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Tempe Stylist Justin Kimberlin's Androgynous Look Is Inspired by BDSM and the Olsen Twins

Justin Kimberlin rocks a modern androgynous look.
Justin Kimberlin rocks a modern androgynous look.
Andie Flores

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.

See also: Ashley Denton Wants Phoenix to Express Itself with Fashion -- And Be Less Judgmental

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."

 

What are you wearing? I'm wearing a retro dress I got at Goodwill, a Forever 21 maxi skirt, jelly sandals, and a retro-mesh jacket.

Where do you usually shop? I shop primarily at thrift stores, or places like Last Chance and Buffalo Exchange.

Editor's note: Andie Flores works at Buffalo Exchange.

What was the last item of clothing you bought? I got this dress yesterday.

Name five things every man should have in his closet. 1) A skirt 2) Fitted blazers 3) An everyday leather motorcycle jacket 4) Black dress shoes 5) Black combat boots

What's a trend you can't stand? I'm over the bra crop tops. Put your belly away.

Give us a childhood memory of you and clothes. When I was younger, I used to wear my mom's silk nightgown and paired it with some red boots that I used to have. I wore that outfit when my parents weren't home and no one was watching me.

What's your one piece of fashion advice for Phoenix? Be yourself. So many people in Phoenix are stuck on what other people think. The best advice I can give you is to just do you.

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Related Locations

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Goodwill

3122 S. McClintock Drive
Tempe, AZ 85282

480-755-4092

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Last Chance Bargain Shoes & Apparel

1919 E. Camelback Road
Phoenix, AZ 85016

602-248-2843

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Buffalo Exchange

730 E. Missouri
Phoenix, AZ 85014

602-532-0144

www.buffaloexchange.com


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