Growing up with a Mom who is a total diva, taught me the most important lesson about style, ” It’s not about how others feel about your style, it’s about how you feel about your style”. It was so cool seeing her in outrageous, fun, and daring outfit on and off the red carpet. One trait that I truly admire about my mother is her ability to make a statement. Yes, she always makes a statement in whatever she wears but she also makes a statement in the way she carries herself. Style is not just about the clothes we wear over our backs, it’s about how we choose to carry ourselves in those clothes. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I am talking about SWAG my friends! My Mom has a whole lot of swag and it’s because of the way she carries herself. She could enter a room wearing a trash bag and at least ten people would ask her “who is the designer?”. The first rule of style is believing in yourself. If you feel fabulous, you look fabulous.
Since my Mom is one of my favorite style icons, I find it imperative to raid her vintage closet every week. It’s so cool to find old pictures of her in the 80’s and then find the exact outfits she wore in those photos. I think she is a complete genius for saving all her outfits because just like history, fashion repeats itself. Most importantly, I’m just glad that I am able to wear them and they are in tip top condition. If you have a Mom that you know was slayinggggggg back in the day, I suggest you dive into the back of her closet and search for these 3 must have items…
- MOM JEANS
2. A GRANDPA SWEATER
3. A VINTAGE SUIT
Photographed by Paige Wilson @paigeswilson
Hair by Julius Nash
Ballin’ on a budget is truly my speciality. I have a passion for inexpensive thrift shopping. I am addicted to one dollar flea markets and thrift stores. Two weeks ago, I went to a stadium flea market and I found a black leather beret for FIVE DOLLARS. I was so elated, I had to create a fun, fresh, and funky look that would look amazing with my new beret.
A week later, Paris Fashion Week began and one of Rihanna’s fashion statements was a black leather beret. I was so excited to know that RiRi and I were on the same page when it came to rocking berets. A beret is a perfect style accessory. During the civil rights era, many black panthers wore black berets as a symbol of empowerment, while they shouted “Black is beautiful”. I wear a black beret because it makes a great fashion statement, but it reminds me of my ancestors that fought for civil rights while making a fashion statement.
Paris Fashion Week runways have been flooded with berets, but to make a statement, you must wear the perfect outfit. I decided to pair my beret with a leather jacket, a graphic tee, leather pants (that I bought for five dollars), and leather black boots . I was going for the funky, trendy, but comfortable look. I made sure that my graphic tee said something profound. I bought my leather beret because I was inspired by the Black Panthers, so it was only right that my shirt said “the hardest job in America is being a Black woman”. I got this vintage tee from an amazing vintage store named ReboundNJ based in Paterson, NJ. Since, I was going for the black solidarity vibe, I wanted people to see and understand that I was making a political statement through my fashion.
There are multiple ways to style a beret, but I truly believe you must create a look that turns heads. It’s cute to wear it with jeans and t-shirt, but that is more of an “every day” look. When I find an accessory or garment that is striking and unique, I always dress it up because one specific part of a look can make or break an outfit. No matter how colorful or outlandishly your outfit may look, make sure that you are in love with it from head to toe. When you leave out your door everyday, make sure that you look good. In the words of Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, “it is best to be as pretty as possible for destiny”. You never know when you will have a date with destiny, so you must look the part at all times.
Power to the People,
Photographed by Ty Visionary
SHOP MY LOOK:
I recently took a weekend trip to Washington D.C. and I made it imperative to do some sight seeing. Washington D.C. is the capital of the United States but I didn’t know it also a capital for impeccable art. Growing up in a european and caribbean household I’ve always had a deep fascination with art. My mother and father collected different works of arts when I was a child and it was a trait I picked up. When I travel I enjoy going to museums and monuments. I have been blessed to travel both domestic and international. Having a French father, ever since I was a little girl I fell in love with Paris. I love the fashion, architecture, food, and one of the most famous attractions, The Louvre Museum. The Louvre is a big “must see” when in Paris because of the Louvre pyramid, but the museum contains amazing pieces of artwork. At night, the pyramid lights up and has a red light that beams down the center, total Harry Potter vibes. If you’re ever in the D.C. area, I highly suggest visiting the reflective pyramid that is located right across the street from the National Mall Art Museum (east building). The pyramid is so beautiful that it allows you to feel like you are in Paris for a few moments, for me it was a few hours (haha!). It isn’t as grand and big as The Louvre Pyramid but it is definitely a site to see.
(Me in Paris in front of the The Louvre Pyramid)
Photographed by Anne Kim
Valentine’s day is less than a week away and you’re probably thinking what you should buy for your lover or yourself. Yes, that’s right, I said YOURSELF. Valentine’s Day is about love, so don’t forget that self love is very important. To me, it’s important that I spoil myself here and there. It’s nice to gift someone with the traditional chocolates and flowers but you can never go wrong with a new bag. Whether you are shopping for he or she, the Dagne Dover Landon Carryall is a must have! This bag comes in three sizes (small, medium and large) ,four colors, and is unisex. It’s perfect for going to work, the gym, or a quick weekend trip. My favorite feature is that the bag is 100% neoprene fabric. The fabric is so high tech that you can wash it and dry it. There are multiple compartments, one for your phone, laptop, and it comes with a mini pouch.
Different sizes come with a different prices but the good thing is that all the bags are UNDER $200. Step out the Valentine’s day comfort zone and buy a bag without breaking the bank!
Photographed by : @underground_nyc
Shoes: AMI Clubwear
One thing I love about New York City is that so many things happen underground. People are pushing and moving to get from one train to the next, but it’s the things underground that I see that makes me stop and think. New York City never sleeps, no matter if it’s day or night you’re always on a journey. In the underground of NYC, you can see happiness, sadness, joy, pain, life and death. In a city that is so multi-cultural, you get a big bite out of the big apple just by being underground. Being a Los Angeles native, I’ve never been in a rush to get from point A to point B, only if I am extremely late. But in NYC, it’s sooo imperative for people to get from point A to point B, fast, quick, and in a hurry. Just by monitoring the pace of how the citizens of NYC walk, I found out my fast walking is their regular walking pace.
The underground isn’t just a place of transportation, it is a space of expression. I’ve witnessed love, fear, and anxiety all while being underground in NYC. I’ve seen a man stop everyones quick pace, by bending down on one knee and asking his girlfriend to be his wife in 42nd St. station. I’ve seen a man turn noise into silence, because his heart stopped in Penn Station. I’ve seen smiles on the faces of people who went numb, when listening to an Asian man sing Louis Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World in Chambers St. Station. No matter how fast you are moving, there is always time to stop, no matter if it is for 1 second or 1 minute. It’s important as humans that we learn from our surroundings. Everyone has a story and we all express it differently. The underground of NYC is full of story telling, getting a taste of other people’s lives makes you reflect on your own. You don’t have to have a deep reflection, sometimes you just need a brief one. Just think about the things you have power of, like being able to be a better an individual by smiling at someone. It’s the little things on your journey that have the greatest impact. Sometimes we just need to make undergound as bright as above ground.
All photos were taken by the photographer of @underground_nyc (Instagram)
It was such an amazing experience working with Aaron, the man who is behind the flourishing Instagram page @underground_nyc. He has an amazing spirit and ability to grasp an individuals’ essence. His skills of quickness and precision, make his work of art unique and creative. Using the space of underground NYC, that in itself is a representation of how his creativity is daring and different.