queer visionary: dev doee

cherry: issue #007

If there’s one thing Dev Doee is going to do, they’re gonna shine. Literally. The model and Instagram influencer is the Chief Creative Officer of Fluide Beauty, a queer-owned cosmetics brand that is vegan and cruelty-free — plus, a Cherry Magazine fave. Dev went from admiring a BIPOC- and gender-inclusive sponsored ad from the brand to overseeing its marketing, its robust social media presence, and product development, too. And it all started with a genuinely wholesome email.

“I was like, ‘Hi, I just want you to know I love what you're doing. I'm a makeup influencer, so I work with a lot of brands. But your brand really means a lot to me,’” they recall. “And it was simply because of the work they're doing and the representation.” 

Some stellar photoshoots and Dev’s marketing background made for synergy between them and the brand. Ultimately, their role grew from there. “It was very organic. And it really just came from me being that little queer person who didn't see this growing up and was like, ‘I need more. I need more. How can I help?’”

Get to know Dev in the Q&A below.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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Caroline Colvin: How would you describe what you do, in life and at Fluide? 

Dev Doee: In life, I am sort of an artist of all trades. I'm a dancer, actor, beauty enthusiast. A lover of art and inclusion — social activist. As Fluide’s Chief Creative Officer, my biggest mission is just really driving home inclusivity in everything I do.  I oversee the product development process, the social media, all the marketing and creative. 

My role is really just making sure that beauty is approachable and inclusive to everyone. I was assigned male at birth, so I did not always have beauty as a resource. Growing up, I didn't really have people to look up to in beauty. I didn't really see trans femmes like myself, especially Black ones, being placed in beauty or being seen as beautiful. For me, that is my own personal goal: To make sure that as many different types of people are included and seen and lifted up as beautiful in our marketing. 

Makeup is really an aspirational industry. If we’re being honest, it's less about the products and more about the marketing. More about making people want to aspire to be what they see — or see something in themselves that they see in a billboard or a piece of creative. I just think it's really important that the beauty that we see isn’t only a size 2, blonde, skinny white girl. 

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CC: Yes.

DD: Or even some skinny non-binary people. A lot of times gender expansiveness is through a skinny white lens, whether that be assigned male or assigned female at birth. And just in my own personal experience, being someone who lives in Brooklyn: That is only one part of the story. 

There are so many identities, expressions, silhouettes, beauty, aesthetics that non-binary and gender-expansive people live. And as someone a part of that community, I find it really frustrating that it's so homogenous. Even in the gender-expansive trans spaces, we have this “palatable” aesthetic. I try to subvert all of that! It’s a big job!

CC: It's so important though. I can say, at least for myself, that I didn't think that identifying as non-binary was something that was feasible for me. For literally the exact same things that you're saying: size exclusion, complexion exclusion, the idea fitting into the twink archetype. I think it's so important to change the paradigm of what being non-binary or being gender expansive can be. 

DD: Yeah. On my own social media, like my TikTok, I do a lot of educating. [For example,] for Black History Month, I was working on a list of famous Black non-binary artists and creatives to support and uplift. And it's really saddening how hard it is to find that. If you look at the listicles of people who identify as genderqueer, non-binary, or gender-fluid, other than like Indya Moore and Janelle Monae, you don't really get that representation. It's really frustrating, because I personally know that it exists.

I know it's not that Black and brown are not non-binary. The truth is African communities had that way before anyone else — that's been around in the culture forever. To me, there's a disconnect in what the media chooses to uplift in that space.

It's a little biased, with me being someone from the community. But it's my own personal mission to subvert that space.

CC: You know what? I think bias is can be good sometimes if you acknowledge your bias. And also, if, by bringing your perspective, you're pushing back on the mainstream, you know?

DD: Right. Yeah, exactly.

CC: A bit more of a personal question, what are your go to fashion and beauty items? What are some things that you're excited about fashion and beauty wise in 2021?

DD: Honestly, throughout the pandemic, the most exciting things to me fashion-wise, are my Uggs and my Crocs. If I’m being honest. Beauty-wise, I’m really into starting to be into liquid eyeshadows. And Fluide’s liquid lipsticks kind of can work as that already. So that's been something I've been exploring. 

And then I also am really into blush. In the past year, I went from someone who's doesn’t wear blush to ‘Just dip me in an orange blush.’ I think it complements darker skin tones so well. You get this sun-kissed, bronze, orangey glow, and I just, I feel like everyone needs to wear it. ✧

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