Story and photos by Jacynth Serrano Rodriguez
Nick Southern’s Instagram feed is populated with knock-out look after knock-out look. From embroidered trousers to kimonos, and ponchos to kerchiefs, the boy knows what he’s doing. To say that I was inspired to step up my personal style just by ogling over his is a massive understatement. Back in January, the busy Richmond boy sat down with me to chat about his fondness for fashion and our shared love for model Bella Hadid.
Our aficionado started out studying psychology but decided to follow his dreams and his heart and convert to the fashion merchandising field. When asked about his plans post-graduation, he revealed that he’d love to be a personal stylist, and if he could style the celebrity of his dreams it would absolutely, without a doubt, be IT girl Bella Hadid.
When it comes to his eclectic and eccentric personal style, Nick mused, “I would definitely say that I float between looks from day to day, but my favorite look to go for would probably be like, edgy-chic. You know incorporating a lot of heavier metals, leather, ripped jeans, and then pair it with like a beat up pair of shoes, but a timeless one like Converse, or chelsea boots.” He also admires the style of model Lucky Blue Smith, who tends to incorporate some of Nick’s favorite edgy-chic trends in his looks.
I was surprised to learn that Nick’s favorite season to dress for is winter. While many a fashionista/os I’ve spoken to this year tend to lean toward transitional seasons like fall and spring. For Nick however, when it comes to the cold and to layers, he simply says bring it on.
“Winter is my favorite to dress for because you can just wear so much stuff I feel like you can wear anything,” Nick said. “In summer, I find it’s just really hard to dress in summer, you’re limited to maybe one or two statement pieces to work your outfit around, whereas in the winter you can show off multiple items at once.”
Nick also says that, as far as trends go, never say never. “I would sit here and say that I wouldn’t wear something and then in ten years I’d probably wear it,” Nick said. “Even putting a contemporary design on a fanny pack can make it really cute.”
Among thrift stores, Nick favors stores like Asos and Topman when he does his shopping. He also swears by Forever 21 when in search of good basics to fill out your closet. When the topics of staple items arise, Nick advises, “You have to have a neutral flannel, and a denim jacket, a leather jacket.”
Nick knows that fashion is more than what you wear. “I definitely believe that fashion is an outlet for expression,” Nick said. “If you put on an outfit that you feel really awesome in, whether that’s something out of your comfort zone or something you feel good in for the day, I find that you probably have better day.”
His confidence and flare have always been innate to him, but he’s also had to grow into it.
“The first time that I bought my own clothes, I was like 10 in fifth grade and I wore these jeans that had rips in them, and this graphic tee with this little vest at the time, and I wore it, and people just tore into me at school,” Nick said. “So I just found through the years of growing up, I mean I’m gay obviously, but people tend to put labels on you because you’re gay. Let’s think of a couple stereotypes for people that are gay, ‘they love fashion, they have a girly voice’, I found that growing up I always tried to stray away from that and I almost felt like I couldn’t enjoy the things that I liked because they were considered so stereotypical. I found that as I’ve gotten older, I don’t want to be who you guys expect me. I think I kept wearing the things that I’ve worn because I feel good in them but also it also shows that I don’t care about other people’s opinion.”
Nick’s final answer to the question of confidence is this: “You need to try things on you need to find out what looks good on you; you need to make mistakes. And if you like something don’t be afraid to wear it. Obviously, if there’s a fur coat that you really want and you wanna pair it with a hoodie or something, that’s a streetwear look. That would look awesome, but keep in mind that if someone says something to you, you definitely have to let it pass you.”