Influencer Style Files: Aleali May
Aleali May is a 26-year-old South Central LA native which means which she grew up in one of the dopest eras celebrated for its classic hip-hop hits and fashion trends. Aleali got her start in high fashion at the tender age of 19. She credits her early success to her upbringing which shaped her interests.
“I wasn’t the kind of girl who played with Barbies,” Aleali May shares with InStyle.
After some time working at the Louis Vuitton store, she moved on to Chicago’s RSVP Gallery before becoming a personal stylist for some high profile clients like Kendrick Lamar, Tinashe, and Lil Yachty. She’s also collaborated with some well known brands most notably Kith and the Air Jordan sneaker brand. Aleali made history as the first woman to collaborate with Air Jordan for both the men’s and women’s line. She stuck to her roots when designing the groundbreaking shoe by incorporating colors from her hometown hockey team the LA King’s.
The sneaker industry is definitely a male dominated industry but no one can deny this woman’s talent. Although she’s one of the hottest names in fashion right now she still faces challenges.
“There’s always an internal battle to represent myself and keep going. The challenge is not giving up.”
Luckily, in times of difficulty she can turn to her faith. She’s a practicing Buddhist and yes she does do the famous chant!
“I do the same chant as Tina Turner and Orlando Bloom,” she tells Instyle. “Nam myoho renge kyo. It’s about pushing through every barrier and reaching your highest potential.”
Aleali isn’t an influencer in the traditional sense which means you won’t catch her in the latest in trends and fads because it’s likely that she started them months ago before everyone else hopped on. She’s got over 277k followers because she sticks to her roots but isn’t afraid to step out of the box. She’s had the confidence, passion, and creativity to succeed since she was a child which is exactly how she’s gotten the stamp of approval from designers like Virgil Abloh and Kanye West.
More than all the accolades, brand names, and custom sneakers Aleali is a voice and an inspiration for women in and outside of fashion. She wants to open doors in the footwear industry. They’ll no longer be a need for women to defy the stereotype because Aleali plans to demolish it.
“I want to highlight more women. There are more girls just like me that love heels but also love sneakers.”