Vashtie Kola

Artist, Director, DJ & Designer of Violette. New York.


Hear us out. We know the term "slashie" typically gets a bad rap—and usually, with good reason. After all, there's seemingly a new model-slash-DJ-slash-creative-director-slash-zoologist popping up on slideshows every six seconds, right? But when it comes to the case of Vashtie Kola, well, the (custom Nike) shoe kind of fits... and we swear it's in a good way. Kola's title(s) span everything from director and designer to DJ, photographer... oh, and if that wasn't quite enough, she has a seriously mean cat eye game, too.

In case it wasn't completely obvious, it kind of goes without saying that it was pretty much a non-stop 'holy-sh*t-can-we-just-be-you' marathon from the moment we walked inside Kola's East Village apartment. Welcoming us inside with a full array of deceivingly delicious raw snacks, Kola later filled us in and left our Notes app teeming with recommendations for her favorite raw restaurants in the city. Once we were feeling fully fueled, Kola toured us through her closet—and yes, it's comprised of the same stand-out-meets-street separates you'd expect. Think: Supreme x Comme des Garçons kicks, Genevieve Jones safety pin earrings and a sequinned New York Rangers jersey (Hannah Bronfman totally has the same one, BTW). 'Cause, like, nothing goes with a CHANEL bag quite like a sequinned sports jersey.

Kola makes virtually everything she touches her own; right down to her purple glitter fire extinguisher and customized 'Vashtie'-emblazoned bottle of Moët Rose. Not bad for somebody who initially eschewed all things social media and self-promotion, right? “When I was starting out I wanted to work under a male alias and keep my face hidden for fear of discrimination in a male-dominated business and to stay private. A famous friend told me that it was a new day and that I couldn’t be Kurt Cobain, basically saying that I had to put myself out there."

Let's just say Kola has since broken down the doors of many an old boys club from the tattoo parlors and skate and streetwear shops like Stussy and Supreme where she first got her start, to film school (she's directed music videos for everyone from Justin Bieber, Solange and Kendrick Lamar, you guys). Oh, yeah, and even the doors of Nike. Did we not mention that she just so happens to be the first woman to create a namesake pair of Jordans (fittingly, a pair of lavender—excuse us, Violette—kicks)? About that...