Introducing The Cover Stars of Essence's September/October Global Black Fashion Issue: Chlöe and Halle Bailey
Growing up in Atlanta, Chlöe wasn’t intimidated but rather was inspired by her fashion influences, which included Destiny’s Child, Alicia Keys and Erykah Badu. When she and Halle started performing together, showing off commanding voices despite their tiny frames as teens, they were trying to find some sem- blance of equally bold style—at that time, a shared one.
The way social media tells it, Halle Bailey is the demure, innocent, conservative half of the R&B sister act Chloe x Halle. But after an hour-long chat with the singer and actress—who’s been labeled everything from passive to straight-edge—it’s clear that most preconceived notions about her are unfounded. Pleasant and mellow, with a tone and tenor that leave you feeling as if you’re in a guided-meditation class, the 22-year-old has an undeniably gentle spirit.
"That’s what I’m striving to be, if I’m 100 percent honest. As much as people think I’m so confident, 80 percent of the time I feel the complete opposite of that. That’s why I put so much of myself into my music. That’s where I feel like myself and where I belong in this life—whenever I’m onstage. The girl I see and I watch sing back, she intimidates me. I’m like, Who the hell is that?"
"I was so nervous to do something on my own. I was like, I don’t know if I can do it without her. I’m so used to her being there and giving me that final push. Seeing how Chlöe’s navigated stepping out on her own is so inspiring to me. I’m so grateful for that example."
Writer: Victoria Uwumarogie
A graduate of the prestigious journalism school at the University of Missouri, I have been writing professionally for more than a decade. Health and wellness is a favorite topic of mine, but I also love writing about cars, pop culture, and all things pertaining to Black women. The latter passion I've been able to cultivate in my years at MadameNoire.com, where I started as a freelancer and presently hold the title of deputy editor. But I can write about anything, and tell the story of just about anyone. Check out my portfolio to see what I mean and to view just some of the breadth of my work from over the years.
Photographer: Eric Johnson
When a young Eric Johnson framed his first photograph, it was an act of fate. And when the photographer lensed a then-rising Lauryn Hill and an already-happening Notorious B.I.G., it was destiny. Raised in Newark, New Jersey, Johnson got his start in the dynamic darkroom studios of Constance Hansen, a storied photographer who Johnson was drawn to in his early years. It was this very place where the burgeoning multi-hyphenate honed his photographic eye and one-of-a-kind artistic vision, all the while attending NYC’s Fashion Institute of Technology.
Writer: Blake Newby
With years of experience in the editorial and digital realm, focusing on beauty and fashion, Blake Newby is an industry expert. After kicking off her career with bylines in publications such as ESSENCE, Cosmopolitan, Allure and ELLE, just to name a few, Blake began to use her expertise as a consultant — predicting trends, conceptualizing glam, styling and ideating around major campaigns and product rollouts. In addition, her knack for conversation and outgoing personality has made her a sought-after television host, nailing viral celebrity interviews at red carpet events, premieres and more.
Photographer: Eric Johnson
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