Teyana Taylor landing a reebok campaign. The 25-year-old three-way threat racked up a host of fresh fans and followers as a result of her starring in the epic music video for Kanye West’s “Fade.” So where does one go from there? If you’re Taylor, you land a campaign for a shoe brand that you’ve been wearing since you were four years old.
Today, Reebok proclaims Taylor as an approved brand ambassador and the latest member of the family, joining the likes of Future, Gigi Hadid, and Kendrick Lamar. The Harlem inborn is the face of the re-release of the Reebok Classic Freestyle Hi (or as she calls them, the 54-11s), the first fitness sneaker that was specifically designed for women.
Here is her exclusive interview with ELLE magazine
Your mom just showed me a photo of you when you were four and you were wearing Reeboks. That’s so cute!
Hold on, before we start, I just want to say, thank you, because you guys definitely held me down at ELLE, so let’s start off with that. But yes, when I was four years old I thought I was too cool for school. I had on my biker jacket, black turtleneck, black Ray-Bans, black leggings, black 54-11s. It’s crazy to be in this position now. I almost wish I could redo that picture, but I’m not willing to put bubbles in my hair. It’s crazy. It’s like a dream come true because you would never think it would be possible. I’m four years old [in that picture]. I didn’t know if I had a dream or not. I didn’t know what I wanted to be. To go back and look at that picture and now see what I’m doing with Reebok is like a dream come true. Super dope.
Did you wear Reeboks in middle school too?
I did. I had every color. I had the lime green ones. When I got my first silver bubble coat I wore it with my white 54-11s. My mom kept me laced in every single color. Even when I first got signed, Reebok was sending me sneakers, I had the metallic ones, I had every single flavor. I still do. It’s one thing for people to send you stuff, but to actually be a part of a brand that you look up to, and a legendary one at that, is super dope. Especially with what I represent. Everybody knows that I’m in love with the ’80s and ’90s—even as far back as when I did My Super Sweet 16!
This whole shoot concept seems very you.
And that’s what I love about it. That means that people listened. They kind of already had a plan, but you know I had to come spice it up a little bit [laughs]. Gotta put my little hot sauce on it.
When you wear yours do you go straight ’90s or do you try to swag it up a little bit for current day?
Well you know I ain’t gonna half ass it. I feel like the ’90s could never get played out. To be an around-the-way girl just makes me feel so pretty. You get to be girly with the tight pants and then still have that tomboy swag with the big jackets and the sneakers. 54-11s are the perfect example of a tomboy sneaker, yet still feminine. I like, personally, feeling like an around-the-way girl. So I’m excited about that.
People are obsessed with your body. Do you do any other kinds of workouts when you’re not dancing?
Just the dancing. Dancing is really a way of working out and it can actually be fun. In dancing there might be a certain dance move that requires you to do a squat. Certain dance moves will require you to move your core. That’s what people don’t understand. That is fitness and that is working out, and that’s why I’m coming out with a Fade to Fit video series. I’m excited about that because it’s really finally happening.
Do you and Iman dance together?
Yeah, because he just thinks he can dance. I dance with him and Junie all the time. Junie steals the show, of course, as always.
Will we see a cameo from the two of them in ‘Fade to Fit’?
Stay tuned! If I give you all the answers now, you’re not gonna want to interview me again!
How about working out together? Are you guys a fit family?
Iman plays basketball so that means he has to work out every single day. When he is doing push-ups, I’ll sit on his back. I’m like his extra weight. I’m like, ‘Come on! You’ve got this!’ And Iman is my biggest fan. He knows all my dance moves from tour, he knows all my dance moves from Fade to Fit. It’s like he’s getting a double workout. He gets his dance workout and his regular basketball workout.
Does he try to give you tips on dancing?
He tries but then he has to remind himself that it’s my craft, not his. You wanna teach LeBron how to dance or Kyrie how to dance, that’s perfectly fine with me. But me? This is what I do.
A lot of women feel pressure to ‘get your body back,’ as they say, after giving birth. Did you feel that way?
It was more so a fear of—not about my body—but what would happen career-wise. But I think Junie was like our good-luck charm. Iman won a championship. Everything finally turned out for the best and I think it’s because for the first time in a long time, I made a decision not based off the label, not based off what anybody thought, not based off my family, it was something that I made out of love. It was a risk that I took. And I think that’s why God really blessed me. He was like, through it all, now you’re finally making decisions for you. When a lot of my life has been making decisions based on other people, what they would feel about me, what they would say about me. So I was shook. Even when I found out I was pregnant I was like, Oh my God. But that was a risk that was worth taking.
It must have felt so empowering to follow your heart and make that decision.
It was one of those moments when I was like: You know what? Cool. I’m telling my mom. This is what’s gonna happen. This is what I want. I no longer want to wait. I’m ready. It almost makes me feel like, damn. Where would my career be had I not had Junie? Had I not made that decision for me? Had I not followed my heart? Not only is she a blessing, but she’s motivation for me. I think that’s what made a lot of women show emotion towards ‘Fade.’ It really made women feel like we are Superwoman, we can have a whole kid and we can look beautiful and we can still dance and we can still grind, and we can still find love. It was just that black girl magic. It was the post-baby body. The body, the happiness, the husband, the things that people say that us women can’t have.