Dawn and Kalenna, Diddy’s cocoa queens, are developing into fashion icons with style Vixens are dying to emulate, so we caught up with yin and yang set to talk about all fashion everything! Snagging one in Detroit and the other in Toronto, the ladies dished about the fashion labels giving them the most life, their addiction to monster shoes and channeling the urban chic with European structure. –Niki McGloster
Who styles you guys for the ‘Coming Home’ tour?
DAWN: It’s a collaborative effort. We have Marnie who’s an amazing stylist. We have guy named Deonté, another guy named David Thomas who has dressed Boy George. Then, of course, Kalenna, Puff and I sit down… I remember for the tour, I had these ideas that I really wanted to show him because I wanted us to go to the next level. I really saw us as the modern-day Grace Jones; I just really wanted us to have that influence of what she was doing in fashion because of our chocolate skin. And we took the ideas that I submitted along with Kalenna’s ideas and Puff’s ideas and we came up with a great line of stuff.
KALENNA: They do a lot of our styling, but I would say we do about 70 percent input. We let them know what we want, what we’re looking for. Whatever it is, we get to put our input in it and they find it. Some of the stuff is sample sized right off the runway.
The styles and color scheme came from Grace Jones?
DAWN: Just the influence of her drama. Not her outfits because we’re not as structured and as big. I think Gaga would have that influence. I’m just talking about the drama of clothing. For the color scheme, we wanted it to make sense with the lights because the lights is the fourth member of the group on this tour. We know what looks good on dark skin; the cool greys and whites and reds, so really it’s just influences from the lights and what we talked about and we wanted to work for us. We know we’re chocolatey so we like to get things that enhance that.
And I’m glad you mention incorporating a real thought-process on what looks good on your skin because that’s where some people mess up. You have to be very conscious of your complexion and your shade. Now, a lot of times people have a hard time distinguishing you two. Do you dress alike purposefully?
DAWN: No, I don’t think so. I think people just see two brown-skinned girls and automatically think we look alike. I mean, Kalenna and I have some favor in hairstyle or our body types, but we don’t always wear the same outfit. We have very different styles, and I just think people want to say that we look like the Boxy twins, but it’s not something that’s purposefully done.
KALENNA: I think that me and Dawn are actually each others’ yin and yang. I think it’s just something that ironically happens. We’re both Leos, and we’re both beautiful brown-skinned girls. People tend to say that brown skin looks alike and we have one look. I do see the resemblance in what we look like and the things that we do, but I just think that it’s just that next level of fashion that people haven’t gotten onto yet. I don’t think it’s planned, we just kind of do it. It’s not that for-show shit. If we’re both wearing McQueen, we can be twins for $12,000! [Laughs] But on a day-to-day, it’s just one of those things where our style is just so dope. We’re just on that level.
Explain your individual styles.
DAWN: I feel like what looks good and feels good for me works. For me, I’m a huge fan of effortless. I just like things that are not tried and not forced. My icons are Agyness Deyn, Kate Moss, Mary-Kate, like, that hobo chic. I like things that have old vintage looks. You know, I’m a hippie at heart, so I don’t mine wearing a Stella McCartney body suit or a Chloé onesie that has a deep V-neck but is giving me chic, cocaine whore. I love that! I’m more about being something that isn’t tried, and in a hip-hop group that’s kind of difficult because Puff likes the leather jackets. He’s a style icon, so he knows what’s dope but I’m more of the rebel, rock-n-roll girl but bohemian. Like Kate with the dirty leather legging and a ripped white tee with a stupid Balenciaga boot. You know what I mean? And I think Puff appreciates that.
KALENNA: I’m really into structures. I like pieces that say things. I won’t put myself in a box and say I love one stylist or designer because I will wear Hakan and mix it up with a little Giuseppe, a little Balenciaga, you know what I mean? My equivalent to looking dope is having a bad ass shoe. You can have on sweatpants and a t-shirt, but you need a statement piece, whether it’s a vest or jacket or accessories to make that outfit. A shoe and a statement piece, that’s all you need!