Influencer Jamie Windust Takes Unapologetic Fashion Risks & Nails Them Every Time

When celebrities hang out with Bustle editors, we want to give them the chance to leave their mark. Literally. So we hand them a pen, a piece of paper, a few questions, and ask them to get creative. This time, model, activist, and fashion editor Jamie Windust is leaving their mark on the Bustle Booth.

Jamie Windust commands attention. Not only in their striking looks and sensational style, which does nothing short of turn heads, but in their activism and refusal to stay quiet on topics closest to their heart — not least on their own social channel, but in their role as editor of award-winning LGBTQI+ magazine Fruitcake.

“The main line of work that I do is modelling, and that came 18 months ago when I signed to CRUMB, who are an amazing agency,” they tell Bustle. CRUMB is an independent modelling agency that prides itself in supporting a range of individual and unique models of all genders who have a story to tell. “Their mission is to represent reality and that really resonated with me.”

Outside of modelling, Windust has contributed to a number of publications, like Gay Times and regularly writes for the Metro. Most recently, they even spearheaded a recent petition to allow people to identify outside of “male” and “female” on documentation like passports. “The speaking and writing came more from my love of storytelling through my experiences and also the experiences of the LGBTQ+ community," they add. "Every day, I'm learning more and more about what I can do in terms of work, and it’s a really amazing job to have.”

If Windust looks a little familiar, it might be because you're confusing them with their lookalike Sasha Velour, the winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race 2017. It's a comparison Windust is only too happy to embrace. “Although we do look alike, I do adore Sasha Velour’s style,” they add. “It’s the combination of high necklines, drama, sequins and a timely leg slit that really just sits right with me. Iconic.”

"There are so many pieces that I see on the high street or on the runway that I'm like, 'wow this would’ve really been better with two enormous shoulder pads.'"

As far as designers go, Jamie calls Gareth Pugh, with his “authenticity and unapologetic” attitude, their favourite fashion designer. Known for his avant-garde structural pieces, it's not hard to envision Windust stepping into one of his bold, linear designs. "It’s very stylised and very specific, which I adore, and its strong queer identity is really beautiful. It also is really the style of clothing that I would wear, so it’s just beautiful all round.”

Pugh is a consummate risk taker, and it's a spirit Windust is happy to inspire in their own style — particularly since they want to bring back shoulder pads. “I know they’re not necessarily banished to the 80s, but there are so many pieces that I see on the high street or on the runway that I'm like, ‘wow this would’ve really been better with two enormous shoulder pads.’”

Trends aside, part of what makes Windust's fashion coverage unique is their capacity to interrogate the actions of brands to suss out the authenticity of their commitment to supporting marginalised voices. "If they’re going to work with marginalised voices, such as trans people and non-binary people, it’s important that they ensure their environment and brand and business structure also allows trans people to exist and thrive within it," they explain. "The circular economy is just as important when it comes to eco-sustainability as it is with social-sustainability."

Want to know more? They recently contributed to Scarlett Curtis' upcoming anthology It's Not OK To Feel Blue (And Other Lies), and now they have even bigger plans for 2020. “My debut book is going to be released with JKP Publishers about being authentically yourself and how to navigate the world as a non-binary person, I truly can’t wait.” Keep reading to find out their take on the Bustle Booth.