Having Beyoncé as an aunt would be a dream for many pop culture fanatics, but for 19-year-old Julez Smith, it’s just another part of his everyday life. The young man is the the son of Queen B’s younger sister, Solange Knowles, and he’s known a thing or two about professionalism and working the camera since he was just a few years old. As he approaches his 20s, more curiosity is rising around the “Break My Soul” singer’s nephew, so here’s what you need to know about Julez Smith.

He Was Born Into One of Music’s Biggest Families

What You Need to Know about Julez Smith pictured: Solange Knowles and Julez Smith
(Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)

On October 18th, 2004, Solange gave birth to her son, who she shares with her first ex-husband, Daniel Smith. The couple divorced in 2007 when Julez was three, which likely took a toll on his emotions. Thankfully, his grandfather, Matthew Knowles, kept the ambitious nepo baby busy with work as the face of Baby Jamz – a creation brought forth by the family patriarch’s Music World Entertainment.

With successful women like Tina Knowles and her daughters bringing him up, Smith got a taste of the realities of celebrity life early on. “Growing up, my mom and aunt were doing photo shoots every other week, and I saw how jam-packed and busy it was,” the California-born model told Vogue recently. “It’s good to already understand, ‘Okay, you’re going to have to get up early, be on time, and work long hours.’ And everything moves really fast. It’s work, but I like it,” he added.

Over nearly two decades, the up and comer has lived in various major cities, including Houston and New Orleans. “The South kept me humble and gave me a good, strong foundation. My whole family is from out there, so it’s home; it’s where I feel the most secure. Everybody is so nice there, and the food is good. They feed you in Houston,” he told the outlet of his Texan roots.

Julez Smith Considered a Career in the NBA Before Modeling

During the latest New York Fashion Week season, Solange’s only child made his runway debut in the Luar Fall 2024 presentation. Walking the runway with confidence seemed effortless for him, but it turns out Smith was initially planning to play basketball professionally. “I played basketball growing up, so that was always a big factor when picking a school. I always wanted to play for the school that had the best team. I was really a hooper – I thought I was going to the NBA,” he recalled of his years spent in high school.

Luar Internship Lead to His Runway Debut

While many who’re born into famous families coast on little more than their name and the reputation of those preceding them, Smith put in serious work to earn his spot on the runway. “I’ve been wanting to model for a couple of years, it just never really worked out. Luar was really my breakthrough. I was actually interning with them for a couple of months,” he explained in his Vogue interview. “Maybe like a week before the show they were just like, “Come to the casting.” So I went and I got it.”

Like any other intern, Smith aided the fashion house with tasks around the office, “helping them style people, boxing things up; regular intern stuff.” He clearly impressed in NYC, as it wasn’t long after that opportunity that Smith was seen sauntering down the Versace runway in Italy for Milan Fashion Week. These days, the athlete-turned-model is signed with Next Management, who’re sure to help him book more impressive gigs.

Like His Mom and Aunt, the 19-Year-Old Has Great Taste

(Photo by Jacopo Raule/Getty Images)

Julez Smith owes a lot to the women he’s surrounded by, and he gives credit where its due. “Growing up, my grandma was doing costumes for my auntie and my mom, and I think my mom is one of the best-dressed people in the world. I just wanted to be fly and keep up with them – but I wanted to be on the modeling side,” the fashion enthusiast said of his aspirations.

Outside of clothing, Smith has great taste in music and movies. “I’ve been listening to a lot of Cleo Sol and Marvin Gaye. I’m a pretty chill person for the most part, but rap-wise, I listen to a lot of Veeze and Babyface Ray – a lot of guys from Detroit,” he shared. “Empire was my show growing up, but I’m more of a movie guy. I like Queen & Slim, Gone Girl, Prisoners – those suspenseful movies.”