Beauty and the Muse

Posts Tagged ‘Diversity in fashion

20150517_142513(MUA: Madinah M.)

The Headwrap Expo

Dearborn, MI

May 17th, 2015

Ford Community & Performing Arts Center

20150517_142241So let’s talk about my beat face for a sec. This green dramatic cut-crease was everything. Thanks Madinah 🙂

20150517_180228Jannah (in the middle) was the fashion and event coordinator for the expo. She invited me to speak about my personal style, catching good deals, and how to walk in any room and own it!

My lil sis, also named Jannah, came out to support. Like our ugly fake laughs? Ha.

20150517_153740My fashionable friend, Cassy, also came out to support! Love her dress.

20150517_175537Model, Aliyah, rocking a custom made dress and turban.

20150517_162232Mama and baby turbans 🙂

20150517_165648My hubby came and showed out of course. Man Style!

20150517_172656Oh, look, there’s Etta and Jennifer from Naturally Flyy Detroit.

20150517_164428End of the day photo shoots after the show.

SWAG…

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Nik_West_FredSmithPhotography2sm(Photo Credit:Fred Smith Photography)

I was invited to the “Black Girls Rock” concert in Detroit a few months back. This girl with a huge colorful Mohawk and sweet metallic shoulder pads passed me in the audience. In my head, I was screaming. She’s go it!

Fast forward. I saw her again on a panel discussion the next day. I worked up the courage to talk to her. She was super down-to-earth. And here we are. I am excited to show you these dope photos! And you get a double dose of awesomeness from vocalist and bassist, Nik West.

Nik_West_Snarky(Photo Credit: Fred Smith Photography)

LV: What were your fashion inspirations growing up?

NW: Fashion inspirations were my mother and my drawings. I was an avid illustrator from the age of 4. The only things I would draw were people’s hands and fashion illustrations of clothing that my mom wore to work. I would add little belts or big jewelry to the drawings. I had a big imagination.

LV: Describe your fashion/identity as a young adult?

NW: I really didn’t get into fashion on myself. It was mostly drawings of what I imagined on paper. I wore boy clothes. I have a much older brother and I wanted to be like him so I tried dressing like him as much as possible lol! Then all of my friends started dressing like me. So we had a group of girls that dressed like boys in middle school and the first two years of high school.

LV: When did you decide that you wanted to be involved in the arts?

NW: When I was 15, my mom took me to a modeling showcase because I was so tall and long. To my surprise, multiple modeling agencies wanted to sign me. So I decided I would see where it took me. Later I became Nordstrom’s jean girl. I was the model that was photographed weekly in their newest lines of jeans from all designers.

Nik_West_Orianthi_607(Photo Credit: Michelle Shiers)

LV: What magazines, campaigns, organizations, and/or media have you been featured in?

NW: Teen Vogue, Black Hair Magazine, Image and Style Mag, American Idol (special guest) Metro Times, Seattle Times. Multiple runway shows, Fashion weeks, and publications.

LV: What types of setbacks or obstacles have you faced as a woman in the industry?

NW: With music, the boys wouldn’t even give me a chance to play with them. I wasn’t good enough I guess. But my dad gave me an identity with my musicianship. He inspired me to keep playing and not to worry about the boys’ opinions. I used it as ammunition to be the best and to be unique on purpose.

NikHeaderFullRez

(Photo Credit:John Beckett)

LV: What are some of the projects you are working on currently?

NW: I just finished my EP Say Somethin’ and I am very proud of this because it describes who I am not just as an artist, but as a producer and writer. I am currently working on my Bass In Your Face Tour which is how WE met while in Detroit. I am in the process of wrapping up the Queen of Strings Competition, which is a worldwide female bass and guitar competition that I founded. We have some amazing talent and for our first year we had an enormous amount of entries. I am also starting a mentorship program through the Queen of Strings to mentor young ladies on their instruments and just in the industry. Everyone needs a mentor, and mine happen to be male, but I would love to have a system that involves women mentoring other women in the industry.

I am also doing commercials (I don’t have my mohawk on in them so you may or may not recognize me much…and that’s okay lol!) and I am in the process of creating my signature bass for the masses.

LV: How would you describe your individual style?

NW: Very eclectic. I’m part rocker, part punk, part hippie, and part anything else I feel on a particular day. I don’t really have a specific style. But I like anything out of the ordinary. I love bright colors. If someone else is doing it, I tend to go the other direction. I think my hair has inspired others to do something similar as well. I wear it because it means so much to me. It is a brightly colored mohawk molded into the shape of a bass clef and it continues into a long braid on one side of my body. For instance, Janelle Monae wore something similar to the Met Ball this year with the long braid and many of my fans posted the Nik West inspirations on her page and tagged me many times. I thought it looked beautiful! It’s very flattering to have others take notice of my style and wear it so elegantly as well.

nik-west-fender-bass(Photo Credit: Demann Crawford)

LV: Define beauty and confidence…

NW: I think they both deserve their own definitions from me lol!! Beauty is anything we want it to be at the time. It is not what society tells us it is. Beauty can be that ugly sweatshirt we cut up and made it into our own masterpiece. Beauty can be the scars we have that tell our true story. Beauty is sometimes those things we like to cover up because society tells us to. But Confidence is doing just the opposite of covering up the scars. It is the internal understanding of who you are and who you are not and being able to flaunt who you are in a way that inspires others to do the same. Confidence IS beauty

LV: What advice would you give other women who are in your position or want to get to your position?

NW: Don’t wait on others to make it happen. God gives us all everything we need to succeed. We just have to recognize that and take baby steps toward our goals. Write down your goals daily and do something every single day (even the weekends) that push you toward your goal. Be yourself and learn to master the art of differentiation, meaning, don’t try and be like everyone else. Be different, be bold, be confident, and most of all, BE NICE to others. If it doesn’t uplift someone, try and hold back on speaking about it. When you get, be sure to give. Be thankful for every little success no matter how small. It sets you up for bigger successes.

Nik_West4(Photo Credit: Fred Smith Photography)

LV: Leave us with an awesome quote.

NW: “Talent is the ability to hit the mark no one else can hit. Genius is the ability to hit the mark no one else can see.” I strive to one day be marked as a genius (in more than just calculus LOL!!)

Follow Nik West on Instagram @ NikWestBass

And check out updates on her website @ www.http://nikwestbass.com/

20150509_215320

 

Fashion Massacre 6 “Number of a Man”

Electric Studio

Detroit, MI

May 9, 2015

Screenshot_2015-05-13-12-20-27In front of the Logan Collective banner. Pose!

20150509_214244Jordan and I had a blast at the Fashion Massacre. The concept and the designers were sweet!

20150509_204510 One of my fave looks of the show!

20150509_194541All the models were in a straight line and just stood there, facing the audience. Genius.

20150509_200556Respect.

20150509_200105This Dashiki dress was everything.

20150509_220902A local style dude from Ann Arbor.

20150509_214550A block pattern dress. Boss!

20150509_214803Model after the show.

20150509_215355Models after the show :0

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(Photo: Timothy Paule)

LV: What were your fashion inspirations growing up?

AH: I found fashion inspirations everywhere. I adopted a kind of tomboy-ish look as well as preppy. I always seemed to notice when people wore unique outfits and often used that as creative inspiration.

LV: Describe your style identity as an adolescent?

AH: I was very big on loose fitting t-shirts and skinny colored jeans and sneakers. I grew up in Detroit as well as Texas, so my dress had to vary due to the differences in temperature. As I got older, I had more time to shop and customize my wardrobe so that my style would differ daily.

cd1(Photo: Jennifer Alder)

LV: When did you decide that you wanted to be involved in modeling?

AH: I’ve always wanted to try modeling but I was in high-school sports and academics so it took up a lot of my time. It also didn’t help that I was very shy. Once I obtained my bachelor’s degree, I had a lot more time and started auditioning for shows. I fell in love with it immediately!

LV: What magazines, campaigns, organizations, and/or media have you been featured in?

AH: I have been featured in Ambassador Magazine, Women’s Elevation Magazine, Hour Magazine, and Xpressions magazine to name a few.

LV: What types of setbacks or obstacles have you faced as a woman in the fashion industry?

AH: An obstacle I routinely face is size discrimination. The industry wants you to be really small. I attended a casting for the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week to walk for Project Runway, but after I walked someone measured my hips and said they were “too big”. I looked around and noticed that a lot of the girls were a size 0 or at the biggest a 2. I am small but not that small. I fit a dress size 2 and my hips are a 35 but the lady who measured me said I was a 38 hip. Each obstacle or struggle has made me stronger, eager, and even more appreciative of the work I do book and the people I work with.

IMG_4107

(Photo: Bre’Ann photography)

LV: What are some of the projects you are working on currently?

AH: I have a casting this weekend with BET. A few weeks from now. I have a casting in Georgia for a runway show. I also have two fashion shows and a photoshoot coming up at the end of May. Next week, I have an audition with an agency that I am excited about as well.

LV: Define beauty and confidence…

AM: Beauty is a way of being. It’s an attitude. I think beauty has more to do with the way you carry yourself, your personality, and how you conduct yourself. Physically you may be beautiful, but for others that may not be the case. Confidence is believing in your abilities, knowing your strengths, embracing your weaknesses and flaws, but loving them all equally.

2014-7-12-Ashley02(Photo: Von Kou Photography)

LV: What advice would you give other women who are in your position or want to get to your position?

AH: My advice would be to stay true to yourself. Also find those in your corner that really care about you and help elevate you.

LV: Leave us with an awesome quote.

AH: “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”
–Helen Keller

Follow Ashley on Facebook: Ashley Monique or on Instagram: Ashleymonique88

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(Photos: Davide Anderson)

This year I wasn’t going to do any photo shoots, wardrobe styling, or fashion curating. I planned on dedicating all of my time toward my literary career, and attempt to find an agent to get my YA novel published. In January, I was asked to assist on a photo shoot. I accepted. My friend needed help. So I recruited local Vietnamese model, Tra Le. I loved her exotic look and let me tell you, she is amazing!

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It was hard to come up with a concept in less than a week, but I Googled and Googled some more, until I stumbled upon a few 60’s Mod photos with Twiggy and “It” girl Goldie Hawn. When you think of this era, you think of white women, liberation, and carefree-ness. I wanted to bring the style forward but mix it up a little by using a cultural aspect into the concept.

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I assembled a team first. I got Madinah Muhammad for makeup and Davide Anderson for photography. My friend, Raushaunah, went shopping with me to find this dope floral dress, which fit perfectly.

Ensemble Breakdown:

Flower Headband: Claire’s

Heart Shaped Frames: Claire’s

Dress: Regeneration

Stockings: Hot Topic

Shoes: Model’s own

11065151_10101744744440208_1968569666_o

Tra Le not only had this ensemble to model, but three others before this one. She was a pleasure to work with. She was patient and versatile.

img_7978Why has it taken me so long to release these photos? Well, I was trying to send them to magazines and local newspapers to see if they’d like to feature my styles and our story, but no one bit. This industry is hard to break, but I am going to keep funding my own projects until someone notices that Detroit has talent! Quality talent. Please share and support diversity in the fashion and style industry 🙂

Follow Us On Instagram!

Davide Anderson: @Davidefoto

Madinah Muhammad: @Makeup_by_Madinah

Leah Vernon: @Lvernon2000


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Here to brighten up your Sunday timeline with lewks and a story 🙋🏾‍♀️ On Friday, I was about ready to run away from it all. Emails. Folks messaging me with nonsense. Having to deal with book tour stuff. I was irritable and didn’t want people talking to or looking at me. I took a good ole depression nap and woke up with such a bad headache. “I’m leaving!” I told myself. I started looking up rental cars to go somewhere, anywhere. But no rentals were available. I slammed the laptop, wondering how the hell I was going to get away with no whip. The next day, I told myself that I wasn’t going to do any work or social media for 24 hours (we gonna start small. It’s hard 🤷🏽‍♀️). And that all of the work can wait. I asked me, “what would you like to do today?” I took an almost 2-hour train ride by myself to Coney Island and with my rolling luggage, I created editorial images in the amusement park, I ate chicken fingers and fried Oreos, I got my fat ass on not one but three scary rides (I’ll make a post later about how to navigate amusement parks as a fat person). One was a rollercoaster, bitch, that almost took my hijab straight off 😂 I took my shoes off and walked on the beach. I watched the sunset. I found a random party on the boardwalk, parked my luggage, and danced with strangers. I’m proud of myself because I get anxious going places I’ve never been alone. But I did it anyway. I had fun. I was spontaneous. I went on an adventure. And was my own company. Have you ever felt the need to just “run away”? What do you do when you are just overstimulated and overwhelmed? What solo adventures have you embarked on? Let’s chat. P.S. Can’t wait to show y’all these fire pics! #newyorkblogger #psootd #plussize #instafashion #bodypositive #bgki #honormycurves #effyourbeautystandards #pizzasisters4lyfe #blackgirlswhoblog #fashion #londonblogger #psfashion #blackgirlmagic #muslimgirl #bodyconfidence #plusmodel #feminist #intersectionalfeminism #turbanista #bodydysmorphia #fatacceptance #selflove #goldenconfidence #wamfam #editorial #hijabi #beautyblogger #covergirl #monochromatic

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