Teyana Taylor is hip hop’s next big thing?

March 3, 2008

amd_taylor.jpgUp-and-coming hip hop star Teyana Taylor has style in spades. Fans of Ms. Taylor first got to know her signature style on MTV‘s “My Super Sweet 16.” When the Harlem-born aspiring singer/rapper decided to put her skateboard-themed birthday bash on reality TV, she did it in style. The pricey party netted her a custom-made Heatherette gown and $700 sneakers to match.

So it’s no surprise that as Taylor prepares to showcase her upcoming album, “From a Planet Called Harlem,” at the Marquee nightclub in Chelsea, style is on her mind.

Signed to Pharrell Williams‘ Star Trak record label, her first single, “Google Me,” is already online. “Tonight, I’ll be performing snippets of just about every song on my album,” Taylor says backstage as her makeup artist, Orlando Santiago, and her hair stylist, Q Hardy, buzz around her. Is she nervous? Not if she gets dinner.

“I got to eat a whole meal, baby,” she says. “A whole, full, cooked meal. I’ve got to be comfortable when I’m on stage.”

And she has to look good. On the outfit roster are brands from the Williams-designed Billionaire Boys Club to an Akiko Ogawa jacket from the designer’s fall/winter ’08 collection.

“She’s a little rock star, Punky Brewster type,” says stylist Dion Bey when asked to describe her style, “but still got the Harlem swagger to her.”

Bey works with stylist Kithe Brewster, the man who upped the glam factor in rapper Eve‘s professional wardrobe. Taylor’s style already embraces the fruits of Fashion Week. “Straight from the runway!” she exclaims as she surveys the midnight black, glittering Ogawa jacket.

Still, you won’t see her in stilettos and evening wear anytime soon. “She’s great for that,” says Bey, “but she’s really into the sneaker community. She’s a sneakerhead. She’s been a sneakerhead since I was working at a sneaker store.”

Indeed, asked about her makeup and hair, which on concert day took about two hours, Taylor shrugs her answers. Ask her about her footwear and you’ll get a different response.

“I have a lot of Jordans, a lot of Nikes, a lot of Blazers,” she says. Nike Blazers with a mulberry-colored swoosh are part of her stage ensemble. “But it’s not about any particular brand,” she says. “If I don’t know the name of it, I’m going to still cop ’em. If they have them, I’ve got to have them.”

Plus, they’re good to run around in, and she’s not afraid of messing up her mascara.

“I’m such a tomboy,” she laughs, when asked if her dance numbers ever make her makeup run. “So it’s like getting a brand-new pair of sneakers and just messing them right on up.”

Provided by BY PATRICK HUGUENIN for the nydailynews.com

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