“I’m an African-centered artist, model, DJ, all around Detroit creative. People know me in different circles because I step and dip into a few of them,” says Tombi when describing herself. “Overall, I’m an artist who used myself as a canvas, just a little bit distinct.”
Purpose and Intent
As a Detroit native who formed her style from her families’ ancestry, Tombi’s distinctive look has been featured in top fashion magazines, commercials and print ads as well as through designers and brand launches.
As authentic as the bangles she displays on her wrists to the cuffs that hold her arms to the head wrap that forms her crown, Tombi’s thoughtful approach to historical cultural references often come into play.
“My style comes from my culture, so when you think about symbols like the ankh that I wear or the shape of the head wrap that I adorn; everything has a purpose and intent. ”Tombi
The veteran model and DJ also was behind Detroit’s magical triumphant return to retail in Vogue. She was featured in ads for Shinola, Neiman Marcus and Saks product commercials. “While I don’t have so many shapes in the way of curves; the beautiful curves, I’d say our features as Black women draw the world into us. When you look at our eyes, the gaps in our teeth, the full lips, wide noses, pronounced foreheads and our beautiful skin, that’s alluring in itself; it draws the world in.”
“Being confident is so very powerful. To say ‛Be Something’ is a command so you want to naturally flow into who you are. You don’t command the force of the spirit, you just flow with it and if something knocks you off in one direction, you rock yourself back to your center and it helps you get a better understanding of who you are. You know who you are and who you’re not. I’d love for the fashion industry to take more risks, in terms of having a more expansive view of femininity and how to flatter the female figure without having to always ‛cling’ to it. Femininity should be fluid, as opposed to the rigid scripts and predictable expectations that society often adheres to.”