Tastemakers: Vashtie Kola

Vashtie Kola is the definition of a creative - she works as a DJ, Music Video Director, Filmmaker, Artist, Designer, Creative Consultant and is pretty much an all round Entrepreneur. On top of all those business smarts she’s also gorgeous and you can add Model to her list of titles. After moving to study film in New York City and working at Stussy part-time, she then went on to begin her creative career and did an array of jobs - developing her into the all rounder she is today.

To get her start in directing she began writing video treatments and ended up creating the treatment for Common’s “Testify” starring Taraji P. Henson, but the amount of dope videos she's worked on only just starts there. She has since directed for Joey bada$$ on "Waves", Big Krit and Kendrick Lamar, just to name a few incredible artists. So, it’s pretty clear that she knows her Hip-Hop and is adding to the culture in a way that has to be commended for it’s taste and standard. Aside from music videos, she's created short films such as when she starred in the art film for Drake's "Hotline Bling" or the infamous funny one with Kid Cudi and recently directed at the VH1 Hip-Hop Honours. Vashtie was even the head of Creative services at Island Records when the company was in need of revamping, the big boss L.A. Reid noted her as being “the one to keep the building cool, someone in tune with downtown cool and pop mainstream” so being a tastemaker is exactly what she does.

There is so much to say about Vashtie, so bare with me because the lady pretty much does it all and her presence in New York seems to spread world wide like a bug. Alongside her friend Oscar Sanchez, she started an iconic monthly 90ʼs party called “1992” back in 2006, grounded initially in New York City. It took the media by storm, being recognised in The New York Post, i-D Magazine, Trace and Paper but most notably featured in The New York Times. In 2008, “1992” was nominated for Best Party at the Paper Magazine Nightlife Awards spinning only music from the late 80's and early 90ʼs, (she’s a woman of our own heart). For years “1992” was the party to be at, with names like Jay-Z, Ne-Yo, Jermaine Dupri, Patrick Ewing, Redman, DJ Premier, The Clipse, Maxwell, Chanel Iman, Zoe Kravitz, Lord Finesse, and KiD CuDi attending regularly (Our invite must’ve got lost in the mail, we understand). It then went on to be held in Miami, Paris and Amsterdam so Vashtie’s IT girl status is global, believe that.

Often seen hanging with Pharrell, (who she dated for some years - another absolute trendsetter may we add) Vashtie has modelled for Billionaire Boys Club and works with Pharrell’s i am OTHER brand and IceCream, digging her fashion accomplishments deeper. In true trend setter fashion, Vashtie was the first female to collab with Nike Air Jordan on a trainer (major!), works with Ray Ban, G-Shock, has designed skateboards for Supreme. She is also one of the new faces of Swakvoski and was even creating with Puma before Bad Gal Riri - I haven’t even mentioned half the brands who've been touched by her creative hand by the way. It doesn't get more cool than Vashtie - I’m a little jealous of her effortless individuality. Her own brand VIOLETTE debuted in 2008 and has since been producing clothing that if you were to describe, could be depicting Vashtie herself. It's "a mix of opposite worlds: uptown and downtown, hip-hop and rock, feminine and masculine, casual and couture".

It seems like her accomplishments are never ending and I would argue that she represents the ultimate laid back chick that so many young women aim to emulate - she’s often bare faced, sporting her natural curls with a camera slung around her shoulders and has been said to enter the most intimidating rooms wth confidence. It seems like we could learn a lot from her. When speaking to The New York Times in 2011 Vashtie noticed that her best work seems to be always be what comes naturally to her - “I’ve had so much success when things happen truly organically.” So, take some time to keep up with Vashtie in order to stay on trend on know what might be coming next in the creative world, if we pay enough attention, maybe we’ll be setting trends of our own just by getting into the hustle of the woman who does it all. Follow her on Instagram here and check out her official site http://www.vashtie.com .