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Ally Green / Design by Kenya Bravo

The Reflection Issue

Reflection [noun]: serious thought or consideration; the return of light, heat, or sound without absorbing it.

Letter from the Editors

Byrdie editors

Design by Cristina Cianci

We often reference reflection as the image we see in a mirror—or, around this time of year, the look-back we tend to do on the preceding months. But there's another meaning that comes to the minds of ex-geometry nerds like me that’s rooted in transformation; it goes back to the X and Y axis and how a figure can be flipped to show its mirror-image side. At Byrdie—and in this issue's deeply detailed cover story (thanks to Kehlani's openness)—we talk a lot about the first two meanings. But the third also feels right as we wrap 2021. Two years ago, we were ending the year with our own brave look-backs, blissfully unaware of the upside-down we were about to enter. Since then, though, reflecting has been hard; with so many twists and turns, it felt better to cover our eyes and take a quick peek rather than a good long look. My hope for all of us is a return to a more nuanced mirror image than that of 2019; it was the last year-end that felt "normal," but we've grown. It’s a return that truly feels closer than ever.

-Leah Wyar, SVP & General Manager

After the year(s) we've had, we can't help but spend time reflecting. Meditating on what our lives were and what they have come to be. The reverberations are loud, then soft, then loud again during this seemingly endless collective paradigm shift. And while we're taking it all in, we're able to choose what parts we want to absorb and the ones we'd rather leave behind. That practice is what spawned our sixth digital issue, The Reflection Issue, and our choice cover star.

Kehlani is a quiet, thoughtful, beautiful presence who has taken the last year to entirely transform the way they move through the world. You'll read more on that in their interview, but trust me when I say you'll feel different after you do. Following our cover story, you'll find words on reflection, anticipation, revelry, and transition. Take a few deep breaths and begin—we're here to feel it all right alongside you.

-Hallie Gould, associate editorial director

On the Cover

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Kehlani Is Constantly Reflecting and Forever Evolving

When I told singer-songwriter Kehlani they were a perfect choice for The Reflection Issue, they finished my train of thought on cue: "Because all I do is fucking reflect." Though it was meant to be cheeky, I had no doubt Kehlani was giving an earnest declaration....

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On the Cover

The B-Side

We're flipping the script and spotlighting the geniuses behind these looks.


Get to Know Kehlani's Glam Team: Hairstylist Kahh Spence and MUA Troye Antonio

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