Larger queer men are chronically underserved in the fashion industry. But there is one designer aiming at that demographic.
Roi Hernandez is a designer for the big boys, his collections are always aimed at chunkier guys, and his runway shows are great showcases on how we can look good in styles we can’t find in the regular stores in our sizes.
His recent showcase in November did it once again! I caught up with Roi recently to ask about the show and his influences.
Here is what he had to say:
Richard Jones: Tell me about the recent show?
Roi Hernandez: I wanted to introduce a new collection with a more cohesive collection with a clearer creative direction. as a self-taught designer I’m kind of making this up as I go along. The mission statement remains the same though. I want to help change the narrative of how we as a society and media treats men of girth. I love that we celebrate big and curvy girls, but there is a double standard when it comes to men. Film and television still have a tendency to portray us as the funny sidekick, the weirdo, the nerd, the killer, the pervert, the loser, etc. at the beginning of the show, I showed a video collage showing examples of how, even as kids, big guys were ridiculed (i.e. the goonies). the video then switched to Anna Wintour speaking about fashion intercut with Matty Matheson talking about big guys and fashion. After the runway I had a lot of people saying things like, “i never really thought about that until you said it, thank you for opening my eyes”
RJ: Tell me about the collection itself?
RH: As a person that comes from the music industry and nightlife, a lot of what I do is rooted in that world. The pieces are purposefully bold in order to evoke a reaction, while simultaneously allowing big guys to see themselves in something they didn’t realize they could wear. Creative inspiration this time around came from the movie The Hunger, specifically the opening credits. there was a darker vampiric undercurrent throughout the pieces with each model embodying a character from that world.
RJ: You created your own music for the show, tell us about that?
RH: The track i used for the runway show was a remix that Morgan and I (Midnight Sabers) did of Taylor Swift’s “style”. it’s a downtempo synthwave take on the track focusing more on atmosphere than lyrical content. We also interweaved samples of Catherine Deneuve’s character “Miriam” from The Hunger and Kiefer Sutherland’s “David” from The Lost Boys. vampires never go out of style. We also had a live performance from Gleaming, a new electronic artist we are working to develop. he’s wears a lot of House of 1912 and looks great in it.
RJ: How can we find your collections and buy the styles for ourselves?
RH: Because all my stuff is custom made and limited, i haven’t really set up a shop. one of the things that’s important to me is exclusivity. when you buy one of our pieces, you can be assured that only you and maybe 2 others will have that piece. I’m not interested in big production as it can be very wasteful. the best way to acquire one of my pieces is to follow my instagram and facebook (@houseof1912) and if you like a piece, reach out to me directly and it’ll get measurements and produce it just for the client.
Listen to the remix of the runway music below: