On the eve of the New York Fashion Week, a new generation of men are beginning to take their Bikini top off and reveal it for the first time in public.
In this exclusive video from VICE News, photographer/model Tyler Durden and designer/actress/actresses Lauren Kline explore the history and inspiration behind the first men’s Bikinis and the many styles that followed in its wake.
Tyler Duster, 32, started modeling at the age of 11, and when he started in 2007 he wore a full length skirt and tank top, which became his signature look.
“The first thing I remember seeing was the first Bikini Bottom, where all the girls were wearing this huge tank top and this skirt,” he says.
“I thought it was ridiculous, but they were so cute.”
In 2011, Tyler started his own clothing line and began working in the fashion industry, taking the fashion world by storm.
His new fashion brand, Moxie, was launched in 2014 and has since become one of the most recognizable brands in the world.
“My first big runway show was in New York, and it was my first show in Los Angeles, which was also the first place I ever went to wear my Bikini bottom,” he explains.
“So it’s kind of a long story but the important part is that I didn’t make the cut, but I made it.”
Today, Tyler Dushard is known for his stylish and daring Bikini line, which includes the Moxi Bikins, Moxy, and Vibe.
“There’s a lot of love for men’s styles in Los Angles, but there’s also a lot that goes into making a good Bikini,” he notes.
“When I started in the business, there was a lot less awareness about what Bikin fashion was.
People didn’t realize it was this really weird thing.”
When he first started, Tyler was the only male model on the runway, but he quickly found a niche for himself, and his work quickly took off.
“You have to remember that Bikinas are the only thing I ever wore,” he recalls.
“And I have a really big collection, which is kind of like my entire closet.
So it’s really fun to go to a Bikina show and see that.
It’s really cool.”
For Tyler, fashion was his life and fashion was the whole point.
“A lot of the time, I was just in this mood, like, ‘I’m just going to be like, I’m going to do this thing,'” he says, referring to his current passion for making men’s clothes.
“It was very much my goal to make people feel good about themselves and to make their lives better.
When I think about what makes me happy, I think that’s a big part of me.”
While Tyler Dusey’s work has been a big draw for many men, the inspiration behind his Bikineys is equally intriguing.
“Every single Bikiner, every single thing, is a work of art, but it also kind of reflects who I am and what I’ve done and what my family and friends are into,” he reveals.
“In some ways, I really love that the Bikines I make are just my own, because it’s not just me wearing it, it’s me putting it together.
They’re trying to get a good impression of me, and that’s not me.””
People will say, ‘That’s not really how men look like,’ and I think they’re right.
They’re trying to get a good impression of me, and that’s not me.”