Just being an eccentric dresser doesn’t make one a visual activist. It requires intent, purpose, and constant refining/reassessment. It evolves as the message and times do. Most of all, it must be authentic to who you are.
When I step outside of the house in my gender non-conforming style I am aware of the tensions it may provoke. For this reason I am always armed with my sharpest weapons – a smile, love in my heart, and a desire to educate when the situation calls for it. My unique style makes me feel at home with myself.
Approaching mid-runway I tugged my blazer sleeve – left first, then right. As the blazer came off I heard a roar! My pace and purpose steadied. Pivoting at the end of the runway for my walk back it started to sink in. A smile washed over my entire being. I DID IT! I REALLY did it! How I didn’t raise both arms in celebratory joy is beyond me.
The frames made me appear somehow more whimsical and welcoming. Not a week went by without someone making their way across a crowd to tell me how much they adored my glasses — enabling a new connection with a former stranger.
The top 9 (top 10s are so Buzzfeed) things I wish I knew before I made my first suit.
My mind wandered in a Fantasia-like fantasy sequence. The patterns and fabrics danced in symphonic harmony. I lucidly dreamt of the custom contrasts in my pockets and vest-backing. Thúy guided the possibilities of my imagination, even building toward our next collaboration. I watched as she jotted down my specifications commingled with her insights from second generation industry experience. I felt like I could already almost touch the fruits of our labor.
About a month ago I visited a Brooks Brothers in Perimeter mall where I was approached by a sales associate whilst browsing tuxedo blazers. He walked over to me and said, “You know, Reese Witherspoon wears our boys’ blazers.” My immediate thought was, ‘Hey, buddy. I’m no rookie here. I got this.’ And then I realized that he was trying to make me feel comfortable shopping outside the boundaries of the women’s section. I immediately self-corrected and thanked him for his help.
For me the mindfulness and artistry involved in the morning routine of putting on my selected bow tie provokes inspiration that a cup of coffee cannot bring.
As soon as we got in the door, my eyes widened with just the slightest hint of a tear. This was precisely what I wanted to see. We were greeted by two handsome gentlemen who offered their services. Not wanting to be a bother to someone who was unlikely to make a commission from me, I offered the cursory, “Just looking.” So, when Brandon asked if he could get us some water, I was pleasantly surprised. He came back with two fresh bottles of Fiji water and two glasses — pouring us Fiji’s finest.