Tell us your name and where you are from?
My name is Khadijat Oseni aka KO and I’m from Brooklyn, NY.
How long have you been natural?
I’ve been chemical-free for a few years now however I’ve only had an afro for about a little over a year and a half.
What do you do? Is there a resistance or compatibility with your hair in your field of work?
I’m a photographers’ agent and there is no judgment regarding my hair, only adds character and am surrounded by a motley crew. My boss has long, flowing hair and when we walk into a room together, it’s like the revival of Woodstock lol. I made it a point from a very young age to never have to wear a uniform to work that was not of my own design and am happy I stuck with this.
Photo: Mike Schreiber
Describe your hair.
My hair on most days is like a soft, fluffy cloud and on very rare occasions during a wash – a tangled, web of revenge.
What is your hair regimen?
I like to keep things pretty basic – moisturize, condition and shape with a pick. I thoroughly wash and treat my hair with a deep conditioner once a week and make a relaxing morning of it…my version of Sunday Funday especially if I’m listening to Prince’s “Sexy M.F.” while doing it haha my go-to hair washing track!
What are the three biggest factors you attribute to your length?
Letting my hair’s natural oils take charge, wearing protective hairstyles ever so often and trimming my edges.
What is your usual go to hairstyle?
I like to keep my afro classic and neat.
Photo: Nino Munoz
What is your nighttime routine?
Silk pillow and/or silk scarf…I’m pretty terrible at keeping a nighttime routine, though it would help more!
Your top three favorite products and why?
Carol’s Daughter’s Mimosa Hair Honey – perfectly reduces signs of frizz with just a little pinch applied and smells absolutely divine!
Paul Mitchell The Detangler conditioner – best detangling conditioner I’ve used thus far for my super curly ends on a daily basis.
Dominican Magic deep fortifying conditioner – this deep conditioner contains coconut oil, jojoba oil and avocado and my scalp just drinks these up and it’s also great for addressing split ends.
Your best hair advice?
Let your hair breathe and it will do what is natural to it.
Ultimate hair crush
Betty Davis…YES please!!!
What is the strangest comment, request or hair story?
People generally find massaging my afro therapeutic. Some friends pretend to sleep on it. However, the weirdest story I would say is one late night at 2am, a random, drunk guy walked towards me with arms wide-stretched while yelling at the top of his lungs with great excitement, “AFRO!!!” and proceeded to try and mash his hands into my hair. I had to dock and swerve while telling him a bit about himself with some colorful, choice words. Let’s not forget, I’m from Brooklyn haha! You just have to laugh at instances like this in retrospect.
How would you describe your personal fashion style?
Hmmm…if Audrey Hepburn, Lisa Bonet and the character Jane from the cult 90s cartoon, “Daria” were together in a band…classic, funky patterns/colors with an unassuming rock star edge.
What advice would you give to people who might be afraid to show their true fashion sense or natural hair for fear of being judged by others?
As hard as it may be, remember that we’re all in transition and you only have one opportunity to be yourself so try not to waste that time waiting in-line for someone else’s approval or permission in order to explore your full potential. It will only hold you back from evolving and experiencing other stages of your journey sooner and after all, the ultimate we all seek is having no regrets.
What would you say to others who judge individuals negatively for their personal fashion style?
Lighten up and have a sense of humor! It’s all love at the end of the day. If someone feels so compelled to comment on another’s personal style then enough of an impression was made. Take it in stride and either kindly invite that naysayer over for a drink or to take the next seat in the back while you move forward. Fear is one of the easiest emotions to manifest in many negative forms especially when lack of understanding and an inability to immediately categorize are present.
When it comes to your style who, what or where does your inspiration come from?
My inspiration comes from my travels, family, friends and general artistic/cultural environment – whether through music, art, interior design, and so on. I’m also ruled by my moods (typical cancer!) and dress accordingly. When I wake up, a mood strikes a color or pattern in my head, which organically guides whatever else goes along with it. I enjoy being a chameleon in that sense and I carry a daily memory of the various places that I’ve been & lived through what I wear.
If you could name one person from the past whose closet you would love to raid, who would it be?
I would really love to raid Audrey Hepburn’s closet in “How To Steal A Million”. Honorable mention would be raiding the closet of Tamara Dobson’s “Cleopatra Jones” character. I actually am yet to see this movie but discovered all the great fashion when “Cleopatra Jones” inadvertently became a nickname coined by my neighbors when walking down my block!
Favorite stores and places to shop for vintage or thrift
For vintage or thrift, I love to shop at places where I know the direct charitable causes/NGOs that the proceeds eventually go to and I support like Housing Works, City Opera, or Vintage Thrift on 3rd Avenue. I tend to shop for vintage on 23rd Street though there are many other great thrift stores around the city that I have randomly stumbled across and loved.
Most embarrassing moment
I have many! I’m the self-proclaimed female Larry David lol. One really funny instance that comes to mind is back when I was in junior high school, one winter’s day, I was walking down the street and this really cute guy started locking eyes with me, I kept walking at my already fast, steady pace due to being late but decided to turn around and look back without paying much attention to my next couple of steps. Two seconds later, I end up slipping on one of those metal subway grates and proceeded to be helped up by an older gentleman with a cane – Are you kidding me?! The irony! My first reaction along with everyone else’s was to laugh hysterically! Needless to say, I switched from wearing Reebok classics in the sleet.
Photo: Stephen Ewings
What is your favorite life lesson?
This always changes but for now it’s: Never be afraid to fall, you never know how far your leap will take you so have no fear when moving forward. If/when you do happen to hit the ground, there’s always a great character study in how you get back up and who is still standing by your side – everyone and every experience is in your life for a reason and you may never get the answer as to why but you will certainly gain the lesson. The chaos of what is outside my front door when I step out into the world has always been my greatest instructor along with maintaining the high level of curiosity for learning like a child does…my greatest lesson in essence is that I’m always craving learning and growth.
Current music playlist and favorite book
I listen to A LOT and could be here forever chatting about this topic and in the words of Sweet Brown, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” Haha ok focus Khadijat, pulling a random shuffle up on my iPhone now just got me Selah Sue, The Weeknd, Lykke Li, Otis Redding, Fiona Apple, Nina Simone, Radiohead, Biggie & Kimbra. Jimi Hendrix is always a constant inspiration.
Favorite book? Another tough one as I could ramble on for days like the music question lol so will stick to a current favorite I recently read in the last year, “Just Kids” by Patti Smith. It’s such a lyrical, soul-stirring love letter and speaks to an era of New York that I would have loved to be a fly on the wall for at least a day even amidst all its chaos (here we go again!).
Favorite restaurant and dish you would not want to live without
Currently my favorite restaurant is Fedora, love the food, artsy vibe/ambiance and great energy from the staff along with it reminding me a bit of Paris. As far as a favorite dish in general outside of the downright, finger-licking, delicious homemade Southern cooking from my grandmother (talking all the fixings!), my inner-foodie voice would lobby for seared duck breast with a red wine reduction sauce.
Do you have a blog/website?
I’m new to the blogging community so would love some company and can now be found online through three platforms: 1) My newly launched travel blog on Tumblr called “Jetsetter Problems” 2) My general artistic community page on Facebook called “KO” and 3) Instagram @jetsetterproblems
Duomo di Firenze in Florence, Italy
I am super excited to have recently started my personal travel blog on Tumblr called “Jetsetter Problems” (http://jetsetterproblemsworld.tumblr.com) which will be geared towards inspiring my peers to travel and see the world in order to become more well-rounded individuals and ultimately spark deeper self-discovery. My aim is to show young women that may have similar backgrounds as I do that traveling abroad is fun, assessable, relatable and primarily will be displaying this through my travel images accompanied with a few words and fun stories.
Regarding Facebook, earlier this year, I just opened a fun, freeform interactive creative water-cooler space called KO (www.facebook.com/setsailwithko)initially for my clients & colleagues in the photo industry as well as for any of my friends in the arts to take a pit stop to interact, gather inspiration, see what’s going on around town or just get a quick reminder of why we all love the various artistic mediums that we do…it’s essentially a giant mood board of clippings that I come across daily and has slowly morphed to include others outside of my direct network which has been great.
Todra Gorge in Morocco
Treehouse in Nicaragua
I feel everyone should aspire to be a mythological creature, alter ego, something, anything that mentally breaks you out of mediocrity and listlessness. In trying to reach this ridiculous ceiling (ridiculous in relation to conventional terms), you will comfortably stumble and walk into your own truth. Trust your instincts, aim big and remember that your inner light is your greatest source of energy that can manifest whatever is around you.
What makes you an Urban Bush Babe?
I’m an Urban Bush Babe because I’m aware of what my make-up as an individual is yet I’m also not complacent in this definition of self. I embrace being a contraction of social norms.
Thank you for having me, it was a pleasure!
Photo: Timothy Young