Mclayne Ycmat

A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms.
— Sensei Ogui, Zen Shin Talks

Mclayne Ycmat is a 21-year old that embodies the spirit of blossoming talent and fully embraces the relentless abilities of his youth. His inspiring conviction in work ethic allows his art to speak for itself in a language that both minimalists and romantics revel in.

In our interview below, Mclayne dispels some of the stigmas around the collective behavior of fashion folk. He recognizes the invaluable advantage of basic human kindness and seeks self renewal by nurturing genuine relationships around him - a quality seldom observed in competitive industries.

Mclayne has been living in New York City for the last three years but he grew up in North Salt Lake, Utah. What is perhaps the most enchanting part of his story is the vast potential he saw in himself in contrast to his monotonous beginnings but most importantly, he tells us that even the greatest of potential is null without hard work and perseverance.

 Tom, 2013  Photography and Styling: McLayne Ycmat  Model: Tom Trandt

Tom, 2013

Photography and Styling: McLayne Ycmat

Model: Tom Trandt

Ugly Magazine // What or who in your life had a major influence on where you are and where you’re going?

Mclayne Ycmat // The idea that I could change myself based off of my own will. I had a strong desire growing up to aspire to some sort of fantasy, to escape what I eventually found mundane, and I found that through fashion. I took pride in creating a persona every day in my personal style growing up, and that evolved into creating personas for other people. Art direction, what I consider my craft, allows me to fulfill the same fantasy I once created for myself, just on a larger level.  

UM// Why do you believe it is advantageous to be able to change based off your own will and create personas in an artistic realm?

MY// The design world, particularly in fashion, is always changing. I think the most successful people in the industry are able to cater to a spectrum of styles, not only the style they personally identify with. Being able to change on will helps designers like myself create the best work possible for a wide audience.

UM// What does a good day in New York City look like for you?

MY// As a sort of extreme extrovert, I tend to measure my days in New York by the amount of social interaction I have. A really great day would be filled with plans to be with a lot of people I find interesting of genuine. I also enjoy finding spots in New York that I’ve never been to before. I guess a good day for me would be very busy.

UM// What is your general impression after having lived in New York as a student at Parson’s?

 Nicole Tejada Thesis Collection – “Holy Mountain”  Art Direction, Styling, and Photography: McLayne Ycmat  Model: Luke Dortch

Nicole Tejada Thesis Collection – “Holy Mountain”

Art Direction, Styling, and Photography: McLayne Ycmat

Model: Luke Dortch

MY// This is a question I seem to change my answer of every year. Parsons was my segway into the life I have now, and I respect it as such. Apart from that, I don’t think Parsons creates great designers. Once you’re past your first adjustment year here, your focus shifts entirely on practice. Parsons doesn’t give you talent. The students who were amazingly talented the first year here are the same ones who create the best theses in their last year. With that said, I learned that work ethic will always surpass talent, and the hardest working students become perceived as the most talented. Parsons, in a nutshell, will seem to cater to the hardest working students because they deserve it.

Aside from the schoolwork, my “Parsons experience” has been my relationship with New York City rather than the school itself, similar to the majority of my classmates.

UM// Can you elaborate on what you mean by your relationship with New York?

MY// Meeting people, making friends, getting internships, going to parties, and essentially just learning about the pace here. It’s unique to anywhere else.

UM// As a young creative in a hurried city and industry, what coping methods have you undoubtedly established to stay motivated?

MY// I try to take time to show the people I care about that I genuinely care about them. This city makes you insanely career based, and it becomes very easy to fall into a state where all that matters are your accomplishments. Remembering that my relationships with people are more important to me than my work helps me stay grounded.

UM// What ideas are you currently working on that excite you?

MY// I’m working more and more with my own photography, which I never intended on exploring, but it’s a great way to showcase my own ideas.

UM// If you could give your freshman self advice for the future, what would it be?

MY// Hard work will always surpass talent.

We couldn't agree more. Stay tuned for more on Mclayne Ycmat as we're sure this won't be the last you hear on him. Stay Ugly! 

@mycmat //  All images courtesy of

Olivia Kirkpatrick