Release Sep 7 2019 | Vol20 of Taji is packed full of Black Beauty & Culture fulfilling its theme of #SlayBells! This Big Book volume’s cover features the #SlayBells of model Funmi Okusi Gracing the pages are the Editor’s Pick, Olympian Keturah Orji who created a mentorship program for young girls; our Community Spotlight on rising actress Jenasha Roy; our highlighted Hair Feature, Intl I Love Braids Day – Braid Love Celebration 2019; “Solo Travel: Blackness Abroad” by dCarrie; “Atum Manifest” by Jashua Sa’Ra; “Back to Natural” Documentary by Gillian Scott Ward; “Black Excellence is Not Hyperbole” by Janelle Naomi; Our Vol 20 theme “#SlayBells” collective photo stories; our Fitness Feature Ase Boogie; Vegan Fun with Delliz the Chef; Featured art piece by Will Focus; Must Have Graphic Novel: “Marassa” Book 2 by Greg Anderson Elysee; “Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am” by Dapper Dr. Feel; The Celestine Collection Has the Body Butter Scents of the Season; Black Business Highlights; Forensic Toxicologist, Tamykah Anthony of Xanthines Cafe, is Inspiring the Next Generation; “Yoga For Every(body)” by Jo Murdock; Frances Vicioso Gets Real About Mental Health; Thoughts on the Abortion Ban from Podcaster Lineh; Naturalz Salon in Atlanta is Pure Good Vibes; Pharaonic Brand Reminds Us of Our Greatness; BMORE DREAM BIG is Uplifting the Community; Nonso Shows Men How to Dress Without Breaking the Bank; and more!!
Alida was very beautiful and one of the slaves of White Dutch slave owners. Her master, duPlessis was known to be the most vicious slave owner in Suriname at the time. According to the legacy, the wife of the slave owner, Suzanne duPlessis, thought her husband was sleeping with Alida. Out of pure hate and jealousy, she cut off one of Alida’s breasts and served it to him on a silver chafing dish. Alida survived and the slave master gave her a position in the house as a ‘misi’ or mistress. He also gave her a three-legged table inlaid with precious metals.
The ‘Jealousy Chair’ is an important part of Surinamese history; in particular that of the Black Surinamese woman. The slave women created the Koto prom dress, which is made up of many layers including a jacket, shirt, skirt, and headwrap, to hide her body and that of young girls, from the predatory eyes of the slave masters. The ‘Koto Misi’ derives from the story of Alida and Black Surinamese women, until today, honor her legacy by taking photographs sitting in the ‘Jealousy Chair’ in their Kotos with plants or flowers sitting on a three-legged table. They also celebrate her legacy by having Koto Misi contests in both Suriname and Amsterdam. Black Surinamese women celebrate the Legacy of Alida until this day for her courage, resilience, and strength during a time when she and Black women like her throughout the Caribbean and America were the innocent victims of cruelty, hate, heinous sexual exploitation and more.
The Stächa Huis brand embodies the culture of generations of Surinamese women in the family of designer Stacey Filé. Her debut lookbook takes you through traditional Surinamese culture juxtaposed with distinct silhouettes, hand painted batik, rich colors and more. The memory of Alida mirrored with imported and gilt embellished textiles, this collection tells the story of the women of Suriname who represent Chinese, Javanese, African, and Indian ethos. The gold in each garment represents in-laid with precious metals in Alida’s chair. The garments themselves are the opposite of Kotos; they are meant to be freeing and in a sense showing off the female form of the wearer. The story of Alida and so many women like her from the sugarcane plantations in the Caribbean to the cotton plantations in Mississippi allow us to remember the power of our voices, our rich history of revolution and remind us that we are the embodiment of the Black woman, no matter our background. The Stächa Woman is a symbol of feminine empowerment; she is the definition of the women who came before her and the blueprint of the women to come.
Designer Chuks Collins has combined social causes and bold fashion on the runway during New York Fashion Week. After a second lease on life, the designer founded a nonprofit and for the past several years has presented his latest collections within a fundraising event. Last year’s soiree, The Dream: Fall 2017 Benefit Fashion Show and Silent Auction was in collaboration with Oando Foundation U.S. held at the Angel Orensanz Foundation in the Lower East Side.
Event hosts Claudia Jordan (RHOA, celebrity apprentice) and Hadiiya Barbel (celebrity wigologist and transformation artist) welcomed attendees and introduced Sony music artist SUMMER Williams who performed new music from her EP.
The Chuks Collins collection offers ready to wear fashions for men and women that appreciate sophisticated style and last season the ensembles ranged from modern elegance to casual chic in a handsome array of bold colors. The presentation also included sharing with guests how funds raised would be used in the Adopt-A-School initiative for children in Collins’ home country of Nigeria. The silent auction, courtesy of Charity Grow, provided an opportunity for making a tax-deductible donation in addition to a portion of proceeds from tickets.
Special guest attendees included rapper Peter Gunz, Orange Is the New Black actress Adrienne Moore, Kim Mastroddi, Taneka Bowles, Actor Marc John Jefferies, pop singer Chelley, celebrity stylists TY Hunter and Kidear Youmans.
Black White Beautiful | Black and white fashion has never left the style scene, but the powerful combination has been thrust back in the spotlight in a major way with graphic houndstooth. Virlé Cole, an online vintage fashion boutique, takes a bite out of the trend with retro clothing and accessories featuring a bold, oversize version of the unisex print splayed on distinctly ladylike pieces and silhouettes.
Discover the intrigue of the two-tone print in this photo series featuring a powerful trio of stunning black models showcasing the diverse ways to wear houndstooth. The young women in the images prove a vintage garment can produce a lifetime of glamour. Although some articles were designed before the models were born, they worked the designs in a way that appears modern, relevant and at their peak of chic.
You too can wear houndstooth or simply black and white in a number of ways. Don’t be afraid to layer monochrome pieces or top one print with another like print. As told by the runways, matchy-matchy styles and co-ords are back—just Google 2018 daytime pajama sets, matching bags and shoes, and bodysuits that fit like puzzle pieces to matching bottoms. For a quaint touch, try a houndstooth headband or bow, or pick a mod shift, polished suit, striking coat, or even sexy bustier. Any style you choose, don’t be afraid to own it and walk tall. For more vintage fashion inspiration follow @virlecole on Instagram or visit www.virlecole.com.
Bettina Coleman is credited as the photo shoot stylist and owner of Virlé Cole. She selected the styles and models to inspire young women to wear the clothes of generations before them. She wants everyone to value the rich history and story that vintage clothing offers—not to mention its charm. The one-of-a-kind pieces she sells cannot be replaced by fast fashion chains or even today’s top designers. Her advice to fashionistas: Fall in love with vintage and make it yours forever.
Wardrobe | Virlé Cole – IG @virlecole
Photographer | Adam Jackson – IG @Adamj.photo
Black White Beautiful
Sexy, fun, sophisticated. Abyssinia.
Royal | Abyssinia Campbell
Photographer | Joey Rosado
MUA | Marshalle C
Stylist | Abiodun Dosu
Creative Director | Devena Smith
IG @ _devena_
Designer | Queen E Collection
According to Fashion Designer Diane Linston, fashion should always be high-key, up-beat, and fashionably fun. Sequins fashion is still a hot trend for the 2017 fall season and Linston has her finger on the pulse of glitz and glamour with style creations that transcend from business casual to red carpet glamour. If you still think that sequins are only good for a night out, then Diane Linston, creative director of Style of Imagination Inc. has a wardrobe solution that is lifestyle changing.
The Styles of Imagination collection is carried by fifteen retail boutiques throughout the United States; and the brand offers two collections for the style conscious shopper. The NGU Collection offers finer fabrics, detailing and embellishments; while the DYL Collection is moderately priced. The NGU collection means (Never Give Up), and is all about being positive, high spirited with perseverance. “I have faced very traumatic and discouraging times in my life and I praise glory to God for keeping me positive in order to persevere. By never giving up on my dream to launch my fashion line, I now create fashion designs that are uplifting and sophisticated for the everyday woman. For me being creative is healing. I believe being positive and never giving up on our dreams is how every woman should live her life …Positive and glamorous!” explains Linston.
It’s time for girls to try something new; namely sequins as daywear! Rock a sequins or rhinestone top that is moderately price, and easily match it with a basic or classic bottom piece without over spending. The NGU collection also includes denim suits and separates that are stylish and sophisticated for women ages twenty-five through sixty years of age. A sophisticated woman who wears NGU never gives up. And neither will those flirtatious guys.
“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 ”.
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.
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!”
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.
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.”
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 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.
“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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
“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: