Tuesday, September 20, 2011

African-American Fashion Designers You May Not Know

By: Songine’ Clarke
In the fashion industry it might seem like there’s a lack of fashion designers that are African American. Well, there are a few designers who are on the fast track to fame or may already be there.
Laquan Smith
Laquan Smith, 23, started his self-titled designer brand in 2008. He started off designing custom pieces for celebrities such as: Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Cassie, Beyonce, Alicia Keys, and the infamous top model Tyra Banks. He made his New York Fashion Week debut on February 15, 2010, having fashion greats in the audience including Vogue’s ex Editor-at-Large Andre Leon Talley. Laquan is definitely on the fast track to fame and will definitely be the designer everybody is talking about. You can check out his stuff at: http://laquansmith.com/
Patrick Robinson
Patrick Robinson was most known for being the executive vice president of Gap Global Design for Adult and Body. He has also worked for Giorgio Armani, Anne Klein, Perry Ellis, and Paco Rabanne. Patrick is a designer that is known for being behind the scenes, but he definitely has a lot of respect in the industry.
Maya Amina Lake
Maya Amina Lake is the designer of the clothing line Boxing Kitten. This small, but well known clothing line is known for its African print clothing and bright colored dresses. Maya already has a big celebrity following, having Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Rihanna, Solange Knowles, Fergie, and Erykah Badu wearing her clothing. Her clothing has also been seen in publications such as The New York Times, Teen Vogue, and Arise. She is a designer that is definitely on the fast track to fame. You can check out the Maya’s line Boxing Kitten at http://boxingkitten.com/

Monday, September 19, 2011

Review of John Ruffin's Play "All My Single Ladies"

By Samantha Battle

John Ruffin’s “All My Single Ladies” play brought out a packed crowd at the opening night of the two-day showing of his new play starring Darrin Dewitt Henson from HBO’s Soul Food and Stomp the Yard, Anthony Grant, gospel recording artist DeWayne Woods, actress Trisha Mann, Richard Gallion and actor Chris Bolten. The play was performed at the Harold Washington Cultural Center in Chicago.

Ruffin’s play was separated into two acts focusing on the lives of two women who were dealing with relationship problems and finding the right one.

One woman, Kimberly, played by Melinda Bussie, was dealing with the decision of whether or not she should leave or stay in the relationship she’s in, even though it’s not a healthy one with her abusive boyfriend, Raymond, played by Darrin. She has two kids with him and is trying to get her GED so that she can get a job and won’t have to depend on Raymond anymore.

“I think they [the audience] will love and hate my character in the play,” said Darrin. “He’s a very dark person with a huge ego who can be disrespectful physically and verbally at times, but I think the interesting part about him is why he does it, so I think that’s what we’re going to be diving into more with my character—to find out why he’s that way.”

The other woman, Regina, played by Tashika Benson, was dealing with the total opposite, being single, alone and living with lupus. Then the love of her life from five years ago, Eric, played by Richard Gallion, shows up back into her life wanting a second chance, even though he broke up with her. And while all of this is going on, Frasier, played by Anthony Grant, is a man who likes her, wants to treat her right and is right under her nose, yet she doesn’t realize it until towards the end of the play.

“This is a story about relationships, and it’s a story that tells you why there are some single ladies and why there are ladies that probably feel single but aren’t,” said Anthony. “I want people to walk away from this show entertained but coming away with a message that even though you may be by yourself, you’re not alone. I think that people should really focus on the message and have enough courage to just walk away if it’s not for you.”

The audience was filled with laughter and gasps throughout the whole play, and the cast and director received a standing ovation from the crowd.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Women’s Business Development Center Celebrates 25th Anniversary Entrepreneurial Business Conference

By Iya Bakare
Over 2,000 participants gathered to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Women’s Business Development Center and Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference on Wednesday, September 14 at McCormick Place-West in Chicago. Founders S. Carol Dougal and Hedy M. Rather established the Women’s Business Development Center in 1986 to create business opportunities and promote entrepreneurship for women. Dougal and Ratner also created the Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference that same year to form a medium where women can both network and celebrate the business successes and accomplishments of one another. 
This year’s Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference featured workshops, roundtable discussions, a business and buyer’s mart and other networking opportunities. In addition, the conference featured the Women’s Forum Breakfast, moderated by the Chicago Sun Times financial expert Terry Savage and the 25th Anniversary Hall of Fame Awards Luncheon, emceed by NBC Chicago’s Alison Rosati. Panelists on the breakfast forum included Leylani Cardoso of Bolzano Handbags, Maxine Clark of Build-A-Bear Workshop, Cathy Hughes of Radio One and Lynn Tilton of Patriarch Partners. Mayor Rahm Emanuel delivered the keynote address at this year’s Hall of Fame luncheon. Honorees were Teresa Ging of Sugar Bliss Cake Boutique, Inc., Marilyn Jones of Consolidated Printing Company, Sharon Hoffman Avent of Smead Manufacturing Company, Bank of America and U.S. Small Business Administration. 
For more information on WBDC, visit www.WBDC.org

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Chicago: I Love You!

By: Isis Nicole

Home is where the heart is but nothing in Cincinnati compares to a beautiful city like Chicago. Now, don't get it confused, I don't want it to seem like I'm betraying my city, but it's the truth! There are so many great things about Chicago. I love the noise. I love the architecture. I love the wind. I love the diversity. However, all those things don't compare to the amount of love I have for the food in this city.

This is definitely the place I want to spend more of my life before I start my adventure on the east coast. I've been going to college in Chicago for four years and during that time, I’ve done a lot of growing up. I started off feeling alone because my family wasn't near, and I wasn’t familiar with my surroundings. I started to make friends once I begin to break out of my shell. I met new people and gained this sort of Mid-western "hauteur." Okay that word is a little strong, but I did increase my confidence being so tiny in such a big city. 

It’s the perfect mixture of peace and play; however, I do wish there was more of a vibrant energy toward fashion. It’s very business casual meets street chic (to be cliché). Other than that, I would definitely recommend Chicago to anyone hoping to be blown away, so pack your bags and visit! 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Fashion: Breaking ALL of the Rules

By: Ebony L. McCline
During a casual conversation with a family member, she mentioned that she was wearing white today, which happens to be three days after Labor Day. The first thing that came out of my mouth was, “Why are you wearing white after Labor Day anyway?” 
Her reply, “I can wear whatever I want, whenever I want.” 
This small interaction got my mind racing. Then, I started to think of all the fashion “rules” that I break, probably on a daily basis. I realized I have the same mentality to some extent. There are still some rules I refuse to break. For those free spirits who wear what they want when they want, I’m sure you’ll agree with most of the following. However, for those who may be a little reluctant to be rebellious, here are a few options to think about if you’re willing to take a risk. 
No White After Labor Day
As of late, this rule has become easier and easier to break. With the introduction of “winter” white into the mix, it gives women all over the world an excuse to wear it all year around. 
Black/Brown Combo

For some reason, it has been drilled into our brains that wearing black and brown at he same time is a crime of fashion. In most cases, it’s one color or the other. It seems logical to wear a brown belt if you’re wearing brown shoes, right? Depending on the entire look, it could work if you mixed it up a bit. It just depends on how much of a risk you’re willing to take. 
Color Crazy
While some may try to pass off wearing any color they want as “color blocking,” it just doesn’t work for everyone. Now, it’s true that we’re all individuals with our own unique style, but “color blocking” is a technique and when it’s done well, the results are visually appealing. So, unless you have the time to put colors together that work for your particular body type, then you might not want to go that route. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Chicago’s Lakefront

By: Songine’ Clarke

In any city, it's pretty common to have a favorite place to visit. Sometimes it's a specific place like a restaurant or an attraction. However, it can also be some place simple, where there's no price to pay, but the experience it just as much rewarding.

Lake Michigan is probably one of my favorite places in Chicago, and it just so happens that it's a popular past time for those who grew up in the city. I just love standing on the lakefront, staring at the large body of water in front of me. It gives me such peace, it can be romantic, and it can be inspiring to look at (when the weather is nice out). I love going to the lakefront to think and just clear my mind. Just staring out at the water can make you think about how blessed you are to even be able to live in a city like Chicago (despite of some of the challenges the city face). I'm not a native of Chicago, but I think once I’ve been here for awhile, I still wouldn’t be tired of the lake. It’s part of what makes Chicago so special. What’s your favorite place to go to in your hometown?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Fall Fashion Trends

By: Songine’ Clarke
As we transition from summer to fall, the weather is slowly but surely changing. When the seasons change, our wardrobes tend change as well. So, there may be some people wondering what to wear this fall. Here are a few items and colors you may want to keep in mind.
Cool Colors
Since the weather is getting cooler, bright colors are not such a good idea. In the summer, everything is bright and upbeat, so your wardrobe tends to be the same. In the fall, things tone down a little more and your wardrobe should reflect this change. You can still wear your oranges, yellows, and pinks, but just wear the “toned down” versions of those colors.
Denim shirts, denim button downs, denim dresses, and denim jackets all are in this fall. Denim jackets are a great necessity. They can be paired with a dress or another look. It’s such an American classic that I can appreciate.
A blazer is an essential for anyone. It can turn a regular outfit into a classy one in just a matter of seconds. Any color blazer is good, but my favorite would probably have to be a classic, black blazer. A black blazer can easily go from work to a night out on the town.