Kyra Alessandrini

Writer & Reporter

United States

Raised in Paris and based in New York, I am a French/American journalist. I primarily work as a writer and reporter on topics ranging from culture to fashion and health care. My work can be read in publications such as Essence, Time, The Hollywood Reporter, Insider, InStyle, Byrdie, Elle and RFI.

From interviewing celebrities for cover stories to reporting daily news, I explore all aspects of journalism through my work. Being an independent journalist has led me to gain experience across a wide variety of beats, and trained me to adapt my voice to any publication.

Before becoming a full-time journalist, I was a graduate student at Columbia Journalism School and a humanities student at both La Sorbonne (France) and UCL (UK). During my down time, I enjoy street photography, traveling and daily life in Brooklyn, NY.

Below, you’ll find examples of my work, as well as links to my social media. For opportunities and pitches, please contact me via email.

Portfolio

Culture - Entertainment

Essence
06/14/2021
Omar Sy Hopes 'Lupin' Broadens Imaginations: "There Are A Lot Of Stories You Can Tell With Black...

Upon its release in January, Lupin became one of Netflix's most-viewed shows, garnering more than 70 million views in the first quarter of 2021. For his role as Assane Diop and his alter ego Lupin, Omar Sy quickly gained international recognition and appeal, while in his home country of France he is regarded as a household name of French cinema and often referred to as one of the country's most-liked personalities.

Elite Daily
02/03/2022
You're About To See Tati Gabrielle *Everywhere*

It was the moment every young actor waits for. Tati Gabrielle, 26, had spent the last seven years attracting devoted fans for her roles in shows aimed at teenagers ( The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, The 100). Now, here was her first grown up role.

Girls United
01/17/2022
Maya Angelou Was A Devoted Activist

Angelou wasn't afraid to speak her mind and fight for the rights of the marginalized. She inspired generations with her life and work. On January 10, the U.S. Mint announced that quarters with Maya Angelou on them would begin to ship, making Maya Angelou the first Black woman to be featured on the U.S.

ELLE
06/02/2022
Why Is Hollywood Still So Obsessed With Nuns?

Hollywood loves nuns. This isn't so much a hypothesis as an increasingly clear observation. Since the film genre known as "nunsploitation" hit its peak in 1970s Europe, Hollywood cameras have remained fixated, though to varying degrees of success and within fluctuating waves of popularity, on the Catholic Church's sacred sisterhood.

Byrdie
Daniela Melchior on Joining the "Suicide Squad" and the Power of Meditation

Getting on a call with Daniela Melchior is like chatting with a friend. And much like on the silver screen, the actress's down-to-earth, relatable, and positive attitude immediately radiates through my Zoom screen. Melchior just made her U.S. acting debut in The Suicide Squad, James Gunn's latest directorial project which premiered on August 6.

Essence
01/25/2021
Why The Success Of 'Lupin' Matters

Arsène Lupin is to the French what Sherlock Holmes is to the British: smart, savvy and renowned for his class. In just three weeks, Netflix's modern adaptation of Lupin has become an international hit. The series has garnered more than 70 million views, beating records set by shows such as The Queen's Gambit and Bridgerton .

Girls United
02/08/2022
How Ariana DeBose Could Make History At The Oscars With A 'West Side Story' Win

The 'Prom' actress earned an Oscar nod for Best Supporting Actress. Congratulations to Ariana DeBose! The 31-year-old actor was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, recognizing her role as Anita in Spielberg's remake of West Side Story, as officially reported by Variety.

The Hollywood Reporter
07/01/2022
Louis C.K. Premieres Indie Drama 'Fourth of July' In New York

In early June, controversial comedian Louis C.K. dropped a surprise announcement that he was releasing a new feature project, Fourth of July , an indie dramedy which he directed, co-wrote, edited and stars in. On Thursday, Fourth of July had its world premiere at a sold-out Beacon Theatre in New York, with fans of C.K.

Girls United
02/03/2022
Missy Elliott Becomes The First Female Rapper To Reach Six Platinum Albums

Talk about a Supa Dupa Fly accomplishment! Hip-hop icon Missy Elliott has reached yet another milestone for her contribution to the music industry. The legendary artist, songwriter, and record producer is officially the first female rapper to have six albums certified platinum or higher, according to Chart Data.

Girls United
01/10/2022
MJ Rodriguez Becomes First Trans Woman To Win A Golden Globe

Actress MJ Rodriguez has made history. On January 9, she became the first openly transgender woman to win a Golden Globe. Rodriguez, 31, won the award for best actress in a TV drama for her role as Blanca Evangelista on Pose. Upon airing in 2018, Pose immediately broke ground for featuring the largest cast of trans actors to date.

Essence
03/17/2022
Nicki Minaj Is Starting Her Own Management Company And Record Label

Nicki Minaj is venturing into the entrepreneurial side of the music industry. On March 9, the rapper shared in a sit-down interview with Joe Budden that she is starting her own management company and record label. "I am creating my own management company," she said.

Girls United
03/14/2022
Opera Vocalist Davóne Tines Will Honor Breonna Taylor In Immersive Art Performance

The installation will address how art about social issues can be done responsibly. Opera vocalist and activist Davóne Tines will honor Breonna Taylor during an immersive art event at the Lincoln Center in New York City. While March 13 marked two years since the killing of Breonna Taylor, Tines is choosing to honor her memory through OpenProcess, an audio-visual art installation and performance.

Girls United
04/20/2022
Have You Ever Wondered What '420' Actually Means?

There's a specific reason why 420 is associated with marijuana. Over the last decade, 18 states, plus Washington D.C. and Guam, have legalized marijuana for recreational use Mainstream attitudes towards the substance are changing, although marijuana remains illegal at the federal level.

Girls United
01/12/2022
Harper Collins Honors Zora Neale Hurston With New Boxed Set Of Books

Book publisher Harper Collins has made available a new boxed set of Zora Neale Hurston's classic books. Ten paperback books are featured in the set. Each features a special cover created by a contemporary Black artist such as Charly Palmer and Toyin Ojih Odutola.

Girls United
04/08/2022
Watch This Clip Of A Young Prince Talking About A Teacher's Strike

Journalists at WCCO's news station unearthed the clip of the late icon. On April 3, journalists at WCCO-TV, a CBS station in Minnesota, released footage of an 11-year-old Prince being interviewed during a 1970 teachers' strike in Minneapolis. The young musician, dressed in a blue jacket and ear warmers, can be seen being interviewed about the strike.

Courrier international
01/31/2021
Vu des États-Unis. "Lupin" sur Netflix : Omar Sy révolutionne la place des Noirs dans les...

"Arsène Lupin est aux Français ce que Sherlock Holmes est aux Anglais : tous deux sont intelligents, perspicaces et réputés pour leur grande classe", écrit le magazine américain Essence . Ce bimestriel, lancé en 1970 à l'intention d'un lectorat noir et féminin, tente de décrypter le succès international de la série Lupin, mise en ligne le 8 janvier par Netflix.

Girls United
05/17/2022
Mattel Unveils First Behind-The-Ear Hearing Aid Barbie Doll

The new doll will be released as part of the company's diverse 2022 Fashionistas line. Mattel, the company behind the iconic Barbie doll, is diversifying its line of dolls. The company unveiled the first look at its first-ever doll with a hearing aid as part of its "most diverse and inclusive doll line," according to the brand's Instagram.

Girls United
06/28/2022
Khaby Lame Is Now The Most Followed Content Creator On TikTok

If you're on social media, chances are you've come across one of Khaby Lame's comedy skits. The social media star rapidly gained in popularity on TikTok for posting reactions to absurd "life hack" videos. Lame's hand gesture, facial expression and commitment to remaining silent in his videos became an instantly recognizable signature across social media.

Girls United
12/02/2021
Serena Williams Is Writing Her First Children's Book

Tennis champion Serena Williams is adding a new venture to her resume. On December 1 she announced she's releasing her first children's book. The Adventures of Qai Qai is illustrated by Yesenia Moises and will be published by Feiwel and Friends on September 27th, 2022.

Fashion - Beauty

Byrdie
Léna Situations on Shaking Up the Fashion Industry and the Power of Social Media

Léna Mahfouf, best known as Léna Situations, has quickly become the fashion world's favorite "it girl." The 24-year-old French content creator regularly collaborates with brands like Dior and was one of the leading voices in luxury fashion in 2021, according to LaunchMetrics. Needless to say, her massive influence in the industry is clear.

Byrdie
7 Essential Style Lessons I Learned From Christian Siriano

For any lover of fashion or celebrity style, Christian Siriano's designs are impossible to miss. He's the mind behind Billy Porter's black velvet Oscars gown from 2019, Lizzo's VOTE dress in October 2020, and Lili Reinhart's most recent Met Gala look.

Byrdie
6 Ways Virgil Abloh Changed Fashion Forever

Today, Louis Vuitton presented its Men's Fall-Winter 2022 Collection as part of Paris Fashion Week. It was Virgil Abloh's last collection ever for the luxury brand, and his unique artistic touch was palpably felt all throughout the show. Similar to previous Louis Vuitton debuts, the new collection live-stream presented as an artistic performance.

Girls United
03/16/2022
Ralph Lauren Unveils New Collaboration With Spelman, Morehouse College

This campaign marks the first produced by the brand with an all-Black cast. Ralph Lauren has partnered up with HBCUs Morehouse College and Spelman College for its latest capsule collection. Launching March 29, the capsule honors the history and tradition of HBCUs through fashion.

Girls United
03/10/2022
Skin Is In: The Rise Of Miu Miu's Micro Mini Skirt

If you love retro fashion, chances are you've come across the latest trend that has everyone buzzing with excitement. The micro mini skirt has made a triumphant comeback-just in time for spring 2022. From fashion week runways to magazine covers, high waisted silhouettes are being swapped for low-rise and skin-baring mini skirts.

Byrdie
Dopamine Dressing Is All Over TikTok-Here's How to Embrace Color This Spring

Bright colors are making a triumphant comeback just in time for Spring 2022. As we slowly emerge from the pandemic, bringing color into your wardrobe is the perfect way of celebrating the start of warmer and longer days. Pantone picked out a varied selection of hues for the season, ranging from hot pink to bright yellow and pastel green.

Byrdie
Nike's New Collab with Serena Williams Is an Homage to '90s Streetwear

Nike and Serena Williams are releasing their first collaboration designed by the 2020 cohort of the Serena Williams Design Crew (SWDC) apprenticeship. Beginning in 2019 as a partnership between Nike and Williams, the design program aims to "promote diversity in design and establish a new generation of design talent at Nike and beyond."

Byrdie
Meet Threads: The Hosiery Brand Challenging Gender Norms

Think of how many times you put on a pair of tights only for them to snag in the middle of the day or rip right as you put them on. Xenia Chen was working as an investment banker on Wall Street when she started growing tired of impromptu drugstore runs and shopping for expensive pairs of tights.

Girls United
06/01/2022
How To Achieve The 'Coastal Grandmother' Aesthetic

"Coastal grandmother" is the latest style trend to have taken over TikTok. The term was coined by Lex Nicoleta, a 26-year-old TikTok user. "To me, 'coastal grandmother' is a way of life," Nicoleta says to ESSENCE Girls United.

Girls United
05/11/2022
Balenciaga Is Selling Destroyed Sneakers For $1,850

The brand's new release is sparking controversy for its look and high price tag. Balenciaga unveiled its new shoe campaign, which hasn't come without controversy. On May 9, the French designer brand introduced the Paris sneaker, a severely distressed and torn up design inspired by Converse's classic Chuck Taylor high tops.

Byrdie
The 2022 Met Gala Was a Lesson in Balletcore

Ballet and fashion have always gone hand in hand-and this year, the aesthetic has been making a triumphant comeback. From maxi tulle skirts to cardigans and wrap sweaters, you'll spot balletcore everywhere from social media to the runway in 2022. This year's Met Gala proved no different, with the trend making its way on the red carpet.

Byrdie
The Best Fashion Moments From the 2021 Met Gala Red Carpet

The Met Gala is often referred to as the "Oscars of fashion" for a reason. Every year, A-list celebrities are invited to walk up the steps of the Met Museum and attend fashion's biggest night out hosted by Vogue. Last year's event, which was scheduled for the first Monday of May, was canceled due to the pandemic.

Girls United
09/14/2021
The Details Of Lupita Nyong'o's MET Gala Look

Actress and author Lupita Nyong'o attended the 2021 Met Gala and successfully paid homage to American fashion (this year's theme) through her red carpet look. Her hair was inspired by artist Lorna Simpson, said Vernon François, Lupita Nyong'o's hair stylist, to Vogue.

Girls United
05/03/2022
Janelle Monae Gives A Nod To The Future For Their 2022 MET Gala Look

The artist was wearing a custom Ralph Lauren gown and matching headpiece. Last night, celebrities and designers walked up the steps of the Metropolitan Museum in New York for the 2022 MET Gala. This year's theme, "Gilded Glamour," celebrated the opulent fashion of the 1800s and America's Gilded Age.

InStyle
Ryan Gosling's Bronze "Barbie" Tan Was Created With These Popular Under-$35 Products

Chances are you've come across the new Barbie poster of Ryan Gosling posing as Ken, complete with bleach blonde hair, a cut-off denim vest, and a shiny, doll-like tan. (Insert heart-eyes emoji, here.) Greta Gerwig's live-action movie is setting itself to be a pop culture phenomenon despite still being in production thanks to the star-studded cast.

Girls United
09/30/2021
Drake's OVO And NBA Collaboration Drops Ahead Of 2021-2022 NBA Season

On September 29, Drake's lifestyle brand October's Very Own (OVO) released a new collection in collaboration with the NBA. The World Championship Collection celebrates six iconic World Championship franchise teams, including the Los Angeles Lakers, the Chicago Bulls, the Boston Celtics, the New York Knicks, Miami Heat and Drake's home team, the Toronto Raptors.

Byrdie
Rihanna's Latest Savage X Fenty Show Redefines Sexy

Rihanna has come back with the third installment of her famous Savage X Fenty show-just in time for the 2021 fall fashion weeks. According to the singer and mogul, Vol. 3 presents a celebration of body and movement.

Byrdie
Savage X Fenty Vol. 3: 5 Trends We Loved From the Show

Rihanna's highly anticipated Savage X Fenty Vol. 3 has dropped on Amazon Prime. The show, which aired just in time for the fall fashion weeks, gives us a glimpse into some of the trends we can expect to see over the last few months of 2021 and 2022.

National News

Girls United
04/08/2022
Chris Smalls Was Fired From Amazon. Now He's President Of The Amazon Labor Union.

In 2020, he was fired for organizing a employee walkout to protest against working conditions. On April 1, Amazon workers made history by voting to unionize. Behind this win is Chris Smalls, the president of the Amazon Labor Union (ALU) and a former worker at the company's warehouse in Staten Island, New York.

Girls United
11/17/2021
College Students Are Facing A Nationwide Housing Crisis

Students across the country are fighting for better living conditions. On November 15, a month-long protest at Howard University came to an end after previous allegations of unlivable conditions. The students and the administration coming to an agreement brought about the closing of the longest protest in the history of Howard University.

Girls United
02/24/2022
Howard University Receives $2 Million Grant To Digitize Black Newspapers

Howard University announced it received a $2 million grant to digitize its extensive collection of Black newspapers. The donation, which was given by the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation, will make available over 100,000 newspaper issues from the Black press from the United States, Africa, and the African diaspora.

Girls United
04/12/2022
16 People Injured, 10 Shot In Brooklyn Subway Station Shooting

The FBI and NYPD are currently looking for the suspect, who is still at large. At least 16 people were injured in a shooting that occured at 36th Street, a subway station in the neighborhood of Sunset Park in Brooklyn, New York. 10 people are suffering from gunshot wounds and five people are in critical but stable condition.

Girls United
03/07/2022
Netflix, TikTok, And Fedex Among Companies Halting Services In Russia

Companies are announcing restrictions in light of the Russian invasion in Ukraine. Netflix and TikTok are the latest companies to announce they are halting all services in Russia. On March 6, the streaming giant and social media platform followed other companies's decision to suspend their services in the country.

Girls United
04/20/2022
Uber, Lyft, Airlines And Airports Drop Mask Mandates

The news comes after a federal judge voided the nation-wide mask mandate. After two years, Uber, Lyft, various airports and the major American airlines have lifted their mask mandates. The news comes after US District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, a Florida federal judge appointed by former President Donald Trump, ruled that the federal mask mandate exceeds the authority of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Girls United
10/04/2021
Sculpture Of George Floyd Vandalized In New York City

he bust was installed as part of Confront Art's "SEEINJUSTICE" exhibition in New York City's Union Square. A bronze bust of George Floyd was vandalized on the morning of Sunday, October 3, according to the New York City Police Department. The bust was installed as part of Confront Art's "SEEINJUSTICE" exhibition in New York City's Union Square.

Girls United
05/12/2022
Gucci Will Reimburse U.S. Employees Who Must Travel For Safe Abortions

The fashion house is one of the latest brands to publicly support reproductive rights. Italian luxury house Gucci spoke out in favor of abortion as the future of reproductive rights becomes uncertain in the United States. The brand announced in a statement that it will reimburse employees who travel outside of their home state to get an abortion.

Girls United
09/16/2021
World Anti-Doping Agency To Review Cannabis Ban Following Sha'Carri Richardson's Suspension

Richardson tested positive for marijuana during the Olympics trials. The World Anti-Doping Agency will be reviewing whether cannabis should remain a banned substance in sports competitions. This decision comes after track and field athlete Sha'Carri Richardson faced a 30-day suspension weeks before she was set to compete in the Tokyo Olympics after testing positive at the U.S.

Girls United
11/09/2021
At Least 18 Lawsuits Have Been Filed Following Astroworld Tragedy

A police investigation is still ongoing to determine all possible causes of death and injuries, as well as what caused the crowd surge. As of November 9, eight people have died, three people remain hospitalized and approximately 300 people were injured following a crowd surge at Travis Scott's Astroworld Festival.

Politics - Justice

Nylon
03/31/2021
Meet Deja Foxx, The 20-Year-Old Activist Using Social Media To Make A Change

Welcome to Favorite Follow, a new series highlighting NYLON's favorite creators and the stories behind some of their most memorable content. Deja Foxx was unpacking her suitcase at her Columbia dorm in 2019, ready to start her sophomore year, when she received a DM on Instagram - a job opportunity on the Kamala Harris presidential campaign.

Girls United
12/16/2021
On MLK Day, The King Family Will March For Voting Rights

There will be "no celebration without legislation," said Martin Luther King III. On MLK Day in 2022, the family of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is calling others to join them in protesting against restrictive voting laws.

Girls United
12/14/2021
Larry Nassar Victims Reach $380 Million Settlement

Over 500 victims will be compensated, making it one of the largest cases of child molestation in history. On December 13, the hundreds of female gymnasts who were sexually abused by Lawrence G. Nassar agreed to a $380 million settlement with U.S.A. Gymnastics and the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee.

Essence
11/04/2021
Only One Black Juror Chosen For Trial Over Ahmaud Arbery's Killing

On Wednesday, November 3, a jury was selected for the trial of the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, but it has been revealed that only one Black person was chosen. It is made up of residents from Glynn County, where over a quarter of the population is Black, according to the U.S.

Girls United
04/15/2022
Florida Signs Law Banning Abortions After 15 Weeks

It is the latest state to impose restrictions on a woman's right to choose. On April 14, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a law that will ban abortions after 15 weeks, scaling back the current limit of 24 weeks. The law, which will go into effect on July 1, prohibits abortions even in cases of rape, incest, and human trafficking.

Girls United
02/07/2022
Minneapolis Protesters Demand Justice After Police Killing Of Amir Locke

Locke was killed on February 2 by a Minnesota Police SWAT team executing a no-knock search warrant. On February 6, a caravan of protesters drove through Minneapolis to demand justice for the killing of Amir Locke, the 22-year-old Black man who was shot last week by police officers during a no-knock search warrant.

Girls United
09/03/2021
President Biden Speaks On Texas Abortion Ban

The Supreme Court officially ruled to allow Texas to ban abortions. President Joe Biden has taken his stance on the Texas abortion ban to Twitter. The law went into effect on Tuesday night, prohibiting most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, a time frame during which women may not yet know they are pregnant.

Girls United
04/25/2022
New Footage Potentially Undermines DaBaby's Self-Defense Claim In 2018 Shooting

The rapper shot and killed Jaylin Craig, an 18-year-old fan, in 2018. On November 5, 2018, DaBaby (born Johnathan Kirk) shot and killed one of his fans in a Walmart in Charlotte, North Carolina, following an altercation. The case was closed in June 2019 after the rapper claimed he acted in self-defense.

Health - Wellness

Time
05/11/2021
Suicide Among Black Girls Is a Mental Health Crisis Hiding In Plain Sight

When Dionne Monsanto was pregnant, she decided that she wanted to find a name that means "blessing" for her daughter. Though Monsanto-a Black American-has no specific ties to South Africa, she chose the name Siwe, an adaptation of the Zulu name Busisiwe. Siwe grew to be a talented artist.

Girls United
11/10/2021
Pfizer Announces Pill To Help Treat COVID-19

While happy about a new treatment option, multiple infectious disease experts agreed that the pill was not a suitable stand-in for the COVID-19 vaccine. On November 5, pharmaceutical company Pfizer announced it successfully developed a new antiviral pill, Paxlovid, to treat COVID-19.

Girls United
04/26/2022
Nutritionists On TikTok Warn Of The Dangers Of Diet Culture

Nutritionists want to make younger generations aware that diet culture doesn't promote a healthy lifestyle. Dieticians, medical experts who create individualized meal plans based on a person's needs, are using TikTok to spread awareness about diet culture, which they say has nothing to do with being healthy.

Girls United
10/12/2021
California Will Soon Require Free Menstrual Products In Public Schools

On Friday October 8, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed the Menstrual Equity Act, a bill that will require all public schools and colleges to offer free menstrual products starting in 2022. It is an extension of a 2017 bill that already required schools in low-income areas to provide students with free menstrual products.

Byrdie
Peleton's Tunde Oyeneyin on Her Workout Lipstick and the One Thing That Keeps Her Motivated

There's nothing Tunde Oyeneyin can't do. She's a famed Peloton instructor, a Revlon ambassador, a motivational speaker, and an author. The Texas native developed a passion for "gifting people with confidence" by starting off as a makeup artist. Today, she's collaborating with Nike alongside rapper Megan Thee Stallion and choreographer Parris Goebel to expand the definition of sports.

Girls United
03/21/2022
We Have To Address The Glaring Problems With Femininity Coaching

The trend, which has been popping up all over social media, has little to do with self-care. How to be more feminine? How to glow up? How to channel divine feminine energy? If you are a social media user, chances are you've come across posts and videos attempting to answer these questions for you.