FASHION FORWARD-IT GUY
After sitting here staring (for an hour) at several photos of this weeks Fashion Forward-It Guy, I came to realize that writing an article about someone that I have known since childhood wouldn't necessarily be the easiest thing. But then I began to think about the man he has become. He is a man who tends to spit out exactly whats on his mind, and like him, I think I will write this piece in the same manner... Real and Not giving a damn!!!
Although, Tino and I went to school together, we honestly didn't become friends until we became part of the same modeling troop. And like this sites first It-Guy, Tomik Dash, I wasn't quite sure I was going to like this dude either. I recall walking down the hallways of our high school and making eye contact with him, and us sometimes exchanging shy hellos. This wasn't always the case. Whenever he was with his friends, the once shy guy whose name I didn't know would turn into the loudest one in his pack and proceed to look straight through me as if I didn't exist.
A short amount of time had passed, and one day I was asked to participate in a fashion show. It made no sense for me to ask what other people would be involved being that my family was still fairly new to the area. So there I was... one of the first models to show up to rehearsal and all of a sudden “the pack” loudly walks in. Our coordinator introduced us to one another and truth be told, I could care less. Tino and I were the only two guys recruited in the troop so far, so naturally we were left having to converse with one another. But even when we did, he tended to say things that were inappropriate and often times down right rude. Could it be that these sudden outbursts were mere cries for attention, or maybe they were just the signs of a lost young boy longing to be accepted, or maybe he was just a jerk who deserved a swift kick in the ass...
Being the older of the two, I felt it necessary to be the bigger man and see if I can come to a better understanding, especially being that we were going to be in a number of shows together. And after sitting down and having a nice chat, I realized that we had a great deal of things in common. The Explicitangel felt that he was ostracized in high school, and that was definitely something I could identify with. As the conversation developed, I got to know alot more about him and I actually saw a great deal of myself in him. Like me, he walked around on the eggshells of life trying to go somewhat unnoticed in order to avoid the harsh words that closed minded individuals would hiss. Sure he developed an over the top sense of humor, but I belive even that is what he uses sometimes to hide the hurt that he has endured. We joked and pretended to be enemy's but it was obvious that a bond had formed.
It wasn't until Tino's early 20's when he started walking in balls that he began building confidence...confidence that he thanks the ball scene for. After his first taste of empowerment, he relocated to New York. The opinionated creature realized that living in the south wasn't meant for him, and felt that he was to creative in his thought processes to remain.
I have found that people move to New York in attempts to turn their aspirations into reality. And with that a certain level of growth is involved. Not only does their crafts develop, but so does the way we choose to present ourselves. In Crowley's case, both areas have changed drastically. The previously slender boy with the inappropriate behavior has now turned into a tall very toned, or dare I say muscular man whose body is covered with so many tattoos one can keep count. And although his physical appearnce has changed, one thing about my long time friend still exists.. his great sense of style.
“My tats represent different facets about my life and personality, sure some people may see me as a freak, but most are intrigued and understand that I am an artist,” he says.
The Fashion-It Guy does performance art, and takes pride in pushing peoples buttons while he is on stage. His act consists of various sexual taboos and contains both blasphemous, and sacrilegious imagery. Influenced by his idols Grace Jones, Wayne County, and Leigh Bowery, one can only imagine the shock value he brings to the stage.
New York is a place that will swallow you up and spit you out without chewing and unless you are born into money or have a very generous sponsor. One can say it's probably wise to have a job to make ends meet while waiting for that big break. Aside from work at Rick Owens,a line he loves, he is also a fashion stylist. (And although he didn't admit it, it is apparent that once shy Mr. Crowley I remember is still doing a tad bit of modeling as well.)
“Aisce, Odyn Voyk, Ministry, and the Japanese line Julius are some my favorite brands,” he adds
Now in his 30's it seems that things are falling into place for Crowley. He recently joined a performance art space in Soho and is scheduled for his first solo show this May.
(photos the property of Ryo Miyamoto and Sartorialoft)