SELF MADE: CHARLES T. MASSEY, JR.

HARLEM, NEW YORK | CHARLES T. MASSEY, JR.

HARLEM, NEW YORK | CHARLES T. MASSEY, JR.

INTERVIEW: KIM “GOODLOOK” SEABROOK

PHOTOGRAPHY: KEVIN RICHARDS, KAR PHOTOGRAPHY

THE TERM "ENTREPRENEUR" DEFINES CHARLES T. MASSEY, JR. FROM WORKING IN MEDIA TO STARTING HIS OWN FOOTWEAR LINE AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN, HE UNDERSTANDS THAT AN IDEA WITHOUT A PLAN AND TIRELESS WORK ETHIC MEANS NOTHING. KIM “GOODLOOK” SEABROOK TALKED WITH THE HARLEM, NEW YORK FOOTWEAR DESIGNER ABOUT HIS START IN RADIO AND MAGAZINE, COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT, HIS RECENTLY LAUNCHED CMASS FOOTWEAR AND MORE.


VALIDATED: BEING BORN AND RAISED IN HARLEM, WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST MEMORY OF HIP HOP AND THE CULTURE?

CHARLES T. MASSEY, JR: WELL AS AN OLDER GUY, I SAW IT UNFOLD FROM THE BEGINNING REALLY. I USED TO TRAVEL FROM HARLEM TO THE BRONX TO VISIT FAMILY AND I SAW THE B-BOYS BATTLING, THE SCRATCHING BY THE DJ'S AND THE RAP BATTLES. BOTH BOROUGHS WERE DOING THEIR THING BACK THEN TO BRING IT TO WHERE IT IS TODAY, BUT I'M STILL OLD SKOOL!  I HATE TO GET INTO WHO'S YOUR TOP 5 OR TOP 10 BECAUSE THERE ARE A LOT OF DOPE ONES, BUT I ALWAYS STICK TO SAYING THAT KRS ONE IS MY FAVORITE BECAUSE HE WAS VERY CONSCIOUS AND HAD A MESSAGE. I WAS ALWAYS A DANCER THOUGH, SO YOU COULD FIND ME GETTING IT IN AT BLOCK PARTIES (AND CAN STILL DO SO, LOL) SO I CAN SAY I LIVED IT!

VALIDATED: HOW DID YOU GET YOUR BREAK WITH RADIO AND WRITING FOR A MAGAZINE?

CHARLES T. MASSEY, JR: I GOT MY BREAK INITIALLY THROUGH A LADY THAT I BEFRIENDED NAMED ANGELA MCKENZIE OF INITIATIVE RADIO WHO WAS DOING SHOWS THAT WOULD PAY HOMAGE TO PEOPLE DOING GREAT THINGS IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY.  I ASSISTED HER IN SHOWS PRESENTING AWARDS TO THE LEGENDARY DJ RALPH "UNCLE RALPH" MCDANIELS, GRAMMY AWARD WINNING SINGER/SONGWRITER GORDON CHAMBERS AND A YOUNG RAPPER FROM BROOKLYN WHO WAS CAPTURING THE COUNTRY BY STORM ON THE X FACTOR SHOW, THE ASTRONOMICAL KID (WHO NOW GOES BY STRO).  AFTERWARDS BY NETWORKING (ALWAYS), I BEGAN TO COVER ALL OF THE HOTTEST EVENTS IN THE CITY FOR DIPSTICK MAGAZINE AND WOULD GO ON TO BECOME LEAD PUBLICIST WORKING ALONGSIDE MY GUY WILL STYLZ.  

VALIDATED: WAS THERE AN INTERVIEW YOU DID THAT STOOD OUT THE MOST THAT HELPED BOOST YOUR CAREER?  

CHARLES T. MASSEY, JR: I WOULD DEFINITELY SAY MY INTERVIEWS ON THE RED CARPET AT THE URBAN WORLD FILM FESTIVAL IN 2010 WAS REALLY MY INITIATION SO TO SPEAK. I WAS ABLE TO INTERVIEW HOLLYWOOD A-LIST TYPES LIKE NIA LONG, EVAN ROSS, ROGER GUENVEUR SMITH AND THE LEGENDARY KID CAPRI. 

“I JUST WANT PEOPLE TO SEE THAT MY BODY OF WORK COUNTED FOR SOMETHING, NOT JUST OUT HERE FLOSSING SAYING I DID THIS OR THAT.” -CHARLES T. MASSEY, JR.

VALIDATED: YOU ARE ALSO VERY ACTIVE IN THE COMMUNITY, WHERE HAS YOUR LOVE OF PHILANTHROPY TAKEN YOU IN LIFE?  

CHARLES T. MASSEY, JR: I'M A PEOPLE PERSON AND HAVE ALWAYS BELIEVED IN HELPING OTHERS. THAT WAS INSTILLED IN ME EARLY ON THROUGH MY GRANDMOTHER, WHO RAISED ME. I USED TO JOIN IN ON MARCHES THROUGH HARLEM WITH AL SHARPTON AND OTHER LOCAL LEADERS. I STILL DO THAT WITH GOOD BROTHER KEVIN ELEMENT LIVINGSTON OF 100 SUITS WHEN I GET AN OPPORTUNITY TO DO SO. HE'S A PHENOMENAL YOUNG LEADER! I ALSO GIVE BACK TO THE LESS FORTUNATE WITH CLOTHING AND FOOD INDIVIDUALLY AND WITH BECAUSE WE CARE, A GROUP OF GREAT YOUNG LEADERS AND FRIENDS OF MINE.

VALIDATED: WHAT IS CMASS ENTERPRISE?

CHARLES T. MASSEY, JR: CMASS ENTERPRISE WAS MY BABY AND SOLELY USED FOR MY ENTERTAINMENT STUFF WHEN I BEGAN IN 2009. AFTER RESIGNING AS VP OF ALEXANDER PEZO COLLECTION IN ATLANTA RECENTLY, I WENT BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD. I DECIDED TO UTILIZE ALL OF MY CREATIVE TALENT AND PUT MYSELF INTO A BETTER POSITION TO WIN BY COLLABORATING WITH STRONG PROFESSIONALS EITHER WITHIN INDUSTRIES THAT I HAVE WORKED IN OR HAVE AN INTEREST IN FOR THE FUTURE.  THAT WAY, IF ANYONE WERE TO COME TO ME WITH AN OPPORTUNITY OR PROJECT TO WORK WITH THEM ON, I HAVE A TEAM THAT CAN GUIDE ME THROUGH THE PROCESS AND MAKE IT SUCCESSFUL.

VALIDATED: YOU HAVE DECIDED TO START A CAREER IN ACTING. WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO PURSUE ACTING AND WHAT PROJECTS ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON?

CHARLES T. MASSEY, JR: ACTING IS SOMETHING THAT I HAVE ALWAYS HAD A DESIRE TO DO, BUT FINALLY DECIDED TO JUMP INTO IT JANUARY 2019, NO EXCUSES! SO FAR I HAVE BEEN BLESSED TO DO SEVERAL TELEVISION SHOWS, TWO FILMS AND A COUPLE OF VIDEOS.  CURRENTLY, I AM READING SCRIPTS FOR 2 FILMS THAT WILL BE SHOOTING IN JULY, SO I'M EXCITED! MY GOAL IS TO BECOME BETTER WITH EACH PROJECT AND THEN ONTO TO BIGGER PRODUCTIONS. 

VALIDATED: SEEMS LIKE YOU HAVE YOUR HANDS FULL. YOU JUST LAUNCHED A LINE OF CMASS FOOTWEAR, HOW DID THAT OPPORTUNITY ARRIVE AND WERE YOU ALWAYS INTO FASHION?  

CHARLES T. MASSEY, JR: I HAVE ALWAYS TRIED TO STAY BUSY, BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR EVEN WHEN I WAS WORKING IN CORPORATE AMERICA FOR 30+ YEARS SO I'VE HAD MY HANDS IN SEVERAL BUSINESSES. YES I'VE ALWAYS LOVED FASHION AND THAT WAS EARLY ON FROM THE SCHOOL DAYS! WHEN I GO OUT, I DEFINITELY TAKE THE TIME TO PUT MY LOOK TOGETHER AND MAKE SURE THAT I CARRY MYSELF LIKE A GENTLEMAN. THE CMASS FOOTWEAR LINE KICKED OFF IN JUNE 2019  WITH A UNISEX SHOE, THE CMASS6, AND CAME ABOUT WHILE LOOKING AT SOMETHING FOR SOMEONE ELSE. ONCE MY SONS GAVE ME THE "YO POPS THESE ARE LIT!", I HAD TO DO IT! (LOL) I HAVE A FEW OTHER DESIGNS ON DECK AND THE NEXT ONE WILL BE DEDICATED TO MY HOME OF HARLEM USA.

VALIDATED: WHAT IS IT LIKE WORKING WITH THE DAVID FORD COLLECTION? EXPLAIN THE RELATIONSHIP AND WHAT YOU DO FOR THE COMPANY.

CHARLES T. MASSEY, JR: YEAH, DAVE HAS BEEN MY DUDE FOR 10 YEARS AND WE'VE ALWAYS TALKED ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER IN THE PAST. A GOOD BROTHER ABOUT HIS BUSINESS! SO WE CHOPPED IT UP EARLIER THIS YEAR AND TOLD ME THAT HE WAS LOOKING TO BUILD A STRONGER BASE HERE IN NYC, SO HE ASKED IF I WOULD BECOME HIS NEW YORK AFFILIATE FOR HIS DAVID FORD EYEWEAR COLLECTION. I SAID, LET'S GO! HE IS BASED OUT OF CLEVELAND, OHIO AND HIS EYEWEAR IS FREQUENTLY WORN BY THE LEGENDARY RAPPER KANGOL FROM UTFO AND HAS BEEN SEEN ON ACTOR/SINGER LEON, LOVE AND HIP HOP'S YANDY SMITH, R&B SINGER OMAR WILSON, BET TELEVISION HOST TONY ANDERSON, AND MOST RECENTLY BY ONE OF THE HOTTEST FEMALE MC'S IN THE GAME, LADY LUCK. THE GOAL IS TO MAKE A HUGE IMPACT IN THE NEW YORK MARKET WHERE THERE IS TREMENDOUS OPPORTUNITY FOR LUXURY EYEWEAR. HE IS ALSO LOOKING TO BROADEN HIS HORIZONS SO STAY TUNED FOR UPCOMING ANNOUNCEMENTS...

VALIDATED: OUT OF ALL OF YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS WHAT ARE YOU MOST PASSIONATE ABOUT?

CHARLES T. MASSEY, JR: I AM PRETTY PASSIONATE ABOUT EVERYTHING THAT I DO BECAUSE I TAKE PRIDE IN ALL OF MY WORK, INCLUDING BEING A FATHER! I'M PRETTY LAID BACK BUT WE ALL HAVE A SWITCH THAT CAN BE TURNED ON AT A MOMENT'S NOTICE.

VALIDATED: WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE WHAT KIND OF LEGACY DO YOU WANT TO LEAVE BEHIND AND WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE REMEMBERED FOR MOST?

CHARLES T. MASSEY, JR: I JUST WANT PEOPLE TO SEE THAT MY BODY OF WORK COUNTED FOR SOMETHING, NOT JUST OUT HERE FLOSSING SAYING I DID THIS OR THAT. I'VE BUILT SO MANY RELATIONSHIPS THAT PEOPLE ARE SURPRISED WHEN THEY FIND OUT THAT I KNOW XYZ JUST LIKE THEY DO. I HAVE NEVER HAD A PROBLEM WITH BEING SOMEONE THAT FLEW UNDER THE RADAR! WHETHER IT WAS CONNECTING SOMEONE TO A PERSON OR SAYING A FEW WORDS TO A PERSON WHO MAY HAVE NEEDED TO HEAR THAT. WITH THAT BEING SAID, I WANT MY SONS TO SEE FOR THEMSELVES AND KNOW THAT I USED THE MASSEY NAME IN THE RIGHT WAY AND FOR THEM TO CARRY IT LIKEWISE.

VALIDATED: WHERE CAN WE FIND YOU AND YOUR BRAND?

CHARLES T. MASSEY, JR: YOU CAN FIND ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA AS FOLLOWS: CMASS_ENTERPRISE ON IG; CHARLES MASSEY ON FACEBOOK; GOGETTER1 ON TWITTER;  AND NEW WEBSITE, HTTPS://CMASSENTERPRISE.COM.