Toronto’s own Desire Kaniki has been turning heads whether it’s at one of his themed parties or self styled photoshoots. The Stylist, Art director and Party Planner dishes the dirt when it comes to what exactly is in his closet, the secret to throwing a successfully stylish soiree and what influences his delightfully dapper style.
FELICIA: For those that don’t know, who are you and what exactly do you do?
DESIRE: My name is Desire and I am an Artist.I don’t like to put labels on the things that I do. I write and produce music, I do art direction and styling in the fashion industry. I dance and choreograph, so and on and so forth. We are in the age of the multi-tasker and the more you do, the better you are at your craft. So an overall artist is what I would label myself as.
FELICIA: What influences you not only with your personal style but work ethic?
DESIRE: I am most heavily influenced by everything! I know it sounds really cliche, but really, everything I see. I was taught never to close my eyes and too always absorb everything around me, because you never what might inspire you. It could be the most simple thing that will spark up an idea or thought, a photo-shoot concept, a song …..sorry I sound like such a nerd right now.
FELICIA: Lets say if your house was on fire and you could only take one item from your personal possessions with you – what would it be?
DESIRE: If my house was on fire I would run back inside to save my laptop! My whole life is there and I cannot function without one and probably my iPod too. Clothes, I can always buy back. No worries. But I depend on technology!
FELICIA: What is the secret to throwing a successful and stylish soiree ?
DESIRE: Don’t invite anyone you would not go shopping with. Two – have at least 3 sticks of Tide To Go by the food table or the bar and Three – Make sure to play ‘Change Clothes’ by Jigga sometime during the night. A stylish party should never have pretentious people that are too afraid to get crazy in their outfits. I hate when really well put together individuals are uptight. Major turn off. Fashion is suppose to be fun, exciting and carefree. The minute it starts getting pretentious is when the magic is evaporates. So everyone should come looking amazing and leave looking like looking a hot mess. Themed parties are always a great push to get people to think outside the box and dress up.
FELICIA: What do you love most about Toronto?
DESIRE: I love the fact that fashion in Toronto is balanced. One side you have individuals that really give a damn about what they put on in the morning and you have others that obsess with it day and night . I like to be right in the middle so it’s nice to be in a city where if you wanna go out and look dapper, chic and on point you can and if you wanna go out looking a crazy mess you also totally can. I love dressing up as much as I love dressing down.
FELICIA:If you had to wear a standard uniform for the rest of your life what would it consist of?
DESIRE: It would consist of crisp white buttoned down shirt, Khaki trousers and loafers with a navy London Fog trench coat. Give me that and I am set. Oh and maybe a nice v-neck just in case I need to dress it down every now and then.
FELICIA: How would you describe your closet?
DESIRE: My closet is a hot blazing mess that needs to be organized. Actually my room is pretty much my closet. Sometimes its hard to see my furniture because there are just massive piles of clothes everywhere. Forget a closet, I need a storage space at this point. I love to collect pieces and hang out to them for long periods of time, but now I feel like I need to be featured in an episode of Hoarders. When it is organized though, it’s really interesting. Lots and lots of colors and lots of patterns. I love button ups, so there are a lot of those. I also love music vintage graphic tees. I am starting to collect a number of them. Not the Rock N Roll vintage ones because they are kind of played out, but I am talking about urban ones. I have a Mariah one, Whitney, Biggie, Tupac and Lenny Kravitz. All in all, my closet is a place for me to pick and choose my chosen identity for the day!
For more on Desire Kaniki check out his stylistic efforts and Art Direction in the latest issue of Umno International at umnomag.com