point of you: sasha escareño
i-D asked our readers across the USA for their point of view on beauty. Sasha Escareño tells about about the creative scene in Phoenix, their queer and Latinx community, and why it's powerful to look sleek.
Earlier this year, i-D asked our readers across the USA for their point of view on beauty, asking them to submit stories to us that encapsulated what the future might look like. The six winners then came to New York to be shot by photographer Micaiah Carter, and tell us all about what informs their worldview. Here, Sasha Escareño tells about about the creative scene in Phoenix, their queer and Latinx community, and why it's powerful to look sleek.
What's it like in Phoenix?
Phoenix is really fun. It's up and coming in a lot of ways. A lot of young, creative people establishing scenes together. There's a lot of cross collaboration too, because there's a bunch of young people who are learning music, who are learning fashion, who are learning just art in general. Learning it all together, versus like in other cities that are like, New York, already established as big scenes here. In Phoenix. you're not learning with massive giants of industry. Music and fashion is crossing over a lot in ways I don't think it happens in other places. I think Phoenix is unique. It's not a mega city, but it's not a small city either.
Tell us about your community.
I think that Arizona is really conservative. Phoenix is conservative too, but just like any place, if you're in the city part of it, it's a little bit more liberal. That's not to say there's not issues of race and class, but it does push you to build a community. You're kind of forced to build a community. I would say my community's really fun. Every one's really gay and queer, very big Latinx influence. I think that's really cool too.
Anytime I go to other cities, to go to a Techno night or a DJ night, and like what the fuck, Phoenix is cooler. Like you know, I'm just like, I'm underwhelmed by other cities, but it makes me appreciative.
What are you doing at the moment?
I started DJ'ing this summer. It's like in another city, I would have never been given that opportunity, let alone finding someone to really teach me and take time and for me to have the time, and for me to have the space to like ... where like getting on a DJ set at like a cool party doesn't rely on my clout in ways. Does that make sense?
Completely. What's your relationship like with beauty?
I really enjoy it. Lately I've been getting into sport fetish, kind of Tommy Genesis. I'm really into sport fetish right now. Beauty's really fun. I think it's really creative. I think definitely it's a form of expression, it's a form of confidence. I think that you can find yourself in it and you can really... truly be beautiful. Cheesy as it sounds, you have to really feel it from inside, but the external factors of it really help. It kind of also helps you get to that space, because you put on a look and then you're just like ... okay I'm in Phoenix, but I look hot as fuck. You know what I mean [laughs]?
What do you enjoy doing most? Is it styling or photography or DJ'ing?
I like styling the best. I think that music kind of helped me become a better stylist... I honestly think DJ'ing is partly acting too, which is why it is fun for me, because you get to put on a look, and you're just like I'm going to mix this really cool song you've never heard of, but you're going to feel. Then photography, I've just started to dabble in photography a little bit. I really want to learn photography more, just to be a better stylist and understand kind of every component about styling and about fashion.
Having a total vision for what you want to create.
Obviously, I'm more feminine, so I have to compete with that. I think fashion is forgiving of femininity, so it's kind of what like also pulls me towards fashion versus maybe music or something like that.
Who inspires you?
My three icons, SOPHIE, Solange, and Azealia Banks.
And Charli XCX. Yeah, my Mount Rushmore, Solange, Azealia Banks, Charli XCX, and Sophie.
What's your favorite look at the moment?
Sleek. Like if you just look sleek, I think it's hot. I think to look sleek right now, in a period of chaos, nationally and internationally, feels like you're in control and you're in control of the moment. Maybe it doesn't feel like it, maybe you just are in control of the moment because you look great, and you look ready and determined. There's a lot of chaos and instability, but then when you just look sleek, you're like, "Okay, come at me."
What makes you excited about the world? What makes you excited to keep going and not give up on planet Earth?
I think what I look forward to is just to see what my friends are doing and how everyone's growing. I think right now, especially, we're in a period where there's a lot of new artists emerging and it feels like there's a shift in what's considered art, what isn't considered art. There's just a shift, there's a transition. I don't know the answer to the transition, but I think that's cool, because I don't think anyone knows the end to the shift or the destination that we're getting to. That gives us the freedom and other young creative people and older creative people to contribute to wherever the destination is.
Photography Micaiah Carter
Styling Shawn Lakin
Hair Kendall Dorsey
Makeup Raisa Thomas
Nails Leanne Woodley
Producer Chloe Mina
Production Manager Elina Angel
Senior Creative Emery Coopersmith
Associate Account Manager Sam Mark
Talent Director Andrea Haber
Photography Assistants Nigel So Hang, Rahim Fortune
Digital Technician Victor Tate
Stylists Assistants Nicole Chan, Charlotte Jackson
Hair Assistant Natalia Borgas
Makeup Assistants Keyana Morrisson
Production Assistants Ryan Hall, Tiye Amenechi