Grit City Style: Cynthia
Whether you live on the East Side or the North Slope your style is distinct and vibrant. In a word, your style is Tacoma. That’s why we teamed up with local fashion-expert Marshall Samuela and photographer Aaron Matthew to create Grit City Style, a project which documents, celebrates Tacoma’s individuality.
Marshall: Describe your style.
Cynthia: I don’t know that I can, ‘cause, I still am really taken back by the fact you wanted me to do anything having to do with style. I’m so unaware of my style. A lot of what I wear has to do with comfort. I didn’t have a car for a really long time, so I was always walking and biking. A lot of that was just born out of functionality and comfort. I guess grew into my style, I got into accessorizing ‘cause it’s easy to –“oh jeans and a t shirt I’ll throw on some cool hoops and it’s cute”.
Marshall: What do you look for when you’re shopping?
Cynthia: Whatever my fat ass can fit into.
Marshall: Where do you find your clothes?
Cynthia: I love H&M. I love Forever 21. I like Target. I just like cheap stuff, that’s for basics. If I’m looking for signature pieces, stand out pieces I’ll go down to Urban Exchange and thrift stores. Also, hand-me-downs.
Marshall: Do you have a particular thrift store that you shop?
Cynthia: I like the Goodwill
Marshall: the one on 38th?
Cynthia: Sure. I go all over, Value Village is what’s up today. Actually, oh that’s a lie– My favorite thrift store is the one on River Road, the Value Village on River Road. They have the best flannels.
Marshall: What inspires your fashion or style?
Cynthia: I don’t want to go back to the fat ass comment, but it’s applicable. Well my fashion icon is Solange, and my best friend Kefira. Solange is, you know, she’s a goddess and she’s a minimalist icon. I don’t really I think that she inspires me so much that I literally dress like her, obviously I don’t think that I do, but she inspires me just for her boldness and her willingness to just wear whatever the fuck she wants. She’s into that minimal architectural, silhouette that I really love, but that I can’t necessarily pull off. My friend Kefira, inspires me because she’s kinda the opposite, she’s very inspired by her island culture. She’s all bold prints, mixing and matching prints. Making something really basic look really sophisticated with just like minimal effort.
Marshall: How long have you lived in Tacoma?
Cynthia: I moved here in ‘89 when I was 8, so almost 30 years.
Marshall: What do you love about Tacoma?
Cynthia: Obviously the people. Well I should say my people. I wouldn’t stay in Tacoma if I didn’t have the amazing network of friends and support systems that I’ve cultivated here. The people who allow me to be their friends. Also Tacoma has crazy pride. I don’t know of a lot of other, especially smaller towns that have such intense pride for their city. I was thinking about that today, I was like…New York maybe, would be comparable to the kinda people from Tacoma.