April 1st, 2019

LaTonya Yvette, the blogger and stylist behind the eponymous site, is unapologetically candid about life’s trials, including motherhood, love, death, and racism. Her first book, Woman of Color, is part memoir, part lifestyle guide—packed with moving essays, gorgeous original and archival photographs, and practical style and beauty advice. At the very heart, though, it’s about LaTonya’s experience growing up as a woman of color in Brooklyn.

Each beautifully designed chapter covers a different topic—the meaning behind her name, how vitiligo has shaped her definition of beauty, her childhood hairstyles, raising her children as a 20-something mom—and ends with thoughtful advice and lifestyle takeaways like how to tie a headwrap or incorporate new, bold colors into your wardrobe. Woman of Color is real life, real style for women from all walks of life. In it, LaTonya has written a love letter to women, filling this book with vulnerable, imperfect truths from a black woman blogger, a voice not often seen on bookstore shelves.

We caught up with her about her inspiration for the book and the reason why she mentions riding her PUBLIC C1 in the publication.

Tell us a little bit about what your book is about, in your own words.

Woman of color is part-memoir/ part lifestyle guide. I share stories of my own when it comes to style and beauty, but also womanhood, loss and race. Overall, I’ve been calling it a love letter, because at the core it does feel like that for me. 

What inspired you to write a book?

I’ve had a blog for 7 years, and I think my experience blogging was hard to navigate at times because I felt there was little room to be fully open in such a way. My past history was so much of who I was, but I hardly got to share it because it just wasn’t the space. And yet, all of these things that happen to us or that become part of our childhood and young adulthood story is so much part of who we are. I’ve been a writer my entire life, but the book gave me a space to just explore storytelling in another way. 

Who do you hope reads your book, and why?

When giving a blurb, one of my friend’s described it as universal. So while I want so may women (especially women of color) to read it, I just hope that it gets into the homes of many and inspires folks. I do hope that there are a lot of young women who realize that their stories matters and that power, joy and freedom are within their reach. 

Your bike is included in your book!  What’s your favorite part about riding?  

Although a picture of my beautiful bike didn’t make it in the book, I do mention riding. For me, riding in New York, especially as a Brooklynite is all about a different sense of freedom. It’s hard to explain. But coupled with kids, and your ability to explore and experience things is left wide open and quite beautiful and unique.