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Style Diary x Me’Kaila!

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Fashion, Latest | by — February 25, 2020

Scroll through the Style Diary of Charleston based fashion-lover + YouTuber, Me’Kaila!

What’s your name, age + the city you’re from?

Hey, hey! My name is Me’Kaila Daniels-Bryant. I’m 20 years old and I’m from Charleston, South Carolina.

Style is showing who you are without having to speak! Name your top 3 trends you’re feeling this season?

My top 3 trends of this season is denim, prints/bright colors and bold jewelry. Denim is a piece you can add to almost any outfit and there’s nothing like a pair of jeans that are flattering, comfortable and stylish. Cropped tops are in now and they have been over the course of time. I’m convinced they are here to stay. Since my weight loss journey I feel more comfortable in my skin so why not throw on a cropped shirt. It’s sort of empowering in way for me. I’ve also taken more of an interest in chain necklaces this season with bold silver and gold  layering.

If you had 30 seconds to grab your 3 favorite style pieces, what would they be?

If I had 30 seconds to grab my favorite style pieces it would be a nice handbag, my 3 inch black ankle heeled platform boots and my chain necklaces.

Style inspo is everything! Who’s your ultimate fashion icon + why?

If I had to say who is my ultimate fashion icon it would be Beyoncé. She is a Virgo like me, in fact we have the same birthday so I feel a connection to her style on a deeper level. She always pays attention to the details when putting a look together. I feel like it’s not just about brands for her it’s how she feels when she puts the whole look together. That’s what matters to me; the details.  Most importantly, the attitude you have with the look is everything. You’re  only going to look as good as you feel. She gives off such confidence with her style. It represents being bold, unique and staying true to yourself. Everyone remembers at least one Beyoncé look that was their favorite.

Getting ready in the morning can be fun but stressful if you’re in a time crunch, what’s your go-to look if you’re in a rush?

Getting ready in the morning can be stressful especially if you’re on a time crunch. My go-to look when I’m in a rush is a turtle neck cropped shirt long sleeve or no sleeve, high waisted jeans and my black  ankle heeled platform boots.

What’s your number 1 rule when it comes to style?

Lastly, my number 1 rule when it comes to style is to be true to yourself! It’s not all about brands and trends, it’s about the way you feel when you put a look together. Your attitude completes the look. You’re only going to look as good as you feel.

Follow more of Me’Kaila’s style here:

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Overlooked, Unheard + Over It?!

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Daily Blog, Latest | by — February 24, 2020

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It’s important to feel heard and understood. It makes you feel validated. When you don’t get the full attention you are seeking, it can cause you to feel insignificant. This is common especially with a younger generation. Often times, young people are overlooked because it is assumed they have nothing valuable to say, which is indeed not true. There are ways to command a room and make your voice heard.

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Communication Style| Think about how you communicate with people. If your demeanor is more laid back and quiet, then it might be time to push the envelope and be a bit more aggressive. This is important especially when speaking to teachers and counselors because they are most likely discussing your future and you definitely want a say in that.

Answer With Intelligence| When you finally get a chance to voice your opinion, don’t take it for granted. Give a well thought out opinion. It will show a level of maturity and open the door for more opportunities to speak your mind.

Send an Email| Sometimes it’s hard to command attention in person without coming across a certain way. Sending an email is a lot less aggressive and can be worded in a way that sounds mature, but still gets your point across. It’s also a lot less intimidating.

~Tia Banks, Content Creator

Beauty Diary x Aminat!

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Health/Beauty, Latest | by — February 10, 2020

Scroll through the Beauty Diary of video creator + MUA, Aminat!

What’s your name + where are you from?

My name is Aminat , I’m from Nigeria but I currently reside in Ukraine.

Beauty is all about being comfortable in your own skin + having fun! What are 2 beauty trends you’re loving this year?

I’m in love with graphic liners because you can do them in so many ways and it allows me express my creative side. However, you can never go wrong with subtle nude makeup.

If you had only 15 seconds to grab beauty products, what would they be?

Firstly lip gloss! Highlighter and eyeliner.

Beauty inspo is everything! Who’s your ultimate beauty icon + why?

I absolutely love Jackie Aina, Ronke Raji and Layefa beauty. Because these are amazing black women that have influenced the beauty industry to create a wider range for us.

Getting ready for class can be fun but stressful if you’re in a time crunch, what’s one beauty must-have that lives in your bag?

Lip gloss always!

What’s your number 1 beauty rule?

My number one beauty rule is to find what works out for you and be comfortable wearing it .

Follow more of Aminat’s amazing looks here:

Instagram

You are the bag. Secure it.

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Daily Blog, Latest | by — February 10, 2020

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Valentine’s day is that one day a year that people either seriously dread or are the definition of the word ‘extra’. BUT  there’s nothing extra about spoiling yourself or atleast treating yourself for the small or big accomplishments you’ve started to knock out at the beginning of 2020, right? Well, no matter if you have a secret admirer or not, your love is all ya need to celebrate. Remember, loving yourself is a must + any others adjust a plus!

Doll up|– Okay, yes so if you’re in college you can sneak in between classes to get a mani or pedi. And even if you’re barely able to focus after 8 hours of walking the halls of your high school, make it a point to unwind after studying. That’s what study breaks are meant for! So pull out your go-to nail polish colors and knock out your home spa!

A Token of Appreciation | If you decide to cancel on Gal-entine’s Day this year, giving your friends a small gift might not be a bad idea. They’ll definitely appreciate the thought behind it. A great + chic gift to round up for your crew are beauty sheet-masks from Leaders Cosmetics. Meshing much-needed relaxation + hydrating skin rejuvenation, your girl gang will barely notice that you’re gone! Who doesn’t love to Detox and Chill, right?

Trade off| Okay, I know that we just ended holiday season but this one isn’t going to cost any coins. Okay, so hearing sweet things about yourself never gets old but we oftentimes take it for granted when we’re always with the people we love. So, trade off compliments! Whether it’s you + bff or you and your bf, each of you should say atleast 2 traits you appreciaite about the other. You would be amazed how people will never forget sweet truths about themselves!

#Freshman5 x Rebecca!

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Feature, Latest | by — February 5, 2020

Take note of Rebecca’s #Freshman5 Must-Knows for your freshman year in college!

Name: Rebecca Gaynor

College: New York University

1.Friendship/ Relationship| Be outspoken! I guess what I am trying to say is don’t be afraid to speak to your peers because just like you they are looking to make friends and study partners in this new environment.

2. Classes/Studying| Don’t procrastinate! Putting things like homework and studying for tests off until the last minute will not benefit you in the long run.

3. Time Management| Don’t register for 8 am classes if you know that you struggle with waking up early! You’ll end up missing crucial information in class if you’re always late or absent. Set an alarm they’re extremely helpful.

4. Self-care| As fast paced as this new environment may be don’t forget to take some time for yourself and relax. It’s also important to express how you feel whether it’s through a journal entry, song, or poem. Also make sure you are taking care of your body. Try to eat 3 well balanced meals per day.  I definitely know how easy it can be to skip a meal or 2.

5. Money budgeting| If you live on a campus please make sure you are using all of those meal swipes! At the end of the year you’re not going to get back money for those unused swipes. Also, get a job for personal expenses and purchase based on necessity. All in all be frugal!

Follow more of Rebecca’s collegiate journey…

Instagram

Introvert’s Guide To College

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Relationships, Latest | by — February 5, 2020

Going off to college to be around unfamiliar faces can be nerve racking. Doing it as an introvert can seem impossible. But don’t fret because even the most introverted person can make a friend with these 3 tips below!

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Love For The Clubs| Joining clubs is the easiest way to make new friends during your first semester on campus. You’ll be spending a good amount of time around people with the same interests as you while working together to achieve a common goal

Extra Study Sessions| When there is a huge exam coming up, professors will usually have the teaching assistant lead an extra study session. Go! Even if you feel confident about all the material, a quick review never hurts. Plus, you’ll get a chance to mingle in a smaller setting with other people from your major.

Come + Talk To Me| – If you’re still super nervous, it’s okay. Let people come to you first. Quick tip: Wear something eye-catching like a dope pair of sneakers so people will be inclined to approach you and strike up a conversation about them!

So don’t fret; you’re not the only one.

Tia Banks, Content Editor

#AskAnActivist x Celai West

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Health/Beauty, Latest | by — January 21, 2020

#KinkyHairMatters is not just a hashtag but an empowering lifestyle that is perfectly embodied by natural hair + texture activist, Celai West! From runway model to entrepreneur, this young queen is boldly making a point to shred beauty stereotypes by embracing her natural crown and blazing a trail for girl + women!

Let’s #AskAnActivist with Celai West….

Photography by Julian J. Peeples

As an impactful texture + natural hair activist, why is it important for you to embrace your natural texture + encourage other girls to do so as well?

I think it’s very important because I was born like this. If God has given me this hair, I should love it. I think that everyone else should love it too, because He didn’t make any mistakes.

Your love for speaking + your stunning natural hair gave birth to “The Chatty Chick” T-shirt collection! How does your collection help others speak up against stereotypes often put on black girls and their beauty?

Well, I started out with only natural hair tees to help girls like me feel more empowered by our big hair. When I would wear them, they would make me feel like I’m showing everyone how much I love my hair, and I want other girls to feel the same way too.

www.thechattychick.com

Your activism simply doesn’t stop at fashion! Every t-shirt sold is a tree planted with Trees For The Future, why is it essential for your generation to understand and protect + care for the environment?

I just feel like it’s super important that we take care of our planet. I’ve traveled to places that don’t offer recycling, so I wanted to find a good way to help reverse some of the damage we cause to our planet.

Being a runway model + producer, what has been the most encouraging compliment or feedback that another young girl has told you about your movement?

We get lots of messages from parents, teenagers, and even older adults, in the U.S. and overseas, saying my pictures have helped them (or their kids) to start loving their big hair and that makes me feel really good.

(Photography by Julian Peeples)

What does rockin’ your beautiful + glorious afro mean to you?

Rockin’ my fro means I love my hair and it shows that I don’t have to change it or conform just to fit in. This is how I was born, and it’s perfect the way it is.

We know that “ACT” is the keyword in ACTivism, what’s one ACT you would tell girls to do to embrace self-love?

I would definitely tell them to BE YOURSELF. They are already perfect, so just own it!

Follow more of Celai’s journey here…

Celai West

The Chatty Chick

Instagram

The Struggle! 3 Money Wasters

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Finance, Latest | by — January 20, 2020

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College brings on many new responsibilities and being fiscally responsible is one of the hardest. It seems like money leaves your wallet faster than it goes in and your bank account is starting to collect spider webs. Believe it or not, there are plenty of ways you’re wasting your money in college. Check out some of these things to cut back on so you can stack those coins!

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Junk Food Foodie?– Although it is nice to treat yourself to fast food every once in a while, the campus is full of eating spots that are included in your meal plan. This is so much better than having to spend money on take out every time you’re hungry. The other benefit is that campus usually offers healthier options so it’s a win-win.

Rent’em + Return’em- Buying textbooks is a hard financial hit in the beginning of the semester. In order to cut costs, rent your books from websites like Amazon and Chegg. You should also ask your professor to see if you’ll even need the book before you buy it.

Ride Along– Having a car on campus is obviously convenient, but the money you spend on upkeep isn’t worth it. You’ll have to pay for gas weekly and some colleges even make you pay for a parking pass every year. Ditch the car and opt for a bike or walk like most students do. Large campuses even provide transportation to your classes.

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~Tia Banks

Meet Ashaka Givens!

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Feature, Latest | by — January 15, 2020

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Dripping in chic, wrapped in bohemian flare + topped with powerful statements, are all the ingredients poured into each piece created by Brooklyn-based celebrity designer, Ashaka Givens!

From dressing the most influential creatives in the culture to fashion mavens, she has married style + detail into her passion of design! Givens’ love affair with fashion began in high school where she intuitively taught herself how to design women’s clothing and produced her own runway shows! She went on to study fashion design at Buffalo State College and spent a leg of her time there as a student at the Manchester Metropolitan University in England. It was abroad where she honed her tailoring techniques and studied couture design. She further developed her signature style think “funk-meets-sophistication” at the Fashion Institute of Technology, graduating with the class of 1996.

The New York native designs have not only been featured on the runways of Mercedez Benz Fashion Week but have also dressed + created custom pieces for tastemakers such as singer Erykah Badu, rapper/actor Common, rapper Missy Elliot, singer Raphael Saadiq, The Roots’ funky drummer, ?uestlove, and Kenyan artist Wangechi Mutu! Givens continues to showcase her authentic artistry while giving women the gift of beauty and confidence each and every day!

Our C.O.R.E interns had a chance to chat with designer, Ashaka Givens! Let’s get to know her a little better…

What do you hope to achieve by creating your clothing line?

I hope to make women feel empowered and confident in the things that they wear even if it’s a hat, a dress, whatever it may be, I want them to feel strong and beautiful because that’s what we should feel every day!

How do you reflect your own individuality (along with your clients‘) in the items that you create?

It’s all in how you cut [the fabric]. I always have my hand in the way something drapes or fits on an individual’s body. There’s always a sense of my passion for life and for femininity and for even a little bit of romance woven into my designs.

What are the biggest names you’ve designed for?

Erykah Badu, Wangechi Mutu, a famous artist whose pieces are in the MoMa, the Tate, and a lot of other art museums.

Some others are Common, Raphael Saadiq, and TLC.  Working with people who are worldwide has been a huge honor. There’s so many, but thankfully they have all been incredible and I had an amazing time with all of them. I’ve never had any complaints working with any of them. It’s been a blessing!

How do you keep up with society while also maintaining your style?

Staying in touch with the youth. I ask questions such as “So who’s inspiring you now or who do I need to listen to now?”

What do you think sets you apart from other designers and boutique owners? What makes your designs or your ideas special?

That’s hard to say because it’s me. You know how people make a pot of soup with the same ingredients it turns out so different from each other, that’s essentially what I do. I take different colors, or textures, or fabrics and things that are in right now to make something that stands out from other pieces.

Have you ever had any doubts about becoming a designer or boutique owner?

No, I’ve always been confident. You know what you know. I love to teach from high school level to my oldest student being 60 yrs. old. I know how to design a dress and turn sketches into an actual piece so I was always confident in myself and my abilities.

Were there times of frustration? Yes, times of frustration when I had an idea, but it wasn’t working out, but in the end I always put something together. You have to remember that you’re always learning.

I noticed that in your bio, it talks about you studying abroad in England, so I wanted to know what that was like for you and how it has helped you develop your skills as a designer

Yeah, it was amazing! It was actually my first time on a plane leaving from Buffalo, NY to London. It was awesome, it was a bit of a culture shock. But it was good to live somewhere else where people don’t know you so you can develop a new sense of individuality. It’s like trying a new food, but it’s everything, different culture, new people, etc. Just immersing yourself into a different culture can be great for developing your individuality and exploring yourself.

If you weren’t a boutique owner, what would you be doing instead?

Probably cooking, either that or perfumery not with chemicals, but with essential oils. Maybe that or traveling, like if I had an infinite amount of money I would travel.

As a woman in your position, what advice can you give to young people who want to get where you are?

Never stop learning. Interns, speak up about your interests and be confident about it because that’s what attracts us.

Travel. It opens your whole mind to cultures and ways of doing things. Just emerge yourself in it. Just keep trying until something resonates and you’re like “this lights me up”

I am confident in myself and my abilities and everything that I’ve learned. – Ashaka Givens, an affirmation.

Check out more of Ashaka’s beautifull hand-crafted designs:

Ashaka Givens

Instagram

BY: Melanie Santiago and Jada Jackson

Style Diary x Mechellé!

Scroll through the teen Style Diary of L.A. based fashion-lover, Mechellé!

What’s your name, age + the city you’re from?

My name is Mechellé pronounced Me-shell-lay, I’m 15 years old, and I live in Los Angeles, California but I’m from Richmond, Virginia.

Style is showing who you are with out having to speak! Name your top 3 trends you’re feeling this season?

My top 3 trends this season is long oversized jackets (I have this super long puffer jacket that goes down to my ankles and it’s the best thing ever), leather pants are so cute right now, and lastly, corset tops.

If you had 30 seconds to grab your 3 favorite style pieces, what would they be?

I can’t leave the house without earrings! Earrings and jewelry make you look like you put a lot of effort into your outfit when you really didn’t. Next, I would grab some platform sneakers to add some spice to it. Lastly, I would take a denim jacket for some extra warmth and because they’re cute lol.

Style inspo is everything! Who’s your ultimate fashion icon + why?

I love Rihanna or Bella Hadid for their edgy street style. I think it really shows their personality and plus they both look stunning in them!

Getting ready in the morning can be fun but stressful if you’re in a time crunch, what’s your go-to look if you’re in a rush?

My go-to look is probably a graphic tee and jeans with a statement jacket or shoes to spice it up.

What’s your number 1 rule when it comes to style?

My number 1 rule is…wear what YOU want to wear! I’ve found myself in a lot of situations where I want to wear something but don’t because I’m afraid of people’s opinions. But I realized it doesn’t matter what people think. Be different, be you!

Follow more of Mechellé + her style here:

Instagram

Youtube