Harford Magazine - Page 53 - Haute in Harve de Grace (3)

Harford Magazine
- Page 53
Haute in Harve de Grace (3)

pair of clear visor-type glasses rests on his face. “I’m really a businessman. My brain is constantly thinking about the next check. I’m never satisfied.”

 

Hunter Hooligan, a Baltimore-based pop artist who provided the closing music for Boi’s New York City fashion show, wasn’t surprised to hear that Boi lives in the suburbs — nearly an hour north of Baltimore.

 

“Maryland is full of incredible artists who are wildly successful in their careers, and I think the proximity and access to major cities like Baltimore, D.C., New York, Philadelphia, and Atlanta gives so many artists here an opportunity to travel while also having a quiet and fulfilling home life,” he says. “You don’t necessarily have to live in New York or Los Angeles to be successful anymore, thanks to the digital age.”

 

Hooligan respects the fact that Boi has decided to spend time around his support system. He even believes it helps Boi to become a better artist.

 

“Culturally, there is an expectation for artists to sacrifice everything — our family relationships, our friendships, our communities, our homes and our comforts,” he says. “Yet these things are deeply influential in our art, being able to hold onto those things is creating an environment for more emotionally fulfilled and financially stable artists, which is a beautiful, powerful thing.”

 

Toni James, owner of the Fells Point clothing store Katwalk Boutique, was surprised to learn that Boi lived just two minutes from her Havre de Grace home.

 

James, who has lived in Harford County for the past 15 years, knows that people would be shocked to hear that someone who has ascended in the fashion industry would be living in a suburban setting.

 

“He’s very outgoing. He doesn’t let anything stop his drive,” she says, adding that she carries his line of eyewear in her boutique. “He’s really doing it. He’s very ambitious.”

 

By now, Boi has switched outfits into yet another ensemble — this one is a black sheer shirt, black leather pants and black Nike sneakers with raspberry-colored socks; a pink wide-brimmed hat; and a pair of cat-eye glasses with black lenses.

 

His neighbors seem not to notice his appearance and go about their business. A group of men load several pieces of furniture into a moving truck from the home next door. Their gazes never reach Boi.

 

“My friends don’t get it. They say, it’s so not you,” he says about his quiet suburban lifestyle. ”Just knowing that you can go home to your mom’s, dad’s or guardian’s house … there’s nothing like that.”