Tempe Stylist Justin Kimberlin's Androgynous Look Is Inspired by BDSM and the Olsen Twins
Andie Flores Justin Kimberlin rocks a modern androgynous look.
Believe it or not, Justin Kimberlin went through an Abercrombie & Fitch phase.
Don't ask him to see pictures -- the 23-year-old Nashville native burned them a long time ago. Now based in Tempe, the stylist's current look is a gender-bending parade where fear is irrelevant and freak flags fly high.
Kimberlin moved from Tennessee to Arizona in high school, when his family relocated. Now a stylist, avid dancer, and pop culture enthusiast, he feels like he's come a long way since his preppy grade school days.
He describes his current style as a "modern androgynous drug lord vibe."
"It's really based on the fact that I don't look at fashion as being gender oriented," says Kimberlin. "I look at it more through silhouettes and cuts of fabric that can be interpreted by any sex as what they want it to be."
Kimberlin's look has changed just a bit over the past few years. He's had his fun with "street goth" and "witchy" looks and foresees that his next look might be something along the lines of equestrian. He already has the helmet.
With such a wide range of wardrobe changes, it's no surprise that Kimberlin gets inspired by all sorts of different things. He cites high fashion designers like Rick Owens, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, the BDSM community, and architecture, art, and sculpture as inspiration points.
"I let things find me," Kimberlin says.
"I walk up and down every aisle at a Goodwill and will look for length and interesting and unique proportions. Interesting and unique proportions have never gone out of style. For example, I found a Max Mara egg-shaped coat from the '90s and it's the exact same coat that they still make. It's easy to find those interesting pieces if you look at shopping like that."
Kimberlin couldn't see himself doing anything but fashion. His ideal career would be an editorial stylist. "What Grace Coddington does for Vogue, that's what I want to do," he says.
"I like building moods and themes. When you can make an editorial tell a story through just the garb, I think that's inspiring."
As he's navigated back toward his gender-bender, androgynous approach to fashion over the past year, Kimberlin has learned to live comfortably -- and uncomfortably -- where his heart in fashion lies.
"Don't be afraid to be who you are," he says. "That's one thing I've never been afraid to be. Let your freak flag fly."