Tag Archives: style

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!

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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 🙂

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

Shark In the Water I like

Here is one Artist I newly discovered to watch out for: She is of Jamaican heritage (from her mom’s side) and Puerto Rican descent (father’s side). Drum-roll……She is from the UK and I have a great feeling she will hail internation as well. Brown describes her sound as “musical mashed potatoes”. Her style has been described as retro pop with an indie punk and rock edge. The Los Angeles Times has said: “Brown delivers something her retro UK peers have thus far lacked – just pure, whimsical fun”. Enjoy.

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Vintage Men Fashion

Ever since I got that blipster blog rant, many of you wrote to me and encouraged me to continue bringing out unique black fashionistas out on the streets. I will keep my promise by continuosly exposing unique styles on here. I actually laugh now that I think a famous newspaper could coin the term Blipster and sit there looking all smug. My reaction, “what were they thinking, we owned it since day one”!

Photo credit: James Mountford

Photo credit: James Mountford

Then I saw a black fella on a bike today and he had that whole look downpact but the thing that got me the most was his bike. It made me reminisce like I’d lived the 60’s when infact, I hadn’t!

bikeLastly, a full shot of

Photo Credit: James Mountford

Photo Credit: James Mountford

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Hot Coutures on the Runway

What’s hawt right now? I’m seeing satin prints, liquid leggins, I’m seeing everyday apparel that any woman can wear, I’m also seeing a couture trend towards wearable pieces.

First up, Christian Siriano, winner of last years Project Runway is truly a talent to watch out for. His signature look is compromised of Khaki, brown and gold and blue color palettes.  But keep in mind, his dynamic creativity goes beyond the color to the vivacious creations he brings alive on the runway.

Chrisrian Siriano Fall 2009 Collection

Chrisrian Siriano Fall 2009 Collection

Tibi Fall 2009 Fashion week: A lot of satin displays and a minimalistic approach mixed in with detail.

Tibi at Fashion Week 2009

Tibi at Fashion Week 2009

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Does a Holla From a Fella Mean You Got It?

You quickly walk down the street and up ahead you see a crowd of men all around talking. You just know it then that road construction teams should have invented a policy that would require a sign that said “Herd of Men Ahead. Brace Yourself” they should also have provided an exit sign that screamed: “Comments Were Never Meant to Offend. Come Again”.

Do they get paid to do this?

Do they get paid to do this?

So that’s the case and you walk your cute self into a sea of lions. Like a lamb walking past hungry wolves. I decided to take a detour nowadays. I know I’ve got it and it’s my own swagg. I don’t need approval from any hungry wolves. But no, a “holla” just means there is a hunter and a silly prey walking into the mouth of a starving creature. Compliments are welcome though 🙂

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