My Name is Wesson Dagnew
I met Wesson on October 6th 2016 on Dundas and Yonge in Toronto. 
A very well dressed man standing out from the rush-hour crowd. 

I walked to him and asked: "Do you know Iceberg Slim?" 
"No I don't, who is he?" - he replied with a thick accent.
"He was a very iconic American pimp from the 1930-40's who became a successful writer".

These were the first words that we exchanged. Although I knew that he was not an actual pimp, my brain made that connexion because of the way he looked. 

I showed him my previous photo series, The Guardians, and told him that I believed that everything happens for a reason and that this encounter wasn't just a random one.
I then followed him home and started documenting his story.

"My Name is Wesson Dagnew" is a story about being who you are and doing what makes you happy. It's the story of a man that people judge because of the way he looks. A man with a double identity and a heart bigger than the average.

Wesson, 61, originally from Ethiopia, is a man of habit. He has the same routine everyday. He leaves work around 5:45PM after putting on one of his 24 custom suits. He stands on Yonge and Dundas from 6 to 7PM sipping on his Diet Coke with a straw. At 7PM he walks back home, switches from Tony to Wesson, listens to some music or watches a documentary before going to bed. When winter comes, Wesson doesn't dress up as Tony. Stay tuned to know what he does with his free time...

This is a work in progress so expect more pictures to come in the next weeks.

All pictures are the exclusive property of Vladimir Antaki.

Instagram:        @mynameiswessondagnew

"Me, I live a different lifestyle. Usually people in Toronto don't dress like me.
It makes me happy, that's why I dress like that everyday for fifteen years.
It makes me happy, I don't bother nobody, I have a job, I make good money.
Besides, I don't drink. I don't smoke. I don't do all those things. I just live my life."

"My suits, they have their own place.
My rings, they have their own place.
My sunglasses, they have their own place.
My canes, they have their own place.
My shoes, they have their own boxes.

So tomorrow, when I'm going to go out, I can get everything.
Everything I do is timed.

I don't mix my watches with my rings, my rings with my sunglasses.
It doesn't work for me.

I know where I keep everything. I am a very organized person."

"I love love songs. Slow music. Cool music. I love Al Green, Aaron Neville, Whitney Houston, Usher, Eminem. The old years, the 60's and 70's. All those songs, I love.

I don't go to bars, I don't go to clubs, I go home early to listen to my music, watch my TV, then I sleep early."

"I'm a good citizen. I contribute to the society. Every year I pay my taxes.
More than $5000 annually.
Canada is a good country. I'm using it to my own advantage."

"In the morning, at 5:30AM, always, I wake up, I have my breakfast, then I start work at 7AM. This is my routine for 17 years.

I work in a rooming house for mentally challenged people. I'm here everyday.
Once a week I have to change bed sheets for the tenants.
Once a week I have to change the towels for the tenants.
Every other day I have to clean the rooms.
When winter comes, I have to shovel the snow.
Wednesdays I have to take the garbage out.

That's what part of my work is."

My Name is Wesson Dagnew

My Name is Wesson Dagnew

I met Wesson on October 6th 2016 on Dundas and Yonge in Toronto. A very well dressed man standing out from the rush-hour crowd. I walked to hi Read more
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