Category Archives: Fashion

10Feb/17
Elegant Evenings Boutique

Spotlight: Elegant Evenings Boutique

Michelle Ragland is the owner and founder of Elegant Evenings Boutique. She has been in business for four years. In conversation she reflects on when she was a little girl and how she use to dress her dolls up and have “fashion shows” and from there, at the age of nine, she discovered fashion was her passion.

The first design Michelle did was a dress that her cousin wore to a formal event. She showed it to one of her seamstresses that she currently works with; she was so proud of herself, and excited because her cousin looked absolutely gorgeous. The person who inspired her to start her brand was Monif C, and God. She always prayed and listened to what God was telling her before she took a leap into anything. Her brand caters to all types of audiences from bridal, elegant events, pageants, kids, and couture clothing. Her latest fall fashion style are designs with a lot of orange and browns incorporated in her designs. She has attended 20 shows since her brand has been released.

One of Michelle’s major setbacks’ was trying to get her brand out to the world while not having enough family and close friends believe in her vision. It was only her mom and herself financing her vision and the cost of getting her brand out to the world was really expensive. With the help of God and the determination of herself and her mother, they made Elegant Evenings come to life.

During Michelle’s time as a Fashion Designer, the best advice she was given was: “You must crawl before you walk.” She uses that advice to inspire other models and during her selection process. She does have a method of choosing models. She loves to chose models who are passionate and serious about their career. She knows with those models they will be loyal, and will make her designs look more beautiful. She also uses models that are given to her, but, she prefers to do casting calls and speak with the models.

Elegant Evenings Boutique

Elegant Evenings Boutique

Elegant Evenings Boutique

If Michelle could design for any supermodel it would be a mixture of these amazing models: Kimora Lee Simmons, Tyra Banks, Naomi Campbell, and Roshumba Williams. She sees these ladies as powerful and independent women. If she could do a photo shoot anywhere in the world to represent power, she would do the shoot in Africa.

Michelle would love to thank everyone who has believed in her and her brand. She would love to thank her mom Josephine Brodie, her son Javon, her aunt and assistant Beatrice Gill, best friend Tracy Andrews, and Antoinne Duane Williams for the amazing networking and shows they have done together. She would also like to thank Aly Camara, and Alvin AJR Imagery for the amazing photo shoots that they have done together over the years. She would also like to give a thank you all the beautiful and dedicated  models she has met over the years.

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25Jan/17
Harlem Fashion Week Goes to Africa

Harlem Fashion Week Goes to Africa, Read Why

Harlem Fashion Week Goes to Africa

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Harlem Fashion Week Goes to Africa

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Harlem Fashion Week Goes to Africa

“The most important part of a tree is the root” says Tandra Birkett, who is not only the executive producer of Harlem Fashion Week, but she is also a historian.  And as a historian she recognizes the importance of Harlem’s cultural roots… Africa.  As a result HFW donates a portion of its proceeds to the Senegalese American Bilingual School and their initiative The Big Goree Project. The goal of the Big Goree Project is the restoration of the The House of Slaves, the originial slave fortress into  a Slave Museum on Goree Island in Senegal, West Africa. “We believe that it is integral to maintain a productive connection with Africa and the arts, more specifically fashion, is an avenue that we used to sustain that connection.”  As a result, one month after the historic grand opening of Harlem Fashion Week in the fall of 2016, Tandra and Yvonne were on a plane to Senegal, West Africa. “We did not want to just give money but we wanted to personally connect with our roots ”.

Harlem Fashion Week Goes to Africa

The creative director of Harlem Fashion Week,  Yvonne Jewnell is also the lead designer and co-owner of the fashion design company Yvonne Jewnell New York LLC.  As a designer, the culture, texture and history of Africa are the inspiration for her design aesthetic. “Fashion is art and my art must reflect my heritage.  I have always been drawn to creativity and story of African culture and I want my designs to reflect the interconnectivity of an African in America. Actually going to Senegal was not only a personal transformation but it was also a design inspiration that will be reflected in my new collection, showing on February 12, 2017 on the main stage of Harlem Fashion Week.” Yvonne Jewnell.

Harlem Fashion Week Goes to Africa  Harlem Fashion Week Goes to Africa

Harlem Fashion Week Goes to Africa While in Senegal Tandra and Yvonne visited the Senegalese American Bilingual School, it was a refreshing experience to visit with Stephanie Kane and the students of SABS. Tandra shared, “As an educator I was so excited to meet the children, I had to jump in on their lecture about Christopher Columbus, it was a great experience!”

Support Our Cause

Harlem Fashion Week Goes to Africa   Harlem Fashion Week Goes to Africa

Harlem Fashion Week Goes to Africa Tandra and Yvonne also had the pleasure of visiting the mayor’s office at Goree Island and meeting with the Chief of Staff Mamadou Adama Diop, we discussed ways of building a stronger relationship with Goree Island and the African Diaspora through the arts and education.

Harlem Fashion Week Tickets

Tandra shared, “The last part of our pilgrimage to Senegal was bittersweet, it was time to visit the slave fortress on Goree Island and stand at the “Door of No Return” the place where the ancestors stood before they were stolen from Senegal forever”. Tandra said, “As I approached the The House of Slaves, Le Maison des Esclaves I literally broke down in tears, I could feel the pain of my ancestors.”

Harlem Fashion Week Goes to Africa

Tandra and Yvonne came back to the states with a new sense of vision and purpose. Harlem Fashion Week will once again be donating funds to the Big Goree Project, your ticket purchase to the February 12th Runway Show at The Museum of the City of NewYork will help to restore La Maison Des Enclaves into an Amazing museum and the Door of No Return Will become “The Door of Return” for the African Diaspora.

Harlem Fashion Week Goes to Africa   Harlem Fashion Week Goes to Africa

Harlem Fashion Week hope that you will join us on February 12th, knowing that your ticket purchase helps to not only build a female-minority owned women’s business in the United States but HFW is also helping to restore relationships with the African continent and financially support the children and institutions in Senegal, West Africa.

Harlem Fashion Week Tickets

Harlem Fashion Week Goes to Africa

“Special Thanks to:

Eugene Adams, the Director of Collaborative Education at Bronx Community College, the American liaison of the Big Goree Project,

Stephanie Kane, Founder and Director of the Senegalese American Bilingual School

Mr. Sandaro Fame, our guide and educator at  SABS

Mamadou Adama Diop the Chief of Staff for the mayors office at Goree Island”

For More Information: info@harlemfw.com

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31Dec/16
Good Black Man x Africa Jackson

Good Black Man Profile: Nestle Snipes

A Good Black Man is Easy to FindGood Black Man x Collis Torrington

Today is bitter sweet. Bitter because this is our final #MustLoveBeards profile of 2016. Sweet because we are bringing back our Taji Mag crowd favorite: Nestle Snipes. This Good Black Man is the lead photographer of Made For a King Photography. A lot has happened since we last spoke with this bearded dapper gent.

Since our last encounter, Nestle Snipes recently shot 8-Time Olympic Track & Field Medalist & Fellow Jamaican Legend Veronica Campbell-Brown and Mr. Fly Malcolm X himself was once again featured in the Hunks 4 Hope calendar, and Made For a King photography has grown its client base. You might have caught a glimpse of our bearded brother on an episode of the breakout Netflix series Luke Cage.

We already know about his stunning portfolio and philanthropic work. This time, we want to look more closely at the man behind the lens.

Africa Jackson: Last time we spoke, it was such a meaningful conversation. It was great to learn about your work to stop domestic violence and your clearly superior artistic eye. We focused a lot on your business before, and now we want to focus more on you. What makes you happy?

Nestle Snipes: (smiles) A lot of things — a healthy bond with others, experiencing nature, laying in the grass, meditation, doing something meaningful with my hands. Giving gifts and seeing the recipient smile. Laughing — I love a good laugh. I enjoy partying. If people want to be jovial, I’m down. Spending time with my mom also makes me happy.

“Our potential is limitless.”

Good Black man x Tish Ferguson

AJ: Ok. You’re in film school, you volunteer, you’re an activist, you party, you run a successful business, you stay fly, and you let fans like me ask questions for 2 hours… but how do you take care of yourself?

Nes: Easy question. In the morning I have an hour of silence. Total hour of appreciation. Daily mantras are vital. I look at my vision board. When I come home, I listen to inspirational music with powerful frequencies: Afrobeat, electronica, jazz.

Taking care of myself also involves proper sleep. I want more people to realize that grown-ups are not exempt from naps.

AJ: Let mainstream media tell it, a good Black man is still hard to find. We know that is a myth, but in the midst of the negative energy thrown at yall, I want to know something. What is the greatest thing about being a Black man?

Nes: Our potential is limitless. We are often so revered and appropriated, but our resilience in uncanny. We convert sunlight into energy (metaphorically and literally).

AJ: So much of the miscommunication between Black men and Black women comes from lack of knowledge or lack of understanding. Black love is powerful and has the potential to grow even stronger. What is one thing you wish Black women knew about Black men to help cultivate that growth?

Nes: The Black man you interact with is only working with what he has at the moment. Don’t infringe on his freedoms based on your own desires. For example, getting work done is paramount for me at the moment. I don’t want to cheat myself or anyone else, so I may not pursue a woman. Please don’t say “all men” or “yall men”. We are trying. Don’t be disheartened by certain men who receive you wrong. Young Black boys deal with trauma that may stem from unresolved issues. Many of us had no clear definition of manhood.Photo Credit: Nestle Snipes + MFK Photography

“Little gestures mean a lot, yes, but I know it is not enough.”

AJ: What is one thing you wish you knew about Black women?

Nes: How can I be more of an ally beyond taking you out [to dinner]? How can we help? Little gestures mean a lot, yes, but I know it is not enough. We are at a loss without you telling us. The best way for Black women to communicate their needs to Black men is to do it without being condescending. Please don’t project the pain from other men onto us. In 2017 I want people to stop negative blaming and projecting insecurities. We have full autonomy. the transfer of energy matters.

“I want Black men to start protecting Black women.”

good Black men x Collis Torrington

Visit Made For a King Photography and Bearded Dapper Gents to learn more about the upcoming projects of this undeniably talented good Black man. You can also treat yourself by following him on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. His new blog “Simply Snipes” is set for an early 2017 release.

Congratulations on your recent and continued success, Black man. We look forward to your next great project.

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17Dec/16
yeezy

Is Yeezy Season Over?!

 You seen Yeezy’s new line?! That s%#t is ugly bro!

..says the guy trying to convince me while contradictly standing in a distressed sweater from a popular Euro brand. It’s insane how the same people who disrespect one’s art surprisingly have the audacity to purchase mimicry. Now, I’m not saying Kanye’s prices for Yeezy pieces aren’t outstandingly ridiculous, that’s another topic for another day. I guess what I’m trying to convey is, how does one depreciate his (Kanye’s) designs, then, with the same mouth, say to the cashier “Yeah, I want to buy this” while presenting a garment literally inspired by Yeezy. It’s okay, I will ask Yeezus to forgive them of their blasphemy, they know not what they do. 

Here’s an interesting question; What about the individualistic stylish people who’ve been wearing distressed garments before Yeezy season?! To those I say, there are two things you can do in these times of abused trends. One, box up and store away all the pieces that are obvious participants of the “distress” trend. The only other thing one can do is separate themselves from the doppelgängers by staying true to the style before it became a trend. People who are trendy-chasers are like “wave surfers”… when the “wave” dies, so will their “surfing”. In other words, when the trend dies, the ones who were true to the “distress” style by it being their lifestyle (because there’s a difference – style v. lifestyle) will continue being… themselves!

Unfortunately it’s continuously growing, top fashion-retail companies, of affordable pricing for the majority of society, are producing Yeezy mimicry pieces and more and more people are absorbing the trend. So, will the abuse of the trend heat up so much that it ends Yeezy Season quicker than expected? Will you pack away your distressed garments until Yeezy season passes along with the creation of its disasters (people abusing the trend)? Or will you stay genuine and fight through the disasters Yeezy season has involuntarily created? These aren’t jabs at Kanye West for the awesome creative direction behind this season of Yeezy, but definitely stabs at those who trend-surf and don’t have a life-style which kills fashion as quick as it’s launched. Choose your fate and may Yeezus be with you.

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02Dec/16
Wear All Black

Why Do People Wear All Black? – Trends vs Staples

“I’m about to wear all black for a year straight..” said Jay-Z on “Death of Autotune” which released in 2009 off of his Blueprint 3 album. So why is it that now, eight/nine years later, wearing all black has become so trendy throughout the entire world –especially New York City! Maybe it was Kanye West with his monochromatic looks he’d wear and inspire various celebrities to wear as well. Did Ye’ do it again? Is Kanye to credit for yet another trend swallowed by the fashion forwards? Or is it a lackadaisical effort for depicting ones mood of “I didn’t know what to wear.” Don’t get me wrong, the black monochrome look is pretty artistic when pieced in an artsy manner. But let’s be honest, not everyone who wears all black seems to be reflecting it in a form of fashion, which is also considered art. I wonder how the Gothic society feels that their “uniform color” is now looked at as trendy by larger society. There was once a time where you only wore all black if you were attending a funeral, working for a particular retail company, or considered yourself emo/goth. Well, that has all changed now hasn’t it.

Last week, I randomly stopped a woman wearing the monochromatic black look and I asked her “What about all-black do you like?” She explained how deeply she perceived the color, while also clarifying with me that “it’s a shade, not a color.” She then stated how all-black provides a sort of mirror for the observer. Further explaining how black allows the public to perceive however they feel, so if you feel their look is sad and depressing then that says more about yourself, same as if you perceive it as rich, said by the fashionable young lady awaiting her Uber. She then concluded, “It’s like a painting… I am fashion therefore I am walking art. There is no right or wrong when perceiving a piece. Either you have a vision of some form of the art or you see… nothing.” I’m not sure if everyone has the same cognitive likeness for wearing all-black but I can say, I definitely appreciated her creative way of thinking. It allowed me to then perceive the many other black outfits I later witnessed that day, and even now. All black has become a staple within fashion by being more than just a trend. I mean, it’s been what, nine years since Jay-Z rapped the lyric which is the epitome of today’s no. 1 trend. How will you wear it? Lackadaisicalness of “I didn’t know what to wear” or artistically allowing observers their own perception as “a piece of walking art”?

I’ve complied this look to give you an idea of how to put together an all-black look in an artistic manner:

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—Calvin Chandler

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07Nov/16
Melonie

Black Royal: Melonie Torres in LES

Melonie Torres having fun being sexy in LES, NY.

Melonie

Model: Melonie Torres
Photographer: Gerald Deus
Stylist: Unconventional Labels Boutique
Set direction/Concept: LJE Model Agency
Agency: LJE Model Agency
IG/Twitter
Model: @Melonieeeeeee
Photographer: @GeraldDeus
Stylist: @UnconventionalLabels
Agency: @LJEModelAgency
Melonie Melonie
Melonie Melonie
IG/Twitter
Photographer: @fly_imagez
Make-up artist: @GlamMakeupDiva
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05Nov/16

Black Royal: Temitayo Agoro

Temitayo Agoro – “I just love teaching kids the positive notion of shooting with a camera, not with a gun.”

Temitayo Agoro

Temitayo A. Agoro
Morehouse College
CTEMS
African American Studies
NIH Published Researcher
CEO of AUCCAM LLC
Shoot with a Camera, Not a Gun! ™
The Running Punter
@agoronomics
@auccam
@therunningpunter
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07Oct/16
WrapCentury®

Black Royal: Welcome To The WrapCentury®

Welcome To The WrapCentury®

WrapCentury®

Centering around the idea of an Ancient Future while embodying the aura of Emperor Haile Selassie I & Empress Menen Asfaw. They’re showcasing the presence of our luxurious Regal lineage as Afrikans, and amplifying the importance of balance & unity between a wombman & a man.

Photographed by T.O.K.Y.O. Photography (@tizzy_tokyo)
Creative Team (Models, Headwraps, Wardrobe, Stylist): Nise (@EsinbyNise) & SA-RA (@YawSARA)
Follow them on IG at @WrapCentury
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29Sep/16
bOBETTE eIZA

bOBETTE eIZA Debutes the Luxe “Hilda” Handbag Collection

bOBETTE eIZAbOBETTE eIZA debutes the Luxe “Hilda” Handbag Collection. A woman’s fashion choice is her self-expression statement. For many women, handbags are a personal accessory that compliments and completes her outfit. It’s a part of what makes fashion alluring. Newly launched luxury handbag label, bOBETTE eIZA, dominates with meticulous attention to style and details.

An avid New Yorker, Bobette Reid is the owner and designer of bOBETTE eIZA, which launched its first tote collection “Hilda“ this spring fashion season. The extraordinary collection can be described in two words: timeless sustainability. Named after her Aunt, the Hilda handbag is crafted in an assortment of vibrant of colors, paired with quality materials which make it wearable for all seasons. Materials are selectively hand-picked while paying close attention to details. Its functional design is versatile, making it an eye-catching temptation.

bOBETTE eIZAStructured, high fashion, with ample space, each design features top-zip closures, adjustable cross body straps, and multi-functional interior slip pockets for easy access to smaller items.  Hilda is made from a variety of leather materials including hologram python, cow, and alligator embossed leather. The tote style handbag comes in one size, medium, and ranges in price from $3,195 to $3,298.

When asked which bag is her favorite, Bobette explained, “it’s very difficult to choose because I love them all. I intentionally designed the collection that way”. The extraordinarily classy Hilda tote is a must have accessory. It exudes opulence and beauty.

The stylish Luxe collection may be purchased at www.bobetteeiza.com and exclusive high end retail stores.

eiza-hilda-tan-blk-brn-embss-olv-3eiza-hilda-olive-top-vynel-frnt-sides-embroidered-2 eiza-hilda-olive-taup-blk-white-croc-2 eiza-hilda-gry-croc-olive-blk-1

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