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Dedicated to the economic advancement and self-reliance of women and girls around the world

Vanessa J.

“I see my look as a creative outlet.”


Who are you? 

I’m a 20-something student and working girl based in New York. I go to school full-time and then work at least twenty hours a week in hospitality on top of that. I also have a fashion blog with a growing group of followers. Ultimately, my goal is to make a name for myself within the fashion industry.

I’m Haitian, and my family lived in Haiti until I was 11, when we moved to New York. I’m an only child and wish I had siblings, but have made great friends in New York through school and work who feel like family to me. I am a language fanatic and speak French, Creole, and English. I’m working on making Korean my fourth.

What do you look like?

I’m relatively tall at five foot six and have dark skin, eyes, and hair. My hair is shoulder length. I’m in good shape and fit.

What do you consider to be your personal style?


I would describe my personal style as trendy and very chic. By that, I mean I like outfits to include pieces from the latest trends while usually mixing pieces from the 70s. I see my look as a creative outlet and spend a significant amount of time strategizing and putting together outfits that are cool yet unexpected. One example is that I like to put disparate prints together that people might not think would work, but assembled in the right way can really make a cool statement.

What’s your special “thing,” your go-to look?

I like to wear a blazer, white t-shirt, and blue pants—you can never go wrong with that. In the winter, I might add a camel coat on top to make it pop even more.

What do you avoid? What’s your fashion kryptonite?

Cheetah prints. I’ve tried a few times and immediately look at myself and say, “Oh no! That just doesn’t work on me.” Neon is also horrible on me, so I completely avoid.

What’s the violation you see other professional women make the most?

I see too many women wear body-con outfits that are just too much—i.e., too little in some cases. These tend to show too much and can become too distracting and inappropriate. You shouldn’t wear what you’d put on for a wedding to the office. 

Another mistake women make is wearing completely impractical heels. While I don’t think women should wear unattractive shoes, they should wear something they can walk in and wear all day and carry themselves effectively with good posture. 

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What do you admire when you see it?

I like seeing women play around with different styles and take risks that work. I especially love plaid, for example, and think it’s cool to see women do something interesting with that as part of a broader look.

I also like to see women inject cool colors into what might be darker basics, particularly in New York where black is everyone’s go-to. Any color that’s bright (but not neon!) can add an element of interest and really bring a relatively plain, classic outfit to life.

What are your tips for women over time?

I’m still young, but I love seeing women of all ages look comfortable in their own skin, wearing something that fits well and really suits them.

What do you think works best by genre?

I adore little black dresses that fit great because they’re so flexible and always appropriate, whether it’s more casual, dressy, or something in between. Often, you don’t know exactly what the attire will be when you go somewhere, but a little black dress is always right.