After The Road Ahead Summit, and in honor of National Coming Out Day, we sat down with rule-breaking panelist Jerome LaMaar to talk about fashion, the future and what inspires his creativity.
You're a creative by nature, tell us a bit about what projects you're working on now?
Currently, I have shifted my focus away from fashion to explore technology, and sustainability. I've also become somewhat of an artist, as I've created pieces which have sold to a few private collectors. I just don't want to be put in anyone's box.
What does it mean to you be an out and proud creative in the fashion and lifestyle industry?
For me, I just feel the freedom to be your true self and create authentic work is the meaning of being out and proud. Everyone has their own path pave your own lane and change at will when you feel the alignment.
At what point in your life did you recognize your identity as LGBTQ was an advantage for you in your career and industry?
I was born this way. I knew I had something special to offer when I seemed to understand color, art and design at a young age. I felt it simply spoke to me more clearly than it did to others. This stems back to kindergarten when I would draw pictures of the scenes I've saw. I was drawing things that were not your typical shapes. Things that were more sophisticated than my peers. A fond memory I have is of my mom's reaction to reading the teacher comments on my report card. They said I was one of the best dressed, more artistic students they ever encountered. That definitely did something to my vibration. I loved feeling acknowledged for my hard work and creativity.
If you could name three key elements as the sources of your inspiration to help drive you forward, what would they be?
Vision, evolution and the creator.
Why do you think forging your own path is so important?
I believe it's important simply because you will later realize that the previous path you were on was never meant to be yours in the first place. We all have a purpose, and if you don't use this life to find it you will find yourself humiliated by the results. Speaking from my own experience, you have to create your own universe, and build it at your pace.
What advice would you give to someone looking to make a name for themselves in fashion and lifestyle industries?
Focus!! There are thousands of people doing it, you simply need to be centered enough to know why YOU are doing it all. Be kind, humble and hardworking...be the light. Know what you really want and being brave enough to know when to take the leap to get it is key.