Whether you’re a creative, entrepreneur, or just a downright admirer of fashion within Denver’s fashion community, Zoid Ham is one of the best resources you can turn to. Artist by trade, Ham has made his mark in both fashion and art all while making it a priority to give back to his community.
From the moment of involving himself in local events and “being in the scene as a young artist,” Ham tells NWÀ , he has immersed himself into Denver’s fashion culture. From attending and participating in fashion shows, styling short films and editorial collections to being one of Denver’s most creative designers, Ham’s experience has taught him over the years what it is exactly that Denver excels at and what it is that our beloved city tends to lack when it comes to influence in the fashion world.
2017 is the golden year to which Ham began styling. Like most stylists, it all started when someone commented on his personal style. After having his hands in both editorial and film work, he would then be asked to participate in Westword’s Artopia. When asked to be a part in this event, Ham had only one goal: to project a new approach to hip-hop culture and to tell the stories of how not only art or just fashion; but the two intertwined together; can allow us to create and truly feel our own value.
Once his styling grew, Ham realized that this was a goal he’d like to make subsistent. “Once I became more recognized, my styling became more personal styling related,” said Ham. “It became a goal to help people look and feel good as a way of an art form.”
“I don’t like fashion that is just art. I’m looking to have people stand out and make them feel like [physical] art work whenever they’re out and about.” Ham revealed to NWÀ . After a short period of being a contributor to Denver’s fashion and art scene, he decided to take matters into his own hands. Lo and Behold, Zoid Art Haus—a place where he could do exactly that.
After starting a boutique that operated as a rental closet as well as your standard boutique, Ham decided that he wanted to continue his effort of allowing a space for people to tell their own stories while using fashion. “I just got tired of seeing big companies like H&M and Gucci, appropriate culture,” said Ham. “They don’t pay any respect to it; more so than not, they exploit it.”
Tired of cultural stories being misrepresented in mainstream media, Ham thought it best to offer his city and his community an outlet to freely express the stories they want to create and be seen under their own circumstances.
In addition to being a positive influence and resource to his community artistically, Ham also uses his fashion-involved platform to sustain its economy. From the moment he started Zoid Art Haus, his sole purpose was to let people know that it is possible to look just as fly in something that is recycled or repurposed just as it is possible when going out to these mass retailers and buying pieces that are brand new.
Ham took the time to educate himself on the fashion industry’s process of producing clothing. After realizing the harmful effects and becoming educated on the takeaway(s) of the resources that are beneficial to the sustainability of our environment, he found that going to different local thrift shops, online thrifting, and reusing what we have already in our closets and just turning it into something new can give any piece new life—and as a bonus: it is uniquely yours.
Although his discovery in sustainable fashion production has helped him to be a viable fashion influence and resource for the Denver fashion community, Ham has started a new venture to be even more influential to his peers and seniors, but in a different kind of way.
“I like to express my art on different mediums,” said Ham. One of those mediums: healthy cooking. Like all of us in the time of COVID-19, Ham has had to pivot when it came to his lifestyle, his habits, his spending, and even his entrepreneurialism. While his boutique continued to prosper during this time, he found a new opportunity that not only helped him make an additional small dollar, but would still fall in alignment of his original goal: to help people look and feel good.
“I see no point in making a dollar when I can give back to the community,” said Ham after realizing that he had been exposed to processed and chemical-filled foods all his life—and not just him; his loved ones, his friends, and his neighbors were all being exposed to harmful diets as well. Before taking care of others, Ham started with himself. He took a look at how he was eating, what he was eating and how whatever he was eating would make him feel. After his analyzation, Ham transitioned into a more healthy-eating lifestyle but would save his coins by preparing his healthy meals himself.
Once his family, friends, and followers took note of his progress and saw the delicious meals he was preparing on Instagram, they gaslit him to start selling the same plates they would see on his feed. “My friends would just say, ‘bro that looks good.’ and would ask me to make them something.” So began The Midnight Vegan. No longer did Ham look at this as a hobby but rather an opportunity to give back.
In addition to providing his community with healthy alternatives from his catering business, Ham still felt as if he could give back on a greater scale. Overtime, his plates began to see more sales and his food Instagram page even more followers. Once he was able, he started to cook his vegan-made meals charitably for local foodbanks and health organizations—donating a quarter of his sales periodically.
Because of his illimitable support in his community, people have turned around and given that same amount of support back. Whether it is in fashion, art or food, Ham is using his creativity to not only show Denver that we can do things differently and still create and be of some sort of value; but he is uplifting us to do so by being a reputable influence that pushes the idea of how extending support and care for the people around us can push us further as a community, as a city, and as a society.