Joey LaBeija is Not a Club Kid—He’s a Club Granny

By
Photography Alessio Boni
Stylist Mel Ottenberg

Published August 15, 2019

Jacket by GIVENCHY. Shirt and Sneakers by VERSACE. Tank Top (worn throughout) and Boxers STYLIST’S OWN. Necklaces (worn throughout) by RAFAELLO & CO. Socks, Earrings, and Rings (worn throughout) JOEY’S OWN. Thumb Ring by TIFFANY & CO.

Despite what he might say, Joey LaBeija is the Pied Piper of New York’s queer nightlife scene. The Bronx-born DJ and producer—and member of the ballroom family House of LaBeija—combines influences from his punk-rock roots and his Puerto Rican heritage to create a defiantly unpindownable sound. Following a recent breakup, LaBeija channeled his pain into Tears in My Hennessy, a record of breakup bangers that features, for the first time, his own vocals. Here, four things to know about LaBeija, from the clothes he likes to wear, to the music he likes to play, and the worst person he can think of—apart from his exes.

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1. HE LIKES A UNIFORM

“The way I look is super, super important to me, but it’s also second nature. I don’t think about it too much. I just throw on whatever. I like uniforms. For the summer, it is usually a t-shirt with somebody’s face on it and really short shorts. For winter, it’s puffy coats and tiny purses. I started tiny purses.”

2. HE PUTS HIS HEART INTO HIS MUSIC

“The music I make is different from the music I play. In the music I make, I try to put my heart into it and create something conceptual. The music I play is just like the music I grew up on—rap, hip-hop, and reggaeton. When I’m DJing, I want it to feel like I’m at a baby shower at a community center.”

Coat and Jacket by VERSACE. Watch by CARTIER.

3. HIS EXES READ EVERYTHING

“The worst person I can think of right now is Donald Trump, then my exes—all of them. They’ll see this. They read everything.”

4. NO MORE PARTIES IN NY

“I don’t really party in New York anymore, but when I’m in Europe, there’s no such thing as too much drugs.”

Faux Fur Coat by SAINT LAURENT BY ANTHONY VACCARELLO. Shirt by TRIPLE RRR. Pants by Y-3. Boots by GCDS.

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Grooming: Adam Markarian using Wella Professionals
Photography Assistants: Stephen Wordie and Geoffrey Voight Leung
Fashion Assistants: Malaika Crawford and Dominic Dopico
Special Thanks: Jack Studios