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Model Glue: Lashaia Artis

We talk to model and artist Lashaia Artis about fashion inspirations, spirit animals, and upcoming projects.


In our latest Model Glue we catch up with our lovely store model, artist Lashaia Artis, to get to know the inspiration behind her unmistakable style, her choice of spirit animal and what upcoming projects she's got going on. See what Lashaia had to say below.

You got style. How would you describe it in 3 words or less? Do you have a style icon?

I would describe my style as majestic, royal, and urban. Art is my only style icon.

Tell us a story from your childhood. Is there one story that your parents or siblings tell that encapsulates what you were like as a kid?

My mom couldn't tame the inner artist. While I was growing up from 5 years old I would drape sheets around my body and make turbans for my head. Also, going to kindergarten my mom would let me do my hair with too many hair clips — like 10 of them — and put on any crazy outfit I wanted.

What's your favorite item of clothing?

My favorite item of clothing is the sexy, sensual, sassy, sacred, sophisticated DRESS. I dress like I always have somewhere to go so I can go places in life. They say dress for the job you want, I want to be a queen so I only wear dresses<3

If you had your own perfume - let's just say you bottled your body odor - what would you name it?

If I had my own perfume it would be called APIIM. Reignapiim is my brand name APIIM means All Power Is In Me. For my perfume it would stand for All Presence Is In Me, giving the wearer an aura of divinity and always being fully present in every situation <3

Name your spirit animal.

After a long thought process my spirit animal is a cheetah: a royal cheetah. I'm known for my efficiency amongst my close friends. I do everything fast and I get a lot done!

What are you working on right now - got any cool projects going on?

I am working on a lot of projects but the main one is painting my abstract digipixelism collection. When I reach the right amount of paintings (size and variety) I will release them in a gallery or my own art show, after I have the paintings sold and branded I will be using the prints for dresses :)

Previously on Model Glue: Gbenga Akinnagbe

Interview
Photo by Trevor Stuurman.

Interview: Thando Hopa Never Anticipated Acceptance in the Industry—She Anticipated a Fight

We speak to the South African lawyer, model, actress and activist about her historic Vogue cover, stereotypes imposed on people living with albinism and her work with human interest stories about vulnerable groups as a WEF fellow.

Vogue Portugal's April edition was a moment that caused everyone to hold their breath collectively. For the first time ever, a woman living with albinism was featured on the cover of the magazine in a sublime and timeless manner. Thando Hopa, a South African lawyer, model, actress and activist was the woman behind this historic first. It was not just a personal win for Hopa, but a victory for a community that continues to be underrepresented, stigmatised and even harmed for a condition outside of their control, particularly in Africa.

At just 31, the multi-hyphenate Hopa is a force to be reckoned with across different spaces. Through her considerable advocacy work as an activist, Hopa has and continues to dispel stereotypes and misconceptions about people living with albinism as well as changing what complex representation looks like within mainstream media. In 2018, Hopa was named the one of the world's 100 most influential women by the BBC. After hanging up her gown as a legal prosecutor after four years of working with victims of sexual assault, Hopa is on a mission to change skewed perceptions and prejudices when it comes to standards of beauty.

As a current fellow at the World Economic Forum, she is also working towards changing editorial oversights that occur when depicting historically underrepresented and vulnerable groups. The fellowship programme prepares individuals for leadership in both public and private sectors, and to work across all spheres of global society.

OkayAfrica recently spoke to Hopa to find out about how it felt to be the first woman with albinism to be featured on Vogue, the current projects she's working on and what's in the pipeline for her.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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