Style Dossier: Nichole Benson

Welcome back to Style Dossier, Gabrielle Royal’s column that profiles stylish queers across the country.

Being a Texas native, I was excited to cross paths with a dashing dapperQ from my home state! Using instagram activily is pretty new to me, but I see now more than ever the significance of connecting with people from across the globe through social media and how it offers us a space to engage with others in our community whom we would not be able to meet otherwise. This is how I met Nichole and found out about The Beanie Bar, a connection made over an admiration for queer fashion, activism, and art over 1,7000 miles away.

Nichole Benson
Lewisville, Texas

Nichole Benson 7Outfit Details:
Hat: Brixton
Eyewear: Tomford
Blazer: H&M
Bow Tie: The Tie Bar
Shirt: J Crew
Watch: Movado
Belt: American Eagle
Shoes: J Crew
Leather Duffle Bag: Cenzo Luggage
Socks: Forever 21

Bio: Nichole is a creative, loving, spiritual being. She works in finance fulltime, but her heart belongs to fashion, art, and photography. She chose not to work in a creative profession because being an artist is her escape from the real world. She is a freelance photographer, and also crochets: It is very calming and relaxing for her. She loves love and everything it stands for. She is a free spirit and only likes to surround herself with positive energy. She makes friends easily and has been told she has a big heart! She loves doing things for others not expecting anything in return because the gratitude she gets from being kind is priceless.

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Gabrielle Royal: How does living in the south influence your style and identity?

Nichole Benson: Living in the south does nothing to really influence my style. If anything, being a Texas native has only shown me how different I am. Texas is an extremely white-collar state and I am most definitely the opposite of that! It never fails; people stare at me all the time. At least one person asks me “where I am from” when I am out.

GR: How did you get into crocheting? Tell us about your online store, The Beanie Bar, and why it is important for QPOC to create industries/spaces for our bodies.

NB: I feel it is important, not only for QPOC, but people of color in general to create these spaces, especially people with natural hair and locs because it is so hard to find accessories, such as beanies in retail stores that will accommodate our crowns. This is the reason for me creating the Beanie Bar. I consider my hands to be blessed. I am extremely crafty with them and anything I put my mind to – my hands make it a reality. I started the Beanie Bar after not being able to find beanies in retail stores that were appealing to my style or that would fit properly due to me having locs. I have been crocheting for years, so I figured making beanies would be a piece of cake. When I started to wear them I would get a lot of compliments and questions on where I purchased my beanies from. I would proudly respond, “I made it.” From there, I decided to create my Instagram page @thebeaniebar and orders began to pour in! I was very grateful to share my art and my creativity with others. Every single item is made by me with my own two “blessed” hands filled with only positive thoughts, energy and lots of love. Since opening my store at thebeaniebar.storenvy.com, I have ventured out in making scarves, cowls, and now BOWTIES for my dapper followers! I am truly looking forward to the growth of my beanie store by continuing to create and share my art with the world.

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Nichole 10Outfit Details:
Pageboy Hat: H&M
Blazer: H&M
Shirt: Express Men
Tie: The Tie Bar
Denim: Gap
Watch: Fossil
Boots: Frye
Socks: Forever 21
Eyewear: Derek Cardigan

GR: Do you think that fashion can be used as a way to mobilize? Can it be used as a mode of activism?

NB: Fashion plays a HUGE role in our daily life! It is funny that you ask this question because I have a thing for graphic T-Shirts. I have been told I am a T-Shirt hoarder, but I would like to think of it as a collector! Whenever something happens in the media, the first thing we do is make or purchase a T-Shirt that speaks on current events. We wear these shirts with pride to be seen and heard by all. So yes, I do believe that fashion can be used as a way to mobilize as well as be used as a mode of activism.

GR: You have very vibrant social media sites, what do you want your followers to gain?

NB: My main goal on social media is to spread as much love and positive energy as I can. It is a place where I can express myself creatively in hopes that I can be an inspiration to someone to not be afraid, but rather to step outside of their comfort zone and JUST BE.

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Nichole Benson 5Outfit #2 Details:
Hat: Gap
Shirt: American Eagle
Belt: Fossil
Sweater: Forever 21
Watch: Michael Kors
Chinos: Zumiez
Eyewear: Derek Cardigan

GR: What is your biggest challenge when shopping in Texas?

NB: My biggest challenge shopping in Texas is finding out of the norm items or items that are current in fashion, but have not yet caught up to the south. This is the reason why ninety percent of my shopping is done online or when I travel.

GR: Tell us something unique about yourself or your style.

NB: People always tell me I dress nice and I am always put together, but the funny thing about me is that I just throw things on. I am a firm believer in: it is not what you wear but how you wear it. Style is all in your attitude: wear it, own it, and be confident!

Nichole Benson 2

Nichole Benson 3Outfit Details:
Hat: H&M
Camo Bow Tie: The Beanie Bar (thebeaniebar.com)
Sweater: H&M
Camo Chinos: Gap
Backpack: Herschel Supply Co
Button Down: Gap
Watch: Michael Kors
Belt: Fossil
Shoes: Bedstü

Follow Nichole:
IG: @consciouschoic3s @thebeaniebar @artofphotography8
Twitter: @consciouschoic3
Facebook: Benson’s Closet

Photography credit:
Addie Danielle — @oldworldnewgirl

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NB2Assortment of Beanies:
Handmade, The Beanie Bar by Nichole Benson

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