Conscious Fashion

In the world of consumerism we make purchases according to the simplest of things be it preference of style, silhouette, color, or expanding our wardrobe with the new hottest trend our favorite celebs are rockin’! But I would like to pose a question to all our fashionistas out there: How many of you actually think about the production that goes into creating that garment or in this case those nice kicks (shoes) you are wearing?

 

For example, where it was created in the world? Are the laborers treated fairly? Are they paid a decent wage? Are the factories maintained to a standard that conducive to their health? Are the manufactures involved in unethical practices that could possibly lead to the endangerment of those employees? Well as a fashion student these are all things I became aware in my studies and now they are ever-present shopping rituals.

 

This year I was fortunate enough to land an internship with the textiles company, Thread International. This remarkable company has taken all of my learned concerns and turned into a definite solution.

 

Thread International is a company that is consciously involved in every step of the textile production. One of the greatest things about Thread International is that they use recycled plastic from the streets and canals of Haiti and Honduras and turns it into an array of high-quality fabrications. This process not only provides jobs but fosters a sense of accountability within the fashion industry as a whole. When ethical production practices happen from “grounds to goods” we can all sleep better at night or at least that my opinion.

 

Thread International recently produced a line summer shoes with Timberland. The new line launched on March 2, 2017, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I had to opportunity to wear the “Men’s Newport Bay Canvas Chukka Shoe” around town, I felt like the cool kid on-campus. Everyone wanted to know where I got those “Tim’s” from? I happily directed them to the Thread X Timberland website!

 

As you can see in the photo the canvas chukka boot can be paired just about anything. I chose to wear them with a blue blazer, crisp white button down, gray slim-fit jean and pale periwinkle socks to play up the color of the shoe. In addition to the boot being stylish, breathable, and extremely comfortable, its also affordable. The price point is less than $100. I would say this versatile summer boot will be a great addition to anyones wardrobe.

For more on Thread International click the link below:

 

http://www.threadinternational.com

 

To get your own pair of cool kicks from the ThreadXTimberland line click the link below:

 

https://www.timberland.com/shop/mens-new-arrivals

 

Until next time,

DREAM BIG!!!

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FEATURED ARTIST: DEVIN TRACY

I am excited to share with you all my first feature BLACK ARTIST, the incredibly talented Devin Tracy.

d-tracy

I had the idea to feature different young artist who were exceptional in their craft when I discovered Devin Tracy on instagram. I became instantly enamored by his artistry. He is known for his floral application /manipulation of images that are both wonderful and whimsical. Devin’s recent body of work includes his celebrity series of musical artist like Janelle Monae, Kelly Rowland, Solange, and my personal favorite, R&B royalty Tweet. Devin doesn’t solely focus celebs though; his earlier works are those of his close friends. As a matter of fact the first piece I saw of his was “Ok Gabe…” a visual masterpiece that shows one of his friend encapsulated by flowers, packed in such a way that it looked like “Gabe” was in the process of ascending from my screen and coming to life right before my eyes. This image led me to reach out to him and this is what I discovered:

Devin is from Jacksonville, FL but has spent the last several years residing in Brooklyn, NY. where he is consistently evolving in his craft. He uncovered his signature floral image manipulation while working on a project. Devin shared that piece with a close friend named Brik Liam, who encouraged him go further with the idea and he did just that. Eventually it developed into the incredibly focused body of work that see and love today. Not only is Devin Tracy a visual artist but he is a singer/songwriter whose uniquely soulful sound takes us right back to the 90s. Devins’ sound reverberates back to a time in R&B when music was music and it moved us to emotional places that held us captive and kept us wanting more. He recently released his first single on entitled “Take Me There” on ITunes, Tidal, Sound Cloud and Google play. Take Me There has an easy sound with a groovy vibe that you can’t help but bob your head to. I am going to go on the limb and say this young man is one to watch, so keep you eyes and ears peeled for the works of Devin Tracy.

“I just wanted to continue to inspire.”
                                                                          – Devin Tracy

floral-print

Thank you Devin for taking the time out of your busy schedule to produce this beautiful piece of Art for me, I appreciate you!

Until next time everyone,

DREAM BIG!

 

 

For more on Devin check out his Instagram @devintracy

or download his new single:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/take-me-there-single/id1200529626

How do you define ART?

In today’s society art is ever present.

But what is it? Really what is art?
It can be categorized by medium and sub-compartmentalized by artists, size or scale as well as genre.
That still doesn’t even scratch the surface of the vastness of ART.
In order to understand it better we must look at the history.
Notable art movements of past were grand presence. Artist who made a lasting impression in art not only defined but redefined what was acceptable to the masses. At the turn of the 20th century The Cubist took a cerebral approach to creating masterful pieces of art. It made people think, groups of intellectuals  would spend hours in discussion trying to interpret their paintings. Despite its complexity, some art critics sought to discredit Marcel Duchamp’s “Nude Descending of a Staircase, No 2”, calling it rubbish. Movements like Dadaism called art “…everything and nothing.” Even artist like Rothko, noted for his expressively colorful paintings referred to his art as “a sense of spirituality.” But really, what is art!?
Here recently, I had the opportunity of seeing Kazimir Malevich’s “Black Square, 1913” for the first time and I must admit, I didn’t get it. I understand that historical facts surrounding the piece and that Malevich was a trailblazer of his time. However, this painting left me perplexed. After all it’s just a black square sitting in the middle of a canvas.  Someone told me the painting itself was “meant to make one feel.” I wasn’t exactly sure what I was suppose to feel, all I knew was the more I stared at this painting all I felt was frustration because I really didn’t understand its purpose. I wanted to know why the “Black Square, 1913” could be 104 years old and still cause a vigorously perplexing debate.
It wasn’t until a week later when I was doing some research on different artist that it hit me, Malevich’s “Black Square” was the ONLY comparison piece of art that stood out in mind. In an instant, I had an AHA moment, Malevich’s piece made me feel enlightened, liberated, and FREE! Art is not just complicated paintings from artist like Picasso, Rembrandt, or Rothko, no not at all. Art may resonate with many or few. Art transcend time. Art is an extension of one self. I hope you enjoy my story of Art Expressed.
After wearing this expression of art around downtown Pittsburgh on a Friday afternoon, the strangest thing started to happen, people became engaged.
On my journey I decided to walk to get something to eat from one of my favorite eateries (Hello Bistro) while I was on my way, a gentleman dressed in business attire said to me “that’s pretty cool”, I smiled and replied “thank you.” When I got to the restaurant the young lady taking my order said “can I ask you question, what’s the make up for?” I told her, I had just finished a photoshoot for my blog, she responded with a jovial “ohhh that’s cool, it looks great!” When leaving the restaurant there was another standing on the sidewalk smoking a cigarette, stopped mid-puff to smiles and said “that’s a unique way to express yourself, I like it” I smiled, I replied with kind eyes and thank you. Just to be clear not all responses were warm and receptive; later in my journey, I was walking pass a woman pushing an infant in a stroller and her pre-teen daughter who trotting a few feet behind her, looked twice and then gave the oddest look. She made a beeline to the furthest space of the sidewalk. That too, made me smile because it got a reaction. Needless to say, it was an eventful afternoon in the steel city 🙂
I said all that to say, don’t be afraid to share your ART with world. I am certain you will be surprised by the positive impact you have on the masses.
Thank you Jordan (IG: j_arms) and Maria (IG: marialaytonmakeup)
for helping me express my ART.
If you have questions, comments or simply just want to share your art experiences with me feel free to leave a message below.
Until next time DREAM BIG!

 

Comfort & Style!!!

HAPPY 2017!!!

I hope everyone had an enjoyable holiday season with friends and family, I sure did! 🙂

I know we are all dealing with odd weather and frigid temperatures across the globe. However, just because it’s winter doesn’t mean your style has to be compromise… on the contrary, THIS is the time to explore new style tribes.

Recently, I was talking to a friend and they reminded my of a story from my teenage years. When I was about 16 years old, my obsession with all things fashion spiked. I was always checking out the new retailers on the scene (i’m going to give away my age here but) at that time, stores that were doing menswear well in the Midwest were stores like Structure, Banana Republic, Gap, Dillard’s etc. These were the stores to help me define my style early on. Since I was in discovery mode, I would come home with a new garment almost every week. Anyone that has younger siblings that are the close in age/size knows your closet is their shopping mall.

I remember coming home from work one night, going to my closet and reaching for my new Gap sweater only to find a mustard stain resting right snack dab in the middle of it… I knew there was only one person who could have done this, my baby brother! Even though we are several years apart my mother would dress us as if we were twins. So, I guess he felt as though, what’s mine, was his… Needless to say, we had a discussion about him keeping out of my closet. I believe that went in one ear and out the other because we had that conversation often but it never really stuck.

Nowadays, my brother has his own style which is very much cool-chic. So I took a couple notes from his book and pulled together today’s look entitled “the Mondre” – an ode to my brother.

I love you baby bro!!! 

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ON THE THRONE


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GRAFFITI WALL


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ROOFTOP


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GLASS CASTLE


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GO-JO… CITY BACKDROP

 

 

I am wearing:

 

Biker Leather Jacket from Topman $99 (purchased 2 years ago)

Fleece joggers (zip-up hoodie and pants) from American Eagle $27.98/$49.95

https://www.ae.com/men-clearance-aeo-active-flex-full-zip-hoodie-black/web/s-prod/0196_9531_001?cm=sUS-cUSD

https://www.ae.com/men-aeo-active-flex-fleece-jogger-navy/web/s-prod/1229_3748_410?cm=sUS-cUSD

Stripped Socks from H&M $3.99

http://m.hm.com/us/product/48785?article=48785-A

Adidas Sneaker from Avalon Exchange $22

http://www.avalonexchange.com/?store=pittsburgh-pa

 

 

If you have any style questions or comments feel free to leave me a message below!

Until next time DREAM BIG!!!

 

Cutouts & Faux Fur!!!

 

As we are quickly approaching the first day of winter (December 21, 2016), the temperature has taken a dramatic plunge towards iceberg and I am not ready for it. I walked outside the other day with a floral print neophyte bomber, lightweight sweater, and some comfy joggers to get a cup of coffee from the Gasoline Street café, when “the hawk” (what Midwesterners call an extremely cold gust wind) literally pushed my behind back inside –  It was soooo cold I heard my teeth crack when I spoke to a fellow student passing by.

Immediately, I made a b-line back inside to go to the cold weather section of my closet, dusted off the old coats and prepared for winter.
I don’t know about you but I’m not ready to pack away my fall gear just yet. At same time, I don’t like to be cold. I understand that suffering for the price of fashion is apart of the game BUT not if you don’t have to… So I thought to myself how can I transfer my fall favorites into winter warmth without compromise style? This is what I came up with…
Ladies and Gents, take those trendy cutouts or severely frayed jeans, pair them with some jeggings for the ladies or compression pants for the men, and it will keep you comfortably warm.  Let’s not forget about the top half though…I’ve noticed tons of people across the globe adorning fur!! I would suggest that’s a trend we wont see fade anytime soon. In my opinion you’ll be hard pressed not to turn a corner or enter a holiday party without seeing variations of fur/faux fur this season. So why not reap the benefits of a plush warm fur/faux fur coat on the streets.
Here is a cool way to incorporate Cutouts & Faux Fur into your everyday Street-Chic Style!

 

Cable Knit Sweater with Faux Fur Detail from “Zara” (purchased in 2014)

Polka Dot Button Down from “Club Monaco” $59.90

Ripped Jeans from “H&M” $49.99

Snake Skin Boots from “Doc Martens” $125

Mirrored Sunglasses from “Rayban” $175

Queen of Knives Fedora from “Goorin Bros” $35

Camo Compression Pant from “Nike”$80

Cutoff Gloves also from “H&M” $5

 

If you have any style questions or comments feel free to leave me a message below!

 

Until next time DREAM BIG!!!

Bombers & Beanies!!!

ITS FALL EVERYONE!!!

Anyone who knows me knows me know I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE FALL! More specifically fall fashion, mainly because I’m the weirdo that wears layers of clothes Winter, Spring, Summer, and that’s right FALL. At least this time of year, I have an excuse as to why I have on so many layers 🙂

Two of my favorite trends this year are Bombers & Beanie(B&B)!!! Everywhere I look see people rocking B&Bs. The coolest thing about it, is that there aren’t any style or gender boarders when it comes to these items. You can wear a bomber or beanie with just about anything. Fellas, if you have an event to go to after work with all your hipster friends and you don’t want to look super dressy, take off that restricted blazer and tie, dawn a nice neutral bomber, reach in the back seat of your car dust off that beanie and you’re ready to impress all your buds with your new trendy style. Ladies, if your are looking to change things up a bit, don’t pack away those slip dresses from summer just yet. Underneath the slip dress place a basic long sleeve t-shirt, some ripped jeans, with a bomber & beanie, guess what, you are ready to take on any trendsetter that dares to step foot on your sidewalk.

Here is my style interpretation of one of this season hottest trends!

Bomber from a vintage shop called “Bobby’s of Boston” $19

Classic Checkered Button Down from “Express $29.90 (5 years ago) currently on selling for $69.90

Skinny Low Trashed Jeans from “H&M” $39.99

Snake Skin Boots from “Doc Martens” $125

Sunglasses from “See Eyewear” $99

Beanie from “Forever21” 2 for $6

 

If you have any style questions or comments feel free to leave me a message below!

 

Until next time DREAM BIG!!!

Putting it in the atmosphere…

When I initially started this blog, I approached it as a creative outlet to express myself with writing, styling, as well as championing other creative minded people. This past week I had the pleasure of working with one of the premier photographers in Pittsburgh.

Here is a little bit of our story:

 

When you bring up the subject of photography to just about any single person in Steeler Nation, the first name that rolls off his or her lips is Chancelor Humphery. Chancelor is a photographer/blogger who has become the heartbeat of cultural happenings in Pittsburgh. When I started to research his work, I knew immediately I wanted to work with him. After examining his online content, I sent him an email introducing myself and sharing my interest in meeting to discuss a potential collaboration opportunity. Shortly there after, I decided to take a stroll to a local boutique in the downtown area, where I had a conversation with a sales associate named Adele. We began to talk about what brought me to the store. I gave her a brief overview; “I’m currently finishing my degree in Fashion Marketing at The Art Institute, and I wanted to check out the store after meeting the owner at a recent fashion symposium.” That bit of information seemed to excite her as she was in a bit of a conundrum. You see she was in the middle of selecting items for a photo shoot when I walked in, but couldn’t decide on the proper way to mix patterns. I kindly offered my expertise and we were able to select some items that mixed patterns, played with scale, and were photo worthy!

 

The conversation proceeded organically, and I told her about my interest in starting a blog that would highlight fashion and local artisans that were at the peak of their craft. I then informed her I was researching photographers in the area to help me bring my idea to life and I came across Chancelor Humphery of “Keeppittsburghdope”… I told her I admired his perspective and I had reached out to him to maybe collaborate on a couple projects. She looked at me with a smile and said, “Well if you wait a little while you might just be able to meet him.” She continued to tell me that he was actually in the area working with her boss on a photo shoot, and should be returning shortly.” Little did I know he was just about to enter the store; I turned around and there he was in the flesh! I couldn’t believe it. We talked for a little bit and I was invited to accompany he and Adele on the photo shoot. Needless to say, I happily obliged. Several months would pass before I actually saw him again, but when I did it was magical!

 

After taking a brief pause from social media to focus on school and mapping my path to success, I randomly logged onto Instagram only to find Chancelor (@keeppittsburghdope) had an available slot for a photo shoot. I thought to myself, it’s now or never! I sent him an email and within 48 hours we were on the beaten-path to making magic with a lens. We met in Market Square in downtown Pittsburgh where everyone congregates and walked to a nearby location to shoot. But on the way to our designated location, there were few picturesque places that beckoned to Chancelor “immortalize me”; or at least that’s how I imagined his organic, mental selection process went in his head. On the outside, however, it felt like two old friends taking a stroll at dawn snapping pictures along the way. No pressure. No angst. Simply snap and go. Before I knew it, the shoot was over and I was left with a resounding sense of gratitude for having been in the presence of someone great, and his greatness is truly reflected in his work.

 

 

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I want to Thank Chancelor Humphery (@keeppittsburghdope) for sharing his artistry not only with me, but also with the world. I want to thank YOU for taking the time out of your busy schedules to share in my world.

 

Lastly, I would like to resolve this post by saying if you believe in something, put it in the atmosphere (SPEAK IT OUT LOUD), work towards it, and eventually it will come to fruition…. Until next time, DREAM BIG!