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Th e keys to h a p p i n e ss a re i n you r h a n d s


L u x u r y f o r t h e S OU L


& Love

WINTER 2019 Luxury for the soul

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Winter ISSUE

Luxury for the SOUL


Jackie Cruz Orange is the New Black’s Jackie Cruz makes magic from mayhem


TRUE COLORS Time to sparkle, shiny makeup will get you holiday glam ready


RIDING IN HIGH FASHION From jewel-tones to pastels, it’s the decorative details that make these evening dresses gala-worthy


ACHIEVING YOUR dreams one #yellowbus at a time How chasing a bus and a purpose led a young girl from the dirt roads of South Texas to traveling the world as a CNN correspondent


SAL VELEZ JR. From producing to acting, writing, and music this Chicago-born triple-threat Sal Velez JR. puts the work in working actor

In Every Issue 4 / EBSESSION 5 / Editor’s Words 7 / CONTRIBUTORS 9 / Masthead

107 Strong women empowered & free From media to song & dance and from the small and big screens to theater, eight women personify devotion, all dedicated to one common calling: uplifting other women

S 124 ENvision & Create the life of your dreams Chris Lee, author of Transform Your Life: 10 Principles of Abundance and Prosperity shares 5 steps on how to get the dream you have always wanted

Photography: Elisabeth Caren IG @ecarenphoto @loveartistsagency Photo Assistants: Christian Raices and Josh Davis Hair: Matt Fugate @ Forward Artists using Oribe IG @Mattshair Makeup: Jorge Monroy IG @makeupbyjmonroy Styling: Philippe Uter for TheOnly.Agency IG @philippeuter post production: Wet Noodles


You can h ave an yt h i n g you wa n t i n l i fe i f you d re s s for i t Bee Goddess Jardin Star Necklace $3,840, beegoddess.com

schique Intuitive Restoration Renewing Mask $48, schique.com

Valani Atelier Aquamarine Diamond Earrings $4,840, valani.com

ALEXANDER MCQUEEN Studded Snake-effect Leather Wrap Midi Skirt $4,650, net-a-porter.com

La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Cream Remastered with Caviar Premier $485, Laprairie.com schique Hydra Glisten Revitalizing Mist $38, schique.com


Ain’t it Rich Inspired by Runway ELegance, Here are some of MY picks to add sophistication to your look

NANCY GONZALEZ Mink with Crocodile Trim Clutch specialty order from Bergdorf Goodman

Coach $195, coach.com

OC Vintage Signature Ring $8,770, oriannecollins.com GIUSEPPE ZANOTTI Cruel Sparkle $2,125, giuseppezanotti.com

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WORDS FOR THE SOUL G rati t u de tu rn s wh at we h ave in to en ou gh

My Words

This is your life. Do what you love and do it often. That is what I would always hear the little voice

in my head telling me. So I did. Here I am writing my first Editor’s Note in my own magazine! Finally, a platform where I can share stories to inspire and motivate women. A dream come true. Getting here has taken years and it was not always an easy journey. I have wanted to create a magazine for so long but the timing never seemed quite right. And so the years went by, and occasionally, life got hard. I lost young and vibrant friends much too soon, some to cancer and one on 911. Then my father, to whom I was especially close, passed away. Still, I choose to live my life with faith and gratitude. I am grateful for my mom and I am thankful for my supportive husband and my wonderful two daughters. I created this magazine for me, but also for them. For if I never pursue my own dream, how do I teach my daughters to pursue theirs? I am grateful for all of the experiences in life that have gotten me to this place along my life’s journey. My experiences have molded me in so many ways — both personally and professionally. As I considered my vision for this publication one thing was clear: I knew that I did not want a typical lifestyle magazine without a purpose of its own. While working as a creative director for consumer magazines for many years, I rubbed elbows with celebs, fashion stylists and makeup artists. I met so many amazing people along the way. I learned that just like the rest of us, all they want is to live a happy life and to pursue a purpose. I cultivated these relationships and used them as inspiration…to help ground me, to live in the moment and to find my own purpose. Finally, I knew what I wanted this magazine to be. I found its purpose, too! Finally, it is real. Ebby Magazine: luxury for the soul was designed and came to life. This is not just a typical luxury magazine. The concept is also about being inspired and motivated. My goal is to create a luxury magazine that has elegance and quality but with a focus on creating a desire in women to be still, be strong, and just breathe. Sometimes we are so busy in our everyday lives that we forget to breathe and be present to every day. My goal is to inspire women to experience the luxury of peace, to experience a soulful connection to gratitude, take that moment to listen to your heart and discover your own passion, and attract what you deserve. To dream your dream, to be conscious, find peace and happiness and achieve your creative and authentic self. Ebby Magazine will offer you insights into enjoying your best life— from fashion and beauty and food and travel to entertainment and inspiration. My hope for you and for all women is a focus on the things that matter: self-love, gratitude, possibilities and food for your soul. We help encourage you to think about your life and to nourish the mind, body, and spirit. This magazine is for women who love the finer things and live to enjoy the best life has to offer. It is luxury for the soul. Join me and be inspired by stories such as that of cover model and celebrity Jackie Cruz, who turned tragedy into purpose, page 62. We introduce you to Sal Velez Jr., who shares his story of growing up in a tough neighborhood and how his passion for performing and telling stories was born in his grandmother’s living room. That passion has led him to a successful career in acting; he has appeared in a multitude of films, worked with major screen stars in TV and movies, page 96. And last but certainly not least, meet Victoria Loke of Crazy Rich Asians’ fame, who discusses a multitude of topics, including next-gen Asian talent and the importance of telling our own stories, page 55. Be inspired by their stories. Then, be bold. Live an inspirational story of your own. I will be cheering for you. For all of us. With Gratitude,


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FASHION for the soul 22

GOLD RUSH Gold jewelry adds the perfect touch of gleam & glisten


Blazing Star The rose gold Sirius star earring


ON THE ROCKS Precious diamonds are a work of art


FAir & Square Fresh takes on classic, embellished clutches


Bags to love Must-have handbags from classic solids to a modern mix of colors to add to your look

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GET GLOWING Get ready for winter & treat your skin to a deliciously dewy look


A nEW HUE Winter’s new makeup colors perfect for your favorite beauty looks

It’s all in the details Top accessories that will shine any outfit in your closet


Fashion Meets politics Designer Stella Nolasco makes a statement on the runway


A perfect Duex Brilliantly paired shoes & bags for a night to remember


Truly Timeless The classic white shirt is the ultimate way to top an outfit


SO LUSH Luxuriously hydrating hand creams you will love


HEaven Scent Fresh fragrances that will lift your spirits


The PERFECT FACE Celebrity makeup artist Ashunta Sheriff launches her new beauty line


Let it snow! Coats that will make anything winter throws at you bearable


A BAG WITH HOPE Beamina lifestyle designer bags with a purpose


ADylia’s Ways Adylia Gutierrez, CEO of Adees Co., that manufactures a high quality leather products




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Shoe Designer Manifests mediterrean shoes Powerful Latinx shoe designer behind Fernando Mittelmeer Wrap ME UP From ankle to above-theknee & from crystal to fur, these boots are your new sole mates Jewelry with a purpose When your accessories have to be on point Grace Gonzalez has your back


GEtaway Chic Three-day weekend items that will have you traveling in style


A passion for fashion Tracy Nguyen comes upon her destiny for fashion & design

Culture for the soul 54

The SPOTLIGHT Movies and TV shows you don’t want to miss


Victoria Loke is more than meets the eye Crazy Rich Asian’s Victoria Loke talks movies, next gen and telling her own story


BREaking the Cycle of poverty through education Dr. Gloria Bonilla-Santiago, founder Community Leadership Center, is known as a trailblazer in higher education, a community activist and a visionary


READ & EXPLORE Christian Tagliavini inspired by the masters of renaissance, Amaze by Christina Mittermeier capturing photos around the world, Joyful by Ingrid Fetell Lee helps us explore our joy in life, Elliott Erwitt, Personal Best a collection of photographs taken throughout his legendary photographic career


Practicing love Ray Rosario is an artist and author. He encourages us to take a shot at expanding the affection we have for ourselves

LIVE LIFE for the soul 132 Brand NEW, Brand YOU Colette Werden tells us how she powers people to be authentic & confident leaders 134 HEaling Together Marci Hopkins gives us her inside look at how she is empowering others through her talk show 135 THE SOUL WEAVER Hanson Tse is a master healer and the developer of WAMBI exploration

LUXURY for the soul 139 LuxE gifts Your favorite people deserve great gifts, shower them with something from our luxe list 147 Say it with color Bold colors: don’t limit yourself when using them in your home 149 Words for the soul Inspiring and motivational words for your soul

CONTRIBUTORS We r i se by l i ft i n g ot h e r s WINTER 2019 FASHION FOR THE SOUL

The keys to ha ppi ne ss a re i n yo ur han d s



Elisabeth Caren is an editorial, advertising and fine art photographer based in Los Angeles. Elisabeth’s clients include Atlantic Records, CBS, Emmy, Lionsgate, NBC, and Sony. She has been commissioned to create portraits of many of the world’s most renowned celebrities. Elisabeth has won several International Photography Awards, PDN and American Photographic Artists awards and was a finalist for the Young Masters Art Prize. She spends as much time as possible in Paris and New York with her French screenwriter wife and toddler son.


& Love


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Jack Guy, a former Marlboro man and model, Guy eventually transitioned from in-front-of to behind the camera. He currently travels between coasts to photograph Hollywood’s hottest stars, including Salma Hayek, Blake Shelton, Gal Gadot and Julianne Moore.

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Quintin Perez & Ron Erick Odchigue New York City based beauty and fashion photographer Duo. Their work has been featured in Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Grazia, Marie Claire, Glamour and more.

Chris Lee is a Transformational Trainer, Best Selling Author, and Life Coach and TV/ Radio Personality from San Juan, Puerto Rico. For 30 years Chris has been traveling the world and has led seminars and workshops that has directly impacted over 1 million people teaching them the Art of living Abundant, Extraordinary and Succesful Lives! Chris Lee has worked with top companies worldwide. He also coaches many celebrities and business leaders, to create unprecedented results. Lee has created a workshop for teens called Torch / Antorcha that teaches adolescents the key to happiness and success lead all over US, Asia, and Latin America. Wrote best sellers “Dile Yes a la Vida!” And “Transform your life 10 Principles of Abundance and Prosperity." Chris Lee has been featured in top news and business publications. He is currently featured as a collaborator on Thrive Global by Arriana Huffington. You can also listen to Chris Lee on Lewis Howes School Of Greatness where Chris‘ 16 Interviews have already gotten over 1,000,000 downloads.

Isabel Nazario is Associate Vice President, Rutgers University. In 1992, she came to RU as the founding director of the Center for Latino Arts and Culture. She also oversees the Center for Women in the Arts and Humanities and the Images/Imágenes, Latinx television program. Over the years, Nazario has received distinguished awards from Hispanic Magazine, El Diario La Prensa, Institute for Latino Studies and the NFL Hispanic Heritage Award for her leadership in the arts, empowering Latina women initiatives, and creating innovative arts and health community programs.

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Daisy Solís, Senior Editor, is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and event planner. In her short career as a writer Daisy has interviewed such trailblazers as: Zulay Henao, Kate Del Castillo, Jorge Rámos, Aislinn Dérbez, Alejandra Espinoza, Kika Rocha, Regina Merson, Pili Montilla & Roselyn Sanchez, just to name a few. A woman who wears many hats, Daisy is also the Event Producer and Festive Thememaker for Los Angeles nightlife powerhouse Latin Dance Pro and hosts bi-monthly salsa & bachata nights with a vintage twist at the iconic Clifton’s Republic in Historic Downtown LA.

Tomás Romero is an award-winning writer/producer from Los Angeles. He writes about movies, future travel tech, inflight entertainment, and Hollywood for a number of print and digital media outlets worldwide.

P h o t o g r a p h y BY Ta n i a Q u i n ta n i ll a

Assistant(s): Rudy Arocha, Stylist: Krista Ynostrosa; Intern(s): Narissa Du Plessis; Hair: Robert Grimes; Makeup: Kelsey James; Model: Elizabeth Rachale from The Campbell Agency


L u x u a r y f o r t h e S OU L


Sylvia Martinez Top Editor

Tomás Romero Arts & Culture Editor

Isabel Nazario Editor-at-Large

Daisy Solís Cont ributing Senior Editor

Chris Lee Cont ributing Feature Editor

Rosa Flores Cont ributing Feature Editor

S Cont ributors

Ashley Jimenez Daniela Galvez Sarahi Castillo

Glenn Orzepowski Production Manager

EBBYMAGAZINE.com / @ebbymagazine

Mailing ADdress / One Bridge Plaza North, Suite 275, Fort Lee, NJ 07024


Tania Quintanilla Fashion/ advertising photographer and artist, born in Monterrey, Mexico, and now based in New York.

Daniela Galvez is a writer who has spent her entire career interviewing beauty and fashion experts, covering Fashion Week, and reporting on the latest beauty, fashion and lifestyle trend for outlets like Latina Magazine, Vivala, Influenster, and Etsy. When she’s not writing, Daniela can be found hunting for vintage and thrift shops and exploring new restaurants in New York City. Ashley Jimenez is a digital content creator with expertise in beauty, fashion, and lifestyle. She’s previously worked for as the beauty editor at Latina Magazine. She’s freelanced for Cosmo’s For Latinas, Harper’s BAZAAR, and NBC’s Today Show. As a Bronx Native raised by Dominican and Puerto Rican parents, she takes pride in her cultural roots with each story she creates. She’s a self-love enthusiast who believes in empowering women and the youth with her good vibes and content.”

“Every time I try to go where I really want to be... It’s already where I am... Because I’m already right here...” Dustin Huntington

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Sarahi Castillo is proud Latina chica from California where she graduated FIDM with a business/fashion degree. She moved to New York two years ago to pursue fashion. Since in New York she has assisted stylists, worked with creatives, and ventured into freelance writing. She has also contributed to Latina magazine.

Assistant(s): Rudy Arocha, Stylist: Krista Ynostrosa; Intern(s): Narissa Du Plessis; Hair: Robert Grimes; Makeup: Kelsey James; Model: Elizabeth Rachale from The Campbell Agency

For the soul

BEauty wHen you sparkle you inspire everyone around you

Photography BY Tania Quintanilla

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Eleg an ce i s t h e on l y b e a u t y t h a t n eve r fa d e s

Milani Hypnotic Lights Powder Highlighter $13, milanicosmetics.com ulta.com

One Love Organics Love + Charcoal Masque $49, oneloveorganics.com

Fourth Ray Line Keep Clear Clarifying Tonic $10, fourthraybeauty.com

Fourth Ray Line Scrunchies $6, fourthraybeauty.com

Get Glowing

Get ready for winter and Treat your skin to a deliciously dewy Look let the glow in your heart reflect in your Milani soul Rose Facial Oil $14,

Masqueology 24k Gold Under Eye Gels $15, masqueology.com

milanicosmetics.com ulta.com

Honey Belle 4-Pack Loofah Soap Refresh + Relax $28, honeybelleshop.com

Honey Belle DIY Detox Mask Coconut Rose $16, honeybelleshop.com

Joanna Vargas Miracle Bar, $22, JoannaVargas.com / Nordstrom.com

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Photographs: Quintin Perez + Ron Erick Odchigue

Model Anna Christina Schwartz; Stylist Oscar Montes de Oca; Make-up Victor Noble; Hair Melisande Page; Nails Mr. Luis; Studio Parlay Studios; Executive Producer Adam Himber

Honey Belle Rose Quartz Facial Roller $28, honeybelleshop.com


THE Fragrance Layering Collection

The Laundry Fragrance Layering collection comes in a ready-to-gift set of three that is packaged in an ultra-premium, high end box with a subtle linen texture and contrasting metallic, stud detail. Each fragrance is housed in a polished, heavy glass bottle featuring the contemporary twist of a studded collar. The set retails for $75 and will be available at Lord & Taylor and Amazon.

olor C f o p o P


B eau ty i s wh e n you ca n a p p re ci a t e you r se l f Fresh Sugar Spice Tinted Lip Treatment $24, fresh.com

e.l.f. Cosmetics OppositesAttract Eyeshadow $14, elfcosmetics.com

Model is wearing ColourPop Makeup

A New Hue

inspired by WINTER fashion, this season’s makeup colors are fresh, luxe and unapologetically bold: perfect for updating your favorite beauty looks Grand Cosmetics Mascara and Lash Curler Ornament $25, grandecosmetics.com

ColourPop No filter foundation $12, colourpop.com.

Beautyblender $20, beautyblender.com

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Photographs of MODELS: Yulia Gorbachenko; Makeup BY Lottie; Hair BY Sylvia Wheeler; Stylist Sandy Armeni; Nail Stylist Karen Gutierrez

UrBAN DECAY Aphrodisiac Hi-Fi Shine Ultra Cushion Lip Gloss Deep fuchsia shade with Blue/Pink Sparkle $20, urbandecay.com

j e t s s w i m w e a r. c o m


Take c a re of you r i n n e r, sp i r i t u a l b e a u t y

Model is wearing ColourPop Makeup

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation $44, charlottetilbury.com

Charlotte Tilbury Genius Magic Powder $45, charlottetilbury.com

Dior Rouge Dior Ultra Rouge $37, dior.com

eds R c i t n Roma

UrBAN DECAY Aphrodisiac 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil $20, urbandecay.com

UrBAN DECAY Naked Cherry $49, urbandecay.com

UrBAN DECAY Naked Cherry Vice Lipstick $17, urbandecay.com

s The Blue

UrBAN DECAY Elements Eyeshadow Palette $52, urbandecay.com

Beautyblender Bounce Liquid Whip Long Wear Foundation $40, beautyblender.com

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Deborah Lippmann Nail Lacquer sorry not sorry, $20, deborahlippmann.com

• Luxury for the soul • WINTER 2019

Model is wearing ColourPop Makeup


Th e keys to h a p p i n e ss a re i n you r h a n d s

So lush

Show your hands some love with these luxuriously hydrating hand creams — or give one to your bff


Time Retreat Hand Treatment $50, neimanmarcus.com


We spend a small fortune on face serums, lotions and creams, but forget about our ultimate age-defining hands. While we’re all for embracing every line we’ve earned along life’s journey, we also believe it’s important to indulge. Nothing says pampering like silky-soft hands.


Mojave Ghost Hand Cream $50, neimanmarcus.com

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Eight Hour Cream Intensive Moisturizing Hand Treatment $22, elizabetharden.com


Make m e a fra gra n ce t h a t s m e l l s l i ke l ove





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fresh Fragrances that will lift your spirits & make you feel like an angel 1.Viktor&Rolf Personalization Factory $115, Us.Viktor-Rolf.com 2. Proenza Schouler Arizona $100, nordstrom & nordstrom.com 3. Aerin Beauty Waterlily Sun Eau De Parfum Waterlily & Sicilian Bergamot $120, net-a-porter.com 4. TOCCA Maya eau de Parfum $72, sephora.com 5. Vince Camuto Amore Vince Camuto Eau De Parfum $90, vincecamuto.com 6.Cartier Carat $145, cartier.com 7. Diptyque Fleur de Peau Eau de Parfum Musk, Iris, Ambrettolide, $165, net-a-porter.com

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BEAUTY FOR THE SOUL T h i s i s yo u r l i fe e n j oy i t


Celebrity makeup artist Ashunta Sheriff launches her New beauty line, she understands how to have a successful product BY Sarahi castillo “For makeup artists who haven’t yet built their teams, the idea of building a brand can seem impossible. With my new line, I look forward to bringing my creative vision of The Perfect Face to life, as well as to energize the conversation about business and brand building that I think so many beauty entrepreneurs could benefit from,” says Sheriff. Tell us about yourself? I was born and raised in East Harlem, NYC. As a kid, I would often draw on the walls, cut curtains to make clothing for my dolls, and, of course, play in my mother’s makeup bag. My father passed away when I was eight years old, and as an escape from the pain, I immersed myself deeper into my creative passions. My aunt came to NYC to live with us. She became a model and would often take me with her to (photo) shoots. I was only an adolescent, but it was then that I first became interested in makeup and learned the importance of it.

Ashunta Sheriff is a celebrity makeup artist whose worked with Rihanna and Alicia Keys. After years in the industry, Sheriff is excited to share her beauty knowhow through a partnership with YOUR NAME, a private label cosmetics manufacturer and trusted business partner among makeup artists, salons and entrepreneurs worldwide. She understands the challenges that come with building a successful business, as well as the importance of the support and encouragement of people around you. It’s that

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understanding that led her to partner with YOUR NAME Professional Brands to develop her newly launched line of cosmetics, The Perfect Face. YOUR NAME prides itself in providing the best quality products, in a wide variety of colors and cosmetics that range from skincare to the trendiest lip colors on the market, for those looking to start a business. For Sheriff, it’s important to have great quality products, along with an understanding of the business to share with fellow makeup artists.

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Tell us about your beauty product what separates it from what is out there? My beauty line is unique in the way that it’s bridging the divide between the perfect face and simplicity while not skimping on quality. My approach to makeup is a less-ismore philosophy that doesn’t require 1,000 products to achieve the perfect face. You’ve worked with many celebrities, what beauty philosophy do they share? The beauty philosophy that my clients have in common is that they want to look like themselves both in front of the camera and off. Something I learned early in my career from makeup giants I assisted is that women are beautiful by nature and makeup is only an

enhancement. It’s our differences that make us uniquely beautiful. These days we see the cookiecutter makeup looks. However, that is not the training or philosophy that I’ve learned. It’s also not what my clients want . My clients don’t want a pile of makeup on their face; they want to look polished, flawless but natural. Which is your favorite product and why? If I had to choose one product, I would have to say it is the all-over cream color stick. I love multitasking products. They are the best and allow you to be creative and save time. Time is of the essence, especially when working with clients. Doing makeup for 2 to 3 hours is just not happening. So, I’ve had to learn how to enhance my client’s beauty and give them the perfect face in a short amount of time. The reason this product helps a lot with that is that it can be used on eyes, cheeks and lips, effortlessly. Do you have a personal mantra? Beauty is from within. When a client hires me, I take what I see from within and bring it forward for the world to see. My job is not to recreate bone structure or features but to naturally enhance what God naturally gave you. You’ve achieved a lot in your life, what are you most grateful for? My parents. They taught me all of my values and how to truly be a good person. They also thought me to always keep God first in my life. I’m grateful for my mom, a newly single parent with a young child, who believed in me. She supported my dream and provided the funds for my portfolio so that I could show people my work. My mom has been my biggest champion in my life and career, and I’m sure my father in heaven has been as well.

Assistant(s): Rudy Arocha, Stylist: Krista Ynostrosa; Intern(s): Narissa Du Plessis; Hair: Robert Grimes; Makeup: Kelsey James; Model: Elizabeth Rachale from The Campbell Agency

For the soul

Fashion fashion is what you’re offered four times a year by designers.


is what you choose.

Photography BY Tania Quintanilla

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B e you r own ki n d of b e a u t i fu l

OSCAR DE LA RENTA Moon and Stars Pendant Necklace $390, oscardelarenta.com

Martyn Lawrence Bullard Design $4,800, martynlawrencebullard.com

Valani Atelier Pink Sapphire Ring $9,800, valani.com

gold RUSH

gold jewelry adds the perfect touch of gleam & glisten Vince Camuto Triple-Flower Cuff $68, vincecamuto.com Bee Goddess Eagle Necklace $ 7,770, beegoddess.com

Sole Society Gold & Semi-Precious Drama Earrings $68, solesociety.com

Bee Goddess Apple Seed Earcuf $3,200, beegoddess.com

Bianca Pratt Jewelry Green Sapphire Stack Ring Set $5,500, Biancaprattjewelry.com

Bianca Pratt Jewelry Diamond Hoops $2000, Biancaprattjewelry.com

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Photographs: Quintin Perez + Ron Erick Odchigue

Model Anna Christina Schwartz; Stylist Oscar Montes de Oca; Make-up Victor Noble; Hair Melisande Page; Nails Mr. Luis; Studio Parlay Studios; Executive Producer Adam Himber

Adornia Necklace $44, adornia.com


You m u stn’t b e a fra i d to sp a r kl e a l i t t l e b r i gh t e r d a r l i n g



Bee Goddess Sirius star earring $4,490, beegoddess.com

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B e a d iamon d , p rec ious a n d ra re , n ot a ston e t h a t i s fou n d eve r ywh e re

Bee Goddess Shakti Necklace $4,610, beegoddess.com

Valani Atelier Vier Sapphire Earrings $24,000, valani.com

Bee Goddess Minerva Ring $8,880, beegoddess.com

On The Rocks

geometric shapes and precious Diamonds transform these pieces into sculptural works of art OC Jewellery Slav Diamond Bracelet $8,750, oriannecollins.com

Bee Goddess Venus Star Bracelet $7,770, beegoddess.com

SIMON G Bangle $22,066, simongjewelry.com

SIMON G Right Hand Ring $7,766, simongjewelry.com

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Photographs: Quintin Perez + Ron Erick Odchigue

Model Anna Christina Schwartz; Stylist Oscar Montes de Oca; Make-up Victor Noble; Hair Melisande Page; Nails Mr. Luis; Studio Parlay Studios; Executive Producer Adam Himber

Diamond Nexus Dew Earrings $837, diamondnexus.com

FASHION FOR THE SOUL I n o rd e r to b e i rrep l a cea bl e on e m u s t a l w ay s b e d i f ferent

Judith Leiber Couture Jazz Age Ridged Rectangle Marble Resin Clutch Bag $1,495, judithleiber.com

Fair & Square

fresh takes on classics — texured, embellished clutches — make for a night to remember

NANCY GONZALEZ Metallic Frame Clutch $2145, neimanmarcus.com

Judith Leiber Couture Slim Slide Pearly Cross $4,195, judithleiber.com

OSCAR DE LA RENTA Pony Hair Mini Tro $1990, oscardelarenta.com

ROGER VIVIER Appliquéd Satin Clutch $3,495, net-a-porter.com

KAYU Logan $345, kayudesign.com

Dolce & Gabbana DG Jacquard Shoulder Bag $2,245, neimanmarcus.com

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Life b e gi n s a t t h e e n d of you r com for t zon e

B l agd s To

i e v o L

This New Year, there’s not just one must-have-it handbag Choose your favorites, from classic solids to a modern mix of colors and textures that add sophistication & personality to your look

IMAGO-A Noir, $495 imago-a.com

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NANCY GONZALEZ Crocodile and Mink Wallis $3950, neimanmarcus.com


Pu rses are like fr i e n d s ...you ca n n eve r h ave too m a n y

jemma Jojo Bag $288, jemmabag.com

IMAGO-A Demi Lune $545, imago-a.com

DOLCE & GABBANA Watersnake Tote $2975, dolce&gabbana.com

Valentino Garavani $2,875, net-a-porter.com

NANCY GONZALEZ Teddi Crocodile & Fisher specialty order from Bergdorf Goodman

WANDLER Hortensia $995, net-a-porter.com

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GIUSEPPE ZANOTTI Astrid $1,295, guiuseppezanotti.com



Con fi d e n ce i s t h e s e xi e s t a cce s sor y

Vince Camuto Ribbon-Band Hat $48, vincecamuto.com

Vince Camuto Thelmin Booties $139, vincecamuto.com elva fields You Are Everything Necklace $308, elvafields.com

JAEGER-LECOULTRE Alligator and diamond watch $16,700, net-a-porter.com

It’s all in the details

IMAGO-A Croc Embossed Leather $195, imago-a.com

GO FOR IT WITH OVER-THE-TOP ACCESSORIES that will shine any outfit in your closet

OSCAR DE LA RENTA Crystal Dandelion Ring $290, oscardelarenta.com

Kurt Lyle Regina Patent Leather Bootie $378, kurtlyle.com virgil james Reykjavik Collection $1,495, virgiljames.com

Privé Revaux The Monet $29.95, priverevaux.com

Sole Society Faux Fur Stole $54.95, solesociety.com

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Th e most cou ra ge ou s a ct i s st i l l to t h i n k for you r s e l f

Fashion Meets Politics

Beloved by Beyoncé Knowles and Dascha Polanco, Puerto Rican Designer Stella Nolasco Uses Needle And Thread To Make A Statement By Daniela Galvez When Hurricane Maria wreaked Havoc in Puerto Rico, Stella Nolasco’s home flooded, and many of her seamstresses lost everything. Determined to put the tragedy behind her, the famed Puerto Rican designer created her F/W 2018 collection from salvage pieces to bring awareness to Puerto Rico’s crisis. With signs that read “Can’t Say American Without the Rican” and “We Are US Citizens,” Nolasco turned the catwalk into a political protest. The collection combined ultra-feminine silhouettes, bold colors, and high details including lace, feathers, and embroidery to introduce a confident woman who can exude sexiness while also take a stance on social issues. One year after Maria, Nolasco continues to raise awareness for the Isla del Encanto. Her most recent work includes a partnership with the Latino Commission on AIDS–a nonprofit organization that aims to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS in the Latino community in the US. To shine a light on their Latinos in the Deep South program–a project that served as a refuge for HIV/AIDS patients who were affected by Hurricane Maria–Nolasco exhibited pieces from her most recent collection.

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Noth ing st a n d s b e t we e n a gi r l a n d h e r s h oe s

Oscar De La Renta Embroidered Billiard Clutch $1990, oscardelarenta.com

AQUAZZURA Crystal-Embellished Satin Pumps $1,495, net-a-porter.com

a perfect deux

brilliantly paired Shoes and Bags Makes for a Night to rememeber WINTER 2019 • Luxury for the soul •

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Hap p i n e s s s t a r t s w i t h i n yo u r so l e

JiMMY CHOO Satin Clutch $3,850, net-a-porter.com Oscar De La Renta Mini Box Top Handel $2490, oscardelarenta.com

GIUSEPPE ZANOTTI Sylvia $895, giuseppezanotti.com

AQUAZZURA Chateau $1,295, nat-a-porter.com

Manolo Blahnik Nadi $1,925, manoloblahnik.com

Dolce & Gabbana Velvet and Satin Sandals $1,275, net-a-porter.com

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Be t h e e n e rgy you wa n t to a t t ra ct

Lafayette 148 New York Silk Double Georgette Nicolette Blouse $498, lafayette148ny.com

truly timeless

Whether standalone or paired with statement jewelry The Classic White Shirt is the ultimate way to top an outfit WINTER 2019 • Luxury for the soul •

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Sim p licity i s t h e u l t i m a t e for m of sop h i s t i ca t i on

Lafayette 148 New York Italian Stretch Cotton Katie Shirt $348, lafayette148ny.com

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In ord er to b e i r re p l a ce a b l e on e m u st a l ways b e d i ffe re n t Lafayette 148 New York Italian Stretch Cotton Cynthia Shirt $448, lafayette148ny.com

WINTER 2019 • Luxury for the soul •

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A g irl sh oul d b e t wo t h i n gs : cl a ss y a n d fa b u l ou s

Lafayette 148 New York Matte Silk Jeslyn Blouse $448, lafayette148ny.com

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Wh en you love wh a t you h ave , you h ave eve r y t h i n g you n e e d

Coats that will make anything winter throws at you bearable! CINZIA ROCCA $3,240, cinziarocca.com

WINTER 2019 • Luxury for the soul •

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Love l i fe a n d l i fe wi l l l ove you b a ck nobis Ajin 4-in-1 Coat $1,995, us.nobis.com Mr. Larkin Hilma Trench $492, mrlarkin.net

CINZIA ROCCA Grey Coat with Fox Collar $3,240, cinziarocca.com

Son Jung Wan


nobis Tula Peacoat $995, us.nobis.com

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CINZIA ROCCA Animal Print Belted Coat with Wide Collar $1,450, cinziarocca.com

Kurt Lyle Veronica Wool Coat $468, kurtlyle.com

Yves Salomon Lacon Shearling Coat $4,350, net-a-porter.com


Create you r own visu al style... l e t i t b e u n i q u e for you r se l f a n d ye t i d e n t i fi a b l e for ot he rs

To purchase their bags and support their mission, go to www.beamina.com and follow them on InstaGram @BeaminaOfficial

A bag with Hope Beamina, lifestyle designer bags with a purpose BY Sarahi castillo

We can hope for big things or small but we must always carry hope. This is what Beamina keeps in mind with every bag the company makes. The handbag brand carefully sources materials in Colombia to create unique, high-quality bags. Beamina was founded in 2017 by mother-daughter team, Beatriz Martinez and Paulina Achia. Strong, empowering women who inspired and supported them to go after their dreams raised both women. Paulina, a talented and born creative with a big heart inspired her mom Beatriz to pursue her dream as a fashion designer. Together they created Beamina. Through their company and products they hope to encourage other women “to shine and to speak your truth. To be fearless, no matter what. Beamina is your amulet, protecting you everywhere you go, and giving you the strength to carry on, inspire others, and above all, shine your light.” The designers want women to feel “powerful and limitless.” They share their beliefs through their handbags, including details like the captivating patterns of a Paulina painting on the interior of each bag; the patterns are meant to convey a powerful message of love, joy, passion and inner happiness. Opening a Beamina, they hope, is like opening a treasure where you can find the inspiration and empowerment to go after your dreams. Beamina embodies positivity and empowerment by incorporating philanthropy in their business model. A portion of bag sales benefit the Ricky Martin Foundation, which seeks to end human trafficking and educate the world about its existence both through academic research and community initiatives. Beamina.com Hope comes in many forms.

WINTER 2019 • Luxury for the soul •

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It alw ays s e e m s i m p os si b l e u n t i l i t ’s d on e

Adylia’s WAY

Adylia Gutierrez is the founder and CEO of Adees Co., the company that exclusively designs and manufactures high-quality artisan hand-made leather products Brought up in Palos Verdes Estates, CAlifornia, Adylia went to the prestigious Chadwick School, where she was a highly competitive fencer. She credits the dedication, focus and perseverance required to excel in fencing as the foundation for building her business. She would later attend the Fox School of Business at Temple University, where created the successful blog Yhorlife. After graduating, Adylia took time to travel, contemplate and plan how she wanted to rebrand Adees Co, which was founded by her grandmother. Today, Adees Co is a fun brand that speaks to the bolder side of life, with brighter, daring colored handbags, backpacks and accessories and a timeless style that would make grandma proud.

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Money won’t c re a t e s u c c e ss , t h e f re e d o m to m a ke i t w i l l What’s unique about your story? It’s unique because it’s my story. We are all different, and we may encounter similar experiences but how we handle those encounters varies on the person making it unique. What’s your greatest accomplishment so far? Graduating from Fox School of Business What Inspires you the most? We all have reasons for doing what we do. Where, who, or what do you draw your inspiration from? My brother, parents, and aunt inspire me the most.. It’s the fear of being a disappointment that makes me continually strive for evolution and success. Describe what’s unique about your collection? What’s special about Adees Co collection is that we’re made-to-order (eco-conscious) & deliver top quality for an accessible price. Everyone works hard, and the quality of his or her accessory shouldn’t reflect his or her paycheck, just their style. What has been your biggest challenge in life, And how did you overcome it? The biggest challenge has been dealing with people underestimating my abilities. I think it stems from me being naturally shy, so it’s been continuously negating the naysayers telling me all the

reasons why I couldn’t and shouldn’t launch my business. In the beginning, it crushed me, but I realized I don’t need validation to stay true to who I am.

What’s your artistic/creative vision? My artistic/creative vision is to create timeless and transitional pieces for women and men regardless of age or career.

What’s your favorite piece from your collection? Why? Our new tote! It’s sleek but substantial, and the duo-tone allows you to wear your favorite colors.

What’s your favorite thing about yourself? My humor/personality! It’s kind of dry, sarcastic, so not everyone gets my humor. The ones who do, I love and appreciate.

What is your signature look? Conservative with a pop of eclectic. If I’m in jeans and a t-shirt, I’ll have wild shoes or a leather jacket. How did you start in the fashion industry? Unconventionally! Ahaha. I researched, planned, and strategized for two years how I wanted Adees Co to enter the market. We are e-commerce, so we have control over products and message. People organically connected with the brand— it’s like I worked backwards.

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Who is your favorite designer now? It’s a tie! Theory feeds my low-key conservative side, while Alice & Olivia’s new collection feeds my soul! The sequin and feathers brighten up my day. Do you have a charity you colloborate with, which one and why? Yes! Since I started, we always give to St. Jude Children’s Hospital. Our new collection is a partnership with The Shoebox Project, a nonprofit which delivers shoeboxes filled with items to

make homeless women feel special. Adees donates 30% of its sales to The Shoebox Project. What are you grateful for? I’m grateful that I get to make my dreams come true, and I’m extremely thankful for the amazing people I had and met on this journey. What is your favorite place to unwind? The pool or beach! I love swimming, and it just calms me and helps me get balanced. If your soul was a color, which color would it be? Black, haha kidding! My soul would be blue—a color that is open, imaginative, conveys trust, loyalty, intelligence, and faith. What is in the future for the brand? We’re launching our new collection with The Shoebox Project & creating more products people will love.


Wh atever th e m i n d ca n con ce i ve a n d b e l i eve , i t ca n a ch i eve

“my inspiration was my hometown,my family, the mediterranean sea”

Shoe Designer

Manifests Mediterranean Shoes Meet the powerful Latinx shoe designer behind Fernando Mittelmeer

By Ashley Jimenez

WINTER 2019 • Luxury for the soul •

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Don't lim it you r ch a l l e n ge s ch a l l e n ge you r l i m i t s

This luxury shoemaker was born and educated in Elda, a city near the Spanish Mediterranean coast.

The Spanish shoe creator also recalls traveling as a small child with his father to Florence and Milan, where the two would study the shoes and fashions of the two Italian cities.

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Fernando Mittelmeer’s passion for fashionable shoes stems from his fashion-forward parents and grandparents. His grandfather was a shoe manufacturer and ran a shoe factory out of his house. His father was named the best shoe designer of Spain for several years. Shoes are in his blood. “I still remember him drawing shoes and how he would fall asleep with a pencil in his hand,” said Mittelmeer, which means Mediterranean Sea in German. The Spanish shoe creator also recalls traveling as a small child with his father to Florence and Milan, where the two would study the shoes and fashions of the two Italian cities. The outings would help him develop his own style. He also keeps comfort in mind when designing. “All of our shoes have insoles particularly designed by podiatrists to walk comfortably on heels,” he says. After suffering a stroke and drawing on his extensive background in shoe development, Mittelmeer decided it was time to create his own brand, which bears his name. His company logo features the four waves that are principles of sailing, connecting his brand to his seaside upbringing. Mittelmeer says that after the three fast waves come, the fourth one encourages us to move ahead with the right intensity. His luxury shoe collection is inspired by Mediterranean cities around the Mare Nostrum coast and features fabulous embellishments such as fur and black rhinestones on the Red Altea and Black Altea and gold accents on the San Juan and Tabarca boots and shoes.

His company logo features the four waves that are principles of sailing, connecting his brand to his seaside upbringing.


Give a g irl the r i gh t s h oe s a n d sh e ca n con q u e r t h e wor l d

GIUSEPPE ZANOTTI Raina Suede Boot $1,495, giuseppezanotti.com

Wrap ME up

From ankle TO above-the-knee and FROM Crystal TO fur, these boots are your new sOLE mates WINTER 2019 • Luxury for the soul •

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Walk as if you a re ki s si n g t h e e a r t h wi t h you r fe e t

PEDRO GARCIA Berta Disco Ball Bootie $695, pedrogarcia.com

Stuart WEITZMAN The Veruka Bootie $698, stuartweitzman.com OSCAR DE LA RENTA Ankle Boot $1,290, oscardelarenta.com

GIUSEPPE ZANOTTI Celeste Crystal Ankle Boot $1,395, giuseppezanotti.com

GIUSEPPE ZANOTTI Ghiaccio Leather Boot $1,295, giuseppezanotti.com OSCAR DE LA RENTA Ankle Boot $1490, oscardelarenta.com

CAMUTO State Corben Bootie $149, nordstrom.com

Italeau Donata Waterproof Ankle Boots $475, italeau.com

Stuart WEITZMAN Charlie in Bridle Suede $798, stuartweitzman.com

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A g ood teac h er c an in sp ire h op e , i gn i t e t h e i m a gi n a t i on , a n d i n st i l l a l ove of l e a r n i ng

Jewelry with A Purpose

PHOTOGRAPH BY : Josh AntonModelo: Krystal ZamairyStylist: Claudia MadridPeinado y Maquillaje: Christopher FelicianoModa: Gustavo Arangoy Gabani Boutique

When Your Accessories Have To Be On Point, Grace Gonzalez Has Your Back. By Daniela Galvez For Grace Gonzalez, jewelry is more than just a statement piece. After growing up watching her mother Marybeth González and her maternal grandmother Grace Gigante pair outfits elegantly with different jewels and pins from designers like Oscar de la Renta and Sonia Rykel, Gonzalez knew there was an inherent sentimentality to wearing jewelry. Through cherishing those memories formed by the special women in her life, Gonzalez found her calling–empowering women through jewelry. “They taught me to have my style, they opened my eyes to the world of fashion, art, and design, their influence is constant,” the jewelry designer says, adding. “I always think about what pieces they would use from my collections, they are strong women, they are fighters, warriors and a part of that spirit lives in me too.” Everything in Gonzalez’s “Latin Gypsy Soul” serves two purposes — creating perfect pieces that permeate love but also tap into the Caribbean Indigenous roots of Puerto Rico. The collection draws influence from Indian Gypsy, the Mayan mysticism, and fuses it with Spanish, African, and Indigenous roots that can be seen through the use of circles, lines, and triangle. Each piece is infused with the energy of Rose Quartz– a popular healing crystal used to strengthen the heart on all levels –that resonates with the designer’s soul and beliefs of spiritual unity. Offering everything from classic hoops that feature one-of-a-kind gold beading to chokers bathed in 18K, Gonzalez has the perfect piece to jazz up any outfit.

Bolit Cluster Necklace $378, gracegonzalezny.com

“they taught me to have my style

Roselyn Sanchez

Grace Gonzalez

DeSol Cuff $298, gracegonzalezny.com

Bolit Double Ring $178, gracegonzalezny.com

Roselyn Sanchez

DeSol Large Earrings $325, gracegonzalezny.com

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Sole Society Two Row Multi Necklace $42, solesociety.com


Th e keys to h a p p i n e ss a re i n you r h a n d s

ClAVA Leather Passport Wallet & Tag $62, clava.com

Vince Camuto Knit Pompom Hat $28, vincecamuto.com

ELVA FIELDS Brass Snake Vertebrae Vintage Brass Bangle $38, elvafields.com

ClAVA Leather weekender Satchel $300, clava.com

GEtAWAY Chic did someone say three-day weekend? these items will have you traveling in style

S-TEAM LA 65.95, s-teamla.com

GIUSEPPE ZANOTTI Harvey $950, giuseppezanotti.com

eyebobs Goyle Dark Purple Frames $89, eyebobs.com

ED Ellen DeGeneres Kim Satchel $248, zappos.com

GIUSEPPE ZANOTTI Deli Black Leather Jacket $2,995, giuseppezanotti.com

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Miracle Fruit Oil Fruit Seed Oil Hair Treatment $50, miraclefruitoil.com

HERDE DE FERME Duet Fur Handbag $495, herdedeferme.com


Talen t is like a flow er, you h ave to fu l l y t e n d to i t i f you wa n t som e t h i n g b e a u t i fu l

A PAssion for Fashion Great fashion and design can spring from anywhere but Tracy Nguyen Came upon her destiny while growing up surrounded by art and artistry in SouthEast Asia

an asymmetrical top that she designed and made at the age of seven. By the time she was nine, she was designing clothes for family members, and by 12, people were asking to buy her designs. Her mother owned a textile company in Vietnam, and her father is renowned artist. She grew up watching her father create beautiful paintings and her mother taught her to appreciate the visual power of fabrics.

How did you start in the fashion industry? In high school, when everybody was wearing hi-rise jeans, I started to alter them by lowering their rise. As a result, it became the most popular trend in my high school, and I realized that my dream of becoming a fashion designer was possible. In 2018, I launched a new label focused on sexy looks, TRACY N Collection; I also launched Leeloo Couture a fashion label focused on classy evening gowns.

What’s unique about your story? I think the fact that I started at such a young age, immersed in color, fabric, and art, and that those childhood experiences have brought me to the place I’ve always belonged. 

What’s your artistic vision? I see all women celebrating their beauty in well-fitting, well-made dresses, great shoes and an overall look of sophistication and confidence.

Tracy Nguyen’s first piece of fashion was

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Describe what’s unique or what stands apart about your collection? The Leeloo Couture collec-tion stands apart from the crowd because each piece is a unique hand-drafted body-con design. Each piece integrates the use of vibrant colors to provide an immediately noticeable and glamorous expression. What’s your favorite piece from your collection? Why? My favorite piece is the Jet jumpsuit. This piece provides the perfect balance between body-con, glamorous and sexy.  What celebrities have worn your pieces? Vivica A. Fox, Lolo Jones, Kimberly Wyatt, Ashley Allyn, Kaya Jones, Lil’ Kim, Bridget Marquardt, Tanya Williams, Monique Coleman.

Culture For the soul

“Most of my important lessons about life have come from recognizing how others from a different culture view things” 

Photograph: emanuel-hahn for unsplash

— Edgar H. Schein

WINTER 2019 • Luxury for the soul •

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When it comes to acting, Jezabel Montero is grateful of all her accomplishments within the Latino theatre community. Montero, who was born and raised in New York city to immigrant Cuban parents, has worked as a bilingual actor for over three decades. She is known for playing roles such as Mariela Aragon in Telemundo’s “Relaciones Peligrosas,” as Officer Garcia in the feature film, “Unlawful Justice,” and as mob arms dealer, Mouse, in the film, “Wise Gals.” While the Cum Laude graduate of U.C.L.A enjoys acting, when she is not in front of the cameras she is working behind the scenes, as producer, writer and director of both theatre and film. You can soon catch her work on “The Duke and Duchess of Queens,” her next feature film screenplay about two kids who fall in love and grow apart during 1970’s Queens, NY. Jezabel is currently on location, in Miami, shooting the supernatural dark comedy film, Death of a Fool. Montero is the executive producer at Fuacata films.


B e so good t h a t t h ey ca n’t i gn ore you

Margo Singaliese was born and raised in Hoboken, NJ, where she took advantage of the proximity to the city to pursue her acting career. Singaliese is known for her OffBroadway theater roles in “Sweatshop, Mrs. Lipshitz” as Gracie, “50 Things I Love about Frank” as Josephine Stompoli, and “Two Spoons” as Mother, to name a few. Margo recently played the mother of a handicapped daughter in the critically acclaimed, “Bernie and Mikey’s Trip to the Moon” written by Scott Aiello, and directed by Claire Karen at 59 E 59 Theater. The Jersey-born actress has also hit the big screen in several roles such as Woman in “The Basement” No Clout Productions, Vicki in “Mail Order Bride” Relativity Pictures, Beatrice in “Waltzing Anna”, and Relativity Pictures, Liz in “Lies and Oblivion,” amongst others. Singaliese, who is the co-founder of Fuacata Films, is proud to announce that its first feature film, “Cassanova was a Woman” can be seen on all major digital access, including Amazon Prime.


Imagine a Reboot!

IMAGES /IMAGENES / The Multi Emmy Award-Winning Magazine Show Images/Imágenes is making a comeback! The cultural and public affairs show will be rebooted with a focus on health and wellness, business, and the arts and entertainment. Made possible as a result of a community partnership between Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey and the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey, the show will return with Willie Sanchez, Emmy Award winning senior producer of the former NJN, public broadcasting station. Sanchez and Isabel Nazario, associate vice president for Strategic Initiatives and founding director of the Center for Latino Arts and Culture at Rutgers University are partnering with Carlos Medina, longstanding business power, to anchor the half-hour show. They will be joined by acclaimed co-hosts that include, Juan Gonzalez, Polk award-winning journalist, Jessica Ramirez, distinguished attorney, Jimena Florez, food/health entrepreneur and our very own CEO Ebby Antigua, who will focus on fashion/style and entertainment. Coming to New Jersey PBS soon. Check local listings in the New Year.

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If you h ave th e cou ra ge to b e gi n , you h ave t h e cou ra ge to su cce e d

you might not know

her name yet, but by Hollywood multihyphenate standards, Crazy Rich Asian newcomer Victoria Loke is already a superstar. An actress, model, dancer, artist, musician, writer, and budding filmmaker who is fluent in three languages and conversational in another two, Loke gives new meaning to the term multitalented. However, when pressed to choose, the very busy Singapore native says her first love has always been acting. “I was very shy as a child, so my parents signed me up for a Speech & Drama class with the hopes of helping me get over my fears,” says Loke. “Ever since then, being on stage or in front of the camera felt like a safe space for me.” And Though Loke says she never thought about pursuing acting as a serious profession until she was older, appearing in a string of award-winning short films while studying at NYU sealed the deal for her. And if the runaway success of her first major motion picture is any indication — based on Kevin Kwan’s splashy, bestselling novel of the same name,

Victoria Loke

is more than meets the eye

Crazy Rich Asian’s Victoria Loke talks movies, next-gen Asian talent, and the importance of telling your own stories By Tomás Romero

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Star ve yo u r d i st ra c t i o n s fe e d yo u r f o c u s

“classical training it instilled

avery strong sense of self-discipline in me, which I believe keeps me grounded as a professional actor.” Asians has already grossed more than $230 million worldwide and was recently nominated for three People’s Choice Awards - Loke made the right decision. “Crazy Rich Asians was the first audition I was sent for when I moved back to Asia, and I still can’t believe I got to be a part of something this incredible! I screamed for maybe 10 seconds straight when I first found out I had been cast. To be part of the first all-Asian cast in a modern Hollywood movie in twenty-five years is in itself such a blessing and a privilege, and to be a stakeholder in the conversations that the film has now catalyzed about diversity and representation

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in popular culture is something that I personally cherish deeply,” says Loke. Loke plays Fiona Cheng, the cousin-in-law to Henry Golding’s character Nick in the film. Also, While Asians’ dazzling costumes and lush, crazy-beautiful Singaporean locales are definitely a draw for many, Loke says what drew her to the project was the film’s focus on such universal themes as love, family, and friendship. “Asians is a romantic comedy, but it is also so much more. It’s a beautiful story about the strength of family, the fearlessness with which mothers will protect their children, the complexities of

• Luxury for the soul • WINTER 2019

navigating the multicultural world that we live in today — the list goes on,” says Loke. “I just hope the success of this film helps open doors for many more actors of color and heralds many more diverse projects to come. This moment has been a long time coming for our generation, we hadn't seen an allAsian Hollywood movie since The Joy Luck Club twenty-five years ago, and I certainly don’t want it to take another twenty-five years to happen again. I believe each one of us has a duty in not just catalyzing the change but seeing it through to fruition, and I hope more and more people of color find the strength and support to keep creating their stories and putting them out there. We need more of us!” If Loke her way, that’s exactly what we’re about to get. Currently co-developing a TV series about the modern millennial woman in Southeast Asia (something she can clearly relate to!), Loke seems primed to join the ranks of talented next-gen Singaporean

filmmakers like Kirsten Tan – whose 2017 drama Pop Aye took home the screenwriting prize at the Sundance Film Festival - and Mike Wiluan – whose Buffalo Boys was recently selected as Singapore’s entry in the Best Foreign Film category at this year’s Academy Awards - in putting Singaporean cinema squarely on the map. “Kirsten and Mike are doing so much to encourage and develop young Singaporean talent alongside their own creative pursuits,” says Loke. “When I first moved back to Singapore, they were both people who genuinely engaged me in conversations about the industry and were so generous with their words and willingness to help. I am very grateful to be entering the industry at this moment, to be part of this new generation with people like Kirsten and Mike leading the pack into international territory, and I hope that I can do my part as well to put us on the map as a force to be reckoned with.”


Th ose wh o kn ow, d o. Th ose t h a t u n d e r s t a n d , t e a ch

Breaking the Cycle of Poverty Through Education Dr. Gloria Bonilla-Santiago, founder Community Leadership Center (CLC) and the LEAP Academy, one of the nation’s best charter schools located in its second-poorest city, Camden, New Jersey  by ISABEL NAZARIO

To the students and families  of the LEAP

Academy University Charter School and her colleagues, Dr. Gloria Bonilla-Santiago is known as a trailblazer in higher education, a fierce community activist, and a visionary. Teens and children run to greet her in the  halls of the school to let her know they’ve been admitted to a college or invite her into their classrooms to share their latest projects. She sees herself in her students. Like her family, who were migrant workers, she says, “the Camden community finds itself in a cycle of poverty, and education is the only path to change.” Early in life,  through a mentor, she learned that seeking an education would rescue her from the  farm fields and could make her an agent of community change.  Today, Dr. Gloria Bonilla-Santiago is a Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor, Graduate Department of Public Policy and Administration at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. She was born in Sabana Grande,

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Puerto Rico and was partially raised in Barrio Molinas. Her parents were pushed out of the Island as part of ‘Operation Bootstrap’ to work as migrant farmworkers. They followed the harvests north from Florida to New Jersey.    In 1990, against all odds, in one of New Jersey’s most crime-ridden cities, Bonilla-Santiago founded the Community Leadership Center (CLC), locating it within  Rutgers University-Camden.  She planned the center after talking to parents who expressed  to her  a  sense of urgency to  rescue their children from a desperate existence Bonilla-Santiago saw the university as an anchor of resources to give parents the place and the tools to educate their children and lift their families. Seven years after first opening the CLC, she brought together community alliances and parents to launch the LEAP Academy.  Over 1,600 students, from “cradle”  (infancy) to high school, attend classes at LEAP. Often you can  find students  in the school  studying late into the

evening and see parents involved in all aspects of their child’s education. The school has established a successful high school graduation and college placement track record, achieving 100% graduation and college placement rates since its first graduating class in 2005.     Parents call the school “the Miracle on Cooper Street.” This is also the title of Bonilla-Santiago’s new book, an autobiography of her struggle to lift herself from impoverishment to the highest level of academia, while  at the same timechanging the city of Camden through education. BonillaSantiago’s approach to engaging community and the LEAP charter school’s teaching methodology has resulted in the development of a national and inter-national model for public schools that she is taking to countries across the globe. ISABEL NAZARIO Associate Vice President for Strategic Initiatives Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey 


B o oks a re a u n i q u e l y p or t a b l e m a gi c



by Cristina Mittermeier Cristina Mittermeier is combining her two passions–photography and environmentalism, by capturing photos around the world to explore our relationship to the earth and ocean. The marine biologist and photographer is using her images to draw attention the beauty the Earth has to offer. Trust us, this book will no doubt be adorning the coffee tables of nature lovers for many years to come. Lady with the Goose Yunnan Province, China, Photo: Cristina Mittermeier $95, teneues-books.us


Ingrid Fetell Lee–a designer and TED star– helps us explore how sometimes the smallest things in life can bring the largest amount of joy. Through references from neuroscience and psychology, Lee explains why different settings trigger various emotions.

Christian Tagliavini

Inspired by the masters of the Renaissance, Swiss photographer Christian Tagliavini captures staged portraits that mirror the dimensions and chiaroscuro of 14th, 15th, and 16th century art in Europe. Not only is Tagliavini the mastermind behind all the breathtaking photography, he, along with a small team, designs all the costumes and props used in the photos.

$28, bando.com

RITRATTO DI GIOVANE DONNA, 2010 (1503), Photo: Christian Tagliavini $65, teneues-books.us

Personal Best Elliott Erwitt

Elliott Erwitt presents a collection of photographs taken throughout his legendary photographic career. Get ready to take a trip down memory lane as you get to revisit iconic photographs that defined the visual history of the 20th century—and the 21st.

New York City, 1955 / Photo: Elliott Erwitt / $125, teneues-books.us

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Love l i fe a n d l i fe wi l l l ove you b a ck

Contemplating Faith 30 x 39

Practicing LOVE There is no power greater than self-love to create change. That is the starting point of greatness for all those who have given their lives for humanity. This country’s atmosphere is changing drastically. There seems to be more separation than unity. Drastic times will always produce individuals who rise up to help restore hope and faith in humanity. We have come across one such person, an artist who has given his life to humanity with his art, films, actions, words, and movement. Ray Rosario has been producing art for 18 years. His movement for humanity is catching traction and his spirit has inspired many to pursue their dreams, passions, and become who they are inside. Rosario is an American artist who pursued his passion for art later in life. Transitioning from the corporate sector to the art world, Rosario

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transformed his life based on his experiences, values, and perspectives. His world view has shaped his philosophy and passion for the greater good. His work infuses emotion from the darkest arenas of human nature to that of spiritual enlightenment. His writings reflect the same views and he sets an example by living his life no different than the values he holds dear and necessary for a fulfilled life. He has written a book titled Practicing LOVE being released this month on Amazon. Practicing LOVE is about developing a framework to strengthen our capacity to love and grow in times that hope and faith are most needed. It helps us work on increasing the love we have for ourselves, while also connecting with others in a healthy and positive manner. Rosario outlines guidelines to Practicing LOVE and wastes no time in giving the

reader food for thought. This book/journal touches on how to view and understand our personal past, honesty, fear, and insecurities. These topics are part of all our lives and vital to our growth. Understanding their impact will assist us in becoming critical thinkers and an active participant in life. Practicing LOVE is an ongoing exercise, a stepping-stone in the right direction that will strengthen us in becoming grounded with humility and humanity, while making a difference in the lives of others. Small steps with great impacts. Journal writing and sketch pages are provided at the back of the book for self-expression. The richness that Rosario has produced in his own life cannot be captured in one article. He is an artist, philanthropist, creator and so much more. To learn more about his artwork, his book, and his movement for humanity, visit ray-rosario.com.

Photography PORTRAIT: julianny casado

Ray Rosario is an artist and author; He encourages us to take a shot at expanding the affection we have for ourselves, while additionally associating with others in a positive way



JACKIE cruz Orange is the New Black’s JACKIE CRUZ Makes Magic from Mayhem By Tomås Romero Photograph by Elisabeth Caren

After a car accident as a teenager almost derailed her dreams entirely, Jackie Cruz is living proof that good things come to those who wait...even in Hollywood

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Photo Assistants Christian Raices and Josh Davis Hair: Matt Fugate @ Forward Artists using Oribe Makeup: Jorge Monroy Styling: Philippe Uter for TheOnly.Agency

Green Velvet suit: Hottie + Lord

Green silk Pajamas: Image Du Image, ring: Anne Sisteron

Although she was born in Queens,

New York, Orange is the New Black’s Flaca, Jackie Cruz, lived with her mother off and on in the Dominican Republic until she was in high school. And it was there — in the DR’s warm, endless summer that Cruz’s dreams of Hollywood stardom first took hold. “My mom took me to the movies one day to see The Bodyguard. I think I was probably like, seven at the time,” remembers Cruz. “The movie was dubbed in Spanish but Whitney sang in English, and I fell in love with movies and singing the minute I heard Whitney Houston sing. I was just in awe ... and then the lights went out. We don’t have electricity all of the time in the DR, so we all just sat there in the dark and chilled until the generators kicked in so we could finish the movie.” She laughs, describing it as “definitely a very Dominican moment.” On the walk home, she recalls telling her mother, “I want to be like that lady, you know, the girl that was the star of the show we just watched.” With a blossoming music career, her own film production company, and three Screen Actors Guild Awards as part of OITNB’s diverse ensemble to her name, Cruz seems to be well on her way to doing just that. However, the multitalented Cruz is the first to admit that her journey from that darkened movie theater in Santiago to the Hollywood red carpet hasn’t always been an easy one. “We moved to Los Angeles from the DR when I was fifteen, and I went to high school at the (Alexander) Hamilton Music Academy. I had to audition to get in, and they were like: ‘Ugh, another Latina?’ But my mom was like: ‘She’s talented, please, let her audition!’ So, they let me audition and I got in, and it was pretty amazing!” Taking a full slate of performing arts classes with the likes of Grammy-winner Fiona Apple and Into the Wild star Emile Hirsch, Cruz says her time at Hamilton was inspiring and really instilled in her a sense of the hard work and dedication it takes to forge a successful career as both a singer and actress in Hollywood. But teenage rebellion soon drove a wedge between Cruz and her strict Dominican mother; the then-high school student found herself homeless and alone. And then, just a few months shy of an early graduation, Cruz’s life took another unexpected turn. “I had a pretty terrible car accident when I was 17. I went through the window and I had a kidney contusion, collapsed lung, and I needed brain surgery to save my life,” says Cruz. “I was in a coma for 72 hours and I woke up with my whole head shaved, crooked eyes, a paralyzed face, and two broken vertebra. I had to start over and I really just wanted to die because, you

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Black sequin suit: Image Du Image, Top: S Team LA

I really think that if God put that desire in your heart and in your soul it’s for a reason and that’s what you’re meant to do

know, in Hollywood all I saw was beauty. If you weren’t pretty, you weren’t gonna make it (and) I was a mess.” She reconciled with her mother and was transferred to a rehabilitation facility, where learned to walk and talk again as she literally “got my head back together.” Cruz says her whole world changed after a chance encounter with another patient. “There was this little girl that was in a wheelchair, she was maybe 10 years old, and she could never walk again. She kept hanging around my room, so I asked my mom, Who is this little girl? My mother didn’t know, so I finally asked who she was and what she wanted and she told me that her name was Melly and that she thought I was pretty.” “I had no hair, a scabbed face and wanted to die and this little 10-year-old girl was looking up to me because I could walk and she couldn’t,” remembers Cruz. “That just totally changed my way of thinking and after that I became almost a volunteer at the hospital, working with Melly and some of the other girls, holding their hands when they needed it, helping them eat ... painting their nails. They gave me a sense of strength, something that I didn’t see in myself. I had wanted to give up, and they made me feel like I was needed.” Inspired, Cruz left the hospital and returned to Santiago to live with her large, extended family and recuperate a bit more before heading back to LA with a whole new outlook on her life and career. “I went back to Hollywood, and I didn’t look like myself anymore. My face didn’t look the same, my hair didn’t look the same, but I felt good and I felt like God put this desire in my soul and in my heart and that this was what I was meant to do.” But when the only roles she was offered were gangster’s girlfriends, junkies, and rape victims, Cruz decided to concentrate on her music. After a few false starts with some less-than-stellar music industry types, Cruz released her fist EP, Hollywood Gypsy, in 2010, which landed her music in regular rotation on MTV’s hugely-popular afternoon video countdown series, The Seven. “I became one of the featured artists, and my

name was in lights in Time Square, like huge billboards. And I was like, wow, New York is it for me, my dreams were finally coming true. But, music is the hardest industry ever, and I wasn’t really making any money. So, I went back to waitressing.” Five years later, while living in New York, Cruz auditioned for a small, two-line part on a new Netflix series. And though no one, including Cruz, could have ever guessed that a show with a large, multi-ethnic, LGBTQ cast about women in prison would turn into a cult phenomenon, that’s exactly what happened with OITNB. “None of us knew the show was gonna be as big a deal as it became,” says Cruz. “We would sit in a room and all of us would be like, what do you think is gonna happen? Literally none of us knew, not even [series creator] Jenji Kohan. This is like nothing I would have ever expected. I am so blessed. I just wanted to be an actress, and I never knew that my show would be so impactful.“ With the series gearing up for its seventh and final season, Cruz has never been busier, especially on the music front. Currently working on a new album with genre-bending, bilingual hip-hop artist Feefa (aka Edwin Acuna) titled Hija de Chavez, Cruz says she has finally found her sound. Embracing the wide range of eclectic musical influences she grew up with, Cruz’s first single from the album, “La Hora Loca,” has a funky, street music vibe that takes Feefa’s trademark Latin Trap sound in a whole new direction. And that’s just how Cruz likes it. “You know, it’s taken me a long time to find my music and my sound, but I’ve finally discovered who I am as a human being and a person and what I want to do in this world for my family, for me, and my music ... and I’m so proud of it right now.” Another huge source of pride for Cruz is her political activism. Using her platform to advocate for everything from women’s rights and diversity in Hollywood to prison reform, Cruz is also actively developing projects for her production company, Unspoken Film. Hoping to expand the role of young, underrepresented Latinx talent both in front of

and behind the camera with projects like Unspoken’s recently-completed short film The Dying Kind, Cruz is hoping to make a difference wherever she can. “To be honest with you, I started Unspoken because I wasn’t getting any opportunities. So, instead of complaining about it, I’m creating and producing not just opportunities for myself but for others as well,” explains Cruz. “This is not just about me anymore. It’s about me opening the doors for others, and it’s about changing something in Hollywood that has to be changed so that my sister, my cousin, and the people that come from the Dominican Republic, people who look like me, have a little more of an opportunity than I did.” When asked what advice she’d give to little brown girls dreaming of a career in Hollywood. Cruz says her advice has always been the same: “Never put a time limit on your dreams.” “I always thought that when I discovered what I wanted in my life ... when I moved to California with my mom ... that was going to be my moment. But, you know what? I wasn’t ready, and I’m so happy that God like, literally, smacked me in the face. Whether it was with [that] terrible car accident or not, I felt reawakened because I was on the wrong path and I wasn’t ready for that Hollywood life yet.” A firm believer in the idea that things come into your life when your heart and spirit are ready for them, Cruz says her advice to anyone looking to pursue a career in the arts is to stay true to who you are inside and never give up. “I’ve worked really hard and I’m so proud to be representing not just my people but my family. I mean, my 11-year-old sister gets to see me and believe that anything is possible. She speaks fluid Mandarin, and she wants to be a golfer and her dreams are bigger than mine could ever be. I really think that if God put that desire in your heart and in your soul it’s for a reason and that’s what you’re meant to do. And maybe it’s not just for you, but it’s to inspire your children or someone else.” “I feel like we’re all meant for something in the world and for me, it’s to inspire, and that’s what I want to do, because I’m not supposed to even be here.”

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Green Velvet suit: Hottie + Lord

Black sequin suit: Image Du Image, Top: S Team LA

Kimono: Oud Paris, Trousers: I Am Gia, Shoes: Tony Bianco, Ring: Anne Sisteron

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Time to sparkle! This shiny, sultry makeup will get you holiday glam ready!

Face // DIOR Diorskin Airflash spray foundation in Medium Beige, GIVENCHY Healthy Glow Bronzer in Ambre Saison Eyes // GIVENCHY Prisme Quatuor in Braise, DIOR Diorshow Pump’n’Volume Instant Volume Squeezable Mascara, MARC JACOBS Magic Marc’er Precision Pen Liquid Eyeliner in Blacquer Lips // YSL Rouge Pur Couture Lipstick in Rose Bergamasque Hair // BALMAIN Hair Couture Argan Moisturizing Elixir Nails // GIVENCHY Le Vernis in Light Pink Perfecto. Model: Anne De Paula, Stylist: Raytell Bridges, Make-up: Marc Cornwall, Make-up Assistant & Nails: Altina Pekmezi, Hair: Jhonatan Rendon, Studio: Caden NYC RIGHT PAGE: Face // DIOR Diorskin Airflash spray foundation in Medium Beige, GIVENCHY Healthy Glow Bronzer in Ambre Saison Eyes // GIVENCHY Prisme Quatuor in Ecume, DIOR Diorshow Pump’n’Volume Instant Volume Squeezable Mascara, MARC JACOBS Magic Marc’er Precision Pen Liquid Eyeliner in Blacquer Lips // MAYBELLINE Color Sensational Lip Gloss in Too Cute Hair // BALMAIN HairCouture Argan Moisturizing Elixir

True Colours P h o t o g r a p h e r s Q u in t in P e r e z / R o n E r i c k O d c h i g u e

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Face // DIOR Diorskin Airflash spray foundation in Medium Beige, GIVENCHY Healthy Glow Bronzer in Ambre Saison Eyes // CHANEL Les Beiges Eyeshadow in Medium, DIOR Diorshow Pump’n’Volume Instant Volume Squeezable Mascara, MARC JACOBS Magic Marc’er Precision Pen Liquid Eyeliner in Blacquer Lips // TOM FORD LipColor Satin Matte in Baby Boy Hair // BALMAIN Hair Couture Argan Moisturizing Elixir NAILS // TOM FORD Nail Lacquer in Blackberry

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Face // DIOR Diorskin Airflash spray foundation in Medium Beige, GIVENCHY Healthy Glow Bronzer in Ambre Saison Eyes // MAC Mineralize Eyeshadow in Dark Indulgence, DIOR Diorshow Pump’n’Volume Instant Volume Squeezable Mascara, MARC JACOBS Magic Marc’er Precision Pen Liquid Eyeliner in Blacquer Lips // TOM FORD LipColor Satin Matte in Choc Factor Hair // BALMAIN HairCouture Argan Moisturizing Elixir

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Face // DIOR Diorskin Airflash spray foundation in Medium Beige, GIVENCHY Healthy Glow Bronzer in Ambre Saison Eyes // TOM FORD Eye Quad in Nude Dip, DIOR Diorshow Pump’n’Volume Instant Volume Squeezable Mascara, MARC JACOBS Magic Marc’er Precision Pen Liquid Eyeliner in Blacquer Lips // TOM FORD LipColor in Erotique Hair // BALMAIN Hair Couture Argan Moisturizing Elixi NAILS // YSL La Laque Couture in Beige Leger

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Face // DIOR Diorskin Airflash spray foundation in Medium Beige, GIVENCHY Healthy Glow Bronzer in Ambre Saison Eyes // YSL Couture Eyeshadow in Mon Paris, DIOR Diorshow Pump’n’Volume Instant Volume Squeezable Mascara, MARC JACOBS Magic Marc’er Precision Pen Liquid Eyeliner in Blacquer Lips //MAYBELLINE Superstay Matte Ink in Huntress Hair // BALMAIN Hair Couture Argan Moisturizing Elixi

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leeloo couture Malibu Wonder collection Jet jumpsuit $520, leeloocouture.com

riding in high fashion From jewel-tones to pastels, it’s the decorative details and flowing lines that make these evening dresses perfectly stable pieces for any gala-worthy night PHOTOGRAPHY BY JACK GUY

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leeloo couture Malibu Wonder collection Dan B set $350, leeloocouture.com Models: Katty Ukhanova Jack Guy

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leeloo couture Malibu Wonder collection Dan B set $350, leeloocouture.com

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leeloo couture The Diva Dance collection Ruby dress $326, leeloocouture.com

leeloo couture Malibu Wonder collection Amarillo dress $340, leeloocouture.com

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leeloo couture Malibu Wonder collection ElSol dress $340, leeloocouture.com Models: Katty Ukhanova Jack Guy

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Photographs: renan-kamikoga from Unsplash

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Achieving your dreams one

#YELLOWBUS at a time

how chasing a bus and a purpose led a young girl from the dirt roads of south texas to traveling the world as a CNN Correspondent BY ROSA FLORES

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When I was a kid, I used

to sell “queso fresco Mexicano,” or homemade Mexican cheese for $1 to help my parents buy my school clothes.

My kindergarden graduation picture

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Today, I’m a CNN correspondent who has covered domestic and international news in about a dozen countries. My story is not a rag to riches tale. My story is about a curious and determined Mexican immigrant who has earned three college degrees and has pulled herself out of poverty one #yellowbus at a time. I was born in Río Bravo, Tamaulipas, Mexico, but lived in Texas and became a U.S. citizen. I grew up poor but I didn’t know it at the time. The dirt road that led to our old wood-frame house should have been a clue. The weathered furniture, too. However, when I was a young child and growing up in the small border town of Progreso, Texas, it all seemed normal. Here is what wasn’t normal for my three-year-old self: Realizing that my older sisters, ages 9, 10 and 13 at the time, could understand English cartoons and read English books, and I could not. That turned my world upside down. I don’t remember exactly how but my Spanish-speaking parents tell me my goal — at age three — was to learn how to speak

• Luxury for the soul • WINTER 2019

English. And they say I plotted and planned ways to achieve my dream. My mom says I borrowed my sister Paula’s textbooks and tried to read them. “You don’t know how to read English,” Paula would say as she pulled the books away from me. My dad says I used to doodle on old notebooks to emulate my sister’s homework. When those plots failed, my mom, dad, and sisters tell me I turned to more drastic measures. I woke up early, packed toys and books inside a small, old suitcase and staged it by the door. As soon as my sisters ran to catch the school bus, I ran behind them and hopped on the bus. “Look, she wants to go to school,” my sister Lilly remembers

children on the bus said, as they pointed and laughed at me. My mom carried me off in her arms, and the bus drove away, leaving a cloud of dust behind. I cried, my mom remembers. “Porqúe no puedo ir a la escuela?” I asked between sobs. (“Why can’t I go to school?”) “Estas muy chiquita,” my mom responded as she tried to console my heartbreak. I didn’t believe that a threeyear-old was too young to go to school, my mom says with a giggle, because the next day, I ditched the suitcase, hugged the books with my arms and ran towards the #yellowbus. When that failed, I put the books in a plastic bag and ran towards the #yellowbus. Then, I hid in a drainage ditch

and tried climbing on the #yellowbus by surprise. My mom tried to convince me that going to public school was just two years away. That I should wait. Nothing could dissuade me. The outcome was always the same. I would devise a new plan to hop on the bus; my mom would carry me off. I would cry. When my parents finally realized I wasn’t giving up, they searched for and found a school for three-year-olds in nearby Relampago. There was one problem: Tuition cost $20 per month, and my parents were barely making ends meet. My dad was a laborer at a nearby dairy farm, and my mom was a stay-at-home mom. “It was a

lot of money for us,” my mom told me by phone. “But I wanted the best for you and your sisters.” I thanked my mom while I held back tears. I knew about my dream to learn English because my attempts to hop on that #yellowbus have been a running joke in my family. What I didn’t know or understand then was that my dream came at a huge sacrifice for my entire family. Feeding and dressing a family of four kids on my dad’s paycheck was tough, my mom remembers. To keep our tummies full, she used to stretch every dollar by making homemade flour tortillas with a staple of pinto beans. She used to make our clothing by hand because she couldn’t

afford shopping at a store. That’s why I started selling “queso fresco Mexicano” for $1 when I was a preteen, to help buy my school clothes. I remember I used to make the cheese curds and then grind them on a stone called a metate that belonged to my grandfather. I still have that metate. It’s in prominent display in my home, an homage to my roots and how far I’ve come. I don’t know how my parents made ends meet while also paying $20 a month so that I could attend the Relampago school. For two years, a small bus drove up our dirt road to pick me up and take me to class. I learned how to speak English before starting kinder– garten. My bus driver’s name was Consuelo. It means consolation. At the time, the little, white bus appeared to be just that, the consolation prize for a three-yearold who couldn’t take no for an answer. Now I realize it was so much more! That little white bus prepared me for my first #yellowbus, which drove me to kindergarten! Since then, I have achieved my dreams one metaphorical #yellowbus at a time. Whether it’s passing a test, finishing school, getting a new job or changing pro– fessions, my roadmap is the same. I find the #yellowbus that will help me achieve my goal, and I hop on! There are often obstacles, but I always figure out my way to the bus. When I graduated high school as valedictorian of my class and my dad didn’t want to let me go away for college, for example, my mom and I asked my uncle Pepe for help. Tio Pepe convinced my dad that his youngest daughter would be safe living in a college dorm in Austin. After hopping on my college #yellowbus to the University of Texas at Austin, I earned a Bachelor’s of Business Admin– istration and a master’s degree in accounting.


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Covering Hurricane Patricia in MEXICO

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Covering Hurricane Patricia in MEXICO, Talking to people impacted by the storm


Covering Pope Francis from Papal Plane

My next #yellowbus helped me switch careers, from accounting to television reporting. Searching for that #yellowbus took two years! It all started while I delivered on a promise to Our Lady of Guadalupe. I was giving food and clothing to indigent people in Mexico when I realized I couldn’t spend my life sitting in an office filling out tax returns for high-net worth individuals. I knew I needed to do something else, but I didn’t know what. So I searched for my #yellowbus by volunteering and applying for jobs in teaching and non-profit work. After two years, it hit me! It was the stories of the people I met while delivering food in Mexico that had changed my life: The families living in tiny shacks made of pieces of cardboard and scraps of wood, the women who had walked from


Central America in search of the American dream, and the boy who asked for food instead of toys because his mom was sick in bed. When I finally realized those stories had changed my life, I decided to tell stories for a living! So I quit my accounting job, went back to college and earned a bachelor’s in journalism. That’s how I hopped on my TV #yellowbus! I started my television reporting career at KWTV in Oklahoma City. Since then, I’ve hopped on a #yellowbus to report in a different city about every two years. I’ve worked at KHOU in Houston, WDSU in New Orleans and WBRZ in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, before joining CNN in 2013. At CNN, I’ve been based in New York, Chicago and now Miami. I have covered stories in under-

covered communities in the U.S., Mexico, Central, and South America. I’ve covered news with the White House Press Corps. I’ve covered Pope Francis with the Vatican Press Corps aboard the papal plane. In short, I have gone from that little dirt road to traveling the world doing what I love, telling stories. I share my own story to say that no matter your circumstances — like me, an immigrant girl who grew up poor and with big dreams — you already have within you everything you need to succeed. You just have to keep your eyes on the road and recognize that the distance between your dreams and your reality is the length of one #yellowbus. Rosa Flores is a CNN correspondent based in Miami. Twitter: @RosaFlores Facebook & Instagram: @RosaFloresCNN

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S V Jr

From Producing to Acting, writing, and music this Chicago-born triple-threat Sal Velez JR. puts the work in working actor PHOTOGRAPHY BY Daniel Schafer

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With close to sixty credits to his name, Sal Velez Jr. is A True triple-threat; actor, writer, & musician, ReadIly known as one of the hardest working actors in Hollywood. Sal Velez Jr. has appeared in a multitude of films, television and specials, including Showtime’s Emmy Award-winning smash, Ray Donovan and Sons of Anarchy spin-off, Mayans M.C. to binge-worthy cult hits like Amazon’s Hand of God, and ABC’s Ten Days in the Valley; and has worked with major screen stars in TV and films, among others; Kelsey Grammer, Salma Hayek, John Travolta, and Oscar-winners, Oliver Stone, Gus Van Sant, and Benicio del Toro –with all of these achievements Velez is quick to say that he is “proud of his Puerto Rican roots and the cultural tradition to tell stories, work hard, and find crossways to keep his artistry going.” Growing up in a rough neighborhood with divorced parents and a father who struggled with addiction wasn’t easy, but there were always some bright spots, says Sal Velez about his childhood in Chicago. His passion for performing and telling stories was born in his grandmother’s living room surrounded by his Puerto Rican family. “My grandmother on my father’s side was the matriarch of our family. She watched over me, my sister and all my cousins all the time when we were younger,” says Velez. He added that most of his fondest childhood memories revolve around singing and performing, quite literally, for his supper for everyone and anyone who invited him into their home. There are also sad memories of family members lost tied to his singing and music performances. Velez recalls, “I grew up in Humboldt Park, one of the roughest neighborhoods in Chicago, surrounded by other tough neighborhoods like Cabrini-Green Housing Projects, where they based the award-winning TV Series Good Times. Ours was a big family and my cousins and I were always called to perform at funeral after funeral, until the day came for me to sing at my fathers

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funeral , “it was too surreal and just too much for me to take in”. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was grieving through my songs and my music, not just for me, but also my family forever mourning through it all. “I’ve always felt that my acting career and talent to entertain is a blessing, but I didn’t always recognize that I was also sharpening my talent by performing or telling stories as a kid to get an extra plate of rice and beans from my aunts and uncles, you know? I memorized all of Richard Pryor’s stand-up, just so I could be ready in case one of my family members said: ‘Hey, Salvi, go ahead and make us laugh.’ Because when they would say ‘sing,’ you’d sing, and when they would say ‘dance,’ you’d dance. And it felt good, I loved it, and I felt like I had earned my place at home where I could come inside and maybe stay the weekend and be part of a normal family for a change.” As an avid film buff, Velez says he would find inspiration for his characters from old black and white films and triple-threat actor-singerdancers like Danny Kaye, Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra, and Nat King Cole, and later in life, in the comedy routines of Richard Pryor. His passion for films camouflaged his keen ability to study the best actors on screen. Yet, again his life would take a different turn from his artistry. And before he could see what was happening, Velez was starting a family of his own with his high school sweetheart. “I had my first son at the age of 18, and it was either stay in the street, revolve in and out of jail or get a job. So, I decided the job would be the better route.” Working full time at a steel fabrication company and later as a journeyman machinist in the steelworkers union, Velez pulled double and sometimes triple shifts for almost five years. And when the factory he worked at closed after 70 years in operation, Velez joined the

Teamsters union driving Semis across the country until he was almost thirty. Nevertheless, despite the hard work and long hours on the road, Velez still found time to write music and perform. True to his roots of a family of musicians he cut out time from work to play and sing in nightclubs,---“making sure I always had a gig. At the time, I thought it was a hobby, but it was a very passionate thing for me. Before I knew what was really happening, I was signed by a couple of record labels to record a few songs. While I was more than happy to pursue a career in music, life threw me a curve that moved me away from music and on to acting.” The turning point in his trajectory in life was a moment he did not imagine. Approached after one of his sets by a local DJ who loved his act, Velez was encouraged to audition for the Chicago’s legendary Second City. Velez took him up on the offer and despite being one of the only Latinos in the long line of more than 700 hopefuls - and knowing next to nothing about improvisations – he unexpectedly landed a full scholarship to Second City. So, after reducing his workload from 60 to 40 hours, a dedicated Velez, took classes at Second City twice a week for more than 3 years and eventually was cast to join the Second City touring company. “At that point, my son’s mother and I had separated. These family changes made me a weekend dad so, I figured out a way to make it work while also being part of the Second City touring company, for about six years. Second City isn’t just all improv, you know, you study musical theater, classical sketch writing, directing, and creating characters. It’s basically a university of comedy, and they only give out like, two or three scholarships a year, so ... it was a pretty big deal for me at the time and proved to be one of the most significant opportunities in my life. It‘s really what made my career.”

PHOTOGRAPH BY Daniel Schafer

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PHOTOGRAPH BY Daniel Schafer

“To inspire laughter, create knowledge, and to know love, is the true pursuit to happiness�

Film and TV work soon followed, and Velez has not stopped working since – something he attributes to his working-class work ethic as much as to his talents as an actor. “Coming into this acting game I said, you know what, I’m gonna give it my all, I’m gonna bring it just like I was going to work. Come ready, clock in, and bust my ass until I ’m sweating and bleeding and my hands are sore, and my back is sore, and I’m done with my day,” says Velez, who is quick to note that he’s not alone in this regard. “ It’s a funny thing; there are some amazingly talented people out here, but my good buddies are mostly like me … Luis Guzman, or you know, my producer friend Kiki Melendez, who, like myself, are transplants from Chicago or New York or somewhere else. Artists who come out here to Los Angeles and their work ethic is so hard that they end up constantly booking and working all the time because this drive, this Midwest/East coast hustle and bustle is still in them,” says Velez. “They’re coming at it with this mentality of ‘I got to book this so I can eat and feed my family’ not just so I can become famous. By the time I started acting, I was already the father of three

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children, a son, and two daughters, and I had many responsibilities, a lot of things on my shoulders. I didn’t have a support team with my mother and father or anything ... so, if I slipped, no one was going to catch me. It’s just a different way of thinking.” Thinking differently about a career in Hollywood continues to pay off handsomely for Velez. Recently wrapping up work on the Netflix newest series, “Black Summer” from Z Nation producers Karl Schaefer, John Hyams, Jodi Binstock, and Abram Cox, Velez is currently starring opposite Oscar-winner Ben Affleck in Gavin O’Connor’s Torrance. Torrance is a film about a man dealing with addiction and struggling in life to keep his family together. This is exactly the kind of meaty, soulful experience Velez strives for in life, both onscreen and off. Velez often searches for life wisdoms in his acting roles but also sees the surreal and magic of entering the artistry of losing himself in the performance. Recognizing the struggles we all face in life, Velez comments. “Not everything we do is going to succeed. I mean, we’re human, right? Sometimes you might be hitting

a hundred in one aspect of your life, but you could be hitting a zero in another. Our goal is to try and stay as close to the heart as we can in everything in life, whether that’s acting or family or whatever it is you choose. That’s why I don’t believe in the old “make or break” analogy ... I think what you really want to do is bend. You want to be flexible, like that evergreen tree that sits in your yard outside. It’s been there for three or four hundred years and has wintered many seasons and has gone through all of the changes. It has seen people come and go through the ages, but still exists and is constantly growing. Constantly bending. That tree will bend all the way to the ground and still survive. That’s what you want to be.” Though the limelight is an honor and the red carpet runways are fun, Velez says at the end of the day; it’s still all about the work. “For me, acting has always been about working a regular job, and my job is telling stories and bringing them to life.” And no matter how upside down my life might have been or is, I can still hear my pops say. “Salvi, we did some good today.”

PHOTOGRAPHs BY dustin huntington

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Though the limelight is an honor and the red carpet runways are fun, at the end of the day; it’s still all about the work. PHOTOGRAPHs BY dustin huntington

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s strong

women dEmpoweredd



from media to song & dance and from the small and big screens to theater, these eight women personify devotion, drive and daring. Successful in their respective fields, these women are all dedicated to one common calling: uplifting other women. We asked these eight women the same two questions and got a lesson in authenticity, resiliency and above all, inspiration. by Daisy Solís

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sKatherine CC astrso or venture, preparation is paramount, says Dominican actress Katherine Castro. That applies especially if you are one of few Latinos in any field or business or in this case, Hollywood. There’s often a different set of rules, so Castro knew it was important to be as ready as possible for her big break. The first thing she did upon arriving in the City of Stars was to begin training with Aaron Speiser, acting coach to thespians Gerard Butler, Jennifer Lopez, Virginia Madsen, and Will Smith. She also spent a year at the New York Film Academy, where she studied with singing coach CaroD’Andrea (Broadway’s West Side Story). Castro was already enjoying success in her native Dominican Republic, hosting such popular shows as Música en 1/4 de Hora, Show Del Mediodía, and A Mil. She also worked with one of the most beloved and influential personalities in the history of Dominican TV, the late Freddy Beras Goico, on his late night show Punto Final. She is a woman of many accomplishments; Castro holds a degree in journalism and speaks several languages, including French, Portuguese, Spanish, Arabic, and English. She was recently named one of the top Latinas to watch and made NBC’s list of Top 10 Standout Latinos! More recently, her film  SOMEDAY is abuzz in Hollywood circles. In SOMEDAY, she wears many hats, not only as the lead actress but she also has a producer credit, joining other actresses who have made this leap. So what is this power player working on currently? She is still going to festivals with SOMEDAY and beams at how well it’s been received. It has truly taken on a life of its own, she says. Castro also has a role on AMERICA 2.0, the scripted political podcast series also written and directed by SOMEDAY writer and director J.S. Mayank, which is now a Top 10 dramatic podcast in the UK and ranked #18 out of all arts podcasts on Apple. Katherine is having quite an exciting year! When embarking on a new adventure

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There is nothing rarer or more beautiful than a woman being unapologetically herself: comfortable in her imperfection. What successes, failures and challenges have you gone through in your journey to make you the woman you are today? That’s a loaded question! First, I agree with you. There’s nothing more beautiful and sexy than being unapologetically you, especially in an industry where you are always under the magnifying glass of judgment. Learning not to take any of it personally is one of the greatest lessons I have learned. The one thing guaranteed is rejection, and the moment you stop caring, it sets you free, and it’s so empowering. Ultimately, the one thing you have to overcome every day is to get out of your own way. True or false: My past has not defined me, destroyed me, deterred me, or defeated me; it has only strengthened me. True!

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Photograph: Stephanie Girard Style: Alejandro Peraza Style Make up : Theresa Baca Hair: Nancilee Santos

LauraStylesz you create them. That’s Laura Stylez’s mantra. Both, New York and Los Angeles will eat you alive, spit you out, and then come back for seconds if you don’t come prepared wearing armor. Laura moved from her native Los Angeles to New York when she was 19. Like many aspiring artist looking to claim their dream, she didn’t have her family’s full blessing at first. Although her parents urged her to pursue a more traditional career, Laura had her dreams of a radio career. She also had her father’s determination and tenacity, which helped prepare her for the competitive world of the airwaves. She went to school and interned at radio stations to earn her keep. Stylez has made a name for herself as a prominent radio personality both in hip-hop and urban Latino. One-third of New York’s Hot 97 Morning Show, Laura Stylez is doing her thing daily with Ebro Darden and Peter Rosenberg. Her dynamic personality and go-getter attitude have made her stand out not only within the Latino community but in the world of radio and journalism. Her authenticity and heart have made her a magnet to listeners. Stylez recently partnered with her good friend Sharifa Murdock to create ENVSN FEST: a young women’s empowerment expo led by professional women in broadcast journalism, beauty, wellness, etc. Held in Brooklyn in October, the event featured a concert with artists Saweetie and Tinashe and sponsored 300 girls from the NYC Department of Youth & Community Development’s afterschool programs. Stylez is also a cultural ambassador for YOUNG NEW YORKERS,  an organization that gives teens on their way to prison for small crimes a second chance through art rehabilitation and mentoring. Opportunities don’t happen,

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There is nothing rarer or more beautiful than a woman being unapologetically herself: comfortable in her imperfection. What successes, failures and challenges have you gone through in your journey to make you the woman you are today? I always felt strongly about not having to conform to what other people thought I should look like. I used to hear, dress like this, or be sexier...I can do that when I want to, but I refused to be someone that I wasn’t comfortable with. I’ve always quit my jobs...I know it sounds crazy, but I know when it’s time to go. If I’m not happy in my environment or the direction my career is going...I change it. People called me crazy for leaving certain companies and taking chances but you have to do that if you genuinely want to be happy.  True or false: My past has not defined me, destroyed me, deterred me, or defeated me; it has only strengthened me. My past has been my strength you take those failures, struggles and learn how NOT to make the same mistakes again. Every difficult situation shouldbe a lesson.

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CelinéssToribio have come on strong in the world of entertainment: Cardi B., Zoe Saldana, Amara La Negra, Jackie Cruz, Dascha Polanco, Michelle Rodriguez, and Julissa Bermudez to name a few — and, of course, the ladies featured in this issue of Ebby. [CUE]: In glides Celinés Toribio, a  Santo Domingo-born actress and television/radio personality, who once served as a host for the  ESPN Deportes show Sabor a Beisbol. Toribio also established the Latino Youth in Communication Arts organization to provide underprivileged youth from the Bronx area exposure to career options in the communications industry. Toribio’s trajectory is widely recognized among New York’s Hispanic media. She is known for her fearless and daring approach on TV and radio. Three years ago she decided to embark on a new endeavor as an actress and film producer. Her first project was a movie about the life of María Montez, who, in the 1940s, was the first Dominican ever to appear on Hollywood’s silver screen and was known as the “Technicolor Queen.” Toribio left the Dominican Republic in her teens to attend Lehman College. She continues to challenge herself to this day. She says she deeply values her culture, and she is known as a supporter of other women. “She’s a girl’s girl,” says Roselyn Sanchez, Puerto Rican actress/producer/ singer/host/philanthropist/author and Toribio’s friend. “She supports, respects and celebrates other women’s triumphs. It makes her happy and inspires her. It’s a beautiful quality.’ Dominican women

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In her own words One of the things that characterize me, as a woman, is to be free, independent and a fearless risk-taker. I’ve always been that person who goes after her dreams no matter how afraid I felt. I feel that all the downs I’ve had in my career have shaped me to be the woman I am today. Fear has become my best friend. I think that every woman will always feel that fear when it comes to launching a new business, a new project, moving to a new city, entering a new love relationship, choosing a new career, etc. But the key is to become an ally to that fear. My career — in radio, television, and cinema — is one that is still dominated by men. I have closed my doors a lot in the world of cinema because I came from the world of television. On the radio, I have encountered indecent proposals, and by not accepting them, I obviously wouldn’t get the job. However, I am very much a believer in God, and I have witnessed how God has never abandoned me. I feel that when things that have not been given to me, it has been for my own good. I believe that my biggest challenge as an enterprising woman has been to remain strong in my faith and to practice patience. As the song by Juan Luis Guerra says, “Todo Tiene Su Hora” (Everything Has Its Time) 100% true. But unfortunately, not all women think that way. Resilience is a value that resonated with me and that I demonstrated with my family since I was little. I would fall, cut myself or incur some wound, and I would stop and say to myself, “That’s nothing, now that I know how that feels, I can prevent it from happening to my brother (who is younger).” (Laughs) I was very protective of my brother. Resilience is one of the most important values ​​that determine the success of a woman. The failures, the bad vibes, the people inside and outside of our families that have hurt us, the bad decisions we have made, the resentment that we keep to ourselves toward something, all that MUST MAKE US STRONGER. I do not applaud the victim attitude in women. It is one thing to suffer, to cry to cleanse the soul and another thing is to make ourselves victims. Let’s leave the past behind, and let’s look to the future!

PHOTOgraph: Alondra Ángeles @Alouette Photo

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Sosnalii Castillfo Born in the Dominican Republic, raised in France, Sonalii Castillo speaks

three languages and is an award-winning director, writer, filmmaker, dancer and the very personification of the modern day Wonder Woman. She is doing it all with the kind of grace and fortitude, deserving of admiration. This multitalented actress who plays the nomadic warrior bounty huntress, Essa Khan, on the CW’s newest series The Outpost, is someone that is on the rise.  Castillo is also a force to be reckoned with behind the scenes, having won awards for two films. She wrote, produced and starred in Mamba, which was screened in several counties. It garnered her a best actress award on the film festival circuit. She also won best direction for her first film, Dahlias: Wild Card, which was screened at the Knickerbocker Film Festival in New York. Her impressive resume includes a role in the top-rated network television shows such as NCIS: Los Angeles, Heroes, as well as the CBS dramas Without A Trace and CSI: Miami.

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In Her OWN WORDS Being a minority, a woman and of mixed color has put me in the middle of the races and made me stand out everywhere I went. I was always encouraged to be normal and lead a normal life. I was often told that acting and the arts is just a phase, and I needed to be real and have realistic expectations because a girl like me would be eaten alive by this industry and not make it far.  Well, let me start with this: I wear my hair naturally curly. I am unapologetically outspoken, and I have a zest for life and joie de vivre that makes some people uneasy. I am a fighter, and I fight for what I want. There is no putting me in a box, and I refuse to let others dictate my life. It’s been a long road, and finally, I am in a place where I can do what I love and be heard. It’s not easy by any means, but I’m doing it.  True. My past has made me stronger, more determined to reach my goals and even though it has almost defeated me many times, it just pissed me off and fueled my passion even more.

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dIlianaGuiberts Cuban-American actress/producer/philanthropist

Iliana Guibert was born and raised in New York City, graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and trained at the renowned Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute. Upon graduating from NYU, Guibert took a career detour and spent most of her years working in the corporate sector. Upon getting laid off, she decided to reinvent herself as an actress and used her sales and business knowledge to her advantage and applied them to the entertainment industry. When she’s not working as an actress, Guibert volunteers her time to various philanthropic causes. She sits on the board and committee of several foundations, most of which are committed to helping youth in need and children who are chronically or terminally ill. Guibert was living her fairytale life: married to her high school sweetheart and raising their beautiful little girl when she received a phone call from her husband Thomas McGinnis that instantaneously changed her life forever. A commodities trader, McGinnis was at a meeting on the 92nd floor of the World Trade Center on 9/11. He and his colleagues were trapped in a conference room in the North Tower. Somehow, in the chaos that followed American Airlines flight 11 crashing into the building, McGinnis was able to reach his wife one final time; his is believed to be the final call made from the tower on that tragic day. He told her that he loved her and to take care good of their four-year-old daughter before the line suddenly went silent. Guibert would go on to lose her corporate job and decided to reinvent herself and study acting. She turned the heartbreak of losing her soul mate into an emotional film about overcoming depression, titled Twice Upon a Time.

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IN HER OWN WORDS There is so much to share in answering this question that I could write a book. Every up and down has and will continue to shape who I am. At the age of 16 watching my  mom handle the sudden death of my dad with such strength and elegance. Meeting the love of my life, Thomas McGinnis, at age 14 to later reunite during our senior year, dating for seven years then getting married and building an amazing life together, bringing a magnificent baby girl into the world and four years later losing him as he attended a meeting at the World Trade Center on September 11th. Then picking up the pieces from that tragedy, three years later, falling in love again and remarrying only to discover it was not the match made in heaven that I thought it was. That relationship ended in divorce but the lessons learned  were and still are invaluable, so I thank him. Just as I’m about to get divorced, I lose my corporate job and rather than fall into a pit of despair, I choose to see it as a blessing in disguise, an opportunity to spend more time with my daughter and to reinvent myself in whatever industry I want. That’s when I fully entered the industry I’d always had a passion for — entertainment; first as an actress and now diving into producing, writing and directing. Hello, Chapter Two.  True and false for me. My past has not destroyed or defeated me but has most certainly defined me, as it’s given me an unbelievable strength, greater appreciation for life, taught me even more compassion and the power of forgiveness. The good and the bad have been lessons learned that I carry like badges of honor and share with my daughter to prepare and make her a better person. I am truly blessed in spite of the tragedies and heartbreaks.

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Zulay Henao Colombiana Zulay Henao is a U.S. Army veteran turned actress. The star

of OWN's If Loving You Is Wrong has been in some Tyler Perry films, not to mention the action movie, Memoirs Of An International Assassin. She is also known for the films, Takers, Fighting and Boy Wonder. However, it was while filming Season 2 of The Oath in Puerto Rico that Henao’s soul found yet another calling. Aside from living her dream and her best life, God showed up with another mission for her. Through one of the hairdressers on set, she was led the community of Corozal, Puerto Rico, one day. Henao and the hairdresser, who had been doing the work of a foundation and putting resources together for people affected by Hurricane Maria, founded the High Garden Foundation to raise funds for the community and children in Puerto Rico who were trying to rebuild their lives after the hurricane devastated much of the island.

IN HER OWN WORDS: This question is so timely! I’ve been immersed in this place of “digging “ for bones and looking into all the dark places of my past, childhood, etc, for quite a while now. It’s honestly the most important of work for me at the moment, necessary for my evolution as a woman. Forgiveness of self is one thing, and I’ve had a lot to forgive. From the way that I dealt with my mom’s cancer years ago, to staying in an emotionally abusive relationship and dealing with co-dependency for two-plus years. Ouch, painful to even write and divulge, and just like that I passed another step! Ultimately it’s all about the truth, but more importantly it’s about identifying the source, understanding it, and having empathy and compassion for oneself. I ask questions of myself, kindly. It’s about graduating into womanhood and leaving the girl behind, intact. For me the wisest teacher is God, and what I’ve learned through Him over the years about how He loves me, How he created me perfectly flawed, but ultimately in His image. It’s about waking up from whatever erroneous belief we were living by when we “failed” and trying again with new information, new confidence, and the promise of forgiveness.  Abso-FUCKING-lutely! ❤

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MyrkaDellanoOs when the other beautiful half of the original PRIMER IMPACTO duo would come to mind: JOURNALISM GOALS. Respected two-time Emmy-winning newscaster, author, radio host, humanitarian, adjunct professor, blogger, vlogger, skincare guru, spiritual warrior, and Super Mom. There seems to be little Myrka Dellanos cannot do. After majoring in journalism at the University of Miami, Dellanos made a meteoric rise from local anchor to one of the faces of Univision. For 12 years she was the host of the popular Spanish-language news program Primer Impacto, covering major news events, including the O.J. Simpson trial and a papal visit. Dellanos is a big believer in women empowering women professionally, culturally, and spiritually through sisterhood. Gloria Castellanos, one of Myrka’s best friends, said: “If I had to describe Myrka in one word it would be LOVE, not only is she warm and loving to the ones close to her, she extends that love to the world in her passion for humanitarian outreach, her heart is to empower and uplift others. Her love for life and everything around her. She’s genuine and transparent, and if you ask me, that’s the epitome of a woman of strength, because nothing will ever break a woman with a heart full of love.”   I use to have two words

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IN HER OWN WORDS I believe having successes and failures are all a part of a life well lived. How can we measure our success if we haven’t failed? It’s all relative to our own experiences. For me, having been married and divorced, attempting to have a life-long marriage but not attaining it has been painful because being in a healthy partnership is ideal. However, I am completely fulfilled and happy being single. For me, knowing that I am not the one in control of my life, that my God is, is freeing and liberating. I have a firm conviction that my messes can be turned into a purpose to help someone else and therefore my pain in certain circumstances is never in vain.   Hmmmmmm... I cannot answer this as a simple True or False because for me it’s been both. My past has at times defined me; at certain moments it has wanted to destroy me, it has felt like it defeated me. If I’m honest, the decisions I have made in my past have and will always shape my future! I know the politically correct answer and possibly what everyone else will say is that your statement above is TRUE. Most people want to believe that their past doesn’t mean anything but I disagree with that. Your past is part of you; it’s part of your history and your life story. Yes! We must leave the past in the past, but you have to remember it so you can change, grow and evolve into the butterfly that you were created to become! I say, remember your past, grieve it, talk about it and then when you’re ready, move on! Celebrate how far you’ve come and how much you’ve learned. 

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Grizesl del VsallOe Chachi

It was a powerful image: A woman wrapped in the drenched Puerto Rican

flag, laying on a swing surrounded by water. There was also an accompanying video of the same woman, swinging and singing the traditional bomba, Campo, whose lament that simultaneously spoke to the devastation that Hurricane Maria visited upon the island and the hope and resiliency of its people. That woman was Grizel ' Chachi ' del Valle, a singer and dancer of Puerto Rican descent.  The New Jersey native has sung backup for Romeo Santos, has theater credits from New York to London, a solo career in dance and choreography, including dancing in her own burlesque show. She once helped give New York its mambo back when performing in the musical, I Like It Like That, with Puerto Rican salsero Tito Nieves. A huge supporter of other women, Chachi is known to practice tough love — emphasis on love — and not mince words when it comes to helping other women learn to love themselves.

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IN HER OWN WORDS Being raised by a single mom taught me how to be a strong, independent woman. Having weight issues throughout my teenage years taught me how to love myself no matter what size I was, cellulite and all. The entertainment industry has taught me you can make it without losing your integrity and self-respect. Not booking everything I auditioned for has shown me persistence. Recording my music project independently has taught me the value of teamwork. Fear has taught me to have faith. And the mirror reminds me daily that I am my only competition. False. To say my past has not helped define me would be a lie. The lessons that have temporarily made me feel destroyed or defeated have been the same lessons that have built my character and have strengthened me.

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Photo by Ishan @seefromthesky on Unsplash

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THE LIFE OF YOUR DREAMS Author of Transform Your Life: 10 Principles of Abundance and Prosperity Shares 5 steps on how to get the dream you have always wanted BY CHRIS LEE

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of react to them on autopilot. I’ve consistently watched people spin in circles that don’t know how to reach their dreams or goals because of their limiting beliefs. Other times, people do reach those goals and dreams and they’re unfulfilled because of those same limiting conversations that have them believe that it won’t last or they somehow don’t deserve it despite the achievement. The results you produce in your life are a direct result of the actions you take (or don’t take). Your actions are a result of the decisions you make (or don’t make). Decisions come from your belief systems. The only way to change your results is to go to the source - your mindset - and recalibrate the system to go in a different direction for the end result. The most powerful work we can do with ourselves is to develop strategies to uncover, redesign, and reinvent our belief system. But how do we do that? The only way your business, relationships, and life can be successful is by elevating who you are being. When you bring that into what you’re doing, it effects what you have. Here are the five steps to shifting into gear and overriding your GPS navigation system to reroute toward the life of your dreams.



you updated your navigation software? No, no. Not that one. I’m talking about your internal software: the programming that controls your every word, action, and emotion. Our minds are exactly like a GPS navigation program. Every day we have more conversations or experiences that develop limiting beliefs or engrain further beliefs and attitudes that become a part of our reality. These beliefs and attitudes become our new normal and our autopilot to bring us back home to what we know as safe and comfortable, though not necessarily our most happy and fulfilled. Rarely do we take the time to course-correct ourselves before we get lost, but instead wait for that calming voice to tell us that life is “recalculating” When was the last time

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for us or to see an obvious sign of danger ahead. If we are on cruise control, it is our beliefs and attitude that influence our actions. When our beliefs or attitude navigate us instead of our values and visions, we tend to go at the problem harder and faster, so we actually increase the level of breakdown (anxiety/ stress) instead of taking the time to evaluate what went wrong. We find ourselves repeating the same patterns over and over, producing the same results. We don’t take the time to ask ourselves important questions about how we got here. Again. If you recall, that is the definition of insanity according to Albert Einstein. No wonder we feel lost! I’ve spent three decades teaching people how to respond to their circumstances instead

We want to point fingers and blame the economy, the sales team, our boss, our past lovers, our parents, or even the moon cycles for why things occurred as they did. We rarely volunteer to look and see how we’re accountable for something, particularly less than positive outcomes. Taking full responsibility - whether it’s our fault or not is the first step in a new direction. Responsibility is not the same as fault or blame. It is instead taking an honest look at yourself and determining how your actions (or lack thereof) or attitude played a part in the end result. We can ask ourselves responsibly, “What am I not providing that will bring me/us to the result? Who am I not being that yields this result?” There’s more leverage in being responsible than being a victim to your circumstances. Whatever you resist persists and will send you into breakdown. Breakdowns do not have to look like a dramatic disappointment or failure. A breakdown is simply an event or situation that does not line up with your vision. If my vision is to be healthy and I have preventable health

Photo by Ishan @seefromthesky on Unsplash

issues and excess weight, I’m in breakdown. If I want a happy marriage and I don’t have one, I’m in breakdown. If my vision for my business is to make six figures and I am making $99,999, I am in breakdown. Your feedback lets you know you’re in breakdown, and your feedback is the results you are creating. When your partner is pissed at you, or none of your clothes fit, or your checking account is in the red...it’s all feedback. Take responsibility. It can be hard to do this because your ego wants to hold onto being right or to appear as though you have it all under control. It takes humility for someone to say, “I acknowledge that I didn’t do what I said I would do.” But stepping out of your comfort zone and approaching a situation differently is the only opportunity for the results to also be different. When victims are in breakdown, they sweep it under the rug or get mad and blame other people. Don’t be a victim. Identify the breakdown and acknowledge it in a positive way. A breakdown can turn into a blessing when you take responsibility for it.



“What could I have done differently?” In order to make the acceptance of your responsibility matter moving forward, it’s important to realize what was in the gap between the result you created and the result you declared. For example, if i’m committed to generating a certain amount of money in sales, the tendency is to default to excuses that the sales are not coming in. “People don’t have the money. The marketing team isn’t generating the right leads. The economy is bad.” The list goes on. Instead, let me evaluate my participation in the interaction. Once I take responsibility, I can ask myself: who am I being and what am I doing that’s blocking the sale? And what can I do to increase the opportunity for the sale next time? It’s taking responsibility for how you’re showing up in the transaction so that future outcomes end as they were intended.

It’s not about the client or the economy. It’s about who I am being that yielded that result and what I showed up as that interfered with the desired end result. “What was missing that was absolutely in my control?”



As long as you’re blaming someone else or mad that you blew it again, it’s hard to shift into something positive and productive. Sometimes we have breakdowns because of other people, but we need to forgive them. Other times we are upset that we didn’t achieve the results we were dreaming of and we get to forgive ourselves too. If we don’t forgive, we’ll never be successful. Regardless of the results you have, resentment will not allow you to enjoy it. The energy you need to become successful in any domain is misguided when you hold onto resentment. Even in moments you don’t feel like the “wrong reasons” are fueling you, they are. Until you forgive.

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Every moment is an opportunity to start over. What’s the new or revised vision? Make a new declaration. When making a new commitment, it’s important to visualize it. When Nelson Mandela came into power, he was fresh out of 27 years in prison. When he began his term as President of South Africa, his support team encouraged and expected him to fire all the people who put him in prison. His response was to remind his team that if he did that, he is just like those that had wronged him. Mandela was not reacting to his circumstances, but instead committed to create his vision of unity for South Africa. His vision was crystal clear. The clearer you have in your head the

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vision you want, the easier it is to pay the prices to get there. If I don’t have a clear vision of the body that I want, I’m not going to tolerate a trip to the gym every day. If I am not clear on what having financial freedom means to me, then I’m less apt to stick to my budget each month that will free me of debt. Vision and commitment to that vision makes it easier to pay the prices and make the sacrifices required to reach new heights. Typically when people are in breakdown it’s because they lack vision. We are so focused on what we don’t want and we focus on getting rid of our stress and anxiety that we forget to imagine all the things we are looking to create and attract. For this, I recommend closing your eyes and doing a visualization exercise. It’s effective in grounding yourself in what you want. In my leadership seminars, I create moments for people to check in with themselves. Some are resistant to these sorts of prompts. They think it’s stupid or trivial. I confess, I used to be one of those people myself! When I first tried this, I’d close my eyes and see nothing but black. I had no imagination. But over the years, I’ve learned that the key ingredient to success at any level is the ability to close your eyes and take 5-10 minutes every day to envision and visualize the life that you’re headed toward. You can use the following paragraphs as a prompt for a brief guided visualization for yourself. I recommend playing soft music while you think about your vision. Guide yourself through your perfect day a year from now. Imagine the life that you’re living. You’ve accomplished the goals you’ve set. And - more importantly - you’re feeling and experiencing the feelings you’ve always wanted. Think about your vision for yourself. Your body. Your health. Your mind. Your spirituality. Your vision for your family. Your vision for your world. It’s a year later. And that vision is now a reality. Look at each moment of the day. Experience it. Smell it. Taste it. What does it sound like? In your mind’s eye, go through your entire day living and accomplishing that dream. Think back at the last year - what were the limiting beliefs you needed to give up to accomplish this? What were the actions you needed to take? See yourself celebrating health, relationships, finances, family, the life you’ve always dreamed of, and how it is now a reality. You can’t wait for what’s next. What did you experience? What did you

see? What does every minute of the day look like in a year? 5 years? 10 years? 20 years? The more you’re able to get into it and get over your private conversation about it, the more effective it’s going to be. If you have the power to imagine it, you have the power to create it.



A vision without a plan is just a fantasy. Creating an action plan is where you get clear on your “why” to let it fuel you forward in actionable steps. An ego-driven vision pushes the results away. If there is not a pure “why” that is derived by a place of service and contribution, our results will be short-lived.

Photo by Simon Rae on Unsplash

Forgiveness is a choice you make every day. It’s not something you do once and forget. It’s a constant declaration and affirmation process. Forgiveness affirms that we are human and we make mistakes. It also affirms that we deserve another chance and have a right to change and transform. We don’t need to be defined by our mistakes or our past. Learning to forgive yourself is a process. To get the process started, write things down you’re upset about. Make a “guilt list,” a list of things you feel guilty about and then write over the entire list that you forgive yourself. Write out another list of what others have done to hurt you, then forgive them in a similar fashion. As long as you have significant energy tied up on some internal conversation that you didn’t get over, you’re not going to be effective in dealing with an inevitable life breakdown. Not only are you able to shift out of breakdown quicker when your heart and mind are free from pent up resentment or anger, but you’ll be dealing with just the one breakdown at hand and not a resulting internal breakdown that was triggered. You want all your energy channeled into that current breakdown to address it and transform it. Forgiveness is not about the other person. By forgiving myself and forgiving others, I’m getting my energy back. It’s not your job to make their karma right or to prove them wrong. Your job is to focus on your vision. As long as you’re upset or giving your power away, you’ll continue to run circles to the same breakdowns again and again. Do you want to have energy to make things happen or to be mad? Forgive yourself and forgive others to get your energy back. Drop the ego and stop striving to be right.

For Seminars or Personal coaching with Chris Lee go to Facebook Chris Lee Motivational Trainer Instagram / Twitter


A successful action plan that yields our wildest dreams will require us being very far out of our comfort zone. As a general rule, we don’t see ourselves in action objectively. We can’t see how we’re moving or not moving. There are some things you can see on your own because they’re obvious, but approximately 97% of what stops us are things that we don’t see clearly on our own. But a coach, who’s keen and has a trained eye for what you’re working toward, can see what’s really going on and be ready to provide feedback. Feedback about what’s working and what’s not working gives me a birds eye view of my belief systems. The most important thing you’ll want to do is surround yourself with people that will

support your action. You can’t do it alone. If you want to be healthy, you can’t surround yourself with people that don’t care and go out to party all the time. If you want to be financially successful, you can’t surround yourself with people who spend money like it’s an Olympic sport. Surround yourself with the people who exemplify all you desire to be and achieve. Action requires a plan and the accountability to stick to that plan. Recommit to your vision every day and surround yourself with people and coaches who are passionate with you. That’s where the action will be born from. The sacrifices won’t seem so steep to reach your dreams and make your vision a reality. If you’re finding that the life you lead is

“Tranform Your life 10 proncipleas of bundane and Properity Availble on Amazon in all formats

unfulfilling and you are not on your way or already living the life of your dreams, the navigation system you’ve been using is in dire need of a software update. I invite you to be courageous and use these five steps to step out of your comfort zone and into a different way of being. I invite you to see the limiting beliefs you’ve been telling yourself as stories that are fiction meant to scare you into driving the same old county roads you’ve been taking your whole life. Trust yourself to turn off the GPS and drive into unchartered territory until the update is complete. Because getting lost and uncomfortable often leads us to a destination far more beautiful and rewarding than we ever could have originally planned.

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live life For the soul

They say “when a woman is loved correctly, she will become ten times that woman she was before.” I then wonder what will happen when she loves herself correctly. When she stops hating on herself for everything that she thinks she’s not and loves herself for everything that she is. When she values herself so much so that her energy and aura protect her from anyone that doesn’t see her worth.

Photographs: jairo-alzate-unsplash

I wonder what will happen when she invests in herself, makes time for herself and allows herself to ask for what she really wants. How many times a woman will she become then? Colet te Werden



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Au th en ticity requ i re s vu l n e ra b i l i t y t ra n sp a re n cy & i n t e gr i t y

Brand New, brand you empowering people to be authentic & confident leaders by Colette Werden

Tell about your company and what does it stand for? Colette definition: people of victory Werden definition: to become I am the Founder and CEO of Australia’s only one-stop personal branding agency that helps entrepreneurs (visionaries) package and present their talent and service to the world - online and offline. I created this holistic agency with one strong intention - to make it easy for entrepreneurs with a service, product or message, put themselves out there with confidence as a leader in their field, so they can make their difference in the world.  The way we are connecting and buying is changing. With the rise of social media influencers and the trend of entrepreneurship, building trust, credibility and a position of influence to make an impact, needs to be at the forefront of a thriving business - now, more than ever. This is why our focus is not on creating business brands, it’s on elevating the personal brands that are the face of their business; so they make a hugely beneficial impact in their industry.

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Life isn’t ab ou t fi n d i n g you r s e l f Li fe i s a b ou t cre a t i n g you r se l f

Tell me about how you got into your line of work and why do you do it? Seven years ago, I started my business offering solely personal styling sessions. Not because I wanted to be a stylist, but because my image was costing me my experience of life; I was using pieces of fabric to hide myself from the world. Who I saw in the mirror and what I thought about her, was the very first thing I had to destroy to rebuild. When I did, I knew I could help other men and women with how they choose to show up in the world too. We got a lot of media attention and the business grew quickly; clients were coming from across the country and abroad. Everything then expanded organically and my true purpose was revealed. As clients began dressing, walking and talking like they were ready to make an impact in the world, they were inspired to get themselves out there on a larger scale. They just had no idea how to go about it, and I knew I could help. I re-branded my business, employed a bigger team, launched new services and created an agency that focused on helping these talented people make their mark in the world. Now, I’m proud to say that I run an agency that is dedicated to helping introverted visionaries, like myself, shine their light in this world to truly make a difference – with a long-term vision to develop, manage and represent the world’s newest influential leaders. If you had asked me when I was younger, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”, my answer would have been; “I have no idea, but all I know is that it’s going to be something big.” This is my “big.” This is my way of changing the world, by empowering those that are. Who has been the biggest influence on your life? What lessons did that person teach you? There isn’t one particular person


that I would say has been the biggest influence in my life, rather a collective of people. People who “go all in” on their purpose inspire me tremendously. They are aiming to achieve more than most people can even comprehend, so along the way they will experience more than most people will every have enough courage to live through. High highs. Low lows. Breaking points. Tipping points. Devastation and elation. Scrutiny and praise. They have taught me that commitment is paramount. That if you choose to keep going, to go all in — not matter how much your mind tries to trick you into giving up — you will be rewarded with a life that most people can only ever dream about and a legacy to be proud of. What lessons has your work life taught you? My work life has taught me what really makes me so great at what I do. It’s not necessarily my skill set

or craft, or my years of experience and qualifications. It’s my ability to get through the anxiety that consumes me when I step out of my comfort zone. It’s the way I push through the chaos of my mind when I’m so determined to make it work. It’s the deep knowing that my intuitive visions and feelings of what I have the power to create will come to life. And it’s my commitment to never backing down until I get there. So when my mind tries to convince me that the possibility of rejection, failure and negative criticism is more important than the difference I’m here to make, I’ll keep showing it the truth. I’ll keep showing it that my purpose is bigger than my fears. Are there any words of wisdom you’d like to pass along? Right before we make a big change, our mind will go into overdrive; every fear, negative through and uncertainty will rise up to the surface. Any insecurities around

money, success, failure, exposure and criticism will hit the spotlight. This is not an indicator that we shouldn’t move forward — it’s the reason that we need to. It’s the catalyst we need to defy our fears and back ourselves — to rise up and evolve. Otherwise our fears will control all of our decisions; stifling us into paralysis. Living a fear-led life over a dream-led life is not the life we have been put on this planet to live. What are you grateful for? I am grateful for my past. For a long time, I resisted looking back on my life because a majority of it felt like a fight; I really struggled with my mental health, I was challenged with accepting who I really was and I was so insistent on being my own worst enemy. Now, I look back at my life and say, thank-you. Every breaking point in the past is the leverage I now use to become stronger, healthier and happier. www.colettewerden.com

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Healin g your s e l f i s con n e ct e d wi t h h e a l i n g ot h e r s

Healing together TV Personality Marci Hopkins is passionate about helping others. Here, the mother-of-two tells us how she’s empowering others on her national talk show, Wake Up With Marci By Daniela Galvez

Trying to stay positive can

feel almost impossible. But Marci Hopkins is using her voice, alongside other inspirational women, to help women rediscover themselves after traumatic experiences and sharing stories of hope and encouragement. “My show is a female-focused show all about empowerment,” she says, “I want to share stories of healing and triumph. I share stories of loss, addiction, mental illness, breast cancer and more. I focus on how my guests have persevered through these difficult times and now give back to help others. We all need to know we are not alone,” says Hopkins. Hopkins’ goal is to provide a platform for women to discuss their pasts and heal together. “I want them to take courage, strength, and hope,” she adds. As a survivor of sexual abuse, Hopkins hopes she can teach women that it’s important to put yourself in a

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position that allows you to grow after a negative experience. “I have gone through difficult times. I’m a survivor of sexual abuse and am now three years sober. I want to help others heal. Your past does not define you,” she says. While trauma sent her on a path of addiction, over time, she was able to find hope and her true self again. “I’ve had many challenges in my life, but my most recent one was my alcoholism. It runs in my family, and I used it to cope with my abuse and abandonment,” Hopkins recalls. “I have learned so much through my healing. I have rediscovered the young girl I lost so long ago and now love myself.” Since then, Hopkins has been more than willing to speak up about how to stay strong when things are bad. “You can overcome anything you put your mind to. [You] are worthy of happiness. [Your] voice counts,” she says.

• Luxury for the soul • WINTER 2019

“Yesterday’s dreams aren’t always today’s reality. What drives you now is different from last year or even ten or twenty years ago.” As a mother of two beautiful kids, she quickly learned that her children became her number one priority. “What inspires me now is making a difference and being there for my children. I used to focus so much on just myself and trying to make a name for myself in my job to validate my worth. Seeing my children happy and hearing that I somehow made a

difference for someone fills my heart with joy.” When she’s not recording her weekly talk show, the mother-of-two is connecting to her higher self. “I meditate. It centers me, and it has contributed so much to my healing. I connect to my angels and God through meditation. You can learn so much about yourself in the quiet moments,” Hopkins says. She also loves to travel. “There’s a big world out there, and I want to experience it. Life is not about tangible items; it’s about your experiences and making memories.”


Th e w oun d i s t h e p l a ce wh e re t h e l i gh t e n t e r s you

The Soul Weaver

Hanson Tse is a master healer and the developer of WAMBI Exploration, an experiential approach to listening to your own wisdom through awareness and the integration of mind and body By Daniela Galvez


It all started with a sense of

not belonging but eventually led to a fascination with understanding the human race. From an early age, Hanson Tse felt he was different from those around him. Growing up with Chinese immigrant parents in a predominately Caucasian town, led him to the realization that we as humans are more alike than we are different. “We share more profoundly in our common humanity than anything we think separates us,” he shares. After experiencing that personal need to want to know more about the world, Tse decided to study Psychology in college. However, as he began learning about the mind and how it relates to human behavior, he found the knowing this information had no significance. It wasn’t until Tse started acting that he truly began to discover the connection between body and emotion. Today, Tse offers unique healing work and spiritual growth accompanied by revolutionary, philosophical insights into the functioning and potential of ourselves as human beings.

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Tell us about yourself. My story has quite a lot more to do with the people and circumstances around me than me myself. I was born to Chinese immigrant parents in Toronto, Canada but moved to largely Caucasian, suburban Connecticut while I was still barely a toddler. So I grew up here as American but was different in significant ways. Other than the language, culture, and citizenship barriers, my parents were much older which lent itself to even more distance and tension growing up. However, perhaps the biggest difference was that my older brother had severe Cerebral Palsy which brought tremendous strain on the family and massive judgment from people. When we ate in restaurants, the stares would blare from every set of eyes in every head in the place. Despite this, my parents considered me the “normal” son. Meanwhile, the entire world seemed to see me and us as anything but normal. Looking back it was this incongruence with everyone around me; it sparked my fascination with understanding human nature. It ended up becoming an incredible blessing. I was so conscious of being different from those around

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me I developed a point of view that had a wider perspective than societal and cultural norms. Because of this, I have always known that we share more profoundly in our common humanity than anything we think separates us. It’s a point of view the world is in dire need of right now. It’s time for us to come home to our Humanity. How did get into your line of work? I grew up captivated by science and the promise of understanding the world in which we live. When I got to college, my focus gravitated towards Psychology and understanding the roots of human behavior. My studies focused on neurotransmitters and brain structures, and I found it fascinating. By senior year, however, I grew disillusioned with Psych as a means of providing me with any meaningful answers. “Knowing” these things didn’t improve my life in any way. They didn’t make me any happier. Although I had found it interesting, studying them didn’t seem to have any real relevance for my life. When graduated I decided to take the next year to explore and improve myself, and I

realized that it was a dream since childhood to be an actor. Because I was Asian American I never really considered it a career option, but I knew that if I didn’t try, I would live to regret it. While studying acting, I was immediately struck by how I was learning more about behavior than I ever did studying Psychology and moreover it was visceral and practical. It was studying behavior through actual behavior, and it just felt right. It led me into a movement for actors which led me to explore the connections between body and emotions. I was fascinated by an offshoot of Osteopathy called Cranio-Sacral Therapy. At its advanced levels, it showed me the body could be used to access the nonconscious mind and deep emotions. It baffled me why none of these various disciplines from Psychology to acting to the movement to bodywork shared their discoveries despite each having knowledge that would revolutionize each others’ fields. I continued to study and learn for my fascination, and in 2010 I realized that I had a unique body of knowledge seen nowhere else. More importantly, it was all unified by an overarching philosophy. Because of the


Th e h u m an sp irit n eed s to a ccom p l i sh , to a ch i eve , to t r i u m p h to b e h a p py


tremendous impact, it had on my life it was my responsibility to share it with the world. It’s called WAMBI Exploration (Wisdom through Awareness and Mind-Body Integration), and I realize now that it is that same revolution in understanding I saw the potential for 20 years ago.

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What lessons has your work life taught you? I’ve learned that there is more beauty, truth, and knowledge in our nature that society has the room to understand. It is a matter of developing a direct relationship with that nature rather than relying on accepting what we’ve been told or taught. We are primarily feeling and sensing creatures yet this world has taught us not to trust our feelings and not to listen to our senses. How can we believe in ourselves when we can’t even listen to ourselves? Is there a technique that you can share that we can do at home? There are many techniques that we can incorporate into our lives. However, what is missing from our limited, societal understanding is not so many techniques but rather the implementation of direct and ever-deepening awareness in everything that we do, particularly the things we usually take for granted. Whatever the technique, it’s the infusing of our MindBodySpirit Complex with the awareness that is the real work. If we were to do this on a global scale, we could see an entirely new planet devoid of the vast majority of problems virtually overnight. What are the most important lessons you’ve learned in life? I think I’m still learning them. Learning comes in every form and incantation possible. Learning through body, movement, senses, and sensation, feeling, emotions, perceptions, and relationships. The unfolding of Creation is it learning itself.

Are there any words of wisdom you’d like to pass along? Everything is speaking if you learn how to listen deeply enough. If you’re really connected to it, knowledge and wisdom are there. Also, as expressions of existence, we are wisdom embodied when we learn to listen to ourselves and all that we are. Happiness is there if you open yourself to all the ways it calls for you to meet it. Sometimes it screams, but deep happiness often communicates through whispers. What are you grateful for in life? I am grateful that my greatest misgivings have led to my greatest triumphs and for the gift of having been blessed with a lifetime of learning, growth, and evolution. It’s all for the taking for us all. The richness of experience is the true beauty for which we must strive. How has your life been different than what you’d imagined? The crazy thing about it is that it radically shifts all the time. When you pursue this work your life is continually opening and expanding in ways beyond what you previously were even capable of imagining. I suppose it’s been different in that I never expected to have my foundational experience of life change so dramatically and continuously. It is all truly a marvel beyond definition.

Photographs: Clockwise; Michiko Akagi Black & Whoite photo Rosie Cohe

How do you explain the work you do? My work is complicated to explain because there is no societal context for it. I consider it to be a Theory of Everything concerning the human condition. In a similar way to how Bruce Lee sought out the most effective martial techniques and approaches and created his philosophy and approach, my work focuses on the total human being and incorporates and unifies the great disciplines of Mankind such as Philosophy, Medicine, Spirituality, Science, and Art. All of these are contained within the expression of us as the natural world, and through exploring ourselves in ever more deepening ways, we can discover all of our important truths. It is not just an intellectual idea but a​practical one. Only as a Master Wine Sommelier can perform the mindboggling feat of identifying a wine’s grape, locality, and vintage simply by tasting it, we can apply such direct awareness to our Mind, Body, and Spirit and improve our health and happiness to uncharted territory. From developing myself in this way, I have learned how to navigate the various terrains of human capacities and their various connections. These can be used to the effect of improving function in every aspect of our lives whether it be for healing, improving creativity and relationships, and potentiating our lives to live as the best version of ourselves. Up until now I have been known as a “healer,” and my clients report a significant reduction or elimination of pain, the release of traumas or burdens, feeling free, open, and light, connected to their hearts and capacity for love, reduction in fear, worry, anger and sorrow. They report being in touch with their true selves, living their best lives and even being one with God. I’d love to teach others how to discover themselves in the way that I have and to pass on this knowledge to society at large. In the future, I see us as redefining ourselves without suffering and as what today we might call superhuman. Also, it’s all simply a factor of developing awareness across all of our human capacities.

Luxury For the soul

The Bouqs Company Holiday Sweater Succulents, white alstroemeria, red berries, solidago + green accents $54-$86, bouqs.com



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Hom e i s n ot a p l a ce ...i t ’s a fe e l i n g

JONATHAN ADLER Small Op Art lacquer Box $98, jonathanadler.com

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If you ca n d re a m i t , you ca n d o i t



La DoubleJ x Kartell Chair $795, kartell.com

Sonix Rhinestone Harper Case $35, shopsonix.com

JEMMA Work Bag $398 jemmabag.com

Sonix Wall Calendar $20, shopsonix.com

JONATHAN ADLER Gold Muse Votive Candle Holder $38, jonathanadler.com

Bezels & Bytes Glitter Leather Band for Apple Watch $48, bezelsandbytes.com

Sonix Velvet Laptop Sleeves $50, shopsonix.com

Policy Handbags iCard Holder $18, Policyhandbags.com

eyebobs Green Plaid Acetate Frames $89, eyebobs.com

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Tru s t t h e m a gi c of n e w b e gi n n i n gs

Verloop Shaggy Fringe Pillow Cover $70, verloopknits.com

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Be You

With th e n ew d ay com e s n e w s t re n gt h a n d n e w t h ou gh t s

JONATHAN ADLER Lips Trinket Tray $98, jonathanadler.com

Chamilia Enchanted Forest Premium Gift Set $350 chamilia.com

JONATHAN ADLER Electrum Table Lamp $795, jonathanadler.com

bestowe Relax and Restore, box is designed to ensure relaxation $120, bestowegifting.com

JONATHAN ADLER Pop Candles $42, jonathanadler.com

verilux Happylight Touch Lucent Led $79.95, verilux.com

POTTERY BARN LynBrook Plaid Booties $39.50, pottarybarn.com

L’Occitane Sweet Cherry Blossom Bauble Ornament $14, usa.loccitane.com

Vahdam Teas Imperial Tea Maker $22.49 vahdamteas.com

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It alw ays s e e m s i m p os si b l e u n t i l i t ’s d on e

All products sold at boconcept.com

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Ilana Goor Redesigned Cutlery (Price upon request) ilanagoormuseum.org

Tr y to b e a ra i n b ow i n som e on e’s cl ou d

Sweet Home Pottery Barn Washed Velvet Pillow Cove $29.50, potterybarn.com

Talisman Soy Candle $20, nordstrom.com

PBteen Benefit Face Framed Art $99, pbteen.com

Pottery Barn Stag Figural Shaker $79, potterybarn.com

Skeem Design Burn Brightly Match Bottle $26, skeemshop.com

Verloop Fleece Lined Knit Stocking $58, verloopknits.com

JONATHAN ADLER Mr. and Mrs. Muse Reversible Mugs $24 each, jonathanadler.com

Pottery Barn After Hours Stemware & Decanter Set $49.50, potterybarn.com

JONATHAN ADLER Harlequin Floor Lamp, $775 jonathanadler.com

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Photograph: Julie Soefer Photography.

You r h ome sh ou ld tell th e s tor y of wh o you a re , a n d b e a col l e ct i on of wh a t you l ove

Say It with Color

If you love bold colors, don’t feel limited to using them on a pillow, a colorful artwork or you can add a stunning chair to brighten your favorite room

WINTER 2019 • Luxury for the soul •




Ever y d ay is a j ou r n ey, a n d t h e j ou r n ey i t s e l f i s h om e

Ted Baker Ted Decorative Pillow $84, bloomingdales.com

HIGH FASHION HOME Wellesly Lamp $269, highfashionhome.com

Gibson & Dehn Champagne Sorbet Diffuser $44, gibsonanddehn.com

HIGH FASHION HOME Neon Portrait II $1,019, highfashionhome.com

Pottery Barn Wells Upholstered Swivel Armchair $999, potterybarn.com

HIGH FASHION HOME Zelda Sheepskin Bench, White $209, highfashionhome.com

Ted Baker Wake Me For Champagne Decorative Pillow $84, bloomingdales.com

Sony LSPX-P1 Portable Ultra Short Throw Projector with WiFi/Bluetooth $998, amazon.com

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You are p owe r fu l , B e a u t i fu l , B r i l l i a n t a n d B rave

I believe in pink. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day And I believe in

Miraclesd Audrey Hepburn

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Profile for Ebby Magazine

Ebby Magazine  

We help connect women to their true selves encouraging her to think about her life, nourish the mind, body and spirit. Ebby magazine creates...

Ebby Magazine  

We help connect women to their true selves encouraging her to think about her life, nourish the mind, body and spirit. Ebby magazine creates...