Tell Us About Yourself.
Hi all, my name is Cameron! My pronouns are he/him/his. I just finished my sophomore year of college at SUNY Binghamton University up in Binghamton, NY. I am currently creating my own major at Binghamton in environmental design and sustainability. That journey has been nothing shy of a rollercoaster; I applied to Binghamton as a biochemistry major because I believed that doing so would make me look smart in the eyes of others. I quickly realized I was going to be miserable doing so, and switched to undecided during orientation. Thanks to an epiphany I had last fall, I realized that I wanted to study plant-based design, ultimately looking to use design to improve how humans interact with environment. Since then, I have fallen in love with the sustainable fashion realm.
I decided to act on this passion and start my own fashion and styling account placing an emphasis on ethical and sustainable fashion back in January.
When I’m not studying or immersing myself in sustainable fashion, I am trying to complete my reading goal of 21 books this year, working out, finding new ways to stay true to my vegan lifestyle, spending time with friends and family, exploring my spirituality, and immersing myself in nature!
Location: Lumberton, NJ
Favorite LANE EIGHT color: Earth Green
What Does “Your Best You” Mean to You?
Living unapologetically — there is a reason everyone is here on this earth, and we owe it to ourselves to live our most authentic lives. Anything less than absolute authenticity isn’t fair to ourselves, we all deserve to be comfortable and confident in our self-expression.
When do you feel most authentically yourself?
When I am doing what I love, fashion and design. I think it’s interesting how the two, fashion and my authenticity, are married. For so long, I ran from the idea of the arts in general because I feared a lot of people would relate art with femininity. I was terrified of drawing that kind of attention; I wanted to fly under the radar and fit in so badly. People at school already made fun of me for being in touch with my feminine side, so I refused to express my interest in design because I was scared of what others would say. For so long I denied myself things that made me genuinely happy, in doing so, I wasn’t being true to myself. Now, the more I step into the design realm, specifically fashion, the closer I feel to becoming my truest self because I am no longer refusing myself the opportunities to explore and chase my passions and dreams.
Favorite way to express your individuality?
Through fashion. Fashion has helped me so much with both my identity and my individuality. I am a firm believer that fashion transcends the binary (shout out LANE EIGHT for abandoning gender designs and creating unisex shoes!) Fashion is one of the most powerful forms of self-expression. Who are we to tell people what they can or cannot wear. If it looks good and makes you feel good, then wear it, and wear it like you mean it!! The more I stepped into the realm of fashion, the more comfortable I felt with myself. It was as if, the clothes themselves had the answers I was looking for all along.
What advice would you give your younger self?
You are the only one who has to live your life, so do so on your own terms. I struggled so much, and there are times when I still do struggle, with the idea of living the life other people want me to. I was a textbook case of a people pleaser — I was so scared of “letting people down” and straying from the path that people foresaw for me. However, the only validation you need, is your own. I have now learned that, the moment you stop living your life for yourself, is the moment you let yourself down.
Who inspires you to become “Your Best You”? :
In the least conceded way possible, I inspire myself. These past two years have been very trying and it really challenged my mental and emotional health. During this time I started to explore spirituality. In doing so, I started to adopt new belief systems, one of which is the idea of reincarnation. So for me, the idea of me living countless past lives just for me to be here in this present moment is the most inspiring feeling. I owe it to all of my former selves, and my current self, to be the best version of myself. Anything less than that is a disservice to my past selves, my current self, and my future selves. The only way I can live my life to the fullest and achieve everything I was meant to, is if I become the best, most authentic version of myself.
If you could share one message with the LANE EIGHT community, what would it be?
Do not let societal labels, expectations, or constructs define you. Humans are such complex, beautiful creatures, so these metaphorical structures cannot possibly encompass what it means to be human. Most of them (gender roles, definitions of success, labels/understanding of sexuality and gender identity, racial stereotypes, etc.) are based on archaic thought processes, so do not let an antiquated construct hinder your ability to evolve, explore, and transcend. Break barriers, dare to be different, and don’t ever forget, never apologize for your existence.
Photo by Elena Harris