Joanne Petit-Frere

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Often the conflict of being caught between cultures, like Joanne endured while growing up in Flatbush with Haitian roots, produces originality and thus, the most interesting and dynamic type of person. Forced to wear braids, hair ribbons, and lots of frills amongst a sea of sweatpants and t-shirts in grade school, Joanne was quick to become unhinged from all norms and find her own. Today, she is a regal beauty, with hair that embodies her range of self-expression and that left an indelible mark in my brain when I first saw her. By half-shaving it into a circle (channeling both Native American and punk) and taking the Geisha art of hair-rolling to another level, Joanne transforms what can be common into art. In fact, like a true artist, Joanne has the ability to elevate almost anything she comes across to a place of eminance. While she embraces her ethnicity with piles of gold bangles and intricately designed face paint, she prides herself on transcending Joyce Leslie into a couture feel. And few could wear a navy nylon poncho (the same one I used at sleep away camp for hiking) and turn heads like she does; in fact, she has to fend off onlookers from photographing her, even while napping on the subway. Just as she wears a vintage gold embossed bag as a necklace, Joanne turns brass discs from a junkyard from a handbag into a “jewelry sculpture” by adding a leather strap. Culture clash lesson to glean from Joanne Petit-Frere: why ever succumb to the ordinary when you can be extraordinary?

If you like Joanne Petit-Frere, you might also enjoy Ruqaiyah Johnson and Paul Alexander.

  • kat

    love her outlook on fashion/life. i love the way that people who grow up by just getting by have such a different outlook on what they have and use it to the best of their ability.

  • djuna


  • Alicia

    I love this; taking what used to be a source of shame and turning it into something to be celebrated. Beautiful.

  • Agnes En Vogue

    FINALLY SHE’S ON SLU!! I love this girl and her style is DIVINE! Take it over girl.


  • Black Devil

    I am fucking so impressed. That level of creativity deserves some serious recognition. The vibe of her sculptural jewelry reminds me of some of Judy Blame’s stuff, but with a different aesthetic. Such an interesting and aesthetically pleasing look.
    I bet she looks like an editorial wherever she goes.

    And that hair is magnificent.

  • Jenn

    Hair like sculpture!

  • shanice

    all I can say is wow she looks amazing. I wish she could do a tutorial on her hair cause I wanted similar hair for so long but would not even know where to start. she is a true inspiration.

  • elisa

    joanne, how about a tutorial on the slu blog?

  • Shell

    I love how Joanne is comfortable with herself and her style reflects this beautifully.

  • b


  • Jeluxury

    Your style feels effortless and reflects your personality! That is what fashion is all about.

  • patti s

    i love the serene comfort within her skin. she can wear anything (and do anything to her hair) , it never wears her.

  • Diorboi

    She is FUCKING amazing……..
    ive met her in person and she was just so down to earth and just is real. thats what i really like about her.
    just amazing!

  • omowrites

    I know I def saw her at a new years party this year, took her pic for my blog and told her how epic she was. love her style. ad love the jewelry girlie!


  • Joanne Petit-Frere

    Thanks everyone :)!



  • Sophie Samul

    this girl is amazing. it is so clear she embraces herself wholly, and that sense of self-worth is truly contagious. on top of that, her necklaces are totally badass. how can i get one!?

  • Alley O’Shea

    That hair! I’m so inspired.

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