MARQUIS NEAL, 25
Hometown: Vancouver, WA
Location: Brooklyn, NY
UD: What is your style vibe?
MN: My style vibe is definitely “Street Style Diva”.
UD: Name a few places you've recently found inspiration…
MN: Living in New York I find most of my inspiration in people I see or meet. Even online, finding inspiration is sometimes just a scroll away. Mostly femmes, but generally I think seeing people who are really unafraid to be themselves is inspiring-- it can really be anywhere.
UD: Go-to brands?
MN: Thrift stores to be honest, I get the best bang for my buck. I also frequent ASOS, H&M, and Old Navy.
UD: How do you feel about the current mens style landscape?
MN: Bittersweet... It’s awesome that a lot male brands cater to many demographics and aesthetics now + it isn’t “hyper masculine” if you don’t want it to be. Within those brands / more high end menswear brands, they just aren’t size inclusive. It’s rare you would find anything higher than a 3x-4x in menswear and even then, the likelihood of it being something that fits ones style, isn’t very high. A lot of brands don’t realize that there are bodies who require larger sizes... those bodies deserve to express their fashion identity too.
UD: Does your cultural background play into your style choices at all?
MN: I don’t generally think about my culture being directly connected to what I’m wearing, other than the fact that i’m wearing it and I am “Male”. I think because a lot of what I wear would fall under the “street style” category and a lot of street style is heavily black / POC influenced, I can definitely say by being someone who is a person of color, I am proud to represent an interpretation of what street style can be.
UD: How does your level of daily confidence influence what you wear?
MN: I think in finding a personal style, confidence is a large part. Being open and willing to wear something that you consider a part of you takes a lot of confidence.
UD: Does the current political climate affect how you present yourself to others?
MN: The current political climate has really showed me how to be confident in myself and stand strong in my identity.
UD: Is style a vehicle for your individuality or do clothes just serve a purpose?
MN: Style is definitely a vehicle for me. I get the opportunity to paint, style, dress up, and dress down however I choose to with my clothes, I also get the potential opportunity to give someone else (with or without my knowledge) that may be struggling with their identity, representing what they might want to dress like / see in their environment.
UD: What struggles do you face when shopping for clothes?
MN: Mostly just finding things in my size that are supposed to look the way they should. A lot of times it becomes a lot of make shifting to make an article of clothing look right on me. ( i.e. pulling the sleeves up a bit because they’re too short, or rolling up my jeans because they are too long, even if the fit is good).
UD: What are some exciting aspects of fashion to you right now?
MN: Seeing a lot of mainstream brands expand and include plus sizes has been really awesome. Seeing more queer designers and the queer community becoming more celebrated and recognized in fashion has also been great.
UD: If you could say anything to men's clothing manufacturers, what would you say?
MN: BECOME MORE SIZE INCLUSIVE!
UD: What gets you excited about your personal style?
MN: Pushing the boundaries of what is “gender” and how it is represented.
All bodies (including yours!) are beautiful bodies and it’s important to celebrate everything that makes your body unique to you.