My Style: Vashtie Kola

Fashion portrait of Vashtie Kola

Photos: Courtesy of Vashtie Kola

What are the rules in the way you dress?

Comfort, first and foremost. Durability, in order to work through the day and night without a snag. Personality, because my outfit needs to reflect me.

Please describe your style in three words.

Tomboy, hood, stylish.

What is the biggest mistake one can make when getting dressed?

Overthinking. Your first instinct and choice is usually the correct one.

Do you believe in role models?

Yes, but I also believe that everyone should be a role model and set an example for the others around them.

What are your favourite fabrics?

Neoprene, jersey, satin, raw denim.

Are there any style combinations that you object to?

Leather on leather, unless you're a leather daddy and you have a fetish. Otherwise, I don't think leather sweatpants need to be paired with a leather jacket. Then again, I'm no expert.

Which city has the best-dressed women?

That's tough. It's a tie between New York, London and Paris, each for different reasons. I love New York women, because no matter what they have a hood element tied into their fashion simply by just surviving the streets of New York. I love Parisian women because of their ability to not overdo high fashion, while having an eye for detail — simply divine. London women just have an uncanny ability to immerse their individualistic tastes into their style, to the point that no one style will ever look the same on another girl.

Vashtie Kola portrait

Would you say that you are conservative or bold?

Conservative. I like to wear the same thing every day and I prefer basics over statement pieces.

Celebrities and style...

Don't necessarily go hand in hand. In my opinion, most celebrities don't have a good personal sense of style despite the fact that they wear the best labels and get a lot of press for what they wear. The majority of celebrity style is created by their stylists and this is the reason why I think best-dressed awards should actually go to their stylists and creative teams. Wearing fashion isn't the same as having style.

Name one garment/accessory that you can never have enough of?

Gold jewellery. Maybe it's just in my West Indian roots to love it and wear it all the time.

A woman should always look like...

Her best self.

Who taught you what you know about style?

Growing up and being obsessed with boys. I love the male species so much, that I want to imitate their sense of style. It's strange, but true. Also, growing up in the hood in the 90s. At that time it was fashionable for girls to be tomboys wearing baggy jeans, sneakers, boots, etc. I think women who also helped my sense of style are: Patti Smith, Aaliyah, Gwen Stefani, and Neneh Cherry, among others.

How do you select your clothing every morning?

I remember what I wore the day before and I throw that on.

What is your biggest regret?

Not being more adventurous with my style, but I'm a typical Taurus who doesn't like change.

The three essential things a woman should know about style are...

Be true to yourself. Your style should reflect you and it should never be a copy of other people's style. Commit. Don't try to impress people by wearing six-inch stilettos at a party only to take them off at the soiree because your feet hurt. Commit to your look and your style. Style can be anything. It doesn't mean you have to wear high fashion labels and on trend items. Style is your take on fashion, how you and only you wear it.

Vashtie Kola

Do you have any shopping rituals?

Get in, get out. I hate shopping. I like to be in and out to make it less painful… or I'd prefer shopping online.

We will never see you wearing...

A flannel wrapped around my waist, unless I spilled something on myself and was trying to cover it up.

Which new designers do you follow and why?

Yara Flinn of Nomia NYC because it's a perfect mix of tomboy and fashion. Raul Lopez of Luar Zepol for his truly unique designs. Rio Uribe of Gypsy Sport for his fresh take on accessories. Sara Law of KARA bags because she's reinventing the wheel and making highly coveted bags. Morgan Curtis of Morgan Lane because her approach to lingerie is sweet and delicate. Surface to Air for their on point designs and silhouettes that go beyond trend.

Who is the most stylish person you have ever seen?

There are too many… but if I had to name one it would be Jayne Min of Stop It Right Now.

What is the first thing you notice on a woman?

Her style. They say women dress for other women and I believe that. Men could really care less about the designers a girl is wearing or how rare her handbag is, but other women absolutely notice all those details.

What are the most treasured items in your wardrobe?

My Jordan 2's that I designed. My Supreme/Champion crew neck. My vintage Chanel bags. My Louis Vuitton monogram jeans. My Polo cookie boots.

The one image that defined your approach to style...

Neneh Cherry in her video "Man Child". She's wearing a sports bra, biker shorts and high top sneakers with her hair wrapped in a towel as she holds her baby daughter. It was so hood, strong and fashion forward. She appeared to me as a warrior and I think it was more her attitude than what she was wearing.

Which fashion house never fails to impress you?

Alexander Wang, Chloé, Marc Jacobs, Rag & Bone, Comme des Garçons, Supreme.

One article of clothing that a woman needs to pay close attention to is...

The fit of her garments and her true sizes. Sometimes clothing doesn't have to be super tight.

Is comfort an enemy of style?

Not in my opinion. One should never be uncomfortable.

Who would you like to recommend for My Style?

Jayne Min of Stop It Right Now or Yara Flinn of Nomia NYC. Both have exquisite style.

The best words of advice you have ever heard?

Just do it. It's a Nike tagline, but it's ever true. You can't waste time overthinking or procrastinating. Life is short. Make your mark!

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