MARLEE GUILLORY BY ERIKA ASTRID
Dress – Shahar Avnet, Pants -Peter Do, Earrings – Christian Lacroix
Creative Direction – Stepp+Dreedn
Photography – Alicia Stepp @aliciastepptx
Motion – Kevin Shivers @dreedn.ig
Stylist – Edwin Ortega @edwin.j.ortega
Makeup+Hair – Bianca Rivas @biancalinettehmu
Photo Assist – Myckenzee Kunn @myckenzee._.ann
Video Assist – Norma Shivers
Retouch – Thiago Peraça @thiagoperaca
Shirt – Unisecon
The Homecoming of Jake Wesley Rogers
The queer pop musician talks tour, their new EP, and songwriting inspirations.
By: Hilton Dresden @hiltyhilthilt
You may know Jake Wesley Rogers best from TikTok, which spawned a viral moment for his song “My Mistake.” Or perhaps you’re a fan of 2021’s moody pop Pluto EP, the predecessor to their latest collection of work: the LOVE EP, out this fall, which includes the hits “Hindsight” and “Lavender Forever.” Alt-pop and rock influences combine to create a body of work about longing, identity, and the pains of love.
The unapologetically queer Missouri native is only 25, but has already established himself as a force to be reckoned with in the music industry. He’s been interviewed by Elton John, performed on Good Morning America, and, most recently, just finished a US tour opening for Ben Platt. Back in his hometown in Missouri, we caught up with the singer ahead of a special homecoming performance.
Candid and ever-honest about his emotions, the rising artist opened up to Iris Covet Book about LOVE, their forthcoming debut studio album, and a host of influences, from getting proposed to by the preacher’s son to quotes from Oscar Wilde.
You just completed your first tour — how did it feel?
Oh, it was wonderful. It was really my first tour. And it exceeded every expectation. I was so excited. I love performing. There were a lot of variables that we have no control over, because we’re opening. And I’ve heard that opening can be pretty brutal, because it’s obviously not your audience, but I feel like we won, every night. I feel like what I came to do was transmitted, and it connected. That’s kind of all you can ask for.
Dress – Shahar Avnet, Pants -Peter Do, Earrings – Christian Lacroix
I want to start with the kernel of the idea for this new EP — from the beginning, the writing process and producing.
I think it’s important to say most of the songs are from about two years ago. Which, as you know, as a writer, that feels like 4000 years ago. How fast we move on. But I knew I needed to honor these songs as the true moments that they were. I released my first major label EP Pluto last year. I guess if this were a different decade, it probably would have been — this feels like Side B to Pluto. They feel like they’re in the same world and atmosphere. Because with Pluto, I feel like it was sort of asking the question: ‘What is love, and why is it making me feel so crazy?’ My grandpa was dying at the time. My grandma died, and he was heartbroken. I was looking at my parents’ love, like, ‘Is that what I want?’ Love is the most overused word probably. But it’s also essential. When I realized I needed to call it Love, I was reading a Maya Angelou quote, and she says she uses love, because it might be that which pushes the blood through the veins, or keeps the stars in their place. It’s a hefty force, for sure. When I listened to the project, it’s like, ‘Oh, these are just little questions of what is love for me.’ I don’t know the answer.
So if Pluto was asking ‘What is love?’ What are the main questions you associate with this body of work?
I think it’s more like where’s it taking me, now. Obviously, love didn’t kill me. Even though I felt like it was a few times. Where is it leading me? I feel like this EP is a bridge for me, to where I am now. I’m working on my debut album. And I feel like these are the ideas and songs that took me to this place I am now, which is a much deeper, scarier, more confusing place, where I feel even freer to say everything I want to say. But I needed to write those songs to get here. Those are all true moments. And I love them.
So you say it’s a bridge leading you to where you are now. Obviously you can’t share spoilers or anything, but with this debut album, what can you share about the headspace you’re in and the kind of things that are interesting you now?
I’m obsessed with Oscar Wilde, and I have been since I was, like, 19. He wrote this letter when he was in prison, for being gay, to his lover. And he was talking about being in the courtroom. They were reading all of the evidence against him — ‘You hired this rent boy!’
He calls it like a turning point, where he realized, it’s one thing to have someone else tell you what you’ve done wrong. But he’s like, ‘How amazing would it be if I stood up there? And I said every single sin or stain on my life, boldly. What would that look like?’ I was like, ‘Oh, that’s what this album [is]: What can I say that terrifies me?’ We wrote this song last week that affected me so much that I am going back to therapy. Which is the gift, because I don’t think that songs are healing. I think they’re cathartic. And I think they point you towards what is actually going on. A song doesn’t fix PTSD. Therapy is needed for those things, or whatever is needed, a song doesn’t do all the work, but it can point you to where you need to do the work. So that’s kind of what the songs have felt like. When I say ‘deeper,’ it’s not that the other songs are more surface level, I think it’s just [that] we’re getting closer to the points.
You’re saying that the song you wrote last week prompted you back to therapy. I’m curious, what’s the song about?
It’s like a dark night of the soul song. I’m looking at this tarot card. I’m just going to use it to explain. I pulled it a lot on tours: the Ten of Cups. And traditionally, it’s like a happily ever after card because it looks like it’s this family, and there’s a rainbow. But I was reading this person’s interpretation, and she said ‘This is a stage card. If you notice, this family is on a stage. They’re performing happiness. They’re performing this kind of ideal that exists sometimes.’ Obviously, we are happy sometimes, but the point is, it’s a rainbow to show that to live a fulfilled life is experiencing many emotions. The rainbow is many things: it’s happiness, and despair and loneliness and joy, and probably within 20 minutes of themselves, sometimes. So the reason I pulled that card is because there’s always this sort of persona that we’re putting out. I’m on the stage performing a lot. But the song I wrote last week, I’m not performing for anyone right now, not even myself. So what do I need to say? And what I said was, basically, ‘I’m tired of living, but I don’t really want to die.’ That’s the gist of it.
Dries van Noten
Which songs on the Pluto EP are resonating with you the most these days, as you’re performing them?
It’s funny — the ones that are my favorites actually haven’t really [been] performed yet. “My Mistake” and “Call It Love” and “Dark Bird.” I don’t really perform those yet, just because the set was so short. Okay. Right. I’m going to say “My Mistake” is probably my favorite. And it’s really resonating, from what I can tell. It’s just me, at the piano, telling a story of dating the preacher’s son in high school. He proposed to me before I went to college. I said ‘Yes, question mark.’ I didn’t say no. But it was a capital T trauma moment for sure. So anything you say is not coherent. I put that song on Tiktok, like, two years ago, and it had a little moment. People do just want to hear the truth in the story. I think the more specific we are in telling our story, and the more explicit we are in telling our story, the more universal it is. It’s not really the other way around. I tried to do that on the song “Call It Love.” That’s an ode to Oscar Wilde. It starts with an Oscar Wilde quote, he said ‘The secret of life was in art.’ A lot of my music has coded terms. “Lavender Forever,” I mean, the last night of tour, my band was like, right before going onstage: ‘What the fuck is “Lavender Forever” about?’ I was like, ‘Gay sex what else?’
Corset – AREA, shirt – Y/PROJECT, skirt – SEYIT
You were talking about Oscar Wilde — I’m curious, are there other sources of inspiration that you are taking these codes from right now?
I don’t think I’ll ever shake the Bible metaphors. I don’t really know why. But they’re there. I just love telling the queer story through biblical metaphors. I feel like it’s happening, I see it everywhere now. It’s kind of in the zeitgeist. It’s a bit of a reclamation. But I do find most inspiration from authors, at least lyrically. And lately, a lot of Beethoven.
So you’re home right now — do you like being home?
I do love going home actually. I think there’s part of me that will always probably feel most at home in Missouri. I don’t predict that’ll live there anytime soon again. Same as the Christ archetypes, I don’t know why I just can’t shake this. I’ve tried to shake it and it just kind of creeps back. I guess it’s accepting who you are and how you’re raised. You can let go of the things that don’t serve you. But if there’s parts of it that still do serve, you don’t want to let go of all of it. I do love going home.
Dress – Annakiki, Shirt – Unisecon
Photographer : Marie Daverède @mariedaverede
Stylist : Shandi Alexander @shandilatee
Make-up : Mika Shimoda @mikashimoda01
Hair : Chika Nishiyama @chika_nishiyama
Balenciaga velvet blue dress, Albright Inc. pearl earrings
Magda Butrym red dress, Christopher Kane shoes, Albright Inc pearl earrings
Magda Butrym jacket, Laquan smith bralette, Mugler jeans, Christopher Kane shoes
Maticevski black tulle shirt, Paco Rabanne white skirt, Balenciaga shoes, Albright Inc pearl earrings, Vintage Jacket
Alexander Wang pink shirt, Jacquemus pants, Maticevski tulle veil, Alexandre Vauthier pink velvet shoes, Albright Inc Pearl Earrings
Vaquera clear plastic skirt, Amazon rain poncho, Alexandre Vauthier pink velvet shoes, Albright Inc Pearl Earrings
David Koma Gloves, Magda Butrym denim bustier, Emika Paris pants, Albright Inc pearl earrings
Richard Quinn pink one piece, Alexander Wang sparkle bag.
Vintage Giorgio Armani Jacket, Christopher Kane Chiffon Bow Shirt, Marc Jacobs Boxer Short, Adidas Socks, Doc Martin Boots, Vintage Hat
Vintage Giorgio Armani Jacket, Christopher Kane Chiffon Bow Shirt, Vintage Hat
Maison Martin Margiela Coat, Ann Demeulemeester Sheer Shift Dress, Vintage Black Veil, Calvin Klein Briefs, Adidas Socks, Doc Martin Boots
Marc Jacobs Blazer, Comme des Garçons Grey Kilt, Cruize Necklace, Eddie Borgo Padlock Necklace
Yohji Yamamoto Double Collar Jacket, Vintage Sailor Beret, Vintage Spike Collar Necklace, Doc Martin Boots
Vintage Feather and Vinyl Cape, Marc Jacobs Boxer Short, Junya Watanabe Denim Pants, Doc Martin Boots
Helmut Lang Holster Tank Top, Ann Demeulemeester Sleeves, Comme des Garçons Black Satin Wide Leg Trouser
Maison Martin Margiela Exaggerated Shoulder Coat, Ann Demeulemeester Sheer Shift Dress, Vintage Black Veil Calvin Klein Briefs, Adidas Socks, Doc Martin Boots
Suit – Ann Demeulemeester / Jeans – Vintage Gucci / Boots – Maison Margiela / Bag – Balenciaga / Hat – Stylists’ own
Earrings – Ottolinger / Puffers – Balenciaga / Shoes – Balenciaga / Gloves – Stylists’ own
Sweats – Balenciaga / Earrings – Ottolinger / Puffers – Balenciaga / Shoes – Balenciaga / Gloves – Stylists’ own
Necklace – Jil Sander
Tuxedo shirt – Maison Margiela / Trousers – Loewe / Shoes – Balenciaga / Earrings – Ottolinger / Bodysuit – Stylists’ own
Fishnet bodysuit – Stylists’ Own / Glove & Hat – Stylists’ Own / Shoes – Balenciaga / Earrings – Givenchy / Necklace – Jil Sander
Suit – Ann Demeulemeester / Jeans – Vintage Gucci / Hat – Stylists’ Own
Collar – Gothic Renaissance / Dirt Bike Armor – Cycle Gear / Boyshorts – Vex Latex / Sunglasses – Balenciaga / Earrings – Balenciaga / Shoes – Custom by Stylist
Photography – Jahulie Elizalde
Stylist – Jahulie Elizalde
Makeup – Christyna Kay @ Art Department
Hair – Yukie Nammori
Model – Valeria Gomez @ Muse Model MGT
Dress – Kuai Li / Shoes – Custom by stylist / Sunglasses – Diesel / Earrings – Kenneth Jay Lane
Bodysuit – Vex Latex / Leather Blazer – Ventura / Wader boots – Dicks Sporting
(L): Bodysuit – Vex Latex / Jeans – Desigual (R): Dress – Kuai Li Boots – Max Mara
Top & Collar – Gothic Renaissance / Boyshorts – Vex Latex / Waders – Dicks Sporting goods / Sunglasses – Balenciaga / Dress worn as coat – Vintage
Blazer – Aramide / Trousers – AKNVAS / Bodysuit – Vex Latex / Choker – Saint Laurent / Shoes – Custom by stylist
Bodysuit – Vex Latex / Choker – Saint Laurent
Jacket & Jeans – Desigual / Bodysuit – Vex latex
Collar – Gothic Renaissance / Dirt bike Armor – Cycle Gear / Boyshorts – Vex Latex / Sunglasses – Balenciaga / Earrings – Balenciaga
John wears Sèfr blue jacket from Neighbour, Gentle Monster x Moncler sunglasses from Roden Gray.
Photographer: Greg Swales
Stylist: Leila Bani
Photo Assist: Alex Guiry
Stylist assist: Hana Pesut
John wears Sèfr blue jacket from Neighbour, Song For The Mute black knit pants and Gentle Monster x Moncler sunglasses from Roden Gray.
Akoy wears sage bustier top by Ganni from One Of A Few, vintage black Alexander McQueen pants, white Margiela shoes, Patou collar from Bacci’s
Anastasia wears Ganni dress from One Of A Few, X9 swimsuit (worn over), models own jewellery, Dries Van Noten boots from Bacci’s
Claire wears vintage knit Prada bralette, Shyfuck Originals shorts, X9 bikinis string bikini bottoms, Sacai boots, Haider Ackerman jacket
John wears Song For The Mute green jacket from Roden Gray.
Akoy wears Ganni multi colour knit bottoms from One Of A Few, Good Night Day taupe sweater from One Of A Few
Claire wears Old Fashioned Standards hat, Dries Van Noten belt, Deta brown knit bra & briefs from One Of A Few
Akoy wear Maryam Nassir Zaden blue track pants and Deta blue knit bra & briefs from One Of A Few
John wears multicolor mohair sweater and jeans by Marni from Roden Gray, model’s own Crocs, Paloma Wool necklace from One Of A Few
Anastasia wears Blazer and blouse by Ganni from One Of A Few, Eckhaus Latta x UGG sandals
Akoy wears Alicia Grunert feathered skirt, stylist’s own metal bra, Shyfuck Originals long sleeve sheer top, model’s own shoes
Claire wears Clyde cowboy hat from One Of A Few, Shyfuck Originals polo tee, Eckhaus Latta dress (worn underneath)
John wears ERL floral pink shirt and Marni jeans from Roden Gray, rus x maar hats grey cap from One Of A Few
John by Jil Sander vest, OAMC black pants, and Asics x COMME des GARCONS sneakers from Roden Gray
Akoy wears Shyfuck Originals bra, Christina Sabaiduc robe, Utility Palace bleach dyed pants from One Of A Few, Y3 slides
John wears Namesake JiyongKim knit hat, windbreaker and shorts from Roden Gray
Akoy wears Ganni multi colour knit tie bottoms from One Of A Few, Good Night Day taupe sweater from One Of A Few, oxblood Marni sneakers
Anastasia wears ARQ taupe bikesuit from One Of A Few, Y3 desert boots , models own sweater
Claire wears Ganni multi colour knit tank from One Of A Few, William Okpo hat, Paloma Wool knit shorts from One Of A Few, Sacai platform hiking boot
Jacket – Kozaburo, Jeans – Wrangler, Sunglasses – Oakley
Photography – Jacopo Olmo @theinsaneballer17
Styling – Fukasawa @sssssnyc
Model – Meika Woollard @meikawoollard
Top – Pleats Please, Jeans – Kozaburo
Top – Kozaburo, Shorts – Landlord, Boots – Vintage
Top – Kozaburo
Top – CLé Noire, Gloves – vintage
Tracksuit – Kozaburo
Unitard – Dertbag
Top – Kozaburo, Jeans – Landlord, Boots – Vintage
Hat – Vintage , Top – Pleats Please by Issey Miyake
Jacket – Kozaburo, Jeans – Wrangler
Swiss designer Yannik Zamboni introduced the world to his brand maison blanche on the current season of Amazon’s MAKING THE CUT and immediately viewers knew that his approach to fashion would stand out amongst the other contestants.
Zamboni works primarily in white, and his gender inclusive designs are based around conceptual social and political themes. Despite his decidedly avant-garde tendencies, Zamboni‘s appearance on the show showed a softer side of the designer: His sense of humor, sensitivity, and warmth towards the other contestants even surprised judge Heidi Klum, Nicole Richie and Jeremy Scott who commented on an early episode on the contrast between his intimidating designs /personal appearance and his endearing vulnerability.
In an interview with Iris Covet Book just days prior to his debut during NYFW, Zamboni explains his unique take on fashion and how he serves as a guinea pig to his own collections.
ICB: Your entrance on season 3 of Amazon’s Making the Cut is the first time many people became aware of you. What were you hoping you convey to the audience about you and your outlook on fashion?
YZ: I hope people see and feel my positive energy, the will to address socio-political themes, to create social change and the love for sustainable and fair fashion.
ICB: On the show, more so than any other contestant, your personal style mirrored the designs you created. Would you say you are your own muse?
YZ: I see myself more as a guinea pig than a muse. I believe that improvements to my fashion can only be made if I wear them myself and thus feel the clothes. In addition, I create things that I would like to have on the market, which I miss or simply do not exist yet.
ICB: Prior to establishing your label maison blanche, you worked as a model and a Swiss-certified marketing specialist. How have your previous occupations influenced your designs?
YZ: My commercial training, my studies and work in marketing and modeling have made me what I am today. Each of these steps was necessary to create and run my fashion label maison blanche.
ICB: How has being Swiss contributed to your work (e.g., culture, language, geography, etc.)?
YZ: Swiss people learn at an early age that everything must be perfect, regulated, and orderly. This certainly spurred me on to test boundaries and do things differently, as I always had the feeling of being different and not fitting into the system.
ICB: What other designers past/ present do you look up to?
YZ: Martin Margiela, Rey Kawakubo & Rick Owens
ICB: Why have you committed to only designing in white? What about this color holds special significance to you?
YZ: I find white to be an extremely calming color but more importantly I wanted to set myself the task to design, cut and surface design / change to create a silhouette so exciting that the color no longer plays a role. I noticed that a lot of designs with bold color or prints worked because of the good composition and not because of the design itself. By not using color, I am able to focus on pure design.
ICB: Your work also seems to blur the lines between traditional women’s and menswear. Gender fluidity undoubtedly is the future but how does a brand address the very real physical limitations to doing a unisex collection (e.g., biological men and women have differing body characteristics)?
YZ: Basically, I don’t want to think in binary terms. 2% of our society are intersex people. Moreover, there are very different ways to live and feel gender. Gender has never been binary. I rather approach designs that I create them on a body. A body with a bulge, or a body with breasts, or finding a way to make designs work on different bodies. I don’t see it as a limitation but as a liberation.
ICB: Do you view the future of your brand as being mass market or boutique?
YZ: I see maison blanche comprising of three lines to satisfy both mass and niche customers. An accessible line that is suitable for every day, a fashion line which is suitable for everyday but more fashion driven and a high-end line for special occasions or stage wear.
ICB: What is the best part of being on Making the Cut?
YZ: Through Making the Cut, consumers understand why something is made and what its purpose is directly from the designer by watching the entire creation process. I increasingly feel the need to be understood and reach the masses.
ICB: As of this writing, you are in the semifinals of the show. If you win, what would you do with the prize money?
YZ: I would put everything back into the company. Grow slowly and invest in the right people to build a small maison blanche family.