Amara Ogboi (@sweetyungcoconut) was running errands.
What’s your style philosophy?
Be cute and be comfortable. I wear clothes that make me happy, like with colors, unique prints or silhouettes. Sometimes they aren’t as physically comfortable but as long as a piece makes me feel great, I’m comfortable.
Who and what inspires your outfits the most?
I draw inspiration from different places: nature, my mother, my grandmother, old R&B music videos—whatever strikes me, really. I like to tell stories with my outfits. I always have a description of what I’m wearing and what I was thinking when I put the outfit together. Like, “Who is this girl?” It’s very serious.
Who is this girl tonight?
Honestly that’s a “I had time to shower before running errands after work” look. I wear lipstick religiously and I live in denim—those are vintage Lee jeans, I think. My whole outfit is basically made up of vintage finds from the thrift store. At the moment, ninety percent of my clothes I found thrifting.
When and why did you decide to grow an Afro?
I was like nineteen or twenty and out on my own, broke and tired of going to my hair salon every two weeks to maintain my chemically straightened hair. I kept my Afro as a statement to people—especially to young black girls—that my hair is just as normal and beautiful as anyone else’s.
What was the best compliment you got for your hair?
I like when people say it’s very round because I’m into symmetry. I get a lot of weird ones that are very dear to me. One time I was at a bar and a guy just out of nowhere smelled my hair and was like, “Mmm, it smells so good… like coconut oil.” I was very creeped out and I avoided that guy for the rest of the evening. But he was right: my hair smells really good.
—Interview and photograph by Isa Giallorenzo
Journalist Isa Giallorenzo was born in São Paulo, Brazil and has elected Chicago as her beloved home since 2009. She runs the street-style blog Chicago Looks and wants to see this town become one of the fashion capitals of the world.