Friday, November 25, 2011

Breed:The Sphinx?

Shala Monroque

We received just a taste of the woman behind the persona of fashion journalist and muse, Shala Monroque. As it was only an excerpt of her personality, curiosity is still rampant. So she's from Saint Lucia, an island girl who dances the whine, arrived on the east coast young and tried her hand at both acting and modeling, became a fashion editor, and stinted as an escort. Somewhere in-between those last two; she rose to the ranks of high style on the arm of her art gallerist beau, Larry Gagosian (the two are rumored to have split), and became a leader in the pack of the many beautiful women who stalk the hallways of fashions corridors. Yet she stands out. Not just by way of her creative & timeless looking getups, she’s black. A black woman succeeding in a historically European and notoriously racist industry is still -in the second decade of the twenty first century- a big deal. She's been seen seasonally at every major catwalk since 2009, is a contributing editor for the newly established fashion & art magazine, Garage Jain, and is the muse for and makes mood boards for Prada. Success has been reached. And doesn’t this story feel like Mahogany all over again; a pretty black girl not born of the esteemed social class rising in the ranks of the high fashion industry. But it's a story not completely unheard of. There is the non-fictional Tracy, last name Reese, who helms her own critically acclaimed eponymous label. The direct counterpart of Miss Monroque is Genevieve Jones. Complete with the same (there is no way in hell you are from New Orleans or any foreign island) valley girl accent. Like oh my god Americans. Like Genevieve, Shala is tight lipped and keeps a minimal profile, which is what makes these women so interesting. All we really know about her is that she likes and wears Prada. I’d call it the allure of the socialite, while they coexist with the Jolie’s and Lady Gaga’s of the world, they’re celebrity is limited to fashion, and are allowed a little more discretion, and in that, mystery for those dedicated followers of the fashion industry. No doubt she is a Pretty Woman, beautiful really. But is she the enigma the fashion media portrays or simply another pretty black girl in an expensive dress? We may never know. It’s part of the allure. 


12 comments:

  1. An interesting story and you have to admire the woman for keeping out of the celebrity spotlight.

    Her story sounds like a fairytale but then family connections do help!

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  2. She is a beautiful woman. So modern.

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  3. I am obsessed with Shala she is my very own muse!

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  4. I like Shala, and I think she's more than "just another pretty black girl in an expensive dress" Actually, what other pretty black girls in expensive dresses are you aware of?.. Clearly I have missed something.

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  5. great story!

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