Beauty and the Muse

Posts Tagged ‘interview

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(Photo: Worldiction Edited: Reel Clever Films)

Detroit Does NYFW Series

Sep 15, 2015

Eastern Market

Detroit, MI

 

Eden: My name is Eden and I’m a life + style blogger, actress, filmmaker and new mompreneur. I blog under Chic in the Tropics, which I’ve had since 2009.; and I have a small but full-service video production company called Reel Clever Films.  I’m pretty old in the blogosphere! When I’m not busy shooting something for fun or my business, some of the things I love doing is to check out a movie, studying new techniques about my craft, and of course, shopping!

 

Q: What was the inspiration/story behind your look?

 

Eden: I’ve never been a gal who owns a lot of long, flowy dresses, and yet, I zeroed in on this gorgeous electric pleat goddess dress. I wanted to make it very “me” and street-ready by adding the usual suspects from my closet – a black fedora, my go-to leather jacket, and laceup flats. That’s me trying to go out of my usual comfort zone.

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Q: How would you define your style?

 

Eden: Contemporary, parts edgy, parts minimal, parts androgynous. A lot of black and white separates. I like to keep things basic with a bit of a kick. 

 

Q: Who are your style icons?

 

Eden: Kate Lanphear, Alexander Wang, Erin Wasson

 

Q: Where do you like to shop?

 

Eden: As a new mom with a budget, I’m definitely a huge fan of bargains! There is no awesome bargain I will refuse, haha. I love shopping at Saks Off 5th, Barney’s Warehouse, and my absolute favorite: Nordstrom Rack! Ebay has always been pretty good to me lately when it comes to awesome fashion deals. 

 

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Q: Have you ever been to NYFW, if so when and what was your fave part?

 

Eden: I have never been, but it’s definitely in my personal bucket list! Even if I don’t get personally invited to a show (I’m still dreaming for the day, haha) , just to be able to see the NYFW experience for myself and see New York so alive and filled with fashionistas is awesome in itself.

 

Q: Who is your fave designer?

 

Eden: It’s very hard for me to pinpoint one particular designer, but my top five includes Alexander Wang, Rick Owens, Rad Hourani, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler, and my best friend, Philippine fashion designer, Yves Camingue. 

 

Q: Whose show are you most looking forward to this year?

 

Eden: Aside from some of the designers mentioned above, Viktor and Rolf! You can always trust them to do something unexpected and jawdropping. 

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Q: What do you like about NYFW more, the runway shows or the street style and why?

 

Eden: I would say a little bit of both. You can always trust the shows to usher in the key trends for next year; and as a personal style blogger, the street style aspect is so perfect to take sartorial cues from. 

 

Q: Links to any social media pages?

 

Eden: Aside from my blog, you can also connect with me through Instagram here and my facebook group page here.

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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.

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(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/

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(Photos: Brian Menz Photography)

LV: What was style for you growing up?

DM:  I was a tomboy. I built things and worked on houses with my dad and lived on a farm. I was very athletic; I loved natured and went hiking. So there was no need for fashion. I kind of stumbled into myself and fashion when I turned 18.   LV: How’d you end up modeling? DM: When I was 18, a co-worker of mine encouraged me to model. That’s when I really started getting into fashion. It was a hobby at first. Then I went to Australia and got hurt rescuing someone who was drowning. So I came back to Michigan and went full force and it became my career.

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(Photo: JRosa Photography)

LV:  What are some of the obstacles you’ve faced in the industry? How did you overcome them?

DM: I have a body that is sexy, but I love working on high fashion, edgy projects. People always wanted me to do lingerie when I wanted to do editorial. It was hard to break out of that and to get people to see me in another way. The other obstacle I faced was that they considered me plus-size even when I was a size 6. I really got picked on; photographers would say they wouldn’t work with me because I was plus-size or too fat. I’ve worked with hundreds of photographers and a lot of them were rude. I lost 50 pounds just to try and fit the mold. I got down to 90 pounds. I was disgustingly skinny. I got to a point where I was like “this is me, I like to eat, and I’m not going through this just so someone can accept me”.

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(Photo: Summerfrost Photography)

LV: If you could do it all over again, would you change anything?

DM: If I was to do it again, I wouldn’t change anything. I wouldn’t let people get to me, but it’s a learning experience. I have a strong backbone now. You have to be able to face rejection and keep your head up. I have body confidence that I didn’t have before because of modeling. I’ve grown and met different people throughout my career. I realized that there is only one me and that I should enjoy myself.

LV: Advice for aspiring models.

DM: I always tell people to really think hard before you do it. Not to be harsh, but take a look at yourself and ask yourself if you can really model. Just having a pretty face isn’t enough. You need to be mentally strong, have confidence, and work your butt off. It’s not just a pretty picture on Facebook. You have to be direct. You’re just a glorified clothes hanger, so if you’re willing to sacrifice then make it happen, and follow through. 543808_10151511129877606_248160087_n

(Photo: Leza Foto)

 

LV: Describe your fashion as of now…

DM: Leather jackets and boots, rocker chic. Black leggings and a white t-shirt. I wear minimal makeup when I’m not working.

LV: What if you had unlimited money, what would your dream outfit look like?

DM: A fitted dress, lace with see through panels, neon yellow or green, and some sparkly heels. I love rhinestones. Give me some bling. 58266_10151177682207606_310850684_n

(Photo: JRosa Photography)

LV: How do you feel about body image in the media?

DM: The girl in the magazine doesn’t even look like the girl in the magazine. When you look at them, know that no one looks like that. Don’t take it seriously. Models are photoshopped. Embrace what you have and work it. Everyone else is already taken, work with what you’ve got.

LV: Leave us with a quote…

DM: “Stop looking at girls on social media and thinking that their lives are perfect. We all struggle, we all cry, and we all use filters.

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(Glamorous Makeup and Photos by Madinah)

2015 is only hours away. It is truly a time to reflect and be grateful. This year was both challenging and awesome. I finished a thesis paper, I was invited to be in my first blogger fashion competition, and I was interviewed on a New York radio station. Wow. Never in a million years would I think that anyone would be interested in me enough to invite me on a show.

2015 will be our year! And I am also launching a new fashion channel on YouTube. Stay tuned for that.

Myself and the people who are inspired to get up every day and DO something to make a change for themselves and for others, I truly commend you.

I have one last thing to say to all my readers, supporters, and fashionable friends before I see you in the new year: Keep going. Never let anyone dull your glitter 🙂

Check out these fab photos before you leave…

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(Photos courtesy of Kades Mode)

Earlier in the summer, I was invited by wardrobe expert, Kades Mode, for an event with Aldo in New York City. I checked out her website and found a ton of useful information ranging from DIY to How To Wear. Please visit her website, which is beautifully laid out, and read her blog.

I had a chance to interview this fashionista and here is what she had to say:

 

 

LV: Give us a little bit of your background…Who is Kades Mode?

KM: Kades Mode is a style conscious fashion brand. It’s a virtual extension of who I am (alongside all of my growing social media accounts), the journey of existing through everyday life, and my experiences in the world as I pursue my dreams.

 

LV: What was fashion like for you growing up?

KM: Fashion was an outlet. My family didn’t have discretionary income to spend. Therefore, fashion to me was an outlet that one day I would have access to lavish things.

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LV: How would you describe your individual style?

KM: I have an eclectic, polished, and classic style.

 

LV: When did you decide that you wanted to be involved in fashion and start your blog?

KM: At the tender age of 10, my love for fashion evolved. When I paid more attention to sketching than school work, or researching books about fashion schools rather than other childlike activities, I knew what I was called to do.

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LV: What magazines or campaigns have you been featured in?

KM: I’ve been featured as a personality in Solis Magazine, Lens Magazine, and as a stylist assistant and key stylist. I’ve been featured in Vogue Italia, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Tush, Harper Bazaar, and many others. I’ve also partnered with brands such as Intermix and Aldo.

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LV: What would you tell someone who wanted to pursue a career in the fashion industry?

KM: You don’t have to be a bitch to be respected. There are different ways to know what to say, when to say it, and who to say it to.

 

LV: What are some big projects you are working on currently?

KM: I am currently styling and sending submissions to magazines, testing with photographers, models, and vendors to build my craft. I’m also seeking to expand my clientele list.

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

KM: To research, have confidence in yourself, and build your craft.

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LV: Leave us with an awesome quote.

KM: “Style, because the first thing judged is appearance.”

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LV: Give us a little bit of your background…

HP: I was born and raised in Haiti. I moved to the USA at a young age. I graduated from both High school and college in the United States. I am a civil engineer, a motivational speaker, Former Miss Haiti, young entrepreneur, spokesperson, President of National Society of Black engineer, and president of Toastmaster International in Arkansas. I was named “20s in their 20s most influential leaders in Arkansas” in 2013. And I am a believer in Christ.

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LV: What was fashion like for you growing up?

HP: In Haiti, which is a former French colony, we adopt the French style. In general, I can relate to French fashion.

 

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

HP: I started doing pageants in 2012 on the advice of a friend. As I became optimistic about it, I realized that pageants were not just about being physically beautiful but about having a heart, which is to me a must. The international pageant system is there to promote women doing amazing work in their communities.

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LV: What magazines or campaigns have you been featured in?

HP: Rolling Stones, AASHTO, Arkansas Business, Miami Times, Haitian Times, LENOUVESLISTE, and LUNIONSUITE.

 

LV: What are some big projects you are working on currently?

HP: I am currently an engineer working on multi- million dollar projects. I am the 1st Haitian-American to ever being on the cover of AASHTO in the country. After my successful appearance on the final of Miss International 2012, I have been holding the title of director of Haiti International Pageant to date. This year three of my titleholders will be competing for the title of Mrs. International, Miss International, and Miss Teen International in Jacksonville on July 25 to August 2, 2014. Finally, as a proud Haitian and with the love I have for my country, I am now the Spokesperson for an international initiative that is mobilizing resources necessary to support the Haitian national soccer team as they hope of reaching the world cup in 2018 in Russia.

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LV: How would you describe your individual style?

HP: Very classy. I am very comfortable with many styles. I believe a woman can look good with anything she wears; all she needs to have is confidence.

 

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

HP: First and foremost they need to have faith in God, be authentic, be disciplined, be ambitious, and last but not least, be confident.

 

LV: Leave us with an awesome quote.

HP: “Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.”- Charles R. Swindoll

 

 

 

garment1_Dec2011Photos courtesy of Siana Treece

I was amazed by the sheer skill and glamour of Siana Treece’s newest collection. It’s bold, sexy, and oh so couture. She’s styled America’s Next Top Model winner, Naima Mora, a reality TV star from the hit show Chicagolicious, and Kenya Moore from The Real Housewives of Atlanta, which was worn on an aired episode on the show and featured on MediaTakeout.com.

We sat down at a local Starbucks, and I got a glimpse of the Siana Treece behind the scenes.

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Leah: Tell us about Siana before she became Siana Treece.

Siana: Well, I grew up in Detroit, and definitely a city girl. I graduated from Cass Tech and always had been into drawing. It is actually my first love. But in middle school was when I decided to go into fashion. I always loved drawing women’s bodies; the structure of their bodies is beautiful. I remember playing with tons of paper dolls, and at first I wanted to be a fashion illustrator. I still do here and there, but I always illustrate before I sew/design. I was an art major in high school and started a fashion club in senior year.

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Leah: What were some of your inspirations growing up? Now?

Siana: We had no men in our family, so growing up it was a ton of women who were very, very girly. I used to watch my mom and aunt get dressed up, and I have always been inspired to dress up because of it. Now, I get a lot of inspirations from art work, my favorite paintings.

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Leah: What are some designers you look up to? 

Siana: Roberto Cavalli and Diane von Fürstenberg. Her clothes are timeless.

Leah: How would you describe your personal style?

Siana: I love colors, textures, and flowy things. I like things to be a little risqué and silhouettes that flatter, no matter how old or what shape. But when I design, I want women to feel good. And it shows when you feel good in what you wear.  Animal prints are the best. I think I overkill animal prints in my own closet though. (Laughs)

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Leah: Tell us about some of your collections.

Siana: I like to organize my ideas before I begin with any collection. I’ve only done four since 2011. My first fashion show was at the African World Festival, where I came in second place which was really a boost for me. The next collection was called Queen of Hearts. It was regal with a lot of textures and gold trims. My third was entitled The Secret Garden, which included flowers, lots of pastels, and flowy fabrics. The recent collection is bold, sexy, kind of high fashion which consists of metallics and cutouts.

Leah: What types of shows have you done this year?

Siana: I’ve done Walk Fashion, Destiny at the Masonic Temple, Catwalk, Detroit Rocks the Runway, The Bronner Brothers International Hair Show in Atlanta; I’ve done one in Chicago, Michigan Fashion week, and MI F.A.S.H Fest. Doing shows has really put me on the map. A lot of people ask how I got started, and I always tell them to do shows.  

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Leah: What are you working on now?

Siana: I will be showing my newest collection in New York for the Catwalk show the beginning of next year. I have applied to Harlem’s Fashion Row. It’s a really cool show, an official show. June Ambrose has attended past shows, and other important people like that have been there and supported. For me it’s really big.  

Leah: Leave us with some advice.

Siana: Just find what you want to do, what you really enjoy and just hone it. Everyone has a talent. Nurture it and make a way for it in your life.


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My wondrous trip to Mexico City via @aeromexico is coming to an end. Although, I wish I could stay longer, I feel reenergized and ready to tackle life. It’s been a long time since I’ve truly had some time like this and I’m super grateful, even if it was for a few days. I’m gonna drop a whole vlog about my trip that I hope y’all will enjoy. I was just thinking how I wouldn’t be able to have an opportunity like this if I hadn’t decided years ago that I would stop being afraid and just do that shit anyway, despite being in a tense relationship and community. If I had listened to people tell me I was too fat to model, if I had listened to people tell me that I couldn’t tell my story because I’d make Muslims look bad and embarrass myself, had I listened to the media who constantly perpetuates how large bodies, how Black bodies, how Muslim bodies and other marginalized folks ain’t deserving, had I listened and allowed myself to succumb to fear and my own self-abuse, I would not be here right now. You may not like me. Like what I do. Or what I say or how I do things. But, for one thing you will respect the grind. You will respect me not giving af how dumb I look. Or how I had to claw my way to still be standing. Nothing I have has come easy, but still I dance and enjoy life with all of my jiggles and baggage. So when you feel like giving up, life is too hard and too much, I want you to remember this and keep going anyway. What have you struggled with to overcome that we have not seen you endure or struggle with? What advice would you give someone who is in the thick of a struggle? Let’s chat. *P.S. How y’all like my Peggy Bundy/Fran Drescher outfit? 😂😂 #psootd #plussize #instafashion #bodypositive #bgki #honormycurves #effyourbeautystandards #pizzasisters4lyfe #blackgirlswhoblog #fashion #londonblogger #psfashion #blackgirlmagic #muslimgirl #bodyconfidence #plusmodel #feminist #wiw #intersectionalfeminism #turbanista #bodydysmorphia #fatacceptance #newyorkblogger #selflove #streetstyle #goldenconfidence #dancevideos #animalprint #travelblogger #mexicocity

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