Preen is an online publication based in the Philippines! Contributor and e-cousin Paulina hit me up right before I left the states and asked if it’d be cool to interview me on the subject of Tombabery. Naturally, I obliged.
Paulina and I have been following each other for a while and vibed straight off the bat. I mean, we’re two chicks (varying shades of brown) that listen to the Cro-Mags so what’s not to love?
Here, Paulina & I shoot the shit and I break down my views on what it means to be a Tombabe.
Niesh Vanterpool, the 29-year-old wholesaler and visual merchandiser of Edwin Europe, the purveyor of all things denim and the ideal tombabe, defines the phenomenon as “a woman who rocks the typical tomboy aesthetic in a feminine way.” A quick scan of her Instagram account (@nieshvanterpool) fleshes this idea out. Alongside her camo jackets, buzzed ‘do, and full sleeve of tattoos are manicures, makeup tips, and vegan recipes.
The stark contrast of masculine and feminine isn’t new though. Niesh’s tombabe icons Steph Hoff, Vashtie Kola, and Jayne Min perfected the style years ago. But the lasting-power of these tastemakers isn’t about buying into an image—it’s about expressing an attitude of self-confidence and not giving into or even caring about society’s expectations.
What’s refreshing about these tombabes in the parched land of eternal crop-tops and high-waisted shorts, is that it shrugs at the uniformity that window display after window display (or style blog after style blog) sells, and, as Niesh puts it, “defies corny rules and stereotypes,” encouraging women to “make no apologies for who you are.” And while “who you are” sometimes means wearing heels and skirts, it also, thankfully, makes room for sporting Air Jordans and chinos.
Below are some of my favourite #tombabe moments ❤
Photo by Dean Martindale, wearing: Dress & Jacket – Bethnals, Sunglassses – Hanjobenhavn
Photo by Henry Knock, wearing: Jacket – Libertine Libertine, Dungaree Dress – This Is Welcome
Wearing: Jacket – Edwin Europe, Leggings – Zara, Boots -Dr Martens, Longsleeve – Crowbar (band)
Photo by Henry Knock, wearing: Coat & Pants – Edwin Europe, Sneakers – Vans, Sunglasses – Aldo