Amandla Stenberg On Afros, Alexander Wang And Why FKA Twigs Is Her Septum Piercing Inspo

Whether as Rue in The Hunger Games or Jaden Smith's date in THAT prom pic, the new face of Stella McCartney's POP perfume and feminist actress extraordinaire Amandla Stenberg is always the coolest kid on the block. We caught up with her to talk afros, Alexander Wang and adding to her piercings...

peace fashion week, thanks for the mmrs

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So we saw you at fashion week...

'It was my first fashion week so it was really cool to go to Alexander Wang and Marc Jacobs as my first ever shows. They're such high concept shows that it was a really great introduction to the whole realm of fashion week. My hairstylist Lacy Redway had this idea of doing my hair in two cornrows for it, she's so dope.'

melts and blurs away

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We'll be honest, we're a little bit obsessed with your hair…

'I used to chemically alter it so that it was straighter because I felt like it was way too big and curly but I didn’t recognise how essential it actually is to my identity. For a while I was kind of pushing away that part of myself. It's interesting that black girls and women wearing their hair naturally is still a statement in itself.  It says a lot about contemporary culture and especially culture around black hair. But yeah, I just had the realisation that I was tired of straightening it.

After I chopped off all of the straight parts I was like, 'Why did I never do this?', it felt so much more liberating and true to myself. But that’s not how it is for everyone, I mean there are people who feel much more liberated with straight hair. I think that’s also a cool part of black femininity, just being able to switch up your hair because it’s so versatile.'


Are you just as into makeup?

'I think makeup’s a really powerful tool. I can’t contour and all of that but I think it’s so cool that people can. I really like playing with colour so I’m a huge fan of Solange - she does really cool stuff with like eyeshadow and her hair is amazing as well.'

Tell us about your septum piercing, is it real??

'Its real! I noticed other women that really inspire me stylistically getting them done like FKA Twigs and Zoe Kravitz so I got it done for my 17th birthday. I went with my best friend and I squeezed her hand so hard! I love nose rings and I think they look so beautiful, but I actually keep mine tucked up inside my nose a lot. 

You can get different kinds of septum piercings - some are open and some are closed. I like wearing an open one because you can just flip it up inside your nose to hide it which is great for when I'm acting. I need to stop buying rings from Etsy, I'm obsessed.'

ur lookin at an NYU film student

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You're the new face of Stella McCartney's POP perfume, that's pretty cool...

'Yeah, I think Stella’s really talented at not putting girls into a box so I like it because it feels fresh and natural and the perfume doesn't smell super candy girly. I hate when perfumes are like, 'Oh hey it's for a teenager so we’re gonna make it smell like cotton candy.'

When I was younger I read a lot of my mum’s old books and they smelt like honey and sap so now it’s they're my favourite smells. And I also really like flowers. I grew up with lots of flowers and roses around my house so Stella's perfume reminds me of that a little bit.'


Speaking of honey, we hear you're in a band?

'Yeah, it’s called Honey Water but we’re somewhat on hiatus right now because my musical partner’s actually going to Belmont University in Nashville to study music.  I’m a very musical person and I’ve been playing the violin since I was in second grade but it got really competitive and kind of scary so I stopped for a while.

The name came about when I was at summer camp. We ran out of tea and there was someone drinking honey water and I was like that sounds, nice. It kind of encapsulates our sound - very sweet and home made so we decided to go with that.'

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