Vashtie Kola: Curator of Cool
Whether you know young tastemaker Vashtie Kola as King Vashtie, Vash Money or her most popular nickname “Downtown’s Sweetheart,” there’s one thing for sure: she’s an innovator. The Albany, New York-native has found success as an entrepreneur, director, deejay, party promoter, and fashion designer—all before the age of 30.
She’s garnered a vast amount of media attention for her tomboyish-chic style and steadfast work acumen, being featured in publications such as Vibe, Giant, Paper, Nylon and The New York Times; on television spots like New York 1’s One on One, and sites, which include Complex.com and Style.com, among others.
Kola’s creative venture late last year with Air Jordan made her the first female to design a shoe for the Jordan Brand (the Air Jordan 2 Retro, to be exact). Its deep purple and lavender color palette mixed with hints of silver is reminiscent of the color scheme found in the artist’s clothing line Violette, which is carried in specialty boutiques worldwide and online. Simply bumping into an old colleague—Astor Chambers—birthed her Jordan collaboration. It was something she only envisioned happening. “I feel like everyone would dream of doing something like this,” says the 30-year-old. “ But it just really happened, organically.”
Her beginnings stem from relocating from her upstate abode to New York City to attend The School Of Visual Arts, majoring in directing/cinematography. Since graduating from the program in 2005, Kola has directed videos for a wide range of artists—Kid Cudi, Solange, Jadakiss and Justin Beiber, to name a few. She’s done the “corporate thing” as director of creative services at Island Def Jam, leaving later to further pursue directing. Now, Kola can add brand baroness onto her list, right below party promoter (widely-known for her hit 90’s-themed shindig “1992,” thrown with close friend Oscar Sanchez, and “Open” with rapper Johnathan “Q-Tip” Davis).
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