For Nordstrom x Nike's newest "Just Go Bigger" campaign to celebrate Air Max Day, the national retailer and global sneaker brand chose Dear Giana, also known as Lil G, to be one of the spokesmodels, and it's clear why: The Dallas-based nine-year-old has been garnering attention online since she was five (five!) for her fashion-inspired drawings, which has become a signature style for the artist.
"I love to draw," says Giana. "I get a magazine and I get an image that I like, and I cut it in half and I draw the other side." Her artwork — which features such industry figures as Kate Moss, Rick Owens and Vivienne Westwood — has already garnered a number of exhibit shows throughout the country, including Seattle, Los Angeles and New York.
Giana's streetwear-leaning, sneaker-heavy aesthetic has also made her an influencer for the Gen-Z crowd. With more than 24K followers on Instagram — her account is managed by her mom — the budding style star has a knack for layering prints, textures and silhouettes from a mix of high-end designers, athletics brands and on-trend childrenswear labels. But, above all, she's still just a kid. When asked what's currently on her shopping wish list, Giana quickly replies, "I love to play Barbies and Legos with my siblings, so I really do want some more of those."
In between homeschooling and working on her latest fashion projects — expect collaborations with Crayola, Levi's, Converse and Stance — we spoke with Dear Giana over the phone about her personal style, shopping and sewing, her brand new hobby. Read on for highlights from our conversation, and visit Nordstrom x Nike's website to shop for more Nike Air Max styles.
How would describe your personal style?
I love taking risks and I love wearing something interesting, because no one expects it. I love sneakers. Sneakers are my favorite things. They come in different shapes and colors. I love bags because they add style to every outfit.
Do you like to shop online or at the mall?
I usually shop online. Usually brands that follow me on Instagram say, 'Pick out something, and we'll send it to you.' And I have unboxings of the clothing and I post it on my Instagram.
How do you come up with your fit pics on Instagram?
I pick out my own clothing and I get ready. Sometimes [my mom and I] just walk around and I'll put something on and we'll run errands and we'll find cool places — even a grocery store. I'll take a picture there and then post it on my Instagram.
Where do you look for inspiration?
I love to people-watch in places like New York. I love seeing other people's style. I also look into the newest magazines to see what's really cool right now.
What are your favorite brands right now?
I love Stella McCartney Kids, Moschino Kids and Balmain. I love to thrift, because usually I go to the thrift store and buy some really cool things. It doesn’t always have to be high-end brands. And sometimes I find clothes that I like and use them as fabric for my sewing.
Do you have a favorite outfit that you've worn recently?
I got a leopard jacket from Forever 21 and it's so cool. I got some new Balmain sneakers that would look super cool with it. They're black and white and they're high tops. They have the big Balmain logo on them and it has a big velcro strap. It's so my style.
What do you like most about fashion?
I love to sew now. I started sewing this year. I do online school, so I go to co-op, and it's where you see all other homeschoolers there and they have a sewing class there that I joined with all my friends. It's very fun to see other people's style and how they sew, too.
I'm making bags right now. I've sewn a bag with zebra print on it and it has Batman print inside of it. I love bags — they add a lot to your style and I just like carrying them around with me. So when I make one, it makes me happy. Next year, I'm going to be making clothes. I would sew dresses, because they're stylish and you can add your own touch to them with a really cool fabric.
Now that you're learning to sew, what do you want to do next in fashion?
I want to have my own line. I want to be able to make different clothes and sell them online so other people can get clothes that are my style, and then of course switching it up to how they want to wear them. To have clothing that I've sewn and to see people wearing them would be my dream.
What's your favorite fashion or styling tip?
I would say, be you; have your own style. You don't have to copy somebody else's style to be cool. You can have your own style, wear it anywhere and it could still be fashion.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.