Just google “history of heels” and you will see men, famous men, wearing heels.
Then you can google “history of skirts” and you get the same idea that real men would be wearing them with no risk of being judged as… weird, freaks, wrong, eccentric… you name it!
So what happened? You can learn about it through a good Fashion History book.
What is happening today? You can learn it from… here as well!
Please enjoy this inspiring and eye opening perspective by Mark Bryan, the American, Germany based, engineer, family-man wearing beautiful pencil skirts and amazing heels in his everyday life, hitting Instagram with 269000 fans!
WHO IS MARK BRYAN?
I am 61 years old, married for 11 years and I work as a robotic engineer. I have 3 children and 4 grandchildren. I’m an American, born in Texas, living in Germany now since 2010.
YOU ARE CONSIDERED A CROSSDRESSING INFLUENCER: WHEN AND HOW DID YOU BECOME YOUR OWN BRAND?
I really don’t consider myself a crossdresser. if clothes have no gender then what am I crossing? I wanted to keep a masculine appearance yet wear a skirt and high heels.
Thus what I call my hybrid look. I think my brand is that of a straight man wearing skirts and heels. Almost every brand shows men wearing dresses or high heels, but in most ads, the men always appear to be feminine and not masculine. That, I think, turns straight men away from those ads: because they don’t want to be associated with being feminine.
Mark Bryan photographed in black and white by Italian artist Barbara di Maio. Mark is a tall white man with a muscular build, who wears a light colored turtleneck sweater and a black and white checked pencil skirt. On his feet white shoes with heels, with a double strap. Murals in the background. Mark is confidently looking at the camera with his hands on his hips.
MALE FASHION STEREOTYPES: YOU ARE CHALLENGING THE STATUS QUO FROM GERMANY WORLDWIDE, HAVE YOU EVER HAD SOME "DARK MOMENTS" AND HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?
So far I have not had any dark moments. I guess people see me and see the confidence I have: they are afraid to approach me with any negative or threatening actions!
Plus being 6′ tall and 6’4″ when wearing heels and the slightly muscular build, may make them think differently about coming at me!
THERE ARE MANY MEN THAT DO NOT FEEL COMFORTABLE IN THEIR OWN SKIN AND CLOTHES: WHERE DO YOU LIKE SHOPPING AND HOW DO YOU CREATE OUTFITS THAT FULLY REPRESENT WHO YOU ARE?
Mark is standing in an environment that looks like a modern attic. He wears a sporty and tight apple green long-sleeved t-shirt, a black leather A-line skirt with front buttons, green pumps and black nylon socks. To his left you can see part of a bicycle and a hanging TV and to his right a working desk with binders and part of a lit on monitor. Mark is confidently staring at the camera with his hands on his hips.
Living in a small town often means our shopping is limited. We do have several clothing stores and a few shoe stores. I would say about 50% of my skirts are from the local New Yorker; most shoes and other skirts are bought online.
I really liked the LostInk shoes out of the UK as they offered a great style in a wide fit shoe, but unfrotunately they stopped selling them to focus more on their clothing line. I am really liking the few pairs I have from Tamaris. Just recently my new favorite is from Kkira from Boston, USA, and ABRA from Spain. And of course my Louboutins.
CLOTHES AND GENDER - CLOTHES AND SEXUAL ORIENTATION - CLOTHES AND EXPERTISE: WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON THIS AND HOW DO PEOPLE REACT WHEN THEY MEET YOU?
Most men and women that want to wear traditional clothes from the other sex have a fear of being called gay. What a person wears should have no influence on their sexual orientation.
I am the same person if I am wearing a skirt or pants.
I think that, when people first meet me, they think I am gay.
But after a while, they understand that I’m just a straight guy. Clothing does make the man and the man makes the clothes.
YOUR STORY HAS GONE WORLDWIDE: WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS?
I’m going to continue doing what I do. Hopefully, I can do more modeling, being a role model for both males and females, and maybe dive into fashion consulting.
WHAT IS YOUR MESSAGE TO THE FASHION INDUSTRY?
While I think the fashion industry has done a lot for non-gendered clothing, they still seem to be going about it wrong. As I mentioned earlier, all brands that are saying they support non-gendered clothing but continue using, what I call feminine-looking men, still give the idea that clothing does suggest a person’s sexual orientation. But this is hopefully changing, as the many requests I am getting to show their brand shows. More and more brands are making changes to their statement and image.
Get inspired by more outfits from Mark Bryan here https://www.instagram.com/markbryan911/ and enjoy being yourself!
Mark is waiting for the train at the station, during a winter and snowy day. He wears a short jacket, a red pencil skirt, black opaque tights and red pumps. He is holding his laptop bag in hisleft hand. His right hand is rested on his hip. He stands in a confident, half-smiling pose.