Words by Shatay Speights

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Who doesn’t love a good form of homage? Designer, stylist, model and influencer Aleali May channeled the late R&B icon Aaliyah effortlessly at the launch party last Thursday (June 14) for the MAC x Aaliyah makeup collection — officially in stores today!


May wore the iconic all-white lace-up ensemble that Aaliyah rocked during her last television appearance on BET’s 106 & Park on Aug 21 2001, mastering the look completely with help from Baby Girl’s actual former stylist Derek Lee. From the gold embellishments down to the white sneakers, Aleali killed this look and executed it so well that we bet it caused anyone who glanced in her direction to do a double take.

??? @dleestyle

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Beauty aficionados, style enthusiasts, socialites, celebrities and former collaborators of Miss L-I-Y-A-H gathered in Hollywood to celebrate the much-anticipated launch of the MAC x Aaliyah makeup collection. After waiting almost three years for this tribute collection to happen, the wait is finally over. Since the last announcement surrounding the tribute makeup collection inspired by Baby Girl was released at the end of May, fans and beauty lovers have been waiting eagerly to see how the cosmetic line would stand up to the hype. The collection is now available for purchase both online and in stores.

May took the opportunity to pay further tribute to the “Rock The Boat” singer by wearing products from the MAC x Aaliyah beauty line. Her makeup look from the evening featured “Baby Girl” Bronzer, “Care 4 You” Eyeshadow and “Lili’s Motor City” Lipglass and mastered Aaliyah’s classic glam look.

The first woman Air Jordan sneaker design collaborator has been a fan of the Aaliyah’s since she was five years old. Posters of the “More Than a Woman” artist adorned the walls of her childhood bedroom, and their subject quickly became one of May’s lifetime sources of style inspiration. The influence of the Princess of R&B can clearly be seen in May’s sense of style—a cool mix of eclectic high fashion, edgy street style, sex appeal and laid back aesthetics.

If anyone can carry on the legacy of Aaliyah’s signature tomboy sense of style, Aleali May definitely can. She has also managed to establish her own unique style aesthetic in the process.

What do you think of Aleali May’s tribute to Aaliyah? Did she nail the look?