Renaissance Man: The Style of Rafa Swerdlin


Claire Mahoney

Senior Rafa Swerdlin is known for his eye-catching looks, musical talents and eccentric personality in and out of class. He is always willing to strike up a conversation about the latest news and scores of European soccer, his new Carhartt purchase or an indie album.

Swerdlin is a successful student as well, sporting classes such as AP Physics and BC Calculus. Seniors respect him for his uniqueness and well-rounded personality, steering away from the “norm” at LFHS. Whether you hear him shouting in french through the hallways or notice his luscious flow in the desk in front of you, make sure to keep an eye out for his interesting looks.

Rafa interest in style started when he wanted to “look sharp” for school at Deer Path Middle School.

Today, his main goal in creating his own unique style is to find cool yet somewhat inexpensive pieces of clothing. A few years ago he looked for deals at PacSun, and has expanded to more thrift shops. Goodwill is one of his favorite places to shop, as he says he frequents it often.

When asked about his outfit while being interviewed, he revealed that his retro Lacoste polo was found at the Goodwill, as well as his expertly cropped grey chino shorts. He cut them himself, turning a $10 pair of pants into what looked to be brand-name shorts upwards of $50.

Speaking of brands, Rafa isn’t thrilled by them. Furthering his unique style, Rafa looks for specific pieces that he finds cool, but not entirely dependent on the name. He sports brands ranging from Dickies to Quicksilver, Le Coq Sportif to Converse. Yet–there is one brand that Rafa can’t get enough of: Carhartt. In particular, Carhartt’s new line of streetwear, Carhartt WIP. This brand seems to encompass Rafa’s urban workwear style, as you can frequently see him sporting his oversized Carhartt-brown jacket or canvas pants.

As I pressed him further on where he searches for his amazing finds, he replied, “I don’t Internet shop or spend my time on that, I’d rather watch NPR Tiny Desk Concerts,” a Rafaism in itself. He continued, “When I know I want something, I hop online and buy that one piece. I know I wanted the striped Dickie’s overalls, so I went on their website and bought them.”

It seems simple, yet that’s just how you know he’s got the eye.

“He really knows how to keep up with the current fashion but picks pieces that fit his own taste. Rafa knows his own style very well,”  good friend Gabby Moore said.

Senior Porter Weisberg agrees, saying, “As someone who doesn’t know much about fashion, day-to-day Rafa’s outfits still impress me just by how well they seem to capture his personality.”

Rafa’s style wish list includes a pair of Diadora Heritage high top shoes, and of course, more Carhartt WIP. Recently, Rafa has chopped off some of his locks, saying that his new cut goes better with his outfits. Constantly joking and testifying to his witty personality, Rafa will continue to be the creative guy he is, making music and pursuing a career in architecture in the coming years. Rafa’s style is just one aspect of his “coolness” and individuality, as his strong sense of self is proven in his consistent looks. If you can, get a chance to know the sarcastic, creative and original Rafael Swerdlin.

He’s much more than face value.