There are some truly interesting and inspiring people in the world of blogging, and I’m lucky enough to be posting this interview with one of them! Meet Jai’me from BoyMeetsFashion.com. If you haven’t already checked out his incredible fashion blog, I couldn’t recommend it highly enough – from the dazzling photos to insider scoops, it is always my first port of call for a fashion fix.
Jai’me kindly answered some of the questions I’ve always wanted to ask him, and I have the interview for you below!
Who are your main personal style inspirations?
There are many different sources I draw my inspirations from. Many people look to celebrities for style ideas but personally I find celebrity styles to be boring. I get my creative ideas from normal, every day – particularly from stylish women. The reason is, women love and embrace colours, prints and patterns whereas majority of the men prefer the classic colours – blue, brown, black and grey and they like plain designs over pattern.
Another reason I choose normal people over celebrities is because I feel inspired by how people on limited budgets find so many creative ways of putting together outstanding outfits. These are ordinary women and men. Celebrities are mostly styled by professional stylists so there is no real creativity involved, and yet the celebs get all the credit – not the stylists who mostly remain unnamed. I absolutely love patterns and prints so looking towards women is a the natural choice to make when seeking ideas.
I also love looking at fashion sites like The Sartorialist, Jak and Jil, lookbook, and many other blogs covering street style over fashion weeks for ideas.
If you could only wear one brand for the rest of your life, who would you pick?
This is so difficult as there are so many brands I am a big fan of. ZARA immediately comes to mind and TOPSHOP at Oxford Circus is 5 floors of paradise when it comes to edgy looks. I think I would choose BURBERRY though. The way Christopher Bailey has rejuvenated the brand over the last few years is truly remarkable. Season after season they produce outstanding collections.
What first inspired your interest in fashion?
This is a story not many people know. When I was at university, I was terribly overweight and still gaining. No one except some of my long-term friends will know this but I was really quite huge. Over 14 stones to be precise. It was a very painful time in my life. I know it is a sad thing to say but people do judge you on how you look. I barely had friends back then and couldn’t get a girlfriend. Have you noticed that whenever you see a group of friends hanging out together – they all look very similar to each other in terms of the way they dress, the body shape they have, and in cases of women – the way they wear make-up? It’s sad but true.
I also had a very rare skin condition (affects less than 1% of the population), which visible on my face but I don’t really want to say what it was. People would look at me everywhere, point fingers (because of my rare skin condition) and occasionally make remarks. I fell into a downward spiral until one day I had reached a point when the emotional pain was quite severe, and I knew I had to do something drastic. There was a treatment available for my skin condition that was deemed very risky and had lots of side effects. The doctor told me it was available as an option but warned me against using it, and my parents also pleaded with me not to try it. I felt so down that I was willing to try anything.
So I started on the treatment which involved applying a special prescription cream made at one only hospital (St Thomas’) in the UK. I had to apply it all over my face every night, and each time my skin would literally burn so much that I would have tears running down my eyes. It was 3 months before I noticed a change and 6 months before I saw how much my skin had changed – luckily for the better. I cannot possibly find the words to express how much joy I felt. For the first time in years, my face started to look better, and six months after that my face looked normal. All I ever wanted, was to look like a normal person – not a freak.
Around the same time when I began on the skin treatment, I also started myself on a diet! I remember reading how men need 2500 calories a day just to keep their weight steady, and guessed that if I consumed around 1200 calories a day, I would see my weight go down. So slowly and gradually, little by little I began to give up some of the things I love to eat. I think one reason why diets fail is because people try to give up too much so suddenly, then it becomes quite an obstacle to overcome. Once I started on the diet, I checked myself on the scale every single day without fail, and it wasn’t until exactly 7 days after I began that I noticed I had lost a kilo. The feeling was one of exhilaration and spurred me on to keep on going. I did this for 6 months and lost over 60 pounds.
Now with the huge weight loss, I clearly needed a new wardrobe because none of my clothes fitted me anymore. All my existing tops and trousers at the time were clothes I wore when I was over 14 stones, with my waist size being around 40 inches! I remember buying my first set of smaller sized clothes – a simple t-shirt and jeans and wearing them. I got complimented by women on my looks for first time in many years, and not just by one but a few – it was something I was not accustomed to. The encouragement made me go out and buy more clothes, experiment some more with styles and colours. It was the very first time I took interest in fashion! The more I experimented to see what worked well on my body, the more random compliments I got. With my new body figure and skin condition sorted out, I was a brand new man – this is not an exaggeration in any way. People wanted to be my friend and women finally found me physically attractive again. When people look back at my old photos, they cannot recognise me – even I cannot recognise myself.
What cool events have you attended as part of your blogging life?
n the last two years, my life as a fashion blogger has been crazy. From being featured in Tatler twice last year & being ranked as the 8th Top Fashion Insider in the UK by Telegraph, to partying at Burberry’s HQ with Fashion Fringe and chatting to Christopher Bailey. Meeting Karl Lagerfeld back in the summer was an absolute dream come true – it was very much a slow motion moment when he looked at me and shook my hand. The man actually grinned at me – people looked shocked!
I have also been very lucky to shoot Cara Delevingne and spend time with her at a private party. Walking down the ramp as a model for two catwalk shows is also memorable and were extremely nerve-wrecking. In spite of all of those things, what I cherish most are the friends I have made in the industry – the PRs, designers, stylists, directors and of course my fellow bloggers! Many of them are now my second family to me and we go out for drinks and dinner.
Aside from blogging, what do you love to do?
I am a huge fan of art museums and love visiting them a few times every month. I can easily spend my entire day just admiring the works by some very many exceptional talented people out there. I love Tate Britain, National Portrait Gallery, British Museum but my very favourite is the V&A. I love late night walks, reading, going to concerts and politics.
Tell us a fact about you that your readers might not know!
I used to go to a professional dance school for 4 years, and miss it tremendously!
If you could give me a makeover, what would you choose to do?
I would go for a total transformation – just for the fun of it. I would dye your hair lilac (my favourite hair colour on women), apply black lipstick on your lips and dress you up in black Dr Martens, polka dots tights, tartan skirt, white shirt with studded collar and a long knee-length oversized coat!
Which trends do you predict being huge in the coming months?
Perspex (transparent plastic) detailing will be pretty big in the spring and summer – you will see them on shoes and clutches. The monochrome look will also be big – some high street brands (ZARA and H&M) are already heavily promoting it and others will be doing the same. I love monochrome. Fluorescent colours were huge last summer and will be making a return, as will pastels and florals.
What is the first thing that catches your eye style-wise on other people?
Bright colours. I love them. They breathe life into your outfits and make them POP. I also love a good pair of shoes and believe women are right when they say you can never have too many shoes. The more, the merrier!
Anything exciting coming up on your blog soon?
Well, I have been meaning to start making my own YouTube videos for too long now and can’t wait to become a “vlogger”, and I also plan on creating a lot more video interviews – last year I interviewed Gok Wan, Grace Woodward and the girls from Britain & Ireland’s Next Top Model for my blog and cannot wait to do some more. Also post more outfit photos of myself (I think I only did about 3 last year!).
I can’t wait! Thanks Jai’me!
A huge thank you to Jai’me for taking part in this interview – I hope that you have enjoyed reading it as much as I have! I feel so inspired to go and rummage through my wardrobe, dig out my favourite outfits and rock them – life is too short not to enjoy fashion!