OUT Magazine Interview: Kurt Hummel
You’ve probably heard of Kurt Hummel. Maybe you even bought some of his designs last winter when he collaborated with H&M. Regardless, he’s about to take the fashion world by storm. The 22 year old wunderkind left the prestigious Parsons School of Design when he was barely 20 years old and moved to London when his fashion internship turned into a job opportunity. Now he’s the owner, president, and sole designer of Hummel Clothing, which is currently stocked in major department stores in New York City, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas.
His clothes have been worn by countless celebrities and featured in such magazines as Glam UK and ELLE UK. We caught up with Kurt to talk about the expansion of his line, growing up in Ohio, and his recent marriage to his boyfriend of six years, Blaine Anderson.
Kurt! It’s so great to actually get the chance to talk to you! Thank you for taking the time to do this interview!
Likewise! And it’s my pleasure!
What caused you to want to pursue fashion?
I’ve always liked clothes and, if I can be so bold, I’ve always been good at dressing myself. Even in high school, I was known for dressing a bit… flamboyantly, I should say. I’ve tried every trend at least once! [laughs]
And what was high school like for you?
I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t rough. I grew up in a small town in Ohio. It’s about two hours outside Columbus. And yes, I was bullied for being gay. It got so bad that at one point I transferred to a private school for a few months. It was incredibly difficult but at the same time the best thing that’s ever happened to me.
And why’s that?
In some bizarre way, it led me to my husband.
How did you meet?
I was in show choir in high school—the thing that probably saved my life, back then, to be honest—anyway, he was in a rival glee club, so in a fit of frustration, I went to spy on them. I ran into him on the stairwell, and we became friends. We eventually started dating and the rest is history. He’s a dreamboat. He sang “Teenage Dream” on the day we met, and to this day we still joke that we are each other’s teenage dream. It’s so disgustingly sweet, but true. I fall more and more in love with him every day.
And you two got married in March! Congratulations!
Thank you! We did! We got married in New York City in a theater. Extremely fitting since Blaine is an actor—he was Melchior in Spring Awakening on Broadway, and now he’s Grantaire in Les Mis on the West End—and I’ve always had a passion for the stage as well. It was a beautiful ceremony and a real dream come true.
It seems like you two are extremely supportive of each other’s work!
We really are. I see his show as often as I can, and I never get bored of seeing him onstage. He shines. He’s a star. And he comes my fashion events willingly, even if it’s not really his scene. I think that being supportive and open are a lot of the reasons why we’ve worked for so long.
How would you describe your personal style?
The modern take on a 19th century dandy! All I’ve ever wanted was to be compared to Beau Brummell. Kurt Hummel, Beau Brummell, close enough!
What do you see happening to your line in the future?
Expansion and a lot of it. I’d love to open my own store! But for now, I’m happy enough to just share rack-space with Karl Lagerfeld and Marc Jacobs! I’m dying to open an office Stateside. I have such a deep love of London, but I miss the States. Once my company is strong enough to branch out and Blaine is able to as well, of course, I’d love to move back to New York or go to LA.
Describe your designs in one sentence.
Well, I’m an unfortunate fan on run-ons [sentences] so bear with me! I wanted to design high fashion that men and women can wear outside the setting of a runway. I mean not everyone wants to wear those infamous McQueen 10-inch heels on the subway!
You’re from Ohio, did that have any influence on who you are today?
Of course! I’m just a Midwestern boy with big dreams at heart. I think no matter where you’re from it shapes who you are but it doesn’t have to define you. I go back to Ohio at least twice a year. I still call it “home” even though I haven’t lived there in years. My dad says my childhood is what has kept me grounded and I have to agree with him!
One final question, how’s married life treating you? Any plans for extending the family anytime soon?
[Laughs] Married life is wonderful! Blaine actually moved to London in August last year, and that was the first time we lived together for longer than a week! But it’s really fantastic and I love being able to call him my husband, it makes me downright giddy. We’re both pretty big homebodies so I cook for him a lot too. I just really, really love being married. I hit the jackpot with Blaine. As for kids, Blaine and I decided to not have serious discussion about it until we’re 25. We married young, so we want to enjoy it. We have two cats and a gerbil and we call them our babies so that’s as big as the Hummel-Anderson home is getting for a while!