Life Over Lattes: Styling Creativity into the Everyday with Edith Atakpa
Let’s face it: When it comes to fashion, it’s easy to be influenced by the latest trends. Yet, for Edith Atakpa, the word conformity simply doesn’t exist. To her, there are no rules. Instead, this 27-year-old fashion maven chooses to pave her own path by using style as an outlet for self-expression.
If you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Edith, I can guarantee after reading this article you’ll wish for the opportunity. Not only does she have really great brain-tickling style, but this fashionista has an infectious personality to top off any outfit. You know, the kind of lively energy your soul just craves to be around.
No matter the day, you will always find Edith beaming with a charismatic, exuberant and full-of-life vibe, which is one of the many reasons I am constantly inspired by her.
So, without further ado, let the scrolling begin!
Name: Edith Atakpa
Location: Toronto, Canada / New York City
First things first: you are by far one of the most stylish people I have ever met. How did your love for fashion come about?
Thank you so much!! Hmm let me see…
My style comes from my mood of the day. Fashion is being able to tell a story about yourself and what version of your personality you want to be represented. I like to believe I am person with many layers, so I try my best to give a well-rounded representation of myself to the world through my clothes. I pick an Edith I want to be when I wake up in the morning and commit to her all day. The world is technically my stage.
Describe your style in three words.
Tomboy, comfort, chic.
You earned an undergraduate degree in communications and business management. How has this educational experience shaped your career thus far?
I started off wanting to be a doctor. After my first semester majoring in pre-med I decided I couldn’t see myself being a doctor for the rest of my life. So, it boiled down to communications or marketing and communications won. I think it helped my career a lot in the sense I have the ability to read people and infer what they could potentially want. This skill has helped me keep a cool mindset with a lot of the stressful jobs I have worked.
Once you graduated college you landed a position at Kate Spade in New York City as an Executive Assistant, and then eventually transitioned into Merchandising.
What was your favorite part about working for such a fun and vibrant brand? Can you let us in on some of the more difficult challenges you faced while working in retail and how you overcame those obstacles?
The first thing I loved about Kate Spade was the environment. Yes, it was stressful at times dealing with a lot of different women and personalities. And, as we both know, fashion is very fast paced. While we are not saving lives, sometimes the intense stress levels feel as if we are. However, it is these behind-the-scene moments that makes a brand stronger. Kate Spade has helped me leave my comfort zone and challenged me to step up, as well as to not be afraid to go for what I want.
After living the corporate life for about three years, you decided to take some off and travel. Since leaving New York City, you’ve spent time in Berlin, Canada and now the Dominican Republic. What an amazing experience!
How has traveling expanded your horizons as a creative? What has been your favorite place you’ve ever visited?
I’ve always loved traveling. It’s a part of my core. This time around was more about finding what I wanted to do for the rest of my life rather than letting time pass me by. Traveling is always a great source of information, as you get to understand different cultures and different people. What makes them laugh. What makes them sad. Why they dress a certain way and what type of food satisfies their hunger. Traveling is a way to collect all the information you would never get looking at a picture book.
My favorite place so far is Reykjavik, Iceland. Not because of the sights, but because of the people. I would not necessarily move there, but I would visit more than once to reconnect with the amazing people of Iceland that I was fortunate enough to be become friends with.
Also shout out to Oslo, Norway—a place where a lot of my closest friends reside.
You mentioned you are currently developing your own fashion life and teaching yourself how to sew. That is so inspiring. Tell us more!
What prompted you to take this leap of faith? What has been the most rewarding part about teaching yourself a new skill?
Well I’ve always loved being able to do things myself, like my hair. I just thought learning how to sew was another step in my life development. As for my own fashion line, I decided since people have been so into my style, why not make things I would personally wear and see if it bites.
Can you let us in on your creative process? How do you continue to stay inspired?
Don’t laugh, but I am mostly inspired by pop culture.
I remember growing up being obsessed with music videos. I used to keep my TV glued to MTV and record all my favorite videos on a VHS so I could watch them whenever I wanted. So, fast forward many years and I still take time out every couple of weeks to watch music videos on YouTube. I go down a rabbit hole just looking at clothes and choosing what I like and changing what I don’t.
Music is about moods. Each song moves you in a different way, and as I mentioned earlier, my style is based on my mood of that day.
What one piece of advice would you give to someone who is stuck in a job they don’t enjoy and want to make a change?
You are not living until you are living the life you are meant to live. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Failures are the best teachers, because you now have a benchmark of what not to do, which leaves room for improvement.
Lastly, what does creativity mean to you?
It means expressing your inner self. The only thing you can over excel at is being you. I’m going to be cheesy—The best art always comes from people that tap into their inner selves and I’m sticking to that notion.
Thank you so much, Edith!
For daily inspiration, be sure to follow Edith on Instagram. And, be on the lookout for your line soon!
*all photos provided by Edith Atakpa