At the end of our interview, I asked ShampagneX what else she had been up to. “The Grammys that just happened,” she said nonchalantly, “I styled the winner of the Best Reggae Album.” The 23-year-old creative director, designer, and celebrity stylist was in her element. She had worked with Kabaka Pyramid on multiple visuals across his Grammy-winning project, “The Kalling,” and was the mastermind behind the breathtaking “Market Day” photoshoot in Trinidad.
Born Shamara Sahadeo, she adopted the moniker ShampagneX from a friend’s pet name. Creativity and designing run in her family. She grew up around clothes, with her mother designing and making much of her own wardrobe. While studying to become an investment banker, ShampagneX couldn’t resist the allure of fashion. “I just loved the culture so much,” she admits, “and fashion is such a great way to celebrate the culture.”
Six years ago, she launched SEORA as a swimwear line, modeling her custom makes on Instagram. People and artists began to reach out, wanting more – dresses, blouses, shirts, ensembles, and, crucially, styling. ShampagneX pivoted again and is now one of the go-to stylists in the country.
For her own projects, she is completely hands-on. On “Market Day,” she controlled everything – casting, design, directing, and staffing. ShampagneX’s pictures are more than just attention-grabbing; they are loaded with themes. “I wanted it to feel universally Caribbean,” she explains. “Like if I’m from Barbados or anywhere, I can relate to what is shown here. I wanted to celebrate market day – Saturday morning when your mom and your grandma go down to buy fruits and veggies.” It’s a mundane bit of everyday life, but ShampagneX wanted to give it the spotlight it deserves. “I wanted it to be seen in a very glorious light,” she explains, breaking down her thought process. “That’s why I had her styled up in something couture to show off the elegance in something that is overlooked and deemed a regular occurrence.”
The photos came out stunningly. Model Brittany De Freitas was shot by photographer Bryan Bissoon (Tulum) in sunny Santa Cruz, Trinidad and Tobago. Brittany is styled in a SEORA original – a frilly top with yellow-orange gradients and matching bottoms. The fabric is flowing and light. The highlights in her hair complement her bantu knots. She poses around backdrops of green trees and grass; she poses against the clear blue sky. She’s in van backs and in the markets. “I wanted her to look like a fruit, so I chose the orange and yellow tone. We went all around Trinidad, to the fields, and where people were selling.”
It would be irresponsible to even guess at ShampagneX’s ceiling. Barely into her twenties and just six years into her career, her designs have been featured in shoots, music videos, Time Square billboards, and even the Grammys stage. It’s clear that it’s her world, and we’re just living in it.