She wakes up like a princess in a Queen sized bed with all the riches she deserves, radiance that blows when she smiles. Her beauty dark as a well made chocolate fudge cocoa, gorging on that eminence she flows gracefully without moving a leg. She is a Vintage Hoochie name Tonika Howards.
The Royal Queen
(1) Tell us a little about yourself.
I'm a 21 year old Fashion Merchandising Major at Clark Atlanta University and I'm from Washington DC. I'm very artsy, out of the box type of individual. I’ve wanted to be a fashion designer since age 13. I’ve always had images of how I wanted my world to be. However sewing is not my thing or else I would be a lot further along in my career.
(a) What is fashion to you?
Fashion is one of the greatest art forms in the world, It gives everyone a way to express themselves in their everyday appearance. With fashion you can be whoever you want to be.
(2) What inspires you in this world?
All things visual inspire me from Magazines, Advertising, Graffiti, Art Galleries, Interior design etc. I'm inspired by color even black & white (With the exception of grey unless its next to neon) I love the way color can transform the world. I also get super inspired when I look at past fashion and try to imagine what it would look like from a modern perspective.
(3) How does it contribute to your style?
The more I expose myself to the world the more advance my style becomes, no matter how much effort I put in. Through looking at the past I can reinvent a lot of whats been already done and include it with my own personal style. I am constantly drawing inspiration from things without even thinking about it, I usually keep a notebook and camera handy so I can refer back to it.
(4) How would you describe your style? (The way you dress)
My style has always been 80’s retro. But I'm getting rid of everything I own as we speak and revamping my style to look modern pin-up. I want my clothing to be more mature, simple and very hip defining. I'm about to go from wearing jeans all the time to dresses and very feminine clothing. If you Google modern pin-up you will see punkie images I figure this was the best way to make my style more mature without taking away my creativity. I absolutely love this style I cannot wait to manifest it. P.s. yes I plan to get tattoos.
(5) What do you want to be in the Fashion Industry?
I'm currently working to start my own Label. I’m trying to think of the best way to start out. I figure if I can start with t-shirts I can make the funding to buy from vendors to sell. I can then use that money to launch my own line. People may think it’s easy to become a fashion designer but there is a certain quality and look that I would like my stuff to have. One of my inspirational mentors is Sophia Amoruso with Nasty Gal.
- My Fur Shawl from BEBE,
- My Pin-up Polka-Dot Bodysuit,
- My Sequin Bra,
- My Disco Leggings
- My High Waist Cheetah Belt From Express.
Fashion hit would be anything high waist, that whole Levi D.I.Y. trend was amazing, Chunky heels especially from Jeffrey Campbell. I like almost everything but for misses I would say boot cut pants unless they are high waist ( not to get confused with wide leg or bell bottom love those) I hated that block patterned plaid shirts I couldn't believe people thought those shirts were cool.
(9) Who is your style icon?
My style Icon is June Ambrose I love her because she is very fashion forward she is willing to try things and she makes them fit her style. She is a stylist so she probably is able to access all type of things. In order for fashion to exist people have to be excepting of what designers make and she does that.
(10) Any advice to the little ones who aspire to be like you?
My advice for those who want to be like me is to always explore who you are, never be stuck in the box. Any interest you have tap into it to distinguish yourself from what everyone else is doing. People don't always except things that are different but they respect it. Lastly you must have a business aspect in order to sell your art, so if you are trying to decide your major I strongly recommend business courses or major. If school isn't for you then hit the library and read read read.
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