Meet Kelly Shami, designer and illustrator. I started following Kelly a couple of years ago on Instagram. Instantly I fell in love with her design work and feed. Sometimes you just land on a page and can immediately tell "oh yeah, she gets it" and that's what I got from her.
Kelly is a NY Native and if you look at her work you can tell she draws inspirations from the hustle attitude of the city. Along with NYC inspiration, her work is inspired by a love for sneakers and hip hop culture.
When I initially followed Kelly she worked at NYLON as a graphic designer but quickly worked her way up to Associate Art Director, becoming the lead of the NYLON Guys section and also the one behind the quirky illustrations throughout the magazine. I remember seeing an IG post from Kelly saying something in reference to missing her NYLON family. In my mind I’m like “girl you have it good, where you going” *insert nosey eye emoji here. Long and behold she had a real POWER MOVE under her sleeve. She left NYLON to become the design manager at Parkwood Entertainment where her boss is the queen. And by queen I mean Beyoncé. Kelly is the design force behind the Formation tour merch, album, and tour visuals – a dream job.
Let me stop right here to say while all this is going on she also has a jewelry line that celebrates her favorite things. This line has been featured in Nylon, Urban Outfitters, and more. BOSS SHIT.
You know those comparison people you look at and think “damn can I get on that level” that’s what Kelly is for me. While I’m writing my own story I’ve identified her and her work as a kindred spirit.
On another note while the numbers are better there are only few women who live in the streetwear/urban culture space. Not only when it comes to fashion but design aesthetic wise as well. In a world where a lot of designers/influencers have the same style it’s so refreshing to see other designers flourish who have a more gritty aesthetic. It gives ya girl hope. Social media is powerful for so many different reasons but I’m learning to use it as a tool not only to connect but highlight people (especially women) who I’ve identified as being dope as shit. While healthy competition is great, its more about linking together and not being a hater. So if you have a fav reach out and say hello. We’re all just trying to make it.
Check out Kelly’s work here
And her jewelry line here
*all art images by kelly shami