303 Style Profile – Amayas Gonzalez Brings Avant-Garde Fashion to Denver

303 Style Profile is an ongoing series highlighting unique locals and their incredible style and stories. Go here to see past profiles

Amayas Gonzalez is a 16-year-old Colorado native putting fashion closets all around the world to shame. A lover of both fashion and art, Gonzalez looks to reflect the ever-changing social landscape of style. Gonzalez, who prefers the pronoun “they,” cites multiple influences which have contributed to their avant-garde look.

My style was very influenced by my sister when I was younger, we were both scene queens. But about four years ago my mom began designing clothes, and she bought two FRUiTS magazines.These cult favorite Japanese style magazines illuminated individuality and got Gonzalezinto Harajuku Kids. “I found and followed my idol (@we_can_do_anything) Shoushi, they became my style influence, they would tag the brands they wore and I began falling in love with those brands. Then I found Alexander McQueen, who has become my biggest influence. And the rest is history.”

We wanted to learn more about the individual behind the looks so we sat own with Gonzalez to discuss fashion, gender-fluidity, and the Denver fashion scene.

“You are in control of your happiness and if wearing dresses made of mesh, 10 inch platforms and barbie head necklaces makes you happy then do it.”

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303 Magazine: First off, can you tell our readers a bit about yourself?

Amayas Gonzalez: Well, I am from Colorado. I am 16 and am currently at an arts school. I am into many art forms such as visual art, film and writing which I get to explore at school and outside of school. I love traveling and that is why I speak Spanish and Japanese, both were learned from living in Spain, for two months, and Japan, for five months. I will also be learning Sign Language and maybe a couple other languages. I also love activism, I participate in protests quite regularly. Being the activist and trans* person I am, I was able to get a gender neutral bathroom at my school. I was also a main student support for the Gender Sexuality Alliance at my school as well. I also changed dress code at my school from uniform to “free dress.”I guess you could say I am very involved in the betterment of my school.

303: You identify as gender nonconforming and have elements of both masculine and feminine in your looks. What advice would you give to others who don’t feel need to fit into a box and want to start dressing differently.

AG: Yes, I identify as genderfluid, non-binary and trans-femme. I use they/them/their pronouns. The advice I would give is to explore a lot, find what you love. Literally just try everything you can, if you don’t have money for certain brands go to Goodwill, create your own looks, cut t-shirts into dresses, spray paint your white sneakers silver and put fake roses on them; Remember more is more. I think the hardest thing is to walk out of your door, but remember if you put the idea of harassment into the universe it will come back to you. Walk out of your door with the look of confidence even if you feel like a freak, walk like the world is your runway, feel like you are an icon because you are, think about all the kids you inspire, respond to hate with love and make sure you stomp and twirl your way away from that hate, just remember that you are in control of your happiness and if wearing dresses made of mesh, 10 inch platforms and barbie head necklaces makes you happy then do it, Vogue isn’t going to change that.

303: What does fashion mean to you and how have you used it as an outlet throughout the years?

AG: Fashion means everything to me. I would die for fashion. It is such a big aspect in my life. I have such a big connection to fashion because I have had to fight bullying, harassment and fear to be the person I am today. Like I said before, fighting for dress code in the school I am at has and will continue to be a struggle. My first year I literally would never be in dress code because I was fighting the oppressive behavior uniforms put on kids. So in using all this pain, I had to create myself as an art piece. It has been a long journey of self discovery and depression. I use fashion to provoke people, to make them think. We live in such a homogeneous, transphobic, heteronormative and sexually oppressive society that I want to make these things more normalized. Such as wearing a choker that says SEX, wearing the trans flag and creating non-average looks.

303: How would you describe your personal style? Where are your favorite places to shop local and not local?

AG: I would say my style has about three sub fashions, Decora, Neo Fashion and Neo-Avant Garde. If I am sad I try to be more Neo-Avant Garde to be more expressive. If I am more happy, definitely decora. And my regular day is Neo-fashion. Neo-Avant Garde is Avant Garde but for everyday, so just something a little more wearable. Decora is a style that came from ’80s pop culture in Japan, it is basically” wear every single colorful item that you have and add an extra hair pin just in case.” Neo-Fashion is a fashion that was created by Shoushi (@we_can_do_anything) and is about being against normal fashion. I would say locally, Buffalo Exchange, Yoshida Studios by Kotomi Yoshida and my mom (she made the plaid skirt and plaid collar seen in one of my looks.) Internationally, I would say Dolls Kill, DVMVGE, W.I.A, MOSCHINO, M.Y.O.B, Syro and Depop.

303: Your looks always have a theme and you use makeup to complete that look. Can you talk about your relationship with makeup and hair, an where you look for inspiration for these styles?

AG: Yes they definitely do, behind each look there is a specific theme or idea. My hair is inspired by Brooke Candy and Shoushi. As well as hair styles perceived as ugly, such as a bowl cut. My makeup is really inspired by Lady Gaga, Alexander McQueen and Club Kids. I really love looking on Instagram at lip art and drag looks as well for inspiration.

303: What do you like most about the fashion scene in Denver?  You lived in Japan for a bit, tell us what you think Denver can learn from the Japanese fashion scene.

AG: I guess that it is easy to be recognized in Denver. I would like to see an evolution in style, Colorado is so hiking boots, Patagonia and jeans…it is so boring. I want to see huge 5X sweaters and platforms, oval drawn lips and crazy prints, I want to see dresses and glitter beards as everyday looks. I just want to see something that has never been seen before, that will make me think. I think Denver can learn so much from Tokyo. First, to be yourself. Second, to stop harassing people because of their looks. Third, start exploring new styles, create new styles, be your own style. I think just in general, be like Japan.

303: Is there anything else you would like to add?

AG: Stay true to your art, your passion and your heart, you can only make yourself happy and no one should be able to change that. Please come talk to me if you ever see me and don’t be afraid to message me! Also, please follow me on Instagram @daddy_is_cute_too.

All photography by Meg O’Niell

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