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Those who surround us continue to inspire exploration for one's self. It is my utmost pleasure to introduce Vancouver-based Dance Artist Gregory Jungco as this week's Style Muse.

As a first-generation son of two Filipino immigrant parents, Gregory's work and creative process derive from the exploratory perceptions and constant questioning of one's self-identity and the understanding of cultural background and belonging.

Since the age of 12, Gregory soon realized that movement played a significant role in discovering his continuing aspirations and the security of his individuality. From 14, with a medal for Canada's National Dance Team, to being named the BC Senior Provincial Title Winner in the Modern Dance Division to Backup Dancer for global sensation "RuPaul's Drag Race".

You can catch Gregory all over the city as a freelance mover, improvisational artist, and dancer for many of Vancouver's Queer Party Collectives.

My path crossed Gregory's in the Collective Will studio, and my experience in the shop was changed forever. Gregory and his friends were electric. The energy the high! The way they moved through the clothing together was only an electricity that could be bonded by fun, love and kindness.

As a Queer Filipinx individual, Gregory's purpose is to continue to educate and support others in celebrating one's skin, confidence, and communities - as his family, friends, and current environments have shaped him into becoming the force he is today.

Read below to explore Gregory's relationship with secondhand fashion and where he sees the fashion industry heading.

Q: How do you shape conscious consumption around you?

"If I see a piece I really want, I always look at two different avenues: Can I make it, or can I shop it secondhand/vintage? I also am a consistent outfit repeater (guilty!), and I love to find ways to challenge how to wear a garment (ex. Upside down, inside out, as a skirt, etc.)."

Q: Why do you choose secondhand?

"It's given me so many fond memories. Nothing feels more nostalgic than fighting over "that one piece" with my best friend. But that is also why I shop secondhand: that one piece. It lets me shop for unique pieces that only a handful of people have or even a custom piece that is 1:1 and allows me to explore eras of clothing that I never realized could resonate with me. It is environmentally conscious and has provided me with opportunities to share myself, my learnings, and my experiences like I am right now."

Q: What is your most coveted secondhand piece?

"Any of my cowboy boots, for sure. But I have a vintage pair of Tony Lama Cowboy Boots with the original stamping and tags dating back to the 1970s. They are this unique shade of butter orange, Genuine Leather, and it has this Ostrich Leather detailing at the front half of the boot. Will forever be displayed in my apartment as a decorative and wearable piece."

Q: Where do you see the fashion industry heading?

"The first way I can see the fashion industry heading is by finding and sourcing new materials to continue to build visions and pieces. We see now more than ever that the fashion industry is waking up from its consequences and creating ways to stay innovative in terms of use and construction.

Secondly, my current generation will continue to put matters into their own hands. We are seeing many people pick up sewing, crocheting, knitting, and tactile skills to build unique and never-before-seen garments. It's truly inspiring that I even have started picking up these skills myself.

Lastly, so many amazing new and upcoming smaller designers have so many ideas on conscious consumption, and challenging the norm makes me believe that fashion is heading into a fresher, more open-minded industry."

Q: What fashion lessons do you want to leave for future generations?

"It's a cliche, but I would say, "Don't care about what anyone else thinks!" I am a big believer in the saying, "Comfort is Key." Not just in fabric choices but also the comfort of one's self. Sometimes when I feel the most confidence, I look the absolute worst. But at the end of it - I am continuously finding myself. When I dress in my comfort zone, it feels so great - maybe I'm not wearing the craziest thing (or it might be, to some), but it is exactly what I want to be wearing at that moment. By finding my comfort zone, I could expand my zones in so many directions that now I feel invigorated and excited to play with clothing and how it personally services me."

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