In DPJ’s Street Style PHX series, Kammie Kobyleski hits the streets in search of the looks that define our city style.
“Forget the rules. If you like it wear it.” -Fashionistas Everywhere
After another exhausting day working on house renovations, my man declared that we needed a fun night out to let off some steam. We ended the evening listening to some amazing tunes at everyone’s favorite downtown music venue, the Crescent Ballroom
. Always crawling with cool kids and fabulous examples of street fashion, I knew Crescent wouldn’t let me down. After considering a lovely looking girl in a boho chic outfit, my eyes landed on Depeah Nyakondo and I HAD to talk with her. She exuded easy confidence and had a simple elegance about her.
Serendipidously, she fluttered her way through the crowd and sat down in the seat next to me and asked, “Is this seat taken?” Depeah had no idea I’d just been admiring her savvy style and since the Universe guided her to me, I jumped right in:
Where are you from?
“I never know what to say when people ask me that – my parents come from Kenya, Africa, but I was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I grew up there and about 11 years ago we moved out here to Phoenix.”
What about living in PHX influences your style? How is your style different from when you lived in the Midwest?
“Well, I feel like the style down here and on the west coast in general is a lot more laid back, and you can just be really chill with your wardrobe. You don’t have to be completely put together. There are some days were you just throw something together and it just works, where as out on the east side (east coast) you gotta be way more put together out there. That’s what I kind of like about living here, you can be lazy with it and it can still work. I also went to school in Chattanooga, Tennessee and a lot of people from the east coast just dress way different – they’re just more buttoned up – out here it’s just more chill.
What do you do?
“I’m a student at ASU, studying Communications.”
What are you wearing?
Necklace: “I’ll shop anywhere, I don’t care about name brands, if I like it I’ll buy it so I got this necklace at Charlotte Russe
, they have good deals and inexpensive jewelry.”
Dress: “This dress I got at Urban Outfitters on sale, super cheap, it was a steal.”
Shoes: “Jack Reid, I had to splurge a little on that, totally worth it.”
If you could raid any style icon’s wardrobe/closet, who would it be?
“Style icon? That is such a hard question…because I don’t really look to other people for what they’re wearing. I don’t want someone else’s style to effect me.”
What makes your style you then?
“The fact that it’s not effected by anybody else. It’s like I’m not really into fashion and looking at other people’s things. I just really like to do whatever I think is cool.”
But where does that come from? It has to come from somewhere…
“I don’t even know, I’ve done some work in retail and worked at Gap
. There I was exposed to whatever is trendy and I guess that helped, but other than that I don’t follow any fashion people.”
Whatever corners of the galaxy Depeah’s subconscious is pulling her style vibe from, it’s working for her. From her fabulous hair to her megawatt smile, this young woman is yet another example of Phoenix Street Style and I’m just happy she sat down next to me. Thank you serendipity, thank you.
Images by Kammie Kobyleski.