Teyana Taylor on Modeling For the Pirelli Calendar and Her Kids’ Love of Rick Owens
Of all the countless celebrities who’ve modeled in the Pirelli Calendar in the past, the 2024 cast stands out. Photographed by Ghanaian visual artist Prince Gyasi in London and Ghana, this year’s 50th edition features icons like Naomi Campbell, Angela Bassett, Idris Elba, Amanda Gorman, Jeymes Samuel, Margot Lee Shetterly, King Otumfuo Osei Tutu II – as well as multihyphenate Teyana Taylor.
After getting her start as the choreographer for Beyoncé’s “Ring the Alarm” music video at the tender age of 15, Taylor has crafted an outstanding résumé as a singer, dancer, actress, creative director, and model, from her award-winning “Fade” video with Kanye West to her remarkable role in “A Thousand and One.”
The 32 year-old has even dipped her feet into styling, most recently working with Usher and NBA star Kyle Kuzma. “Since I was younger, I’ve always loved fashion and sports, even creating a lifestyle blog that Kobe Bryant and Chris Paul supported. I’ve always wanted to merge fashion and sports because I didn’t like how athletes were being dressed,” Taylor tells POPSUGAR. “I’m truly living my dream of giving, whether behind the scenes or publicly; I just want to give people what I wasn’t able to receive.”
As everything she touches turned to gold, it’s no surprise that Pirelli commissioned the Harlem-born star for this year’s calendar. “It felt so amazing because Pirelli is super iconic and when we grow up seeing things that we love, we would never think in a million years that we’d be a part of it,” she said of the project. “When I learned they wanted to shoot in Africa, I felt even better. I normally shoot in a studio or location within arm’s reach in my other projects. So, to go to the motherland where they had a garden of roses, a spaceship, and crazy hair and dress, they embodied who I was, Mother Alien.”
They’re just intelligent, strong, and beautiful little ladies who know what they want, so I’m really excited to see how much more serious they get into fashion as they get older.
Taylor shares that she wishes she could’ve brought her daughters to the shoot, as Junie and Rue are emerging style stars in their own right. In fact, both girls have a documented love for Rick Owens, Taylor shares. “Junie’s seven, Rue just turned three and she even had a custom Rick Owens mermaid costume for Halloween,” she says. “[Junie is] also an honorary Rick Owens worker, where she interns when she doesn’t have school. And she even went viral when she sat front row at his show, she is literally that girl and knows exactly where she’s going.”
Ahead, Taylor opens up to POPSUGAR about the Pirelli experience, her faith, her daughters’ impressive designer knowledge, and more.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.