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Homic: The New York Brand Making Opulent Menswear for Queers

Photography: Austin Wright
Photography: Austin Wright

"Our mission is to be a voice that continues the dialogue on self-identity and expression."

When designer Joshua Homic graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology, he saw a space in luxury menswear for more gender fluidity and launched in 2015 his independent brand, Homic. By referencing fetish culture and '80s business style, Homic began embarking on a mission to rewrite the codes of power dressing--a new, modern language that recognizes the strength of femininity and spectrum of masculinity.

Traditional tailored jackets are constructed using black velvet and gold embroidery, halter tops decorated with bows and luxe sequins, and thigh-high boots patterned with delicate vintage florals. Homic's silhouettes are strong and imposing, given a sense of opulence that's long been abandoned in today's menswear. But the designer's not revisiting the past as much as he's reflecting the present, and answering to the desires of contemporary queers through clothes.

Related | Gallery: Austin Wright x Homic

In collaboration with queer photographer Austin Wright, Homic has captured the innate push and pull of his breakout brand with an original fashion editorial. Much like the endless tension between femme and masc qualities, Wright's images show two male models wearing Homic on the streets, holding each other, pushing against buildings and posing confidently against a New York City backdrop.

OUT recently caught up with Homic to learn more about his rising fashion brand. Read our conversation, below, and check out more photos, here.

OUT: How'd you first get involved in the fashion industry?

Joshua Homic: Originally I am from Minnesota, I left when I was 18 to go to college in NYC; then I studied for two years at FIT and after began to work professionally as an assistant designer. I think that working for two years after my associates really gave me the opportunity to both refine my taste within design and see how a fashion brand could operate within the structure of the New York scene. During this time, I was working on side projects for myself, being that having my own brand was always on my mind. After working as an assistant designer, I focused on developing the main business plan for my brand and since have been maintaining that path doing freelance gigs here and there to further support my brand financially. It's definitely been rough having such a young brand in NYC, but I know it will pay off in the long term.


When did Homic launch?

Almost two years ago with our first spring/summer collection. From there, I've tried to keep as much momentum as possible, through press and collaborative works. Luckily, I was able to pick up a few key editorials and connections that have allowed me to move forward. I think it has also helped having a strong group of supportive friends who can help me document and edit the collection. It brings me to where I am now, having finished an exhibition show in Tokyo in February and working on the next rendition of our collection, which hopefully will be ready in the coming months.

What is the core mission of your brand?

Our mission is to be a voice that continues the dialogue on self-identity and expression, whether that be interpreted as queer identity or my own personal self exploration. It's important to create a platform where people can feel comfortable enough to be completely transparent about their identity and beauty, especially in today's political atmosphere. I think this principle is mainly attributed to what each garment means opposed to physical details within the garments. Each garment is part of the dialogue and with each new creation, a new voice is added to the overall theme.


In what ways do you think you're subverting menswear?

When I design I always think of garment staples, like the slip dress or trench coat. From there, I work on the physical details and storyline that manifests my aesthetic in the end product. I guess in essence, my design process doesn't even consider what menswear is. It's just about what feels good in context and that could be anything borrowed from mens or womenswear. I want to make clothing that embodies some semblance of sensuality, opulence and taste for myself, and all the other gays who want to wear it.

Are there any contemporary designers you look to for inspiration?

There are definitely contemporary designers I look up to, but I am always wary of being inspired by them. I think Wales Bonner and Palomo Spain are definitely brands that I currently would align myself with. I do love looking at designers from the '40s and '50s for inspiration, like Jacque Fath or Dior--the houses that created those iconic moments of die-hard glamour and absolute beauty, usually documented by [Richard] Avedon or Penn [Irving]. These moments can be overwhelming and most of the time so dystopian and removed from reality, but I think in [today's] political climate, we need to be reminded of the possibilities and such drama can be a relief and pleasure to view.

Outside of fashion, what are some of your main influences?

Film is a huge influence on my work. It's more about the emotion and mise en scene that film creates opposed to the costume design. For example, the anticipation and drama I felt watching Jackie was unreal; I try to think of ways to induce such a feeling in my work. La Dolce Vita is another example, I love thinking of how my clothing could work in the storyline, and how there is such an anti-hierarchy, yet pseudo glamorous feel to the film which I feel my brand also has to it.


How do you think you're approaching fashion through a queer lens?

I approach fashion through my own eyes, which given the situation are very queer. But in a more serious sense, I am conscious of the the cultural climate of queer society, not just because I am apart of it, but because my family and close friends are all a part of it. This is part of my life and all my work will be involved in it, for me I can't separate one from the other. The lines of gender, sexuality or even queerness itself are very ambiguous at the moment, and honestly I live for it. I play with all of it, making transitions between spaces of gender and sexuality because I think they are archaic terms that no longer hold as much validity as they once did. We all should embrace this and play with it and make new meanings that will hold value to our generation.

Do you think there's a certain type of person who wears your clothes?

I definitely see a variety of people wearing my clothes, but typically I see a younger gay guy, living in some metropolis. I think of what his needs are in his wardrobe, his work life, sex life and social life. They are a very fun person, sometimes involved in drama, but if anything, they always look good stirring up fire. [They're] also a creative, business savvy individual who understands the strength their appearance can have.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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