Over the weekend (Saturday), the Wearable Art Gala was held at the California African American Museum. The event was put on by Tina and Richard Lawson to benefit the WACO Theater Center, the non-profit arts center they built in LA. They created the center with a mission in mind to serve as a safe space "where art can occur."
From the pictures and videos that circulated, it looked like a beautiful event. Any effort to promote artistic expression among young people is one to support!
With events like this, I'd expect standout looks from attendees. Check out my favorites below!
Photo Credit: Twitter/ @chloeandhalle
Photo Credit: Instagram/ @kellyrowland
Photo Credit: Instagram/ @beyonce
Photo Credit: Instagram/ @juneambrose
What were your favorite looks from the Wearable Art Gala? Let me know in the comments!
SN: I'm really liking how Nylon has been a lot more inclusive with these spreads lately. Shout out to the black and brown girl slay!
Antoinette Robertson, Logan Browning and Ashley Blaine Featherson came together for a dope spread for NYLON mag, in the wake of the hype surrounding their new series Dear White People that's now out on Netflix. I'm loving the looks and the overall vibe of this shoot. So cool and chill, yet ethereal. LOVE!
I have to admit that when I first heard about this new series adaptation to the original indie movie, I wasn't all that excited about it. I wasn't too crazy about the movie at all; it felt undone and didn't really bring a sense of resolve at the movie's conclusion. However, from all of the buzz I've heard surrounding the show, I'm actually intrigued and a little excited to sit down and watch the series unfold. From the show's teasers, I can already tell that it's going to be one of those must-see shows. I'm especially excited about an episode in particular that Moonlight's Barry Jenkins directed.
Shows like this that confront toxic institutions and how they affect all parties are definitely necessary. I'm definitely looking for Dear White People to really push the envelope in making viewers confront their own issues and spark real conversations.
I can't wait to see these ladies and the rest of the cast in action! Check out the full interview and more info about DWP here.
All Photo Credit: NYLON
How did y'all feel about the DWP movie? Are you excited about the series? Sound off in the comments and let me know!
Photo Credit: WWD
I am so beyond happy for Elaine!
I remember being so excited last year when she was made editor at Teen Vogue and now this!? Elaine Welteroth has officially been named Editor-in-Chief at Teen Vogue. Since her last promotion, she's definitely had a part in increasing the mag's readership, visibility and relevance beyond just fashion and beauty.
Elaine got her start in media with an internship at Ebony Magazine, which turned into a permanent position as Beauty & Style Editor from '08-'11. She headed over to Condé Nast in '11, holding the same position and then was promoted to Senior Beauty Editor. The following year, she made history by becoming the first African American to hold the position of Beauty & Health Director for Teen Vogue. She replaced the founding EIC Amy Astley as editor in 2016, and now she's officially the EIC of Teen Vogue.
Seeing what she's done with the Teen Vogue brand and the firsts the brand has experienced thus far has me so excited to witness what Elaine will do next! I'm so beyond proud of her growth and her hustle to get here. It definitely gives me that extra push to fight for my dreams!
Congratulations are in order, and I wish much success to Elaine in her new position!
What is going on with these companies' marketing teams? I'm tired.
So in case you missed the new ad from natural haircare brand Shea Moisture, let's take a gander, shall we?
Everybody gets love, huh? Where was everybody in this ad? Other than homegirl, this was a little pale...
So as I reluctantly put down my Coconut and Hibiscus Styling Milk, let's talk about it!
Shea Moisture came onto the haircare scene as a black-owned haircare brand made for the curls, kinks and coils of black hair, in all of it's diverse forms. They have established a brand that is a staple in all of our haircare regimens. Anytime we see a product designed for us and with us in mind, we're not afraid to try it. After all, we do account for the majority of beauty sales. According to Nielsen, in a study from 2013, black women spend nine times more on ethnic-targeted beauty and grooming products than the general market. Black women spend an estimated $7.5 billion annually on beauty products, more than 80% more on cosmetics and twice as much on skin care than non-black consumers.
Listen, if I've learned anything from a Tyler Perry movie, it's the 80/20 rule. To put it in relevant terms, you don't forget about black women bringing you the majority of your income/ success for the new money of non-black women you aren't appealing to. I'm all for a brand expanding their customer base and finding ways to make more money, but not if it means forgetting the brand's roots. This ad was a reach for me. Don't get brand new!
I remember hearing about Shea Moisture making moves to change their formula and broaden their brand, but I didn't expect this to be the way SM did it. When I saw this ad, I laughed! It was genuinely funny to me that a brand known for catering to black hair wants to tell me that the women featured in the video have hair journeys in any way similar to mine. I get that there are certain hardships and struggles for these women and their hair, but it cannot compare to dealing with the kinks and curls of black hair. I also understand the appeal to reach a wider audience, but up until the last few seconds, this ad erased the beautiful curls of black hair from the narrative. Even then, only one facet of black hair was represented. I guess you just can't please everybody, huh? Bottom line: every brand can't be a one-stop shop, ESPECIALLY when you're dealing with hair.
Let's be honest, non-black women will keep right on using their Pantene, Garnier and L'Oreal, and black women are still going to utilize the Shea Moisture BOGO sales at CVS. However, our hair shouldn't have to suffer because SM decides to water down their product to appeal to Molly and Becky. Get your money, sis, but don't forget about the ones that made your brand what it is today!
At the end of the day, I'll take this opportunity to explore the other amazing natural haircare products that are out there, especially if they're black-owned. What are some of y'alls favorite natural hair products?
How do y'all feel about Shea Moisture's new ad? What might've been an alternative way to present this rebranding? Leave me a comment and let's make this a conversation!
Meet one of the six May 2017 cover stars for Elle's swimsuit issue, 24-year-old model Maria Borges!
Oh yeah, she's also the first African woman to be a cover star for Elle this century! The last one was Sudanese model Alek Wek in 1997. Crazy, right?
Photo Credit: ELLE
I remember seeing Maria Borges in the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show two years ago and on fashion week runways and thinking yoooo, she's so gorgeous! It was so refreshing seeing a black model rock her natural fro, as quite a few black models have followed the trend. I was getting tired of the bundles of wavy and "effortless" curls anyway. It's nice to see a model embracing her fro, and it helps for young black girls watching to embrace theirs.
In her cover interview, she discussed the importance of representation and how it is necessary in the fashion industry. "The fashion industry is here for everyone, [regardless] of color or race. When I was growing up, I never saw someone like me, and now the other girls can see someone like them. It's all about inspiration."
I can't even begin to express how important representation is, in any industry. Just to see someone who looks like you killing it gives you an extra boost of confidence, like you can do it too!
Congratulations to Maria Borges on this latest accomplishment. Wishing her the best in her future endeavors!
There's a sense of vibrancy and life that only black people can bring!
Gucci released an amazingly vibrant, carefree and flamboyant campaign entitled "Soul Scene," which also features an all-black cast! It's black girl magic and black boy joy at its finest on display. The campaign was was inspired by the vibes of England's underground northern soul movement of the '60s, as well as by the recent exhibition, Made You Look, at London's Photographer's Gallery that focused on black masculinity and dandyism.
'Soul Scene' was shot by Glen Luchford and styled by Gucci's creative director Alessandro Michele. The images explored the "flamboyance and freedom of self-expression of young people who challenge the convections of society through performance, art and dance." Scenes were shot against the backdrops of dance halls and colorful, makeshift studios where the models and dancers were captured donning Gucci's pre-fall collection. Models featured, outside of the dancers, included Nicole Atieno, Elibeidy, Bakay Diaby and Keiron Berton Caynes.
This campaign is so dope! It's so fun and free, and you can feel the good vibes through the images. It makes me want to join the party and live my life like it's golden too! Shoutout to all those casted to partake in this campaign as well. I love seeing models of color working and getting their coins, especially with major fashion houses.
With so many conversations and outcries surrounding systemic racism, lack of diversity, cultural appropriation, etc. present within the fashion industry, this campaign is a welcomed celebration of diversity.
Check out images from the campaign below! Enjoy!
Photo Credit: Huffington Post
Compton-based artist Lawrence Lindell had a mission to let black girls know that their value extends far beyond their lack of representation and derogatory comments that plague them. He created From Black Boy with Love as a way to uplift black girls with empowering messages, spoken from black boys.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lindell Studios
It's no secret that there's a problem with how some black men and women interact, and these behaviors are learned overtime. Lawrence shared that this book was an alternative to what he actually learned as a boy. There were many women in his life that he loved, and he wanted to make something for them. Lawrence is also a youth art teacher, and he sees all too frequently kids teasing one another, with go-to insults having something to do with skin tones, body appearance or hair. "We have to change the narrative that the more melanin you have means you're uglier and that natural hair is bad or improper," Lawrence had to say. He hopes that black boys that read this will understand the importance of respecting all women, black women in particular.
Video Credit: Facebook/ NowThis Her
Black and brown boys, treat all girls with respect, but especially the ones who look like you, sound like you, live where you live; we have to take care of each other.
This message is so important! The black community has to learn how to communicate effectively amongst one another and to unlearn their toxic behaviors. Hearing about his students took me back to coming up in elementary school. I remember the roasting sessions kids used to have and all of the "you so black..." and "you so fat..." and "your hair's so nappy" jokes. Being a chunkier, dark-skinned girl, I definitely had my share of being the target of insults and bullying. I remember wondering how could these people who look like me, who call themselves my friends and who are supposed to have my back talk to me like this. It put me in a negative, confused state that took a while to get out of, honestly.
It's sad that we, as young girls, had to hear that if a boy was mean to us, it was because he liked us. No one wanted to point out how problematic that was? If a boy likes a girl, play with her; give her a flower; writer a note to check yes or no; hold her hand on the playground; don't be jerk. When was this destructive behavior learned? I never understood this backwards, twisted concept. It's thinking like this that has boys growing up to be men that cause women a great deal of harm ("out of love" or harm resulting from denials of advancements) that leaves women damaged or, even worse, dead.
What's crazy to me is how young men and women in my generation grew up in a time when blackness wasn't met with the same level of affirmations and celebration that it is today. Social norms called for mocking black features and habits. We didn't have #blackgirlmagic and #blackboyjoy to show us that truly living in our blackness, however that manifested, was okay. We had to learn to be comfortable in our own skin, with the help of our own circles. Growing up in the south was no joke! Nevertheless, the celebration of blackness that we've come to is beautiful. I love my blackness and yours!
Lawrence's book is a step in the direction of changing our narrative. It's always so refreshing to see a black man standing up for black women. We have to send the message to our kids that it's okay to be nice to each other, to encourage and not tear each other down, to not always have to be or act so strong. Let's learn how to and continue to love each other out loud!
Lawrence is a really dope artisit! Check out his work and From Black Boy with Love at Lawrence Lindell Studios.
Breaking a 100-year tradition of women being EIC at British Vogue, Edward Enninful is set to step into the role and replace Alexander Shulman on August 1st, Conde Nast reported Monday.
Would it be an overstep to say it's about time? I don't think so! This is so dope. I'm super happy for Edward and am equally excited to see what he brings to British Vogue.
Photo Credit: Business of Fashion
Edward's climb in the industry is so inspiring. His work in the fashion industry and for social change has been and still is so necessary. I loved getting to know his story.
He was born in Ghana, along with five siblings, and raised by his mother who was a seamstress in the Ladbroke Grove area of London. He became a model for British magazine i-D at 16 after he was scouted while traveling on the Tube, London's subway system and called this experience his "baptism into fashion." By the time he was 17, he was assisting on photoshoots with stylists Simon Foxton and Beth Summers. In 1991, at 18, he took over Summers' job as i-D fashion editor, making him the youngest leader ever at a major fashion publication!
Photo Credit: i-D
After working for two decades at i-D, Edward worked for Italian Vogue, American Vogue and W. While at Italian Vogue, he spearheaded the "Black Issue" with the goal to end the "white-out the dominates the catwalk and magazines." That issue was amazing, filled with black models and stars killing it! To say I was gassed would be an understatement! Check out some of the images from the "Black Issue" below and see more here.
Photo Credit: Vogue Italia
It's no question that this man is a visionary! Edward is also credited with guiding a vast variety of fashion's biggest names on their ad campaigns, such as Christian Dior, Fendi, Gucci, Hugo Boss, Calvin Klein, Missoni, Giorgio Armani and Valentino, just to name a few. In 2014, he received the Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator at the British Fashion Awards for his outstanding contributions. To take things a step further, in June of last year, Edward received an Order of the British Empire, as part of Queen Elizabeth II's annual birthday honors, for his service and efforts to diversify the industry.
Edward has a huge social media following and a network of peers that extends beyond those within the fashion industry. He is also known for being gracious and friendly, a breath of fresh air among fashion's upper echelon. Even with his positive demeanor, don't try him! He has been a force in calling out racism and calling for diversity and has no problems voicing how he feels, whether in increasing representation and visibility of black models and peers or in demanding his respect as a black man in this industry. The fight is never over!
I'm so excited to see Edward Enninful step into his role as Editor-in-Cheif at British Vogue! Congratulations are definitely in order. One more win for black people and an amazing example of representation of black fashion professionals in top positions!
They say that imitation is the highest form of flattery.
Well, at least that's what June Ambrose had to say concerning Adidas newest ad, featuring Dej Loaf in a all-to-familiar resemblance to the work of June Ambrose, Hype Williams and Missy Elliott in the video for "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)."
Adidas release their newest campaign for Adidas Originals a few days ago, and the irony of it all was laughable, to say the least. June caught wind of this and was like "Nah sis, not today!" And I saw no problems! Adidas tried it with this one!
Adidas, girl, c'mon sis!
June's contribution to hip hop fashion spans over a 20 year period, and she is responsible for the style evolutions and moments of Diddy, Nas, Missy Elliott, Mariah Carey and so many more! To dismiss her work from this instance without even a nod in her direction is disrespectful, to say the least. June made her mark in the fashion and music industries with an undeniable hustle, facing design house and brands refusing to work with her and her artists and constant criticism from those who should be supporters.
She forged her own path and changed the scope of fashion in the hip hop industry, and she's still killing the game today. With her extensive resume and clout in the industry, I'd be looking for my credits too!
And don't even get me started on Missy Elliott and her contributions to hip hop and paving the way for women in hip hop...!
The funniest part is the "@dejloaf inspires future generations to challenge what #ORIGINALis." line of the ad's caption. Ummm...copying something that was already done 20 years ago and has already received immense success and world attention is the exact opposite of original. From the inflatable trash bag down to the black lipstick, there was nothing original bout this except for Dej Loaf's inclusion.
So a few questions: why wouldn't Dej pay homage in the slightest to Missy Elliott, instead of just biting her style? Why wasn't there any mention of the clear imitation from "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly) video?" Why cancel out the contributions of Missy, June Ambrose and Hype Williams? Where is their credit? Why didn't Adidas just tap Missy for this ad (considering she's already had a deal with the brand)?
I could go on and on, but Adidas dropped the ball on this one. Original, my ass.
Go ahead and take this L, sis.
*hard eye roll and deep sigh*
I wasn't going to talk about this... But here we are.
Unless you've been living under a rock or have been without so much as a dial-up internet connection, I am sure you've heard by now of the release, reaction and aftermath of the controversial Pepsi commercial/ short film featuring Kendall Jenner.
Photo Credit: NY Post
So, a rundown: Pepsi thought it'd be a good idea to release a commercial with the theme of a protest and feature Kendall Jenner as the leader of the resistance. In the commercial, Kendall is working at a photoshoot, notices a protest going on outside, but it took the beckoning of one of the protesters to come outside for her to decide to join the festivities. She leaves her shoot, takes off and throws her blonde Party Central wig at a black lady (strike one) and joins this protest going on in the streets. She gets outside and is greeted by all types of people and sashays gleefully through the crowd for good measure. She's handed a pepsi can and proceeds to make her way to the line of officers, handing one of them the pepsi can. He takes a sip, is pleased and the crowd erupts in cheer, like this sip of carbonated sugar water was the answer to all of their prayers.
I didn't even see the commercial, but I could just tell from the screen grabs and clips that I wouldn't have been able to get through it. The problem with this is that Pepsi CHOSE to see nothing wrong with trivializing the very real issues that black and brown people are fighting for and STILL released this bullshxt. If only the Civil Rights Movement activists, Black Panther Party members, the countless black lives taken too soon by the hands of police officers and white supremacist groups, LGBTQ individuals, the people in Syria suffering from airstrikes and bombings, etc. had've known the power of Pepsi. Tell the people who are being deported or can't get back into the U.S. to flash a Pepsi six pack in the authorities' direction. When trouble ensues, just make sure you have some Pepsi on hand and everything will be okay. This whole thing is insensitive, insulting and white-washed. More than anything, it shows a white woman's privilege: Kendall character would've gone on about her day had she not been persuaded by participants to join their protest. The occurrences outside had nothing to do with her, and her privilege allowed her be able to separate herself from these people who have to fight for the basic rights that she takes for granted. However, in order to seem down for the cause and portray a sense of "allyship," why not participate in the name of unity and understanding, right? The whole thing put this white, happy-go-lucky lens on a serious issue. Marginalized groups are literally fighting for their lives in some way everyday, and to have this white woman do nothing more than hand a soda to an officer and get the reaction that followed was a slap in the face to people really on the ground doing the necessary work for the betterment of all people. It's making a mockery of the constant fight for justice, and none of us are here for it! White people love to do the absolute least in mobilizing change and appearing to be down and then want to collect their cookies and pats on the back, as if their inclusion really made an impact. OVER IT.
Due to all the negative backlash, Pepsi immediately snatched the commercial from any further media rollout and issued this lame statement. The kicker was that in said statement, they apologized to Kendall. People apparently wanted to come to Kendall's aid, saying that she was basically the victim here and that she's just a child who didn't know what she was getting into. If I recall correctly, anytime a model or actor/actress is tapped for any type of ad campaign or commercial, a script and details concerning are given beforehand for review. Kendall knew completely what she was getting into. She is 21 years old, and her status as a child ran out when she turned 18. She is a consenting adult who has the ability to say yes and no to whatever she pleases. She simply didn't care to and/or her privilege allowed her not to acknowledge the deeper meaning of what she was agreeing to be involved in. And who would honestly believe that Kendall Jenner would be head of any kind of resistance? I'm so sure that she wouldn't be caught anywhere near anyone's protest. White people never want to admit when they are at fault, and I'm so over it! Through all of this backlash that Pepsi and all parties involved received, a white women STILL became the victim in all of this and was the focal point of Pepsi's apology.
Bottom line: Someone (or some) needs to be fired!
And I can just imagine this playing out with Kendall being victimized in next year's season of KUWTK. Jezebel was on to something with this one:
As if this wasn't enough, Nivea gave us this bs...
But wait, there's more. Nivea, 2011
& this Sony ad was even dug up from 2009...
I'm so tired. Between white people's president and everything else going on, Lord help. Something has to give.
But as long as I have my Pepsi, right?!
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