In Elite Daily’s Life Behind the Likes series, we talk to the people you know on the internet to find out who’s really behind the screens. In this piece, we get the inside scoop from a fashion TikToker who loves getting creative with her style.
Violet Ezedimora distinctly remembers the first time an outfit made her feel confident. It was her eighth birthday, and her mother had bought her a special denim dress. After pairing it with some shoes, she strutted down the hallway in her childhood home, which suddenly felt more like a runway. “I felt like the coolest girl in the world. It’s not even a joke, I’ve been interested in fashion ever since then,” Ezedimora says.
More than two decades later, now-31-year-old Ezedimora’s passion for fashion has blossomed into a full-fledged career: She’s a prominent London-based fashion influencer with nearly 272,000 followers on TikTok and 113,000 on Instagram. Ezedimora’s fans love her unpredictable, imaginative outfit combinations and her brazen willingness to experiment with traditional menswear looks. “I always dress how I feel. [For example], if I feel like I want to go out there and dominate, I’m going out there, and I want everyone to stare,” she says of her approach to fashion. Brands love her, too — she’s had high-profile sponsorships with the likes of Tommy Hilfiger, Hugo Boss, BMW, and Mango, to name a few.
Born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, Ezedimora grew up in a “very, very conservative family,” she says. Certain clothing was not allowed or was looked down upon. Trousers, for example, were simply not permitted. Defining herself as a “rebel,” the TikToker says she didn’t let the clothing limitations affect her.
Your fashion sense should come from within.
“This is me breaking the boundaries,” Ezedimora says. “Your fashion sense should come from within; you should live freely.”
Ezedimora’s original plan didn’t involve making a name for herself in fashion. She attended the University of Lagos (UNILAG) in Nigeria, where she majored in history and strategic studies, and it was there that she once again felt the bite of the fashion bug. During her freshman year in 2011, Ezedimora says she didn’t repeat a single outfit all year. Consequently, she won the title of Miss UNILAG 2011, an annual social event put on at the school. When she graduated in 2014, Ezedimora added to her fashion accolades, winning the Best Dressed Female superlative for her school’s Faculty of Arts.
She combined her love of fashion with social media in May 2017, when she moved to London. There, she began taking pictures of her favorite OOTDs, casually posting them to Instagram. “I wasn’t necessarily doing it to be an influencer; I just liked to show off my outfits. I wasn’t exactly sure where it was going yet,” Ezedimora says.
Fittingly, she worked at the online fashion shop Net-a-Porter, clocking hours by working in the distribution center while she dreamed of something bigger. Ezedimora kept up with her Instagram during her pregnancy — hello, baby bump ’fits — and after she and her husband welcomed their son, Hero, in late 2019.
Ezedimora’s first taste of TikTok success came from an April 2020 video in which she donned different colored outfits, from purple to green to pink to blue and more, with quick transitions, and set it to the song “Colors” by Stella Jang. The video has more than 304,000 views and more than 67,000 likes to date. “I think it gave me more confidence,” Ezedimora says. “I thought, ‘Hmm OK, something is happening here!’”
She then started a series on the app called, “How I styled mine.” These videos feature photos of models wearing a particular brand, followed by Ezedimora’s take on the same outfit. Her first installation of that series, in which she styled her take on ASOS, & Other Stories, and Mango outfits, was posted in June 2020, and it currently boasts over 272,000 views and over 56,000 likes. Adding bright orange accents to a floral dress, sleek black accessories to a white minidress, and making a near full-length trench and khaki pants outfit look accessible, Ezedimora’s styling is all about confidence.
One of the recurring themes of Ezedimora’s fashion sense is how creatively she styles traditional menswear pieces. She has countless videos where she shows her audience how to style blazers, suits, and even sparkly jackets. Whether it’s a three-piece suit in a striking teal or a yellow vest and trousers, Ezedimora manages to look sleek and immaculate every time — and makes you believe you can, too.
“A lot of people think I’m just about wearing menswear, but that’s not what it is. It’s [about] basically saying that we [all] can dress however we want,” Ezedimora says. “It’s about owning the room. So whatever way I’m going to get to that point, that’s what I’m going to do. If I decide I’m going to wear menswear and [top] it off with a miniskirt, well, this is how I feel, you know?”
As Ezedimora got more inventive with her TikToks, she began creating compilation videos, which she says are some of her followers’ favorites. She shares her versions of male celebrity fashion looks (like Jay-Z and Kanye West), styles Beyoncé’s Ivy Park line, and even serves up Bridgerton-inspired outfits. These types of videos can take up to five hours to create (and that’s not counting the editing process, either). Shorter videos, like her “Get ready with me” series, take up to two hours to film.
Through the brand sponsorships that keep pouring in, plus individual sponsorships earned through TikTok, Ezedimora was able to make content creation her full-time job in December 2020. Since then, she’s been invited to fancy events like the House of Gucci premiere in November and she was spotlighted by British Vogue as an “excellent fashion TikTok influencer” in December 2021. But even with all of this acclaim, Ezedimora still doesn’t feel like a ~celebrity~.
“It’s weird, but when I’m out, I’ll have people stop me on the road and I have to remind myself that I have an audience,” she says. “I’m still getting used to it!”
Like many successful people, she still occasionally struggles with imposter syndrome. “What do they even see? Is there anything special about me?” she asks herself sometimes. In November, she took some time away from social media to focus on mental health instead of the pressures of building a following, meeting deadlines, and working with brands. But she also credits an invite to the 2021 Fashion Awards in November as a moment that reassured her of her influence and talent.
Think about what you would like, and don’t be afraid of what people will say.
“[Accomplishments] like that remind me that there is something special and that this is just the beginning,” Ezedimora says.
Her followers see that special something all the time. They’ll often DM her pictures of their daring outfits, expressing that she has inspired them to step out of their comfort zones. “[They’ll] say, ‘I’ve always wanted to wear this’ or, ‘You’ve made me more comfortable with wearing things like this.’ That makes me so happy. When I see things like that, it makes me cry. I’m so emotional,” she laughs.
That’s the core of what Ezedimora’s style and message come down to: breaking boundaries, defying societal rules and expectations, and just simply wearing (and doing!) things that make you feel good.
Ezedimora’s TikToks are just the beginning. Ultimately, she wants to become a household name in the fashion industry and has plans to start her own clothing brand, although she’s naturally coy about sharing any details before she’s ready to launch. More than anything, she wants to make an impact in fashion.
“People tend to think, ‘Oh no, people are not going to like [my outfit].’ But think about what you would like, and don’t be afraid of what people will say,” Ezedimora advises. “Don’t let anyone tell you that you can or you can’t.”