Hey Diva's! Hope you all are raging into 2022! We have a special treat for you. A brand new edition of Panalove's STYLE FILE featuring the majorly talented super-mum -- DJ Nikki. She is a perfect combination of talent + style. GET INTO IT!
1. For those that may not know you, please let us know who you are, why you are so influential, and all the wonderful things that you do!
I started DJing in clubs when I was waaay too young, like 16 yrs old back in the day and never stopped since. I have a degree in Fine Art, am a classically trained cellist, but its been in DJing and making music and also running clubs nights, creating culture that I have excelled really. Although I still design things all the time and creative direct. I am also Kelis Tour DJ amongst other artists Ive toured with, she is one of my closest friends and we have travelled the world together. I was DJing in dubai, Ibiza, Marbella, all over Europe from the late 90's early 2000's but when Kelis and I started touring constantly togetherI ended up going to 1/3 of the countries in the world- so far and almost every continent.
I feel like we been the influencers influencers before that was even a term, I was designing and doing collabs with brands early 2000's, did a global campaign wirh Reebok and spun parties from The British Fashion Awards to parties for Beyonce, JLo, Guiseppe Zanotti, Jay Z, MTV and legit thousands more. Its been a blast so far. Now I am writing records and have an EP dropping early 2022 but I have loads of music on all platform under "Beatnik Feat' so thats a little insight into who I am lol... oh I also have a homewares range with a friend called Hip Hop Homes London inspired by my lifelong love of music especially Hip Hop.
I think my style is rooted in my love for art, music & fashion. I have a BA in art, but I was drawing, sewing, knitting and making from an early age, taught by my Grandma who could make anything and I always had a keen interest in fashion and knew exactly what I wanted to wear from a very young age. I have photographs of myself as a kid, standing next to huge speakers in a beret, coloured net skirt and polo neck - age 5. I used to play Boney M records on my Grandad's record player when I was around that age and dance and imagine being on a stage. Which is odd as that's what I ended up doing for a living, DJing and dressing up and being on stage. I think having a great love of art and fashion and music, film architecture interiors - it means my style is informed by a wide array of creativeness. The Arts to me, merge together.
I don't have fashion icons as such, for me it's more about my fav decades, 70's 80's 90's fashion mostly, but I do always joke that my style is somewhere between Slick Rick and Keith Richards lol. I love Hip Hop, especially 80's and 90's street style. I'm obsessed with the era in Jamal Shabazz books, but I also love the rock and roll aesthetic from Jimi to Axl Rose. A typical days outfit could be a vintage goose or puffa jacket with an acid wash denim and cowboy boot, or conversely a rocker tassel jacket with a good trouser and dope sneaker, some accessories and some great sunglasses.
3. What fashion trend do you love , and what fashion trend makes you want to gag (in a bad way)?
I am always interested to see what's next, but I feel like I already had and worn a lot of what's in trend right now, yes- I reached that age ! I guess I am a bit bored of body con cut out dresses and leotards on stage. I feel like EVERYONE is trying to be fashion now, but not really informed on the history behind design and designers and not truly caring about it. Also I feel the mindset of wearing new clothes constantly for every event is not great, we are just purchasing land fill, which isn't good for us- or the planet. I think it's great to buy pieces you are going to like in 5yrs, 10 years... I really respect people who are really about that creative life though & really about culture. Like my brother Statis who is a true creative, my friend Wale Adeyemi who has always been about it and my best friends Legendary Damon and Kelis. Kelis never had a stylist this whole time I have known her, sure she's had stylists at magazine shoots, but she did all her iconic looks herself her own make up, her tour outfits, she even sews pieces for her videos - plus she put so many others (who shall remain nameless) on- style wise lol !!
4. What does your personal style mean to you, and at what point in your life do you feel like you had discovered your own personal style?
I discovered my style very very young and it never left me. I like the exact same things now I have always liked and I pretty much wear the same things and styles, just maybe not as short !! My style is incredibly important to me. It can help lift my mood on a daily basis. It is an extension of my creativity and who I am. I pretty much dress the same if I am doing the school run as going to a meeting or going off on tour. I think dressing for yourself and dressing up can have a massive impact on your mental health- as can music and dancing. Its one of the reasons I founded @mumsthatrave too- an event for Mamas to dress up and live their best lives.
Also, music is obviously my biggest style influence. I have always loved music, I was in clubs and illegal raves waaay too young but the buzz of those epic times in the 90's was so influential not only on me but worldwide. Black music has been massively influential to me as a DJ, ALL DJ's need to recognize the debt we owe to black music, we wouldn't exist and nor would any of our genres without it. It has shaped not only my whole entire DJ life but also the whole world musically and fashion too from jazz to disco to hip hop to reggae and on and on. Working with Kelis for 2 decades has been fantastic too because she and I are very similar where we take influences from all over and use it in shows and music and how we dress. Basically I came out like this as a kid and I am gonna be that fly old lady wearing sneakers you wish you had and still in an acid wash jumpsuit!
5. Do you have a favorite fashion brand (or several) — if so who are they and why?
I mean...I love love love me some Gucci, especially recently again, the Dapper Dan collab- I wanted every piece and I hope people see what a visionary he is via that. I love Moschino, Balenciaga, YSL, Acne, Isabel Marant, but I am a Mum so I mostly buy from high street shops that Brits do so well, some of my fav brands are Collusion, Topshop and Asos, for jeans they are fantastic, Monki for some Scandi cool and then small indie shops like vegan shoe store Cult Of Coquette by Bebe in LA and my girl @bysarachristie here in the UK, who makes the most fabulous necklaces bracelets and bags with thick chains. I also love vintage, always have, I am obsessed with finding the perfect soft vintage T shirts and one of my fav vintage shops that source the most exquisite pieces is my girls @chillielondon & check out Liz Mendez @lizmendezvintage for high end vintage Jewelry that is off the chain- literally !!!
6. What is your favorite piece of clothing/accessory that you own and why?
This is like asking me as a DJ what my favorite record is- and I refuse to answer!!!! I am not a minimalist and I cannot cut it down to one piece or one record aaaaggghhhhhhhh. Okay. My favourite thing in my wardrobe that I can never do without tho- is a good jacket! I have about 60 good jackets and about 40 coats. With a jacket, you can literally wear a good jean or trouser & put on a statement jacket and you are good- it looks put together, plus if you are tall, like me- you may have issues with dresses never being long enough or too short waisted so I prefer separates. I also prefer trousers especially for DJ gigs as its just more practical. You must always have that perfect jean too! Accessories wise, I have a lot of jewelry- mostly gold as it looks better on my skin, I love a necklace or 3 or 4 and I am obsessed with sunglasses. I own maybe 100 pairs. A pair of sunglasses and a red lip can make you look and feel a million dollars with minimal effort. I am also quite low maintenance in that if I have to I can get ready in 10 mins! Even for shows!
For daytime the Dana Tracksuit is dope, super comfortable and the colors are just so gorgeous and the Kenya set- which is a very cool design. My absolute fav piece has got to be the Khailani Jumpsuit. That is just so so dope. I love everything about it but for wearability and something I would wear again and again the Tyese jumpsuit. I am all about a cool classic piece you can wear for years to come. SO much dope stuff on the site !!!