The Vixen Q&A: Vashtie Kola

Va$htie Kola is the perfect balance between girly and tomboy chic. This 29-year-old director, photographer, and fashion designer has been dabbling in the arts since her childhood in Albany, NY, but now as the bossy entrepreneur of her own fashion label VIOLETTE and recently designing her own AirJordan 2, downtown's Trini and Indian sweetheart has become a role model for young females striving to play with the major male execs. VIBE got a chance to speak with the industry's number one girl and chat about must-haves, don't-haves, and what it takes to be respected in the game. —Niki McGloster

Vixen: You clearly have an interesting name. Is there a special meaning behind it?
Vashtie: Well I found it in a couple different places. It's found in the Bible— in the book of Esther. There was a queen named Vashtie who was married to the king of Persia who later left her thrown. As the story goes, it depends on your translation, she was very well known for her beauty and as legend goes, the king and all of his like king bros are kicking it and he beckons for his wife, Queen Vashtie, and she basically was like, 'No, I'm not going,' He wanted her to come do a strip show or something, and she was not having it. And eventually, he's like, 'Okay, I'm good on you. I'm done,' and he replaces her with Queen Esther. Then there's also—my mother has told me that's it's the name of an Indian goddess and then in the Hebrew language it means "thread" and in the Persian language it means "beautiful." Long story short [laughs].

And in short it's a pretty cool name [laughs]. Recently you became the first female to ever design a Jordan sneaker— the Air jordan 2. How does that feel?
Oh my God, it has been a complete dream come true. It's still surreal. To collaborate with such a legendary and iconic brand as Jordan, to work with such a great team, it was probably the easiest and most fun collaboration thus far in my career. And it's just been a pleasure. I've been glowing about and gushing about it ever since. I'm just excited to be able to share it finally.

What are the five pairs of sneakers you can't live without?
Definitely my new Jordans. I would have to say my Jordan 3's which I've been known for and I've wore into the ground; It looks like I play hockey in them. I also have these Supreme Blazers in this luscious red color. I don't know if you've seen them, but they're gorgeous. They're quilted red leather, they have a gold linked chain on the back. Almost kind of like a Gucci tab on it, so it gives this flair of Gucci meets Supreme meets Nike. I love them.

I haven't seen them but they sound hot.
They're amazing and then another pair is— I made a pair of custom Air Force 1's when I was working at Nike 255, so they're one-of-a-kind, custom made pair of black-on-black Air Force 1's patent leather. And I got a 5-inch platform, so I have a pair of these crazy looking platform Air Force, patent leather 1's. And my other pair would be Keds. I didn't grow up on Keds. I think that's what I thought suburban girls only wore and I couldn't afford them. Now, I have a friend who works for Keds. They're the most comfortable shoe I've ever worn. I don't care how nerdy they might look or boring. They're just so comfortable and I love them.

What sparked the idea for your fashion line, VIOLETTE?

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Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’ Is Expected To Make $64 Million Opening Weekend

Thanks to Us, Jordan Peele has another blockbuster on his hands. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the highly-anticipated horror flick starring Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Shahadi Wright Joseph and Evan Alex, is expected to have a $64 million opening weekend at the domestic box office.

Peele’s sophomore horror film earned an impressive $7.4 million on Thursday (March 21) night previews, and is forecasted to take in about $27 million from Friday sales. The film is also on pace to knock Captain Marvel out of the No. 1 spot at the box office.

Once final numbers are tallied, Us will likely snatch the third-best opening weekend record for an R-rated horror film behind It, which brought in a whopping $123.4 million, followed by Halloween’s $76.2 million opening weekend last year.

Aside from rave reviews and a genius promo run that included simultaneous screenings in major media markets, Us earned a 95 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

The film, set in the mid-1980s centers around a family of four who set off on a vacation that finds them confronting some familiar faces.

Peele recently spoke to VIBE about casting Duke (our April 2019 cover star) in the role of patriarch, Gabe Wilson. “I have to have somebody voice what the audience was saying,” he said. “In the case of Get Out, it’s Rod, like, ‘How have you not left yet?’ [In Us], Winston is largely that voice. There’s one moment where Lupita [Nyong’o] takes a step into the unknown, where black people [will think], ‘I don’t know.’ But to have Winston say, ‘Aaaand she left. Your mother just walked out of the car.’ That’s all we need.”

Duke also opened up about the intricacies of his character. “His function isn’t to see through the veil. His function is to tell the absolute truth how he sees it,” explained the 32-year-old actor. “He’s sometimes there to say the things that other people don’t want to say, but he’s also there to make fun of things to keep it from not getting too heavy, even though it’s real. That was my job. [Peele] respected that. I like to lean into functions. If I’m going to be your antagonist, I’m gonna really push you. If I’m gonna be your clown, funny guy, I’m gonna do that.”

Click here to read VIBE’s April 2019 cover story.

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Cardi B Explains Why She Wants To Trademark “Okurrr”

Cardi B hopes to secure as many “bags” as possible. In response to backlash and burning questions surrounding her decision to file to trademark “okurrr,” the 26-year-old rapper took to social media Friday (March 22) to defend her latest money move.

Since people tend to ask Bardi to use what has become her signature catch phrase, she figured that it was time to cash in. “You think I ain’t gonna’ profit off this sh*t? B*tch white folks do it all the motherf**king time,” she said. “So you gon’ be mad at me ‘cuz I want to get some motherf**king money?

“While I’m still hear I’ma secure all the fucking bags,” Cardi continued before adding that there are a “lot of ways to get rich” in 2019.

The Bronx native caught heat for wanting to trademark the word because she wasn’t the first to say “okurrr.” Cardi already revealed that she started using it after she heard Khloe Kardashian saying it, but the word was originally popularized in drag culture -- most notably by Rupaul’s Drage Race contestant Laganja Estranja, in 2014.

However, Rupaul attributed the word to Broadway actress, Laura Bell Bundy, who used it in YouTube skits dating back to 2010. In the skits, Bundy pretends to be a hairdresser named “Shocantelle Brown.”

Although Bundy caught criticism for her little character, which was deemed racist, she typically gets credit for bringing “okrrr” (different spelling) to the internet a full decade before Cardi made it mainstream.

No matter the origin, it looks like Cardi will be the only one profiting off of “okurrr.”


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#CardiB on why she decided to trademark “Okurr”

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Kanye West, EMI Working Towards Private Settlement

Kanye West and EMI could be close to settling their legal drama. Each party filed documents requesting a stay of the case to “explore the potential for a resolution,” The Blast reports.

West sued EMI in an effort to “gain freedom” from his contract, and to own his publishing. In the lawsuit, ‘Ye argued that his contract ended in 2010 under California law, which bars entertainers from being tethered to an agreement for more than seven years. The multi-Grammy winner, who signed the deal back in 2003, also accused the company of slavery because the contract doesn’t allow him to retire.

“Even if the contract were not lopsided in EMI’s favor (it is), even if its terms valued Mr. West’s artistic contributions in line with the spectacular success he has achieved for EMI (they do not), and even if EMI had not underpaid Mr. West what it owes him (EMI has), he would be entitled to be set free from its bonds,” the lawsuit reads.

EMI hit back with a countersuit filed in New York, instead of California. The suit pointed out that the 41-year-old rapper signed multiple contract extensions, in addition to accepting millions in advances.

According to The Blast, West and EMI now feel that putting a hold on the legal proceedings will be beneficial to both sides “and the Court by enabling the parties to engage in meaningful discussions in an attempt to resolve this action without having to incur the burden and expense of litigation and motion practice.”

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