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A portrait of designer James Flemons standing in front of a black gate with his hands in his pockets

Grad James Flemons Designs for Lil Nas X and Billie Eilish

FIDM Graduate James Flemons, a pioneer of genderless and sustainable clothing, designs for stars such as Billie Eilish, Lizzo, and Solange, among others. As the designer of the L.A.-based brand, Phlemuns, the Merchandise Product Development alumnus created the red, Western-inspired outfit worn by Lil Nas X on the cover of Time magazine in 2019, which Flemons said was taking recognition of his work "to another level." 

In a recent profile in NBC News, entitled "Lil Nas X’s designer is redefining gender and Blackness in fashion," Flemons shared how his big break came after he was unexpectedly laid off from retailer Opening Ceremony in 2015. “At first, it was a little jarring for me. And then I was like, wait, I get unemployment. I get to do whatever I want,” Flemons recalled. “It was the first time I could really fully immerse myself in creativity. And after that I put out my spring/summer 2016 collection, and that was a collection that really kind of got a lot of eyes on me.”

His former employer ended up carrying his collection, which is known for pieces that don’t conform to gender rules. “It was really important for me to make like a safe space of just like genderless or nonbinary clothing that very much just speaks to your identity and gives room for anyone to feel comfortable, to explore that — whether gay, straight, nonbinary, Black, white, brown, whatever,” Flemons said. “You can find something that fits into this world that you can express yourself in.”

Learn more online at phlemuns.com and on Instagram @phlemuns.

Photo via Tony Lee / NBC News

Categories:  Merchandise Product Development Alumni