Ayra Starr is the ultimate fashion girl. Her wardrobe is at the intersection of Y2K sensibilities and Nigeria’s Alté subculture. Here are her best looks.
Ayra Starr's ascent is undeniable. But her music persona is only part of what makes her magnetic. The 20-year-old singer-songwriter has become the bold face of the Y2K revival. From her vivid music videos to her stylish magazine covers, Ayra’s wardrobe is at the intersection of Y2K sensibilities and Nigeria’s Alté subculture.
Y2K fashion emerged in the late '90s and became even more wild in the early aughts. International female singers (both solo and group) defined pop’s landscape with denim cut-offs, crop t-shirts, loose-fitting jeans, and diamante sunnies in their music videos. Figures in Nigeria’s music scene would later follow this blueprint.
Ayra’s style trajectory could also be traced to Nollywood of this era. Think of 2000s films like Behind Closed Doors, Games Men Play and Girls Cot. These films featured stars like Ini Edo, Rita Dominic, Stella Damasus, and Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, who were wearing skimpy spaghetti straps dresses, denim miniskirts, and tight crop shirts.
Ayra is the ultimate fashion girl. “[Her style is] like her music — fierce, opinionated, young, category defying and superfluid,” Pat Ada Eze, her stylists tells OkayAfrica. “She’s influenced by a lot of different things but mostly it’s the personalities she finds interesting. Other times, it could be places she visits, movies she’s just seen, she’s very in the moment and it’s constantly improving.”
Ayra’s star power is growing as an Afropop singer. But let's take a closer look at her fashion. Here are eight Ayra Starr looks that make the singer a Y2K style icon.
Ayra's look in the "Beggie Beggie" music video
When old Nollywood-themed parties became the wave in Nigeria in 2021 — and stretched into this year thanks to the viral clip from yungnollywood — Ayra thought she could experiment with the concept. She wanted to make a project that would be testament to that.
The "Beggie Beggie" video features an exhibit of girls wearing the sheerest of dresses — from denim mini skirts, chunky huge belts, velvety crop tops, thigh high boots, and laced heels. But Ayra is the baddest. Ada Eze wanted her to look like the star in her video, and she styled her into a sumptuous butterfly crop top doused in colorful sequins that was made by Eniyan cluster, with jeans — ripped and held in tiny pleats with crystal pins — by Storm-fit. For her glam look, her makeup artist Makari focused on her eyes, giving her a graphic metallic eyeliner. She finished the look off with red glossy lips.
Ayra's look in Skip Marley's "Jane" video
In Skip Marley’s new music video, for "Jane", Ayra is styled in a flirtatious teal halter neck dress with a tulip hem. One arm is sheathed in white opera gloves. Her body seems to hold a perfect accentuation of the dress, owing to her rhythmic body movements.
Ayra's look for the Deezer’s 'InVersions' campaign
Ayra has proven several times that she’s a big fan of gravity-defying skirts. She has paraded herself with the finest of shapes, texture, and styles, from pleated mini skirts to wraps and peplum skirts to splits.
For a recording session with Deezer’s InVersions '90s campaign where she sang the cover of TLC's "No Scrubs", Ayra styled herself in a chain belted voluminous tulle skirt, with a halter faux leather crop top accompanied with a neck to arm knitted net top.
Ayra's look at the 2022 Wireless Festival
In July, Ayra performed at the Wireless Festival held at the Finsbury Park in London. Ayra wore a silk playsuit paired with leather opera gloves and thigh high boots that accentuated both her body silhouette and sultriness.
Ayra's look during her ColorsxStudios performance
During a performance of "Asé" for ColorsxStudios, Ada Eze put her in a two piece outfit: a shocking pink, striped bandeau top, pleated mini skirt, and knee length pink fur boots. “For this look, we were trying to channel a femme but fierce energy,” she said. “In ‘Asé’ she sings about ignoring societal expectations and living for yourself. We wanted that represented in the look as much as we can while maintaining her sweet, young persona.”
Ayra's look in Wonderland Magazine
In the Wonderland magazine winter 2021 issue, Ayra was styled in a two piece leather crop top and trousers from Udara couture and a neck-strap top from Rey Orti. For a second look, Wonderland Editor-in-Chief, Toni-Blaze, styled her in a Gucci fur coat and boots and a leather plastic from Dior. She was photographed by Leanda Heler.
Ayra's celestial look
For this look, Ada Eze looped Ayra in with the corsetry, marking her first time hoping on the trend. The celestial outfit was a custom costume from the clothing brand Clepe, which consisted of a victorian-style blouse, mini shorts, thigh high socks, and french heels. The look was also heavily accessorized with long pearls.
Ayra's look during her debut concert
The first time Ayra Starr made her debut stage performance was in June 2021. It was a free show for her fans and she wore a fully redefined Y2K classic in a halter crop top, a sport short, thigh high socks and sneakers. It’s the effortlessness that makes this piece look good — the act of putting causal pieces of clothings that don’t make sense and getting a great result.