Featured Fashion Designer: J Stead

"I am a genderqueer model on a mission."

Model Citizen Media provides a platform to recognise fashion models, photographers, designers, makeup artists, hair stylists, creative directors, bloggers, stylists, and labels around the world. Every day, we feature an individual on Model Citizen Interviews. People get to know each of them - their hopes, challenges, aspirations and inspirations in life.

Tell us about yourself, why you are passionate about what you do, and your journey so far. I am a genderqueer model on a mission. I've started my company NEWFRDM to spread a message of gender freedom to the world! Our customers feel visible and validated through our gender affirming clothing and accessories. What are your goals and how do you see yourself progressing in the field? We want to be a leader in the movement toward gender neutrality in fashion. We will release more lines that solve pain points for trans and non-binary folks. We seek to collaborate with well-known brands and influencers to create a larger awareness of freedom of gender expression. How do you communicate with people? Are you patient? Are you friendly? How open are you to clients’ requirements? Customer relationships are huge for me. I try my best to make positive connections with everyone I interact with. I've always been a better listener than speaker, so it's actually kind of funny to me that I'm putting my voice out there in such a big way through the brand. If you had to do it over again, what would you change? I'd for sure grow my team faster. You lose momentum when you're solely responsible for your own motivation. I'd also be less afraid of failing. Just push things out faster instead of staying in my comfort zone of the planning phase. Who is your hero, and how have they helped you get to where you are? My dad. When I was young I asked him what the meaning of life was. He said, "to have fun." He's created multiple successful businesses, he runs marathons, he climbs mountains, explores all parts of the world, he has weird hobbies where he collects and studies moths... he's just not afraid to be himself and follow his passions. That's what I strive to be! How important are creative education courses? Have you taken any, and did you find them useful? Yes! Depends what you mean by creative I suppose, but I see creativity in most things! I really love to continue educating myself. I've taken a freelance writing course, and entrepreneurial studies post-graduate, a digital marketing course, and I read all the books I can get my hands on. They are a great source of inspiration and a beautiful way to learn more about the current challenges you are facing in building your business. Do you have any tips for someone who is just starting out in the industry? Really sit down with yourself and start to uncover your life purpose. It's a combination between what you're really good at, and what you want to see change in the world. When you have a firm understanding of that, it makes it harder to get thrown off track when failure and criticism come your way.

Photo Credits: Photographer: Kristina Ruddick @kristinaruddick Contact Details: Instagram: @j.stead_ @new_frdm Email: j@newfrdm.com


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