Titia Kandolo is a Wardrobe stylist, Creative Director and fashion designer based in Paris and Kenshasha who thrives on collaboration and budding new creative projects. You've probably seen her work for your favorite icons as she's worked on every major music tour from Rihanna's ANTI and Lady Gaga's Art Pop Ball to Kanye West and Jay- Z's Watch The Throne. Check her credentials. We managed to get some time with this Bawse Lady and got her to spill the tea on entrepreneurship, branding and her favorite lipstick lewk.
Photo captured by Titia courtesy of Instagram
Words by Nia Shumake
How has being a Woman of Color effected your brand and the way in which you needed to market yourself as a creative?
Titia: As a WOC, I wanted to inspire and give hope to other young black women. I grew up in Paris and to be honest contrary to the USA, the representation of successful WOC in France was totally non-existent and it's still very low. I'm coming from Congo where I have decided to produce a part of the items of my brand, UCHAWI, and I think the situation is quite worse there. So I’m using my story and visuals as my weapons to change things. Visuals can help people to have a better reflection of themselves far from stereotypes. It's also a way to show to the entire world how Africans can make things work.
How does music inspire you to create in a visual medium? How does working behind the scenes for major music tours like Beyonce’s Formation and Rihanna’s ANTI fuel your creativity?
Titia: I grew up with Music so Music to me its like smell, pictures, memories, feelings first...and when I’m listening to music I can see visuals. It’s a main inspiration for me, Music follows me ! Beyond having been key experiences working on those major music tours gave me confidence in myself. To work on this (these) kind of shows, made me want to build even more and allowed me to dream. Behind all of them I have understood the meaning of the words "possible" & "work", and when you've got that, it’s like going (coming) out from the most powerful school. You are ready to kill the world and let them know you exist. It’s magic.
What have you learned from your journey and what advice would you give to women looking to pursue a field where they must create their own lane?
Titia: Study everything about your craft first, learn from the best as much you can, intern as much you can--it’s something I regret today because I didn’t intern enough at some brand’s studio. I moved really quickly from interning to work. And last thing just do it, whatever you think, do it, fight for it, and have faith in your own project.
What’s your favorite lip product?
When I am in Europe the Cicaplast from La Roche Posay because my lip doesn’t really support the weather or/and the water. And in general a matte red lipstick..... I know I have dried lips but I love matte...this is not smart at all.
This interview has been edited and condensed.