Singer Mila Jam on embracing her identity through a genderless shopping experience

Singer and actress Mila Jam has gone from a little-known name to a celebrity of sorts. The transgender artist and LGBTQIA+ activist, whose music is a combination of rock ‘n’ roll and pop music, has toured globally with the Broadway musical “Rent,” been featured on MTV, Billboard and HuffPost and even worked with the likes of Laverne Cox, Zackary Drucker and Nathan Lee Graham. 

As Jam’s profile has grown, so has the amount of attention been paid to her style and looks — after all, being a celebrity involves facing cameras nearly 24/7. To that end, the 31-year-old, Georgia-raised artist, whose real name is Jahmila Adderle, recently dyed her hair to stand out — a color she credits to her hair stylist and is in line with the “extreme” flair Jam aims for. 

“I didn’t think it would work, but I fell in love with it, and I’ve been rocking it as much as I can,” she told In The Know.

Jam’s hair color, or “template” as she calls it, has, in turn, inspired bold monochromatic outfits, from a dark green luxe dress to lightning green tights. But green isn’t the only color the artist wears. 

“I love reds. I love oranges,” Jam explained. “I love statement pieces. I love yellows, and they kind of contrast really well with the green hair. Also, the evolution of my style is basically going from, you know, casual wear and everyday, ‘sportsy’-type wear to really glamorous, vintage pieces.”

Though Jam occasionally makes her own outfits (she once fashioned a skirt out of a jersey, for example), she can always rely on one store for her clothing needs: the Phluid Project, a New York City-based, gender-free brand that aims to empower LGBTQIA+ individuals “to be themselves.” A quick search on the brand’s website reveals a wide-ranging list of clothes — including rainbow-print shirts to tees featuring historic icons like drag queen Marsha P. Johnson — that any person can wear, regardless of what community that person identifies with. 

“I love Phluid. Phluid, Phluid, Phluid, Phluid every day, all day Phluid Project,” Jam said. “T-shirts galore. Very cute, very good, very now, very in, very Jam.”

While the Phluid Project is primarily known for selling tops, bottoms and accessories, it has also engaged in a number of initiatives designed to foster inclusiveness and diversity outside of the retail space — the brand, for example, recently launched a job portal to help members of the community find positions at LGBTQIA+-welcoming companies. Those efforts are part of a larger goal to normalize and promote the LGBTQIA+ experience — a message that is not lost in the brand’s clothing line. 

“It being a genderless experience gives people permission to just go with the flow of whatever they’re into, whatever your eye is drawn into, whatever color aesthetics you like,” Jam said. “And then a lot of the staple pieces are just for everyone … I love their variety of color choices, of designer choices, unique designers that you might not find in other places.”

Ultimately, however, Jam, whose outfits certainly make her distinguishable from her peers, encourages everyone to find clothes that allow them to fully embrace themselves. 

“The advice I would give for others about their personal style would be [that] you have to find the colors that you think work best for you, that inspire you and give you life but also look good on your skin tone,” she said. “I’d also say find stuff that makes you feel important and feel polished and professional at the same time.”

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