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FASHION STEELE REVIEW 2017

Magazine FASHION STEELE NYC REVIEW

Magazine 

The Travel & Wellness Issue In the 4th Issue of Fashion Steele NYC Review Magazine we delve into the wonderful world of Travel and the importance of Self-Care.

Travel

Interviews & Trending

From the crumbling yet vibrant streets of Brooklyn Baddies: The Women Making moves in New York’s Cuba, to the desert of Yucca Valley NYC most creative borough. ISSUE Slow Fashion is the new fashion FASHION STEELE 4 California and the majestic city of darling. Finding your best skin. When Brands miss the Marrakech, Morocco, Travel is Life. mark, what should consumers do?

Wellness The books that got me through 2017. 5 !1 Tips for going Vegan. Lifestyle tweaks for wholesome living and effortless adulting. Empowering yourself to stop a killer.


table of contents 06— Letter From the Editor “ 2017 Just so happened to be one of the best year of my life in terms of happiness, success and mindfulness. ” — Monroe Steele

09—

21—

INTERVIEWS: Brooklyn Baddies

From Diarrha N’Diaye, Social Media Strategist at L’Oréal Paris, to Mecca James-Williams (Pg. 16), creative & stylist, these women are behind the scenes of your favorite things and giving us some insight into the Brooklyn way.

Travel EDITORIAL: With Love, From Havana

Once a forbidden city, American’s are now flocking to Havana, Cuba in search of a journey back in time, vibrant colors and the thrill of seeing something new. But Havana is more than the pretty pictures.

34 — TRAVEL: COVER STORY — Majestic Marrakech Morocco Marrakech was everything I hoped it would be and more. I couldn't even imagine the sights, the smells, the pure awe that I experienced in Morocco.

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51— TRAVEL: The Travel Accessories Edit Gone are the times where you pack anything for vacations. Having travel style is essential if you want to look back and love your photos.

65— Travel EDITORIAL: Stillness in Yucca Valley, California Finding peace and a renewed sense of self amongst a nothingness that included desert, stars, wind and an old record player & an Aretha Franklin vinyl.

84— TRENDING: Brands missing the mark 2017 was definitely the year of Brand mishaps, from racially insensitive ads, to brands trying to be more inclusive to just plain there was no person of color at the table, this was a rough year for brands and their consumers.

88— TRENDING: Finding your way to your best skin I’ve got one word for you; EXFOLIATE

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table of contents 95— TRENDING: The Truth About Transparency As desperation for a following, likes and validation seeking on social media grows, people are now more #Transparent & #MentallyAware than ever, but is it really real?

114— TRENDING: The Gift of Slow Fashion Now don’t get me wrong, I love fast fashion but there’s a relationship that can flourish when you connect directly to up and coming indie designers.

134— TRENDING: Dear Deddeh Howard and Swagga Jackers Worldwide — I’m done taking your shit I awoke one morning to DMs bombarding me with photos I thought were me (at first glance), then I realized, someone jacked my creative content and I was livid.

150— WELLNESS: 5 Tips for Transitioning to Veganism A shift was definitely in order and it wasn’t just about the weight gain. I was always tired, bloated, got frequent migraines, and was often sick. That, on top of the stress that comes with trying to making a living in NYC, prompted a major change. FASHION STEELE NYC

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EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Monroe Steele

more contents & contributors

CREATIVE CONSULTANT / LEAD PHOTOGRAPHER & VIDEOGRAPHER Rose Lazard COPY EDITOR / PER DIEM PHOTOGRAPHER Jennifer Jean-Pierre

TRAVEL

COPY EDITOR / PER DIEM PHOTOGRAPHER Nigel Isaiah

3 Tips for Choosing the Perfect Travel Companion - 30 Moroccan Souk Shopping, It ain’t for Introverts - 42 How Traveling Solo Freed Me by Majory Gabriel - 46 The Perfect Pitch Templates; Travel made easy using social media - 58 New York City Best Of Guide - 77

PER DIEM PHOTOGRAPHERS Langre Edwards Tosha Eason Armelis Dorville Pete Monsanto Jennelle Gordon FEATURE CONTRIBUTERS Jennifer Jean-Pierre Vanessa Lundy Nailah Ali Diarrha N’Diaye Mecca James-Williams Majory Gabriel Talisa Garbo-Tross Zakia Lee Janice Pugh Bre Scullark ISSUE 4 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or distributed without prior written permission of the editor. For permission requests, write to the editor, addressed “Fashion Steele NYC Magazine Permissions” at the address below. fashionsteelenyc@gmail.com www.fashionsteelenyc.com SUBSCRIBE Fashion Steele NYC Magazine is published yearly. Subscribe at issuu.com to never miss an issue. Also subscribe to Fashion Steele NYC blog for daily posts covering fashion, lifestyle & travel. CONTACT US If you have any questions or comments please write to us at fashionsteelenyc@gmail.com For advertising inquiries, or to write for Fashion Steele NYC Review Magazine email us at fashionsteelenyc@gmail.com

TRENDING The Skin Edit - 93 Scented Seasons - 98 The Best in Hair - 103 Body Conscious - 110 The Beauty Edit - 118 The Life Style Edit - 124 The Fashion Edit - 130 Holiday Editorial: New Years Eve in New York City - 138 WELLNESS 5 Lifestyle Tweaks for Wholesome Living and Effortless Adulting by Talisa Garbo-Tross - 154 Books that Got Me Through 2017 - 158 Trip to Self Care by Janice Pugh -162 Empowering Yourself to Stop a Killer by Jennifer Jean-Pierre - 166 Take Care by Zakia Lee - 172 SELF-EYE by Bre Scullark - 174 Dare to Lead by Vanessa Lundy - 180 Brain Food - 182

DOWNLOAD PREMIUM PDF VERSION OF FASHION STEELE NYC 2017 REVIEW MAGAZINE FOR ACCESS TO: Brooklyn Baddies Video Interviews The Perfect Pitch Template Package for Travel

http://rstyle.me/ad/ck6fbkfm

Pitch letter to hotels for sponsorship How to reach out to publications for sponsorships/social media takeovers Getting compensated activities while traveling Making money while traveling using social media

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letter from the editor Welcome to Fashion Steele NYC 2017 Review Magazine, The Travel & Wellness Issue. I’m currently on a 6 hour

flight from New York City to Marrakech, Morocco. This year I’ve traveled to Cuba, The Desert of Yucca Valley California and now to Marrakech. I love to travel and even with only 10 vacation days yearly, I make it my business to do so. We are somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean with 5 hours of flight time remaining. I’ve spent an hour chatting with my seat mate who is from Casablanca, Morocco and visiting her home for the weekend, while studying in New York City. She asked me about school and my studies. We talk for a good five minutes before she realized I was much, much older than she. It really don’t crack because she clocked me for twenty two and ya girl is thirty three. Obviously, my skincare regime combined with melanin and great DNA is life (make sure to check out the regime on page 118). I just gave her a pack of Tylenol for her aching braces. Now that I think about it I’m kinda sad I gave it to her as that was my last pack. Hopefully I don’t have a gastritis attack on this flight.

I have interviews and tips from health and fitness experts and even a little something for my vegans (although I’m still a carnivore and probably always will be, I didn’t watch What The Health by the way). Hell, for me, the simple act of traveling is a huge part of my self-care especially when it comes to recharging my mind and my body from my physically demanding full-time job as a Physical Therapist. Speaking of jobs, in this issue we travel to Brooklyn to interview my favorite Brooklyn Baddies. It isn’t another country but to a girl living in Harlem like myself, Brooklyn is a long distance relationship. Trust me, I’ve dated men who live in Brooklyn and it may as well have been another state. There’s just something about Brooklyn creatives that intrigue me. So I hopped the East River and chatted with two women kicking ass in their creative fields from the Social Media Manager at L’Oreal Paris, to a freelance stylist who’s worked with everyone from Opening Ceremony, Net-a-Porter, Vogue & more.

Yes, I was diagnosed with gastritis a few months ago and have had three major attacks. One of which I misdiagnosed as a panic attack back in February. The other two were within a week of each other in early October. The last of which sent me to the ER. It’s a pain I can only describe as a small organ bursting and leaking burning lava into your stomach and chest cavity. This is why selfcare and wellness is just as much a part of this issue as travel and the usual large dose of fashion.

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I’ve really focused on taking the Fashion Steele NYC brand to the next level this year and I’m delighted to say that I did just that! I did it so well in fact that an international model jacked my creative content (page 134). Thanks to a comment on Instagram from a reader, I delved into slow fashion and doing my research to find and promote indie designers (page 114). I took a step back to evaluate my consumerism especially with huge brand mishaps that seemed to take place every few months of 2017 (page 84). I also took the time to hone my skills and actually get in some good reads to help me boost my entrepreneurial spirit (page 158). This issue is the best yet and I hope you enjoy the fashion, the articles, the beauty tips and the editorials. Buckle up, it’s gonna be a pretty wild ride. xx Monroe

Vintage Scarf, Custom Thomas Anderson Official Silk Dress, Oversized Denim Jacket, Vintage Coach Bag L o c a t i o n : S e a m o r e ’s During New York Fashion Week Photography: Jennelle Gordon FASHION STEELE NYC

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KADOKELE

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interviews brooklyn Written by Monroe Steele Videography by Rose Lazard

Spread love, it’s the Brooklyn way, right? There’s just something about this borough that I love. Maybe it’s because it seems to be a world away from Harlem. Everyone who hails from this borough seems to have an unlimited supply of cool. Brooklyn is undoubtedly at the top of the list when it comes to originality in personal style. Brooklyner’s have mastered that effortlessly cool and original look in the same way the French woman has nailed simplistic chic. Whatever's going on across the river, I want a piece of it, but I could never leave Harlem. Harlem has my heart and I'm pretty sure I can't afford to live in Brooklyn anyway. Over the years, I've met some incredible women who reside in New York Cities’ most distinguished borough for birthing creatives and entrepreneurs. For this special article, I interviewed Diarrha N’Diaye, Social Media Strategist at L’Oréal Paris and Mecca James-Williams, creative & stylist. It was incredibly fun to hang out with these two women who are behind the scenes of your favorite brands and things (Rebecca Minkoff’s Twitter account and the cover of CRWN Magazine, to name a few). I drank mint tea with Diarrha in preparation for my upcoming trip to Morocco while walking through her airy and gorgeous brownstone apartment. And get this, she has a huge outdoor space with the perfect patio for enjoying your morning coffee. I really didn't know this kind of tranquility existed in Brooklyn and it had me second guessing my commitment to anyone who would listen, that I'd never leave Harlem. She is THEE BEAUTY GURU and schooled me on every product I needed to try to get her stunning glow. She also told us the story of how she met Rihanna, in a bathroom, of all places. Then we were off to James-Williams’ place, which is not just an apartment, it's a lifestyle. Seriously, it has it's own instagram account @itsapt4 and has recently been featured in Apartment Therapy. Rightfully so, not only is James-Williams a stylist she is heavy into interior decoration and it shows. I first met Mecca via instagram because I was in love with her plants (which are all named after infamous singers). Mecca schooled us on what it takes to make it as a stylist in New York City and showed us around her Brooklyn neighborhood. From both N’Diaye & James-Williams, I learned more about The Brooklyn Way and how being a resident of the cities most creative borough has affected their own sense of style.

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Social Media Diarrha N’Diaye on the stoop of her Bedstuy Brooklyn Apartment wearing friend and designer Autumn Adiegbo’s Giada Blouse & Pants with Christian Louboutin Heels Photography by Rose Lazard Edited by Monroe Steele

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Diarrha N’Diaye

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Strategist L’Oreal Paris On a somewhat crisp morning in October of 2017, Rose and I took the train from Harlem to Brooklyn to interview friend and L’Oreal Social Media Strategist, Diarrha N’Diaye — Pronounced [Gia-da]. We laughed, drank mint tea, gushed over her digs and found out how she climbed the ladder of social media success. Monroe: What exactly is a social media strategist and what’s a day to day look like for you? Diarrha: My job essentially is to take a product and bring it to market. I decide what channels to use for that project, what money to allocate, understanding what emerging platforms to use so that we capture our audience. We meet her where she is. We make sure we’re talking to her the same way she talks to her friends. I decide what channels to use from Snapchat to Instagram for a campaign. No two days are the same. We deal heavily with influencers. We also monitor all of our channels to see how people are responding to our campaigns and products. I take all that social media information, funnel it and bring it back to my team. Monroe: Wow, that sounds really intense. I was thinking it was just running the social media. Diarrha: It’s pretty intense. It is very fast paced. Things like Pinterest and Instagram haven’t been around very long. Everything is changing. There are so many new mediums with LIVE now. So those are things that have to be considered when strategizing for products. Monroe: So here we are in Brooklyn! Tell me how living in Brooklyn has changed or encouraged your style. Diarrha: Well I’m originally from West Africa, Senegal. I went from Senegal to Harlem where the style is very flashy and the 20s spirit is still very much alive and well there. Brooklyn is just a melting pot of everything.There are so many people from different walks of life, different cultures and everything is here. It makes it easy to embrace your true style. Style isn’t trend based in Brooklyn, it’s just who you are. So I find myself putting on things that make me feel good, rather than what’s trendy. FASHION STEELE NYC

Monroe: I really like that concept. Diarrha: Less is more here in Brooklyn. I am a beauty connoisseur but I see myself leaning more towards fragrances compared to eyeshadow palettes. When I do my makeup it’s more about accentuating what I have with something as simple as a highlight versus a whole look. I think living in Brooklyn has steered me that way. You can do whatever you feel here. Whatever feels right for you. People accept you for who you are. There is no trend base because it so diverse. Monroe: How did you get into social media? Diarrha: It was mostly by accident. I graduated from Syracuse University and I know I loved communications and writing but didn’t know what kind of media to go into with that. So I started at a Miami based PR firm and interning at Vogue, Rebecca Minkoff and Daily Front Row. I love the fast paced aspect of the fashion industry. I worked really hard at Rebecca Minkoff and got hired as a PR Assistant. It was at this time that I kept hearing about social media and I wanted in on it. So eventually I switched over to doing social media for Rebecca Minkoff. I ghost wrote her tweets for awhile. But that’s how I fell in love with storytelling and connecting the consumer to the brand. Monroe: You have the most amazing skin and we all know you are the beauty guru. Can you share with us a few of your favorite skincare products. Diarrha: I love Farmacy Honey Potion for dark spots and problem areas to restore radiance. One of my favorite products is Biologique Recherché Lotion P50. It smells like garbage. Well actually it smells like vinegar but it works miracles. It’s so good. It basically exfoliates your face with lactic acid but it’s still gentle enough to use daily.

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br oo kl yn

baddies Monroe: So this issue of Fashion Steele NYC is all about travel and wellness. So please share with us a few of your favorite vacation spots. Diarrha: It’s a toss up between Amsterdam & Senegal. Two totally different places. Amsterdam is just beautiful. You can do some biking along the canals. The aesthetic in Amsterdam is taken very seriously. Everything is very clean but friendly. I just love the design and the whole vibe of the city. Senegal is home for me. Everything is just authentic to me it’s my culture and my heritage. I like being where my parents are from and being there in a way helps me connect more to them. It’s a beautiful place and it’s funny because a lot of my friends are moving back. Monroe: Can you share with us a saying or quote that you live by. Diarrha: I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow or five years from now it terms of my career, but what I can do is to give 100% everyday. I’m going to try my best. It’s such a simple concept but it will take you very far. I want to show my colleagues that I’m bring my A game. I’m working that extra shift. I’m bringing all of my contacts and expertise to the table so that I am an integral part of whatever team or company I am working for. That has been what has helped spearhead me into my career at L’Oreal. ~

N’Diaye wears Spirited Pursuit Marché Tee,

Veronica Beard Skirt and Zara heels on the backyard patio of her Brooklyn apartment.

Photography by Rose Lazard Edited by Monroe Steele

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exclusive video

Download The Premium PDF Version of Fashion Steele NYC 2017 Review Magazine for access to the full 20 minute video interview with Diarrha N’Diaye, social media strategist at L’Oreal. This video features a peek into N’Diayes’ lovely Brooklyn abode. It also features details not included in the written interview (including how N’Diaye met Rihanna) and how she worked her way into her position at L’Oreal as well as the beauty products she swears by (with a tour into her beauty product shelves). I mean, do you see her skin?!? It’s flawless. N’Diaye is an expert when it comes to amazing skin and she took me to school and gave me a degree in skincare in the 15 minutes we spent going over her 6 Go-To products for hydrated, luminous and healthy skin. Many of the products are French in origin and that I never would have known about if it wasn’t for her.

Full Video Brooklyn Baddies Diarrha N’Diaye

DOWNLOAD PDF VERSION HERE FOR ACCESS TO:

Brooklyn Baddies Video Interviews Making the Magazine Exclusive Video The Perfect Pitch Templates for Travel

(Sponsorship for hotels, Instagram Takeovers, Wardrobe Sponsorship & More)

Follow Diarrha N’Diaye Instagram: @Diarrhaxo Facebook: Diarrha N’Diaye Email: Diarrha@gmail.com

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Diarrha N’Diaye Seen here in her back yard wearing Autumn Adeigbo Samantha Blouse & Skirt and Sophia Webster Sandals Photography by Rose Lazard Editing by Monroe Steele

“ I got into skincare because there was nothing out there for me when it came to makeup. Thankfully that is now changing.” — N’Diaye FASHION STEELE NYC

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“So I’m in the bathroom, washing my hands and I look up in the mirror and there’s Rihanna walking in behind me.” —- N’Diaye on meeting Rihanna at the Vogue Forces of Fashion Event

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brooklyn

m e c c a

I’d been following Mecca James-Williams for about a year on Instagram when I really became obsessed with her space, especially all of her beautiful plants. I also learned from instagram that she styled the cover of one of my new favorite magazines CRWN, as well as a fashion spread dedicated to Harlem for Vogue Japan. She’s not only a stylist who’s worked with the likes of Giovanna Battaglia who is a famed Italian Editor and stylist but she’s also heavy into interior design. Her beautifully curated apartment named @itsapt4 (which has it’s own Instagram Account) has recently been featured in Apartment Therapy. Mecca walked us through her amazing space, gave us the tea on the Styling Industry and going full-time freelance and showed us around her Brooklyn Neighborhood.

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Monroe: How did you get into styling? Give us a little bit of background on that. Mecca: Well, I moved here, to New York about 7 years ago. I started in school. I loved it and I knew I wanted to be a stylist. I always knew I wanted to be in the fashion industry. So, I couldn’t afford school and ended up dropping out. From there I just started interning. I interned for one of the contributing editors for Vogue years ago. From there I interned and freelanced my way through. I started working at Vogue International. I interned at Vogue Paris and Vogue Japan. I just kept freelancing and assisting and worked my way up. One of my big breaks was when I started styling at Opening Ceremony. I was there when I was really young. I was like 18 or 19 and I was styling for them. That was probably one of my biggest styling experiences. Then I started working for Giovanna Battaglia. Monroe: Wow Giovanna! That’s amazing. Please talk more about that experience. Mecca: Oh, Gio is amazing. She really is such a business woman. She has such a beautiful aesthetic. I think working with her really trained my eye. So currently I am a full-time freelancer. I’m continuing to shoot with different magazines and work with different brands. I’m focused on getting my name out there. Monroe: Can you tell us about some of the styling work you’ve done recently? Mecca: Well, I actually just left Net-a-Porter. I was their deputy online styling editor. So I just left them to freelance. I also recently styled the CRWN Magazine cover with the ladies from Black Girls in Om, Lauren and Deun. Monroe: I’ve seen that cover. It is so good! Mecca: Yes. So I’ve been doing little projects here and there. Some are coming out soon that I’m excited for everyone to see. But I have to keep those under wraps. So that’s my story.

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Monroe: What do you like most about being a stylist and what do you find is the most challenging aspect of your job? Mecca: The most exciting thing about being a stylist, is that you really get to build looks. I feel like as a creative, I literally just like to be myself. I like to feel like I’m creating something to my aesthetic. I think the most challenging part of styling is that it is a full time job. It’s not like, here is this pair of jeans and here is this shoe. You really have to network, get your PR contacts and develop those relationships. You have to pull clothes and look at trends. It’s really a job and that’s what I love about it but it’s also challenging. Monroe: So we’re here in Brooklyn, in your gorgeous apartment. Do you think living in Brooklyn has had an effect on your style? Mecca: I think so. In Brooklyn you just have to live, breath and be yourself. But also the best you honestly. I feel like Brooklyn has a way of bringing out the best you. So I’ve definitely had to step up my game. Just walking out of the door, I see so many men and women who are true to themselves and it makes me do the same. Brooklyn just makes you want to be you. It makes you want to learn about yourself. Monroe: That’s wild. That almost the same exact answer the last person I interviewed gave as well. I guess it’s definitely a Brooklyn thing. Mecca: It really is. I feel like it’s so chill here.

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Monroe: What advice would you give to and up and coming stylists, looking to make connections with designers and brands? Mecca: This is a good questions because I feel like we’re at a time where a lot of people are trying to make it in styling. There are some overnight success stories with the help of Instagram and that’s totally fine. That may be their wave. But it shows volumes for people who actually work their way up. That work is appreciated in this industry. People want to know that you have experience. So I would start from the ground up. Don’t be afraid to intern. Interning was the best experience ever for me. It gives you an opportunity to really learn the industry before you’re ready to branch out on your own. It’s a good place to make your mistakes before you’re in the forefront. I heard this really beautiful interview of Issa Rae; where she was saying for creatives trying to come up, that it’s important to work with the people around you who have the same goals. Instead of trying to soar to get to the top alone, work with the people around you and build.

Mecca seen here on the stoop of her Bedstuy Brooklyn Home. FASHION STEELE NYC Jacquemus Heels and Eda’s Jewels Earrings Photography by Rose Lazard

Monroe: So you recently went freelance. What are the biggest differences for you between corporate life and now working for yourself? Mecca: I think corporate life is for certain people. Being a creative in a corporate environment can be trying. You’re trying to create something for the corporation but you have to go through a lot of barriers. But, it can also be a beautiful experience when you’re all on the same page. My experience at Opening Ceremony was wonderful because the director really understood the aesthetic of the brand. So the team knew how to implement that. I think we’re at a place in fashion where everything is new and fresh and not every corporation knows how to do that. So that’s why it’s fun to be freelance. You get to choose what you want to do and how you want to do it and when. I’m so excited to grow my brand and my eye and relationships with the brands that I really want to work with. That’s the beauty of it. I can do whatever I want. I get to work harder and smarter. I get to grow, move and travel. Those are the things that make me a beautiful creator. I’ve had all the experience and I’m ready and excited to put all of that to work for myself. ISSUE 4

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DOWNLOAD THE PREMIUM PDF VERSION OF FASHION STEELE NYC 2017 REVIEW MAGAZINE: THE TRAVEL & WELLNESS ISSUE FOR ACCESS TO THE FULL 20 MINUTE VIDEO INTERVIEW WITH STYLIST MECCA JAMES WILLIAMS: Learn what goes into styling a cover shoot The importance of mood boards for stylists A few of Mecca’s Favorite Things & Brands A tour of her Brooklyn abode and neighborhood

Keep up with Mecca James Williams on Instagram and more of her work oh and her cool apartment too @itsapt4 FASHION STEELE NYC

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__________

travel __________

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with love, from Havana Written by Monroe Steele Photography by Langre Edwards

Havana, once a forbidden destination, was opened by President Obama and American’s flocked to the island in search of a new adventure. In Havana the nights are balmy and even though it’s late people still hang out on the corners, hanging from their cars, sitting and waiting for day again. Everywhere you look there is vibrancy a few blocks from the Malécon. The muted pastel colors fill your scope of vision while cracking and peeling off of the decaying buildings. Children play in the dirt streets, chasing each other and stopping only to stare at you; a black women, with faux locs, in a colorful skirt. The roads are crowded with old vintage cars, grandiose and beautiful, puffing thick nauseating fumes. From the corner of my ear, I hear kissing noises signifying that a Cuban man is interested. I keep it moving. We sweat in a large open room where the fans swish humid air onto us as our teachers count us into the first 6 steps of Salsa. We whirl and twirl and gently gyrate our hips. We follow, not lead, as sweat pools under our breasts and brows and between our thighs. In an authentic colonial style hotel in Old Havana we practice our steps with people from all walks of life; Canadians, Italians and a few home grown Cubans here to school us on The Art of Salsa. There are strong, virile cuban men, vying for the attention and money of wealthy white women, in town looking for fulfillment. The dancers seemingly glide on the laminate floor, floating, twisting quickly then slowly, melting into each other and making magic amongst us. We look on in sheer disbelief with a

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twinge of jealously that we aren’t as talented. I rode in the back of a blue vintage beauty with the wind in my hair listening to a mixed tape of cuban music as we flowed through the greenery of the Cuban countryside to Varadero Beach. Watching the rough sea to the left not 100 yards away crashing violently onto the shore. The wind, so strong, it perpetually guided the car to the right and the driver had a significant task of keeping us on the rode. The beach was choppy, a storm was coming. Wind kicked up grains of sand that stung when they collided with our skin. Sand lashings for us all. My hat blew away and I chased it down the beach. But nevertheless we persisted. Like warm melting butter I slipped one limb at a time into the ocean and breathed in Cuba. The smell of the sea, the scent of the alleys, the humidity that’s always floating just above your presence…it stays with you. Stories, burned into my memory, of Cubans wanting nothing more than to see the rest of the world. I won't soon forget the yearning in a 60 year olds man’s eyes to see Times Square, a place I take for granted and purposely avoid. The eagerness of a Cuban woman, Jamie to help us find our way around and to the best Cuban cigars. Her big eyes sparkling when we gave her clothes and toiletries. Welcoming warmness of the Cuban people envelope every new spirit that touches it’s soil. I will never forget Havana. It’s more than just a forbidden place, it is a country with history, with people who want nothing more than human rights. Thank you, Cuba for teaching me and for embracing me.

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The grandiose steps leading up to La Guarida restaurant in Havana, Cuba. You can almost smell the history. It was the perfect backdrop for a quiet candle lit dinner with the girls. The rooftop drinks were strong and gave you unparalleled views of Old Havana. Fame & Partners Dress, Tibi Mules FASHION STEELE NYC Photography by Langre Edwards

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BLACKBOYJOY BL AC KB OY JO Y

BL AC KB OY JO Y

BLACKBOYJOY FASHION STEELE NYC

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GUIDE TO HAVANA, CUBA — Know Before You Go (all about the People to People Visa), Where to Sleep, What to Do & See Monroe seen here on the streets of Havana, Cuba next to a produce stand. Stella Jean Skirt, Lack of Color Hat, Tibi Fringe Flats Photography by Langre Edwards FASHION STEELE NYC

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[ SHE STARES ] written by Monroe Steele

There were a lot of stares in Cuba. Staring children, men and women. Their eyes looked right through your skin and into your essence. You could almost see their minds ticking, taking all of you in, deciphering your character and your person in one long unblinking glance. It was enough to make you feel completely bare, naked even. I wish I had the gumption to ask what it is they were thinking, while drinking me in like a cool glass of water on the hottest day in June. Sometimes I felt like a visual prize from the glee in their eyes. Other times the weight of their stares left me with crushing guilt, walking the unpaved and decaying streets in a $600 skirt. A weird concoction of raffia and colour, from the Haitian/Italian mind of Stella Jean. I'd splurged on this skirt, securing it only by putting it on luxury layaway through Moda Operandi. It is my most prized piece in my wardrobe and although it lit up the eye of many along the colorful streets of Havana, it also brought on a sense of shame. Shame that I had so much. Guilt that I was here in their streets, wearing a skirt worth a years salary for most of the Cuban population. What did they think of me?

What did she think of the Black American Woman in the $600 skirt?

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varadero beach, Cuba Monroe on Varadero Beach wearing an Eberjey One Piece swimsuit and Lack of Color Hat Photography by Langre Edwards Hair by Amaany Clarke

Do it for the Gram’ written by Monroe Steele

This was the worst day to visit the beach. A storm was brewing, hurtling down the coast, spewing the sea onto the sand. The wind gusts could pick up a small animal and toss them away in the blink of an eye. I held onto my hat. The grains of sand slamming into my skin felt like a thousand needles. I sat and waited for the wind to die down. I prayed for the Gods to spare me 1 minute of reprieve, so I could do it for the gram. 271 Likes wasn’t worth missing a minute of Varadero Beach. Even in a storm.

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black girls smoking cubans in havana cuba

It’s fitting that I smoked my first cigar ever in Havana, Cuba. I choked a little but then it was smooth as water. It took us about an hour walking back alleys and tiny dirt roads to find these. Jamie led us with confidence through a maze of hallways in a decaying building, past sitting old men watching old televisions and music filling every crevice. We emerged into someones living room and were escorted to a kitchen, where there lay boxes full of cigars. A forbidden experience in a forbidden city. FASHION STEELE NYC

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Cigars are like men. When you put a little fire to them, they burn out. — Kenecia Lashae #AshesToAshesDeathToFuckBoys

Having a cigar made me feel provocative and matriarchal, like a powerful female. We all just sat back, kicked our feet up on the porch and bonded, as men do, over a few cigars. Loved it. — Alicia Kenny

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3 Tips for Finding the Perfect Travel Companion Written by Monroe Steele

There are hard lessons learned from picking up and traveling with someone you don’t know that well. Sometimes it just clicks and other times it can put a big damper on your vacation. Here are a few tips from a seasoned traveler on finding the perfect travel companion. With the cost of travel increasing steadily over the last few years and with the rise of Airbnb’s to help keep the cost of travel down, more and more people are opting to travel with large groups. Sometimes they casts a net into friends of friends or even on social media to see who’d like to travel along. I’ve seen tons of people put out a blast about traveling and end up going to remote places with people they’ve never met and having an epic time. But what about those trips where the people just don’t mesh and it doesn’t go well? You hardly ever hear about those episodes but let me tell you, they exist. You learn a lot about someone from traveling with them and I wholeheartedly agree that before you marry someone, go on a few week long or more vacations with them. It could be an eyeopener.

Monroe & Alicia in Bermuda at St. Catherine’s Beach. The Line By K Dress, Annie Costello Brown Earrings Photography by Langre Edwards FASHION STEELE NYC

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Tip 1 — Know the travel style of people with whom you travel. Do your personalities mesh well? Are you all independent enough to do your own thing? Do you already have fun together with little to no drama? I have been lucky enough to do a lot of traveling. I always knew that I wanted to see the world and as soon as I could, I booked my first international trip to Mexico with my good friend Alicia. Alicia is one of the few people that I travel with but we always manage to get in one fight and go our separate ways at some point. It is inevitable. We love each other like sisters and we fight like sisters too. But we always some how manage to have a great time. We’ve been to Mexico, Miami, Cuba and Bermuda together and though I’d still travel with her, I always know at some point the shit is gonna hit the fan. But we are tight like that and not everyone is that tight when picking companions to travel with. My ex sold me a dream before we started officially dating. No doubt he scanned my Instagram and told me he was very much into traveling and seeing the world. Which is so on point with the way I feel about travel. I instantly started envisioning this nomadic lifestyle of whimsy for us. So when a friend decided to marry in my favorite part of Mexico, it was a no brainer that we’d go together. Then I found out not only did he not have a passport, he hated flying. He fought me tooth and nail on getting the passport, not securing it until the day before our departure. It was on this trip that I realized this man did not know the meaning of relaxation and the act of doing nothing. I could not even read a magazine without him talking my head off, asking me to look at something or him hovering over my shoulder. I swear I loved him to pieces but I’ll be damned it I wasn’t ready for him to go to sleep so I could have some peace. Tip 2 — Explain money and monetary expectations early on to weed out the broke, the non-tippers and the penny pinchers from ruining your vacation and placing all the financial burden on you. It’s better to have a memorable and fun vacation than a cheap one that was made unbearable because of an unbearable person. I’m all for keeping within your budget but with proper planning you should already know a range of money you will need for your vacation. Planning is key so that you’re not strapped for cash. I’ve been on a vacation or two when there was an overall sense that someone was not really financially prepared for the trip. They never tipped, they never contributed to any expenses that were split between everyone, they avoided going out and doing things and opted to stay at the hotel most of the trip. It can be pretty irritating to travel with someone who doesn’t contribute. Thus letting everyone know clearly in advance the range of money they’d need for the trip, will automatically help to exclude those who won’t be able to afford it. It will usually save you from the broke traveler as well. But not always. Don’t be afraid to discuss money because you don’t want to end up being the one funding someones trip. FASHION STEELE NYC

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“Not everyone is a blogger Tip 3 — Expectations of Vacationing Being a blogger has made me hyper aware that a trip or vacation can easily turn into work or Content Creation. Let’s not kid ourselves here, content creation is key to blogger success. Travel is almost essential at bringing in a different demographic that you wouldn’t reach otherwise. But it can become overwhelming and actually prevent you from really experiencing your travels. The drive to create content can sometimes overshadow a trip. So it’s essential to develop expectations of the kind of trip it will be to those traveling. Not everyone is a blogger and willing to take a million photos over actually going and experiencing something and having so much fun they forget to document it for social media. I think there should be a healthy balance of content creation and time when you actually enjoy your vacation. I always pay my photographers and sometimes hire photographers where I’ll be vacationing to take that burden off my friends. Planning is the key to this as well. When I go somewhere I already have in mind what and when I want to shoot something. We usually do that first to get it out of the way and then continue enjoying our travels social media free.

and willing to take a million photos”

These are just a few things to keep in mind before flying off into the sunset with someone you barely know. I learned the hard way that I’m not made for travel with certain personalities. That I’d rather have a low key, memorable and relaxing travel experiences versus a cheap ones with people who won’t be able to pull their own weight and annoy my very existence. At least once in your life, you should travel alone. One of the best trips I ever took was a 3-week pilgrimage in Paris. You learn a lot about people and about yourself when traveling. It’s worth the investment. ~ FASHION STEELE NYC

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indigo-pony.com

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majestic marrakech

Walking amongst the camels (all females by the way) at Scarabeo Camp in Morocco. H&M Linen Top, Emerson Thorpe Culottes, Tibi Fringe Slides, Fanm Djanm Headwrap Photography by Rose Lazard

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DISCONNECT TO CONNECT Written by Monroe Steele

While in Morocco, I had the chance to do something I’ve always wanted to do; sleep in the desert, under the stars. Living in a city like New York can be physically and mentally draining. Everything is rushed, instant gratification is at your finger tips and information is pushed into every crevice of your mind in minutes, seconds even. Sometimes it can just be too much, until all the thoughts of things you have to do are swirling in your mind so quickly you can’t even sleep at night. I’m from the south where life is slow. Where lallygagging is the norm and even speech is drawn out. I’m used to having time and being able to see the bright stars in the sky at night. Living my dream in New York City was a trade off but I often miss the peace and quiet. I miss seeing the shining stars burning up a pitch black sky. Scarabeo Camp, a 45 minute drive outside of Marrakech was everything I needed to refill my cup. I wanted to be in awe, I wanted to fill my vision with endless desert and sky and stars. I wanted to disconnect and in doing so I reconnected with me. I did a shadow puppet show on the tints fabric roof by candle light that left me and Rose laughing until we cried. I rode a camel named Fatima as the sun set over rolling hills and mountains bursting into shades of orange & red and sinking into violets. I had to tell myself more than once that this was really happening and not a mirage. I was in Africa, in Morocco, in Marrakech, in the desert on a camel with the most magnificent sunset of all time pushing warmth and light and delight into me. Marrakech revived me. I needed wonder and thirsted to be inspired. Marrakech did it all and more but I left a bit of my spirit in the desert, that way I know I’ll return. I’ll sit again next to the crackling fire, sweet smoke swirling around me as the night sky fills with every bright star.

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Monroe at Scarabeo Camp 45 minutes outside of Marrakech, Morocco. Zara Velvet Set, Annie Costello Brown Earrings, Marco De Vincenzo Heels, Nars Train Bleu Lip pencil Photography by Rose Lazard FASHION STEELE NYC

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Sitting pretty at the common area of Scarabeo Camp. Brixton Hat, Na-Kd dress, Alexander Wang Boots

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Above: Brixton Hat, Vintage Earrings, Enza Costa Caftan Dress, Alexander Wang Boots

Watch the Morocco Capsule Collection Video to See Everything I Packed for Morocco & Why

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watch the cover story look in motion

WATCH

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Brixton Hat, Na-Kd Dress, Fanm Djanm Bracelets, Vintage Earrings in the desert at Scarabeo Camp, Morocco

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video; a night in the desert

VIDEO

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scarabeo desert camp FASHION STEELE NYC

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souk shopping, it ain’t for introverts Written by Monroe Steele

Tips to Navigate the Souks Like a Pro Tip 1: Never, under any circumstances, go to the Souks alone, especially if you are a woman. Tip 2: Download maps.me before you venture into the Souks to make getting around easier. Use Nomad Restaurant as a reference point. (But maps.me was pretty fickle during my stay….so perhaps have some cell service and use Google Maps which worked better for us). Tip 3: Expect to get lost but not after sunset. We made the mistake of getting very lost after dark and it was hell. Everything looks different at night. We spent 1.5 hours walking in circles and it made our first Souk experience less than stellar. Tip 4: Haggling is part of the purchase. I didn’t buy anything over 300 Dirhams or around $30 dollars. A custom meal at an authentic restaurant (Note: not popular or a tourist trap) in Marrakech will cost about 200 dirhams for 2 people total. So base your prices on that fact.

If you are visiting Morocco, one thing on the top of the list of things to do is to visit The Souks. The Souks are basically little clusters of vendors in a huge market place. There are tiny walk ways bustling to the brim with people, motorcycles and scouters, buggies and the occasional tiny car all in a rush to some place unbeknownst to me. It can be dangerous simply walking down the pathways. Every which way you turn there are stalls from different merchants full of authentic Moroccan crafts and goods, most handmade. It really is a sight to behold. The noises, the smells of frying fish, the scent of the spices at every turn, the vibrant colors. The sheer abundance of objects and things is enough to make your head spin. In fact my first visit to the souk, actually did leave my head spinning with quite possibly the worst headache I’ve ever had. I am not a crowd person. I consciously avoid going through Times Square in New York City because of the throngs of people, the endless lights and loud noises. But the thrill of shopping in a Souk wiped away my hesitation and landed me out onto the tiny streets of the Medina in Marrakech. There was no way I was going to miss out on shopping. So shortly after we arrived to our hotel, Riad Yasmine, we relaxed a bit before changing clothes and heading first thing to the Souks. On this day we didn’t buy much of anything. We just explored for hours, walking aimlessly soaking up everything. Including a lot of exhaust from motorbikes (which I'm not used to and which undoubtedly caused my wretched headache). The items that really called to me the most were the beautiful rugs in every color, shape and size imaginable. And of course the shoes and woven bags. It was a feast for my eyes and I couldn’t contain my excitement. Which I quickly learned to mask with quiet aloofness. It helped me to secure better prices but also my travel mate, Rose, who is so straightforward and firm and who also speaks French was a God sent. I even had a merchant tell me that I was lucky to have her because she is so firm and steadfast in her bargaining. I learned quickly from her.

There was a lot of Non Monsieurs (No Sir) and Deux Cent Monsieurs (200 MADs Sir) said with a blank face and walking straight out of the vendor if my offer wasn’t met. After a day it became second nature and we had our most successful Souk shopping day the 3rd day we were in Marrakech. I managed to secure 2 round hand made straw bags (one large and one small), a lovely Moroccan scarf/throw, a bar of almond perfume and 4 pairs of shoes, one of which were hand made for me in about 3 hours. The Souk can be overwhelming and sometimes downright scary especially at night. So never go alone and always keep your belongings in plain sight, better yet, on you at all times. Enjoy the art of haggling and bring back one of a kind crafts and products while creating memories you’ll wont forget. ~ FASHION STEELE NYC

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Tips to Navigate the Souks like a Pro Tip 5: Speaking of haggling, put on your poker face. Never show how excited or how in love with something you are because then the price rises drastically. Be casual, if they offer 300 Dirhams counter with half the price or what you’re willing to pay and go from there. (I found that when I stood firm on my highest price and walked away, the seller would usually run after and accept my offer). Tip 6: Have a backbone, no means no and you need to learn to say it with conviction or else you will be ushered into buying many things you don’t want or need. Tip 7: Never take directions from anyone. Know where you are going before you get there. If it’s outside of the Medina, arrange for your hotel to send a car for you. There are many “Guides” who seem friendly but will want money in exchange for their help. This goes for the Souks as well. Tip 8: Avoid the Big Square. You can get better prices for products in the Souks. It’s also a breeding ground for easy pickpocketing with the narrow streets that lead to the square. Keep your bag tight to your body and only ones that zip closed. Tip 9: Have fun with shopping. Moroccan people are very friendly and welcoming. If you see a little lady on the side of the road in the Souks selling beige round cookies that look like shortbread, stop, pay her 5 MADs and get you some. They are delicious but impossible to eat without water.

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dadoustudios.com

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essay: how solo travel freed me Written by Majory Gabriel

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“Paris is always a good idea” is

a quote that has bounced around in my mind for years. As a teen, I day-dreamed about walking the cobblestoned streets of Paris, eating copious amounts of pain au chocolat and macarons--because, let’s be honest, the French know how to live. I dreamt of visiting the old haunts of the Harlem Renaissance’s favorite writers and thinkers. Later, I would study French as an undergrad and became President of the French Club. I was determined to become a world traveler, but what I didn’t realize was how long it would take me to reach that goal. I am constantly on the go, as most millennials are and eager to help others. Travels to Europe inevitably get postponed for years. In the meantime, I absorbed the French culture like a sponge. I fell in love with shameless ballad Ne Me Quitte Pas by Jacque Brel, that Nina Simone slayed in a remake decades ago. It’s safe to say, I wanted La Vie en Rose, as referenced by the famed Edith Piaf song. Why hadn’t I made it to Europe? This question kept gnawing at me. Was I suffering from a bad case of false starts? To figure out what was holding me back, I decided to make a To Do List of my life goals. I tore a sheet of paper from my journal and wrote out my goals: -Graduate from college, check -See Sade in concert, check -Land a job in corporate America, check But looking back at that time in my life, I realized I was letting other nonessential things prevent me from putting myself first. I was the “go to” person in my family and among my circle of friends. Thus, traveling to Europe got pushed back again when family needed financial support or when adulting came knocking in the form of my crushing student debt. I needed to change my mindset on how I viewed myself, my time and the access I gave people to my energy and resources. When I turned 25 I quit my corporate job and moved to the Dominican Republic. It was an attempt to get to know the real FASHION STEELE NYC

me and reconnect with the writer I have always known myself to be. My Haitian family thought I had lost my mind. I knew I needed to make a drastic change in my life so that I could live my best life. The hardest lesson I had to learn was believing that I have the right to be happy. This feeling was the reason why I postponed fulfilling my dreams to travel the world and found it difficult to enjoy being my most authentic self. It took me until I was 25 to realize that and I haven’t looked back. The breakthrough was real and with it came tears and the dreaded ugly cry. I’m in my 30’s now and I guard my heart from those who are toxic, including faux friends and family members who I no longer let take advantage of me. This year has been beyond phenomenal. I am happy with the person I am becoming and living my life like it’s golden, because it is. Once I focused my mindset on genuinely taking care of myself, I didn’t feel the agonizing guilt that would wash over me like it did in the past. There is no doubt in my mind that this is the life I was meant to lead. I want to be an example to the young men and women in my family and in my social circle and show them to think and dream big. Never doubt yourself because the quickest way to defeat is doubt. I am so thankful for the strong women in my life that are mentors to me. They continue to encourage and inspire me to be myself. I planned to travel to Europe in 2017. After careful planning, I booked my flight to London in January and it was the best week of my life. The euphoria of making your own plans and engaging with perfect strangers is truly amazing. I love the feeling of being completely anonymous in a new city. You don’t have to wait on anyone else. My first time in Europe gave me so much confidence and motivated me to do more traveling. I made it a goal to visit Europe again in October 2017.

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I booked a flight to Paris via Skyscanner after finding a deal I couldn’t pass up. I started asking friends who’d traveled abroad for advice on places to stay in addition to doing my own research. I used Airbnb and stayed in a charming 4th floor walk-up in Paris’ 1 arrondissement. Funnily enough, the charm of walking up several flights of stairs after a long day of touring Paris wore off quickly. Paris is very diverse and has all the amenities you’d need as a solo female traveller. I had the best duck confit at Café Le Brebant in the 9th arrondissement. I loved it so much I hope to visit the restaurant again next year when I am in Paris. My time in Paris was a whirlwind but I made it a point to savor each moment. Moments like seeing the Eiffel Tower for the first time. I stood there at the base and took in all it’s magic. My family was a bit concerned that I was traveling solo and to keep them from freaking out, I sent them pictures via WhatsApp frequently during my trip. One night, I got a call from a close relative just as I was settling in for the night. “Hi Sweetie, how are you enjoying Paris?” she asked. She rarely called me, so I answered, cautious as I knew she was phishing for information. “Paris, oh, it’s amazing. I’m having a great--” she interrupted me before I could finish. “Is there someone there you know?” she asked boldly. I knew exactly what she was after. “If you’re asking whether I got on a plane for a guy, please don’t. I came here for myself.” I replied. Our conversation, as awkward and annoying as it was, proved why self care is so vital for women. Why must we be in a relationship to visit a place as romantic as Paris? Or any place for that matter? We should treat ourselves, on our own terms. I am a huge advocate for self care. I practice it daily. I schedule spa days for my sisters and I often, attend concerts, exhibits and festivals, exploring new places in my own city and beyond. I listen to Nina Simone and paint my nails on the weekend, just because. Treating oneself shouldn’t make them “bougie” either, it’s simply part of my personal maintenance, because self-investment is crucial to my mental health. When I am my best self, I can readily (and happily) assist those whom I love and care about deeply. My creative heart wouldn’t allow me to let my dreams fall by the wayside. I really had to (and continue to) fight against societal views of women of color. I have to continue being content with my life, actively investing in myself; and my travels are a testament to the immeasurable value of self care. I am coming into my own and loving it. Here’s to more life and more laughter. ~ FASHION STEELE NYC

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thesaltempire.com

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the travel accessories EDIT If you’re going to spend good money on travel, you may as well look good. You’re going to have to look at those photos for the rest of your life, after all. I’ve made a habit out of shopping for my travels and creating a capsule wardrobe for my vacations. Call it me being seriously type A or being a little eccentric but it’s served me well. I truly don’t understand when people travel and just throw any old thing into their suitcase. They are smiling on the most beautiful cobble stone street in Paris in wrinkled cargo pants and a faded superman t-shirt. TOURISTS, YOU’RE VACATIONING WRONG. I’m never a tourist. I am a traveler in a new place for a deep and meaningful experience. I want to live, eat and breathe the culture. Yes, I want to be comfortable but I also want to look as if I’m a local. For me, it all begins with accessories. An earring can take a plain barely sheer gauze maxi dress to the next level. I’ve spent the better part of 2017 curating a collection of statement earrings. I fell in love with The Salt Empire and their beautiful handmade Mawu Earrings and Tassel Earrings. Both of which served me well on my recent jaunt to Morocco. In addition to earrings, I’ve become a collector of vacation totes in various

materials from raffia to wood. Some bags especially exquisite works of art from Cult Gaia, are the kind of bags I will pass down to my daughters. They are so intricate, delicate and beautiful, even if they're not practical. Life, isn’t always about practicality. I also became a head wrap connoisseur which helps when I don’t feel like doing my natural hair but also gives me extra f l a r e . Accessories a r e everything, so next time y o u ’ r e heading to that foreign place, make sure you have your curated wardrobe and y o u r accessories ready. Thank me later.

Printed headwrap, Annie Costello Brown Arc Drop Chandelier Earrings, H&M Linen Shirt, Fame & Partners Corset Belt Photography by Armelis Dorville FASHION STEELE NYC

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Left Page: The popular Net Bag in Natural Color that took over in the summer of 2017 and Fuji Film Instant Camera to document your travels.

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These stunning fans earrings by Katerina Makriyianni were a hit in early 2017 and rained supreme throughout the year. They were one of the first pair of extreme statement earrings that I splurged on. These earrings along with Annie Costello Brown Arc Drop Chandelier Earrings were vacation staples this year and always garnered compliments. Hardly inexpensive these earrings are made to stand the test of time.

KINFOLK is my new favorite magazine with beautiful editorials capturing everything from people to flowers and even food and articles that are thought provoking and insightful. A good read is a necessity on your travels just as much as accessories. KINFOLK is a magazine that reads like a book and carries easily too.

Cult Gaia Super Duper Popular Ark Bag which comes in a variety of colors and finishes that include wood and acrylic. These beautifully delicate and whimsical bags are the perfect accent for any warm weather travels. Just make sure to pack them with care. Luckily the popular round Lilith Bag is easily collapsable for easy travel.

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Left Page: Wooden Basket, & Other Stories Panama Hat, Echo Floral Scarf, Kinfolk Magazine Relationship Issue

shop the accessories edit & the vacation edit FASHION STEELE NYC

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the perfect pitch template package: Travel Edition

DOWNLOAD PDF VERSION OF FASHION STEELE NYC 2017 REVIEW MAGAZINE HERE FOR ACCESS FASHION STEELE NYC

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The Perfect Pitch Template Packages are a compilation of packages which outline exactly what to send to brands, hotels and to PR/Designers to cover all fashion weeks (New York, Milan, Paris & London). A one page in depth information sheet is also included with each package with tips on how to track pitches and important websites and things to know before reaching out to brands. The Perfect Pitch Template Package for Brands, Hotels & to Cover Fashion Weeks has sold over 150+ copies and has had stellar customer reviews. We are now adding The Perfect Pitch Template Package for Travel to our compilation of packages.

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DOWNLOAD THE PDF VERSION OF FASHION STEELE NYC 2017 REVIEW MAGAZINE FOR ACCESS TO: • THE PERFECT PITCH TEMPLATE PACKAGE FOR TRAVEL • EXCLUSIVE VIDEO FROM BROOKLYN BADDIES INTERVIEWS WITH DIARRHA N’DIAYE SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGIST AT L’OREAL AND MECCA JAMES-WILLIAMS STYLIST AND CREATIVE

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WHAT YOU WILL LEARN How to email pitch to brands, hotels and to cover Fashion Week (New York, Milan, Paris & London) Quick and easy ways to get noticed by brands and the perfect time to reach out to them Tips on how to find the correct contact information for brands and designers The perfect App to track your pitches once sent How to get on PR Contact Lists and register for international Fashion Weeks How to secure compensated stays and how to get your foot in the door for Hotel partnerships How to send a fashion show request and the site you can join that makes it easier to do What to include on your rates sheet to send to brands when they request or respond to a pitched idea for collaboration SINGLE PITCH LETTER TEMPLATE TO BRANDS $24.99 Includes sample pitch letter with easy to fill in information Includes a list of tips to get get in touch with brands, get noticed by brands and the best app to keep track of your pitches once you send them

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WHAT YOU WILL LEARN How to email pitch to brands, hotels and to cover Fashion Week (New York, Milan, Paris & London) Quick and easy ways to get noticed by brands and the perfect time to reach out to them Tips on how to find the correct contact information for brands and designers The perfect App to track your pitches once sent How to get on PR Contact Lists and register for international Fashion Weeks How to secure compensated stays and how to get your foot in the door for Hotel partnerships How to send a fashion show request and the site you can join that makes it easier to do What to include on your rates sheet to send to brands when they request or respond to a pitched idea for collaboration SINGLE PITCH LETTER TEMPLATE TO HOTELS $24.99 Includes sample pitch letter with easy to fill in information Includes a list of tips to get noticed by Hotels and Hotel Firms and an easy ways to get your foot in the door for compensated stays

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WHAT YOU WILL LEARN How to email pitch to brands, hotels and to cover Fashion Week (New York, Milan, Paris & London) Quick and easy ways to get noticed by brands and the perfect time to reach out to them Tips on how to find the correct contact information for brands and designers The perfect App to track your pitches once sent How to get on PR Contact Lists and register for international Fashion Weeks How to secure compensated stays and how to get your foot in the door for Hotel partnerships How to send a fashion show request and the site you can join that makes it easier to do What to include on your rates sheet to send to brands when they request or respond to a pitched idea for collaboration register for fashion weeks and sites to join to make it easier SINGLE PITCH LETTER TEMPLATE TO COVER FASHION WEEK $29.99 Includes sample pitch letter to PR Firms/ Designers for Fashion Week coverage Includes tips on how to register for fashion weeks and sites to join to make it easier

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AL C|B Handmade Statement Earrings

WWW.ALOGCABININBROOKLYN.COM FASHION STEELE NYC

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stillness in Yucca Valley, California The drive to Flamingo Rocks was one I’ll never forget.

We visited the Mirage House high in the hills of Palm Springs before making the 1 hour drive to Yucca Valley where our lovely airbnb awaited. I’d never seen so many beautiful mountains and valleys and rolling hills of desert. California has it all. Tall white windmills gently twirling. The air was some of the freshest I’ve ever inhaled. The roads got smaller and smaller. The Joshua Trees lined the road and dotted the land with their limbs twisted and turning in a dance. There’s nothing like the peace of the desert. Nothing even comes close to being in a space where there’s only 4 humans for at least a mile or two. We turned the rental car onto a dirt road and my heart immediately started to race. This road was bumpy with huge rocks. We drive very slowly, bit by bit up a winding dirt road where if we steered just a little to the left or the right we’d suffer a 10-15 foot drop. It was nerve wracking bouncing around in the back seat, eyes firmly closed shut praying to every God to let me see it to my 34th birthday. We rounded a very sharp bend and up a right fork in the road and the beautiful Flamingo Rocks house presented itself to us. The house was amazing; large, clean and modern with a touch of old school charm. My fondest memory is of playing Aretha Franklin records on the vintage record player loud enough for everyone in different parts of the house to hear as we drank our coffee and started our days. Another moment was the night I drew myself a bath in the enormous tub with all the shades drawn so I could see the rocks and the stars. I laid there in the arm water, drinking a glass of red, talking on the phone to a guy 2500 miles away about how I met ASAP Rocky the night before. It was a great conversation. We always have good conversation; about everything and about nothing. Another moment was when I awoke a dawn, still on New York time. I quietly made myself some coffee and slipped on my coat and stepped outside to watch the sunrise. Everyone else was sleeping. It seemed as if I had the entire Yucca Valley to myself. I watched the sun creep up over purple mountains to the east. It’s rays stretching further and further across the land until it shined on everything. The birds chirped and the flying bugs that inhabited a nearby bush with yellow buds awoke, buzzing away happily. The air was cold but the sun’s rays were warm. I sat there for an hour. Watching the valley come alive with rabbits and tiny spiders. I reveled in a stillness I’d never known and I needed it.

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Nicholas Floral Dress, Annie Costello Brown Earrings, Alexander Wang Boots Photography by Tosha Eason

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I lay here in warm water laced with lavender, my foot dropped over the edge. A glass of Merlot in hand. The stars at my feet. iPhone 6s in hand, with a smile across my face. I told him of ASAP and I could hear his jealousy from 2500 miles away. “Maybe it was the dress,” he said.

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Left Page: Bathroom at Flamingo Rocks Airbnb in Yucca Valley, California This Page: Oversized Denim Jacket, Again Yellow Ribbed Dress, Alexander Wang Boots outside the Mirage House in Palm Springs. FASHION STEELE NYC

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Left: Master Bedroom at Flamingo Rocks Airbnb in Yucca Valley. I watched the weirdest movie ever in this bed one night; The Rover. I apparently move too much in my sleep and forced poor Tosha onto the living room couch. This Page: Right: Living room area with fireplace and vintage record collection. Below: View of Yucca Valley from the back patio in the early morning as the sun rose. Photography by Monroe Steele

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Tibi Dress & Alexander Wang Boots in a junk yard in Yucca Valley Photography by Tosha Eason

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The Line By K Dress, Sole Society Luella Sandals worn in Yucca Valley, California. It’s worth it to note that this dress inspired Harlem rapper ASAP Rocky to stare at me while I consumed my birthday dinner at Ysabel Restaurant in LA on May 15th, 2017. Thus, I too am a bad bitch. Photography by Tosha Eason

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vetudejoy.com FASHION STEELE NYC

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new york city Best Of Guide

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n e w y o r k c i t y g u i d e

matcha latte

Matcha exploded onto the scene in 2017. For a very light matcha latte that is cool and refreshing head to Maman NYC. It’s serene and never too busy. Opt for the outside seating when the weather is nice in their hidden garden out back. For a more luxurious Matcha Latte with all the fixings head to Boba Guys at Canal Street Market. Go for the Iced Matcha Latte with hand whisked Japanese green tea, with tapioca balls and order it 25% sweet. Yes, they let you choose the sweetness level and it’s all organic. And if you’re on the go and need a quick pick me up without the caffeine overload coffee gives you, pop into your local Whole Foods and pick up a MOTTO Sparkling Matcha Tea. It has become my favorite drink when I need to burn through a pile of work and have met my coffee quota for the day (1 cup). Lastly, for a very cool taste of matcha head to Greecologies in Soho for their refreshing Matcha soft serve! Maman NYC Soho Boba Guys Canal Street Market Greecologies

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roof top views

The Crown Rooftop Bar at 50 Bowery Hotel 1 Rooftop Bar at 1 Brooklyn Bridge Hotel Westlight Restaurant and Bar at The William Vale Hotel

New York City has plenty of amazing rooftop bars, many of which opened their doors in 2017. My personal favorite is 50 Bowery in China Town. The views are spectacular at The Crown Rooftop Bar and the drinks are strong! Go for the Thai Basil Watermelon Margaritas! Two will have you flat on your back! The best time to go is in Spring and Summer when it’s warm and lively. Another great rooftop bar is located at 1 Brooklyn Bridge Hotel which also recently opened on the Brooklyn Waterfront. The views are stunning with the FASHION STEELE NYC

Brooklyn Bridge in the foreground. Not to mention they have an amazing rooftop plunge pool that’s open to the public in the summers. Last, but not least, is The Willam Vale. Everything about this hotel is luxurious including the rooftop bar and restaurant Westlight which has 360 degrees views of Williamsburg Brooklyn and Downtown Manhattan. Westlight has the most delicious fall off the bone ribs and amazing fried pumpkin pie! Westlight is a perfect date night spot but make sure to make a reservation in advance, it’s a little fancy.

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shopping in the city

The Oculus The Oculus at World Trade Center is one of my favorite places to shop. Not only is it beautiful and clean but it houses a few of my favorite stores from & Other Stories to Moleskin and an Apple Store. Westfield Mall right next door, also has Eataly, one of the best stores for kitchen goods, artisan foods and the best in Italian dishes at their many restaurants. The views from Eataly are impressive as well, overlooking the World Trade Memorial. In addition to Westfield, Century 21, my favorite store for designer wear for less, is right across the street. Hit all three for the best shopping in downtown. FASHION STEELE NYC

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The Line, is part showroom and part store and everything in this charming apartment in Soho is available for purchase. I love coming to The Line for decor inspiration as well as for shopping for holiday & special occasion gifts. The pieces are one of a kind and the clothing and skincare lines carried are extremely well curated. The Line is worth a trip every few months for the inspiration alone.

Canal Street Market is another favorite shopping jaunt. It houses tons of unique and independent jewelry, textiles, clothing, tech and artifact vendors. They also have a florist on hand that makes some of the most beautiful arrangements. If you’re looking for something unique, this is where you should be shopping. Glossier skincare head quarters is right around the corner and Reformation is just around the block. Everything you need in a 1 Avenue radius.

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book & mag shops I love spending Saturday mornings in New York City stocking up on books, magazines and flowers for my apartment. It’s my Soho weekend ritual. Here are a few of my favorites where you’ll find everything you need and lots of things you don’t but will buy anyway. McNally Jackson Independent Bookstores 52 Prince St. Mulberry Iconic Magazines 188 Mulberry St. Soho News International 186 Prince St #A The Strand Bookstore 828 Broadway

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trending

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brands missing the mark

What do we do as consumers? Written by Monroe Steele

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It seems 2017 was the year of brand flubs and fuck ups. Pepsi started the year off strong with that whole Stop Police Brutality with a Pespi ad, that had Kendall Jenner sobbing big tears on TV. If only it were that simple; hand the cop a Pespi and maybe, just maybe, he won’t tear gas you as you peacefully protest. I have to admit reading all the responses to this commercial on Twitter kept me well entertained for days. I even screenshot some of the best ones to share in group chats. Alas, it was all fun and games and nothing new. It really would benefit more brands to have some men and women of color in the room when these decisions are being made. But it’s a slow process which starts with hiring more people of color into positions where they are in the room and have a say in something this crucial, especially with the climate of race relations and police brutally in America. I have a little confession though. I love Pepsi. My love of Pepsi stems from seeing my mother drink it all the time when I was growing up. It was her favorite soda. Anytime we went out to eat for family dinner she got a Pepsi. When I finally got my limited license and wanted to drive, asking my mother if I could go to the store to get her a Pepsi always got me driving time. Even when my mom suffered from kidney stones because Pepsi was literally the only liquid she consumed, I proceeded to also get kidney stones in high school and felt like it was an honor. (Note—I definitely drank less soda after that, in fact I barely drink soda at all, maybe once or twice every few months, but when I do, it was always a Pepsi). It really hurt my heart that a brand I so readily indulge in may take away a tiny piece of my black card if I get caught drinking one, especially after those first few weeks after “The Incident”. I legit didn’t drink Pepsi for months. I eventually caved on October 19th, 2017 when my boss bought a case for us along with other assorted snacks as a gift. I had worked a long 4 hours and at lunch I reached into the company fridge, grabbed a Pepsi, twisted the cap and put the bottle to my lips without a thought, until the fizzing liquid FASHION STEELE NYC

deliciousness hit my tongue with a zing. Then it all came back to me, why I hadn’t had a taste of this liquid crack in months. I actually said “Fuck!” under my breath, tilted my head to the side and took another swig. Oh welp. There will definitely be something else to boycott in a week or so anyway. Then there was the Shea Moisture fiasco. Now, I love Shea Moisture and I believe brands and people sometimes make mistakes, especially when venturing out of their realm to be more inclusive for all. Look, they made a mistake but their products, who have been catering to women of color for YEARS, speak for themselves. I am a believer of their products because after trying tons of other things, especially for my natural hair, they are the products that really work. I swear by the Jamaican Black Castor Oil Shampoo & Conditioner. It’s one of the few Shampoo and Conditioner combinations that actually cleans my scalp, detangles my hair and restores moisture while defining my curls. It’s so rare, as I have tried hundreds of products looking for just one that is gentle on my very sensitive scalp yet actually works and does all the things it says it will do. So was I going to stop using Shea Moisture? No way. Sorry, not sorry. And believe me I caught flack for it too. I actually had people hopping into my DMs to scold me for continuing to use & promote Shea Moisture products. And then there was Dove. So I’m perusing my twitter timeline when that Ad of a black woman taking off her shirt and then becomes white, floats across my timeline. It was pretty disheartening and Dove knew they made a huge mistake by not posting the full ad and going with just this section of it. It created a firestorm which resulting in an apology from the brand. A few days later a video floats across my screen promoting a lightening lotion made by Nivea. This ad features a black woman who puts on the lotion and it instantly lightens her skin. All of a sudden she’s happier and smiling and has a fair spouse and a very fair child who runs and hugs her.

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Now supposedly this lightening lotion is being advertised in parts of Africa where having fairer skin supposedly makes you more beautiful. I’ll admit it hurt my heart to see this commercial. It wasn’t too long ago that I saw my aunts and family members swearing by Ambi (which is also a skin lightening lotion). This mentality goes deeper than fairer skin being beautiful. For African American’s it goes all the way back to the chains of slavery and the house negro versus the field negro. It has been pressed so hard into our minds that the fairer the better, that I think it will take centuries for mindsets to change. These companies are just making a buck off of something that started before they even existed. And it works, because there will always be someone out there wanting what is glamorized. That mentality won’t start at corporations, it won’t start with TV and advertising. It starts at home with teaching children that beauty comes in all shapes, sizes and colors. Dove is making strides to be well rounded and inclusive. They have a wonderful series, Dove Real Beauty Productions about real women that features Shonda Rhimes, one of the great women in business and television of our time. But not just Shonda who is front, center, and visible but also women with real issues who aren’t as visible and now have an incredible platform through Dove to tell their stories. Dove consistently comes out with innovative products I can’t live without and consequently never knew I needed. After receiving a gift package for a Dove brand collaboration, I received their new Coconut Antiperspirant and it’s the best thing since sliced bread. As someone who has a very physically demanding job and needed something feminine yet hardcore in keeping me dry, this fits the bill. Then they upped the anti with their invisible spray that I love. In less than a year each of these products have become staples in my toiletries and I don't see that changing anytime soon. In conclusion, brands fuck up just like people fuck up. Sometimes it hits too close to home and I have to re-evaluate my consumerism but more times than not, I don’t. I have however made sure to shop more black business and support black entrepreneurs especially black women. There will always be something to be mad about when you’re Black in America.

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USE CODE: STEELE For 25% OFF entire order through 3/31/18. Limit one per customer FASHION STEELE NYC

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finding your way t o y o u r b e s t s k i n FASHION STEELE NYC

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It wasn’t until this year that I started getting DM’s and messages about what I’d been using on my skin. For years, I’d been battling with painful cystic acne. I’m talking huge nodules that hurt. I could feel them days before they erupted and most of the time it would be a painful red mound, never coming to a head. The best thing I ever did in regards to my skin was to stop drinking milk. I haven't had milk in about 3 years and it has drastically cut down the number of breakouts I’ve had. I’m pretty sure it helped my stomach too because I used to get THE WORST gas after consuming milk. It just made me feel bloated and disgusting. Now I only drink almond milk. If I sometimes make the mistake of drinking something with milk in it, I will immediately get cramping gas and a pimple will erupt within 2-3 days. MILK IS NOT YOUR FRIEND if you want a clean slate to great skin. I’m also quite sure I’m lactose intolerant, hence the debilitating gas after consuming milk and so it probably wasn’t good for me anyway. I cannot claim to have perfect skin. I still get the occasional pimple although cystic nodules for me now are very rare, happening maybe once or twice a year after consuming too much cheese (which I could never bring myself to part with, but doesn’t have a severe effect on my skin the way milk did). I was also introduced to this wicked concoction that can bring any and I mean ANY pimple to a head or even draw a splinter out of your skin. It’s sold at Walgreen’s and it’s called Smile’s PRID, a homeopathic salve. It’s a drawing salve meaning it helps to draw impurities from the skin. It smells awful but every time I’ve used it to bring a stubborn pimple to a head, it’s FASHION STEELE NYC

worked within 24 hours, most of the time within 6. This salve has saved me from squeezing my zits, which is something I used to take great pleasure in but it always left me with dark marks. And we all know those are the hardest to get rid of. I finally stopped picking at my face and that indeed is the second best thing I’ve done to clear the way for better skin. I’m pretty lucky that I’m a blogger and I get sent all kinds of amazing new skincare products. I’ve finally found a group of great products that really work for me. I’d say the biggest lesson I’ve learned in regards to skin care is that exfoliation in the key. Nothing good can come from dead skin or clogged pores. Nothing that you apply to help will get in deep enough. And if your makeup particles are being shoved into your pores and left there to become a playground to gross bacteria that then builds up and causes a breakout, well that’s no good either. I use The Body Shops Tea Tree 3in-1 wash scrub every other day while taking a hot steamy shower. There is no better feeling that squeaky clean pores. After exfoliating my face becomes quite tight because a lot of the moisture has been scrubbed away. I use these moments after exfoliating to deliver what my skin needs the most and that’s The Body Shop Tea Tree AntiImperfection Daily Solution. This stuff is magic for me and is 75% responsible for helping me get my blemishes under control. I drench a cotton swab with the solution and work my entire face, neck and ears with it. Once it’s absorbed I then go for my moisturizer. If you do nothing at all for your skin, find a good exfoliant that works well for you.

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The Body Shop Tea Tree 3-In-1 Wash.Scrub.Mask used every other evening for face, neck and shoulder exfoliation. The Body Shop Tea Tree Anti-Imperfection Daily Solution for dark mark correction and even tone skin after exfoliating.

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I’ve been sticking to a solid daily skin regime for the past 7 months and my skin has never looked or felt better. Skincare can be super expensive but it’s worth it. Especially for someone like me who has had problematic skin most of my life. To have people asking me now, what I’m using, has really helped my confidence. My skin is by no means perfect. I still have problems but they are fewer and further between. I am not a licensed professional in skincare, I’m merely sharing what has worked for me. Perhaps it could work for you but always consult a physician before starting anything new, especially if you have severe acne.

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the skin edit CLEANSERS: My favorite go to cleanser is OSEA Ocean Cleansing Milk. It works well after a makeup wipe, getting all residual makeup off and leaving your face refreshed. I also love Elemis Biotec Skin Energizing Cleanser which leaves skin luminous. When I need to cleanse and moisturize, Elemis Pro Collagen Cleansing Balm works like a charm.

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Sugar Face Polish is another exfoliator that I use !92 for my face in addition to Tea Tree 3-in-1 and Immunocologie Vital Clay mask is packed with 12 essential minerals to revitalize skin.


MY DAILY SKIN ROUTINE MORNING • Cleanse face with The Body Shop Tea Tree Anti-Imperfection Daily Solution • Apply thin layer of CHUDA Healing Hydration Cream (when skin is very dry USE CODE: STEELE for 25% Off Order) or Retrouvé Dynamic Nourishing Skin Cream (when I want to seal in moisture) or Pour Moi Climat Temperé Day Cream formulated for New York City Climate • Take 2 OLLY Flawless Complexion Gummie Vitamins NIGHT • Cleanse and Exfoliate face with Simple Exfoliating Face wipes • Cleanse in hot shower with: OSEA Cleasning Milk Elemis Biotec Skin Energising Cleanser Elemis Pro- Collagen Cleansing Balm • Exfoliate face every other night with The Body Shop Tea Tree 3-in-1 Wash/Scrub/ Mask • Moisturize: (I choose based on my skins needs in moisture from low to high) Pour Moi Climat Tempere Day Cream Retrouvé Dynamic Nourishing Skin Cream Chuda Healing Hydration Cream Elemis Pro-Collegen Marine Cream Ultra Rich

OSEA Skincare products are all natural,vegan and organic.

shop the skin edit

EXTRA SKIN LOVE • Smile’s PRID Homeopathic Salve to bring a pimple to a head • Glossier Super Pure for active breakouts • Erborian Bamboo Waterlock Mask and Bamboo Matte Lotion to hydrate and refine pores • Immunocologie Vital Clay Mask to purify, hydrate and clarify skin • Purlisse Blue Lotus + White Tea Sheet Mask to moisturize and renew skin • Bareminerals Ageless Genius Smoothing Serum to rejuvenate dull skin and eye soothing serum for under eye darkness FASHION STEELE NYC

Fresh Sugar Lip Serum Advanced Therapy, Lip Polish and Lip Balm are perfect for dry cracked lips to restore moisture and exfoliate especially in the winter.

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the truth about transparency

Written by Monroe Steele

Photography by Isaiah Pickens Hair by Amaany Clark

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I’m going to start this by saying that this article will be triggering for some people. Especially for people who depend on Social Media in any way for revenue. So there, I said it, now let’s get into it. Transparency was a huge trend of 2017. So much so that it garnered it’s own hashtag. When did humanizing oneself to gain an audience or to capitalize on the uncapitalizable become socially acceptable? There is blogger, Aimee Song, who had a near breakdown on a vlog post this summer in which she broke down and cried and professed that she was not happy and has had suicidal thoughts in the past. What followed was an outpouring of support and love. There was a shining light on depression and even an article on Refinery 29. Hell I watched it and I teared up too. But what happened after that? It was never really addressed. There was a vague blog post after about dog therapy and then that was that. But something did shift. People saw what bearing her soul did for her. It got her the spotlight. Then everything turned to shit. All of a sudden everyone was depressed, the same way everyone was vegan after watching What The Health. Depression was trending. Everyone came out of the wood works with stories (some so trivial it would make you cringe and others so personal no one will ever look at them the same) for the sake of garnering attention and or sympathy. Now I’m not saying depression trending is a bad thing. It is actually amazing that people are so much more open to talk about these things which were once extremely taboo. But when one uses that to capitalize or try to sell something and make a buck, it comes off fake as fuck, disturbing and quite frankly makes me question the goodness of social humanity. After seeing that video and hearing her plight I wanted to know where she went to seek the help she so desperately seems to need. The story shouldn’t just abruptly end. Transparency is the new buzz word. Every where I look I see and hear from bloggers and influencers that: I want to be transparent with my readers and my followers. TRANSPARENT, TRANSPARENT, TRANSPARENT. What I want to know is, what were you doing before that point, if now you’re transparent? It makes me question what peoples motives are when branding something as transparent. FASHION STEELE NYC

Telling the truth and being honest is something I’d hoped everyone was already doing. But more and more I see it being done for selfish reasons other than for the good of the people. I see transparency for the clicks and transparency for likes and transparency for sympathy or validation or acceptance or attention. And what people who do it for that reason should know, is that it’s blatantly obvious to anyone with one ounce of morality and common sense. Writer, Photographer and all around extraordinary person Denisse aka. Thug Nanny had me all in her DMs when she posted about this very thing. The Depression Bandwagon jumpers and subsequent Transparency malingerers are running a muck on the internets. It should NOT be a trend to be human. I rarely share many personal things on social media. That’s neither a good nor bad thing, that’s just me. I prefer to keep some things for myself and for those who really know me. The thing about transparency when it’s done right (and by right I mean it’s done without wanting anything in return), is that it opens you up to the good, the bad and the ugly. It’s a trifecta of social media nuance that anyone who’s ever posted anything with substance online has dealt with. The unsolicited advance, the judgement and the praise. I don't feel I have to BE transparent. I simply AM transparent therefore I don’t feel the need to announce it. The people who follow me feel they know me. And to an extent they do. Some so much that they cross certain lines like: asking me personal questions about the men in my life, blatantly asking me why I neglect to do my hair and instead opt to wrap it up frequently and questions about my intentions to ever marry or have children. Yes, my DMs can be a wonderful place of #BlackGirlMagic, compliments and praise, but it can also be weird as fuck and I’m pretty swift with that block button. To that I’d like to say to everyone reading, never ask a question on social media in any way, form or fashion that you wouldn't ask that person face to face. Let’s restore some social etiquette and common decency on our internets for as long as we have it. I am happy about the fact that more people, especially people of color, are embracing wellness and self-care and the absolute necessity of professional mental help. ~

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When I got the call that my grandmother suddenly died, he was there while I laid here on the floor. I cried until my bones rattled and until my skin melted into the wood. He sent me off. He stole my keys. While I was away at my grandmothers funeral, he fucked another woman in my bed. I found out on Valentines Day. I couldn’t bring myself to sleep in my own bed. I slept on the couch, and here on the floor for months. With the grace of God, Therapy and throwing away all the sheets I owned and spending nearly a grand replacing them with premium Egyptian cotton ones, I was finally able to sleep in my own bed again.

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scented seasons

Written by Monroe Steele

Le Labo Custom Vanille 44, Santal 33 Sample and Hand Pomade FASHION STEELE NYC

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You may or may not already know that I have a thing for smells. If I don't like the way you smell, there cannot be any attraction for me (when it comes to men and dating). I’m very peculiar that way. One of my favorite past times is smelling the men I’m dating. Mainly because they all smelled so freaking good. I guess it’s that whole pheromones thing but there has to be a TON of truth is that, at least for me. Every year I go on the hunt for a new scent. I like having two scents; a light and fresh one for Spring and Summer and a heavy more muskier one for Fall and Winter. This year, I pretty much went into overdrive crafting the perfect blend of smells for every single season. SPRING - Spring is the time when everything comes alive. It’s light, it’s fresh and it’s new. It’s the time to come out of hibernation, shed that ugly puffer coat and reveal freshly scented skin. B. Balenciaga is my go-to Spring scent. It’s a floral scent but has heavy cashmere and woodsy undertones. I am also a huge fan of Alexander Wang and this was his first time working on a fragrance and he hit a home run with this one. What I like most about it is that not many people seem to know about it. I had an Uber driver tell me no less than 15 times that I smelled amazing during a 15 minute drive. The packaging and b o t t l e w i t h i t ’s unique crackle texture is beautiful.

SUMMER - It’s hot and heavy in the Summer, especially in New York City. The air is thick and humid and it can get pretty disgusting out but nonetheless it’s my favorite time of year. There’s no place like Harlem in the summertime. Thus, I like fragrances that are light and full but can last throughout the day. Vanille 44 - It took me some time to find that perfect scent and when I did, boy did it break the bank. I’ve become obsessed with Le Labo, a perfumery that hand makes their fine fragrances from the finest and rarest ingredients. Hence the extravagant price tag. I love all things French and indulged myself when I invested in a bottle of Vanille 44, Le L e b o ’s e x c l u s i v e Parisian scent, (almost every major city has one). This scent is only sold in the US during the month of September. I had one shot and one shot only and I needed this scent and it’s 44 magical ingredients for summer. Think vanilla, wood and smoky citrus.

Le Labo Hand Pommade made with shea butter FASHION STEELE NYC

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B. Balenciaga and Customized Le LaboVanilla 44. Vanilla 44 is only sold in the USA at Le Labo Stores during the month of !100 it is only September. Otherwise available for purchase in Paris.


FALL - When I think of Fall I think of changing leaves, pumpkin spice, and warmth. I want a warm fragrance that’s going to make a lasting impression and for that I head back to Le Labo. Thé Noir 29 - I have no clue what’s in Thé Noir 29 but it smells like it sounds; dark, mysterious, full of life, flavor and warmth. It’s absolutely the scent of Fall and I love that it clings to everything it’s sprayed on for days. WINTER - Winter, is by far my least favorite season because it’s so cold and it seems to be the longest season we endure here in New York City. The city is quiet, stark and barren. When it snows the stillness of the city is startling and it almost seems like you’re a lone wolf on the island. In the Winter I love a masculine or unisex scent and nothing says New York like Le Labo Santal 33. Santal 33 - They say that if you get on a train in New York City it’s inevitable that you will smell someone wearing this fragrance. That is how popular it is. I have smelled it too but it always smells just slightly different on everyone I’ve come across. I love the way it smells on me and in general. It smells like a well dressed man. And men seem to love it when I wear this scent as well. Update: Vertige Troublant Paris Atelier Parfum by & Other Stories gets a special notation because it is new, deliciously wicked, a smudge sweeter than Santal and has an old glamorous spray pump. (Store only)

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CODE: MONROE15 for 15% OFF Valid Until 3/31/18

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the best in hair

Written by Monroe Steele

I’ve gone through about every hairstyle a girl can have this year. From Marley Twists to Faux Locs to Afro’s, Pineapples, Twist Outs and the good ole fashioned head wrap. I’ve found quite a few products that work well for my very sensitive scalp. Yes, any kinda harsh products make my very tender scalp burn while shampooing. So I’m always on the hunt for products that are gentle but still manage to cleanse, hydrate and define my curls. I don’t even want to get into hair typing because it’s just too much. What I do know is that my hair is very tightly coiled and the shrinkage is real. I don’t have a problem with shrinkage though, I wear my afro just as much as a twist out. I really believe in embracing what you’ve got and learning to make it work for you. What used to take me 4 hours is now a 2.5 hour job simply because I’ve found what works for me.

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MY SECRET HAIR CONCOCTION (Mostly sprayed on scalp during protective styling: Braids, Marley Twists, Faux Locs) 1 Spray bottle mixed with: 1/2 100% Aloe Vera Juice 1/2 Purified Water 2 Teaspoons of Coconut Oil 2 Teaspoons of Jamaican Black Castor Oil My hair loves this mixture and it makes my hair grow like wildfire when it’s sprayed on my roots twice daily when my hair is in a protective style. This is how I transitioned and grew my natural hair out over a 1.5 year period. I have to thank my natural hair protective stylist and guru Amaany Clark for helping me transition and nurturing my natural hair. She also gave me this awesome recipe which can be tweaked to include your favorite oils. This also works well to refresh hair a few days after washing for springy curls and moisture. SHAMPOO, CONDITIONERS, DEEP CONDITIONERS & LEAVE IN CONDITIONERS I have two go-to shampoos and conditioners. I don’t really subscribe to the whole co wash theory. My scalp doesn’t get as clean as I’d prefer with just a co-wash. Thus, I don’t do it. I also feel based on my own experience that my hair’s curl pattern only reaches it’s full potential with both a shampoo & conditioner after being it a stretched state. Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strength and Restore Shampoo and Conditioner - What I love about the Shampoo is that it has Apple Cider Vinegar and really cleanses my scalp of buildup. My scalp feels squeaky clean and refreshed after just 3-5 minutes of washing. The Conditioner works like a charm to quickly detangle my very coily hair in about 5 minutes with gentle finger combing. I also love the Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strength and Restore Treatment Masque for deep conditioning. Catherine Marion Flower Child Curls Natural Hair Shampoo & Conditioner - This is another favorite duo. I love that the ingredients are specially formulated for very coily natural hair with natural products. It’s a small brand started by a good friend of mine Abby Omoruyi and her sister Ivie Omoruyi. My hair eats this stuff up. I especially love that the Shampoo is a clay based non foaming shampoo. It makes me feel as if I’m in ancient times when clay was used to cleanse. The shampoo is gentle and really gets my scalp clean without stripping away all the moisture. Then there’s the Moringa Infused Softening Conditioner which I’m borderline obsessed with and works amazingly well. For a little added conditioning I love their Moisturizing Leave In Conditioner. It smells AMAZING and it always add shine and springiness to my curls. USE CODE: MONROE15 for 15% OFF Catherine Marion Products. FASHION STEELE NYC

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THE PERFECT TWIST OUT I love a good twist out and there’s only one product that I bought on a whim one day at Whole Foods that I'm in love with because it’s so good; Camille Rose Naturals Aloe Whipped Butter Gel. First of all it smells GLORIOUS. It dries clear and never leaves white flaky build up when I take out my two strand twists. It gives me excellent hold, shine and definition. I also love that it is a black owned business! PROTECTIVE STYLING Marley Twists were my go to when transitioning and when giving my natural hair a rest for a month or two. I also tried faux locks as well and loved how they looked but my roots and hair needed more breathing and moisture which was hard to do with the multiple wrapping of my hair in synthetic hair. I had a lot more breakage with the faux locks and won’t be doing that style again. For my protective styling as well as trims and natural hair maintenance morkinks.com is where I always go. Amaany, is kind and very knowledgeable and helped me to grow my hair thick and strong with her natural remedies. In addition to proactive styling I also did a great collaboration with Freddie Harrel Big Hair No Care Zero Drama Clipins. I love them for an easy, breezy large afro in 5 minutes time! HEADWRAP CONNOISSEUR This year I became ahead wrap connoisseur especially on the days my hair was freshly washed and I didn’t bother to do any kind of style. I love a head wrap. It gives my hair a rest from manipulation and adds a little something extra to any outfit. Fanm Djanm has some beautiful head wraps. I’d suggest you invest in one or two. I also made a habit of tying regular scarfs into head wraps as well.

Monroe wears a head wrap to the African Mega Food Festival in Industry City, Brooklyn. Naked Wardrobe Crop Top, Rachel Comey Denim Photography by Rose Lazard

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Monroe seen here rocking her unstretched afro after washing and conditioning with Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Caster Oil Shampoo & Conditioner.

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Zara Crop Top, Tibi Skirt, Sole Society Luella Sandal, Cult Gaia Ark !106 Bag, Katerina Makriyianni Earrings


Monroe seen here with a picked twist out using Camille Rose Naturals Aloe Whipped Butter Gel. Zara Off The Shoulder Top, Phillip Lim Skirt, Sole Society Luella Sandals, Cult Gaia Ark Bag, Annie Costello Brown Earrings Photography by Nigel Clark

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Monroe seen here rocking her Faux Locks installed by Amaany at morkinks.com

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American Apparel Body Suit, Forever 21 Mom Denim, No 125 Tote, H&M Earrings, Stila Fiery Lipstain !108 Photography by Rose Lazard


SHOP RAW

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body conscious

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Over the past year, I’ve had the opportunity to use a ton of products for the body. The older I get the more important I realize how important body skin is in addition to the face. As a woman, I’m hyper focused on my face, I think it’s something we are all focused on because we see it everyday. But what about your arm pits, your elbows and the bottom of your feet? We have to take care of the skin all over our body, not just our faces. EXFOLIATION Exfoliation is key. Not just for the skin on the face to remain renewed and refreshed but for our bodies as well. My favorite exfoliate for my body is Raw Sugar Scrub. It is an all natural organic brand, cold pressed, cruelty free and vegan friendly. I love that the coconut oil leaves your skin moisturized after exfoliating. Exfoliating every other day or 2-3x weekly should be enough for the skin on your body. Areas to exfoliate include: FACE: To clean dead skin and pores ARMPITS: To remove deodorant buildup ELBOWS & KNEES: To smooth FEET: To smooth and release toxins PUBIC AREA: To prevent ingrown hairs after waxing or shaving, to open hair follicles prior to a waxing for easy hair removal CLEANSE I treat the skin on my body the same way I treat the skin on my face. I usually exfoliate first to open my pores, slosh off dead skin and remove impurities. Afterward I cleanse with a good soap. Some of my favorite cleansing soaps include: Raw Sugar Pure Bath Soap Lemon Bar which is an all natural plant based blend with Vitamin C for brightness. It also smells amazing! Dove’s new Deep Moisture Foaming Body Wash in Shea Butter is a staple in my shower toiletries. It lathers well and smells divine. Dove Purely Pampering Coconut Milk with Jasmine Petals Body Wash is my go to when I want to indulge my skin when it feels dry and damaged and needs to be revitalized. I always feel like I’ve left the spa after using this product. It also leaves my skin super supple. FASHION STEELE NYC

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MOISTURIZE To add moisture when my skin feels dull (which often happens in the Winter months) I use Elemis Skin Nourishing Milk Bath. Just add a few dollops to a warm bath and it turns into a soothing spa experience. It moisturizes your entire body in just a few minutes. I also love to use it alone on dry problem areas such as my elbows, feet and knees. Another favorite is the Raw Sugar Body Butter which is hydrating and soothing. ANTIPERSPIRANT I actually use 3 different antiperspirants and mostly it just depends on the day, the weather and the occasion. Dove Advanced Care Caring Coconut 48 Hour Antiperspirant: It smells amazing and really works. This is a great deodorant for the summer months when it’s sweltering hot as well. The scent alone could double as a very delicate perfume. Dove Dry Spray Invisible: Also a 48 hour spray but I love using this for special occasion when I have to wear something fancy that I don’t want to ruin. I’m pretty clumsy and this works like a charm and leaves less residue to remove with exfoliation. Nubian Heritage Indian Hemp & Haitian Vetiver 24 Hour Natural Deodorant: On the weekends I like to give my pits a rest from heavy aluminum levels and really like this all natural deodorant. It works so well I only need a few swipes for the entire weekend.

Opposite Page: Raw Sugar Living Products; Raw Sugar Pure Bath Soap Lemon Bar, Raw Sugar Sugar Scrub and Raw Sugar Body Wash all available at Target.

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shop the body edit

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Monroe poolside at Riad Yasmine in Marrakech Morocco wearing a Jade Swimsuit, Katerina Makriyianni Earrings and a head wrap.

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Opposite Page: Elemis Skin Nourishing Milk Bath and Dove Dry Spray Invisible 48 Hour !113 Antiperspirant Photography by Rose Lazard


the gift of slow fashion Written by Monroe Steele

I am a shopper. I created a whole blog based on finding the best sales and the best deals. I’ve made a whole part-time career out of it and business is booming! But this year, I consciously made an effort to get to know the brands that I really love. I never paid much attention to indie brands. My radar was always on those smaller brands who’s runway shows I used to watch and then began to attend. More recently, I began to pay attention to the actual designers who made the items that are sold in bigger stores like Anthropologie and it started a revolution inside me. It began with Annie Costello Brown. A few years ago, these brass chandelier earrings in beautiful colors and intricate shapes hit the web and penetrated my heart. I saw Leandra Medine of Man Repeller rocking a pair of these earrings and I had to have them. A quick search showed that the earrings were being sold at Clare V. stores. So I popped in, one rainy afternoon, tried them on and was sold. To date they are the most expensive pair of earrings I’d ever bought coming in at a little over $200 with tax. I had just started wearing my afro and they really popped when I tried them on. I remember being so excited to post them and I tagged Clare V. Stores. Thankfully someone in my comments gently told me that the earrings were not Clare V. but were handmade by the designer, Annie Costello Brown. After updating that post, I went on the Annie Costello Brown website and was blown away by FASHION STEELE NYC

all the incredible pieces and options that weren't available in stores, but were on her small online shop. That was my first foray into actually paying tribute to designers who sell their merchandise in larger stores. I had made a mistake and I wanted to learn from it and give those designers their due credit. Dear commenter if you are reading this, Thank You! One of my best friends just started her own jewelry line, Indigo Pony and I can see first hand how hard it is to c r e a t e beautiful pieces and then try to sell them yourself. I see how crucial it is for the success of the business to have those pieces sold in more popular stores. I’ve since been extremely diligent in sniffing out i n d i e designers.

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s h o p s l o w

The Salt Empire Indigo Pony Jewelry Katerina Makriyianni Matiko Shoes Omondi Annie Costello Brown Fanm Djanm Janice Embroidery

Gueras Fatim Slashed by Tia Tnemnroda Eyewear The Line by K Loza Maleombho Friday By Friday Borneo Line Bags Kadokélé

Annie Costello Brown as well as Katerina Makriyianni are two such jewelry designers sold in some of the big named stories like Net-a-Porter and Matches Fashion but still aren’t household names the way those online retailers are. I’ve also become a huge fan of The Salt Empire, a small jewelry brand created by a dynamic duo based in Portland, Oregon. I came across their gorgeous statement Mawu Earrings in Anthropologie and had to know more about them and what else they had to offer. More often than not it’s those pieces that are exclusive that are really intriguing. I ended up building an amazing relationship with them simply by reaching out and promoting them organically because I love their work. I have become a believer in slow fashion. Although fast fashion can be instantly gratifying, there’s something to be said about making a real connection with the designer. A person who has put their blood, sweat and tears into something of beauty just for you. One of the best projects I did this year was teaming up with TicTail for their Not Faceless Campaign. The campaign was all about slow fashion and connecting more with creators. TicTail is an online collective of indie brands and it rocks. I love a good Zara, H&M and Forever 21 fix as much as the next girl but it can become a bore when you see 10 women in a day wearing the same floral crop top from Zara. And if you can’t afford luxury designers than indie fashion, thrift and vintage fashion are all that’s left to set you apart. Speaking of thrift and vintage, I am a huge connoisseur of both. The thrill of finding something amazing while thrifting will never cease to amaze me and it also helps that I’m helping the world with less waste disposal. Most thrift shops also donate to wonderful causes like Housing Works, here in New York City, helps the fight against homelessness and AIDs/HIV awareness. Vintage can be more costly but again Monroe wearing The Salt it’s all about recycling. So next time you’re shopping or Empire Mawu Earrings USE checking out some sales on major retailers online, delve a CODE: STEELE25 for 25% little deeper into the designers that catch your eye. Check OFF YOUR ORDER and see if they are selling online and do your part to Photography by Rose Lazard connect so that they don’t remain faceless. Who knows you could be the person to discover the next It Brand. FASHION STEELE NYC

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fridaybyfriday.com FASHION STEELE NYC

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USE CODE: fbfsteele for 15% Off !116 Orders $250+ until 3/31/18


WWW.PROTEST.LIFE

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the beauty edit

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This was a big year in beauty for me. For some reason brands just wouldn’t stop sending me the latest in beauty and makeup products. I had no choice but to become a part time makeup connoisseur. Now don’t get it twisted, I can only do my own makeup. I am not a makeup guru but like everyone else, I’ve fallen into the trap of watching copious amounts of makeup youtube videos and then spending a bunch of cash trying to recreate a look. I really have no sense of how much makeup costs because I get so many great products but I know it’s a huge investment. There are a few products that I continuously buy because I love them. The rest I substitute with things I’ve been given to review or simply try out. These are a few go to brands and products that I love. LIPS: NARS Lip Pencils Endangered Red (A Vampy Red) Walkyrie (A Pinky Nude) Train Bleu (The Deepest Purple almost Black) Nars Deborah Lipstick (The Best Brown Nude in Matte) Stila Aria Liquid Matte Lipstain (The Best Matte True Pink) MAC Whirl (A nudest dream in Matte) Fenty Beauty Stunna Lipstain (Do I even have to explain, it’s a tad orange) EYES: Pixi Beauty Bubbly Eye Shadow (The Perfect Flecky Gold) Make Up For Ever Eyeshadow in ME-400 Buttercup & I-102 Onyx ELF Cosmetics Eye Pencil Milk Face Gloss For Eyelids (The Best Eye Gloss/ Model starter kit material) They're Real Mascara great for bottom lashes Pixi Beauty Lengthening Mascara Glossier Boy Brow SKIN Primer: Make Up For Ever Primer Concealer: Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage SC-6 Foundation: Estée Lauder Double Wear Mocha N61 Finishing Powders: Cover Girl Queen Press Power in Golden, Make Up Forever Hi Definition Finishing Powder HIGHLIGHTS NARS Overexposed Double Take Highlight Mattese Elite Sherbet Stardust NYX Ombre Blush Nude To Me (Love this on the cheeks)

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Get The Makeup Look Estée Lauder Double Wear Foundation in 6N1 Mocha, Covergirl Pressed Powder in Golden, ELF Eyeliner in Black, They’re Real Mascara for bottom lashes, Pixi Beauty Mascara for top lashes, Mattese Elite Sherbet Stardust in corner of Eyes and on tip of nose, NARS Double Take Highlight, NYX Ombre Blush , Fenty Beauty Stunna Lipstain H&M Boy Cap, Kenneth Jay FASHION Lane Earrings, Vogue STEELE Special NYC Issue

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Get The Makeup Look Estée Lauder Double Wear Foundation in N61 Mocha, Laura Mercier Camouflage Concealer, Glossier Boy Brow in Black, Mattese Elite Sherbet Star Dust in Eye Crevice, Pixi Beauty its mommys life Eye Shadow on Eye Lids, They're Real Mascara on Bottom Lashes, Pixi Beauty Lengthening Mascara on Top Lashes, NYX Ombre Blush, Nars Endangered Red Lip Pencil Fanm Djanm Headwrap, Sachin & Babi Cha Cha Fringe Clip On Earrings

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Get The Look Estée Lauder Double Wear N61 M o c h a , N a r s D o u b l e Ta k e Highlight, Stardust in Eye Crevice, nose tip and along top lip, Milk Face Gloss on Eyelids over Make Up For Ever Intense Red Eye Shadow, Pixi Beauty Mascara, Nars Walkyrie Lip Pencil Base with Top coat of MAC Whirl for matte nude lip. FASHION STEELE NYC Vintage Scarf worn as head wrap, vintage clip on gold plated earrings

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Get The Look Estée Lauder Double Wear N61 Mocha Foundation, NYX Ombre Blush, Pixi Beauty Lengthening Micro Fiber Mascara, ELF eye pencil, Pixi Beauty Bubbly Eyeshadow in crevice of eyes and Pixi Beauty Eyeshadow on eyelids, Stila Aria Lipstain on lips, Make Up For Ever Finishing Powder Headwrap, Vintage Chanel Pearl Earrings, CB2 Moscow Mule Cup

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the life style edit

In addition to keeping yourself stylish your home should be an oasis, a place to relax and unwind from outside external stresses. It’s as simple as incorporating greenery, a textured rug to enjoy reading while sitting on the floor, or even adding some color to your space. Having a welcoming and serene home can drastically change your mood, especially if you have a high stress occupation. I love being home because it rejuvenates me. I’ve invested in small things over time from my travels to help turn my home into my own little haven.

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Nespresso VertuoLine Machine, Crate & Barrel Moscow Mule Cup, Monstera Leaf, Crate & Barrel Marble Slab, Clear Coffee Cup, Sage Smudge Stick

I love to outfit my space with large green monstera leaves that I get in the flower district in New York City every 3 weeks. I love them because they last practically forever as long as you cut the stem a little every week. In addition to that, I love flowers and white roses are my favorite when they’re in season. I am a coffee drinker and making myself a cup of Vanilla or Hazelnut coffee in the morning with my Nespresso Machine is a daily ritual. I invested in a lovely copper Moscow mule cup to drink my coffee out of daily as well. I sage my space every month and I get my large sage sticks from Maman NYC cafe and store. They have a variety of sage sticks. This marble cutting board is another favorite buy just because I love marble and can’t afford all marble countertops but this does the trick to give me that feel I want. It’s also excellent to have for flat lays. FASHION STEELE NYC

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Opposite Page: This is my tiny eating area. I have flowers and candles all over my apartment. Candles are part of my self care regiment. As soon as I get home I light a candle. Most of my kitchen goods are from places like Crate and Barrel, CB2, West Elm, Marshall’s, Uncommon Goods and Century 21. I like to change my curtains every season for a different feel. In Spring and Sumer they are green and in Winter and Fall they are grey. Funeral March Painting, New York City at Dawn Chesapeake Bay Candle, Slate Coasters, Clear Rectangular Tray, Round Flower Vase, Floating Book Shelves Right: I decided to create a portrait wall on the main wall in my living room behind the couch. I used some of my favorite photos from my travels to Bermuda, Cuba and California. I will be adding a photo from Morocco soon. I got the photos printed online at Artifact Uprising. I love reading as well and wanted to display my books. I found these awesome floating bookshelves at The Container Store and installed them myself. This is one of my favorite areas in my home.

I’m pretty obsessed with unique lighting as well as cool bookends to store all my books. This antique bulb light that also doubles as book ends added the perfect vibe to my night stand. It was a gift from Uncommon Goods where I find tons of unique pieces for the home. I usually drink a glass of Merlot every other night. Books: Coco Chanel, The Ellements of Personal Style, Stylelikeu, Love x Style x Life, The Little Black Book of Style, Porter Magazine

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Opposite Page: Woodwick candles are the closest I’ll ever get to having a working fireplace. I love to light one while I’m working and listen to the crackling sounds. It helps to relax me and is part of my self care ritual. Woodwick SOHO Crackling Candle, The Kinfolk Home, The Kinfolk Table, The Kinfolk Entrepreneur, For the Love of Style, The Coveteur, Glass Vase, Monstera Leaf This Page: Black and White photos speak to me and I’m a full fledge francophile. My little nook is where I like to sit and look out at the world and just be thankful. Find a place in your home and dedicate that space to peace.

shop the lifestyle edit

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the fashion edit

The Boy Cap is my new favorite hat for those days that I don’t feel like doing my hair. A low pony sets off the look. When I go on trips abroad I always buy a tee-shirt. This is one I bought from a souvenir shop in Paris. This jacket is hella cool and from the Who What Wear Collaboration with Target. I love these mom jeans from the Paris Atelier Collection at & Other Stories so much that I bought two pair. They are the perfect length for showing off a great shoe. Speaking of shoes, these Stella McCartney boots are a favorite buy from The Real Real. The Real Real is a wonderful online consignment shop that also sells new items and unsold stock from designers and high end stores such as Saks. Photography by Rose Lazard

Shop Boy Caps Shop Statement Tees Shop Mom Jeans Shop Booties FASHION STEELE NYC

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fall & winter favorites

FALL & WINTER FOOTWEAR: Mules, Sock Booties and Snakeskin Kitten Heels FALL & WINTER BOTTOMS: Satin Skirts, Stirrup Jeans and Mom Jeans FALL & WINTER OUTERWEAR: Faux Fur, The Classic Trench and Dad Blazers FALL & WINTER TOPS: Classic Black Cashmere Turtleneck, Sweaters with a Twist and Colorful Sweaters FASHION STEELE NYC

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spring & summer favorites

I spent the majority of Spring and Summer looking like I was straight outta Cuba. I loved a good colorful head scarf and floral prints. My go-to was an off the shoulder anything from crop tops, to leotards and dresses. I also managed to collect more than 5 extra large unique totes and bags. I practically lived in my Tibi fringe mules because they are so comfy and because FRINGE. I injected a lot of color into my Summer wardrobe as well. I also lived in a colorful statement earring. There’s nothing like Summer in Harlem.

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SUMMER TRENDS: Florals Off The Shoulder Asymmetrical Skirts Fridge Mules & Sandals The large Vacation Tote Colorful Pants & Skirts Statement Earrings FASHION STEELE NYC

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Dear Deddeh Howard and all swagga jackers worldwide… Written by Monroe Steele

# B L A C K O N B L A C K M I R R O R P R O J E C T

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The internet is a place to find inspiration. Instagram even has a flag button where you can now save all your inspiration in one place for easily perusal. This photo I took in Morocco in October was the highest liked and saved photo I’ve ever had. I was and still am very proud of this photo. Rose, my photographer and I woke up extra early before all the other guests at Riad Yasmine in Marrakech and we played around until we got the perfect shots. It was also a collaboration with Fanm Djanm head wraps, a super cool head wrap and accessories company started by Paola Mathé. That photo went viral and was regrammed many times over. I was riding a high for the next few weeks, each time a new notification popped up. It was nice to know that people loved my work but more than that they were reading and checking out my Morocco Vlogs and Guide to Morocco. That was, until I got a DM, with what I thought was my photo at first glance and then realized it wasn’t. Same pose (down to the pointed toe and the hand up to the head), same angle, (from the balcony above) but instead of me laying there with a slight smirk across my face serving fierceness, I was replaced with Model and Spokeswoman, Deddeh Howard of The Black Mirror Project. I thought to myself that maybe it was just a coincidence until I checked her entire feed and came across this eerily similar photo as well. It seems every hotel and site I visited in Morocco, she also happened to visit. I mean Morocco is a huge place but I was pretty sure she read my guide. Then I was bombarded with several DM’s asking if that photo was me and if I was back in Morocco and calling this woman who supposedly supports and preaches sisterhood and blackgirlmagic out. It was disheartening. Especially when she was called out for it in her own comments and professed: “I don’t even know this girl” and that “she guesses everyone else at Riad Yasmine stole my photos as well”. FASHION STEELE NYC

To update you on what Deddeh Howard is famous for, it’s her #BlackMirrorProject. A photo project is which she recreated very famous ads featuring white models such as Kendall Jenner to promote diversity and inclusivity of black women in the media. She was tired of getting looked over for modeling gigs and did a series to show that she could do everything her white counterparts were doing. I was so inspired by her work that when I heard she was having an event at Josefinas Portugal Shoes in NYC I made it my business to go and support. I was the first one there and she greeted me, showed me around and we talked about how much I admired her project. I stayed for her Facebook Live Chat, even posting several videos and photos of her on my instagram stories. Needless to say, I didn’t think a few months later she’d be Black Mirror Projecting me. It kind of goes against everything she claims she stands for. There’s imitation and making something your own and then there’s just having no creativity and originality at all. She got her big break copying the work of others and apparently this is all she knows how to do. She doesn’t have any new tricks up her sleeve and is scrambling to find ways to keep her newly acquired 148K fans interested. I could have kept it to myself and not said a thing but I have busted my literal ass for 7 years doing this blogging thing and I’ll be damned if she thinks she can sweep in and take what she wants just because she thinks I’m a small fish and no one will notice. I’ve seen it too much. People who have way more influence running out of ideas and just outright stealing not only creative content but written content as well. Who cares who they step on and unfortunately, more often times than not, it’s our fellow sisters that do it. Why is it so hard for people to be original? I think it all goes back to thinking that what is working for someone else will work for you.

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That’s not how this blogging thing works Deddeh and other swagga jackers worldwide. You can lay down and cross your leg and put your hand to your head poolside in Morocco. You can garner 5x the amount of likes I got on the photo of mine that you copied, down to hat placement. You can get flustered and delete every commenter who came for you when they clearly saw your lazy attempt at recreating what was already perfect. But beloved you know as well as I do, that you will never be me. You’re out here looking crazy. You sacrificed everything you claimed you stood for, for 6K likes. I hope it was worth it, because dignity, especially in the realm of the internets, is a hard thing to win back. Sincerely, Monroe Steele

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Monroe seen here in the pool at La Mamounia Marrakech Spa in Marrakesh Morocco. Fanm Djanm Headwrap, The Salt Empire Mawu Earrings and Eberjey Swimsuit FASHION STEELE NYC Photography by Rose Lazard

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a very NEW YORK new years eve Written by Monroe Steele Photography by Pete Monsanto & Rose Lazard

On The 3 ASOS Faux Fur Coat, Who What Wear x Target Vinyl Pants, Zara Velvet Top, Kenneth Jay Lane Drop Earrings, H&M Boy Cap, Marco De Vincenzo Braided Sandals FASHION STEELE NYC Photography by Pete Monsanto

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A Badass New York City New Years Eve On Monroe: Self Portrait Strike Mini Dress, H&M Boy Cap, Neiman Marcus Velvet Sock Booties On Christian: Zara Leather Jacket, Topman Polka Dot Shirt

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This Page: Getting ready for a night out on the town. ASOS Red Carpet Heavily Embellished Dress, Michael Kors Sling Back Heels Photography by Rose Lazard Opposite Page: On The 3 Train with Monroe Steele & Tiffany Battle Photography by Pete Monsanto FASHION STEELE NYC

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Check out this Blog Post


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Opposite Page: Monroe wears a Self Portrait barely there dress, for an afternoon stroll in the snow This Page: A little bathroom break at 11 Howard Hotel before heading for drinks at The Blonde. On Monroe: ASOS Dress and Michael Kors Sling Backs On Christian: Red Zara Blazer and ASOS Velvet Trousers Photography by Rose Lazard

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Monroe wears a Zara Sequin Dress and Marco De Vincenzo Heels; Christian wears a Zara Plaid Coat. Photography by Rose Lazard

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Opposite Page: Monroe wears an ASOS Faux Fur Coat and Zara Velvet Top and a Boy Cap Photography by Pete Monsanto This Page: Monroe wears Self Portrait Dress and Velvet Sock Booties Photography by Rose Lazard FASHION STEELE NYC

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KELVN

www.kellvintechstyles.com

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wellness

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so you wanna go vegan? consider these 5 tips

Written by Nailah Ali

I’ve eaten fairly healthy on and off since, let’s say college — when I really started taking my health seriously. Veganism didn’t become a consideration until I moved to New York more than two years ago. I gained 30 pounds my first year here, namely due to the stress of adjusting to the NYC life. I handled it by overeating all of the bad stuff; cookies, cheese-based desires, chips, many a reuben from my nearest bodega. I felt like shit. And it wasn’t until my experiences trying on clothes that just wouldn’t fit that I had the “how did it come to this?” moment. I’ve never weighed more than 130 pounds my whole life and was that girl who could just pull something off of the rack and wear it out of the store. A shift was definitely in order. And it wasn’t just about the weight gain. I was always tired, bloated, got frequent migraines, and was sick often. That, on top of the stress of trying to make a living in New York City, prompted a major change. Going vegan was one of them. Here are a few tips on going vegan based on my own transition.

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1. START SLOW I didn’t go vegan right away when I noted the changes that needed to be made for the betterment of my health and sanity. I started exercising regularly, and of course cut out the chips, cookies and the reubens, haha. I also completely cut out dairy as it was the food that wreaked the most havoc on my body. So, when I did go all the way vegan, I was already used to not eating dairy, and I barely ate red meat and pork as it was. So, if you already eat fairly healthy, it should be a bit of a smoother transition. If you’re a heavy meat and dairy eater, TAKE YOUR TIME. Cut out one thing at a time. Ease in vegan meals because if you just go cold turkey vegan, you WILL go back to your normal eating habits. 2. MAKE SURE IT’S THE RIGHT MOVE FOR YOU If you’re an avid meat lover and dairy connoisseur, going vegan might not be the best option for you. Don’t do it just because it seems to be a trending thing to do right now. Hello, What the Health (yes, I did watch this, ha-ha). Give it a try, and if it’s just not your cup of tea, then opt for another alternative that’s good for your health, and be all right with whatever you decide. 3. FIND PEOPLE WHO WILL SUPPORT YOUR VEGAN JOURNEY I got lucky when meeting my boyfriend, who has been vegan for 5 years soon after I made the switch. He put me on to a number of tasty vegan spots in NYC, like Champ’s Diner (like a diner, but everything’s vegan) and LuAnne’s Wild Ginger (vegan Asian food!) which made the transition that much easier for me. We both love cooking as well, and implementing vegan twists on some of my dishes like pasta, or sweet potato pie makes for fun cooking challenges. I also started following blogs and people who are vegan to help me see that it is possible to be vegan and still enjoy good food. One of my favorites is Sweet Potato Soul. FASHION STEELE NYC

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4. GO ALL IN Making any big transition in life is going to come with its challenges. The best way to know if it’s right for you is to fully commit at the start and stick to it for at least a month or so before deciding it’s not right for you. Give yourself the time to really see how it’ll affect you, whether it’s for the better or for worse. 5. BRACE YOURSELF FOR THE QUESTIONS “So, does smelling all of this meat not get to you?” “What DO you eat?” These are some of the questions I’ve been bombarded with since taking the plunge. I’m 1000% committed at this point, so it doesn’t get to me, but just something to note. Look at these kinds of questions as an opportunity to educate people on veganism.

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FOLLOW NAILAH ON HER VEGAN JOURNEY

Here’s one of my favorite go-to recipes when I’m craving some comfort food: CREAMY VEGAN MUSHROOM FETTUCINI INGREDIENTS 180 g dried fettuccini noodles 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 4 garlic cloves, minced (or less, if you don’t love garlic) 300 g mushrooms sliced ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes 1 oz. cherry tomatoes sliced in half ¼ cup small capers, drained + 1 teaspoon brine ¼ cup chopped pitted olives (Kalamata work best, but also green and black olives) salt handful of fresh parsley, chopped FOR THE “FETTUCINI” SAUCE 2 cups of almond milk 2 heaping tbsp. of cashew butter INSTRUCTIONS

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot, add garlic, mushrooms, and red pepper flakes and stir constantly for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Immediately add the tomatoes. Stir in the capers and brine, and olives. Bring the mixture to a rapid simmer and then reduce heat to low and let simmer for 15 minutes or until sauce thickens. Taste and season with salt (or whatever seasonings you like. I also add Italian seasoning) if needed. Stir in the parsley and set aside. In another saucepan, add in the almond milk and slowly stir in the cashew butter. Whisk until thickened. Of course, you can add more milk or cashew butter depending on how thick or thin you want the sauce. I’d recommend keeping it on the thinner side. Add the mushroom mixture to the sauce and let simmer. Meanwhile, place a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the pan heats, add the fettuccini noodles and cook according to package. Transfer to a colander, drain, and set aside.Pat the zucchini noodles dry to remove extra moisture and then portion into four bowls. Top with the puttanesca sauce. Garnish with extra parsley. Pour sauce over noodles, toss and serve! FASHION STEELE NYC

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5 Lifestyle Tweaks for wholesome living & effortless adulting Written by Talisa Garbo-Tross

If there’s one adage that got old quite quickly in 2017, I would have to say it was “Adulting is hard.” The way I see it, no one promised us that adulting was going to be a walk in the park. Responsibility, accountability, oh and bills; those things don’t exactly spell fun, do they? They are essential parts of life though, so we might as well do them and do them well. How about a change of perspective? For 2018 and onward, how about we look at the tough stuff, and instead of focusing on how much of a pain they are, we instead carve out a plan to make it all much more bearable?

Start your day by fueling up with water Yes, before your feet even touch the floor. While you’re asleep, your body becomes dehydrated from hours without any liquids. Our bodies are made up of 72% water after all. Keeping water as first-things-first when you wake up not only rehydrates you, but it keeps you more full around breakfast. Since making a daily habit by keeping a bottle of H20 on my nightstand, I feel significantly more alert in the morning. I get through my a.m. workouts easier and make healthier breakfast choices to fuel my day. If plain water is just not your thing, add some light flavor with infused water. Some combinations friends have made and loved include lemon & basil, cucumber and mint or cucumber and kiwi. FASHION STEELE NYC

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Add whole greens to each meal ...preferably raw greens, as they’ve kept all their nutrients. If your mainstay is a burger and fries at your desk, why not switch things up by walking with a small salad to work? I have found that getting my greens in at each meal keeps me fuller for a longer time, and helps control the urge to overeat. Those fruits and veggies will also add to the hydration-situation we spoke about earlier, especially if the fruits and vegetables you choose have a high water content (think cucumbers, sweet peppers, watermelon, strawberries). When you’re hydrated, you’ll realize you’re thinking clearer, and getting through the day with more ease and less of that 2 o’clock slump. (Hey, put that extra bag of fries down. You know you’ll probably regret it later anyway). Here are a few suggestions to try out for your next meal: Breakfast: A BLT breakfast salad with Soft-Boiled Eggs A fruit salad with walnuts and avocado Lunch: A black bean & mango salad A shrimp cobb salad Dinner: A strawberry cobb salad A tex-mex chicken caesar salad These meals may sound like a lot, but baby steps, girl. You can start off with smaller portions until you are literally a salad savant. Pinterest is considered salad recipe paradise and the recipes there range from kitchen-newbie to chic-chef-extraordinaire.

Daily journaling Facebook may ask ‘What’s on your mind?’ (do they really wanna know though?) but let’s all consider an even better idea. It involves a habit far more beneficial than venting to people who, odds are, don’t really care. Writing in a journal or notebook of your choice at the end (or beginning) of each day has benefits although in itself is such a simple action. Daily journaling can: ● Give you a space for positive self-talk, while allowing you to identify and deal with less than positive habits, thoughts and behaviors. ● Serve as a mood-booster by helping you to prioritize and put into perspective problems, fears and concerns. ● Help you work on a plan to resolve problems after identifying them. Beyond the whole ‘according to recent studies’-esque facts, I have found that when I write about something that’s getting me down, before talking to anyone within earshot, I feel so much more calm and level-headed about the situation. Kate Spade carries really chic journals and notebooks, but if you’re in the market for something a little less pricey, Target or Urban Outfitters are great go-tos.

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A good notebook and pen go a long way. Check out these options from: Shopbop & Other Stories Moleskin Staples Target Urban Outfitters

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Decluttering weekly Excuse me while I add my ten cents to the minimalist trend, sorta. This is something I’ve only recently made a habit of doing consistently and let-me-tell-you. What started off simply as a decision to consistently keep my room organized has become a weekly must-do. After a frazzling day of work, stepping into an airy and uncluttered room has proven to be a life-changer. There’s something about stepping into a space with minimal distractions, and less stuff that will leave you in a better mood and in a much better headspace to wind down after a long day. Don’t knock it till you try it. Seriously though, try it, and thank me later.

Switching coffee for green tea, matcha or even chai I know what you’re thinking “Coffee is my lifeline, I know this girl is not over here suggesting I give it up!” What might be a huge ask may actually be good for you in the long run, though. Too much of anything is never a good thing, it’s been said. As much as I love the a.m. jolt java gives me, as much as it makes actual productivity possible, having one too many cups doesn’t always end well. As if the afternoon jitters and problematic sleep patterns aren’t enough, going beyond 4 small cups a day is linked to more dire impacts. The physical dangers linked to drinking one too many cups include heartburn/acid reflux, headaches and irregular heartbeat. The risk of developing osteoporosis is also present. For us females specifically, more than five or six cups a day has been linked to fibrocystic changes in the breasts as well as decreased fertility, according to Dr. Judith Reichman, obstetrician, gynecologist, and medical contributor of The Today Show. An easy fix? Not necessarily going cold-turkey (I wouldn’t dare do that to you), but trading one cup at a time for something different. I was a three-cups-a-day gal about a year ago. Now, I can get through a hectic day with one Americano and two cups of green tea. If green tea or it’s older brother matcha tea is just something you can’t get behind, you can also try chai tea. While black tea, it’s main ingredient, also holds it’s own caffeine level, it’s nowhere near that of coffee. So, if you’re a two-cafe-lattes-a-day kind of girl, try one cafe latte and one matcha latte. Try switching that third espresso shot for a chai tea. I did and the 5 p.m. jitters have stopped. A gradual wind-down at day’s end feels better than a 5 p.m. crash (occasional headache in tow). Do you see yourself trying any of these lifestyle adjustments? I can promise you, even one small adjustment to your routine, your daily diet, your weekly habits will serve you well in the long run. Your productivity, physical, mental and emotional health will thank you.

*DISCLAIMER: This article is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. The advice provided by the writer is provided for advice purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health related program.

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books that got me through 2017 Written by Monroe Steele

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I did a lot of reading this year. Lord knows I needed something to do to keep my mind off the state of the United States and it’s current leader. I swear I can’t read another Trump tweet without considering gouging out my own eyes with a spoon. I needed an escape and spent an extraordinary amount of money on books and collectors magazines this year. Reading has become a part of my self-care ritual. It’s a way to clear my mind and escape all the to-do lists and worries and stress. It’s where I can get creative inspiration and reading helps me with writers block. Another thing that I love about reading is that it increases my thoughts and awareness about the world. I learn new things and it helps to expand my vocabulary which ultimately helps with my blogging. An expansion in my vocabulary also helps when I'm speaking, not just writing. Just reading a few articles in magazines has a way of igniting words that I’d forgotten existed. It’s important to engage your mind in something more than television or even music. Your brain needs to read in order for you to grow. I never understood people who didn't like to read. I mean, I understand it can be difficult for some but Wow. Nothing is as vivid and boundless as your imagination. I visualize the characters and the colors and the smells and places when I read fiction. It’s one of my favorite things to do. And if a writer is really an amazing writer, a movie based on a book, could never hold a candle to the book (no matter how hard Hollywood tries). There were a few amazing books and magazines that I read this year that literally kept me sane. Jen Sincero, really hit a home run with You are a Badass, How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life. This was by far the best book I read all year and I make it my business to revisit a few of my favorite passages each week. This is the ultimate self-help, believe in yourself, you fucking rock, manual of 2017. This is self help on a unicorn frappe with an extra shot of caffeine. But more than that, it gives you the tools you need to actually make a difference in your life. All you need to do is implement them. Which is a lot harder than it sounds. I absolutely love this book and you will too.

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favorite reads: You Are a Badass, How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life - Jen Sincero You Are a Badass at Making Money, Master the Mindset of Wealth Jen Sincero Notes of a Native Son - James Baldwin The Book of Night Women - Marlon James Erotique Noire - Collection of Writers and Artists On Beauty - Zadie Smith We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965-85: A Sourcebook by Catherine Morris and Rujeko Hockley Humans of New York - Brandon Stanton For The Love of Style - Corinna Williams KINFOLK Magazine The Relationship Issue (Perhaps the best magazine I read all year with very interesting and thought provoking articles) The KINFOLK Entrepreneur: Ideas for Meaningful Work KINFOLK Magazine The Food Issue (It's more than food, there were amazing articles on chefs that I found intriguing and educational) The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck — Mark Manson FASHION STEELE NYC

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personal essay: take a trip to self-care Written by Janice Pugh

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In a world where Botox Betty's, Big Booty Becky’s and Big Tata Tanya's can cloud our vision of what and where our own personal mind and body fitness should be, it's easy to board the comparison train to Lost-ville. I should know. I rode that train for many years before I realized I kept renewing my ticket. Somewhere along the lines of our growth, I’ve found that we allow society to dictate the state of our personal health; both, mind and body. The train to Overweight-ville, the fast track to fatigue, digging ditches to diabetes and let’s not forget the highway to mental hell! I have learned that our minds and bodies are self made doctors alerting us of changes and happenings within our beings. I like to call it “Body Wisdom.” You only need to listen. Only when you dig from within shall your well overflow. Now, I am not saying doctors aren’t needed; so pull back on the eye rolls and teeth sucking, but it is our job to listen to the signals from within to live up to the best versions of ourselves. My name is Janice Pugh and I am an amateur boxer, boxing fitness trainer, and health coach that found my own love for the spirit and strength of my natural self through my health and wellness journey. During the course of my trainings I came to find that we as women tend to allow others to tell us everything; from what beauty is, all the way down to the perfect size, weight, height and even color. Nowadays, the media makes it seem that with a quick injection into the cheeks, lips, or ass and your achievement to true mental and physical wellness can be completed in the blink of an eye, no heavy lifting required. Just remember, every car needs monthly maintenance so why is it that our minds and bodies are left to pay the ultimate price? Of course our daily grind has it’s distractions and falling into the trap of keeping up with the Kardashians, the Joneses, and even the Yoncés, can make us feel as if we have somehow fallen short of the magic potion. Then our own personal self-care takes a back seat to our families, jobs, friends, and even outside circumstances. Personal self-care is a journey less traveled, yet a trip that shouldn't be overlooked. To care for oneself means keeping those appointments with yourself by creating space for a proper meal, fitness, spirit and play regimes. Now everyone's version of personal self-care varies but the ultimate goal is making sure you are operating at your full potential from within. The best part of this equation is that once you give yourself permission (notice I didn’t say ask for it) you automatically allow others around you to operate to their highest potentials as well.

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I often think back and reflect on some strong beliefs I had about myself when growing up. Being told I was not thin enough, or not big enough. Not light enough or dark enough. That my chest was too small or my hips too wide. That I wasn't smart enough or would only be average. It’s a world where imperfections are magically perfected on the magazine covers with airbrushed models; and that's exactly what they are, models of others opinions of what beauty, perfect health, and happiness looks like. When everyday it stares us right in the face. A uniqueness urging us to improve upon our own canvas. As individuals we eat too much, or not

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enough, drink too much, eat meat, no meat, soy, no soy, dairy, no dairy, carbs, no carbs, variety has starred us in the face for centuries and yet we walk right passed it. Choosing to walk amongst the crowd! Where comparison is the verdict but variety is the crime. We must take the time to appreciate the creative and talented beings we were created to be and through mental and physical awareness I truly believe this achievement allows us to not only become the best versions of ourselves as we were meant to be but it also opens the door for others to do the same, creating a world of love, peace, and acceptance.

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Skinny, big, and in between images of how we see ourselves, how we feel about ourselves effect our actions. Your options are endless only you let your mindfulness end, in a world where injections from your ass to your lips make you feel good and momentarily fulfilled. One must look within to be thrilled. Self-Care is a fickle thing when you’re not taking daily body and mental health checks. Stress, fatigue, burnout, worry, and worldly comparison are all side effects of self-care neglect. Self- care is exactly what it means: caring for self before self can care for others. Making sure you are operating to your highest potential enables you to not only be the best for and toward yourself but also share that with others. And in conclusion I’ll leave you with 4 simple daily tips to a better self-care journey but make no mistake it is a journey, your journey, so give yourself a freaking break already. 1 - Love on yourself. Appreciate every crease and crevasse. Fall in love with you again. 2 - Explore your gifts whatever they make be, and if you’re feeling like you don’t have any please feel the slap I just gave you to the head (inserts a big mama slap) just because you don’t see it doesn’t mean it's not there. 3 - Share your gifts. We all are blessed with gifts to share because as we are blessed, we are meant to be a blessing. 4 - Repeat these steps with everyone you encounter. If we can share a meme, a funny video, a discount code for sales surely we can share some Love!

follow Janice on her fitness journey FASHION STEELE NYC

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empowering yourself to stop a killer Written by Jennifer Jean-Pierre

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What if I told you the story of a dangerous killer targeting women but gave you the necessary tools to increase your chances of not falling prey? Would you listen? If yes, please keep reading but if not, then this article isn’t for you. Heart Disease is the leading killer of women worldwide and in most cases, it IS preventable. Yes, you read that correctly, it can be stopped dead in it’s tracks with just a few lifestyle modifications. Although breast cancer gets most of the promotion, 1 in 3 women die each year from heart disease or stroke which is more than ALL cancers combined. Right now about 1 in 30 women die from cancer. I would never say the power of cancer awareness efforts is bad because it is far from that and frankly it has enabled more women to get regular screenings, but it does shadow the real killer of women out there which of course is heart disease. Before breaking down ways to increase your chances of not suffering from heart disease, let us first go into detail about the ins and outs of this leading killer of women. I want to preface this by stressing that I am not a physician and all stats and scientific information written in this article come from the premiere patient education site for all things heart, CardioSmart. Many of us women under 55 think we are invincible. We hear Heart Disease and immediately think “older persons” problem and I’m here to explain how that couldn’t be farther from the truth. With our poor diets and sedentary lifestyles, more and more young women are increasing their chances of developing heart disease and it is serious! What is Heart Disease? Heart disease describes various conditions that affect the heart. They range from heart attacks to genetic defects to problems with your vessels. The real issue with heart disease is that most often than not, it is other diseases or conditions that up the risk factor. These include but are not limited to high blood pressure, diabetes, being obese, and high cholesterol. Some of you reading may say to yourselves- “Sheesh, I’m good because I don’t have any of those” and that’s GREAT! But then my question is…. Do you know? How often do you have your blood pressure checked? Have you ever done a bio metric screening that checks your cholesterol? Do you know your family medical history as it pertains to matters of the heart? Do you smoke or have you ever smoked? Do you smoke hookah? Are you inactive but because of your size think that you are healthy? Ladies this threat is serious and we must be armed.

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Although this article focuses on women, heart disease is the leading killer of men worldwide as well. It is just a little more particular for women because often, our signs and symptoms are atypical aka, they aren’t regular. I won’t go into specifics on these because I do want everyone to have this chat with their doctor or health practitioner but remember this- women are more likely than men to have heart attack symptoms unrelated to chest pain. Our symptoms range from unusual fatigue to neck, jaw, shoulder and abdominal discomfort and feeling lightheaded or dizzy. You won’t find too many women clutching their chest to signal a heart attack may be occurring. Let’s move forward from discussing what heart disease is to how to prevent it. Because in the end prevention is key. Prevention is our only chance against this dangerous killer. Ways to Prevent Heart Disease 1- Know your family history. Talk to your family and your physician about risk factors from your findings. Get screened. 2 - GET MOVING! Most of us hold jobs that require us to sit for hours and hours on end staring or typing away at a computer. Before we know it 4 hours have gone by and we have not gotten up from our desks. Heck we even get food delivered to our offices and sit at our desks to eat it. This is detrimental to our health!! Sitting is the new smoking and it is linked to major health issues such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Many of us do not get the recommended 30 minutes of exercise a day. We often go home and sit in front of the TV watching shows or back to typing away at our computers or phones. The scary part of it- studies have shown that the effects of long-term sitting are NOT reversible through exercise or other good habits! Lifestyle Modification for sitting too much •

Instead of sending a quick email to a co-worker, why not walk to their desk or office and tell them in person.

Instead of conference calls or sit down meetings, arrange a walking meeting and walk around the office whether indoors or outside.

Add 15 minute breaks in your calendar to remind you to get up and walk.

Take the stairs at work instead of the elevator.

Instead of happy hour with your friends, why not socialize in a fitness class. FlyWheel Sports is great!

Get a standing desk at work or home.

During binge TV watching sessions, do small toning or cardiovascular exercises during commercial breaks. If no commercial breaks, then get up and stretch and walk around the house at the end of each episode.

Get a dog. Studies have proven that having a pet forces most to get more active!

Treat housecleaning like a work out. Get on your hands and knees and scrub those floors.

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3 - You ARE what you EAT. We all know that proper nutrition is everything! You don’t have to go vegan or eat no carbs to be healthy. Balance is key. One of the absolute best ways of eating for heart health is the Mediterranean Diet. No, we aren’t talking tons of feta and gyros but instead eating primarily plant based foods and using herbs and spices to flavor food over salt. You can read more about this type of eating here. Basically, lay off the Big Macs! 4 - Meditate! Yes, meditate. Learn to de-stress. Let the worries go and learn to quiet the mind and live IN the moment. Stress physically affects the body so take 10-15 minutes a day to just clear your head. My favorite tool/ app for meditation and just overall mental wellness is called HAPPIFY. This app uses science based activities like games to improve mood and build resiliency. I’m kind of obsessed! I also love HEADSPACE for guided meditations. Besides meditating another great way to eliminate or help improve stress in life is to walk away from bad relationships. Whether familial, romantic, professional or platonic, keeping the wrong types of people in your life can increase your chance of developing heart disease. Why? Stress, stress and more stress. And franklyif people are not on board in helping you improve in all facets of life, they need to go! 5 - STOP SMOKING! That includes hookah. Most of us know that cigarettes are the devil and either quit or don’t start but smoking hookah negatively affects the heart and lungs as well. Although a water pipe, hookah still has toxins that damage the organs. Hookah smoking is not a safe alternative. So stop it!

FOLLOW JEN ON HER FITNESS JOURNEY

Again, I am not a physician. I am just a regular girl like you trying to raise awareness to a silent killer. Although I keep myself very well informed, I do not know it all. I do however, highly suggest taking ownership of your own care and educating yourselves. By taking ownership, I do not mean start running experiments on yourself but instead BE PROACTIVE! Sites like CardioSmart are chock full with wonderful resources to educate and empower. Let’s all work togetherSTEELE to stop this FASHION NYCkiller in it’s tracks.

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WWW.SHOPAHOLICSTYLING.COM/SHOP ISSUE 4

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t a k e c a r e Written by Zakiya Lee

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Take Care. Those two words are often robotically, said to others when parting ways. It’s our way of wishing those we’re with well. But ask yourself, do you really take care? When was the last time you did something for your own self care? Between trying to excel at work, planning for your future, maintaining a social life, being a great friend, staying woke, getting through all the recordings in your DVR, drinking enough water, and memorizing Cardi B.’s verse from G-Eazy’s “No Limit”, it’s tew much! I know. But I try to remind myself that there are at least 672 hours in a month (a special shout out to the mini month of February) & I am going to dedicate at least 12 of those hours to self care! I deserve (Mama Dee voice). Now, this doesn’t mean you must carve out time to sit Indian style in a corner and hum (unless that’s your thing - this is a judgment free zone. Do you boo!) but at least take one day a month to do something just for you. Self care doesn’t have to be something major like planning and going on a 12 day vacation to the south of France. Instead, take a nap. Take an extra 10 minutes in the shower. Give yourself a facial, schedule a massage. Get your nails done. Pour yourself a cocktail (or three). Take a day off. Don’t answer the phone; turn your notifications off! That Wingstop you’ve been craving? Treat yo’ self. That banana pudding from Magnolia’s you’ve been salivating over? Treat yo self (maybe that’s just me)! Obviously none of this should be done at the expense of what tasks actually must get done. The late, great Notorious B.I.G. said, “business before pleasure.” But where and when you can, intentionally take time to care for yourself. At least once a month or even biweekly. And if you can get up to once a week, I have a special gold star just for you! You are important and you should treat yourself as a priority. Your self care is your responsibility. You are your longest commitment. For those of you reading this and thinking: “but I have other people to take care of.” I’m a girlfriend, wife, mother, father, boyfriend, husband ... remember this: You can’t pour from an empty cup. Pour into yourself so that you can appropriately and efficiently pour into others. Your body will thank you.

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self-eyes: a collection of selfies and captions Written by Bre Scullark

brescullark: Enjoy Joy. Sometimes pain can seem like it lasts so long that we forget what joy feels like. Stop waiting for the other shoe to drop. You deserve to be happy‌You deserve this. FASHION STEELE NYC

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brescullark: My Body. I’ve spent 10yrs standing in underwear alongside models at castings and at bookings. It has taken me 10yrs to love my body. This is mine. All mine. It is my kind of sexy. It is my kind of beautiful. It has carried me through and through. This is mine. All mine. I am grateful for it. [flower emoji]

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brescullark: I met a woman from India who moved to the States for an arranged marriage. (Paraphrasing our talk) Her: We have been married for two years. He is nice. Me: Are you happy? Her: Women should marry for love not arrangement. Me: I agree. Her: But I hate sleeping alone so‌ Me: Me too. Me too. Her: At least in the US, women have the freedom to choose whether or not they wish to sleep alone. FASHION STEELE NYC

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brescullark: And oh how I enjoyed destroying hearts when I was young. With every heart break, I thought I was breaking even on all that was done to me as a little girl. But Karma. And as a blossoming woman, I live through all those circumstances that I forced on people. All that selfishness, misguided rage and hurt. I accept it as it comes and goes… Be careful how you show up in the world and in the lives of others. It comes full circle. Today, I am trying my BEST to be a clean slate for Love, Light, Life and Peaceful Living. Count it all joy, baby. Enjoy the journey [rose emoji] Heartbreakers get their hearts broken too. In due time…

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brecullark: If you are young, Don’t waste time. The drugs are so euphoric. The drinks are hypnotic. The parties. The places. The memories you will hear about because you won’t remember much if any of it. If fades. Don’t waste your life. Please in the midst of the lifestyle, be purposeful. Don’t waste time. “The Life” looks different the older you get. Old drunks used to be young lushes. Cute bathroom breaks are just Cokeheads later on. It happens fast, baby. Be purposeful. Don’t waste your fucking life on drugs. Don’t wast time.

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brescullark: I want it all. Now. I wasted so much time in my 20’s taking people, opportunities and happiness for granted. I feel like I am against time. Time moves fast now that I am conscious of its value. I want it all. I want so much for my life. I want it now. I want it now. Now. I have so much quality to offer. Maybe not youth anymore but certainly quality and wisdom. I’m ready now. (Welcome to being grown)

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brescullark: I remember living in LA. My home was warm and peaceful. My “friends” came over when they needed to be nurtured and reminded of their significance in this world. They would fill up and then leave. When I left LA, I told myself I would never be a well for emptiness again. I am always reminding myself that I love helping because I felt alone in my time of need. I love healing because I need healing. I love spreading light because my past is dark. I never give up on love because I’ve always felt unloveable. And yet, pouring into another what they cannot or will not reciprocate no longer serves me. With love, I am learning (not at all mastering) B O U N D A R I E S. (and to respect others request for boundaries!) Thank you to ALL my female friends who remind me of this beautiful concept. Love is love

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brescullark: The problem & The solution both Start & End with me. I am the common thread #beaccountable

Follow Bre Scullark’s Journey

brescullark: Be so clear about what you want the universe has no choice but to give it to you.

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dare to lead Written by Vanessa Lundy

Today on my Instagram stories, I saw a screen shot of what appeared to be an album cover with Beyoncé’s face and the letters “lV Ever Ever”. Instantly I thought it was a new album, let me download it! I rushed to iTunes and found nothing. Then I remembered that Tidal is where all of her and Jay-Z releases go first. Found it. Downloaded it! No reading up on it or anything. I mean it’s Beyoncé, there’s an 80% chance I’ll love it or at least respect it. Moments after, I realized it was a playlist she created and not a new album. I laughed at my initial reaction and thought; look how fast I moved and how much of an urgency it was to find this album and download it. Why? Because all we know is innovation and consistency from Beyoncé — a leader and a trendsetter in music. Was she the first to create leotards or glitter? No, but she took a pre-existing item, added a twist or two and made it her own. In the world of social media and digital influence, inspiration is only a fingertip away. But so is imitation, sadly. When someone has mastered something, you don’t need an introduction because the work alone has their name all over it. That is what attracts me to brands. The will and the consistency to do something so well that you can bet money it’s them. Someone shouldn’t be able to look at your work and every detail reminds them of someone else’s. We all want to be successful at what we do but at what cost? Do you take the easy route and do what looks cool and influential or do you take the longer route and remain authentic. It’s only right to look at those in the same field that came before us as a guide. I did this when I started blogging to get an idea of how it works, however I always promised myself that I would remain true because there is no rush in purpose. It’s a noisy world out there for creatives but it’s so very important that we shut out the noise and remember why we started it and what keeps us up at night. Nothing will ever be better than the original so don’t ever stop being you! Too often creatives stop doing the very thing that got them noticed in the first place. Maybe the reason you don’t see your ideas anywhere is because it was meant for you to set the trend. Maybe you are the change and what the world was waiting for. For the new year, I’m challenging myself to tap into all of my shelved ideas and living to my fullest potential and see where that takes me. I’m up for the challenge. Will you dare to lead in 2018?

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follow vanessa on her journey FASHION STEELE NYC

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brain food Written by Monroe Steele

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FASHION STEELE REVIEW 2017

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Profile for Monroe Steele

Fashion Steele NYC 2017 Review Magazine: The Travel & Wellness Issue  

Fashion Steele NYC 2017 Review Magazine: The Travel & Wellness Issue

Fashion Steele NYC 2017 Review Magazine: The Travel & Wellness Issue  

Fashion Steele NYC 2017 Review Magazine: The Travel & Wellness Issue