All posts filed under: Featured

Two Years Later: The Conversation of Mental Health Continues

At 19 years old, his build was stocky and solid, with not much height to work with, and hands that were larger than expected. He walked with a slight bounce in his step, just on the ball of his foot; and a wide, bright smile, always, on his face. His mission, it seemed, was to make everyone around him laugh. He was laughter, and fun, and lighthearted, and, at times, child-like. Without warning he, somehow, etched a niche for himself in our little home among our little family in South Central Los Angeles. We did not have much, but what we did have we shared openly with him. In this way he became our brother, friend, son, confidante, grandson, soulmate, and nuisance (as little brothers, real or adopted, should be.) He took his life two years ago. He was 27 years old. I wish I had known we only had eight years.

African-Inspired Fashion: Be Bold, Be Bright, Be Beautiful

I am just a few days shy of my one month anniversary since moving to the bay area. Classes have started, I am steadily growing in confidence at my new job, and I am making an effort to put myself out there and get to know people. In short, I am trying. However, I want to discuss an amazing experience I had over the weekend. My first excursion into the east bay area, specifically Oakland, was to attend the Zuvaa: Pop-Up Tour. To give a little background, Zuvaa is an online marketplace that specializes in promoting African/African-American designers, who utilize African textiles, prints, and designs in their collections. The founder and CEO, Kelechi, describes the company’s mission as follows, “…to empower designers worldwide with the tools to enter a global market and to make woman around the world feel bold and beautiful in vibrant and eccentric African inspired designs.” – Quoted from “Zuvaa: Who We Are“ Now, as the name indicates, this is a tour, which means there will be other locations visited throughout the …

Black Faces: Why I Surround Myself with Black Faces in Fashion and Beauty

When I was a little girl fashion was one of many escapes from my reality. Catalogs and magazines were the fodder on which my dreams were built. I could sit for hours upon hours looking at the same garments again and again, imagining how I would have styled them. I learned about brands and labels through magazine articles, and what would be the latest and greatest. Studying the drape of a dress, the hem of a skirt, or the silhouette of a blouse; I taught myself how to sketch out the outfits that lived in my head. I kept countless notebooks and sketchpads of my illustrations. I learned about the fit of a garment, the terminology, the difference between an “A”-line versus a full, circle skirt. Or why a sheath dressed worked better on my sister’s athletic build instead of my pear-shaped physique. Eventually, I designed my own prom dress, as well as dresses for several of my friends in high school. Fashion, catalogs, magazines… these were my windows to escape my reality. I once harbored …

Pastel Promises: Pantone’s Spring/Summer 2016 Colors

If you have not heard then you will very soon. Pantone, the leading authority on all things color and color related has announced the color of the year for 2016. This in of its self is not news at all. This has been going on for decades, and it really only matters to those who care about fashion, trends, influences, décor, furnishings, design, and the like. No, the big news this year is that instead of only one color being chosen there were two! Those colors being a classically romantic pink called Rose Quartz and a tranquility inspiring blue called Serenity. Without all the fluff we are looking at pink and baby blue… no this is not a baby shower we are planning. When I decided to share this information with my sister, she replied with, “Oh, so we are going back to basics,” and I realized she had a point. Unless our parents insisted on battling the status quo, the majority of us were either bathed in blue or plastered in pink for the beginning of our …