Jamall Osterholm’s vision recognizes histories both pre and post its creator. The ancestors, originators of this world, birthed a new language and historical record that is cultivated in a Black queer canon. In a world that leaves no trace of his person, Osterholm documents the impact that his body and mind leave in this existence. He begins to recognize himself as those from whom he descended. Seeing through the perspective of his descendants, he unearths relics of the Osterholm brand.
As a menswear designer, Osterholm derives inspiration from personal lived experiences with the understanding that our experiences are not isolated or necessarily our own. Drawing upon inherited history and collective consciousness, his goal is to subvert the trauma as a Black queer individual to create a world that not only reflects his existence, but comes to be as a result of it. He designs a world where his life truly matters. Resisting a reality that sees Black bodies as weapons, reclaiming strength, joy, beauty and authentic expression is one of the most defiant acts.
Large forms exploding from Black bodies to command space. Cocoon-like silhouettes that surround and protect like armor. Honing in on the more tender parts of the male physique to challenge the falsehood of Black masculinity, he sees his clothes as armor—protective barriers that also reveal truth.
With four Jamall Osterholm collections, he has shown at NYFW and cultivated a relationship with the CFDA, first as a designer in the CFDA’s first-ever Fashion Future Graduate program and then through collaborations with Pepsi Co’s LIFEWTR and CFDA’s Designer Hub spearheaded by Bethann Hardison. Through 2020 he designed for Kerby Jean-Raymond’s label Pyer Moss. Collaborating with director Georden West, he designed and creative-directed two films: Patron Saint, which premiered at Outfest and won gold at the Student Academy Awards, and Exorcisms, set to debut at the XIII Florence Biennale and Outfits 2021. He was also a Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree in 2021.
- Jamall Osterholm
- Critic - Apparel Design