Thursday, April 30, 2009

The MET "Model As Muse" Exhibition

In keeping with gala's theme, The MET will open the exhibition "The Model as Muse: Embodying Fashion," beginning May 6th.

According to "The Model as Muse: Embodying Fashion," opening this month at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute, explores 50 years of iconic fashions—from Christian Dior's blossoming New Look of 1947 to the reductive simplicity current in the late nineties—through the women whose faces, figures, and attitudes shaped and personified them.

Catch this slide show with a sneak peak of the exhibition thanks to nymag the Cut. BTW: Naomi's as flawless now as she was decades ago!

Who's Going To the MET Ball...and With Whom?

The MET Ball is only a few days away - 4 days to be exact! Next to the Oscars, The Costume Institute Gala is a fashion lovers HEAVEN! The theme this year: "The Model as Muse"
Fashionologie did all the work for us and neatly lined up designer to model and or actress. Thanks guys!

We will of course list our black women in fashion but you can catch the full list at Fashionologie.

A list of attendees thus far:

* Badgley Mischka: Tyra Banks
* Calvin Klein: Eva Mendes, Halle Berry
* Derek Lam: Liya Kebede
* Diane von Furstenberg: Rosario Dawson
* Emilio Pucci: Ciara
* Jason Wu: Jessica Alba
* Lancome: Arlenis Sosa Pena - I wonder who she will wear? Oscar maybe?
* Louis Vuitton: Kerry Washington
* Rachel Roy: Lakshmi Menon, Joy Bryant - Yeah for Rachel!

It is rumored that Rihanna will join Marc Jacobs - what a surprise that will be! Iman, Chanel Iman and Jourdan Dunn will be in attendance. No word yet and who they will wear and/or if they will walk with a designer.......

Iman and Naomi Campbell for Vogue Model Roundtable

Iman, Naomi Campbell and other veteran models discuss what it is was to succeed in the industry. A few young models also had the opportunity to join the round table - none of our young favorites were in attendance - maybe next time..... And I'm not sure if Naomi was touching up in the ladies room but she was mysteriously missing from a few clips, hmm.....

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Chanel Iman at Matthew Williamson "Carnival"

Gorgeous black women in fashion attended Matthew Williamson's celebration of his H&M collection in Miami aboard The Cornucopia Majesty liner. Victoria Secrets angel Serlita Ebanks said, "I'm usually not a Carnival kind of gal - But this is so energizing, eclectic, and colorful--just like Matthew!"

The performance of the evening Grace Jones made a fierce entrance according to FWD she descended in a glass elevator into the yacht's packed interior, and immediately nabbed the spotlight -as only Ms. Jones could!

Don't you wish you were there....

Chanel admittedly took pants off but decided to keep her top-phew!

Chanel with man of the night: Matthew Williamson

Arlenis took the theme to heart

Serlita looking far too conservative in comparison

Grace Jones rocked the crowd as Matthew gawked on

"Michelle Style" Celebrates Michelle's Style

Author Mandi Norwood has taken on Michelle Obama in her new book, Michelle Style. The book highlights the first lady's famous, loved and copied looks from her first day on the scene through nearly her first 100 days in the white house.

Is this book 4 years too early? While the world is indeed enamored with Mrs. O stylish picks - I vote to give her a few more years before rushing her style encyclopedia on bookshelves. What do you think?


Naomi Campbell Cover Girl for V Magazine's First Swimsuit Issue

If you search through V Magazine archives you will see that Naomi is a favorite {on complaints from us} for the cover and editorial spreads. V magazine has done it's first ever swimsuit issue and Ms. Campbell is their leggy, playful, bunny-esque cover girl! Famed photographer Mario Testino conducted the shoot. Check out a short video of clips of Naomi and the other cover girls at V Mag.
Chanel Iman also snagged a piece - she's speaks on her admiration for her mentor Tyra and her desires to enter the acting world. Look out Hollywood!

Michelle Obama Chooses Sophie Theallet

I am now convinced that Michelle Obama has fashion spies! Someone must have told her that up and coming designer Sophie Theallet debut her Spring 2009 collection late last year with ALL black models!

Mrs. O attended the unveiling of the Sojourner Truth statue Tuesday wearing none other than a button-down, belted off the runway dress worn by model Samira Bento for Sophie Theallet.

Need I even ask, but who wore it best?
pics: & huff post

Monday, April 27, 2009

Iman Interviews Model Ubah Hassan

Former Somali supermodel and business woman Iman sat down earlier this month with rising Somali model Ubah Hassan on meeting Ralph Lauren and subsequently becoming the Spring face of the brand.

Iman also touches on the ever popular phrase, “The Obama Effect” saying, “It’s the Bethann [Hardison] effect”! The short clip also covers what non-white models experience during castings calls. It’s shocking to hear that some directors say such things like, “We’re not using black models this season.' Like it’s a category — like we’re not doing denim this season.”

Watch the full video from nymag the Cut.

Another Vogue Italia All Black Issue?

Maybe not….but according to fashionologie models Chanel Iman and Sessilee Lopez have been twittering about a major fashion shoot in London! Chanel says: "IN London Shooting a MAJOR SURPRISE COVER!!!!Its top secret can't give it away!!"

Sessilee says with similar excitement: "Leaving London now!!! My God when you guys see the photos from this shoot you will die, all i can say is ITS A MAJOR MOMENT IN FASHION!!!!!"

I am expecting either another cover page or a major 15 page editorial spread. Rumor is that Jourdan Dunn and Arlenis Sosa will be joining the ladies. I can’t wait! We will keep you posted!!!

V Magazine Model Search!

V Magazine has launched its third annual model search that began in early April. They have partnered with Ford Models to bring new faces to the industry. Both winners from previous years has gone on to walk for major designers like Calvin Klein and coveted editorials with W, Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue.

You must be between 5’9 and 6’ tall – what are you waiting for? Head over to V Magazine for more details and rules. All entries must be in by June 29th, 2009.

Oscar de la Renta Hearts Black Models

Oscar may be jealous that first Lady Michelle Obama has not worn many high-end designers much less his – but he hearts black models for his fall/winter 2009 collection. Oscar made a statement by featuring 7 models of color with nearly all walking more than once and Jourdan Dunn opened and closed the show!

See the video of Oscar de la Renta’s Fall/Winter 2009 Collection from
Models from left to right: Jourdan Dunn, Aminata Niaria, Arlenis Sosa, Joan Smalls, Georgie Badiel, Ubah Hassan & Sessilee Lopez.

Liya Takes Notice of More Black Models on the Runway

We reported last week about The Guardian’s article on the effect Michelle Obama has on the fashion industry. Liya Kebede also weighed in at the Cookie magazine's Smart Cookie Awards last week saying,

"I think there’s a lot more black models working and I think that’s because of having Michelle and Barack out there. I mean there’s been this issue, raised last year — how there wasn’t enough black models on the runways — but I think Barack and Michelle have really helped us, hopefully forever, to get over this hurdle for black models."

See the full article at nymag’s the cut.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Top 5 Rising Black Models

Chanel Iman and Jourdan Dunn are steadily taken over where Naomi and Iman left off but we have a few gorgeous girls who are on their tails - it's a beautiful thing! These five girls are lighting up the runway from New York to Paris! Capturing coveted beauty contracts, open and closing shows, top magazine cover pages - you name it - these rising stars have done it!

#5 Kinée Diouf
This Senegal stunner has shifted through a few agencies now stopping at VIVA but it has not stopped her from walking for a few high-end Paris based designers such as Givenchy, Vivienne Westwood, Lanvin and Yves Saint Laurent.

Also booking a Benetton and Diesel ad campaign. Her gorgeous skin even landed her a M.A.C cosmetics ad! She broke out in the New York scene walking for DVF, Proenza Schouler and Luca Luca.

#4 Aminata Niaria
Another Senegal beauty was discovered not by a photographer but Alber Elbaz of Lanvin! She immediately became his muse and debuts in his 2006 Spring collection - Aminata has been high flying ever since! Walking for Roberto Cavilli, Dries Van Noten, Louis Vuitton and Vivienne Westwood.

She has been all over the Paris and Milan catwalks before debuting at New York Fashion Week for Ralph Lauren, Oscar de la Renta, Vera Wang, Proenza Schouler and a few others within 2 seasons! Aminata has also walked in 3 Couture shows: Jean Paul Gaultier, Guy Laroche and Christian LaCroix!! Did I mentioned she was only discovered 3 years ago!?!

#3 Georgie Baddiel
Born in Burkina Faso, Georgie signed with Storm in London in 2007 walking for Duro Olowu and others but doesn't break out until 2008 when she signed with Muse Management in New York. That year she does an editorial for French magazine Biba and walks down DVF's, Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton and Chado Ralph Rucci in New York and Paris!!

After only one year Georgie closes for 3.1 philim lim and Halston! While also walking for Bottega Veneta, Dries van Noten and others. Georgie Baddiel is #3 because in a short span of time her star is shinning super bright!

#2 Ubah Hassan

This new IT girl is perhaps the most beautiful woman to have come out of Somalia after Iman! In 2007 Ubah signs with Click Management in New York later that year she books an editorial with Allure magazine and named model of the week by before her first runway debut!! Ubah debuts in top fashion by closing for Ralph Lauren's spring collection - closing on her runway debut!!! She then becomes the face of Ralph Lauren!

In 2009 Ubah walked for Ralph Lauren and Oscar de la Renta. Her resume may be short but anyone who is anyone in fashion knows that there are two coveted contracts to seal your financial future in fashion: Victoria Secrets and Ralph Lauren. Ubah already has one!

#1 Arlenis Sosa
Arlenis honestly needs her own post - I will consider this for later. This woman is an absolute stunner! Hailing from the Dominican Republic - same as Oscar de la Renta - Arlenis is taking the fashion world by storm. Here's her fashion sheet:

1. Scouted by designer in the Dominican Republic
2. Signs to Marilyn Agency in New York on the spot!
3. 2-weeks later books editorial for Vogue and Italian Vogue (Yes, the all black issue)
4. Month later becomes the new face of Lancome
5. Walks for Christian Dior resort
6. Open and closes Oscar de la Renta
7. Anna Wintour tells her she will attend the MET ball and wear Oscar de la Renta!
8. Opens Bottega Veneta spring show in Milan
9. Walk Victoria Secret Annual Fashion Show
10. Does another Vogue editorial with photographer Patrick Demarchelier
11. Closes Oscar de la Renta pre-fall show

All of the above happened in 2008!!

In 2009 Arlenis walks for DVF, Narcisso Rodriguez, Michael Kors, Oscar de la Renta, Bottega Veneta and Tommy Hilifiger. She's also the cover girl for Vogue Germany's May issue!
I predict the new trio: Jourdan Dunn, Arlenis Sosa and Chanel Iman!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Robin Givhan Moves To Capitol Hill

Robin Givhan has had a long successful career in fashion journalism including winning a Pulitzer Prize! While many of her years has been spent at the Washington Post in New York, Robin will be making a move to Washington D.C. for what must be the most coveted journalism job in D.C covering the first family!! According to Robin she will “..put what they’re doing in the White House into a broader cultural context”.

No doubt first lady Michelle Obama has been keeping her busy! We will certainly stay tuned!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Monique Péan: Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation Winner

Who is Monique Péan? First and foremost, she is young, extremely intelligent and did I mention gorgeous!

Monique Péan was raised in Washington, D.C born of Jewish and Haitian heritage. Having traveled the world from Haiti, Bali, Russia, Egypt, Brazil, China and Greece, Monique solidified her love for the arts through her heritage and travel. Upon completing her Political Science, Philosophy and Economics studies at the University of Pennslyvania and 3 years in Finance on Wall Street, Monique launched her namesake eco-friendly asseccories line. She decribes her fine jewelry as “unique and hand crafted."

In 2009 Monique became an awardee of the Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation award in Accessories becoming the first jewelry designer to be recognized. Now joining the ranks of Zac Posen, Alexander Wang and other now accomplished designers.

Lauren Bush and Monique Péan

In addition, Monique is heavily involved in charitable work with under-developed countries especially Haiti. Her Ecco Domani award celebration event was sponsored by Charity: Water - where celebrities walked down the runway carrying gallons of water - for each turn down the runway, Péan donated $20. Which goes a long way!

Monique Péan is definitely a rising star so this is not the last you will hear from her! Visit Monique Péan to view her collections and retail locations.

Teen Vogue $25,000 Scholarship!

Rachel Brown 2008 Winner - This could be you!

It's tough enough to enter the fashion industry as a minority and even tougher if you have paid your way through school and never make it to the ranks of a Ralph Lauren! If you or someone you know is an upcoming graduating senior out of high school who wants to pursue a career in design - read the requirements and apply for this CFDA/Teen Vogue Scholarship for up to $25,000!!

All candidates must submit a completed application and a mood board with sketches. Good Luck!

Bonnie Morrison: The chic lifestyle

Bonnie Morrison may be one of those well-dressed women you see on the pages of and wonder to yourself, "who is that impossibly chic woman"? Ms. Morrison is hailed as one of the most connected fashion publicists in New York for years on years. Bonnie has worked for Men's Vogue, PR Consulting covering Proenza Schouler, Dries van Noten and Phi and Mademoiselle all before sealing her current post at KCD.

Bonnie is the Publicity Directory for KCD representing Temperley and CFDA accounts. Did I mention she is under 40 and lives an absolutely chic life! Til the next time her image graces pages - enjoy a few of my favorite style choices from this PR maven!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Does Michelle Obama Help Black Models?

According to Paul Harris of The Observer, a revolution has erupted in the fashion industry! Three black women has graced the cover of Vogue magazine consecutively including Michelle Obama's March 2009 cover. Paul is crediting Michelle with an increase in awareness of black women in fashion. The historical Italian Vogue cover may have been the beginning but Mrs. Obama has taken over the baton.

Michelle has been a force to reckon with in the retail industry, instantly increasing the sales of J.Crew and turning rookie designer Jason Wu into an overnight sensation. In addition Michelle has made it a point to mix budget, bridge and high-end designers in her collection.

Beyonce April Cover

Liya Kebede May Cover

Read the entire article at The Guardian.

Liya Kebede: From Supermodel to Designer

LemLem by Liya Kebede

Supermodel Liya Kebede has made the successful leap from supermodel to fashion designer on a mission! Kebede launched a children's clothing line called LemLem (to bloom) in 2007. Every piece is handmade from cotton in her hometown Ethiopia - Kebede made it a focus to provide work for the local women through LemLem.

In March 2009 not only did Liya secure an exclusive catalog deal with J.Crew (see above) but also a partnership for J.Crew to carry LemLem in its CrewCuts store and at Congrats to Liya! You can also buy LemLem at!

Jenna Lyons with Liya at the launch for LemLem at J. Crew

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