BearWatch: Roi Hernandez & House of 1912 Fashion

This week we will be shining the spotlight on Roi Hernandez – Fashion designer and founder of plus size men’s fashion brand House of 1912. For over 25 years, Hernandez has worked as a creative director and executive for major recording artists. 

Then, a couple of years ago, Hernandez decided to buy himself a sewing machine. From that moment on, House of 1912 was born — providing space for larger guys to have fun with fashion and be noticed in the fashion industry. 

“Clothing as a form of self-expression has the ability to make someone feel confident, strong and playful,” says Hernandez. “Sure, there are places like Destination XL and other big and tall shops, but what about the big boys that want stuff like McQueen, Westwood, and Balmain?”

Hernandez discusses that, at a very early age, larger guys are picked on and made to feel like less than their more athletic or muscular counterparts. Men, as a whole, get “masculine” colors ascribed to them early on. Anything pink or floral is perceived as too “girly”, further planting a seed of toxic masculinity without their knowledge. 

Furthermore, in the media, large and husky men are often viewed as the butt of the joke. “As Mr. Chow says in The Hangover when Alan falls, ‘It’s funny because he’s fat’”, explains Hernandez. 

“Why is it that men of a bigger stature are relegated to playing the comic relief, the killer, the weirdo, or the nerd in films? There have been small strides from people like James Gandolfini and John Goodman, but not nearly the same way beautiful curvy women are being celebrated these days.”

Hernandez believes that it’s time for the big, beautiful men to boldly step out of the background. The creative aesthetic of House of 1912 focuses mostly on floral prints, brocades, gold, glitter, sequin, shiny, leather, mesh, faux fur, and feathers.

“I see fabric as a medium, the same way I see paint or light’” says Hernandez.

I let the fabric inspire what I will create, and how I should use it — sometimes conventionally, sometimes not. I rarely sketch something with a plan. For the most part, I go to the shop and, when I find a fabric I like, I’ll let that guide me. Like art, my pieces are very limited. I want customers to feel they have something unique and special.

Roi Hernandez

Last month, Hernandez put on a fashion show at the Elysium in Austin, Texas to introduce his new menswear line. He describes the show as “a pret-a-porter primer of the future and what House of 1912 plans to do.” 

“Taking influence from the club life between the years 1988 and 1998, the pieces show a world I wish I had lived through as a big guy, all while making it feel modern and fresh,” says Hernandez.  

As you can see from the runway pictures below, the big boys rocked it! We can’t wait to see what’s next for House of 1912. 

Campaign Photos by: Roi Hernadez

Runway Photos by: Jimmie Kadaver

Runway Models: Travis Butchart, Joe M., William Scarlet, Morgan Tucker, Tragan Ward 

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Kyle Jackson

Kyle Jackson (He/Him) is Senior Staff Writer at Gray Jones Media, and additionally works as a writer, editor and theatre artist/actor. A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, he studied at Dillard University, received a BA in Theatre from Morgan State University, an MS in Arts Administration from Drexel University, and completed the British American Drama Academy’s Midsummer in Oxford Programme in 2017. Having lived in Baltimore, the Washington, DC area, Philadelphia and New York City, he now resides and works in London, United Kingdom.