Style Files: Zola Jesus Uses Jewelry as A Weapon

For Zola Jesus, fashion is a weapon. More specifically, her jewelry. It’s not just a fashion statement that makes her feel better about her outfit: it makes her feel stronger in the world.

“Every day, because I am such a small woman, every day when I walk outside I feel vulnerable,” she told, while talking about her maximalist silver jewelry. “Because I’m so small, I feel helpless. Something as minimal as these rings make me feel a little bit tougher.”

Nika Roza Danilova is referring to the bands that cross her entire fist, creating a thin silver shield. She has matched them with silver cuffs, straight drop earrings and a dress and shoes by designer Rick Owens.

“I really like Rick Owens and that’s a lot of what I’m wearing,” she said. “I like that he uses layers and shapes. He really designs for the woman’s body. I’m five feet tall, but I have curves. I like that he doesn’t make me feel like I can’t have them.”

What she doesn’t say about his curve-hugging designs that is that they, along with his menswear collection, have become a cornerstone in the hip hop community. Owens has been name checked in songs by Jay ZA$AP Rocky and Rick Ross as well as a designer of choice for Kanye West, Kim Kardashian and Rihanna. Owens mixes a grungy, street-wise vibe with glamour and unusual cuts that can sometimes appear to be influenced by a view of the nihilist near future (think Mad Max but clean and with elegant fabrics). It’s a vision that meshes well with Danilova’s aesthetic overall.


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