We have DJ LouieXIV to thank for spotting the formidable Trae Harris at The New School, as she introduced us to the highly conscious and creatively gifted, identical twins, Dynasty and Soul. The two live up to their names, in that they approach everything, from their indigenous burlap hats to their twinhood, as an exercise in better understanding their identities, which is not an easy task growing up gay. But adversity, combined with the solid parenting of their dad who is from Nigeria and mom who is from the West Indies, nurtured Dynasty and Soul into their power. The tattoos that cover their bodies, with symbols of genies, chakras, Egyptian mythology and the Brooklyn subway system, are a testament to their strong sense of heritage (including a love for the richly diverse Flatbush) and refusal to buy into the homogenous conventions of the larger culture that surrounds them.
They are not only each other’s muses in their dedication to escaping sexual stereotypes, but as inspiration for their respective business’. Dynasty, with her finesse at mixing an animal print head wrap with a camouflage jacket and yellow printed hoodie, is a clothing designer, who designs with her sister’s more graceful, rich and effortless layering in mind. Her modern take on a unisex cargo pant is just the right combo of slim and baggy and is filled with concealed details, as exemplified by the multiple pockets in all the right places. Soul, with her classic button up to the neck, vintage vest with a Victorian watch fob, bloomers, luxe tassel belts and floral tights, is a metal smith who explores the significance of ancient geometry in her jewelry with her sister’s attraction to the oneness between masculine and feminine in mind. I love Soul’s square and triangular bangles and the strong, simple, gender-neutral feel of her rings.
Dynasty & Soul’s mom, Josephine, taught them to dress, and thus live, with a sense of freedom and individuality. As a result, they are handsome as they are beautiful and “not the book that you would assume to know about when you pick it up to read it,” as Dynasty says.