We’re currently headed steadfast into a future filled with technological advancements. The rise of streaming platforms in the music industry have virtually made CDs, DVDs and cassettes obsolete. Smart TVs on the other hand poked a searing hole in the cable subscription industry that once had the world at whole in a monthly chokehold for decades. In short, whether film, finance or food, there is not one industry that hasn’t been widely affected by digital domination.
Up next is the move into virtual/augmented reality. Headsets like the recently leaked super specs on the upcoming Immersed Visor and Apple’s highly-anticipated, high-priced Vision Pro are expanding onto the world that Meta has been dominating by itself for years now with its popular Oculus Quest series. Having a head start on the game put the latter in a position to really understand the space and essentially grow in it. Now, they’re doing cool collaborative virtual campaigns that find intersections between reality and the infinite possibilities that exist beyond physical limitations.
WNBA star Te’a Cooper is one of their latest partners in a new activation called “It’s Your World.” With it, Meta is celebrating various ways that people use tech to tap into the aptly-titled, ever-growing Metaverse. Cooper recently linked with rising rap sensation Coi Leray to help revamp the music video for her David Guetta-assisted single, “Make My Day,” complete with animation, motion-tracking and a fitting soundtrack.
Take a look below to see the ladies talking shop:
We got a chance to speak exclusively with Te’a about what it’s like having a small hand in shaping the future of music video production in the Metaverse, in addition to balancing sports with style, being a girl-boss with a burgeoning beauty brand called Hollywood Luxury Hair, and ultimately what she sees for her own future — it’s looking pretty bright to us!
Black America Web: Tell us about your partnership with Meta for the “It’s Your World” campaign in collaboration with Coi Leray?
Te’a Cooper: Coi Leray is killing it right now, so [the want] to collaborate and step into my world by correlated the two [is amazing]. I was featured in her music video and the comic book of her [styled as] an action figure/basketball player, which is actually hilarious because she can’t play basketball [Laughs]. You can still combine the two worlds though.
How does personal style play into your career now that the WNBA has become way more fashion-forward?
I took the game day ‘fits very seriously. I would say embracing your own style and confidently walking in your own style [is important]. How you see yourself and what you put out there — the evolution of you and just seeing your style grow — I think is the most interesting aspect of it. I love fashion and I definitely want to be on a runway someday!
Can you describe your journey in creating a hair and beauty brand with Hollywood Luxury Hair?
I wanted to have a hair brand ever since I was in high school. I really wanted to be particular on the quality of the hair and the prices. I wanted it to be great quality but affordable because, you know, as an athlete, you sweat so much and you have to change your hair a lot. It’s actually hard to maintain natural hairstyles. I really wanted to have my own brand where I could also give back to the little girls growing up and the girls that wanted to have their own hair, or be endorsed by somebody with a hair company. I wanted to be that person.
When it comes to building your business and shaping your own world, can you elaborate on how you do that on a wider scale, like social media for starters?
Whatsapp is like the bread and butter for my hair company. It allows you to communicate with people in all different time zones. It’s effective with calling and texting because it’s so much easier. I give props to Whatsapp for sure, especially because a lot of vendors and people overseas only have Whatsapp. I’m also really obsessed with Threads right now. I’m like an ambassador for Threads because I’m like “Get on Threads! Why are you not on Threads?” [Laughs] I love Threads and Instagram the best. Then again, everybody loves Instagram.
What are some of your favorite beauty and hair trends at the moment?
My first ever marketing deal off the court was Mielle Organics. I love Monique [Rodriguez] and love what they’re doing. They just partnered with the WNBA as well. Then there’s Shea Moisture and good ol’ olive oil. I would say those three are the top three right now.
Talk us through your manga debut (seen above) in Coi Leray’s comic strips for the “Make My Day” video.
You know, it’s wild: I always thought I was an artist. When I was little, I used to make my own comics and comic books. I kind of lost that love for comic books, and now for it to be full circle feels like “Wow!” because over the years I hadn’t really picked up comic books on my own. To now be in a comic book with Coi Leray for a music video is dope. She’s just dope! The whole concept is dope. I’ve never seen anybody do that with a music video, so it was super interesting to watch her do it and be part of it. The way Meta did the graphics with her dunking and running around is really cool.
Where do you see yourself heading towards as a dual pro basketball player and beauty industry leader?
Really just getting back on the court! On the beauty aspect, [I’m] just growing my brand. I have a plethora of young women as ambassadors for my hair, and I’m also collaborating with other big companies in order to market the other young ladies that are coming up. It’s all about helping them and giving back.
If you could shout out five of your sisters in basketball for their unique sense of fashion, hair or makeup, who would they be and why?
Arike Ogunbowale, for sure. She plays for the Dallas Wings and is killing the fashion this year. I love what she’s doing on and off the court. Flau’jae [Johnson] and Angel [Reese] — those my girls; they’re killing it! DiDi Richards is the other brand ambassador for my hair, and she’s killing it off the court and on the court. She played for the New York Liberty and she has her own podcast and talk show now with the WNBA, so that’s dope.
Watch the video for Coi Leray’s “Make My Day” below, and learn more about the “It’s Your World” campaign by clicking here:
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