Monica Veloz, also known as @monicastylemuse, is as authentic as they come.
The fashion and beauty vlogger, known for embracing Afro-Latinidad identity in her makeup videos, is back with a brand new collection of merch, following the success of her first line, which launched in February 2018.
Although Veloz’s videos are in English, she incorporates Dominican phrases and Spanish lingo into clips shown to her over 340,000 YouTube subscribers. She does the same with her clothes. Her original line included phrases like “Te molesta mi brillo?” translation: “Does my brightness bother you?”
The makeup guru turned cultural clotheshorse shared with CHICA the motivation behind her fresh pieces. “I felt the need to incorporate my personal sayings because it gives my audience a piece of me to them. When I meet my muse familia, they are full of life, they are bold, they are proud, and I wanted to give them something that represented us,” she explained, referring to her supporters.
As a first-generation Dominican raised in Brooklyn, she has boldly clapped back at colorism in the Latin-American community and has spoken out on the complexities of being Afro-Latina with videos such as “I Am Too Dark to Be Dominican” and “Afro-Latino Struggles Are All in My Head.” She reveals that “being an Afro-Latina has absolutely influenced my merch. Anytime you see my merch, I want you to know that I’m comfortable in the skin I’m in, and I hope it encourages others to do the same.”
Veloz transmits her strength to her muse family through her products. “I hope they [supporters] take away feeling a sense of confidence! A sense that nobody can tell you nothing! A lot of my sayings are very bold and straightforward and if you’re wearing my pieces, I know you are EXTRA AND OWNING WHO YOU ARE NO MATTER WHAT.”
Throughout the creation process, she’s had help — and even gained some relationship wisdom. Veloz’s brother, photographer Juan Veloz, and her boyfriend, John, a graphic artist, were actively involved in the new line. “I am very appreciative of having a supportive boyfriend who deals with my crazy behind,” she says, laughing. “It can be very difficult at times because you want to separate business and personal, so I’ve learned to have a balance. I have also learned to sit back and take constructive criticism. I’m not sure if you can tell but I’m pretty outspoken and sometimes I forget to just listen. Listening and learning to communicate under pressure is definitely the key to our successful relationship.”
The latest collection consists of hoodies, winter hats and crewnecks. While the muse family were able to splurge on items in a November 27 pre-sale, the merch will officially launch on November 30 at 10 a.m. PST through her management, SociaLebs website.