Rebel Rebel

Style profile of James Arnold

Garret Hanson and James Arnold

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“It’s like, part neurotic punk rocker and part fierce, fabulous femme. I listen to Crass while I get dressed in the morning.”


This sets the stage for everything you need to know about James’s style– sharp around the edges with a cutesy flair. He’s often seen wearing mostly black, nine times out of ten with a punk rock band on his shirt and a heavy jacket, but that’s balanced out by accessories such as rainbow pony bead bracelets and brightly-colored glasses.

“I like to pretend I have style, but I really don’t,” he said. “I wear the same pair of dirty sneakers every day. I’ve had some of my t-shirts since I was thirteen.” That grime is part of punk rock glamour, something he refers to as “furious beautiful.” He elaborated on that, explaining that “furious beautiful” is a quote from a poem by his favorite author, Jack Kerouac:

“All life is but a skull-bone and

 A rack of ribs through which

 we keep passing food & fuel-

 just so’s we can burn so

 furious beautiful,”

and that to him, that means that you have to do your best to do good things and be “beautiful,” but also stand strong and firm in your beliefs, which springs from his punk rock background again. Punk rock is one of his biggest inspirations in all aspects of his life.



According to James, style is about “having fun and not caring about what anyone thinks. Sometimes, you have to say to yourself, “well, if this person calls me a homophobic slur, so what? They’re not wrong, even if they are rude.’” Unfortunately, this is something he’s faced on the regular, both as a result of his sometimes-feminine style and his open LGBTQIA+ identity.


“I love David Bowie. I love the 70’s rocker aesthetic, the drama, the androgyny, but I also love the new androgyny, the beauty of it all. I shuffle between a lot of aesthetics, but there’s always that idea there of the drama or flamboyance. I’m a little out there,” he said, and laughed.

At the end of the day, though, it all comes back to having fun, looking cute, and loving rock and roll.

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