Billy Porter named NYFW: Men's ambassador
today Feb 5, 2019
Actor, singer, writer, and director Billy Porter is the official and sole ambassador of New York Fashion Week: Men's.
With his new title, Porter will attending runway shows and presentations, speak with designers and have a front-row spot at this season's calendar of shows.
"I have always used clothes as a tool for self-expression and find immense pleasure in celebrating life, love and joy through fashion," Porter told The Hollywood Reporter. "I've been a longtime supporter of emerging designers from the New York fashion scene so I am most looking forward to amplifying the collections that are inclusive, fresh and innovative."
The Tony-Award, Drama Desk-Award and Grammy-Award winner has been working in the entertainment industry for three decades, with noteworthy career milestones including a spot on the original cast of Kinky Boots on Broadway, The Get Down on Netflix and FX's Pose. In the latter work, Porter digs into a role (as ball grandfather "Pray Tell") focused on the underground Ballroom scene of 1980s New York, a community founded predominantly by queer people of color that has since been widely appropriated as it made its way from the cultural margins to the center. According to FX, the show features the largest cast of transgender actors in series regular roles, as well as the largest recurring cast of LGBTQ actors ever for a scripted series.
Porter plans to bring the same spirit of confidence, and, perhaps most importantly, a no-tolerance policy toward faux-inclusivity that pervades through Pose to the fashion world.
“I’m trying to be a person that challenges that,” Porter said in an interview with the CFDA. “I want to work with designers who look at an almost 50-year-old star and say: let’s work with that person because there’s a story there too. Dressing doesn’t stop at 25. We gotta keep wearing clothes until we’re dead, so why are we not having the conversation until the end?”
Porter's next big step after this fashion week includes starring in his own new play, The Untitled Sex Project, beginning on October 29 at Primary Stages on Off-Broadway.
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