All Articles Tagged "Fashion"

Kyemah McEntyre Explains The Message Behind Her Designs & The Future Of Her New Brand

July 9th, 2015 - By Ann Brown
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(Photo courtesy of Twitter)

(Photo courtesy of Twitter)

The African print prom dress that 18-year-old East Orange, N.J., student Kyemah McEntyre created was a fashion moment. Shortly after, 3LW artist and Power actress Naturi Naughton hired McEntyre to design a dress for her to wear to the BET Awards. Again Kyemah’s design became an online sensation.

McEntyre said she initially wanted to wear her African-inspired dress to the prom to send a message to other teens that it’s okay to be yourself, and that natural beauty is too be loved and admired. Not only did she garner lots of attention, but she was also crowned prom queen. But there is a lot more to McEntyre than her prom dress. McEntyre, who is raising funds to pay for the tuition at Parsons School of Design on GoFundMe.com, is also an artist with plans to build a business that will incorporate both her paintings and her designs.

MadameNoire caught up with Kyemah by phone. Here’s what she had to say.

MadameNoire: Let’s start off with your sensational prom dress. Did you think it would break the Internet?
Kyemah McEntyre: Well, I did want to become known locally. I wanted people in my area to understand the message behind it, which is to just be yourself and find beauty within yourself. Sometimes I think people conform to other people’s standards of beauty.  And I wanted to tell people it’s okay to be comfortable with yourself. But while I wanted to get the attention of people locally, I had no idea it would take off the way it did.

MN: Why did you decide on an African print dress?
KM: It’s been in my head since I went natural. However, when I decided to sketch it for the prom took me only two days. I have been natural since in I was in seventh grade.

MN: Was it a difficult transition to make?
KM: At first it was difficult for me to be very comfortable to be in my natural state because a lot of people around me had not gone natural. But I was always taught by my family that my own standard of beauty is what’s more important and you don’t have to be ashamed of your natural beauty. Also I always just liked the look of a large Afro.

MN: There have been reports that you had something to prove to people who bullied you in school and that this was the inspiration behind your dress.
KM: That came from a quote I said, but I wasn’t talking about me being bullied. I said: “This is for always being labeled as, ‘ugly’ or ‘angry.’ Thank God, stereotypes are just opinions.” What I was trying to convey was that the pressures Black women face from society to conform to their standards and this hard to deal with for all Black women. And this is a form of bullying in a way. But I want Black women to see that you don’t have to be apologetic for being themselves and not conforming to the European standards of beauty.

MN: How did you come to design Naturi Naughton’s dress for the BET Awards red carpet?
KM: Our conversation lasted about 20 minutes and she wanted to uplift and show what the generation was about. She said she really liked my story and my positive message. As far as the dress, she pretty much told me what she needed for the BET Awards. She told me a couple of things she wanted the dress to feature. And I pretty much included all of these things in my sketch and we went from there.

MN: What was it like to see your design on a celebrity and on television?
KM:  I couldn’t breathe. My mom and I were watching it on TV and it was so real and to see her say my name on television, it was huge for me.

MN: Have other celebrities come knocking?
KM: Niecy Nash has contacted me and says she wants something. And Also India Arie has contacted me just to say how much she loved what I was doing. I think we will do something together.

MN: You are entering college. How will you juggle your growing business and school?
KM: I will be starting at Parsons School of Design in New York where I got accepted for fine arts, but I do plan on changing degree. I might push back starting until January as I get my business set up. And I will not just focus on my fashion designs, I want to showcase my work as a painter as well. I have a few projects lined up, so I will be doing both.

MN: Have you always wanted to be a designer?
KM: Funny thing is I never  studied fashion before. I was in a mentor fashion program before in New Jersey but I have never studied. In fact, my prom dress was actually first design and creation.

MN: How will your promote your brand?
KM: I started an Esty online store called Mind Of Kye about a month ago. It focuses on my paintings; I wanted to show people the other side of me, that I am more than just one side. People can purchase prints of my artwork.

MN: And your fashions?
KM: I am in the process of organizing that now. I can say more about this soon.

MN: This must have been an exciting few months. But what has been the most important business lesson you have learned in the process?
KM:  I have more than one. One of them is to learn to live in the moment. Success is great but you need to slow down and enjoy what is going on right now. The other lesson would definitely be believing in yourself. In order for other people to believe in me, I have to first believe in myself.

If You Want To See Plus-Size Bodies Of Color Celebrated, theCurvyCon Is Where It’s At

June 24th, 2015 - By Brande Victorian
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curvycon

Cece Olisa, Gabi Gregg and Chastity Garner

It’s no secret — or surprise — that by and large the entertainment and fashion industries aren’t checking for fuller figures, and even when they are it’s rare that those plus-size bodies are round and brown. That reality has hardly been a deterrent for curvy fatshionistas who proudly flaunt their colored curves on social media and popular websites, and this past Saturday that community came together in New York City to celebrate that curvy confidence at the first annual CurvyCon.

theCurvyCon, brainchild of bloggers Chastity Garner and CeCe Olisa, was created to celebrate plus-size fashion, beauty, lifestyle and wellness with a day-long event featuring speakers from Kierra Sheard and Amber Riley to Gabi Gregg, Nadia Aboulhosn, and more tackling subjects like confidence, dating at any size, and plus-size health and fitness.

On site for the festivities, we couldn’t help but notice the influx of Black and Brown beauties, spanning ethnicities from African American and Caribbean to Latina and Middle Eastern, so we chatted with a few notable attendees about the state of full-figured minority acceptance and whether we’re still at the bottom of the totem pole when it comes to European beauty standards or progress is actually being made.

Style Blogger Gabbi Gregg of Gabifresh.com said she completely understands the frustration of mainstream brands and media not focusing on or featuring women of color, especially Black women. “It’s hard,” she told us on the red carpet.”There’s the colorism issue and the racism issue so it kind of trickles down into every aspect of the industry. Unfortunately, we’re included in that so we’re fighting an uphill battle, having to fight the fashion industry, both because of our size and color. But that’s not to say there’s not progress because I do see more and more people being featured and included.”

One such woman being included is Chanté Burkett of Everythingcurvyandchic.com who was recently featured in a very special “Target Loves Every Body” campaign, aimed at proving swimsuits can flatter body types of all kinds,  including those that are full figured. “For someone like me to be featured on that level was amazing,” Burkett told us at the CurvyCon. “To showcase an obviously brown person in a campaign that big just goes to show we need more of us in that light. It’s always a struggle and it’s hard, but we keep on fighting. Eventually we’ll take over.”

CurvyCon is certainly a great start, particularly because the idea behind the conference isn’t exactly novel – at least among minority women. As conference co-creator Chastity Garner of GarnerStyle told us, “As women of color, it’s almost natural that we started something like this. We’ve always embraced our bodies; we’re just bringing along more people for the ride.”

Conference co-creator CeCe Olisa of Plussizeprincess.com echoed that sentiment, saying “The ethnic communities kind of gravitate towards a little more curvier figures and we’re kind of leading the way and embracing that. Now we’re just letting everyone else in on our secret.”

Hopefully Hollywood and the fashion industries don’t sleep on that well-known fact for too much longer. But if they do, oh well. There’s always next year’s CurvyCon.

How This Proud Black Girl Slayed In Her Afrocentric Prom Dress

June 9th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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I’d like to think that my prom dresses from both junior and senior year would hold up in today’s current fashion landscape. And they would…if I were type simple.

These days the kids are going all out for prom. I mean there are promposals, elaborate productions of asking one to prom, outfits inspirited by celebrity red carpet looks and just a general stunt that we didn’t have back in the day. This generation has changed the game. And honestly, I’m a little salty. After prom there aren’t too many opportunities to wear gowns and if I could go back, I would do something more eye-catching and eccentric.

Hopefully something like what 18-year-old Kyemah McEntyre sketched and designed for her senior prom.

Homegirl wore a full dashiki print gown and a full fro to prom, complete with a choker and headpiece.

And she absolutely shut.it.down.

If you couldn’t tell from her choice in fashion, Kyemah is something of a conscious creator. She tweeted this about her look for the evening.

The outfit came to life with the help of Markell Evette of Markell’s Closet. Who you can find here.

The dress and Kyemah’s poignant comments about Eurocentric beauty and fashion standards helped her become a social media sensation.

And she wasn’t just popular on the internet. She also took home the prom queen title.

Kyemah will be enrolling in the Parson’s School of Design in New York this fall.

Congratulations to Kyemah! The girl is going places.

Check out more pictures from her prom night in the photos on the following pages.

Nude Or Nah? 15 Fashion And Beauty Items That Just Don’t Work For Black Women

June 1st, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

Sometimes things that are supposed to be one-size-fits-all don’t actually fit for all of us. These looks may be popular with many people, but they are our biggest fashion pet peeves. Did we miss any of yours?

Why Wait? 15 Celebrities Who Dared To Wear White Before Memorial Day And After Labor Day

May 19th, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: WENN

Image Source: WENN

Did you see the Billboard Music Awards this past weekend? The old-fashioned rules say no white before Memorial Day and after Labor Day. But stars have been killing it in white for months and ignoring the rules.

Google Gets Into The Fashion Game By Providing Useful Trending Data

April 27th, 2015 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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The Best Time Of Year To Buy Anything

Image Source: Shutterstock

With social media sites playing a larger role in influencing fashion trends, Google’s fashion and luxury teams are working with major brands and retailers to influence fashion trends. Brands like Calvin Klein will incorporate Google’s fashion planning and forecasting in order to determine what’s hot and what’s not. And companies that fall under “fast fashion,” such as H&M or Forever 21, will be able to research how a trend is gaining momentum and mass produce an item for a cheaper price.

Lisa Green, who heads Google’s fashion planning and forecasting, thinks her team serve as “powerful digital consultants for our brands, not just somebody they can talk to about what ads they can buy online. They can say, ‘Google has identified this as a trend, and we have six weeks to get this out on the racks.’ ”

Google Shopping is able to track how consumers are responding to the latest designs or fashion trends by gathering information as people search, compare prices  and shop online. Trevor Davis, a consumer product expert at IBM, says this data in valuable to fashion brands and retailers. “People tend to make trend predictions based on a very limited number of observations, and that’s very hit and miss. The ability to detect trends very early on before they really become noticeable, and to follow them, is invaluable,” he said.

A separate but equally important factor is whether a celebrity wore or promoted the item on their social media platforms. When the Kardashian sisters dutifully wearing their waist trainers while they work out, the corset-like shapers are in full demand,. They can range in price from $20 to hundreds of dollars. Also, sales for jumpsuits have increased, after Solange Knowles-Ferguson wore a white jumpsuit to marry her husband Alan Ferguson last November.

Google’s fashion trends data has helped Southern and Western cities not known for fashion trends to take a place on the map. The owners of the Tulle Skirt Shop in Utah have seen a tremendous growth in their sales as tulle skirts gain popularity. Co-owner Sherene McClellan believes the trend comes from rural Utah women shifting from sultry looks to more feminine, romantic clothing.

While much of the focus here has been on the big names, small labels and boutiques also see the benefits of Google’s fashion activity. Technology helps even the small guy gain recognition for particular styles and compete in a larger fashion market.

via The New York Times 

Do You Let It Grow? Women Who Don’t Shave

April 24th, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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💖Joan's cheerleader 💖

A photo posted by Miley Cyrus (@mileycyrus) on

Is armpit hair taking back Hollywood? Miley Cyrus is the latest celebrity to surprise her fans with her choice to let it go and let it grow. And she’s not alone. These celebrity women who don’t shave say there’s nothing wrong with going au naturel — even in front of the cameras.

From Lipgloss To Clean Underwear: Celebrities Reveal Their Red Carpet Essentials

April 1st, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

What can’t these stars leave home without? Read on as celebrities reveal their red carpet essentials.

Thrift Shopping 101: How To Look Fly On A Dime

March 31st, 2015 - By Madame Noire
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Thrifting may be just another form of shopping to some, but for others it can be pretty intimidating. How do you know if something borrowed is in good shape or what’s a good price for something used? We don’t have the answers but thankfully our sister site, StyleBlazer, does and they’ve put all the info in the simple thrifting tutorial video above. Watch, learn, and most importantly, happy shopping!

Hey Boo Boo Kitty! How To Stunt Like Cookie Lyon On Any Occasion

March 18th, 2015 - By Brande Victorian
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Tonight, we sadly say goodbye to "Empire's" Cookie Lyon until the next season of the hit Fox show, but we want our favorite character to live on. And what better way to fully embrace the spirit of the fictional boss than via your wardrobe?

Everybody knows Cookie's style is fierce and we're going to show you how to stunt like Cookie Lyon on any occasion. Yes, boo boo Kitty! No matter if you're heading to brunch, work, the club, or just lounging around the house, Kela's Kloset creator Kela Walker has a Cookie Lyon-inspired look for every outing. But don't just take our word for it; watch her stunt with her style tips in the video above and then head over to KelasKloset.com for the details on where to purchase all the items. Happy shopping!