Sisterhood is at the heart of everything we do at La DoubleJ, both our container for and the catalyst to the creativity and positivity we strive to put out into the world. Though our universe of incredible women spans the globe, when two of our most magnetic Milan-based soul sisters invite us to join them on a local joy ride, we leap at the chance. Both American transplants, Tamu McPherson, a renowned street-style photographer and Founder of All The Pretty Birds, and Roki Prunali, a Certified Wellness Coach and Brand and Business Development Manager behind ATPB, found one another as they found their feet in their new lives in Italy. An immediate connection flourished into a fierce friendship and partnership, one well-documented for over a decade as they grace the streets of Milan with their inimitably fabulous style. Their perpetual positivity and indestructible bond have always inspired us, and we at La DoubleJ have been the fortunate recipients of their support since our start. 

We snuck our way into one of their classes with trainer David Bellay for a dance break and a download on everything from their favorite songs to activist amplification, and what sisterhood means to each of them. Take a spin with these wonderful women for a magical Saturday morning in Milano.

La DoubleJ: How did you two meet?

Tamu: Our trainer introduced us actually. We saw each other around the gym but then he formally said that we should meet.

Roki: We were both Americans in Italy…

T: And he thought that we would like each other.

LDJ: Clearly he was right! Fitness and wellness seem to still be some of the passions that bind you…

T: We’ve practiced fitness globally together – we’ve even practiced together in the United States. Wherever we are, we’ll try things together.

R: It’s like a release – it’s kind of our bonding experience together because we also like to push each other to see what we can do.

T: Fitness and wellness are really important for both of us. We kind of orbit around the same interests and we have the same tastes, the same appetite for wellness. Roki, as a Certified Health Coach, will find something that she knows will be beneficial for our wellness and longevity whereas a lot of the times I’ll find more of the fitness stuff.

LDJ: We’re seriously impressed by these dance moves you’re giving us here. Is there a music genre you generally gravitate towards?

R: Tamu is a slow jam girl. She likes the very sexy, slow R&B.

T: I’m a huge romantic. I really like the melancholy music. It’s something about the soul, regardless of what genre – it’s something that you feel in the lyrics and the tempo and the melodies that really resonates with my personality.

R: With Davide {our trainer} – he brings out the 90s rap and hip hop. I think that’s my go-to – 90’s R&B and Hip hop

 LDJ: Would you say that your shared curiosity is another tie that binds you?

T: I think that we both have a huge appetite for learning and that we’re both really curious. We want to be stimulated. I feel like we have a larger global network of friends who are also “super-doers”, interested in learning and connecting. You connect with people in a meaningful way when you try new things.

R: We try everything once. We cover all the bases (of friendship). We work together, we travel together with family, we go to dinner together with friends, so it’s kind of all-encompassing. It’s about sharing those moments with like-minded people. 

LDJ: How does the term “sisterhood” resonate with you?

T: I grew up an only child to a certain point, before meeting my half-sister. I feel that even though I didn’t grow up with her, there was an immediate love. And I see that with women that I meet, like Roki. The vibration of the love and compassion and caring there is very high.

When you meet someone who is special to you, like Roki is to me, they immediately become your sister. It’s something cosmic that happens. I think that’s something that pervades this world. I think that as women, as sisters, we are so fortunate to be able to connect this way while we’re here on earth.

R: I think a lot of support too. That’s what sisterhood is. There’s never been any kind of “you do this better” or “I do this better”. It’s about supporting each other in everything we do and being there for one another and having that connection.

T: I think {it’s also about} honesty and vulnerability, and the confidence to be exactly who we are without feeling embarrassed or that someone is going to judge you. I feel like that’s the power of sisterhood – making everyone in that sisterhood feel loved and empowered and seen.

“When you meet someone who is special to you, like Roki is to me, they immediately become your sister. It’s something cosmic that happens. I think that’s something that pervades this world.” – Tamu

LDJ: How would you describe one another’s style?

R: I’d say she is a chameleon for sure. She does elegant. She does colors – even if you think it doesn’t match, it matches on her and it looks great. She can wear anything. 

T: I think you are a mix n match queen. I think you’re quirky, I think you’re whimsical, you have excellent taste and that super eye. What’s interesting is that, even though our styles are dissimilar, we like the same pieces. It’s just like how we wear them and put them together that’s different.

One of the reasons why I can be a chameleon is that, since working as a street-style photographer, I have so many muses in my head, and I kind of just go to their looks. So if I wanna look like Roki one day, I’ll do it.

R: She does – she’ll say “I have a Roki look on today” and I’m like, “I love your outfit, give it to me!”

LDJ: Tell us a little about “Shoe Up For Justice”

T: So, for the past 15 years I have wanted to contribute to the social impact space. Around when Trump was elected I was trying to think of what I could do. I’m most known for the shoe collection that I’ve been building since 2000, so I wanted to do a sale committing the proceeds to a cause. Initially, I had wanted to help fund education or prison reform but, after a conversation with a close friend, I came to the conclusion that committing funds toward voting rights would have more impact on both of these issues. Apart from the administrative fees all of the revenue from the sales go toward voting rights organizations. Recently, I was able to donate the first part of the proceeds to Stacey Abrams. It’s just my small way of participating in the process and educating anyone who wants to learn about voting. 

It’s something that’s sustainable in my lane. I personally would not feel comfortable calling myself an activist – I haven’t their experience or extensive knowledge nor do I do the kind of work they do day in, day out. I’m an amplifier. I have a communications platform through which I can share the work of activists.

R: She has a voice. And an audience who can hear it. 

“The daily activities in Italy are what I love. You go there to buy your meat, here to buy your fish… It’s an entire lifestyle – one that isn’t for everybody, but you get these little pearls of everyday activity that are so wonderful.” – Roki

LDJ: What is your favorite thing about living in Italy?

T: I love the energy here. I love the approach to life. It’s so cordial and welcoming. La Bella vita does exist at a certain level. I love that Italians love a ritual and that it is so important for them to create welcoming and pleasurable experiences for you when you come into contact with them. I love their love for beautiful things, beautiful art, beautiful design. I find that extremely inspiring. There’s such a concentration of cultural and natural wealth that is so incredible. When you live in a city like Milan, you have the Italian Alps just over an hour away and the Ligurian Coast just and hour and a half away. Having grown up in a large country like the US, which I love, coming here and having such close access to all of these incredible parts of Europe is amazing.

R: The daily activities in Italy are what I love. You go there to buy your meat, here to buy your fish, little things like that. The food and the culture here are obviously amazing. It’s an entire lifestyle – one that isn’t for everybody, but you get these little pearls of everyday activity that are so wonderful. 

LDJ: Do you know each other’s go-to drinks?

T: Roki likes Tequila.

R: For Tamu it’s Franciacorta Ca’ del Bosco, specifically.

T: (laughing) I’ll do Bellavista if they don’t have del Bosco).

LDJ: And what’s on the docket for this evening?

T: Tonight we’re gonna go drink until we lose our minds.

R: And dance!

Learn more about Shoe Up For Justice here and head on over to All The Pretty Birds for infinite style inspiration.

And don’t miss Tamu and Roki’s Dance Tracks playlist for your next girl’s night out (or in!)

Thank you Tamu & Roki! We love you 🙂


Photography – Lucas Posseide
Asst Photographer – Felipe Cordeiro
Hair & Makeup – Francesca Angeloni
Trainer – David Bellay