Pride Month: Designer Jerome Lamaar on Creating Clothing That Goes Beyond Labels

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Image: Instagram/@jeromelamaar

We were first introduced to Jerome Lamaar via Kimora Lee Simmons back in the mid to late aughts. We caught glimpses of him on Kher hit show Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane. Lamaar, then 15, was an intern at Lee Simmons’ Baby Phat clothing line. Later, he was promoted to a hybrid position as the label’s brand coordinator /junior creative director. After leaving Baby Phat, Lamaar traveled the world working with brands such as Adidas, L’Oreal, Uniqlo, Calvin Klein, and Mattel, to name a few.

In 2013 Lamaar launched his own line calling it 5:31 Jérôme, which caught the eyes of Beyoncé, Jay-Z, and Rihanna. Shortly after, he opened his own pop-up boutique in the South Bronx called 9J which became a safe haven for lovers of art, music and design. Most recently, he teamed up with Macy’s to create a capsule collection along with 6 other designers. 

Lamaar designs with a genderless mindset. Anyone can wear his designs, and while wearing them they’ll feel bold and strong. Lamaar is a fearless designer and not afraid to design out of the box. He’s not afraid to throw on a heeled boot, a wig and a blouse and go on about his day. He embodies everything Pride month stands for. He lives in truth daily and is not worried about what anyone will think or say. EBONY caught up with the designer to get his thoughts on what it means to be a creator who doesn’t allow others to put him in a box.

EBONY: It’s Pride month, what does that mean to you as a Black queer person?

Jerome Lamaar: To be honest, I don’t usually celebrate Pride because, for me, Pride is every single day. I can’t change my beautiful skin tone of melanin or lifestyle every month. For me, Pride month is my way of holding a mirror to society to show them that this is an everyday thing for so many others who are not highlighted like myself. It’s the perfect time to raise awareness and challenge corporations to do better all year round. 

As a Black- queer designer how do you overcome the double adversity?

It’s simple, I don’t consider myself a Black queer designer. [I consider myself to be] a brilliant designer that can literally move in rooms and create things that are significant. That’s why I can do so much because I understand that my abilities go beyond labels. 

What message do you have for up-and-coming Black queer designers out there?

I just advise all designers to stay true to their vision and do let anyone put you in a box. Boxes are for people without a clear vision of themselves. We are all so much more complex than a box. 

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