Interview with Kendra Davis (Princess Mahogany Cosplay)
Cosplayer Kendra Davis talks about her love of 'Star Wars' and her impressive Human Ahsoka cosplay
Cosplay isn’t just about creating screen-accurate costumes of your favourite characters. Every so often, someone comes along and adds their own unique twist to a familiar costume to create something truly special.
One of those people is Kendra Davis, an American student, entrepreneur, and aspiring actress who cosplays as a human version of Ahsoka Tano every chance she gets. I recently caught up with Kendra to learn more about her Human Ahsoka cosplay, her thoughts on fandom and cosplay culture, the importance of representation in Star Wars, and what Ahsoka Tano means to her on a personal level.
Hello there! Tell us a little about yourself.
Hi, I’m Kendra Davis, though I go by the name Princess Mahogany in the cosplay community. I’ve been cosplaying for two or three years and have been cosplaying Human Ahsoka Tano for about a year now.
I’m also a college student and the co-owner of the online boutique, Black Flower Store. And, of course, a fangirl of many fandoms!
How did you discover Ahsoka Tano and what does she mean to you? How does she inspire you? And do you have any favourite quotes or scenes you’d like to share with us?
I discovered Ahsoka about a year ago when my father told me about a show on Netflix called Star Wars: The Clone Wars and convinced me to watch it. He made sure to tell me that there was a really cool, strong female Padawan and that the battle scenes were some of his favourite battles in all of Star Wars. After a while, I finally decided to give the show a shot and, of course, I instantly became a fan of Ahsoka Tano!
Ahsoka means a lot to me. Anytime I think about her, I get emotional. She is probably one of my all-time favourite characters.
Ahsoka inspires me in two ways: her inner strength and, truthfully, the way she looks. Lately, I’ve been thinking about the various troubles she’s had to endure: walking away from her master and the only life she had ever known, being alone and having to hide her identity, and then having to find out what had happened to her master and fight him. It’s surely a hard thing to go through. And yet, Ahsoka never let the hardships turn her away from the light. She isn’t defined by her problems; every time she goes through something, she comes out stronger than before and it’s truly inspiring.
And when it comes to her looks, there are key facial features of hers that really resonate with me. Yes, she’s a Togruta and orange-skinned but when I look at Ahsoka, I see a representation of the way I look. Her strong jaw and pronounced facial features are features that I also possess and haven’t been the most confident about. But when I started cosplaying as her, I began to appreciate my features. Cosplaying as Ahsoka has been a positive experience for me.
My favourite Ahsoka scene was in the Clone Wars episode “Holocron Heist” (season 2, episode 1), where she was on top of a tank, effortlessly fighting off the enemy and the blasts coming towards her and just simply being an awesome fighter. I have two favourite quotes of hers: “I am no Jedi.” and “You taught me well. I can handle anything”.
Tell us about your Human Ahsoka Tano cosplay and how you created it. What inspired you to cosplay as a human version of Ahsoka and what was the most challenging thing about this particular cosplay?
I started cosplaying Human Ahsoka in January 2017 and have used different hairstyles and outfits since then. When I first started, I would just wear a red tank top, paint the white markings on my face, and use my white wig to mimic Ahsoka’s montrals and lekku. I’ve now updated my costume and really studied Ahsoka’s signature look. Now I wear a red tunic similar to hers, and I’ve handmade my own rhombus-shaped necklace and akul teeth headband. For some reason. I still forget to wear the padawan beads, but I think that’s very telling… and it fits the character. 😉
What inspired me to cosplay as Human Ahsoka was all the fan-art on Tumblr of a human version of her. I wanted to try my hand at cosplaying her the best way I could with the resources I had at that moment, and seeing all of that art encouraged me to be creative with my cosplay.
I love cosplaying as Human Ahsoka but there are some challenging aspects to it! She has so many details to her look. It’s easy to forget some of the stuff and it takes a good amount of time to fully get into the cosplay. From the accessories to the markings to styling the wig, putting it all together takes practice but the finished look always makes me happy and that’s why I continue to cosplay as Human Snips! Funnily enough, figuring out what hairstyle to do can also be a challenge. Since it’s a human version, it means I can get creative with the hairstyle but I still need to make sure that it resembles Ahsoka.
Cosplay is a fun, creative way to express one’s fandom but it can be a little daunting to newcomers. What advice would you give to first-time cosplayers, especially those thinking of cosplaying as Ahsoka?
My advice to first-time cosplayers is to first plan out what cosplay you would like to do, set a budget, and be flexible. I also recommend that you keep in mind that people can post negative comments about your cosplay but don’t let that get to you. Learning to let the negativity pass you by takes practice but always remind yourself why you wanted to get into cosplay in the first place and just keep on doing it, especially if it makes you happy!
For first-time cosplayers wanting to cosplay as Ahsoka, my advice to them would be to have patience and to have a fun learning attitude towards it. I’d also say don’t be afraid to get very creative with your Ahsoka cosplay. It’s not only really exciting, but I have found that the Ahsoka Tano fanbase can be very supportive when it comes to the different versions of Ahsoka that people put out there!
Do you have any cosplay projects you’re working on right now?
I’m currently working on updating my Human Ahsoka cosplay. There’s always room for improvements!
I’m also working on a Kim Possible cosplay and I plan to get started on my Togruta Ahsoka Tano cosplay in a couple of months’ time. The plan is to recreate her novel/Untold Tales look. And I’m also contemplating doing Donald Glover’s Lando sometime this year!
If you had unlimited time, money, and resources at your disposal, what would be your dream cosplay?
Awesome question! I have always wanted to do a Princess Tiana cosplay and, of course, a Togruta version of Ahsoka Tano. 🙂
And, finally, where can people find you on social media?
People can find my cosplay stuff over on Instagram (@princessmahoganycosplay), Twitter (@_kendradavis_), and Tumblr.
I also have an Etsy shop where I sell handmade fandom-themed jewellery, accessories, and cosplay items. You’ll find a range of Star Wars-themed items over at blackflowerstore.etsy.com.
On behalf of Team Ahsoka and the Star Wars fanbase, I’d like to thank Kendra for taking the time to answer these questions and for sending me some of her cosplay photos to use in this article. Feel free to follow her on social media to see more of her adventures in cosplay!
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