Interview with Derek Kendall: A Fusion of Fashion and Acting




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Derek Kendall is a multifaceted artist whose journey spans the worlds of fashion and acting, driven by a desire to leave a lasting impact on audiences. Inspired by his early experiences in fashion, Derek found a sense of fulfillment through the powerful expression of his walk on the runway—a performance that captivated and resonated with viewers. This initial success fueled his confidence to transition into the realm of acting, where he discovered a seamless connection between modeling and performing.

Q: What inspired you to pursue acting alongside your career in fashion?

A: I’ve done fashion for 3 years & have completed a sense of fulfillment out there & that was to leave a dominant impression on peoples lives as my walk was very powerful. People would clap & compliment me for doing so & that would coincide with my confidence to begin real acting. Had to shed all of any shyness I had in order to perform the way I was taught on camera! But ultimately acting is modeling & modeling is acting…it’s is just silent performance arts & the other is added dialogue on time.

Q: How do you integrate elements of hip hop/pop culture, anime, and synth wave music into your artistic style?

A: Well I was born in 1984 so I think I was a super absorbent baby. I would hear the Cool & the gang one day, soft rock, heavy hip-hop music & then these otherworldly sounds of music coming from random VHS tapes. It was these synthesizers playing over the video games & it just had this sound to it. I associate my style with it because I’ve managed to permanently become those sounds through style, attitude & especially through personality. Those are times that don’t exist anymore so I took out the best qualities of that time period & became it. It helps me seriously kick ass onstage or before I begin filming….It’s a great balance for me especially where I’m from. Like a perfect harmony of mental energy.

Q: Can you share a bit about your creative process when preparing for fashion shows or acting roles?

A: With each show you gain a boost of confidence so I go in with a sense of “new” gotta do something new everytime while keeping the eyes on you. It also depends on what designer you’ll be walking for as well so that part of plays a role. 1 key thing is self grooming , got to smell good & look good in this industry. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse your lines is a major #1 thing that you must do! So I spend alot of time rehearsing my lines & becoming the character of the role you’ve been given. Say it out loud or even recite the conversation until it is remembered like song lyrics. It’s definitely like a lonnnggggggg song lol. But I love it so it’s not considered work!

Q: What role does innovation play in your approach to art and performance?

A: I feel like alot of people tend to follow what’s trending or what the crowd is talking about…well I associate that with the term monkey see monkey do or should you? I use innovative ways to go against what the crowd is doing or how most people will do something. I love to go all out , because details matter in everything you put on. There are times where I will sketch an idea & scrap it because I used to think I’ll get laughed at or frowned upon but in reality it’s the things that made me into a star today & that’s by being brave to do something out of the ordinary & next thing you know you’ve been awarded for it. A 100% sure shot way I’ve won several awards & that’s by being myself.

Q: How do you balance personal expression with meeting the expectations of your audience?

A: Well I’m an Aries so I know what is too much to express to an audience or when to give the most. Mostly I was odee shy growing up & I believe that’s my way of detecting negative energy. We can be very hard on ourselves making our work ethic extremely sharp, almost perfect. So when I’m performing on camera or on stage I try to use the best parts of a raging fire “metaphorically speaking”. I wait for the right time to use all my thoughts on a runway/stage. Can’t show off too much tho….gotta give em little by little, it’s how I set up a mental analysis chart in my head on the spot! But most importantly is the type of crowd you are entertaining & who’s in charge.

Q: Looking forward, what are your aspirations for combining fashion and film in your future projects?

A: To show my fellow peers & African Americans young & mature that if you have a thought it can come a reality. If you dress the part, pretend until you feel it the right fit & time for you to wear that suit/dress or shoes. I aspire to also touch the lives of the same environment I came from to let other young artists know that we are searching through the closet of life & one day, one day….something is going to really fit you & that’s when you know it’s your time to shine! But you must do the work, God 1st.

Derek Kendall’s passion for artistry and his commitment to authenticity shine through his insightful reflections. His journey serves as an inspiration for aspiring artists, showcasing the power of creativity and self-expression in making a meaningful impact on the world of fashion and film.


The Thrive Times

The Thrive Times

"I am a passionate explorer of life's wonders, sharing stories that inspire and uplift. With a love for adventure and a curious mind, I aim to spark curiosity in every reader. Join me on this journey of discovery and let's embrace the beauty of the world together."

Thrive Times Staff

Thrive Times Staff

"I am a passionate explorer of life's wonders, sharing stories that inspire and uplift. With a love for adventure and a curious mind, I aim to spark curiosity in every reader. Join me on this journey of discovery and let's embrace the beauty of the world together."