Insights Series with Vashtie on her Doona collab
Vashtie is a fashion designer, director, DJ, and creative consultant, born and raised in New York City, nicknamed ‘Downtown’s Sweet Heart’.
She made history as the first woman to design Nike Air Jordan sneakers in 2010. Vashtie has also collaborated with brands including Puma, Ray Ban and more. She has directed music videos for artists including Kendrick Lamar, Justin Bieber, Solange Knowles and more.
The Doona x Vashtie relationship began when she was gifted a Doona Car Seat & Stroller in 2021 for her first child.
To celebrate the launch of the Doona x Vashtie Limited Edition collaboration, we had the pleasure of speaking with Vashtie herself. During our conversation, Vashtie shared her experiences and learnings as a parent, as well as her connection to the Doona brand and its products. Her perspectives shed light on what makes the collaboration so special and meaningful.
"The design was also inspired by the small words of advice that I want to instill in my children, as well as every child in the world."
What was the source of inspiration for the design you collaborated on with the Doona team?
After having my first baby, I was completely smitten but also overwhelmed. Being a parent feels like you’re on a constant rollercoaster of emotions. One minute you’re feeling hopeless and the next you’re the happiest you’ve ever felt. My design was meant to remind parents that they are more than capable and that they can handle anything that comes their way, especially during a low moment. The design was also inspired by the small words of advice that I want to instill in my children, as well as every child in the world. Little phrases that have big meanings like “run free” “laugh always” and “play nice”. While those are phrases that help shape children, they are also words to help keep them centered in adulthood.
How did your personal style come into play in this collaboration?
I’ve been a city girl my whole life and streetwear has defined me ever since I could remember - and as a new parent, it’s hard to find products that speak to that kind of style. When it came to designing with Doona, I decided to take the direction of my own hand style which originated as a young teen when I dabbled in graffiti. This direction allowed the stroller to have a unique and subtle street style, while still maintaining an element of being classic with the noir color palette.
What aspects of the design process did you enjoy the most?
Collaborating with Doona and Yoav was extremely special because oftentimes you don’t get to work directly with the creator (like Yoav). It showed me how much they are invested in our project and me as a designer, which I am forever grateful for. The process was also enjoyable because as a new parent, I felt like this was a way for me to connect with other parents and children. When you become a parent, you realize community is so important and I hope this collaboration connects with other parents who need it.
When traveling with your kids, are there any essential tips or tricks you've learned to make the experience more enjoyable and stress-free for both you and your kids?
I’ve learned to plan for the worst, meaning plan for every possible challenge. Some of the major ones (for young children); backup outfit in case of an accident, delicious snacks, juice, new toys that they haven’t seen before to occupy their time, and an iPad *when they are old enough for it. My kids don’t use an iPad or an iPhone in normal life, they get TV when it’s time for “screen time” - but on an airplane they get an iPad. I also try and book flights during their normal nap or bedtime so they can hopefully sleep during the travel. And before the flight it’s best to get them to play/runaround to burn off that energy!
What do you value the most about motherhood?
Learning as go while you care for and teach a tiny human. I’m constantly discovering new ways of doing things and thinking. I’m also able to break generational trauma by guiding my children differently than what was available to my parents when I was a child. Also, not sure if this sounds sad to people without children - but when you have a child, you realize how special a moment of silence is or a how big having time alone is. It’s like all the simple things in life have a much bigger and deeper meaning. I also love that when I became a mother you’re instantly in this new “friend group” with almost every mother (or dad or caretaker) you know or meet. It’s like this massive club you never knew you’d be so delighted and thankful to be a part of.
What do you love most about the Doona Car Seat & Stroller?
What I love about Doona is, quite frankly, everything, but especially the fact that it collapses smoothly in mere seconds. I love that it is built also for the weather, so if, you know, if it's raining, if it's starting to flurry, pull the canopy over and, you know, kiddo is covered.
As a first-time parent, you need to have a stroller, a car seat, and for someone like myself who lives in a major city, I don't have a car, so having a product that was all in one was quite incredible for me.
What do you love most about the Liki Trike?
Whenever me and my kid are using the trike, it's definitely a head turner and a conversation starter because it's got this very unique, modern design. It's very functional and it's cool. And I feel like, you know, as a parent in today's day and age, you want something that's functional for your kid, but you also want something that makes you look cool. So, it's the best of both worlds.
As part of the Doona x Vashtie campaign launch, Vashtie curated a Spotify playlist.
The exclusive Doona Car Seat & Stroller and Liki Trike feature a specially designed canopy by Vashtie herself, with handwritten empowering messages to her child. With faux-leather accents and aluminum profiles showcasing handwritten messages, these products are guaranteed to make a bold impression. The design upgrades add a touch of street style and give you a taste of life born-and-raised in New York City. Stay connected with Vashtie via her Instagram @vashtie.