Chubster words feat. James [New York]

Today let’s meet up with James, fashion editor and celebrity stylist who try to change by his own the vision people have about Plus size men fashion in the US.

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Plus size men fashion

Our readers already know you, from your appearances on some of the posts from our blog and Instagram account. So, we wanted to learn what’s behind the fashion man and blogger that you’re also … who are you James?

First off, thanks for having me. This is such a big question and I believe it requires a big answer. Coming from a writing background, my big answers could often fill a book, so let me try to shorten it, for the purposes of this interview.

I often get misunderstood – which sounds totally cliché, but in this case, very true. When people meet me, they’re often surprised that I’m as nice and polite as I am. I think niceness goes a long way.

Writing and styling for some of the publications that I do, I think people expect me to be snooty and arrogant because that’s the attitude that often comes with it. But I’m different. I am so grateful and excited to do what I do. And each time I read “Words by James R. Sanders,” or, “Styled by James R. Sanders,” it feels like the very first time. It’s a humbling experience.

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You are currently Fashion editor and celebrity stylist. Tell us about your background and your beginnings in this profession. Is it easy to make a name in this industry?

It certainly is not easy. I’m still trying to get to where I want to get in fashion. My BA is in Journalism and my MA is in English. When in college, I didn’t write quite as much for the school newspaper as other students, I was more so wanting to focus on real publications. I figured early on that I wanted to work in fashion editorial, so I started educating myself on the industry as much as I could.

When I was younger, I used to read vintage copies of Vogue with my grandmother. I never knew, then, that I would be writing and styling for them. It’s a dream come true. My first fashion assignment was to cover a local fashion show. From there, I covered New York Fashion Week. I then started a bit with PR, marketing, and now styling.

Being on the bigger side makes everything harder in terms of working in the industry, because nowadays, there’s a lot of pressure to look like the people you’re writing about, and styling.

Being black in the industry is even harder because you’re always one of two (if you’re lucky) in the room. Black talent in fashion often goes unnoticed and to say that it doesn’t would be a lie.

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What decided u to launch your own blog? It seems to be more than a blog as u offer a wide variety of service … What is the goal of your website? And what makes u so popular with your community?

I use StyledbyJames.co as a platform to promote the projects and things that I’m doing. I wouldn’t call it a blog, but more of a website – an official website of sorts. To me, every professional and freelancer should have a website. It’s a manifestation of your brand. But with that being said, I am looking to redesign. It’s not quite where I want it to be yet. But I’m getting there.

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According to recent studies, the USA is the country where there is the most overweight people in the World. For all that, would you say that american society stigmatizes Plus size men or does it try to incorporate in itself? Are Plus size men particularly visible in the fashion industry?

Plus size men are not visible in the fashion industry. Most of the plus size men’s clothing out there is boring and ugly. There are a few amazing brands out there that are currently killing it – Oublier and Gulliva are at the top of my list. America doesn’t necessarily stigmatize plus size men especially with the popularity of bears in gay culture, and dad bods in pop culture.

It can be sexy to be big – but my philosophy is always that you cannot feel a way about yourself that you don’t want to feel. So let me put it to you this way: you can’t stigmatize me, because I am who I say I am – not who you say I am. If I feel sexy even with extra pounds, that’s how I feel. And I absolutely feel that way.

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Fashion diktats still die hard, and especially in France. What about USA? Can we easily find clothes that fit us even when wearing 3XL?

It is becoming easier, but if 3XL is your size, I would strongly suggest that you invest in a laptop, a credit or debit card, and a strong internet connection because online shopping is an absolute must.

To continue, let’s go for a Ping/Pong interview (short questions, short answers)

QUESTION/ANSWER INTERVIEW

FASHION

  • The must-have of any good Plus-Size Men dressing-room? A good pair of tapered jeans.
  • Your timeless fashion piece? A crisp fitted white oxford shirt.
  • Your essential accessory? A good tote, backpack, or satchel. Murse aka Man-bag
  • The worst Fashion faux-pas for u? Tucked in shirts if you have a big belly.
  • Your favorite brand of clothing? Right now, I am obsessed with Gulliva and Oublier
  • A Fashion tips in Plus-Size Men? Find a tailor or seamstress. The fit is everything and often you’ll need a tailor to fit things on your body. If not, invest in sewing lessons and do it yourself. But things must be altered to give you what you need.

BEAUTY

  • Your daily beauty ritual? I’ll often use a facial scrub, a cleanser, followed by a moisturizer, and then if I am doing something on camera, I’ll probably do a foundation primer, and something for the eye.
  • A tip to properly maintain his beard? Plenty of beard oil. I use vitamin E.

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FOOD

  • Your little weakness in term of food? Hot wings, or buffalo wings.
  • A good address in town to recommend? Balthazar on Spring Street.

LIFESTYLE

  • A trip, an unforgettable place? My favorite has been my trip to Puerto Rico. THe people were simply marvelous and the weather was sublime.
  • A motto? “You may play games, but you won’t get James!” And also, “You know the name of the game, your life is forever changed when you’re Styled by James.”
  • A song title of your playlist currently? I have created a playlist on Spotify that I’m calling HIStory – it’s a collection of songs that I’ve curated that mostly include titles from Solange’s new album, Vintage Mary J. Blige, Sarah Vaughan, and a lot of Donny Hathaway.

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FUTURE

  • Any projects for the future? We’re launching the second season of Styled by James the Talk Show, which is coming to a city near you. I am developing a line of handbags.
  • What can we wish u for the next couple of months? I’m hoping to increase my visibility in the industry and continue to publish as much as I can while still working with a select few celebrities.

Want to read more ? Discover our other interviews of men who try all over the world to change the mentalities regarding Plus size men fashion here.

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Big thanks to James for this exclusive interview ! Want to learn more about him ? Follow him on his official web page www.styledbyjames.co and the social networks.

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