(Tynomi Banks wearing Carrera y Carrera Bestiario Lion necklace and Nankin ring by Carrera y Carrera)
With Pride Month in full swing here in Toronto, Addicted Magazine catches up with one of Canada’s preeminent Drag Queens, Tynomi Banks. The local diva has been tearing up the drag scene for more than a decade, and is one of the first Queens to be featured in a major ad campaign, having just become the face of luxury jewelry brand Carrera y Carrera.
It’s easy to see why, as Banks is dripping in confidence and glamour; her over the top persona quite literally sparkles in Carrera y Carrera jewels. And with idols like Naomi Campbell and Grace Jones, you better know that the girl can command an audience.
As a drag performer with a megawatt personality, Banks definitely has a lot to say about Pride, the LGBTQ community, and fashion, so take notes! This is one Fashion Fix you don’t want to miss. Read on below to find out more about the glamorous Tynomi Banks, her style advice, thoughts on drag, and (of course) where you can catch her during Pride month in Toronto.
What brought you to the drag community?
I was drawn to the drag community when I saw my very first drag performance at the age of 21. It was at a former Toronto nightclub called “It”. I loved the energy, glamour and attention the drag queens commanded on stage. That’s when I realized I wanted to be a part of it.
Who is your personal fashion icon?
There are several fashion icons that I admire: Naomi Campbell, Tyra Banks and of course Grace Jones. Grace Jones has a style confidence that’s over-the-top, which she owns in a way that no one can question.
How would you describe your personal style?
There’s a natural dichotomy within my personal style. My ‘boy’ side is a mixture of trendy, casual and comfortable. My Tynomi Banks side channels a confident supermodel that wants to shine and stand out. She’s over-the-top and glamorous.
How would you describe Carrera y Carrera?
Carrera y Carrera Canada is perfect for statement pieces that stand out. They are known for their distinctive gold and precious stone designs and worn by celebs like Lady Gaga and Madonna. And while having a rich, long history, they are also a very progressive brand that crosses the boundaries of gender.
What do you love most about working with the brand?
I love that Carrera y Carrera Canada is pushing the boundaries of beauty and is truly embracing nonconformity. I love that they believe in me, my style and story – so much so that they have featured me in their latest ad campaign. Working with them has been effortless. The photoshoot was fun and collaborative, which really got the creative juices flowing and made for some beautiful photos.
What do you wish you could change about the fashion and drag industries?
My message to the fashion industry is make more clothes that fit big girls like me! I’m 6’2 and struggle to find stylish clothes and shoes.
What is the best piece of style advice you’ve ever received?
Coco Chanel said it best: “Dress like you are going to meet your worst enemy today.”
When you look good, you feel good and no one can take you down!
If you had any advice for people who aspire to work in the fashion and drag industries, what would it be?
For those who aspire to work in the drag world, take the time to uncover who you are as a performer. Experiment with different styles, music and personas until you feel a fit. There will always be someone who appreciates and loves your drag.
The same advice translates to the fashion world. Fashion is art and forever changing so don’t be afraid to experiment. Having a good support system and people around you is also so important because they will help you feel comfortable and encourage you to push your own boundaries when it comes to style.
What are you most looking forward to during Pride month?
The event I am most looking forward to is Starry Night gala which raises funds for The 519, an important LGBTQ+ community centre in Canada. This year marks the 10th anniversary so it’s extra special. I will be performing and am very much Iooking forward to it. I’m so honoured to participate and give back to the community alongside drag queen celebrities from RuPaul’s Drag Race and so many members and leaders within our community and Toronto. Starry Night takes place June 20th at Barbara Hall Park hosted by Green Space Festival.
Where can fans catch you during Pride month?
I’m so excited for this year’s Pride month. I will be performing at Starry Night gala on June 20th which will be a performance and party like none other! On Saturday, June 23rd I will be doing a disco themed performance at the Budlight Stage on Wellesley Street East – I’m going full Diana Ross! I will also be doing a special performance, Business Woman’s Special, at Round. During the Pride Parade on Sunday, June 24th you can catch me on the Crest float, and in the evening from 7:00pm – 8:00pm I’ll be performing at Yonge-Dundas Square at the Bombshell show.