Five years ago as a materialistic, label wh-re who frequented the beauty salon weekly, I would have scoffed at the thought of me rocking a puffy head of kinks and thrifted hand-me-downs proudly. I cannot solely base this evolution on one decisive “ah-ha” moment that allowed me to live my life looking the way I want on my terms. In fact, it took some time, guidance, and a lot of cyber moral support.
As of late, like myself, there has been an awakening of sorts; women of all walks of life returning to their roots, literally and figuratively, and embracing the natural texture of their hair–chemical free; not to mention using their fashion spidey sense to look good for less by thrifting. As a result, Youtube and other social media platforms found themselves inundated with “How to” tutorials on natural hair maintenance, styling, and OOTD (outfit of the days) to accentuate our kinky/curly manes. After a while, everyone’s advice blended together, and settled into the background.
Then, in comes the Monroe sisters: Meechy Monroe and Ms. Vaughn. The two burst into the natural hair scene in late 2010 with clear, concise, fresh and WELL EDITED videos on how to whip not only your hair, but your face and wardrobe into fighting shape, broadcasted from their respective Youtube channels MsVaughnTV and MeechyMonroe. Thanks to millions of views, “subbies” and followers, the Monroe Sisters have gained the clout to launch a successful online boutique which specializes in hand selected new and gently used clothes and accessories by the sisters themselves at the aptly named StyleQueue.com.
“We named the site ‘Style Queue’– because the word “Queue” is used to describe something that is based on ideas of how trends are derived. Each time a new fashion trend is introduced, there was something before it, and there will be something after it ” stated the older of the duo Ms. Vaughn.
The sisters took to the ultra posh Lumen lounge in the swanky west loop area of Chicago to share their vision, and to offer advice on how to make thrifted and brand new pieces your own at their Style Queue Fashion Social. Meechy went on to explain, “the 119 Vintage portion of our online boutique came about quite organically, seeing that both me and Vaughn have always loved to go thrifting. Both our paternal and maternal grandmothers taught the value in seeing the beauty in things both new and used; we simply carried that into our adult lives. Our subscribers often asked us to do thrifting videos, so we did them one better, and gave them the opportunity to buy the products that we thrifted directly!”
When I asked about why they decided to utilize their brand by venturing into the world of fashion as opposed to capitalizing on their natural hair popularity, they explained that fashion has always played a paramount role in their lives. “Meechy actually used to model in college, so there is definitely still a connection in that aspect. We decided to delve into fashion because that was something that was actually tangible for us–something that we could physically share.”
Throughout the course of the evening, the ladies gave several gifts to the attendees including full sized hair care products, as well as fashion advice from their stylist and fellow natural hair vlogger/blogger Pari’ Sade’ of naturalguru.tumblr.com. The ladies not only spoke of the summer’s sizzling hot trends (high waisted cut off shorts/neon colored everything) , but they took the time out to personally compliment several of the stylish attendees by encouraging them to upload their best “selfies” under the hashtag #StyleQueueFashionSocial.
“We really just have this mission to show people how to look good, be it their hair, makeup, clothes, physique–and thus, that translates into them feeling good. Then we have done our job.”