Vashtie Talks Being the OG Streetwear Sweetheart, Balancing URL and IRL and More on 'Business of HYPE' With Angelo Baque

The limited series’ final episode sees Vashtie discussing her pioneering style, the importance of physical products and how motherhood has changed her creative process.

Business of HYPE
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Vashtie‘s list of achievements reads somewhat like a “greatest hits” album. She’s the first woman to collaborate with Jordan Brand. She’s a music video director who’s worked with artists from Justin Bieber to Kendrick Lamar. She’s a DJ who’s spun at events for the likes of Dior and Kenzo. She worked at Def Jam — LA Reid once described her as “the one to keep the building cool.” But, before all of that, she was (and still is) “Downtown’s Sweetheart,” a creative entrepreneur who was one of the first individuals to document downtown New York City’s thriving creative community of the mid-late ’00s through her blog, providing an on-the-ground look at the cultural epicenter’s goings-on and garnering her loyal followers worldwide.

It’s in that downtown scene that she first met Angelo Baque. Their reunion on Business of HYPE is a testament to the lasting impact of their connection, with Baque referring to her as a “fellow downtown graduate.” Vashtie shares stories and cultural observations with her old friend, touching on everything from the confidence she needed to display in the male-dominated streetwear world of the mid-aughts to her former brand Violette and her current-day life. “The way you dressed back then is normal now” Baque says, as Vashtie smiles, clad in a complete Nate Lowman x Supreme outfit. “I don’t think you get enough credit for creating [that look] … I want to acknowledge the norms you broke to create new norms. I see the impact you’ve had when creative women like Aleali May give you a shoutout.”

Though Vashtie could be categorized as one of the earliest “influencers,” she still firmly believes in the power of IRL experiences and products, which is explored later in the duo’s conversation. “Where is your work? Where does it live?” she says. “As important as it is to embrace the future and the digital world, it’s also important to embrace things outside of that.” There’s also some good-natured ribbing between the two longtime friends, as Baque playfully reminds Vashtie that she once described kids as “little bloodsuckers.” Now, as a mother, she appreciates the perspective her child has given her — and shares insights on how it’s positively affected her creative process.

Stream the full episode above, or check it out on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and other major podcast platforms. Past episodes with Tremaine Emory, MSCHF co-founders Kevin Wiesner and Lukas Bentel, Sage Elsesser and Kim Shui are available as well.

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