The A List: Renaissance Man


A List Milo BelovedMilo Beloved could be the creative community’s biggest supporter.

Written by Lindsey Lowe Osborne • Photography by Beau Gustafson

 

In 2013, the ceiling of the permanent space Milo Beloved had newly secured for his shop, Harold&MOD, caved in just a few days before Christmas. The space in the Berger Phillips building had come after Beloved’s success as a pop-up shop as part of REV Birmingham’s REVIVE: The Street Project initiative. Just like that, it all—literally—came crashing down. But Beloved was undeterred; he closed the shop for a day, found a new space around the corner (located at 2323 First Avenue North), and then announced on Instagram and Facebook that he was back in business. Harold&MOD, boasting vintage clothing and accessories, proved to be a wild success in 2014.

That’s because the shop is more than a store: “Harold&MOD has a few missions. As a store, to be a stage for local designers and makers to share the spotlight and get their work known. As a lifestyle brand, to inspire creativity in the personal approach to style, be it decor or fashion. And as a creative force, Harold&MOD connects photographers, designers, storytellers, musicians, actors/actresses, models, and more through creative direction with special projects.” He hopes to continue developing the Harold&MOD brand so that it stretches further but does not lose its heart. “I want to make Harold&MOD a mobile shop, so that I can push our brand and our friends’ products to a larger market without just simply launching an online store so that the personal relationship between my customers and myself isn’t compromised,” he explains.

Beloved himself is more than a shopkeeper. With experience in party promoting and personal shopping, he has a knack for aesthetics. In addition to Harold&MOD, he lends his eye for details to creative direction for editorial pieces and music videos (he recently filmed his third music video with Birmingham band The Heavy Hearts), as well as to interior spaces, most recently Wheelhouse Salon. He’s also involved in Birmingham Fashion Week, headlining the 2014 Grassroots Night, and has a produced a number of other fashion shows around the city. “I get bored if I don’t have a million projects,” he says. And though his passion is supporting creatives, you won’t find him picking up a paintbrush or hopping on a sewing machine any time soon. He’s more of a facilitator: “I hate making things. I love dreaming, directing, designing, etc., but make me sit still for more than 10 minutes, and I go crazy,” he says.

All that, though, and he says he’s proudest of the relationships he’s built in Birmingham—When he came to the city in 2008, he didn’t know a soul. His mission for 2015 is to continue getting to know the fabulous people who call Birmingham home. “If I could be remembered for anything, I would want it to be that I made someone feel beautiful, special, empowered, and valuable. I didn’t start this business because I wanted to be a designer, or famous, or rich—I did it because I love people and want to spend my life meeting people and drawing from their strengths,” he says. “I want to make the people I come in contact with not just feel beautiful, because feelings can change; I want them to believe that they are beautiful and to trust that.”

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