When Fashion Meets Freedom: A Conversation with Miquelle West

Miquelle West

AllHipHop tapped in with celebrity stylist Miquelle, who put together a Mother’s Day event on Melrose in honor of her mother who is currently incarcerated.

Imagine your mom being sentenced to a life sentence and not being able to celebrate Mother’s Day for 29 years straight. This is the struggle celebrity stylist Miquelle West faces, as each year, the holiday reminds her exactly how corrupt the system is and the devastating fact that her mother has been trapped behind bars since her adolescent years. 

On the beautiful Sunday in Los Angeles (May 8th), Miquelle West hosted a reception at RCNSTRCT with an art installation by HUFR in the heart of Melrose Ave, in honor of Michelle West’s clemency petition

The petition reads, “My mom’s federal life sentence was mandatory back in the 90s. But if she were convicted of the same thing and sentenced today, a life sentence would NOT be mandatory, and a judge would get to decide what is fair. The judge who sentenced her even remarked that his hands were tied. Unfortunately, that change in the law did not apply to old cases. So my mother remains in prison, despite multiple prison staff writing in support of her character and her impressive prison record – which is full of achievements and accolades.”

Miquelle’s long list of clients includes styling for Diddy’s platform REVOLT, Blueface, NLE Choppa, and collaborating with the late Christian Audigier.

Miquelle states, “I refuse to get married or have children until my mother can be there, in person, to support me. It feels like we are both serving a life sentence every single day. Right now, only President Biden can free my mother by commuting her life sentence. I hope he will see that my mother truly has earned a second chance.”

The #FreeMichelleWest movement runs deep for Miquelle, who held back tears as she discussed her mother serving a LIFE sentence for her first and only offense. AllHipHop was present at the event. Read our conversation below.

AllHipHop: What is #FreeMichelleWest?

Miquelle West: #FreeMichelleWest was created to raise awareness for my mother. Similar to #BlackLivesMatters which began as a hashtag. The #FreeMichelleWest evolved into a movement.

AllHipHop: Why is today so significant?

Miquelle West: Today is so significant because for nearly 3 decades, my mother has been incarcerated on Mother’s Day and this year with the support of Champion, I am honoring my mother.

AllHipHop: Who is Michelle West?

Miquelle West: A mother, a daughter, sister, and mentor but most importantly she is my mother.

AllHipHop: What is the story behind the FreeMichelleWest Movement? 

Miquelle West: The story behind the FreeMichelleWest movement was brought to life in a documentary produced by Mr. Sean “Puffy “Combs.

REVOLTNEWSPRESENTS:#FREEMICHELLEWEST. I would like to invite you and your audience to check it out to learn about the Free Michelle West movement. 

AllHipHop: What do you enjoy about styling and how has that evolved over time?  

Miquelle West: I enjoy working with my clients and being a part of the creative process to bring their vision to life. My career in the fashion industry began as a teenager. In addition to my styling expertise, I have a background in luxury retail and fashion design. There are so many variables to who I am as a stylist and I continue to evolve.

AllHipHop: How did you get started in styling some of our favorite artists and celebrities?

Miquelle West: My career as a stylist began working as an intern with my mentor Patricia Field costume designer for Sex And The City. I interned with her for 5 years working for free. I learned every aspect of the styling business. My goal as an intern was to become a stylist not a personal shopper. I have always had an eye for beauty and luxury. That’s my forte.

AllHipHop: How have you used your platform to create change?

Miquelle West: I have used my platform to change the way people view prisoners and their children. My goal has always been not to become a statistic. I want my story to inspire young people with parents who are incarcerated and not let it define them. We are not the worst thing that has happen to us.

AllHipHop: What’s next for you?

Miquelle West: I can not predict the future, but what I would like to do a project with a luxury house so I am working towards my goal to achieve it. One thing my mother has taught me is to always think BIG and to dream with my eyes open.

AllHipHop: How has your mother influenced your success today?

Miquelle West: When I was in fashion design school, my goal was to become a fashion designer. My mother suggested that I launch my career as a stylist to get my name out to the world so I wouldn’t be an unknown fashion designer. My career as a stylist has been so rewarding and has given me the ability to work with amazing people. My mother pushes me to go after whatever I want in life. She quotes DJ Khaled: “they don’t want to see you win, so you have to win every way imaginable.” One of her favorite lines.

AllHipHop: Can you tell us more about the current progress in the quest for clemency?

Miquelle West: The current process is raising awareness and getting more people to sign my mom’s clemency petition on change.org. Anyone wanting to track the progress of the Free Michelle West movement should follow me on Instagram for updates. 

AllHipHop: How has music and entertainment motivated you throughout all of this?

Miquelle West: Music is a motivator. Music from my favorite artists puts me in the zone when I am working, relaxing or feeling down. I can listen to music and take my mind to another place. Being in the entertainment and fashion industry is a form of escape from reality for me because it’s all about the fantasy. Music, entertainment, fashion, art are things that help me survive the adversity I deal with on a daily basis.

AllHipHop: Is there someone you’d like to style?

Miquelle West: Kanye West. I’d like to work with Kanye because I get him and I know he will get me. I am the female version of Kanye in many ways. We are both only children. We both know what it’s like to live life without our mothers. We are our mother’s only child, and we both have the same last name: West. 

I’ve been wanting to work with Kanye since 2003 when I met him in NYC on an elevator on the day I arrived in New York to attend Parsons School of Fashion Design. I think working with Kanye will lead to big things with fashion and freedom. He is working to free Larry Hoover, I am working to free my mother. Why shouldn’t we be working together?