1. What’s one misconception about Big & Tall Men that you hear often? And what are you doing to change it?
Ha! Well there’s a few! First I often hear that bigger guys don’t know how to dress nor do they have the aesthetic to even dress like what’s usually publicized. Secondly, and the most annoying thing I hear, is that there’s not a market for the “bigger guy”, that there’s no inclusion or need for it. And of course, let us not forget the biggest misconception of them all…that Big & Tall stores are the only place bigger guys can shop at.
What I’m doing to change it is being both proactive and reactive in my advocacy for bringing more attention to the bigger men aesthetic. Through my patterns under the Simplicity and Know Me brands, interviews, upcoming projects and my social media platform I am a walking, talking and physical example of someone trying to uplift a stigma in the industry that needs to be more recognized; not shunned and put away like it’s taboo.
XL Tribesmen Of The Week Scorpio Uzuh
2. How has fashion shaped how you see yourself?
Fashion is everything to me, I’ve always been a creative. Being able to make and wear my own clothes is like showing me a shield, or a cloak of invisibility (Harry Potter reference for those that get it😉) when I’m out and about. Have you ever woken up not feeling the best? Or been depressed? Not feeling worth it? Of course you have, your human. Now put on a whole fresh outfit that you made by hand, custom to your measurements and your vision and see how you feel strolling through the city. It’s the best feeling, second only to knowing that NO ONE can say they have the sand thing in your closet.
Fashion has provided me with a creative freedom that I never thought I’d have. I’ve been able to express so many designs of mine that I have penned in my sketchbook. That sole decision I made in 2019 to buy a sewing machine literally saved my life. And for that I’m eternally grateful.
3. Tell us about your relationship with fashion ?
It’s forever intertwined. I am fashion and fashion is me. That’s something you can’t take away from me. My brand Sins of Many is a depiction of the long road it took me to finally trust in myself that I belonged in the fashion world. And the crazy thing is I’m not even 5l fine years deep yet, I’m still learning and growing.
When people think of fashion, most of the time they’re thinking about fast fashion and the displays they have in the windows of fancy stores that they shop in. But very rarely do people actually know and appreciate the time, dedication and tunnel vision that it takes to truly create a garment via slow fashion. I am a one-man army creating one of a kind pieces: I design my own pieces, I source my own fabric and notions, make everything by hand and market it independently. Now, knowing all this now, understand that those stores you shop at and I are not the same. I make fashion through my own eyes, my own aesthetic. Therefore, I am fashion, and fashion is me.
4. How did you get introduced into the world of Big & Tall fashion?
Honestly, I was introduced to it once I started sewing and producing patterns. Honestly, I never boxed myself in with any title or representation, I just made clothes for myself. But, once I started designing patterns the companies would label me as “big and tall”(I use tall loosely lol). I didn’t truly understand it until I actually took the time to really look around me. Once your Niger than a size 42-44 chest, most stores consider you big and tall. They don’t produce your size, nor market it. “Size 38-40 waist, oh no! We don’t carry that here!” — says every designer store. I looked around, and outside of Rihanna and Savage Fenty, there was no one really promoting bigger makes and females in earnest at the time (think about it). There was barely, if any, representation for both and tall on mainstream runways. It was eye-opening, I was somewhat naive about it…but once I realized it, it really frustrated me.
So now, I embrace it. I’m happy to be labeled that and gladly carry the torch for my big and tall brothers out there. I want better representation for all of us, not only because we’re dope men, but because we deserve it! I want to design and collaborate with everybody; you got people like Aaron Donald, Davon Godchaux, David Njoku and other NFL players out here doing their thing that I’m really trying to tap in with to make some noise!
5. What is one thing you do every day that helps you feel better about yourself?
In this order:
- Pray, read my Bible verse and converse with God.
- Make a plan. Plan my day, week, whatever.
- Workout. Health is wealth.
- Research and study. Getting better and better at my craft everyday.