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!

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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Renessaince Man

Okay this picture made me stop still in my tracks and wonder mmmhhh, where are all the renaissance men. The men that made style proppel an image of the man as a voyageur, an architect, a knowledgeble individual aware of the outside world and his inner potential. Manybe I’m crazy to think you can get all that from the way a man dresses but…I’m not.

pic credit is Dean Isidro

pic credit is Dean Isidro

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Fall Stylism

Last night I was on a mission to hit more than one mall. Mission accomplished and I have to tell you, it is time to be out and about on a wardrobe update. The prices are varied and even the recessionista/ fashionista/stylista (if there are such words!) should be out there to delve into that sartorial world. So I decided to check some fall upcoming swag:

Credits: Old Navy Women’s Frost Free Hooded Coats in Coffe Grounds, $79.50, oldnavy.com; Catherine Malandrino Quilted Puffa Coat, $995, net-a-porter.com

Credits: Old Navy Women’s Frost Free Hooded Coats in Coffe Grounds, $79.50, oldnavy.com; Catherine Malandrino Quilted Puffa Coat, $995, net-a-porter.com

A model walks the runway at the Mackage Fall 2009 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in the Salon at Bryant Park on February 18, 2009 in New York City.  (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for IMG). Thanks to Essence Mag.

A model walks the runway at the Mackage Fall 2009 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in the Salon at Bryant Park on February 18, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for IMG). Thanks to Essence Mag.

Wearing Malandrino. This is a disco diva look. Thanks to Essence Mag.

Wearing Malandrino. This is a disco diva look. Thanks to Essence Mag.

Steve Madden Women’s Revenu Studded Open Toe Pump, $84.90 (Originally $129), endless.com; Alexander McQueen Studded Buckle Bootie, $1,395, alexandermcqueen.com

Steve Madden Women’s Revenu Studded Open Toe Pump, $84.90 (Originally $129), endless.com; Alexander McQueen Studded Buckle Bootie, $1,395, alexandermcqueen.com

RIchie Rich Fall 2009 Fashion show: Who says you cn't be mature and colorful?

RIchie Rich Fall 2009 Fashion show: Who says you cn't be mature and colorful?

She is Loyal glamour: feminine forms translate to French sophistication with sharp pencil skirts and stately ruffles. Thanks Essence.

She is Loyal glamour: feminine forms translate to French sophistication with sharp pencil skirts and stately ruffles. Thanks Essence.

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Joe Goes into the Recession

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American recessionistas may have Target but over in Canada….Joe Fresh is making some major traffic in the style lane.  

We love it when we can find super chic directional pieces that won’t leave us broke come the weekend. Leave it to Joe Mimran and team to flawlessly deliver upbeat, wearable pieces that transition  oh so beautifully.  I’m adoring the snug cropped moto jacket – yup, it’s under $50, and the very Prada-esque grey ribbed cardie for only $30 to wear with your floral frocks and skinny leather pants. Don’t miss out- these sweet buys that have hit the floors @ www.joe.ca

They have shades of beauty.

They have shades of beauty.

Joe is just cool like that. As I was doing a grocery run….I passed by their makeup collection. Believe it or not, the shelves were almost bare! Everything is going quick.   Before you turn a snooty eye at their affordable makeup, check them out. They have some great shades that will love black skin. What colors did I choose? 

Berry and watermelon lipstick.

So creamy. It was bliss. I’m going again.

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Pair This Up City Gurl

Okay here some clues on what to pair to bring out the inner fashionista. I like to call this one a “paint by numbers” to the clueless fashionista. Not a mockery but, a new way to appreciate accessories that rhyme with style. For it is best to create style that will endure than senseless fashion fads that fade away. Plus, they pretty much make you blend into a herd of sheep. I want to be the black sheep of fashion. How about you? 

High waisted 6 button jean shorts: 

Wet Seal Deal at $24.50!!

Wet Seal Deal at $24.50!!

Check these PREDATOR Premium Sandals: 

Found at TopShop

Found at TopShop

Summer in the metro rush: 

It's all in the accessories.

It's all in the accessories.

 Items in the set: 

Pink Diamond Channel Set Band in Rose Gold: $1,540 CAD @ ylang23

Scarf Print Tee $14 CAD @ Forever21

Wayfarer Style Glasses, Clear Lenses $11 CAD @ Girlprops 

Pearl Duo Ring 7.36 CAD @ Forever21

Chain Link Hoop Earring $6.28 CAD @ Forever21

Gucci ‘Hysteria’ Handbag $308 CAD @ Bagborroworsteal

Christian Louboutin | Designer Shoes $1,127 CAD @Awomanandhershoes

CC Skye 18ct Gold Plated Knuckle Love Ring $178 CAD @ Asos

Phoncho-style shrug vest: $29 CAD @ Supre 

Cream and Leather Wristwear $27 CAD @ Topshop

Bare Feet Shoes: Apparel Jeans $39 @ Barefeet Shoes

Philosophy Kiss Me Very Emollient Lip Balm $14 CAD @ Make Me Heal

Golden Goddess eau-parfum-spray $44 @ Skinstep

In Vogue: The Illustrated History of the World’s Most Famous Fashion Magazine $81 CAD @Amazon

This coat was all sold out sadly: 

Forever 21 New Arrival

Forever 21 New Arrival

Giardino Satchel. This is a Hype Handbag For sure!!

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Models Day Off

This is how one of the models dresses on her day off the runway. I on the other hand, think that this outfit borders on ambiguity. Is it an outfit or a get-up??  gurl got me so confused. I want to high-five her off-work style from being different from those other runway robots. So kudos to that.  

This is an outfit or a get-up???

This is an outfit or a get-up???

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It’s All About the Scarf

It’s all about the scarf so then it must be about the neck area too. I am loving the details on the Rhi Rhi scarf. I’m intrigued by the fact that this scarf doesn’t look cliched like a Shemagh usually would. Gurl you own this style.  And those of you who know me know I really like the details in an outfit. 

Got to appreciate a fashionista who pays homage to detail.

Got to appreciate a fashionista who pays homage to detail.

Some wear it right too: These boys do have the scarf swagg going on: 

The Scarf Swagging group. Well done boys.

The Scarf Swagging group. Well done boys.

This young lady wears her Shemagh casually and relaxed:

shemagh

This one beauty chose to worn hers on her head.

Gorgeously worn. Note the details remain on the scarf not the whole body. No detail overload.

Gorgeously worn. Note the details remain on the scarf not the whole body. No detail overload.

Melanie wears Love Quotes

Melanie Brown in Love Quotes Scarf

Melanie Brown in Love Quotes Scarf

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Chanel Iman and Jordan Richardson

Chanel Iman looks bit like Jordan Richardson’s twinie. I think that Chanel Iman looks more waif-like than Jordan. I don’t know you be the judge. But here it is: Both are making huge splashes as fashions newest fresh-faced accessories. 

Jordan Richardson
Jordan Richardson

Chanel Iman

 

Jordan Richardson

Jordan Richardson

   Chanel Iman

So where would my votes go? Both are lovely but, Jordan is more realistic and still fit as a model. Chanel is cute but in a waifish way. I guess the model industry digs that.

Jordan Taylor

Jordan Taylor

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The Rise of the Black Hipster

Apparently the hipster designation is strictly a non-black territory. But as you know black people heed no limits when it comes to breaking into that arena and perhaps, wearing it even a little bit better. I think that Kanye West is the prime person who wears this style right. Upon discovery, of this style a statement was made: hence the embodying of the fashion by the black person has come to be know as “Blipster”- in refrence to New York Times. To tell you the truth, the article was quite offensive. It took the ignorant tone of “WHAT? A black person ordered sushi at the restaurant today and not chicken!” Written from a point that possessed a thick assumption and designation of what makes a black person. We all love chicken so why would we try sushi??

Here is my backlash to the assumption: So you say you are the real hippie. Real hippies lived the lifestyle, protests and all. You are just a remnant of what was once real. Accept it and let it just be style. It is no longer in it’s pure form so who says there is a copyright on the hippster image?? Black people can wear that too! Get real.

 The Assimilated Negro really indulged in a sarcastic lyrical piece that should wake the shame of that writer.  The greater disappointment , to me, was the fact that the NY Times itself could pass on such cheap shots and allow them to run on their paper. Jessica Pressler, the writer/trash talker of the article , went the extra mile to define that the “Blipster” likes rock and therefore, is impersonation the white man. Hey whose impersonating Hendrix?? Is this not the same as crowing black people into a category equivalent to the derogatory “wigga”. You be the judge. Black hipsters have their own support at Afropunk.  Big up to diversity. 

Anyhow, black people rock it when we want it and guarantee, we do it well: 

Afropunk tell them: 

Those other hippies can never grow a fro like that so they wear fake wigs. Whose copying who now???

Those other hippies can never grow a fro like that so they wear fake wigs. Whose copying who now???

 

Afro Punk Festival

Afro Punk Festival

Kanye West show them how it’s done: 

They don't know how great you wear it.

They don't know how great you wear it.

 

You never show up like a fake blip.

You never show up like a fake blip.

 

That's okay those other hippies can't afford Louis Vuitton.

That's okay those other hippies can't afford Louis Vuitton.

 

Glenn Staley and Kyle Mingo go beyond the cliched rapper style and recreate something new.

Glenn Staley and Kyle Mingo take hip hop and mix it to create a great twist. Call us "blipsters" but we recreate fabric.

Glenn Staley and Kyle Mingo take hip hop and mix it to create a great twist. Call us "blipsters" but we recreate fabric.

 

Kidz in the Hall. Hippster is hip hoppin’

Hippster-Hop with style

Hippster-Hop with style

 

The Knux are the new cool kids:

Cool Kids can actually play the instrument. Not a photo prop.

Cool Kids can actually play the instrument. Not a photo prop.

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Forgive Me Fashion For I Have Sinned

Carries Jail Term Agreement

 

Carries Jail Term Agreement

 

Ever seen someone walking down the street and your mind sharply wants to commit them to a prison? Well for me nowadays I want to commit them to a mental hospital. A place where they can be armed with a straight jacked and a prison gang to avenge their crimes. Here are a few that make me go: “WHAT IN HELL” ??? Fashion Police, get your tasers out.

The “I Need a Momma to take me to my diaper station look”: 

Saggy Jail Jeans. Need a diaper change????

Saggy Jail Jeans. Need a diaper change????

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Meet some homies, shoot some peeps, it's all in the works.

The Fallen Diva. Even the Best fall Down Sometimes! Are those pants meant to hold down a soiled diaper?

When Disaster strikes

When Disaster strikes

The “I wish I could come nude but I would be arrested” Look: 

Attacked by animals before the show.

Attacked by animals before the show.

Lil Ma should be put in a jail cell for robbing some poor man of half a suit before arriving at the awards.
Half and Half= Failed Mission. Half Man Half woman???

 

Too much bling brought on by deception via music videos…drop that fake bling. We all know it contains nothing close to what you perceive as “Diamonds on my Damn Chain” You feel me?

The ghetto pirate and jewelry store future robber.

The ghetto pirate and jewelry store future robber.

Bad Ghetto weave:  Punishable by a shaving at the penitentiary. 

Lil Kim, why are you so surprised, we know you wear bad bad weave!

Lil Kim, why are you so surprised, we know you wear bad bad weave!

 The “Proud to be a woman of no virtue” style. The woman who wears herself like this will rub on anything that moves. 

Introduce me to your private parts. Not cool!

Introduce me to your private parts. Not cool!

The Ghetto nail: Aka, my fighting accessory #1: These talons are grown to kill and destroy. Wear eye goggles at all times.

I raised them for a match with that B$%^&  Latrice who stole my baby daddy.

I raised them for a match with that B$%^& Latrice who stole my baby daddy.

 Calling all lumberjacks into the city immediately. We have a warrant for your mass arrest.

You are under arrest for dressing in the dark

You are under arrest for dressing in the dark

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Rocawear Worn Right

Who doesn’t like the sleek look of Rocawear. It’s easy to transform into any style you want it to be: from chic, to streeter, to retro to hip-hopping. Endless style so wear it right and make it look right. The sales are endless too so visit rocawear.com. By the hip hop cash king himself (Jay-Z).  Here are some ooo’s and aaa’s that make you say “got to get that Rocawear” : 

 

Rocawear Gala $75

Rocawear Gala $75

 

Rocawear plaid tunic. $19 @Macy's. Now that's a deal.

Rocawear plaid tunic. $19 @Macy's. Now that's a deal.

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Put A Spin on the Outfit

Accessory, accessorize. Those are the essence to an outfit. I’m talking do it right or you end up looking like a gypsy who just robbed Tiffanys & Co. It makes an outfit stand out and individualizes the style. I like it minimal and at times I feel jazzed up so I throw a layer of bangels. Never do the heavy earing and heavy necklaces crime. How atrocious! I wouldn’t blame a robber who took a target grab only to find that: all that glitters is not gold.

Here is Rhi Rhi wearing some: 

I always have an eye for the hand accessories.

I always have an eye for the hand accessories.

I’m not sure I’m feeling the crime that Algebra 3 is committing here: 

 

Algebra 3 did you learn the algebra that addition sometimes does not work?

Algebra 3 did you learn the algebra that addition sometimes does not work?

 

I also have been a longtime fan of Headbanger Accessories I also advice that you avoid any wrestling and fight matches. These designers make them big. They are pretty but don’t loose an ear in a mad dog fight. 

I like these one. I was gifted by someone who obviously adores them as well. DinoMyte's $40 for small

I like these one. I was gifted by someone who obviously adores them as well. DinoMyte's $40 for small

 

Headbangers Themselves. I told you they were big.

Wow perhaps too big but these women know that color is something great.

Wow perhaps too big but these women know that color is something great.

 

I really like that peach tone.

I really like that peach toned accesory.

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Your Shoe is So Fine Gurl

 

Damn gurl don't break that leg...I mean protect the shoe.

Damn gurl don't break that leg...I mean protect the shoe.

I think these shoes are hawt. I really like them is all. They elongate the legs, they make for a great show stopper and call attention to the sole person within their grips. Yes, Beyonce likes attention so these are the “It” shoes.

On the other hand, I would say that those ladies taking the pictures must be in a state of OBSESSION. These types would really steal them right off her feet if there was no bodyguard lurking behind the pop diva. If some can’t steal them off her feet, they will even cut her feet off and run off with the part that has a heal. Women are crazy. Crazy about shoes.  I, on the other hand, I am crazier  for purse collection.

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