The Black Woman is unique, whether you are a woman with a couple of pounds or if you like to keep it right and tight, the black woman’s body is a golden treasure and should be treated as such. Embrace your sunkissed skin and curves.
Since the days of the Renaissance, Harlem has served as the epicenter of music, literature, art and fashion. As Harlem is being revitalized in the 21st century, Harlem Fashion Week (HFW) introduces a new era of fashion culture to the Harlem community, inspired by its rich cultural heritage.
Harlem Fashion Week is an explosion of culture that bridges the Downtown fashion hub to the Uptown vibe for a rich community experience. It showcases the fashion industry, provides business education for emerging designers, grows Harlem businesses, creates a cultural platform, and just exudes fun!
The inaugural HFW kick off had its opening night celebration on September 7th and culminated with Runway Shows on September 9th at the historic Museum of the City of New York on 5th avenue and Central Park. The four-day event was hosted at restaurants, businesses and cultural centers all throughout the Harlem community and attracted guests that included fashion industry professionals, members of the media, artists, entertainers, buyers and a host of VIPs.
Harlem Fashion Week’s Schedule Included:
• Opening Night Celebration at the Hamilton Landmark Galleries
• Runway Show at the Museum of the City of New York
• The Business of Fashion Symposium at The Harlem State Office Building
• After Party at a posh Harlem venue
• Fashion Awards Ceremony at Museum of the City of New York
• HFW Fashion Brunch at Cheri Harlem
• Production Open House conducted by Manufacture NY
The creators of Harlem Fashion Week are the dynamic mother-daughter team of Tandra Birkett and Yvonne Jewnell, owners of the fashion design company Yvonne Jewnell New York LLC. Yvonne Jewnell New York is an award winning women’s wear company that creates clothing that promotes women empowerment and celebrates culture from across the globe. Combined, they used their talent, skill, and education to create one of the most innovative, emerging fashion houses.
As a company, Yvonne Jewnell New York LLC is a member of Harlem Arts Alliance and Harlem Chamber of Commerce. It has participated in the Annual Harlem Week Festival, hosted a Pop-Up Shop at the Black River Studio, and produced fashion shows at the Hip Hop Cultural Center and the ImageNation Raw Space. It is only natural that they would produce Harlem Fashion Week to celebrate the rich cultural heritage of Harlem.
A portion of the proceeds from HFW will go to the restoration project of La Maison des Esclaves – The House of Slaves Museum on Goree Island in Senegal.
Generally, Taji Mag pays homage to traditional African fashion so Westerners can connect their roots, but we’d be a hendering one way road if we did not view the other direction. l’âme inconnue, a creative management firm, is an advent believer that Africa has some of the greatest talent to date. Their motto is to redefine African designers into a modern aesthetic and to help them integrate into the Western market. A new addition they’ve added to their roster is Ghanaian designer, Nina Barkers – Woode of Barkers-Woode and her collaboration with jewelry designer Asia Clarke of Wild Moon, thus Barkers-Woode x Wild Moon.
The Barkers – Woode brand embodies a minimalist aesthetic. Each garment is made up of clean lines and an essence of timelessness. It is inspired by world history and generations of women. Androgynous artworks play on the mixture of masculinity and femininity.
The Wild Moon’s jewelry collection lies on the border of fine jewelry and nature-inspired and industrial aesthetic of everyday jewelry. Elegance and tribal sensibility in her design are achieved through the incorporation of 100% recycled and eco-friendly Fine Silver with Brass, Semi-precious stones and 14k gold nuggets.
All of this inspiration has sparked their campaign of “New Africa” – an interpretation of the shift of stereotypical ideology of African fashion to a modern day look. The fashion presentation takes place on September 23, 2016 in Toronto, ON, Canada with stagnant models in Barkers-Woode and Wild Moon jewelery. The room covered in muslin and canvases will depict the street art of their movement.
Various creative and African descentdant influencers are photographed and filmed, in both designers recent collections, a series of questions that speak specifically to the Black youth of today. Each influencer plays a big role in our community honing the title as an activist.
Ofentse “Princess Ofee” Maluleke is the CEO of Taji Holdings and author of Fifty Shades of Duku. Taji is a Swahili word for CROWN. The company is focused on manufacturing and distributing natural hair and skin products while teaching Queens how to take care of their crowns. She also has a relentless love affair with head wraps and began teaching others how to wrap in 2013 on her Youtube channel.
Ofee was born and raised in Empangeni (Kwa-Zulu Natal), South Africa, ensuring that she got an all-round South African experience and that she could speak at least 5 languages. Her love for entrepreneurship began in high school where she was nicknamed “the popcorn lady” as she sold popcorn during break times for pocket money. She continued to sell other items such as beaded jewelery and muffins all the way through to university.
The way that African women wear their duku’s is significantly different to the way other ethnicities wear theirs. Instead of tying the fabric below the chin or at the nape of the neck African women tie it on the crown of the head or on the sides and tuck in the fabric in the wrap leaving the face and neck exposed. This ensures the head is puled upwards and the features of the face are highlighted. In other words, an African woman wears her duku as she would a crown.
“My life purpose is to inspire, heal and help African Queens to look and feel beautiful and be their authentic selves for God’s glory through my products, seminars, blogging and vlogging online.”
In this book, Ofee will showcase 50 different ways to tie a Duku step-by-step.
Headwraps (Duku) hold a significant role in the history of African women all over the continent and the diaspora. The tradition has been passed through the generations and has never gone out of fashion. Duku’s have been historically worn by both men and women of all races but, in recent times it has become associated almost solely with women of African decent.
Among other incredible works, she also sells locally produced organic body, lip and hair products.
Shanice Thompson is a very strong fashion, swimsuit, afro-art and artistic model. She literally took over the beach and drew a crowd. She is a fresh face mainly featured on the runway and video projects. This is her first official swimsuit photo shoot with this agency and we love it.
There is something eternally sexy about a Black man with a beard and a plan. The everlasting regality exhibited by today’s #MustLoveBeards king is my blessing to all of our Taji Mag readers. In his own words, “My lineage is rooted in greatness. The history of Africa is one of high achievement and excellence that has set the precedent for the rest of the modern world.” Entrepreneur Nestlé Snipes sat down with Taji Mag to share his story.
So who is this fine, chocolate brother? Let me tell you a bit about the debonair Mr. Nestlé.
Creator and lead photographer for Made For a King Photography, Nestlé Snipes is an emerging artist, photographer, and actor living in the New Jerusalem (better known as East Orange, Jersey). He is a well-traveled navy man with aspirations for greatness.
Nestlé credits his love and appreciation for Blackness for making him the man he is today. Through independent research, he grew to love the countless contributions made by the Pan African world. This dedication to celebrating our origins goes beyond the for-profit arena. He and a collective of dapper Black men organized a “Rebirth of Cool” charity event that showed us what a classic man is really about.
His images are a classy mix of traditional, modern, and futuristic looks that are simply breathtaking. Scroll through his IG for more than 5 seconds and you will fall in love with your Blackness all over again. With more than 3,000 followers, his work is undoubtedly the blues in many a left thigh, trying to become the funk in our right… and that’s alright.
Whether it’s his gold medal beard, his Malcolm-X-turned-hippie appeal, or the sheer brilliance of his passion, Nestlé Snipes is an intriguing Black entrepreneur on the rise. We are excited to watch out for what he does next.
ARWAY (Ah-way) means beautiful/old lady in KRU a local language in Liberia. The KRUS are not unique to Liberia, as they can be found in different communities around West Africa, with slight variation in the language. ARWAY bags are made by Liberian artisans, living and working in Liberia. Their staff travel around West Africa to handpick cloths, skins, and wood that makes their bags unique. They believe it is important that they ensure Liberia continues to maintain a low carbon emission record, thus all items are made out of materials that were produced locally, or were recycled.
ARWAY bags are made from the finest West African Ankara and leather, to ensure durability. Fabrics are handpicked, and designed to fit all. They work with local Liberian artisans in various sectors to create “One Of A Kind” couture bags. ARWAY stands for authentic African style, enduring craftsmanship, and innovation. ARWAY bags are made for customers seeking unique items not for their closet ONLY. We are proud to design bags that are functional, stylish, and embellish to ensure all eyes are on you. ARWAY collections are inspired by various tribal groups in Liberia – Mel, Kru, and Mande – and the authenticity of their traditions.
The Bassa Collection
The Bassas are located on the coast, and were one of the first ethnic group to interact with foreigners. Thus, they are known for being great Cleaners and Cooks. Most Liberians will tell you if you want a good housekeeper get a Bassa person. The collection is depicted out of the Bassas’ ability to remain salient, but important. The rich and vibrant African prints are interwoven with snakeskin and leather material.
The Gola Collection
The oldest of the Liberian tribes and they are known to be reserved. Which many interpret as being mean spirited. “When you enter a Gola town no one lives there”. This collection is made out of snakeskin, vibrant colors, and seals which depict the Golas’ self-reliance ethos.
The Kru Collection
“Peace was in Heaven until the Krus arrive”. The Krus are known to be the fighters. Always assertive willing to exert themselves and will do anything to protect their own. This collection is made out of alligator/crocodile skins for the bold and funky that are embedded within Kru couture.
The Lorma Collection
The Lorma are seen as loyalist. The Lormas are viewed to be honest and will always have your back. The Lorma collection is made out of sheep leather. This collection is versatile in simple hues and style.
Malik’s Collection is Coming Soon, inspired by the Men and boys in our lives.
Love these wonderful products? Contact ARWAY with the product name or order directly through PayPal. Quantities are limited! ArwayBags.blogspot.com
Karma is 5 years old and she loves to model. She has locs that she adores and loves how many versatile styles she can do despite her not being a loose natural. There is too much negative imagery associated with locs, thus Karma and her mom are reversing the stereotypes!