He strolls around campus flaunting a gangly crop of elevated, curly and carefully greased hair. He sports a button-up tucked tightly into his jeans, paired with a sharp pair of shoes and a leather jacket. There is no denying he has caught the eyes of a few people around campus and outside. From a distance he may look intimidating, but up close he is anything but.
Xenophon Çoufal are the first and last name of the seven names he carries. He goes by Xeno. There is solid description for each name. His first, Xenophon, comes from the disciple of Socrates and the leader of the march of the Myriad. One of his middle names, Karl, is named after Charlemagne, the king of the Franks in the seventh century, to whom he is directly related.
“Well it started with a musical journey, you see,” Çoufal said about his appearance. In seventh grade, he was fascinated with the glam rock scene, taking notes from David Bowie for influence. He experimented with different eras in rock and roll fashion which “came to the inevitable beginning of rockabilly and Elvis.”
Çoufal describes his look as a social reaction to this eras popular trends. He has a great appreciation for the rockabilly look compared to any current styles people choose today.
“Not so much anymore, it depends on where I go,” he said about reactions on campus. Çoufal feels like he gets more attention in certain parts of campus, but not necessarily for his looks. He explains that he assumes that anyone who does not spend a lot of time in a certain place with a certain clique on campus will get looks.
“Well, it’s beezwax, plain and simple,” Çoufal said of his hair, perhaps his most overt trait. It may look like an extensive process, but it does not take much. He explains that his hair is naturally curly, which sometimes gives him issues trying to keep the sides down, but leaves the top just right.
“I definitely get looks there. Most of them I’d say are of admiration. In town I get a lot of compliments on my hair,” Çoufal said about his experience in town. He has even made friends with Kyle, who works in a local barber shop.
“I hang out at his barber shop sometimes,” he said.
“Especially in Chicago, I’ll get offers for parties and stuff,” Çoufal said, addressing the notion that some might take him for an Elvis impersonator. If he is in a touristy area like Michigan Avenue or Navy Pier, he is more likely to be approached.
“You wanna come to my kids parties, we’ll pay you,” he said, describing an example of an offer.
Çoufal has never taken any of these offers because he does not feel comfortable enough to fully embody Elvis. He enjoys playing guitar and singing. The time constraints with college life have kept him from practicing, which is primarily why he’s not comfortable with performing in front of any kind of audience yet.
Çoufal has embraced his style for more than six years now and cut and styled his hair just before high school. Once he gets into the professional world, it might change. He joked about an Elvis impersonator defending a client in court, fully aware that he might eventually have to switch it up a bit. He plans to going to keep it going as long as he can.