Art takes the shape of various mediums—painting, music, sculpture and fashion—all of which are a direct documentation of societal norms and a form of self-expression. Countless celebs have taken ownership of their own autonomy through style and have created a significant name for themselves as a result. One of the most notorious for doing so (and doing it well might we add) is Beyoncé Knowles-Carter.
Queen Bey has created a lane of her own through Ivy Park. The line's latest capsule collection, Ivy Heart, incorporates its signature athleisure with bold hues of red and pink through intricate patterns and designs. One of the lead models of the campaign is KJ Moody, the mastermind stylist behind Bey's dopest looks and creative manager for Parkwood Entertainment, and did we mention he's her fam (no wonder he knows her through and through!). Moody, who initially got his start as a fashion blogger, has been responsible for piecing together some of the most iconic looks we've seen on Chloë Bailey, Kelly Rowland, and Aweng Chuol in addition to Beyoncé as well.
Below, he shares with EBONY his commitment to fashion, how his cousin is full of surprises, and why Ivy Park gets him and others every time:
How did you get your start in fashion?
I was accepted to a performing arts high school as an acting student but after trying lighting, set design and play writing, I was introduced to costume design and fell in love. Watching my Aunt Tina over the years styling Beyonce’ and Destiny Child, I realized I loved 80’s and 90’s fashion. The desire to shop and dress others gave me as much joy as it did them. Discovering and looking through thrift stores and consignments shops for high fashion timeless pieces that would help me create art for editorials was when it hit me that a life in fashion was possible. That’s when I knew that’s what I wanted to do. I had to try a few different avenues before I found what felt right and styling was it.
At one point in time, you ran a fashion blog called The Chifferobe. Do you miss it?
The Chifferobe, wow, that’s a throwback. At times I do miss it, but I chalk that feeling up to being young, free and able to do and say what I wanted about fashion at that time. Times are different now. To work on the blog would have to be a full production today; and while I miss it, I think I love playing dress up with Bey more.
As a creative manager for Parkwood and personal stylist for Beyoncé, what does your day to day look like? Do you feel that there’s added pressure with working with family?
It includes research, research, and more research. I’m always dreaming of shoes and handbags, so when I do wake up, I am phone in hand and searching for pieces before I even roll out of bed. I create a mood board of my findings, get dressed and head to the styling suite where I pull everyday looks together and prepare for upcoming events, meetings, trips or special occasions.
As for working with family, there's no added pressure. I just keep telling myself “you can be better, you can do better, and you can work harder” so that I never hear “Oh, he’s only here because that’s her cousin." But It’s still all really surreal.
What was your reaction when you found out you were in the campaign?
Ha! Shocked. Honestly, I found out that I was going to be included as Bey casually walked to her car and said “KJ, you’re gonna be in the campaign.” I thought it was joke!
How is starring in the campaign different from working on it behind the scenes?
It was so much fun but also a little nerve-racking. I have so much respect for models that do that everyday. From lights to production, it can be slightly overwhelming but to even be included was an honor. It’s so different from social media where you can choose your angle and say “catch my good side.”
How has the collection evolved since your involvement and what has been your favorite moments and pieces?
One thing that I can say has evolved is the inclusion of plus-size pieces that actually fit plus- sized individuals. For years, I wasn’t able to wear athletic or leisure wear. It either makes me look liked I have man-boobs, hugs my love handles too closely or is too short for me as I am 6’3”. However, Ivy Park really took the time to make us feel covered from all angles. Some of my favorite pieces are the Ivy Heart Red Puffer Jacket, corduroy from the Halls of Ivy capsule, and denim from the Rodeo drop. My primary go‐to that I wear 3 times a week are the oversized sweat suits from every single drop.
Lastly, we know you are a Valentine’s Day baby so what does love mean to you?
Growing up, I had no idea that the world wasn’t celebrating my birthday. I was under the impression that the world revolved around me. Hahah! I will preach this 'til I’m blue in the face: the most important love is self love.