The Internet’s big sister and self-proclaimed sweetheart of Downtown New York, Vashtie Kola is an artist wearing many hats, and whose curatorial outreach and influence spans worldwide. A creative director, designer, model, filmmaker and DJ, Vashtie has worked with everyone from Solange and Drake to Supreme and Puma, and now – Playboy.
I never thought I’d be asked nor would I ever have considered before, but since Playboy has gone semi-nude and allowed my creative direction…I fully-agreed.
Featured in this year’s September issue, Vashtie is part of the magazine’s “No Filter” series. Overlooking past and current controversies, this could indicate some positive and progressive steps for the Playboy brand as a few years ago, no one would ever have imagined a sneaker-wearing, entrepreneurial woman in the creative industry fitting in amongst the typical blonde, big-boobed and bunny-tailed archetype.
Not that those girls weren’t cute, but by taking control of her own portrayal in the magazine, Vashtie has created an editorial that is both current and reflective of who she is as an artist, and free from the unfortunately typical lens that is the “male gaze”. This shoot (and the entire series) will hopefully help to further alter the preconceived image and definition of what is sexy and cool in 2016.