In a past life, when I was working in magazines, I pitched a potential cover girl during an editorial meeting. She was 15, an up-and-comer. Like our subject, Ke’Andra ‘Coco’ Samone she was at the beginning of her career; an actor, model, and fucking cool. Asserting her influence morally and socially. I wanted to be her friend. She was everything I thought a cover girl should be.
BUT It was a hard no.
Because of her age.
“What can our reader learn from a 15 year old?”
In short: ALOT!
Thanks to independent publishing I can exercise my faith in our youth with little regard for archaic ideals. TOMBOY Beauty’s team; Ella Jane, Matilda Dods, Daijah Johns are all a decade-or-more younger than I am. I see their developing point-of-view and enthusiasm, as a value proposition, not a liability. And in this climate, I find it hard to understand any resistance to the youth collective. Take the bad arse Stoneman Douglas high schoolers, the anti-gun campaigners (like Samone) and the Aussie kids who enrolled in droves for the equality plebiscite… Every where we look, our youth are having their voices heard, and in turn affecting change.
Ke’Andra ‘Coco’ Samone is one of them.
Having been around fashion her whole life – Samone’s Mum is an international makeup artists who “glams” top models, Joan, Gigi, Kendall et al. on the fashion month circuit – it was in fact, backstage at Balmain’s collection show in Paris, that Samone was discovered by her agent of IMG Worldwide. Since then she’s been working on building her acting career and has fronted campaigns for Prada, Marc Jacobs and MAC Cosmetics.
Samone has achieved more than most people have that are double her age, though it is her wise-beyond-her-15-years attitude that impresses me most. Part of that is her youth. Like my team, she isn’t afraid to speak up, use her growing “influence,” and place in the world for good. Earlier this year, she protested in the Los Angles, March For Our Lives holding her message “It’s a simple choice. People Over Profit.” Later sharing images from the day to her highly engaged following. I predict this won’t be the last time Samone gets behind a cause.
She is intelligent, optimistic and sweet. I hope you enjoy meeting her as much as we did:
ASL: 15, female, Los Angeles.
TB: Who is Ke’Andra ‘Coco’ Samone?
KS: She is fuelled by girl power , is defining her goals, working hard, and claiming her space in the world. IShe is fierce, opinionated and loves spreading good vibes.
TB: What drives you?
KS: I am driven by the fact that I can be a role model for young people and [to inspire] them to embrace their individuality. I struggled with trying to blend in when I was in middle school. I wanted to straighten my hair, and look like everyone else, and with the encouragement of my parents, and with time, I realised that what made me different was special, and that I should own it.
TB: What does beauty mean to you?
KS: Beauty to me means being your most authentic self.
TB: Earliest beauty memory?
KS: My earliest beauty moment is when I was 6-years-old, I asked my Mom to give me a “glam make-over”. She let me pick out all of the colours, so I chose a dark green eye shadow, and she gave me a super cool smoky eye! I LOVE red lipstick, so I picked out the brightest one in her kit, and it changed my life. We kept playing, and I put on these huge gold hoop earrings to complete the look… I thought I was HOT STUFF!
TB: Something you wish the beauty industry had more of…
KS: The beauty industry is basically marketed to adults, and it makes it hard to understand what is appropriate to wear in middle school, and high school. There should be a specific beauty space for tweens and teens, so that we can start off with looks that are simple, cool, and just right for us.
TB: You wish more women would…
KS: …Love and embrace their bodies as they are, and not alter them into something society deems sexy or beautiful.
TB: What’s does it mean to be a woman in 2018?
KS: The best thing about being a woman in 2018 is being heard. A woman’s voice, and opinion has more freedom and respect than it has ever had before. It’s inspiring to see, and it’s exciting. I think the worst thing about being a woman in 2018 is we’re still fighting for equality.
Model: Ke’Andra Coco Samone @ IMG
Art Direction: Ella Jane
Words: Chloe Brinklow
Styling: All wardrobe Ke’Andra’s own