How ‘It Girl’ Vashtie Kola Embraced Her Trinidadian Roots and Found Her Style

  • 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

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