Seven Must-Follow Women on the Front Lines of New Zealand Fashion Week

Before the weeks-long tour de fashion cities — New York, London, Paris, Milan — that make up “Fashion Month” kicks off in September comes the lesser-known New Zealand Fashion Week. Initially an industry-facing trade show, NZFW has evolved in recent years to a vibrant hotbed of local as well as international talent showcasing their collections to thousands of fashion-focused delegates and style-savvy attendees. (Including us this week! Follow along on Instagram for all the fun.)

In celebration of this season’s NZFW, we want to introduce you to seven badass kiwis running the scene. From a baker to an illustrator, these ladies are killing it creatively while exposing just how good New Zealand style is. Get ready for your girl crushes to begin.  

 

CAITLAN MITCHELL, PHOTOGRAPHER AND EDITOR

Caitlin Mitchell was born into the NZ fashion scene, literally: Her parents began one of New Zealand’s first fashion magazines, NZ Apparel, back in 1969. Caitlin’s teen years led to her modeling, eventually inspiring her to try her hand at the other side of the camera as a photographer. A graduate of Whitcliffe College of Arts and Design with degrees in fine arts and business, Caitlin now runs the magazine her parents founded with her siblings while continuing to shoot fashion editorials, musicians, scenery and more. Steeped in fashion from birth, Caitlin has naturally developed her own signature style, incorporating pom pom statement heels, chunky oversized cardigans and the cutest berets, making her an NZ must-follow (especially during fashion week!).

Follow @caitlanmitchell

 

MARY MAGUET, MODEL

In her own words, Mary Maguet is an “int’l model by day, and a goofball by night.” Born in Kenya, Mary came to New Zealand when she was two years old. She was scouted as a model on a Sunday morning at her church and has quickly become one of the most sought-after local models. She is a NZFW runway vet and has modelled for many notable names such as Karen Walker and Lonely Lingerie. To top it off, she is a total sweetheart and has amazing style. Follow Mary strutting her stuff in not just New Zealand but New York, Milan, Hawaii, you name it.

Follow @pinkishlymojotastic

 

FRANCA CHRISTINA, CERAMICIST

We predict this style queen-ceramicist is going to blow up in no time. Based in Auckland, Franca works on her exploratory project of beautiful ceramic objects. From geometric vases to a unique cheese platter and mug duo, her pieces are the perfect home additions. Just like us, she is a huge fan of emerging designers. Just head over to her Instagram feed where you will spot Paloma Wool pants, a Kowtow striped jumpsuit, Suzanne Rae’s to-die-for white pumps, and so much more. We highly suggest you take a peek and steal some style inspiration.

Follow @franca_christina

 

HARRIET + CARTER WERE, PHOTOGRAPHER/KNITTER + BAKER

Meet New Zealand’s coolest twin sisters, Harriet and Carter Were. Both women are creatively-charged, expressed in distinctly different mediums. Harriet is a dual photographer and a knitter; She shoots editorials, photo series, interiors, and a does a portrait project called ‘Lonely Girls’ for Lonely Lingerie as well as knitting texturally-complex clothes and accessories. Carter is a baker known locally for her organic sprouted bread —a recipe that took her two years to perfect! — and seeded sourdough, which she sells through her company Were Bros. Each gal flaunts a compelling Instagram feed: Harriet’s full of lush photography and images of her knit work, and Carter’s an artistic homage to beautiful food. Consider them NZ’s Mary-Kate and Ashley.

Follow @harrywere + @werebros

 

KELLY THOMPSON, ILLUSTRATOR

Kelly Thompson came into illustration by way of fashion photography, inspired by the models she shot. With a feminine and delicate style, Kelly’s illustrations quickly gained an online following and she now works as full-time freelance artist, speaks at creative events, is the founding director of creative consultancy and illustration agency Maker’s Mgmt, and is constantly collaborating with fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands. With 23K IG followers and counting, her posts are the perfect mix of OOTD shots, illustrations, and creative inspiration.

Follow @kellythompsoncreative

 

GEORGIA PRATT, MODEL

We may be slightly obsessed with Georgia Pratt’s dreamy style and scruffy dog, Vito Valentino. Trained in fashion design, Georgia was scouted from the shores of New Zealand back in 2012 and has since emerged as a sought-after model. The Auckland-born beauty has walked the runway for Christian Siriano and Tome, starred in Lane Bryant’s Plus Is Equal campaign, and was named alongside Candice Huffine and Katy Smye as the “Models Out to Change Plus-Size Fashion” by Vogue. It’s safe to say, Georgia won’t be slowing down anytime soon. Head over to her feed for refreshing snaps of beauty, fashion and everyday life.

Follow @jojacalled

In Conversation With Jewelry Designer Pamela Love

You don’t need an introduction to Pamela Love. The New York City-based jewelry designer has been a household name to anyone following fashion for nearly a decade, racking up countless magazine credits, stockists, collaborations, and awards. The brand’s blend of on-the-nose aesthetics, careful material sourcing, and made in America production quality has proved to be the perfect storm for continued success in the rocky retail climate that’s emerged since Love began tinkering with jewelry making back in 2007. We spoke with the established-indie designer on dealing with copycats, price point backlash, design integrity, and more. Read on for more on the balance of art and commerce with Pamela Love.

CONGRATS ON TEN YEARS IN BUSINESS — THAT’S PRETTY REMARKABLE. Thank you! I kind of feel like it’s a cheat to say ten years because the first two years I was experimenting; I sort of sold stuff, but not really. It’s always funny to say we’re ten years old and we started the company in 2007 because I think from 2007 to 2009 was just me fucking around and I think I sold to one store. I don’t know if we’re allowed to count those first two years as, like, “doing business,” as much as it was like, “Pam playing around.”

WHAT WAS THE MOMENT WHEN IT FELT LIKE “OFFICIALLY” A BUSINESS? It got to a point where I had to get an office space, and I had to quit my day job because I didn’t have time to juggle both. It was a great feeling, but also really sad, because I loved my other job. But I couldn’t juggle everything, so I had to pick.

It was a great feeling to be creating something that was supporting me and other people, I was able to hire some jewelers. It was a great feeling to be able to see that I was able to support jobs here [in the US] and myself. As soon as I was old enough to work, I was working. So it was really nice to be able to be a business owner.

AND NOW YOU’RE DOING YOUR FIRST STORE, WITH THE CFDA RETAIL LAB. Yes, we have a temporary retail space through the end of September. We’ve done little shop-in-shops, but this is the first time I’ve gotten to curate a space and, for the most part, get to represent the brand the way I would if I had my own store.

IF THE PERFECT STORE SPACE PRESENTED ITSELF AND YOU COULD DROP IT INTO ANY NEW YORK CITY NEIGHBORHOOD, WHERE WOULD YOU OPEN? Probably on the Bowery. I’ve been obsessed with this one building forever — it’s right across the street from the Bowery Hotel — that’s housed a variety of brands over the years, and I’ve had this dream that I would one day occupy this space on the Bowery. I don’t know if that will happen or not — it seems to be occupied currently.

WHAT DRAWS YOU TO THAT SPACE? I love that neighborhood, I love the architecture of that building, the interiors are really great, there’s a lot to work with. I just always found it to be a really magical spot.

I CAN’T IMAGINE THIS IS THE FIRST OFFER THAT’S COME FOR YOU TO DO A STORE. WHY DID THE CFDA OPPORTUNITY FEEL RIGHT? We love the CFDA. They’re so supportive and they make projects like this available to brands who may not be able to front [the money]. Their programs allow us to experience things we wouldn’t otherwise get to experience. I’ve always wanted to open a store, but I never thought it made sense for us, financially, to do that right now.

THE CFDA HAS BEEN REALLY GOOD TO YOU. I love the CFDA.

HOW DID YOU GET HOOKED UP WITH THEM TO BEGIN WITH? We applied for the Vogue Fashion Fund many years ago, and we didn’t get in. And we applied again the next year, and I was finalist, and then a runner up. After that, we applied to be a CFDA member, and since then my brand has won the Swarovski accessories design and the CFDA Award for accessories design. That was something we were nominated for three times, and in the third year we won. I think it’s actually kind of cooler, because I got to go through it three times, which puts attention on your brand for three years. I was so excited to win the third time instead or the first time — or at least that’s what I told my team.

WHAT DO YOU IMAGINE YOUR GROWTH WOULD HAVE LOOKED LIKE WITHOUT THE SUPPORT OF THE CFDA? I don’t think we’d be here without Vogue, without the CFDA. I think I would have given up at a much earlier time. The access to mentors and people who can help grow and guide you was so integral to the growth of my business.

There are so many factors that go into whether or not your brand is successful, so I don’t think the CFDA is a silver bullet, but I do think it is an integral ingredient and wonderful support structure for finding success.

IN YOUR EARLY DAYS, YOU WERE KNOWN FOR A CERTAIN AESTHETIC: THE TALONS, THE DAGGERS. WHAT’S YOUR RELATIONSHIP LIKE NOW WITH THOSE PIECES? It’s a funny thing that happens when you start a company at 25, 26 and then you grow up. I was a single girl living in Greenpoint, wearing cut-off denim shorts and combat boots, started getting tattoos, I thought I was so cool, I smoked cigarettes, and the [brand] aesthetic was very much that. And at some point it started to transition to be more bohemian, but at some point you grow up and you want to make things that you identify with, that you would wear every day and not just things that you know will sell whether or not they appeal to you any more. That’s been an interesting transition for us. Some of the pieces won’t really die, for lack of a better word, and at a certain point you say, “This isn’t who we are any more, so I don’t offer this.”

And we’re changing again. Next season [spring 2018] is going to be very interesting, because we’re sort of going to be closer to going back to home but with a very different point of view. It’s going back to the origins of the brand but with more of a sense of humor and not taking itself so seriously.

Those transitions can be hard because people do think of you as one thing, and it’s hard for them to think of you as something else. There are definitely some mistakes I’ve made, from a design perspective, or designing on the requests of a retailer versus going with your gut. It’s a learning process. You’re not going to do everything right every time.

WHAT IS THAT LIKE WITH RETAILERS, WHEN THEY HAVE ASKED YOU TO REPRODUCE SOMETHING YOU MIGHT NOT BE INTO ANYMORE, BUT THAT YOU KNOW WILL MAKE YOU MONEY? I definitely have made mistakes making things I didn’t stand behind because it satisfies something the retailer needed, but I’ve learned that’s not the way to do it. If you wouldn’t wear it, if you don’t stand behind it, it doesn’t matter if it sells well or not because ultimately it’s not going to communicate your brand properly, and it’s going to detract from your brand’s strengths. So I decided I’m only going to make things I want to wear, and if that works, great, and if it doesn’t work for a retailer, unfortunately that’s it.

I’ve been doing this a long time, and it’s a learning process. Right now, we’re in the process of learning what it’s like to listen to ourselves 100% and follow my gut and the gut of my team, and see what happens.

WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED OVER TIME ABOUT PRICE POINTS? It’s still kind of a mystery to me. It’s harder now because there’s always a cheaper alternative to what you’re doing, and that can be challenging, because people are always looking for something more affordable, but at the end of the day you have to stand by your quality and your manufacturing, and if it’s more expensive than someone else, and someone else is able to do it cheaper, there’s really nothing you an do to control that. We just try to stand behind our work and how much it costs.

It does get to me some times when people complain the product is too expensive. That’s always hard, because you want everyone to be able to afford your stuff, especially people who love it, but at the same time we don’t want to compromise quality.

I posted a picture of a ring on Instagram yesterday, and somebody commented, “I loved this, until I saw that it was $2,400,” and it was a piece of fine jewelry. I didn’t want to respond or say anything, there’s nothing to do. That person doesn’t understand how much something like that costs and that’s the end of it.

I love how democratic it is to work in sterling or brass, because of how many people you can reach with it. But I also love creating one-of-a-kind things with some of the best materials in the world, and that, unfortunately, is not so democratic and affordable.

HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH COPYCATS? DO YOU REMEMBER THE FIRST ONE? Yeah. I remember the first time. It hurt so much. It was some random brand in Europe. It was a girl with a blog who also made jewelry, and she knocked off the talon cuff, which was our best seller at the time. I was so upset, and I tried to reach out and contact her and ask her to stop. Apparently that’s a big no-no — you don’t contact them. But I thought if I could explain how important it was to my business and to my livelihood that maybe she would stop. But she didn’t. And then there were a lot of copies after, and ultimately what you realize is you just have to keep doing what you do. If you get tired of a piece, you move on from it, if you love a piece and you’re not ready to move on from it and it gets copied, you still make it as well as you can, and nobody can really take that integrity from you. If a high street retailer copies you, [their product] isn’t going to have that integrity or that craftsmanship, and a customer who cares about that isn’t going to buy it from them, they’re going to buy it from you. A customer who doesn’t care about that is probably going to go to the high street retailer anyway, and they weren’t your customer in the first place.

WHAT’S YOUR ATTITUDE TOWARDS CELEBRITY FANS OF THE BRAND AND INFLUENCERS? It’s always very, very flattering when anyone you admire wears your product, but I never want to make [celebrities] too much of what we’re about. We’re more about every girl. We’re excited about girls from every walk of life doing cool, awesome stuff and trying to change the world. And whomever they are — a celebrity or your neighbor who works at Greenpeace — for me, it’s about righteous women who are doing awesome stuff. I want to support them and I want them to support me back. If those women are celebrities, that’s awesome, but I wouldn’t share that more than someone else I look up to who is maybe in another field.

By Nicola Fumo

All photography by Chloé Horseman

Shop Pamela Love >

Get To Know Six Of Seattle’s Coolest Creatives

Between the Puget Sound and Lake Washington lies a city of distinct neighborhoods and urban districts that thrive with industrial, commercial and cultural activity around the clock. This bustling city is overflowing with creatives, makers, and explorers, and we want you to get to know six of our favorite. In the simplest terms, our Seattleite squad includes a photographer, restaurant owner, designer, toy collector, hair stylist, and vintage store owner. But, of course, they are all so much more. Get ready to meet some of the coolest creatives we know, find out why they love to call Seattle home, and get the lowdown on their expert city tips.

CHRISTINA HICKS, PHOTOGRAPHER

Art director and photographer Christina Hicks lives in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood with her boyfriend Ryan — also a multi-disciplinary creative — and their two year old rescue dog, Nori (a must-follow on Instagram). Hicks creates content in the fields of design, fashion, travel and technology with work that is both commercially strategic as well as artful.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN SEATTLE? I love the freedom of living in a growing city with so many amenities, yet being within a short drive of so many beautiful natural environments: the Pacific ocean, the Puget Sound, two major mountain ranges, an archipelago of islands, national parks, forests, and deserts, to name a few.

WHAT’S THE CREATIVITY COMMUNITY LIKE? The creative community here is definitely close knit — I think Seattle’s geographic location up in the corner of the country contributes to a sense of pragmatism and camaraderie.

I love that there’s an undercurrent of go-getters that gravitate towards one another, encouraging and supporting each other as both friends and creative colleagues. And with the more recent tech boom, I feel as though the creative community is coming together even more strongly as a means of survival in a quickly changing city that could easily displace artists and small businesses.

DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE PLACE IN SEATTLE TO PHOTOGRAPH? I love the Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island- it’s an inspiring place to walk and clear your head, and the impeccably kept grounds offer an endlessly changing backdrop of colors and textures.

Follow @xt_marie

 

MICHELE TANSEY, HOME GOODS STORE OWNER

Michele Tansey co-owns a vintage rug and furniture shop called Homestead Seattle as well as Plant Shop Seattle (you can imagine what they sell) with her partner Ryan. In their spare time, the couple has been renovating and restoring their 1903 house over the course of seven years. They run an Airbnb out of the home, and it is one of the most beautiful places to stay when in the city.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN SEATTLE? I’m from Washington state but grew up in the midwest, and I always felt like I just needed to get back to Seattle. It’s beautiful here even when it’s cold and rainy because it stays so lush and green. If the green can carry you through the sunless winter, the summer here is just perfect (and practically mosquito free). We live about a mile from downtown and can walk to a beach or forest just as easily as a museum or restaurant. But my favorite thing about living in Seattle right now is watching it grow, so much so fast. Even though some of the growth is problematic I’m still proud as hell of our city, continuing to evolve and make a bigger name for itself in the world. Like me, it seems to be right in the middle of its story and I’m interested to watch how it plays out for both of us.

WHAT’S VINTAGE/ANTIQUE SHOPPING LIKE IN SEATTLE? It’s good and bad. Compared to somewhere like Portland, we have fewer cute, small vintage furniture shops, but we have more large antique malls, especially if you’re willing to drive an hours. I’d consider Pacific Galleries to be the gold standard of antique malls in Seattle. We also have some really great collectors that you can easily find selling on Craigslist. If you’re not scared of a bit of elbow grease, our friends over at Seattle Furniture Co have a 7000+ sq ft basement filled with furniture to hunt through.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PIECE YOU’VE EVER FOUND AND DID YOU KEEP IT? Pretty much anything that’s made the cut to stay in our house at this point falls into the category “favorite.” We only have so much space, and in order for something to stay something else has to move on. If I was forced to pick one thing right now that I own I think it would be a large Persian Gabbeh carpet that I have hiding under a stack of other beautiful hoarded rugs in my basement (this stack is the one thing I allow to grow). As for furniture, in the shop right now we have a pair of lucite Pace Argenta Chairs and a set of Mario Botta Quinta Chairs. If I could, I would hoard those forever, too!! Definitely going to cry when those lucite chairs leave the shop.

Follow @micheletansey

 

BOBBIE YANOUPETH, HAIR STYLIST

After living in New York for the past 10 years, Bobbie Yanoupeth has moved back to his hometown of Seattle. In 2015, he and his business partner Michael Sing teamed up to open BAHTOH, a bridal boutique that does everything from floral arrangements to decor to hair styling. Bobbie is a professional (and seriously amazing) hair stylist who has worked with Lady Gaga, numerous fashion houses, and whose work has been featured in Vogue, Brides, Nylon, and more.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN SEATTLE? Seattle has just as much to offer as any other big city. It has great food, cute little shops, dope art, so many cool neighborhoods, diversity and who doesn’t love driving along the freeway and seeing all the lush greens and Mt. Rainier in the distance!?! Even with all this growth and great culture, Seattle still has a small town feel. Since opening our shop, so many people have reached out to us and are so excited to support us. There is a sense of community here that a lot of big cities lack.

WHEN DID YOU FIRST DISCOVER YOUR LOVE FOR HAIR STYLING? I was eight and we were living in Holland, MI. My parents were refugees from Laos and could barely speak English. So my mother decided that in order for her to keep up with the hair trends, she was going to teach me. She pulled the dining chair up to the kitchen counter and taught me how to perm her hair. Which then led to French braids, French twist and other updos. I became obsessed and started playing with everyone’s hair. I would get in trouble in class cause I was braiding hair during work period.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WEDDING VENUE IN SEATTLE? I’ve really been into intimate weddings. We did a wedding at Zoe Events recently. It feels like a little secret garden in the middle of the city. I can’t wait for the day that a couple give us total freedom to do whatever in that space. I want to recreate that moment in The Great Gatsby movie when he meets up with Daisy at her cousin’s house. He had the whole place decked out with tons of flowers, sweet treats and cakes. SOOOOO DREAMY!!!

Follow @sachoon

 

LINDA DERSCHANG, RESTAURATEUR

Linda Derschang is the founder and CEO of The Derschang Group, which owns and operates six neighborhood cafes, bars, and restaurants in Seattle. With so much success, Linda has rightfully earned the title “Queen of Capitol Hill.” Her signature aesthetic –– rustic, Scandinavian-inspired, vintage–– can be found in each space, big or small.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN SEATTLE? I love the Seattle summers. After nine months of grey, it is such a treat to spend so much time outside and on the water.

HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INVOLVED IN THE SEATTLE FOOD SCENE? Ever since moving to Seattle I have known people who are involved in food, art, and music. After opening Linda’s Tavern in 1994, it was just a natural progression to move into food.  

TELL US WHERE YOUR IDEAL DAY OF EATING OUT WOULD BE FROM BREAKFAST TO DESSERT. My ideal eating out day would start with Vif in Fremont for breakfast. I love their smoked trout tartine. Then I would pop over to Juicebox in Capitol Hill for lunch. They have amazing juice and salads. Le Caviste is just a few blocks from my house downtown so I often head there for wine, bread, and cheese, or charcuterie in the evening. I would  finish out the day at Stateside in Capitol Hill.

Follow @lindaderschang

 

ABRAHAM VU, BOUTIQUE TOY SHOP OWNER

Abraham Vu and his family moved to Seattle from Edmonton in the late ‘90s. He’s spent most of his career at tech companies including Microsoft and Amazon, until he recently quit the corporate world to pursue his dream of starting a boutique toy shop, curating collectible and designer toys under the moniker Made to Scale.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN SEATTLE? The diverse mix of culture, food, and the great outdoors. Seattle’s culture has been flourishing with the recent come up of tech companies and startups, leading to the increase of new food spots and developments in the city. I also love that you don’t have to drive very far to be surrounded by water, mountains, or the forests of the Pacific Northwest; what’s not to love!

HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INTO COLLECTING TOYS? For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been into collecting toys at some point in my life. My passion started as a kid the day I received my very first Transformers toy from my parents as a birthday gift. Since then I’ve collected everything from He-Man and Ninja Turtles, to Marvel toys, to now the more art-centric collectibles. I’m a huge sneaker collector, too, and the designer vinyls go hand-in-hand with sneaker culture. I think what appeals to me the most about toys is seeing the progression of the hobby so deeply rooted in my childhood to now being fully engrained in my life and my appreciation for them as an art form. I have always viewed toys as the artistic process of starting from a 2D art drawing, manifesting into its 3D representation.

YOUR FAVORITE TOY RIGHT NOW AND WHY? My favorite toy right now is the 400% Jackson Pollock Be@rbrick, from the Japanese company Medicom Toy, a collaboration with the late American painter. What draws me to this piece is that it perfectly captures the essence of Jackson Pollock’s work and makes for a great display piece in any collection. Medicom Toy is definitely my favorite toy company because of their collaborations with high profile artists and brands such Andy Warhol, Kaws, Nike, A Bathing Ape, Daft Punk, just a name a few.

Follow @madetoscaleshop

 

NIN TRUONG, DESIGNER

Splitting his time between Seattle, California, and Japan, Nin Truong kind of does it all. He runs a small design studio and gallery called WKND with his partner Christa Thomas, which is home to serveral in-house projects: Maiden Noir, a men’s and womenswear line, Blk Pine Workshop, a lifestyle, accessories, and furniture collection, and a small neighborhood coffee shop called Café Weekend. Along with the design studio, he is the design director for Stussy and to top it off, he has recently started a new project called the Da Da Da Gallery. Located in Seattle’s little Nihonmachi/Japantown, it is a revolving creative and contemporary space for work that can transcend from multiple dimensions.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN SEATTLE? I really love the geography and setting in Seattle. It’s a major city but is tucked away between the water and the mountains. I’m always reminded about how much I love Seattle when I’m flying back home.

YOUR FAVORITE SEATTLE NEIGHBORHOOD AND WHY? My favorite or part of Seattle is the South End (Columbia City, Beacon Hill, and Seward Park). There’s a lot of diversity and food choices are pretty amazing. There are still little immigrant restaurants and shops sprinkled throughout. Seward Park is great for swimming and there’s a few good loops for trail running.

HOW WOULD DESCRIBE SEATTLE MEN’S STYLE? It’s a mixture between laid back outdoorsy and contemporary. There are remnants of the grunge era still around, that’s part of the laid back vibe. Filson is based out here, along with several other outdoor brands, so that has an influence. Then there’s a great design and art community in Seattle. It’s much more contemporary — almost Scandinavian or Japanese in sensibility.

Follow @maidennoir

Bonus: We have an unreal Seattle flash sale happening right now! Shop the city’s brightest boutiques and designers at up to 85% off, but only until August 30. And go >

Woman We Love: Eden Hagos

It’s been an inspiring summer for Eden Hagos. The Sudan-born, Los Angeles-based DJ has spent part of the dog days traveling throughout East Africa, wholly absorbing the beauty of her land and culture, which, she says, have always been a point of reference for her, creatively.

Of course, Eden has made a name for herself with the way she blends her ties to her roots with an instinctive ability to cultivate the freshest, most original beats. She honors representation, diversity and innovation through thoughtful sampling and re-worked cuts (her latest playlist, “Her Favourite Beats,” is a perfect example), remaining firmly entrenched in respect and positive energy.

It’s a thread of integrity that not only weaves into the fabric of Eden’s work, but also how she navigates through life, from mindful style choices to the way she commands her place in a male-dominated industry. A thread that’s made her a go-to for tastemaker label Soulection and festivals like Women In Music and Afropunk. “I pride myself in being a strong, opinionated woman driven by a strong moral compass,” she adds. “If it doesn’t feel good to me, I won’t engage in or support it.”

With open ears and an assured sense of self, Eden’s star continues to shine, enlighten, and rise.

YOU’RE IN ETHIOPIA RIGHT NOW. HOW HAS THE TRIP BEEN? It’s been amazing! The continent of Africa is home. I’m Eritrean by heritage, but I was born in Sudan and immigrated to the U.S. as a toddler. I’m a proud Habesha, which is an umbrella term for individuals from Eritrea or Ethiopia.

I love traveling, whether it is for a music gig or a consulting project. For me, there is nothing more inspiring and eye-opening than leaving your hotel and going for a walk in a new city, especially at night. The sounds you hear, the street style you see, the food you smell and conversations you overhear — each of these add strings to the fabric of your soul. I always make sure to soak in as much as possible.

ON INSTAGRAM, YOU’VE POSTED SOME WONDERFUL VIDEOS OF MUSIC AND DANCE FROM YOUR TRAVELS. WHAT KIND OF ROLE HAVE YOU SEEN THESE THINGS PLAY IN EAST AFRICAN CULTURE? The various tribes and ethnic groups of each East African country have their own distinct music, culture and tradition. Music and dance has always played a vital role in my culture. It means so much more than having a good time. In many ways, African music is a utilitarian function used in vital aspects of life such as a child’s naming ceremony, initiation rights, religious ceremonies, etc.

HAVE YOU DISCOVERED ANY ARTISTS YOU’RE PARTICULARLY EXCITED ABOUT WHILE YOU’VE BEEN THERE? Yes! I discovered Jano band while I was in Ethiopia. I was in town at the time working on a story for an online women’s platform and our translator found out I was an a DJ. He was a big fan of the band and took me to a record shop on my last day to purchase their album for me as a gift. I love what Jano band represents, which is this new sound that blends traditional East African music with more modern rock and future beat sounds. I would love to see them try and attempt a crossover here in the United States. I think they have a shot and I would love to help them attempt that.

YOU’VE TALKED ABOUT HOW A FUGEES ALBUM FIRST SPARKED YOUR INTEREST IN BEATS. WHICH RECORD WAS IT AND WHAT DID YOU REALLY CONNECT WITH? During my adolescence, I had a step uncle come and visit our family. It was our first time meeting him and he asked me what I wanted as a gift, so he brought me the Fugees album. Lauryn Hill resonated with me because she addressed topics I could relate to, such as feminism and spirituality. Her honesty and openness was incredibly inspiring and she represented a natural, wholesome look which spoke to me. It is because of her that I always say representation matters.

YOU JUST RELEASED YOUR NEW PLAYLIST, “HER FAVOURITE BEATS.” WHAT KIND OF VIBE WERE YOU GOING FOR? A chill vibe. I honestly just wanted to put together a compilation of songs that I had discovered over the past few months, including while I was in Ethiopia. I wanted to share the music that has been inspiring me.

THE PLAYLIST FEATURES GREATS LIKE BARRINGTON LEVY AND SADE, BUT ALSO SOME LESSER-KNOWN ARTISTS. CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT A COUPLE OF THEM AND HOW YOU DISCOVERED THEIR MUSIC? The selections reflect the different sounds that have shaped me as an artist. Most are sample, reworked beats which are what I am actually known for and enjoy most. I love to find unique sounds and find a way to bridge together different cultures, genres and sounds. As an aspiring producer and as a selecta, I tend to tune in to samples and instrumental usage when I listen to music.

YOU ALSO INCLUDED RAMRIDDLZ’ TRACK, “HABAESHA.” HOW HAS YOUR CULTURE INFLUENCED YOU CREATIVELY? My culture/Africa has been and will ways be a reference point for me.

YOU ALSO INCLUDED RAMRIDDLZ’ TRACK, “HABAESHA.” HOW HAS YOUR CULTURE INFLUENCED YOU CREATIVELY? My culture/Africa has been and will ways be a reference point for me.

HAVE YOU EXPERIENCED ANY CHALLENGES BEING A FEMALE DJ WORKING IN A MALE-DOMINATED INDUSTRY? HOW DO YOU OVERCOME THOSE CHALLENGES? Yes, I have experienced unique challenges because of my gender. However, I have been able to overcome these challenges by staying true to myself. I pride myself in being a strong, opinionated woman driven by a strong moral compass. If it doesn’t feel good to me, I won’t engage in or support it. I have to be picky about the artists I support and labels/brands/companies I work with. I’ve been inspired by fearless women who have been unafraid of the ridicule, double standards and any other setbacks. I also make sure to surround myself with a close knit group of friends and mentors that genuinely care about my well being.

LET’S TALK STYLE. DO YOUR ONSTAGE AND DAY-TO-DAY STYLES DIFFER? WHAT DO THEY REPRESENT ABOUT YOU? My day and night slightly differ. I like to keep everything simple and clean. I tend to get overwhelmed with over-the-top ensembles. I’m into African inspired breathable clothing with lots of movement and a minimal aesthetic. I also love everything green and earth tone, I’m very inspired by nature. Minimalism is top of mind for me. I truly believe that if you want to lead a minimal life, assessing your wardrobe and living space is a great place to start. You have to de-clutter and get rid of what you don’t need, so you can make room for new energy.

HAVE YOU PICKED UP ANY SPECIAL PIECES WHILE YOU’VE BEEN IN EAST AFRICA? I purchased several dresses, gold, lots of fabric and traditional incense for Bunna (coffee) ceremony.

THROUGH YOUR WORK, WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO BRING YOUR LISTENERS? I’m just being myself and I hope that shines through and resonates with people. I stand for greater representation of people of colour and women in music and technology. My hope is to facilitate experiences, offer platforms for individual’s voices to be heard, and for people to find a connection to their own stories through my music and other artistic projects.

eden-hagos.com

By Yasmine Shemesh.

 

Summer Tips, Tricks and Treats From Women We Love

Even on scorching hot days, summer is pure bliss. Free time is spent outside, coupling nature with relaxation, socializing, and plenty of al fresco dining and drinking —  what more could you want from a season? In celebration of the peak of summer, we caught up with some of our favorite cool women to hear what they’ve been indulging in this season (and find out how they manage to keep a fresh face when you feel like a human ice cream cone, melting by the minute).

 

BEAUTY REAL TALK WITH NEW YORK FASHION JOURNALIST MARJON CARLOS

 

WHAT’S YOUR MORNING BEAUTY ROUTINE? My feet hit the floor and I’m ready to create good vibes in the morning. I immediately light a Palo Santo stick and turn on some inspiring music, and go to wash my face. I use Urban Skin Rx’s Cleansing Bar, which is amazing for WOC. I went for a micro needling session a few months back with them and it changed my skin.I have used their products ever since.

Next, I vacillate between a serum or a moisturizer. I don’t want to feel weighed down in the summer or like my face is melting off, so I’ll either go with Urban Skin Rx’s Brightening Serum or Dr. Sturm + Angela Basset’s Hyaluronic Serum.

Depending on whether I am headed to the gym or a meeting or my work space, I take a shower and use Marley Natural’s Hemp Seed Oil Wash. I love the smell and the hemp brings even more vibes. Afterward, I usually slather aloe vera gel on to help preserve my tan and then Johnson & Johnson Baby Oil: I feel like butter and it’s weightless compared to a creamy lotion. For makeup, I just use Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer in “tan” and a dusting of MAC Mineralize Skin Finish in “dark golden.” If I have an important meeting, I’ll use Dior Airflash Foundation Spray first for more coverage — it’s like Photoshop and I love it. MAKE has a great cream blush — Blot Pot — andI line my eyes with Maybelline’s Unstoppable Eyeliner, fill in my eyebrows with Anastasia Beverly Hills’s Brow Powder Duo in “medium brown,” and add a coat of Dior Show Pump’n’Volume on my lashes. I use Lucas Pawpaw on my lips or MAC’s Verve for a bit more color if I have a meeting.

I’ve been taking my Tatcha Dewy Skin Mist with me everywhere, too — it’s great for when you’re sweating and you need to feel refreshed. The bottle is pint-sized and adorable, so you can take it wherever. I’ll spritz water on my hair to activate the curl and then add Shea Moisture’s Fruit Fusion Coconut Water Weightless Styling Mousse for a wet and wavy look, and let it air dry. I didn’t know I was going for Rihanna “Wild Thoughts” this summer but here we are! I also use a combination of Jamaican castor oil and shea oil on my scalp and edges. Oh, and I’ll take a Biotin vitamin to help with hair and nail growth.

WHAT ARE THE PRODUCTS YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT DURING THE SUMMER MONTHS? Aloe vera gel to help your tan last longer; Elta MD is the best sunscreen for WOC because it doesn’t leave that gray, ashy film on your skin that most sunscreens do; Lucas Pawpaw for lip gloss; WATER for hair/skin/nails/body; and Herbivore Body Oil to make your skin shine after you’ve been in the sun all day!

ANY TIPS ON HOW TO PREVENT YOUR MAKEUP FROM MELTING IN THE HEAT? Avoid using moisturizers in the summer and instead add serums into the mix. Tatcha Dewy Skin is a lifesaver when I’m about to head into a party — it preserves your look and gives you a little glow. Glossier’s Soothing Face Mist spray is great when you’re outside and sweltering. It saved me at Afropunk last year!

Follow @marjon_carlos

ALL THE EATS WITH NEW YORK FOODIE FASHION EDITOR ALYSSA COSCARELLI

WHAT ARE YOU EATING ALL SUMMER LONG?

1. The entire menu at The Standard East Village garden: Olives, Japanese fried chicken, flatbread… I order one of everything on the menu with friends and it’s always the perfect summer meal (accompanied by frozé, of course).

2. For coffee, eggs, and acai bowls, I love Hole In The Wall, an unexpected little joint in Financial District near my office. Equally delicious and photogenic.

3. Guacamole to start, and churros to finish at Jajaja.

4. Matcha soft serve at Soft Swerve. Hits the spot on a hot afternoon, every time.

5. A latte and egg sandwich at L’estudioA chic, minimal (& yummy!) way to start the day.

6. Avocado toast at De Mariathe most Instagram-y spot of the summer.

7. A must try if you’re in NYC: The pancakes at Sunday In Brooklyn. There are no words… You just have to experience them.

Follow @alyssainthecity

NON-STOP OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES WITH VANCOUVERITE NICOLE WONG

Bottom image by Flory Huang

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE SUMMER OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES? I’m a summer baby and something I love doing in and around Vancouver in the summertime is a late afternoon picnic with friends at either Crab Park or Jonathan Rogers Park. There’s a point during the day when the sun is still out but it’s not as harsh, and that’s the perfect time to round up your best pals for a selection of fresh fruits, charcuterie and cold drinks. Great friends and great conversations in a chill environment is the perfect combination for me. Another thing I love doing is finding great outdoor concerts to attend. I’m a bit of a concert fiend and live music set against the setting sun is nothing short of perfection. This year, Malkin Bowl has some really great end-of-summer concerts and I will definitely be checking out HAIM there.

Follow @tokyo_to

YOUR READING LIST WITH SAN FRANCISCO’S BOOK EXPERT EMMA LOUGHRIDGE

WHAT’S ON YOUR SUMMER READING LIST?

The Changeling by Victor LaValle: I just finished this book a few weeks ago and I really enjoyed it. There’s a huge plot twist, so I think it’s best going into this not knowing much. Just know it’s a great blend of fiction and fantasy and is written really well. A perfect book to sink into!

Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong: This was the last book I finished this summer and it was a delight to read. It’s quick, Rachel’s writing style is so great and she’s a local San Francisco resident!

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova: One of my all time favorite books. I really like reading darker books in the summer time, it’s a fun contrast to the sunny (if you don’t live in San Francisco) weather and this one is perfect. It’s quite the creepy adventure based on the “real” Dracula and if you’re into historical fiction, please pick this up.

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver: Another one of my favorite books. Barbara Kingsolver is a classic and I’m bummed I waited this long to read her. This story is about an Evangelical family that moves to the Congo in 1959, and how everything completely unravels for them as soon as they get there. This book made me cry and laugh and cry again and everyone should read it. Another good lengthy book to submerge yourself into!

Follow @emmatheyellow

EDITOR’S NOTE: HAVE A DRINK… WITH US.

Images from top to bottom: @hennitravels, @colonienyc, and @tapestersgrill

THREE COCTAILS WE CAN’T STOP SIPPIN’ THIS SUMMER.

1. Watermelon Margaritas. Just three simple ingredients to make these delicious drinks.

  • 5 Tbsp of tequila
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 1/4 cups blended watermelon

2. Aperol Spritz. Another easy peasy recipe.

  • 3 parts of Prosecco
  • 2 parts of Aperol
  • 1 part or splash of soda
  • Ice and a slice of orange

3. Frozé. Let’s be honest, this is everyone’s favorite this summer.

  • 1 bottle of rose (tip: pour the rose into ice trays and freeze hours before making the drinks)
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • Strawberries
  • Fresh lemon juice

Woman We Love: Julia Sherman of Salad For President

“A daily practice of making salad with creative people.” This is how Julia Sherman describes her blog turned cult following turned best seller, SALAD for President. That practice was where we first became obsessed with the recipes and dinner parties behind it all. Julia focuses on not just making salad cool and interesting again, but creating a community of artists and creatives that are just as passionate about that as she is. Suffice it to say, we’re huge fans. The recipes are not only beautiful and delicious, but a kind of storytelling in their own right. Plus, she’s just damn cool. (Follow her in Instagram, you’ll see what we mean.) So as she finishes up her book tour, we thought it was about time that you got to know her too.

SO TELL OUR READERS ALL ABOUT YOU. I am artist, cook and writer living in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn with my husband Adam, and my dog, Lucy. I studied photography at RISD, and then moved to Los Angeles with my husband, where I worked as a photographer on film sets, and ran an artist run space in a storefront that was also my studio. In LA I learned to love gardening and growing my own food, and solidified my place as the unpaid caterer of our young art world on the East Side of LA. We moved to NY (where I am from) in 2009, so I could get an MFA from Columbia. After I started my blog, Chopt Creative Salad Company hired me as their Creative Director, so now I split my time between SALAD for President and my job there. My first cookbook, Salad for President: A Cookbook Inspired by Artists, came out this Spring, and I am rounding out my book tour in San Fran/Bay Area this week (all the dates are on my blog).

WAS THERE A MOMENT OR EPIPHANY FOR YOU WHEN MAKING THE DECISION TO SWITCH OVER TO FOOD BLOGGING FULL TIME AND TAKE A BREAK FROM THE ART WORLD? I think the shift really began when I finished my MFA. This was a turning point for me, as it is a highly competitive program full of young artists climbing their way up the ladder in the New York commercial art world. I respect my peers and my professors who have been able to make that system work for them, but I soon realized that wasn’t it for me. I would have to work to find my place, and it wasn’t in selling objects in a gallery.
I was sick of the isolation of the art world. I realized my real talent is in the way I connect with strangers and that it was time for me to take a closer look at the things I truly loved doing everyday. I am really at peace when I am in the kitchen, much more than I ever was in the studio.
The name was meant to encourage my readers to take the work they love seriously, no matter how everyday or mundane. “Salad” as the conceptual basis for an entire project seems absurd at first, but if you pour your heart and soul into any simple act, it can be as important as anything. “Salad For President” borrows the language of a political campaign to elevate an everyday task.
WE LOVE HOW YOU SOURCE RECIPES FROM FRIENDS AND ARTISTS, IT HAS THIS COMMUNITY FEEL. WAS THAT AN INTENTIONAL PERSPECTIVE OR DID IT JUST HAPPEN ORGANICALLY? The blog started out as a catalogue of my own recipes, but as soon my friends started to offer up their ideas, I jumped. My art practice had always been intensely collaborative, so when I saw how the blog could be operate in that vein as well, I knew I was on to something.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR IDEAL KITCHEN SITUATION. A kitchen has to be well integrated into the social space of the house for me. I would hate to be isolated away from all the fun while cooking! I love having a gigantic kitchen island, so people can gather around while I cook. Of course, there has to be great light in the kitchen. I also like an eclectic mix of textures, colors and pattern. I am not a very streamlined, restrained person, so I prefer my space to be bright and a little chaotic, just like me. 😉

HOW OFTEN DO YOU COOK VS. EAT OUT ON A REGULAR WEEK? My schedule is so erratic, it is really hard to say. But when I am home in New York, I try not to eat in restaurants more than once or twice a week. That said, I end up going to lots of food events, and otherwise, I try to have people over and eat at home. It’s really important for me to feel healthy and grounded.
WHAT IS YOUR GO-TO OUTFIT FOR DINNER PARTIES? I love a concept white shirt and wide legged pants. I am really into having a bunch of variations on the basic white button down. It always feels put together and sharp, and it’s just flattering.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER WOMEN WHO ARE CONSIDERING A CAREER TRANSITION? Try and put your anxiety aside, and really spend some time doing what makes you happy. If you are going to be your own boss, you better be doing something that shoots you out of bed in the morning. Most of all, give yourself some time to just figure it out. You don’t have to have a plan right away, but you do have to stop giving a shit what other people think. That’s a lifelong goal, but a good one to keep in mind.
OKAY, NOW WE HAVE TO KNOW YOUR TOP RECIPES FOR SUMMER. I am obsessed with the watermelon, olive oil, salt and bronze fennel recipe from my book. I also love ceviche more than anything else in the world. This recipe (pictured below) I made recently with Raul de Nieves was so simple and so good!

Visit saladforpresident.com for more.

Photos of Julia by BriAnne Wills.

Photographer Donnel Garcia On His Creative Process

For Donnel Garcia, his creative outlets and process have continually evolved since childhood. From starting a blog (that’s still running) as a teenager to working on the creative teams at Street Dreams Magazine and Livestock, plus countless freelance gigs and personal work in between, Donnel has established a unique voice, style and reputation in a community that can sometimes feel saturated.

We are thrilled to release his most recent work with one of our favorite brands, Wonders. Shot in Vancouver for Spring 2017 with hip hop artist Aki No Bueno, Donnel stayed away from static poses by guiding Aki away from common blank stares or habitual faces/poses by getting him talking, or in this case rapping. Donnel avoids a heavy editing process by watching carefully and waiting for the right movement at the right time, similar to street photography. For this collaboration with Wonders, Donnel tried to keep it in relation to the their brand; considering what the garments represent and shooting in locations that complement them. Wonders’ aesthetic goal is to modernize vintage, military, workwear, and sportswear within a youthful spirit which comes through in Donnel’s representation.
Check out the shoot below and a quick Q+A with the man behind the camera.

Wonders Embroidered Shop Coat 

WHICH CAME FIRST FOR YOU, WRITING OR PHOTOGRAPHY? Writing came first. I always wanted to be a writer, I still do want to become an actual writer and have something published.

 

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO GET INTO IT AND WHAT LEAD YOU FROM ONE TO THE OTHER? I started a blog when I was 14 or 15 that I still carry on today. I used to find photographs on the internet that I liked and attached them to my entries. Later on when when my parents bought a digital camera for our family trips I started taking my own photographs to accompany my writing.

Wonders Reflective Graphic Tee

WHAT’S YOUR PREFERRED CITY TO WORK IN AND WHY? Vancouver. Always Vancouver. The comfortability of being at home and being able to lock in and get work done. I feel like when I’m in other cities I get way too distracted exploring or straight up sleeping from tiring myself out exploring. Although the past couple years, New York has been a second home for me and I also love working there.

Wonders Hoodie With Adjustable Sleeves

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY STYLE? HAS IS CHANGED MUCH OVER THE YEARS? I don’t think I really have a style. I like taking photographs of different things all the time and using different point of views to better communicate the image. There’s so many ways to take photographs and so many things that make up photography/being a photographer I couldn’t box myself in to be one particular style. My photographs have changed after learning more about photography, technically and creatively. Always experimenting with different ways to communicate my images like the collage style I used on my featured photographs.

Wonders Reflective Wave Grid Nylon Pullover 

WHAT CAMERAS DID YOU WORK WITH FOR THIS SHOOT AND WHY?

Canon Rebel t5i, 35mm 1.2 Lens

Fujifilm x10

Canon EOS 500, 50mm 1.8 lens
I always switch between Canon Rebel and Fujifilm because the in-camera filters on my Fuji give me the same results as using Fuji film. I mainly use the Black and White filters. Depending on the photo and the setting I’ll use my film camera to give me a more natural grain and blur that I really love.
Makes it feel more nostalgic for me.
.
All Photography: Donnel Garcia @donnelgarcia
All Clothing: Wonders @amongwonders

Beyond The Canvas: Two Multimedia Artists To Watch

With so much talent out there, it is truly exciting when you discover an artist whose work makes your jaw drop and your mind race. Well, that was our exact reaction when we came across the two artists featured below: Katie Bell and Andrea Bergart. With each a distinct aesthetic of their own, these artists are creating captivating art that goes way beyond your typical understanding of art. Their manipulation of everyday materials and objects is straight up beautiful. One of these talented women can takes garbage scraps and turns them into a 9 ft tall sculptural painting and the other transforms working cement trucks into moving public murals. So, without further ado, let your artist crushes begin.

KATIE BELL

Photo by Levi Mandel

The moment we caught sight of Katie Bell’s large-scale paintings we couldn’t look away. Her art goes above and beyond, outwards and upwards, literally. Katie creates her pieces with found materials that she herself went digging for. From ceiling tiles to hot tub fragments, she turns so-called garbage into unreal art. Her color composition, structural thought and innate attention to placement detail will blow your mind. Not to mention, this bad-ass woman can haul bounds of material and somehow get them all on a wall.

TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF. My name is Katie Bell and I am originally from Rockford, Illinois. I have been living and working in Brooklyn, NY for the past six years. I make large sculptural paintings out of found material.

HAS ART BEEN A PART OF YOUR LIFE SINCE YOU WERE LITTLE? I have a twin brother who is also an artist, and I think growing up we fostered that creative interest in each other.  We were always making drawings, games, costumes, piñatas, plays, forts, obstacle courses, etc.  We were collaborators on all kinds of things and our parents were always encouraging us to make things. I began making paintings in college and started making still-lives to paint from.  The still-lives eventually grew larger and larger and turned into the work I am making now. I have always come to art from an interest in painting.

ALL YOUR SCULPTURAL PAINTINGS ARE MADE FROM FOUND MATERIALS. WHAT’S YOUR PROCESS OF SOURCING LIKE? I am constantly looking for materials and try to find one thing everyday to bring back to the studio. I am mostly finding things on the street, in dumpsters, and at construction sites. My studio acts as a catch-all for all my finds. Things will be rolling around the studio a while before I figure out what to do with them.

HAS YOUR HUNT FOR MATERIAL BECOME EASIER AS YOU’VE GROWN AS AN ARTIST? DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE / GO-TO SOURCE? The hunt is different every time, but it is always a very physical task. As my work has grown I have gotten more specific, so I am looking for particular things now. My favorite part of gathering materials is the looking. I have so many places that I go to regularly to find materials, but one of the best spots is Bartos Pools and Spas. I have made friends with the owner and she saves old hot tubs for me to cut apart.

WHAT’S THE WEIRDEST THING YOU’VE EVER FOUND? THE BEST THING? Weirdest: A three-foot tall rawhide bone. Best: A faux blue geode bookend.

Top image: ‘Backsplash’, cork, foam, drywall, laminate, wood, plexiglass, rocks, plastic, Kleenex box, rubber, springs, steel, and hot tub fragments, 144 x 276 x 108, 2016 Photo cred: Zack Balber with Ginger Photography Inc.

Middle image: ‘Broadcast’, acrylic, wood, ceiling tiles, foam, drywall, plexiglass, nails, laminate, rocks, and plastic on wall, 264 x 156 x 22, 2016. Photo cred: Zack Balber with Ginger Photography Inc.

Bottom image: Breakout’, acrylic, wood, laminate, foam, ceiling tiles, rope, drywall, marble, and nails on wall, 144 x 108 x 108, 2016

Visit katiebellstudio.com for more and follow @katies_bell

ANDREA BERGART

Photo by Maddy Talias

Our love for Andrea Bergart’s work may be new but it’s already very serious. It was just the beginning of May when we started seeing these seriously cool basketball handbags all over our Instagram feed and on all our favorite online magazines. If you didn’t already guess, Andrea is the one behind these bags. We then discovered this was in fact her first design project and that she is also an incredible artist with a long list of talents.

TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF. I grew up in the suburbs of Boston and the woods of Maine, I live in Ridgewood, Queens and I am an artist.

YOU DO A LOT OF LARGE-SCALE PUBLIC MURALS. HOW DID YOU GET INTO THAT AND WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT PRESENTING YOUR ART THIS WAY? I have a steady studio practice but occasionally my work will take me to the streets where I can make something extra large. My last series of public works involved painting murals on working cement truck barrels. This idea came to me after spending a year living in West Africa where people paint on everything- signs, walls, houses and buses.  Painting on cement trucks seemed like an exciting extension of this way of thinking about images in public spaces. I love how the cement trucks travel throughout NYC and reach so many different audiences. It’s cool that they are also delivering cement and going into construction sites. I like mixing high and low- fine art and working trucks. I also enjoy seeing the paint decay and get grimey – art dealing with the daily grind.

YOU RECENTLY LAUNCHED A LINE OF BASKETBALL HANDBAGS. HOW DID IT FEEL TO STEP ASIDE FROM PAINTING AND INTO DESIGN? I’m into hybrids right now- things with multiple functions- sort of like the cement truck with art on it. Designing an object that has a function is a lot different than making art. You can be very creative but you are always considering the practicality of the design. It’s fun to play with people’s expectations of objects and form.

SO, WE’VE HEARD YOU’RE KIND OF AMAZING AT PLAYING THE GAME. CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE DOWNTOWN GIRLS BASKETBALL TEAM YOU’RE A PART OF?  Ha! I’m okay. : ) Downtown girls basketball is conceived by artist Aria McManus. Aria has created and attracted such a cool community. Sure we ball but we also talk about what’s going on in our lives, go to each other’s art openings, collaborate, and bring and reflect positive vibes.

HAS THIS TEAM BECOME A CREATIVE HUB FOR YOUR LADIES? We meet up once a week and having that consistent hang out schedule makes the team an important part of my life.  The routine helps it feel like a family. I think we have a sense of loyalty to each other and that helps me be bolder in my life than I would otherwise be.

Images from top left to bottom right: ‘Trident’, dye and wax on silk mounted on paper, 108″ x 56″; ‘Cheetos’, cement truck mural; Basketball Purse (Skills) Photo Cred: Maddy Talias; Basketball Purse (OG) Photo Cred: Maddy Talias; ‘Swamp Sunset’, acrylic on canvas, 72″ x 60″;  Embossed leather strap detail Photo Cred: Maddy Talias.

Visit andreabergart.com for more and follow @andreabergart.

Literary Swag’s Yahdon Israel On Merging Fashion and Literature

Yahdon Israel happened upon the fashion scene in an unconventional way—through literature. It began one day on an NYC train when Yahdon noticed a notably stylish young man reading Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird and was struck with inspiration. As a BFA graduate in the Creative Lit field, Yahdon always felt there was a pressured disconnect between intellectualism and style. He admired this stranger’s expression of personal swag using both literature and fashion. He snapped a photo on his phone, posted on Instagram, tagged it #LiterarySwag, and the rest is Literaryswag’s history.

Aside from inspiring people worldwide to embrace the expression online, Literaryswag also has an open book club that meets offline in Brooklyn. It draws members from New York and the surrounding states to discuss literature within an iconic clothing store in Boerum Hill, The Brooklyn Circus. You can check it out on the last Thursday of each month. Sign us up!

We teamed up with Yahdon, and BK clothing store Swords-Smith to showcase some of the best books and collections of Summer ’17. Keep scrolling to get to know Yahdon and his current reading list.

Biera Boxy Jumpsuit c/o Swords-Smith

CAN YOU TELL US A BIT ABOUT THE BOOKS YOU CHOSE AND WHY? HOW DO THEY INSPIRE THE CORRESPONDING LOOKS OR VICE VERSA? So the first book I chose to complement the Beira boxy jumpsuit is Maggie Nelson’s critical memoir, The Argonauts. It was the first book that came to mind when I looked at the Beira piece because The Argonauts is all about the intellectual, emotional, and in many ways, excursion it takes to find ourselves. And the bumps that go along with it. The Argonauts is also a book about navigating identity and our expectations of them—especially as it pertains to gender roles.

Biera Boxy Jumpsuit c/o Swords-Smith

When it comes to menswear there are so many expectations that are assigned to male bodies as to make us rigid in how we express our masculinity. Meaning, that in order for a piece to be considered menswear it “should” immediately communicates heteronormative vision of masculinity. 

But the jumpsuit blurs that vision and it reminds me of a section of Maggie Nelson’s Argonauts where quoting feminist theorist, Judith Butler, Nelson writes, “Performativity has to do with repetition very often with the repetition oppressive and painful gender norms to force them to re-signify. This is not freedom but a question of how to work the trap that one is inevitably in. This jumpsuit to me seems to offer solutions to the inevitable trap of the way masculinity is performed. That while I know what I’m wearing a jumpsuit, I have to also be aware of the perception that this jumpsuit is being read as a dress, and I have to be comfortable enough in my body to be okay with that—to not say—or convince someone that I’m not wearing a dress. Another way of reassuring someone that I’m a man. The swaggiest thing about this jumpsuit is its irony: only men who are really comfortable in themselves can wear it. It ain’t for the faint of heart—and neither is a book like The Argonauts.

Journal Grit Water Shirt c/o Swords-Smith; Journal Fine Brushed Pant c/o Swords-Smith

“You spent so much time explaining yourself, your work, to others—what it meant, what you were trying to accomplish, why you were trying to accomplish it, why you had chosen the colors and subject matter and materials and application and technique that you had—that it was a relief to simply be with another person to whom you didn’t have to explain anything: you could just look and look, and when you asked questions, they were usually blunt and technical and literal.” This is one of my favorite quotes from Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life. Boasting over 700 pages, it’s an audacious novel that journeys with four friends—Willem, JB, Malcolm and Jude—through their friendship, and completely raises the stakes for the term “growing pains.”

The particular quote describes the particular relief that came with being around someone who just understood without something having to be explained. This is a look that brings that sort of relief. On the surface the look obviously matches the book, but it’s more than that. The look has all the elements of leisure, and to me, there’s nothing more leisurely than reading a book where the page count is higher than your credit score.

Folk Combination Tee c/o Swords-Smith; Uniforms For The Dedicated Illusions Trouser c/o Swords-Smith

This third look is one that captures the subtle uniformity of New York City. We’re really only known for wearing one color—and that’s black. More recently olive green has made its way into lexicon of New York’s style dictionary. What these colors have in common is that they go with nearly any and everything which is important in a city where any and everything can happen. 

Talking about New York City, and its diversity, I also have to acknowledge how transient the diversity is. How income and tax brackets change in a matter of minutes. How living maybe a block over provides the capacity to live and lead a vastly different life. The question becomes, how do you dress for a city that is always changing? Unless you are traveling with a wardrobe, every piece and outfit has to be versatile and serve multiple purposes. John Freeman’s Tale of Two Cities is a book that only explores the good and bad, rich and poor, and have and have nots of the city. It’s a book that shows how these seemingly contradicting realities of the city shows that New York—though being one city—exists as many ways as the people who live here. And that’s the only authentic New York experience—the personal one.

Folk Combination Tee c/o Swords-Smith

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR PROUDEST MOMENT SO FAR? My proudest moment(s) since I started Literaryswag has to be every month I host the Literaryswag Book Club (@literaryswagbookclub). Three years ago, Literaryswag was an online community. But to have that community actualize in real life, where people from all over the NYC—and from other states—come to talk about a book in a clothing store, the experience is more than words can articulate. And that was the point: to show that love for books and clothes is a real one. The meetings are open to the public, and I always encourage any and every one to come—even if you don’t read. I want to show that this book club is about the conversation and community.

WHAT ARE YOUR THREE FAVORITE SPRING 2017 MENSWEAR COLLECTIONS? Because spring is a season of renewal, I’d have to go with Pyer Moss, Margiela and The Brooklyn Circus.

Biera Boxy Jumpsuit c/o Swords-Smith

Visit yahdonisrael.com for more and follow @yahdon.

All photography by Zach Gross. Follow him @zachgross1.

Woman We Love: Hannah Anderson

We discovered Hannah Anderson, the way most of our girl crushes occur, through a winding Instagram rabbit hole. After scrolling through her feed of colorful snaps, endless OOTDs and professional-quality selfies, we knew it was true love. Her style had us hooked. But then, we discovered her voice. Hannah is actually an amazing singer who also knows her way around the guitar and piano. Her dreamy sound and powerful lyrics will have you enchanted within seconds. And don’t be surprised when all sorts of feels come rushing in because that’s just what Hannah’s music has the power to do. Here, we chat with her about style, creative expression and being an artist in LA. If you’re not already on the ‘gram stealing style inspo from Hannah while blasting her Soundcloud, then you most definitely will be after this.

Listen to Hannah Anderson as you read along.

https://soundcloud.com/hannahanderson

SO WE’RE KIND OF OBSESSED WITH YOUR STYLE. HAVE YOU ALWAYS HAD A LOVE FOR FASHION? Too kind. Thank you! I have always loved to express myself through my clothing. I remember when I was really little I would cry if my mom tried to dress me. I’ve always had a very clear vision of what I want on my body.

IT CLEARLY COMES SO NATURALLY TO YOU. IS STYLE SOMETHING YOU USE AS A TOOL TO EXPRESS YOURSELF? OR JUST A FUN PART OF YOUR DAY? Getting dressed really is an event in and of itself. It’s both a tool of expression and a fun part of the day. It’s how you present yourself to the world and it’s how you feel about yourself.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE? Constant shape-shifter and fabulous tomboy.

WHAT’S YOUR GO-TO OUTFIT? High-waisted trousers, a t-shirt and sneakers.

LET’S TALK ABOUT YOUR REAL SUPERPOWER: YOUR VOICE. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN CREATING MUSIC? I’ve always loved singing and I had my first “performance” when I was nine at my older sister’s Quinceanera (15th birthday party). I started writing my own music at 16. Music is my most powerful form of expression and my most personal and sacred form of expression. I’ve had a really hard time sharing my music because I’ve honestly been terrified to. I am also very excited to see the music I’m working on now as a complete project!

WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR BIGGEST MUSICAL INFLUENCES? Honestly, my list of musical influences is impossible to write down because it’s endless. A few things that inspire me are people that are kind and true. I like to surround myself with people who are undeniably themselves because that requires honesty in myself. Love and tragedy, the most extremes in life, that’s what I’m really inspired by.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT BEING AN ARTIST? I love being an artist because as an artist you feel everything very deeply. I’m already someone with very extreme emotions and so it’s nice to be able to have an outlet, whether that be through music, what I wear, a painting, etc. I love being able to translate my emotions to something physical and through that have the ability to directly affect people.

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT BEING AN ARTIST IN LOS ANGELES? HAVE YOU ALWAYS LIVED THERE? I won’t say being an artist in LA is my favorite. It’s cool because there’s a lot of people doing what you’re doing, but then that’s also a negative because it feels more like a sport and everyone is competing. Being able to find/know yourself and find a good flow with solid people is key. I’m originally from Houston, Texas and just moved here to LA about year ago. There’s still a lot I’m adjusting to! I really am starting to enjoy being here more everyday!

YOUR TOP THREE SONGS ON REPEAT RIGHT NOW? Last Dance by Rhye, Still Feel Like Your Man by John Mayer, Mistress by Nicholas Jaar.

TELL US SOMETHING NOT MANY PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT YOU. I’m one of the most introverted-extroverts ever. I LOVE being around people but almost 90 percent of the time I would rather be home, by myself, or with those I love. I’m also a very good cook. If I wasn’t pursuing music I would probably want to be a chef!

Shop Hannah’s Puma kicks here >

Follow @hannahandersonn

hannahanderson.net