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With a cultural outlook and a combination of careers in music, modeling and fashion design, Jonathan Mikobi N’Dala (Mxkobi) has a unique perspective on fashion. Her childhood consisted of jumping from continent to continent, while helping her single mom refine her personal style. In an interview with 303 Charger, Mxkobi reflects on how his career and his travels around the world have influenced his fashion sense and the way he puts his outfits together.
303 Charger: Tell us about your career in the music industry.
Mxkobi: My career in the music industry began with my time at MetMedia running my own radio show called POPS Radio 1 (PR1). There I learned a lot but also got to develop my skills as a broadcaster and DJ. I ran this show for over three years before being offered a job at Universal Music Group / 1824. At Universal, I manage marketing / lifestyle, brand activations and campaign ideas in partnership with some of your favorite artists such as 2 Chainz, Arianna Grande and Tame Impala.
303: How did being a model and a stylist influence your style?
M: I started modeling with the talented photographer, Rebecca Slaughter, who brought me in for Ruckus Apparel S / S ’16. After an amazing photoshoot we had an honest conversation [about] what the Denver stage landscape looked like and where the disconnect was. This conversation started a fire in me to try out this new passion for modeling. Thanks to God’s blessing, I was able to walk through the Ruckus Apparel S / S ’16 collection, which opened the doors for more work, and in less than a year I was able to connect with multiple brands. local and national in search of a new face. This has exposed me to more work and I believe my ability to network has helped me capitalize on the genuine relationships I had forged with several brands. These have led me to be the face of many of their campaigns at the local and national levels.
Style wise, I was raised by only one black woman. When I was 12, my mom would barge into my room every Saturday night before church to ask for my thoughts on her outfits. Questions such as “Are these pants too tight?” Does my ass look too big in there? Is it appropriate for this event? Have I worn this before? Needless to say, I was her stylist when I was 12. We were going shopping and she would ask me to choose every detail of her next outfit. I had no idea that somehow, somehow, she was preparing me to be a stylist someday. Fast forward to today, I do this for a living and my mom is my biggest support. I’ve worked in tech for eight years, but nothing brings me more joy than helping people achieve ultimate confidence through clothing.
303: How would you describe your personal style?
M: My personal style is a cross between all the stops (like in the countries where I lived) that I made as a child. The Democratic Republic of the Congo, where I am from, gives me my genuine genuine love for style, color and music. The Congolese love colors, that’s how we express our personality. You can definitely find this item in the color combinations of my clothes. Europe, being the second continent I have lived in, has given me an appreciation for tailored, well-fitted and assembled looks. As a teenager in America, streetwear became more prevalent in my style. The aesthetic of this culture sparked an interest in me and ultimately influenced how I put all of these elements together. To sum up, I believe that my style is constantly evolving over time with the spaces I occupy and total freedom of expression.
303: Are there any designers or fashion icons that inspire you?
M: Yes, and this list is quite small or maybe not, in no particular order:
myself, Kanye West, Pharell Williams, Karl Lagerfeld, Pierre Cardin, Phoebe Philo, etc.
303: Do you have any favorite local brands?
M: My favorite local brands are False Ego and Adult Ent. I love False Ego because it’s an eco-friendly brand that focuses on awareness of the footprint they leave on earth. This is something that concerns me. For Adult Ent, I love how daring and daring they are in their imagery and their approach to delivering quality clothing. These two brands are at the forefront of the Denver fashion renaissance.
303: What are your favorite current trends in men’s fashion?
M: I really like the combination of fitted, oversized color with earth color palettes. It’s just one of many, to be honest I try to walk to the beat of my own drums and not do what everyone else does.
303: What are your goals for the future? Do you have new projects that you are working on?
M: I would like to keep some of this a secret and allow the element of surprise to do its own thing, but if I may share a nugget. It will be provocative and educational seeds….
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