Meet the Man Who’s on Everyone’s Mood Board

It went down in the DMs. I had been stalking the yeehaw agenda for a minute when my girlfriend sent me the below post:


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I Fell In Love Wit Designer , Then I Fell In Love Wit Rihanna| 📸: @denzelgolatt

A post shared by DUSTY😈 (@reallydoedusty) on

I hit that “follow” button like it was going out of style, and before long, Dusty’s digital space became one I visited every day: Dusty’s on a horse in the snow. Dusty’s fully leaning on Cardi B. Dusty’s dimples rival the Grand Canyon. Dusty’s always in platforms. It wasn’t long before I became a woman obsessed with a man (a man!) I knew nothing about. Why?


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In A World So Cold

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Because the dude’s inventive creative direction and boundary-pushing aesthetic — the kinds of dances with design and decor that I’ve not often seen attempted, let alone successfully executed — have helped reinvigorate my jaded appetite for all manner of presentation. Because Dusty has an understanding of the words “style” and “styling” that I can only dream of, which is why I had to know more.

Below, an excerpt from our convo that will introduce you to the man, the myth, the legend himself: Kyle Gayle, a.k.a. @reallydoedusty: the dude pulling the sickest looks on the internet right now.

Dusty: I’m from Baltimore. I live in Bushwick. I lived here for about six years now.

Emma: How old are you?

Dusty: I’m 28.

Emma: Word. You look so young.

Dusty: I mean, Black don’t crack, but damn — Dusty really don’t crack.

Emma: That should be your tagline. How’d you get the name Dusty?

Dusty: My grandmother gave it to me when I was one year old. It’s for her favorite wrestler — his name was Dusty Rhodes. She would order on-demand wrestling all the time for me, and my brother, and my cousin.

Emma: Wow. This is already the best story I’ve heard all day.

Dusty: Muh’fuckers be thinking I’m dusty but I’m like, “child…”


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Emma: HA! It’s like, “No, I’m not dusty… do you see the looks I’m pulling? It’s the opposite.” Anyway. I know your government name because you emailed me. Do you keep that a secret?

Dusty: No it’s not a secret at all. My mother gave me the name Kyle because of job reasons. Every other white person is named Kyle. So they don’t know what they gonna get until I appear to the interview, you know?

Emma: Yes I do know. So what do you do besides Trojan-horse ‘em?

Dusty: I design shoes. I host parties. I model. I dropped out of school, came here for styling. It never really worked out — fashion people are not the nicest, to be honest. But if I’m not talented at it, then I’m not gonna touch it. I’m just gonna let somebody else do it and support that.

Emma: Are you a Gemini?

Dusty: No, I’m a Capricorn.

Emma: Okay, well, I love your shoes. I want a platform on everything. Do you design them just for yourself or do you have a line that you’re working on?

Dusty: It’s really about the clothes. I’m always in these looks ’cause I’m really trying to design my own shit.

Emma: What are your style inspirations?

Dusty: It depends on my mood; how I’m feeling. I don’t look up to anyone really for fashion sense. It’s more like Halloween for me — pulling the whole look together: What’s going to complete it? What’s going to tell a story like an editorial?


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A post shared by DUSTY😈 (@reallydoedusty) on

Emma: Who’re your favorite designers?

Dusty: I like Raf Simmons. Weslah — that’s an underground label, one of my friends. I love Balenciaga also. A lot of my favorite shit is so expensive I don’t have the money for it. I’m just hoping that they’ll be like, “Damn, we need to send him shit.”

Emma: That’s hilarious — so you’re an influencer too?

Dusty: I’m an artist. I wouldn’t say that I’m an influencer. I feel like influencer is used a little too much. Maybe like four years ago I was dying to be an influencer but motherfuckers couldn’t understand me. Because I’m an artist.

Emma: Who comes up with the concepts for your shoots?

Dusty: Me. I want to be the creative director and the designer. And I come up with all the ideas for my shoes.

Emma: And you just have a network of people that you work with?

Dusty: I like to shine a light on my friends with talent, so I always do shit with them.

Emma: If we’re not here to lift each other up…

Dusty: We got to build each other, right? Because who the fuck is going to build us, when motherfuckers keep on breaking us down?

Emma: Is there anything else that we should know about you, Dusty?

Dusty: I’m sick of people stealing from me but not working with me. It’s like, what the fuck? I’m on everybody’s mood board, but they’re not working with me. Sometimes you have people behind the scenes and on the scene, and my goal is to really be both. Entrepreneur. I do it all.

Emma: Well I think you’re very well on your way, for real.

Photos via Dusty.

Emma Bracy

Emma is the Associate Editor at Man Repeller.

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