selah marley, ivy park's newest face, on beyoncé and beyond

The daughter of musical legends Lauryn Hill and Rohan Marley discusses her introduction into the fashion industry, and why it's more important than ever to use your platform for good.

by Lynette Nylander
06 February 2017, 4:00pm

Selah Marley is one of fashion's new darlings. The 17-year-old daughter of legend Lauryn Hill and Rohan Marley, you would have thought Selah's musical lineage would have made her path quite clear. Quite the contrary. After recent turns for American Vogue as well as appearing front and center in the new Miu Miu lookbook, Selah has joined Queen Bey's crew. She's a face of the pop icon's sportswear brand, Ivy Park, appearing in its spring/summer 17 campaign, lensed by i-D's cover photographer Zöe Ghertner. The appointment makes sense; Selah was big on sports growing up, playing soccer, basketball and as well as practicing African dance and gymnastics. Selah is also a book worm; she's currently studying everything from astronomy to religion at NYU. She took time out her busy schedule to talk with us about the honor of being asked to become a part of Beyoncé's crew, and the importance of using your platform.

Photography Petra Collins

Were you a fan of Beyoncé before being asked to participate in the Ivy Park campaign?
I always admired Beyoncé growing up. I'd always be inspired from her videos, and found her freedom of expression so beautiful and empowering. Even before I knew who she was, I knew her music. Her music and voice has always been a statement in today's society.

What do you like and respect about the fellow models in the campaign?
All of the models in the campaign stand as beautiful, independent, and talented women who are focused on achieving their goals and realizing their dreams. I am inspired by the way they all express themselves so ardently through their creative outlets and passions.

You are passionate about sports. How long have you been playing, and what do you get out of it?
Growing up, I was always involved in a variety of sports and athletics, getting the chance to discover my talents, abilities, and different parts of myself in different ways through different sports. When I was doing gymnastics, I learned that I loved acrobatics; while ballet showed me my graceful side through dance. In trapeze, I really dug deep into my acrobatic side; while soccer let me express my competitive and aggressive side. The beauty of it is that it just shows me how dynamic and beautiful I am as a woman.

You are now gaining a lot of traction as a model. What has been your introduction to the fashion industry, and what do you like about modeling?
My introduction to the fashion industry has been on a grand level as I've had the privilege of working with countless legends and esteemed fashion houses. I see modeling as a form of acting — silent acting. You still go into character and are putting on this persona; but are challenged to tell a story with no words.

You use your platform to talk about issues such as race, women's rights and self-care. Why is it important to use your platform?
I believe it's more than important to use your platform for the greater good because we are constantly influencing young minds in the digital world and with every post, we create and define the times that we live in. So, if we have the power to use our voice, we should be keen on using it.

Other than modeling, what other areas are you interested in exploring as a career?
Lately, I've been interested in learning how to DJ and exploring my interests with photography. As I'm still in school, I like to dive deeper into my passions for worldly knowledge and philosophy. Truthfully, I take great pleasure in writing; I created a blog over the summer, where I wrote some of my daily, more existential thoughts and released my creative side. Right now, I'm scattered in my passions as I have so many, but to make a career that unites all of my passions would be ideal.

What's the most important thing you can do as young person in 2017?
The most important thing you can do as a young person is ground yourself in something that you are passionate about and build your skills and talent. The recent political climate has only been proof that it is imperative that we must speak up for ourselves and stand up for ourselves because the people who are supposed to are not. It is a classic case of "taxation without representation" and I think it is important that we fight back through building ourselves by showing them that they need us more than we need them. 

Read: Meet Petra Collins' inspirational women, featuring Selah Marley, Tavi Gevinson, and Marilyn Minter.


Text Lynette Nylander

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