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Q&A: Fashion and lifestyle influencer Solène OJ takes us into her creative process and style inspirations

Parisian-based creative and DJ Solene OJ serves a soulful feminine aesthetic. Her Instagram is a curated escape of moody visuals, scenic views and chic, minimal style.

Growing up in Martinique, Caribbean, and now living in the suburbs of Paris, her style is an effortless blend of island flair and European sophistication.

Here, she takes us into her creative process, style inspirations, and everyday wellness routine.

What ignited your passion into fashion?

I think it started when my mom shared with me her love for clothes, style and sophistication! As time went by, I started to dress by myself and be a huge fan of fashion magazines, especially in middle school. At this time, I draw my inspiration from tv shows like Gossip Girl and it girls from Tumblr. All the colorful and classy looks made me vibrate.

What inspires your outfits and how do you come up with them?

Now I’m inspired by vintage fashion shows a lot (Versace, Dior, Mugler…). Fashion recreates itself each day with last decades influences and I’m so in line with 90-2000’s designs. Most of the time, I create my outfit spontaneously, and the ones which are done instantly are truly the most memorable.

Image: @soleneoj/Instagram
Image: @soleneoj/Instagram

How would you describe your style?

I would describe my style as minimal, eclectic and sharp.

What’s the inspiration behind your breathtaking content?

To stay inspired, I really aim to create content that is authentic to me. There is so much behind it: the places and spaces I visited, special colors and tones, music. It’s really my universe that I try to translate through the content I share!

Which piece from your wardrobe is on repeat?

No doubt, my loyal large beige pants (from Simonett and Reona). I can place them with anything!

Does your culture play a role when you are creating your outfits?

Yes. I’m from Martinique, a Caribbean island, and I have lived in the Parisian suburbs since forever and my culture does play a significant role in my way of dressing. For example, in Martinique, we are really attached to chains and jewelry to finish an outfit, we also have this simple pleasure to be dressed for any occasion in a sophisticated way! On the other hand, Paris and its suburbs are multicultural and are a mix of a lot of influences. I love that wide range of options and we’re not limited on fashion sense, in my opinion.

Image: @soleneoj/Instagram

How do you create your content and be able to stay consistent?

I do my best to stay consistent, it’s really the key after the authentic content: the consistency and the discipline. I think there is a balance between taking things seriously on Instagram, but also be gentle with yourself, you’re not a robot, and sometimes the rhythm can be slower, it’s normal! At the moment I don’t force things and I create content when I want during the week. When it comes to collaborations I’m more organized!

What would you like to see more in the fashion industry?

In the fashion and luxury industry especially in influence and in the agencies, I would like to see more talented black people chosen for their competences and skills, and not for « inclusivity » or to reach a quota!

Image: @soleneoj/Instagram

Which people of color inspire you in the fashion industry?

In general, I’m inspired by Pharrell Williams and his impact on streetwear, luxury, and on how we wear clothes in general. He took the field to a whole another dimension and showed the world how hip-hop has inspired, and keeps inspiring the fashion industry. His limitless skills are undefeated, he is also the first ever personality to work on a line with Chanel. He’s really the definition of a creative genius for me.

Another personality, which inspires and will be missed is Virgil Abloh. His recent but strong impact on luxury fashion, and fashion in general is incontestable. He was the first black creative director for LV. His career and his way to motivate, and make dreams accessible in a way, is deeply inspiring.

What advice would you give to someone that wants to become a content creator?

I would say, start even if you’re not ready, and stay true to yourself. There are so many profils, we cannot be there just copying each other. Every being is unique and has something to bring to the table. Work on what makes you special, and share it with us, make us listen to your story through your content!

What challenges do you face as a content creator?

There are a lot of challenges while being a content creator: the algorithm, the consistency, the large panels of other creators. But all of these challenges made me grow a lot, on a personal and professional aspect!!

What are your favourite black owned brands right now?

My favorite black owned brands in fashion at the moment are : Reona (from Toronto), Omol: a premium brand made in Cameroun, which is produced in small series with up-cycled fabrics. The quality is immaculate ! I’ve just discovered the brand Gueras Fatim lately, and the designs are so unique. I love Riot Swim in terms of swimwear.

As a content creator, how do you take care of your mental health?

My mental health is my priority above all! The content creator world is really interchanging at times, and we have to adapt. Sometimes it can be frustrating, but when you’re doing your best efficiently, even if it doesn’t show up now, the results will show later. Trust yourself, and the process!

Besides being in fashion what else are you passionate about?

I’m also passionate about traveling and discovering new countries, and being open to different ways of life. I think it’s so important to see other perspectives than our own. I love interior design, that’s why I love to enjoy time in insolite places, with minimalist or unique architectures. I also can’t live without music, I’m the jukebox friend, you will either see me Shazam a song when we’re outside, or I’ll be your real-life Shazam app. Music is life, it's a remedy for me, I also enjoy making new discoveries, and going back to the sources, to the original tracks!!

What’s your skin care routine like?

I begin my day by washing my face with the Fenty Skin cleanser and then adding the Nutrient Concentrate Skin Smoothing from Susanne Kaufmann. It’s actually one of my favorite serums which is plant-based and rich in vitamin E. My skin feels so smooth and nourished after the treatment! To finish my morning skincare routine, I use the Hydra Vizor from Fenty Skin also, to protect my skin from the sun.

At night, I use the Zinc serum toner from The Ordinary, it works so well on my skin, I really can’t live without it.

Three words to describe your Instagram?

Solar, vibrational, soulful.

What’s the mantra you’re living by right now?

My mantra at the moment is : Never try to resist life! Go with the flow, and with discipline, while trusting yourself and the Universe!

Top 5 songs on your playlist right now?

This week I’ve saved so much songs omg, but if I had to choose my 5 favorites at the moment it will be :

  • 070 Shake - Flight319
  • WSTRN - Mama stay
  • Tierra Whack - Heaven
  • Gunna, 21 Savage - thought I was playing
  • For the last one, Djy Zan SA - Century. Shoutout SA, amapiano the world !

Words by: Mitchel Tanyaradzwa

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