costume and wardrobe curator taught us all that Papa Dries (Van Noten) reigns supreme when it comes to silhouette and color – these Black trousers reminded me that there are black pants and then there are Black trousers! Thank you, Amanda! My life and wardrobe have never been the same!


Silk scarves are my signature and Amazon has the most insanely, affordable collection! This is printed with multicolored birds, which reminded me of my fellow peacock, Iris Apfel!


A six-inch sparkly heeled boot—I mean…is there anything more to say!

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