Mary J. Blige is an R&B icon, and rightly so. Since the release of her debut album, What’s the 411? in 1992, she has risen to the forefront of hip hop and created history as a major female musician. She’s a fashion icon recognized for her groundbreaking New York swag as well as a Grammy Award-winning performer.
She is now improving her acting abilities. In the third season of Power Book II: Ghost, she reprises her role as Monet Stewart Tejeda, a fierce queen pin drug dealer who is also a single mother attempting to make it in a male-dominated industry. It’s brutal, and she wasn’t always a savvy streetwalker. She’s a college-educated lady who constantly sides with the evil guy. The new Starz season will be available on Amazon Prime Video on March 17.
She clearly brings her power to the screen, including her fashion sense. Frank L. Fleming, the show’s costume designer, outfits Monet in expensive, fashionable professional clothes.
Following that, Mary J. Blige will host The Wine Down with Mary J. Blige, a new interview series on BET and BET Her in which she interviews prominent industry leaders in sports, entertainment, and politics over a bottle of wine. She’s bringing the Strength of a Woman Festival back to Atlanta for Mother’s Day weekend. Mary Can, a new picture book, will be released on March 28.
Blige discusses her changing style, high fashion, and new ventures.
Sayej, Nadja What can be said about Monet’s stylistic evolution?
Mary J. Blige: It’s unbelievable. She is dressed in high-end designers. On the program, my character has a fantastic stylist, Frank L. Fleming. He is continually bringing me the most incredible stuff. Monet continues to rise in popularity.
What can you say about your own personal style growth and what you constantly return to?
I always return to my trusty thigh-high boot. That is my distinctive statement sneaker. A fantastic boot and a superb coat. With that, you can’t go wrong. That seems to be Monet’s specialty as well. She has a fantastic coat and a nice boot; she’s not a thigh-high girl like me, but she has a great coat and a good earing, you know?
What about a decent cross if you’re wearing a diamond cross?
This is Mary, and I’m not sure whether Monet will wear a crucifix [laughs].
It’s Women’s History Month, and your Strength of a Woman Festival is returning. Are you ecstatic?
I’m ecstatic. It performed well last year, just as we expected. It encouraged, elevated, and inspired. People were pleased. I’m hoping for the same this year.
What are your current favorite fashion designers?
I like any designer who is creating something fashionable. Bottega Veneta, urban designers, and Givenchy, Balmain, Chanel, and Gucci are among my favorites. I’ll wear anything you’re wearing if you’re wearing something hot.
What advice do you offer for young female artists that look up to you? What is it vital to give back in terms of wisdom?
It is essential that others perceive you as you are. Be yourself. That is the inspiration in and of itself. Just be yourself. Do what you love and have faith in yourself.