June 2012Faces of Black Fashion: June 2012

Friday, June 29, 2012

Introducing Chioma of Chocolatte's Evolution of Style

The first thing I noticed about Chioma's style when I visited her blog was that she's mastered the art of mixing pieces to create fashionable outfits. She also has a keen way of using incorporating accessories into her outfits (Chioma I think you should create a guide!). It is my pleasure to introduce Chioma and her fabulous blog, Chocolatte's Evolution of Style

So tell us about yourself, who is Chioma?
I’m a 20-something Nigerian-American southern lady currently living in Kentucky by way of Mississippi! I am a style blogger who is also in graduate school getting my masters in art of teaching. I am a foodie, a shopaholic, and I love to travel! I love pretty much all kinds of music and reality tv! I love my little Shichon puppy Polo so much, even when he drives me nuts! My family, boyfriend, and friends would probably say I’m smart, fun, stylish, and loyal!

What inspired you to start a style blog?
I’ve always loved fashion and admired people with great style, but something happened in 2010, I found Tumblr and the world of blogging, and became so inspired by all the fashion pictures and posts. Before long, anytime I would get inspired, I would run to my closet and try to style something similar with what I already had. After a few months of jotting so many future outfit ideas in a journal I keep on my nightstand, my boyfriend gave me the final push that I needed. He said “babe, why don’t you just start a fashion/style blog already?” And before long, I had! Since starting my blog, I’ve “met” so many wonderful ladies with similar interests like me and I have never been so inspired! I’ve had so much fun learning and watching my own personal style evolve as well watching my blog grow. As I always say, I have the best readers!

Where do you get fashion inspiration? 
I get fashion inspiration everywhere! From fellow bloggers, magazines, mannequins in store front windows, Pinterest, street style blogs, and I love to people watch!

Where do you like to shop?
I am an avid thrifter and have been collecting both thrifted and vintage pieces for years now! I would say about 60% of my wardrobe is vintage. I do sometimes indulge in trendy pieces from some of my favorite retailers like H&M, Forever21, and Target, but I have shied away from buying lower quality, trendy pieces and gravitated to investing in more quality timeless pieces to add to my wardrobe.

What are three of your favorite pieces in your closet? 
1. I love my blazer collection! I can’t wait until fall to style them; I already have so many ideas!
2. I also love my maxi skirts so much! They are super easy to style, girly, and most of all very comfortable.
3. Finally, I have developed a slight addiction to statement necklaces; they take the simplest outfit to the next level. I don’t know how I survived so long without them, the bigger and more vibrant;  the better!

What are you looking forward to wearing this summer?
I’m definitely looking forward to rocking more skirts and sundresses in vibrant colors this summer. I’m also dying to try the turban trend with my scarves on my natural hair. I will continue to mix prints and colors because it makes me happy and speaks to my personal style.

Anything else?
Thank you so much Nika, for asking me to do this feature!  I was so excited and flattered that you thought of me, I’ve been following your blog for a while and I love what you’re doing with it! And thanks to everyone for reading this, I hope to see your lovely faces on the blog soon! J

For more of Chioma's fab style, visit her blog HERE.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Introducing Ashley of Gen-XY Vintage

Everyone who knows me, knows that I love vintage clothing so I was excited to discover Gen-XY Vintage on twitter. Gen-XY Vintage is a fab vintage online store with a variety of one-of-a-kind vintage wear that can help you add a distinctive flair to your closet (I'm currently loving GEn-XY's destroyed denim collection and the pretty vintage tops).  It is my pleasure to introduce Gen-XY Vintage and its fabulously stylish owner, Ashley Tyrus.

So tell us about yourself, who is Ashley?

I’m a 24-year old free spirit living in the DC area! I enjoy day trips to the beach, travel, yoga, learning about new cultures and trying new restaurants. I consider myself an artist in many ways. I love to cook, create things and style. I’m also the woman behind Gen-XY Vintage, which is my baby. Being an entrepreneur has really helped fuel my creative spirit and has molded me into a more mature and cultivated version of myself.

 What's the concept behind Gen-XY Vintage, how did you come up with the idea?
The idea behind the brand Gen-XY stemmed from merging the styles and fashion trends of Generation X and Generation Y together to create a line of vintage clothing that reflected such. I would always visit vintage stores and would be disappointed quality of vintage I was finding. I wanted to provide quality, stylish vintage and vintage-inspired pieces to my customers in one collection.

What is it like owning a vintage store?

It’s amazing!! I love what I do and I’m very passionate about it. I’m constantly on the go, which is a lifestyle I love because I have trouble sitting still in one place for too long anyway. I have tons of meetings, shoots, events and buying to do. I’m learning so much each day and networking with many new and young creative entrepreneurs and artists who I can share ideas and collaborate with. It’s a great feeling waking up doing what you truly love each day.

What do you enjoy most about owning your own vintage store?
I love and enjoy being able to make people happy through fashion, it does something for me. People will come to my pop-up shops and pick something up and then put it back because they’re not sure how to wear it. I love being able to show them new ways to incorporate vintage into their wardrobes and to push their normal fashion taste to another level.

What can customers expect to find when shopping at pop-up shops and online?
Everything in the collection is stuff that I am inspired by and items I would definitely wear (and tried hard not to keep when buying!). I make sure I’m carrying things that the “everyday” girl can wear – whether you are heading to the office or to a party on a Friday night – including vintage corsets, colorful blouses featuring tribal, Aztec and boho designs, TONS of sequin and sheer pieces, secretary skirts, cross-body bags, shoes, jewelry, and scarves that will make you feel really feminine. I have a sincere love for a lot of color and things that will make you stand out in a crowd. Recently, I’ve begun incorporating handmade items such as Destroyed Denim, collar necklaces, clutches and hair bows. And as promised, this fall I will officially introduce an extensive men’s line of vintage items including bowties and ties, scarves, Chino’s, cardigans, tees and more!
 What do your customers love most about the items they find in your store?
I get the most compliments on the diversity of the pieces. I choose wisely when hand-selecting each piece to make sure they are a representation of me and the brand. A lot of my customers enjoy the fact that they can find something for them no matter their personal style or taste. I cater to the super chic and posh girl AND the bohemian hippie.

 Anything else?
I just want to say thank you for interviewing me! I think it’s great that you are featuring black business owners and artists. Be sure to follow us on twitter to be in the know -- @genxyvintage

To shop Gen-XY Vintage visit the website HERE.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Introducing Slim of All Things Slim

I emailed Slim the moment I came across her blog. She owns her style - it's bold, self-assured, fabulous, but most importantly it's hers.  She embraces her individuality, which is reflected in her style. For that she's a style inspiration (in fact you'll find loads of inspiration when you visit Slim's blog). It is my pleasure to introduce Slim and her fab blog All Things Slim.

So tell us about yourself, who is Slim?
I'm a smooth bi-coastal player and lover of fashion and music. Especially rachet music lol. I have been living between NYC and LA since '04 and work freelance as a stylist.  My friends would probably say I'm kind of insane, but I give really good advice.

What inspired you to start a style blog?
Pressure from my friends. Fashion is my heart beat.  I had been meaning to do it to shut them up for a while, but I always felt that I wouldn't have enough time. It is definitely a huge time committment, but it is so worth it. I have met so many dope people and the feedback has been amazing.

Where do you get fashion inspiration?
Everywhere. People watching and music give me random ideas... New York and LA have completely different approaches to style. Over the years, I have found a way to pull from both and make it work.  I will say that being in New York for longer than 6 months will make you wear black daily though lol. Coming back to Cali makes me want to wear color.

Where do you like to shop?
Online mostly. I can easily become obsesed with a certain item and sites like Polyvore help me track it down. I love Nasty Gal. For actual store visits, I like Top Shop and Soho in general in NYC, Melrose and The Wasteland in LA. 

What are three of your favorite pieces in your closet?
I have a pink body-con dress that I swear was made specifically for my body and coloring, my black Top Shop skinny jeans (I have 7 pairs) , and my cape coat.

What are you looking forward to wearing this summer?
Lots of neon rompers and high waist skirts, and cut off denim shorts. Oh, and open toe shoes. Not seeing my toe nail polish half of the year depresses me.

Anything else?Not that I can think of, but if you'd like to knw anything else, just let me know.

Visit Slim's fabulous blog HERE.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

This Week in Black Celebrity Style

Corrine Bailey Rae in NYC

Kelly Rowland celebrates Vegas Magazine Cover

Lala Anthony celebrating with Kelly

Chanel Iman and Solange leaving fundraising event

Nicole Murphy out and about in L.A.  (s/n: this woman has a GREAT body)

What do you think about these looks?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Fashion Icon: Diana Ross

For me, Diana Ross is the embodiment of fabulous - the intricately designed gowns, big hair, and commanding presence, all added to her allure as both a trendsetter and a fashion icon.  She dared to create her own unique style that not only gained her accolades but also longevity. To one of the most inspirational fashionistas of our time, Diana Ross!

For more inspiration check out my post on fashion icon, Josephine Baker. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

This Week in Black Celebrity Style

Joan Smalls at CFDA Awards

Solange Knowles at CFDA Awards

Jada Pinkett-Smith in NYC

Angela Simmons partying in Hollywood

Beyonce out shopping in Paris

What do you think of these looks?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Introducing Ashlei of Kinks Are The New Pink

They say a picture tells a thousand words. There's something about Ashlei's photos  that is inviting, inspiring and authentic, and blog Kinks Are The New Pink reflects that authenticity in its  celebration of natural hair and Ashlei's individual style. One look at her blog, and you will find that Ashlei is a woman who stylishly  dances to the beat of her own drum. It is my pleasure to introduce a  Ashlei and her awesome blog, Kinks Are The New Pink

So tell us about yourself, who is Ashlei?

I'm a Chicago fashion & natural hair blogger, I currently work at a resale clothing store and I'm studying for my MFA in Interior Design. I have two cats, live with my boyfriend of 2yrs, have an obsession with cupcakes, shoes, and love starting dance parties. :D

What can readers expect to find when they visit your blog?  

Kinks Are The New Pink is mainly about my personal style and experience with natural hair, but you'll also find styling and natural hair tips, the occasional DIY, and general things that inspire me.

Where do you get your fashion/style inspiration?
Everywhere! From magazines, to blogs, to seeing what people are wearing on the street. Just keep your eyes and mind open and you can find inspiration from practically anything.

What are three must-haves that a woman needs in her closet?
1.  A Chambray Top - I love chambray! It's just so versatile and adds a casual element to any look It's also easy to dress up or down, wear it casually tied over a maxi dress during the day or pair it with a mini skirt and heels for night. :)
2. A Solid Color Maxi Dress - This is another item that can be super versatile, especially if bought in a neutral color, and is perfect for layering or wearing as is!
3. Stripes - Striped dress, striped top, stripes on your shoes...I'm obsessed with stripes and I think it's a print that looks good on anyone, it can be classic, chic, and fun.

Do you think your natural hair has an impact on your style?  
Definitely. Before I went natural I wasn't as willing to experiment with my style as I am now. I feel as if I have more time to come up with outfits now that it takes me only  5min to do my hair in the morning, it's great! I'm a little more adventurous with what I put together as well.

What trends/looks are you looking forward to wearing this summer?
 I'm looking forward to wearing pops of neon and floral prints - groundbreaking, I know, haha! - especially on pants, I already have a couple but I'm still on the hunt for the perfect pair :)

Anything else?
Thank you Nika for featuring me! I literally squealed with delight when I saw your email, haha! And thanks to everyone for reading, hope to see you all around on the blog! :)

Be sure to check out Ashlei's awesome blog HERE.

Monday, June 4, 2012

My Black is Beautiful: SisterHood

This photo showed up in my Facebook feed today, and I thought it captured the essence of sisterhood (via My Black Is Beautiful FB page)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Bright Summer Colors

I've been drawn to pink and yellow this summer. I think they are my unofficial summer colors. Yesterday I wore this pink dress that I purchased from Forever21 to the Brooklyn Museum's First Saturdays.

In other news I've created an online thrift/vintage store blog of sorts, feel free to check it out HERE. If you have any questions about any of the items please e-mail me. Happy Sunday!

Friday, June 1, 2012

This Week In Black Style

Kelly Rowland at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards

Rihanna out and about in London

Gabrielle Union and Savannah at Heat game

Zoe Saldana out shopping in NYC

British artist Alexandra Burke at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards

So what do you think about these looks?