“I’ve gone to all the gay clubs in LA since I was 15. I’m not gay, I’m just open. The music and people are so much better at gay clubs. I went looking for the best gay clubs when I moved to New York. And what do I find? …Males take over 80%, drag queens 10% and transsexuals 10%. But where are the girls? The ones with too much style for straight-minded culture to handle? It’s always the fag hags who are trying to get in a gay boy’s pants with her too tight jeans and belly roll hanging over, accented by a diamond belly ring. I hope to change this.” - Raquel Reed
Raquel Reed just turned 20. Standing 5′7″ (she’s grown a lot these past two years), this outspoken beauty is one of the most sought-after Scene Queens in the US who came into the spotlight around the same time as her ex-best friend, Jeffree Star. Raquel has modeled for Ed Hardy, New York Couture, and now has her own clothing line"along with jimi turco" called Alumni - worn by celebrities such as Katy Perry. With all this going on, Raquel still manages to stay grounded and be incredibly nice to people.
Raquel, where are you from originally?
I was born in NJ and moved to California when I was about 4. I loved CA, but I’m the type of person that gets bored fast, and I love change - so I moved to NYC when I was 17.
Dress by Raquel Reed for Alumni
Same age as me. :) What was the acclimatization process like for you?
It was hard, very hard. But I’ve always been the type to just wing things and see what happens. If you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere! It builds you a tough skin, and that’s what I have now.
How does L.A. compare to New York?
New York is VERY fast-paced, it’s hard to keep up sometimes. It’s also one of the most expensive places to live in the U.S., so being young and trying to afford things on your own can be difficult. In L.A. people are fake behind your back. In New York, if someone has something to say, it will be to your face.
There are many parties to choose from in NYC - which ones do you frequent?
I used to work at a lot of nightclubs - Happy valley, Boys Room. It was fun, but that too gets old fast. I’m not really the party type; I very rarely drink so I’m always the sober one. If I went to a club, it would be to dance and that’s it. I love dancing! I don’t really go out to any clubs anymore for the past year, unless it’s a paid job. I guess you can say I settled down. ;)
Do you ever get tired of your signature turquoise hair and want to change it?
Sometimes. My boyfriend wants me to have black hair, so I went out and tried this black wig on and it looked really good. But I know I would feel not like myself - turquoise just feels like me!
Annoying question but people will want to know: what happened between you and Jeffree Star?
People change and grow into different lives.
Spoken like a true New Yorker - concise and to the point. Any perks/downfalls of fame you’ve experienced so far?
Stalkers are definitely a downside. Walking into a store and having no makeup on and pajamas, but being recognized and asked for a photo? Not fun! Haha. Or if I’m at work (Raquel is a make-up artist at MAC) and I can’t stand around, socialize and take photos, it’s hard to tell people, “I need to work”.
A perk is if you ever come out with anything - a t-shirt, a poster - you’ve got 90,000 people to advertise to.
Are you friends with any other Scene Queens (Hannah Beth, Audrey Kitching, etc.)?
Hannah has always been a great person to me.
She does seem like a sweetheart. What sets you and the above-mentioned models apart is that you guys have a distinct sense of style which you incorporate into photoshoots. Did you like to dress up as a kid?
Yes, I do all the styling, set ideas, and makeup for my shoots. I always loved costumes and making things, and making clothes. When I was a kid, I was always a painter or the artist. I really want to go to art school and learn more about set design, and styling photoshoot concepts - one of the many things I’d like to pursue.
You also do your own (often quite elaborate) make-up. How did you learn it?
I just always practiced on myself. I’ve gone through the worst and the best makeup “looks”, I have to admit - but by trying you learn, and by watching you learn.
They say black models are on the decline (Raquel is black), and have been for several years. What do you have to say to that?
I think black is beautiful, and I think that’s crap that the world is just NOW deciding to go backwards with race in fashion, than forward. I hate how there is always that ONE standard black model in a fashion show. Like they are forced to put her in there to look like they are not against African Americans in their show.
Speaking of fashion shows - who are your favorite designers?
The Blond’s are hot right now, Yves Saint Laurent. Everyone says Betsey Johnson, but I do love her - just wasn’t into her show that much this year.
Good thing you have your own clothing line now! What is your involvement in Alumni?
It is a line my boyfriend Jimi Turco came up with and I am the co-owner of the company. We split the roles: I take on the more artistic side in the photoshoots - style them, get the models, promote online. He’s more of the creator of the shirt designs and works on the business aspect. Together we are unstoppable! And I’m also the Alumni Princess of the company. ;D haha
ihateraquelreed.com - coming soon
Tell us about your upcoming site, ihateraquelreed.com.
It’s my official site that will have an online store and some other goodies. My new t-shirt design will be out in a few months, also available on the site. October 8th is the Alumni release party in NYC, so mark your calendars and I’ll see you there!
Thank you Raquel, it was a pleasure chatting with you. :)