Black Queer Designers Created The Blueprint For Streetwear As We Know It

Growing up, James Flemons always mixed and matched his style. The Los Angeles native had five older sisters, and would often wear hand-me-downs and shop in the women’s section at Macy’s. After winning best dressed in high school, he recalls a classmate expressing confusion at his eclectic way of dressing. “He said directly to my face, ‘You can’t dress like a skater one day, and then a preppy person the next day, and then like [a] ‘thug’,” Flemons remembers. Today, Flemons is the designer of the semi-eponymous independent label Phlemuns, which has dressed celebrities from Lil Nas X to Bella Hadid, and famously created the outfits for Solange’s iconic “Don’t Touch My Hair” music video. Phlemuns designs have a relaxed silhouette and are made from recycled fabric, selling streetwear staples like hoodies, crop tops and sweat pants. A queer Black man, the clothing James Flemons produces is androgynous, and he cites Aaliyah and Andre 3000 as inspirations for “people who walk that line of [being] gender nonconforming” in their style. Read more at Input.