Photographed by Fred Attenborough
Clothing by Jamil Moreno
Dress Code is a new photo-interview series exploring identity and personal narrative through fashion, style, and self-expression. This installment features Jeffrey Scott, a self-described "aesthetic ho" living in New York.
How do you identify?
I definitely identify as queer. I don't identify with words like "boy" or "man" and I'm SUPER uncomfortable when people call me dude or bro, but I use "he/him" pronouns. Personally I don't like to be identified as part of the “masc” or “femme” dichotomy either. I just like to exist in my own realm of my own personal gender and self expression. You don't see me shopping in specifically the "women's section" of a store or buying only "men's" toiletries. American capitalism unnecessarily pushes the gender binary on everything so I feel no need to play into that poorly gendered marketing scheme. I also don't like to claim as GNC (Gender Non Conforming) because I am super comfortable with the body I was born with, which is not the case with so many of my queer siblings who I hold dear to me. Obviously describing where I’m at on the gender spectrum is difficult so Queer works as a great umbrella term for me!
How would you describe your style / aesthetic?
Style-wise I imagine myself living life in ”The Fifth Element" as the extraterrestrial fashion-punk kid who has the power to change into different forms. Nobody can really tell if my character is the hero or the villain. I'm super inspired by designers with lots of different aesthetics and I like to draw different elements from each of them. Margiela, Gareth Pugh, Vivienne Westwood, and Galliano some of my favorites. If I melted my aesthetic down into three elements it would be the color red, unconventional fabric, and heavy hardware.
How do you use style / aesthetic as a tool to explore or express your identity?
Style allows me to play "dress up" and live in whatever creative realm I'm feeling in my head in that moment. I treat my style as an art form, it keeps my mind moving and helps me stay sane. I'm more than blessed to be in a city where style and aesthetic are celebrated. It's the tool that I use to pave my way through heteronormativity and give the conservative patriarchy a giant "fuck you".
How has the way that you express yourself changed over time?
I come from a small city in North Carolina where rednecks, right-wings, and yuppies run rampant. Good luck finding queer culture there, let alone any sign of a gay bar. Luckily my mom has always been my biggest supporter. Because of her I've always been encouraged to experiment with art, hair color, clothing, sexuality, career path, you name it. Years later I'm still experimenting but now surrounded by more opportunities and a sea of creatives that open my eyes to new platforms and venues that I never knew were possible.
One piece of clothing or accessory you can’t leave the house without?
During the day, some bomb sunglasses that I probably got from St. Mark’s for ten dollars; At nighttime, of course, a shoe with a mutha fuckin' heel on it!!