Jazzelle: “You’re stronger than the worst parts of yourself”

The artist and fashion model a.k.a. @uglyworldwide tells Rihanna about carving her own space in the fashion industry.

by i-D Staff
20 January 2020, 6:00am

This story originally appeared in i-D's 'Rihannazine' Special Edition, no. 01, 2020. Order your copy here. For this one-off project, Rihanna put a series of questions to the women shaping culture today, and invited them to share their visions for 2020.

Can you introduce yourself?
My name is Jazzelle, aka Uglyworldwide. I am an artist and a fashion model.

What do you think your biggest personal or professional success has been so far?
Personally and professionally, I think it has been making my own space in the fashion industry.

What do you consider to be your biggest failure?
Self doubt is the thing that has held me back so many times: comparing myself to others and thinking I’m not good enough. Self doubt is definitely, definitely my biggest failure and my biggest struggle. But I learn from it every day, because once you find the light at the end of that tunnel, the world opens up for you. Sometimes you have to realise that you’re stronger than the worst parts of yourself.

As we’re heading into 2020, what are you taking with you into this year, and what are you leaving behind in 2019?
I’m taking my charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent into 2020, and leaving self-doubt at the door. Period. Bye, sis! You stay back there. I’m moving on, I gotta go!

If you could ask Rihanna one question, what would it be?
I feel like I have one million questions but, as I would love to be a businesswoman too, I’m just so curious about how she is able to manage all her different projects. Rihanna, how do you find time for everything and how you manage to make it all amazing at the same time?

Do you remember the first time you met Rihanna?
The first time I met her, I was going to a casting for Savage x Fenty at Milk Studios. I was going up in the elevator, and I got out at the fifth floor because the casting was in the penthouse, and you had to switch elevators or something on the fifth floor to get up there. I turn the wrong corner, and I see a bunch of clothes, and I feel like I’m going the wrong way, but then Rihanna is right there! I was like, “hey sis!” I think that’s literally what I said. What do you say, when Rihanna pops up on you? But it was beautiful – she’s a ray of fucking sunshine. I have been blessed from that moment on. She cleared my skin.

How does it feel when you’re a part of her world?
Rihanna in herself is so inclusive of everybody, and not just in terms of race or gender or in that way, but also in terms of personality. Everyone she casts is so different and I just felt really accepted.


Photography Mario Sorrenti
Styling Carlos Nazario

Hair AKKI at Art Partner using Oribe.
Make-up Kanako Takase at Streeters.
Nail technician Alicia Torello at The Wall Group using Chanel.
Set design Jack Flanagan at The Wall Group.
Lighting technician Lars Beaulieu.
Photography assistance Kotaro Kawashima, Javier Villegas and Jared Zegha.
Digital technician Johnny Vicari.
Styling assistance Raymond Gee, Erica Boisaubin and Christine Nicholson.
Tailor Nino Sanaya.
Hair assistance Rei Kawauchi, Takao Hayashi and Motome Yamashita.
Make-up assistance Kuma and Tomoyo Shionome.
Set design assistance Akaylah Reed and Colin Walker.
Production Katie Fash.
Production coordinator Layla Némejanski.
Production assistance Fujio Emura.
Casting director Samuel Ellis Scheinman for DMCASTING.
Casting assistance Cicek Brown for DMCASTING.
Model Jazzelle Zanaughtti at The Society.

Lede image Jazzelle wears dress Danielle Guizio.

Mario Sorrenti