Neal grew up in Vancouver, Washington and ascribed to the late-aughts fashion du jour: mall prep. “It was Hollister polo, jeans, the whole thing,” they say of their early approach to style. Much of their inspiration came from the internet. “I had a friend who used Tumblr, and they were always on it, and I was so interested in it. I found out that there was something called the plus-size community on the internet.” Neal was primarily interested in accessible, affordable fashion for all body types, rather than what they saw in high fashion: “I’d never studied runway, I knew nothing about luxury fashion, and I couldn’t access it because I didn’t have the money to do it.”
While getting dressed in the morning can sometimes feel monotonous, Neal—who uses they/he pronouns—has adopted a philosophy of positivity, emphasizing the joy in picking out clothing every day—as evidenced by a grid full of dancing “Get Ready With Me” videos, which he shares on his growing TikTok platform. As a queer, nonbinary, plus-sized person, they are deeply entrenched in an industry that is not always willing to make space for them. Yet Neal is undeterred, building a presence off of his unadulterated love for fashion, and his equally pure approach to style. “I’ve always wanted fashion to seem approachable,” he says. “Getting dressed is your opportunity to decide what it is that you would like to place forth into the world for other people to see.”
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