How I Start My Day is a series revealing the intimate details and wisdom behind the morning rituals of successful characters in youth culture and beyond.

In industrial cities like New York, bikes rule the streets. This is what essentially molded Chad Douglas into the person he is today, a professional BMX athlete. Instead of popping wheelies and other stunts for the thrill of it, the Brooklyn native is following in the footsteps of riders like the Queens legend Nigel Sylvester and extending his reach beyond the five boroughs.

Last year, Douglas even had the opportunity to be the face of a social campaign for Off-White. The 27-year-old’s mind is orbiting somewhere in the future as depicted by his popular tag line #TheFutureBelongsToUs. Tapping into that mentality takes a fortitude of self-discipline and determination, but when you’re the next “black James Bond on a BMX” you have to be regimented.

Read on to learn about how a thorough face washing routine among other forms of preparation get his full day off to a productive start.

Chad Douglas Interview
Highsnobiety / Bryan Luna
Chad Douglas Interview
Highsnobiety / Bryan Luna

How is your morning going so far?

My morning’s going great. Good morning, how’s yours?

What have you accomplished so far today?

I’ve accomplished brushing my teeth, I showered and got dressed. In the grand scheme of things I haven’t accomplished much. Lol 😆

What time do you typically wake up and why?

I typically wake up somewhere between 7:30-8:00am. I guess waking up at this time is a habit that’s been ingrained. I would usually wake up around this time for shoots, work and when I was going to school. Also, I wake up at this time to get a head start on my day.

What are you usually thinking about as soon as you wake up?

I’m thinking: What do I have to do today? Who do I have to reach out to? How do I make the most of today?

Highsnobiety / Bryan Luna

What is the first thing that you do after you wake up?

The first thing I do when I wake up is grab my phone. Either to turn off my alarm or check social [media]. Most of the time when I wake up it’s a battle for me to not check Instagram.

How do you prepare for the day ahead?

I prioritize what tasks need to get done for the next morning and throughout the day. I set aside an outfit, shower, and set an alarm to prepare for my day.

Are you a morning person?

I would rather sleep in and start my day later, but if I do that I don’t get enough work done. I’m not grumpy in the morning. Yes, I am a morning person.

Highsnobiety / Bryan Luna
Highsnobiety / Bryan Luna

What is your skincare routine?

After a bike session, my face is filthy from sweating and me touching my face. When I get home, I make sure that I take care of my face. The process for washing my face is…

First, I rinse my face with warm water. Second, I lather my face with black soap or sometimes LAB Series face wash, rinse to remove dirt and grime. Then, I prepare a ‘hot towel’ for my face to open up my pores. I run a small cloth under hot water, wring it out and place it over my face for about 15secs. This gets my pores really clean and makes me feel rejuvenated.

After that, I remove the towel, rinse with warm water then with cold water to close my pores. Finally, I finish the process by damp drying my face with a clean cloth or paper towel. Depending on my mood, I would apply Vaseline coco butter lotion to keep my face moisturized.

Where are you currently based?

I’m based in New York City. I live in a neighborhood of Brooklyn called Crown Heights but you can usually find me lurking in Chinatown/LowerEastSide Manhattan.

What goes on around you in your apartment?

I live with my sister and she’ll be up around 7:30am for work. The bathroom door would be closed but I can still hear the shower or faucet running. The TV will be on, typically on a News station(News12bk or abc7) and I’ll over hear the weather forecast or something bad. The news is usually bad.

Highsnobiety / Bryan Luna

How does your morning routine change when you’re traveling?

My routine stays the same for the most part. I wake up, brush my teeth, shower, stretch and get dressed. Although, I do lose sleep and feel restless when I travel.

How do you practice self-care?

I practice self-care by sitting by myself at a park or at the East River water front. I use this time to relax, meditate on ideas and to get clear on what I want. Watching the waves of the water and the boats go by makes me feel at peace. Bike riding helps out my physical a lot, but I also stretch, try to eat healthier foods, consume positive information, and hang with positive people.

Why are mornings important to you?

Mornings are for preparation and getting work done. I like waking up early to stretch, plan, check emails, work, etc. It makes me feel accomplished. When I get work done I don’t stress and have more room in the day to do whatever. There’s more daylight for me to enjoy.

Highsnobiety / Bryan Luna

Next up; here’s how New York musician Vagabon starts her day.

Words by Sydney Gore
Life & Culture Editor

Softcore tastemaker at your service.

What To Read Next