Fashion EXchange: Young, Black, Stylish

When I think about fashion, I think about the many definitions that we seem to have for it. For some, fashion is about keeping up with the trends and some how making it your own. For others, fashion is so much more than the latest trends. For those “others,” fashion is a reflection of what is going on in their heads, another extension of oneself. When I think about what is stylish and fashionable, my first thought is that the person’s clothing has to tell me something about them. I think the pieces I like to wear (when I make the effort, which is changing Back to the Basics aka cute at all times) demonstrates that. I like for my pieces to have a story. I also like for my pieces to be glamorous, despite my shy disposition, I like standing out.


I have known dude for a long time. We attend different schools now. I am sure that he has matured but when I send him text messages and he replies with, “What’s up hoodrat?” I feel like Tristen is still the same. If there were one thing that I can say has drastically changed, I would say it his style. I feel like where he is now, and I enjoy watching the change, is a clear reflection of who he is, which is unique. I had a chance to ask him a few questions and I have to admit that I walked a way feeling a little enlightened. I find that hilarious because I remember being one of his friends, who use to poke fun at him for how he dressed. Well, not so much how he dressed, really just the skinny jeans. We did not know how he found those back then. However look at it now, you have rap duos stepping out in skinny jeans. Tristen was and remains to be, ahead of his time. This is my attempt to call out the rest of the fellas and tell you that maybe this kid is on to something!

The biggest point that I feel he made was that, there was a time when black men were more experimental with their clothing and didn’t have to deal with their sexuality being called out. Where did that go? So, this is me doing my community service. Fellas it is ok to like fashion. It is REALLY ok to be different. At the end of the day just make sure that in every thing that you do, it is a clear reflection of you. So here is the interview with the most stylish, straightest black guy I know.

Describe your style. What does it say about you?

- It's getting really hard to articulate these days, but I'd say it's something along the lines of 'downtown coffee shop minimalism.' I've never actually thought about how I might be perceived by a random onlooker, but I hope 'youthful' + 'fun' are two words that might come to mind.

I have always liked your style. Do you feel like it has changed over the years? How so?

- I guess this is where I say thanx, huh! I feel like I've come a long way in a short amount of time. The whole idea of fashion + style didn't concern me until the latter years of high school. It was very experimental, hit and miss, not having a clue but committing to an idea regardless. College has allowed me to filter and condense all my influences into something tangible and coherent. I also think having a working knowledge of fashion, past + present, has helped in my development, it's hard to make sense out of clothing when you don't bother to do your h/w.

What is your favorite piece of clothing?

- I have a genre of tee's that I professionally nicknamed my 'ride or die' t-shirts, which I'm really quite fond of. They're super thin on the verge of see-thru, solid colored tees, w/ big stretched neck openings, and they fit slightly over-sized. They're usually made from a brushed pima cotton, or cashmere blends. I call them my ride or die t-shirts because you can have a filthy dirt-nasty night out on the town, crawl home drunk, ball it up, throw it in the corner, then wake up the next morning, put it back on, throw a jacket over it, and be out the door. I kinda live for them.

Where do you shop?

- I'm pretty much an exclusive online shopper w/the exception of a few H&M pit stops throughout the year. I'm a big fan of a site called, it's a members only type deal, so it took a while for me to get ushered in, but it's been magic ever since. It's potentially just like attending a designer sample sale, except via the inter-webs. Each day they offer up a new collections by high ranking contemporary designers. It's the only place to get the garments that you physically saw on last season's runways, for a somewhat reasonable price. Honorable mentions go out to and because their co-op range is pretty killer.....and ebay. ebay is dope.

Do you think there is a stigma that comes with being fashionable as a guy? Why or why not?

- Of course. Naturally you are going to encounter those that think your world is automatically full of candy cane, gum drops and licorice sticks and they'll completely strip + discredit you of all masculinity, but on occasion you'll have those who commend your efforts. It get's old, and then you get over it. At the end of the day, you develop a pretty flame resistant air of self confidence. There is always a positive aspect.

What do you think about urban fashion?

- I think urban fashion means a lot of things to a lot of different people. If we're talking eclectic city dwelling street wear, then I'm all for it, but I don't care so much for hip-hop inspired urban wear.

Do you think there is a belief that black guys should dress a certain way? Why or why not?

- Over the past few decades I think black culture has really narrowed the scope of what is acceptable for a modern day black male in terms of fashion. As a result, there is limited amount of individualism, because of the fear of being ridiculed. If you take a look back at black artist who were at the forefront of the soul/rhythm and blues movement like the Commodores, Earth Wind and Fire, The Isley Brothers, and who can forget bead laden Rick James, they all approached fashion from such an uninhibited place, and it's kind of sad to see that we've lost that and even frown upon it today.

Do you think that will change one day and when?

- Probably not, but I do believe that a descent amount of acceptance is obtainable.I think when people like Kanye and Jay-Z, who hold credibility within the black community, vocally speak about their admiration and respect for fashion, it definitely changes minds and opinions.

Why are you so cool?

- Every now and then, some random person on campus will walk up to me, and say something about how they've been admiring my style throughout the years, and it wrecks my brain each and every time. It's crazy to think that at a university where I am one blob out 55,000, I've somehow found a way to carve out an niche of my own, without even being consciously aware. The best part is when it's some husky gangsta' looking mofo that pays me a compliment.....has to be the closest I've ever come to feeling cool.

What does you wardrobe consist of?

- Fairly simple non-fussy stuff, all in black, white, cream, navy and grey, loads of grey. Usually just lots of loose layered tees w/out graphics, tailored trousers, blue blazers, above the knee shorts, knitted cardigans, and a variety of boots.

What is your most unique piece?

- I have this sickly amazing harness for my keys which goes up my back and across my torso. it's the perfect combination of both form and function.

What do you like to see girls wear?

- Nothing in particular, but it helps if its quietly interesting.

What is your favorite style for girls?

- I tend to like the more androgynous stuff. the whole grungy, 'I don't know if she took a shower this week', but she still looks amazingly put together kind of thing.

Who are your favorite designers ?

- Proenza Schouler....for no other reason than the fact that they just make cool shit. They're a womens wear label but I always find myself staring at their stuff wondering how I can capture the essence of their clothing with menswear pieces. I'm also a big fan of Kris Van Assche, Trussardi 1911, Marni, and 3.1 Phillip Lim

What is one piece that every guy should have? Jacket, shoes what?

- I've always kinda believed that the sole initial purpose of clothing was to shield us from the elements, and anything above and after that is just fair game. Hence, I believe every guy should carry a sense of humor and a little bit of self assurance in their front pocket.

What influences your style?

- hands down the best place for inspiration. There is something impeccably appealing about seeing creative people in their own personal spaces, and allowing them the time to verbally articulate their own aesthetics. I waste hours of valuable pro-active time on that site. No bueno.

This is a really great fashion blog that I came across for guys!!
The Urban Gent

What is my style: They say I am a dreamer....but I am not the only one

So I took a quiz today about my style. I was bored and I generally don't have too much faith in quizzes but this seemed to be spot on!! So I just thought I would share, being that sometimes people find it hard to attempt to describe my style this is the basics of it.

You Are Romantic
Things aren't worth much to you unless they have some personal meaning or a foothold in the past. For you, objects in the material world have a spirit that they carry with them, so you gravitate towards vintage clothing and jewelery. You are very sensual and feminine, and the way things feel is as important to you as how they look. You're not particularly interested in current styles because your reference points are timeless, but when you think of trends, you tend to think in terms of century rather than season. You often have a signature color or hairstyle that you're loyal to, and perhaps even known for. You are a dreamer, and you often think of clothing as a costume.

Style role models include Winona Ryder, Nicole Kidman and Helena Bonham Carter.

Read more: What's My Style?

New Beginnings: The life of an editorial intern at Sister 2 Sister magazine

So, I am in my second week at my internship. I love it. It is an amazing opportunity. Prayers are always welcome. My everyday responsibilities include: writing a few articles (thank ya Jesus), transcribing interviews and letters to the editor, clerical work (telephone, mail, etc), writing up interview questions and doing research and whatever else I am told to do. I am really happy about the opportunity and I am learning a lot about interviews, editing and just the magazine world. The plan Stan is to learn as much as I can, while I am here. So with that said, I will have updates about life in the D.C./ Maryland area. I hope you enjoy the reads.

I haven't taken any pictures yet,(booooo bad journalist), but I will. I promise. I am going to try to figure out how to post the little mini-articles I have written on here as well! The funny thing about it is EVERYONE who knows me has been so supportive. I really appreciate it. I have had a rough year and this experience and support has been a wonderful remedy. What I really love are the late night text messages from none other than my mom, we will call her B.Sams, about what I should write about the next day. I definitely want to talk about the entire atmosphere of D.C. though. It is very different than what I am use to. Hopefully this weekend I can take a few pics and post them online to document the entire experience. Also your girl is close to Howard LOL enough said!!! They really do have a beautiful campus. I will take some pictures of that too.

My next post on New Beginnings should have lots of pictures of D.C. and Maryland and a description of my day. I am just saying that as a reminder to myself. Highlights thus far? I got to speak to t
he owner of the magazine Jamie Brown and she is really nice. Deitrick Haddon called the office and I wrote up some questions for some upcoming interviews!!!

Black Fashion

So I was browsing the web checking out the blogs, to see what is going on in the world. I love to showcase Black designers. Needless to say, I was super happy when I found this post on Coco and Creme. It features some Black designers that you may or may not know. I must say, I am digging Coco and Breezy!! Here are a few designers that I am digging.

Click on the underlined names to go to the sites, (my links work now).

Gavin Douglass, the website for Gavin is still being updated but I found a beautiful slide show on Vogue!!! The pictures at the beginning of the post are courtesy of the BET website.

Tracy Reese, she is also featured on Coco and Creme.
The picture off to the side is from her collection also featured on the BET Web site.
Coco and Breezy, also on Coco and Creme. They are 19- year-old twins.

These are just a few people that I like. Posts to come? I have some interviews lined up with people that I think are interesting. Some are launching their own line. Another just has interesting opinion on fashion when it comes to guys. Stay posted more to come on New Beginnings too!!!

It would have been beautiful .....

I don't have much to say about this. This was a proposed mock up of Vogue Africa as it was purposed to Conde Nast and it was, you guessed it, REJECTED. IDK why. I don't know what else to say about it. It looked beautiful. I found the article on Coco and Creme.

I spy with my eye: Hot Designs

Photo is from The Fashion Bomb Blog

So what is in style????????

That is the million- dollar question on everyone’s head at all times. Well, take it from me, I love fashion. Clothes, accessories, shoes and purses, they’re all my drug of choice (call me a druggie and I will answer). So what is in style? What items must you have that every one is talking about? WHO CARES!!!!

I buy what I like and with me it is all about effortless style and versatility. I tend to buy what everyone else isn’t wearing because at the end of the day, I am a little girl who doesn’t know how to share. I want it for myself and I don’t want to see 20 other girls with what I have on. So my advice for all the fashionistas out there: Fashion was not created by a bunch of people following suit. Fashion was created by the trend -setters which one are you?

Anywho, there is this designer that makes my heart smile, and makes me feel all kinds of ways on the inside. Mus by Mali Ro. I found some stuff about the designer on Clutch magazine and being that I didn’t want to post a really old link came across the Fashion Bomb Blog and saw the designer’s stuff again. If I had to describe it I would say upscale American Apparel. Thoughts? Check the stuff out. Also, isn’t the model a CUTIE!!!! I think YES!!!

Photos are can also be seen at the Fashion Bomb Blog. You can also find a nifty little interview with the designer on Clutch magazine!!!

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Lil Kim Talks about Nicki

LIL Kim called out Nicki Minaj again

So in a recent interview with AOL’s Black Voices, LiL Kim talked about the origins of her beef with Nicki Minaj.

It was a really entertaining read. When I think about my dream interview, it goes a lot like this interview did with Black Voices. Kim called Nicki out on a lot more than just wearing colored wigs and not wanting to give props on where she got her sense of style. She even went in on the girl’s, excuse me, woman’s age. Here is an excerpt from the interview. The entire interview can be found on AOL in the Black Voices section.

"See that's the problem, why don't we just be real here and go back to a year and a half ago when she was just busting shots out of every place when she said in one of her interviews,

'Oh, you know I'm going to sit by the pool and have the females in the game who's been here for 10 years feeding me grapes, being that they don't have nothing else to do right now.'

“Oh yeah, bitch. I remember that! I remember that, I'm not going to forget it! Because at the end of the day, how dare you disrespect me or any other female that's been in this industry for so long. She's the same dag on age as us. Stop it! You coming in the game at 30 years old, don't even freakin' go there, don't go there."

What was that, a clean KO? I think so. Sad part is, I like Nicki and I hate to see this happen to her, but when you hear some of the quotes that she has the gumption to say, it makes you want to like her a little less. I am a huge fan of arrogance I aspire to be there. Trust and believe though when I am there, I won’t just be arriving to the party demanding every person’s crown in the building.

I feel like rappers like Keys (YOUTUBE this child if you don’t know who she is) and numerous underground artists have demonstrated that anyone can write a clever rap. Then there are rappers like Nicki who have shown us that to be mainstreamed is an entirely different animal. My point is, Nicki is hot right now. How long will that last? I think a lot of this, “you can pick my fruit out” jive should come when you are like IDK a couple years strong in the mainstream media and not all of the 15 seconds that she has claimed. I feel that the people who have stayed around like Kim, Eve down to the Queen and MC Lyte to name a very fair few, and I am sorry to leave off anyone else (I have no problem pleading ignorance), have allowed their talent to speak for it self. (I say those names because I have seen them turn their careers into so much more than just one trick/ talent whatever you want to call it) Those women have come and gone out of mainstream media. There a lot of women that I respect but that is all that is coming to mind right now.

We know Nicki is beautiful. We know the style is different from what has been out in the past 7 or 8 years. We know the rap style is unique. She has a lot of clever raps. I would rather she sell that to me and let her lyrics set her a part from the women that have come before her, as opposed to her telling everyone.

The rest of the interview was really interesting. I wonder if anyone else feels that Nicki isn’t paying respect to the women who have made it possible for her to get her foot in the door? I may be young but I do feel that Kim is pioneer of ushering in the sexy rapper image. Correct me if I am wrong because, I have no shame in admitting that I know only what BET and MTV and the BOX (when it was around) showed me.

Love them all just want to see them get along. It is not like there are a bunch of female rappers out there anyway!!!

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