Teyana Taylor’s stardom is doing anything but fading.
The 25-year-old triple threat took the music world by storm when she debuted in Kanye West’s music video for “Fade” in the middle of this year’s live MTV Video Music Awards.
Taylor’s captivating Flashdance-esque routine in a sports bra and thong fueled headlines and water cooler conversation in the weeks that followed. While she has been in the business since she was a teenager, the moment catapulted her to instant international stardom.
“It was a do-or-die moment where I was like, ‘I’m going to dance my heart out,'” Taylor said in the October issue of Paper about making the video. The level of heart certainly showed and celebrities from all parts of the industry could not help but applaud her. The video has since amassed over 38 million views on YouTube alone.
While Taylor’s muscular physique has garnered praise from some of Hollywood’s most notable women, including Chrissy Teigen and Kim Kardashian, Taylor believes being a mom made the moment even more impactful.
“I honestly don’t feel like ‘Fade’ would have had the same effect had I just been 21, hot body, single,” she told the magazine. “It was more than just dancing in a sports bra and a thong.”
What it was, according to Taylor, was an affirmation that women can have it all.
“You can be superwoman. You can have it all, that balance in your relationship, your family and your career. It’s the opposite of the cliché that says kids will slow you or your career down.”
Instead, she’s since walked on a runway viewed by one of her idols, Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour. “I was nervous as hell,” Taylor said of her strut in West’s Yeezy Season 4 show in September. “I saw the posture, I saw the bangs, I saw the bob and I saw the shades, and I said, ‘Anna’s here.'”
“That’s when my nervousness really turned up. I love Anna. I’m obsessed with her. So, to know she was there, that she knows who I am…,” she added.
In fact, Taylor recently launched a line of baby head wraps inspired by her daughter Iman Tayla Shumpert, Jr., who she shares with husband and basketball pro Iman Shumpert. “She’s a damn baby mogul,” Taylor said of her only child. “Junie’s so cool, Anna Wintour might see me and be like, ‘Where’s Junie?'”
In the midst of all her present success, Taylor credits little Junie for all of the good vibes.
“She’s been our good luck charm. She’s just been everything,” she told the magazine. “From the moment I got pregnant with her to the day she was born, it’s been all positives, all greatness, all iconic.”
Taylor’s relationship with Kanye is long-standing, going back to 2010 and the recording of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. A meeting to talk fashion ended up with her adding vocals to the tracks “Dark Fantasy” and “Hell of a Life.”
She then joined up with G.O.O.D. Music in 2012, and released her debut album, VII, with them in 2014.
Just a week after “Fade” dropped, Taylor was walking in the much-anticipated Yeezy Season 4 show at Roosevelt Island. The Vanessa Beecroft-designed production was controversial, with some models fainting and struggling to negotiate the catwalk. “I was nervous as hell,” recalls Taylor.