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Designer Confirms That Steamy Jonathan Majors Shoot Was Inspired by His Favorite Anime

Jonathan Majors gets all Doffy for Ebony

One of the reasons I wish I was more into anime is because the looks are insane. In a good way, most of the time. Even if the outfits make no sense, I feel like the artists who design anime outfits really pop off in the best ways possible. Therefore, it’s no surprise to me that some artists and designers take inspiration directly from their favorite animes.

Such a thing happened for Ebony’s recent Feb 2023 cover shoot, featuring Jonathan Majors. I’m gonna need y’all to take a deep breath for these images, because…:

Sorry, is it warm in here? Sorry. Sorry. Okay. What were we talking about … right, anime.

The stylist, Alexander-Julian Gibbson, has confirmed that this shoot was directly inspired by One Piece. From what I’ve seen of One Piece, I totally believe it, and I love the vision here. One Piece is Gibbson’s favorite anime andm clearly, he was ecstatic for a chance to show his love via fashion.

This is just so utterly delightful! Fashion hits its highest peaks when the stylists let their passions come to play, and clearly, passion was at play for this shoot. Not only is it great press for Majors’ upcoming role as Kang, but it’s also just such a bright exclamation of love for both fashion and nerd culture and how Blackness fits into both things.

Discussions surrounding anime can often feel exclusionary to Black fans, since as we all probably know by now, people can be superb dickheads about the most ridiculous things. But this is why positive visibility is important, right? It’s good to show people that you can be who you are and openly like the things you like, so that they can see you and feel more comfortable being themselves. Yet another reason why this photoshoot is so damn cool: it puts Black nerdiness on full display, in a way that’s beautiful, fun, and yes, very sexy.

Gibbson and Majors, you both did great! Can’t wait to see what you do next.

(featured image: Alexander-Julian Gibbson, via Ebony Mag)

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Madeline (she/her) is a writer, dog mom, and casual insomniac. Her prior experiences with media have taken her down many different roads, from local history podcasts to music coverage & production. Niche interests include folk music, elves/wizards, and why horses are cool actually.