If you are a style fanatic and Vashtie Kola is not on your list of favorites, I respectfully question your fashion judgement. Have you ever seen someone rock white jeans, a white t-shirt, white Nikes, white opera length satin gloves, and a white floor length veil for her wedding and make it look fabulous? Vashtie rocked this simple, yet artistic look during her nuptials, and ever since then I knew she was in a chic class of her own.
I was blessed with a chance to chat with Vashtie about her intriguing world. From my vantage point, she skillfully balances fashion designing, music video directing, deejaying, and motherhood all while looking swanky and fresh. So, I was eager to know more about her cosmos. The Albany, NY native was full of great energy during the interview and open to dish on her latest endeavor, style inspiration, and her experience as a black female entrepreneur all while being a new mother. Vashtie spoke dearly about her love for being a creative and where it all stemmed from. She confessed that creativity and art has always been her passions. “Growing up I was obsessed with drawing and painting, so it was something I knew I wanted to do as a kid. When I got to high school, I was really in love with film, graphic design, and fashion. My parents couldn’t afford any name brands for me so I would go into the Salvation Army and thrift stores and buy things and cut them up to fit with the trends.”
Vashtie’s thrifting and redesigning days paid off greatly. They foretold a future that would be immersed in one-of-a-kind style and fashion innovation. Plainly written, Vashtie is a trendsetter. Her tomboy looks mixed with a little vintage swag and femininity give her edge and makes her stand out in any crowd. When asked where her style inspiration comes from, she acknowledged the 90’s as her muse. “I feel like my style is hugely inspired by my youth. Growing up in the hood and growing up at a time when there was Aaliyah, Xscape, and girls from the 90s who had tomboy style, that was burned into my brain. And even now my approach is baggy jeans and a fitted top. I’ll try a new trend here or there, but I feel like I always go back to what I grew up with in the 90s.”
Vashtie’s classic style plays a pivotal role in her career. It is intertwined in her directing, deejaying, and of course her designing. Because of her unconventional taste and keen eye when it comes to hot fashion, she has been at the forefront of major style projects. Vashtie was the first woman to design an iteration of the retro Jordan sneakers in 2010. From then, she went on to do a slew of creative projects with notable brands like G-shock, Puma, and Ray-Ban to name a few. Her most recent design collaboration is with Pine-Sol. The popular cleaning brand has teamed up with the cultural icon to launch its first-ever Pine-Sol limited-edition sneaker in support of non-profit, digitalundivided. All proceeds from this shoe will go to this organization which supports Black Women entrepreneurs. Vashtie was excited to take advantage of an opportunity that allows her to use her design talents while supporting her community. “Pine-Sol approached me to create a sneaker that would benefit a non-profit that supports black female entrepreneurs. So, you’re asking me to do this, and it will also support my community? To me it was a win, win.” Vashtie designed the sneaker to reflect the grunge, skater, and sneakerhead trends of her teen years while incorporating Pine-Sol’s yellow and green color scheme.
Vashtie is a true renaissance woman. On one hand she is balancing her intricate career and on the other, a gorgeous baby girl. When asked how motherhood is going, she giggled and said she has learned to use her time more wisely. “I’m learning where to put my energy. Before it was probably endless scrolling, and now I know nap time is for 45 minutes so I’m like…what can I do in 45 minutes that’s really going to benefit my day. It’s really been amazing. To be able to shift my focus and my energy from myself has been refreshing and eye-opening.”
Vashtie concluded our talk with advising black women entrepreneurs not to dismiss their feelings. She stated that many black women entrepreneurs have the same concerns, and it helps when we share those sentiments with each other. “You’re not alone. What you’re feeling is real. As black women we tend to dismiss our own needs and our own feelings. There are communities out there to support us like digitalundivided, and all you have to do is look for them and hopefully share them with others.”