2017Faces of Black Fashion: 2017

Monday, December 11, 2017

Holiday Gift Guide - Black Owned Edition

First Column

1. Quelly Rue Sweatshirt - I think every fashionista will appreciate this sweathsirt slay! Isn't it gorgeous?  

2. Inspirado Wood Etching - Give the gift of inspiration and motivation. 

3. Juvia's Place Nubian Eyeshadow Palette - I own this palette and love it. The colors are HIGHLY pigmented and beautiful and it's now on sale for $15. 

Second Column

1. Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes - What an inspirational read. It will encourage the reader in your life to live boldly and courageously. A great book to read before the beginning of a new year. 

2. Melanie Marie Necklace

Third Column

1. Kingdom of Mel, Travel Bag - The travelista in your life will appreciate this unique African-inspired bag. 

2. Fanm Djamn headwrap - These headwraps scream haute couture style (much like Paola Mathe who owns the company). Choose from a number of beautiful options. 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Queen of Hearts, Davina Bennett Stuns at the Miss Universe Pageant

I've written about hair politics as it relates to black women and pageants previously, and so I'm beaming with pride after seeing the photos of  Davina Bennett walking the Miss Universe stage in all her beautiful Afro-haired glory. THIS IS HUGE.  In the face of Eurocentric beauty standards, Davina dared to set a new standard by highlighting the natural beauty of black women, which is often overlooked or rendered invisible. I can't remember a black woman  rocking an Afro in any pageant much less the Miss Universe pageant. Have you? I am beyond proud, and because representation is so important, I am happy that little brown-skinned curly-haired girls everywhere can see their beauty affirmed on an international stage.

In an interview with The Fix, Ms. Bennett shared that she big chopped last year, around the time she lost her dear grandmother.  She also shared that she received nothing but positive affirmation and support regarding her natural hair. After being crowned Ms. Jamaica, supporters encouraged her to rock her natural hair as it was her crowning glory. 

 Not only is Ms. Bennett making a mark on the international stage, she's also making an important cultural mark in her homeland of Jamaica, which she spoke about in the same interview. As the saying goes, to be Miss Jamaica you had to be "brown and from uptown," or in other words lighter skinned and from the middle to upper class urban community of Uptown Kingston. As a child growing up in Jamaica that's the mold, I saw on my television screen. To be fair, Jamaica has been making progress in this arena, but Ms. Bennett doesn't fit the typical  "brown and uptown" norm.  She is a brown-skinned beauty (with beautiful natural hair to match) and hails from the rural parish of Clarendon. We salute her for her strength, beauty, grace and courage in helping to create a new norm and by celebrating (by her mere presence) the beauty of a brown girl!

Big up Davina!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Five Ways to Wear the Long Cardigan

I've been somewhat obsessed with long cardigans lately. It's such a chic way to layer during the fall and winter seasons.Check out the inspiration from some of our favorite bloggers on how to wear this look. Enjoy. 

 All photos via Pinterest.

1. Patricia Bright - Go casual with jeans and a sweater.

2. Shirley B. Eniang -  Layer over a simple dress.

3. Ashleigh. Wear with cropped pants and statement heels. 

4. Olivia Fabuleuse. A sweater dress, over-the-knee boots and a long cardigan make for a statement making outfit. 

5. Olivia Fabuleuse. Layer over a long dress for a sophisticated nighttime look. This is perfect for date night.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Two of Our favorite Jamaicans, Usain Bolt and Yendi Phillips, Star in Ad for G.H. Mumm Champagne

Photo via Jamrockone.com

Two of our favorite Jamaicans, Yendi Phillips and Usain Bolt, teamed up to star in ad for, French Champagne Giant,  GH Mumm Champagne.  The Olympic superstar and former Miss Jamaica Universe shared the ad on their respective Instagram accounts to accolades and words or pride from Jamaicans all over the world. 

With the title "Celebrate Your Next Victory," Yendi sizzles  in a gold dress reminiscent of the Roaring Twenties and Usain looks sharp in a green suit. The gold, black and green colors throughout the ad pay homage to their Jamaican heritage. True to its title, the ad opens with a celebration. We see a band, dancing, and of course champagne. Later, Usain transitions from the party to the track field, and we see him preparing to run - well to win. The ad closes with the message "don't win to celebrate, celebrate to win."  

Just last year, GH Champagne named Usain Bolt as its Chief Entertainment Officer to feature in a multi-million dollar promotional campaign. We are beginning to see the campaign's unveiling , and so far I love what I see. I especially love that Usain chose another Jamaican to star alongside him for the first ad. See the ad below!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Monday, October 2, 2017

Black Models Stun at London Fashion Week

Winnie Harlow closes the show at Julie Macdonald


Jourdann Dunn, Topshop
Getty Images

Friday, September 22, 2017

Black Street Style Photos from NYFW S/S 2018

photo via NYTimes.com

photo via MarieClaire.com

 photo via vogue.com

 photo via vogue.com

 photo via vogue.com

via onobello.com

via NYTimes.com

Friday, September 15, 2017

Issa Rae is the Newest Face of Covergirl Cosmetics

Awkward Black Girl, Issa Rae, is the newest face of Covergirl Cosmetics. The writer, producer and star of the HBO hit series, Insecure, released a statement that: 

 “Becoming a CoverGirl means a lot because the brand recognizes just how important it is for people to embrace their individuality and express themselves in unique and diverse ways. This has been a major part of my personal journey, and a message that I want to share with others." 

 Congratualtions Issa! Thanks for representing black women and in particular beautiful brown skin woman with natural hair.

Images Courtesy of Covergirl Cosmetics


Saturday, September 9, 2017

Youtube Round-Up: Reviews of Fenty Beauty

Everyone is excited about the launch of Rihanna's Fenty Beauty. Well, at least everyone I've spoken to about makeup and beauty. To say I'm proud of Rihanna is an understatement. A black woman, created a line of makeup that has 40 foundation shades to match all women, and that's powerful! I cannot wait to get my hands on the collection, especially those foundations that I've been hearing a lot about. Per usual, I'm watching review of the line to get a better sense of the products that I want from the collection. I've rounded up a few Fenty Beauty reviews that I've been watching below.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

My Recap of the 15th Annual Martha's Vineyard African-American Film Festival

***Although I received media credentials for this post, all opinions expressed are mine. 

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of spending a day at the the15thAnnual African-American Film Festival in Martha’s Vineyard. Founded by Stephanie and Floyd Rance, the festival seeks to honor and celebrate African American films and filmmakers. This year the Rance’s received an award from the Massachusetts Governor’s Office for the impact that the festival has had on the island.  We spent the first part of our Saturday watching a few shorts. In the evening we saw the documentary Strong Island followed by a panel discussion and scenes from Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It.  Enjoy my recap of the various films I saw below! 

Founders Floyd and Stephanie Rance

1) Kanju.  This short film is a response to a 2000 article that  dubbed Africa as the "hopeless continent." The film does not depict an Africa that lacks hope but instead shows a continent brimming  with innovation and creativity. For example, we see the determination and dedication of Nollywood film creators, directors and actors; the innovative architecture of the Makoko floating school in Nigeria; and a glimpse into the musical and fashion explosion currently taking place across the continent. “Kanju,” a Yoruba word meaning “creativity born of struggle," depicts a continent of people creating in the midst of struggle. 

2) Chebet. This short gives a snapshot into the life of a Kenyan woman as she grapples with her impending motherhood, a marriage troubled with alcoholism, gender oppression and the determination to survive. As we follow her throughout the day, we see her change and can only hope that her life will change for the better. 
3) Monogamish.  This film follows a romantic young poet as he explores love and heartbreak when his boyfriend suggests an open relationship. We see him grapple with the decision of whether to honor his ideals about love in the age of open relationships and "situationships."   

4) Psuedo.  Psuedo powerfully shines a light on how our biases can affect our peception of others,  which can then lead to the polarization of people and robs all of us of the ability to see our fellow men and women as individuals. We leave the film realizing that at the end of the day regardless of race or creed, we are human beings with a basic desire to make it home safely.  
5) Strong Island.Strong Island tells a story of a family who moves from Brooklyn to Long Island in hopes of living out their American dream only to have that dream shattered by racism and injustice. Ford’s documentary powerfully shows how racism and justice are often at odds in our legal system. She shows the individual struggle of each family member as they grapple with the senseless murder of their loved one and the lack of justice that follows in the aftermath. One of the most powerful parts of the documentary was an intimate view of the tragedy's impact on the family, a view that we do not often get to see after a tragedy. Ford opens the film with the statement that she will show who her brother was, not who they say he was. This documentary is ripe for the current cultural climate and powerfully depicts how the personal is political. Strong Island is a must see.

6). She's Gotta Have It

Directors Spike Lee and Tanya Lewis Lee photographed with members of the cast of She's Gotta Gave It and Jazz Instrumentalist, Brandford Marsalis.

 A modern day version of Spike Lee’s 1986 film, the viewing of She's Gotta Have It featured a panel with the Directors Spike Lee andTanya Lewis Lee and cast members from the series, which was moderated by famed Jazz Instrumentalist, Brandford Marsalis.  Staring Dewanda Wise as Nola Darling, Director Tanya Lewis Lee describes the  series as “visceral empowerment of a woman living life on her own terms. ” Tackling themes such as female empowerment, relationships, and self-discovery, the audience got an insider's look into Nola Darling's life as she balances her career, friendships and multiple boyfriends. 

Dewinda Wise talking about her role as Nola Darling

Director Spike Lee described the strong female presence behind the series when he spoke about the majority female writes who helped to  develop the series. Tanya  Lewis Lee explained that creating a modern day series instead of a movie showcased greater character development. Both Spike Lee and Tanya Lewis Lee shared how important it is to have African-Americans at the decision-making table, which proved key in their collaboration with Netflix. 

I hope you enjoyed my coverage of the Martha's Vineyard African-American Film Festival. I highly recommend attending the festival next year and you can learn more information by visiting their website. If you get a chance to view the films, I would love to hear what you think or simply comment in the comment box below! 

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Street Style Photos from Afro Punk Brooklyn 2017

The first time I attended Afro Punk Brooklyn in 2015, I fell in love with the energy, art, style, music, activism and creativity. I loved that the festival celebrated black creativity in all of its glory while simultaneously encouraged social responsibility and activism. Afro Punk did not disappointment this year, it delivered! 

 In the photos below you will see some of that style and creativity that define Afro Punk Brooklyn. As you click through the photos, please share some of the things you love about them in the comment box below.

Photography by R. Pond.