DARNEL GHRAMM, 31
Hometown: South Jersey, NJ
Location: Philly, PA
UD: Three words to describe your style vibe?
DG: Street, Dapper, Rock Star.
UD: How do you put conceptual or visual thought into your outfits, if any?
DG: Mood, environment and message I'm trying to deliver.
UD: I know you're a proponent of thrift shopping, which we basically live by. Do you ever tailor, or make your own your clothes?
DG: Thrifting is dope! You never know what hidden treasures you'll find. I love up-cycling outfits to make them my own. Give a piece new life!
UD: What are some exciting aspects of fashion to you right now?
DG: The plus size moment-- We're not fully there but we're moving in the right direction. Brands are expanding their size range, models & bloggers are more unapologetic and curves are IN, the way it should have been all along.
UD: What gets you excited about your personal style?
DG: I just like to have fun and be expressive. There is almost nothing that scares me when it comes to fashion. I'm never afraid to try something new and make it my own.
UD: Do you feel that clothes can actually show others who you are?
DG: Definitely! Everyday you dress for the occasion, the mood. Clothes are like paint and we are the canvas. Everyday you get a chance to recreate yourself and be who you want to be. No rules.
UD: Has your approach to clothing / fashion changed much since you were young?
DG: Oh yes. When I was younger it was more about following trends, rocking what everyone else was, just to fit in-- wearing the name brands that were cool. Now, I look to others for inspiration, that's all. When I get dressed, it's all me.
UD: How does your level of daily confidence influence what you wear?
DG: Fashion doesn't scare me. The more unique a piece is, the more I want to attempt to style it. That takes confidence and the more you push yourself, the more confident you become. It's work and you gotta work at it everyday. A lot of times guys will tell me they could never pull off a look I post on IG, I tell them, of course you can. You just put it on and make it work for you.
UD: Do you have any advice for those who struggle to love who they are?
DG: Self love is a process. Even the most confident people have their moments. That's ok, don't be so hard on yourself. Work on accepting every part of you, one part at a time until you are completely in love with you.
UD: What suggestions do you have for men's clothing designers / manufacturers out there?
DG: Don't shy away from plus size. What the mainstream tends to portray is unrealistic. Plus size guys love fashion and we want to feel great and look good in our clothes too.
UD: Does the current political climate affect how you present yourself to others?
DG: Not necessarily. I'm very aware of what's going on and voice my opinion when I feel necessary, but it doesn't define me.
UD: With racism, prejudice and discrimination so apparent in the last year, how do you do your part to support victims of discrimination in any form?
DG: I simply try to be an inspiration to others, being a mixed kid myself, to not allow society to put any human being in a box no matter sex, race or ethnic background. I have no problem voicing my opinion or offering my support when needed.
UD: Any final thoughts about identity / confidence / style / being plus size?
DG: Being plus size is cool lol. This movement is awesome and is way past due. I'm glad to be a part of it and hope it continues to grow to the point that it doesn't have to be a "thing" but yet we're simply included in every aspect.
UD: Any last shout outs?
DG: I would like to shout out some brands I've worked with that see the need and vision for brawn men and a platform that reps us. ASOS, Volare Menswear, Brandon Kyle, DXL, Colasso & Large Lad Clothing to name a few. And for platforms that represent us: XL Tribe, Plus Model Mag, Plus Size Me Plz and Big & Blunt. Lastly, I would like to specifically call out you guys, Underdogmen. Thank you for everything you guys are doing. I'm so glad and honored I got to work and meet you guys!