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Indie Musician Dua Saleh Stuns As the Face of 2023 Sunglass Hut X HYPEBEAST Collaboration

Celebrity and fashion collaborations are not uncommon.

For fashion brands, working with artists or celebrities to develop or rework products is a great way to appeal to a new audience. Brands like Vogue Eyewear have collaborated with Hailey Bieber to recreate the brand's classic silhouettes while retaining their iconic looks. At the same time, collaborations allow these celebrities to showcase their style.

Recently, indie musician, poet, and actor Dua Saleh worked with eyewear retailer Sunglass Hut to put their fashion twist on the brand's latest eyewear line. In partnership with HYPEBEAST, the brand developed the all-new HYPEBEAST Curated Selection that features customized avant-garde sunglasses from luxury labels such as Giorgio Armani, Ray-Ban, Versace, and Oakley. One of the highlights of the Curated Selection is the rectangular shades from Versace that feature neon purple frames and yellow-tinted lenses.

The collaboration is a celebration of self-expression, as styled by Dua Saleh. Of course, Dua Saleh's approach to fashion is also often an exploration of eclectic and indigenous self-expression. They are often seen experimenting with redefined Y2K aesthetics, including gender-neutral workwear and outwear combined with sporty streetwear elements.

Dua Saleh’s Music Career

Dua Saleh is a Sudanese-American genre-defying artist. In 2021, they released their EP titled CROSSOVER — a blend of warehouse and club music highlighting their background as a poet through lyrics on identity and rebirth. Like their collaboration with Sunglass Hut, Dua Saleh is no stranger to working with collaborators outside their comfort zone. For CROSSOVER, they had worked with certified pop producers, horrorcore rapper Haleek Maul, and rapper/singer Duckwrth.

In the spirit of collaborations, Dua Saleh also previously worked with indie R&B artist Billy Lemos for his recently released EP Control Freak. The collection of anti-pop songs includes the track Concentrate — featuring Dua Saleh's vibrant vocal styling over hypnotic nuances.

Acting and Fashion Endeavors

Aside from their music, Dua Saleh has also crossed over to the acting world. In 2021, they joined the cast of Netflix's Sex Education as non-binary stoner Cal. The series, made by cis people, successfully brought depth to the character and their transness. While working on their music, the show producers had reached out to Saleh's manager, asking them to audition for the role. Afterward, they got an acting coach to help guide them through the next two auditions until eventually getting officially cast in the role.

Like their Sunglass Hut eyewear collaboration, Dua Saleh brought their flair to their first foray into acting. The Sex Education writing team had a non-binary consultant beforehand but wanted them to be comfortable on set and with the show's themes. The team asked Saleh questions throughout the process, helping them with the script, and had a consultant on set for trans-specific scenes like the binding sequence.

Whether through music, acting, or fashion, Dua Saleh continues to explore their fascination with themes such as identity and transness through their art, creating space to dismantle traditional and stereotypical representations in media. Dua Saleh enjoys animated shows like She-Ra and Jujitsu Kaisen outside of doing their work. In a time when representation is most needed, they commended She-Ra's ability to show a non-binary character — an alien named Double Trouble — even if it didn't go in-depth about their identity.

For more news, updates, and insights on independent music, you can check out more BuzzMusic posts on our website.


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