Between a new album and a current U.S. tour, Tinashe just released a collaboration with ShoeDazzle, just in time to add to your fall shoe shopping list. Inspired by the Y2K resurgence, the 333 singer and dancer’s footwear launch combines both her own personal style and music taste into a well-rounded offering of 14 versatile and comfortable styles, including boots, sneakers, and loafers.
“I just want [fans] to feel confident and cool when they're wearing them because that's what I always try to go for when I'm creating music,” Tinashe tells NYLON. “I want the listener to feel good about themselves or feel inspired and connected, like someone else has been in my shoes. And I also like songs that make my fans feel like a bad b*tch. I think it's important that we go through life feeling like the main character, so I think the shoe collection gives people that ability to escape into the collection and into their own individual fantasy lives.”
Available now, you can shop the Tinashe x ShoeDazzle collection on ShoeDazzle’s website, with prices ranging from $39.95 to $52.95. Ahead, Tinashe spoke exclusively with NYLON while on the road for her 333 tour about the inspiration behind the collaboration, Y2K fashion, styling advice, and more.
First of all, I saw that you were currently on your 333 tour! How has that been so far, and how are you juggling your responsibilities while on the road?
Being on tour is so fun because I haven't been able to be in front of audiences in so long, so to be able to share my music with people and see their reaction is important. It means so much to me as an artist. I'm just really thankful that I'm able to do all these shows, but it is very strenuous. I'm still adjusting to road life again, and the hardest thing is maintaining some type of healthy sleep schedule because we're doing so much traveling, but I think I've done a good job so far. And in the meantime, it's crucial to find places with Wi-Fi so I can work on my other projects.
Honestly, I’m exhausted for you just hearing all of this.
Yeah, I love it, though. You know, I feel like this area of my life, I'm really focused on giving it my all because I have that creative control now that I’m independent. I think that's just given me a lot of energy and motivation to do all these things.
So, how did the shoe collaboration with ShoeDazzle begin? What was the inspiration behind the collection?
I think I've always wanted to do a shoe line as it's always been on my to-do list and actually, it’s something that I put on my vision board at the beginning of the year. It's really cool to be able to have the opportunity to work with ShoeDazzle because I get to have that collaborative approach and create my own collection, so that's been really amazing.
In terms of the designs, I chose them because they were something I would wear and I felt I could do a variety of things with them, whether it be casual or dress it up. Also, I think a lot of the shoes are something that I can dance in, which has been really important to me because as a dancer, I wanted to incorporate more heels into my performance. I've worn sneakers on stage for years and now, I'm just starting to wear heels, so it's been really cool to try to find styles that you know are easy to move in and feel really comfortable while still giving you like a ‘fashion edge.’
How would you personally describe your style and does that reflect in this collection?
My style is similar to my music because it has a lot of versatility and allows me to show a lot of different parts of my personality, and that's definitely the same with this collection. I take a lot of pride in the fact that I don't fit in a box, and I have a lot of range as a person. I don't like to be one thing all the time. I'm super enigmatic and I think that's reflected in the collection because there is a lot of variety and you can wear it with a lot of different things and in different ways.
I also saw that your shoe collection was inspired by the resurgence of Y2K fashion trends. Is that a major influence for you?
The resurgence of Y2K fashion to me feels very true to who I am because I grew up in that era. A lot of the people that I'm really influenced by musically were very much a part of what people reference when they think of Y2K style, and so that has been really easy for me to make that connection because that's always what I am influenced by and trying to emulate in my art.
Speaking of the Y2K era and music right quick, what’s your all-time favorite late-‘90s and early-2000s artist?
Oh, Janet Jackson, for sure. She's number one, and then like, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, but they're more 2000s, in my opinion.
What was the creative process behind the ShoeDazzle collection?
It started with me moodboarding ideas and different things that I was inspired by in terms of the shoot and what I wanted to convey with my shoes. Once we got on the same page with the moodboards, I went to see the actual physical shoes and try things on. I checked out like 100 different styles and picked out my favorites, and then curated the colors. It was a really fun, collaborative process for me, and that's what I look for with brands to collaborate with is somebody who's going to allow me to have that creative control because, like I said earlier, with being an independent artist, it's just so important to me at this stage of my life that I'm able to be a part of that creative process in everything I do.
If you had to describe your collection in three words, what would it be and why?
First of all, I think that she's really fun, and working on this collaboration has been really fun. Second, I would say spicy because I think that the shoes give you that ‘rock star edge,’ and they'd add some spice to your outfit and maybe your life. Third, I would describe it as inclusive. I think a lot of different types of people can wear these shoes, and I think you can wear them with lots of different outfits, as well.
What is the “perfect shoe,” according to you?
The perfect shoe to me is something that's comfortable and is its own statement piece. I think when you have on a dope shoe, it just makes the whole presentation feel so much more put together. I've always been a big fan of shoes, and it's always been something that I've maybe spent more money on than other type of clothing item.
What is your favorite design out of the entire collection and how would you style it?
That's hard because I love them all, but my favorite design of the entire collection is probably the black flat boots that look like combat boots. I love that you can go for this ‘rockstar bad*ss edge,’ and maybe wear them with black leather pants or a black skirt, maybe some black sunglasses and a black hat and just go for this all-black tactical video game character. I would also go very dressed down and wear a little T-shirt dress and a flannel, or an oversized hoodie.
You mentioned that your collection has an accessible price point, and I think a lot of people, including myself, believe they have to spend tons of money to be stylish. Why is having an accessible price point important for you and the collection?
You definitely do not need to spend a lot of money to have great style. I think what you need to do is have a good strategy, and it starts with having pieces that you really love and building around those instead of always being super trendy. It's great to invest in signature items that you love, and then once you have the core of your collection, then you can build around that and you don't have to worry about things going in and out of style.My biggest piece of style advice is to focus on key items and build your closet slowly.
I think the shoes in my collection are something that's super affordable and super inclusive. Anybody can wear them, and the fact that it is affordable to my fans is great so people can feel super stylish while giving in just a little bit into the trends.