They say there is nothing more dangerous than a woman who is comfortable with her own skin. Umi Nompavos is one of those women.
The young and fierce mixed race Solomon Islander/Japanese/Spanish girl represents the new and progressive generation of Ni-Vanuatu youth – those whose blood may not be ‘man-Vanuatu’ but whose heart embodies 100% of the island nation they were born in.
Umi is unafraid to be explicitly herself. One look at this fashion shoot and you can see a young woman dangerously free to be who she was born to be. Go Umi!
I am 18 years old this year.
I am a Student of Life! Haha
Where are you from?
I am a proud Ni-Van, born and raised in beautiful Vanuatu.
Tell us about your family
My mother is from Solomon Islands at Renbel Province and my stepfather is from Port Narvil village in Erromango. On the other hand my biological dad is part Japanese and also has a little bit of Spanish blood in him. To be honest I personally have never met my biological dad but with a little bit of faith, I will hopefully get the opportunity to meet him one day.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Just like any other typical teenager, I love listening to music during my free time. In saying that I am a fan of Death World album which includes old school rappers such as the King of Rap himself A.K.A 2 Pac. Notorious Big and Kevin Gates has been on my highlighted playlist too.
Aside from music jamming, I love reading mystery books. The latest book I read was titled “Before I go to sleep” by a famous author named S.J. Watson. This book is so awesome I would highly recommend it. This is a spoiler but basically the main message of the book is that without memories your life is meaningless.
What do you aspire to do in the future?
I have always dreamt of being a pilot. But honestly, I am still figuring out what exactly I want to do in the future.
How would you describe your style?
I am pretty much an old T-Shirt and short jeans typa girl! If I’m feeling lucky I will usually wear something casual and maybe a hot dress and some sneakers haha! Fashion is fun and it is trendy, there are a lot of changes evolving with time. It can allow people to freely express themselves.
Where do you buy your clothes from?
I shop mainly at the second hand stores. So far, Stret Price has been my numbawan!
Who influences your style?
I can honestly say that my aunties and first cousins have influenced the feminine touch in my life – in terms of hairdos, dressing up and all things to do with fashion and beauty.
What beauty products do you use?
I am not that much of a beauty product fan and I don’t necessarily need it but I do love using coconut oil for my skin and hair. My favorite perfume is FCUK fragrance.
Any fashion advice?
Wear whatever you wish! Don’t be afraid to make yourself look pretty!
Stylist: Irene Abbock
Photography: Nicky Kuautonga
Hair, makeup and nails: Body and Soul
This article was originally published in the December edition of the Vanuatu Daily Post’s Life and Style magazine.