Vibe guide: Goth Shakira on favorite art, holiday gifts, astrological placements

Goth Shakira wearing Acne Studios dress and gloves, Kachorovska shoes and Jéblanc earrings.

(Jennelle Fong and Yasara Gunawardena / For The Times)

One might follow Goth Shakira for their “whimsigoth crypto nun” looks posted from the bathrooms of Tom Bradley, for their poetic takes on digital existence, for their deep cuts of darkwave en Español and uncanny images of art, or for being an OG long-form confessional meme queen (a contribution that has garnered academic study). The digital director is known for a specific kind of output that feels uniquely Goth Shakira: one that combines an esoteric gaze with an artistic one — a sharp observation of the world around us and worlds beyond us. It’s the same energy she brings to her current role as digital director for Pharrell, where she recently worked on Louis Vuitton’s men’s pre-fall 2024 show in Hong Kong and the Humanrace X Adidas collaboration. And their voice can be traced back to their work for Ssense, Brud and Highsnobiety. An Aquarius whose ultimate gifts of space and freedom can’t be bought, Goth Shakira takes her own path. The rest of us just want to follow along.

Name, occupation, neighborhood: Dre, a.k.a. Goth Shakira, digital director, Koreatown.

Ascetic, observant and karmic are three words that describe my essence.

My mantra for the end of the year is “I am.”

The gift I would buy myself that coincides with my astrological sign: The ultimate Aquarian gifts of freedom and space can’t be bought — just given or taken.

An L.A. artist whose work I want in every room of my home: My decor is very simple and minimal because I like my home to feel like a hermitage. I don’t really like having things on my walls, but I appreciate sculptures and found objects, or works made with earthen elements. A silver breastplate or lacquered body cast by multidisciplinary artist Holly Silius would be a dream, as would a work by Lizette Hernández in dissolved salts and stoneware.

The designer/brand I rocked the most this year: I’m almost always wearing a piece by Latina-owned and L.A.-based brand Gil Rodriguez. Their Trinity zippered catsuit is one of my most favorite pieces I’ve ever had — I have worn it on a 16-hour flight with slippers and to a party paired with vintage Prada stiletto boots. They’re elevated basics that I know I will own for a long time; they feel like the new vintage. The pieces are also very compatible with an L.A. lifestyle because I can wear a Gil outfit as a pool coverup or to the park, and it’s so elegant and well made that I don’t have to drive all the way home to change if I decide to go to a gallery opening or drinks afterwards.

Goth Shakira poses with her hands on her face

“The ultimate Aquarian gifts of freedom and space can’t be bought — just given or taken,” says Goth Shakira.

(Jennelle Fong and Yasara Gunawardena / For The Times)

Goth Shakira stands with her hands on her hips next to a red sculpture

Goth Shakira wears Heaven by Marc Jacobs top, Shushu/Tong skirt, Vegan Tiger trench coat, MyUS scarf, Heaven by Marc Jacobs boots, Frou York necklace, Serpenti earrings, Jéblanc and Lilou Paris rings.

(Jennelle Fong and Yasara Gunawardena / For The Times)

The clothing item in my closet I consider high art: A vintage Comme des Garçons black wool skirt that I thrifted in Kyoto earlier this year. It has an incredible structure that allows it to transform into an off-the-shoulder dress and culottes. I travel for work and only take a carry-on, and I end up packing this piece a lot because of its versatility and masterful design. I hope to enjoy it for many years to come.

Breathwork, daily meditation, kundalini yoga, morning pages and at least seven to 10 white candles from the botánica burning in my apartment at any given time is the spiritual practice that’s grounding me lately.

The thing that has been sitting in my online shopping cart for months: This silver Ann Demeulemeester “Charliese” fingernail ring that sits above your top knuckle and looks like a wabi-sabi acrylic.

What I’m getting the people I love this season: My Aquarius placements don’t subscribe to the capitalist gifting obligations of mass holidays — because my Capricorn placements are always giving my loved ones little presents year-round. My favorite things to give are candles, books, love notes, natal chart readings, money, dinners, work opportunities, time, loyalty, space, active listening, my healing abilities and surf trips.

The one thing I wish the people I love would band together and buy me this season: OK, so I don’t subscribe to holiday gift-giving, but I might accept two things and two things only: a Moog Etherwave theremin, and the August 1995 issue of Playgirl with the Peter Steele editorial. It’s a goth girl/gay grail.

The zine/book/item on my coffee table I want people to see: “California Surfing and Climbing in the Fifties” and “AfroSurf.” The former is a rare find that I scored on eBay, and an important piece of history photography-wise, but it features all white people — despite the presence of Californian surfers of color, like the Black Mexican waterman Nick Gabaldón, who were going to great lengths to surf in Malibu during the time of beach segregation. To counter the predominantly white canon of surf documentation, “AfroSurf” is a gorgeously designed and historically rich celebration of surfing culture in Africa, including everything from photos to essays to poems to playlists to ephemera. It’s a book every creative should own.

Image Vibe Guide photography by  Jennelle Fong and Yasara Gunawardena

Goth Shakira wearing Jéblanc and Lilou Paris rings.

(Jennelle Fong and Yasara Gunawardena / For The Times)

I will never stop rocking my beloved vintage black leather trench coat with fur trim that I thrifted in pristine condition in Montreal about 10 years ago.

The cause or organization I’m supporting right now: Red Comunitaria Trans is an advocacy group for Colombian trans communities. Red Condor Collective is a Colombian diaspora initiative that secures material support for activists in Colombia, including those protesting the genocide in Gaza.

The sounds fueling my creative right now are Deftones B-sides, pretty much anything shoegaze/distorted/DIY coming out of Arizona or Texas right now (Glixen, Bedlocked, Teethe), Cocteau Twins live at Ministry of Sound in 1996, demo cuts from the Smashing Pumpkins studio sessions for “Gish” and “Pisces Iscariot,” Natalia Mantini’s “casted in caves: black moon lilith” mix for Dublab, Dungeons & Dragons ambience videos that I project on my wall, the same 20-minute Tibetan bowl sound file looped for eight hours, field recordings of waves receding over rocks at the tide pools, the sound of the little solar-powered garden fountain outside my window <3.

I’m manifesting a project in 2024 with: There’s so much amazing shoegaze/goth/darkwave/ambient/experimental music coming from Latine artists in L.A. right now — Closed Tear, Beli and Wisteria, for example. I love to see independent L.A. designers have more of a presence as well, like Latina-owned brand Siempre, a.k.a. World of Siempre. Venice local-run and -owned surf archival project and streetwear brand corelords is one of my favorite visual inspirations lately. On the wellness and skincare front, I’m really into what Latine-owned Noto Botanics does — their scrub is one of my favorites. I’ve had my eye on skinwear brand Humanoid, and they’re one of the most exciting beauty initiatives coming out of L.A. right now.

The meal I’m cooking on rotation right now: I’m on a lifelong mission to create anything that even closely resembles my abuela’s ajiaco, but I must confess that I’m a total disappointment to my ancestors in the domesticity department. At least I have the caldo from the neighborhood spot to warm my heart in the meantime.

This is the highly specific thing inspiring my style most lately: Black trans women and nonbinary people, and senior citizens. Always.

The color I’m dreaming in/obsessed with: It’s always the shade of the lipstick I’ve been wearing for about half my life at this point: Diva by MAC, a deep, cool-toned burgundy that’s almost black. It’s also the same shade that Courtney Love wore in the ‘90s. It’s so melancholic, elegant, vampiric and earthy all at the same time.

The 2023 drop I missed that still haunts me: The Stüssy x Our Legacy “Surfman” jacket that dropped earlier this year. I had it in my cart but didn’t pull the trigger in an effort to exercise restraint, because I already have a pretty robust Stüssy collection. But I think about that jacket all the time, and now it’s on resale sites for three times the retail price (and, of course, never in my size).

All of 2024 I’ll be smelling like: Byredo’s De Los Santos eau de parfum, with a bit of Hwyll by Aesop layered on top — and, inevitably, a hint of the hinoki incense and palo santo that I’m always burning in my home.

IMAGE Vibe Guide photographed by Jennelle Fong and Yasara Gunawardena

Goth Shakira’s mantra for the end of the year is “I am.”

(Jennelle Fong and Yasara Gunawardena / For The Times)

Goth Shakira

Makeup: Carla Perez
Hair: Belen Gomez
Styling Assistants: Stacey Barton, Karina Boylan, Annunziata Santelli

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