Watts, CA stand up! Mali Nicole is putting on for the city in more ways than one, whether it be through her burgeoning R&B career or letting her fashion sense dictate the moves of her new Central Ave Apparel line. We recently caught up with Mali Nicole, and with her evident passion for style, knew she’d be a natural candidate for our latest Style Profile.
For those not familiar yet, please tell us about yourself.
I’m Mali Nicole, an R&B singer, author, and entrepreneur from Watts, CA. I just released my EP, Central Ave Vol 1, last December. It’s available on iTunes, Soundcloud, etc. I’m in the studio now working on Central Ave Vol 2 and I can’t wait to share it with you all! I’m also currently working on my clothing line Central Ave Apparel, a line that represents where I come from – shout out to my city, Watts!
How did you get into singing and entertainment?
I come from a musical family. My grandmother was a jazz singer who toured Europe when she was pregnant with my mother. My parents used be in a group together performing at local clubs in L.A. My mother would be writing songs all the time, so I was exposed to music at a very young age. Growing up around music all the time inspired me to begin singing. I then started a group with my siblings called Statik Express. My parents really believed in what we were doing and decided to manage us. That’s when the grind began! We recorded our EP entitled, Follow Your Dreams, and started selling our CDs all day and night. We worked really hard, putting in a lot of time into long rehearsals and studio sessions. We went on the first season of the show X-Factor and made it to the top 30! Shortly after, we separated and I decided to start my solo career.
How would you describe your fashion sense?
I’m currently rocking my own clothing line, Central Ave Apparel. My family and I are launching it soon which means I’m only rocking the best! My line represents my fashion sense – I’m bringing back the long jerseys, crop-top jerseys with the fancy thigh-high socks, the t-shirt dresses, sweat pants, and some really cool accessories. I’m definitely an accessories girl. I want to represent young ladies all across the world and I want to inspire them with my music and my fashion. I want them to know that if I can follow my dreams, then anybody can.
When I’m out doing errands like going to the grocery store or picking up some dry cleaning, my outfit usually would be ______.
Sweats, wedges or sneakers, a bun or ponytail and a comfy sweater. I’m all about looking good and being comfortable at the same time
What are some of your fashion essentials?
Of course the baby hairs gotta be on point when it comes to fashion – my eyebrows gotta be on fleek!
Who/What are your style inspirations?
Aaliyah, Rihanna, and a couple of Instagram celebs [laughs]. But honestly I’m really just doing my own thing with my style. My line represents how I see L.A. culture. I’m having so much fun exploring different style and fashion ideas and sharing them with my fans.
If you could wear one look or outfit forever, what would it be?
A Central Ave Apparel jersey with a crop top, sweat pants, and clean sneakers.
What’s wrong/good with fashion right now?
I think fashion is popping right now! Designers are bringing back the 90’s look which is super dope as I’m really inspired by that era.
Fashion do’s and dont’s?
My do’s are designer glasses, high heels, Central Ave Apparel, daring hairstyles, and bold makeup. As long as your clothes represent you as an individual, you’re winning!
My don’ts are unnatural looking eyebrows – the kind that look like they were drawn on with a pencil! I also don’t like it when my outfits are matching too much – I like to mix a lot of different colors and prints. My approach with fashion is a lot like music – to me there really are no rules as long as you make sure it represents you!
Any fashion regrets you have?
Wearing anything but Central Ave Apparel! Now that I have my own line of apparel, it’s all I want to rock. It’s a part of the lifestyle that I represent and the city that I come from.
Photos by: Robert Macaisa