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crush of the week: danielle from love 416

dani1we love dani because her blog, personal style and eye for interior decor are fresh. not fresh like fly (although she most certainly is), but fresh like walking through a farmer’s market with a breeze on your back. she’s simply lovely.

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check out her blog and youtube channel for delicious inspiration.

weekend music: infatuation, brothah malik & jonathan lykes

onrae lateal just released the video for “infatuation,” the lead track off her first ep, Iibra season.  i had the pleasure of styling everyone in the video, and i’m grateful to videographers, creative junkfood, for their amazing work!  check out onrae lateal’s website to learn more about the dope artist and download her ep for FREE. trust me, it’s great music.

5 things i learned from ava duvernay’s sxsw speech

sometimes i get tired of public speaking. TIHHED. as an attorney and activist, i’m given the opportunity often, and each time i’m as nervous as the first. what gets me through? whether i’m preparing to argue in court or speak to a group of young people, i constantly ask God to speak through me. i feel God did just that with ava duvernay’s sxsw speech — her words spoke to so many parts of my life.  here’s what ava taught me:

1.  “if your dream only includes you, it’s too small.” how will you serve others? we all have a piece of sand to add to the scale of humanity.

2.  “when the light is on you, what do you do to take it in and be nourished by it?” humility has its place, but when it’s your opportunity to shine enjoy it, dwell in it. let your soul be cleansed by the benefits of hard work.

3.  “give your attention to your intention.” set a purpose and work at it unapologetically, giving it all of your attention.

4.  “we don’t see things how they are. we see things how we are.” our perceptions are our realities and if we perceive ourselves as small, we’ll never achieve our intended greatness.

5.  “don’t limit your dream with the small stuff. go beyond external motivation.” ava described the external motivators that were behind her first two feature films.  when writing and directing king, her sole focus was on serving the story; she believes that intention shaped its huge success. again, if your dream only includes you, it’s too small.

watch the video. be empowered.

weekend wear: stylist edition

i had the opportunity to flex my stylist muscles this weekend and pull together looks for a music video shoot.  the song, featuring brothah malik and jonathan lyes, was produced by female producer onrae lateal for her new ep, libra season.  we shot the video for the first single, infatuation, and the director, nabeeh bilal of creative junkfood, asked the styling be kept simple given the song’s natural beauty theme.

DSC_5770 DSC_5777 shot on a local campus, i envisioned the rapper, brothah malik, as a socially conscious grad student leaving class wearing a vintage levis jacket and jeans. i turned it up for his love interest/dancer, najwa womack. DSC_5784

hat, h&m | jacket, forever 21 | leotard, american apparel | skirt, rachel roy | tights, target | booties, forever 21 | bag, vintage

DSC_5785DSC_5790 DSC_5800 DSC_5813 DSC_5834 DSC_5845shot out to creative junkfood for their artistic genius behind the camera. be sure to check out libra season and stay tuned for the video debut!

c’mon and braid my hair lupita

vogue got lupita nyong’o and her six friends together for the oscar winner to play beautician — who knew she could braid hair?!? she say she learned from her aunt in kenya after having a bad experience in college.

 for all the complaining i do about the oppressive standards around black women’s hair, i forget to celebrate what lupita calls our “frame.”  this video shows the bond we create when taking part in a beauty ritual with deep cultural roots.

crush of the week: food heaven made easy

i started following food heaven made easy a few years ago and was super inspired by young, vibrant sisters dedicated to supporting people of color live healthy lives.  wendy and jess are nutritionists whose videos and blog posts teach everything from how to prepare vegetarian soul food to weight loss tips. to make things even better, they both have a killer sense of style.

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check their website for new videos on mondays.