Gender Tempest Johnny Stein

Johnny Stein Vivienne Westwood

In this week’s post we feature an interesting customer at World’s End shop.
For 15 years Johnny Stein has been steadily & carefully building his collection.
Just recently his passion for Westwood inspired an exhibition which is on view Now!…
In Burbank, California.
Thank you Johnny & now lets hand over to you……..

Hi Ben,
Thanks for taking an interest in my exhibit and why I choose Westwood exclusively over all other designers.
First and foremost, I am an androgynous person that grew up punk in the early 1980s in San Diego, California. I’m not a drag queen (I’m not that talented) and I’ve been mistaken for transgender but really I’m just a guy who likes to wear makeup and dresses. So, I prefer androgynous…even transvestite works for me as it has a punk ring to it!
I first discovered Vivienne Westwood through one of my best friends who has been a collector since the late 1980s. He graciously gave me my first pair of MAN tartan trousers around 2001. But, it wasn’t until a few years later on my first visit to London and to World’s End  that I became fully obsessed with Westwood, particularly World’s End and Gold Label.
My first purchase from World’s End were a pair of black leather Hammerhead trainers which I loved and still own. My second purchase were the black bag boots which were mind bending in it’s design and I’ve never stopped collecting ever since! As with most Westwood fanatics it literally has been non stop obsession.
I really have no aim or agenda when it comes to fashion. I don’t care too much for it. But, I love Westwood!! I like to mix all of her collections together to make an outfit. I choose Westwood for her cut and design, her history with Punk, for the complete originality of her clothes, and for her ability to make me feel fearless!
I was asked by my friend designer Jared Gold to showcase some of my collection as he was curating an exhibit at the Nan Rae Gallery in Woodbury University about gender and how clothes made for a specific sex can be worn by male or female if one feels inclined to wear both sexes. I was photographed by the amazing and friendly Albert Sanchez, Johnny Girl dolls by Karolyn Kiisel, and embroidered mannequin masks by Jared Gold. Basically, they made an exhibition about me, my love of Vivienne Westwood and how I wear her designs in a “gender free” fashion.
Here is an excerpt along with pictures from the exhibit:
Johnny Stein Vivienne Westwood
This special exhibit is curated by Johnny in conjunction with the university’s fashion design department’s creative director Jared Gold. “I was interested in Johnny’s ability to create his own image using the Westwood pieces. Historic references are crossed and seasons unfold, and a creature is born,” states Gold. Johnny Stein Vivienne WestwoodJohnny’s extensive Vivienne Westwood collection of shoes, hats, and garments will be featured alongside life-sized photo prints by celebrity photographers Albert Sanchez and Pedro Zalba, commemorative screen-printed posters, and an interactive installation.Johnny Stein Vivienne Westwood

Johnny Stein Vivienne Westwood

The exhibit opens Wednesday March 4 at 5pm. The opening reception will feature a personal walkthrough of the exhibit with Johnny, as well as a Q&A moderated by Gold. The reception will also feature live fashion drawings by the Woodbury Fashion Department.
March 4 – April 4, 2015
Nan Rae Gallery @ Woodbury University
5400 Glenoaks Blvd., Burbank, CA
Daily Gallery Hours: 12 pm – 5pm Tuesday – Saturday
With extended hours on Thursday until 8pm.

I hope you like it.


Johnny Girl

Johnny Stein

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8 thoughts on “Gender Tempest Johnny Stein

  1. Another good read Ben. Thankyou. Wouldn’t it just be so boring without people like Johnny. Vivienne’s clothes do make you feel powerful. It must be the cut I suppose. The way they make you feel. The bondage trousers twisting around your legs. Fearless. There’s some beautiful items on show here. I wish I was in California! I love the pirate look, the hat, the print…everything. Vivienne is incredibly sexy in her knowledge, her passion, her unwillingness to compromise and her thrive for the future.

    Thanks again x

  2. Thanks again Ben! It truly is an honor to be featured on my favorite blog and favorite shop World’s End! I really got to thank Lisa as well…she has been so helpful throughout the years and I’m glad to call her a friend!


    Johnny Girl