Former Love & Hip Hop New York reality star and businesswoman Rah Ali has recently been named the official Brand Ambassador of White Label Hair. We talked to stunning newlywed and "Wonder Woman" Rah Ali about her new business venture and of course... shoes.
ShineMyCrown: First of all, congratulations on becoming newlywed.
Rah Ali: Oh, thank you. Thank you.
SMC: How's married life so far?
Rah Ali: Oh, it's good. It's good.
SMC: Awesome. Now you've become a brand ambassador for White Label. What made you decide to cosign this particular hair brand?
Rah Ali: Well, I've been using White Label now for a little over a year and through trying out different hair companies and, you know, just trying to make sure that you always have the quality. I found that they're just definitely my favorite. Their customer service, their professionalism, their accurate delivery times, the hair not shedding and just keeping the volume that you initially have when you first get the hair is really what impressed me with them the most. Because so many hair companies out there sometimes it's really hard to, you know, decipher what's what but they are definitely really wonderful.
SMC: Awesome. What can we expect in the future from your collaborations with White Label?
Rah Ali: Well we just did a shoot, which was really fun and exciting. One of my favorite photographers, @CherryCollab, is his Instagram. It was really cool working with him. But we're going to take the hair stuff as far as we possibly can. You know, like, just making sure that we sort through great products, great merchandise, things that the consumers would be impressed with.
SMC: What would you say your trademark/go to hairstyle is?
Rah Ali: Probably a part in the middle and down straight because if you're going to a corporate function, then it's still sleek, and it's conservative and if you're going to a more of a social event, it's still super sexy and flirty, you know? So to me, that hairstyle with the part in the middle and straight down is kind of like how I refer to black pumps, stiletto pumps. It's like ... It's transitional, and it's classic, and it's clean, and you can go from one place to the next with it.
SMC: As a Black woman, you know we will have a very like personal hair journey growing up with that hair.
Rah Ali: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
SMC: How would you describe your relationship with your hair and how that's evolved?
Rah Ali: I would definitely say when I was younger, I didn't have as much interest in taking care of my own hair because I always felt like, "Oh, it's fine. Just wash and set and just, you know, color your ... You know, do whatever you want." Now I understand and what I appreciate is that I can take care of my own hair in making sure that it's healthy, and it's strong, and I have, you know, I have everything I need with cabin quality hair myself, and then all the extra stuff is just for fun. You know, it's just like your nails. You do it for fun, but you still have to make sure that the foundation is intact and secure.
So I get my deep conditioners, and I make sure I get my ends trimmed, and no matter what length I have it at, sometimes I go really short, sometimes I grow it out. I make sure that it's still a healthy bed of hair.
SMC: Who are some of your favorite brands or products that you use on your hair?
Rah Ali: Oh my goodness. I have so many. I have so much. So one of my favorite hair companies is Motions. I just think they are wonderful for women of color. But I use Cantu, the shea butter. The shampoo and conditioner. I have this other one from Carol's Daughter that I love so much. It's a styling conditioner called Pracaxi Nectar. I like them, and they have it as a wash and go leave in as well. So I love those products.
SMC: You are a star of reality tv series Love and Hip Hop New York. Would you say that platform opened up the opportunity to spread awareness about your brands and your businesses?
Rah Ali: Yeah, it did. Of course. Anytime you are on a platform where there are millions of people watching, millions of viewers, it gives you an opportunity to be able to come on and tell your own personal brand. But you have to try your best to make it work for you in as much of a positive light as possible. Because with reality TV comes pros and cons.
It's not all the glitz part. It's a whole lot of the other stuff as well so you just have to balance it all and make it make sense and make worth it for you in the end.
SMC: Now as a stiletto expert, what tips would you give women (like me) who are intimidated by the prospect of wearing stilettos?
Rah Ali: Oh God. I say get over it. Okay. I'm not going to baby you.*Laughs* I'm not going to baby you. I am not going to tell you to wear kid heels. It's like, get over it. It's like, to me it's like, it's something that we have to do. You don't have to wear shoes that are uncomfortable, that are hurting your feet. That's something that I definitely do not promote ever. But you find that shoe that's comfortable, that brand that's in your price point, that's classic or trendy, whichever works for you and you just do it.
It's like being a mother. It's like being an entrepreneur. It's like being a hard working woman. You just do it. You just make it happen. There's no reason to be walking around in sneakers or flats every day. We're just too [cute] for that.
SMC: *Laughs* Okay. I'll just do it then. I'll get a pair. Do you remember owning your first pair of stilettos?
Rah Ali: Oh my God. I wish I did. I don't. I don't remember. I've been like this since very young, super in love with shoes. So I don't remember what my first pair was. I mean, like most young girls I was definitely trying on my mom's shoes and stuff like that. But I don't remember my first pair. I'm sure I probably was like 14.
SMC: Do you have a favorite pair right now?
Rah Ali: I don't think so. I have a favorite designer, which is Casadei. Casadei is one of my favorite designers on the high end and then Schutz is my favorite on a more medium tier price point. I really like their shoes a lot and I wear them regularly.
SMC: How do you stay focused and keep motivated?
Rah Ali: I think that's just something that's inside of a person. I don't think that any one person should have to motivate the person. I think it's what's within you.
When I wake up in the morning, I have my tea and I have my breakfast and I just get to my to do list. I just make sure that everything that I write down, that I check off my list while maintaining a balance and an at home life. I do what I have to do for myself. It's kind of second nature. I don't really think about it too much.
SMC: What next for Rah Ali over the next year or so?
Rah Ali: Well I'd like to definitely take my shoe website to more of a household name. I'd like people to be more aware of it. So definitely expanding and marketing strategies for my shoes.
Definitely working with White Label since we have this new relationship and that's really about it for now. Just trying to expand my brand and just make positive moves.
SMC: What is Black Girl Magic to you?
Rah Ali: Oh my goodness. I think that every single woman of color has it. I think it's the way we walk. I think it's the way we talk. I think it's our aura. I think it's our smell, our ambition. Our strength to be mothers. That what it is to me. I definitely think we're just born with it. It's just something we have. That little sparkle. When you see a diamond, it just goes ding. I think we all have it!
If you fancy yourself as somewhat of a stiletto aficionado, head to Rah's website/store The Stiletto Group and shop away!