Name: Richie Shazam
Hometown: Queens, N.Y.
Now Lives: In a three-bedroom condominium within the Williamsburg part of Brooklyn.
Claim to Fame: Richie Shazam is a model, photographer, nightlife habitué and the co-host of “Shine True,” a docuseries on transgender and nonbinary youth. “I don’t like being identified as just one thing,” she mentioned, earlier than selecting “multi-hyphenated Renaissance woman who tells stories through my own queer lens.”
Her Cindy Sherman-esque strategy to gender expression — she is usually the director, stylist and star of her flamboyant portraiture — has resulted in partnerships with manufacturers together with Prada and Instagram. “Whether I’m the one taking the image or it’s someone else’s gaze, my whole life has been one long incredible collaboration,” she mentioned.
Big Break: As a self-described “brown, queer kid in Queens” raised by conservative Guyanese mother and father, she mentioned a few of her earliest childhood recollections had been of “questioning everything.” After attending Trinity College in Connecticut, she moved to Berlin in 2017, the place her hard-to-categorize type caught the eye of a mannequin scout.
Several months later, she made her runway debut for Vivienne Westwood, in a pair of sky-high lace-up boots. “So much of my identity is about subversion and provocation, so to work with such a historical figure as Westwood was one of the most fulfilling things,” she mentioned.
Latest Project: On “Shine True,” a actuality present that premiered on Fuse in March, she serves as one thing of a life coach and vogue muse. In one episode, she wears 5 totally different appears, together with an oversize gown shirt by Random Identities. “The show allows me to be a part of something that will change how people look at us,” she mentioned.
Next Thing: Her selfie-orientated strategy to images permits her to collaborate with designers like Thom Browne and Calvin Klein from house. “I’ve created a lot of portraiture during the pandemic with all of these incredible designers and fashion houses,” she mentioned. “Being allowed to tell my story has been so beautiful, and that’s something that I want to live in a book.”
She is placing collectively an autobiographical photographic “visual diary of myself and others.” Decades from now, the challenge could even be a time capsule of kinds. “It’s important for future generations to see this moment.”
All Ages: In March, she signed with IMG Models, the company the represents Bella Hadid, Hailey Bieber and different high fashions. The symbolism of being a trailblazer shouldn’t be misplaced on her. “I want all the young queer and brown kids to know we are embraced, and that our vibrancy has no limit,” she mentioned. “And shout out to the older people, too. Intergenerational glam is key.”