Kenyon Phillips

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In everything from short shorts to the skinniest of jeans with his toned chest bearing bling and boned and feathered jewels, Kenyon’s nightmare of growing up overweight and marginalized in a “social ghetto” characterized by “Aryans playing volleyball on the beach,” is now a bygone reality. Today, living among the comfort of the diversity in the East Village, he is not an athlete per se, but Kenyon considers his body to be his number one accessory. The minimal palettes of gray, white and black skimpy pieces often picked from womenswear racks serve as a frame for his washboard stomach and lean legs. I love how rock and roll and flirtatious a woman’s blazer and spandex leggings look on Kenyon. His pecs and limbs are the perfect canvas to his prolific tattoos, including the valorous Joan of Arc flames which exhibit his burning intensity and zeal for embracing adversity as a means to liberation. A passionate double Scorpio like myself, he lives life as if every day were his last, or in his words, in “perpetual crisis, leaving no room for middle ground, moderation or subtlety.”

Becoming bald at twenty two, just as Kenyon was beginning a modeling career, only further strengthened his conviction that freedom comes from a willingness to “suck and to start at the bottom… especially difficult, when in our society now, everything is perfectionist, everything is photoshopped.” However, losing his hair is what turned Kenyon’s sights towards a lifelong dream of making music, creating a band and performing. It is in the musical realm that Kenyon does not have to sound or look like anyone else and he can express with abandon what comes from inside of him. Essentially, a man in wigs, turbans, peacock plumes or no hair at all is not only accepted, but adored. Kenyon wanted to convey that “for anyone who has moved to New York City to become an artist,” read Patti Smith’s Just Kids. The icon’s book, who’s powerful ease within her skin opened the doors to androgyny and being beautiful outside of the box without trying or even caring, “will make you cry, will make you laugh and will make you sing.”

If you love Kenyon, you may also like Tay Trong, James Gillespie and Dustin Hollywood.