Words: Nick Byam
Jazelle Zanaughtti is one of the most sought-after models in the world right now, having worked with photographers Nick Knight and walked for NYFW shows such as Gyspy Sport.
Her androgynous look has fast turned her into a social media favourite, with over half a million followers, and her latest creative step has seen her team up with Mercedes-Benz and their “How To” campaign.
Jazelle chose 'how to vogue' and last week, and with the help of Jay Jay Revlon (London Vogue Expert”) and designer Christian Cowan, she hosted an all out dance masterclass in Oslo.
Having worked the clubs in Chicago, Jazelle is no stranger to the vogue and club scene, but it's only now she's taking it to the next step and learning professionally.
We caught up with her in Oslo ahead of the interact event to find out actually how much fun voguing is…
How did you get into voguing and who taught you how to vogue?
I’ve been into dancing and expressing myself through movement my whole life and voguing with always a massive part of the dance scene where I grew up in Chicago so there’s always been a something I’be been surrounded by. I’ve had friends that have taught me in Chicago and NYC but I could never quite get it. Jay Jay was the one who really taught me how to vogue but what I learnt from working with him was that it all about feeling the music and expressing yourself through the music, you need to really let go and just have fun with it. The moves are important but as long as you sell it in your face and give strong personality then you will kill it.
Who would your ideal voguing partner be?
Really it would be anyone who just really felt the music and gave themselves to it fully, they would make the best partners but i do love Leiomy [trangender dancer and known as the 'Wonder Woman of Vogue']. She takes so many elements of dance and fashion and makes it her own, she’s the ultimate vogue queen. She’s such a strong and powerful individual, not just through her dancing but she’s made such an impact with everything she does such as modelling and activism too. I really admire her so she would be really cool to have and she would teach all the moves!
Who or what inspires your beauty and style?
There isn’t one single thing or person that inspires me I get inspired from everything and everyone all the time. Being around so many creative people all the time you are constantly getting inspired. Some days I feel I really want to make a statement through my clothes and other days I’m off duty in sweatpants and a hoodie so the way I dress entirely depends on my mood.
How did you get into drag?
When I started going out on the Chicago club scene what your outfit said about you was a massive part of expressing yourself. Everybody had such unique looks so I started to make mine by using old materials and thrift store bought clothing to create my own identity. Dressing up was a way to tell my story visually and i had so much fun with it, its all about just being care free and having the best time.
What’s been one of your favourite photo shoots?
I don’t have one photo shoot that I would say is my favourite, they all represent a special moment and I take something away from each one so would that’s quite hard to pick one. I love clothes so getting to try on all different amazing looks by some of coolest designers who make such special one off pieces is the best part of it all.
Nick Knight calls you his muse, how has working with him helped your career?
Working with Nick was such a huge moment, I’ll always remember it as it really did help push my profile to the next level. Not many people knew who I was before that and I wasn’t getting many jobs and then it all changed It was so exciting and his shoots were some of the most exhilarating I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of.
Do you think social media has helped your career?
I do think its helped me get my voice out there more and interact with people. I can be quite and introvert/extrovert so social media always me to control that in some sort of way. Sometimes i won’t post for days and ill just be at home chilling in my sweats and not really having any communcation, you know those kind of days. Then i can be all about posting and allowing the world to see into my life. I love talking to people on social media, I’m interested in how other people see the world and their point of view on things so its helped my career but it alway helped me grow and helped me along the way with so many things.