Fashion as an Entree or Appetizer? How Maya Washington Uses Fashion as an Accessory and Why She Needs to Be Known

Written By: Constance Funches

“What would happen if I shamelessly promoted myself for 365 days?” was the question that Maya Washington asked herself in front of a camera and invisible audience.

Following a heartbreaking divorce, the then 31-year-old photographer chose to release her pain through digital self-expression and opened her life to new opportunities using the YouTube platform; giving birth to who fans came to know as, Shameless Maya. Washington used her shameless message to share her interest in “photography, fashion, beauty, and personal growth.”

Although fashion is not the primary focus of her crafted social media presence, she gives her fans memorable style bites that make her a strong contender in the fashion influencer arena. Two years after the start of her “Shameless initiative,” Washington waltzed her way from the streets of New York City to behind the scenes of fashions runways. In September 2014, she was invited to host the backstage recording of MADE Fashion Week, where she covered the latest trends in hair, makeup, and style.

In July 2015, Washington collaborated with Rachel Zoe Studios to discuss mix prints and best practices on how to spin dream fashion into a style reality.

In one of her most recent Instagram post, Washington intimately details a memorable fashion quest to Togo, a West African country off the coast of the Gulf of Guinea, where she uncovered the history of Ankara and African prints. She educates her followers on “the ancient wax resist dyeing technique developed in Java Indonesia” which was used to create Batik print. Her photo Instagram photo and video post display her wearing the print she discusses with her following and allows them the opportunity to share her experience.

Washington definitely exudes a strong style presence but the foundation of her platform is truly about growth and creativity in various aspects of life. The digital maven connects with watchers by expressing her personal experiences with finances, her best business advice, health and fitness tips, and her personal beliefs in the hope for global impact.

In September of 2015, she posted a YouTube video about her work with UNICEF’s initiative Global Goals and how she and others can do their part to help “Save the World by 2030.”

Washington’s platform may not be weighed down by fashion content only, however, it is very apparent to anyone who follows her that fashion is an accessory this multifaceted media star never leaves home without.

More insider information about Maya Washington and the Shameless movement can be found at




Works Cited


Mcgloster, Niki. “Life After Divorce: YouTuber Shameless Maya Used Self-Promotion To Build An Empire.” Life After Divorce: YouTuber Shameless Maya Used Self-Promotion To Build An Empire, XO Necole, 31 Jan. 2018,


Washington, Maya. “DO YOU, BOO. BE SHAMELESS.” Shameless Maya,



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This was not an interview. The article, inspired by Maya Washington, was created for the Academy of Art University. Authorization has been granted for this article to be published on 

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