Solange Knowles is the subject of a New York Times profile headlined "Life on Her Own Terms for Beyoncé’s Little Sister." It details her confounding ability to essentially lead two lives: that of Beyonce's Sister and that of a cool Brooklyn single mom who seems like she'd be more into going to the park, indie music and fashion than, say, yachts (then again--who wouldn't want to go on a yacht?).
When we chatted with Solange, who is incredibly sweet and cool in person, at a Band of Outsiders show last fall, she said she had to put a cap on how many shows she could attend because she had to be able to walk her son to school every day in Brooklyn. Then, she told me she had the same jeans I was wearing, which cost about $60. She's like the ultimate 'Stars! They're Just Like Us.' Her older sister, on the other hand, leads a pretty different lifestyle. But is Solange deliberately trying to differentiate herself from her big sis?
In a way, it sounds like she is. She tells the Times, “I’m so proud of her success, but I could not do that. It’s given me a pretty clear blueprint on what I don’t want to happen.” It also sounds like Beyoncé supports that blueprint. “I’ve been trying to talk her into going to Brooklyn for six years,” Beyoncé told the Times. “It’s so close to her personality. She’s such a fashionista--she’ll get used to it.”
Solange has indeed become a fixture at NYC fashion events (and often dj's them) and known for her eclectic, colorful style. She's also a Next model. Humberto Leon calls her a "style icon" in the Times piece and Vogue UK recently referred to her as the "next big thing."
The way she dips her toes into various things--music, modeling, djing, designing?--says to me that she's trying to explore her interests--something real, normal people do--rather than become a 'star' in one particular genre. But, are the fundamental differences between her and her sister natural or ones that she's contrived? Solange says that the indie persona she's developed wasn't just a reaction to her sister's mainstream-ness and instead has more to do with an age gap:
There’s always going to be a bit of mystery as to how two people who grew up in the same household have different interests,” Ms. Knowles said, referring to her sister. “I’m younger than her, and even in five years, there’s a total gap in how you’re exposed to musical things and fashion and art.
What do you think? Is Solange trying to be the anti-Beyoncé or is she just being herself?