Get along w/ different nuances of himself is an easy flow/natural movement for Joel.
The 28-year-old creative star took his firsts steps in fashion as a model. After some shooting, meeting, dancing, n character buildin’ moments, now he is the powerful mind behind Major Zcene Agency — a creative company that gives life to artists’ projects in a sexy disruptive way.
As a young queer, Joel’s work is wisely based on pushin’ his community rights, so strength goes through aesthetics and becomes the secret behind a body confidence message. In that scenario, lxthr takes all the flashes for itself — not only bringin’ 🔥🔥 feelings, but also holdin’ history n makin’ a statement.
“When I wear a leather look I feel pretty powerful and ready to tackle anything”
Besides feelin’ free to express his trueself, sustainability is something that brings Joel a sense of community. Being part of the fashion industry matches the responsibility of pavin’ the way to a more conscious lifestyle, he says. And since talkin’ isn’t enough, Joel also acts: shopping less, starting a Depop page, sharing clothes w/ friends, and developing new versions of some go-to looks w/ his sweetheart pieces.
“I think reselling clothes is the fastest and most sustainable movement you can make”
Are u still there? So come n see our chat w/ Joel — u will discover some fave-forever catwalks and why he can’t live without a great pair of lxthr boots. 👇
What does fashion look like behind the flashes?
Absolute chaos and not as glamorous as one might feel. Literally, since going behind the camera, it’s been a whirlwind of emotion, life changes, drama, new relationship, maturity, stress, love, and community. I try to find balance with it all as a Libra, but partially I love chaos.
Do you have a favorite catwalk?
These catwalks will always and forever stay close to my heart: Thierry Mugler 1995 & 1997, Jean Paul Gaultier 1994, Alexander Mcqueen SS99, SS01 Asylum — and the infamous Kate Moss hologram moment in Paris show 2006.
All these shows were innovating, they hold true performance art value. No other designer has been able to conjure a true reflection of the human mind, time and the future of fashion.
Some of the newer designers I love are Ludovic Saint de Sernin, Telfar Global, Maison Margiela, Dion Lee — all I feel is [they are] pushing gender boundaries with their designs. And I love Iris Van Herpen pushing technology within couture.
Sex empowerment is an important part of your work. Can you describe the feelin’ of wearing a total leather look?
I think my work is widely based on pushing queer art and queer rights, so my body of work definitely involves the strength we find in aesthetics and the exploration of body confidence. When I wear a leather look I feel pretty powerful and ready to tackle anything. As society chooses to call me and my community a minority, as a Queer POC, when I wear leather I feel strong knowing I am wearing something risky and reminder that leather is a true symbol to queer history and culture.
Leather has been adopted and developed through queer culture since the 1950s. Not only does leather feel sexy, it holds history. Leather articulates how far we have actually come within queer culture, which is why I really like to wear vintage leather.
What places do you usually wear leather?
There is no set location that cannot involve a leather inspired look. I’ve worn leather dancing at the rave to holding boardroom presentations with normcore suits that make the world go round. It’s a statement, I guess.
Being a creative producer, model, artist you dominate a lot of different areas in your life. How is it to deal with all this?
Not sure I dominate all sectors, but I know my ambition for what I do can be potentially seen as cheesy or too much :) I sometimes question if I have become addicted to my work, but my profession doesn’t feel like work to me.
Regardless of the stupidly long hours, the writing, and all the meetings and liaising, all those boring prep days and the organization I have to do before I actually begin production, none of that ever matters when I begin shooting or creating. I have come to terms with the fact that my abilities lie in these areas and in turn [they] bring a world of excitement, love, and community.
Major Zcene is now launching as an artist agency, holding talent from all sectors with no jurisdiction or box. We specialise in neo-noir and digital art aesthetic.
And is there a difference of expression in which one of them?
I like to think of myself as the same person throughout all my work, but I am not sure that is true. Outside my work, yes, I am strong-minded and able to execute in all aspects, but I am clumsy, I am goofy, I live with anxiety the same way everyone else does, but my work definitely is an idea of my superhero self.
I think as a creative director my work tries to reflect and confident future for everyone. Whether that’s in the characters I build or the styling I have developed, there is a slight exaggeration on beauty and personality.
With modeling, well I’ve been doing it for so long it now comes naturally, movement flows naturally to me from being a dancer too, how that’s perceived I don’t know, but I know how I feel when I do it.
You have a very modern savage style. Is there a classic piece you can’t live without?
Modern savage style is an amazing terminology, thank you, I’ll take it. I could not live without my boots.
Fashion is becoming increasingly sustainable. How do you feel about this rising habit of not seeing it as something fleeting anymore? Do you shop less, wear the same piece over and over again, switch looks w/ friends or go to thrift stores? What are your sustainable movements?
I am always trying to be more conscious of moving forward with sustainability. As a person who works in fashion, it’s our job to pave the way. I now shop way less. As a stylist and model clothes just come by so easily, so I try my best not to shop unless when I travel and do euro vintage second-hand stores. I’m always somehow obtaining new things or [being] gifted as an influencer.
I have now started a new Depop with my brother Theo Maddix and my sister Georgia Palmer. In our warehouse we have a specific room that’s just for clothes, we used to call it the cave as you could literally dive into a pile of clothes. Now, trying to be more organised, we created the The Cherub Loft on Depop. I think reselling clothes is the fastest and most sustainable movement you can make.
We also live in a creative warehouse community and all our close friends live among us. Our live/workspace becomes a bit of a hub for the community, so we end up all sharing clothes and pieces, as well as sharing our talents for collaborations.
I used to hate wearing the same look twice, but now, as you get older, you just develop different versions of the go-to looks which then change every few months as a new favorite piece comes along. My actual wardrobe has wilted to mostly black — from classic looks to leather, non-binary or even a masc street look, I mostly find excitement within my personal style, within my work or when I go to the rave, then I can truly experiment with no judgment.
Can you tell us your 3 fave Instagram accounts?
Portraits \ HARISNUKEM
Art Direction \ JOELPALMER