- Vashtie Kola directed music videos with Kendrick Lamar and Rihanna and is the first woman to design Air Jordans.
- Named one of New York Magazine’s “It Girls,” Kola became famous for her monthly “1992” parties.
- Kola spoke with Insider reporter Yoonji Han about embracing her Trinidadian roots and finding her style.
This is an as-told-to essay based on a conversation with Vashtie Kola, a music video director, filmmaker, artist, designer, and DJ. It has been edited for length and clarity.
My parents immigrated from Trinidad to upstate New York, where we lived in a predominantly Black American and Afro-Jamaican community. My dad is ethnically Indian and my mom is Indian and African, but growing up, I was confused because I didn’t understand how the cultures came