First off, happy end of 2020! Now that’s something I think we can all celebrate.
I’m DJ, and I am thrilled to be the new Men’s Editor of Beverly Hills Lifestyle Magazine — joining an expert team that takes the guesswork out of living life better, bigger, and bolder in our own skin.
That being said, let me quickly pump the brakes on what Beverly Hills Lifestyle means to me. We all love a little luxury, but picture me and this new column of mine as BHL’s new, up-and-coming Brooklyn hood to an otherwise pristinely established Park Avenue.
We’ve got all the latest Rodeo Drive tips and trends on our mainstay, so let me give you a little sidebar here. One that offers an eye for accessible luxury — perhaps made up of what’s already in your own home, while remaining unafraid of pairing Zara pants with a $5 H&M tee and sure, maybe throw in a Gucci backpack to complete the look for good measure.
The Weekly Male will aim to bring you a fresh approach to modern masculinity every Wednesday. It will be our small piece of magazine real estate where together we’ll embark on journeys of self discovery by discussing ways to live our lives better by our own means.
To keep things interesting I’m also going to throw in some on-topic commentary from a few real-life characters (and good friends) of mine. They are:
The Put Together Party Animal: A lawyer and top tech company exec who could party until 9am and be at work by 8am. Math, I know.
Beverly Hills Real Estate Agent: Knows everything about everyone and everywhere. This man is the most classic definition of Beverly Hills Lifestyle imaginable.
NYC Psychiatrist: Has heard everything there is to hear. And then some. Old-fashioned Ivy League sensibilities with two kids and a Hamptons home.
Ad Agency CEO: If you’ve ever seen Mad Men, he’s Don Draper. If you haven’t — he’s a creative genius with crystal rocks glasses and a bottle of Macallan at his desk 24/7.
And sure, we’ll tackle my expertise areas like fitness, grooming, the best way to mix a martini, perfect gift ideas, and when it’s ok to wear a buffalo plaid shirt (rarely) — but I’m hoping to offer you something greater. As a former NYC creative director, current certified fitness trainer, grooming consultant, and Instagram *cough* user, I’m aiming to bring you the skills I learned in the world of Mad Men to help you develop and refine your own personal approach to fitness and style.
Even though you and I are not “products”, there’s something to be said about defining our own personal “brands”,developing them, and even taking them to “market” in a way only we can. Consider me a new kind of personal trainer. While it may seem like we are talking about exercise and grooming, what we are really figuring out is how to look in the mirror and just be us, only with more power, charisma, and confidence. So let’s do this together.
You deserve to have the best time you can, while being the best person you can be. Happiness and success can be a skill after all, but they begin with simply discovering who we truly are. It may take a little motivation and guidance — but hey, it can be fun, and that’s what you’ve got me and I’ve got you for.
Above all — I’m here to provide you with little pieces of useful knowledge you may not have otherwise come across. And who knows, maybe we’ll even take a trip to the moon. After 2020 who knows what 2021 will hold.
We’re not through the year yet though, and dare I say I think that’s a good thing? Every morning we wake up, we get to decide if we want to have a good day or a bad day — no matter what’s going on in the world. And right now, without much going on out there, the rest of the year is really all about you. You and I have a month or two to identify our own challenges outside of the ones we’re all facing as a planet and rise to meet them.
That psychiatrist friend of mine I mentioned said that, “People have been living their lives like they are waiting around in an airport for a delayed flight: sitting on a nasty carpeted floor, eating junky fast food, and just waiting. And waiting. It’s been a long delay now, but it’s time to leave the airport, get our lives re-started, and get moving again.”
So I am grateful to begin in this new role right now as your personal consultant. I’ll do my best to help get (or keep) you looking your best, feeling your best, and finding new and creative ways to have fun in this wild new world we live in.
Let’s meet here once a week, just us guys. It’s not like there are that many better places to be, right?
A Brief History of Me
A good place to start here would have to be how I came to be known as DJ — which are my initials for Dustin James. The story is quite simple, really. There was another kid in my kindergarten class named Dustin so my teachers just called me by my initials. I’m sorry to say I have no musical or disc jockeying talents. My friends don’t even let me have the aux cord in our Ubers.
But a bit about my own journey to BHL; I grew up in a small-ish town in the Midwest, and was scouted early on as a gifted athlete, which came easily to me. The soccer field was my training ground, but I always knew I truly belonged somewhere else. At that age I was just a kid, but I remember seeing the movie What Women Want and wanting Mel Gibson’s life.
I wanted everything city life had to offer — from the style, to the nightclubs, to the top-notch restaurants, and a whole world buzzing within itself with a promise of 24/7 excitement. I moved to Los Angeles and Miami for school (Go ‘Canes)and then to New York to pursuing that childhood dream of mine at McCann (The evil ad agency that ruined Mad Men – sorry guys I’ve got a lot of references from this one)
By the time I was 26, I had accomplished everything that childhood me dreamed of, moving on to agencies like Grey and AKQA, winning 12 American Advertising Awards, leading creative on brands like Nike, Maserati, Beats by Dre, and collaborating with legends like Serena Williams and LeBron James. I was a Keynote Speaker at Ad Week in New York, VP of a tech company, gave talks at Cannes Lions, and blah blah blah. My dreams all came true, which I felt very fortunate for — and then I was sort of just like well, now what?
I began thinking about what made me unique, and new ways to combine my creative, digital, and athletic talents. I wanted to help people, not to market things to them. Fitness, and Grooming were always things I could practically do in my sleep(I’ve been a model since I was about 5 — my mom was a photographer), and I had been working with private clients for many years, so I decided to test the waters to see if sharing those skills with a wider audience would be useful to them.
Two years later, my Instagram happened, and the entire time I was really just having fun on my own path of self discovery(it was a long journey — story to come). And on that infamous social media platform I get asked from time to time, as some of you may know, about things like exercise, grooming, and other topics *wide eye emoji*. After going through a lot myself over the past couple of years, answering them has been a lot of fun for me and has me feel helpful. It’s broken me out of my shell a bit (I’m surprisingly shy) and helped me forge a new kind of connection with people — one that’s certainly been meaningful to me and I hope to some of them too.
So, here I sit in Beverly Hills, having left my desk job, picked up my surf board again, and continue working as a Certified Personal Trainer and Grooming Consultant with clients here and around the world. I’m loving every minute of it and I’m excited that BHL has asked me to take on this new editorial role — sharing the lessons I’ve learned on my own and with my private clients.
So, what do you say boys? Cheers to 2020 and a fresh start for us all in 2021.