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OMBRÉ magazine



OMBRÉ magazine

OMBRÉ magazine


15 Ombré Shopping Pages We’re mixing genres from all sides of the spectrum this Fall with futuristic silhouettes, romantic lace and Gothic frocks. 39 BEAUTY PAGES Bordeaux lips to a silky mane: Fall’s best beauty looks are all together. By Kelsey Rhodes 32 THE A-LIST From London to Lagos to Toronto to NYC: designers from all over the World show off their streamline creations. BY IRENE OJO-FELIX 58 MOOR NO MORE Ben Evans investigates Dolce & Gabbana’s SS13 politically incorrect fiasco and the thinking behind it.

26 LEADERS OF THE NEW SCHOOL These stylish ladies believe hard work and a fancy wardrobe go hand in hand. BY MARIAM AJIBOLA 28 BECOMING A LEGEND Go behind Janet Jackson’s latest deal with Blackglama furs. BY SELINA DITTA 30 THE STYLIST CHRONICLES Stylist Leah Taylor shows us the ins and out of the industry. BY IRENE OJO-FELIX


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73 Youth Revolt A vintage throwback to a younger time. When all was simple and we had a bit more fun with fashion. Photographed by Danny Baldwin. Styled by IRENE OJO-FELIX 80 AT EASE

Military trends are re-interpreted for the day. Photographed by Chris Knight. Styled by rENESSTA oLDS 86 ON THE MOVE

Colorful, daring, & unexpected: these looks are just begging to be jumped into! Photographed by Tim Coburn. Styled by IRENE OJO-FELIX

48 SWITCH IT UP We’re getting down to the root of your beauty rut! Punch up your cool factor with these new hair looks! BY MARIAM AJIBOLA 50 TAKE THE FIRST STEP Excuses are so passé. Amanda Omachonu whips us into shape. 66 ARcTIC ALLURE

Winter’s chill wont stop these fresh looks. Keep up the glam at all costs! Photographed by Seye Isikalu. Styled by IRENE OJO-FELIX

54 Melodic Marvels These ladies are set to take the music business by storm. By lewis McIlwain 56 PAINT BY NUMBERS Artist Mickalene Thomas has been spotted by collectors and celebutants alike for her daring creations. Lewis McIlwain finds out more. 60 THE OTHER ISSUE We’re more educated and better paid than ever before but there’s a price to pay for success. Lindsay McKenzie focuses. 62 FOR US BY…THEM? Your favorite fashion companies might be up to no good. Whitney McGuire uncovers the hidden practices of the fast fashion conglomerates. 64 APP LA MODE iPhone users rejoice! These apps will make your life stylishly easier. By Dara Bu.

9 masthead 10 Editor’s Letter 12 Contributors 52 new Movies 53 new books 96 A Look Back…

OMBRÉ magazine



OMBRÉ magazine

OMBRÉ magazine



OMBRÉ magazine

Irene Ojo-Felix Editor-in-Chief Justin Bost Art Director

FASHION Irene Ojo-Felix Fashion Editor Elyce Cole Bookings Editor

BEAUTY AND FITNESS Kelsey Rhodes Beauty Editor Amanda Omachonu Health & Lifestyle Editor

FEATURES Vivian Ojo-Felix Features Editor Selina Ditta Copy Editor


Kelcey Abney, Mariam Ajibola, Marisa Ames, Danny Baldwin, Hannah Banks-Walker, Dara Bu, Shani Buckner-Lawry, Tim Coburn, Selina Ditta, Yura Do, Ben Evans, Torrence Forde, Chloe Han, Seye Isikalu, Chris Knight, Will Lawry, Whitney McGuire, Lewis McIlwain, Lindsay McKenzie, Renessta Olds, Amanda Omachonu, Hyekun Lily Park, Gina Robinson

Copyright © 2012 OMBRÉ magazine


OmbrÉ Editor’s Letter

Fading. Dwindling. Shrinking. It’s what we’ve been anxious about. What we’ve been feeling. What we’re trying to amend. Variance. Change. Transitions.


s a student of fashion, I grew up constantly curious about the industry. What it entailed, what it represented, if I would have a place. As I got older and with the invention of social media and blogs, I was suddenly thrust into the fashion spectrum and knew I had to try and discover all that I could about the exclusive industry. I read biographies, I studied faces and mastheads, and I tried everyday to learn something new about fashion and the way the business works. With time, I grew curious if I could make something new to contribute to the broader dialogue. I felt obligated to create a groundbreaking platform for which young and fashionable people of color could present their work and learn from each other. Where people who had something original to say could express themselves.

OMBRÉ Magazine was created with the intent of celebrating fashionable women of all colors and walks of life. Showing how beauty is not tied down to the mainstream definition, OMBRÉ takes readers on a modern exploration of different parts of the globe to discover glamorous and edgy fashion. OMBRÉ also stands as an informative outlet, set to teach our audience about the issues within the fashion industry. And as always, we want to push

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the envelope of discussion topics and produce original content that is as daring as it is insightful. Now is the time when we start bundling up in preparation of a fashion freeze down. Where Fall fades away and all that’s left is the quiet chill of Winter. Fashion’s big ideas are in full swing this holiday season and we’re here to capture them all. For our inaugural issue, we’re going behind-the scenes of a celeb’s rise to global spokesperson for luxury’s finest furs (page 28) and the biggest street style divas that you need to know more about (page 26). For OMBRÉ’S beauty shoot (page 66) we give you a glamorous view at colorful makeup and fashion looks (page 86) that are sure to have you as the center of attention at any party. Then for our main feature, we go behind one of fashion’s greatest design houses and a polarizing decision that has sparked a debate on race (page 58). Now go on, flip the pages, and take this new journey with us! Irene Ojo-Felix, Editor-in-Chief

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OmbrÉ Contributors

T i m C o b u r n


Raised outside of Washington, D.C., Tim Coburn is an award-winning, talented photographer, and the master behind our “On the Move” shoot. “I became interested in taking pictures in high school. Even though I worked in other fields, I always came back to my camera. It’s really my first love, my passion.” Favorite thing: Chipotle chips.

S e y e I s i k a l u

London based fashion and beauty photographer, Seye Isikalu, shot our “Arctic Allure” story and cover image. Inspired by glamour beauty photography, The soft-spoken Seye has a discerning way at bringing a lighthearted nature out of his subjects. Favorite thing: Azalea Banks.

Y U R A D O Born and raised in West London, UK, Mariam has had an interest in writing about music, style and has always believed in using her passion as a form of self expression. She is currently studying a masters in international journalism and plans to continue to communicate her love for all things fly and informative. Favorite thing: Beats by Dre

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Yura Do is a London and Seoul based make-up and hair artist who loves art, music, and her cat. After studying fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Technology, Yura went on to perfect her craft at London College of Fashion. Her inspirations range from runway shows to daily life. Favorite thing: eating rice.

s e l i n a d i t t a

c a p i t a l i m a g i n g

Selina Ditta covers subjects she is passionate about including music, fashion and women’s rights. She works for which brings awareness to human rights issues. Selina would like to own pieces by Vivienne Westwood, Zuhair Murad and this issue’s featured designer Tsemaye Binitie. Favorite item: her Michael Kors Bag.

Capital Image is the styling team behind our “On The Move“ editorial and a full service lifestyle company based in Washington , DC. Consisting of husband & wife duo Will & Shani Lawry, services range from personal image consulting, fashion editorial styling, and special events planning. Favorite thing: Style - it’s a non verbal statement!

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Phillip Treacy’s first show in eight years was a spectacular display of the milliner’s best work paired with the clothes of the late, great Michael Jackson. With an aan introduction by Lady Gaga, and a soundtrack of the gloved star’s greatest hits, the historic show and its sculptural designs blew the audience away.

FAll 2012

From golden demask ensembles to space-age pieces, fashion’s latest trends will have every fashionista satisfied. By Irene Ojo-Felix OMBRÉ magazine


OmbrÉ Shopping

Gilded, ornate, and plenty embellished, fall’s standout lady is of a different era altogether.

From top left: gold patterned dress, Rochas, $3457. Ring, Yves Saint Laurent, $595. Peplum brocade top, Elizabeth & James, $365. Cardigan, Versace, $1150. Metallic top, By Malene Birger, $395.

“Rokoco Dumont “ Goldplated Crystal earrings, Tom Binns, $240. Pencil skirt, Zac Posen, $1590. Embroidered mesh sandals, Nicholas Kirwood for Erdem, $1695.

Dress, Lanvin, $5250. Metallic short, Red Valentino, $320. Jeans, J Brand, $240.

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OmbrÉ Shopping

With a foreshadowing vision and a mix of technical precision, these looks will make us gorgeous in our future steps.

Coated tweed jacket, Alexander Wang, $1050. Peplum dress, Hakaan, $1840. Jacket, Haider Ackermann, $2865

Sequined shift dress, 3.1 Phillip Lim, $575.

PVC clutch, 3.1 Phillip Lim, $575. Leather ankle boots Proenza Schouler, $2255 Metallic jeans, Current/Elliott, $245.

Metallic leather clutch, Jil Sander, $720,

Neon coat Dress, Chalayan, $1465.

PVC pencil skirt, Tibi, $725.

Pumps Nicholas Kirkwood for Erdem, $1395.

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OmbrÉ Shopping

From Scarlet to Oxblood to Berry, this season’s hottest hue sees dramatic red in all forms.

Neoprene jacket, Proenza Schouler $2750

From left: Shearling suede jacket, Versus, $3125. Shift dress, J.Crew, $198. Dress, Hervé Léger, $1150.

Boots, Yves Saint Laurent, $995.

Silk shirt , Equipment, $315. 1973 leather bag, Gucci, $850. Embroidered velvet flats, Charlotte Olympia, $675.

Isabel Marant cable sweater - $655. Carven cotton skirt - $430. Leather gloves, Gucci, $495. Bag, Alexander Wang, $875.

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OmbrÉ Shopping

Turn to a darker look with leather, lace, velvet. and studs these unexpected combinations will have you back in black in no time.

Scarab earrings, Roberto Cavalli, $840.

necklace, Etro, $580.

From Left: Net sleeved dress, Azzaro, $2035. Silk print dress, Gucci, $3600. Velvet blazer. Cross ring, Roberto Cavalli, $4555. Calf hair studded pumps, Valentino, $1145

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Earrings, Tom Binns, $340.

From top: Velvet blazer, Faith Connexion, $560. Swarovski crystal wedges, Giuseppe Zanotti, $1975. Tuxedo gown, Karl, $1080. Printed silk dress,Vera Wang, $1195.

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Utility takes on a new formation with ultra-structured grays, khakis, browns and greens that will do anything but make a girl blend in.

Tweed blazer, Aubin & Wills, $505. Tweed skirt, Stella McCartney, $845.

tWILL COAT, Belstaff, $2495. bELT, Alexander mcqueen, $1545.

From TOp: Fox trimmed wool jacket, Altuzarra, $3640. Pants, McQ Alexander McQueen, $515. Boots, Jimmy Choo, $895. Dress, Jason Wu, $1950.

From Top: Shirt, stella mccartney, $550. “Paraty” Bag, Chloé, $2295. Camouflage canvas pouch, Karl, $110. “Marychal“ suede ankle boots, Christian Louboutin, $1095

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OmbrÉ Shopping

Feathers, lace, and peplums replace dainty with drama in this feminine staple.

From Left: Feather dress, J.Crew, $895. chiffon blouse, Chloé, $1875. Lamé gown, Oscar de la Renta, $4490.

Floral crystal necklace, Valentino, $845

From Top Left: Lace dress, Pucci, $2490. Sandals, Miu Miu, $890. Dress, Carven, $1100. Lace t-shirt, Raquel Allegra,$230. Lace pencil skirt, L’Agence, $455.

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From Left: Swarovski crystal ring, Etro, $575. Lace satin ankle boots, Charlotte Olympia, $1160

OmbrÉ Shopping

Gold is dripping with from the seams from head to toe this holiday season. Follow the yellow brick road with this gilded footwear.

“Lucinda” Ankle boots, Charlotte Olympia $995

Suede studded metallic pumps, Valentino, $795

Glittter pumps, Miu Miu, $675

leather brogues, Marni, $685 “Greta” lamé Suede SAndals, Jimmy Choo, $850 metallic brocade pumps, Stella McCartney, $830

Glitter leather sandals, Nicholas Kirkwood, $1050

“Corpus 100” leather chain pumps, Christian Louboutin, $1495

Wedge LEather SAndals, Giuseppe Zanotti, $850

metallic suede ankle boots, Pierre Hardy, $1595

“Mae” suede metal pumps, Yves Saint laurent, $1095 Suede Gladiator SAndals, Giuseppe Zanotti, $850

OMBRÉ magazine


OmbrÉ Shopping

Leave that shoulder bag behind and get these fun bags in your clutches. In a variety of shades, the only thing not invited to this party is boring! Sea Breeze satin clutch, Lanvin, $2350 Metallic leather pyramid clutch, Jil Sander, $500

Big Kiss leather clutch, Charlotte Olympia, $595

Acrylic clutch, Jimmy Choo, $695 “Chyc” leopard clutch, Yves Saint Laurent, $1195

suede clutch, Matthew Williamson, $1615

Glitter Clutch, Anya Hindmarch, $795

“Grace” lace satin clutch, Stella McCartney, $970

Jeremy elaphe and leather clutch, Jérôme Dreyfuss,$680

Rossum leather clutch, Anya Hindmarch, $550

“De Manta” Leather-trimmed Suede Clutch, Alexander McQueen, $780

“Carolina” lips satin clutch, Diane Von Furstenberg,$295

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OmbrÉ Fashion Scoop

Words / mariam ajibola

June Ambrose

shala monroque

In the fabulous words of great designers like Yves Saint Laurent, “fashions fade but style is eternal.” Fashion has for many years been seen as an expression of oneself, an extension of ones personality. There have always been icons that designers and fashion lovers have drawn inspiration from, from Josephine Baker to Grace Jones. Today, we see a wave of modern day fashion icons, leaving their mark and changing the game with polish and class. You may have seen June's work but check her credentials: stylist to stars such as Jay Z, Diddy and Missy Elliot, author of Effortless Style, as well as her starring in her very own VH1 show, Styled By June. When she's not dressing up A-List celebrities or crafting couture outfits, you will find this fabulous fashionista taking over social media one Instagram pic at a time. She's easily one of the hardest working women in fashion, but it's not her ability to adorn others that makes her so great, but her own sophisticated style that makes us admirers. Always current and expressing her creativity, June has moved to the designing side of fashion with a new shoe line debuting on QVC in the upcoming months. The mother of two, proves that there is no excuse to not use every outing as a photo-op. Stay glued to to see what June is up to next!

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This St Lucian born and New York based editor is the muse of Miuccia Prada and a modern day style icon in her own right. Her blog is a celebration of stylish women who are comfortable in their skin and stand strong in their essence. You can always count on Shala to give whatever she wears a well-tailored look, whether it's straight cut, fitted trousers or flowing, lady-like skirts. Shala defines herself for herself with her elegant and original style and has an unmatched ability to make a statement without losing her classy femininity. Even in interviews. It's easy to see that she is constantly thinking of things that enrich her life, culturally, intellectually and creatively. Now how's that for thinking outside the fashion box? Visit for a peek into Shala’s world!

OmbrÉ Fashion Scoop

There’s a new batch of fashion heavyweights running things and they’re turning the game on its head. OMBRÉ has made a list of the black women in the industry that are schooling us on our view of style. Julia sarr-jamois

shiona turini

joan smalls

At the tender age of 23, Julia SarrJamois went from fashion model to the fashion editor of Wonderland Magazine. Known for her huge hair and eccentric fashion mixture of denim, color and accessories, this London-based, street style darling has played guest editor to Topshop online, walked in an Alberta Ferretti’s show, and advertised for J Crew’s latest Fall campaign all this past year. Julia's comfortable style embodies London's nonchalant, laid-back fashion scene, but she always keeps it funky with her selection of bold shades with over sized sweaters. She's definitely the leader of the too cool for school club.

If anyone knows how to accessorize, it's Shiona Turini. A self-proclaimed “shoe-ahloic,” the former Teen Vogue accessories editor and current Fashion and Market editor at CR Fashion Book, knows how to carefully select details that give her outfits a little va va voom. Whether it's a sparkly necklace or a set of bangles for an arm-party, she knows how to set an outfit on fire! Not only that, but Shiona has made bright colors, eye catching prints and of course fierce footwear her main staples. It's no wonder there are admirers stalking her street style all over the net.

Puerto Rican model and MTV’s newest House Of Style co-host is currently the number one fashion model in the world according to Having appeared in campaigns for Gucci, Fendi, and Givenchy, Joan has been able to transform the industry one fierce runway stomp at a time. She’s been in editorials and covers galore for Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Elle mesmerizing audiences worldwide. If that's not enough, Victoria's Secret now has this angel showing off their winged lingerie in their annual show making men and women alike fantasize. This fashion chameleon knows how to keep it chic with her street style and then take risks on the red carpet. How's that for a rising fashion icon?

Visit to see more of Julia’s work behind-the-scenes.

See more of what Shiona has to say on Twitter at @shionat.

Follow behind–the-scene action at Joan’s Twitter page, @joansmalls.

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OmbrÉ Fashion Scoop

OMBRÉ takes a look at a superstar’s rise to global spokeswoman. Words / Selina Ditta


hat becomes a legend most?” It’s the question that has been adorning ad campaigns for luxury mink house Blackglama since its inception in 1968.

For the last three years, African American triple-threat beauty, Janet Jackson has been one of Blackglama’s “legendary” faces, joining a roster of icons including Judy Garland and Barbara Streisand. She is by no means the first person of color to represent Blackglama, which has had representation from Lena Horne, Diana Ross, Naomi Campbell and Ray Charles, but has led the most successful ad-campaign for the brand since its start. Blackglama is world-renowned for providing exclusive ranch-raised natural black mink and has always featured a celebrity in its black-andwhite print ads posing behind its famous slogan. Given that Jackson is one of the best-selling female artists of all time, selling over 100 million albums worldwide, her universal and multi-dimensional appeal was a nobrainer to the Blackglama company. Joe Morelli, CEO of Blackglama said, “Janet is an icon in the world of music and entertainment, a true legend. She embodies glamour, luxury and sophistication, everything that Blackglama stands for.” Jackson’s ad campaign for the brand was unveiled with a billboard in Manhattan’s Times Square, seen by hundreds of thousands of people. After her start with the brand in September 2010, not only was she was the first announced Blackglama “legend” to be featured for a consecutive year running, her own line

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“Janet is an icon in the world of music and entertainment, a true legend. She embodies glamour, luxury and sophistication, everything that Blackglama stands for.”

for Blackglama debuted in Fur Salons at select Bloomingdales and Saks Fifth Avenue stores. Jackson, who is often seen at the front rows during Fashion Week has said: “The art of fashion is one of my great passions. “I’ve worked for years to bring a collection into the world.” The Janet Jackson Blackglama collection was released in 2011 and consists of 15 pieces ranging from contemporary coats, vests, scarves, gloves and other accessories. When Jackson was born in 1966, other African American women were fighting to be seen as more than just their color or gender. She grew up idolizing Dorothy Dandridge who represented black glamour in the days of Marilyn Monroe and Grace Kelly. Dorothea Church Towels who was the first successful black fashion model in Paris at the time, similarly struggled with racism at home. Towels used her model discount to buy material from top designers like Dior, who she modeled for and created her own couture line to raise funds for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. Finding black spokespeople for luxury products back then were few and far between and some may argue that it still like that today. However, the evidence of African American women’s beauty strengthening couture brand recognition worldwide has been historically recognized. Kimberly D. Brown, Association of Black Women Historians Website member and Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of History at Howard University said, “During the first half of the 20th century, most African Americans suffered racist and socioeconomic ills that harmed with

even greater devastation during the Great Depression, World War II, and the Post War eras. Even then, several brands knew the mass appeal and selling potential of darker beauty and sought out Black models to bring luster to their products.” During the 1930s and 40s, Josephine Baker captivated audiences in Europe with her comedic theatrics and show stopping dance routines. Her beauty and star appeal, much like Jackson’s meant designers flocked to dress her. Baker was a friend and muse to French couture designers Balmain and Dior themselves. Today, Janet Jackson’s affiliation with Blackglama echoes Josephine Baker’s attachment to Dior. Both international multi-talented women, were sought to revitalize classic brands using celebrity to sell their desirability. Jackson’s Blackglama ads run in international issues of magazines such as Vogue and her inclusion in the long-running campaign, which has also featured Elizabeth Taylor, implies the line’s acknowledgement of a black woman as a timeless attraction and also suggests the same to its consumers, according to Kimberly D. Brown. Brown said: “Much like Dorothea Towel’s employment with Dior and Balmain proved that a Negro model can sell a $1,500 gown in Europe, Jackson’s endorsement deal with Blackglama says a Black girl from Gary, Indiana can sell a $10,000 mink anywhere. In a universe where beauty culture and race ideology is still informed by European inclinations, that’s a big deal.” Being one of very few persons of color representing a luxury brand in 2012, Jackson is seen as an iconic woman worldwide.

OMBRÉ magazine


OmbrÉ Fashion Scoop

Words / irene ojo-felix

How did you get started in the styling business?

What do you enjoy more - styling celebrities or doing fashion editorials?

I’ve been styling full-time for the past four years. It really started when my brother was a photographer and he came up the idea of having me style his models for his photo shoots. Through that I ended up interning with another popular photographer in Atlanta. My brother and I ended up branching out and starting our own business.

I like editorial styling more because that’s my own vision. When you’re styling celebrities it’s based on what they come in wanting or dreaming about, put simply it’s collaboration. They have to trust your vision but sometimes they prefer a certain color or they’re more comfortable with a certain cut. Everything I present is something I stand behind, I know it works, but sometimes it might not get picked. I like doing editorial shoots because I can freestyle and bring to light anything I was thinking about at the time.

So you started off on an entrepreneurial path working with your brother, did you ever intern prior to working with him?

Leah taylor For more information on Leah Taylor, visit

I actually went to school for fashion merchandising in Atlanta and interned at Phat Farm and Baby Phat helping with the visual merchandising team there.

How important was that internship in helping direct your path? That internship opened doors because it got me to learn a lot about trends and menswear. Being a woman, it’s natural for me to be more comfortable styling other women, but learning about menswear challenged me to learn about styling guys as well.

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So do you style by intuition or by a lot of planning, research, and forethought? It’s a lot of planning because first you want to see what looks you’re going for, or what picture you’re trying to create. You don’t just show up that day of the shoot with an idea. You’ve got to do a lot of research and think about their skin tone, what their hair is like, what’s currently in style, and the latest trends. is my BEST friend.

OmbrÉ Fashion Scoop

Renowed fashion stylist, Leah Taylor, has adorned the bodies of Hollywood’s hottest celebrities from Toni Braxton, Kelly Rowland to Lala Anthony. She sits with OMBRÉ to divulge her fashion secrets, the real truth about the styling business, and how she made it big!

Is it a lot of random references as well? Does art or music come into play? All of the above! I take influence from anything. It can be something as mundane as a commercial to something I see while on the move.

What are your thoughts about African Americans in the industry today? There’s not a lot of camaraderie among African Americans nowadays. I don’t like how we won’t stick together. However, I feel like there’s room for more growth. It’s very rare that you’ll find a black stylist doing the cover for a highbrow fashion magazine. If I walk up to a random American and say, “Do you know who Pat McGrath or June Ambrose is?” they might not know but if I say, “Do you know who Rachel Zoe is?” I think it’s a more positive response. I’m awaiting the day when we get to visual positions of power in the industry

Were there any style icons that you looked up to growing up? What about presently? There’s a lot! I love June Ambrose and Rachel Zoe of course. Lisa Hilton and

Tameka Raymond - they were two stylists that I was familiar with in my younger days when I was in high school. June is amazing. I remember in the 90s sneaking to watch music videos and seeing Missy Elliot in that huge, black plastic bag! Yeah, June was amazing. She influenced a lot of artists. She was instrumental in getting Jay-Z in button ups and business suits, which was huge when it happened.

Who are some of your favorite designers? I love Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, and Oscar de la Renta who makes the most beautiful gowns on this earth.

Do you think it’s more important to save up and invest in trends or more classic pieces? I think everybody should invest in a classic handbag and a great pair of shoes. Those pieces you can have forever, or pass it down a generation, or if something goes wrong, sell it. They’re pricey but if you invest in the right piece it’ll last a lifetime. Always be on the hunt

of end-of-season sales! If you’re just not there yet, invest in classic pieces and tailoring; one of my favorite stores is Zara. Trends are translated well there and they wont break the bank!

Do you have any advice for aspiring newcomers trying to break into the fashion business? Make sure you always try your best to present yourself in a professional manner. Always look the part. Also, do a lot of research on fashion history. Save your money. Try your best to have great credit. It’s something that I always like to stress for aspiring stylists because this is an expensive career. You have to spend money to dress these people sometimes. Once you get to a certain level then you don’t have to keep paying money anymore because you’ll have budgets. But in reality, you buy things from stores and if it gets messed up you have to keep it! You have to have some type of savings or credit card to be able to survive in this business.

OMBRÉ magazine


OmbrÉ Fashion Scoop

Words / irene ojo-felix

Tsemaye Binitie Heralded as “the minimalist master”, British designer Tsemaye Binitie has redefined modern elegance with his luxe creations. Born in Nigeria and raised in London, Binitie has been able to gain a broad aesthetic about fashion from his family’s travels around the world. After working under visionary houses like Stella McCartney and Burberry, Binitie was able to bring to life his own unique concept of crisp, luxury tailoring. His eponymous line, started in 2009, celebrates the female figure with tailored constructed separates, draped jersey column dresses, and sheer panels. Recently featured as one of Arise Magazine’s “African Icons”, Binitie is able to stand out from others for his fitted sportswear and evening designs that have been seen on stars like Kelly Osbourne and Alicia Keys. His construction techniques are deceivingly simple but amazingly intricate with laser cutting and sharp pleating that sways in the night air. His woman is a gritty, tomboy with an elegant, feminine flair and his latest Spring/Summer 2013 collection is sure to emphasize that vision to the max. Visit for a look at the latest Tsemaye Binitie’s collection.

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OmbrÉ Fashion Scoop

Both sides of the Atlantic are churning out beautiful, innovative designs and OMBRÉ is here to show you more!

amaka osakwe Amaka Osakwe has always been one that embraces challenges. The 26-year-old Nigerian designer of the Maki Oh line hand-dyes all her fabrics using a time-consuming technique called adire, which uses actual indigo leaves instead of industrial coloring. “I’ve always been interested in couture, so things like that excite me,” she explained from her studio in Lagos. The designer has a penchant for ladylike elegance with a dash of boudoir charm with sheer peek-a-boo panels, swaying fringe that hypnotizes with every step, and fabrics that cling to curves. Though she only launched her label in 2010, she already has celebrity fans like Solange Knowles and Leelee Sobieski in love with the playful movement of her dyed and tasseled frocks. With a Designer of the Year award from Arise Magazine already in her pocket and praise from fashion journalists and consumers alike, 2013 indisputably has much to look forward to from the Maki Oh brand. Visit for the latest Maki Oh collection.

OMBRÉ magazine


OmbrÉ Fashion Scoop

tracy reese On the heels of dressing Michelle Obama at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, Tracy Reese is having a great year. Toted on the backs of first ladies and celebrities alike, Reese is able to embody tranquil sophistication into each collection, filled with color and plenty of pizazz. Her womenswear designs are unabashedly girly, but made to fit the lifestyles of real women that get moving in the world. Her latest collection was edgier than usual with vivid colors, intricate beading, elegant cutouts, and flowing sunny dresses, all mixed up together. The result was a palette that seems right for a concrete warrior woman who likes to look pretty. Reese’s uncanny ability of combining contrasting color combos and figurehugging silhouettes are a surefire way to preserve her success and continued longevity in the business. Visit for the latest Tracy Reese collection.

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OmbrÉ Fashion Scoop

LaQuan Smith This young body-con designer has been co-signed by former Vogue editor-at-large, André Leon Talley, and has beaten the odds to gain the fashion limelight. After an early cancer diagnosis, rejection from fashion schools and unpaid internships at fashion magazines, Laquan Smith honed in his talents and began his namesake fashion line in 2008. Whether inspired by the colors and fluidity of water, or by the garden scenery during his many travels, Smith produces collections that are beautiful, modern and unquestionably feminine. Pure ambition has allowed him to design for some of the biggest names in music including Beyoncé, Rihanna, & Lady Gaga. With liberal use of neoprene and exaggerated shapes being the foundation of Smith’s aesthetic, he still creates his collection with women in mind. The sexy silhouettes and vibrant hues are perfect for the bold at heart. Visit for the latest Laquan Smith collection.

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OmbrÉ Fashion Scoop

Alex Folzi Identical twins, Fela and Fola Fagbure are the designers behind the twoyear-old bag line. Alex Folzi. Growing up in Benin, Nigeria and then later in Vancouver, Canada, their line of classic suitcases, briefcases, luggage, leather goods and accessories showcases their globetrotting aesthetic. “It’s our goal to make travelling a personal and unique experience, one suitcase at a time for people who have passion for fashion, and yes, we believe that it is really that simple,” said CEO/Co-Founder of Alex Folzi, Folajimi Alexander Fagbure. The collection features an invigorating series of colors with vegetable tanned leather and inside cotton lining for pattern dimensions and durability. For their F/W 2012 collection, the brand released an assortment of five unique color options that include Yellow, Green, Brown, Orange and Pink. Visit for the latest Alex Folzi collection.

Richard Braqo Foot fetishers rejoice we have another designer for our vice! The award winning Ghanaian designer, Richard Braqo, who has created custom creations for Rihanna, is now making his atypical designs for the masses. After studying at Parsons School of Design, and working with Helmut Lang and Cesare Paciotti, his premiere collection is set to wow us all. “The premiere collection is about juxtaposing the masculine details of a modern men’s brogue with the feminine silhouette of a sharp five-inch stiletto. A fusion of something as classic and timeless as a pointy pump with a touch of the unfamiliar, using elements such as ‘the ankle bangle’ and ‘the pearled spear’, as ornate details that refashion existing ideas about where accessories are placed.” Made in Italy out of quality leather, velvet, and suede, and full of vibrant color ways like eggplant, emerald, crimson, and sapphire, Braqo aims to please the female shoe aficionada that is serious about her footwear. Visit to see Richard Braqo’s latest collection.

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A smoky eye with cerulean colors and nude, matte lips made a bold butterfly effect at Prabal Gurung’s FW 2012 show. Makeup artist, Charlotte Tilbury crafted the look with M.A.C. Technakohl in Smoothblue, Cream Shadow in Venetian Tarnish, Pigment in Blue Brown, and Eye Shadow in Freshwater.

FAll 201 FAll2 2012

From a berry crushed lip to a bright kaleidoscope wink, a colorful spectrum of head turning hues takes center stage this season. By Kelsey Rhodes OMBRÉ magazine


OmbrÉ Beauty

Fall smoke We all know and love the infamous, never failing smoky eye. Rich, luscious shades of black blended to perfection, adding just the right amount of definition. But every once in a while we want something that adds a little kick to our look and sets us apart from the crowd. These shades will definitely add that spice with pops of color that turns this trend on its head!

1. MAC Beauty Marked—This blackened plum shade will give you the sultry look you’ve been waiting to dazzle in. 2. MAC Deep Truth—Navy was a surprising trend for Fall/Winter 2012/3 runway looks with designers like Prabal Gurung taking it on. Use this color for the perfect shade of blue with a frost finish. 3. L’Oreal Extra Intense Liquid Pencil Eyeliner—Yes! You read that correctly. It’s a liquid pencil and it glides on your lid smoother than butter. No tugging or pulling of your lid, just crisp, brilliant color. 4. MAC Goldmine—Makeup’s secret weapon! Gold eye shadow is perfect on all skin tones and adds a luxurious glow. Pop this color into the inner corners of your smoky eye, topped off with black liner and you’re good to go! 5. MAC Humid— Designers like Jason Wu used colors like this to perfect the “new smoke”. Use this olive frost to quickly stay ahead of the beauty pack. 6. MAC Coppering— Gilded is the way to go this fall and this shimmery shadow does wonders. Use this metallic penny shade to amplify your lids and make them stand out! 7. Lancôme Hypnôse Star Mascara – The “black diamond” effect of this mascara has a glossy gel-like finish that will have your lashes looking brilliantly stellar.

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OmbrÉ Beauty

sculpted beauty With colder weather, our skin naturally goes back to its normal shade. For many of us, that means we look washed out and our skin is in dire need of definition. These products will help put the warm glow back into your skin!

8. Makeup Forever HD Primer— It all starts from the base! Primer is an essential to a flawless beauty finish. Use this one to brighten and make sure your look is perfect in high definition. 9. MAC Matchmaster Foundation—Even and smooth out your canvas with this demi-matte foundation. Offering medium, buildable coverage, Matchmaster is good for any skin type and offers a wide variety of shades. You’ll get a great finish and for an added bonus it has SPF 15, so you’ll be protected no matter the temperature. 10. Nars Orgasm Blush—Yeah, it’s that good! A shimmery peach blush that will wow any cheek. It’s a universal shade that instantly adds a dewy glow to tired skin. 11. Iman Luxury Pressed Powder – Set your foundation with this lavish pressed powder that blends smoothly and provides full coverage. OMBRÉ magazine


OmbrÉ Beauty

Bordeaux Lips One of the most exciting trends in makeup this Fall is the Bordeaux lip. Deep, bold, and intense are just a few words to describe a dark, glamorous lip with a fresh face. No matter your skin tone, this trend will surely give you a sultry look for the fall. We’ve found the perfect products to get you started.

12. Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Color in Rose Blossom– Going dark has never been so easy with this vampy pink. This color is a great way to bring the trend to the daytime and with it’s creamy, conditioning formula your lips this Winter will be sure to turn heads! 13. NARS Damned Velvet Matte Lip Pencil— Take it to the max with this matte lip pencil in a raspberry shade! It’s smooth enough to be worn alone, as a lip stain, or as a primer for an even darker plum colored lipstick. 14. MAC Mattene Lipstick in Camden Chic– This brick red shade brings the dark glamour for a night out on the town. Put on this opaque, film noir color for a tantalizing take on this romantic trend!

Also try these luxurious brands for fall shades that will perfect your pout! 15. Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Parfait– This sheer shade will have you pretty in pink in no time! Go light or build up for a sensational splash of color. 16. YSL No. 16 Poupre Preview– Fuchsia’s never look so bold! It gets a glossy upgrade with this YSL stain that will have you in the spotlight at your holiday party!

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OmbrÉ Beauty

Ombré Nails Ombré is a craze that’s been sweeping the hair industry and now the trend has given nail art a makeover too. With the right choice of colors, your nails can have a gorgeous gradient that shows off your daring personality.

17. Illamasqua Viridian— One sweep of this rich, peacock green is all you need to feel exotic and daring. The metallic shine adds the right amount of contrast to skin to give it some “umph!” 18. Dior Vernis Purple Revolution— A staple color that every girl should have in her collection. This deep purple goes on smooth and shines to create an enchanting finish. 19. Sephora OPI Mr. Right Now— 50 shades of red, not grey, are a must have for Fall. Elongate both your hands and nails with this fire shade that will surely turn heads. 20. China Glaze Want My Bawdy– This blue chrome will have you glittering like a sapphire jewel this season. Wear it and make your digits your stand out accessory! 21. OPI Don’t Talk Bach to Me– A lime-yellow chartreuse shade that bursts on nails without the neon unconventionality. Try it when you’re tired of darker tones! 22. MAC Mean and Green– Surly purple or sour green? Don’t be fooled by the name this duo chrome has us delightfully gazing at our digits! OMBRÉ magazine


OmbrÉ Beauty

Skin Refresh The Fall and Winter can be extremely harsh on even the best skin. Those with oily skin struggle to keep the shine down, and those with dry skin struggle to stay moisturized. We’ve come up with a variety of products that can help to refresh and keep you looking beautiful through the toughest weather.

23. Philosophy Purity Facial Cleanser—This one step facial cleanser is infused with sage, chamomile, and carrot to help soothe your skin and give you a fresh, clean face. 24. Philosophy Hope in a Jar Facial Moisturizer—Just like the name says, this cream will do wonders on your skin. It’s 99.9% oil-free, and lightweight designed to hydrate and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and discoloration. 25. Ole Henrikson Sugar Glow Face Scrub—Finally, a sugar scrub that’s gentle enough to be used on your precious face! African red tea, pomegranate seeds, pumpkin, and sweet honey lend antioxidant protection and power while vitamin C, rose hips, and citrus essential oils impart bright radiance. 26. Murad Essential-C Toner—No other toner conditions and rejuvenates the skin like this! The fresh, tingly feeling will leave you pores clean, and your skin renewed. 27. Perricone Cold Plasma Eye Cream - It’s never too early to protect your eye from fine lines and wrinkles. This paraban-free formula leaves your eyes brighter and more radiant.

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OmbrÉ Beauty

Healthy Hair Winter can be unkind to your locks but you can beat out the cold now! Add these hair staples to your kit to take care of your luscious mane!

28. Carol’s Daughter Monoi Shampoo— Polynesians’ best-kept secret—Monoi Oil—really does help to protect, smooth, and shine hair. It’s infused with coconut and oats to help condition and protect hair from breakage. 29. Ojon Damage Reverse Deep Conditioner— Known as “nature’s golden elixir”, this now-legendary oil is rich in essential lipids similar to those in unprocessed hair. Use it to help restore vibrant health, strength, and shine to color treated or damaged hair. 30. L’Occitane Shea Butter Conditioner—Shea butter lovers get in here! This stuff is simply amazing. Pure Shea butter conditioning cream nourishes and restructures dry hair from roots to ends. Its rich formula regenerates and repairs dry ends and protects hair against harsh weather. 31. Moroccan Oil – For a healthy shiny glow for hair, use this to help seal in moisture during harsher temperatures without any greasy residue! OMBRÉ magazine


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OMBRÉ magazine


OmbrÉ Beauty

Words / Mariam ajibola Just as bold necklaces, sophisticated earrings or an elaborate bangle can be the finishing piece of the sartorial puzzle, so can your luscious mane. This Summer we saw some amazing hair colors and styles as well as the true versatility of black hair. As we wave goodbye to the warm summer months, switch up your style and make your hair your statement piece. No matter your length or texture there is definitely a “do” that suits you.

1. Chalking This Summer we embraced bright permanent hair color but this Fall we’re bringing it down a scale with chalking. This trend is simply the ombré style but with pastel colors applied on top. A great way to experiment with bright hues, it’s also great as a playful weekend look that you can wash out to maintain your weekday work appearance. To achieve this style, either you or your stylist can bleach the ends of your hair extensions or natural hair to the lightest blonde using products like Clairol Professional Over 40 Volume Developer on the sections you want to add color. Once hair is bleached, washed and blow-dried, dampen those sections and roll sidewalk chalk on the hair in the desired hue. The great thing about this look is that the color transfers easily and doesn’t permanently stain your hair.

2. Ombré This dip dye style looks like it’s here to stay but with a darker twist. To achieve this smoking hot look as seen on celebs like Keke Palmer, either you or your stylist can dip-dye and bleach your natural hair or extensions. The lighteners usually stop working from around 30 to 40 minutes depending on the starting shade of your hair. A

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great way to achieve the darker look is to leave it in for less than half the time to get a brown shade. If it is still too light, then use a brown hair dye to give a richer brown hue. Hairdyeing rookie? No worries, some hair extension companies are even coming out with the hair pre-dyed, making the process a whole lot easier for us novices. Bring on the glamour!

OmbrÉ Beauty

Sexy Fall hair is fun, edgy and oh so simple. Make your hair one of your key accessories this season with these go-to styles that are sure to keep you fly in colder temps. 3. Braids Braids have been a great practical, stylish look this past Summer and for Fall they aren’t going anywhere. This is a great protective style to keep your hair from drying out or to stop breakage caused by the cold air. Stylish women like Solange and the William Okpo design sisters have a preference for them on the long side. Be warned, tight braids can cause harsh pulling, breakage from the root, and in severe cases, alopecia. Take care of your natural hair underneath by making sure they aren’t too tight and keeping your braids fresh and moisturized to prevent breakage.

4. Big Curls A-listers from Kelly Rowland to Serena Williams have opted for big natural textured curls. A protective style that has grown increasingly popular you can create voluptuous, glossy curls using kinky curly hair extensions. For those who would rather use their natural hair to create a full curl, a twist-out or braid-out should do the trick. Achieve this popular style by sectioning the hair and braiding or twisting the hair from the crown down to the ends. Leave the braids or twists in the hair for a few hours or overnight

for better results and un-do them to reveal full curls without the use of heat tools for both straight or naturally curly hair types. Doing this braid-out or twist-out method on wet or freshly washed hair and moisturizing with an oil-based pomade or hair butter ensures soft, glossy hair and tighter curls. Be sure to keep your curls moisturized to keep them from looking dehydrated.

5. The Fishtail Braid The fishtail creates a versatile style that keeps your hair out of your face and ready for any occasion this Fall. This style might appear intimidating, but it is very easy to create. Gather your hair on one side of your head and roughly split into two even handfuls. Pull a small strand of hair from the bottom of one handful and bring it around to the top of other. Repeat this step using a strand from the other handful of hair, wrapping it around the opposite section. Keep repeating this step, alternating which hand you pick up the hair strand from each time, until there is no hair left in each hand. Tie the end of your braid with clear or black non-tug elastic.

OMBRÉ magazine


OmbrÉ Health

Words / Amanda Omachonu


adies, I am speaking directly to you. As an African American young woman and a fitness enthusiast, this is something I have observed for quite some time: We care more about our hair, than we do our health and it’s time to drop the excuses. The first time I went to a gym I was a high school freshman. One day over the holidays, I was getting dressed to go and I extended an invite to my two cousins who were in town visiting for Thanksgiving. I asked if they wanted to come work-out with me and they both exchanged looks, touched their hair and said in unison: “Girl, I can’t sweat this hair out.”

Years later, I am an up and coming fitness model, in the middle of studying for my personal training certification and yet it is still an issue that boggles my mind. I wear a nice weave, which I pay a couple hundred dollars per month to maintain, yet I sweat like an animal three hours a day, six days a week. I don’t feel it to be a major sacrifice, nor a burden. Obesity is as high as ever in the United States, but among African American women, we have the highest rate and are 70% more likely to be obese than white women. Why is our fear of sweating out a relaxer greater than our fear of dying from heart disease, diabetes, and being overweight and unhealthy? I understand living in this country is expensive, and I also understand that living healthy in this country is even more costly. However, there are so many ways to adjust to a fit lifestyle without breaking the bank. Part of the obesity issue in this country stems from the cost of food. The cheaper options are often unhealthy. Places like McDonalds for example, where you can get a complete meal, including your choice of beverage for under $5.00 is often more appealing than going to your local super market and purchasing a salad for $10.00. On the contrary though, if you pay close attention to prices, and shop smart, you will be surprised that the healthier options can be cheaper. For example, the average cost at a grocery store for a bundle of bananas is approximately $1.75. If you go to a gas station or a small market, you can get one banana for $.75. A regular size of potato chips at the same gas station cost $1.25. The unhealthier option costs $.50 more in this situation and it is not an unusual scenario.

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To eat healthy on a low budget is not impossible. For starters, cut out the fast foods and soda. Drink water, and juices with low sugar. Instead of frying everything, start baking and grilling. Stay away from drenching your meats in high sodium sauces. Foods with high sodium tend to make the body bloat and retain unnecessary water weight. In addition, high sodium increases your blood pressure and dehydrates the body. If exercising and consuming high sodium, your body is more prone to injury caused by cramps due to lack of hydration. So, you want to make sure to keep your sodium intake to a bare minimum and if you really would like some salt, try sea salt instead. It has lower sodium than regular table salt. Fruits and vegetables are key power foods to include in your diet. The money you would spend on soda, on white bread and white rice, on alcohol, on fast food 5 days a week, save that up, and fill up your kitchen with fruits, vegetables, wheat bread, and brown rice. If you like to drink coffee, chill out on the sugar and creamer. You don’t need to go to Wholefoods and spend a fortune to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Some of the foods which I eat which give me power and are healthy and inexpensive to buy are: almonds (unsalted), bananas, organic peanut

OmbrÉ Health

With growing obesity rates and rising healthcare costs, our health and fitness expert Amanda Omachonu gives her take on the real issue behind the gym—vanity.

fancy machines. All you need is to cut out the junk and move. A friend of mine just recently had a baby and has lost 15 lbs within the past two months. She can’t afford a trainer or a gym membership but together we put her on a program that works for her schedule and her income. She goes to the park three times a week and walks around for 25 minutes. When she is done, she does lunges up and down the sidewalk, ten each leg, three times. After that, she does 50 sit-ups, five times each. She exercises for a total of an hour and a half, three days a week, in her local neighborhood park. Using your body weight is such an effective strategy and you can obtain amazing results without any expensive equipment. The key is to start small and once your body begins to adjust, make your workouts more challenging. Instead of walking for 25 minutes, start running for 15 instead. I promise you, once you make the decision to get up and go you won’t regret it and you’ll come to find you have so much more energy! butter, oatmeal, avocado, almond milk (unsweetened) & green vegetables like spinach and broccoli. Use extra virgin olive oil rather than frying corn oil. Your body will thank you and begin to change without you having to spend tons of money on a trainer and a gym membership either. Being healthy is approximately 70% of what happens in your kitchen. Sundays in my house is what I call “prep day”, or when I prepare my meals for the week. These aren’t fancy meals, but ones that are conducive to my schedule. Find out what works for you. Set aside some time on Sunday, and make some healthy sandwiches or wraps on whole wheat bread, with some turkey or chicken breast for example. Accompany that with an apple, and that’s one meal. You end up saving a lot once you create a budget for groceries and stop spending daily. Once you get that down, you can go to your local park and walk around. If there is no park, just walk around the neighborhood. If you’re uncomfortable with the way you look or not happy with your current weight, then I can sympathize with you on not being able to go to a new gym and push yourself. The atmosphere can be intimidating. However, don’t be discouraged! You don’t need weights and you don’t need

Lastly, with regards to your hair, I understand that for a lot of African American women, it’s hard to keep paying for hair that requires extra maintenance and is more expensive in salons. But please no more excuses that stop you from exercising and getting healthy. Throw on a wrap and use it every time you workout. So many brands have made wraps for African American women, specifically to be worn during exercising, because they know as a group we have a fear of messing up our hair. When you take it out, don’t blow-dry the hair, just comb it and let it breathe. The next day, put on some leave-in conditioner, brush your hair nicely, and go on about your day. I know gym memberships are expensive, and no one is asking you to pay $150 dollars a month to be a part of an elite gym, like Equinox or LA fitness. However, as a community and culture we must let go of the explanations of hair and finance and realize there are ways around it. Push yourselves ladies! Staying alive and being healthy is what is important in this precious life we live. Let’s not lose sight of that! Keep it real and keep it fit!

OMBRÉ magazine


OmbrÉ Living

These holiday blockbuster picks will take you on astonishing adventures. Words / Irene Ojo-Felix Django Unchained Directed by Quentin Tarantino, this antebellum western tells the tale of Jamie Foxx as Django, a slave living in the Deep South after having been separated from his wife, Broomhilda, played by Kerry Washington. Freed by a bounty hunter, Dr. King Schultz, to help find the ruthless Brittle Brothers, Django’s sole mission is to rescue his wife from the demoralizing servitude she is trapped in. Tarantino has taken plenty of far-out there topics for his movies and made them undeniably, attentiongrabbing, so be sure to check out his latest!

Les Misérables The celebrated novel-turned-musical-turned-movie accounts for 19th century France, in a classic story of love, loss, redemption and revolution. With a starstudded ensemble led by Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried, and Anne Hathaway and directed by Academy-Award winning director, Tom Hooper, this film is a major event to be seen. Its unique vocal renditions were all recorded live using piano music played through ear pieces as a guide, with the orchestral accompaniment added in post-production. The result is a gripping performance that will have us all distantly dreaming this holiday season.

Middle of Nowhere Written and directed by Ava DuVernay, Middle of Nowhere sees Ruby played by newcomer Emayatzy Corinealdi, as a young bride working odd hours as a nurse to make ends meet while her husband Derek, played by Omari Hardwick, serves an eight-year sentence in a prison two hours away. Told by family all around the futility of her marriage, Ava has to make the hard decision to stay and commit or see the possibility of a whole, new future. This movie about disenchantment and uncertainty is not an exaggerated downward-spiral story but a tale of compromise and strengthened hope.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Set as the prequel to the infamous Lord of the Rings trilogy, we find a young Bilbo Baggins on an epic quest with dwarves, dragons, and wizards in Middle Earth. Both new and old faces come to life in this fantasy blockbuster, set once again in the exhilarating location of New Zealand. From the smallest beginnings come the greatest legends and this film addition to Tolkien’s narrative is sure to have you on the edge of your seat.

Gangster Squad It’s 1949 in Los Angeles, and ruthless Brooklyn-born mob king Mickey Cohen played by Sean Penn is reaping the ill-gotten gains from drugs, guns, prostitutes, and, if he has his way, every wire bet placed west of Chicago. He stands unchecked from the police and politicians who are under his spider-web of control. It’s enough to intimidate even the bravest street-hardened cop. Except, perhaps, for the small, secret crew of LAPD outsiders led by Josh Brolin and Ryan Gosling, who unite in their goal to tear Cohen’s world apart. With Jay-Z’s “Oh My God” featured on the official trailer, this movie will be gunning for the number one spot at box offices early 2013.

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OmbrÉ Living

Take a look at three of the best books to read while you’re cozying up this Winter. Words / Irene Ojo-Felix

This Is How You Lose Her

The Thing Around Your Neck

The Healing

by Junot Díaz

by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

by Jonathan Odell

Díaz turns his outstanding gift for gab to telling stories about the evocative, impossible command of love – obsessive love, illicit love, fading love, maternal love. According to his publisher, the stories “capture the heat of new passion, the recklessness with which we betray what we most treasure, and the torture we go through – ‘the begging, the crawling over glass, the crying’ – to try to mend what we’ve broken beyond repair.” Following the story of Yunior, the protagonist from Diaz’s Pulitzer-winning, Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, we find a man that just wants to find love- no matter the giver. With words that shape scenes in charmingly funny and inventive ways, Diaz is able to take a conventional topic and turn it into an extraordinary read.

With her first collection of short stories, Adichie’s spellbinding narrative drops into the lives of women far from home or the familiar. All are unconnected yet all are at critical points of self-actualization, affronting their destiny, either dissatisfied with their current paths or yearning for more. Adichie’s birthplace of Nigeria is the one main connection between the tales: the place from where her characters start out from, to seek schooling and wealth in faraway places, and it’s the home for which they yearn when they are away. Don’t be worried about being unfamiliar- Adichie’s intimate writings will confidently make it recognizable.

Lush in mood and ambiance, The Healing is a tender novel about the strong ties between three generations of female healers and their power to rebuild the body, the spirit, and the soul. This historical fiction takes place in Mississippi’s sordid past of bondage and servitude; and yet peculiar connections beyond those of slave and master are able to unexpectedly thrive. This mystical tale is able to transcend the limitations of our understood world and take you to somewhere both unfamiliar and recognizable. This is a story about the power of stories and Polly Shine says it best when she explains, “You got to remember where you come from to know where you stand. And you got to know where you stand before you know how to help.”

OMBRÉ magazine


OmbrÉ Music

Words / lewis mcIlwain

Emeli Sandé

Lianne La Havas

Teyana Taylor

Emeli Sandé first emerged onto the scene in 2009 when she was featured on UK rapper Chipmunk’s song, “Diamond Rings.” Since then, she has written songs for Susan Boyle, Leona Lewis, and Alicia Keys.

This 23-year-old singer/songwriter from London began singing at age seven after seeing Sister Act II. Growing up, Havas began listening to the likes of Mary J. Blige, Jill Scott, and Stevie Wonder. She attended Norbury Manor Business and Enterprise College for Girls where she studied art before pursuing music full-time. La Havas doesn’t intend on letting her artistic training go to waste as she plans to include her personal artwork on future album covers.

The first lady of Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music label, this fiery singer and rapper has begun to make a name for herself not just in music, but as a dancer and actress as well.

The fact that Sandé has been inspired by Nina Simone, Joni Mitchell and Lauryn Hill is evident in her soulful singing style, but she still has managed to carve out her own lane in the pop scene. Like her idols, Sandé turns her back on gimmicks and fanfare and instead focuses on her live band and strong backing vocals. Serious about her instrumentals, all of her songs blend perfectly with a single piano or an acoustic guitar. In the unlikely event that Sandé’s musical career doesn’t flourish, she has a serious backup plan. Sandé studied medicine at Glasgow University and is more than halfway finished with her degree giving herself plenty of options to fall back on. Presently, Sandé continues to stay busy as she kicks off her tour at the Olympic Theatre in Dublin, Ireland performing hits from her debut album, Our Version Of Events.

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Blending folk music and soul, La Havas passionately sings about life and love in a way that only her velvety voice can execute. Her debut album, Is Your Love Big Enough, features smooth vocals and honest lyrics that are instantly relatable. La Havas took three years to put the album together describing it as, “…a new kind of soul music.” A talented instrumentalist, this young beauty rarely can be seen performing without her guitar. La Havas will begin her much anticipated Is Your Love Big Enough tour soon where she will have the pleasure of performing at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire in London for the first time.

Hailing from Harlem, NY, this trendsetter brought to light the urban tomboy style, incorporating fitted hats and sneakers and mixing it with designer duds. Though this look has since caught on in mainstream fashion, Taylor initially had to fight off ridicule because of her fearless attire. She first got notoriety by signing with Pharrell Williams’ Star Trek label and cultured her grind under his direct tutelage. An enthused dancer, she was featured in Jay-Z’s “Blue Magic” video and her direct inspirations are the greats like Janet Jackson and Aaliyah. Rubbing shoulders with the leaders of Hip-Hop and R&B hasn’t made her arrogant however. “I have a point to prove, I’m not one of those artists who’s comfortable with just being popular,” Taylor told New York radio station, Power 105 The Breakfast Club this past September. Featured in G.O.O.D. Music’s compilation album, Cruel Summer, Taylor is hard at work creating her new solo project to be released in 2013.

OmbrÉ Music

Check out the latest projects from these ladies on OMBRÉ’s radar!

Azealia Banks

Elle Varner

Solange Knowles

For someone barely old enough to legally drink, this 21-year-old rapper has the attitude and confidence of a woman twice her age.

An LA native, Elle Varner is the new girl on the scene that has people all over the world begging for a refill. Her raspy voice and distinctive songwriting style is instantly recognizable and unique. “I’ve been blessed with the tremendous gift of music and it’s my responsibility to share it with the world,” Varner says.

An accomplished singer, DJ, model, actress, and mother, this Texan has her hands in everything. The eclectic diva has nothing to lose and her acknowledgment of that fact makes her push the boundaries of the music she wants to create. You never know what you may get with the youngest Knowles sister and this time around prepare to be blown away.

Banks grew up in Harlem at the beginning of its gentrification and was raised by her mother. Inspired by the surroundings in her hometown, Banks told BBC News, “Whenever there’s like, a trend for the urban youth, it always gets kind of amplified through Harlem.” Though classified as a rapper, this diva’s music is much more reminiscent of the late 90s house music and techno days. The EDM melodies she uses on tracks such as “212” and “1991” are club friendly with pulsating beats and raunchy lyrics. Banks has a fresh, kind of quirky style that doesn’t really fit into any category. Though the hip-hop community was at first reluctant to accept her style, high fashion has taken notice. Her unique fashion sense has earned her invitations to some of fashion’s biggest events such as Thierry Mugler, Chanel, and the Just Cavalli show where she was spotted front-row with long, purple hair during Milan Fashion Week. The self-proclaimed mermaid will be swimming through stores when her debut album hits shelves in 2013.

Her parents are songwriters who played everything from Motown to Burt Bacharach, shaping her unique style and writing ability. In 2009, Varner was discovered one night while working coat-check at a club called Santos. She was playing guitar and a passerby put her in touch with Jeff Robinson who is best known for managing Alicia Keys. His connections sent her to J-RCA Records and the rest is music history. Varner’s girl-next-door appeal is offset with her curvaceous body and sensual, raspy voice. She told Power 105.1 in New York that she is actually 20lbs lighter than when she was originally signed, but was adamant that her label supported her at any size. In an industry that likes to turn good girls bad, Varner stays grounded by the honesty of her family and close friends. Her debut album, Perfectly Imperfect, is soulful, captivating, honest, and everything in between!

Knowles dropped a single in early October entitled “Losing You” from her long-awaited follow-up album entitled, TRUE. The video shot in Cape Town, South Africa, has Knowles mixing visionary splendor with a hypnotic, new sound that changes your preconceived notions of the setting altogether. Her unique style and beauty choices (she shaved her head in early 2009 in favor of growing her hair out naturally) show just how daring and playful she can be. If “Losing You” is any indication of what we will be getting from her upcoming album, set to be released on November 27, we can definitely expect greatness.

OMBRÉ magazine


OmbrÉ Art

Mickalene Thomas has escalated into notoriety in the art world. Ombré goes in–depth with her story to learn more about this prominent artist. Words / Lewis McIlwain orn in 1971 in Camden, New Jersey, Mickalene Thomas hasn’t strayed far. An artist operating out of Brooklyn, New York, she has pushed the envelope with her bold colors and images of the female body. Best known for her sensual depictions of African American women, Thomas uses rhinestones and enamel to bring her elaborate pieces to life.


bringing her closer to her art. Thomas pushed the boundary and opened herself up to spectators when she decided to use her own body in her risqué exhibit. “What my work is about is, sort of presenting beauty and the black body reclaiming these spaces and saying that, ‘Once you put them out there, you’ll see me, so therefore I exist.’”

A true master of her craft, Thomas received her BFA in painting at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. Shortly after, she received her MFA at the Yale University School of Art in New Haven, CT. Thomas’ art can be found in some of the most prominent museums in the country such as The Museum of Modern Art in NY, and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. A participant in the 2012 Blacks in Black and White exhibit at the Brand New Gallery in Milan, Italy, Thomas’s work is making an indelible mark and turning heads.

A stickler for organization, the eloquent artist needs order to create her works of art. It’s interesting that everything down to the different types of paint that she creates have specific names, such as “couch corner red”. It attests to her ability to connect colors with things she interacts with on a daily basis. Her creative nature uses hues to tell a story – about the sitter, about our culture, about ourselves. In addition to painting, Thomas expresses her creativity through the medium of photography, which makes sense since her paintings have an accurate and detailed quality in depicting her subjects. Her works take into account pop culture and celebrities like Naomi Campbell and Solange Knowles have had masterpieces created for them.

Her first major museum show entitled, Mickalene Thomas: Origin of the Universe, was inspired by Gustave Courbet’s oil on canvas piece called, L’Origine du monde or The Origin of the World. The focus of both Courbet’s painting and Thomas’ exhibit was the female body, or more specifically the vagina. “To see yourself, and for others to see you is a form of validation,” Thomas told ARTINFO. By becoming the subject for one of the pieces in Origins of the Universe, Thomas began to better understand the positions that she put her own models in,

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Though her paintings are beautiful and have purpose, one has to wonder about the perception that the average person has about her pieces. Women, African American women especially, have a long history of being viewed as sexual objects. Though this is not the intent behind Thomas’ art, it begs the question, is having one more black

woman’s naked body on display really what the art world needs? As a society that has come so far in regards to how women are viewed, there is still much progress to make. Women still have to work twice as hard to prove that they bring more to the table than just the physical, black women especially. Where is the series of portraits depicting black women as business leaders and entrepreneurs? Instead of drawing inspiration from Courbet’s Origin of the Universe, where is a sculpture of Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice on Mount Rushmore? The naked female body has been done to death, and it may be time to start thinking about a change. If there was any artist that could give us that change, and bridge the gap between women’s sexuality and their strength and purpose that may be lacking in today’s art, it is Thomas. Already she has begun to experiment with mug shots of different women, shifting her focus in a new direction. It will be interesting to see where Thomas’ creativity drives her in the future when it comes to the subject matter of her works. In the meantime, Mickalene Thomas is sure to continue defining art her way, and create masterpieces which inspire and intrigue countless others along the road. For more on this artist, visit http://www.mickalenethomas. com.

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Words / ben evans dolls found across Sicily representing the medieval Arab conquistadors that with the Moors form just part of the intensely diverse range of cultural influences rooted in the island’s bloody past. Dolce & Gabbana’s exploration of the culturally sanitized effects of past conflict has in turn conscripted them square into their own moral battle.


hile the label “ethical” associates itself solely with an environmental social consciousness, periodically fashion throws up a very human moral predicament.

Exuberant Italian fashion duo, Domenico Dolce & Stefano Gabbana have become the latest subjects of scrutiny for the inclusion of a blackamoor motif in their Spring/ Summer 2013 womenswear presentation. A symbol with a complex and multi-rooted history, its appearance emblazoned on colorful shifts and trinket earrings invited heated debate and impassioned criticism from the international fashion press. As with much of their creative output, the inspiration came from Dolce & Gabbana’s beloved Sicily and its elaborate history of conquest and conflict with her Mediterranean neighbors. The inclusion of pupi dolls in some of the prints may have courted less controversy than the gaudy blackamoor baubles, yet the souvenir From top: An aunt jemima ceramic cookie jar; a painting of a moor

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There are many differences however between the representation of Arabs as Pupi and Moors as blackamoors, particularly in this specific context. Perhaps most powerful is the simple fact that here the blackamoors appear solely as a head. This unmistakable link to decapitation can be traced to the appearance of the blackamoor head in heraldic symbolism, and can still be found today. The island of Sardinia has as its standard a red cross marking four quadrants each containing a blackamoor head or maure, once blindfolded and now with a headband. The gruesome collection represents four Moorish emirs defeated by then sovereign the King of Aragon in the 11th Century and elsewhere the symbol largely represents the historical capture or killing of a Moorish enemy. This concept of the symbol as trophies of war to commercial possession as we race half a millennium through history to the slave trade, and in particular to the ‘fashion’ for west African slaves as decorative playthings for European nobility and later haute bourgeoisie of the 17th Century. While being a slave to fashion discriminates only against the willing, fashion itself has long had a questionable relationship with the treatment of one man’s most abhorrent historical endeavors. As recently as 2010 in a blog posted to the Vogue Italia website, was a trend report on large gold hoop earrings that were translated by the site into English as “slave” earrings. While the controversy should have regarded how the translation process exposed

OmbrÉ Editor’s Letter

OMBR é explores just how far gimmicks can go in a fashion collection, and how baffling it is for tastemakers to make so many tasteless slurs. the sterility of modern phrasing through etymology’s encrypting nature, the article lost any defense through less coded vocabulary later on. Arguing the jewelry as emancipating through fabulousness where once it had characterized the enslaved, to quote the writer, “if the name brings to the mind the decorative traditions of the women of color who were brought to the southern Unites [sic] States during the slave trade, the latest interpretation is pure freedom”. It appears that jewelry through its inherent nature as pure decoration and expensive frivolity betrays uglier attributes like glittering Trojan horses. While Cartier and their contemporaries may have eased off production of jewel-encrusted blackamoor brooches from their height of popularity in the 20s and 30s, Moretti trinkets remain a popular memento to be brought back from sojourns to Sicily and Venice. It is the black slave as trophy possession that most directly informs the decorative Moretti sculptures and trinkets from which Dolce & Gabbana took inspiration, which is perhaps more troubling than the glamorization of war that forms an earlier root. Studying the decorative permutations of the Moretti, a distinct gender divide can be identified with turbaned males holding swords, tabletops, and keeping guard while females almost uniformly appear in an exclusively decorative capacity. While not wanting to deal them a double blow, D&G’s own use of blackamoors for which ‘no further comment’ reveals scant explanation, in using the symbols in a decorative fashion, manage to let less progressive views on gender equality seep into the controversy. While a plea of ignorance in a trial by media often provides a legitimate loophole, for some that ignorance is read more damningly as arrogance.

This is perhaps understandable (if not justifiable), in those whose job it is not only to instruct a willing audience what they should be wearing in six months’ time, but also to charge a hefty premium for the privilege. Those looking to punish Signori Dolce and Gabbana may feel content with the news that charges of tax fraud are currently being leveled at the pair and their billion-euro fortune. As contemporary masters of baroque opulence, many will see the Sun King-style arrogance as revelatory of the pair as emperors detached from reality at the head of a grand empire. With Stefano Gabbana one of fashion’s most prolific tweeters, revealing aspects of his fabulous lifestyle to his hoards of followers on a dizzyingly regular basis, it is harder however to argue an arm’s length detachment from his subjects. It is the nature of jewelry and accessories as a vehicle of pseudosubtle personal expression that defines this particular controversy. Despite the emblazoning of the same symbol across the heart of the wearer plain and simply printed on a shift, it is the statement of an object dangling nonchalantly from an earlobe that has attracted the most analysis. As the cousins of the symbol adorn rice packets and until recently jam jars, it is indeed the fact that Dolce and Gabbana mistook a symbol for a mere decoration that has garnered them most criticism. In this latest round of exotic masquerade, it is most important then that vocal and public debate as to where ‘celebration’ of the exotic (that once allowed people as pets) ends, and where an industry allowing frivolity to mask casual bigotry begins. Ben Evans is a freelance journalist. From top Right: Italian sugar packets; A ceramic Moor vase; A Blackface cartoon; a look from Dolce & Gabbana’s SS13 collection; movie poster from spike lee’s “bamboozled

OMBRÉ magazine



Words / lindsay mckenzie


nne-Marie Slaughter’s article in the July issue of The Atlantic, “Why Women Still Can’t Have it All,” sparked a national debate on the stubborn impediments to women’s success in the 21st century. Some praised her for her honesty; some scolded her for what many deem “excuses for the younger generations.” Whatever the response, in short order, it became the most widely read article in the publication’s 150-year history. If you haven’t read the article, here’s the jist: Slaughter argues that until some important features of America’s economy and society change, women – even many talented and capable ones in government and private industry – will be forced to choose between successful careers and happy homes. And many of them, due to maternal instincts and pure burnout, choose home. The article rightfully attacks the individualist dogma that many pioneering women have held as gospel (“you can have it all if you try hard enough”), and airs the impossible choices their progeny are left to make in its wake. But it gives only a cursory treatment of a deeper

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issue, and in doing so excludes too many women from the conversation about what career and family choices are available, and to whom. Although Slaughter is careful to acknowledge that the “majority of American women face problems far greater than any discussed” in her article, it’s worth pausing here. Unmistakably, Slaughter is referring to black women. And while the article – read from the perspective of an African-American female – provokes a slew of reactions, clarifications, distinctions and the like, I’ll just address two basic but crucial “halftruths” that Slaughter confronts from the perspective of a privileged white female. Seen from the other side of the racial divide, it would take a generous assessment to rescue these propositions from the realm of farce.

It’s possible if you are just committed enough. For many blacks, male and female, rich, middle-class and dirt poor, this is hardly a myth even worth debunking. In a seminal sociological study on the American dream, sociologist Jennifer Hocschild found that even as blacks climbed the rungs of the middle class

and beyond, they enjoyed the fruits of their labor less. Why? Because they became increasingly convinced of the sham of meritocracy; in other words, they recognized how little their success had to do with their abilities. Slaughter’s article takes issue with an oft-cited 2011 commencement speech given by Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg, which lamented the thin ranks of women in top offices and implied that conscious decisions could explain the disparity: “Women are not making it to the top. A hundred and ninety heads of state; nine are women. Of all the people in parliament in the world, 13 percent are women. In the corporate sector, [the share of] women at the top—Clevel jobs, board seats—tops out at 15, 16 percent.” Slaughter rhetorically interrogates Sanderberg’s assumption: “Can ‘insufficient commitment’ even plausibly explain these numbers?” (The obvious answer is “no”). Now consider the same statistics for black women: somewhere between a dismal two and three percent, making them the least represented demographic on corporate boards and executive positions. Personal


A discussion on gender opens another can of worms when race also comes into play.

determination becomes suspect in the face of Slaughter’s data, but it’s a downright laughable explanation for the total absence of black women in the same roles. The article also points out the futility in measuring success against the shining examples of “big-government” women who – through supernatural intelligence and herculean strength – “have it all”: Hillary Clinton, Michelle Gavin, Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall. They’re all, not coincidentally, Rhodes Scholars. Tough acts to follow, indeed. But take a look at the black women who move among the circles of power in Washington: Condoleezza Rice and Susan Rice. Condi began to learn French, music, figure skating and ballet at the ripe-old age of three. In her adolescence she became a concert pianist, before enrolling at Ivy League Stanford University. She now speaks five languages, and her political fame is hardly worth explaining in great detail. Before she graduated high school, Susan Rice was a tri-athlete, student council president and valedictorian. She graduated from Stanford a Truman Scholar and (surprise surprise!) was also a Rhodes Scholar.

Simply put, if a (white and educated) woman must be “superman” to gain happiness at home and success at work, then the kryptonite of structural discrimination and racism means that black women must be, somehow, more. Invincible, godlike, completely and literally indefatigable. That’s all.

It’s possible if you marry the right person. Slaughter also uses Sandberg’s speech as a jumping-off point for another half-truth: that women can have it all if they marry the right person. “The most important career decision you’re going to make is whether or not you have a life partner and who that partner is.” While the virtues of independence is certainly a running joke in circles of the oppressed, the marriage predicament faced by black women has long left the living rooms and hair salons – the “crisis” they’re encountering is splattered across the pages of publications the world over. According to the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, by the age of thirty, nearly 81 percent of white women and 77 percent of Hispanics and Asians will marry,

but once again, black women find themselves behind: only 52 percent of them will wed by that age. If this has anything to do with finding eligible, college-educated black males to wed, then the problem is likely to only get worse: today, nearly half of the black women enrolled in college will graduate, while only around 36% of their male counterparts will leave with a degree. Revisiting our two shining Rices above, perhaps it’s no coincidence that Susan is married to a white man, and Condi isn’t married at all. Before fixing our attention on the fairness of women’s zero-sum choices between life and livelihood within a patriarchal system, we may find a more pressing dialogue in how we can ally our voices with women for whom – far before they step on the career ladder or even think about a family – those choices have been pushed into the world of fantasy. It’s undoubtedly a far more complex and elusive problem, but one we should nonetheless discuss, at least while we’re on the subject. Lindsay McKenzie is a freelance writer studying at Harvard Law School.

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We all like affordable clothes, but could the creation process be less than lovely? OMBRÉ goes behind the Bangladesh garment sector to uncover the truth. Words / Whitney McGuire

And it is precisely these millions of dollars that are at issue in a small portion of the globe, that possesses the potential to have a major impact on the global fashion industry. Bangladesh, a city born in 1971 from independence war from Pakistan, has approximately 150 million residents and is one of the most densely populated countries in the world.

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As a result, workers in factories located in an industrial area in Western Bangladesh have begun protesting over insufficient wages. They make as little as $50 a month — less than the cost of one of those cerulean knit sweaters they stitched for European stores. This impasse is a combustible combination of anger directed towards Chinese bosses and police retaliation to protect what has become the number one source of revenue and income for Bangladesh: cheap labor, foreign investment, and meager earnings eroded by double-digit inflation. This is essentially the making of a very serious impact on the fashion industry. According to Jim Yardley of the New York Times, “Bangladesh, once poor and irrelevant to the global economy, is now an export powerhouse, second only to China in global apparel exports, as factories churn out clothing for brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Gap, Calvin Klein and H&M.” Global retailers like Target and WalMart now operate sourcing offices in Dhaka, the capital. This unstable climate is of particular

concern to the United States, as well as the global fashion industry. Following a recent trip to Dhaka by Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, the U.S. ambassador to Bangladesh, Dan W. Mozena warned the factory owners, “that any perception of a rollback on labor rights could scare off multinational brands and damage the garment industry,” Yardley reports. Mozena emphasized the growing concern of foreign investors by stating that, “These developments could coalesce into a perfect storm that could threaten the Bangladesh brand in America.” This situation is a prime example of the conflicting interests between social policy and economic interests. The fashion industry, especially low cost retailers, are in constant search for the cheapest labor which straddles the thin line between ethics and slavery. What we are witnessing is a pushback in response to this practice. The forecast is not at all clear at this point regarding the future of these protests, but one effect we may see if retailers withdraw is higher costs for garments. Retailers who pride themselves on “affordable fashion” would be resistant to resorting to altering their current business practices, but they also don’t want to lose consumer support based on the support of inhumane manufacturing practices. So, a much more complex moral dilemma emerges. For more information on your favorite brands sustainablility ranking, visit To be a true fashionista is to be an informed fashionista. Whitney McGuire is a freelance journalist, blogger at, and law student at The Catholic University of America.

The Devil Wears Prada (20th Century Fox 2006)

Oh. Okay. I see. You think this has nothing to do with you. You go to your closet and you select... I don’t know... that lumpy blue sweater, for instance because you’re trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back. But what you don’t know is that that sweater is not just blue, it’s not turquoise. It’s not lapis. It’s actually cerulean. And...that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and it’s sort of comical how you think that you’ve made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you’re wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room from a pile of stuff.1

For a country that has undulated between military rule and democracy, significant strides have been made in women’s literacy and per capita income due to Bangladesh’s vibrant civil society. However, underneath such progressive results lies an institutional inequity: the garment sector is where about 5,000 garment factories wield significant financial influence in the country (it accounts for 80% of manufacturing exports and more than three million jobs), but the workers within these factories are seeing a decline in labor rights.



n The Devil Wears Prada, a newly hired assistant, played by Anne Hathaway, to an editor of a worldrenowned fashion magazine observes her boss, Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep) and other employees trying to decide between one of two blue belts to pair with a dress. The new assistant blithely snickers because she thinks the exchange is superfluous. Noticing the assistant’s amusement, the boss asks, “Something funny?” To which the assistant replies, “no, no, nothing. Y’know, it’s just that both those belts look exactly the same to me.” “Y’know, I’m still learning about all this stuff.” “This…stuff?” replies the boss. She continues:

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Words / dara bu

It goes without saying that apps like, Hootsuite, Instagram and Pinterest are the go-to apps for every well-heeled fashion publicist. However, here are five up-and-coming apps that are also enhancing the fashion week experience for both PR insiders and the fashion-obsessed. 1. Snapette Founded by Harvard grads, Snapette enables fashion-savvy women to discover and share in-store products by location. The app was conceptualized when co-founder, Jinhee Ahn Kim, set out to find musthave pieces in Notting Hill but was at a loss where to start. However, when she was ready for lunch, her iPhone enabled her to seamlessly discover places to eat on Yelp and Foodspotting. Fusing these concepts for fashion, Snapette was born. “The future of shopping and commerce is all about discovery rather than search. We are building Snapette from the ground up to lead this movement,” said co-founder Sarah Paiji. Snapette is the first mobile app that lets fashion-conscious users browse and snap photos (with Instagramlike filters) of products near their current location, allowing them to easily see or share what shoes, bags and accessories are currently in nearby stores. Users can also browse categories such as “Hot” and “New” or vote and comment on their favorite snaps – this essentially empowers users to act as the trend expert. With

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embedded details like brand, price and store, users can virtually windowshop and determine where to go for the affordable bold, cross-body bag trend or whether to splurge on the irresistible color-blocked Prada. Better yet, Snapette provides feeds from featured boutiques as well as fashion experts. The app also adds value to retailers, as the locationbased features drive foot traffic to physical stores. By clicking on the embedded map, users can find out exactly where any store is located. For Fashion Week, Snapette paired up with Rebecca Minkoff to bring one lucky user to Mercedes Benz Fashion Week to enjoy a first look at the Minkoff Fall 2012 collection and they are sure to involve their fans when Fashion Week returns. They continually pair up with fashion houses for giveaways, actress Emma Roberts recently became their resident fashion advisor and their interactive website keeps expanding.

2. Luster Similar to Snapette, intaking the fashion photo-sharing concept local, Luster emerged in the mobile app marketplace for shopaholics who want to discover, shop, and share local boutiques. It brings together the burgeoning community of local fashionistas who enjoy scouring their city for the trendiest fashion finds. The app enables users to geo-tag cool clothes they spot and share them. . Luster shows what’s trending in a specific fashion community and provides a map of a user’s proximity to the geo-tagged items. Globetrotter and co-founder Lina Chong designed the app specifically for fashion lovers around the world who are always on the go, to help them find out the local trends wherever they are in the world. In addition to providing a gallery within the app of what to wear for

Fashion Week, Luster engaged users by asking them to snap a photo of the Fashion Week look they were lusting over for a chance to win $1,000 worth of the items in the shot.

3. Pose Also combining photo-sharing, geotagging and shopping online, Pose is poised to help users shop and inspire fellow users with recommendations. Pose provides continuously updated style feeds with popular items, the latest posted, and editorially selected feeds featuring “the finds of a handpicked group of exceedingly stylish shoppers”. To kick off Fashion Week, Pose hosted a brunch along with LA-based start-up Beachmint and the Poser community. The app was optimized to feed some of the best Fashion Week looks. Pose also attracts fashion influencers like model Coco Rocha,


In the world we live in, smart phones are an integrated part of our lives. OMBRÉ takes a look at 5 fashion apps for the iPhone and how they enhanced our lives during fashion week. 4. Fashion GPS

5. MADE Fashion Week

Beyond photo sharing, there are two major apps geared to fashion’s insiders created by Fashion GPS. Its digital tools and newest app, the invite-only Radar, is widely used by fashion PR powerhouses Paul Wilmot, HL Group, KCD, and LaForce and Stevens along with top-tier brands like Bismarck Phillips, Gucci, Dior and Lanvin.

Also created for industry insiders, the MADE Fashion Week app launched this season. MADE is a year-round, dynamic platform for connecting ascending talent in fashion, music, art and pop-culture with visionary brands to create new cultural platforms and communities. The app was specifically designed to be used in real-time at MADE’s shows at Milk Studios or via Livestream. Now in its sixth season, MADE Fashion Week continues to showcase outstanding design talent and harness the energy of New York’s creative communities.

Fashion GPS operates digital systems and two companion apps. The GPS Events and Samples systems act as a ”PR assistant” with preshow functions such as inventory management, building invitation lists, sending out eVites, managing RSVPS, assigning seats, creating virtual tickets for attendees, generating reports of who attended the event and keeping up with editors and buyers whereabouts. blogger Sara Zucker and the Zoe Report who utilized used Pose to showcase behind-the-scene looks along with daily Fashion Week looks. In fact, the DKNY PR Girl listed Pose as one of her top apps during the International Fashion Bloggers Conference held in New York City.

The Fashion GPS iPad app syncs with the GPS events component of the software, which allows insiders to handle check-in and essentially sync everything for the attendance report. However, this app is not downloaded through the app store but licensed through Fashion GPS directly.

We caught up with Alisa GouldSimon, Director of Marketing and Communications at Pose, to find out what trends she was spotting on Pose.

The consumer facing web and iPhone app is Radar by FGPS, which hosts a member only community and allows fashion editors, bloggers and attendees to have all their show information at their fingertips, including show times, calendar views, locations via an interactive map, seating assignments and personal codes that enable entrance into the show.

“Some of the most popular looks for fashion week have been layered ensembles with a touch of flair by way of fur, neon or metallic. We’ve seen lots of booties on the ground…and plenty of chic tailored jackets. Collars buttoned all the way up and accented with statement necklaces have also been a popular trend.” Alisa, however, said she opted for “a dash of prints, quite a few cut-outs and the Alexa Chung pony hair leopard booties for Madewell.”

This season, Fashion GPS attracted over 7000 downloads via iTunes on the eve of Fashion Week – evidence that the industry was ready for this next digital step. With Fashion Weeks continuing onto London, Milan and Paris, the FGPS Radar continues to multiply with an international presence.

Partnering with Sonic Notify, the app syncs with inaudible sound waves played during the show and automatically displays information about each look as models strut down the runway. Users can make notes, tweet images and curate a custom look-book that can be emailed in realtime, enabling designers to instantly extend the reach of their designs beyond the runway. The MADE app also includes show schedules, bios, and contact and sales information for each MADE Designer. Furthermore, viewers watching MADE shows over Livestream on can also enjoy the same benefits and features, since the Sonic Notify technology, which is triggered by soundless audio signals, will also send content of the app through the user’s home computer. Happy downloading! Dara Bu is a fashion publicist in New York City. Find her at and on Twitter @DaraBuPR

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Black stone earrings and faux-fur stole, H&M. Arty glass stone ring, YSL. Snake bracelet, vintage.

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Icier times don’t mean you have to dial down the “WOW” factor. Fall into these beauty looks for an unique take on Hollywood glamour. Photography Seye Isikalu Styling Irene Ojo-Felix

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Lion earrings, Topshop.

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Blue stoned Chandelier earrings, H&M. Snake bracelet, Accessorize.

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Gunmetal plated with crystal detail “Leeloo Eye” necklace, MR Dannijo.

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Round stone earrings, H&M. JeweledAccesCrystal Necklace, copper-toned necksorize. Crystal earrings, lace, Zara. H&M.

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Round stone earrings, H&M. Jeweled copper-toned necklace, Zara.

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Cheap Monday Used Jeans, Vintage Box Chain Necklace, Vintage Surplus Bullet Necklace, and Vintage Wide Link Bracelet, all Urban Outfitters. NY Yankee Fitted, New Era. “Biggie” Vintage T-Shirt and Nike Air Jordan III, Stylist’s Own

This latest 90’s resurgence is not for the faint at heart. Sometimes the freshest styles come from the oldest things. Photography Danny Baldwin Styling Irene Ojo-Felix

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ASOS AFRICA Mombasa Tunic and ASOS Boyfriend Jeans, ASOS. com. Vintage Re-Made Headband, Vintage Wide Link Necklace, Vintage Wide Link Bracelet and Vintage Chunky Gold Necklace all from Urban Outfitters. Nike Grey Flannel Dunk Sneakers, Stylist’s Own.

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ASOS Crop Top with Polo Neck, “Roxanne” jeans, 7 for all Mankind. Jeffrey Campbell Woven ankle boots, hoop earrings, snake bracelet and jaguar ring, Stylist’s own.

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Motel Studded Denim Bracelet, Glass necklace, House of Mimi. Jewel Earrings, H&M. Leather high-waisted skirt and Jeffrey Campbell Woven Ankle Boots, Stylist’s own.

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BDG Chambray Vintage Denim Shirt, Reclaimed High Waist Shorts in Bleach Wash With Studded Detail, Spiked headband, Topshop. Dr. Martens Patent 1460 Boots, Urban Outfitters. Insight Flannel and H&M Tusk Earrings, Stylist’s Own.

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Hair and Make Up Chloe Han Models Edith Uba at Strike and Racquel Smith at D1 Production Hannah Banks-Walker Special Thanks to Studio 2.13 Spiked bracelets, Topshop. Levi’s Leather Jacket, Zara TRF Flannel Shirt, Uniqlo Black Ink Denim, Vintage boots and scarf, all Stylist’s own. OMBRÉ magazine


Army Jumper Cockpit USA. Leather belt, The Limited. Gold Plated Necklace, Gemma Simone. Round frame sunglasses, Quay Eyewear.

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Utilitarian chic ta k es a whole new direction with leather aviator jac k ets , jum p suits , and eye- catching accessories Photography by Chris Knight Styling by Renessta Olds

Peaked hat , Cockpit USA. Fatigue suit, Timo Weilland Necklace & Cuff, Gemma Simone. Messenger Bag, Barque.

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Trapper Hat, Cockpit USA. Blouse, Krisa. Camouflage Suspenders, Cockpit USA. Leather Shorts, Lucca Couture.

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Aviator Jacket LINE. Pants, Krisa.

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Leather Vest, Matthew Mirano. Pants, Stylist’s Own. Aviator Sunglasses, Dita. Leather Gloves, Cockpit USA.

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Model Kiara Ridgell at One Hair and Make-Up Torrence Forde Styling Assistant ShiSeer James Special Thanks to 1717 Studios

Trench Coat, Timo Weiland. Dress, Maria Bianca Nero. Tights, DKNY. Gloves, Cockpit USA.

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Lace Dress, Madison Marcus, $285. Peplum corset, Amanda Uprichard, $130. Suede Stiletto pump, Sam Edelman, $100. Belt & Earrings, Stylist’s own.

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gET A LITTLE DAZZLE FOR YOUR END OF YOUR YEAR FESTIVITIES. Pump up the volume with these exhilarating styles.

Nailhead dress, Rebecca Taylor, $450. Jewelry, Stylist own.

Photography by Tim Coburn Styling by Will & Shani Lawry of Capital Image Styling

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Blazer, Velvet Heart, $120. Silk top, Diane von Furstenberg, $245. Pant, 7 For All Mankind, $259. Suede Pumps, Dolce Vita, $180. Necklace, Stylist’s own.

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Leather Jacket, Bod & Christensen, $390. Silk tank top, Amanda, $118 Beaded skirt, Gryphon, $365. Stiletto pumps, Sam Edelman, $100. Obi Belt, Eileen Fisher, $128. Earrings, Stylist’s own

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Beaded Necklace, Nakamol, $148. Leather dress, Single, $390. Ponyhair Spectator Pumps, Sam Edelman, $130

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Sequin top, Alice & Olivia, $396. Dress, Ella Moss, $148. Wedge shoes, Dolce Vita, $189. Earrings, Stylist’s own

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Vegan leather jacket, Blank, $98. Peplum top, Amanda, $130. Brocade jeans, J Brand, $242. Wedge shoes, Dolce Vita, $189.

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Model Elyce Cole at MGMT Make- Up Gina Robinson Hair E & I DC Photography Assistant Paula Beltrán Special Thanks to Softbox Studios

Silk top, Robbi & Nikki, $175. Bandage skirt, Pleasure Doing Business, $210. Suede pumps, Dolce Vita, $180. Beaded Clutch handbag, Monya, $148. Jewelry, Stylist’s own.

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OmbrÊ would like to thank all the people who helped make this issue come to life. OMBRÉ magazine



Words / Irene Ojo-Felix

J o s e p h i n e B a k e r

Josephine Baker danced into European adoration in the 1920s with her sensual moves and daring costumes. Born in St. Louis, Missouri she trounced the expected poverty and racism that came with her station, and started dancing with a vaudeville troupe when she was in her teens. Travelling to New York during the Harlem Renaissance movement in the early 1920s, she performed at the Plantation Club with relative success. It wasn’t until she moved to Paris, and captured audiences’ attentions with her uninhibited dance routines and infamous “banana skirt” that her star truly took off. Pet cheetahs with diamond collars, stripteases in martini glasses, revealing costumes – all were part of her enchanting routines

Pet cheetahs with diamond collars, stripteases in martini glasses, revealing costumes – all were part of her enchanting routines that took her from the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées to the Follies-Bergère Theater.

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that took her from the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées to the FolliesBergère Theater. She was the first African American female to star in a major motion picture titled, Zouzou, and the highest paid entertainer in Europe of her time. Josephine served France during World War II by performing for the troops. Secretly, she was a sub-lieutenant in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force and an honorable correspondent for the French Resistance, which had her smuggling secret messages written on her music sheets. She was later awarded the Medal of the Resistance with Rosette and named a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor by the French government for her hard work and dedication. Josephine visited the US during the 50s & 60s with renewed energy to fight racism.

When New York’s popular Stork Club refused her service, she engaged a head-on media battle with prosegregation columnist Walter Winchell. An activist, she worked with the NAACP and spoke on the March on Washington side by side with Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. It was also during this time that she began adopting children from around the World, forming a family she referred to as “The Rainbow Tribe.” Josephine wanted her to prove that “children of different ethnicities and religions could still be brothers.” She performed four days before her death April 12,1975 from a cerebral hemorrhage, she became the first American woman buried in France with military honors. Josephine stands as a testament to the cultivation of talent, steadfast determination, and daring to live out your dreams.

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Ombré Magazine  

Ombré is a bi-annual fashion, beauty, and lifestyle magazine for women of color. Our mission is to influence black women through engaging wr...

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