When Serayah McNeill isn’t singing and acting on the hit show Empire, she makes time for a little modeling. The 22-year-old actress just became the face of the spring Material Girl ad campaign and she’s showing us that being a material girl is so much more than fancy clothes. “I’m excited to be the face of Material Girl because of everything she stands for,” said Serayah in a press release announcing the partnership. “A Material Girl is edgy, fierce and owns who she is, and she’s guaranteed to look cool in anything and everything she puts on.”
The brand, which was launched by Madonna and her daughter, Lourdes Leon, in 2010, is using its spring collection to embrace female empowerment through bold colors, floral designs, and edgy silhouettes. Following in the footsteps of Rita Ora, Sofia Richie, and Zendaya, all of whom have starred in campaigns for the brand in the past, McNeill brings the designs to life as she adds her own energy and individuality to each piece. From lace-up track pants to a canary yellow skirt, McNeill isn’t afraid to experiment with her look as she gets ready for a night out at the iconic Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood.
We chatted with McNeill about her favorite Material Girl looks, her character’s style on Empire, and her ultimate celebrity style inspiration.
Why did you want to team up with Material Girl for its new campaign?
I just think it’s a really dope brand and cool for all the young girls. It’s somewhere that I even have shopped at before so it is very relatable and I feel like people can access it.
Was there one particular look that you loved the most and had the most fun shooting in?
Yes I loved the floral print tube dress. That was one of my favorites. I just feel like it is something that I would really wear and it fit really, really well. It’s fun for spring.
This Material Girl collection is all about individuality. How do you like to express yourself when it comes to fashion?
Yeah I think every day is a little different. I love to try classic trends and I also love new trends so whether it is like the clear boot or a clear sandal that’s really trendy. Or just like the classic staples like the jean jacket over the tube dress which is actually what I wore in the photoshoot which I really love because that’s something I feel like everyone could just grab when they leave the house.
So how would you describe your personal sense of style?
Chill, chic and girly at the same time.
What do you like to wear to feel the most confident?
I love an oversized bomber or jacket. I also really, really love dad hats or visor caps.
How would you say your style is similar or different to your character on Empire?
My character wears a lot of like very gaudy things. Sometimes it’s really cute and I would wear it but sometimes I just don’t feel like [I would], unless she’s performing or something, which she is doing a lot. It’s cool for her. She’s very out there like that.
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I know you’re getting into music now too. How is your onstage performance style different than offstage?
Onstage is definitely where I get to play and be creative. That’s what I like to do. And offstage I like to be comfortable. And I also like to be fly so if I can get both of those in one outfit I would be very, very happy. But onstage I am okay with you know trying something different.
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Have you learned anything about style or beauty from working with Taraji P. Henson on Empire?
I think just to be confident and rock what you got.
Who are your celeb style inspirations?
I really love Gwen Stefani. I think she has dope style. I feel like her style is really her. I really love the girl group–the girl band. Victoria Beckham always looks super dope. And of course Rihanna. She always looks really, really cool.
Do you ever do vintage shopping? What’s one of your best finds?
Yeah I used to do that a lot in high school. That’s the only shopping I did do. One of my best finds has to be like this little Louis Vuitton purse handbag that I found at a vintage shop in Sherman Oaks, California and me and my friend went there. We got a whole bunch of sweaters and really cool, like, artist tees and stuff like that. That was like a really good day.
What’s one beauty product you can’t live without and why?
I really can’t live without lip moisturizer or Chapstick. Literally like my fans know, everyone, I am so obsessed with Chapstick. In my purse right now I probably have like four Chapsticks. I have each Chapstick like they’re something different and they’re literally the same thing.