Author Archives: Just Jane

About Just Jane

I have worn different pieces, different hair, committed fashion crimes, taken a risk and, fully emerged on the other side. I like to think I'm my own entertainer. Never a dull moment with myself!

Swag Worthy Couples

They embody the notion of private jet-setters and the concept of black SUV presidential escorts. Everywhere they go, these couples demand attention without quite saying it. They turn heads and make lists of “most-powerful” duos. So here they are. We are not Ahemmm favouring Bee and Jay-Z but just saying…they look great in synch! 

Beyonce and Jay-Z have a lunch date out at French eatery Pastis in NYC

IN SoHO

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith Watch Their Son Play Football

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama disembark the board the Air Force One

Serena Williams and Common out shopping in New York City

Pleasure Ellis Sounds Beautifully Like Michael Jackson

Pleasure Ellis the Entertainer.

Seriously, his voice is lyrically soul like syrup mixed with a unique edge that I can’t quite describe.  His sound is amazingly honest and lacks the pretentious churn that is often baked into newer, emerging, artists.  His story?

Pleasure Ellis was not discovered on the streets.  He was not discovered in a talent show.  Pleasure Ellis was discovered through a phone call.  He made that phone call. The receiver of his phone call? MC Hammer.   That’s right, he contacted MC and informed him of his ability to sing at MC Hammer’s private residence.   Read all about it here.

THIEF IN THE NITE Video:

I sat there thinking:  Yes he has hints of MJ in him.  Yes he is a talented reminder of the power of influence and appreciation.  And yes,  I will put this song on spin.  A comfortable sense thinking MJ is   “gone but NEVER forgotten”.  It’s a beautiful fusion of sound and memories.

Beauty in Black Shades

Like Brown Sugar you are so fine. Suited with amours of Grace.

Brown Sugar you are love, strenght, courage and beauty.

A ripple in the ocean.

A diamond yet to be found.

Ataui Deng

Lola Falana

Obama and Michelle's Wedding.

Badu

Random beauty

Djebril Didier Zonga

Random Beauty

Adeola Ariyo

Daniel Lazaro

Ngo Okafor

Shakra Ledard

Megan Good

Modu Seye- Senegal

Kelenna Azubuike

Sonja Wanda

Lauryn Hill

Fayruz Abdiaman

Random Beauty Credit to The Trapezium

Random Beauty.

Salieu Jalloh

Ataui Deng

Cherif Ndiaye

Dorothy Dandridge with Harry Belafonte.

Mali beauty

Miriam Chemmoss

This photo strikes me as sad and beautiful at the same time.

Very Nubain-esque

Friday Feature: Dash Empire

The first time I spoke with Joel Dash, he was swamped with the happenings of fashion week.  We finally got to catch up with him again.  He is the guru behind Dash Empire and I will have you know that he can describe Prada shoes to the point of mouthwatering edibleness.   It is true to say that Joel Dash is a  ‘Style & Image Consultant’ (with vast experience in the fashion world to back him up).  I like the level of knowledge Joel Dash brings to the fashion world.  Dash is a master at mixing pieces, like a fitted blazer, with more playful elements.  Check out Joel Dash lending his edge at who is wearing what and the world of fashion & Style. Find him here.

How would you describe your style?

I don’t really have a definitive style as of yet. I think because I’m inspired by so many other people, lifestyles, cultures etc.   I allow myself to continuously be transformed into a mood or time rather than just a definitive style. It’s kind of weird to explain. I love to play dress up, not in a “lady gaga-esque” way but in an everyday kind of couture, yet simple, way.  But, I keep adding my touch of fun and I’m always keeping it chic!

What other fashion blogs would you recommend?

Honestly I hardly read any other blogs as I don’t have the time but I Loveee Jack & Jil so I hop onto that site anytime I get the chance.

Fashion tip for the season?

I always give the same tip: CONFIDENCE! Most pieces never really go out of style therefore you can wear them over and over however you need confidence to make ANY outfit work. NO CLOGS or KITTENS HEELS EVER! The two things I hate most in the world!

Who or what has been your greatest fashion influence?

Probably, I would say myself to be honest. I like to make myself happy 1st, looking and feeling good is the best way.

If you owned a shop, what would it be called?

The Dash Empire

Who are your favorite emerging designers and what is it that you love about them?

I love Ashish, great quality, the fit is exquisite and honestly it’s about enjoying fashion right now. I love accessories too.

What item of clothing (if any) do you wish that more of us wore?

I like that people are individuals so nothing.

What items do you consider a fashion crime?

Kitten heels and clogs.. Revolting!

Favorite quote:

Fashion is not something that only exists in dresses.

Fashion is in the sky,

in the street,

fashion has to do with ideas,

the way we live,

what is happening.”

A phrase you use far too often in the fashion world….

“Mucho love” and “that dress is giving me life/carbs right now” lol

In moments of weakness you…

Eat chocolate & lots of candy then top it off with a little shopping 😦

What’s the most exciting show you’ve attended?

Burberry `Prorsum fall 2010 womenswear! Epic-tastic (Epic & Fantastic) is the word that comes to mind.

In a nutshell, your philosophy is?

Life is for living so why not just live!

Feature: N’Damus by Nneka Onyenakala

N'DAMUS Designer

What attracted me to N’Damus was their sense of confidence and the way they represent their brand.  KUA was a great connection in introducing me to N’Damus’ fashion worthy bags.   With slogans like “”If the sky is the limit, N’Damus has reached the ozone layer…” I was instantly hooked. Nneka Onyenakala is the style guru behind this line.   She’s reaching the heights and has been recognized by MTV, worn by Supermodel Ajuma Nasenyana as well as Hollywood’s Nia Long and, The Noisettes Shingai Shoniwa.  Tis true for N’Damus to proclaim: “To make you look ‘flyer’ than a 747 in the stratosphere”.  The N’Damus line is filled with accessories from handmade clutches, totes wristbands  to belts: Find N’Damus Designs here.

First of: Can we get some background info from you.

I was born in London however am of Nigerian heritage. Generally I am inspired by strength exhibited by people who, despite experiencing the many challenges which life brings, continue fighting in the most positive and uplifting spirit. If you tell me I can’t do something, you’ve only just inspired me to do it.

Tell us a little about N’Damus Designs (who is the founder, How did it start, what it means:

Nneka Onyenakala is the founder and designer behind the N’Damus brand. Nneka started making bags for herself back in 2007/2008 initially because she was frustrated with not being able to find bags to match her abundant, rainbow-like shoe collection.  The word ‘damus’ in Latin means: We are giving/we give. “My father has brought me up to use the talents given to you by God even if you may not initially see its beauty or use. God has given me many talents and now Nneka (‘N’) is giving back some of what she was given”.

Noisettes lead singer Shingai Shoniwa wears Chocolate Abstract Rose Corset Belt.

Loving that popping red.

What inspires your designs?

The design inspiration of my bags comes from looking at how the abstract can also be beautifully striking. My designs encompass abstract shapes, and folds, with splashes of color in natural fabrics.  Namely, I use leather to create stylish, abstract designs and unique pieces for all who want to add the definitive edge to complete their outfit.

I generally draw internal inspiration initially…I make what I feel. I also draw inspiration from things we view on a daily basis but don’t actually see.  Living in such a busy city, such as London, the obvious is sometimes missed; in order to be seen, something big or bold must happen. I believe in making bold, creative, statements.

Who are your favorite emerging designers and what is it that you love about them?
I fully support Kua Designs www.kuadesigns.com. I had he pleasure of meeting her in Ghana this year. Her designs are chic, earthy and cultural. We both make clutch bags but what I love about the designer is Ruby is she is not competitive but rather very supportive.

Geometric Designs (http://www.geometricdesigns.co.uk/) is another truly phenomenal emerging designer. The designs use traditional African wax, and prints, but in a truly universal way.  What I really love about the designer is her tailoring services.   I’ve had a few things made from her using not African prints but: silk, cotton and linen. She really is one to watch out for.

Where can people buy your items?

Website: www.ndamus.com

Gisella Boutique, London

Little Black Dress Boutique, Arezzo, Italy (from May 2010)

I also have a bespoke service (customization).  I have made countless bags for women who may have a pink and blue dress, for example, but need the matching bag.  All people need to do is send us an email (info@ndamus.com) with their requests and have a unique bag tailored for their unique needs.

What is your best attribute?

That’s a difficult question to answer but here goes: I don’t take crap from ANYBODY! I realize it may seem radical but at the same time, I am not afraid to take on board positive and constructive feedback. That’s an essential part of growing. My friends would probably say my attributes are: humor, tenacity & unwavering determination to succeed & having a steel spine.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

There are quite a few things that spring to mind with this question. I guess the advice used depends on what’s happening. I’d say some of the following:

“Know your worth.”

“Eradicate things which do not serve you”.

“If you really want to do something you’ll find a reason to and if not, you’ll find an excuse NOT to.”

Can you tell I am surrounded by the wise?!

Excluding yours, what company or brand do you admire the most?
I actually don’t really have a brand or company that I admire ‘the most’. All companies are made up of people so I guess you could say what I tend to ‘admire’ are qualities exhibited and exuded by people. I admire any quality which is wholly positive to admire; in my eyes, it means you exhibit something that I too would like to positively emulate and even learn from.

Favorite lyrics from a song?

That’s a tough one since I am such a jazz lover. I would have to say ‘Brother’ by the Brand New Heavies.

“There’s no need to feel you’re on your own

Just let your intuition guide you through

Take one step toward what you believe

Don’t be afraid to make your move…”

I think this is a beautiful song. The lyrics are uplifting in a very matter of fact way. Very soul-soothing J
Word you live by?

“If you think you can or you can’t, you are probably right.”

Nia Long for N'Damus

Once upon a Sexy Afternoon….

I love when I find a great editorial that grasps a certain mood and then has the power to display that mood on print! This one captured a serene afternoon. A lazy Saturday afternoon perhaps?

Captured on a sexy afternoon by photographer Thierry Le Gouès s  the theme of Soy Cuba tells a pictorial story of a young couple’s day together.   Portrayed  by the beautiful Januaria Mora and handsome Richel Larosa…Both played it to a T.    Love it.

Friday Feature: Orleans Designs

Hazel Aggrey of Orleans Designs

I first heard about Orleans Designs when I interviewed Ruby of KUA Designs.  I decided that I should check it out. It was an instant WOW.  I like to describe Hazel Aggrey as a lady who has coined Afro couture meeting with a more contemporary vibe. The results, a versatile line that is awfully attractive and made to capture the iris and pull it right in.  Her designs were truly meant for the light. When I saw the way these clothes flow, with silk and movement, I knew that anyone who could wear these garments would instantly feel beautiful. We instantly connected.  You can also find her on Facebook here.

First of: Can we get some background info from you.

I was born in Germany but then moved to Nigeria at a very young age, where I spent 17 years of my life. I have very fond memories growing up as a child in Lagos.

I am of mixed heritage – my mother is German and my father was Nigerian.  Growing up in Nigeria, I naturally developed a close bond to African culture.  In addition, having traveled around the world (to Latin America, Asia, the Caribbean and many more countries), it led me to combine both my African roots with the rich cultural encounters I came across in my travels. This combination, of both cultures, has formed the basis for my collection.

Tell us a little about Orleans Designs

Hazel Aggrey-Orleans is the creative force behind Orleans Designs.  Orleans Designs is a new woman’s wear and accessory label.  It draws inspiration from colorful memories growing up as a child in the culturally dynamic city of Lagos (Nigeria).  Also, this line is inspired by my Germanic roots. West African prints and symbols form the basis of the luxurious silk patterns; silk overcomes that restriction that is often carried via traditional cottons. {Using her mixed heritage, Hazel has cleverly combined her two worlds into her work}. The results produce more contemporary features in the garments. Orleans Designs prides themselves not only on their one of a kind beautiful prints but, also, in the skilled and exquisite craftsmanship that goes into each garment.

Autumn/Winter


What inspires your designs?

My inspirations are: my kids, my mixed cultural backgrounds, and lastly but very importantly, my simple love for color; color inspirations are most heightened during the grey wintery months when everyone around you is dressed in black, grey or navy blue. I like nothing more than to make a stunning entrance and it is my mission to bring out the colorful goddess in every woman.

Traditional West African Ankara prints are always on stiffer cottons. I have decided to contemporize them and play around with soft, flowy, silk fabrics. For me, it gives it that extra luxurious feel and there is nothing wrong with modernizing our African prints and fabrics.

Who are your favorite emerging designers and what is it that you love about them?

I love Eva Sonaike’s cushions. I really like the way she has coupled the use of African fabrics with leather and velvet. The finishing, of her products, is immaculate. I can’t wait to see the fuller range of products she will soon be offering. www.evasonaike.com

I first read about Kua Designs in Canoe Magazine and thought, wow, her bags are stunning. Since then I have been seeing a lot of her publicity. It always helps when the designer herself is just as lovely as the bags themselves. www.kuadesigns.com

In terms of clothes designers, I am a fan of anyone who is innovative, has a story to tell behind their designs and doesn’t take themselves too serious. I also love designers who use a lot of color as I am not a ‘black’ chic.

Where can people buy your items?

Currently our Spring/Summer COCO collection can be bought online at www.orleansdesigns.com

What is your best attribute?

I would say patience and perseverance. I am a very committed person – once I promise to do something I always do it even if it means bending over backwards.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?
‘You do not need to see the whole staircase – just take one step at a time’.

I always set myself high goals, never knowing how on earth I will achieve them but everything always falls into place in the end, so I try not to worry too much.

Excluding yours, what company or brand do you admire the most?
I admire a lot of brands but I always like a brand with a story. I appreciate it more, if I know how it all started.   With the company, Wellicious, it all started with a lady drawing up sketches on her kitchen floor and staying up long hours to pull it all together. She made a lot of mistakes but learned from them and is now taking the world by storm with her beautiful yoga clothing. www.wellicious.com

Favorite lyrics from a song?
I guess one that comes to mind is Mariah Carey’s old-time favorite – Hero.

Dreams are hard to follow

But don’t let anyone tear them away

Hold on

There will be tomorrow

In time, you find the way

Word you live by?

It’s not the person with the great idea who succeeds but the one who follows it through. I don’t talk much. I save that energy for getting things done. Nothing in life is easy but it depends on how eager you are to succeed. I am very keen and I’m not going anywhere till I have achieved my goal of being a recognizable brand worldwide for beautiful prints.

Spring/Summer

Rhianna Over The Years

This Barbadian R&B beauty has evolved from a general pop sensation with a more innocent image to something a lot more siren worthy.   She has become a style icon to the point where she’s getting payed mega bucks to sit front row center at major fashion events.

Her music, like her look, has changed accordingly.  That’s what you get when you put marketing and music together. You get a product that the record label wants to market.  So in other words, some artists must sacrifice their say towards creative power. Box them and ship them!

From crooning about  “I wanna know boy If I could be ya shawty”  and moving more towards a vixen of dominatrix in “Good Girl Gone Bad”, Rhianna has moved towards a more charged Beyonce-type of  “I can take care of my damn self”  type of woman: ”

Come here rude boy, boy
Can you get it up
Come here rude boy, boy
Is you big enough

Here is Rhianna over the years, Constantly evolving towards something else:   What do you think about her looks over the years?

The Sensational Tasha Marillia

Tasha is a wonderful singer that recently crossed my path.  Her charm is undeniable and I can’t wait for our interview together.  This London newcomer is dreaming big and taking all the necessary actions to get there.  She completed a project with Genuine Rep/Insomniax, (hit-makers for Robin Thicke, Boys2Men, Bobby Valentino, Jojo etc).   I really love her vocals.  This one lady shows a lot of promise. Check her track “Lotta Love”.

Tasha Marillia

Sexy Boot Shoes And Sandals For the Summer

Saw some flavor shoes that scream summer sexy lady.  Great summer sandals for great manicured feet.  Forget about the gladiator sandal of last year.  Elevate yourself to higher grounds with these ones.  Check it out.  Men what do you think of this one shoe on a lady? Yay or Nay?

I browsed endless.com and found some really great summer shoes.  Everything global, tribal… with colors that make me wish summer could last forever. Check these ones out.

Michael Antonio Women’s Grayson Wedge

Apepazza Women’s Malachite Flat Sandal

Fergie Women’s Empower Sandal

Feature Friday: Kwesi Abbensetts

Kwesi

Kwesi

Brooklyn based photographer, Kwesi Abbensetts, has a portfolio that eludes the memoirs of an artistic masterpiece.  I’m really enchanted by his work. His shots capture the soul as if it was naturally born in front of shutters and lenses.  When I first saw Kwesi’s portfolio, I marveled.  Like a magnet, I kept going back.  His work is amazing in the fact that he successfully uses different eras as a backdrop; Kwesi is able to capture his subjects in their most natural state. We, as an audience, are able to feel the era without being physically transported.  With the swiftness of his flash, we are also able to welcome the present.   His style is non-conventional and thus unique.   His photos are transformed by color and also, the absence of it; they are the writings that sing about someone’s soul.  I don’t know about you but I can hear the sounds, see the sights and even smell the air in Kwesi’s photos.  Kwesi Abbensetts is truly on his way to inventing movable portraits.  Check more of him out here.

Introduce Kwesi Abbensetts

I live the life of a gypsy, embracing experiences as they come. I am based in New York City; It’s a big place that I think you would love (just don’t let the vices get the better of you). I am man of 33 years and still growing.  I am motivated by creating the next image, finding the next face, having accidents that happen to become gems. As a photographer, there is no limitation to the type of work that I can do- I do it all and I can do it all quite well.   It’s like a well trained muscle. My subjects come from everywhere; I offer allure and allure is an attractive currency. Who wouldn’t want to buy some from me! My name is Kwesi Abbensetts your dream catcher.

How would you describe your style?

I would call it cinema with one click. Nakedness without a naked body: innocence that brews spirits.   I can say there is no style when you manifest mercurial images.   It’s only magic to be enjoyed

Who or what has been your greatest fashion influence?

Truthfully my influence has been myself.  I have never ascribed to any fashion sense like its religion. I take pieces of what I like and I find ways to use it in my palette.

Which other photographer/photographers do you admire the most?

They are many of them, but mostly I look to the good ones and I steal the best parts without them knowing. That might make me a cheap hack then.   But then again that’s how creation continues- the other inspires the other.

If someone were to give you a disposable camera and said to fill it + hand it back to them the next day. Where would you immediately go to take some photos?

I would fill it with dripping beautiful women. Not naked women, just women that astound and startle your senses.  I will walk the street and find them one by one. Put them under the best light and click the shutter. Yes in that moment she will become naked.

What is your best attribute?

My eyes- that many never see!

Your work is so creative and able to capture many moods and emotions. Where do you get your inspirations?

I let inspiration fall out of the sky- literally. I can’t take it from anyone; it always has to be a part of me. Everyday I have a gnawing urge to create and so I go inside; I seek through all the rubble and heaps-somehow with a little patience I come up with stuff.

Which city, or location, inspires you the most?

Jamaica: so filled with natural beauty.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

Plan your life, imagine it, work hard at what you love and the success will come. Oh add some smarts to it too.

What type of cameras do you shoot with?

I shoot with a Pentax

Favorite lyrics from a song?

Most are from Fiona Apple.

What are your future goals?
To become a bigger, and better, photographer; I need to make this money man, yes art and commerce.

Words you live by….
” What’s coming is already on its way”

Find More of Kwesi Click Here.

Classy Watches Transporting Time

When it comes to investment pieces, like jewelry and watches, I always choose a clean, elegant, look.   I like that one pair of earring, bracelet, or watch, that I can wear everyday with everything.  I have developed a habit of only purchasing important pieces based on these practical criteria.  So while working on a recent accessories project, I came across some Croton Watches.  I was instantly drawn to a few pieces that produced the audible thought: “Wow I could totally wear that”! The more I looked, the more my purchase criteria stripped away.  I realized, with remarkable clarity, the versatile nature of this watches. Croton Watches offers a collection of that contains a little bit of everything: crystal, simple time pieces, classy and, a touch of edgy.

The man watch has become something that women are embracing as well. The male club has been invaded by females opting for slightly larger watches on their wrists.  Celebrities truly drew our focus to this trend as man watches were seen on the wrists of the likes of Rhianna, Olsen twins and, Jennifer Aniston.  Basically, these watches elude an authentic, higher class, look to be desired.

Croton Men's Super Carbon Fiber Swiss Quartz Stainless Steel Bracelet Watch

Croton Men's CX2 Quartz Polymer Case Rubber Strap Watch (Comes in Differnt Colors)

Croton Men's Aquamatic Quartz Stainless Steel Bracelet Watch (available in other colors as well).

Brand names like Croton, Waltham Timepieces and Seiko are there to claim a seal of approval, and assurance, of a watch that maximizes quality with fashion appeal.  It’s all about creative awareness.  There is nothing like wearing great clothes and a watch that downgrades the whole outfit.  I always connect to a piece that will stay with me for a long time.  Imagine buying milk that you know will curdle the next day. Depressing, right?  Similar to watches, you want something that will sustain and be well-worth the spending.

So you are probably wondering where you could get all these watches that I’m constantly mentioning. I came across ShopNBC and they always have great sales.   They sell everything from a collection that takes on a decidedly bold approach to the pearl, simple, fashion approach to both men and women watches.

I really like the fact that Croton watches cater to the unisex world as well. I like to see the mixture of delicate and masculine together. I really value their approach to classy, and distinguished, without leaving out the child in the playground. I found some playful pieces with some interesting design features. I fell for the Mines Collection Quartz Gemstone Bracelet Watch (Second one below).  Everything from the face color to the dial color screamed of a great contrast. The brown of the Gemstone Bracelet watch is fun and really pops, with the gold tones.  It takes on a kind of bumblebee quality that I am fond of.

Croton Women's Mother-of-Pearl Swarovski® Crystal Leather Strap Watch

Croton Women's Mines Collection Quartz Gemstone Bracelet Watch *Available in other colors*

Croton Women's Mines Collection Swiss Quartz Lizard Strap Watch

Croton Women's Mines Collection Swiss Quartz Lizard Strap Watch

The men watches are also bold with a James Bond hint of manly style. Croton is not doing another Rolex re-make but, a more unique adaptation of a luxury watch. It’s great to know that their price is right too. These watches have diverse personalities and existing fans will definitely see more reason to add to their collection. I’m definitely looking out for Croton watches among Seiko and Waltham Timepieces.

Watches are viewed as an accessory to others but most often it’s a trademark of personality as well.  In a sense, a watch becomes integrated with a look that you are trying to define.  I also looked at Waltham Timepieces and Seiko as being watch brands that define diverse personalities.  When I think of them, I think quality.  When I purchase quality, it isn’t because it’s the “status” piece. It is because I just find it really magnificent!

Feature Friday: K.U.A Designs

Ruby is both a visionary and, an active entrepreneur. The name K.U.A means:  “Keeping Us Authentic”.  Her designs are captivating, embodied with colors that are magnetic and creatively mixed.  When I first encountered K.U.A Designs,  I became an instant K.U.A fan.   A fan that Ruby, the founder, would call a “K.U.A baby”.  I was captivated.   Being Ghanaian born, and raised, Ruby is an inspiring female entrepreneur who has made the passage in designing purses, and jewelry, that are influenced by vibrant Africa effects. Ruby is beautiful, business-minded and, humble.   That makes for a source of great attraction.   Her sense of invention is marvelous.   So we caught up to chat with the founder of K.U.A Designs.  Also find K.U.A  on Facebook.

First of: Can we get some background info from you. (e.g Where you are from and what inspires you?

I was born and raised in Ghana. After earning a degree in Business Admin in Georgia, I worked in Finance for a while before deciding to focus on my creative side. Here I am, taking it a day at a time and enjoying the journey with its ups and downs.

Tell us a little about KUA Designs (e.g who is the founder, How did it start, what it means:

Kua Designs, a Ghanaian-inspired purse line was introduced to the world in 2009.  Before then, I had a jewelry company called Stringz Attached. This year, I put both ventures under the same roof and I decided to keep the name Kua because of the sentimental value it holds. Kua is my mother’s name and thus connotes all the things my mother stands for: authenticity, cultural grounding, cool confidence, simplicity and beauty. Yes, my mum is the best (not that you asked… LOL).  Kua also stands for Keeping Us Authentic and I strive to hold myself up to that in business decisions I make.

What inspires your designs?

The rich colors of African wax print, the warm textures of goatskin, and the organic shapes of semi-precious stones… the list can go on and on. But in short, the ‘life’ in these materials I use greatly influence what I make. That is why I enjoy picking out my own materials.

Who are your favorite emerging designers and what is it that you love about them?

I have a number of favorites but these come to mind right away:

Malene b is an independent carpet designer who draws on her experiences around the world to design beautiful carpet.

I love Orleans designs’ use of silks in her flirty collection

Ndamus Bags makes statement pieces! Raw and edgy.

Where can people buy your items?

Spring collection is available on Kua’s website www.kuadesigns.com under ‘Shop’.  I am always happy when Spring rolls back around because of all the fun colors.  I hope you enjoy my current collection as much as I enjoy making them.

What is your best attribute?

I asked a few friends (since I am not good with such questions) and this is what I got:  confidence, positive attitude, social/people skills, sense of humor, smile, creativity, very jovial, outgoing, bubbly, witty, analytical, full of life, vivacious and brainy. As you can tell, I have very kind friends.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?
A couple of years ago when I was still deciding whether to go at this full-time, my mum, in our Nzema language said “do whatever makes you happy as long as you don’t become a liability to someone”.  That is the best advice because it forces me to live within my means and propels me to go after my dreams! Did I mention she was the best? LOL

Excluding yours, what company or brand do you admire the most?
This is a tough one because I admire several.  Just last night, I saw Lisa Price of Carol’s Daughter on TV, so she comes to mind right away. I love her story; I love how she started from her kitchen and how she did small shows till she became the empire she is today. Very heart-warming and encouraging, to say the least…

Favorite lyrics from a song?
Again, I can’t quite pick because I truly don’t have one favorite but I have been listening to Sade’s latest album and I like something about her Long Hard Road song.

There’s a long hard road ahead
But a voice inside me said
You know there’s something that you need to know
It’s gonna be alright

Word you live by?

“There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstance permit. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results”.  In short, if I want it, I must work hard to get it. Needless to say, tenacity is one of the things I pray God continues to shower on me 🙂

Anticipating Spring Style

Spring just around the corner some great styles will follow and, some atrocities will also enter the mix.  For those of you who experience spring, spring is a fun time to dress up since the weather is neither hot nor cold. You are neither having your fingers frosted or your hair, and clothes, matted to your body.  It’s time to pull out some lighter, wearable, clothes.  It’s also time to start re-discovering, and mixing different accessories and textures.  You don’t have to follow trends but be in tune with a unique look that is sizzling yet approachable.  What are some of your favorite spring looks?

Ladies

Coats

This is the The Mackinaw Coat is a nice-fitting trench with a form-fitting capability.  For Night and day. Lunch to dinner.

Trench with a classy sophistication.

Nothing says chic like a masculine item paired up with a spring floral dress.

The boyfriend blazer is great because it doesn’t have to be form -fitting.  It can be worn a size bigger. In fact, I do like a size and 0.5 bigger otherwise it just looks like an office blazer and, defeats the purpose!   The look is to go for “I was cold so my boyfriend gave up his blazer”.  You are not going to do that with a tight blazer unless…you date men who like tight clothes.  One Thing I will say about the boyfriend blazer is that, it needs to have some type of shape to it.  If shape is lacking, you will likely end up with a costume-like look.

Boyfriend jacket paired up with a dress.

Accesories: Color is key.

Dresses:  I have to say that KarmaLoop has the urban jaunt down to a T.   I found great dresses. Floral, classy, hip hop all there. Check it out.

The Neon Floral Dress Women’s Dresses By Free People

Body-hugging white dress

Find it at KarmaLoop

Seriously go check out KarmaLoop if not to buy, be inspired.

KarmaLoop

African Inspirations and fabrics:

Gentlemen

When I saw these combats.  I really liked them for men’s fashion.  They have  such a European essence of street style to them.  Affordable too. Check them out Steven Axee Lace Up Boots.

Timberland Boot Shoe.

Not crazy about the gold sneakers but that’s one way to do a man satchel. Louis Vuitton.

Street men’s fashion:

Courtesy of Street Etiquette

Bill Bixby by Andre 3000

Street Style (Part 2)

Some more street style around the globe as promised. I often find the uniqueness of an outfit to be so inviting.  Yes, I do stare and gawk like a kid at Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.   The more vintage an item, the more I find it to have a personal value and, a world of sentiment.  I like the sense of an item being so rare, or personalized, to the point where it ceases to resemble it’s initial birth.  This, uniqueness,  gives me a sense of everyone being able to enjoy fashion without becoming boring cookie-cuter dressers.  Check some of  them out:

The gentleman meets vintage mixes.

Vintage mixes

I have to admit. I love accessories to an outfit. It’s a layered look all by itself.

Accessories girl.

Liking the ripped effect coupled with the classic coat down to the metallic shoes. It’s like a mixing era.

Disco queen meets modern chic.

We, at The Fashion Records, adore Iman. I like the wedge shoe to the leather wedge heel. I haven’t been crazy about the ripped tights look for awhile though.

Chanel Iman and boyfriend

Chanel Iman

Awesome that Edward Norton bought some Masai Warriors over, as guests at his house in Greenwich Village. They came over to run a marathon for a Masai fundraiser. While in New York, these fearless warriors browsed the streets in their vibrant gear. Talk about re-defining street style!

Actor Edward Norton and some Masai warriors.

A fashionable girl in Dakar. I like the colors with the strapped sandals and simple jewelery.

A girl in Dakar

Young streeter in South Africa

Showing a mixture of retro colors. I like.

A Young SA man

Milan fashion is totally rampant.

Wearing daring colors from head to toe. Likely risk taker and owner of his own style!

Street style with attitude.

Reminds me of what I would see in a old Brooklyn fashion book. Very characterized and, individualized. Loving the graphic tees.

Long live colors and character!

That’s right. Well-dressed gentlemen get their photos taken. Check out that styled, retro, men’s satchel. Major bag envy. Check out a similar one: Filson Field Satchel.

Paris men have great style. I want that bag.

Check our some New York splash of colors:

New York fashion

 Thanks to Nontsikelela, Trendy Crew, Yayemarieba and Tamu you rock!

Street Style Mingled With Runway (prt 1)

At times I see something on the runway that is purely art and therefore, inspirational.  I look at the different ways that particular forms, of fabric, are constructed.  It gives texture, shape, and form that can be used as a basis for creating my own items of clothing.  So in essence, it is possible to see runway fashion as art inspirations for wearable forms. I took a search to some great street inspirations and some runway looks that could create unique pieces. Take a look and let me know what you think. Street style continued tomorrow:

Lacoste fashionable, yet comfortable, sweater dress is a refreshing splash of color:

Lacoste does sexy sweater dress.

I like that the red tone is so magnetic without being overwhelming. The boots, dropped neckline….so global.

Red toned

Red toned dress. Global colors.

Vintage velvet and modern footwear. Standout outfit.

City chic look with vintage velvet. Pair it up with boots and leggings.

Ralph Lauren gets a nod for pure classics. Sexy hunter meets sophisticated woman.

Ralph Lauren look

Naeem Kahn is total true art. Whoever thought of a cropped motorcycle jacket, lots of accesories, and, the little black dress. Brilliant.

Naeem Kahn takes the punk and makes it glamour!

Tommy Hilfiger made layers more youthful and great for the shape.

Tommy does layers and they look great and youthful

Ronson pairs a great man pant with structured mixes to create a new outfit that is wearable and sophisticated.

Charolette Ronson runway style

Tracy Reese always makes feminine more charming and, appealing.

Tracy Reese does feminine

Marc Jacobs takes drab grey and makes it pop classically and, noticeably.

Marc Jacobs


Thanks to Essence

Black Beauties in Style

Beauty in all sizes.   Style in all colors.  Enjoy this little portion before Friday’s post.  These are some of the women and men showing us their own way of being black and, beautiful.

Nnena from Top Model

Belinda Baidoo

Kiara Kabukuru

Oluchi

Teiko Dornor

Tomika Fraser

Ajuma Nasenyana

Courtney Taylor

Pierre Woods

Fatima

Jenry

Noella

Isa Rahman

Stevie Boy Does Lady Gaga Shades

Stevie Boy makes shades that redefine creative, futuristic and, non-boring in the eye wear industry. His line is filled with well-thought geometric lines crossing, vertically and horizontally, to meet the vectors of style. These Shades have transformed into a couture item that is now sought after in the Fashion Industry.  Everyone from Rhianna, Beyonce and Lady Gaga are putting their faces forward while wearing Stevie Boy’s high-end couture eye-frames. Rhianna and Kanye West wore Stevie’s Frames for Run This Town.  Stevie (aka Steven Strawder) is unique in the way that he doesn’t produce carbon-copies of other people’s work. He is his own niche. He creates his products with originality, and style. He even had his own fashion line, “Toxic” (which he later sold).  Impressive work for a boy who started at age 18 back in 2007 and now 21 he’s taking off big time. Well done Stevie Boy.  High art meeting fashion.  Check out more of his work here.

Stevie Boy Himself. Creator and master-mind behind the brand.

Designer: Steven Strawder

Friday Feature: Robert Tyndale of Room 322

I recently had the pleasure to interview Room 322 Owner, and Creative Designer, Robert Tyndale who is, without a doubt, a very impressive Young Entrepreneur!  It was inspiring to get a fresh, “get focused” approach to business ownership, targeted at those who, like me, have never fit the mold of what is essentially conventional.  So when I got to hearing his start-up story, selling streetwear from his car and working hard to meet buyers and sales reps, it resonated  a similar beginning to FUBU mogul Daymond John.

Tell us a little about Room 322

Room 322 is a lifestyle boutique based in Edmonton, Alberta. Unlike the typical clothing store, we focus mainly on lifestyle brands that are based on the streetwear community.  Streetwear seems to always be interpreted in different ways, so to make things clear, “streetwear” is not your stereotypical fashion that is made for only “black people”, but actually the fashion that is formed and embraced from the streets. Room 322 offers a variety of different apparel, footwear and accessories that have roots and a history behind them.  Our customers love this and, this unique sense of history keeps them coming back.

How would you describe your style?

My style, over the last two years, has changed and is something that I constantly work on improving. My main style is a combination of streetwear and contemporary mixed together. When it comes to my combination I pay attention to detail. You will see me rocking a wooden, beaded, soul power GoodWood chain, with a plain v-neck, and Evisu denim and a loud pair of Jays. One thing that I truly have a passion for is footwear. Any outfit cannot be complete without the right pair of kicks on your feet. I am the type of person who will wear a simple, clean, outfit with some banging shoes on my feet that will turn heads.

Who are your favorite emerging designers and what is it that you love about them?

One of my favorite emerging designers is: Philip T. Annand who runs a growing brand called Award Tour. Besides his interesting designs, I admire the concept behind Award Tour; the concept that emulates a constant pursuit of enjoyment. Like Philip I am currently attending University while running a business, so when he talks about his challenges, I relate to them a lot. It is just a matter of time before he gets fully into the fashion world and Award Tour will be internationally known.

Who, or what has been your greatest fashion influence?

Initially one of the biggest fashion influences for me is one of the co-owners of Room 322, Nathan Tyndale. From day one he had a keen appetite to rock the latest brands; He is also, one of the select few when it comes to owning  unique pieces of clothing but, gradually, brand designers became a great deal of inspiration for me.  Learning about how each designer incorporate their lifestyles into a brand and the way they infuse their perspective of fashion into the brand draws people, including myself, to be drawn into the culture behind fashion.

Fashion tip for the season?

Men’s accessories should be made an “all guy’s new best friend”.  Beaded bracelets, leather bands, causal skinny ties, pocket squares, bow ties, clean watches, should all be make their way into your closet for 2010. Lastly, clean and fitted is the way to go. It has been this way for a while, but in case your still behind, wearing fitted tops and apparel is the way to go.  Big and baggy just looks old.

What would you say has been a fashion crime of the season?

I have to laugh there has been, so many fashion crimes in 2009 especially in my city, but the latest one is the shemagh scarf.  Recently it has finally died out, but at one point everyone, including their baby, was rocking one. Every time I see one, I just get upset because too many people have been wearing them.

What is your best attribute?

One of my best attributes is my perseverance of doing things the best I can and after. improving on them. Once, when I am finished a project, I always think of ways how I can make the next one better, or, how to convey a message more effectively. This gives me motivation to always outdo myself and constantly grow.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

Rather then advice, one of the best quotes/quotes I have ever read are:

1. “Get use to getting Used”~ j.Sakiya

2. “Quality or flaw… I love Djing, and I will continue to follow my passion”~ DjO Nonymous~.

People always associate getting “used” in a negative aspect, but if no one want to use you then you’re basically useless. The second quote is more inspirational that keep me focus and on track.

Excluding yours, what company or brand do you admire the most?

One of the most aspiring brands I have come across lately is Brooklyn Circus. It a clothing store based in Brooklyn that features a “in house” brand called BKC, which is a clean streetwear that has a strong history and foundation. I admire the founder Ouigi Q. Theodore (aka The Bearded Man) because of the passion and dedication he has in fashion. A lot of his pieces you will see the great attention to detail he puts in.  Details makes BKC stand out from the average person.

Favorite lyrics from a song?

I know it’s easy to imagine, but it’s easier to just do,
See if you can’t do what you imagine,
Then what is imagination to you?

~KiD CuDi

Word you live by?

Creativity… the simple textbook definition is someone who is artistic, or imaginative, but creativity in practice has a much deeper meaning. Having the courage to follow your passion, or idea, even when everyone around you is against it is an extreme challenge to overcome. Whenever you try to do something very creative and original you will have an uphill battle. So, everyone who is truly creative I respect you for what you do and encourage you to aspire to it.

Take a Trip Inside Room 322

Inside the store @ Room 322