One thing my mom made sure of was that I had black dolls to play with. I remember having a mountain, an almost shrine-like display of black Barbie dolls still in their cases, ranging from holiday limited editions to celebrity editions like Brandy. One of my aunts used to collect them and would send me dolls she knew I would fan girl over to add to my collection. Needless to say, when I saw this headline, my inner child smiled from ear to, as I am sure the same happened for many black women.
Image Credit: Elle
Editor, stylist, consultant and costume designer Shiona Turini celebrates Black History Month with a collaboration with Barbie Style to add to the black Barbie doll collections of young black girls everywhere.
It's a tale as old as time that black girls didn't have the options they do now for dolls and toys that looked like them. Shelves were stocked with fair complexioned dolls with all different types of hair and clothes and accessories. Unfortunately, the black and brown dolls were few and far between. It was 1980 when Turini and young black girls all over found a piece of her reflection in the first-ever black Barbie doll, dressed in red with gold accessories and donning an afro. She is even featured in the all-red part of the collection, and mama is FIERCE! In this 4-part collection with Barbie Style, Turini is able to add to the conversation surrounding black beauty and the many shades, shapes and styles it comes in.
Image Credit: Elle
âIn a statement regarding the collection, Turini had this to say: "It was important for me to reflect Barbie as an icon through the lens of black culture during Black History Month. I drew inspiration from the first black Barbie, who debuted her all-red look in 1980. My vision was to style diverse dolls in bold looks with themes seen throughout my work, like contrasting snakeskin and leopard challenging uniformity."
ââThe versatility of blackness is so vast, and a piece of that is executed beautifully. Ten black dolls of varying skin tones, hairstyles, body types + capabilities and style identities are the stars of the collection. The style direction features aesthetics present in Turini's own style as well as her work, an extensive catalog of fawn-worthy sartorial moments that include Queen and Slim, Solange's "Cranes in the Sky" + "Don't Touch My Hair" visuals and BeyoncÃ©'s "Formation" music video. The color stories also feature scenes of soft springtime hues, head-to-toe black, fiery red and a beautiful pink mauve/nude/snakeskin moment that makes the melanin pop.
Representation matters, even on the toy aisles. Congratulations to Shiona Turini and the Barbie brand on such an amazing collaboration and display of blackness. We love to see it!
âIn honor of 40 years of the black Barbie, check out the first ever black fashion Barbie doll to hit the market, ushering in a new era for black girls and their dolls everywhere!
Image Credit: Instagram / @mattel
Image Credit: Twitter / @UngleSego
I love seeing guys open to experimenting with various styles of clothing and having appreciation for the cultivation of a great sense of style. If a man can put continuously put together a dope ‘fit, pull it off with ease + a signature flair, and not lean solely onto the hypebeast trends of the moment, he has my instant respect!
Enter Micah Davis—generally known by his stage name Masego. The Lady Lady artist’s style is as smooth and lavish as his signature sonic sound.
He credits designers like Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen and Gucci as a few of his favorites. He loves the 1970s vibe that Gucci has, and the influence is extremely present in his style of dress. Whether he's being styled for a shoot or pulling together looks for an appearance or performance, there is a distinct energy about him that radiates through. He exudes an aura that is fun and lighthearted, carefree, electric, positive and dynamic. There's a cool confidence about him that I absolutely love.
Image Credit: Twitter / @UngleSego
While the "Tadow" singer has a handle on his signature style and can dress the way he wants to, there were a few moments of clarity he experienced before truly developing his fashion ethos. In an interview with Vogue, he shared that he used to dress like an "old man," and that he "always looked like he was about to take a nap." He goes on to say, "I thought I was cool until I left the country. I went to Tokyo, and I was like 'man, why am I wearing these jorts?' I've always loved fashion, but when you're broke, you're wearing whatever your dad gave you." A true and dedicated creative, when presented with a choice between style and music, of course music was his first priority. It was up until he began dating who he describes as "one of those Fashion Week every week women" and wanted to match her energy that his style began to blossomed and take form.
Nowadays, the "Trap House Jazz" musician has traded in his old man garb of yesteryear for billowing silk tops in a wide range of colors and motifs, leather jackets, immaculately patterned ensembles, dope sets of vintage rings, perfectly fitting pairs of trousers (his personal favorites are by Vivienne Westwood), unique pairs of sunglasses, his signature saxophone chain and so many more elements that make up his fawn-worthy and aesthetically pleasing method of dress. A true style chameleon, and I’m honestly just here to stan. "There's an upper echelon to my style but not in a belittling way. 'Cause I'm hood. I'm from the hood. I love there being a grit to it."
Image Credit: Twitter / @UngleSego
Throughout his sartorial journey, the hip hop + jazz multi-instrumentalist learned that a great outfit comes together when you know how to pair things, putting them together with taste, more so than just rocking the trendiest pieces. And, of course, the statement piece here and there is always a necessary touch. He's a fan of mixing consignment finds with designer pieces, as a well-executed high-low look is never not a good idea. Dope one-of-a-kind finds really make a look hit differently!
Whew! A man after my fashion-obsessed heart! Uncle Sego can definitely teach the guys a thing or two. And he can serenade me with his saxophone playing anytime!
Every year, fashion’s veterans and aficionados gather to celebrate the rising stars and icons in fashion at the event affectionately known as the Fashion Oscars—the CFDA Awards. One of the industry’s most significant events, the CFDA Awards shed light on fashion’s talented newcomers and current power players as well as gives flowers to iconic figures that have made a substantial impact within the industry and beyond.
The CFDA Awards have been known to garner some attention. From snubs and lack of true diversity and representation to last year’s social media frenzy surrounding Kim Kardashian’s Influencer Award.
This year’s attention-grabbing headline from the upcoming awards ceremony is the news that singer, dancer, producer and actress Jennifer Lopez will be honored with the CFDA Fashion Icon award. The news set fashion twitter ablaze, with opinions on whether J. Lo deserved the honor or not being split down the middle.
Image Credit: Instagram / @cfda
The news broke Tueday morning (4/16) via the Council of Fashion Designers of America Instagram page, announcing that the CFDA Board of Directors would be giving the “Jenny From The Block” singer the Fashion Icon award for her “longstanding and global impact on fashion.” In a statement regarding the announcement, Chairwoman Diane von Furstenbury had this to say: “Jennifer Lopez uses clothes as a way to express confidence and power. Both designers and fans look forward to her fashion statements.” Also sharing his praise for the Fashion Icon recipient was the CFDA president and CEO Steven Kolb: “Jennifer Lopez’s style is bold, uninhibited, and always memorable. Designers, including many of our CFDA Members, love to dress her for both stage and private moments.”
The organization credited the “Love Don’t Cost a Thing” singer’s fashion impact to her numerous show-stopping red carpet looks, on-stage performance fashion moments and music videos that have been cemented into pop culture world history. Upon receiving this highly coveted award, Lopez will join the ranks of previous honorees Pharell, Beyoncé, Rihanna, Naomi Campbell and the late Franca Sozzani.
Praise and exclamations of those in favor of the CFDA’s latest Fashion Icon recipient flooded social media, referencing noteworthy red carpet moments and influential music video style moments—elements that found their way into closets and street style inspiration all over the world. The most referenced red carpet moment from the Maid in Manhattan actress was the iconic Versace tropical leaf silk chiffon plunging dress that she wore to the 2000 Grammys. The moment surrounding the dress was a moment of cultural significance because, up to that point, the red carpet fashion for women was fairly tame. J. Lo in that dress literally broke the Internet.
Image Credit: Page Six / Popsugar
Executive Chairman of Google Eric Schmit in an essay in January of 2015 highlighted that this moment was the most popular search Google had ever seen at the time, but there was no way for Google users to get the specific image of J. Lo in the Versace dress. From there, Google Image Search was born! Pretty iconic moment. Other notable fashion fan favs were her fur-trimmed baby pink coat in “All I Have,” the pink velour short set in “I’m Real” (the girls always love a good [velour] set), the bikini top + baggy pant combo from “If You Had My Love,” and the tank + cargo pant + Timberland heel moment from “Jenny from the Block.” The latter example was definitely a popular example of J. Lo’s impact on street style—this look was seen duplicated everywhere. A recent credited style moment comes from this year’s Oscars red carpet—Lopez wears a fitted, long-sleeved mosaic mirror tiled Tom Ford gown, one that got a lot of people talking. Designers like Tom Ford, Donatella Versace, Zuhair Murad and Balmain are some of the signature partners that have aided in crafting her signature look over the years. The “Medicine” singer is the embodiment of sexy chic, is no stranger to the curve-hugging garments and the naked dress trend (one that she is a key player in) and is known for a high slit + exposed thigh moment. The Selena actress has definitely had fashion moments and has an unquestionable sense of personal style. That much is undeniable.
Image Credit: Bustle
Image Credit: People
Image Credit: Bustle
Honorable mention: J. Lo at the 2000 VMAs | Image Credit: Who What Wear / Us Weekly
Image Credit: Daily Mail
Those on the other end of the spectrum who aren’t in favor of the newest Fashion Icon recipient feel that, while J. Lo has her moments, she hasn’t established enough of a range to be able to hold such a title. Though J. Lo’s most significant example of impact began with that 2000 Grammys Versace moment, no other fashion moment from the multi-hyphenate artist hit quite like that one did. What moment topped or came close to that one? Many question Lopez’s true impact on fashion, making the point that her [red carpet] fashion choices are in large a revolving door of similar Zuhair Murad gowns for countless appearances (or just the same type of gown for that matter, lacking any real style variety). Familiar with the infamous Aretha Franklin “Uh…great gowns, beautiful gowns” GIF? That might be more accurate embodiment of J. Lo’s contribution to fashion. Mentions of the cultural impact surrounding the infamous Versace dress have been the most common example of her impact, but many want to know what else can Lopez be credited with. When you take away that moment, what else is left? Credits were made to her music video style and her apparently putting hoop earrings, fur-lined collar bomber jackets, Going Out tops and French manicures on the map. Her repertoire of fashion and style moments almost reads like a credentials list for a Video Vanguard award rather than a Fashion Icon award. This is a good place for a gentle reminder that J. Lo was awarded the Video Vanguard Award at last year’s VMA ceremony, an incident that also sparked conversations that Missy Elliot was much more deserving. On a related note, I noticed a lot of people who would’ve preferred Lil Kim be honored with the Fashion Icon award, for her unwavering fashion impact that can still be seen very clearly within the fashion and music industries. Lil Kim changed the image of the female rapper. She did so with the help of her stylist Misa Hylton, ushering in another leg of the conversation of black individuals who are so deserving of recognition for their contributions to the fashion industry but are often overlooked—Hylton, June Ambrose, Andre Leon Talley. These are just a few names of the true arbitrators of style and immaculate taste, running the show behind the scenes and really deserve so much more, but I digress. That’s a topic to dive deeper into on a different day.
There is much to be debated—and much that has been debated—on whether or not Jennifer Lopez truly deserves the title of Fashion Icon. Nevertheless, on June 3, the “Waiting for Tonight” songstress and recent Pretty Little Thing collaborator will claim and take home this prize. Major congratulations are in order for J. Lo in receiving this award from the fashion industry.
It’s now your turn to decide where you stand on this subject. Do you think J. Lo is a Fashion Icon or just knows how to wear a great garment? Was she a true innovator who carved a lane for sexy, chic fashion (especially on the red carpet) or did she and her team have a great handle on dressing for her body type and sticking to what worked for her?
If not J. Lo, who do you feel would be a great recipient for the Fashion Icon award?
Definitely share your thoughts. I would to hear what you all think!!
Mama is HONING IN on her personal style! These fashion choices have been on point!
Image Credit: IG / @marsaimartin
Marsai Martin has been making quite the splash in Hollywood. The young legend launched her production company, Genius Productions, earlier this year and is the youngest executive producer of major motion picture in history with the help of her film Little.
Day by day, with each red carpet and press appearance, the Little star is catching some major attention in fashion. With the help of her stylist Jason Rembert, Martin’s looks have been impeccable, donning beautiful and fun pieces from designers like Pamella Roman, Esteban Cortaz, Georges Hobeika and more.
Martin’s looks from the press tour for Little were what really caught my attention. The amazing thing about the Black-ish star’s style evolution is that at the tender age of 14, her sartorial essence exudes the bold, fun, bright and cool youthfulness as well as the elegant, classic and poised maturity that is present in her personality. Stylist Jason Rembert has been able to style the young actress in a way that doesn’t age her, yet captures the wise-beyond-her-years nature of her persona.
Basically, wisdom + youth, but make it fashion.
Check out some of my fav looks from the actress + executive producer on her press tour (alongside Issa Rae and Regina Hall—who have also been serving some really amazing looks).
Her style isn’t too aggressive or trying to hard; it’s just right and so good. I can’t wait to see how her style elevates and the magic that her and Jason deliver next.
Marsai Martin is a name that everyone should become very familiar with. She is #blackgirlmagic personified, and great things are ahead for her—in power moves and in style moments. Prepare for the impending slay accordingly!
& run, don't walk, to your nearest theater to see Little, OUT NOW!
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