"It's great to be able to have dreams and goals and have someone to share the exact same goals as you."

Fashion

7.23.2019

America’s Dynamic Duo, The Clermont Twins

Shannon and Shannade Clermont are the dynamic duo of the 21st century. With a conjoint Instagram account amassing 1.3 million followers, the identical twins hailing from Dallas, Georgia have got our attention. Blessed with ambitions too grand for their Southern roots, the sisters set out to New York City for university before being cast in a reality show that would change their lives, just as planned.

Appearing in Bad Girls Club in 2015, the Clermont Twins had a very clear mission – to make a name for themselves. And that they did. Campaigns, covers, and catwalks all followed the two’s television stint, quickly building an exhaustive roster of accomplishments. That said, as impressive as it is, they are nowhere near done. In fact, Shannon proposes, “We’re just getting started.”

With degrees from Parsons and FIT, internships for labels such as Jovani and Saint Laurent, and heads of a ready-to-wear line of their very own, Shannon and Shannade’s experience behind the scenes proves just as commendable as their time in the spotlight. While modeling will always, of course, be a focus for the twins, design and business seem to take precedence at the moment. In our exclusive with Shannon, she reveals that the two are working on the release of eyewear under their brand, Mont Boudoir. “But no one knows about it,” she discloses. 

If there is anything we’ve learned from history’s most prolific pairs, it’s that two is most often than not, better than one. From the gun-slinging, havoc-wreaking Bonnie and Clyde of the 1930s to the 2000s’ heiresses of pop culture, Paris and Nicole, it has been proven that there truly is no greater force than that of a dynamic duo and the Clermont Twins are no exception.

Picking up the phone from Los Angeles (where they’re now based) is Shannon Clermont, representing the two while her other half, Shannade, is away. Though only one is on the line, she swears by the pair’s twintuition. Check out our interview below featuring images from Issue 3 of Billy Magazine

Photos via Billy Magazine

Hi Shannon! How’s it going? What are you up to in Los Angeles at the moment?

Hey! Currently working on the launch of a pair of sunglasses that will be coming out in a month or so. We’re in production at the moment, but no one knows about it. We got the idea because we kept seeing people dressing up as us for parties or for Halloween wearing big shades and a wig, so I was like, ‘Let’s come out with these sunglasses that represent us aesthetically.’ People love our look so we thought this would be a great addition to the collection. I never considered eyewear to be such a part of our look until we saw everyone dressing up like us doing it, so why not embrace it?

Are the shades part of your Mont Boudoir line or will they be a separate line?

Yes, it’s part of Mont Boudoir. We’ll be launching one frame style with different lens options.

We’ve been trying to focus more on the line, doing lots of pulls and stuff. Generally, we sell more high end garments and cater to a higher priced market, so you can expect the glasses to be for the same audience. We just feel like a lot of people have been coming out with glasses that are very alike, very fad-oriented and trendy. We want to come out with something original, something you can pick up to add to a look and have it be a staple piece, instead of just an accessory.

Photos via Billy Magazine

Photos via Billy Magazine

It’s interesting that this pursuit came about after realizing how the public perceives your style and identifies the sunglasses and wigs as your key pieces. How would you describe your guys’ style yourself?

For us it’s about how we feel or how we wanna feel. Sometimes it’s dark, sometimes its sporty but risque.  So for us it’s never about defining our particular look, it’s about putting our own personal style together for whatever we feel like wearing. 

That’s crazy, it sounds so off the cuff but your guys’ instagram is very on point, and you two always complement each other’s outfits. Is there a lot of planning involved in that?

No there’s not, it’s actually crazy. Shannade and I are really intuitive and have similar taste and we like the same things so a lot of the times we’re getting dressed and I’ll be like, “Let’s just put all black on,” and we’ll come out of our rooms and were wearing the same things. Sometimes we shop in two’s as well. We just like the same things, so it’s easy because we already have similar tastes so whatever we put on usually compliment each other.  There are times when we’ll be coming from different places and we’ll have the same outfit on! It’s hilarious.

So you guys have a lot of twintuition going on?

It’s so true. We know how the other thinks. By nature, we’re very connected. That bleeds into business and style often we like the same things, especially because we’re around each other all the time. We have an older sister and two older brothers too, we’re really close to our family but it’s so different when it’s your twin.  

A lot of people can’t work with their family, but we’re a force together; we work great together. It’s great to be able to have dreams and goals and have someone to share the exact same goals as you, so we’re able to push each other. And it’s not in a competitive way because we both want the best for each other so we have a lot of trust. I’m more social than Shannade, she usually plans while I execute. We can accomplish anything together.

Photos via Billy Magazine

Have you always been so cooperative?  Can you think of any moments where you clashed?

Of course, generally we’ll draw and sketch some ideas for the line and when we come together either one of us might not like this or that so we compromise.

What’s interesting about your careers is that you have extensive background on both sides of the fashion world. How has that informed the way you navigate your gigs now?

Seeing how things work behind the scenes and in front as well is super interesting. We enjoy both, we do everything. Anything we want to do we can do it, the versatility is amazing. We left Georgia to come to New York and be with like-minded individuals. We both figured if we went to different schools within New York, we’d create a larger network between the two of us, so Shannade went to Parsons and I went to FIT. Going to these schools and interning in the industry, I think we realized that we wanted to be our own bosses. 

‘Do what you want to do, stick to it, stay strong, work hard, learn, and be great at it,’ that’s always been our motto. I enjoy creating things and the process of buying and merchandising and being someone that people respect enough to wear their clothes – it’s all such a great blessing.

How do you guys pursue your jobs and bookings? Is there a good cop, bad cop situation?

Shannade is more modest and I’m more over the top, so it’s a great balance. When it comes to DJ-ing and hosting parties, I’m the one that’s like were going to have fun and Shannade is the one that knows when it’s time to go. It all depends, she can open up when she likes you I’m just more initializing.

Photos via Billy Magazine

Can you talk to us a bit about Bad Girls Club. What exactly was your goal for being on the show?

We just wanted people to know who we are. We were doing modeling and auditions in New York, but BGC was our first response. We jumped on the opportunity to show our style and let America know who the Clermont Twins are. 

Overall, it was beneficial and gave us a platform to become more international.  After the show we got responses from all over the world. People from Japan were telling us they loved our style – it was crazy. From then on, all of the promotion was for us and not BGC. They gave us the platform for us to brand ourselves to the world. We had to clean it up and show what we really do and that we’re not just reality stars.

Obviously it worked!

Yeah, it’s crazy. So many people don’t even know about that part of us now, so it was really a way for us to just capture an audience.

Being such public figures, I’m sure you’re exposed to a lot. Is there anything you would change about the fashion industry or social media?

The main change I’d like to see is people be more open and honest; transparency.  They see how open we are about a lot of things. We need more creative thinkers to control what’s going on in the fashion industry. I think there are times where the industry is a little late and doesn’t always give the right people a platform. People need to be more daring and open in fashion. Sometimes they want these cookie cutter concepts that have worked in the past but you can’t pack art like that.  I grew up super country, moved from New Jersey to Georgia when I was young and learned you have to accept who you are to be able to do anything or else you’ll break down. We had to build that confidence to know that we can do things and its ok to be different. So I think it’s important to create a space for people to be different.

Images courtesy of Billy Magazine, from Issue 3.

Photographer – Neil F Dawson @neilfrancisdawson
Stylist – Lisa Nguyen @lisahnguyen 
Hair – Clay Nielsen @thisisclay
Makeup – Angie Parker @angieparkerbeauty
Video  –  John Sommers @mrawake 

Stay tuned to Milk for more Billy Mag collabs. 

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