it girl

Monet McMichael Has Been Training to Be an “It” Girl All Her Life

Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photo: Dezi

Monet McMichael’s “Get Ready With Me” videos have quickly caught on on TikTok for bringing big-sister energy to other (often chaotic) similar content. On March 21st, she launched her first-ever collaboration with Desi Perkins, a creator known for being one of the original YouTube beauty vloggers in the 2010s. “I originally grew up watching Desi on YouTube,” McMichael says. She remembers purchasing her first pair of sunglasses from Perkins’s brand, DEZI. “They’re this black-catty vibe,” she says. “I remember saving my paycheck — every single week, I put $20 aside, until once a month, I’d be like, I’m going to get a pair.” The collection sold out in a day, but is restocking in the coming weeks.

Her sunglasses collection features a wraparound style named after her “alter ego,” Montay: “She has boss energy when she has her shades on, she’s about her business,” she says of her alter ego. Her frameless style, Money Bags, is named after a nickname McMichael was given by her dad when she was playing softball with him growing up: “Moneybags just gives expensive, it gives coin, it gives hustle.”

Photo: Dezi

Sunglasses are the ultimate “It” girl accessory. Talk to me about your collaboration with Desi. 

I wish I had lived during the ’90s. I love looking back at my parents’ photos, and I love the fashion from that era. I was born in 2000, so, honestly, I was just a little fetus at the end of that era, and looking back it was just such a time. My parents saw them and said, “You ate with these, they’re definitely our style. We used to rock this type of vibe back in the day.”

Loving the ’90s trends. What’s one you want to stay in style forever and one you could do without? 

I’d keep brown lip liner and dark-brown lip liner. I was just recently going through my mom’s old scrapbooks the other day, and she would just do brown liner, nothing else — no gloss and no other lip product. So iconic.
The trend I’m good without is shimmer gloss. Even the shimmery all-over lid eyeshadow, it’s not for me.

What is an “It” girl, and do you consider yourself one? 

On a good day. I think it’s an energy you have to channel. For me, just being a baddie and being an “It” Girl is being confident. You have to be a girl’s girl and you have to want to see others win, believe in yourself, and just embody that confidence. It’s an energy.

Are there any musicians or artists whose style you’ve always loved or whose style has inspired you?

It’s a range. Lana Del Rey was my idol growing up, and she just definitely has a very soft, boho vibe. I love that kind of energy. I also love Doja Cat’s creativity and style. How she expresses herself is so fucking cool. I strive to be bold like that and do things that are not the norm. Ariana Grande, too, I love her. She just gives me cupcake fantasies. I’m like, Yes, I’m going to wear a little tiny teacup dress, very femme.

What does every “It” girl need to carry in her bag? 

A gloss, you need a juicy gloss; gum; headphones, my shades; and a little perfume.

Photo: Dezi

Sunglasses in the club. Yes or no? 

Yes. There’s nothing like shades at night. People just don’t get it. I’m always like, “You have to try it once and then you’ll understand.” It’s not something you need to explain.

The girls that get it, get it. Do you have a dream “It” girl you’d love to see wearing your shades? 

I feel like I’m living all of my dreams: My dream “It” girls are wearing my shades already, like Naz Kavari and even Desi Perkins. When I watched Desi wear the shades when we were shooting on set, there were so many times I had to stop. I was just staring at her, and I was like, “Are you really wearing shades that we created?” It’s so insane to me.

Naz Kavari was also one of my other idols. She’s the OG “It” girl. She made a video, and it was, “How to be a Bad Bitch 101.” When I was 16, I’d watch it and take notes. I love her. She had a few plans this weekend, and she wore my shades to every single event. She was wearing Money Bags one night, she wore the Montays yesterday for her son’s birthday. Even Makeup Shayla, she did a full try-on haul and I was fangirling.

You’re surrounded by “It” girls. I love it.

Photo: Dezi
Photo: Dezi
Monet McMichael Has Always Been Training to Be an “It” Girl