Hip hop is in the midst of an exciting renaissance with a bevy of female rappers dominating the charts. Creating countless viral songs and headlining major concerts, they're proving, yet again — like in the '90s heydays — the genre isn’t just for the boys. One of those fresh faces is Kari Faux, the 25-year-old Little Rock native who rose to fame for her punchy hooks and impressive wordplay, as well as her zany personality and quirky personal style.
Words: Shammara Lawrence | Photography: Eric Chakeen | Modeling: Kari Faux | Styling: Rajni Lucienne Jacques | Hair: Tetsuya Yamakata | Makeup: Angie Parkerwww.teenvogue.com
Sartorially speaking, no two days are the same for Kari, who can go from rocking a form-fitting leopard bodysuit one day to a classic graphic tee and jeans the next. “My style is usually a reflection of how I’m feeling that day or where I am at a certain time in my life,” she explains. Just like her style icons, Debbie Harry and Winona Ryder, Kari refuses to conform, disregarding fashion trends for less-ubiquitous styles she personally loves. “I feel like if you look at my Instagram, I have so many different styles; it’s not just one conventional thing. I'll wear high heel shoes, but I'll also wear Timbs. I wear dresses [and] I wear pants.” A lover of denim for its versatility — her favorite being the light wash selvedge type — she says a denim jacket and hoodie paired with jeans is her perennial uniform. “I'm very much a cozy person. I love hoodies, chinos, and Vans when I'm just on the go.”
While Kari is no doubt self-assured, the lyricist admits she was a bit nervous at her Teen Vogue shoot at first. But she quickly found her groove. “The vibe on set was great. I feel like we all had a good time together,” she affirms. Reflecting on all of the looks, the oversized red button-up, ripped jeans and chunky black platforms outfit stood out as her favorite. It’s something she would typically wear on a night out but still fits her need for comfort.
Kari has come a long way since she started rapping professionally in 2011. In 2014, Donald Glover (aka Childish Gambino) remixed her buzzy track, “No Small Talk,” from her debut mixtape Laugh Now, Die Later, and, more recently, she’s worked with Issa Rae producing original music for the hit HBO show "Insecure." “I never thought my music would be on TV [as] part of such a relevant pop culture staple. For my music to be a part of that, it’s very special,” the lyricist shares.
Between collaborating with rising Hollywood stars and getting recognition from fashion insiders, Kari is riding a high right now — and to think, she's just getting started. The independent artist is working hard on signing with a record label, and has big plans to one day create a music festival in her hometown of Little Rock. Perhaps, a denim line is in the cards for her as well. One thing is for certain: self-made and determined, Kari has one bright future ahead of her.
In this story: Kari wears a Matthew Adams Dolan top, price upon request. Andrea Crews sweater, $325. Andrea Crews skirt, $300. Tee by Tina turtleneck, $58. Sacai shoes, $1.020. Marley wears Wolford bodysuit, $250. Levi’s jacket, $89.50. Theophilio pants, price upon request. Champion hoodie, $25. Bobby Day jeans, $450. 3NY soho boutique. Sacai shoes, $1.020. Andrea Crews jacket, $370. Wolford bodysuit, $250. BStroy jeans, $1200. Massima wears Ksenia Schnaider dress, $550. Kari wears Matthew Adams Dolan top, price upon request. Vintage Levi’s, stylists own. DKNY tights, $16. Matthew Adams Dolan top, price upon request. Model wears Tees by Tina turtleneck, $58. Levi’s jeans, $59.50. Tees by Tina turtleneck, $58. Ksenia Schnaider jeans, $364.