All Articles Tagged "Fashion"
A Black Mecca is a city where a good amount of African Americans live and thrive in the community on a daily basis. When you hear of a Black mecca you always think of places such as Atlanta and DC but in this segment, Goapele gives us a tour of her hometown Oakland, California. We are encouraging locals to support and celebrate small town businesses in the area during black history month!
Click here to see our editors tour St. Louis.
For more information on the places that were featured in the segment see below:
530 18th St.
Oakland, CA 94612
901 Washington St.
Oakland, CA 94607
45 Grand Ave.
Oakland, CA 94612
1035 7th St.
Oakland, CA 94607
As we settle in to Black History Month, the fashion world is taking note of iconic African American women who not only influenced society’s style of dress but also transformed whole communities through their art and their voice as civil rights pioneers. Style Influencers Group founder Christina Brown along with Alexis Felder (from our sister site Bossip) and Jessica Andrews came up with the idea to recreate these icons as part of a #WeAreBlackHistory campaign and did so with a group of the top Black female style influencers around, which includes Danielle Kwateng, Senior Editor of our other sister site, StyeBlazer.com, and our girl Kela Walker from “Ask a Black Man,” just to name a few. Check out a few of the stunning photo recreations below and head over to Elle.com for the full spread.
Who was hot and who was a hot mess when it comes to Grammy red carpet fashion? Watch the video and tell us.
Finding just the right bra can be an infuriating process — unless you know these back-saving bra hacks. Read on to banish your bra problems for good.
Just when you thought Kanye West couldn’t get anymore self-indulgent, here comes news about a certain pass he has given one of his famous (White) fashion friends.
According to the Style.com, the “Black Skinhead” rapper has given a hood pass to Parisian designer Jean Touitou, founder and owner of luxe jean maker A.P.C., who used West’s song “Niggas in Paris” as inspiration for his Fall 2015 mens wears collection. Touitou introduced the line, which features Timberland boots and sweatpants (I guess that is the N-word part.), earlier this week during a runway show that also included featured him giving a very awkward explanation for his colorful approach to the line.
“Touitou ushered in a quartet of models wearing three different cuts of a camel overcoat and one check, all matched with gray sweatpants and A.P.C.-designed Timberlands. Then he held up a sign that said, “Last Ni##@$ IN PARIS,” and gave us this exposition: ‘”I call this one look Last N****s in Paris. Why? Because it’s the sweet spot when the hood—the ‘hood—meets Bertolucci’s movie “Last Tango in Paris.” So that’s ‘N****s in Paris’ and Last N****s in Paris. [Nervous laughter from audience.] Oh, I am glad some people laughed with me. Yes, I mean, it’s nice to play with the strong signifiers. The Timberland here is a very strong ghetto signifier. In the ghetto, it is all the Timberlands, all the big chain. Not at the same time—never; it’s bad taste. So we designed Timberlands with Timberland…”
There is so much nonsensical bullshit in that second to last sentence alone, I don’t even know where I should begin, other than to point out that I highly doubt Touitou knows anything about the “ghetto” let alone what is considered proper “’hood attire.” And the mere fact that he dared to open his mouth to teach other clueless White folks about “ghetto” attire, let’s you know the kind of entitlement we are dealing with here. (Here’s a hint: it’s the White kind.). I just pray to the Black Jesus (the one on the Evans Family’s wall); not the one from the Cartoon Network) that those weren’t Black models walking the runway with Touitou as he held up his N-word in Paris sign. But something tells me that they were, because some of us are stupid like that…
If the name sounds familiar to anyone, (Not me, my knowledge of designer fashion labels doesn’t extend beyond T.J Maxx.), Touitou has a reputation around the industry (so says the news blogs) for being an arrogant prick. As the blog The Business of Fashion writes, “Jean Touitou has often been portrayed as a difficult and grumpy man, who actively courts controversy and can be harsh and contemptuous.” In fact, some may call him the Kanye West of fashion, but like, he’s an actual fashion designer.
This might be an understatement. According to Hint Magazine, he once called the entire Chinese manufacturing industry, “Mr. Chong” and “fascists.” He also once accused designer label Hermes of only selling “ugly colors.” And according to Oyster Magazine, he has also taken shots at fashion powerhouse Yves Saint Laurent by basically calling their aesthetic, under new leader Hedi Slimane, tired and “bullshit.” Ironically, West also once called Laurent “bullshit” too.
In fact, outside of their shared hatred for Saint Laurent and love for N-words cruising the streets of Paris in leather sweatpants, the two loudmouths are actually quite friendly with one another. If you recall, Touitou and West collaborated on two limited edition capsule collections, which included an exclusive $120 plain white T-shirt. And according to Style, West actually co-signed Touitou’s new Fall line, including the use of his song, prior to the collection hitting the runway.
More specifically, Touitou told Style, in an email after the awkward runway show:
“I am friends with Kanye [West, who recorded “Ni**as in Paris” with Jay Z], and he and I presented a joint collection at the same place, one year ago, and that this thing is only a homage to our friendship. As a matter of fact, when I came up with this idea, I wrote to him, with the picture of the look and the name I was giving to it, and he wrote back immediately saying something like, ‘I love this vibe.”
So “vibe” is what we’re calling cultural appropriation now?
Listen, I’m so over policing White people about their usage of the N-word. For the record, I don’t like it – in any context – when they use it. But at the same time, they made up the word. And it is not like some of them don’t use it with or without our permission. Plus Hip Hop has made it so cool for White people to call themselves “niggas” that at this point, arguing over who can say it is a exercise in futility.
With that said, I am bothered by how self-serving this all is. For one, Touitou is not even calling himself a “nigga;” he’s just pointing out how inspired he is by our presence there. And more importantly, while it is his song, West is in no position to be granting any White boy a pass, let alone permission to interpret and label supposedly “ghetto” culture. Especially when none of the proceeds from the sale of that line will benefit or even advance the very people he is stealing from. In fact, the only person getting anything out of this is Touitou, who not only gets to sell some ugly boots, jeans and pea coats, but gets to seem hip and edgy at the same time. Heck I don’t even think West is making any money off of this. He is just the N-word inspiration. For that reason alone, I got to call this a fashion miss – as in, miss me with this one.
But what do folks think: Should Touitou get a hood pass for his inspirational clothing line or should that pass be voided and Touitou (and West too) be escorted out of Blackistan by security? Be sure to leave your comments below.
Welcome back to “Behind the Click,” the column in which we profile Black women in STEM professions. Want to pitch this section? Email email@example.com.
Name: Kelechi Anyadiegwu
Favorite read: Americanah by Chimamanda Adichie
Recent read: #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amouruso
Favorite apps: Goodreader and Read Later
Most inspired by: “The women in my life who don’t take no for an answer.”
One quote that inspires you: “Fashion should celebrate women, and I’m glad that I grew up in a culture that celebrated them.” – Alek Wek
Ultimate goal for 2015: “To create more opportunities for designers in the African fashion industry.”
The best innovations are born out of sheer frustration or to solve a problem. For Nigerian-American entrepreneur Kelechi Anyadiegwu, that problem was finding fashionable African-inspired designs. Instead of waiting on it, Anyadiegwu went out and created Zuvaa, an online marketplace for African-inspired fashion and accessories. With more than 29,000 Instagram followers, rapidly growing social media presence and a loyal community, Zuvaa is gearing up to transform the e-commerce space.
We caught up with the technology entrepreneur to discuss how she started Zuvaa, her tips for starting a successful online marketplace and why community has taken her brand to the next level.
MadameNoire: How did you get your start in the technology space?
Kelechi Anyadiegwu: I’ve always had an interest in technology, since my parents bought me a computer as a small child. I naturally found myself attracted to online communities (chatrooms, The SIMS, neopets, etc.) and building things (websites, avatars, digital Barbies, etc.). These were interests that really shaped my career aspirations going into high school and entering college. I loved digital design and I loved creating content. Everything from the yearbook club to creating layouts, or putting together short media clips. I loved it all.
MN: What inspired you to create Zuvaa, a premier marketplace for African-inspired fashion and accessories?
KA: This inspiration grew out of a personal problem that I had. My family is of Nigerian heritage and I grew up in the States. I grew up constantly going to Nigerian-themed parties, events and family functions. So African prints and textiles were always a part of my life. As I grew into young adulthood, I started to realize how difficult it was to find modern and trendy African-inspired designs. And it shocked me, because these prints were so beautiful and so much could be done with them. And anyone who knew me knew I loved fashion, especially eccentric and vibrant prints. So using my background in marketing and design, I created an online marketplace that I would personally shop at and I knew others would shop as well.
— Zuvaa (@shopzuvaa) September 8, 2014
MN: When you first had the idea to create Zuvaa, what steps did you take to get it off the ground?
KA: I just dove in. The minute I told myself I was going to pursue Zuvaa, I bought a domain, signed up for Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and started building the community right away. I knew right from the beginning that having a strong community that believed in our mission would be essential.
MN: Zuvaa is an online marketplace, but it’s also community focused. Why did you feel it was important to build a community within the platform?
KA: Building an online marketplace, community had to be a core part of my mission. Culture is something already so inherent in African communities, it only made sense that it would be the core of my marketplace for African fashion. I wanted the women who wore pieces from the marketplace, to feel like they were part of a bigger movement. Not only were they supporting small business owners and the African textile industry, but they were showing the love they had for African beauty and vibrancy through fashion. I wanted women to feel that personal connection to all the pieces they bought from the marketplace.
MN: What are your three tips to running a successful online marketplace?
KA: -Build a great community – Can’t emphasize this enough and the impact this has had for Zuvaa.
-Understand your customer – Don’t make assumptions. I made a lot of assumptions early on and did not do enough testing. I could have saved a lot of time and money, if I better understood my customer from the beginning.
-Patience and perseverance – E-commerce is hard, especially in fashion. There have been so many days I wanted to quit because we got no sales; then, the next day, we are featured on an awesome blog and sell out of an item that day. Running a company has taught me so much in what it means to never give up.
MN: What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received or given?
KA: Focus, focus, focus. Don’t try to do too much at once. Become really strong at one thing and then branch out to others, once your core is set. When I first started Zuvaa, I wanted to start designing my own pieces, I wanted to have a showroom, I wanted to do so many things. But my advisor, humbly told me, to focus on one aspect of the business and do it really, really well. Then I could branch out to other things. She said, “Black women, we often feel like we have to do all these things at once to prove we are 10 times better than the competition. But you don’t have to do that. Go at your own speed and things will fall into place.”
MN: What’s next for Zuvaa?
KA: Continuing to grow our community. We have such an amazing community of fashionistas who have really been pivotal in the growth of our company. These women are funny and engaged and supportive of the work we do at Zuvaa. We’re working on some amazing new projects and initiatives to further engage our community and our designers.
Based in New York City, Janel Martinez is a multimedia journalist who covers technology and entrepreneurship. She is the founder of “Ain’t I Latina?” an online destination geared toward Afro-Latinas. You can follow her up-to-the-minute musings on Twitter @janelmwrites.
In this episode of One Bold Move, we show a few series extras that didn’t make the final cut. Curly Nikki gives tips on maintaining natural hair for kids, YouTuber Missy Lynn gives advice for makeup newcomers, The Curvy Fashionista addresses plus-size fashion misconceptions, Mother/Daughter fitness duo Ellen and Lana Ector share their fitness inspiration and the co-founders of Black Girls Run! discuss whether you have to workout to stay in a relationship. What do you think? Let us know in the comments section below.
In this new series, One Bold Move, MadameNoire profiled four popular bloggers in the categories of Hair, Makeup, Style, and Fitness. These bloggers discussed the one bold decision that placed their life on a completely different trajectory. In this episode, Marie Denee of the Curvy Fashionista shares insight on why plus size women should embrace their curves.
For more on The Curvy Fashionista, visit her website.
Apparently at Calvin Klein, size 10 is “plus size.” But too-thin-for-plus models aren’t the only struggles plus size women go through. From shorts that ride up to buttons that never close, these are the struggles that only plus size women can understand.
Prowl the streets this Halloween night with MommyNoire’s favorite haute ‘cat’ looks for October. Love statement heels? Try Ted Baker’s leather, Corae Boots for $230! Want a place to store your Halloween treats, shop the fab Milly Gold Croc clutch, $245! Look around for more steals starting at $15.
Step on the scene in these super-bad Ted Baker, Corae Boots
Get the details on the rest of the looks on MommyNoire.com.