“I want to look like a piece of art every day.” Reign Apiim brings her art to life. “I’ve been studying art and art history since I was in junior high, and why not bring that into my look?” The recent Parsons graduate took some time to find herself: “I started with my hair – I was dyeing it and cutting it to look like my favorite pop stars. But then I realized – I’m an artist, my most valuable ideas come from inside me – and that’s when it came together.”
Not many urban princesses wear their crowns every day, but Reign believes in the outcome. “If I dress like a queen then I will become one,” says Apiim, whose self-created moniker stands for All Power Is Within Me. “Besides, I just like wearing jewels every day. I love India, I love the jewels of royalty. I even want an Indian wedding one day!” And sometimes it feels outrageous: “Sometimes I go out and think ‘I went a little crazy today,” she laughs, “and other times I think ‘I could’ve done a little more!”
The art and fashion training in her background helps. “I make most of my clothes, and all of my headpieces. I buy things on eBay, or in thrift shops. I like to make things look expensive that aren’t.” And yes, the painter can tone it down, if she has to: “At work, I have to look normal, and take off all the jewels,” she sighs. “It pains me.”
As for beauty? “My makeup’s really simple – I don’t use foundation, just liner mascara, blush, and a red lip. I use the cheapest stuff. I’m just out of school, what can I say? My friends get sick of my collection of $1 lipsticks. One of them bought me a Chanel red for Christmas. I love it – I love the packaging! And some day I will buy more than just NYC brand, but I like that I can just go into the drugstore and get my stuff.”
And if people want to stare? “Yes, I’m dressed like this to go to the supermarket or to get on the train, but why not? I meet so many people this way! And people are cool…so why not connect with them?”
Chanel Rouge Allure Luminous Intense Lip Color in Inimitable.
NYC cosmetics mascara and liner in Black.
Wet’n’Wild powder blush in Heather Silk.