Fashion Film Video

Creative Swiss Army Knife Teyana Taylor Reveals the Professional Advice She Always Ignores

Teyana Taylor wears a full look by Alaïa.

Harlem-born Teyana Taylor speaks with the confidence of someone who knows full well of their impact on the culture. It's a self-assuredness she relies on in her regular leaps from one discipline to the next. “I go into everything full force. I go into it with intention, and it’s all a faith walk for me,” she told CULTURED on the set of her CULT 100 cover shoot.

“I’m like a Glade plug-in. I want to be plugged all throughout the room,” she said of her multi-hyphenate status. “Why only be locked in this bathroom? Why only have the kitchen smelling good when the whole building can smell good?” The topic is one explored further in her cover story, penned by author Porochista Khakpour, who wrote that Taylor's "overachieving mindset doesn’t come from a fear of not being good enough at any one thing, but rather a deep-rooted assurance that she can be great at many."

The creative also looks back on her career in music in the wide-ranging conversation, and remembers the risk she took in transitioning to film, despite advice to the contrary. Her pre-performance ritual used to be a trip to the bathroom, moments before taking the stage, she remembers. “I have to potty, but I don't have to potty until I'm fully dressed," she told CULTURED. "Now what I do instead of holding it is I try to make myself go to the bathroom before I go on stage."

Teyana wears a vintage coat, vest, and shoes by Prada, pants by Replika. Sunglasses stylist’s own.

The move to film, she contends, is more a return to form than a departure, as many have interpreted the shift. “I’m so excited. I come from being a music video director and from day one I have always had narratives,” she shared. Her first film, Get Lite, is focused on the New York dance scene she grew up in, a heartfelt tribute to a unique cultural heritage. “It’s a part of our New York culture. That was our lifeline, that’s what kept us alive and kept us out of trouble.”

Inspiration for Taylor has always come from close to home. In her 5 Points of Culture installment, a trip through the star's cultural touchpoints, she shares the origins of her distinct style. “When I was a young girl my idol was my mom of course. I love Lauryn Hill, Janet [Jackson], Anita Baker, Teena Marie, really the whole ‘80s, ‘90s era.” One of her favorite red carpet moments, a Met Gala look styled by Thom Browne, perfectly encapsulates her androgynous aesthetic. “It was everything," she remembers. "I love a good suit. Everyone that knows me knows that.” For more of her favorites, watch the full video below. 

Video by Ian Buosi