A Queer American Dream
Did you study anywhere?
Yeah, I went to FIT and I completed the Associates program, which is two years. Then after that, I was fortunate enough to have a job waiting for me. So, I left school and didn’t finish for my Bachelors because I ended up working right away.
Where did you work?
It was an eveningwear company, designing sequin dresses for the wealthy, privileged, Upper East Side women.
Your brand isn’t necessarily geared towards Upper East Side women. Who are you designing for?
I would definitely think a younger queer boy who probably has a Daddy, so he can afford the clothes.
It’s refreshing to see the authenticity of your identity through your work.
Yeah, absolutely. Casting is also very important. In the context of Instagram, I feel you’re selling a lifestyle more so than the clothes itself because it is so visual.
Your clothing is definitely visual. From what I’ve seen, your design elements seem to work universally on any body.
I myself have gone through a lot of body image transition and acceptance and, being in New York, everyone is a different size. People always say there’s sort of an ‘ideal’ that’s spread around, especially at times in the queer community. For me, it’s more about self-acceptance, embracing your sexuality, and making sure you look cute, and you can do that at any size, or shape, or gender, whatever.
Also looking at your work, the structural choices you make seem to blur gender. Is gender something you play with in your work?
I think it’s interesting, because it’s a dialogue I was playing with when I was still at FIT... [Now, after] being involved in more content in general in the city with other creatives, my taste is always evolving.
...It’s come to a point now where gender is always a part of the plot, but it’s no longer I’m-making-gender-neutral-clothes. I’m making clothes that are just articulated in this weird, Homic world and it’s just a contributing factor that helps tell the story, as opposed to being the main character.
So you’re brand can essentially be worn by anyone?
It’s meant to be worn by anyone, but currently it is being marketed more towards men because, unfortunately, we don’t have a nonconformist fashion calendar.
How has navigating the norms set by this industry affected your brand?
Coming from working at that eveningwear company, everything was ingrained in accordance to the calendar. Like, that’s how everything functions. But recently, I have been much more vague in regard to when the collection needs to be released. For me, it doesn’t really matter as much as long as it’s out in time for market week.
So, maybe you can be the one to forge the path for a new system.
Yeah, I remember reading an article and it stated that there’s a fashion week near every week now, because there are so many people that participate. So the calendar is almost senseless at this point. People are already forging that path, and trying to make a more sustainable calendar.
Would you say your brand represents some sort of queer American Dream?
I would love for that to be the end goal. I use pinterest, and sometimes you’ll go to my like page and it’ll be quilt patterns on these really kitschy things, and then it goes into BDSM and latex, and then into – I don’t know – modern Italian furniture?
...But, being an American and especially in this time, I want to celebrate the beauty around it, because there’s enough going around politically that’s a drag. It’s true and we can’t avoid it, but in the midst we can have our fun and make our presence known.
If you could dress one person in Homic, who would it be?
I would say Jessye Norman. She was this very famous Opera singer. Honestly, she’s such an inspiration.
...Also, low-key, Kim Kardashian is an inspiration to me. Kick her stylist out and let’s throw a look.
How about queer icons you would love to dress? Dead or alive.
Prince... I’ll send some of my designs to my mom sometimes, and she’ll say, ‘Prince would wear that.’
I know you hopped around a lot as a kid, but you spent most of your life in Minnesota.
Yeah, I would definitely consider New York to be my home now, but if there were another place that would come close, it would be Minnesota.
How has living in New York influenced your designs?
...I feel more connected to myself when I was a kid and just sketching goofy things. Also, when I was in Minnesota, I was somewhat involved in queer culture, but I was still so naïve to it... At that point, all my friends were girls, so I couldn’t really talk to them about queer culture so they didn’t know what it was at all. It’s just such a different environment... There’s only so much you can do in Minnesota.
Twenty years from now, where are you?
I’m totally in Venice, I have my apartment on the piazza, and I’m drinking coffee on my little porch that overlooks that canal in my floor-length, black silk robe. And my dog Lulu for some reason has surpassed typical Dachshund lifespan and is still with me.
I predict great things to come as the Homic story continues to unfold. Any words of advice?
The most important thing right now is to create content, but to create content worth saying something. Content meaning anything; photography, art, fucking pottery, if you make artisanal coffee or something. I feel there is this new mindset driven by social media to make-make-make, but then sometimes, half of what you’re doing doesn’t really make sense. Quality over quantity, and create what makes you happy.