All Articles Tagged "Fashion"
During the halftime Super Bowl show yesterday, something occured that almost never happens when King Bey takes the stage: Beyonce’s dancers were talked about more than her. Okay, maybe almost as much. The point is, fans were as much here for the beret-toting, afro-sporting, harness-doning ode to the Black Panther movement seen on Bey’s dance team as they were the singer herself telling us to get in formation. And thanks to stylist Marni Senofonte, we have the leg up on how you can recreate that powerful look (because we know you’re already planning your Halloween costume around it).
Senofonte, who created Beyonce and her dancers’ Super Bowl attire, spoke to Essence yesterday and spilled the tea on which designers were responsible for the looks. For the dancers, New York-based designer Zana Bayne created the custom leather harnesses and their boots were none other than Dr. Martens. Queen Bey, on the other hand, wore a jacket and harness designed by D Squared, a bodysuit by Ashton Michael, and Christian Louboutin shoes.
If you caught on to the fact that Beyonce appeared to be paying homage to another figure with her attire, you’re right. Senofonte told Essence:
“When Michael Jackson performed at SuperBowl on January 31, 1993, he wore a jacket and harness. Beyoncé wanted to pay homage to Michael. She has always said he is her biggest music influence and Michael’s halftime performance marked a change in global interest for the halftime show.”
As for the politically charged wardrobe of the dancers, Senofonte shared this:
“It was important to [Beyonce] to honor the beauty of strong Black women and celebrate the unity that fuels their power. One of the best examples of that is the image of the female Black Panther. The women of the Black Panther Party created a sisterhood and worked right alongside their men fighting police brutality and creating community social programs. That they started here in the Bay Area, where the SuperBowl is being held this year, was not lost on her. And they made a fashion statement with natural afros, black leather jackets and black pant suits. That image of women in leadership roles; believing they are a vital part of the struggle is undeniably provocative and served as reference and reality.”
By now, we all should be familiar with the story of Sophia Amoruso. However, if the name doesn’t quite ring a bell, you’ve possibly bought a book by her and definitely shopped her popular online site for fly clothes.
Amoruso, the author of New York bestseller #Girlboss and CEO of trendy women’s apparel site Nasty Gal, is expanding her global empire for the new year. According to Variety, Netflix has given the green light on flipping her book into a comedy series. Sources also say that the streaming service is teaming up with Kay Cannon and Charlize Theron to fill the roles of pilot script writer and showrunner.
#Girlboss is an autobiography about the life and times about Amoruso’s rise to success that was released in May 2014. Like a true rags-to-riches story, Amoruso details her selling vintage on eBay, building Nasty Gal, and becoming the CEO of a multi-million dollar fashion empire at just 27.
As of now, there have been no details on a slated release date, but Netflix has surely hit a goldmine with Amoruso’s inspiring story of entrepreneurship. And ladies, if you haven’t read #Girlboss, we totally suggest you do. Amoruso is dropping lots of gems!
Legs for days! Thigh-high boots can be intimidating, but they’ve literally been everywhere this season. Don’t worry. We’re here to help you get in on the trend with different styles for a different set of tastes–and different price points.
Go Luxe in Leather
Leather thigh-high boots. It’s totally normal if your first reaction is to think, “What am I? Catwoman? Not for me.” The key to wearing these sexy stunners (especially for newbies) is to tone down the rest of your outfit. Wearing an all-black monochrome look works well. Think oversized sweater dress paired with a scarf, opaque tights and a beanie.
Save: Faux Leather Thigh-High Boots, Heel.com – $81.99 (org. $89.99)
Splurge: Thigh-High Leather Boots, Jeffrey Campbell – $225
“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening,” famous French icon Coco Chanel once said and Fatou N’diaye is a living breathing example of that.
The French beauty/fashion blogger is using a growing online presence to highlight Black beauty and get people to realize just how much African fashion and Urban street fashion influence the fashion world as a whole. Her BlackBeautyBag blog has become the online destination for beauty/fashion insiders, beauty lovers, and fashion buffs and N’diaye was actually inspired to start a blog showing the beauty of Black women after seeing such Black American magazines as Essence.
BlackBeautyBag covers everything from makeup for all shades of Black women to hairstyles (including N’diaye’s own innovative natural hair styles) to fashion. There’s also a forum for followers to exchange tips, advice and posts on wellness and as well as the environment.
N’diaye, who is 38 and has a 14-year-old son, not only runs the blog, but also organizes events, like beauty conferences, in France and abroad. Check out our chat with this French wonder.
MadameNoire (MN): What made you decide to start blogging?
Fatou N’diaye (FN): I have always been passionate about beauty and I thought we did not address the issue of Black beauty in general French media. I started attending the first beauty forums in 2003 as The Beauty of Afrik.
We basically shared beauty tips and spoke to the Black women. In parallel, I bought a lot of magazines like Ebony and Essence–magazines I found in London and the United States when I was 20–that specialized in Black beauty but also the lives of Black women. This was what we did not see in magazines in France, where Black women are still sidelined.
Gradually, I started a workbook where I identified these issues about beauty. It is then that I created my blog, in 2007. It was my space where I could share my beauty tips, talk about self-esteem and well-being. This was the place where I gave consultation to Black women like me in search of beauty tips and tricks. But I also wanted to show with my blog that Black women are like other women and show a positive image.
MN: What do you love about fashion?
FN: What I love about fashion is that it allows each of us to express our personality through clothing. The garment is somehow an extension of each of us. And what is often not said is that fashion is born on the street. Those are people like you and me who create and major retailers and fashion names repeat the codes created in the streets.
MN: I understand you are French-raised, half-Nigerian, quarter-Malian, and quarter-Senegalese. Is this description correct?
FN: Yes, it is just that! And it’s funny because often when I say my background people look surprised as if Africans did not mix within. Africa is a great continent where there are over 40 countries. Don’t people fall in love with someone who does not come from their country or culture?
MN: Do you think that your diverse ethnic diversity gives you a different outlook on the world of fashion?
FN: I think the two cultures of my parents bring me great wealth. You know we do not often say it, but many people are inspired by Africa for fashion. This beautiful continent is rich in textiles, colors, and materials. Indeed when looking at designers such as Burberry, Ralph Lauren, and others, they use dress styles created by the Congolese. They are called “the fire.” The color block was invented by the Congolese. Solange even used one of her videos (“Losing You”) shot in South Africa. Fashion is something that lives in Africa, and it is present in every detail.
But what I mostly learned growing up was that I had to be proud of my African roots and this beautiful continent of Africa that never gets to show its wealth and beauty only misery.
MadameNoire.com: How do you make money off of BlackBeautyBag.com?
Fatou N’diaye: I earn money with the traffic and visits to my blog and the articles that are sponsored. Advertising banners are billed; I will not put free advertising on my blog. Also, I earn money with the competition/events I do with beauty brands. They pay me for events with my readers or guests. When I make beauty or community management conferences for events I also paid. Also, when I travel for events I am paid.
I earned money with my Instagram account, some of my post are sponsored by brands and a lot of my travels that I share on Instagram are to promote destinations by the travel agency. They pay me for posting pictures on my Instagram account and offer me the travel, all inclusive.
MN: It has been said that you are changing the face of French fashion, how would you describe your influence on the world of fashion?
FN: Yes, it was a nice surprise to read Vogue talking about me like that. I find this important and noble to say. I loved that title and the fact that there is no term “Black.” This means that before our skin color, we are French. And I found it really relevant and bold, especially to think that I represent a new form of Parisian beauty is great because all the French are not white or blond or thin. They do not come all the beautiful rich neighborhoods. They are Black, Chinese, Indian, Arab. I hope this will allow the media to show the diversity of French women that is never shown on TV or in magazines.
MN: Fashion has been accused of not being very diverse. Would you agree?
FN: That is true. I see no diversity. It there’s always one or two Black models among 20 white models. I am pleased to see women like Naomi Campbell, Jourdan Dunn, Alek Wek and others talking about racism in the fashion world.
MN: Do you think things are getting better?
FN: Gradually things are changing but Anglophone countries are more advanced than in Europe, it is because people of color in Europe have remained silent too long and are now daring to assert themselves and raise their voices. Continue the fight it is our duty, and to exist in a society we must be visible.
MN: The French fashion world seems to be cracking down on models who are too skinny. Your thoughts?
FN: This is great because young girls see this and want to be very thin, anorexic and it is dangerous. Many girls take these mannequins models and want to be like them or think that to be a beautiful woman must be like the models .
MN: Do you think fashion is now embracing the “real women”?
FN: Fashion is a bit hypocritical; they sell products to women who do not have the physique of women they showcase. I would see them show different women in their advertisements to put forth that there is more than one type of beauty or physique.
MN: Are there many bloggers of color in the fashion world?
FN: There are a lot of Black bloggers in many fields (fashion, food, literature, cinema, DIY, arts, etc.) but the problem is that few can emerge and it is always the same concern.
When you’re Black and have schooling or equal capabilities with white, you will always have more difficulties because of your skin color. Being Black in the French media environment is very difficult. Indeed a few months ago in France the French BET channel was launched without Black TV host; many people have called for a boycott of BET France. The network has heard our anger and apologized and promised to rectify the situation. It is often like that in France, the world of fashion and media is very closed and very white. That is why I thank the Internet for it has allowed Black talent (comedians, actors, YouTubers, Viners, bloggers) to express themselves and provide an alternative to what we do not see on TV. The change will be done if we continue. I trust that the future generation will benefit from our struggles.
MN: What has been your biggest business lesson?
FN: What I have learned is that people respect you if they see that you have some convictions and you are defending the body and soul. Never stop fighting for what one believes right. And as a woman I learned that in this environment run by men, one must have a strong temperament. And as a blogger, I also learned I need a contract when I work with companies or people and not be afraid to talk money. In France this money talk is taboo; I’m not ashamed. These companies want to win and make money with bloggers, why I would work for free for people?
MN: What are your goals for your blog?
FN: Continue what I have done from the beginning with my blog, that is to say promote Black beauty and self-esteem. I would later like to have a high position in a beauty company where my role is to develop communication and marketing products for Black women everywhere.
MN: What do you love the most about blogging?
FN: My freedom to write and think. In my writings I bring the story and testimony of what thousands of Black women live every day without anyone talking about it. And if that can change minds, it is a victory! Blogging has shown beautiful things other than what the big media shows or conceals.
For 11 years Nike has released special edition sneakers for the month of February but never have the sport’s brands designs been as Black and proud as they are in this year’s Black History Month collection.
Paying homage to Serena Williams, Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant, Sanya Richards-Ross, and Blaise Matuidi, Nike has revealed tennis, soccer, running, and basketball shoes along with accompanying sportswear in “a vivid Pan African-inspired color palette, with custom geometric motifs” that makes us want to place our order right now. In addition to honoring these players and celebrating Black heritage, proceeds from the collection will support Nike’s Ever Higher Fund, created to “bring mentorship, sport and all of its benefits to African-American youth.” Check out some of the items in the 28-piece collection below. What do you think?
The weather outside — in most of the country right now — is frightful. But instead of reaching for your usual wool hat to keep your head warm and covered, why not try a head wrap made of a bright fabric print that’ll make you forget it’s the middle of winter (and your hair’s not done underneath)? Trust me when I tell you these 12 women will inspire you to pick up some mud cloth or wax on the way home from work and rock and head wrap by the end of the week.
We’ve all seen the red carpet photos. But what do your favorite celebrities dress like when there’s no stylist involved, and they want to stay chic, cute and comfortable? Get ready to find out how these stars describe their personal style.
This year, why not infuse a little fun into your fashion? Playing around with gold accessories can be the perfect way to remind yourself that you’re worth it as you start the new year.
I live for simplicity. I just refuse to deal with anything that’s too complicated unless I have a darn good reason. I also believe that simplicity is usually far more pleasing to the eye than anything that looks busy or messy. Yep, no matter how I look at things, the simple life sounds pretty good to me.
My love for keeping things simple also applies to my sense of style. From my home to my wardrobe, I want it all to happen in a way that makes my life easier. But I also recognize that my love for simplicity can lead to a pretty boring existence if I don’t make an effort to change things up. That is why I love to look for simple ways to make things pop.
I recently got a new hairstyle and it made me realize that such a simple change can do so much for my confidence. My new do led me to think about other ways I can change my look without too much effort; the simpler, the better.
And listen, I am not lazy. Like you, I am juggling 101 responsibilities. I simply choose not to invest a ton of time into changing up my look. But the thing is, I do want to look good. I want to feel pretty and sexy. I want to feel confident.
So if you’re anything like me and you want to change up your look without doing too much, these tips may help.
Change your lip color. After years of wearing neutral lip colors I took the plunge and threw on some red lipstick last year. Who knew some new lip color would get me so much attention. Your lips are a very prominent part of your face and changing the color you wear on your lips can really change your look. Whether it’s going from neutral to bright, or from bright to something softer and more subtle, a new lip color can work wonders.
Wear new colors. Are you stuck on black because it makes your look thinner? Are all your shoes neutral colors because they match more things? Trust me, I understand, but you gotta have some fun with it. If black and gray is your thing, try a couple of brighter pieces that look great on your skin tone. If you are stuck on nude and black shoes, get a pair of hot pink pumps and strut your stuff. As you may already know, there is a lot of psychology that goes behind your color choices, so playing with new colors may actually help you improve your mood and convey confidence, all while sending out positive vibes you never even considered.
Try new accessories. I am not the greatest when it comes to accessorizing, but when I do I am always amazed by how the smallest (and often least expensive) part of my outfit makes it pop like crazy. Maybe you need a few new scarves, or maybe a few fun pieces of jewelry will do. Whatever you decide, don’t underestimate the power of the little things when it comes to changing your look up without spending too much or doing too much.
Make your eyes pop. Maybe you don’t wear eye makeup, or maybe you do but it’s not something you focus on a whole lot. Either way, if you use the right tips to makes your eyes pop, you can go from sleepy mama to fabulous and fierce. I wish I could give you a ton of eye-popping tips, but that really isn’t my area of expertise. But I will tell you that a quick YouTube search will leave you with quite a few videos to choose from and the tips in many of them are super easy to apply and can really give you an incredible look.
Do something new with your nails. More people notice your nails than you think, so although they may be an afterthought when you put an outfit together, they shouldn’t be. With all the awesome nail trends out there, you can find tons of ways to make your nails look fly on the regular. If a salon is in your budget, go for it! You deserve it. But if it’s not, don’t fret. I am horrible at painting my own nails but have managed to find enough tips online to help me hook them up (and help them dry fast!).
Martine Foreman is a lifestyle consultant, freelance writer, lifestyle blogger, and speaker. To learn more about her work and get great tips on how to create a life you love, check her out at CandidBelle.
Photos: Facebook/Jaden Smith, Instagram/Nicolas Ghesquiere
The other day I was looking at the new Louis Vuitton women’s wear ad featuring Jaden Smith.
For many of us it looks cool, ‘Ooh Jaden is confident!” some even say, sexy. But who among us would actually date a man in a skirt? Is it one of those things that’s cool from a distance? Like in a magazine? The majority of us will never know. In the meantime though, I have an idea of what it’s like because of what happened to my bestie…
They met at a club in Manhattan where he was beautifully dressed in a kilt. Tall, dark-skinned, sexy and from Scotland (yes, you heard me right) and of Caribbean descent. She loved it all. They danced the night away, went back to her crib, didn’t have sex, but did talk until dawn. They had lots of things in common, including a love of the book ‘The Alchemist,’ which she had just finished reading.
Could he be The One? she thought, walking him to the door.
Later that evening, he came back over to take her to get something to eat. When she opened the door she was surprised to find him standing there still wearing the kilt. It was weird because he did change his shirt. Oh well, she thought, making an excuse to stay in. The skirt was cute at the club, but having it accompany them around the corner to grab a bite to eat was the equivalent of him wearing a three-piece suit.
What would her neighbors think?
Still, they had a great time chatting it up. He was a musician in a band that had relocated to New York, and had only been in town for six months. Getting to know him felt fresh like morning dew.
The next day they met for a movie and to her dismay, Mr. Scotland showed up in the skirt. This time with a blazer, but still. At this point, she was getting scared. What if this was the only bottom he owned? What would her Mom say?
That’s when she called me, panicking, and I had to step in.
“Okay, girl, I got an idea, tomorrow’s the weekend. Invite him to the park, tell him you want to introduce him to your friends, and tell him we might play volleyball.”
And sure enough, homeboy showed up to the park in the kilt with matching sweat socks to his knees and tennis shoes. I just looked at my girl, shook my head, and we both knew. They had to have the talk.
The following day she called him on the phone and explained that although she was really enjoying his company–his accent alone gave her those good chills–she just couldn’t do the skirt.
“Can’t you wear a pair of jeans the next time we meet?”
He was quiet.
“Look, this isn’t easy for me, and I’m not trying to insult you, but I have to be honest. This is America. It’s too much.”
Finally, he spoke.
“I’ve been here before, and I really thought you were different. There are things I’d change about you too, but overall I accept you the way you are. Today it’s the skirt, tomorrow what will it be?”
“I can’t believe he broke up with meeeeeeeee!!!!!” She sobs, tears burning through the phone like acid. Damn. I was kinda shocked that he chose the skirt over her. And I never dreamed she’d be this upset. Was it my fault? I hoped I hadn’t pressured her into doing something that she didn’t want to do. I had to fix this because, ultimately, I didn’t want to be responsible for her unhappiness. What if she never found another dude like this?
“Girl, the skirt wasn’t that bad,” I tell her.
The following day they patch things up. He didn’t like the way things ended either. So dating resumes, both are happy, and everyone gets used to the skirt, until one day I’m shocked to see him in jeans. “What the heck happened?” I whisper to her while he’s at the bar getting us some drinks. She says that he wears them from time to time. It’s no big deal. Then she takes off her hat and I see that the signature hair weave that usually cascades down her back is gone, and in its place is a cute little pixie cut.
“What happened to your hair!” I scream.
“Oh, he wanted to see my face,” she says, blushing from ear-to-ear.
Talk about change.
Two months later, his band went to London and my girl went with him. Today they have three kids, a girl and two boys. They all wear skirts. And jeans.
Thanks for the trip down down memory lane Jaden!
Check out Erickka Sy Savané’s column, Pop Mom, right here on Madamenoire. Before Erickka became a writer/editor, she was a model, actress, and MTV VJ. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Jersey City. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.