'EXISTING, ACTIVISM' - IN A TIME OF ISOLATION, BINARIES ARE STILL TO BE BROKEN, INTRODUCING KYLE DE’VOLLE, EXISTING, ACTIVISM.
Celebrity stylist and online presence, Kyle De’volle, is the non-binary, gender-defying icon covering our August issue of Quazar Digital. Best known for their work with the likes of Rita Ora and Leigh-Anne Pinnock, as well as becoming a recent Jean Paul Gautier alumni, we wanted to catch up with De’volle to see how they have been getting on during lockdown.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY DERRICK SANTINI
ASSISTED BY BEN NORTH
HAIR BY BRADY LEA
MAKE UP BY ANDREW DENTON
STYLED BY KYLE DE'VOLLE
IMAGE PRODUCTION AND COVER BY CHARLIE LONG
Lockdown has been a difficult time for all of us. We have had to adapt to a new world, change our daily routines and evolve with the times. We caught up with celebrity stylist and non-binary creative, Kyle De’volle, to take a look into how they have personally had to switch up their busy schedule. Kyle’s most famous celebrity partnership is with singer and musician, Rita Ora, whom Kyle styled between 2010-2018. Behind some of her most iconic looks, Kyle also has a number of impressive names within their repertoire, including Leigh-Anne Pinnock from Little Mix, Cara Delivigne and Bruno Mars.
As well as being a legendary stylist with killer looks of their own, Kyle is carving out a name for themselves within the realms of activism. As founder of ‘Courage 4 Kids & Equality’, a platform dedicated to supporting LGBTQAI+ children and teens, De’volle is utilising their platform to open up important conversations online surrounding queer identity. Kyle now, join's us to talk being non-binary, styling from a distance and exploring one's identity.
Me and you have been talking frequently throughout lockdown, I know you haven’t found it too difficult in terms of working remotely and having other projects going on throughout, what was it like adapting your work around the circumstances?
In all honestly it was quite a smooth easy transition. I found it hard not being able to separate home from work as I usually headed into my studio everyday. But I made it work! I’m lucky and grateful to currently be working at the moment.
You are a Jean Paul Gautier alumni, what has that experience been like for you to work with such a household name so closely?
Hahaha! YAS! I love that! It’s been a dream come true! Growing up JPG was a huge inspiration for me and still is. The whole ethos of the brand resonates with who I am. Everyone at Gautier is so lovely, kind and generous. I constantly have to pinch myself!
It's amazing, I am so happy for you! Your relationship with gender is something you’ve been super transparent about, what is it like having an online prescience as a non-binary icon and do you find it difficult to navigate through a world where so many people feel they are entitled to have an opinion on other people’s identity?
I try to be a transparent and open as possible with every part of my life. I find the power of social media crazy, I just want to show people that they can BE whomever, do whatever and of course wear whatever they want. The idea of gender binary is an outdated one concocted by no doubt a cis white male who is probably cow shit at this point.I refuse to let my life be controlled or defined by anyone let alone a bag of bones! Yes, I have days when the world can get to me, I’m human, but on the whole other people’s opinions of me don’t faze me.
I think it's so important, as you said, to remember as queer people that we are all human and it's okay to have days when you feel a bit weighed down! What are some of the stereotypes or untrue statements within the media about non-binary identity that you find the most hurtful or frustrating?
Gosh where do I begin? I think the untrue statement that hurts me the most is that gender non-conformity is a new thing? Or that it’s a phase. When we have actual proof throughout history that gender non conformity has always existed. I’ve been wearing heels since I could walk and I’m now 30 and I’m still going strong! Ha ha.
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How does it feel, living in this restrictive world as a gender non-conforming person being as successful as you are, working with the likes of Jean Paul Gautier and Rita Ora, in a world where LGBTQA+ identities are often not given the same opportunities and met with bigotry?
It feels great to be able to do what I love and be able to be my true authentic self, but nothing came to me easy. The last eight years have been a lot of hard work, blood, sweat and tears. I’ve experienced bigotry and homophobia within the industry and still do to this day. Things have gotten “better” but there is still SO MUCH work to do. I will do everything I can to get us all through the door where we all belong.
Right! You’ve had the opportunity to work with so many incredible people, who are some brands or celebrities on your bucket list that would be a dream to work with?
Well for me it’s not so much about naming names - I feel it’s important to work with those who are willing to collaborate, take risks, have a like-minded vision, those who are kind and enjoy the process.
What other queer people within the creative industry do you look to for inspiration or feel are really important to be listening to right now?
There are so many amazing creatives within the LGBTQA+ community and also some amazing voices! To name a few, Lady Phyll (UK Black Pride), Adam Eli (Writer), Josh Rivers, (Busy Being Black) really inspire me.
What age did you know you wanted to be involved within the world of fashion and style?
The womb honey!! I’ve always had a passion for fashion and style – I have really early memories of running around the house in my mum’s heels and furs when she’d go to work.
Finally, what piece of advice would you give to someone who is battling with their gender that you wish someone could of said to you when you were younger?
I’d ask them to be gentle and kind with themselves – your journey is your own so don’t compare yourself to anyone. Most importantly EXPERIMENT! Have fun with your identity – you’re a canvas so get to painting and loving the work of art that you’re about to become. The road to self-discovery is long and strenuous but the rewards at the other end are so worth it.
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