December 22, 2014 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Timothy Rimmer’s daily confrontation with his closet can be something of a skirmish. Some days it’s an all-out battle. His wardrobe selections are anything but a grab-and-go affair. Just what guise will the unisex model and freelance stylist don today? From sequins to serge and from pinstripes to pedal pushers, this gender-bending denizen of the Old Market has some important decisions to make.

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“I’m a fashion adventurer,” says the Atlanta transplant whose stylist and performance career has had him criss-crossing the nation over the last two decades. “I always knew I was creative, even as a small child. I like things that are just a little…different.”

Rimmer’s work has been seen in such publications as Black Sophisticate, Pashion, and Real Style.

Looking beyond the glitz and glamor, Rimmer’s dual identities cloak a deeply spiritual persona. He directed a 150-voice choir in Mississippi and he’s raised his voice in praise with guest appearances on the Bobby Jones Gospel television show and in other gigs across the South. His life, he says, has had him inhabiting opposing worlds, ones that had him doing a delicate balancing act between what he describes as being “street-wise versus church-wise.”

Performing was also something that molded the identity of the artist who was shuttled between Chicago and Mississippi as a child while later being raised by his aunt after his mother died.

“My early life was a lot of back-and-forth, back-and-forth,” he says, “and I know that had a lot to do with shaping who I am today. My dad wasn’t there and my momma had mental health issues. It could get pretty tough at times, you know, a lot of drinking and other things. I had to fend for myself quite a bit, knocking on neighbor’s doors looking for food,” he adds. “I grew up in juke joints, and that’s where I learned to sing and dance.”

The very act of “being Timothy,” as he describes it, results in a roller coaster ride of ever-morphing identities.

“One day it’s classic chic,” he says. “The next it might be throwback punk and,  after that, couture. I’m just fascinated with…with being myself. I’m just fascinated with life.”