Some people arrive on the scene; others explode. Originally hailing from Brooklyn, Halifax, model, photographer, designer and make-up artist Myles Sexton isn’t content doing just one thing. Along with redefining what it means to be a male model, he helps organize the monthly club nights called Sodom and is working on his own line of accessories. And, yes, that is his real name.
How did you dress in high school?
For the first year of high school I was a lost soul when it came to fashion. Then I adapted the emo-punk look. Lots of skin tight clothes and girls’ pants. Oh, and I can’t forget my Converse shoes where one foot would be black and the other would be the color matching my sweater. I really battled with trying to fit in and felt like I could only dress one way. There is so much pressure in high school for kids to look a way so they can be in a clique of kids who only buy from certain stores. It’s a freaking fashion jungle!
Describe the first time you wore make-up.
My parents had gone out for the day. I snuck into my mother’s make up bag and started applying eyeliner. Before I could even finish my lower water line I heard the door open. My parents had come home. So, I freaked out, turned on the shower to disguise what I was doing and put nail polish remover on a Q-tip and tried to get it off. I ended up burning the skin around my eye. When my mother asked about it, I told her I was scrubbing in the shower and the face cloth chafed my eyes.
The next day she gave me her concealer to hide the burn. I will never forget the moment of applying the concealer under my eye. By the time I was done the concealer was all over my entire face. I looked at myself in the mirror and for the first time felt beautiful. My teenage acne was no longer noticeable, my cheeks no longer red. I finally looked the way I already thought of myself. Since then I’ve seen make-up not as a means of concealing, but as a way of unleashing the real you.
Why did you want to become a model?
I am on a mission. I am not your typical beauty. I don’t have killer pecs or lumberjack arms. I am often mistaken for a lesbian. Growing up I always wished I had an idol to look up to. I found people who were small parts of who I wanted to be but never the whole package. I know I am not alone on this earth. I am sure there are men out there who feel the same way I do. So I started modeling so that I could be the man I wish existed when I was a child, who can wear make-up and be proud, and dress in whatever he feels like. Dress without gender! That is why I wanted to be a model.
How do people react to your photographs?
When I first started modeling people told me to butch it up. I tried that for about a year before I could not take it any more. I am sure they thought I was crazy. The response has really been 50/50. People often call me a drag queen but I don’t view it like that at all. I am still a man and always will be a man. I am just tired of the stereotype of a man. I think a man is a person who is proud to be himself, whoever that might be.
Describe some of the outfits you’ve designed.
My most recent number was a Marilyn Monroe-inspired dress in black, made entirely out of video tape. Another piece I made was a chicken wire studded blazer, inspired by Lady Gaga’s crystal dress. Also, I made a piece that looked like my head and upper body were being consumed by butterflies, inspired by the Alexander McQueen butterfly dress.
How is the world of fashion changing?
In many ways I think that fashion is becoming more accepting. For example, H&M and American Apparel have uni-sex lines. Still, in North America our fashion is pretty Western-looking. We have people living here from all over the world, yet you see very little from different cultures. This is the era of T-shirt and jeans, so my question is what is going to happen to haute couture?
What are your top five style inspirations?
Photography by Shaun Simpson, Brent McCombs and Morris Green