Photographer Vina Sananikone Talks Function + Form
May 1, 2023 @ 2:00pm
Sananikone shares her wardrobe must-haves (hint: pockets are required).
We are spotlighting the myriad voices redefining what it means to be stylish in the nation’s capital — from designers and stylists to entrepreneurs and athletes whose unique stories and perspectives shape bold visions. Check out our full Curators of Style roundup in the May issue here.
In addition to serving as the creative content specialist for TAA PR and handling art and social media for the perennially hip Maketto, Vina Sananikone boasts a dynamic style all her own that builds on her time in restaurants and her experience as a photographer. She talks District Fray through her sentimental accessories, ever-evolving wardrobe and love of pockets.
District Fray: Describe your personal style in three words.
Vina Sananikone: Must have pockets.
Do you have a signature piece you wear often that feels integral to your look? If so, what is this piece and the story behind why it’s important to you?
The necklace I wear the most often is just a simple gold chain, and it has a little coin with a “V” stamp on it. And [the chain] has my parents’ original wedding rings. They got married in Hawaii. They have other wedding rings now, but these are braided use they’re older, they don’t fit anymore and they didn’t want them to break. So, I just wear them on a little chain around my neck. I have one silver ring my parents got me from the Grand Canyon at a little shop. It’s one of those things that if I don’t wear it, it’s very weird. Other than that, I tend to wear a lot of dresses if I’m not wearing overalls or a onesie. I wear a lot of white dresses just for the hell of it. I’m actually pretty good at not spilling things on myself. But at the end of the day, if I do spill something, it’s just clothing.
What’s something unexpected that has had a positive impact on your style?
This is expected, but it truly is the restaurant industry. You know how you go through breakfast trends and eat oatmeal every day for a year? It’s the same thing with clothing. All I wore was jeans and a sweater and maybe a scarf for a long time. I don’t even think I owned trousers. And then I just wore dresses all the time; my go-to was a dress, a cardigan and boots. Now it is kind of a mix in between functional versus form — my style is dictated by whatever is happening that day.
How does your style find its way into your professional work? How do you use your medium to express yourself?
TAA PR is so style-forward and so cool. And the brands and restaurants we represent are also amazing fashionable people, and the coolest people in D.C. So, I remember being very nervous about it and telling Aba [Kwawu, TAA PR president], “You’ve seen what I wear, right? I don’t have Chanel!” But she told me everything I wear is fine, so it’s kind of fun to wear my personal style because it does reflect whatever I’m doing in terms of work and events.
Follow Sananikone on Instagram @vinasana for the latest and check out her work at vinasana.com.
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