Celebrity Stylist Mickey “Boom” Freeman Shares What Pride Truly Means, How To Be Strikingly Different and More
As we coast through Pride Month 2022, it’s important that we continue to highlight queer talent, even in months and years to come. One creative in particular, celebrity stylist and designer Mickey “Boom” Freeman, spoke with Contrast on his fashion influences, what Pride means to him and how he is strikingly different.
Over the years, Mickey “Boom” has worked with stars such as Keke Palmer, Laverne Cox, Dominique Jackson, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Kiana Madeira yet when it comes to the possibilities that are still out there, “Daphne Guinness, Lil’ Kim, Adut Akech, Anne Hathaway, Rihanna, and Lady Gaga are some dream clients that immediately comes to mind.”
Mickey has always been surrounded by “fashion-forward” influences from the very beginning with his own family. His mother used to take him on regular shopping trips in Philadelphia with his grandmother and this is what led him to feel the freedom necessary to create the individual we know today.
Fast forward to now. These influences helped bring to life Mickey’s very own fashion brand FreeMen by Mickey. The name is the plural tense to his last name which is a nod to inclusion, which his brand stands by. “This is my way of bringing inclusivity to the idea of true freedom of expression, which has allowed me to experience life in ways I’ve never dreamed of. All men and women should have the freedom to express themselves as individuals without judgment or limitations.”
This industry has its way of weighing you down and Mickey believes the important thing is to focus on what’s positive. “In the fashion industry, it’s very easy to get lost in the opinions, thoughts and ideas of others. Aside from the extensive research that goes into every shoot, while on a shoot, I tend to get my creative juices flowing by soaking up the positive vibes on set and also music is always essential.”
There are some things in the pipeline for Mickey Freeman, yet his lips are sealed until the time is right. So stay close by because you don’t want to miss out.
Mickey “Boom” Freeman is a force to be reckoned with and he’s not stopping now. “The most important thing that makes me strikingly different is my understanding that there is only one Mickey Freeman.”
Read the full interview with Mickey “Boom” Freeman below.
Tell me about yourself! What’s the story behind Mickey “Boom” Freeman? How did you first discover your love for fashion? I was born in Philadelphia to a very artistic and fashion-forward family, so the exposure was always there. Though I believe what actually ignited the spark was a combination of two things. For one, I was very fortunate to be coming of age during a pop-cultural highpoint which was the late 90’s that encompassed fashion and entertainment as a whole. Also, while on frequent shopping trips with my mother and grandmother as a child, I was allowed the freedom by the both of them to curate my wardrobe piece by piece, and they also happened to share my appreciation for great craftsmanship.
What does Pride mean to you? From my perspective, pride represents the tireless efforts of those that fought so diligently for our rights, for what we now know as LGBTQ+ equality, and at times our very existence. Many of these people brought beauty to this world under constant duress, creating with the same urgency as they had to draw breath. So many made the ultimate sacrifice of life for people like me to be able to thrive and be recognized for our contributions to society. This is why it’s important to not only observe, but to celebrate where we are and the trajectory of the path we have been set upon.
To put forth my greatest effort to not only embody, but to be an example to my community that greatness lives in us all. Although being perceived as different can feel like immeasurable odds being stacked against you, it is an illusion that can be overcome.
My brand’s name, FreeMen, is actually a portmanteau that encompasses my profound belief in that every human being should experience freedom, true freedom in their lifetime. FreeMen by Mickey is the exterior manifestation of what I believe should ultimately come from within Everyone, Everywhere, Everyday.
Tell me about your brand “FreeMen by Mickey.” What was the inspiration behind this and what message do you want to put out? My fashion design brand’s name, “FreeMen by Mickey” is primarily a play on words which derive from my surname Freeman in plural. This is my way of bringing inclusivity to the idea of true freedom of expression, which has allowed me to experience life in ways I’ve never dreamed of. All men and women should have the freedom to express themselves as individuals without judgment or limitations.
Looking back at your “day one,” tell me how you’ve grown as a creative! How do you get into a creative headspace when having to style a shoot? I would like to think that over the years, I’ve learned how to relax and lean more into my natural instinct, without crossing the threshold of becoming close-minded. In the fashion industry, it’s very easy to get lost in the opinions, thoughts and ideas of others. Aside from the extensive research that goes into every shoot, while on a shoot, I tend to get my creative juices flowing by soaking up the positive vibes on set and also music is always essential.
What is your #1 career highlight?
-Joining forces with the creative management agency, the Only Agency.
– My most recent cover and editorial photoshoots with actresses Keke Palmer, Laverne Cox, Dominique Jackson, Shahadi Wright Joseph, and Kiana Madeira, to name a few.
Who are some of your dream clients to work with? Shoot your shot! Although there are many, Daphne Guinness, Lil’ Kim, Adut Akech, Anne Hathaway, Rihanna, and Lady Gaga are some dream clients that immediately come to mind.
What is your philosophy in life? “Keep God first and DO THE WORK!”
What’s next for you? I have many upcoming projects and ventures in the works, but I’m a firm believer in keeping tight-lipped until they materialize. Stay tuned, because a lot is coming very soon!
The definition of Contrast is to be strikingly different. What makes you strikingly different? I believe what makes me unique is that amongst all of the grandiosity my outfits can sometimes convey, I manage to maintain a sense of self, so that the clothes never wear me. The apparel, jewels, accessories, and shoes should always be what enhances that which comes naturally from within.
Additionally, the most important thing that makes me strikingly different is my understanding that there is only one Mickey Freeman.