Photographer: Lindsay Adler @lindsayadler_photo
Sustainability and Positive Impact Director: Patrick Duffy @mrpatrickduffy
Editor at Large: Brendan Cannon @thecannonmediagroup
Hair: Paul Lodge @bklynwarhol
Makeup: Amanda Tiffany Gon @amandizzllee
IRK Magazine is excited to feature cover-star Jérôme Lamaar, a Bronx, New York City-based fashion "scientist" who has broken barriers in the fashion industry with impeccable taste and an innovative approach to style. With over two decades of experience as a creative expert in fashion, Lamaar has worked with numerous A-list celebrities like Rihanna, Beyoncé, Kimora Lee Simmons, and more and collaborated with many high-end fashion brands to give them a distinctive edge. Jerome has established their clothing brand, 5:31 Jérôme, which has gained a loyal following among the fashion elite and broken retail records at Macy's.
Lamaar's clothing brand, 5:31 Jérôme, reflects their trademark glamour fueled by a magical vision and ever-flowing creative talent. With a focus on avant-garde designs, luxurious fabrics, and maximalist beading, the brand exists in major fashion publications such as Vogue, Elle, and more. Lamaar's approach to design comes from a childhood in the Bronx, influenced by an impeccably stylish grandmother, a background in art and performance, and a love for culture. The collections often incorporate bold prints, vibrant colors, and unexpected details, making them stand out in the crowded fashion industry where "gratitude" is woven into every aspect.
In addition to their fashion design and styling work, Lamaar has also made a mark on television. They recently appeared on Fuse TV's notable series "Upcycle Nation" with actress Karruche Tran and fellow designer Peder Cho. They mentor contestants tasked with transforming discarded materials into high-fashion garments, aligning with UN SDG 12 (a sustainability goal of ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns.) To celebrate fashion's future, Lamaar and IRK collaborated with photographer Lindsay Adler on a 90s Janet Jackson-inspired photo shoot, showcasing their talent in front of the camera to compliment an impressive body of work and their commitment to pushing the boundaries of fashion. Jèrôme Lamaar is a star in the industry and one to watch in the future.
Interview by Patrick Duffy POSITIVE IMPACT & SUSTAINABILITY DIRECTOR
Photos by: Lindsay Adler
IRK: When young, were you always fascinated with the future? Did you ever expect those thoughts about "what's next" to be your career?
Jerome: As a child, I was obsessed with all the beautiful things of the past. I would study encyclopedias we had at home for fun and try to piece together ideas about the way the world worked before I existed. I researched lots of art, movies, and science for answers. One of the things I remember most as a little child was that I loved to watch the film, WIZ. I have held the Emerald City scene in my mind all my life. I loved that the Wizard was in charge of the trends and predicted or dictated what colors were significant, and seeing the city shift was magical.
IRK: You have a fantastic trajectory in the fashion industry, working with Kimora Lee Simmons, Beyonce, and more. What kind of magic do you weave into your work that makes it stand out?
Jerome: I stick to my formula of creating things that make me feel marvelous. My specialty is questioning anything that drains your creative, focused energy on beautiful things. And why they need to exist in this realm. Why make anything mundane?!
IRK: You are an advocate for SDG 5 - Gender Equality. What's your inspiration for the work you are doing to push that agenda?
Jerome: As a nonbinary designer of color raised by Brillo women, I try to ensure everything I do includes women and empower them to do whatever they want in this creative realm.
IRK: The fashion industry has some issues with inequity and inclusivity. What could the fashion industry use more of?
Jerome: For starters, the fashion industry needs to start being more authentic. I've met many people who act one way or another when I'm in a specific group. Frankly, I don't have time for fake energy from people with no substance. I refuse to do business with anyone who is not being authentic. I have been on the game for over twenty years and see right through it. Once the industry wakes up, we can focus on fixing the following problem: destroying our environment.
IRK: I love how you approach your work. In your words, "like a scientist," what exactly do you mean, and why is this important?
Jerome: I've been blessed with a brain that sees patterns rapidly. It has helped me to see formulas and trends in ways others can not understand. I use my love for physics and the understanding of how the laws of the universe work to do my thing. While everyone gets obsessed with fashion, get obsessed with results and new ideas. I use myself as a social experiment. As I close this cycle and enter the next one, I want my supporters to wake up and lock into this path I walked. There is so much more than what we see. When you start to put things in perspective that we are floating around in a vast space of nothingness, our only journey is to be kind and create …no one can stop you from achieving your soul script and being bold with your gifts.
IRK: If you could re-write your history, would you change anything? The same goes for the future. Where would you take yourself if it was like writing in a journal?
Jerome: I would keep it all exactly how it is….magical…However, I would want to try and be less aggressive with my friends and family and remind myself that my path is my path, which doesn't mean that one has to follow it or respect it. Looking back, I realize I was not very fun to be with as a teen or in my twenties…I was so serious and focused on this vision. While I'm so grateful that I made it to a great place…I do want to acknowledge all those who loved me into existence and gave their time, patience, and wisdom as I aggressively forged ahead on my path. Thank you.
IRK: What are some things the industry needs to change?
Jerome: They are producing more goods than necessary. Not embracing upcycling and garment manipulation and following old retail and manufacturing models that no longer fit our current age as consumers.
IRK: How do you deal with stress and pressure to succeed or make your work successful?
Jerome: It's interesting. I am tough on myself, yet I tell everyone to be mindful & take time to relax and have a clear mind….for me internalize a lot of my stress and shut myself off from the world to recharge. I like to pray, draw, watch junk tv, eat, and drink a lot of water. This recharges me so I can bounce back and go full speed.
IRK: How did growing up in the Bronx impact your current life?
Jerome: For me, the Bronx is the hub of American Style; why? People like Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, and Mickey Drexler, former CEO of JCrew and the Gap…all came from the Bronx. You can't get more American than that, lol. I like that I drew inspiration from the street, hip hop, my parents and grandparents, anime, and the icons I mentioned to inspire my unique perspective on life… it's magical, an enigma, classic, and has a lot of flavor and variety. ..just like the energy of The Bronx.
IRK: What's next for you?
Jerome: Well, I'm building a web3 from my inspiration. My avatar will be full of life and an exciting extension of me. Stay tuned… I'm just getting started. Gratitude is Glamorous