The sky is the limit for social media star Myles Sexton, who is adding podcaster to their many roles.
It’s kinda hard to believe that Myles Sexton was once a sheltered country boy who had never heard of Madonna or Cher. “When I finally left my little town and moved to Halifax, people would ask me which one I liked and I had to say, ‘I don’t know who either of those people are,’” laughs Sexton from their airy living room in their Waubaushene, Ont., home, just steps away from Georgian Bay. “It was a bit of a culture shock because I didn’t grow up with any of that.”
The makeup artist, activist and social media star describes being raised in a house that was “tucked in the woods on a hill overlooking a beautiful river and giant willow trees.” The property was in Nova Scotia on the border of Newport Corner and Brooklyn, which had a combined population of fewer than 2,000. “My parents lived a very simple, beautiful country life,” explains Sexton. “They never really believed in TV or video games or things like that. They would just tell me to go outside and not come back in until the sun went down. So I would explore the forest and see what I could find and watch the plants grow. Nature will always be a part of what grounds me.”
In August, Sexton and their fiancé bought their home in Waubaushene as a way to bring more balance to their life. You would never know it from Sexton’s bouncy persona — where they often begin a social post with a cheery “Hey cuties!” — but city life was taking its toll. “I am so bad at saying no,” they admit. “I wasn’t taking any time for myself, and I think I was burning out.” Demands included content creation for advertising partners, appearances on shows like Cityline and The Social and ambassadorial duties for the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research (CANFAR). On top of that, Sexton had a full-time job as an educator for Fenty Beauty, which had them flying all over Canada and to the United States. “It was intense,” they say.
They decided to kiss their Fenty Beauty role goodbye and take weekends off as well as a break in the middle of the day to walk Atlas, their Australian cattle dog. “I’ve been blown away by how much wildlife we see here,” they smile, citing a bear and lots of deer. “And there are these giant woodpeckers that are the size of a cat.”
The return to nature has been super healing for Sexton. “I’m really big into Japanese forest bathing,” they share. “I truly believe that trees give off particles that we absorb through our skin and they reduce our stress, anxiety and blood pressure.”
This new chapter has also come with new projects. Sexton will take on more of a leadership role with Sexfluent, CANFAR’s youth-focused HIV and sexual-empowerment program. (Sexton is HIV+.) And in January, they released their first video as part of an ongoing partnership with Jean Paul Gaultier. “It’s me talking about HIV and getting to celebrate JPG’s fragrance and fashion,” they say. “So that was really a big one. JPG has been my favourite brand since I was baby Myles.”
Next on the horizon is a podcast, which is an extension of Sexton’s advocacy work. “I’ll be covering different topics around inclusive language and creating awareness about HIV/AIDS and sobriety,” they explain. “This will allow me to go into more depth compared to in a 60-second video.”
And like many of us, Sexton is reconciling their love of fashion with their sense of responsibility. “I’m trying to be as conscious as I can,” they say. They seek out small-batch indie designers such as Montreal’s Denis Gagnon, whose high-waisted wide-leg trousers have been a go-to for five-plus years. Toronto jewellery designer Jenny Bird and gender-free, queer-focused New York brand Fang are other favourites.
With a wardrobe that includes body-con dresses and thigh-high boots, Sexton admits to being nervous about how their new neighbours were going to receive them. “I was dressing down when I would go to the grocery store and Costco and things like that,” they say. “And then people started recognizing me from TikTok and they’d be like, ‘Oh, you’re not wearing your regular outfits.’” So Sexton amped up the fashion factor, which has sparked a different, somewhat bemused, reaction. “Now, every time I leave the house, they’re like, ‘Are you going to an event?’”
Photography by NICK MERZETTI. Creative direction by GEORGE ANTONOPOULOS. Styling by ASHLEY GALANG. Hair by DUYEN HUYNH for LAKMÉ. Makeup by MYLES SEXTON. Prop styling: LAURA BRANSON. Photo assistant: RYAN FRANCOZ. Fashion assistant: KAREEM ALLAN MCCLEAN.
This article first appeared in FASHION’s Summer 2023 issue. Find out more here.