Read full article here.

@msmaverickmuse has created a fashion-forward, hyper styled IG feed that looks as if it’s run by a team of ten, when in actuality, it’s a one-woman show. Here, below, the muse talks with us about creative expression, industry challenges, and the power of the nonverbal cue.

You have such a specific brand and image. Tell us more about The Maverick Muse and how you got your start.

The Maverick Muse was a result of my strong desire for personal truth. I wanted to be recognized as, both, artist and muse. I’ve always had an inner pull to do things my own way, create myself, and inspire others. My brand story developed over the course of many years; the first seed planted when someone I loved called me their “muse.” As much as I found it endearing to be someone’s object of inspiration, it produced a fire within me to rebel and reclaim the title “muse” for myself.

When/why did you start building your brand?

I like to believe I have always been creating The Maverick Muse. I’ve been experimenting with clothes and makeup to achieve a ‘look’ ever since I was little. My mom worked at Estee Lauder so I had access to beauty products. Also, I was a dancer, so dressing up to perform was like breathing to me.

I recall practicing runway walks in my upstairs hallway and playing ‘fashion show’ for my mom. I would choreograph dances to perform with my friends whenever my parents had company over. I did all of this because I loved entertaining and being imaginative. I think a lot of it was growing up in Albany, NY as well. There wasn’t much to do but play outside and make up games. I lived in my head a lot and often daydreamed about a world where my dreams could become my reality. My dad installed a home theater in our basement so I watched a lot of movies and noticed myself becoming very attached to the characters. In a way, I was visualizing myself as them, creating my own imaginary movie. From an early age, I was directing myself; in charge of how I wanted my story to unfold. It felt empowering to be in control of my own reality.

Why fashion? What initially sparked your interest in this industry?

Fashion has always been my favorite way to get a message across without having to say a word. I love the power of a nonverbal cue.

Also, fashion helps me get out of my head and just allow. It brings me a sense of the tangible in the rather non-tangible process of bringing a vision to life. Above all else, there’s also a sort of time travel and exoticism that comes with fashion. I feel as though I can step into another era just by the threads I choose, which is why I love vintage so much.

Any icons? Where do you shop?

My current favorites are Frida Kahlo, Carmen Miranda, Marilyn Monroe, Diana Vreeland and Renaissance painter Botticelli.

I shop at Crossroads Trading Co and various vintage shops around LA such as Vintage Vortex and Regeneration.

What’s the most challenging thing you’ve faced in the fashion/influencer industry?

The hardest obstacle for me to overcome has been to slowly convince the fashion industry to accept a new story. In many ways, I’m disrupting the editorial world. I don’t really know any other models doing their own hair, makeup, styling, location scouting, and creative direction. I’m learning my worth as a Renaissance woman.

What’s next for you?

The future I tend to leave unwritten and open ended for various reasons. But I will say I do have visions for a few self-published books, self-help courses, an app, DIY programs, and product design. Plus I have a huge desire to bring this act on the road.

Stay tuned for a city near you. 

Natalie Hovee