The most surprising thing about Stayfly Thrash when I meet him at first, is his array of golden grillz which he flashes you with a smile. Secondly as he stands, he towers over the average human- over 1.9m. When I ask him what people are most surprised about when meeting him he says, ‘the way I speak’. But no doubt the common denominator is the feeling that Thrash has rockstar quality. For now he settles for being a menswear style influencer and celebrity barber.
Thrash, as he is casually called, does have quite a typical Southern American accent with a hip-hop-esque inflection. Everything is followed by ‘You know what I’m sayin’ “. But don’t go labeling him on his appearance or accent- he is all about breaking boundaries and rules.
Thrash is here to talk about his new project with the Redbull TV ‘s series: Social Fabric.
The series focuses on exploring the history and story behind everyday fabrics, and is a play on the phrase . Host ,Kyle Ng, travels the world meeting with fashion experts and influencers to discover the way fabric and thereby fashion pulls cultural identity and community together.
And Thrash knows a thing or two about fabric and fashion.
We sat down to chat while he was visiting Cape Town before popping off to sit front row for SA Fashion Week AW18 in Joburg.
On why he choose to work with Social Fabric:
I’d been trying to infuse the menswear and fashion world with athletics- to make it more relatable .. Because where I’m from people are so afraid of being into fashion and into style, and I’m trynna show them: [You] don’t have to be afraid to dress a certain way..
“I’m all about pushing those boundaries.”
Rappers like Lil Uzi Vert have a ‘feminine’ style that challenges how rappers are expected to dress. How do you feel about the blurring of the lines between mens and womenswear?
I love it. [Think] back to Young Thug wearing a gown on the cover of his album.. I respect it from an artist’s standpoint because I feel like if you don’t ruffle peoples feathers , they’ll look over you and who’s to say- just cuz society says that dresses are for women, pants are for men- who creates those rules? I’m all about people who want to break the rules because they are genuinely, unforgivingly them.. Any way that you can influence and inspire people: have at it.
On wearing a ‘skirt’ (kilt to be exact):
[The] reason I wore the kilt is because of the background that comes with it and the knowledge behind it- those are the things I love about fashion and style.
Depending on where I am at it gets different results. The very first time I wore it was at a fashion week and I couldn’t get out of the room, or off the red carpet, everyone wanted a photo with me, everyone loved it. But when I wore it to the club, [they] looked at me like I was crazy- which I didn’t care about because I know I’m comfortable with myself. I’m all about pushing those boundaries.
Do you think that mens and womenswear play off of each other/are connected ?
Yes- [kings] wore heels as a sign of hierarchy , if you think about women wearing jeans – that originated from menswear.
On his roots and how they influence his style:
There’s so many different components to my style. . Everything [is influenced by] things that I’ve learnt, I’ve seen, I’ve experienced. My gold teeth and my dreadlocks, those are very sentimental to me because of where I’m from. [Fashion is] lowkey a way of communicating- It’s a form of conversation in a way.
Fashion can be a way to transcend what you know, where you’re from. Fashion is a way of connecting people.
You definitely challenge that menswear is one-dimensional. What are your tips for other people to dress more expressively?
You can start with socks. You can throw on a black suit and a pair of cool socks. Find things that you can relate to. I like to find things that aren’t from where I’m from, I’m inspired by so many different places.
Thrash’s predictions for future hairstyle trends:
A lot of people are experimenting more with natural hairstyles. That’s been a big thing. [My] hair started one way.. and evolved into something completely different (the signature high dreadlock ‘do he sports now).
What are your tips on being a fashion influencer?
My number one tip is finding a good tailor. That’s kinda how I started- thrifting and then taking my clothes to the tailor so that they fit more modernly. Doing things like changing the inner linings of the clothes , changing all the buttons on jackets.
Most memorable FW moment?
Being welcomed to sit front row at SAFW. As a child growing up and [being] a fashion lover, one of my biggest dreams was to be able to sit front row at major fashion shows.
“African fashion is far more extensive that the classic Kente fabrics.”
What element of SA fashion most stood out to you?
How each designer had an amazing take of their own African design. The clothes were so high fashion and could translate to fashion all over the world but you could still understand that the roots [were] African.
What do you think you would take away from this experience, style-wise?
Being able to show the culture of your influence in a [way] that people from other walks of life can still understand. African fashion is far more extensive that the classic Kente fabrics.
Catch Social Fabric on Redbull TV now!
Feature Image: Gerald Kallis (INSTA: @geraldkallis)