We Track The Skater-Girl Origins Of Downtown's Sweetheart, Vashtie Kola

12vashtie_kola_0010
Vashtie Kola, DJ, Producer, Creative Consultant, Party Promoter, and Designer
Advertisement
There’s more than a few reasons why Vashtie Kola — or Va$htie, if you will — can legitimately claim the title, “Downtown’s Sweetheart”. First, she’s an accomplished director with videos for Common, Solange, Justin Bieber, KiD CuDi, and many others in the can. Secondly, she’s a true NYC polymath having worked in creative direction for major brands and record labels, founded her own clothing line, VIOLETTE, and launched one of our favorite regular dance nights, ever, the 1992 Party. And finally — well, just look at her. If downtown were to have a sweetheart, she would look, dress, and dance exactly like Va$htie. It was our true pleasure to spend a few moments with one of our favorite people in the city and talk about how her early days in Albany influenced who she is now, the foundation of the 1992 Party, and her favorite tracks.
We've known you so long, it's like you're a part of the city. But what were you like as a kid?
"I grew up in the hood in downtown Albany. I was bullied for being 'weird' at a time when being different was not cool. The other kids told me I was 'acting white' because I liked to skateboard, wear vintage clothes, and listen to different kinds of music. Then, I received a scholarship to a prestigious all-girls high school and most of them found me, 'too black'!"
Rough.
"Well, I ended up finding a crew of great friends that understood me. After high school, I spent most of my time hanging out in our downtown park (Washington Park) where misfit kids from all areas came to skate, escape their home life, or just socialize. I had an after-school job working at a Tattoo Shop (Lark Tattoo), so you can imagine I was surrounded by an eclectic mix of people. I preferred it that way; being around the same kind of people didn't appeal to me. I was interested in many different worlds..."
Advertisement
Is that what drew you to New York nightlife?
"I grew up drooling over it! I had an older gay brother who would trek down to the city from Albany and go to raves and hang out at the Limelight. When he'd come back he'd pour out all his stories about club kids and and play me house music, I was in awe. Naturally, I became involved in the scene after moving here although the transition was an unexpected one. What actually brought me to New York City was film school, I studied and soon after graduation started directing music videos for artists.”
So then, how did you get into DJing and all the other things you do?
“As all NYC residents know, we're constantly hustling and pursuing other interests. Sometimes, you end up juggling a few gigs.”
And the 1992 Party?
Advertisement
“Basically, in 2006, after years of attending the many parties New York City had to offer (album release parties, fashion week parties, etc.) my friend Oscar Sanchez and I became bored. We were tired of hearing top-40 hits and going to clubs and parties that made us feel…inferior. So, we had an idea; a party that played our favorite music from our favorite era (the late 80's/early 90's) with an open-door policy for anyone who wanted to attend. And so,1992 The Party was born!”
Some people might say that what you do is just a non-stop party? Do you think that's true?
"Well, it's not back-breaking work it, but has it's downsides. I'm naturally not a party girl."
Really? Then what's a good night off for you?
"Sweatpants, my couch, a couple of great friends, my Russian Blue cat Vladimir and DVR'ed episodes of Dateline, The Simpsons, Antiques Roadshow and 30 Rock."
We're right there with you.
Styled by Lauren Edelstein; Hair and Makeup by Bethany Brill.
Supreme sweatshirt; Supreme tank, Ebay skirt, Surface to Air boots, Vintage Chanel bag, Bing Bang necklaces, Vintage Givenchy ring.
Photographed at Apotheke, 9 Doyers Street; 212-406-0400.

More from Celebs & Influencers

The Balmain show feels less like a runway spectacle and more like a private Kardashian-Jenner shopping trip that fellow show-goers (and everyone ...
For the latest drop of Ivy Park, Beyoncé's activewear line launched in April, the superstar has gifted us with a video in which she's equal parts dream ...
The Kardashian-Jenners have all been known to catalyze sales, whether or not they're hyping their own brands. But in case you had any doubts about Kylie ...
"You can be whoever you want to be." If you grew up in an atmosphere of gold stars and participation trophies, you probably heard this on loop. You, little...
Though bloggers may have a reputation for sharing almost every aspect of their lives — from #OOTDs to dinner pics (hey, we're guilty of this, too) — rarely...
Don't worry — Kate Middleton just can't seem to let go of her favorite boots either. The Duchess wore a pair of Penelope Chilvers long tassel boots in ...
Let's say you're Beyoncé. Let's say your daughter is Blue Ivy. Let's say you have to, for whatever reason, attend a football game. Let's say you have a ...
(Paid Content) Snap, filter, post, repeat. In today's social-media-saturated landscape, sharing photos online is as ubiquitous as brushing one's teeth or ...
If you're suffering from a case of the Mondays, Alessandro Michele has a cure. It involves an editorialized gathering of a few of our favorite things: ...
The cast of Stranger Things is continuing its world tour of stealing your heart. First, Millie Bobby Brown took over the front row of New York Fashion ...
With close to 4 million followers on Instagram, Aimee Song (a.k.a. Song of Style) knows how to take a pretty decent photo. The Los Angeles-based interior ...
Last year, the lingerie line Frederick's of Hollywood closed all its stores after going bankrupt. But now, it's making a resurgence with a little help ...
On September 20, 2016, our faith in love was tested by the sound of Brangelina's earth-shattering divorce. If we're being honest, we've yet to recover. But...
Kendall, we need to talk. And I think you know why. Your latest Vogue spread — which, need I remind you, is your fifth this year — is...problematic. Here...