You may have seen Stevie Boi's wacky-chic eyewear in a little publication known as Vogue, or else on up-and-coming celebs like Rihanna and Beyonce, or the underground artist Lady Gaga.
His pieces have appeared inside Vogue 30 times and counting. He's fresh off a successful show at New York Fashion Week...
...and he's set to release a film about his fashion ascent next year. We sat down with the blossoming designer for an exclusive chat about where he sees himself heading and what his thoughts are on the current state of the world.
Out: You used to work for the military. Whatwas that like, and how was the transition from that into fashion design?
Stevie Boi: I loved working for the U.S. government. It actually helped fund my career. I took my technical experiences working for the military and mixed it with my designs. For example, the job I had instructed me to build tank parts and weaponry. I was able to figure out a way to mix technicality with design from that experience.
Can you walk me through the timeline of going from just starting out as a designer to having your eyewear on the cover of Italian Vogue, and worn by stars like Rihanna and Gaga?
Well, it was literally an overnight situation! I was designing products in my downtown loft in Baltimore. Next thing you know, I'm asked to attend fashion shows and style celebrities. Some of the celebs I've known from skipping school at 16 and driving to New York to hang in prominent "club kid" type of venues. Having my products grace the covers of Vogue still to this day is shocking.
Following up on that-what's been your proudest career moment?
I still remember waking up to my first Vogue cover.
It appears in your latest collection, "CABIN," that you're branching out from just eyewear into clothing as well. Could you speak to the collaboration process with Weave Up?
Yes that is correct. Working with Weave Up is amazing. They also will be collaborating again with me for my F/W 17 collection, "NOIR." I love Weave Up because they allow their customers the options to create their own textiles, which I believe gives people more freedom to express themselves.
You're doing a movie, "CABIN: the Story," in select theaters next year. Is it a documentary? Are you planning to move into filmmaking further?
Well, it was supposed to be a fashion film, but after pitching it to Hollywood I was told to make it bigger and more dramatic. So I reached out to my visual director and told him we need a script and movie outline in less than 72 hours! Two months later we had producers, investors, and a distribution team set up. I am 100 percent ready to take on Hollywood and do more filmmaking after this project. It was draining as hell but totally worth it.
You're doing a reality series in Europe, and you're appearing on Whoopi Goldberg's "Strut." Is acting as much a passion of yours as designing? Do you see yourself playing characters, or just sticking to playing yourself?
Yes I go to Sweden in December to film "Stevie Takes Sweden." We filmed "Stevie Takes Vegas" which comes out next year. I've been taking my acting very seriously. I was cast in a few Netflix series and movies that debut next year. I would love to do more serious roles. Like as crazy as this sounds - I want to play a crack head so bad. I am really into dark dramatic roles.
You've got your next collection, NOIR, coming in February. Can you talk about it at all? Is it just eyewear or clothing as well?
For the past four years I have been working hard to prove to people that I can do luxury and ready-to-wear. I'm over proving to people that I'm a designer - I'm going back to my roots as a crazy club kid. I'm excited to tap back into my inner goth and fetish aesthetics.
Any other upcoming projects you'd like to discuss?
I am preparing to do something with Disney in a few months. I can't talk about it just yet but it has already changed my life.
Thoughts on this election?
From the start of my career I had decided it would be best to never speak on political views... But with this circus of an election I must say something. Donald Trump sucks! I don't trust people that do not blend their concealer in.
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