My feelings about Kendall Jenner changed when I stopped watching Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Before then, I had seen her simply as a reality show personality, the subject of tabloid headlines, and, honestly, something that popped up in my news feed in between collection reviews and supermodel gossip.
When I stopped Tivo-ing KUWTK, Kendall started walking in the major runway shows that I was neurotic about following, and I was finally able to see Kendall the way she saw herself: as an aspiring model trying to make a name for herself in a way that the rest of her family hadn't. She was so tall and lanky, daring to really go for it at Marc Jacobs. Plus, her walk was really good. I was hooked. And then, I started paying attention to her clothes.
Every time I see a street style photo of Kendall, whether she's running between shows or fresh from the gym, I can't help but envision myself in the same outfit. The way she pairs high fashion sweatpants with a Haider Ackermann-style blazer or how she manages to take the cropped skinny jean to a whole new level with metal cap-toed Miu Miu skate shoes amazes me. She's the real style force in her family. Frankly, I'm surprised how many people don't realize it.
You might be wondering what a boy is doing taking style cues from a young woman, but that conversation doesn't interest me. Nowadays, fashion is genderless. The reason I relate to Kendall in the first place is because I see so much of myself in her, regardless of the fact that she's a woman, and I'm a man.
The photo series you see here is not just a case of monkey see, monkey do. When I catch a glimpse of a paparazzi-style photo of Kendall (or even a photo from her own Instagram), I consider all the ways I can make her look work for me. Sometimes, that means buying the exact same pieces (if I can afford them). Sometimes, it means buying them in every color. (Fun fact: I own all the clothes here and I have all three colors of the crop top you see in the #mycalvins photo.)
But, if Jenner's ensemble is out of reach, I'll put my own twist on the outfit's standout piece. Take the look I recreated with the floor-length coat and the fedora. I changed the denim, because that many rips on a skinny jean doesn't read the same for legs my size. But, I still wanted that shredded statement-piece effect. Luckily enough, I stumbled upon these glitter pants at Topshop, and since they're technically a "boyfriend" fit, I knew right away they'd do the job.
For the longest time, I've been the modest mouse of my fashion-obsessed friends. A lot of them call my style "safe" and "boring," which is how I've heard Kendall described, too. Like her, I don't care to get caught up in drama — or Page Six scandals, for that matter — and you probably won't find either of us posting a gratuitously explicit selfie. But, I think that Kendall's relaxed vibe, which separates her from the rest of the Kardashian pack, informs my personal style.
Catch me on any day of the week, and you can almost always count on a sneaker or a T-shirt being a part of my ensemble. After all, I believe fashion should make you feel good mentally and physically. But, I want to have fun with my style, too. Like Kendall, I step it up with the fabrics and details. I might wear a baseball cap, but it's silk Acne Studios with a PVC bill. And, I choose to splurge on the basics, like a pair of A.P.C. jeans that might cost more than most of my peers would spend, but it'll be the only pair I own — and I'll wear them until they're threadbare.
In fact, relaxed and simple has always been my sartorial MO. I love the fact that fashion peacocks exist, but the kinds of outfits that send me off on a Googling spree are ones that always make me feel like I've found the chill. My favorite models, too, are ones you could describe as athletic: Karlie, Gisele, and Kendall. These sporty girls boast a strong physique and powerful stance that, as a boy (and former classical ballet dancer), I can relate to. Their street looks get labeled "model off duty," but I think there's something unique (and copy-worthy) about each one of them.
In my opinion, Kendall does it best. Maybe it's because we're close in age. Or, maybe it's just because reading her name so many times in headlines has done something irreparable to my brain. Either way, when I step out in a midriff-baring top or shade my face from the non-existent paparazzi, I feel more confident, sexy, and myself than in any old men's department button-up.
And thankfully, Kendall and I can coexist in the fashion industry without any silent copycat accusations, mostly because A. she doesn't know who I am (yet), and B. I'll continue to take my favorite looks of hers and make them work for me. So, no, you won't catch me in a Calvin Klein Collection miniskirt or carrying a Céline mini luggage tote, but that's not because I'm a boy. It's not my style, so I'll pass. But, holler if you see her in any sleeveless tees, fitted hoodies, or fluorescent accent pieces — pretty sure we're still missing those from our closet.