by: Cipriana Quann
Featured Photo: Joey Rosado
Are you twins? (Yes.) Are you identical? (Yes.) Who is older? (I am.) Do you always dress alike? (Well . . . sometimes.) These are the type of questions that would shape and mold much of my and my sister’s childhood.
From a very young age my twin, Takenya, and I would partake in a nightly ritual of watching our mother choose the matching outfits we would wear to school the next morning. We then looked on as she delved into her own extensive wardrobe, planning what she would wear to her job as CEO of a major medical company—she favored office attire such as button-down blouses, high-waist slacks, and two-piece pinstriped suits.
Growing up in the suburbs of Baltimore in the eighties and nineties, my sister and I were always fiercely passionate, whether through writing, reading, drawing, painting, or fashion. By the time we reached our teens, we were constantly borrowing clothes from each other, she would borrow my long skirts while I insisted on wearing her jumpers and customizing as we saw fit by cutting, sewing new hemlines, or creating something different altogether. Let’s just say, when the borrowed item was returned, it was unrecognizable . . . much to the other twin’s dismay.
Of course, now through an older perspective, I can see how those little storms of rebellion against each other were simply ways to establish our own individuality. Though our lives would eventually enforce that individuality, diverging into very different paths—today, Takenya is the electronic singer and songwriter TK Wonder, currently on tour in Europe and Brazil, while I am editor in chief and cofounder of the lifestyle website Urban Bush Babes—we found common ground in our own creative niches. Here is a look back in photos of how our shared genes, heritage, and influences conspired to forge two very distinct expressions of style.
Urban Bush Babe’s Cipriana Quann Shares A Photo Diary of Two Sister’s Style Evolution
by: Cipriana Quann
Being an identical twin definitely comes with a special bond that no one can really understand—unless of course you are one yourself. Takenya (right) and I were born and raised in the suburbs of Baltimore, where it was hard for people to initially accept the fact that, although we share similar DNA, like everyone else on the planet, we are individuals. To know that you are separated from your best friend during preschool years for the sole purpose of teachers being able to distinguish between the two of you does not help to obliterate the misconception. Even here, striking a pose at the age of five, we were well aware of our unique bond and the effects of not only being a twin but identical.
The first memories of two little girls may not always be their father’s image, but in our case, it was our dad who introduced to a new outlook on fashion, demonstrating that style did not have to mean sacrifice. With the two of us in tow, our dad would frequent flea markets, yard sales, and thrift and vintage stores every weekend, showing us how to shop for quality pieces at affordable prices. Ours was a nontraditional upbringing—our father was the caretaker, and our mother, as CEO of a medical distribution company, was the provider, all of which instilled in us a strong sense of empowerment. We grew up watching The Cosby Show, which resonated with our own lives—Clair Huxtable was a perfect reflection of our mother’s character and style, and Denise Huxtable was how we imagined our mom in her youth.
Our “coming of age” manifested right around the time my sister and I discovered our own personal holy grail of fashion: Mom’s walk-in closet. Once a week, when our parents went out together, my sister and I would sneak in and play dress-up in her wardrobe—each taking turns, of course, while one twin stayed on the lookout for the sound of a car pulling into the driveway. I remember my mother’s closet to this day—so much color, such a mix of textures and eras, all of which I never pictured my mother wearing at her corporate job. And yet this side of her style did not shock us, especially after we found out…To read the rest of my story with Vogue on the evolution of our style, and influences as well as more photos visit vogue.com here