In a recent interview with GQ UK, Sam Smith discussed their gender identification, recent developments in fashion, and impending songs. The nonbinary singer-songwriter believes that fashion is where they’re just starting to really come into their own. The era of bland faces and black suits is over. They are now experimenting with various materials and eyeliner.
“I used to be so scared of fashion,” they explain. Their stylist, Ben Rearden, helped them start “from the basics. He just started to introduce me to clothes that just fit in the right place on my body and matched the way I felt inside. And having fun with it. I like funny things. And so we’ve leaned into that more, and my personal wardrobe has got a bit of humor to it.”
Smith explains that they mostly left their cosmetics and vibrant clothing behind when they went to London in their early 20s as a result of being attacked on the street. They were both employed by a bar, and following one of their shifts, Smith claims:
“Someone kind of went for me in the street. When I was walking, listening to music, they hit me. In my neck. That was a bit of a turning point for me. Where I just… I was like, this is exhausting. I remember I’d get on the train every day in my makeup. And it was just everyone looking at me all the time. I’d been doing it since I was 15. And I started to get really exhausted. I used to have to blare music in my ears just to drown out the comments because I’m so sensitive, it would ruin my day. So after that, I started to just wear jeans and a T-shirt. And it wasn’t as sad as it sounds, because I felt a lot of relief when that happened. I started to not put as much makeup on and tone it down, and suddenly everything just became a bit calmer in my life. And that felt good.”
That was soon before “Stay With Me” became a global success and just as their single with Disclosure started to gain traction.
“This is what I think people don’t understand: that the first five years of my career, I almost felt like I was a woman, at times, dressing up in male clothing. It didn’t feel like I was regressing in any way. It just felt like I was trying new things out.”