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Ever since I could remember, my Papa, Eric Maurice, has always been the beau of the ball. His dapper demeanor never goes unnoticed when he enters a room. He is in a class of his own with his salt and pepper hair, fierce walk, impeccable style, and that sexy french accent to top it off. Papa is definitely not your average 56 year old man. He manages to live a 007 lifestyle between Los Angeles and Paris while staying fit, fashionable, and fearless.

Over the years, he always made it imperative that he dressed for success. Growing up with a European father with exquisite taste made shopping 10x more fun. Papa never believed in leaving the house in pajamas or sweats, he believed in dressing how you wanted to be addressed. Every season, he would take my brother and I to the big outdoor outlets in Camarillo or Pam Springs, located in California. Together, we would shop all day, maybe get a Auntie Anne’s pretzel in between stores, then continue shopping until we heard  “Attention! the shops will be closing in 15 minutes”. During those long days of shopping, my father taught me color swatches, fabrics, quality versus quantity, and the essentials I needed to have. If Eric Maurice was going to look his best at all times, his kids were going to as well.

Since my father blessed me with dual citizenship between France and The United States, we’ve had many shopping dates that have occurred in Spain, Paris, and London. I’ve been so fortunate to see different cultures and fashions around the world because of my father. He has opened my eyes up to see that fashion everywhere, it is inspired by architecture, food, and people. Still to this day, Papa reminds that having one style or being good at one thing isn’t good enough. Yes, you should have a signature look that represents your style, but also be able to diversify your style. Being able to show people that you can tap into different genres of fashion and life, expands how people view you as a person.

The best lesson that Papa has taught me about style is that there is power when entering a room well dressed. No matter how many designer brands you buy, it will never equate to confidence. Along with Papa’s Sean Connery looks, his confidence is what makes every outfit perfect. To me, Papa is Mr.007 because he isn’t an ordinary man who allows the suit to wear him, he wears the suit. He knows that he can accomplish anything when he looks good and that fuels him to make every mission possible.

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Photographed by @Mamadivisuals

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A few months ago, I moved to New York City and it has to be one of the greatest decisions I’ve made in my life. I lived in NYC as a kid, while my mother was on broadway, but now that I am older, I get to relive the city in a more mature manner.  I love waking up and knowing that my day will be full of adventure. NYC gives me the confidence to take over the world. I’m not sure if it is the place to start a family but as I enjoy my twenties, I am very happy.

One thing about NYC that I love are the coffee shops. I’m not a heavy coffee drinker, but I do enjoy a good cup of hot cocoa, hence my name, lol! On every block, there is a coffee shop. No matter if it is big, small, colorful, busy, or noisy, somehow I find beauty in any coffee shop I go to. I love going to coffee shops to read, blog, have a photo shoot, or have meetings. Every coffee shop is different and they are all filled with different people. No matter what day of the week it is, you never know who you can meet. I’ve made great connections with fellow bloggers, editors, business owners, and genuine people. Being a somewhat “new comer” to NYC, coffee shops have really allowed me to expand my business and brand. When I am in a coffee shop, I have the tendency to get things done much quicker. Something about the environment in coffee makes me happy. I feel like it gives me a sense of structure. It is so important that we learn the environments that allow us to excel. Just because I can focus in a coffee shop doesn’t mean that I can focus in a library. We all digest things differently in different areas. I personally enjoy learning and getting tasks done when I am surrounded by people and a little noise. What works for me might not work for you, but there is not harm in trying. Make sure you take the time to understand the environments that can allow you to shine.

Love,

Ivy Coco

Photographed by Roderick Jackson  (@shotsbyrod)

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Black Girl Magic doesn’t stop and it definitely continued on the red carpet of the 2016 Met Gala.

1. Lupita Nyong’o in Calvin Klein

The Oscar winner and current Broadway star, took advantage of her night off to slay the red carpet. She glowed in green and broke necks with her natural up do hairstyle (total Coming to America vibes). But literally, do you see Nate Parker in the back, breaking his neck just to get a glimpse? I don’t blame you Mr. Parker.  lupita-nyongo.jpg

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2. Zendaya Coleman in Michael Kors

This stunning fashion forward 19 year old, makes me so excited about her high fashion future. She and her stylist, Law Roach, always put the pedal to the metal and Z is killin’ in Kors.  zendaya-gettyimages-527359892.jpg

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3. Zoe Saldana in Dolce & Gabana

Even with minimal makeup, Mama Saldana was giving absolute spicy Latina vibes with fit, flare, and feathers. zoe-saldana_gettyimages-527344436.jpg

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4. Solange Knowles in David LaPort

This naturalista always knows how to make a statement and she does it beautifully in color. From the hair to leather thigh high socks to the clear heel, this look is EVERYTHING!solange_gettyimages-527368048.jpg

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Click Here to see Solange jammin’ with Willow Smith and Amandla Stenberg

5. Aja Naomi 

This How To Get Away With Murder star and chocolate hottie looks perfect in her tangerine color dress. She murdered the red carpet with her melanin, perfectly teezed hair, and gorgeous lip color. aja-naomi-king-_gettyimages-527344124.jpg

6. Beyoncé Knowles in Givenchy

Like Queen Bey says ” I’m so reckless when I rock my Givenchy dress .” This jaw dropping silhouette has been rushing to the kitchen for a glass of lemonade. bey_gettyimages-527368170.jpg

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7. FKA Twigs 

Ms. Twigs knows how to accessorize an outfit to a T. Looking like a Queen with her head piece, body belt, and arm candy, she makes me want to dive into my mothers jewels.fka-twigs.jpg

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8. Zoe Kravitz

Even though this look might have a lot going on, Kravitz knows how to keep it cute. I must say, the lace mask gives her a mysterious look with a magical twist, which I love!zoe-kravitz.jpg

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9. Willow Smith

I love that Willow and her brother, Jaden, are holding hands #siblinglove. The dread heads make a dynamic duo with their dope hair styles while looking classic in black. willow-jaden-1.jpg

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10. Misty Copeland 

Misty missed me with this outfit. I wanted her to give me some pizazz, like she gives the audience while performing as Principal at the American Ballet Theatre. No matter what, she is still effortlessly beautiful. misty-copeland-_gettyimages-527344062.jpg

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11. Naomi Campbell

Muva Naomi can slay anything! She has been in this game for over 20 years and her black, still doesn’t crack! naomi-campbell.jpg

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12. Nikki Minaj

Being one of TIME Magazine’s Top 100 Influential People, this dress didn’t influence me too much. No matter what, Ms. Nikki is all about having control over her career and collecting her checks, all while having her eyeliner on FLEEK!nikki-minajgettyimages-527359534-1.jpg

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13. Ciara in H&M

This bride-to-be makes me smile with her cool dance videos and bubbly personality, but this hair color… not so much. Looking daring and sophisticated in H&M, she makes me feel that if she can rock this silver caged dress, so can I. ciara.jpg

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14. Kerry Washington 

I love me some Kerry Washington, even when she is having an off hair day. The high slit dress paired with elbow length gloves is a gorgeous look, plus you can never go wrong in black. kerry-washington.jpg

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15. Jourdan Dunn in Balmain

Ms. Dunn had me stunned. Styled in silver from head to toe, she had me feeling very futuristic. Lastly, that waist was SNATCHED!damon-met-gala-141-jourdan-dunn-superJumbo-1.jpg

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16. LaLa Anthony

A sleek ponytail, grungy eye makeup, and the color red sounds like a killer combo. Lala was giving me fever, looking like one hot tamale! lala-anthony-600x800.jpg

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17. Amandla Stenberg in Calvin Klein

This afrolicious superstar had me loving her wine red, wide leg pant suit. Her cute choker and detailed headband added such cool vibes to her classic look. rs_634x1024-160502183004-634-MET-GALA-Arrivals-Amandla-Stenberg.jpg

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18. Joan Smalls in Balmain

Joan Smalls was doing big things while she walked the red carpet in her crystalized Balmain gown. Those long legs looked gorgeous with that thigh high slit. Joan-Smalls-Balmain-Dress-Met-Gala-2016.jpg

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19. Jennifer Hudson in H&M

Hudson looked very angelic in her white H&M gown. Her train was so gorgeous, she too had to look back at it a few times. jennifer-hudson-a-600x800.jpg

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20. Herizen F. Guardiola

The star of the new Netflix series The Get Down, stepped out in a green fitted dress that complemented her beautiful skin. She showed off her natural beauty with a high bun, minimal makeup, and bare lip.

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As humans, we all take part in the habit of overthinking. No matter if situations are big or small, it’s easy to overanalyze them. Overthinking only leads to one thing, STRESS, and stress doesn’t go with any of my outfits. I try my hardest to refrain from anxiety and stress, but sometimes it pops up here and there. In middle school, I had the worst anxiety that often led me to stress out about little things like test/quizzes, public speaking, and meeting new people. My anaxiety was so bad, my Mom had to give me stress ball. A stress ball is made out of a squishy foam texture, and when I felt nervous, stressed, or anxious, I would squeeze it to reduce my anxiety. It wasn’t until my sophomore year of high school where I finally began to shed some skin and blossom into a young lady who was aware of all the things she should accomplish. Once I let go of stressing over things that had no control over me, I realized that I control me and my emotions.

How we feel shows in the type of outfits we choose to wear. When I’m not feeling well, I know I don’t dress to the best of my ability. Stress and anxiety doesn’t match my outfit nor style. I  stay away from stress because, number one, it is unhealthy for the heart and body, and number two, who likes the feeling of being down and out? I know that when I wake up, I feel too blessed to be stressed. When you step into the right attitude it’s so much easier to step into the right outfit.

Kisses,

Ivy Coco

Outfit Details:

Top, Pant, & Boot: Zara

Hair styled by : Carla Clarkson

Photographed by : Nico Rinaldo

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Sunglasses: Dior

Shirt: H&M

Backpack: Zara

Belt: Vintage

Jeans: Asos.com

Boots: Topshop.com

   Lately, I feel it’s the Baby Boom all over again. Meaning, so many of my friends and family members are having babies. I love babies, they are so beautiful that they have the magic ability to change peoples perspective on life. They grow unseen and already you are deeply in love with them! And when they are born, you’d die for them.  That’s magic.

  I remember when my youngest cousin was born and in a blink of an eye he was walking, talking, growing teeth yelling “NOOOO!!!!”. His growth has been so rapid but an amazing journey for me to watch. I pay close attention to how he responds to people, how he talks, and how he walks. Walking was my cousin’s first step into independence, he might not know that, but I do. He used balance, control, and strength to take his first step, which are real life skills.

    In life, we are always wanting to start something new and fresh, but sometimes taking the first step is the hardest. Sometimes we are afraid to fail, scared to see the challenges we might be faced with, and in the back of our head we have that little voice asking ” Is it really worth it ? “. When that little voice starts, you have to tell yourself “Hell YEAH! its worth it”. Do not be afraid of the obstacles you might face in your journey because it’s only a test. If you are starting a new business venture, setting a new goal, or just wanting to press restart on life, it’s so important to remember a few things when taking the first step:

  1. DON’T WAIT– Whatever you choose to start, make sure you are passionate about it, but do not wait until the “perfect time”. Waiting turns into procrastination and it postpones you from making things happen. Not everything is going to be perfect because you’re always thinking and changing. Your thoughts from yesterday might differ from today, so that “perfect time” can only happen when you tell yourself it will happen.

2. AGREE WITH YOURSELF– Everyone is not going to be in agreement with what you are doing. People with always disagree with your movement, but make sure you are in agreement with yourself. If you are waiting to come to a consensus with others, that means your oppositions and opposers are having control over you.

3. HAVE A GREAT ATTITUDE– Make sure whatever you are doing makes you happy. Even when hard times come your way, you have to stay positive. If you’re happy doing what you love, then it is worth fighting for. Positivity will carry you through your challenges.

Now that I have seen my baby cousin take his first step, he is in cruise control. He hops from A to B like its nothing. He can shuffle, climb, and run with ease, all because he was strong enough to take that first step. I’m pretty sure he fell a few times and will fall some more, but my little man shows me his independence by getting back up again. He has the ability to take my hand and take me on a run.

That first step followed promptly by a fall, boosted his confidence in being able to connect with people and try again. Don’t be afraid to take that 1st step, because once you actually do it, you’ll realize that the little voice in the back of your head will start to say ” You got this! That wasn’t too bad “.

Xoxo,

IvyCoco

Photos taken by Erick Robinson: IG @imerickrobinson