Vashtie Kola is a music video director, party promoter, all around creative type and my latest fashion hero. Vashtie’s style is founded on the tough-sexy hip-hop vibe a-la mid-ninties T.L.C., seasoned to taste with a good measure of punk-rock, grunge, and high-fashion. Oh and also she is gorgeous.
Vashtie makes jeans, a hoodie, and sneakers look tiiiiiight!! The key to looking good in casual clothes imho is that everything be of high quality and have a unique detail. The bold color and pattern of the hoodie, the retro sneakers, and — well ok, the white writing on the crotch is maybe not the best but those jeans are perfect for this look — roomy but not saggy.
My favorite thing about Vashtie’s style is that she flips so easily from a tom-boy look to a high-femme look (like the one above), and can work everything inbetween. I love that she doesn’t feel pigeon-holed into a particular gender expression! I never get the sense that one end of her gender-expression-spectrum is more “natural” or “real,” it really seems like she is genuinely comfortable with who she is and dresses for her gender-mood.
Here she mixes menswear – a blazer and flannel – with ultra glamourous shiny sheer leopard tights. Extra points because she’s not wearing pants. I love when people don’t wear pants. I try to wear pants as little as possible when weather permits. The most common heckle I receive on the track at roller derby practice is, “Put some pants on that kid!!”
Hoodie and cargo shorts! This girl looks like she is about to hop on a skateboard and do some shit. There is still something so feminine about her though… Vashtie in this pic reminds me of how gender expression is so much more than just clothes – a very butch person might choose this exact same outfit to wear, and wouldn’t come across with the femininity that Vashtie brings.
See how Vashtie (and I do mean Vashtie… from everything I have read about her I am pretty sure she styles most of her own shoots) uses the floral leggings as base for both a super-girly and less-girly look? Switching out a pair of heels for sneakers is a quick easy way to toughen up your look. If I’m wearing heels, you can bet I have a pair of sneakers in my purse, and visa versa. And it’s not in case my feet hurt, or I suddenly have to go to a cocktail party. Because I could run a marathon in high-heels and sneakers in a room full of heels is a great way to get noticed. It’s in case my gender-mood switches. Believe that.
Incidentally — Vashtie designed those sneakers she is wearing in the second pic. They are Air Jordan retro IIs and she is the only female person ever to do a design collabo on Air Jordans. WTF NIKE?!?!
Here she is rocking all classics, albeit classics from vastly different aesthetic traditions – A blazer, some Jordans, a quilted Chanel logo purse, and wayfarer sunglasses. And even though I’m pretty sure she’s wearing shorts, it looks like not. YES.
I’d imagine Vashtie Got the Air Jordan design deal because she has had a rep as a sneaker pimp for a long time, Exhibit A in the pic above, which is a promo shot for 1992, a 90s themed party she throws in NYC. While the JLo velour jump-suit is played out so bad it skips, she makes it look good.
Another promo pic for 1992. Grunge! Somehow this looks cooler on her now than on anyone in 1992.
Besides being stylish and beautiful, Vashtie is funny. Before you go, check out this video she made with rapper Kid Cudi:
I want to rip your face off and wear it on my birthday!!! HA HA HA!!!