You may recognize Vashtie as the ex-girlfriend of hip-hop artist and producer Pharrell Williams, but she’s proven that she’s more than arm candy. Originally from upstate New York, the Trinidadian director began her rise into the music industry in 1999 when she moved to New York City to attend film school. While studying directing/cinematography at The School of Visual Arts, she interned for RSA/Black Dog Films and HSI Productions.
Her experience as an intern proved to be beneficial. In 2005 when Vashtie was only twenty-four, she was signed to Box Fresh Pictures as a director. During her time there, she worked alongside Anthony Mandler, notable video director who has directed videos for numerous artists including Jay-z (“Run This Town”, “Young Forever”) Rihanna (“Disturbia,” “Russian Roulette” ) and Usher (“OMG”, “There Goes My Baby”). Vashtie directed her first videos for artists like Beans and Tony Hussle, and she also wrote music treatments for established directors (such as Common’s “Testify,” which Mandler directed.) While embarking on her directing career, Vashtie also styled and modeled for Pharell’s clothing line, Billionaire Boys Club.
LA Reid took notice of Vashtie’s talent in 2006, and offered her a plush position at Island Def Jam Company as director of creative services to help revamp the company. For the next couple of years, Vashtie worked at Def Jam while also throwing monthly ’90s parties in New York City with her best friend which attracted many celebrities and eventually gained a following in other big cities like Miami, Paris and Amsterdam. She eventually joined forces with Q-Tip to throw weekly parties in Manhattan, which drew many A-list stars like Diddy, Mick Jagger and Jay-Z.
Vashtie must have realized her superstar appeal when she decided to leave Def Jam in 2007 to pursue her career as a video director and designer. She also broke up with Pharrell the same year. In 2008, she launched her women’s clothing line, VIOLETTE, which is sold in specialty boutiques. Nicknamed “Downtown’s Sweetheart” in the industry, Vashtie may have a pretty sweet future ahead of her. Most recently, she has worked with everyone from Solange to Justin Bieber, and she hasn’t even turned 30 yet. We can’t wait to see what sweet deal she seals next.
—— By: Crystal Tate
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