Beyond the basket bags and Breton stripes, French-girl style tropes are inextricably linked to the image of a young, trim, and, yes, white Gallic woman. Kimberly Anthony is breaking that mold.
The 24-year-old joins a wave of immigrant Parisians whose eclectic personal style speaks to the growing diversity of modern France. “There’s such a huge community of us in Paris,” says Anthony. “I’m a part of it, and I embrace it every day.”
She joins the likes of French-Martinician foodie Coralie Jouhier, model Zoe Alayrangues, and the Parisian fashion and DJ collective Girls Do It Better in erecting their own creative communities, and given the rise of xenophobia in France and around the wider world, this visibility is inspiring and as important as ever.
Born in Ghana, Anthony immigrated to Paris when she was still very young. Her family settled in a Parisian ghetto called Val de Fontenay, about a 30-minute train ride from the city.
It was there, in the culture-rich banlieues, that her personal style began to develop. “In the ghettos, we wear a lot of baggy clothes, a lot of oversize shirts,” says Anthony, who is currently a visual merchandiser for the Japanese retailer Uniqlo. “It was hard in the beginning because it felt like [Parisians] looked at how I dressed and didn’t consider me a French girl at all.”
A lover of exaggerated proportions, sneakers, and matching her clothes to her nail and hair colors, Anthony certainly stands out from the crowd of messy-haired Jane Birkin types you often see at Paris Fashion Week.
She despises any association with the phrase “French girl style,” opting instead for words like tomboy and masculine to describe her wardrobe of loose tees and billowy trousers.
You won’t catch her wearing skinny jeans or Brigitte Bardot–inspired ballet flats. And we’re willing to bet Breton stripes are absent from her weekly rotation of patterns and prints—she prefers Japanese designers like Yohji Yamamoto over the usual French girl suspects.
Nor does Anthony frequent the posh Parisian enclaves of Saint-Germain-des-Prés and Le Marais, but she did start attending fashion shows at the age of 19.
Around the same time, she started posting snapshots of her daily outfits on Instagram as @kimberlyskinny. Her double-cuffed overalls, layered gold necklaces, and newsboy caps resonated with an audience seeking a break from the status quo.
Today, her following has soared well past 30,000 and is on par with more than a few industry darlings. “It’s an honor for me to inspire other girls because, yeah, it’s hard today to find your own vibe and your own energy,” Anthony says. On her posts, comments range from loving “J’adoreeeee”s to never-ending barrages of heart and fire emojis.
Anthony reps her culture and upbringing proudly, finding inspiration within her close circle of relatives and friends—many of whom she’s met on Instagram.
As for her favourite places to shop in Paris? “None,” she playfully scoffs. “I stopped shopping in Paris years ago. It’s all the same.” But she’s not opposed to scouring the expansive Web for experimental brands you won’t see shining prettily along the Champs-Élysées.
“Lazy Oaf, Weekday stores, I’m really into Asian brands right now,” says Anthony. “I work every day to have my own identity and to be different, to be me. My style is my identity. It tells my story.”