Q&A | Josephine Lee AKA Princess Gollum

by Morgan Vickery

RYE DECKER  top, and beret. Talent’s own jewelry.

RYE DECKER top, and beret. Talent’s own jewelry.

Princess Gollum is the Instagram alias for the model, visual artist, and internet sensation, Josephine Lee. The dark empress is a self-made success through her media curation- specialized in all things black, chained, and unexpected. Her avant-garde aesthetic is juxtaposed with an angelic persona; sweet yet bewitching. We caught up with Josephine to the learn the differences between her alter egos and true self:


My name is Josephine Pearl Lee. Thank you Flaunt for having me and to anyone who is reading this, I love you!

I’m sitting outside this coffee shop down the street from my home and I currently see a sign that reads Rice Plus and wondering what that store could be all about. Is a place specialized in all different kinds of rice? If I can focus and finish this interview, maybe I’ll go and find out. 

How did you establish your alias, Princess Gollum?

I’ve been through a few identity shifts in the last 6 years of my internet kingdom before becoming Princess Gollum. First started instagram as @babyalmondeyes in 2012. BAE would dress in Cam’ron inspired outfits covered in pink fur, bucket hats, even got a like from Killa Cam himself on Halloween! She was also freshly dropped out of college who moved back home, lost and looking for her next step. Then in 2015, Babyalmondeyes transformed into Wifislilangel and she was fierce. Thick, black cat eye so sharp it could cut you with matching monochromatic sweatsuits. White + black + locks + barbed wire + chains only. Wifislilangel was really an angel. She was pure and a bit naive. Realizing this earth is nothing like heaven, she had a rebirth moment into Princess Gollum. Princess Gollum is someone you don’t want to mess with. She’s still sweet and kind but she’s tougher than ever now, she knows whats going on and she must be respected and protected at all costs.  

Tell us about your favorite shoot to date.

This is such a loaded question but I think my favorite shoots are the lookbooks I’ve worked on with Bernhard Willhelm. All of his pieces are works of art and he himself is too. He lets you be weird and loves the weirder you get. He took me on in 2015 when Palma scouted me and has worked with me ever since. There’s something special about that. Growing together. 

How do you envision your life five years from now?

Five years from now I will be Queen Gollum.

RYE DECKER  top, and belt. Talent’s own jewelry.

RYE DECKER top, and belt. Talent’s own jewelry.

What would you name your personal aesthetic?

1 to 1 to 1.

1 thrifted 1 designer 1 pair of uggs.

My signature look would be a sweat suit, oversized blazer, gucci slides with hosiery and all my sterling drip. 

You recently collaborated with Drink This Milk; can we expect more design work from you in the future?

Y E S !!!! 

“Never cast a pearl to the pigs.” What does it mean?

This quote is a reminder of self worth and not about dissing pigs. 

I love pigs but pigs might not truly understand the value of a pearl. 

A pearl is precious and beautiful and strong but when thrown at a pig, 

it won’t be appreciated the way a pearl is meant to be.

If you could advise your community of Instagram followers, what would you say?

Don’t believe everything you see on the gram. 

Things may seem more real than they really are. 

Stay true to who you are and never compare yourself to others.

Work as hard on your insides as much as you do on the outside. 

Tell you mother you love her, then tell yourself you love you. 

RYE DECKER  top. Talent’s own shoes, and jewelry.

RYE DECKER top. Talent’s own shoes, and jewelry.

What are your favorite brands of the moment?

Ebonny Munro

Loki Patera

Nicole Van Vuuren

Prada

Marni

RYE DECKER  top, and beret. Talent’s own jewelry.

RYE DECKER top, and beret. Talent’s own jewelry.

What inspirations prompt your visual artist?

I’m constantly inspired by the world around me. 

I never know when I’ll be inspired. It could be of a sculpture made of spider webs then maybe I could be enamored by the trash I see floating down the drain. I’ve also noticed that inspiration is a perspective. I could see something one day and feel nothing at all then see it again in a different light and it would be everything to me. 

View this post on Instagram

A real time video of me knitting my sweater

A post shared by JOSEPHINE 진주 LEE (@princessgollum) on

Name a secret obsession of yours.

Knitting and solving the rubik’s cube.

I’m also obsessed with eBay.

RYE DECKER  top, and beret. Talent’s own jewelry.

RYE DECKER top, and beret. Talent’s own jewelry.


Production/ Direction: Morgan Vickery

Photography: Christian Smiley