The Reigning Stars Of Street Style: Toshada Uma
Don’t let Toshada Uma’s four-feet six-inch frame and doll-like face fool you into believing she is just another teenager with a proclivity for risqué clothes. The 19-year-old is an entrepreneur, stylist and model all at once, who grew up watching her grandmother dress in a manner that was way ahead of her time — she never stepped out of the house without her elaborately braided updos, moisturised face and powdered nose. That had to have stuck with a very impressionable Uma who is popular among her friends for her unorthodox wardrobe and wigs. Loath to defining or labelling her avant-garde sense of style, she is unapologetically disruptive, uncaring of traditional notions of beauty, and superbly comfortable in her skin.
Describe your personal style…
“I find myself unable to commit to a particular aesthetic when it comes to styling myself because I love experimenting. I don’t hesitate to flaunt over the top, maximal outfits but I’m equally passionate about simple, minimal looks. I don’t believe that there is a definitive way in which I can describe my personal style. I wear pretty much everything that makes me happy.”
How do your sartorial choices liberate you?
“The fact that I’m presenting myself the way I want to is really empowering. I have been a fairly confident person for most of my life and have always had an avant-garde approach to everything — I think my style really casts that impression of me.
Would you say that you use your sense of style to change people’s perception of you?
“Frankly, I’ve never been too bothered by people’s perception of me. I have come to realise that as long as a person loves themselves, how others look at them doesn’t mean anything.”
Who are your style inspirations?
“My maternal grandmother used to dress in a manner that was way ahead of her time. She’d have elaborately braided updos every day, a moisturised face and a powdered nose at all times, and was always at her most presentable when she was stepping out. She has been a very strong influence in my life. My mother was a major inspiration too. Despite being a swimmer and not taking much of an interest in how she groomed herself for most of her youth, she had impeccable style. Her looks were made even more elegant with sharp hairstyles and dollops of confidence.”
A fashion staple that enhances your outfit…
“I think people really underestimate the power of well-fitting underwear. My only fashion staple is what I wear underneath.”
How often do you step out of your comfort zone in fashion?
“Honestly, I don’t have a comfort zone, so to speak. I’m very confident in almost every piece of clothing that I’m styled in. In terms of work, I believe this has opened many doors for me.”