Meet the High-Fashion Tomboy that Keeps It Street
Aleali May has created a signature look by staying true to her roots.
All images courtesy of Aleali May and shot by Allen Park
This is the first in a series of profiles on artists from our new series 'Trailblazers', presented by Adidas, which pairs two young creatives at the beginning of their careers, exploring their process. Check out the trailer for our LA episode below.
Marrying streetware with high fashion, Aleali May curates a blog dedicated to elevating the tomboy aesthetic in a beautiful way. Inspired by modern architecture and Japanese culture, her fashion posts maintain a starkness that elevates the fashion pieces as art objects.
The compositions may seem simple to the inexperienced eye but May’s dedication to fashion comes from an art school education and a personal passion to see her likeness in the fashion industry. She says her blog is a foundation for the type of girl who doesn’t wear heels and wants to do something cool and creative. She says, “I use myself as a canvas.”
May went to the Columbia College Chicago and studied business. The schooling encouraged visual learning and being in the field, so May learned more by self-initiative. She spent a lot of time scrolling through Tumblr and finding inspiration. After school she went on to work at Louis Vuitton and RSVP Gallery where she worked in sales and as a model, further using her likeness to promote a brand and culture.
Born and raised in LA, May was influenced early on by the streetwear style of Pharrell and N.E.R.D., Kanye West and Kid Cudi. Her site Aleali May is a platform to celebrate all of those great inspirations in one place, by advancing the tomboy silhouette into a feminine form.
For every post you see on the site, May and her photographer Allen Park put a lot of care and investigation into finding the right balance of fashion, architecture, and color. Every week a new look is uploaded and for that one shoot, the duo has produced three shoots with three different outfits. Editing is important but the photo compositions always have to have the right alchemy first and foremost, attention to a large scale wall that allows for movement in the photos.
May always gives the brands she wears “a lot of shine” and keeps the looks simple. She says, “My blog is more of the artsy blog. There’s a formula. I like that something so minimal has so much detail.”
To learn more about Aleali May click here.