Your New Instagram Stalk: Poppy Okotcha

Photo: Via @poppyokotcha.
As London Fashion Week looms, kicking off this Friday for SS17, what better time to introduce one of our favourite new faces, Poppy Okotcha. You might recognise the 20-year-old Select model from Topshop's website, or walking for the coolest young designers last season including Marques' Almeida, Ashish and Shrimps. But get ready to see a whole lot more of her.

If you're not already won over by her natural beauty and infectious smile, then wait until you've had a proper scroll through her style. In the midst of castings, fittings and preparation for LFW, we caught up with Poppy to talk pudding, Paris Hilton and the fundraising art auction she's planning to raise money for refugees.
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Photo: Via @poppyokotcha.
Name Poppy Okotcha

Age 20

Location London

Occupation Life

Do you collect anything? Plants, and little miniature things – they make me all gooey inside.

What item of clothing are you still hunting out? Some second hand clumpy, black boots like the Bratz Dolls. I only really like second hand shoes, I think they look better a bit beaten up and I like imagining all the places they might have walked before me.

How would you sum your style up in three words? Me myself and I. I don't consciously follow trends ever; I think style should be you being you, sending the message you want rather than one dictated to you. Although that's practically impossible since clothes in shops do limit personal style, they're all basically the same. This is why charity or junk shops are my one true love! Plus you're supporting a good cause AND its better for the environment.
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Photo: Via @poppyokotcha.
What’s your favourite pair of shoes? My old Nike Vagabonds I got for £5 on eBay. So much love.

If you were an item of clothing, what would you be and why? One of those weird scarves that morph into a dress, skirt and top but get you all flustered trying to do the morphing because I'm chill in most situation but when the fluster happens its for real.

Favourite item of clothing you’re currently wearing? I just got a long plunge neck dress made from recycled saris. It's deep purple with reflective mirror beads all over it. I feel like a fairy queen in it.

What item of clothing best sums you up? My fluffy pink bikini...

If you had to wear one designer for the rest of your life, who would it be? Polly Wales jewellery. Cover my whole body in it please.
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Photo: Via @poppyokotcha.
What do you love about the city you live in? Diversity and British politeness e.g. queuing on one side of the escalator on the Underground so the people in a rush can go in the fast lane or letting people off the tube before you bustle on. They don't do that in New York... Why!? Life is so much easier if we all just agree on following politeness rules.

How does it impact your style? I didn't grow up in London so I don't think it really did. I grew up in the countryside and people generally had a more reserved style so I wore what you're not supposed to: short skirts, no bra (which no one did) so you could see my nipples (saucy), super laddered tights, too many patterns and bright colours. I've calmed down a bit now though, so my style's a bit less purposefully boundary-pushing and more anything I like the look of. But I still love outfits that don't quite "work" and maybe make people feel a bit uncomfortable. Pushing boundaries with the way we dress makes people think – thinking is never a bad thing.

Where’s your favourite place to shop? Marlborough High Street charity shops.
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Photo: Via @poppyokotcha.
What’s your most important beauty rule? Moisturise people, gotta battle that ash.

Favourite make up product and why? Coconut oil forever.

Weirdest beauty trick you’ve ever tried? I haven't :( This has inspired me to get a bit creative though and push my pampering boundaries further.

Who do you stalk on Instagram? Paris Hilton <3

What's your favourite picture you've posted on Instagram? There's a picture of me holding an orange and the caption is "I just ate an orange on the Eurostar and thought about what made the 2 of us "alive."" If I ever self stalk, that pic makes me smile because it reminds me of the thought process I was having. I think it's important to push your mind to think about the weird and wonderful things that don't usually cross your mind. But I mean oranges are alive kinda and so are we (I assume) so what is that thing that links us... That's what my mind looks like inside lol.
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Photo: Via @poppyokotcha.
What keeps you up late? Nothing. I sleep like a log.

Where are we most likely to find you on a Friday night/ Sunday morning? With my job, weekends aren't weekends in the same way. Sometimes you don't work all week and work all weekend, so there's not really a 'mostly' place. But I love Sundays, London feels calmer and a bit dopey and there's Sunday roast!

When I was little my parents took us to church and we'd have biscuits and squash at Sunday school (we weren't allowed either at home) so Sunday has nice memories and feelings attached to it for me. I like art galleries on a Sunday.

Your favourite place to eat? Mama's house.

What’s your favourite thing to cook? Pudding <3 if you know you know <3

Your book club recommendation? Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut (will blow minds).

Who’s your best buddy? My boyfriend Toby Burgess.

Where’s your happy place? There's a forest where I grew up called Berwyn Brail. I love it there, there's lots of positive memories and energy. Plus trees are always a good thing, they know so many lovely secrets.
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Photo: Via @poppyokotcha.
Your motto? You don't have to do anything ever.

Your biggest fear? My life being boring and useless.

Your biggest achievement to date? I just jumped off a 50ft cliff into the sea. It took me half an hour to get up the courage but I did it and the whole beach cheered for me because they saw how terrified I was and I didn't drown. Seriously though I shaved my head to raise money for Unicef. I'm proud of that because I grew up in South Africa so saw a lot of injustice, especially for children, I like to think I helped some of those children. I'm organising a fundraising art exhibition/auction in October for refugees, so keep your eyes peeled, every bit of support will help.

What do you want from your career? I don't really have any expectations, just see where it goes with an open mind.

Where will you be in ten years? I will be in the sun on a beach in the nude sipping on a piña colada or hiking a mountain.
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Photo: Via @poppyokotcha.
Who makes you laugh? My buba bro and sis.

What quality do you most admire in other people? Positivity, motivation and an open mind.

What’s next? Well I want to do work experience at a florist and see how I like it, I love plants and flowers and working with my hands. But I don't really think anyone genuinely has an answer for this because none of us really know. I mean you can have plans but things change and the universe seems to have a way of just making things happen as and when they're meant to.

Follow Poppy on Instagram @poppyokotcha
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