Ryan Clark is a Quitter

April 26, 2016
Last updated on
December 13, 2021

Ryan Clark Is A Quitter

Member Name: Ryan Clark

Occupation: Full-time Fashion and Travel Influencer

Job He Quit: Medical Student

Ryan Clark was set to become a doctor when he quit med school to develop what would become the fashion and lifestyle authority High Fashion Living. Two years later, the Fohr Card Quitter’s Club member has stepped in front of the camera to become the face of High Fashion Living to its ever-growing following, while still finding time to travel the world and partner with brands like Lacoste and Bergdorf Goodman as a GQ Brand Ambassador.

I Got This: “Very early on I can remember telling my mom, ‘I don't want you to dress me anymore. I can do this myself.’ She was always open to taking me shopping and letting me express myself through my clothing. I was best dressed in middle school. I was in homecoming court for style. Fashion has always been something fun to me. It never seemed like a job.” 

The Family Practice: “Two of my uncles are physicians, so that was a path that my family decided to take. It was either you went into law, like my mother, or you went into medicine, like the rest of my family. I was like, I don't really want to do law, but medicine and science intrigues me, so I guess it's a doctor.”

Styling Pro: “I started styling, and I got put in contact with a great friend of mine who was a football player at the time at my university, and from there I started styling him once he went to the pros. I ended up with some of his friend as clients, so I started styling players for different NBA teams and for the 49ers. Before I knew it, I was in med school, flying from LA to New York, to wherever they needed me to go.”

High Fashion Beginning: “I started the blog during my second master's. It started off as a project doing my MS-MBA and the project would basically entail, if you had to do something in life and you had no money restrictions, what would you do? How would you start that business and how would it go?”

The Quit Decision: “I was in med school and I had to take a cadaver-based lab like every other med student. I remember standing there while everybody else is hands-deep inside of this man’s arm and shoulder and really getting into it. I'm just sitting there and I'm taking notes on Tom Ford's latest collection and thinking, ‘This is amazing. Tom Ford is a genius. This is great.’”

Parental Pushback: “After my first year in med school, I talked to my parents and that was one of the biggest struggles, convincing my parents who basically had funded three degrees at this point, while I’m pursuing a fourth, that I was going to leave and do something completely different. Their initial reaction was like, ‘Hell no. Are you insane? This is not happening.’”

NYC Blue: “In Texas, everybody's your neighbor. Everyone is a friend. In New York, when I first moved out here, I was isolated, I really didn’t know anyone here. No one's really friendly, and then I didn’t have the luxury of going to an office and meeting coworkers and and making friends outside of that. I was here by myself in my apartment, blogging.”
Opportunity Knocks: “I got an opportunity to work with GQ and that's when the doors of friendship and network really started to open because I became one of their ambassadors. I got to meet their entire team, and they introduced me to a slew of other bloggers. That was one of the defining moments, when I said, okay, now I feel like I know some people. Then I started to make friends outside of that and so now it's a lot better. That was one of the major struggles in the beginning.”

Face Time: “Sometimes it scares me shitless. I'm like, what am I doing? Because in the beginning I've always been one of those types of bloggers or platform builders that was behind the camera. It wasn't until recently that I started to become the face of my brand. It scares me in a sense, because I've been basically face-less and now it's like people relate Ryan to High Fashion Living.”

Growing Pains: “I'm still dealing with bumps. Like acquiring an accountant to handle the books, the money, the taxes and all of these different things I had previously never thought about. Yes, money comes in but you never really think about how -- oh my god -- this money's going to go out because Uncle Sam is going to get his chunk. You never think about W2s, and insurance and all of these other things. It's like, damn, I have to figure this shit out. This is all on me.”

It’s Not A Job: “That's probably one of the reasons I feel like I'm so fortunate because I'm doing something that I really love and that I'm passionate about, and it doesn't seem like a job. Every day seems like this is my purpose. This is what I really love to do so it doesn't seem like work. It just seems like I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing.”

Ready For Primetime: “The next step for me is to start in the realm of television. I've had a couple of networks reach out as far as me hosting style segments and potentially hosting shows and different things like that. I think the next avenue for me is to really get out there and start on a larger platform to express to people what I feel as it relates to fashion and tell them what I like, what I don't like. People have liked it thus far so I'm hoping they'll like it moving forward.”
Work It: “Follow your passion, follow your dreams because you're going to make sure that that comes to fruition. It's going to be hard as hell, but have that tenacity. Have that drive, that vision, to go forward and keep pushing because in the end, you're going to reap the benefits. Work those late hours. Get up on those early mornings. Sacrifice. Take the time. Do what you need to do to make that happen and go for it.”

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