So I’ve been reading this book entitiled [The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter- and How To Make The Most Of Them Now] by Dr. Meg Jay which subsequently is the inspiration for this rant. If you missed my first rant I posted a few months ago then you may think this is a bit different from our typical kind of posts but hey, sometimes it calls for a few changes. This has been one of the best reads I have picked up in a while and it has allowed me to explore many of my daily thoughts in more depth. One of which being the classic experiment in psychology known as [the jam experiment] discussed in the reading. It’ll make more sense if you’re unfamiliar in about 9.5 seconds…
There have been several times when someone has asked me how I have time for all the things that I do and how do I seem to do them all so well. In reality, I have so much to improve on but its quite simple and I’ll even put it in the terms of the experiment itself, “I’d rather have six different flavored jars of jam than twenty-four.” Some may be confused by that statement but its not at all complex. In life we tend to have dreams and aspirations of doing everything; especially when we are young. There is nothing wrong at all with being ambitious and fearless but one must remember to be smart, strategic and willing to be honest about what you’re good at and what you’re great at– we all know just being “good” enough doesn’t cut it. Back to the jam reference– imagine being offered a table of twenty-four flavors of jam to taste compared to a table with only six. Most would believe that the table with twenty-four is more appealing however, the table with twenty-four flavors could lead to absolute confusion. Although the table offers more variety compared to that of the one with six flavors, after you try all twenty-four flavors your taste buds will probably have no idea what just happened, let alone be able to decipher which one you prefer most. The table with six choices provides fewer flavors yet enough variety for you to make a decision on which ones you like and which ones you don’t like. It may be cliche’- a bit corny even, but that same “experiment” and rationale should be applied to your life. I’ve had conversations with so many co-workers, friends and strangers, all of which want/do so much yet never seem to master the true skill of any of the numerous things they “do”. Keep reading I’m not done just yet..
To break it down a bit more, i’ll apply this to my life and give you a brief overview of my strategic “blueprint” if you will. Growing up I was always in touch with my creative side. It ranged from attending a School of Performing and Visual Arts to watching/assisting my grandmother make clothes to writing short stories in elementary school that my teacher would read to the class during “story time”. As I became older and realized that high school was almost over and it was time to enter college, I decided to major in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. There were so many people who asked and still ask why I did not go to a design school or even major in Art. After long conversations with my mentors, parents and most importantly myself, I understood and began to think of the direction I wanted my life to go. I did what made the most sense to [me] and [my] overall goal, which has unsurprisingly changed a few times after “tasting a few flavors” and deciding which ones I enjoyed and which ones were a bit bland for my liking.
Although I was a Marketing major in school I found various ways to do what I loved and get even better at them. Just to name a few, I was Creative Director of the Homecoming Fashion Shows as well as the Director of Styling years before which lead to working some of the most sought after shows during Fashion Week. I did freelance work for a few Atlanta based magazines and Styled a few artists/photo-shoots which lead to published work in major publications. In addition, I consulted Fashion Brands and Music Artists in between exams and final presentations which has lead to the interest of other brands for potential collaboration/partnerships. The summer after my Junior year I interned in NYC for a major Retail Corporation, networked within (and outside of the company) and was offered a full time position as a Fashion Buyer upon graduation which leads me to where I am now. You see how one thing leads to another and how another thing can create an opportunity within something else? Even down to [The No Names] itself- its all strategic. The brands/artists we highlight, events we attend and even the people we follow on twitter (and those who follow us). You see where I’m going with this? Call me lame, call me crazy BUT I view life similar to that of a Buffet with endless options. Although you can have whatever you like, you should be aware of the aftermath and think about “how you want to feel in the morning”. Don’t get sick from mixing so much that it leaves you with an upset stomach and doesn’t allow you to savor the flavor. I believe I’ve said enough for now- RANT OVER!
So long Winter Whites, its all about the whitest of whites these days. Yesterday on my way home from running some errands I stopped by H&M to see if there were any hidden gems I could discover and to my surprise my intuition was right on. That white denim jacket that has been on my Spring/Summer [must have] list has been checked off and happily fulfilled. The fit was great (no tailor needed) and the price? Well as most things in H&M, it was a steal. The [White Denim Jacket] is like a [Blank Canvas]. Dress it up, dress it down- do whatever you want with it. I have a few things in mind myself …
This past weekend Jovel and I headed over to one of our favorite places in the city [Meatpacking District] to check out the UNIQLO UT Truckstop Series featuring Curtis Kulig and DJ Pictureplane. The weather was amazing, the vibe was just right and the beautiful people were out and about enjoying the day just as much as we were…
One thing about NYC is that you are guaranteed to run into something on the street that is photo worthy and instagram [double tap] appropriate. After visiting the UT Pop Up Truck stop we came across this pretty cool red wall and took a few photos, well maybe a little more than just a “few” but you get the point. While roaming the cobble stone streets we discussed how happy we were that the weather is changing, spring projects in the works and of course we couldn’t leave without visiting a few of the stores in the area. Another beautiful weekend is amongst us and we have no plans of staying inside at home. With that being said who knows what is on our agenda this time around.
As I made my way down 7th Ave en route to get lunch with some of my favorite Fashion Buyers earlier this week we discussed a few things, other than Fashion. Its good to get out of the office and showrooms from time to time and just talk– about any and everything. Cat being the random and super hilarious person she is started rambling about couples being vacuumed sealed together. When she first mentioned this I had no idea what she was talking about and considering how passionate she was about these couples who seem to be getting closer than close I had to see it for myself. Within seconds, she pulled up the link and what I saw was one of the strangest yet coolest things I’ve probably ever witnessed– as weird as it may look.
Japanese photographer Haruhiko Kawaguchi takes couples that he meets in nightclubs to his kitchen floor in Tokyo and seals their conjoined bodies together as one in a plastic bag using a household vacuum. The project is entitled “Flesh Love” and so far Kawaguchi has photographed over 80 couples. It makes one wonder, how close is too close? If you think these images are interesting be sure to check out the video and see the process for yourself. Its nothing short of [art] frozen (or should I say “sealed”) in time just long enough to get the perfect shot. This lunch conversation was the inspiration behind a [TNN] worthy post; Thanks Cat!
The Process: [Flesh Love] x Haruhiko Kawaguchi
The grey skies seem to be a thing of the past (I hope so at least) and the insanely painful cold weather has taken a change for the better. With sunnier days and warmer temperatures, its time to transition wardrobes and get rid of a lot of the layers. My addiction to sunglasses has not weakened over the past couple of years and I still appreciate a nice pair of frames that not only block the sun but add to and complete the look. My most recent purchase happened to be these beauties from Marc by Marc Jacobs. They caught my eye as soon as I walked into the store and bring a bit of variety to my current collection. Normally I’m seen in a pair of black shades but as you all will see very soon if you haven’t already- I am switching a few things up. Tis the season, what frames will you be debuting this Spring/Summer?
I’m a Southern Gentlemen at heart, born and raised. There is not one thing I would change about that either. Growing up in the south things were a bit different and I suppose you can say people were a little more judgmental but it builds character and a sense of self; or at least thats what it did for me. There are so many things about this city I now call home that I love but one of the things I appreciate the most is the fact that so many people are themselves and are not afraid of being themselves– in more capacities than one. I’m not saying this is the only place in the world where that happens but you can always count on seeing [individuals] throughout this city. I tend to think of them as part of my [modern-day super hero] movement. Its a pretty cool clan to be involved with..
An artist that I’ve been following for sometime now (back to her Craig David featured days) is Rita Ora. Her music is fun, her personality is big and her unapologetic style and mixing of high fashion with street chic is something that I appreciate. Its been said that she’s “jacked” a few looks but we all know we shouldn’t believe everything we hear… right!? Take a minute to google a few “vintage” images of Ora and you’ll soon realize that she is no rookie in the game. Been there, crossed ‘em up and continues to go for the grand slam! Rita is an avid supporter and even bigger promoter of [wear what you want, when you want, however you want]. A message that I hope to see more people take into consideration within the near future. Rita’s brand seems to get bigger and bigger each day and I am sure we will be seeing and hearing more of her. Check out this video sponsored by VEVO and McDonald’s to get a look at what she (and her stylist Kyle Devolle) had to say about her day to day looks. Don’t think about it, just wear it!
VEVO Stylized [featuring] Rita Ora
Lately I’ve been into any and everything that is black and has some type of silver hardware. From wrist-wear to sunglasses and of course shoes. I mean, what would life be without shoes right?! Yesterday afternoon I found myself in Soho to pick up ONE thing and left with a few more than I had anticipated. TOPSHOP / TOPMAN is one of my favorite stores, so every time I am on Broadway I can’t resist walking through those double glass doors. Long story short, these caught my attention, they had my size and before I knew it they were mine! I’m looking forward to hitting the concrete with these!
Today marks the 23rd year I have been blessed to be apart of such a complex yet beautiful world. These years seem to be speeding by but I am making sure to take advantage of every second. I can honestly say that I appreciate the man that I have grown to become and I am looking forward to the man I will one day be. From the things I have accomplished, to the places I have been and the people I have been lucky enough to connect with, every moment of everyday is one that I cherish.
Mistakes made have become valuable lessons learned and a constant reminder to stay positive, focused and true to myself. Over the years I have realized that happiness starts within and when you understand what you like, don’t like and the kind of things you want out of life, things just seem to come more natural with less stress and greater rewards. Thankful for another second, minute, hour, day. Another year ; the year of twenty-three!
”The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.”
- Oprah Winfrey
When you work hard and work smart, consistent when doing so and understand the importance of recreating yourself time after time, your personal brand becomes stronger while welcoming a constant flow of opportunities and achievements. A man who I personally look up to and study on the regular is none other than Marc Jacobs. Not only is Mr. Jacobs the head designer for Marc Jacobs and Marc by Marc Jacobs with over 200 retail stores in 80 different countries, he has also been the Creative Director of the popular French design house Louis Vuitton since 1997 and oh yeah- he is also one of the biggest influencers of Pop Culture. Well, his elevator speech just got a bit longer considering he was recently named the Creative Director of Diet Coca-Cola. Thats right, one of the most popular brands in the world now has Marc Jacobs on their team…
To celebrate the world’s #1 selling diet soft drink milestone anniversary campaign ‘sparkling together for 30 years‘, Marc Jacobs has partnered with the brand to develop limited edition cans and bottles, each of which will contain graphics influenced by the rise of female empowerment during the 80s, 90s, and 2000s. Its things like this that make me eager and give me hope to continue to do everything I have a passion for and not settle on just one of them because its the easiest of them all or the one that will make the most sense… to everyone else.
Who said you can’t design clothes, influence Pop Culture and design soda cans too? Marc Jacobs is the man and there is no question about it. The next time you say you want to “collab” with someone ask yourself if the timing is right, is it strategic and will the overall project get the people going. The collab of the moment has combined two iconic brands to create something that will become legendary and go down in the history books of Pop Culture. Yeah I said it, Quote me!
Marc Jacobs on becoming Creative Director of Diet Coca-Cola
I’m sitting in Starbucks right now in Midtown drinking my regular that has been my [keep me going] lately (Caramel Soy Macchiato) and felt like listening to some new music while I get some work done soooooo, I log onto soundcloud to see what some of my favorite artists that I follow suggest. I come across a name that caught my attention, clicked the thumbnail picture and pressed play to a song entitled “Close 2 Me” by Giraffage. At approximately 18 seconds in, the beat drops and just that quick, the search is over…
A few moments later I am on Google doing my research to find out more about who is responsible for the vibrations coming through my headphones. Giraffage is the name and is the creation of multi-instrumentalist and producer Charlie Yin of San Fran, California. Nostalgia is what I am feeling right now and although I can’t come up with the exact words to describe the many sounds he has created, I know I like it. It just so happened that he released his new mixtape “Needs” yesterday, which is downloading this very second. I’m going to finish this work, continue to drink this coffee and welcome these new soundwaves to my iTunes library. I felt it was worth sharing so below you can take a listen too. Oh yeah, Happy Valentines Day!
You’ve heard it before or maybe you haven’t. One of my all time favorite things to do is to lock myself in a room with my computer and surf the internet for documentaries, interviews and short films related to subjects and people that either interest me or I want to learn more about…
I came across an interview from [ARTST TLK w/Pharrell Williams] which is something similar to a talk show that features two guests that are at different career stages that discuss their work, inspirations and philosophies. Within this particular interview Pharrell sits down with Alexander Gorlin, an architect known for bringing warmth to his modern designs and Daniel Arsham, an artist who tends to cross the lines between architecture and art; known for implementing shapes in some of the most unexpected places ever. I had the pleasure of meeting and attending Arsham’s “Reach Ruin” exhibit (a sculptural exhibition that explores “construction of destruction”) a few weeks ago at The Fabric Workshop in Philadelphia. It was nothing short of amazing and opened my mind to a few things I probably would have never thought of had I not been able to witness such great talent and execution.
It was very insightful to hear the comparisons and differences of these two artists perceptions and understanding when it comes to creating, advancing and learning. A statement by Arsham that really resinated with me was; “Create something that changes peoples expectations about what they already know.” It seems as though today so many people are taking the “easy way out” and “creating” things that people already have seen which leads to nothing but duplication and imitation. It is true that we are all inspired by things and people that already exist but instead of re-creating why not re-invent? I could go on and on about that but i’ll save it for another post on another day. For now, press play and devote 23 minutes and 52 seconds of your time to something I am sure you won’t regret.
Pharrell Williams Interviews Alex Gorlin & Daniel Arsham [RSRV Channel]
One of my favorite things to do as of recent has been to visit different magazine shops and book stores throughout the city to see what I can find, bring it home to add to my ever growing collection. There are three things your home should contain; Exceptional garments in your wardrobe, great pieces of furniture that spark interesting conversations and of course great reads; whether they are novels, coffee table books or magazines. A newly added favorite of mine is none other than [DEFinition: The Art and Design of Hip Hop]. The cover caught my eye, which enticed me to pick it up off bookstore shelf and add it to my very own– for more reasons than one…
Compiled by legendary hip-hop designer Cey Adams, DEFinition: The Art and Design of Hip-Hop is the first comprehensive anthology published in the name of the genre during the last thirty-five years. This landmark volume celebrates a culture that has made its mark on everything from fine art to the label on a bottle of Hawaiian Punch, including fashion, automobiles, movies, television, advertising and sneakers. Its incredible to see the path that Hip-Hop has taken over the years, from old school to new school. From the way things/artists were branded to the influence that this culture has on the world today. This is a suggested buy and such a great addition to your home library. From Biggie to Keith Haring and Adidas too. Its a LifeSTYLE.