COVER STORY: LA’SHAUNAE STEWARD IS FASHION’S NEXT SUPERSTAR // Monachopsis Magazine
La’Shaunae. Her unforgettable moniker plays over and over again in my head like a mantra as I mentally prepare myself to have a chat with the latest fashion influencer to break the internet (hey Paper, please don’t sue us, thanks), who just so happens to reside in the same city as Monachopsis HQ.
During this preparation I’m careful to taper my expectations so as not to be disappointed, as a handful of the influencers I’ve crossed paths with in this profession can sometimes carry their URL fame to nauseating extremes with IRL interactions, often overstating their importance and minimizing us normal folks in the process. (A shrill “Do you even KNOW who I am?!” still rings in my ears to this day as I instinctively remember these less-than-stellar encounters, haunting me like resurfaced photos of my 2014 hair style or a DM from an ex-boyfriend filled with unsolicited–and equally unremarkable–dick pics.)
Meeting La’Shaunae, however, proved to be a totally different experience altogether. With an Instagram account full of sassy quips, esteem-boosting affirmations that would leave Tyra herself shook, and a homegrown aesthetic that looks like it was ripped out of a 90s issue of Dazed & Confused (now known only as Dazed), I thought I was in for the “take no shit, I’m 100% that bitch” interview of the century–and don’t get me wrong, I totally was, just not in the ways that I originally expected.
Although she is certainly blessed with Bad Bitch Energy™ that undoubtedly commands a room, the 22-year-old aspiring model also possesses a soft-spoken demeanor and is rife with incredible stories about her humble beginnings in the industry. Upon admiring her inviting gap-toothed grin à la Slick Woods, I felt like I’d found my long-lost BFF as we gushed about our favorite queens on RuPaul’s Drag Race and spoke openly about our struggles with depression. It’s rare yet refreshing to meet a human so deeply entrenched in online fame that’s still so surprisingly relatable. Read More