Brand Spotlight: Shady's Closet

April 8, 2014 -

Daily Beat Staff

A raver’s wardrobe can be just as important as the festival’s lineup, which means you must have the perfect outfit. In the past, EDM festival fashion has focused on how many different neon colours can be layered on. Recently, festival fashion is moving away from the classic “raver wear” of neon hair extensions, fishnets and tutus. Here to replace them are sexy, yet still classy, urban looks that are great not only for the dance floor, but also for any occasion. The clothing found at Shady’s Closet, an online clothing boutique, encompass the ideal look for the festival fashionista . The clothing has an urban and sexy edge that will definitely stand out amongst any crowd.


As a DJ and rapper, Shady Black is very familiar with the EDM scene, and her clothing reflects that. The slogan that introduces Shady’s Lookbook announces: “We don’t do “cute” here, we Keep It Shady. Styled for the absolute lady boss, our highly curated selection of clothes (handpicked by Shady herself) combine the ultra sexy with a raw urban edge to bring you a whole new level of “classy gangster.” The line was invented to stand out amongst the crowd with sexy street style looks for confident and rebellious women. While “they don’t do cute”, a feminine edge is still incorporated into all their pieces.

Another aspect that is so great about this line is the huge variety of pieces to choose from. The clothing style ranges from “full on rebel” to “subtle miscreant”. By full-on rebel, I mean a tank top that reads: “your mom smokes crack” paired with a pleather skirt. For those who want a more feminine look one of my favourite pieces is the Neon Cameo Operator Romper. Not only is this romper perfect for any festival—with its plunging neckline and neon pink colour—but it can also make a statement anywhere you go. Don’t forget about shoes and accessories! Shady’s Closet offers even more festival necessities with gold chain necklaces and bracelets, John Lennon style glasses, swing purses, rings, earrings, and even headpieces. In terms of footwear, Shady has you covered with sandals for the day, and chunky pumps for the after party.

I recently spoke with Shady to give me more insight into her boutique, this is what she had to say:

DB: Is there some aspect of your life in particular that you draw inspiration from? Have your sources of inspiration changed over the years?

I’d have to say that my love of fashion and music are definitely intertwined, and that music is actually what led to creating Shady’s Closet in the first place. During my sophomore year in college, I began getting into EDM and started DJing at USC. After a few months of learning on my own, I linked up with my good friend Nick and together formed the DJ duo, KamaSutra. It was pretty ridiculous, we called our genre “sexmusic” and our motto was “just fuck.” People loved it. We never got around to producing our own music but recorded a couple of original mixes on SoundCloud that got thousands of plays. We then started DJing numerous frat parties and sorority philanthropies, spun at Sharkeez in Manhattan Beach a couple times, and eventually earned a residency at Icon Ultra Lounge across from the Staples Center. With these gigs came money and I started buying lots of clothes online and essentially turnt up my wardrobe. By DJing and having some extra income I was really able to completely redefine my own style and was often complimented on what I wore to shows. My boyfriend at the time noticed this and pointed out that many people asked me where I bought my clothes from, and that I was spending a lot of money online. One thing he said to me stood out in particular…he said, “Why spend all your money at another online clothing store when you could just have your own?” I thought about what he said for a while, realized it made perfect sense, and from that moment on I saved all the money I made for the next 3 years. Then by the time I graduated, I had enough to buy all the clothes necessary to start Shady’s. So to all the good people of USC that paid me, THANKS GUYS!


DB: Your clothing line features badass, street style looks. Does your personal style reflect these looks? If so, has your style always been like this or did it take some time to evolve?

Honestly I’ve just worn whatever I’ve felt like wearing. Was never that into fashion until college and never considered having a career in fashion. Throughout elementary and middle school I wore the weirdest stuff ever. Like reversible cow print and leather jean jackets, Tweedy bird vests, purple shirts with big glittery butterflies on them that had fringe sleeves…even flared jeans that had metal rings that went ¾ up the leg. I don’t know what I was thinking. Then in high school I wore the preppiest stuff ever…like double popped Ralph Lauren pastel polos, Sperry’s, J. Crew polka dotted skirts, ballet flats, etc. I think I gave most of that stuff away to charity and sold the rest on Ebay, haha.

Once I got to college I think my style really did finally come together because first off, I finally had the money to start buying the things I really wanted, and secondly, because LA is much more fashion-forward than my hometown of Lexington, KY. Now I love Kentucky and I definitely bleed blue, but I went to the University of Kentucky for a semester and the standard uniform of the average college girl there is leggings or sweats, a Salty Dog café t-shirt, Uggs, a North Face fleece jacket, and a North Face backpack. No one wears heels. Whenever I would wear heels to the mall I felt like people were looking at me as if I were a stripper or something, haha. There’s definitely a more casual vibe there. Conversely, people in LA people dress up way more and aren’t afraid to take risks with their style. Individuality is expressed on such a huge spectrum!

DB: How does your brand stand out from other designers’ brands? How does my store stand out from other online boutiques?

What I think so many stores are missing out on today is that there isn’t a face behind them. They’re all blank faced conglomerates that try to have a personality and put out a message about how “cool” they are but honestly it just seems like a bunch of BS to me. I’m an avid online shopper and I’ve read countless “about” store pages that basically reiterate the same stuff – they mention how they’re about “having fun” and “being yourself” and “being different” when all they do is try to appeal to the largest amount of girls possible, which I believe weakens their overall branding. They pack their stores with clothes for all types of people, saying that they have something for everyone whether you like to dress bohemian, or preppy, or punk --- and if you’re going to try to tell me that you’re badass and unique when in reality you’re just selling a giant mish mash of random clothes, I’m not going to drink the Kool-aid.

Shady’s Closet stands out from so many other clothing boutiques because there’s actually a personality behind it (mine) and I’m not trying to cater to as many girls as I possibly can. If I wouldn’t wear something, then you’re not going to see it on the site. The whole concept behind Shady’s Closet is that you’re literally perusing my closet. I personally handpick everything sold on the site, style all the outfits myself, and write all the product descriptions. So chances are, if you like one thing on the site you’ll probably end up liking everything, or at least a majority of the stuff. There’s a cohesiveness with our products and styling that you won’t find with any other online clothing boutique because we don’t operate like any other online clothing boutique. We don’t have tons of buyers and stylists that try to pull off an image that they don’t understand, and we don’t believe in harassing/annoying the customer by spamming them with pop ups or 10 emails a week. We try to provide the smoothest online shopping experience possible by keeping our website clean and simple and just letting the customer shop. For instance, we only send out an email once every two weeks if you sign up for our mailing list, and instead of just saying that you’ll receive “so many exclusive deals” if you sign up, we ACTUALLY DO give you exclusive deals. Every 2 weeks we select 4 items on our site that we mark at least 20% off and you can only get the promo code for them if you sign up for our emails. Just little things like that, that actually make sense is what Shady’s is all about. Anyways I could go on and on about what other stores are missing but they should know that Shady is coming for them and I’m gonna Heisenberg their asses very soon.


DB: What is your favourite emerging trend for the spring and summer seasons? Have you incorporated these looks into your own clothing line? If so, how?

I’m not really interested in trends. I just like whatever I like and am not concerned with what’s considered “hot” at the moment, so I can’t really say what emerging trends I’m into, but I do think 90’s men’s fashion is hilariously awesome and I’d like to bring the 90’s back much earlier than it’s supposed to come around. I think men’s fashion from the 90’s like bucket hats, goggles, way oversized clothes, racing jackets, leather pants, and sweater vests are so funny and out there and I’d like to see some of it translate into maybe an “urban warrior street hustler 90s gangsta” vibe for women in the near future.

DB: What advice do you have for girls who want to step outside of fashion norms and experiment with their own style?

It doesn’t matter what you wear, you just gotta own it. If you’re not comfortable with wearing something then sit the fuck down cause if you’re not confident with yourself then others certainly aren’t going to buy it. You should just wear whatever you want to wear or whatever makes you feel happy. Half the time I dress like a hobo just wearing a beat up t-shirt, pajama pants, and Uggs because it’s the most comfortable I can dress while I’m running around doing errands. People will be like, “whoa aren’t you supposed to be some big fashonista cause you have your own online clothing store and always be dressed to impress?” and the answer is no. I don’t have to play dress up all the time to be in the game. In fact, when I look like a hobo is usually when I’m grinding my hardest.


DB: If you could have one trend (past or present) stay in style forever, what would it be?

Trends come and go. Keepin’ it shady is forever.

~Samantha Gordon


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