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The Metropolitan Hair Academy is not just another academy, but a new concept of education based upon the ideals of making the true hairstyling professional. The Metropolitan Hair Academy foundation is established on a “European Education System,” which is being offered for the first time in the U.S. Come join us as we learn how to explore and unlock your own creativity! The Metropolitan Hair Academy - Formerly Kemon Hair Academy 209 S. Kings Dr – Charlotte, NC – 704.334.5511 A division of the Hairstyling Institute of Charlotte, a leader in hair for over 30 years...

Formerly Kemon Hair Academy

7 For All Mankind • Anlo • Chip & Pepper • French Connection • Genetic • Habitual • James Jeans • Modern Amusement • Taverniti So • Kasil • Rich & Skinny • Red Engine • Maloom • Stitch’s • Collective Clothing • 7 Diamonds

A Trendy Boutique for Men and Women

Located at Morrison – Intersection of Sharon and Colony Roads 720 Governor Morrison St, Ste E180 704.366.9339

Ron Hill Photography 704.968.2553 Lotus 1247 East Blvd Charlotte, NC 28203 704.332.2047 Civilian 6908-C Phillips Place Ct. Charlotte, NC 28210 704.554.1908

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who is blü founder/publisher/photographer nico amortegui fashion editor/creative director camila amortegui copy editor laine dedmon contributing writers matthew brown street team/art assistants myk pate quân mai

cover credits lenka ulrichova

photo by Drexina Nelson

contributing photographers lenka ulrichova drexina nelson andrew kuykendall erik hason meagan long ashley gibson ivy mak andy photography

Blü Magazine is published quarterly in Charlotte, NC. There are only limited quantities printed of this magazine. We are an independently run magazine, so please show your support by giving us feedback and advertising so we can stay alive. If you would like to be part of our team or submit work, please visit for more information. Blü Magazine’s content may not be reproduced without written permission. Issue no.7 July - September 2009

3644 card st. charlotte, nc 28205 6 blü magazine

please recycle me

contents 10 local art_atlanta_dosa kim 14 art_charlotte_marcus kiser 18 fashion_fast track 22 fashion_fallen angel 28 meet me_viva la pura vida 30 fashion_sound & vision 34 fashion_dark tears

Photo by Lenka Ulrichova

40 showcase_shopping local 44 fashion_i still love you 48 meet me_young blood gallery 51 cool kids_bl端 issue no.6 release party

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.01 name: drexina nelson location: atlanta, georgia occupation: fashion photographer what did you contribute to this issue? a fashion spread what/who inspires you? people inspire me. life in general favorite summer pastime? relaxing with a good movie. georgia is too hot to go outside what have you read lately? joel osteen's book, your best life now: 7 steps to living at your full potential what are you listening to? all is fair in love, stevie wonder list 5 favorite things? life, family, smoothies, makeup, and shoes!!! hot or cold? cold... definitely cold ny or la? ny without a doubt! favorite fashion icon? iman because her beauty stands the test of time .02 name: eric hason location: brooklyn, ny occupation: photographer what did you contribute to this issue? pictures of kara. isn't she something? what/who inspires you? medecins sans frontieres (doctors without borders) favorite summer pastime? sitting under an umbrella at coney island followed by russian food in brighton beach what have you read lately? the bishop's boys: a life of wilbur and orville wright by tom crouch; jesusland: a memoir by julia scheers what are you listening to? just saw david byrne in prospect park, going to see elliot sharp on friday list 5 favorite things? bagels, macallan, geri, sam, my compost pile hot or cold? august - no a/c ny or la? in the same sentence? favorite fashion icon? hedi slimane



.03 name: andrew kuykendall location: los angeles occupation: fashion photographer what did you contribute to this issue? photographer what/who inspires you? egon scheile, david lynch, eastern europe, sushi, faye dunaway, tom waits, the california/ nevada desert, etc. favorite summer pastime? illegal fireworks and 3 bottles of cough syrup, green flavor what have you read lately? i'm ok, you're ok what are you listening to? music for teenage sex by baby buddha list 5 favorite things? hot sauce, road trips, polaroid film, pabst blue ribbon, girls hot or cold? i like to soak in the jacuzzi before i jump in the pool ny or la? los angeles is the new new york... not to mention nyc is nowhere near las vegas favorite fashion icon? david bowie... in labyrinth .04 name: lenka ulrichova location: los angeles occupation: photographer what did you contribute to this issue? photo story what/who inspires you? music, good movies, geometry favorite summer pastime? traveling, relaxing and shooting what have you read lately? pregnancy books what are you listening to? interpol, miles davis and my husband's snoring list 5 favorite things? sleeping, summer, the daily show, max the cat, milan kundera novels hot or cold? icy hot ny or la? la favorite fashion icon? paulina porizkova

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Tell us a little about yourself. I was born in 1976 in Knoxville, TN. I moved to Atlanta in 1989 and I've been here mostly ever since. How would you describe your pieces? My pieces are a mixture of things. They all started out on a digital format seeing as my background is in Graphic Design. Today, however, I’ve been all over the place; meaning that I have been using different mediums to make my creations come to life. From digital, to acrylics, to clay, pencil and paper, and even crayons, I have been pushing myself not to be limited to my mediums. What is the process you take to make each piece? The modus operandi for most of my pieces starts with music. It seems that my favorite pieces are done when I pick a song and press ‘repeat’. I'll listen to a song to death, but what I try to get or capture is a particular feeling or emotion. Sometimes I just go through old photos and look at past events in my life and try to convey what was going through my head at that time. Sometimes though, the best pieces seem to happen out of the blue and only takes a few minutes. Those seem to be the bangers. Don't know how they come out, but they do. In your opinion, which medium do you consider the easiest and which is the toughest to work with and why? Recently I feel that my paintings now are up to par and I really hope to do more. I think with just painting, there is no control Z. Watercolors for sure are the most difficult and the black ink works that I do. There are no corrections – very unforgiving. It’s kind of nice to do pieces this way because you have to understand your medium entirely to get the desired results. Where in Atlanta can we find your work? MJQ, Beep Beep Gallery, Art Department, Kiss FM Van, various clothing boutiques, Alcove Gallery, fliers, stickers, and various walls in and around Atlanta. Do you have a favorite art gallery in Atlanta? I really like so many… Beep Beep is great at finding great talent in the city and I love Art Department’s amazing attention to presentation. Mint and Alcove are also great. If you were showcased in one place anywhere in the world, where would it be? I don't really see it that way actually; I'm happy that I can affect the community around me. If it goes to other places – great. I find it more important to relate to the audience and be effective. You collaborated with Process for some T-shirt designs. Will you be doing more in the future? I would love to; I love working on collaborations. The Process was

great. Currently I'm working for Ghostly International Records, Nike, and various stores in Atlanta. You have initiated a lot of your own projects. How does this compare to clients commissioning you to do work? Well my own projects come out of pocket, but the best thing about them is that they are my own vision and what I want to do. The commission work can be fun at times, but deadlines and making sure the client is happy can be really hard to put together. I never know when great imagery will pull through; it’s something I can never predict. Sometimes working for a client will push me to think in a way that I have never thought of before and at times, new styles have been born. I think the creative process in general is a good thing and if you are into it, you should just do both and constantly learn. Who or what inspires you? I know this sounds dorky, but the people I have met in Atlanta. The people I see here in Atlanta, the scenarios that happen with my peers are my main source of inspiration. From the DJs, the graff scene, and the different businesses here – everyone seems to have a great story. If I could have the time to illustrate them all, I really would like to someday. Name some of your favorite artists. I love Ashley Woods, Michi, Sam Parker, Shawn Thruston, Bethany Marchman, Dan May, James Jean, Herakut, and David Choe. This list can go on forever. What would you change about the art scene in Atlanta? There are so many talented people here. I wish more people in Atlanta would take the art scene a little more seriously. The problem with Atlanta is not the artists, but the community. These artists are stamping and subconsciously creating our trends and yet people here are blinded by NYC and LA, when the real talent lives right under our noses. It’s unfortunate that it’s like that. Hopefully there are enough of us that will able to change the course of culture in Atlanta. How do you avoid following trends/clichés? I just draw and make things that seem to make sense to me. I used to be influenced by the things I would read in magazines or books, but today I'm inspired by fellow artists around me. This is how you stay ahead of the pack, by the company you keep. Is being unique important to you? I like to think so, but it seems when you start to look at the history of art, everything has been done in one way or another. What we are looking for is imagery that links all audiences together as an artist.

For more information please visit blü magazine 13

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Born and raised in Clt, independent artist Marcus Kiser, beams with positive creativity. His love for comics, hip-hop and video games can be seen through his powerful art pieces. As a founding member of the art co-op, God City, Kiser certainly lives out their mission in educating and enlightening the masses. Read on to find out how we can all learn from Kiser's outlook against worldly possessions and why you won't hear him hating on the QC.

Tell everyone who you are, where you're from, and what you do. Marcus Kiser, from Charlotte. I’m a graphic designer/illustrator. How long have you been into creativity, and can you remember your main influence or what got you started? I’ve been interested in art and design my whole life. My biggest influence came from hip-hop culture and comic books. I remember reading those old image comics with the digital coloring and listening to Black Moon and Wu-Tang back in 1993. I couldn't rhyme, but I could draw. What pushes or motivates you to create? Emptiness, blankness, bareness. I don’t like empty things; my mind works in weird ways. Sometimes I’m motivated by what other artists are doing out there, most of the time (96%), it comes from me though. I'm my biggest motivation now. I think we all should be our biggest motivators. Does your work generally involve a long, drawn-out process leading up to production, or do you prefer to come up with ideas on the spot? It depends what it is. I’m always just doodling throughout the day with no real concept and most of the time I have 3 or 4 that I turn into actual pieces. Some projects I do have long, drawn-out thought processes and some I can come up with on the spot. What are your favorite mediums and/or tools to work with? I really like Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, any of them I can use – and of course pen and inks. Tell us a bit about God City. God City was started in 2005 by four like-minded individuals: John Hairston Jr, Antoine Williams, Wolly Vinyl and myself. It just kind of came together. We wanted to see more of the things we liked in our city. We came together with similar interests in art, comics, music, culture, and most importantly, an undying desire to make a change. We are heavily influenced by hip-hop culture, comics, and history. We are not a religious group; we've been mistaken for everything from a gang (by Charlotte's finest) to a church group. The God City name comes from the mathematics of 704, the Charlotte area code. G=7, O=0, D=4. We're an art team that thrives on one mission: to educate, enlighten, assist, and entertain the people though artistic expression.

What do you typically like to listen to in the summertime? Ike Turnah, Little Brother, The Others, MF Doom, and Hall & Oates (classic material) to name a few, I could go on forever. What's your favorite thing about Charlotte? I like the city; it’s growing. I wish more people would take charge of things rather than waiting to see what’s going on in Atl, NY, etc. But, I’m starting to see people take control instead of just copying and waiting. I can’t really "diss" the City, because I was born and raised here. I’ve lived here my whole life, so for me to hate it, is to hate myself and what I’m about. I strive to be a great artist, a great designer and a great individual…so there is something good about Charlotte. What are your three most prized possessions? That one's tough. I’m trying to detach myself from materialistic things; I’ve learned that those things come and go with no real value. As long as I keep a positive and a motivated cast of people around me, that’s good enough for me. If you could be a contestant on any televised game show, which one do you think you'd have the best shot at? Probably that old show from the late 80s, early 90s where the kids played the NES games and then they got to run through a maze with Velcro vests on and get as many games as possible. Everyone would get the NES games, but I would've gotten the Genesis ones because I was the first person in my neighborhood to have a Genesis. I wanted to be on the Tecmo Bowl episode. I could have played with Eric Dickerson and really won. I can’t remember the name of that show, but I had it all planned out! *The show was called Video Power.

Where do you see yourself in 25 years? I could be anywhere – still doing what I love to do, being a positive influence on society, and bringing up the next generation that wants to make the world a better place. Do you have any parting words or propaganda to leave everyone with? My God City team and affiliates throughout the world and my hi-rez graffix crew. Also, check out my website – and

Other than art, what are some things that interest you? Video games and music mostly.

Interview by Matthew Brown blü magazine 17


Photographer: Drexina Nelson Wardrobe Stylist: Hayden Hair: Lee Barnes Makeup: Stephanie Dawn Model: Larissa for Elite Model Management NY Top: Helmut Lang Sweater: Zero + Maria Cornejo Shorts: Wayne Shoes: Boutique 9 bl端 magazine 19

fashion Top: A.P.C. Swimsuit: DKNY Shoes: L.A.M.B.

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Dress: Zero + Maria Cornejo Shoes: Calvin Klein

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Trench coat: Chan Luu Ivory Petticoat: Chic Little Devil Ivory Fabric & Swarovski Crystal Necklace: Candace Ang 22 bl端 magazine

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Photographer: Lenka Styling: Katie Riney Hair and make up: Michelle Mungcal Model: Sydney from FORD White one piece: Susan Holmes Metallic Apronette: Barrett Design Vintage Gold Arm Cuff: Chic Little Devil Gold cuff with Opalite stones: Jill Sander Bags Shoes: Madison bl端 magazine 23


Two Piece Top: Barrett Design Net Skirt: Barrett Design White Leather Gloves: Ines at Chic Little Devil Purple Headband: Jane Tran White Stone Bracelet: Chan Luu 24 bl端 magazine

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fashion Vintage Collar: Barrett Design

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Scarf: Chan Luu Jersey Wrap / Top: Barrett Design Sage Jumper: Jamison Pale Pink Pearl Necklace: Chan Luu Silver Ring: Chan Luu bl端 magazine 27


Interview by Laine Dedmon

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VIVA LA PURA VIDA From the Central Ave. sidewalk, the smell of incense, colorful sights, and original art pieces that peek the curiosity all entice customers to come in and stay a while. Pura Vida Worldly Art gallery/boutique and lounge is an absolute treat for the senses with its sundry of ethnic wares from around the globe. Mexico native and owner, Teresa Hernandez, has created a beautiful, eclectic place to shop where diversity is celebrated and embraced. Her store is what continues to make the Plaza-Midwood niche unique and inviting.

Where are you from originally? I was born in San Luis Potosi, Mexico in a super tiny town of about 100 people. No running water or electricity to this day. My family herded sheep and raised cows. Very tranquil.

That's when I plunged into my business plan and eventually opened the store. I love it. I not only feed my soul daily, but I also feel that I feed other people's soul through the merchandise and energy of the store.

How did Charlotte become your home? After grad school (I went to UT-Austin for my MBA), I took a job with Accenture, a businessconsulting firm. I was given a choice to be based out of Denver, Chicago or Charlotte. I chose Charlotte because of the weather.

Tell us what pura vida means. The literal translation is "pure life" but it means many more things than that. It's actually a typical saying from Costa Rica. Ticos use it to say life is good, things are good, people are good and even as a salutation.

How was Pura Vida born? Long story because it was years of thinking about this before I took action. I took a long sabbatical while I was with Accenture and spent three months in Europe and six in Mexico. As I traveled through Mexico I kept discovering amazing textiles and other handicrafts. In speaking with the artisans, I found out that many of them travel hours every single day by foot from their small town to a larger city to sell their crafts. They would wake up in the early morning hours around 4 am and then walk 2-3 hours so that they would arrive by 6 or 7 am to maximize their potential sales. Usually, they would lay out a blanket in a park or zocalo and peddle their wares all day long. Sometimes, they'd barely make enough to get something to eat; then, they'd trek back home. It was during that time that the question of how I could support them started brewing. I thought if people in the U.S saw how beautiful these things are, they would definitely buy them. It stayed in the back of my mind and it was years before I made the leap. Several things pushed me including hearing Hope Nichols, owner of Boris and Natasha, speak at a Young Affiliates of the Mint Museum event called Integrating Art into Every Day Life. To Hope, it was clear that in following a passion, you fuel your soul. As I listened to her, I realized that although I enjoyed working in corporate, I wasn't feeding my soul any longer.

How would you describe the genre of art your store carries? Hand-crafted art from around the globe. We have items from over 40 countries and it's more than what one might visualize when thinking of "art". To me, art can be just about anything that is created. So, although we carry some paintings, we also carry clothing, jewelry, toys, bags, pottery and beautiful folk art. The prices range from $1 to several hundred so there's something here for everyone. About 60-70% of the items we import come from artist co-ops or organizations that are actually Certified Fair Trade. The remainder is due to buying directly from artists and markets when I travel. We also carry some local art on consignment and lots of books. Do you personally buy/select all the items for the store? I do. Every single item! What are your favorite pieces in the store right now? I'm really digging some of the summer clothes we just got in. I always love all the religious relics and good luck amulets we carry. Anything with a story.

From time to time, we also do workshops there. We have a full service espresso bar so customers can use the Lounge any time to enjoy their drink, chat with friends, or use our free wifi. Is there a particular genre of music you seek for the Lounge? Just that it's good. In the past few years we've had Brazilian, Colombian, Mexican, Indian, Middle-eastern and lots of American folk music. If the artist/musician is good, we like to give him/ her a chance to showcase their talent. In your opinion how has the Charlotte art scene changed (or not) in the past five years? Thanks to grants from the Arts & Science Council, cultural exhibits at respected museums such as the Levine and local art collectives such as God City, we are exposed to a broader range of art. Political, hip-hop, ethnic and even comicbook art has become more visible. I would like to see more community-based public art projects such as large murals depicting the many faces and changes in Charlotte. Tell us about the Plaza-Midwood Krawl. The Plaza-Midwood Krawl is held quarterly and is similar to other neighborhood crawls where businesses stay open late and host lots of live music and art. It's a chance for people to experience the neighborhood. Our Krawls typically last until 11 pm. For those few who still have not made the Central Ave. corridor their dining and shopping destination, Teresa exclaims that with the “great shops, delicious food, fun atmosphere and lots of character, you'll want to come back every weekend!”

Tell us about the Gypsy Lounge. The Gypsy Lounge is a cozy room located at the back of the gallery where we host live music featuring great international and local musicians.

For more information on Pura Vida Worldly Art, visit

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Top: Cosa Nostra hooded Skirt: BDes Vintage jeweled belt

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Photographer: Andrew Kuykendall Makeup: Chelsea Allen using NARS cosmetics Hair: Jessica Wolfe Wardrobe: Christopher Mannor Model: Dani at Photogenics LA

Parachute Gown: Maggie Barry

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Pants: Phillipe and David Blond Top: Nobody Shoes: Dolce & Gabbana 32 bl端 magazine

Dress: Maggie Barry Cropped Leather Jacket: Skin Graft Tights: American Apparel Tights worn over: Chanel opaques Booties: Nine West Jewelery: Rashel Karlin


Dress: Dalia Jacket: Kelly Nishimoto Tights: American Apparel and Chanel Boots: Nine West


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Dark Tears Photographer: Eric Hason Fashion stylist: Jason Rembert for Balan Inc. Makeup/hair: Theresa Francine Model: Kara at Basic Model Management

Fringed Blouse and Skirt: LaQuan Smith

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Black Dress: American Apparel Skirt: Dominique Auxilly

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Spiked Gold Dress: LaQuan Smith Wool Vest: Sohung Boots: John Fluevo


Vest: Amparo3 Skirt: Sohung Shoes: Top Shop

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Crochet top: Vidhsel vs. Lliam Caged Ankle Boot: Baby Phat Necklace: Vidhsel vs. Lliam

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Farshad Arshid

where are you located? we have two locations in atlanta. one is lenox square, and one at 1841 peachtree rd. what do you carry? we carry nike, gstar, alife, bbc icecream, dc shoes, vans, the hundreds, maharishi, 10 deep, gant, wesc, gourmet, generic surplus, creative recreation. what's your price range? for footwear it's $40$250. for clothing it's $25-$1200. we like to cover the entire spectrum. what clientele do you cater to? we cater to several groups including young high school and college kids, young professionals who are into fashion, and of course sneaker heads. how long have you been in business? 6 years. what's your favorite/least favorite part about owning your own store? when a kid from out of town drags his parents in when they're on

vacation because "he had to come see standard". least favorite part is the work can burn out real easy. favorite item in your store? dc admirals x standard collaboration shoes. best summer item? bbc cones and bones shorts. favorite thing about summer? it's get dark out later and your days are longer. list 5 must-have items we can get from your store? gstar jeans, maharishi organic cotton statium jacket, gourmet l'duo, bbc logo tee, amongst friends belts. fill in the blank: i need more rest. why did you open your store? i felt that there was a need in the atlanta market at the time and at the end of the day, i truly enjoy retail.


Bill Hallman

where are you located? bh women 784 n highland ave; bh men 792 n highland ave; bh flaunt 424 moreland ave. what do you carry? a mix of established and emerging designers. a strong support for local talent including our own brand, and hand selected classic and trend vintage. paul smith, black and gold, beryl blush blonde, nudie jeans, naked and famous, wool rich, g-shock, tsovet, dl1961, and zachary prell. what's your price range? $25-900. what clientele do you cater to? 20-50, from college students to young professionals, business owners, and celebs. how long have you been in business? since 1990.

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what's your favorite part about owning your own store? the creative freedom. favorite item in your store? 1970's mexican, hand-tooled, vintage suitcase, $595. best summer item? zachary prell dress shirt for men $159- $189. favorite thing about summer? water - creeks, streams, pools, and the ocean. fill in the blank: i need more time. why did you open your store? i got off from the idea that people wanted to buy my work.

With the downward trend of the current economy, it has never been more important to shop local and support locally owned businesses. Check out these four Charlotte and Atlanta-area shops and find out how their owners are making positive strides to bring us the latest in denim, dresses, vintage, rock 'n roll and street wear.


Jaci Effron

where are you located? jac is located in inman park, atlanta. what do you carry? we’ve filled jac with a carefully edited mix of men and women’s clothing, gifts and specialty goods from around the world. what's your price range? $5 - $350. what clientele do you cater to? people that like to look good, live well and give great gifts. how long have you been in business? 2 years. what's your favorite/least favorite part about owning your own store? i love discovering lovely goods for the shop and then helping people find the one that makes them happy. my least favorite part of owning a store is that it's 100% store 100% of the time – you never get a break! favorite item in your store? the property of… bags.

best summer item? a handmade lemlem scarf by ethiopian model liya kebede. you can wear it around your body as a sarong or around your neck to keep off the chill in the air conditioning. favorite thing about summer? lots of trips to the lake and mountains! list 5 must-have items we can get from your store? adorable onesies by smafolk; gorgeous jewelry by toki; the best frye boots and sandals; super unique dresses by built by wendy; and the perfect hostess gift – an owl bottle opener! fill in the blank: i need more organization! why did you open your store? it was a longtime dream to create a mini-emporium full of well-designed items.



Tia Jones & Jason Geter

where are you located? 774 north highland avenue ne atlanta, ga what do you carry? men & women’s casual/ sportswear - strivers row, canterbury of new zealand, prps, adriano goldschmied, g-shock (watches), mosley tribes (sunglasses), wesc, william rast, hellz bellz, bold wear and dap rugget. what's your price range? we are a high-end boutique, thus prices vary. we have items for any budget. we provide great sales. what clientele do you cater to? the luxurious, classic and sophisticated men and women. those who focus on detail and quality, looking for fashion growth, and a means of fashion maturity. customers of all ages may join the strivers row fashion forward at anytime! how long have you been in business? strivers row opened march 2009. we are a new business, striving for excellence. what's your favorite/least favorite part about owning your own store? having a chance to influence the world encouraging fashion, entrepreneurship and leadership within our community and on an international level.

favorite item in your store? our mosley tribe castellano sunglasses and crooks & castles exclusive white pair. these have been seen on jay-z and b.o.b. summer must-haves! best summer item? strivers row t-shirts – many to choose from. cool & comfortable. favorite thing about summer? summer clothing color! the virginia highland community summer festivals and seeing customers at atlanta's local piedmont park and mtv with strivers row tees on – the greatest! list 5 must-have items we can get from your store? G-Shock Frogman, Mosley Tribe Castellanos, PRPS Denim, William Rast Jheri, Skinny Jeans (ladies) and Strivers Row Tees. fill in the blank: i need more open-minds. why did you open your store? to create a fashion presence within atlanta, ga. a few brands we carry are out of la & ny. with the balance of city and luxury, we have created a best of both worlds here in the posh virginia highland community. we love the location as well as our total vision of our boutique and brand. more from strivers row brand coming soon.

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Jammie & Jonathan Dean


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where are you located? 1315 east boulevard, suite 180, clt 28203 what do you carry? women, kids and baby upscale clothing, jewelry and accessories for women. what's your price range? we have items ranging from $24 to $398. we just added a ‘women's $100 and under’ section for the summer. what clientele do you cater to? we now cater to all types of clients since adding our ‘$100 and under’ section. we are also known for being a one-stop shop for everyone. a place where you can buy a great black dress for that party tonight and pick up an outfit for your friend's baby shower tomorrow. how long have you been in business? petal opened on april 1, 2008. what's your favorite part about owning your own store? my favorite part about owning my own boutique is that i get to meet so many wonderful people. also, just getting to help someone find that perfect dress or top is the reason that i opened this boutique. best summer item? my best summer items would have to be anything in our ‘$100 and under’

section. there are cute dresses for $78 and tops for $58! favorite thing about summer? my favorite thing about summer is of course dresses!! i love dresses and the cutest ones are made in the summer. so light and easy to wear; summer is all about being comfortable and wearing lots of pop colors. fill in the blank: i need more dresses! why did you open your store? i opened petal to fill a void in charlotte – a store that had tons of cute dresses and impeccable customer service. at petal, we strive to make every visit a memorable one. we are constantly trying to find different vendors that we can bring to charlotte that no one else has. petal now has a website that you can shop on 24 hours a day.

where are you located?

face when they have found the perfect outfit! my least favorite is the stress that goes into owning your own business. favorite item in your store? my personal favorites are these red engine distressed skinnies! they are super comfortable and have an amazing fit. i get compliments every time i wear them! best summer item? white jeans, of course! anything goes, from trouser, to boot cut, to distressed to skinnies…every fit is in style. favorite thing about summer? my favorite thing about summer is our $99 jean sale! we are now on our 3rd semi-annual jean sale (we have them in january and july). it is a hit among our customers and is one of the most anticipated sales of the year. i need more open-minded customers. i feel a lot of charlotte shoppers focus on highly commercialized brands and fail to appreciate new, up and coming designers, or labels/names that are popular, but just have not made it to charlotte or are in limited supply in charlotte. why did you open your store? i was a huge fan of premium denim and felt charlotte had a void in the denim market. i opened black & blue to bring new and fresh lines from a wide range of designers and styles. hopefully, with continued success we will be able to carry an even larger selection and will have everything from that perfect little black dress to the perfect pair of jeans.

Cheryl Little black & blue is located in the morrison shopping center at the intersection of colony and sharon roads. we are currently located beside varji & varji salon, but are in the process of relocating the store to the front of the shopping center next to chezelle and barnes & noble! the new store will open by august (hopefully!). what do you carry? we are a trendy men and women’s boutique with an emphasis on premium denim. our focus is to bring new lines to the charlotte area that cannot be found in every other boutique or at the mall. we are exclusive to denim lines such as kasil and stitch’s, and feature other lines like anlo, hudson, habitual, red engine, rich & skinny, and taverniti. we have a wide selection of dresses, tops and accessories for the ladies; and for the men, we carry the perfect shirt or tee from lines including modern amusement, 7 diamonds, don’t tread on me and french connection. what's your price range? $140 to $250 for denim. we have a little something for everyone, no matter your budget! what clientele do you cater to? everyone! black & blue has a wide selection of denim, from dressy trouser jeans to distressed boyfriend jeans. we have every style of jean imaginable! we adjust our inventory constantly based on our customer requests. how long have you been in business? black & blue opened in march 2008. what's your favorite/least favorite part about owning your own store? my favorite part of owning my own business is loving what i do and seeing a smile on my customers’


Brandon Vierbrock

where are you located? revolution is located at the epicentre in uptown charlotte on the corner of trade street and college street. what do you carry? revolution is best described as an ambiguous boutique, from designer denim and apparel for men and women, to skateboards and skate apparel, to vintage concert tees, and piercings. what's your price range? our prices range from $19.99 to $120 for tees; designer denim ranges from $49.99 to $549.99; and shoes range from $59.99 to $500. what clientele do you cater to? revolution cross-engineers several cultures and lifestyles. we are very diverse in our product mix, which brings quite the motley crew of clientele. how long have you been in business? revolution opened march 4, 2009.

what's your favorite/least favorite part about owning your own store? my favorite part is undoubtedly customer satisfaction, for people to be really satisfied by our genuine smiles and beautiful product. my least favorite part of owning my own business is theft. best summer item? my favorite summer items are our rock-and-roll bikinis. betty bangs takes vintage concert tees and makes amazing bikinis out of them. super hot! favorite thing about summer? my favorite thing about summer is summer nights. the summer air in the nighttime inspires me to swim with the dolphins. fill in the blank: i need more time. why did you open your store? to give people downtown something to do besides drink and eat.

HONG KONG VINTAGE where are you located? we just moved to a new, larger location at 1514 central avenue, in plazamidwood. what do you carry? vintage clothing, shoes, accessories, jewelry, furniture, housewares, linens, artwork...a little bit of everything. favorite item in your store? with inventory constantly changing, favorites come and go day by day; but i'm really excited about the addition of vintage children's clothing at the new location. what clientele do you cater to? anybody and everybody. how long have you been in business? six years this summer. what is your favorite/least favorite part of owning your own store? favorite is when someone finds just what they are looking for. seeing a great bag or pair of shoes go home with someone who will really appreciate them. least favorite is wishing i could be everywhere at once.


Elizabeth Steinfels what's your price range? it varies, you may find a $6 t-shirt and a $60 leather jacket. most items are priced somewhere between $10 and $ 20. best summer item? maxi sundress, a big hat and an over sized clutch. favorite thing about summer? more hours in the day. list 5 must-have items we can get from your store? super soft t-shirts, perfect party dress, jewelry no one else will have, a leather clutch for a bargain and broken-in boots that fit like a glove. fill in the blank: i need more closet space. why did you open a store? ito fill a niche that was missing in charlotte.

Bobby Webster

where are you located? 1504 camden rd. #100, (corner of camden and s. tryon) in southend what do you carry? men and women's apparel, footwear, accessories and some select vinyl toys. favorite item in your store? hmm..that's a tough one. i think currently for me it's the a.p.c. denim or one of the new shades of greige wovens. what clientele do you cater to? we have a pretty wide range of products, so our customers are equally diverse. we have the sneaker heads that come in because we have a wide variety of limited edition sneakers, but we also have more sophisticated customers coming in for denim or cut 'n sew items. our women's selection has also stepped it up; so we also have the 17-35 year old women looking for something unique. how long have you been in business? four years how many employees do you have? i'm lucky enough to have a great "on call" team! the majority of hours are worked by adam and i, but shout outs to camila, cigi, turbo and shawn for working their 1 day a week! of course i've got to include radar and ben g on this list. they aren't employees so much as they are part of the "brain trust!"

what's your price range? the cheapest item would be a blind box vinyl toy for $5, but most things range from $24-40 for a tee, $40-$150 shoes and $40-$200 for all other clothing items and denim. best summer item? you can't go wrong with a nice tee and some vans! favorite thing about summer? i actually prefer colder weather rather than the 2000% humidity we get here in the qc! definitely my favorite thing though would be the longer days and grilling out! fill in the blank: i need more customers of course! why did you open a store? i get asked this a lot. i've been interested in fashion for as long as i can remember. i never could really lock down what my exact style was. i got a chance to do some travelling in college and experience so many unique stores. one that really opened my eyes was huf in sf. it was a tiny store, but everything was so well thought out. i had never seen sneakers or tees displayed the way they did. you could really tell they weren't out to just throw together another retail store. everything was super clean and minimal. i really wanted to bring my own twist on this style to charlotte, because i knew nothing like it existed in the carolinas.



Photography: Nico Model: Lindsay from Wilhelmina-Evolution Styling: Camila Amortegui Makeup and hair: Kymm at Assistant Stylist: Qu창n Mai

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Jumpsuit: Phillip Lim available at Poole Shop Belt: Phillip Lim available at Poole Shop Shoes: Stylist's own

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Top: Alexander Wang available at Poole Shop Shorts: Insight available at Niche

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Dress: Glam available at Boris and Natasha Jacket: All Dressed Up available at Poole Shop Shoes:Stylist's own

Top: Alexander Wang available at Poole Shop Pants: French Connection available at Boris and Natasha Necklace: Mckila Shoes:Stylist's own

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meet me_atlanta

YOUNG BLOOD GALLERY Long-time friends, Maggie White and Kelly Teasley, felt Atlanta's art scene was lacking in young and emerging artists. So in the summer of '97, the two decided to do something about it and created Young Blood Gallery and Boutique. Starting with actual 'home-made' art shows to now more elaborate productions (like Sk8 or Die), Young Blood became a leader in supporting local, indie artists.

Where are you from? I'm from Georgia. I went to Antioch College in Ohio, got a BFA then went to Portfolio Center here in Atlanta for design. Maggie and I were best friends since high school and she was finishing college at GA State when I graduated; so, I decided to move back down south where it's warm and sunny. How was Young Blood born? Young Blood was born in the summer of 1997 in my and Maggie’s house in the West End of Atlanta. I had just graduated with a degree in painting, and was discouraged by what the galleries were showing here in Atlanta – and their lack of support for local emerging artists. The house we were living in had large ceilings and big white walls – perfect for a gallery. We posted fliers around

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the colleges and art supply stores asking if anyone was interested in showing work in a house art show and to give us a call – and well, folks called. The first few shows were just a come one, come all. We then started to develop themes for artists to work from and also selecting artists to have their own shows. We had shows out of that house from 1997-1999 about every three months. In 1999 we found it annoying to move our furniture into our garage every three months so we looked for a permanent home for now named Young Blood Gallery (because we featured young/emerging artists). We found it in an old TV repair shop in the neighborhood of Grant Park. After renovating, we had our first show in May of 1999. From 1999-2002 the building was half gallery, half studio space. In 2002

Maggie turned the studio space into a boutique featuring all handmade or designed by an artist wares. How would you describe your store? We feature local, national and international, hand made jewelry, clothing, prints, books, art, house wares, baby wares, accessories, cards and many other random things – all one of a kind or on short-runs. Define indie. I think that independent crafters, artists and designers make it all. Most are young and therefore their "style" of craft is not your traditional pottery, beaded jewelry, wood carving, glassblowing, quilt and knitting kind of mountain craft you're used to seeing at a "craft fair". Even though a lot of

our artists do use that type of medium, it's just stylistically done in a more modern or obviously retro kind of way. How do you decide which artists to showcase? I usually look for new interesting work that's not following certain trends in the art world, which is sometimes hard to avoid, so I depend on their quality or take on that style. We like to have a few group shows a year to test out new artists and work with other spaces in trades or the local art school. Is there a particular genre of art you like to cater to? Just new fresh, we only work with emerging artists. We occasionally work with an artist that is bigger in other parts of the country, but folks don’t know them here. Atl is a little behind, so we like to bring some artists here that are at mid-level just so folks here in Atlanta can experience them. Which artists are you currently showcasing? We currently have a group show of works on paper from artists that show at [5] Art Gallery in Tampa, FL. The show continues to a gallery in Nashville, then California. Our July show is Darnell Wilburn (, an Atlanta photographer.

Can you tell us a little bit about the past show Sk8 or Die? What was the idea behind it? This year was the fourth time we did the Sk8 or Die show; we have done it every other year since 2003. The idea came because we wanted to do a show where everyone used the same type of item to do artwork on. We had several ideas, but settled on the skateboard. We asked artists of all mediums to see what they'd come up with inside the space of a skateboard. We also wanted them all to be the same price so there wasn’t any hierarchy and so that folks could afford the artists’ work. We combined it with outdoor skating and it has become one of our most popular shows.

have to move on, but it always seems like there's someone taking their place. I think there was a void in the mid-range galleries, but that seems to have changed since the opening of Castleberry Hill Art District.

You focus on supporting local artists in the community. How has the community responded? I think the community has always been supportive to us and everyone is thankful for any of the alternative spaces around town that support local and emerging artists.

What would you like to accomplish in the next year? We moved into our new space a year ago and love it. I'd love to still be here next year. I'd love to make it through this economy and have more exciting and new projects lined up.

Who are some of your favorite local artists? R Land, Laura Bell, Matt Haffner, Squanto, David Hale, Sam Parker, Steve Dixey, and Ann Marie Manker. Tell us about Kraftwork. Kraftwork is our monthly craft market where local crafters set up tables and sell stuff they make. We have it the first Thursday of every month and organize it with the girls from I.C.E (Indie Craft Experience).

Do you feel there's a void in Atlanta's art scene? I feel like there is always an overturn of spaces, which is great for the energy but sad for the awesome spaces that have to fold. Most folks run out of energy or money and blü magazine 49

For the issue no.6 release party, we asked Eric Hurtgen and Matthew Brown to create an original backdrop for our party pics. Putting their artistic spray skills to use, the two produced an awesome graffiti piece for Bl端's cool kids to cheese next to. Thanks guys!

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bl端 magazine party at the forum. 04.30.09

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6815-c Phillips Place Ct. Charlotte, NC 28210 704.553.8868 52 bl端 magazine

Blu Magazine Issue no.7  

Art, fashion, culture in Charlotte, NC and Atlanta, GA. Featuring editorials by national photographers.

Blu Magazine Issue no.7  

Art, fashion, culture in Charlotte, NC and Atlanta, GA. Featuring editorials by national photographers.