Angela Rye On Merging Fashion With Activism and Politics

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If you don't know her by name, you probably know her by mouth.

Political commentator Angela Rye has been slaying the political landscape since she arrived on the scene adding some color to a sea of sameness. The 38-year-old activist quickly rose to prominence with her ability to read right-winged political figures intellectually to filth, especially with her debate-stopping one-liners like, "He's YOUR president," and "In this moment, I'm going to Beyonce you. Boy, bye."

With her unapologetic IDGAF vibes, the Seattle University School of Law alum took the Internet world by storm after the 2016 election by sharing her controversial views, becoming a frequent correspondent on media outlets like CNN, NPR, and the Huffington Post.

Rye has established a huge following by forcefully and unapologetically checking the patriarchy and all the misogynoir culture associated with it.

Now, she has the swag to match her clever clapbacks.

Over the past few months, Rye's socials have been been laced with badass outfits that match her bold and unapologetic demeanor. Rye said that her inspiration to slay each day comes from her former mentor, Maxine Waters:

"I worked for [Maxine Waters] when I was a law student and she marched in Manolo's. Like she slays when she is on the house floor. So like, for me, that's style inspiration, I want to be like that. I've always seen black women in politics who slay at the same time."

We caught up with the outspoken political commentator at Tina Knowles's Second Annual Wearable Art Gala. This year's theme was Waco to Wakanda, and Rye's choice in attire did not disappoint. Styled by celebrity stylist Ade Samuels, Rye rocked a beautiful low-cut burgundy patterned dress with a sleek side ponytail accented with gold ornaments.

Honey, she slayed!

She also admitted that aside from being inspired by women in politics like Maxine Waters, her fashion forward friends have had a huge influence on her style evolution.

"I have a friend Kahlana Barfield who is the ' InStyle' fashion editor and she was like, 'You're cute, but you need to step it up.' So I'm like, 'Kahlana, does this work?'"
"I'm so blessed [to have her as a friend.] She's one of the biggest, one of the best, one of the baddest and her reputation in the fashion industry is just amazing. No one would ever say anything negative about her, everything is positive about her because she carries herself as a professional, and her work, she's truly gifted. I'm blessed. We are both from Seattle, so we have that connection there. A great friend. A great sister friend."

Fashion forward political figures like Angela Rye, Michelle Obama, and Maxine Waters have developed an image that represents the modern black female activist and professional. These women demonstrate and embody the idea that women of color are not made to just stand there and look pretty. Our eye for style and disposition toward femininity does not limit our ability to be politically influential.

Rye credited her sense of style to positive self-image, a quality that was instilled in her at a young age by her mom.

"My mom used to make my clothes. We used to have matching outfits for some holidays. They were cute though, not some little cheesy stuff. We used to spend time pointing out African queens and kings on this picture we had, 'who we look like, who in the family looked like each one of these kings and queens,' so from a positive self image and [instilling] that in me, I'm just grateful."

Often times, black women are given the choice: to be beautiful or to be smart.

While the media might portray that women of color have to be one or the other, women like Angela Rye prove that with a strong sense of self and a team that has your back, you can have it all.

Check out some of our favorite style moments from Angela by clicking through the gallery below.


Pure People

Featured image via Angela Rye/Instagram

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