Antony Muse is a wunderkind. Both in person and online, he discusses every topic with passion - his new clothing line, his esteem for Frank Ocean, and where he sees this all going.
photo by Kate Sullivan
I'm interested in what sparked your desire to create a clothing line. Specifically, I'm curious why you choose to express yourself within this medium.
Great question! I guess it's due to the fact that clothing is what I knew best. When deciding to do anything artistic, you’re devoting yourself to a community in which you’ll have to interact with photography, filmmaking, and music. In deciding to pursue fashion, I haven’t isolated myself to just this one thing, but I've opened myself up to a world that I would otherwise have no way into.
My whole life I've been treated differently due to my aesthetic decisions - whether it was bleaching my hair, painting my nails, or covering myself in tattoo - I've always wanted to be unlike everyone else. Or at the very least, I wanted to be a conglomeration of the best traits of the people that inspired me. Fashion was the best way to give that weird, unique energy to the world.
Tell me about some folks who inspire you.
In terms of the fashion world, I look up to Jerry Lorenzo because he's always ten steps ahead of the rest of the world. In terms of inspiration for how I personally dress, Jesse Rutherford (lead singer of the neighborhood) and Matty Healy (lead singer of the 1975) influence me. They're dressing so rad that they’re impossible to ignore. I think there's something that happens when you become a pop star that automatically gives you this incredibly confident sense of self. I hope someday I can achieve that to some degree.
And I would be lying if I didn’t tell you that I wholeheartedly look up to Frank Ocean. His voice is beautiful and he somehow maintains his privacy while being one of the most famous people in the world. In terms of my day-to-day life, I look up to my family and friends a ton. I like to surround myself with people that are just all around better than me because it's a reminder of how much more I could be.
You seem to have a really strong sense of how you want to market your brand. Everything from the vibe of your photography to the doodles that fill the margins of your site. How did you decide on your brand's aesthetic?
Looking back to when I started the company, I never even thought about marketing. Mentally, I was just in a place where I thought this is me and I really hope people care. The handwriting was because it felt super raw and truthfully was the most natural thing. The “I love you” at the end of most every post is because I think that people deserve to come across someone (or something) telling them that they are loved at some point in their day. I see this brand as being an honest extension of myself.
Now that everything is established, the process is more difficult. I'm someone that really hates when things stay the same for too long - both in my life and in my art - so it’s important for me to always be evolving, while still checking that everything I’m doing is personal and not formulaic.
I know collection three is being released in May, so that means you're gaining some traction. Tell me a little bit about the response you've received so far.
All I'll say is that the response has been far better than what I could have hoped, but there's still so much room to grow. It's both terrifying and exciting. My family have been the biggest support. They've always been my best friends and been there for me in times when no one else has been. Towards the roll out of the second collection some “church friends” didn’t understand what I was doing and sort of condemned me. I still love them and wish them the best, but it was important for God to remove some people in order to show me who was most important.
This whole line has been a lot of hard work, though. Some of my best friends (Ben, Kate, Madison, Cassidy, Taylor, and Cate) have been my “team” in regards to helping ship stuff out and letting me bounce around ideas. They’re the best and they've really made all of this more manageable.
Last thing I want to touch is this book of poetry that's coming out along with the next collection. Would you tell us about that?
Yeah absolutely! It’s called i wrote a book of poems about my ex-girlfriends in the hopes that they might read it and miss me, because if i am missed, i will know i was loved. I’ve loved writing my whole life and it just feels like the right time. I’ve been writing it for about two years and I finally think it’s ready to be read by anyone that cares. I’m very, very excited.
this interview as been edited for length and clarity. thanks so much for reading.