A Cool Activist & Tedx Speaker Talks Style, Goals & More
A Cool Activist & Tedx Speaker Talks Style, Goals & More

A Cool Activist & Tedx Speaker Talks Style, Goals & More

Danielle Jinadu isn’t just one of the most stylish women on Instagram – she’s also a disability advocate and passionate TEDx speaker. Here, we sat down with her to talk more about her personal style, as well as her lifelong battle with sickle cell anaemia…
By Saroop Sangha
Photography: NIC FORD

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My personal style is minimal and detail orientated – with a little edge. It’s quite androgynous – think lots of tailored pieces and shapes but with playful accessories. Everything is very intentional and specific; I spend time curating it, even down to the rings I wear. 

If I have a favourite designer, Prada is probably it. I also like Maison Margiela, Totême, Khaite, Bottega and By Malene Birger. On the high street, it has to be COS and ARKET. Building a capsule wardrobe is a long-term project. I did it by mood boarding, gathering inspiration and making a list, ticking key pieces off throughout the years. When you see a big purchase as a long-term investment, you will be a lot more willing to take the time to save and plan for it – for me, that accountability that really makes the difference. When I see a rogue piece I like in the sale, I ask myself, does this item fit the long-term vision I have for my wardrobe? If not, then maybe I rent it or buy it second-hand instead.

My knee-high Margiela Tabi boots are my favourite thing in my wardrobe right now. I do love shoes – with Jil Sander, Aeyde, Toga Pulla being some of my go-to brands.


Growing up, I took a lot of inspiration from Vogue, Pinterest and Tumblr. But now it’s the women I see on the streets of London who inspire me most. I’m in East London a lot and I love how effortlessly people dress. It’s great when people have their own identity and have developed a sort of uniform for themselves. It doesn’t have to be something I would wear, but I can see they’ve spent time curating their wardrobe. There’s no need to rely on designer brands or logos, either – people with good style know how to express creativity through shapes and materials.

My style doesn’t change to suit trends. I only embrace the trends that align with my style. I’m someone who is focused on the long term in every aspect of life and, as I get older, I see that reflected more and more in my wardrobe. Every now and again I will buy something more trend-led, but only if I know I can style it with lots of other pieces of my wardrobe to get the most wear out of it. 

Most of the pieces I invest in are shoes, jackets and coats. It’s a habit I’ve inherited from my mum – growing up, I remember those were always the items she would spend a bit more money on. This year I’ve been wearing a lot of long skirts with statement boots or loafers – comfortable and stylish. 

My go-to dinner outfit is usually something comfy and chic – usually that’s loose trousers with a stylish top, perhaps something backless, maybe silky or off the shoulder. Then, it’s probably a kitten heel or pointed shoe to finish. 

If I could share anyone's wardrobe, it would be Hanna MW’s. She’s a master at combining minimal and maximal pieces, and her mix of feminine and masculine silhouettes is incredible. I truly love her style.

I want to EXTEND THE LIFESPAN OF MY CLOTHES for as long as possible, so I’m BUYING A LOT MORE SECOND HAND this year.

One of the two style rules I swear by is comfort first. Always wear what makes you feel in tune with yourself and that reflects who you genuinely want to be. When you are comfortable, you will radiate confidence. The second rule is not to rush – your style journey is life long and you have a lifetime of seasons to figure out what makes you feel your best. 

Sustainability is becoming one of my primary motivations when it comes to buying clothes. I once overheard someone say we have six generations’ worth of clothing currently on the planet, and that really struck a chord with me. I want to extend the lifespan of my clothes for as long as possible, so I’m buying a lot more second hand this year. Vinted is my favourite online platform and Stae Store is my favourite second-hand clothing shop.

I was born with the most severe form of sickle cell anaemia. It’s a genetic blood disorder and in my late teens I developed several other health conditions. Life was incredibly challenging – I was having blood transfusions from as young as five. But although my health was undoubtedly difficult, the main thing that got in the way was society’s perception of disability. As a Black woman, I can see that race and gender have made their way into the mainstream more, but disability is still quite misunderstood and often silenced. I want to be a part of dismantling that taboo and empower others to do the same. 

As a Black woman, I can see that RACE AND GENDER have MADE THEIR WAY INTO THE MAINSTREAM more, but DISABILITY IS still quite MISUNDERSTOOD and often silenced.

One of my goals is to encourage people to give blood as often as possible. It’s a simple process, but once that can be life saving for those suffering with sickle cell anaemia – up to three lives are saved per unit of blood and it only takes 15 minutes for the donor. There have been times when I needed about 60 units of blood a year. Blood donors saved my life, so spreading that message is extremely important to me. I also want to try to educate people on disability prejudice, by adding terms such as ‘disablism’ and ‘ableism’ into our regular vocabulary. When you give people language, you give them the power to stand up for themselves.

Other than giving blood, people can also support petitions for disabled people. That enables change to be made within Parliament to assist with the challenges of everyday life. Thirdly, I encourage people to educate themselves on disabled experiences through reading. The Body is Not an Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor and Disability Visibility by Alice Wong are two I would recommend. Lastly, following disabled content creators on social media is an act of both advocacy and education. My favourite creators are Maya Moore and One Handed Overdressed.

Being a TEDx speaker is important to me because it provides a platform to further my work. It was from there that I started speaking to ITV and BBC Africa, as well as being recognised as a Next Generation Changemaker by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. It’s opened doors for me that I would never have expected, changing the trajectory of my life for the better. 

Follow @DanielleJinadu on Instagram.

Photography by Nic Ford

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