Emmanuel Mones

Emmanuel Mones creates men’s streetwear brand to prompt public discussion of gender, sexuality, and equality

Emmanuel Mones
B.F.A., Visual Arts
Magna Cum Laude
Hometown: Columbia, Maryland
Plans: To launch a men’s streetwear brand, ALT.MASC

The UMBC visual arts department gave me this great balance of guidance and freedom that has helped me come to realize what it is that I want to pursue in my future. My mentors taught me to see the value of my personal experiences as source material for my work. They taught me the sound of my own creative voice.

Emmanuel Mones has capped off an innovative and fruitful creative career at UMBC with a thought-provoking senior project: creating the men’s streetwear brand ALT.MASC.

Developed through the support of an Undergraduate Research Award, “ALT.MASC: Redefining Masculinity through Fashion and Photography” seeks to challenge existing, limited models of masculinity with alternative visions of masculinity that are more inclusive. Through fashion and photography, Mones hopes to encourage public discourse on gender, sexuality, and equality. After graduation, Mones plans to launch the ALT.MASC brand and its accompanying publication, Wonderboy Magazine.

Mones shares that this image will be one of the covers for the future Wonderboy Magazine, which reflects his time at UMBC in combining the skills he’s learned as an artist with the creative voice he’s honed, exploring his identity as a queer immigrant person of color.

Mones shares that the faculty mentorship he received has been key in his growth as an artist addressing challenging societal questions. “Obviously, through my classes, I learned the craft of art making — photography, video, and design. But, in those classes, my professors gave me a lot of freedom to follow my own intellectual curiosities,” says Mones. “They encouraged me to ask my own questions, and to make use of the class projects to find answers.”

While at UMBC, Mones has received an Imagining America Scholarship and a Smithsonian Minority Awards Scholarship. He has also worked as an intern with the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center (APAC), and had an APAC fellowship the following year. He was also the recipient of the Bartleby Annual Prize from UMBC’s creative arts journal.

Portrait by Marlayna Demond ’11 for UMBC.