Who made the Awkward Black Girl out the hood - the most hella fly, hella sexy, hella gangsta, and hella successful woman on the planet?
Who made “ROOTING FOR EVERYBODY BLACK” a movement and way of life whenever it’s time to celebrate the greatest creatives on a red carpet?
Who made being your most authentic INSECURE self while showcasing your most natural beauty a blueprint for WINNING…REAL BAD?
ISSA…MUTHA F’N RAE!!!
When the ancestors bless the culture with someone as special as Issa Rae - a once-in-a-generation talent and genius storyteller that brings to life our most dynamic yet underrepresented voices, stories, and multi-dimensional Issa Dee Insecure #TurntUps in the modern #BlackGirlMagic universe…you gotta give it up like a stick-up.
And when this icon chose to rock our very own Black-owned “Say It Loud I’m Black – Natural Hair Kinky Curly & Proud” True + Pure Texture on HBO’s Insecure, “One of the Greatest TV Shows of All Tyyyyyyyme”…child it gets no trilla than dat!
True + Pure Texture founder Pekela Riley gives us the inside scoop on the entire Issa Rae + Insecure True + Pure Texture journey!
HOW DID YOU CONNECT W/ISSA RAE & HER STYLIST FELICIA LEATHERWOOD?
Felicia and I have had a mutual fandom for our work. I was flattered that a celebrity stylist in LA, as major as Felicia, would follow me on IG.
We connected at Texture on the Runway in NY – and during our stylist love fest greeting moment, she mentioned she loved my style and creativity. Felicia asked if I would be open to servicing Issa when she wasn’t available.
I was “hella excited” for the opportunity!
HOW WAS IT WORKING WITH ISSA RAE FOR THE FIRST TIME?
My first Issa shoot was for Vogue, and thanks to my airline flight, it started out as a potential disaster! A stylist’s worst nightmare happened…they lost my kit luggage with all my tools and True + Pure Texture Layla Curl hair pieces and extensions. Of all the places it could’ve been, my kit luggage was sent to Columbia.
I was in straight panic mode. On top of not having my kit, Issa had braids, which would take a while to disassemble, and the call shoot was for a TWA (Tiny Winy Afro).
After gathering myself, I knew I had to make it happen regardless, by any means. I made a couple of calls to my NY circle and made a run to Harlem to gather everything I needed in record time.
Issa knew I was working at a disadvantage, and it created a moment of respect. Issa’s energy instantly comforted me. She respected that despite the inconvenience, I was still on time and ready to work, as she on time as well, a really dope trait of Issa’s. We vibed instantly! She felt like a customer I had known for years. Issa has a grounding that’s so very respectful to the people that service her.
Issa valued my expertise and gave me creative license to style her hair with ease. This is because Issa is very confident. So confident, she doesn’t believe you can mess her hair up. Issa girl gonna make it do what it do regardless. So there were no uncomfortable moments. No flinching or constantly looking in the mirror. It was the best celebrity styling experience I ever had.
I wanted her style to be longer and more glamorous, but it hit me that we created “Fashion Activism.” The message was: “You Gonna Get This Werk…& This Worth” – cuz this is what it’s gonna be cuz lol. It was for sure a historic Type 4 TWA for Vogue.
WHY IS ISSA RAE SUCH A MAGNETIC FIT FOR TRUE + PURE TEXTURE?
Issa Rae is “That Girl” that likes to express her natural texture in different ways. This is very apparent on Insecure. She’s really indifferent to various lengths and styles, just like her characters. She treats her texture like a creative extension of her artistry.
The natural texture component in its different ideations, is so important because that’s Issa at her core. Just like her diverse characters on Insecure that all reflect a True + Pure core component of her. You will always see that energy in her style. It’s that “I’m That Natural Girl” energy she’s always gonna bring.
Issa be like – what yall gonna get is all that you called frizzy…on MLK Blvd…and on TV. So when we connect for a textured hair styling, the vibe be like - “You Finna Get This Werk.” lol
WHAT WAS THE 1ST STYLE YOU DID FOR ISSA RAE USING TRUE + PURE?
My first style for Issa was for a film festival in Miami, in-between seasons on Insecure. It was a top-knot using Layla Curl, our go-to True + Pure texture extensions for Type 4A-B textured hair.
Issa had an event that night, and we only had an hour to style. So I did a quick top-knot and introduced her to the quick maneuverability of True + Pure Texture pieces. She wore the Layla Curl clip-ins. I used about five clip-ins to create a nice soft top, which was a nice dressing to her hairline.
The True + Pure Texture Layla Curl styling was perfect for that “Get you something hella cute for the night, and out the door.”
Issa LOVED IT! Right after we took this picture, she followed me on IG and we began our social media relationship.
WHY DOES TRUE & PURE TEXTURE LAYLA CURL WORK SO WELL FOR ISSA?
Issa has beautiful Type 4 textured hair. Layla Curl is the perfect match and blend for hers. Because of the variances in density, Layla Curl is most fitting to her – especially for her roles on Insecure. Layla Curl provides the blend-ability the 4C energy Issa gives us – but combines that with a care-free ease reflected in the looser coil. #LaylaCurl poppin!
WHAT ARE YOU & ISSA’S CONVO’S LIKE WHEN YOU ALL CONNECT?
Our convos are actually not about hair or her next True + Pure Layla Curl styling. Normally we’re crackin up about something funny going on in the world, sharing memes. If I showed you some of our DMs…you’d probably lose a rib or two from laughing so hard lol. They could easily be their own WTF hilarious moments on an Insecure episode.
WHAT TYPE OF STYLING CONVOS DO YOU HAVE W/ISSA’S STYLIST FELICIA LEATHERWOOD?
I support Felicia by coloring the True + Pure Texture pieces that match for Issa. I give suggestions for which pieces work best for a specific scene on Insecure.
If it’s Issa’s younger self on an Insecure episode, she needs a super short textured hair piece without color to match a specific era or age she’s portraying.
If it was the epic last Insecure episode event where Issa’s wearing a formal dress, where her hair needed to be naturally elegant with length. I provided her the True + Pure Layla Curl textured hair pieces and coloring needed.
Then I sit back to anticipate what Felicia creates with it.
WALK US THROUGH THE EXPERIENCE OF PROVIDING ISSA RAE TRUE + PURE TEXTURE EXTENSIONS FOR THE LAST SEASON OF INSECURE?
It was an honor because we knew it was the last season, we were providing True + Pure Texture hair for. It was a historic moment we infused elevated texture hair for.
True + Pure Texture Extensions were chosen because of the high quality and our reliability for textured hair. Our True + Pure Texture was used for the main marketing images featuring Issa.
The most epic moment in the last episode of Season 7 was when Issa confirmed her love journey dream and was no longer “Insecure.” Issa had True + Pure Texture on, not because she needed it, but because she was so secure with how she extended her natural textured hair.
We were with her in that moment. I hope that moment is embodied amongst textured hair women around the world.
WHAT IMPACT HAS ISSA RAE & HER AUTHENTIC TEXTURE STYLING HAD ON THE CULTURE?
OMG! Issa has helped so many women feel secure and shed the need for assimilation. Issa does not assimilate to her co-stars or Hollywood – because her journey was never about assimilation…but self-acceptance.
Also it should be noted, nobody had more pressure than Issa to show up on TV every week with short textured hair that wasn’t audaciously curly, as she did consistently on Insecure. Issa has been a powerful dose of medicine for me and so many sistas – reinforcing the message that - “You Are Always More Than Enough.”
Insecure cured many women – especially with textured hair, and for others it was enough to help them feel better about themselves in a self-loving transformative way. I’m sure her new show “Rap Ish” will have an incredible eye-opening impact on our culture as well.
WHAT MESSAGE DOES ISSA RAE CHAMPION THAT RESONATES MOST WITH THE TRUE + PURE TEXTURE HAIR TRIBE?
I EXPRESS MYSELF IN TEXTURE!