He Said/We Said: Pride 2015

dapperQ is proud to present our annual Pride edition of He Said/We Said (HS/WS) on Autostraddle, featuring masculine gender queer style that will stop you dead in your tracks.

For a quick refresher on the HS/WS series, check out creatress mastermind Anita Dolce Vita‘s plan behind the HS/WS magic:

“The models fashion their very own looks – I give the inspiration, they give the interpretation. They come to the shoot camera ready: hair, make-up, their own clothes, accessories and props. I didn’t want the series to reflect how to recreate menswear from an individual stylist’s point of view. It’s always a wonderful surprise to see what each model came up with and all of the different translations of the same inspiration.”

When searching for “menswear” collections to serve as the inspiration for our Pride shoot, the dapperQ team was immediately drawn to the Paul & Joe Spring/Summer 2015 collection, which included an eclectic mix of motifs: a large intarsia pineapple, micro-printed cherries, illustrated monkeys, and painterly palm trees. The line received mixed reviews in the fashion world, with naysayers such as Style.com claiming that Paul & Joe’s doodle prints featuring “I need my croissant every day” and “Parisian cat” thought bubbles were “clichés” and “struck a pitch that may be lost on some men.” We, on the other hand, did not find the collection to be at all clichéd, but rather an example of a bright, creative, and carefree dress that is often reflective of queer style. Who needs a doodle print shirt that says “Parisian cat” when you can rock a full-on cat or Bert & Ernie print top with PRIDE and also manage to make it look stylish as hell? So, we ignored all the haters and included Paul & Joe in the short list of other potential collections to pitch to the photographer.

Ultimately, photographer Asher Torres along with Anita Dolce Vita, selected Paul & Joe to be the final inspiration for this year’s Pride edition. Here’s what Asher had to say about the experience as a HS/WS photographer:

“It was personal for me to find people with voices in our community that create change. Each of these models is a leader in their own right, through their art or their self-expression, and in turn, their unique perspectives shape and enrich our queer community. My inspiration for the shoot was “bringing it home” by highlighting Brooklyn textures. I felt the summer line that I chose well represented the personalities of my models.”





From left to right: Em, Hudson, Seven, Topher, Emmet, Ketch


Topher Gross aka bkcubcake

Age: 37
Occupation: Hairstylist, event organizer/promoter for Select All LGBTQI+ mixers and the Confetti party, overscheduled man of leisure, cat daddy
Outfit: Hat, Custom design by Knickerbocker Mfg Co. Glasses, Ray Ban. Crewneck Sweatshirt, Mustache Brigade. Necklace, Baby T designs. Shorts, Scotch & Soda. Sneakers, Radii Shoe Co.
Outfit sobriquet: SophistiCATed
Song that best describes your look: A Meow Mix (of songs): “Like a Cat” by Shonen Knife, “What’s New Pussycat?” by Tom Jones, “The Cat Song” by Laura Nyro, and “The Kitty Cat Song” by Lee Dorsey.

Whose wardrobe would you raid?

A toss-up between Zebra Fucking Katz, Bette Midler, Mrs. Roper, Pat Fields and Pharrell

Where are your favorite places to shop?

Guylook.com, Pachamamita Designs, Plndr, Forever 21, All Saints, Show+Tell, Five&Diamond, Purevile, Massive Gay

What accessory/article of clothing can you not live without? Why?

Definitely can’t live without a hat, sneakers or dropcrotch bottoms. I am all about comfort and style. I stand all day long, move around a lot and need to stay up on the latest trends for my profession.

What did it mean for you on a personal level to be involved in a project like He Said/We Said?

What DapperQ does is provide a space to display queer masculine fashion. Interpreting mainstream designer collections with our own spin allows us to showcase individual styles and creativity.

What were some of your favorite moments from the shoot? 

Hanging out with all the awesome models and puppies!


Hudson Krakowski

Age: 25
Occupation: Client Administrator at a tech company
Outfit: Shirt, Penguin. Shorts, H&M. Shoes, Asher’s [the photographer’s] closet.
Outfit sobriquet: Hudson’s summer prep look
Song that best describes your look: “Sayonara” by Girlcrush
Whose wardrobe would you raid?

The boys from One Direction

Where are your favorite places to shop?

L Train Vintage in Gowanus hands down with supplemental shopping at H&M

What accessory/article of clothing can you not live without? Why?

My Doc Martins. I also have this great leather key holder my mom got me in Australia. I literally could not survive without that.

What did it mean for you on a personal level to be involved in a project like He Said/We Said.

It’s great to see “menswear” fashion coopted by the queer community. It’s so important to be able to see genders outside of the binary represented in fashion, as well as different body types. Even within the queer community, fashion is mostly modeled on thinner folks, and I’m really excited to represent a slightly larger perspective.

What were some of your favorite moments from the shoot? 

Getting to know all of the amazing models from the shoot. Nothing brings a group together like several hours stuck inside an apartment in Williamsburg.


Janani Balasubramanian

Occupation: Writer, activist, nerd. darkmatterpoetry.com
Outfit: Blazer, street market. Sweater, Forever 21. Ernie & Bert Patch, Ebay. Shorts, American Apparel. Socks, Uniqlo. Shoes, street market.
Outfit sobriquet: “Ernie tell me, how do I look?” “With your eyes Bert.”
Song that best describes your look: “I don’t want to live on the moon” by Ernie
Whose wardrobe would you raid?

Arthur & DW (who have one outfit each)

Where are your favorite places to shop?

I’ve toured a lot in the last couple of years and have tended to buy most things in small towns or Midwestern/Southern thrift stores. The selections there are way more interesting and less picked-over than in big cities. I also swap a fair number of clothes among friends, which is probably my favorite way to “shop.”

What accessory/article of clothing can you not live without? Why?

My backpack! It is bright yellow, and I carry it around the way other people have blankets and lucky charms. Even if I don’t need to explicitly carry anything, I take it with me. You never know when you might need a backpack.

What did it mean for you on a personal level to be involved in a project like He Said/We Said?

I get dressed up quite a bit for performances, but my time with this shoot was an opportunity to play with aesthetics in a different way. And what I ended up with was something spirited, perhaps to channel a little more of “me” and a less of the disaffected white boy model look. My style in the shoot is motivated by the same drive in my art practice overall: imagination. I don’t think Sesame Street is the only way to get there, but it is a pretty reliable one. In other words — thanks to the photographer, the weather, and the antics — I had fun!

What were some of your favorite moments from the shoot?

My favorite moment in the shoot was trying to balance on a metal beam that was holding a garage door shut (which could’ve started to move while I was sitting on it!) It’s worth it for the photo?


Em Maffei

Age: 24
Occupation: Knife grinder
Outfit: Jacket, vintage. Oxford shirt, American Eagle. Shorts, Levi’s. Shoes, Calvin Klein.
Outfit sobriquet: Members only
Song that best describes your look: “You Make My Dreams Come True” by Hall and Oats
Where are your favorite places to shop?

I’m all about that Marshalls flow. Don’t shop all that often, but when I find something I like (especially jeans), I’ll buy multiples.

What accessory/article of clothing can you not live without? Why?

I cannot live without my hat. It’s a safety blanket for my dome. Not wearing it in my shoot made me feel that much more exposed!

What did it mean for you on a personal level to be involved in a project like He Said/We Said? 

It’s so great to be part of such an awesome project. Self-expression through fashion. Being able to say this is who I am and this is what I’m wearing today. “I yam what I yam.”

What were some of your favorite moments from the shoot? 

My favorite part of the shoot was getting my did. Oh and there was cake. The cake was fun too.


Emmett Jack Lundberg

Age: 31
Occupation: Creator of BROTHERS, one of Indiewire’s 10 Best Indie TV Series of 2014 and Co-Editor of Finding Masculinity: Female to Male Transition in Adulthood
Outfit: Crewneck Sweatshirt, Flavnt Streetwear. Seersucker shorts, Banana Republic Outlet. Shoes, Timberland. Watch, Breda from Jackthreads.com
Outfit sobriquet: RIP Gender Roles
Song that best describes your look: “Wrecking Ball” by Miley Cyrus
Whose wardrobe would you raid?

Jason Sudeikis, no doubt. He has a great casual style that isn’t too dressed down and when he dresses up, his suits always look sharp.

Where are your favorite places to shop?

I love shopping at stores like Marshall’s or Burlington so I can get a more upscale look on a tighter budget.

What accessory/article of clothing can you not live without? Why?

My monogrammed custom-made key fob that I have worn every day since starting testosterone. It’s a much a part of my transition as anything else.

What did it mean for you on a personal level to be involved in a project like He Said/We Said?

I think queer visibility is incredibly important and having a platform to show off what queer style means to us is equally important.

What were some of your favorite moments from the shoot?

It was great to finally meet people whose reputation I knew from afar and who are making such important strides in the community.


Ketch Wehr

Age: 30
Occupation: Artist, Illustrator, Graphic Designer
Outfit: Shirt, Topman. Shorts, H+M. Shoes, Cole Haan. Watch, Komono. Ring, Bario-Neal. Necklace (if visible), some old bronzeworker at a Renfaire.
Outfit sobriquet: Time Travel Gaycation
Song that best describes your look: “This Must Be the Place” by Talking Heads
Whose wardrobe would you raid?

Alan Cumming. Or Ewan McGregor’s collection of kilts.

Where are your favorite places to shop?

Either it’s a free for all of strange accessories that come from adventures, or the J Crew Men’s Shop down on Broadway could take all my money when I’m feeling preppy/sharp. Topman and vintage stores are always good too.

What accessory/article of clothing can you not live without? Why?

Proper boots. They made me make sense before I made sense to myself, nothing feels more grounding than remembering to be in my boots. Turn off everything. Walk around. Be quiet / get wild. That’s it.

What did it mean for you on a personal level to be involved in a project like He Said/We Said? 

It’s always fun to reevaluate and reimagine what fashion gives us and try making it new and queer and your own.

What were some of your favorite moments from the shoot?

When my dogs stole the show, those monsters.


Thomas Page McBee

Age: 34
Occupation: Writer, editor
Outfit: Suit, J. Crew. Shirt, J. Crew. Shoes, Vans
Whose wardrobe would you raid?

Steve McQueen

Where are your favorite places to shop?

In New York? Saturdays NYC, J Crew Men’s shop. Anywhere? Wharf in Providence.

What accessory/article of clothing can you not live without? Why?

I wear a gold ring on a long gold chain that belonged to my mom. When I walk, I can feel it thumping against my heart.

What did it mean for you on a personal level to be involved in a project like He Said/We Said?

Very cool idea, glad to be part of it.

What were some of your favorite moments from the shoot?

Competing with the catalog model shooting behind me.


Seven King

Age: 27
Occupation: Occupation: Screenwriter, director & producer; Writer and Director of Eden’s Garden
Outfit: Button up shirt, H&M. Sweater, H&M. Shorts, H&M. Shoes, Sperry’s
Outfit sobriquet: The Thrill to Live
Song that best describes your look: “Mercy, Mercy Me” by Marvin Gaye
Whose wardrobe would you raid?

Mos Def bka Yasiin Bey!

Where are your favorite places to shop?

Thrift stores, vintage shops, Zara, H&M, or a cool boutique.

What accessory/article of clothing can you not live without? Why?

I cannot live without a nice button down or nice linen fabrics. I love to dress for comfort.

What did it mean for you on a personal level to be involved in a project like He Said/We Said? 

Everything happens for a reason, supporting a community that supports me and being a visible face to represent a message for the world to see, I stand behind. I’m going to always remember this moment, it means allot to me and glad to make this history in the He Said/We Said Project.

What were some of your favorite moments from the shoot?

The good energy, the inspiration and just able to view other beautiful people in a creative space caught in photography.



Photographer: Asher Torres

Producer: Melanie Frazza

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DapperQ is one of the world’s most widely read digital queer style magazines and is a preeminent voice in queer fashion and beauty. We inspire people of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender presentations to think differently about both queer fashion and beauty as art and visual activism, and ultimately have a deeper, more fulfilling relationship with style. In the words of founder Anita Dolce Vita, “dapperQ is a queer fashion revolution, one of the most stylish forms of protest of our generation.”

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  1. I am loving the style, also these people are cool and they know how to work a dapper look, damn!! I’m a little bit saddened that there aren’t any butch/gnc women in the whole thing?? But the pictures are beautiful and the interviews fun as always.

    • i also found this super frustrating, and they aren’t even putting ppls preferred pronouns in their interviews anymore! i guess that means they don’t have to be accountable for not featuring a diverse range of masc expressions ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    • I agree, even though wish the interviews revealed a bit more about the models, they seem interesting people. Instead they revolve around what it means for them to be part of this project or what their favourite moment of the photoshoot was, that comes off as a bit self-centered by the creators. Also I don’t see the connection between the inspirations and the end result but they all look fabulous anyhow.

  2. (1) People respectfully asked that dapperQ drop PGP because they a large number of dapperQ (and Autostraddle) readers felt that “preferred” is not appropriate. The pronoun is not “preferred.” It just is. And, that’s that. So, we honored this demand and removed it from the interviews.

    (2) The series tries to capture diversity organically. There are over 21 editions so far and growing (4-6 new models shot 5-6 times a year); Over the entire course of the series, we have achieved a great deal of diversity. Sometimes, we shoot groups of people based on their community/professional affiliations.(Once, we shot a group of PoC organizers and received awful, racist feedback that the shoot was “too black.”)This time, the photographer selected models based on a project he is currently working on. But, overall, HS/WS has been and will continue to be diverse as a whole.

    (3) The interviews have always been an important part of the series, so that readers can learn more about the people behind the clothes.

    • I appreciate and understand your explanation about not listing “preferred” pronouns, but I’m curious why not just list pronouns? (no reference to “preferred,” but simply an indication of the appropriate pronouns to use when referring to each of the models.)

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