Twenty five-year-old Aleali May is best known for her impeccable Instagram feed, her online style diary, as well as her work with bold-faced clients including Lil Yachty and Kendrick Lamar. She started her career at Virgil Abloh’s RSVP Gallery in Chicago, and recently became the first female to collaborate with Nike on a unisex Jordan sneaker. May basically looks like she could be Aaliyah’s little sister, and her signature aesthetic fuses streetwear with high fashion labels in a way that’s totally unique. When she’s not busy flexing on the ‘gram or jet setting to fashion events, she’s an active volunteer at the Nichiren Buddhist Center. Here, she takes CR through her whirlwind New York Fashion Week.
Wednesday, Day One
I flew in from Los Angeles yesterday. Today, they’re celebrating China Day at NYFW, and CLOT—this cool streetwear label from Hong Kong—asked me to walk the show. I am honored to do it. My call time is 4pm, and the show is at 6pm. I’m not as nervous today as I usually am. This is the third fashion show I’ve walked in, and I’m blessed to walk with many of my peers―predominantly influencers in streetwear culture including Sean Wotherspoon, Nigel Sylvester, Doctor Woo, Christina Paik—and many models I walked alongside for Kith’s NYFW show last season. The show was a success, and I felt much more comfortable with my walk.
Thursday, Day Two
I’m headed to a shoot featuring myself as the model. As a stylist, I get many requests to style myself for these kinds of stories, but this time someone else is styling me, and I’m always open to trying on different aesthetics and getting into character. The makeup and outfits are lit! No one has seen me before in the kinds of looks the stylist chose, and I couldn’t have been happier with the creative. I appreciate them keeping my signature middle part for my hair, but taking the clothing to the next level. Can’t wait to see the film!
Went to support Renell [Medrano] and A$AP Ferg at Ferg’s “Forever Ferg” documentary premiere party. The movie is definitely something people should watch. Ferg tells the story from his childhood to current life as a rap star. I end the night listening to “Under The Bridge” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Friday, Day Three
I get to literally have breakfast at Tiffany’s! Renell is hosting an intimate gathering at the Tiffany & Co. Blue Box Café. Some of my friends like Justine Skye, Kalysse [Anthony], Cindy [Chen], DJ OG Chase B, Hailey Baldwin, Luka Sabbat and others turn out to celebrate.
Saturday, Day Four
I’m stoked because it’s my first time being invited to Alexander Wang, and this will be his last NYFW show. He’s one of my favorite designers, and I always want pretty much everything he makes. I did a fitting to pull some pieces to wear to the show, and get to live out my Alexander Wang front row dream in a pair of dope thorn Wang heels, which were a chic change from my usual sneakers or boots.
Whitney Olsen stops by at 4:30 to do my makeup for the show, and I request a vampy black cherry lip, which is perfect for my outfit. Ready to head out!
The show at 4 Times Square was easily one of the highlights of my week, and I had an amazing seat. I need every piece from the collection―lots of Matrix-worthy black and silver embellishments, just how I like it. One of my favorite looks featured a clear plastic vest over the jacket. I swear I wouldn’t need any other clothes if I could only have this item in my closet!
Seeing the “CEO” and working woman theme just reminds me of how Beyoncé kills. That may sound random, but I just love Beyoncé #BeyHive. She emulates the ultimate female BOSS!
Sunday, Day Five
Attending Sies Marjan for the first time. I love the color palette and textures; and the runway light fixtures remind me of work by one of my favorite artists, James Turrell!
Monday, Day Six
I’m meeting with my Chanel peeps at 11AM to view the new Haute Couture collection and catch up with the team. It’s always amazing to see the craftsmanship and detail that goes into each piece. Every time I’m face to face with a Chanel Couture piece I feel like a newborn baby in fashion; I still have so much to see and learn.
After having tacos and Jarritos soda with my friend at our usual spot, La Esquina, I have three shows back to back―Phillip Lim, Oscar de la Renta, and Area―and I’m trying to figure out how to change outfits in between.
For ODLR, I’m dressed in Oscar denim and fur, and Off-White boots. But I have to admit I’m jealous of all the gorgeous gowns on the runways. My new bodysuit from Wolford is a must. Its fabric and structure make it well worth the purchase. So simple but so hard to come by.
Tuesday, Day Seven
It’s my first-ever Coach show and I’m sitting front row. I love the label’s shearling jackets and got to choose one to wear today, along with leather pants, a purse, and boots. The runway set resembled a dark forest that complemented all the major outerwear in earth tones.
I was sad to have missed the Area show yesterday because of traffic, so I wore their pants and oversize hoops to Vaquera today―no Kira Kira filter required! For me, Vaquera has that vibe of underground rawness. The runway is full of bold shapes and my favorite material of the moment, corduroy. It’s prominently featured in my Air Jordan collaboration, and I loved Vaquera’s statement corduroy cowboy hat and cargo pants.
Afterwards, I’m chilling until Calvin Klein at night. Paired my marching band-inspired CK look with Off-White boots, Reserved sunglasses and a black puffer (queue Missy Elliott song). My quilted Chanel Spring 2018 bag is the cherry on top. Raf at Calvin was the move. It’s refreshing to see his take on such an iconic brand, Raf has all the sauce. He’s mixing workwear, street, and luxury into one concept.
Wednesday, Day Eight
I’m leaving tomorrow morning and trying to figure out how to get all these clothes back to Los Angeles. I’m always a bit sad to say goodbye to NYC. I love the hustle but also appreciate L.A. for allowing me to chill out.
Stop by my friend Brick Owens’ pop-up shop he had at a flower shop for his clothing brand B.Stroy. The Atlanta native represents the street culture underground scene. Deconstructed and upside down, it reminds me of deja vu from the apocalypse to come…. If you love Rick Owens, Raf Simons, Margiela, and Junya [Watanabe], you’ll appreciate B.Stroy.
Ending NYFW with a bang by attending my first Marc Jacobs store. The first fashion images I remember are the ads with Victoria Beckham’s legs dangling out of a MJ shopping bag. Shout out to 1992! My look for the show is a futuristic jumpsuit that reminds me of one of my favorite movies, Zenon.
In the case of Marc and NYFW, the best was definitely saved for last. From the ’80s drama to the lights carrying the shadows of the models and the music which reminded me of Harry Potter and Edward Scissorhands, I couldn’t stop getting goosebumps. Marc is always here to remind us what creativity looks like. What a way to end my week, peace out!
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