2014Faces of Black Fashion: 2014

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Embracing Your Unique Beauty

Embracing Your Unique Beauty

A photo of my sister enjoying the beauty (and smell) of a rose bush

I love hibiscus flowers. They remind me of early morning walks with my grandfather during my childhood in Jamaica. I learned to appreciate beauty from “papa.” As the first child of his youngest daughter, he adored me and cultivated my appreciation for beauty at the tender age of two. We enjoyed walks together in his flower garden, and as he introduced me to different plants, he told be their names.  Yet, each time we came upon his hibiscus flower collection,  he said  “pretty.” I would mimic the word and smile. It was our shared secret.  The name didn't matter,  so satisfied with and captivated by their beauty, only the adjective interested me. 

As I grew older, so did my affinity for other types of flowers: roses, gardenias, and marigolds. I don’t see any of these flowers as prettier than the other. They are all different in their own way, but beautiful nonetheless. In the same way flowers vary in their beauty, so do the beauty we find in the human population.

As women we come in an array of shapes, sizes, and skin tones, each of us beautiful in our own unique right. Unfortunately,  limiting beauty standards fail to capture the many flavors of our diverse makeup. Too often we internalize society's shortcomings as our own.

As you make resolutions for 2015, I challenge you to embrace your  God-given unique beauty.  Your creator didn't make any mistakes when he created you, in fact, he looked at you and said you are "good."  This means you are already beautiful just as you are: your hair, your body shape, your skin tone, your height, your flaws and imperfections. This alone is enough reason to celebrate yourself. 

I too look forward to continue to affirming you and other beautiful nubian queens on Faces of Black Fashion in the coming new year. 

Happy New Year Lovelies!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2014: Mocha Beauty Edition

Black Models Shine on Stage during Victoria's Secret Fashion Show

Cindy Bruna

Jasmine Tookes

Joan Smalls

Lais Ribiero

Friday, December 5, 2014

Five Statement-Making Coats to Wear This Winter

Five Statement-Making Coats to Wear This Winter

 Flared elegance. This coat is great for a date night or a night out on the town with the girls. Take this coat up a notch by pairing it with over-the-knee boots.

Classy and feminine. I can see this coat worn to church or to a formal event. 

Get instant chic with this poncho style coat. This coat will look great paired with leggings or skinny jeans and boots.

 A stylish everyday jacket, this puffer will keep you warm (and chic) on winter's coldest days.


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Five Great Reminders That Your Life Matters

In light of Mike Brown's death and the recent decision by the Ferguson prosecutor not to indict, I stand in solidarity with those of us who hope for a society that is fair and just to all people. I stand with those who uphold the intrinsic value of ALL human life. All life matters, and while the evils of racism, sexism and other forms of prejudice and hate seek to devalue the worth of some people's lives, with this post I celebrate life and the value of black lives.

This post was inspired by the #blacklivesmatter socialmedia hashtag. Here are five great reminders that your life matters!

“Sometimes, I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company?" Zora Neale Hurtson

 “Please try to remember that what they believe, as well as what they do and cause you to endure does not testify to your inferiority but to their inhumanity” 
― James BaldwinThe Fire Next Time

"You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them." Maya Angelou

"There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living." Nelson Mandela

“God made no mistakes when He created you. You were uniquely designed for success in your purpose. When you align your life with your strengths—those innate qualities you were gifted with—you will tap into a level of grace that empowers you to achieve things you could never accomplish in your strength alone.”  Valorie Burton

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Nika Notes: I'm not my hair, or, am I?

"I'm not my hair, I'm not this skin...I am a soul that lives within." India Arie

“A woman's hair shows a lot about her character,” he said.  I paused, befuddled, wondering how something as trivial as hairstyle could distinguish someone's values and moral qualities.  I was scrolling through  one of my favorite media mogul’s Facebook page enjoying her daily words of wisdom and inspiration. I came across a thread on vulnerability and showing your partner the “real you.” Most everyone who commented agreed that vulnerability engendered intimacy, but the conversation took an interesting turn towards hair, specifically black women’s hairstyle choices, when a poster chastised women who did not wear their hair in its natural state for having "poor character" and not showing their "real selves."

Unfortunately it isn’t the first time that I’ve come across this attitude or the simple arrogance that some people display when talking about how black women "should" wear their hair.  While I value the natural hair movement for highlighting the diversity of beauty and for balking in the face of narrow and  limiting beauty standards, hair isn't the blueprint of moral, mental and spiritual standing.  Over the years, I’ve worn an array of hairstyles ranging from short to long, natural to relaxed and everywhere in between. My hair is a part of the way I choose to express myself, but it will never be able to fully  encapsulate who I am. My growth and evolution as a woman emerged from my life experiences, choices, and God’s grace; not my hairstyles.  Thus, you can tell nothing about the depths of my spirit by looking at the hair on my head.

While your hair can be a step toward expressing self-love and acceptance, it's far from the indicia of who you are  inside. You simply cannot sum up a woman's character by how she wears her hair. If a whole is a sum of its parts, our spirits can and will never be the sum total of our hairstyle choices. We are so much more than that. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Rihanna Covers Elle Magazine December 2014

Rihanna is stunning in Atelier Versace on Elle's December cover. Visit Elle to see more photos of the gorgeous Island beauty and read excerpts from her interview.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Faces of Black Fashion Salutes Oscar de la Renta

Earlier this week the fashion community lost revered fashion-designer Oscar de la Renta. Oscar de la Renta spent over five decades dressing first ladies since Jacqueline Kennedy and some of our world's leading public figures and movie stars. Faces of Black Fashion salutes his legacy. 

Oscar de la Renta escorts Oprah to the 2010 Met Gala

Halle Berry wears Oscar de la Renta at the Die Hard Premiere in 2004

Kerry Washington in Oscar de la Renta at the 2013 NAACP Image Awards

Credit: FayesVision/WENN via styleblazer.com

Lupita Nyong'o wows in Oscar de la Renta at the White House Correspondents Dinner

Credit: eonline.com

First Lady Michelle Obama wears an Oscar de la Renta dress during the White House Fashion Education workshop she hosted earlier this month. 

Credit: cocoafab.com

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fall Thrift Lookbook

Self impression has always been something that has been of the utmost importance to me. When I discovered my love for fashion I knew exactly where my creative juices would flourish. For me trends were a gift & a curse, I love to see the latest creations in fashion but I despised looking like everyone else. Thus the modern day natural was born. I found a way to get the best of both worlds, THRIFTING! In my fall thrift look book every outfit has something that was thrifted. Thrifting is something that takes patience, but it does wonders for your budget. Here are a few looks I put together, maybe you too can thrift your way fabulous!

Fall Thrift lookbook



Saturday, October 18, 2014

My Birthday Trip to Napa Valley

Last weekend, I celebrated my 30th birthday in the Bay area with one of my  "nearests and dearests" who lives in San Francisco.  On the second day of my trip, we went wine tasting in Napa Valley.  My friend recommended Domain Carneros Wine Estate, a beautiful picturesque estate that sits on a hill overlooking the vineyard. Although I've visited Napa Valley once before, it was my first time at the Domain Carneros winery, such a beautiful sight to behold!

The winery offers sit down tastings on their outdoor terrace. Since Domain Carneros is famous for their sparkling wine, we ordered the sparkling wine sampler. The champagne lover in me leaped for joy. I enjoyed the sampler, but my favorite was the driest wine of the bunch:  the 2009 Brut Cuvee. 

I enjoyed my 20s, but I am excitedly looking forward to the next phase of my life! To read about 10 Life Lessons I Learned in My 20s, visit my personal style and lifestyle blog HERE


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

What Makes You Different Makes You Beautiful: Model with Vitiligo Embraces Her Beauty

Chantelle Young is stunning! At four years old, she was diagnosed with vitiligo, a skin condition that causes white patches on her brown skin. Growing up, the Jamaican-Canadian model experienced bullying and social isolation, but  her fierce resilience  enabled her to rise above the negativity.  After being discovered by a photographer as a teen, Chantelle now has a blossoming modeling career including being the face of Desigual's Fall campaign . We salute Chantelle for embracing her beauty and for being the embodiment of  the beauty of diversity. What makes us different, makes us beautiful. 

via cosmopolitan.com

Show studio x MACHINE-A Photographer: Nick Kngiht