A HOUSE OF HER OWN
story + stylist / KOKO NTUEN photographs / CLÉMENT PASCAL
hair / BETHANY BRILL makeup / HARUMI MACHII
Angela Simmons is a socialite with her roots in hip hop royalty. As soon as I met the beautiful woman behind the name, I quickly realized she is a lot more than just the spawn of Run DMC rap legend, Reverend Run. She is also a lot more than just a reality show star, although she is that too, having had quite a presence on MTV’s Run’s House and Daddy’s Girls. But in a time when reality shows are a dime a dozen, Angela has proven herself to be a daring little diamond with her ambition and talent and is quickly becoming a budding fashion designer and entrepreneur. She’s an editor for a self-titled monthly magazine, Angela’s Rundown, and she— along with sister Vanessa—run the sneaker brand, Pastry, which has recently received props from Hova himself in his hit song “Empire State Of Mind.” (“Catch me in the kitchen like Simmons whipping Pastry.”) If you want an even quicker run down of her roster, you can check out her very public romance with Bow Wow, her nude editorial for PETA, and the weekly images of her living it up that grace almost every blog. Being in the spotlight since birth is no easy task, and Angela gave Ladygunn some insight on what it is like living so close to the camera lens, and growing up with Rev Run as a daddy.
What music were you listening to in high school?
In high school, I listened a mixture of the same stuff that I do now, too. I loved Destiny’s Child, Avril [Lavigne], Ashlee Simpson, 702, Brandy, Monica, Tyrese, and 112. I loved so many different artists. Mariah Carey was another [musician] I adored.
What was it like growing up in front of the cameras? Did this impact your view on the public and the media?
Growing up in front of the cameras was something to get use to, at first. Being in front of [the] camera for so many years, meant putting a lot of my life [out in the public] and being in a way really vulnerable. My eyes [were] opened after being on TV to [the] media and the public. I don’t think I truly realized how much my life was about to change. I didn’t realize how many people would recognize me on the street and how much the media either attacks you or raises you up. It was definitely a change. But overall, the experience has been amazing.
Any plans to record an album?
I mean, never say never. I love music. I wouldn’t say I’m an artist, but I love doing what makes me happy. And I LOVE music, so never say never.
Any plans to foray into acting?
It’s not my main focus right now, but I enjoy being in front of the cameras. Living out emotions on camera is really fun!
How did the fashion world receive you and your sister’s line, Pastry, when it first hit the market?
Pastry got a really great reaction at first, and it’s now really growing rapidly. Things have been going so well with pastry. The brand continues to grow and develop more and more. My sister and I have created a shoe that’s so girly and fun. It allows a girl to be a girl. I feel so girly and free wearing Pastry!
What was your favorite shoe brand growing up?
I loved jelly sandals, and also Converse was a fun one.
Do you consider yourself a sneaker head?
I would say when I was younger that I was way more of a sneaker head. I’m crazy for Pastry, though. I’ve also become a lady in heels! Fashion is everything.
What’s your favorite aspect of Pastry?
I love that we channel so many different females. We cover the sweet, chic, and unique girl. It leaves room to always change it up. That’s the kind of female I am. You never know what Pastry is up to next. We are constantly developing.
What are you working on now?
I’m currently working on a lot of fresh new projects. My clothing line is in the works and a lot of other great things. Books to Movies. So many amazing projects.
What was it like when you heard Jay-Z drop pastry in the song “New York”?
That is the coolest thing ever! Who can say that they got a shout out from Jay-Z? It’s so freaking cool!!
Black Mesh Crop Top and Orange Fuschia Romper, Timo Weiland.
How do you handle the paparazzi?
I just let them do what they do. If they find me while I’m out, there’s not much I can do. I’m not going to run. I just let them get their shots.
What is it like dating in Hollywood?
It’s like dating anywhere else. The only difference is that everyone knows your business and what’s going on. I must say that when you are spotted in Hollywood with anyone you are automatically with them, which is crazy.
What’s your favorite thing about traveling?
Traveling gives me a chance to check out people’s styles in different places. I get super inspired by everything I see all around me. I love checking out all the stores all over the world. And I love hotels, foods, and spas, so traveling is the best way to check it all out.
What do you miss most about being a teenager?
Being a teenager was great. I had it way easier. I miss coming home to cooked meals from my parents, and having fun movie dates with friends. It was so much fun.
What was the first concert you ever went to?
My first concert was for sure a Run DMC concert. What’s cooler then seeing your daddy perform?
What did you want to be when you were a kid?
Always a fashion designer since I was 9 years old. I always knew.
Shoulder Cut Out Shirt + Flared Trousers, Richard Chai.
Who do you get advice from?
I get advice from my mom and dad all the time. Family advice is priceless. I often go to friends or my best friend. Friends are great. I don’t have many, so I cherish the ones I have.
You are a constant subject in the media. How do you manage all of the media attention?
I often don’t know when I’ll wind up in the media, but if it’s good stuff GREAT. If it’s bad, I just let them talk and go on about my day. It’s kind of apart of the job I signed up for.
Do you read blogs?
I try not to often, but I do sometimes. Twitter makes not looking at blogs almost impossible.
What is one of your favorite childhood memories?
My favorite childhood memory is being young and watching my dad perform from the side of the stage, and traveling with him from city to city, sometimes. Another one is Christmas. Christmas was always the best and still is. I have so many amazing memories: building forts with Vanessa and JoJo. We use to build huge forts made out of blankets in our rooms. It would take up all the space in our rooms. I love those days. I was very blessed to have an amazing childhood.
Dress, Timo Weiland.