But Martin wants to know, what did Monáe wear at her age?

“I used to wear Jordans with a Jaguars Starter jacket,” the Dirty Computer composer recalls. “I didn’t have the money, so I had to get creative in high school. I was on the cusp of finding my identity at 14.”


In that respect, Martin seems light years ahead of her cousin, not only experimenting with style but also with eyewear, since, as she notes, “contacts hurt.” In fact, her array of spectacles are as much her signature as Monáe’s suits and hats have become hers.

“People come up to me all the time and say, ‘My daughter wouldn’t wear her glasses until she saw you in Little or on Black-ish,’ Martin reveals. “Now I have my own production company, and my logo literally has my glasses on it because that’s who I am.”


Monáe shares her own experience of finding her identity through fashion, telling Martin, “When I began touring, stylists would tell me to dress more feminine. And that’s the reason I stayed in my tuxedo so long—out of rebellion. I wanted to prove that I could make it by being my authentic self. It was about proving that, as women, we can wear tuxedos, we can wear dresses, we can show skin, or not show skin. But we need to be in control of that...I want to have a fashion line one day for girls and boys who can rock my looks and feel like they’re part of something bigger than just clothing.”

We’d love to see that—and Martin has already offered to model, so it may be a family affair.


(Updated 3/3/22 with new details)