She may only be 19 years old, but JoJo Siwa has already accomplished much in her short life. Embarking on world tours, performing on several different reality shows, making original kids’ music and quickly becoming an icon for the LGBTQ community, the young star has put plenty of notches in her belt.
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But that doesn’t mean she’s done everything she wants to. So, when the opportunity arose for Siwa to star in her own hybrid docuseries, she knew that it was time to try something new — or, in her particular case, a lot of new things. JoJo Goes, the new show set to debut Thursday, June 23 on Facebook Watch, will see the young triple-threat taking her friends on a series of new adventures, including pride parades, summer camp, performing Shakespeare and much more.
Of course, this comes amidst plenty of other work Siwa is balancing — currently, the 19-year-old is working as a judge on the latest season of So You Think You Can Dance, while also showing up for XOMG POP!, the girl group founded on her show Siwas Dance Pop Revolution as they compete on America’s Got Talent.
Ahead of the new show’s premiere, Siwa talked with Billboard via Zoom to discuss her adventures on the show, the one thing she won’t be trying in the series, and how she offered Janelle Monáe a helping hand during WeHo Pride.
How are you feeling about JoJo Goes premiering next week?
Oh, I am so stoked. It was a wild show to film — I was doing all of this stuff that I had never actually done before. Every day, it felt like there was a whole new adventure, so it was so great. It’s really funny to see me in those environments, too.
With all of these things you’ve never gotten to do before, how did you go about selecting which ones you wanted filmed and put in the series?
Ultimately, it was what made sense, among the things that I’m not able to do. This was the collection of stuff that not only I really wanted to do, but what my people around me, my friends, my family were interested in doing and what they all thought I could do. Every episode varies pretty seriously on how we got there.
I’m excited to see the episode about WeHo Pride where you were honored as their Next Gen Icon, because that looked like a blast.
Oh my god, it was so much fun! We literally had the best time on the float.
I know Janelle Monáe was the Grand Marshall of the parade — did you get a chance to see her?
I did get to see her! She was so kind and so nice. I helped her get some lipstick off of her teeth — I gave her my phone so she could use the camera, and that was the big story. [Laughs.] No, she was super cool, and she was also being honored there, so that was really fun. We both got keys to the city, which was insane, we had a whole proclamation that we did, it was just a lot of unreal stuff.
The show is going to have some fun guests, including your Dancing With the Stars partner Jenna Johnson, your friend Ezra Sosa, Olympian Misty May-Treanor and more — were there any guests you weren’t able to bring on the show that you wanted to see?
Ooh, interesting! Honestly, I don’t think so — everyone that we wanted to be in an episode was pretty much down. It was really nice, because ultimately I just wanted my close people to be involved. I mean, Misty came in for a special volleyball occasion, but for the most part, I wanted my closest friends to come on these little adventures with me. So, it worked out great.
With JoJo Goes documenting all of the new things you’ve gotten to try, what’s something you still haven’t done that you’re looking forward to doing soon?
Oh, no question, 200% it’s skydiving. It would be so fun.
You are braver than I am — both that and scuba diving, I simply cannot do it.
See, scuba is also not for me — I don’t do the ocean. I hate it, no thank you. I went snorkeling once and was like, “Absolutely not.”
I noticed one of the guests on the show will be XOMG POP!, the girl group that you and your mom founded. They recently auditioned and got through to the next round of America’s Got Talent — what was that like getting to watch them thrive on the show?
I was so proud of those kiddos! They are so talented, but also so hard-working, and they’re so funny. I mean, I get a text from at least two of them every day, which will be some random video or very out-of-nowhere joke. It always just makes my heart so happy, they have the cutest little minds ever. I swear, every day I’m with them, it’s like, “God, I wish I had that energy.”
It’s also fascinating, because with both XOMG, as well as something like So You Think You Can Dance, you’ve been sort of transitioning into a new role as mentor, where before you were the contestant on shows like both of these. What is it like to see yourself becoming that person to other aspiring artists?
You know what, it’s really great. What I love about doing the girl group is that I never had somebody for me to look up to and be like, “Oh, thank you for being my mentor.” But with these kids, I’m able to help them and guide them and give them advice, but still giving space and allowing them to be themselves and just offering my advice when they need it.
With So You Think especially, it is my sixth time being a part of an elimination show. Every single time I get asked to do an elimination show, I say that I’ll do it — and then when it’s over, I say I’m never doing one again. Somehow, I always end up there — I started on one with Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition, I did Masked Singer, I did Dancing with the Stars. It’s like, my whole life is literally built around elimination shows.
With it being Pride Month, and with all of the darkness happening in the world for LGBTQ folks nowadays, I’m interested to know what’s giving you joy in the wake of everything?
Honestly, it’s the people — the world can be a bad place, but if the people you surround yourself with are good, then your world can be a good place.
Thom Browne Spring 2023 Menswear
In 2017, Thom Browne expanded his oeuvre and put men in dresses during his menswear show in Paris. That collection, called “Why Not?” was less a provocation than a flex: The elegant elongated shapes Browne was developing for women translated, seamlessly and cheekily, for men. Five years later—and after a two-year hiatus from Paris—Browne’s menswear…
In 2017, Thom Browne expanded his oeuvre and put men in dresses during his menswear show in Paris. That collection, called “Why Not?” was less a provocation than a flex: The elegant elongated shapes Browne was developing for women translated, seamlessly and cheekily, for men. Five years later—and after a two-year hiatus from Paris—Browne’s menswear is back in the French capital with similar potency. His spring 2023 collection, suspended almost entirely from jock straps, is Browne’s updated meditation on “how far you can push it?”
“I thought the dresses were too much back then,” Browne began at a preview in his showroom, “but now feels like the time to do this. It’s about how much guys can look at and entertain.” Referring to the many visible cheeks on the catwalk, he pointedly added: “It’s not about shock value.”
If not shock, then what? There has been a lot of nudity this menswear season and in the past two years in general, but Browne’s stated intent is less about showing flesh than it is about finding a new form for men. You can see how he could get bored quick. This is his third catwalk in under a year—plus four pre-collections. “I have a good team” he demurred when asked how he creates with such voracity.
So the brief was brief this season: short, mini, kinky, gorgeous. Each of the looks was made in a unique French tweed, from the same maker of you-know-who’s tweeds, inspired by the couture ideology of the 1940s and 1950s. The show began with friends of the maison as couture clients—Anh Duong, Marisa Berenson, Farida Khelfa, and more—bolting in to the second floor of the Crillon to find their seats. From their vantage point they could ogle the guys—a nice swap—in their shorter-in-the-back kiltlets, sailor tops, cropped organza button downs, and luxurious tweed coats with gold bouillon. As with any Browne outing, the fabrics and silhouettes were as fine as can be.
After a mostly underwhelming season, at least according to the menswear editors I tallied, how far could this irreverent beauty really go, though? Several balked. Others chuckled. When a dancer emerged at the end of the show dressed in a codpiece with an anchor Prince Albert piercing, I exchanged a glance with a friend across the aisle and we both giggled. Last night was Pride in Paris. In Browne’s beloved USA, human rights are being revoked by the hour. It would be hard to picture a more gay and proud couture-worthy collection: the sailor, the cowboy, the surfer, the tennis pro; the stereotypes divorced from expected connotations, made in the artisanal gold standard of womenswear design, ass cracks gleaming and pert under those red, white and blue bars of gingham. Browne is gay and proud. Will his cis-het clientele be radicalized or scandalized? A voiceover that started the show spoke about the couture process of the ’50s, when women were swans and men were their benefactors. “Men have the very great pleasure of paying,” said the recording. Time to pay up, boys.
Ambush Resort 2023
“The touchpoint and the root of every Ambush collection has to come from everything that happens in Japan that is unique,” said Yoon Ahn when we met at the very beginning of Paris Fashion Week. Given that she has been on that scene since the early 2000s, when she moved to Tokyo with her family,…
“The touchpoint and the root of every Ambush collection has to come from everything that happens in Japan that is unique,” said Yoon Ahn when we met at the very beginning of Paris Fashion Week. Given that she has been on that scene since the early 2000s, when she moved to Tokyo with her family, not to mention that the Ambush office sits right in Shibuya, Yoon has plenty of material to mine. This pre-collection represented a down-tempo interlude in Ambush’s rhythm of show season spectacular, and was more observationaL. The collection was designed as an imagined curation of the clothes she sees on the kids who are flocking back to Shibuya today. “Things are opening up, the clubs: everything’s coming back in Tokyo. I’ve been feeling that.”
Tailoring, sportswear, footwear, nylon-spliced denim, and of course this brand’s core category of jewelry was all effectively designed to be defined less by the wearer’s gender identity than their aesthetic orientation and subcultural proclivity. The classics covered, from Ambush specific bodice tops and kimono coats to standards including bowling shirts and tracksuits, were adroitly but subtly remixed through tweaks in proportion, color, and fabrication. Pills and mushrooms came suspended from safety pin earrings and chains, supplies brought in for a big night ahead. This though was a collection built for street life: night life comes later.
Alled-Martinez Spring 2023 Menswear
“I don’t really like the term ‘Y2K,’” quipped Archie Alled-Martinez during a Zoom preview from his hotel in Paris. “We just used to call it ‘millennium’ back then, so that’s what it is for me.”Alled-Martinez is part of a wave of millennial designers that is remarkably skilled at putting together a visual mood that encapsulates…
“I don’t really like the term ‘Y2K,’” quipped Archie Alled-Martinez during a Zoom preview from his hotel in Paris. “We just used to call it ‘millennium’ back then, so that’s what it is for me.”
Alled-Martinez is part of a wave of millennial designers that is remarkably skilled at putting together a visual mood that encapsulates an era or mood. “I do a ton of research,” he said “I like exhaustive research of images and visuals, it’s what helps me design.” Much of the research he did for spring was based on the mystique around the soccer player. Titled “Reclaiming the Fields,” the collection is a nod to the homoeroticism of that figure and a reclaiming of the word and concept of a “metrosexual.” “I kept reading that word as I researched and I thought, ‘How homophobic?’ Alled-Martinez said as he pulled up the Google definition of the word: “a young, urban, heterosexual male with liberal political views, an interest in fashion, and a refined sense of taste.”
The fact is, around the time both Alled-Martinez and myself were growing up, the word was casually thrown around as a descriptor of a straight man who embodied all the stereotypical characteristics of a gay man without (allegedly) being one. In essence it was a way for people to pejoratively call someone gay without actually doing so. Many of the “metrosexuals” of our time were famous athletes, particularly soccer players, who dressed well and looked even better—David Beckham being the best example. In fact, Beckham was a source of inspiration for Alled-Martinez, which explains why the lookbook resembles a series of photos of Beckham in the late noughties, the clothes looking like just what he would have worn for a night out with or without Victoria Beckham.
The collection itself stays true to the signature homoerotic aesthetic that Alled-Martinez has become known for, particularly to the gay fashion community and social media space. Part of the charm of the label is that its founder knows just how to speak to his audience. “There’s an intrinsic nostalgia to my work, I like to recreate things that are constantly in my mind,” Alled-Martinez said as he walked me through the lineup for spring. Low-rise cargo pants, straight-cut jeans, knee-length swim trunks, and tight short shorts build the core of the assortment, all cut and styled in his signature gay male gaze, which is homoerotic and often voyeuristic. They’re all references to the way men would dress back in the second half of the 2000’s, and, most significantly, to those elements of masculinity that gay men coming into their queerness at the time would often lust for.
“I like doing the tees because it reminds me of when I was growing up and would see a Ford logo tee that said ‘fuck’ instead,” Alled-Martinez said. This season’s tees with Ford and Bic logos reimagined as “faggot” and “dick,” respectively, will surely be a hit for his nostalgic customer, but the designer was at his best this season when he took it past the mood board and found a way of turning nostalgic items into covetable pieces. A pair of baggy cargos in light wash denim stood out, with the center-front crotch seam mimicking a jockstrap, as did macrame bags made in raw silk and “cheap poly football uniforms” reimagined in glossy, saturated colored knitted silk.
For his presentation, Allied-Martinez decided to lean into the voyeuristic sensuality of his brand, creating an installation that saw guests peep into the collection through holes in a wooden wall to discover a locker room where models were changing in and out of the clothes. “Basically an ode to voyeurism and glory holes, all about desire,” said the designer. It was something that felt right out of XY magazine, another Y2K–sorry, I mean millennium–gem many millennial gay men will surely remember.
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