That’s a rare commodity. We have a certain level of giving to each other or spending money with each other on a low-tier level. So when it comes to clothing, we’re fine with giving each other the t-shirt money. You know, the $5 t-shirt, $10 t-shirt, but the $300 t-shirt money goes to Gucci. I wanted to do a luxury event and I wanted to use polo as a marketing tool, but also as exposure. I was able to secure Bentley as a sponsor, which gives it a certain luxurious feel as well as validation. I realized, being able to associate my brand with polo, with Bentley, with luxury, people will see you differently. I also wanted to make sure everybody associated with my event is seen differently as well. So I attached Black brands to it. There’s RedMont Vodka, Uncle Nearest Whiskey, Wifey Wines, Stella Rosa, and more. I feel like that makes it different. It’s luxury, but it’s black-oriented. Plus, timing is key. I think people are ready to see something on that level where we started to give each other more value, more credit, more benefit. On May 22nd, in Baltimore, at the Harbour, we are doing the first-ever Miguel Wilson Black Tie Experience. Which will be a formal gala out on the water with a full fashion show, orchestra, and band.
SUAVV: And I think that’s an important aspect to point out. When you give people an elevated level experience, it makes you step up and you walk away wanting more. If you give people a birthday party kind of event, it’s going to just make them appreciate birthday parties. But if you put folks in tuxedos and gowns and travel to a pier, you’re mind will be blown and you’ll want more of those luxury/upscale types of events.
Miguel: They want something that is not typical. They want something special, you know? That’s what I focused on doing. But again, this is operating within my space. I do luxury. I think about things the way I want them done. I don’t want to do basic events. I want to dress up. I want to put a tuxedo on. I want to look fly. I want to feel good. I want to have fun, helicopters flying, and champagne pouring. Whatever I can do to help create that environment, that atmosphere, that feeling, is what I want to do. You walk up and you see the helicopters landing and the Bentleys rolling in. You realize this is not your everyday party. This is not your typical situation. You walk down here on the water and you see the orchestra playing and you see all Black people with tuxedos on, sipping champagne. You that’s not typical. I want that experience. It’s amazing.
SUAVV: It’s definitely a luxury event and there is nothing like seeing all of these Black folks, dressed up in Kentucky Derby-style clothing, drinking fancy cocktails, and watching a polo game. It was an experience. However, there was a social cause for this as well. Then to top it off, you recently helped create a polo team for Morehouse, which is an HBCU first.
Miguel: The Miguel Wilson Polo Classic raised money for our foundation, which is Ride to the Olympics. We named it that because there’s never been an African-American to ride on the United States equestrian team. The concept is to be able to give inner-city kids the opportunity to ride, be exposed to horses, but also be exposed to the people. Success in life is around exposure. Most of us can credit who we know and some level of exposure to things that take us to where end up being in life. So we’re taking kids, who don’t have access to millionaires, business owners, and corporate executives and introducing them to build relationships. These are the people that own horses. These are people that play polo. These are people that do showjumping. So now you’ve got these kids in these environments, around the people they would have never met. Because these people are not going to the hood. We started focusing more on polo to create inner-city teams with the idea and that if a kid from the hood learns to play polo, his confidence level and belief in himself is such that he believes he can do anything in the world. There’s a certain respect that people give you when you do certain things, he plays golf, plays polo… you’re a different type of brother, you’re automatically elevated. In this country, bro, people meet you, they want to know what you do, who are you, whatever. And then you get categorized on a level. Every kid can’t play basketball or football. There are kids in the hood that could be professional polo players and professional polo players can make a million dollars a year traveling the world playing. So it’s a lot of potential opportunities, but if nothing more than to gain exposure to people, that’s life-changing within itself. The opportunity came to create the team with Morehouse because we had a kid who played polo and he was an entering freshman. We had a meeting one day and we jointly decided, let’s just try to start a team there. So my foundation funded the team. We wanted to give our kids, our inner-city kids, mentors at a college level so that they can look and say I want to be like him. He’d go to college. He played polo, you know, versus, looking up to the drug dealers or looking up to just the ballplayers, you know this now you’ve got somebody who looks like you that exposes you to something different. Morehouse is the first black college polo team in history. Making history wasn’t the goal when we did it, it was, it was to help the foundation and giving kids exposure and mentorship.
SUAVV: And I think thats what’s Interesting. It’s rare for us to see a horse as inner-city Black kids. So just seeing a horse in itself blows our minds, but, seeing someone black with a horse is almost unheard of at this point. It’s which is crazy because, in our history, we’ve owned horses.
Miguel: Yeah. Did you know that, in the twenties, there was an army core of blacks questions that taught horsemanship at West Point? Before all the money, the early Kentucky Derbies were won by black jockeys. We have a rich history when it comes to horses but, we don’t know our history a lot of times, so we don’t get exposed to that place.
SUAVV: Absolutely. What do you want the legacy of Miguel Wilson to be?
Miguel: I’m not trying to find my legacy. God creates opportunities for me. I just do what I love to do. I’m going to write a book about things, just the facts, I want to tell my own story. I want to be able to be a positive impact on those around me. I want to take my family to a higher level while utilizing my talents, my resources to make a difference. We all have something we meant to do. I’m just trying to do what I’m meant to do.