Hello there 🙂
At first glance, you may think you know everything you need to know about Draya Michele – she's been in the spotlight for some time – and you can probably remember her days on the reality television program Basketball women, B.But don't twist it: Michele is the definition of what it means to be a multihyphenate creative. She is an actress, entrepreneur, designer and, in her own words, "mother first". But beyond that, Michele is the kind of person young women look at in color when they're looking for a guide on how to move around the world, and even though she still finds out and her trip was far from perfect, she stubbornly built her life from humble beginnings on her own terms. If that's not inspiring, I'm not sure what it is. But enough of me. In front of you you will hear everything about her from Draya Michele herself Spin the collaboration to develop Representation in the media.
More about Draya Michele: She grew up in Pennsylvania and currently lives in Los Angeles. She is an actress, designer and ambassador for Savage x Fenty, Michele launched her own swimwear line Mint Swim in 2011 and most recently worked on a collection with Revolve.
They came from humble beginnings and have managed to build themselves up from scratch. What advice would you give your younger self on the trip?
I would tell my younger self that I shouldn't get involved with what you want to do for a career. Everyone doesn't know what they want to be, and I definitely had problems with it in my 20s. I didn't feel like I knew it fully until I was about 27, so I'm telling girls who are younger than me and still have problems that it's okay not to know. If you feel you know it, you may – but there will also be times when you feel safe about something, and it's okay to switch when it doesn't feel right , You may have grown up all your life thinking you wanted to be a nurse. If you learn from learning that you don't want to be a nurse, it's okay to switch. It is also okay to be several things. You don't have to be just one thing. I never knew what I would be, and now I am several things. So you don't have to limit yourself to one thing or one way.
Why do you think it is so important, as a colored person, that someone who was part of reality television and retired knows the image that we both represent and consume in the media landscape? And how do you think we can change the way color communities appear on TV and beyond?
I think reality television has grown so much over the years – the audience and the reach it has – and when you get to African American shows like mine, there are stereotypes that go with it, and there are People who are not familiar with the black culture that will see the show and believe that this is what women represent in color, and that is not the case. I didn't want to take part anymore because as a black woman I know that we are so much more than that and there aren't enough shows that make our crowd stand out. But I think times are changing and there are programs that are specifically written about colored women and that make us stand out. We play more doctors, lawyers, teachers and great mothers. Now is the time for women to be highlighted and celebrated by color directors, writers and producers, and I think things will only get better over time.
You were biracial and grew up in Pennsylvania. How, if anything, have you influenced how you deal with style and beauty?
Since I'm from Pennsylvania, I didn't grow up knowing how to make cool makeup or great hair. Where I come from, you are beautiful, depending on how you have styled your baby hair. And the glossiest lip gloss you could buy made you beautiful. Baby hair and lip gloss were as simple and complex as possible. I learned from a young age that less is more. Sometimes makeup and over-styled hair are a little too much for me, so I try to be as effortless as possible because I grew up that way.
What inspired you to design?
I've always had a penchant for clothes and everything beautiful and expensive. I only dreamed of creating clothes that I couldn't afford in my youth.
What originally led you to create your Mint swimwear line?
Mint Swim was an idea that I had when I was in Pennsylvania and that I needed and that I needed deep in my soul to move to LA to manifest. And that's exactly what I did. I came to LA and started the line.
What's the story behind your Superdown with Revolve collection?
I had worked with Revolve for about three years. I had already worn many of the brands that run them and loved them. When they came to me and had the opportunity to work with their latest line, Superdown, I was totally thrilled. I wanted girls to be able to wear things that I wear and that they were my own creations, so the opportunity was perfect.
What is your approach when it comes to creating clothes? And what is the inspiration for Superdown?
I definitely think of things that I like to do. I definitely have a good time and go out. But I also try to think about what's going on in social media, what current trends are and what my followers are asking for. Ultimately, I only design for the women who follow me and for the woman who trusts herself.
And for spring there is a certain trend that you are looking forward to with your own line or in general?
Well, I started leaning towards pastel colors that had never been included in my color clothing range, but I decided to include them in my line to almost force myself to wear them. And I loved it! In addition to pastel colors, we're moving into the March festival season after February, and I'm excited about that as we begin to promote our festival clothing. And these are a few lighter colors – neons, dazzling sequins. So I would definitely say that I'm looking forward to more colors and colorful pieces in spring.
Can you name one or three other designers that inspire you and why?
I love Victoria Beckham as a person and what she represents as a designer. I really enjoyed seeing the development of Rihanna's career. I've been chasing her from the start and she's really just that damn powerhouse. And I'm a fan of Stella McCartney and everything that she and her brand represent with their commitment to sustainability and the use of vegan fabrics.
How would you describe your personal style?
I definitely have two different styles: one for the day you catch me in great jeans and a neutral top (whether black, white, gray, ivory, beige), and I love a body. Jean combo for the day. And for the evening I like everything with gloss and shine and metallic and a lot of black and patent leather. I am definitely dressed to go out at night and very casual during the day.
What does every woman need from day to night?
The most common answer would be a little black dress, but I'll be a rebel and say a little white dress because I don't follow the rules for wearing white in fashion. I think you can wear a white dress with a cute pair of sneakers during the day in all seasons, but then you can dress it up with another pair of shoes for the evening and it can easily pass over.
What are one to three key pieces in your wardrobe that you cannot live without?
I have a great leather biker jacket from Tom Ford that is a staple in my closet. I have had it for a few years and the older and more robust it gets the better. I also love a really great over the knee boot. A few years ago I was too shy to wear thigh boots. I thought you had to be a superstar or someone who is extremely famous to wear thigh high boots and I just felt like if I was wearing them people would say, "Where the hell does she think she's going? " But now I live in them and I have a great pair of Saint Laurent that I wear on every occasion. After all, my last staple is a great bikini. I love everything from my line, Mint Swim. I've made really great ones that have lasted over the years. In fact, I don't buy new bikinis because I still wear my own, and it is important to invest in a suit that is not too trendy, with simple, clean lines that can keep you going over the years.
You have your clothes, but do you have effortless beauty looks or hairstyles that you can rely on as a busy mother?
I love a middle part low bun. I am not a fan of high buns. You look good for other people, but I love a low bun. I feel like it just accentuates your face and gives everyone an off-duty model look.
Do you have Holy Grail beauty products that you stick to?
I love everything from Sunday Riley, but I swear by their Good Genes Serum. It's super concentrated, which is rare because it's difficult to find good spa-quality products that are affordable.
What does your beauty routine look like?
I really think it depends on what's going on in my life because one day a week I'm the girl who gives me an extreme facial at home or I'm going to get a facial. But I am also the girl who will fall asleep with a full make-up after a hard night, which is bad, but I am definitely to blame. But it all depends on how much time I spent caring for my skin.
And finally, what's the biggest lesson you've learned, not just as an entrepreneur but also as a mother?
I learned time management. You have to be able to prioritize what is important to you and if you want to follow your passions you have to accept that you are busy and you have to prioritize the things you love most.
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