When the jet lag hits but issa good hair day...💃🏽dancing back to work after vacation like...SWIPE
Been around the world and aye aye aye...there’s no place like HOME. After a self imposed solo honeymoon in Hawaii and a much needed break from my first book tour, I’m back in Brooklyn in reflection mode, lounging on the same couch where much of the magic of book writing went down. Feeling just as grateful to get away as I am to be back, recharged, refocused, and refilled. Throughout all of my summer work travels, it occurred to me that this is the first time in my life when home has meant more to me than just a place to sleep, shower, and change. Brooklyn has given me community, it’s given me a home to look forward to coming back to, it’s given me roots. Thank you @elleuk for spotlighting my little slice of BK in your September issue. And big ups to @lynettesaid, my neighbor, my former Teen Vogue work wife, and my fellow auntie boo ting for penning such a beautiful profile. (And for letting me convince you to jump the pond two years ago from London to call Brooklyn home!) • Photography: @remipujol Makeup: @porschefabulous Hair: @md.warren Dress: @jonathancohenstudio
I know I’m supposed to be on vacation from work but please indulge me in this casual pool-read flex because what’s better than seeing your first byline in @britishvogue? I’ll tell you: When it’s a cover story you got to write about one of your dearest friends and all-around favorite humans who also happens to be your @projectrunwaybravo werk wife @karliekloss. Thank you KK for trusting me to help tell your story, for diving in deeper into your truth, and for being the kind of person who is even more beautiful inside. She went IN about all the things: politics, entrepreneurship, converting to Judaism, walking away from a major contract that compromised her values, and working on herself to become the kind of woman who wakes up in the morning feeling good about who she is—no matter what anyone says. You are so much more than a supermodel (even though you look like a damn superhero in this Steven Meisel shoot!). It was an absolute honor to help you tell your story! Thank you to the reigning king of the fashion magazine world @edward_enninful for this opportunity. And thank you @andazmaui for lending me your epic infinity pool as the backdrop for this unapologetic editorial flex. Ok, back to vacay! Byeeeee 😎 #BritishVogue #AugustIssue
Wet hair no makeup means no worries in Hawaiian! MAHALO🌺from my new official happy place in a little slice of Maui heaven called Hana. Quite literally the most stunning piece of paradise on the planet. If you go, stay at @travaasa and ask for the only cabin on the property with a private hot tub. It’s worth it. Trust me. Swipe for peak #auntieE vacation vibes...because what else does one do with a backyard view this spectacular?
Y’all, a week off the grid is good for the soul. Just add salt water, sunshine, hidden beaches, and cliff jumps. BRB. Ya girl is getting REJUVENATED.🌊🤟🏽😎
Thank you for making space. Because there simply would be no me if there hadn’t been you. - every black woman writer everywhere • #RIP #ToniMorrison, photographed by Jill Krementz in 1974
Cheers to heeding the call to adventure. To honoring the call for stillness. To being called to seek the same fulfillment of love and work but in absolute solitude. To opening up to learning in your 30s. To being ready to receive the magic of traveling alone for the very first time. To writing. To reading. To being. To seeing life through a different lens. You called. I came. Let’s go. 🌊 #selfcaresunday
Off to LA to plant a big seed. Wish me luck for good things to grow. 🌱Also, LA FAM! Tell me where to plan my celebratory meal because it’s manifesting season and I can already taste it.😛🙏🏽💫
At 74, why/how is @dapperdanharlem’s swag ON A WHOLE OTHER LEVEL tho?! Ok but seriously fam, I just need to take a moment to shout out our collective Uncle for becoming a NYT bestselling author for his book “Dapper Dan Made in Harlem”! If you don’t know, now you know: Dap is one of the most influential fashion figures from our community who has been doing it ‘for the culture’ since day one. Before it was trending. Before it was commercial. Before it was even recognized by the fashion world. His work has paved a way for us to own the seats we’re in. His success story is one of redemption and radical resilience. He is a purveyor of the American Dream. Now that he is sitting in his rightful place in history (with a @gucci partnership and a 3-floor atelier in Harlem that’s worth your visit!), how lucky are we to sit beside his throne and absorb the wisdom from his journey? Feeling humbled to have had the honor of moderating the kick-off for his epic book tour in Brooklyn and to be a part of a generation that’s giving flowers to our ‘Greats’ while they’re still here thriving among us. Gutted that there isn’t video from our intimate conversation—but maybe some moments are meant to be remembered as they were in real time (if anyone got video footage tho, holler at your girl 🤓). 💫🖤📸 @jelaniday
As a kid I loved friendship necklaces. As an adult I decided to make one for myself—and for us. Because you can’t be good to anyone if you’re not good to you. Proud to put this baby into the world with you @bychari. Hit the link in my bio if you want one of your own (+ a few friends who need this little #selfcareSunday reminder 😉). #MoreThanEnough
Out of office. Chasing waterfalls. 🌊 #weekendmood
*Races off set early for the airport, narrowly makes flight with just moments to spare, but still manages to get the shot—despite stares from strangers—because, I mean, it was golden hour and DO YOU SEE THESE BOOTS?* 👀💫A 10/10 #SummerFriday vibe brought to you by @jonathansingletary (I really owe him for this one!!)
Find someone who loves you with no makeup on when your hair is frizz-bombing and you haven’t shaved your legs because you’re tired and missed the memo on #hotgirlsummer. 🖤My kind of #summerlove.
Felt cute, might post another! Because #EssenceFest and she’s my #DayOne 💁🏽♀️💁🏽♀️
#GirlsTrip but make it fashUn. No? #EssenceFest
They say the 4th of July is about freedom. But in a country where many freedoms are being denied to people who look like me and you, we can’t afford to take any of our liberties for granted. At least one win for the culture that I am choosing to celebrate today is the Crown Act, which was passed yesterday, making California the first state to ban discrimination against natural hair (braids, twists, locs, etc.). After generations of being conditioned to believe our natural hair isn’t professional enough or sophisticated enough for the workplace, this is one small but affirming step in the right direction. Tomorrow at #EssenceFest I will be joining black women in sharing our natural hair journeys, which are inextricably tied to a deeper journey of rejecting limiting belief systems that have threatened to keep us small for too long. Holler if you feel me! Join us tomorrow at 4:35p on the @devacurl stage as we go innnn.💁🏽♀️ #devaxessence #devacurlpartner #MORETHANENOUGH
Just touched down in New Orleans for my first #EssenceFest like...#SHEREADY! 🥳💥🍹What to eat/drink/shop/see/do, fam?!
When you ask for an all-female, all-POC team to get the job done and the results exceed expectation (every time!). Because once an editor, always an editor 😉 even when she sometimes finds herself in front of the camera and on the other side of the interview. Thank you @bust_magazine for hiring a team who made me feel like a feminist superhero for a day. Thank you @radsadblackbry for penning this gorgeous profile, for making me feel seen during our interview, and for dropping a couple thug tears about the ways in which my book made you feel seen as well. Grateful.💗#MoreThanEnough * Shot by @__gracerivera Hair by @naivashaintl Makeup by @alanawrightmakeup Styling by @tiffanyreid Dress by @emiliopucci
Claiming space for our love no matter what our calendars may say.🖤
In the last 3 weeks, I’ve been in 9 cities, 8 planes, 5 trains, and countless cars. Real talk: I’m TIRED (AF). But as all the aunties say, I’m too blessed to be stressed. Because when you’re stressed, it SHOWS. Not the least of which on your skin. (And ain’t nobody got time for that.) So, I am claiming space for the return of #SelfcareSunday—no matter what my ridonculous schedule may say! As a former beauty editor, my whole POV on stress shifted after I sat down with my personal skincare guru Dr. Murad whose philosophy with @muradskincare takes a holistic approach to curing skin issues by never prescribing product before first addressing how you’re managing your stressors, diet, and emotional/mental health. Because it’s all connected! How are you claiming space for selfcare TODAY? #muradpartner
Sup CHICAGO! Quick, I have 30 hours and 5 events. What to eat, drink, shop, do?
Re-watching the #demdebates from an airport bathroom like...😮💪🏽🙏🏽✊🏽 This is just the beginning but Senator @KamalaHarris you made me particularly proud to be a black woman from the SF Bay. Thank you for representing us well last night. 📷 @cassandragrey for @violetgrey by @alanawrightmakeup @naivashaintl
Anyone sitting here? 📚😉YO. Philly!! Not gonna lie, I sleep walked into the Free Public Library feeling exhausted from all the travel, but y’all brought me back to life!! I left energized, overflowing with gratitude, and smiling all the way back to NYC. You brought flowers, paintings, hugs, smiles, tears, powerful affirmations, thoughtful questions, and the BEST energy (second best to my hometown SF!). The room was at capacity and so was my heart. I loooved meeting you guys! Thank you for having me @flpauthorevents and thank you to my sis @rakiareynolds for killinnnng it as my convo partner! *** Next up: Austin today 6/27, Chicago on Friday 6/28 with my girl @luvvie (+a couple private events including the @the.wing), and 7/11 in Dallas with my boo @brandonmaxwell.
When you roll up to your “casual” luncheon in LA that your friends @nadiaj01 @allbright threw for you and realize it’s anything but casual: ISSA WHOLE BOOK WEDDING. Shout out the women in your life who show up for you and do the absolute most to make sure you feel the love during life’s sweetest moments. Now, let’s just hope my real wedding is half as chic as this book wedding!!! 😅🙏🏽📚🥳 #MoreThanEnough . . 📸 @marissamaharaj
A God Dream. 📚🙏🏽💫On my Ms. Frizzle steez serving you weekend reading realness IN THE @NYTIMES! Real talk moment: Seeing this was the moment it all got really real for me. (I may or may not have screamed!!) Thank you for being on this journey with me and thank you to every single one of you who showed up and showed out in support of this book. Making this list takes more than hard work, strategy, counsel, prayer, petition, and pounding pavement...it takes a whole tribe of people who understand that support is a verb. Every single pre-sale was a vote of confidence. Every endorsement from you was a bet on me. And yet, this book is so much bigger than me and my story. This book is about claiming space for all of our stories, our bodies, our voices, our value, and our power. No matter what they say. This win isn’t mine, it’s ours...and it’s just the beginning! #MoreThanEnough #nochill #beyondblessed
The best part of everything.🖤They say you protect what is sacred. So, I save the best of us for us. But more than anyone, you have sacrificed to help me make this dream come true. You honor my work as if it were your own. Throughout too many 20-hour writing days spent hovering over my laptop, you fed me—physically, mentally, spiritually. You share me freely with the world and when it breaks me, there you are with that smile, helping me put the puzzle pieces of life back together again. You hold every one of my stories never written. And my love for you begins at the end of words. Everything I am, everything I do is 💯 better because of you. Thank you for doing life (and the SF leg of my book tour!) with me @jonathansingletary. HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the greatest guy I know! Now, everyone go listen to his music (I highly recommend “Friday on My Mind” on @spotify) and show him some birthday love!!! 📸 @stayreddy
WE did it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! For the record: This was NOT a given. This is a GOD THING. Excuse me while I exist in my feels about this for the rest of eternity. #MoreThanEnough
You know I’m excited when my eyes disappear 😄...This sums up how I feel about being back home on the (BEST) west coast and seeing all of my hometown fam and friends tonight. SO excited to bring my #MoreThanEnough book tour to the bay where it all began for me. See you tonight in SF at the @marinesmemorial theatre / @commonwealthclub! Tickets in bio. Come early - I have a little treat in store for you...
Looking at this picture makes me weepy...can’t help but wonder who I would be without my biggest cheerleader, my soft place to fall, and the first man who made me believe I could be anything I wanted to be. Waking up on #FathersDay to my first byline in the @nytimes (!!) was NO coincidence and this little excerpt from #MoreThanEnough is why. I love you dad! Thank you for giving me the best of YOU. ❤️(Also, this is the best video I’ve ever watched — please let me be your YouTube dad-fluencer agent!!!😂) * “My dad was the one who discovered my writing ability before anyone else. One morning in third grade, I found him stretched out on his favorite recliner in the living room reading one of my short stories. His hair was slicked back, still wet from his morning bath and a fresh douse of Aqua Net hairspray. His big blue eyes were bright and clear. Sheba, our black cat, was nibbling on dry kibble nearby; Blondie was purring in his lap. I was rubbing the sleep out of my eyes when he startled me with unexpected praise: “WOW‐ee‐zow‐ee, Lainey! This is outta sight. You’re a great writer, just like your grandma Pat and your ol’ dad. You’ve got to keep at this, baby.” I beamed from ear to ear and curled up next to him. “Deb, ya gotta come over here and read this. You won’t believe it!” And just like that, my favorite subject changed from math to English. Until then, I hadn’t ever considered that I could become a writer. Let alone a great writer. But those early affirmations, those moments of feeling seen—particularly by the man who created you—they matter so much to a little girl.” *
DC, you showed up and showed out for another SOLD OUT book tour stop that felt like #BlackGirlMagic church (new un-official name of my #MoreThanEnough tour 💁🏽♀️💫🙏🏽)! @mspackyetti thx for taking us to church! ATL, coming for you TODAY with my soul-sister-friend @maraakil at 3p at The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library. See you soon in your Sunday best! . * . Next up this week... Mon/Tues: SF (+ private event @the.wing) Thurs/Fri: LA (+ private event @the.wing) Secure your spot via the link in my bio.
The face you make when you’re about to drop some radically courageous new work and you’re just waiting on the world to catch up...and for the awards to roll in! If you haven’t heard about this young queen @Zendaya’s new show called @euphoria—which has captivated me from the first second of the trailer—GET READY (especially parents of teens!). It’s everything you’ve never seen in a teen drama: complex characters dealing with addiction, depression, anxiety, sex, and more. Young people have for too long been depicted as one dimensional but this show smashes all those tropes. I salute you, sis, for doing work that is brave. For stepping fully into your artistry. For bringing light to the darkness within that gets overlooked by the veneer of mainstream depictions of teen-hood. For digging deep and pulling out a piece of you that you say folks questioned whether you had inside. After seeing your mind-blowing performance and the tears in your eyes after, I just have to tell the world: YOU MUST SEE THIS. It premieres Sunday night. Thank you @hbo for backing a show like this and for inviting me to host last night’s screening + conversation with Z and the brilliant creator, writer, and show-runner Sam Levinson. Rooting for you guys hard! Cc: @stormreid @hunterschafer @barbieferreira #FeelEuphoria
Shameless serve. Out here getting these week 1 sales like...💁🏽♀️“Have you had #MoreThanEnough for breakfast?” Get yours hot and fresh via link in bio! 🍳📚
Bucket list moment: @breakfastclubam! We go in about hustling to get your foot in the door, hustling for respect, hustling to make change to the realities of click-bait journalism and cancellation culture. Required weekend listening. THANK YOU for having me on! And for accepting my invitation to drop down low with me at 8am lol. #MoreThanEnough
Pardon this interruption of my book launch spam to remind you all that tonight is the FINALE episode of the new @projectrunwaybravo and to share the exact look I’ve been giving every human who has tried to get me to spill who wins ALL SEASON LONG. It’s a mix of “wouldn’t you like to know” mystery with a side of “mind yo business” shade and just the right amount of a warm “just watch the show” invitation. I still can’t tell you who wins but I can tell you it’s def worth watching!! See y’all on the TV screen at 9p. DM me from your finale watch parties please!! 📺 💁🏽♀️
ISSA AUTHOR 📚🖤💫 My book #MoreThanEnough is finally OUT in the world, and I’m so excited I don’t know how to act! Coming for all y’all on this 10-city TOUR like...💃🏽. Attendees: Prepare your soul train dance entrance now! Tickets at the link in my bio. Cop them while you can! 📷 @martsromero
A one-on-one interview with @robinrobertsgma?? My journalist icon? Someone please pinch me! Pub day dream come true!!! Thank you @goodmorningamerica for having me on to talk about my new book #MoreThanEnough. And for giving my MOM her live TV debut!! (Stay tuned for the cutest clip of all time!) But the true icing on the cake was getting to see all the college students they had in the studio for this special moment—seeing their faces instantly melted my nerves and reminded me of my WHY. To all the students I met yesterday. I hope this book finds you right on time!
Y’all! My book baby comes out TOMORROW and since I was raised in church there was only one way to celebrate her: a BOOK BLESSING. Before I hit the road for my book tour, it was so important to me to have a private moment in prayer with my people. My first boss took us all to church with her blessing, my mom joined my closest friends in reading excerpts from the book, the room got really real in a #MoreThanEnough challenge, we laughed, we cried (a LOT); it was all way, way beyond what I could have even planned for. THANK YOU to everyone who was there and the rest who joined us in spirit. My heart is so full. To whatever may come, I’m ready. 📚 📸 @jessnashphoto @sohohousenewyork
BOOK TOUR CONVO PARTNER ALERT 🚨. There is no one and nowhere I’d rather kick off my #MoreThanEnough 10-city book tour than in BROOKLYN in conversation with this absolutely brilliant friend of mine @lupitanyongo who is as beautiful inside as she is on the outside. Come hang with us as we crack open conversations around chasing big dreams, finding your voice, and claiming space for who you want to be in the world (no matter what they say!). Bring your sister-friends, bring your aunties, bring your daughters. It’s gonna be GOOOOD. Swipe for deets & secure your tickets at the link in my bio. See you THIS TUESDAY 6/11 at 7p, fam! 📚💫 Tickets at www.ElaineWelteroth.com
The look of a woman who is LETTING GO AND LETTING GOD!!! ...Because we are now T minus 4 days from my book launch and while the to-list is long, the anxieties are high, and all these #summerfriday out of office responses are killing my life right now lol, I am choosing gratitude over stress. THANKFUL for all my people who have already come through for me in major ways and for the constant reminders throughout this process that sometimes the best thing you can do is let JESUS TAKE THE WHEEL. Holler if you feel me, fam!! Happy freakin’ weekend!! OH AND GUESS WHO MY RIDICULOUSLY AMAZING CONVO PARTNER WILL BE AT MY FIRST BOOK TOUR STOP IN BK? Swipe to find out....SEE YOU THERE🌟
In the words of my work husband @brandonmaxwell who gave the speech of the night after his big win at #CFDAAwards (there wasn’t a dry eye in the room): “No one does this job alone.” The fashion business is not what it seems in the movies. Every day I get to witness my close friends @aurorajames of @brothervellies and Brandon Maxwell pour their blood, sweat and tears into creating value for women, whether by dressing our bodies in wearable art that helps us express who we are, or by employing women all over the world so that they can make a living wage doing the creative work they love. They’ve both persevered through challenges that would tempt even the strongest to give up—all while creating space in their lives to support the people around them. You both have earned every bit of the success you have today and I couldn’t be more inspired by you. To the WOMENSWEAR DESIGNER OF THE YEAR, I just want to say: I TOLD YOU SO 😉. Swipe for evidence during our getting ready session where he fed me and Aurora BBQ chicken before snatching our waists for the gods like the true blue Texan designer he is who never forgets his roots. Thank you for letting me be your model for the night! I love you both so much! #CFDAawards
These are the words @ava spoke to me during a time of great uncertainty and they emboldened me to do what I knew deep down I had to do to set myself free. (I share this story in my book, which she wrote the brilliant and heartfelt foreword to.) Some people come into your life to shift the lens through which you see the world—and yourself. @Ava is one of those people. For all of us. Because the beauty of this woman’s work is that it helps us all wake up to the truth. As a storyteller, as a thinker, as a citizen, I am not the same as I was before I first saw @13thfilm or @selmamovie. This weekend I spent time with her latest offering @whentheyseeus, and y’all I can’t yet put into words how deeply moved I am. My heart broke so many times that I had to remind myself to be brave enough to continue watching. To be brave enough to feel enraged. To be brave enough to find a way to believe change is possible in a crooked system. I hope you all will participate in yet another one of Ava’s many masterpieces. I promise you will be better for it. #WhenTheySeeUs Pre #mondaymotivation #morethanenough
One thing I learned about y’all last week is that my #MoreThanEnough tribe likes FREE stuff (just like auntie E, ha!💁🏽♀️). So, I have some good news for you...not only am I announcing the winners of the #tagtowin challenge where 10 of you get a book for you and a friend (tap to see if you won), I am going to offer 7 of you A FREE TICKET to my FIRST BOOK TOUR STOP in BROOKLYN on June 11th. All you have to do is post a video in your stories telling me why you want to come (be sure to TAG ME so I see it). Winners will be selected at noon on Monday. May the best IG Stories win. 😎Happy weekend, fam!
Issa summer Friday mood! So excited that my first pre-pub podcast interview just dropped on @girlboss! I remember reading #GirlBoss on the subway after many, many late-nights at my magazine job. I’d be that girl LOL-ing on the train like a psycho with my face buried in that book and I didn’t care how crazy I looked because @sophiaamoruso’s story made me feel so inspired, so seen, and so entertained. It’s wild to think that one day SOON some girl’s head will be buried in MY book on her way home from work and it’s definitely a full circle moment to be chatting with Sophia about the journey on her podcast. Listen in and let me know what you think! We talk about everything from first jobs (mine was at Hometown Buffet where I danced next to the host in a bee costume for minimum wage lol) to my career climb and big break (being promoted to lead a major magazine brand at 29) and taking a leap of faith to becoming the Editor-in-Chief of my own life. Hope this drop makes your summer Friday a little happier. And if you haven’t secured your spot for my book tour or pre-ordered #MoreThanEnough for you and your squad, click that link in my bio sis!! 💁🏽♀️
One year ago, I didn’t have a single sentence written on the blank google doc staring back at me on my laptop. Today, I woke up and realized I am less than TWO WEEKS AWAY from releasing a whole (freaking) BOOK. Y’all, nothing has ever required this much discipline or focus to bring across the finish line. But I couldn’t have done it without my people. And now I get to COME TO YOUR CITY to bring this book to life on tour with some of those people who have consistently inspired, guided, and encouraged me...and we get to bring our offline convos/Kikis to a city near you. HAVE YOU SECURED YOUR SPOT AT ONE OF MY TOUR DATES YET? Hurry while you still can (ATL is at max capacity!) Stay tuned to my stories to hear announcements of my convo partners...you won’t want to miss these gems! Love y’all! Pic by @renellaice, Styling by @shibonleigh Hair by @coree.moreno, Makeup @alanawrightmakeup Suit by @stellajeanroma #MoreThanEnough Link in bio!