Though you’re now more likely to find her DJing in London, Berlin or New York, Honey Dijon is undoubtedly a child of Chicago.
After charming her way into legendary clubs like Music Box from the age of 12, the DJ and producer had an introduction to dance music some can only dream of. “Chicago is in my blood,” she tells us. “In the beginning, people that were into house music dressed a certain way and went to certain clubs. Everybody knew the codes if you were deep into the culture; if you were ‘HOUSE’.”
Honey came of age during the birth of house music, where the city’s then history-making scene opened the door to a new world. “The kids would get dressed up to go out and dance all night. Your clothes would be in tatters when you left the club. It was magical. I learned so much about self-expression and bringing a certain personality and beauty that contributed to the party.”
But Honey had always been searching for new ways to unearth the unknown, particularly through her love for art, fashion and photography. “When I was very young fashion offered me a world that was different from where I came from,” she explains. “I grew up on the south side of Chicago. I could get lost in the fantasy of a photograph or an editorial spread in a magazine. It was an escape from the everyday. The possibility of a more beautiful life.”
Soon Honey set out in search of that ‘beautiful life’. Fuelled by stylistic inspiration but longing to recreate the boundary blurring approach of her Chicago peers, she found success as a DJ in New York. Honey has since brought her subtle glamour to the world’s best clubs and fashion parties alike, programming music for runway shows and DJing the afterparties.
It was also in New York that Honey began experimenting with identity, recognising kindred spirits in gender-blurring artists like Grace Jones. Honey is openly transgender, and though she refuses to be defined by the tag, she hopes discussing these issues will help trans visibility in both fashion and dance music. After all, both spheres still have a way to go in terms of diversity. “It’s nice to see more queer people, women and people of color making more dance music and creating their own spaces. Although, I think the essence has been lost in some way, because if you are queer you don’t have to go to queer spaces to connect with other queer people now. The internet has changed dance culture forever. There seems to be very little mystery or being able to stumble across something wonderful by being curious and being out in the world.”
While she may bemoan today’s modern transparency, Honey continues to find inspiration at the intersection of art, music and fashion, and continues to live a life defined by creative expression. “Style to me is not so much about the clothes you wear but how you live your life in them. I am more interested in how a person walks, their conversation, ideas, confidence, and courage to live life on their own terms.”
Words: Anna Tehabsim
Photography: Dexter Lander
Stylist: Lu Philippe Guilmette
Make Up: Celia Hannah
Hair: Virgine Moreira