Style Counsel: Abiyah

Occupation: Singer, rapper, and performer

Her Style: Stand out, on stage and off


You have a monthly stint DJing at the Comet in the spring, summer, and fall, and you regularly perform elsewhere around town as a DJ, rapper, and spoken word artist. But you also work from home as a data analyst for a major medical insurer. How blurry is the line between your on- and off-stage looks, between Abiyah and Angie Rawers?
Because I have a unique style, my everyday look can translate to the stage. I might hire a makeup artist if I need lashes. Telecommuting is a whole beast in itself. If I have a lot of [phone] meetings, I wear my short, red fleece Lieutenant Uhura robe.

Abiyah
Abiyah

Photograph by Annette Navarro

Anyone with a Lieutenant Uhura robe must be a Star Trek fan. I grew up watching original reruns with my father. I think I was drawn to the multicultural aspect of it. They were groundbreakers on that. But Next Generation is my favorite. Who doesn’t love Patrick Stewart? So sexy.

Speaking of ’70s-era icons, you seem to incorporate a lot of owls into your outfits—you’ve got an owl on your website, you’ve got them on your watch. I have owl salt and pepper shakers and owl macramé art at home. There’s probably a deeper meaning to it, about how they act, but I haven’t delved into it. Another one of my big things are Puma sneakers. I have 20 pairs, including a metallic limited edition pair I got in New York last year.

Do you see more individualism in a bigger city like New York, or less? I would argue less. I think because there is a critical mass in New York and a pressure to follow trends. Even outsiders become the herd.

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