CELEBRITY COVERGIRL: JANELLE MONAE FOR THEM MAGAZINE
Photographer: Justin French
Stylist: Solange Franklin
Hair Stylist: Nikki Nelms
Makeup Artist: Jessica Smalles
Set Designer: Kate Stein
Manicurist: Anjaneth Aguirre
Video: Julia Pitch
Brief excerpt from cover feature by Whembley Sewell:
When Janelle Monáe came out as queer in a Rolling Stone cover story last April, the revelation made headlines around the world. As one of the most prolific multi-hyphenate artists of a generation, her declaration carried immense weight, both for herself and for queer black women and LGBTQ+ people everywhere. The announcement was followed by the release of her most brilliant, vulnerable work to date: Dirty Computer, an album that was at its core about embracing the freedom one finds in self-exploration and discovery. Bold, unabashedly fluid anthems like “Pynk”, “Screwed,” and “Make Me Feel” further solidified Monáe as a leader for “free-ass motherfuckers” (as she delightfully referred to herself when coming out) everywhere, one who challenges social binaries and norms alike with grace and strength.
Always evolving sonically and aesthetically, today, Monáe is entering a new era of her genre-bending career. The constant, though, is her work, which remains centered in advocacy, agency, and empowerment, regardless of what form it takes. With reverence for the responsibility of an artist and activist, Monáe uses every platform she builds to amplify intersectional discourse about race, gender, and sexuality in new ways. She takes action in a way that makes everyone take notice.
Ioannes dress, gloves, and boots. Khiry earrings, $550
Peter Do blazer and trousers, $1,150-$2190. Khiry earrings, $550
Aisling Camps top, $345. Versace skirt, $1,000. Alighieri earrings, $430. Alighieri earrings worn over nipples, $275.