From Cottagecore to Caribbean Fashion: Ya’Asantewa Tafari ’27’s Multi-Faceted Fashion

Tafari finds inspiration for her clothing from the places she lives, whether Tennessee, Texas, or Massachusetts.

Tafari likes to accessorize with statement jewelry and purses, often gaining inspiration from Hello Kitty.

Tafari believes she can “never go wrong” with pearls, as displayed by her necklace and pearl detailing on her sweater dress

Tafari likes to accessorize with statement jewelry and purses, often gaining inspiration from Hello Kitty.

Ya’Asantewa Tafari ’27 paired a fluffy heart bag, ruffled brown dress, and cozy white leg warmers to create a sophisticated melding of styles. Tafari’s interest in fashion sparked from the pandemic in 2020, where she experimented with culturally diverse and unique styles before finding the ones that suited her most.

 “I really like cottage-core. I [also] really like Japanese fashion, streetwear, and Caribbean fashion… I thrift a lot, so I don’t really have one brand of clothing I have in my closet, but I really like vintage clothing,” said Tafari.

Originally from Texas, Tafari’s closet consists mainly of clothes suited for warmer climates. However, during the colder New England seasons, she enjoys experimenting with layering, allowing for a dynamic wardrobe suited for any weather. While Tafari chooses unique outfits for certain days of the week, she ultimately picks outfits that reflect her mood and personality on any given day.

“I always look to wear different things on Friday, [be]cause it’s the end of the [week]. I like to end it off strong [and] start it strong on Monday. Any other day, fashion is just self-expression, so depending on what I feel like I should be wearing that day, that’s what I put on… I have an archive of all my cute outfits that I know I want to repeat,” said Tafari.

Tafari’s style is not only a mix of various fashion aesthetics, but it is also deeply influenced by iconic pop culture symbols. Adrianna Singh ’26, a close friend of Tafari, described this means of personal expression as another distinctive aspect of Tafari’s style. 

“Ya’Asantewa’s style is cute, dainty, and feminine. Ya’Asantewa’s style is unique because she expresses things she likes, like Bob Marley, [and] Hello Kitty. She’s the most unique girl I know and she expresses it through her outfits,” said Singh.

Reflecting on her fashion evolution, Tafari credits her early style influence to her mother, who is one of her biggest inspirations even now. Tafari mentioned how helpful having a variety of fashion styles is, ranging from mainstream trends to vintage clothes.

“Growing up, my mom would always take me thrifting and I kind of learned from the people around me and my family. She would dress me in really cute vintage clothes. My mom is a very fashionable lady, so I like to take my inspiration from her. I really love vintage clothing from all time periods, and of course, vintage is always nice, but I feel like mainstream fashion can crowd your sense of what fashion really is. So looking at different sources is always helpful.” said Tafari.

Her mother’s early fashion eventually created the foundation for Tafari to explore the world of fashion on her own. As Tafari looks into the future, her goal is to allow her style to be ever-changing and evolving. 

“When 2020 hit, that’s when I tried a lot of different styles, so now it’s really just me finding one that suits me most… I hope to evolve into my own style, and inspire others to do the same.” said Tafari.