WARD GIRLS: Utopia Francois Reveals Why Her Mohawk Is Her Hairstyle Of Choice

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WARD GIRLS

Source: Photography by Danielle James / Hello Beautiful

I told each person to choose a location that they felt most comfortable at. Utopia Francois chose a bar: Kermit’s Treme Mother In Law Lounge. At first glance, one might think it’s a bar; however, from the moment I walked in the establishment I realized it was so much more. “I grew up in here,” she told me shyly with a smile. “Tope!!!” a random bar-goer yells. One man she referred to as her Uncle stated, “Are you excited about your 16th birthday?” Utopia nodded yes. She was having her 16th birthday, complete with a second line band, the following weekend. I was offered a drink twice, all before noon. Everyone in there seemed to know each other well. I was told by a patron that this is a low-key celebrity spot in New Orleans owned by jazz legend Kermit Ruffins. “We’re leaving our house now, don’t worry: we only live seven minutes away from Kermit’s.” An hour and seven minutes I met the oh-so-vibrant Nicole Francois and her daughter, Utopia.

Nicole walked in with an effervescence that immediately drew me to her personality. “So sorry we’re late!” she apologized as she placed down her bag and began taking out makeup, beautiful jewelry. She looked up and me and smiled, “I’m going to do a quick paint job on my nails.” I begin shooting her daughter, Utopia, who is more quiet and reserved than her mother. It wasn’t until I asked Utopia to second line for me, when we met for the video portion of the interview a few days later, that her vibrant personality came out.

One thing that really stood out to me from meeting both Nicole and Utopia was the relationship that they have with each other. Nicole is a very caring mother than would easily be defined as “the cool mom.” She is encouraging and uplifting to Utopia, bragging about her daughter, “She’s quite talented,” she murmured to me while adjusting her hair. Utopia laughed, seemingly blushing because of her mom’s compliments.

Get to know more about Utopia below in her exclusive interview for Hello Beautiful.

WARD GIRLS

Source: Photography by Danielle James / Hello Beautiful

Name:Utopia Francois
Nickname: Tope
Location: 6th Ward, Tremé
Age:16
Occupation: Student
HB: Define your personal style:
My style is rockstar meets runway!
HB: How has New Orleans influenced my style:
I can wear the same clothing throughout any seasons.I can just add a layer or take a jacket or sweater with me.
WARD GIRLS

Source: Photography by Danielle James / Hello Beautiful

HB: What is your favorite hairstyle and why:
My favorite hairstyle to wear is a Mohawk because it shows my inner rockstar.
HB: Is there anything you lost in Katrina (clothing or accessories related) that you still wish you had?:
I was 4 years old when Katrina happened I didn;t lose anything valuable.
HB: How has your style changed post-Katrina:
My style has changed tremendously from the age of 4, dressing like a baby doll to a trendy teenager at 16.
HB: How has your relationship with clothing and accessories changed pre and post Katrina?:
I’m more into fashion now that I’m a teenager my style has become more model rockstarish.
HB: What’s one thing people may not know about the fashion and style in New Orleans?:
New Orleans fashion never dies it just depends on the event.
WARD GIRLS

Source: Photography by Danielle James / Hello Beautiful

HB: What is your favorite hairstyle and why?:
My favorite hairstyle to wear is a mohawk because it shows my inner rockstar.
HB: What is one thing you never leave the house without?:
I don’t leave the house without a headscarf it adds extra spice to my wardrobe.
HB: What is the “signature” thing about your look?:
My signature look is my my mohawk people often describe me as “Utopia with the curly hair.”
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