The “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” star’s shoe collection — which spans three large closets located across the Peach State — is more than 1,000 pairs deep and the most tangible testament of her devotion to Christian Louboutin and Giuseppe Zanotti.
“Don’t ask me why, but I love [Christian Louboutin’s] So Kate [pumps],” the rapper and owner/CEO of Atlanta-based Pressed boutique told FN when the publication caught up with her recently. “Every single one that I have hurt my damn feet so bad that it don’t make no sense. But I still buy them anyways because they look so good when you put them on.”
On the heels of a roller coaster year, the mother of two boys — who recently revealed that she battled postpartum depression after the birth of her youngest son, Karter — opened up with Footwear News about how she is using her passion for style (sore feet be damned) to empower the women who look up to her.
“Women come in the store, and they’re like, ‘My husband and I are starting date night,’ and I’m like, ‘Girl, we have to turn up for him — I know you ain’t been turning up!’” she said. “It goes from that extreme — where someone feels too plain — to myself and my glam team making over cancer patients or mothers who have been struggling to find a job and need help getting dressed for an interview. We do whatever we can do to help women and keep them strong and focused.”
While viewers can check out her trendy ensembles every Monday night on VH1-produced “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” locals and tourists who pop into Pressed are often greeted and served by the star herself.
“Having an online store for so many years, I wasn’t able to be personal with the customers,” Rasheeda, who launched the e-commerce site Pressedatl.com in 2011, said. “But now that I’m in the store a lot and working with people — pulling them out of their comfort zones and putting them in pieces they normally wouldn’t wear, [then] seeing the self confidence just come across their face — the gratification from that is amazing.”
But that’s not to say that there isn’t a downside to being both famous and accessible.
“You’re human and you have good and bad days — and on the days that things aren’t going good, you still have to put on a great face and always be nice and pleasant — which can get a little crazy,” she explained. “Then sometimes people think they know your life and what you should or shouldn’t be doing when they never walked a day in your shoes and they just see a piece of your life on TV and think they got it all figured out.”
Nevertheless, Rasheeda — who is also mulling more locations for her fashion boutique — seems to have an uncanny ability to make lemonade out of lemons without missing a single chic beat.
Here, she talks personal style, creating work-life balance and why she may be launching a fashion line sooner than you think.
How would you describe your personal style?
“My personal style is tomboy chic with an extra edge to it. I’m not a girly girl, so it’s more of a relaxed tomboy type of swag.”
How has your style changed over the years?
“Well, it’s evolved some — I can splurge a little more on certain things. But I think as I’m getting older, I’m just more comfortable with who I am and I know the things that I like, and I never try to reach. I never try to let clothes wear me. I always try to do my own thing. I realize that more now that I’m older than I did before because [there were] times I used to say, ‘I want to wear that,’ just because I saw it. I don’t think like that anymore — I just get what I like. I don’t have to have the hot whatever because other people are doing it. Now I lay my own path and let that set a standard. I also think I’m able to mix and match more. I love being able to show off my Pressed pieces and maybe [at the same time] put on an exclusive runway piece from Gucci. But that’s not always the focal — the main thing for me is to be comfortable in what I’m rocking.”
Do you do any high-low mixing with your fashion?
“Yes, I like Zara a lot, and I do H&M every now and then. But honestly, I wear a lot of the clothes from my store. My shoes and my bags might be a little more high-end, but I also sell shoes in my store [that are not so high-end], and I wear all of those as well. I mix everything — anytime you see me, I’m always wearing something from Pressed. I always give [my fans] something [they can access]. So maybe my shoes cost $1,500 but you can get this outfit or some shoes similar to this [from Pressed] for $89, and you can still come out with this complete outfit from Pressed for $120.”
Where does your love of fashion come from?
“I’ve always loved clothes — especially starting out originally in hip-hop. I think it all just came together — the fashion, the lifestyle and the music. I used to be really into accessories. I always needed the big earrings, the necklaces and the bracelets — I always felt like the accessories just topped my outfit off. I’m always like, ‘Oh my God, I need a hat or wait, wait, wait I need these big-ass earrings!’”
Is there a look you wouldn’t be caught dead in?
“I don’t wear lots of body dresse, but that’s just me. If I do wear a body dress, I have on like a cardigan or something over it. I just feel like I don’t need to do [body dresses] all the time. But that’s not something I wouldn’t be caught dead in — because I’d wear it, but I’d just wear it differently, with a denim jacket or something like that. But I think whatever gets thrown at me I can just pull it together. I would never wear white stockings with black shoes or black stockings and white shoes. But I will wear some white shoes and some black bobby socks. It’s weird.”
What’s your beauty regimen?
“I wash my face with black soap every day. I put cocoa butter on my face every single day. On a day when I don’t have to get glammed up — it’s just a little bit of [Mac] NC 45 [foundation], some lashes and maybe fill in my eyebrows depending on how I’m feeling and some gloss.”
Why is helping other women so important to you?
“I’m a mom. And a lot of times, we put ourselves on the back burner as far as getting ourselves together and keeping it tight. So I love helping women pull it together. Whatever we can do to help women, I try to help them because a lot of times people can’t go out and purchase the things that they want or get their makeup professionally done. So there is a wide variety of things I try to do to keep my women inspired and feeling good.”
How do you find work-life balance, and what advice to you have for other working mothers?
“There really isn’t an actual [formula] to things; you kind of have to weave it out and figure it out as it goes. For myself, I don’t have a specific schedule. So when I’m trying to pull things together, the main thing is to have a support system. But you kind of have to figure out what the priorities are first and then the other things kind of have to fall behind that. The best thing to do is to put yourself on a routine. I know I like to work out; I know have to spend time with my kids; I know I have to be at my store; I know I have to film [“Love & Hip Hop”]; I know have to travel. What’s most important? OK, today is ‘kid day’ or ‘family day,’ then nothing can interrupt that. But even if something comes up and I have to be there, guess what? My kids are coming with me. So there are certain things that you have to facilitate and make happen. Every person’s life is different, and there are different things you have to do to work it out. But just sit back and look at your 24 hours a day and carve those days out for what’s important and run it from there.”
What’s your best advice for young women struggling with their self esteem?
“A lot of times what I get from people is that they’re scared to step out and try things. I have a cosmetic line, and I sell it in the store, and a lot of my darker-skin women are like, ‘I can’t wear orange and purple,’ and I’m like, ‘Honey, yes you can!’” Then they put the lipstick on and they love it. We have to learn to embrace ourselves — point blank, period. You’re not going to look like certain people — you’re only you. Embrace yourself — look at the parts of you that are amazing, and highlight those points. Every woman is not going to have everything. Don’t compromise yourself — you don’t have to do all of that extra stuff to be seen and noticed. Be as be clean and beautiful as you can — don’t try to overdo it or grow up too fast.”
What’s the next big project that you have coming down the pipeline?
“I’m in the process now of just finagling different things and getting started on some new projects. I’m definitely looking forward to pulling together my actual own line — that’s something that I’m actually very serious about. And, of course, a book in the near future. Lord, help me get this done. I’m also have some fitness stuff I’m working on as well — because you know all of that comes together: beauty, fashion and fitness.”