AMY WINEHOUSE: OVER-RATED & UNDERRATED?
JOIN THE “TRIPLE L SOCIETY”
MUST HAVE TRENDS OF THE MOMENT
The Fabric Twinz
The Most UnderRated Fashion Icon is...YOU!
Letter From The
Under‐Rated Editor Dear Under-Rated Subscribers, Under-Rated Magazine highlights the under-rated influences of fashion, music and other facets of culture. This magazine caters to women of color in particular , we hope to attract women of all ages. Each issue highlights a specific talented designer and most importantly the everyday and average woman that is sure about her personal style and influence. The cover story is meant to highlight and praise the women who really understand what their personal style. It will also feature an interview with the founder of the up and coming fashion line "The Fabric Twinz." Under-Rated Magazine also highlights some musicians who are under-rated as well. This issue discusses the idea that the late, Amy Winehouse was both under and over-rated.
The cover story that explains what influences a woman's personal style as well as fearless women who dare to define their very own personal style. The magazine also features a segment called, "Those who died under-rated;" each issue will feature at least two culture influencers who were not able to reach the peak of their success. These individuals may be known however were not able to reach their peak and really shine in the way that they could have. The object of the magazine is to showcase the innovators and influencers that do not always get the respect and recognition that is deserved. Sincerely, Jennifer Lewis Â
INTRODUCING... Here Francis is pictured (on the left) with her former partner , Erica Moyler, (on the right) in 2008.
THE FABRIC TWINZ ou've heard of contemporary brands like Betsey Johnson, Marc Jacobs and KLS by Kimora Lee Simmons but, have you ever heard of the Fabric Twinz? Although the brand is beginning to generate buzz in the New York and New Jersey area; it is right on the cusp of gaining national and eventual
international acclaim; the concept of creating two designs, with similar designs using all of the same fabric is a very compelling one
he brand was founded in June of 2008 by two best friends and college students Tanise Francis and Erica Moyler. The two met while studying at Delaware State University, where Francis studied law. Due to creative differences the two decided to part ways in 2010 and Francis decided to continue the brand, keeping the brand name Fabric Twinz. We got the chance to catch up with Francis after helping out at her September 12 fashion show, which featured rapper Charli Baltimore, debuting her spring 2012 line, to discuss what it means to be a young, ambitious, up and coming designer. She seemed so happy and excited about her future during her sit down with us; "I just can't believe my dreams are finally coming true. That was my very first real fashion show and I could not be happier." We asked her a series of questions ranging from, how she feels about living out her dreams at such a young age to what she feels about her expartner. UR: It is so obvious that you're happy. But could you just describe what it means to you to be so young and able to live out your dreams. Francis: The feeling is indescribable, I feel so blessed, and I honestly never imagined that the line would get to this point so quickly.
(Francis is pictured (to the left) above with rapper Charli Baltimore at her Spring 2012 fashion show) She felt the desire to create her own brand and no longer wanted to design as a team; she said the only way she could truly express her creativity is by working on her own; no hard feelings I understand because I also enjoy having complete creative control of the Fabric Twinz.
UR: How do you plan to grow your company in the future? Francis: I plan to continue doing what I am doing because it seems to be working. UR: Originally you started the line with Eventually I want to create a less expenyour best friend but now you are going at sive line; I may even create a line for plus it alone. Are you still friend with Erica size women in the future. and what caused the split? Francis: We are still friends for the most part; we do not speak and are not as close as we use to be and I have to admit, that is very unfortunate to me.
UR: How did you come up with the Fabric Twinz concept? Francis: That's a good question; to be honest it just kind of happened. Erica and I became bffs really soon after meeting and we really appreciated each other's sense of style. I liked what she wore but liked to add my own twist to it and so, it really started with us taking the same garment and using it in a different way and eventually we came up with the concept of designing clothes with the same fabric and different styles. UR: I go to a fashion school that requires students to use CAD when designing, I have to ask to use the newest technology to design your clothes or do you do it the old fashioned way? Francis: I definitely do it the old fashioned way, my creativity comes out when I use a pencil and pad to come up with my designs. To be honest, I have no idea how to use the computer to design clothes but I probably should learn, it sounds fun. UR: What do you say to young people out there who have a dream but are afraid of failing? Francis: You have to go for it; itâ€™s the only way that you'll be happy in the end. My mom who is also my manager always told me that you're only a failure when you don't try. So if you have a dream go for it and even if you fail you can say you tried. You'll definitely regret never trying. UR: I know you're busy and you have
run but I have to thank you for taking the time to speak with me. Francis: You're welcome and thank you for helping out with my show. I hope to see you next season. UR: You definitely will. Thanks again.
AMY WINEHOUSE: OVER‐RATED & UNDER‐RATED?
any were shocked on July 27 to discover that troubled, retro-soul singer Amy Winehouse was dead at the age of 27. Recently, on October 26, British Coroner Suzanne Greenaway, concluded that Winehouse's death was the result of alcohol poisoning; she gave the verdict of "death by misadventure."
Many would agree that the singer was actually one of the most over-rated figures in modern day pop culture. When Winehouse released her now multi-platinum, critically-acclaimed album Back to Black in the United States in March of 2007, the mainstream press focused more on her apparent addiction to recreational drugs and alcohol as well as her well publicized marriage to ex-husband Blake
Fielder-Civil. Fielder -Civil has been serving a 32month sentence a since June for bungled daytime burglary and possession of an imitation firearm; he is admittedly the man responsible for introducing Winehouse to drugs.
ew can forget the photograph of Winehouse leaving a British studio with her then husband after a fight between the two; the singer was shown wearing bloodsoaked ballet flats and bruises along her neck, bandages on her arm and makeup smeared down her face; fans as well as various media outlets found this image extremely disturbing; this began to media's obsession with Winehouse's "troubled, addict persona." A persona that took a back seat to the singer's career and talent even though, most critics and fans did agree that the singer was talented and created extraordinary music.
have been more understanding. It seems that people forget that addiction is a disease and one should not be punished or ridiculed for being If they paid sick as Amy was in the me- attention to the singer’s lyrics dia. they would know that she was a women battling depression and the new presHere paramedics are sures of fame. She was sepictured removing verely insecure and overWinehouse’s body from her British flat. whelmed by the pain of multiple failed relationships which was revealed in songs like “Wake Up Alone ,” and “Love is a Losing Game.’. Her self-deprecating mentality was revealed in the lyrics of a song called “You Know I’m No Good;” in the song the singer sings “I cheated myself, like I knew I would.” Her fans will agree that she managed to cheat herself out of life that some predicted Many feel that the fact that that she would. It seems that many focused on her addicAmy the person and not the tion and troubled life inpersona was under-rated bestead of her music was the cause if people truly listened singer’s own fault. Many to her lyrics they would have went as far as to say that the a lot more compassion for singer should not be praised the singer and her struggles; for her talent because of her instead of continuing to disaddiction. In 2008 the singer respect and discredit her legwas criticized by soul singer acy. Natalie Cole, who also struggled with addiction, for “Being rewarded for sending a bad message;” after the singer won five Grammys for her album Back to Black. With the singer’s own past struggle with addiction, one would think that she would
understanding of who Winehouse truly was.
Perhaps, if cri cs would have paid less a en on to the singer’s per‐ sonal struggles and more on her music they would have been able to get a be er
Those Who DIED ...
AALIYAH: THE R&B PRINCESS Recipe For The Perfect Ladies Night Out Aaliyah Dana Haughton was killed in a plane crash on August 25, 2001, in the Bahamas ,she was only 22 years old. Her death came just shortly after the release of her critically acclaimed self-titled album Aaliyah. She was also just beginning her career as an actress as she appeared in Queen o f the Damned as well as her upcoming role in The Matrix Reloaded. She was just beginning to experience mainstream success.
Dorothy Dandridge: The Iconic Beauty Dorothy Dandridge was best known for her role as Carmen in Carmen Jones in 1954 for which she became the first African American actress to be nominated in the Best Actress category at the Academy Awards in 1955. Throughout her career she battled racism which hindered her success in Hollywood. She died on September 8, 1965 at the age of 42 from a accidental drug overdose.
Influential Fashion Icon isâ€Ś
Pictured here is Michelle Gholson, 21. She describes her personal style as casual, yet edgy . She is wearing denim shorts and a cotton spaghettistrapped tank purchased at Strawberrys. Her peep toe booties are from Forever 21.
omen today are bombarded by a barrage of media that tells them that they need their favorite celebrities and fashion publications to help them figure out their personal style. We often feel pressure to emulate the flawless women that we see in the media and adopt the trends that are predicted in some of our favorite fashion publications. It does not have to be this way; it seems that we forget that it is us who really influence fashion; the key element in the concept of “personal style,” is that it is “personal,” meaning that our styles are meant to vary from person to person based on our emotions and personalities. As I walked down Fifth Avenue I decided to ask some women what inspired their personal style.
have perfectly curled hair. I was actually a blond until I became obsessed with Keeping up with the Kardashians.”
Kailee’s deep brown, long tresses streamed down her back in carefully executed waves, Kardashian style. She also pointed out that the simple black, long sleeved mini-dress that she was wearing was courtesy of the Kardashian’s line of clothes with the popular contemporary retailer Bebe. When it comes to figuring out personal style and dressing herself it seems that Kailee spends quite a bit of time literally keeping up with the Kardashians. It seems that very many of the women Being that fashion is solely that I spoke to mentioned a celebrity based on emotion and mood I exthat inspired their personal style; pected that many women would tell some even mentioned a magazine me that they were feeling gloomy that they swore by to help influence because it was raining so they decid- their style. One woman that I met ed to dress down for the day. Or, named Beverly who is a 40 year old considering that fashion is also inmother of two, was dressed in blue jeggings and a long lose fitting tunic spired by personality and selfperception I thought that some wom- and ballet flats, actually felt the need en would mention their personality to explain herself for not following type and then explain how it affects the orders of a particular fashion their personal style. Instead, I was magazine. sadly mistaken; the first woman that I came across was Kailee, a twenty year old NYU student who told me that her personal style was inspired by her obsession with the Kardashi-
“I’m embarrassed to even be wearing jeggings ans. “It takes me forever still; I read and a day to get my an article in hair like this but I just love the way that Kim Harper’s Bazaar last year Khloe and Kourtney
that predicted that the trend was over.”
s I walked through some of the trendiest part of New York City, it is quite apparent that the women who clearly perceive themselves as “fashionistas,” have adopted the exact same style as all of the other women walking those exact same streets. Fashion is meant to allow one to express oneself however; this seems futile if everyone is expressing the same message. Women must be brave enough to genuinely be an individual and take it upon ourselves to express our personal style in our own right. Many designers make this nearly impossible being that they are primarily catering only to celebrities and women that are sample sized which statistics show that most of us are not. Fashion publications always seem to make the assumption that as women we are unsure of what we want and can’t seem to do anything right and therefore are constantly in need of advice; this is so untrue. As women we are completely aware of what we want to wear and of who we are. We happen to know more about ourselves than the fashion industry seems to give us credit for. It seems that those running the industry tend to forget that if regular women do not respond positively to trends than they will have to discontinue. It is the women of the world who get to decide what a trend becomes and what does not.
came across quite a few women who do just that first I talked to twenty one year old college student who also happens to be one of my closest friends; she is one of those people who is very sure about her personal style and emphasizes the fact that it is the use of color in her everyday wardrobe. Someone that I know who is very discrete about their personal style is one of my best friends Michelle featured on the cover. She says that her personal style could be described as casual and edgy.
“Sometimes you have to keep it simple in order to look great. It is not always necessary to be glamorous and over the top;” she said. “What I can tell you is that I dress for my body type and I do not allow myself to overly influenced by what I have seen in the media.” She does go on to
was that even though she admitted to getting inspiration from some magazines she did not say that it was celebrities and pop culture that were solely responsible for her personal style like some of the other women that I came across. I also asked three of my other friends to create an outfit that described their personal style (these outfits are depicted on a previous page). Again, my friends did not mention that their personal style was inspired by any celebrities or the images that they have seen in pop culture. When I asked Dominique (pictured on a previous page in a blue dress), why she felt that young people based their personal style on what they see in the media and she had a very interesting theory. She said, “I feel that this is solely based on age, younger girls are going to get their inspiration from the media because when you’re young you are still trying to figure out who you are; you sometimes feel the need to base your identity off of those who you identify with in the media.”
t is understandable that young girls u the media to try and figure out who they are however, I feel that these girls need to perhaps find inspiration elsewhere because too much inspiration from the media can be unhealthy and deceptive. All too often young women feel the pressure to live up to these images can lead a lot of girls down the wrong path. Women should dress in a way that admit that she does sometimes pull makes them feel the most comfortainspiration for her wardrobe from some of her favorite fashion publica- ble and their clothes should be a retions like Teen Vogue and W Maga- flection of the person that they are zine. For the photo shoot I asked her and who they are trying to be. to pick out an outfit that really described her personal style and she picked out the simplest outfit in the closet and was determined to make it look fabulous; so she picked a pair of simple denim shorts, a tank top and some booties.
hat I noticed when I asked her about her personal style
From left to right pictured on the previous page is Davina 22, Dominique 21 and Jasmine 21. Davina describes her style as
casual and all her own; she is wearing
a grey polyester tunic from H&M, black spandex jeggings from Charlotte Rousse and black, studded sandals from Rainbow. Dominique describes her style as
and chic and she is wearing a
royal blue long
sleeved, cotton knit dress from Bebe, silver flip flops from H&M and gold bangles from H&M. Jasmine describes her style as
conservative and cool and she is
wearing a denim, long sleeved buttoned up, boyfriend shirt with a braided brown leather belt, both from Wet Seal, leopard print leggings from American Apparel and brown, leather, wedged sandals.
In this picture spices up her look a bit by adding a red, long-sleeved, striped cropped top
THE EXAGGERATED HIP
CURVED HEELS MAXI-DRESS
onave’ Minerals is a pure, vegan and gluten‐ free makeup especially formulated for women of color. Unlike other color cosme cs the brand reveals all of its ingredients, to assure users that it is indeed natural and healthy; the brand includes the highest standard of minerals; therefore, unlike many oth‐ er mineral brands that target women of color, Monave’
will not leave the skin looking dry. The brand is perfect for women of color who want to use mineral makeup howev‐ er, find it diﬃcult to find a founda on that matches.
at the tender age of 17 he he Tri- launched his life ple L style brand. The casual chic colSociety, is a brand founded lection of men and womenswear by LIM's own Lawrence Nurse. which features The Trinidad na- very trendy tive moved to Brooklyn at the age of four and instantaneously fell in love with New York City. While in high school Nurse studied automotive and aeronautic design when he decided to begin styles at reasonable prices. designing clothes. Nurse found great enjoyment in design and in 2007
Recipe: 8 Mojitos & 4 Long Island Ice teas 1 Visit Oceana nightclub, (free VIP entry) 4 single girls 4 eligible single guys (hopefully) 1. Start oﬀ with the beer, then mix in all the rest of the ingre‐ dients together, with liberal helpings of music 2. Add a dash of snarky comments from friends and let sim‐ mer for 2‐3hours Side‐eﬀects include lack of sleep, generally leading to dozing through math’s lectures.
2 oz dark rum
2 oz passion fruit juice
1 oz orange juice
Juice from a half lime
1 tbsp. simple syrup
2 oz light rum
1 tbsp. grenadine
Orange slice and cherry garnish Preparation:
1.Squeeze juice from the half lime into a shaker over ice 2.Pour remaining ingredients into cocktail shaker 3.Shake well 4.Pour drink into a glass 5.Garnish with a cherry and orange slice 6.Enjoy your night out!
THE QUEEN OF NEO‐SOUL... Does it Again
ew Amerykah Part Two: Return of Ankh, was released on March 30, 2011 and is the fifth release of the Queen of Neo Soul, Erykah Badu. The album does not disappoint; Badu proves why she is the most well known neosoul artist around; regardless of the fact that the mainstream did not understand the creativity of Window Seat. The album can certainly be described
as nostalgic for all those who were raised on seventies funk and soul. Badu describes the album as the sister to the left side of her brain; it is the right side which explains the album’s emotional and flowy feel and the idea that it addresses feelings more so than New Amerykah Part One which was political and socially analytical.
“If you're having a bad day you MUST read Hillig’s Seeds for the Soul.”
his book combines the wisdom of eastern with philosophy with the principle of western psychology and allows one to partake on a simple path to a genuine spiritual awakening. The book is a easy read and is filled with Hillig’s own ideas and peculations about human fears, love and spirituality; these philosophies came to be over the past twenty five years of Hillig’s life. This book is perfect to read after a hard day or as a way to wind down at the end of everyday. It is perfect to keep by one’s bed side.
“One of the best bakeries in NYC.”
ig Booty Bread Co was founded in 2005 by Jose Rojas and in‐ spired by his roots in La n American culture and his love for baked goods. Inspired by his parents bakery called don Rickey's founded over thirty years ago in Elisabeth, New Jersey, Rojas was no stranger to the world of making the public fall in love with his fa‐ vorite baked goods. The cleverly named "Big Booty Bread," bakery and sandwich is surely meant to conjure up some controversy. Luckily though, the food is just as interes ng as the name. The bakery carries an array from La n inspired baked goods ranging from guava turnovers to dulce de leche cupcakes and pea‐ nut bu er cookies. The prices are very aﬀordable unlike many of its compe tors in Chelsea. I strongly recommend that one takes some me to visit to the cleverly named Big Booty Bread Bakery along 23rd Street between seventh and eighth Avenue.
HILARIOUS here are many words that can be used to describe this movie; it is very entertaining and also hilarious however, the first word that comes to mind is nostalgic. This movie seems to be a blast from the past; it is very reminiscent of the romantic comedies of the nineties that featured all black casts; it is in the same category as such 90s movies like Love Jones and Soul Food. The movie tells the tale of a bride and a groom from two completely different backgrounds who unite in love after only knowing each other for a very brief time. Of course their big day is plagued with unexpected family drama and unforeseen problems that the couple is made to face before taking the big step. At first the movie seems predictable however, there are some unex-
pected occurrences that will surely keep movie goers on the edge of their seats. Also, the comedic timing is perfect and very befitting of this kind of film. The movie features veteran actors like Loretta Devine and Angela Bassett as well as newcomers like Laz Alonso and Romeo Miler.