Oakland — What is it about Valentine’s Day that makes people want to turn up the sexy? I get that it’s a day for lovers, but you can be sexy and comfortable at the same time. So I put my little black dress away and grabbed a cozy sweater. Originally $99, I bought this alpaca knit turtleneck sweater on the clearance rack for $7 at H&M. Yes, you read that correctly. You may be wondering where the sex appeal is in this oversized sweater, but it lies in a pair of fitted ripped jeans and printed heels.
photography by Azikikwe Abaogye
Shop My Closet
H&M Ruffled Sweater $30 ($7 in-store price) | Buy here
Vintage Acid Wash Jeans $248 | Similar style here
Tory Burch Printed Bow Heels $295 | Similar style here
I was drawn to the raspberry color of the sweater, that said Valentine’s Day inspired, without screaming it. I modeled this look in front of a similarly colored building in Oakland’s Chinatown. I felt modern and elegant in this outfit. Whether you had plans with your significant other, like myself, or just a night out with the girls, I hope you felt lovable in your garbs. Create your own romance — even if it starts with your clothes.
My Valentine Azikiwe | Oakland
Shop This Look
Nathalie Du Pasquier Print Pia Canvas Cleo Cut Out Heel $140 | Buy here
In collaboration with artist Nathalie Du Pasquier, American Apparel created the cutest printed heels. Their partnership is a reflection of Du Pasquier’s work with 1980s design collective, Memphis.
There are a mixture of bold prints, such as this one, on old and new American Apparel silhouettes for men and women. I love this black and white checkered pattern because they can be worn with a bright colored dress or black jumpsuit. You can even throw on tights or frilly socks to wear these in the colder months.
About artist: Nathalie Du Pasquier was born in Bordeaux, France in 1957 and has lived in Milan since 1979. She worked as a designer and was a founding member of the Memphis Group. She designed numerous “decorated surfaces” including textiles, carpets, plastic laminates and some furniture and objects.
photography by Azikiwe Aboagye
San Francisco — Fluctuating temperatures give me fashion brain freezes. How do I dress for the warm and the cold, all in one day to night look? Easy.
Shop My Closet
Burberry Trenchcoat $1,795 | Buy here
Motor City Distressed Screen T-shirt $29 | Similar style here
Distressed High waisted Jeans $149 | Similar style here
Burberry Flats $395 | Similar style here
The perfect garment for any weather blunder is a trenchcoat. It’s lightweight, yet lined for warmth. This classic Burberry trench was snagged by my mother (and later stolen by me) in the Penny Savers. This is a traditional tan trench, but the pop of Burberry plaid adds a little something special to the outfit. My Burberry flats were a splurge purchase from my teens. In high school, I wore a uniform, so I took any opportunity to look different from my peers — which meant wearing different plaid patterns together (don’t judge!). But we digress, and today I can be seen wearing outfits, such as this one, with this classic pattern. Pairing my Burberry accessories with distressed jeans and a ripped T-shirt, turned my preppy outfit edgy. Although they have an opposite feel, I often dress outside the norm.
Oscar de la Renta said it best: “Fashion is about dressing according to what’s fashionable. Style is more about being yourself.” This is me being myself.
Outside a cafe on 7th Street | West Oakland
Trumpet playing practicing beneath the underpass | West Oakland, Ca.
model: Iris Latour | Downtown San Francisco
San Francisco — Part of a full series titled, “Dapper Woman,” styled by Tushiya Hunter, Azikiwe Aboagye and I were commissioned to photograph her lookbook — making sure to capture San Francisco’s city life in every image. Not only was this photo shoot fun, but a rush, as we traveled to various locations in the city until the sun had long set. More to come!