Andrew Carter photographed at BC Tree Fruits in Kelowna with his 1967 Firebird 400 Convertible car. Lia Crowe Photography

Inspired Style with Andrew Carter

Kelowna “car guy” pays attention to the details in his vehicles and personal style

  • Sep. 25, 2018 2:30 p.m.

– Story and photography by Lia Crowe

Story courtesy of Boulevard Magazine, a Black Press Media publication

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Born-and-raised Kelowna boy and “car guy” to the core, Andrew likes to start his workday with a little waterskiing at the crack of dawn.

I meet Andrew for the first time early one morning and can’t miss him as he pulls into our meeting place in an absolutely stunning 1967 Firebird 400 convertible that quickly draws a crowd of onlookers. I think to myself — “this guy’s got some serious style!”

A career in car sales was a natural fit for Andrew. He was born into the business — his grandfather owned the first GM store in Kelowna until about 1970 and then a Honda store after that.

“I grew up around that store, cleaning cars and sweeping the lot. I’ve always really liked cars,” he says.

His innate love and ability to connect with people was another factor.

“I got into the business really because I like working with people. I’ve always tried to be very personable and easy to talk with. It’s fun for me, meeting new people and talking with and learning about them. You meet all sorts of people in this business — some of our clients have amazing collections, so I get to experience and see them. Connecting a person with what they’ve always wanted is what makes it a lot of fun and keeps me in it.”

In addition to the aforementioned love of waterskiing, Andrew is also passionate about the very new addition to his family — his five-month-old son.

Asked what quality he hopes to pass on to his son, Andrew says, “Being a dad is something I’ve always looked forward to and if I could pass something on to him, it would be to treat people with respect. That’s the way I grew up … to always have respect for the people around you and for people who are older than you. Sometimes I feel that it’s something that has been lost. Everybody you meet has a story and if you understand that and give respect, it’s easier to solve problems.”

When it comes to style, for Andrew, it’s all in the attention to detail.

“If you’re looking at car style it’s all about the lines, all about the shape, the look; it’s how each piece plays into each other. And how the pieces play into each other is the same thing I like with personal style. It’s finding little things that match: carrying a colour from the shirt into the shoe, matching a watch band with a belt. It’s the attention to details. You don’t have to be wearing a suit and tie to have good style; it can be really simple, basic stuff. But good style is when attention has been paid to the details.”

CLOTHES / GROOMING

Uniform: Business attire in the winter and business casual in the summer. “I like to make sure I incorporate items that work together — that could be belts, shoes or even a watch strap. Little things can make a simple suit pop and stand out in a crowd.”

Favourite denim, brand and cut: Heritage 34, straight cut. “Nothing beats a great pair of jeans; the most versatile piece of clothing you can own.”

Current go-to clothing item: “My Lloyd shoes. I like a shoe that can work with lots of looks. My shoes can dress up jeans or dress down a suit and tie to make it more relaxed.”

Accessory you spend the most money on: Shoes.

Favourite work tool: “My iPhone. Good or bad, it seems to be essential for organization and communication.”

Sunglasses: Ray-Ban.

Scent: Polo Red by Ralph Lauren.

Who cuts your hair: Yasmine at MVP Hair for Men.

Favourite skincare products: Clinique for Men.

Favourite place to shop: Landmark Clothiers, Kelowna.

STYLE INSPIRATION / LIFE

Favourite car: “My fave car to drive is Firebird, but the dream car that to me is a piece of art, is the Aston Martin db9. It’s just a really pretty car.”

Iconic celebrity who has inspired your style: Steve McQueen.

Favourite film you love for its style: James Bond during the Sean Connery and Roger Moore years.

Last great read: Time Now for the Vinyl Cafe Story Exchange by Stuart McLean.

Favourite local restaurant:Momo’s Sushi and Waterfront Wines are a good go-to, to fit different occasions. It’s really hard to list this today as Kelowna seems to have a new favourite around every corner.”

Favourite cocktail/wine: Tantalus Old Vines Riesling.

Album on current rotation: Changing Colours by the Sheep Dogs.

Favourite musician: Gord Downie from The Tragically Hip.

Favourite city to visit: Vancouver, BC. “I love walking the downtown or running the seawall.”

Favourite place in the whole world: Kelowna. “I was born here, studied here and I’m lucky to work here. Every year, Kelowna seems to get better and better as it grows and creates is own unique style.”

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