Scrolling through Justine Skye’s Instagram profile, there’s one thing that’s apparent—this girl is cool. Her page is a raw, real glimpse into her life, boasting photos with Kendall Jenner and Hailey Bieber, Halloween fit pics, and mirror selfies juxtaposed with red carpet glam and sultry song snippets. Her confidence is obvious, and her positivity is infectious.
Skye has been a staple across social media platforms for years, getting her start on Tumblr as a purple-haired 16-year-old who went by the screen name The Purple Unicorn. Now, nearly a decade later, the rapper and model can add a new title to her repertoire: designer.
In collaboration with H&M, Justine Skye has released a dreamy 17-piece collection that’s a perfect personification of her own style. With pieces like bike shorts and cloud print one-pieces, the collaboration was inspired by everything from Skye’s childhood in Brooklyn to Princess Diana’s iconic '90s looks. “I am a big advocate for being comfortable but also fashionable and cute at the same time,” she said about the collection.
L’Officiel USA spoke with Skye about the inspiration behind the collection, her thoughts on Euphoria makeup, and more. Read the interview below.
When you first started brainstorming for your collection, what was your vision? What did you want to accomplish with it?
What I really wanted to accomplish with this collection was just giving people a sense of who I am and where I came from. You can see with the patterns in the collection, some of them are a play on my last name, Skye. For the sweatsuit, I was born in 1995 so I just contributed that aspect as well as some slogans that I noticed while growing up in Brooklyn. That’s where the “How Sweet” slogan came from because when you entered Brooklyn on the highway, it used to say, “How sweet it is." I wanted to pay homage to where I’m from and my culture as well. In Jamaican culture, we love patterns and colors and I wanted it to be as vibrant as it could be but still in season. We chose to do a sky blue, just because it’s a beautiful color. In the plaid, we chose to do some darker colors. In the all-over prints, too, they’re something that I saw a lot of growing up and being in Jamaica. We love patterns and love to have an all-over fit. I wanted to bring that aspect into the collection as much as possible.
Were you inspired by any specific designers or styles for the pieces?
Not specifically any designers, but with the athleisure aspect of it, I love to be comfortable. I love to present that to other people because sometimes fashion can be extremely uncomfortable. I am a big advocate for being comfortable but also fashionable and cute at the same time. So, with this collection, we made it sporty and kind of athleisure-inspired, which I got in part from seeing paparazzi photos of Princess Diana in her biker shorts and sweaters. That’s what inspired the sweatshirt and the biker shorts.
You’re from Brooklyn—how did growing up in New York influence your sense of style?
I’d say it influenced my sense of style by allowing me to be free and creative and not to be boxed in. I wouldn’t give a title as to what my style is because it’s still growing every day. What I would say is that it’s very emotion-based, and most of the time I like to be comfortable and wear something that is eye-catching.
Your generation is one that came of age on Tumblr and social media. How has the internet impacted your vision for the things that you want to create?
It’s probably inspired me in the same way that New York has, that it can be distracting because there are so many different things that we can pay attention to. You can describe it as being a palette of so many different things and cultures and colors, so you can make it whatever you want it to be. It’s another platform you can use to express yourself and try different things.
Do you have any favorite fashion or beauty social media trends right now?
For me, I like to keep it simple as much as I can. Maybe just a pop of color every now and then. I know that everyone is super into the crystals and everything that are popular in makeup now, the Euphoria makeup. I guess what’s made me inspired is the minimalistic, abstract beauty things. Like, different shaped eyeliners and using different colored blushes. Really experimenting with it, because it’s cooler. It’s cool to be minimal but have something pop. Like, oh, wow, that’s a cool line right there even though it’s just one line. It brings it all together.
What did you learn from making Bare With Me?
This EP is my first release independently. It’s been my best release. Something that I realized from this is to follow my instincts, believing in myself, and things happen for a reason. I’m not upset about anything that happened in my past that brought me to who I am today. It was an awakening to see the reactions from everyone else to the music. It’s really about trusting myself.
You’ve been playing shows for the EP for the past couple of weeks. What’s your favorite part about performing live?
My favorite part about performing live is just my interaction with the crowd. Being an artist is one of the most beautiful things that you can be, whether you’re a visual artist or whatever it is, you’re able to touch so many people around the world that you didn’t even know. You’re basically helping them get through a moment or inspiring them to be better, and it’s such a great opportunity and a great place to be, to be able to inspire other people unintentionally. You just want to express yourself. In doing that, you’ve touched someone.
The crowds look like they know all of the lyrics and they’re singing along with you while you’re performing, which seems like it would be such a cool experience.
Yeah. Hearing people recite your lyrics… I don’t know any other feeling like that.
What’s something that you have to have in the green room? Like, what has to be there when you get there?
Something that needs to be in there is tea. I always drink throat coat tea just to get me prepared. Also, Twizzlers. Licorice is really good for your voice, and it’s a really tasty treat. It just distracts me from my nerves, I’ll play around with a couple of Twizzlers.
What are you listening to right now?
Something that I’ve had on repeat is that new Frank Ocean song, “In My Room.”
Do you have any plans for the end of the year or for the holiday season?
Well, right now, I’m working on my next project, which is going so great. I’m really excited about that. I’m excited to see the reactions from everyone about the collection. I’m also dropping some visuals soon to go with the EP.