Before this shoot, I was in the middle of a two week whirlwind mixed with life, work and creative projects. I had a massive meeting in Amsterdam at G-Star headquarters then bounced around Europe. I briefly came back to New York, went away again, then returned to New York one day before this shoot.
I was counting down the days to the "Word to the Woman" shoot filled with excitement. I got to work super early that morning, partially because of excitement and partially because I knew I had to leave a bit early to make it to the shoot...I guess I am telling on myself at this point, but I completed everything I needed to at the office before I hopped in an Uber. Sitting silently in the backseat I was grateful it was just 7 minute zip from where I was.
We shot in a quaint two bedroom, cozy apartment, the way I like homes to feel. As I entered the room I greeted the team, DJ Lindsey (one of the featured women) and Solange before I headed into the wardrobe room.
I opened the door to the warmest welcome and one of the most beautiful smiles by Lizzy Okpo, who styled the shoot and put all my butterflies at ease. After checking out my outfit option I headed to hair and make-up, nestled in a little boys room full of toys. Apart of me wanted to dig through them like I was 5 but I sat down and started to get pretty! I am an adult after all.
I turned around and literally choked on my words. Neal Ferinah was doing my hair, I haven't seen him in about 15 years and he has known me before I was even born (when I was still in my mother's womb if we want to get exact). It was one of those moments when you know your stars are aligned and you are where you are supposed to be. What are the odds!
Everyone was moving fast and I was almost ready. I was most excited about my eye makeup because that is the one department where I literally can't do more then a black line. My eye makeup was bold and vibrant; beautiful tones of green and blues with a touch white to close the deal.
I quickly slipped into my nude ensemble, a color I don't often wear because of my pale complexion but the two -piece was to die for, and Lizzy's taste is impeccable.
My outfit was paired with the mono toned yellow suede Puma that I had already planned a few outfits around. I was a bit shy, nervous, anxious, and excited at the same time. The photographer, J. Quazi King was ready and so was I. The wall was white, the couch was concealed with a white throw, and the floors were wooden. I was briefed on the mood and took direction from Solange, you know a regular Wednesday afternoon!
She was so graceful as she showed me how to move and I realized I wasn't quite there yet... as I chuckled to myself. I tried to give a "fierce mean face" which somehow turned into a big teeth bearing smile, I think I was just too happy to even think an angry thought. It looks a lot easier than it is! Trust mii daddy **Skepta voice**.
I really loved the details of the books wrapped in salmon colored newspaper to boost the palette of the shot. It was minimal, soft, fresh, and innocent...a part of me that somehow was captured through every detail of my carefully curated environment.
Once we got the shot, I headed back to the wardrobe room for the video segment post rolling around on the couch. It all kind of made sense in that moment. I realized what the campaign was all about. The empowerment of women through a series of various visual stories that all lead to a road of greatness.
I have always admired women who had a voice, power, or wisdom who were not afraid to share it. Women who may see the light in another woman and pushes her to shine brighter. Women who dare to be themselves, take risks, be vulnerable, and love on purpose. These women are somewhat rare, because it takes a very particular type of woman to do this. This woman is selfless, loving, strong, willing, and able all balled into one. Somehow Solange was able to delve into a sea of women and handpick a few that to her innovate and redfine roles from varied walks of life.
In that moment, I stepped outside of my 9-5, my love for music, and my never-ending hustle to be embrace that special moment and be happy. I was beyond honored to be hand selected by Solange alongside such powerful and inspiring women. Here are some of the other women featured:
And if you don't know... Now you know!
Head to www.wordtothewoman.com for the full experience and www.saintheron.com to shop the collection.