How My Super Sweet 16 Gave Teyana Taylor Fashion Cred

Prior to the release of Kanye West's music video for his Life Of Pablo single "Fade," Teyana Taylor had a laundry list of entertainment industry cameos — choreography for Beyoncé's "Ring The Alarm," vocals on Yeezy's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, and a role as judge on America's Best Dance Crew. But it wasn't until the 25-year-old performer's scantily clad dance — and appearing as a human-sized cat alongside her NBA-player husband, Iman Shumpert, and their 9-month-old daugher, Insta-famous @babyjunie4 (Taylor tells me, "Man. She is a mess. She got the nerve to be verified. I’m like, 'Who do you think you are?' She got the juice.") — that she actually, well, went viral.

On the heels of her (unofficial) New York Fashion Week tour, Taylor has taken her style chops one step further with a new sneaker collection with Reebok. And if you need any further clarification of how influential she has become, her kicks, named the Question Mid Teyana T (and are a modern-day update of Allen Iverson's OG pair) sold out almost immediately.

"Well, my favorite color’s red, as you can see," Taylor said of her shoes. "So when they told me I was — I looked at the designer and I said, 'Okay, look. It needs to be this, I want this kind of material, I want these kind of bottoms.' They were like, 'Damn, you gotta sign your contract first. You gotta say yes first.' But I was so excited, I kind of just got straight to the point. It’s kind of a big moment for me, because everybody that knows me knows I love sneakers and knows that I love the ‘90s. I love throwback basketball sneakers."

It would make sense then, that Taylor, a New York City native (and wife of a Cleveland Cavaliers player) would gravitate towards a more sports-oriented aesthetic. Yet, when it comes to getting dressed, she swears that she "just goes with the flow."

"I don’t really have a sense of style. [I'm from] New York, so we automatically got that 'too cool for school' swag," she says. "It’s just in our veins from growing up here. But I think right now, I’ve really just been into oversized T-shirts and maybe some cut jeans. Every pair of jeans I own have holes in the knee. And a good pair of sneakers. Me and my boyfriend — well, me and my husband — we share clothes. We dress like twins sometimes."

And though her present-day life may be in the spotlight 24/7, Taylor is no stranger to being in front of the camera — die-hard fans will remember her from the MTV hit My Super Sweet 16, which, as I told her, was the most epic icebreaker, ever. (Just look at this dress. And of course she's wearing sneakers.)

"Ah, the Barbie box. It's crazy, because [that show] is how people in fashion really got to know who I was. And as you could see, I was too cool for school on there. I wasn’t even really that much of a brat. I just got mad, because it was supposed to be a skateboard, '80s/'90s-themed party, and I didn’t get a skateboard ramp. So I was like, 'Come on.'

"You would watch the other girls get mad about every little thing, but I was only mad about one thing. [Do I think] MTV set that up? They set me up, because the whole episode, I didn’t get mad about anything. So they kind of like...I think they purposefully took that away from me. But it was a fun experience, I had a good time.

"Today, I kinda watch it and just be like, 'Oh my god. That was me?'"
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