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Sherelle on how style can be empowering

The 160BPM sheller takes inspiration from Janelle Monaé, Grace Jones and Syd

  • Interview: Sean Griffiths | Photography: Vicky Grout
  • 3 October 2019

The big ring with a square logo was made specially for me. The logo is from a website and magazine I used to run with a friend and it means a lot to me – that was one of the first ventures that made me realise I wanted to get into DJing more.

The Nike TN is probably my favourite trainer. When I was younger, I remember uncles who were into garage and my sister wearing them. It’s a staple from my childhood in Walthamstow! I’m quite into Vans and Converse, too.

I’ve had my piercings since I was 17. On my birthday I thought, ‘I’m going to get all the piercings,’ and had six done on the same day!

Janelle Monaé was one of the first people whose style I connected with. She’s really free with her fashion and used to wear tuxedos and play with femininity and masculinity. At the time I was exploring how I wanted to dress and she was a really empowering black woman. She’s why I started wearing bowler hats back then!

This jacket’s from Urban Outfitters. It’s a combat gilet and is a statement piece you can wear with pretty much anything. The t-shirt’s from Huf. I like it because it pays homage to the Biggie album ‘Ready To Die’. My sister was a massive 2Pac fan, so I listened to a lot of him growing up then got into Biggie later. When I heard ‘Ready To Die’ I was like, ‘This is sick, why doesn’t she play this album?’

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The sandals are a collab between NTS and Rider Sandals. I got sent them and was like, ‘I don’t wear sandals.’ But as soon as I put them on I thought, ‘These are sick!’ I’m all about wearing them with socks.

Grace Jones is another icon. It’s the way she carries herself and owns who she is. She doesn’t give a fuck. I like how Syd from The Internet dresses, too. We kind of look similar. Her style is quite chilled, but can be quite smart as well.

I’ve had short, cropped hair since 2016. I mostly wear men’s clothes, so it fits my style. I’ve felt more confident since I did it.

Read this next: How the women of dance music have taken over high fashion

Hats have been a staple since I was 14. First a bowler, then trilbys and now it’s either a beanie or a Nike TN cap like DJ EZ. I had a New Rave phase – loads of fluorescent colours and bracelets. I worked in River Island and got a 70 per cent discount, so I’d get all the stuff there.

I got this bag as a present to myself when I left my job. I was redecorating so was in Ikea and got lost, then randomly came across the bag. It was about £11 but looks smart. I love the roll-up style.

Read this next: Louise Chen on fashion investments and DJing for the Beckhams

Virgil Abloh sent me this beautiful hoodie and some amazing shoes with a hand-written note saying ‘160bpm for life.’ It’s incredible to be recognised by someone as culturally relevant as him.

Sherelle plays Dirtybird Campout in Sacramento on October 4

Sean Griffiths is Mixmag's Deputy Editor, follow him on Twitter

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