LEFAIR Magazine SUMMER 2016

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HEAT wave swimwear


Organic Beauty color YOUR WORLD




Adam X Atelier

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14 CONTRIBUTORS 16 EDITOR’S LETTER 68 GET THE LOOK Get Stoned 108 GET THE LOOK Tribe Vibe 121 INFLUENCER SPOTLIGHT Amy Marietta 136 THE FACE OF LEFAIR Tanya Mityushina 141 LYRICS WE LOVE Rüfüs Du Sol - Sundream You’ll need some SPF 50 while listening to this hot track. 154 RAD APPS Check out the top beauty, fitness, and fashion apps. 157 LINKS WE LOVE Let there be color! People with color blindness see color for the first time. 158 BEHIND THE SCENES Watch #BTS footage from our fashion stories.


ON THE COVER Photographer Tiziano Lugli Wardrobe Stylist Kate Peris Model Tiffany Keller Manokhi Suit, Murmur Cape, Brian Atwood Shoes and The Foundry Fine Jewelry by Janet Heller Earrings


94 COVER STORY — WHITE HOT #AllWhiteEverything! Define your summer wardrobe with these stunning selections. 18 HEAT WAVE Feel the heat! Suit up and make a splash! 38 FLOWER POWER It’s a summer of love for Giogio Armani, Gucci, Givenchy, Versace and more! 62 SUEDE ON THE FRINGE Fringe Fiend? Suede Brooks shows off summer's fashion finds. 70 ABOVE & BEYOND The finest luxury fashion is not far out of reach! 86 BE BOLD & BRILLIANT Color your world with statement accessories and makeup that infuse your wardrobe with a tribal flavor. 122 SUMMER STORM Shine this summer in sexy, white, and gold swimwear! 142 SUN KISSED It’s time to get tanned, tangy, and trendy. Joy Corrigan is having fun in the sun!

BEAUTY 54 ORGANIC BEAUTY Nourish your skin and do your body right by treating yourself to organic skin care products. 104 JUST ADD WATER Bring on bright summer makeup to compliment your tan.




ARTICLES + INTERVIEWS 34 Q&A SKULL CASHMERE’S ANDREW GIFFORD Andrew Gifford of 360Cashmere explains how the family business came to be. 50 AN INTERVIEW WITH DENA AMY KAPLAN Get to know South African-born, Australian-raised DJ, singer, and actress Dena Amy Kaplan. 58 AN INTERVIEW WITH SUEDE BROOKS Get a load of teen style sensation, Suede Brooks! Find out how she delved into fashion and how she became a Youtube star. 82 AYAHUASCA — A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH ONE WOMAN’S TRIP Read about the fascinating effects of Ayahuasca (eye-uh-WAH-skuh) tea, a hallucinogenic brew from the Amazon. 110 AN INTERVIEW WITH AMY MARIETTA Lifestyle blogger and fashion influencer, Amy strives to inspire people to live their lives to the fullest. 130 AN INTERVIEW WITH JIM JORDAN Meet Jim — celebrity fashion photographer and founder of White Cross. 148 WE BELONG TO EACH OTHER Mission 108’s Brittany Ross sheds light on the reality of human trafficking and what we can do to help.

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TRACY KAHN @tracykahn


RILEY YAHR @rileyyahr


MADELINE ROSENE @madelinerosene

LYNN MOORE Brand Developer @lighttakesthetree HAYLEY KIRKSEY Assistant Editor @haykirksey KACIE GILE Assistant Editor @kcgile ERIC MICHAEL ROY Photographer @ericmichaelroy JIM JORDAN Photographer @jimjordanphotography TRACY KAHN Photographer @tracykahn SAMUEL BLACK Photographer @samuel.black COURTNEY DAILEY Photographer @courtneydaileyphotography TIZIANO LUGLI Photographer @tizianolugi HUDSON TAYLOR Photographer @hudsonhawaii JINNA YANG Photographer @projectinspo BEN FINK SHAPIRO Photographer @benfinkshapiro


JASON LEE PARRY Photographer @jasonleeparry BEN SHANI Videographer @benshaniphotos PHILIP ALEXANDER Videographer @philipealxndr TRISTAN ERVIN Videographer @photo_rockstar ALI LEVINE Wardrobe Stylist @alilevinedesign

TAMMY YI Hair & Makeup Artist @tammyyi


NICOLE CHEW Hair & Makeup Artist @chewchewtrain

HOLLYWOOD MODEL MANAGEMENT @ hollywoodmodelmanagement

ALEXIS SWAIN Makeup Artist @lexiswain ANTHONY MERANTE Makeup Artist @ anthonymerante

L.A. MODELS @lamodels ELITE MODEL MANAGEMENT @elitemodella

KATE PERIS Wardrobe Stylist @kateperis

ASHLEY GOMILA Makeup Artist @themakeupexpert

ROBIAT BALOGUN Wardrobe Stylist @ririrabbit

KRISTEE LIU Makeup Artist @kristeeliu

TWO MANAGEMENT LA @twomanagement

MADELINE ROSENE Writer @madelinerosene

MARINA GRAVANI Makeup Artist @marinagravani

CELESTINE AGENCY @celestineagency

LAUREN VALENCIA Writer @poshsquatter

PATRICK TUMEY Makeup Artist @patricktumey

TACK ARTIST GROUP @tackartistgroup

KRISTIN HEITKOTTER Hair Artist @kikihaircutter

SARA DENMAN Hair Artist @saradenman

TRACEY MATTINGLY AGENCY @traceymattinglyllc

ROSANNE SABELLA SOLLECITO Manicurist @missrosanne

ART DEPARTMENT LA @artdeptagency

MICHAEL KANYON Hair Artist @ michaelkanyonhair MISHELLE PARRY Hair Artist @mishyparry SIENREE Hair Artist @sienree

WHITE CROSS MANAGEMENT @whitecrossmanagement

IMG MODELS @imgmodels


*Number of followers taken at date of publication

the S T A R S

SUEDE BROOKS Model @suedebrooks 591k

TIFFANY KELLER Model @tiffanykeller 35.4k

RACHEL COOK Model @rachelc00k 537k

OLIVIA BROWER Model @oliviabrower_ 135k

GARY LAWSON KAMERRA SIMPSON Model Model @christopher_gary_lawson @facesofkamerra 734 11.6k

DENA AMY KAPLAN DJ @denaamy 140k

RUAIRI LUKE Model @ruairi_luke 37.9k

ANASTASIYA ZAYIKA APRIL LOVE GEARY Model Model @ana.staciya @aprilovee 2,076 108k

ROCKY BARNES Model @rocky_barnes 801k

TAYLOR HILL Model @taylor_hill 3.8m


Model @jessleebuchanan 323k

Model @taylorgeeeeee 93.1k

JOE BRUZAS Model @joebruzas 62.4k

TANYA MITYUSHINA Model @mit_tanya 87.7k

AMY MARIETTA Influencer @amy_marietta 53.5k

ALEXANDRA MARK Model @madame_alexandra 2,515

JIM JORDAN Photographer @jimjordanphotography 23.4k

JOY CORRIGAN Model @joycorrigan 381k

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Photo by Tristan Ervin

Create. Connect. Inspire. What inspires you? What’s your passion? We hope you will find some fuel for your passion in the pages to follow. Whether it be photography, art, fashion, music, travel or beauty, we are always seeking to feed our passions. Passion is based on love, and it’s what drives your most true and authentic self.

Creative people who follow their heart and stay true to themselves and their passion usually create something amazing that inspires others. Our vision for LEFAIR is to provide a platform for talented artists to collaborate and create beautiful, inspiring content together. It’s our mission to share that content with you. We hope you will enjoy our fashion editorials and videos created by genius photographers, videographers and their teams. Fashion is a form of expression. We are all works of art and when you make yourself the best you can be, you will inspire others to be the best they can be. The articles in our summer issue will take you on an odyssey of exploration and exploitation. Experience the psychedelic discoveries revealed by Ayahuasca, A Tour Through One Woman’s Trip. Open your heart to a dark, but important story, We Belong to Each Other that explores the harsh reality of human trafficking and what we can do to help.

Our interviews will give you a glance at the glamorous lifestyles of influencers, models and photographers from the inside out. Suede Brooks, Tanya Mityushina, Jim Jordan, Dena Amy and Amy Marietta all share their insights and experiences with our multi-talented Fashion Editor and writer, Madeline Rosene. Digital and social media has a tremendous power to influence people all over the world. Our digital publication features live weblinks so you can simply click to connect instantly to someone or something that inspires you! Check out a contributor’s Instagram, follow an exciting star, shop for beauty and fashion brands or watch behind the scenes fashion videos all with a simple click. LEFAIR is a team effort, and I’m so grateful for the talented people behind the pages. I’m honored and thankful to work with our Art Director, Riley Yahr, NYC Fashion Editor, Madeline Rosene, and Brand Developer, Lynn Moore. These amazing ladies are doing what they love, and they do it so well. This is also true for our contributors and stars who helped bring this issue to fruition. When you turn through the pages of LEFAIR, know that artists fulfilling their passions created every element of beauty that you are taking in. I also want thank to my soulful husband for all of his patience, ideas, support and most of all, for being my best friend. And thanks to you, our readers. Because of you, we have a reason to be here. You are part of the circle of giving and sharing. We hope you have a great media, social and shopping experience. Feel free to share LEFAIR Magazine with your friends, family, and fellow artists. We can all inspire each other, and somehow that makes the world a better place. With Gratitude,

TRACY KAHN Editor in Chief & Creative Director

“Follow your pa s s i o n. St a y t r u e t o yo u r s e l f . Nev er follow s o m e o ne e l s e ’s p a t h u nl e s s you’re in the wo o ds a nd y o u s e e a p a t h. By all means, y o u s ho u l d f o l l o w t ha t . ” ELLEN DEGENERES


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Photographer Samuel Black @samuel.black Creative Director Tracy Kahn @tracykahn Wardrobe Stylist Kate Peris @kateperis Model Anastasiya Zayika @ana.staciya Model Agency Hollywood Model Management @hollywoodmodelmanagement Makeup Artist Alexis Swain @lexiswain with Celestine Agency @celestineagency Hair Artist Michael Kanyon @michaelkanyonhair with Celestine Agency @celestineagency Videographer Ben Shani @benshaniphotos Stylist Assistant Ava Mihaljevich @avamihaljevich Assistants David Madison @_auxilary_ and Andrea Elizabeth @andreaelizza Location Weese’s Piece’s @weesespiecesstudio

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Hidden Chic™ is a fresh addition to the villa rental market. Formed in 2010 by Carey More, Hidden Chic Villas™ represents a stunning selection of private properties for short-term rentals. The collections of properties have been hand picked by Carey More. Clients can select from chic villas in France, fabulous fincas in Ibiza, hip Hollywood homes and unique properties in other select destinations to fulfill their wedding, birthday, or vacation dreams. The company's mantra is luxury, reliability and of course chic!



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Photographer Ben Fink Shapiro @benfinkshapiro Model Rocky Barnes @rocky_barnes

360 Cashmere Luther Fingerless Gloves 360cashmere.com






Writer Madeline Rosene @madelinerosene

he Giffords might be the most fashionable family you know. Leslie and Bruce Gifford launched the contemporary knitwear brand, 360Cashmere, in 2009 after selling their successful SWEATER. COM business in 2006. Brother and sister, Andrew and Alexandra currently work for 360Cashmere. Their West Coast upbringing and New York lifestyle inspire their love and passion for creating casual, yet dramatic luxury knitwear. Together, they bring four generations of knowledge about global sourcing and fashion marketing to create an exciting brand that is unique in the marketplace. In a short time, the bi-costal family has built the hottest international brand in women's better contemporary knitwear by blending effortless beach chic with sexy sophistication. 360Cashmere is offered only at the finest retailers and major department stores in the United States, Europe, and Canada. In addition to 360Cashmere, July 2013 saw the launch of their latest, edgier collection, Skull Cashmere, driven by the creative vision of their New York based son, Andrew. Like the circle, made up of 360 degrees, everything comes back around to family and the creative energy that binds them together.

MR: How did you start working with your family? AG: My parents, Bruce and Leslie Gifford, have been in the apparel business for about 30 years. I had just graduated from college in the midst of the 2008/9 recession and I was leaving my third job in 6 months. I took my Dad out to dinner and asked him for a job and I was on a plane to New York the following week to help them launch 360Cashmere. I wore every hat throughout the first year- marketing, PR, advertising, sales. Back then we only had six people on the team.

MR: How has the company grown? AG: Two years ago, we brought on my sister, Alex. She had worked at Balenciaga and Rag & Bone. Now we each have our own portions of the business that we are involved in. I handle marketing, public relations and ecommerce and Alex handles sales. This job has given me the opportunity to grow my self-worth. I currently have seven people working for me, well, we all work together and we all love our jobs. My dad handles all of the manufacturing in Asia while my mom is the president of the company and overseas all of the design. It used to just be her designing and now the design team is comprised of six people.

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MR: How was Skull Cashmere created? AG: Skull Cashmere is my baby. It was my idea essentially. When I saw brands starting to take advantage of social media, I wanted to add something really iconic and memorable to our brand that would look great in any editorial. I thought of the skull motif. We printed a few on 360 sweaters and almost overnight we were known as “the skull sweater”. It was a great branding and merchandising move. All we had to do was change the label in the garment and overnight our brand was born. 360 is the muscle and Skull Cashmere is the brand. They truly complement each other.

MR: What is it like working with your family on such a successful clothing line? AG: We’ve got a pretty unique family and definitely a bizarre situation that just happens to work. Business is 24/7. Business revolves around the family and the family revolves around the business. 95% of the time it’s great. Our parents are colleagues but they’re also family, so the lines are a little blurred. I wouldn’t speak to my dad like I would my boss and I wouldn’t speak to my boss like I would my dad. But we’re all really close. They’re more than parents or colleagues, they’re friends. We have a very reciprocal relationship and way of sharing knowledge. Alex and I are able to show them lot of things people their age don’t have the exposure to, like social media marketing for instance. Working with us gives them an opportunity to be young and notice trends again. We give them a fresh pair of eyes from our generation. Conversely, they have loads of business experience that they have passed on to us. This kind of flow makes the company work. Honestly, it feels great to be creating something together and to work so efficiently doing so.

MR: Are skulls a trend or are they here to stay? AG: People say they’re a trend but skulls have been popular imagery in fashion forever. Think about how many brands design with a skull motif in mind- Ed Hardy, Affliction, Alexander McQueen. I mean, if we have to bend with the market, we’ll bend with the market and make them subtler or sexier. We used a marijuana motif for a while but everyone missed the skulls. People talk about them. Our brand is a brand based around that image and we’ve attached it to one of the finest luxury items, a cashmere sweater. I kind of think we have set the bar. It’s not going to go out of style. ■


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Photographer Jason Lee Parry @jasonleeparry Model Jessica Lee Buchanan @jessleebuchanan

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Photographer Eric Michael Roy @ericmichaelroy Model April Love Geary @aprilovee Model Agency IMG Models @imgmodels Makeup Artist Anthony Merante @anthonymerante with Celestine Agency @celestineagency Hair Artist Kristin Heitkotter @kikihaircutter with Tracey Mattingly Agency @traceymattinglyllc Assistant Braden Moran @bradenmoran Location Zappa Estate, Los Angeles

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an interview with



Writer Madeline Rosene @madelinerosene

outh African-born, Australian-raised DJ, singer, and actress Dena Amy Kaplan is comfortable in her own skin. Her grounded and balanced energy is infectious. When talking to Dena, it is hard to remember if you’ve been best friends your entire lives or if you’ve only just met. Whether she is on stage in front of thousands of people or sitting in the grass with me during the second week of Coachella, avoiding the noise and the crowds, Dena is always herself.


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MR: How did you start DJing? DK: I’ve always been passionate about music, growing up as a dancer, music was always my driving inspiration. When I was about 17, I bought myself a controller and started teaching myself the basics in my bedroom. I got pretty obsessed. I had a lot of amazing mentors and friends who gave me tips and helped me out. I started learning about producing and Ableton. I really just started practicing my ass off all the time. I love sharing music with the world. It makes me so happy.

MR: Why do you think there haven't been many female DJs in the past? Do you think this is changing? Why? DK: I think there have always been amazing female DJs around but they haven't necessarily been given the fair and equal credit they deserve. Nowadays people are aware that DJs like Nina Kraviz, Anna Lunoe and Alison Wonderland are not just beautiful faces but some of the most skilled DJs and producers around. I remember seeing both Anna and Alison perform live when I had just started DJing and I was blown away by their skills, energy and passion, I was really inspired by both of them.

MR: What inspires you? DK: Also, travel, festivals, Berlin, South Africa, movement and dance, film, my friends and family, and other artists. Some of my favorite current artists are David August, Piecey, Bob Moses, Justin Martin and Kaytranada.

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Photographer Pat Stevenson @patstevensonhobo


MR: How did you like collaborating with Rufus Du Sol? How did this collaboration come about? DK: I was very lucky to lay down a demo vocal for the boys one afternoon in their studio in Sydney and they ended up loving it and using it on the album. They are so good to me and incredibly supportive and inspiring. They are three of the hardest working and most talented people I've ever met and they aren't afraid to share their gifts and nurture and help other artists, like me.

MR: What would be your advice to someone who wanted to start DJing? DK: Just do it! Get out there, buy a controller or decks if you can afford them and then practice, practice, practice! Ask for help and learn as you go. Constantly work on curating the music you want to play and the sounds you want to hear. I was so messy and afraid at my first few gigs and I made so many mistakes, but every mistake taught me something and the hours of practice and music sourcing and searching are so worth it when you are out there doing what you love and feeling confident about it!

MR: Do you have any favorite fashion designers? What do you wear when you perform? DK: I love Backstage clothing, I wear a lot of their stuff. I also wear Shakuhachi when I'm singing and Adidas when I'm DJing. I also work with Kim from Capital L boutique. She is always on trend with the latest Australian brands, which I love. She's a genius. ■

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If you’re thinking of going green in the makeup department, you now have more choices with better packaging and more advanced formulas than ever before.

Model Olivia Brower @oliviabrower_ Model Agency No Ties Model Management @notiesmgmt Hair & Makeup Artist Tammy Yi @tammyyi 5 4 | L E FA I R MAG AZI NE


BEAUTY Writer Lauren Valencia @poshsquatter Photographer Hudson Taylor @hudsonhawaii Creative Director Serena Taylor @serenahawaii


hile organic food can be a polarizing topic, organic beauty has rather gracefully taken center stage on the cosmetics and skin care scene. Nobody is complaining about having more options when it comes to lipstick, moisturizers, and foundation, especially when those choices are safer for our bodies and easier on the environment. Since trends tend to be cyclical, perhaps the era of Botox and chemical peels has spurred the current wave of natural, plant-derived, nontoxic brands and options. A celeb-endorsed cause, organic beauty has found favor among a variety of consumers who want dependable products with positive results. If you’re thinking of going green in the makeup department, you now have more choices with better packaging and more advanced formulas than ever before. Organic skin care and cosmetics can be defined in many ways: natural, non-toxic, chemical-free or 100% USDA certified organic. While definitions may vary among brands, retailers and regions, one thing is certain – chemicals, synthetics, parabens and additives are typically not invited to the party. Organics are notable for what they don’t contain, and their labels are refreshingly clear of those 30-letter words found in more traditional beauty products. The goal of eliminating all these non-essentials is to reduce the risk of skin irritation, while increasing the positive results by delivering a more concentrated product. Businesses may be driven by the moral imperative of safety and health for families, as much as by the desire to produce the strongest competition. For most consumers, what ultimately influences spending is the belief that a product really works. Bonus points if the brand also uses sustainable

ingredients, environmentally-friendly packaging, fair trade practices and cruelty-free testing. Initially, eco-conscious celebrity moms helped get the word out about organic beauty. Indeed, some have even made a career out of it, or at least a career boost. Having your own natural beauty line in 2016 is like having a signature fragrance in the early aughts. Many celeb moms cite motherhood as the catalyst for choosing non-toxic health and beauty products. Natalie Portman started touting organic beauty back in 2011 as a vegetarian and new mom committed to creating the healthiest environment for her child. Taking green from granola to glam, Kourtney Kardashian appeared on the cover of Natural Health magazine in 2014, calling out her favorite organic creams and skin care lines. She proudly spearheaded the “no-no list” for Kardashian Beauty, prohibiting things like sulfates and parabens from the makeup line. Most recently, Jessica Alba made headlines on Forbes and beyond as Founder and CEO of The Honest Company, a lifestyle brand which includes Honest Beauty and has estimated worth of a billion dollars. With so many reasons to go green, the beauty industry has responded to consumer demands with skin care goods and cosmetics at every price point. If you need an all-natural lip stain while buying light bulbs at the drugstore, odds are you can have your pick. If you’re looking to splurge on a fancy organic moisturizer at an indie boutique, your only problem will likely be narrowing down your choices. Here we’ve selected a few of the greats in lip color, moisturizer and foundation.

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When you want to splurge As you may have guessed, the price on organics can go way up with luxury brands, smaller producers, and indie labels. Since lipstick is eventually eaten during wear, lips may be the most reasonable place to put our organic budget. It’s hard to pick just one brand, but with a reputation for high-quality cosmetics and ethical business practices, Tarte Cosmetics is a natural standout. Tarte Amazonian Butter Lipstick comes in eight shades with eco-friendly packaging for $17 each. On the moisturizer hunt, Bee Friendly All Natural Organic Night Cream stands out for its rave reviews and natural ingredients like raw honey and Vitamin E, plus its $69 price tag is often discounted. Bee Friendly is a unique brand because its products are handmade in Hawaii with raw honey, so they offer a very potent product that’s gentle on the skin. For a bit of coverage that’s also beneficial to skin, Zuii’s Certified Organic Flora Liquid Foundation offers medium coverage with soothing properties of calendula, aloe, and Vitamins A and C, and it comes in 24 shades! Zuii Organic is an Australian brand that uses Certified Organic flower petals in its products and adheres to strict sustainability guidelines. With so many high quality ingredients, the top shelf organic brands certainly deserve a shot, or at least honorable mentions on your wish list.

What’s good at the drugstore Large chain pharmacies like CVS and Rite-Aid have been stocking their shelves with natural skin care and cosmetics brands in response to consumer demand. We’ve all seen those Burt’s Bees displays! Famous for their chapstick, Burt’s Bees also has a cult favorite Lip Crayon that comes in six shades and retails for $9. Shea butter is one of the major moisturizers here, and the lip crayon has no added flavor or fragrance. Another drugstore staple is Avalon Organics, and their Intense Defense line uses antioxidants, especially Vitamin C, to battle free radicals and UV rays. Their full line of products includes a great Oil-Free Moisturizer that is lightweight and firming. Physicians Formula is an allnatural cosmetics brand that can be found alongside Revlon and Rimmel, but is cruelty-free, chemical-free, and hypoallergenic. They have lots of options when it comes to powders and foundations, and their Mineral


Wear Liquid Foundation offers buildable coverage and comes with an antimicrobial sponge. Check out these natural brands the next time you’re browsing the beauty section of your favorite pharmacy or lounging on the couch adding to your favorite virtual cart.

For your consideration - celeb brands The beauty industry is rolling out the red carpet for organic beauty brands with celeb founders. This natural beauty squad is made up of entrepreneurs, moms, and starlets with a cause, all of whom have famously perfect skin. For lipstick, Jessica Alba’s Honest Beauty has a best-selling Truly Kissable Lip Crayon in six sheer shades. It’s not too steep at $18 and has coconut oil for lip pampering. In addition to being a shop, Honest Beauty is more of a lifestyle brand with tips and videos on health and wellness, plus daily inspiration. In the same way, Gwyneth Paltrow recently introduced skin care to her lifestyle site, and it’s made with USDA certified organic ingredients. Although the reviews are just starting to pour in, one of the scene stealers in the goop by Juice Beauty line is the Enriching Face Oil. At $110, it is pricey even for beauty buffs, but its versatility might make it worth the dollar signs; it can be worn as a single moisturizer, a primer, or a pickme-up that can even be applied over makeup. After the BB Cream craze, there’s still a demand for lighter alternatives to foundation, especially for day time wear, and Kora Organics by Miranda Kerr has an awardwinning tinted moisturizer that fits the bill. For light coverage with major skin care benefits, Kora Tinted Day Cream hydrates and helps even skin tone. These new beauty queens are producing natural products with intense results. It’s clear why organics are getting so much applause. They are multi-taskers, giving consumers twice the benefit, like natural lipsticks that give a range of color, but also moisturize and treat lips well. The best organic companies also give back to the land and people who produce their ingredients with sustainable business practices, eco-friendly packaging and chemical-free work environments. It’s irresistible to get more for your money, and we can’t say no to skin care and cosmetics that both look good and feel good. ■


The beauty industry is rolling out the red carpet for organic beauty brands with celeb founders. This natural beauty squad is made up of entrepreneurs, moms, and starlets with a cause, all of whom have famously perfect skin.


Model Rachel Cook @rachelc00k Model Agency LA Models @lamodels L E FA I R MA G A Z I NE | 5 7

SUEDE an interview with



Writer Madeline Rosene @madelinerosene Photographer Tracy Kahn @tracykahn Makeup Artist Suede Brooks @suedebrooks

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lthough it was only around 14 degrees Fahrenheit on a blustery day in New York City, model and YouTube vlogger, Suede Brooks, brought a little bit of sunny California to our table at Jonathan Waxman’s Jams restaurant located at 1 Hotel Central Park. Industrial but comfortable- ivy grows up the outside of the restaurant, and inside the pipes and brick are exposed. The soup is hot and the newly turned 15-year-old Brooks looks cozy in her unzipped Zara brown leather jacket and striped turtleneck. She bought a one-way ticket to New York City this fashion week and doesn’t know exactly when she’ll return to the West Coast.


MR: What are you up to in New York City? SB: I’m doing a lot of photo shoots while I’m here. I didn’t do runway this year since they weren’t paying very well and it’s a little nerve racking for me honestly.

MR: What is your favorite thing to vlog about? SB: Fashion is my main thing although I still do makeup. I’ve been into fashion since I was eight. I was never really into sports. I was into dressing up and making YouTube videos. That was my sport. Everyone else was a cheerleader or played basketball. I have always wanted to create my clothing line. I’m hoping to call it “Suede.” Fashion is one of my main focuses in my life. When I go back to Los Angeles, I’ll be returning to NYC eventually to really get into design.

MR: Do you have any thoughts about going to college yet? SB: I just turned 15. I don’t know what I want to do yet. I just want to get my high school diploma. Who knows what I’ll do! I am saving 95% of my money. I know I won’t regret that when I’m 18. My parents are very smart.

MR: How does your family feel about all of your success vlogging and now modeling? SB: They definitely support it in any way they can. My brother is a graphic designer. He has been doing it his whole life. He got out of high school and went straight to his career. He didn’t go to college. My sister is a blogger. She and I both do the social media thing. She’s a vegan. Think of like a crazy vegan wild chick—that’s her. They never thought in a million years that I would have a following on social media and it would be a full time job. But my parents have always been very supportive of it. I don’t know what I would do if they didn’t support me.

vibe. My parents still live there and technically I do too, although I’m never there. My mom and dad own a salon in Vegas. They have owned the Diva Studio salon for about 23 years. My dad owns and manages while my mom does hair. She has been doing hair her whole life.

MR: How did you handle lighting and technical aspects of vlogging? SB: I started vlogging with my mom’s iPhone. I didn’t even have my own. After that, I upgraded to a digital camera and then I got a Canon t31 SLR. I filmed on that and I recently upgraded to a Canon 60 because of its auto focus video capabilities. In my house I have a little studio with all of my equipment now.

MR: When did you start to realize you could make a living doing this? SB: I started my YouTube channel and it started growing. I didn’t know you could make money doing this. I just did it for fun. About a year into it I realized I could have an income. I think I made $30 for some product endorsement. I didn’t know how much you could charge when you promote product. Tyler Oakley is one of the biggest YouTubers. He wrote a book. YouTubers are the new thing. I swear. After I realized this, I contacted a management company. One of my friends, Emily Mitchell, who I met through YouTube had a manager named Megan from STX Entertainment. I reached out to Megan to ask her to manage me. Two days later I flew out to LA and she signed me. She is like my second mom almost. I am still with her to this day. Vlogging and social media are important and people are continuing to learn more and more about it. Sometimes I hold social media panels and I participate in beauty and fashion groups. But now I’m moving on to modeling. I haven’t really been doing YouTube for the past two months because I’m focusing on modeling. I don’t want to be known as “that 14 year-old YouTuber who blew up” but I also don’t want to leave my followers behind. I care about them. People think I don’t see anything that they write to me but I read every single comment. In the future, I want to do a lot of behind the scenes footage. It seems like people are really interested in the BTS of modeling and photo shoots.

I’ve been into fashion since I was eight. I was never really into sports. I was into dressing up and making YouTube videos. That was my sport.

MR: Where did you grow up? SB: I grew up in Henderson, Nevada. Usually when people think of Nevada, they think of the desert. It’s not really like that though. It’s not a small town but it has a small town

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MR: Which modeling agency represents you? SB: No Ties Management. I was in Huntington Beach when I was 11. I had braces. I was just a mess. A woman came up to me and asked if I modeled. She gave me a card. Her name was Monica. It was sort of a weird interaction but we wound up meeting with her agency in Downtown San Diego. I didn’t know anything about the industry. We didn’t sign a contract until 8 months ago when I got a call from them again remarking on how my social media is blowing up and how they want to sign me right now. No Ties represents me worldwide. I signed with them because I didn’t want to worry about going to other agencies when I travel.

MR: How do you feel about product endorsements ethically? SB: I only promote products that I genuinely like and am passionate about. I turn down so many brands. I don’t want to sell out. There are a lot of YouTubers who do it for the money and fame and all that stuff. Not me. I did a deal with Kiel's a month ago because I’ve been using their products since I was 8. I did an ULTA campaign three months ago. I’ve worked with Tigi, the hair company. When they reached out to me, I got really excited because my mom has used their products on me my whole life. I did a whole hairstyles video and only used Tigi. I have also worked with Too Faced Cosmetics. I have so much Too Faced makeup. There is a line between making YouTube videos because you are passionate about it and making YouTube videos for the money.

MR: The price that companies and brands will pay for posting has gone up, yeah? SB: Yes, it used to be $100 bucks or $200 bucks. The amount of exposure the company gets on your Instagram is priceless. All of my followers are young girls who are interested in what I’m doing, what I’m wearing and what I’m eating and they think, “Oh if Suede’s doing it, I better do it.” And there are analytics that show this. In general, it’s nice doing modeling and social media because I can sometimes triple my rate when they see my Instagram following and I offer to post. When people ask to see my book, I tell them to check out my Instagram. In all my castings I always write my Instagram down so they can get to know me on a personal level.


MR: You said doing runway is nerve racking. Why is that? SB: Runway makes me a little nervous because of falling. Really, that’s the only thing. Runway is what I like least about modeling because you have to be there for seven hours and the show is only ten minutes long. There are people everywhere and it’s just so stressful.

MR: Why did you start your YouTube channel? SB: When I first started in middle school I was being severely bullied. Throughout 6th and 7th grade, girls were bullying me and it really hurt. The cops got involved and there was a restraining order. I got depressed. First I quit cheerleading and then I started online schooling. I was incredibly bored after that so I turned to YouTube because it made me happy. I would watch makeup tutorials and think, “maybe I can do this!” It was a hard time. The people who bullied me were family friends who lived across the street from my family and me. We went on family trips together. It started out with little things— the twin girls would constantly accuse me of copying them, copying their clothes mostly. There was a lot of social media bullying too. I didn’t know it at the time but a lot of the bullying that was happening online was actually the girls’ mother, my mom’s friend. The mom made hate accounts on social media about me. She and my mom were best friends and the whole time we thought it was the kids bullying me. It was a jealousy thing. The girls would text my friends and say things like, “Don’t hang out with Suede.” Eventually these girls made their own YouTube channel. Who’s copying whom now? It has seriously affected my family too. The bullies still live in the same house across the street. The mom tried to run me over with her car once. They constantly flip me off. Now we have a restraining order so they can’t come near our house. Honestly though, I’m glad they bullied me because I wouldn’t be here where I am today. I know a lot of girls who follow me get bullied. Everyone has their flaws and insecurities and people shouldn’t necessarily point them out. What do you get out of doing that? I do a lot of anti-bullying campaigns. I did a podcast recently in which I told my bullying story. It was an hour long. I just keep trying to have the most positive outlook at all times. ■

I turned to YouTube because it made me happy. I would watch makeup tutorials and think, ‘maybe I can do this!’

For more about Suede, find her on Youtube MSFTxGYPSY and Instagram @suedebrooks

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SUEDE on the

FRINGE Photographer Tracy Kahn @tracykahn Model Suede Brooks @suedebrooks Model Agency No Ties Management @notiesmgmt Makeup Artist Patrick Tumey @patricktumey with Celestine Agency @celestineagency Hair Artist Michael Kanyon @michaelkanyonhair with Celestine Agency @celestineagency Videographer Ben Shani @benshaniphotos

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Photographer Eric Michael Roy @ericmichaelroy Models Gary Lawson @christopher_gary_lawson and Kamerra Simpson @facesofkamerra with L.A. Models @lamodels and Joe Bruzas @joebruzas with Two Model Management @twomanagement Hair & Makeup Artist Nicole Chew @chewchewtrain with Art Department LA @artdeptagencyla Hair & Makeup Artist’s Assistant Jen Winning @jen.winning Videographer Philip Alexander @philipealxndr Production Assistant Andrew Park @g1park_photos Executive Assistant Kelly Arnold @kellyyforniaa Assistant Jason Willheim @jasonwillheim

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Ayahuasca — A Guided Tour Through One Woman’s Trip


Writer Lauren Valencia @poshsquatter

rom pop culture to the world of alternative medicine, ayahuasca has been a trending topic lately. Taken as a tea in a ritualistic ceremony, it has been used for centuries in Peru and is associated with intense visions and spiritual exploration. Whether seen on the Netflix series Chelsea Does or in the pages of Vice, stories about people’s experiences with ayahuasca have been capturing the public’s imagination and interest. While individual experiences may vary vastly, there are some common themes, intentions, and outcomes. Like most psychedelic drugs, it has an air of mystery because it can be so difficult to explain to someone who has never tried it. LEFAIR Magazine was fortunate to chat with Anna (pseudonym) and get a first-hand look at the fascinating and occasionally terrifying details of an ayahuasca experience. To understand ayahuasca, it helps to set aside what we may know or assume about other mind-altering drugs like acid/LSD, mushrooms/psilocybin, or molly/MDMA. First off, ayahuasca is not considered a recreational drug. Instead, it is taken as part of a spiritual journey where people are often seeking enlightenment on personal, physical, and emotional issues ranging from addiction to relationships. Consequently, there is no party atmosphere, but rather one of ceremony that may include a shaman, music, and singing. Instead of escapism, think self-reflection. First-timers may not know exactly what they’re getting into, but there’s an expectation of a deep personal experience that may include visions, memories, and other sensory hallucinations.




In episode four of Chelsea Does, Chelsea Handler and two married friends, Dan and Brooke, travel to Peru specifically to try ayahuasca in a private ceremony. Dan and Brooke had planned to do it years before, but postponed the trip due to pregnancy. Similarly, Anna was first invited to do ayahuasca years before she actually decided to go for it:

Since ayahuasca is a spiritual journey, people often set intentions of what they hope to explore or find answers to during and after the trip. In fact, Susan Sarandon discussed this with Marc Maron on episode 699 of the WTF Podcast, saying “I’ve done ayahuasca...that’s not a recreational drug...I tend to take it more seriously.” Marc asks if she goes into it with a goal in mind and she says yes, although she didn’t the first time. “The first time was a general seeking. But recently, I was looking for some answers and perspective, so I had that intention when I went in. I wanted to get perspective on a relationship that recently ended.”

I first heard about ayahuasca from my trainer. There’s a psychotropic chemical in it that he was very interested in. I wanted to do it and started researching it. I changed my mind over the course of a few years. I kept hearing about it from friends and they’d all say how amazing it was. Before the ceremony, the shaman tells them to eat less than usual and avoid sexual contact. Like Dan, Anna maintained a healthier diet for weeks before her first experience: I watched a couple documentaries and read some blogs. I was trying to eat super clean and I didn’t eat a lot the week before. I didn’t want to throw up and now I realize throwing up has absolutely nothing to do with what’s in your stomach. Most people experience some fear beforehand from not knowing exactly what’s going to happen. After arriving in Peru, Chelsea, Dan, and Brooke admit to some level on fear while sitting outside together. Not knowing what to anticipate can cause worry. In the beginning of the episode, Chelsea tells friends at dinner that she’s scared to do ayahuasca, but also intrigued. Anna had heard both great and scary stories of personal experiences and sought a straight answer that she just wasn’t getting: I showed up with a bunch of strangers. I was pretty freaked out because I didn’t know exactly what ayahuasca was. I was feeling pretty skeptical about it because I thought, How will I know? What happens? What’s the event? They kept describing it as the mother, the mother ayahuasca. Is a woman going to come to me? Nobody would tell me anything.

In the same way, Anna went in hoping to get some clarity on questions about relationships: Before we went into the ceremony, the shaman wanted us to write down our intentions for the night. Why were we there? I had written down three specific things, all having to do with some troubled relationships in my life. I wanted some insights, some perspective. Chelsea’s friend Brooke, now a mother, stated that she wanted to “conquer my fears of being a parent.” Conversely, Chelsea said, “my motivation is just to experience it.” Yet she ends up exploring her relationship with her sister and having insights on their dynamic. Aside from relationships, people may intend to resolve issues of addiction, stress, or trauma.

I had written down three specific things, all having to do with some troubled relationships in my life. I wanted some insights, some perspective.

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They feel extreme temperatures and emotions, often getting overwhelmed at some point. What follows is exhaustion, rest and then clarity.


THE CEREMONY The number of attendees and guides may vary, but the ceremony begins by drinking tea together. People take their tea one at a time. There may be several rounds of drinking the tea. I sat down and drank the tea. In this particular ceremony, we were given three opportunities to drink the tea. The first one, we all drank together. An hour and a half later, there was another opportunity. The shaman wanted me to tell him on a scale of 1 to 10 the intensity of the tea I wanted. I took a 6. An hour and a half went by and I wasn’t feeling shit. I got frustrated. The people around me

were throwing up and weeping. I felt super chill, but other than that, nothing. Like Anna, Chelsea Handler was less affected by the tea than the people around her were. She smiles and asks her two friends if they feel it. Dan says, “I want it to be over because it just doesn’t feel good.” Brooke cries and goes to the bathroom. She consults with the translator and when she returns to the room, she cuddles with Chelsea. To wrap up Chelsea’s story, she spends that first experience focused on comforting her friends. The next day, she decides to try a higher dosage, this time alone so she can concentrate. She has the more intense trip she wants filled with memories and visions.

...the work begins the day after the ceremony.

Anna also had to look inside to connect with the experience. She asks for help and is told to close her eyes. She goes back for a second and third round of tea, much to the surprise of the shaman as she is one of only a handful of people to take three rounds. Finally, fifteen minutes after the third round of tea, it kicked in: She came. She came and she took me down, down, down. I remember being very, very scared. I started to feel this very strong female presence. She basically took my wrist…It was very bright, like there was a light show all around me. Anna describes a “telepathic experience” filled with clear childhood memories and a skewed sense of time. People often experience stomach pain and may vomit. They feel extreme temperatures and emotions, often getting overwhelmed at some point. What follows is exhaustion, rest and then clarity.

REFLECTIONS In a culture that wants instant gratification, people take drugs and want them to work. But with ayahuasca, it’s less a question of the drug working than if a person is willing to do the work. Anna says “the work begins the day after the ceremony.” For days afterward, you’re thinking about it. There was a lot of reflection on my responsibility in these relationships in my life. It was like a mirror was

being held up to my face. You can deceive a little bit in therapy. With this, there’s no lying or hiding. You have all your baggage. She shows you how to drop it and move forward. Everything really comes down to a lack of self-love. I’m very aware now of how much I’m governed by my head and my ego while my heart is silent. Now I can let that go. How can I better serve the people in my life? Finding beauty even in troubled relationships and feeling an interconnectedness are common realizations. Participants in the MAPS study also reported “subjective feelings of connection with self, others, spirit and nature.” Susan Sarandon, who intended to find closure in a past relationship, came away with a call “to be more open-hearted.” After the “phantasmagoria” of her trip, Chelsea Handler reflected on her relationship with her sister, finding that she been a bully and needed to be less judgmental. Who or what is guiding people through memories and visions on ayahuasca: a plant or animal spirit, a higher power or the subconscious? There are certainly far more questions than answers. For Anna: I’m not a religious person...the one thing that ayahuasca showed me is that there is a higher power. Something good and peaceful and loving. You are surrounded by love. You can turn self-love outward. You are alone, and you’re OK and you’re enough. ■

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& brilliant Photographer & Creative Director Tracy Kahn @tracykahn Wardrobe Stylist Robiat Balogun @ririrabbit Model Alexandra Mark @madame_alexandra Model Agency L.A. Models @lamodels Makeup Artist Alexis Swain @lexiswain with Celestine Agency @celestineagency Hair Artist Sienree @sienree with Celestine Agency @celestineagency Assistants Matt Quinn @themattquinn & David Madison @__auxilary__


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an interview with


Writer Madeline Rosene @madelinerose


hat does it mean to influence someone? Amy Marietta, tri-coastal blogger and “influencer” is sitting outside of The Chateau at Lake La Quinta, a bright contemporary retreat. Seated at the estate’s restaurant that overlooks the lake, she has a flamingo-printed silk scarf in her hair and one around her neck. I have a sneaking suspicion that she does not wish to remove her bright blue metallic shades after

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a long night at Coachella so I don’t ask her to, even though I know from her Instagram account that her luminous hazel eyes are one of her most captivating qualities. I spot a tiny triangle tattoo on her wrist. She speaks more softly than I would have imagined from one with such a colorful life and wardrobe. Inspiring is her game. Amy Marietta is finding herself through travel and people. She is taking the world by storm, but the best part is that she wants to take you with her.


I want to inspire more people to support one another genuinely, travel to new places and explore more of the world, spread positive energy and follow their passions.


Location Koh Rong Samloem, Cambodia LE FA I R MA G A Z I NE | 1 1 1

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...my Southeast Asia trip taught me how to go with the flow because I would wake up in the morning and say, ‘I feel like going here today!’ and I’d look at flights and find something that worked.

Location Awart

MR: How and when did you start blogging? AM: I started blogging when I moved to New York 6 years ago. I was working in PR and seeing how it worked on both sides- editorial and advertising. So I started my website. It was only fashion in the beginning and after four months I got featured in “Cosmo’s Top Fifteen New York Fashion Bloggers” during fashion week in 2012. I actually didn’t even know it happened until later. My friend Jinna, fashion blogger gone travel blogger, was featured in it also. She had Google Alerts. I didn’t even know what Google Alerts were at the time. So and alert popped up and she said, “Oh my God, you were featured too!” I only had about 5-10k followers at the time but after that, I started working with more and more brands, and bigger brands like Dolce and Gabbana. Being featured on their social media platforms was what really increased my following. Lately, I’m focusing more on Instagram rather than my website. I’ve been hosting a lot of events for brands. I worked with Primark through Refinery 29 when they opened their Philadelphia location. I’ll make videos and show the brand’s new collection. Brands have realized that they want their advertising to be as organic as possible that’s why it’s so important from brands to find an influencer who will use his or her own voice. It’s a lot of creative freedom. I have also worked in marketing and social media so I know how to pitch to influencers. The reason I was going back and fourth between NY and Miami so much was because I was director of marketing and social media for a company while also blogging. So I would go to NY on the weekends. It was a lot of back and fourth. I ended up hating that job a lot so I stopped working there and now I’m only working with clients. I booked a one-way ticket to Bali after I decided I was done with this job. I knew it was all going to shit, and that it was going to end sometime. Then a couple days later,

this client I worked with multiple times said she wanted to campaign with me. Perfect. I said, “I can shoot your resort pieces while I’m traveling in Southeast Asia.” So I wound up shooting her collection in many different countries and making a video that I just finished editing. I shot some of them — self-portrait and then Jinna, who came with me helped me with the other ones. We use a remote on a Canon 7D and sometimes we use a GoPro.

MR: Where did you study? AM: I went to California State Fullerton and studied marketing. Then I went to FIT to study Fashion Merchandising Management. I graduated last year! Now I spend most of my time in New York and Miami. My family lives in LA but I’m not there as much.

MR: What does it mean to influence someone? What is the difference between influencing and inspiring? Are you an “influencer”? AM: Gahhh! It still sounds so weird to me but technically yes, I am an “influencer.” It feels like when people call you a “model.” I like to be more low-key and just be/do/create/inspire! Bloggers have evolved into influencers because now there are so many platforms where you can influence besides your blog such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, Tumblr, Vine, Lookbook etc. It’s ridiculous but amazing. I think to influence someone is the same as inspire. I can influence or inspire someone to try a certain look or travel to a certain destination. But I try to inspire people on a deeper level. I want to inspire more people to support one another genuinely, travel to new places and explore more of the world, spread positive energy and follow their passions. So if I am able to do that, it means a lot more to me than anything else. I try to set an example through the way I live my life.

ta Nusa Dua Luxury Villas, Bali

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Sulu Collection Kaftan sulucollection.com


My favorite thing about social media is networking because you can get so many amazing people together to work on a project. I would call Instagram a community.

Photographer Jinna Yang @projectinspo Location Four Seasons, Chiang Mai, Thailand 1 1 4 | L E FA I R MAGAZI NE


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Sulu Collection Kaftan & Mala sulucollection.com

Photographer Jinna Yang @projectinspo Location Four Seasons, Chiang Mai, Thailand 1 1 6 | L E FA I R MAGAZI NE

MR: What do you think the market is like for influencers now? What advice would you give someone who aspires to be an influencer? AM: I think now the market is very saturated. I met this girl last week who wanted to start. But I got into it five six years ago which was the best time to get into it. I think it will keep evolving and people will want to see more videos. People genuinely want to see other real people talking. I think social media is sustainable and it will be around forever and I think it’s where people get their inspiration. As far as fashion blogs go, you can start one but it takes awhile and you have to spend a certain amount of time on it, be super self-motivated and you have to be willing to reach out to brands. You also must have a unique voice. Like any journalist knows, you need an angle.

MR: What is your day like? AM: Wake up in the morning — emails, every social media platform. I also shower at least three times per day. I don’t know. It started happening after I moved to Miami because it’s so humid there and kind of necessary. It depends on what project I’m working on but I’ll probably shoot something, edit something and write something.

MR: How do you deal with stress? AM: I have really bad ADD. So I have been prescribed meds for that since I was in high school. My dad thinks it’s made up but I think it really helps me. It has helped me get over being stressed. Because when I do have a lot on my plate, this just helps me. It helps me block out my days and stay organized. My meds have helped me learn to manage stress better. I used to have panic attacks more when I was working for that last company and not doing my own thing. Anxiety and ADD are very intertwined. I don’t get anxiety anymore. When I worked there I had anxiety. I think my Southeast Asia trip taught me how to go with the flow because I would wake up in the morning and say, “I feel like going here today!” and I’d look at flights and find something that worked. I was just carrying one suitcase so it wasn’t a big deal. The only parts I had planned on the trip were the first two weeks. I wrote a whole piece about the benefits of unplanned travel. I think I realized also that traveling isn’t really that hard. It’s pretty easy. It’s just difficult to update my blog while I’m traveling. Everyone says, “I want to read about it!” and I want to tell everyone about it but I’m like, “I’m experiencing life right now! I’ll write about it when I get home.” It’s such a struggle. It’s a constant battle between writing and going out and experiencing. Now I’m at Coachella and I should be writing right now but I’m busy enjoying the moment or catching up on emails.

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MR: How do you travel so light when it’s your job to take pictures of clothing? AM: The only things I packed were her pieces Sulu Collection and a few other pieces I knew I could just throw out after ruining them hiking or whatever. I had to dry clean her pieces a few times.

MR: How do you find a dry cleaner in South East Asia? AM: I worked with Four Seasons. I was doing a campaign for them so they helped with dry cleaning.

MR: Tell me about how you started working with brands. AM: At firs,t I was just promoting the brands that I was doing PR for at my first internship. Then I went to another internship and worked with those brands. After that, I started getting hired at social media agencies and I started getting campaign requests from brands. When Dolce and Gabbana reached out to me, I was like, “is this real?” I only have sound alerts for my emails. That came in at like 5:00AM because they are in Italy and I was kind of delirious but it was real. For their store opening on 5th Avenue, they invited four bloggers in New York City. We attended the store opening in their outfits and they photographed us. We didn’t get to keep the clothes but we got a pair of sunglasses! I still have them. The outfits were definitely one-time wears. It was like a Katy Perry outfit, really out there. Eventually I got bored with writing only about fashion for so long so I dove into lifestyle. I started working with car brands and food. Right now I really like working with Instagram because it is quick and easy. Instagram is where I’m doing most of my collaborations

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with brands. I meet so many interesting people through Instagram. My favorite thing about social media is networking because you can get so many amazing people together to work on a project. I would call Instagram a community. A lot of times I’ll hear, “Oh you’re friends with so-and-so!” and then they will trust me to stay with them or meet up in another state or country. I am actually starting my own silk line. That’s another reason I went on this trip. I was inspired by living in Miami. I was packing and I started wearing scarves on my head like this because it’s easy and practical with the hot weather. I really wanted to pursue a line in which I could collaborate a lot. I am working with artists and I’m doing different collections. One collection is focused around elephants and I will be donating a certain percentage to the Elephant Nature Park, which is the only park in Thailand that saves elephants. It costs $28,000 to save one elephant.

MR: Does it ever bother you that you don’t get to use social media as more of just a fun social outlet instead of a workspace? AM: Sometimes. I have to do a lot of planning. For some of my events and campaigns I have to plan and schedule a certain number of posts that have to be approved. The good thing is that I also get to do a lot of personal projects and collaborations that I can post whenever. Lately, I’ve been trying to plan all of my posts so that my feed has a story. But my mood changes all the time so that’s been hard. Luckily, there is an outlet for other kinds of shenanigans. I can post whatever on Snapchat. I guess Snapchats can be embarrassing sometimes (i.e. drunk snap chatting.) But you know, YOLO!

I am working with artists and I’m doing different collections. One collection is focused around elephants and I will be donating a certain percentage to the Elephant Nature Park, which is the only park in Thailand that saves elephants.

Location Elephant Nature Park, Chiang Mai

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MR: What has been the biggest struggle for you in your career? AM: Finding my own voice and being myself was hard at first. From about 16-years old to 18-years old, I was living in LA doing a lot of modeling and acting. When you’re being told what to do instead of doing what you want to do, finding yourself and your voice is challenging. I was trying to find myself in LA and I looked at all these influencers for inspiration — a lot of my friends are photographers and influencers, but I think I finally found my own voice in New York City. Part of the problem was that I was always in a relationship. I had been involved in a relationship since I was 15-years old. When I became single I think I was finally doing the things that I wanted to do and after two years of living in New York, I had been single for almost two years. That’s when I realized how important it was to not have anyone influencing me because influencers cannot be influenced. This is a concept that really solidified for me while traveling alone. When you’re alone it’s easier to approach people and be approached. I’ve made so many new girlfriends. They’re from all over the world. The lone travelers always find the lone travelers. One day, I made friends with this 50-year old French woman from Paris. She was in Vietnam for work. She saw me taking photos and she asked me if she could follow me around for the rest of the day so we went to all of the markets together. We still chat and email. She sent me a picture of her cat the other day.

Do you think it’s a privilege to work for yourself ? How does it make you feel? AM: I think it is definitely a privilege to work for myself. I could never go back to working a nine to five job and I will work as hard as I have to in order to keep it that way. I've tried working in offices a few times but it just isn't for me - I outgrow companies really quickly and get bored. I like to be in control and I have big dreams so working for myself allows me to pursue those passions.

MR: Who are some of the artists who are working with you on your silk line? Does the silk line have a name yet? Can we follow it on Insta? The silk line is called AM but I'm making my website and social handles AM Club (@a.m.club) because it's kind of a

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collective or club of artists. Also everyone who purchases a piece becomes part of the "AM Club" because they are supporting the arts in a way. My artists get a percentage of profits as well as various organizations such as the Elephant Nature Park. Being able to donate money to organizations that make a positive impact in the world is exciting for me and I hope more brands continue to do this because it gives fashion so much more purpose and meaning. So far I have designs from Billy Chevannes (previously Ronald Slabbers) from the Netherlands, Bruna Sirqueira from Brazil and Michael Crampton from NYC. I'm continuously looking for new people to collaborate with, but I'm so excited to be able to create high quality pieces that can be worn various ways or framed as art in their homes.

MR: Tell me about your tat. AM: I got my triangle tattoo on my 23rd birthday in the West Village last year. It means a lot of things to me and I had wanted it for years. To me it symbolizes a few things. I was born on 3/3 at 3AM so 3 has been my number since day 1 — thanks mom. I also consider myself "tri-coastal" because I am constantly traveling between LA, NY and Miami and they happen to form a pretty sweet triangle on a map! Triangles also symbolize creativity, culmination and manifestation which all mean a lot to me because I like constant reminders to keep pushing to the top of my goals. ■

Being able to donate money to organizations that make a positive impact in the world is exciting for me and I hope more brands continue to do this because it gives fashion so much more purpose and meaning.

influencer SPOTLIGHT Sulu Collection travels throughout South East Asia with blogger and influencer Amy Marietta.

Video by Amy Marietta

follow Amy @amy_marietta

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storm Wardrobe Stylist Ali Levine @alilevinedesign Model Ruairi Luke @ruairi_luke Model Agency Hollywood Model Management @hollywoodmodelmanagement Makeup Artist Patrick Tumey @patricktumey Hair Artist Sara Denman @saradenman with Celestine Agency @celestineagency Assistants David Madison @__auxilary__, Matt Quinn @themattquinn and Tristan Ervin @photo_rockstar

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Revolve clothing Jacket revolve.com AMI Clubwear Swimwear amiclubwear.com

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Mahogany Blues Swimwear Swimwear mahoganybluesswimwear.com Mona Shroff Cuff monashroffjewellery.com

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Mahogany Blues Swimwear Swimwear mahoganybluesswimwear.com Made by Avant Garde Cuff markandestel.com Established Eyewear Sunglasses establishedstore.com

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Rouba G Jacket roubag.com Sonia Hou Jewelry Necklace soniahou.com

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Daydream Nation Shirt daydreamnation.la

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JIM an interview with

JORDAN Fashion, celebrity & lifestyle photographer

Writer Madeline Rosene @madelinerose Self Portrait by Jim Jordan @jimjordanphotography 1 3 0 | L E FA I R MAGAZI NE

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MR: How did you break into hair and makeup and then photography? JJ: I grew up in Southern California and as a kid I started finding models when I was 15. I was skateboarding and hitchhiking to all the schools in the valley. I would find girls 5’10” - 5’11” and help them see themselves the way I saw them. I’ve always been good at transforming things - I would cut anything that had hair and shape trees into bonsais. I like to shape things with my hands and turn them into works of art. I would do girls’ makeup and hair and when they would look in the mirror they would sometimes start crying in amazement. I would think, “Wow, this is something I should do.” My best friend was Greg Glassman. He was five years older than me and he had a camera. At that time, I had never known anyone else who owned a camera. I would convince him to take pictures of the models I would find. I started placing my models with Elite Models in Los Angeles. I brought them maybe ten or fifteen models who they signed contracts with. They told me I had a great eye and they wanted to know if I was getting paid for all of this work I was doing, which I was not. After I had signed multiple models with Elite, they offered to pay me a commission on all of the models I would find for them in the future. I was bringing Greg several models every day. There were models and their parents waiting outside his house to be photographed. After a while, he mentioned that I was giving him a full time job and that he did not want to be so busy helping me. He said, “I’m going to give you my camera.” I was petrified at the thought of the technical aspect that went into using the camera. I pleaded with him not to abandon me, and I remember that he said, “I’m giving you my camera. You don’t even have to hold it.” He said he would give me his tripod as well. He taught me how to load the film and set the camera on automatic. Suddenly, I didn’t have to wait for him to help me anymore. I went on a rampage, photographing and finding talent. The agents at Elite kept telling me that 1 3 2 | L E FA I R MAGAZI NE

my pictures were great and the hair and makeup in my photos were exceptional. They suggested that I should get a hair and makeup agent to represent me. I was a bit surprised, since I had never known a hair dresser or been in a salon. I can remember asking them, “What’s a hair and makeup agency?” Elite said they represent the biggest and best hair and makeup people that work with all of the celebrities, magazines, and fashion photographers in the industry. I took their advice and went to meet the agents.


One of the hair and makeup agencies suggested I travel to Milan with some of the models I had discovered, who were also headed there. This way, I could learn photography by collaborating on set with famous photographers. At the time, however, I didn’t think I wanted to be a photographer or hair and makeup artist, but they said, “You’re good at this and you could be making a lot of money and traveling the world.” How can you argue with that?

I convinced two of my best friends to become models, and we had just enough money to buy three one-way tickets to Milan. It was the middle of the summer, and with nowhere to go, we stayed and slept in the park for weeks. We were roughing it. We were going out every night, meeting new people and having the time of our lives. I found a hair and makeup agent to represent me. I met with many magazines, including Grazia at Mondadori, which is like Condé Nast, a huge publishing group. The day I went in to show my book, one of the makeup artists didn’t show for the Grazia shoot and they asked if I could fill in. That was the beginning of my career, which landed me with my first cover. From there, I met several editors from different magazines, and started working three to four days per week doing hair and makeup. I travelled to Paris, Spain, Germany, Greece, and Brazil, before basing myself in Los Angeles and New York. I worked with a-list celebrities such as Elizabeth Taylor, Whitney Houston, Jeff Bridges, Molly Ringwald, and Farrah Fawcet, and many supermodels such as Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, and Tatjana Patitz. Finally I was living the life I had always dreamed of, collaborating with famous photographers like Helmet Newton, Peter Limberg, Bruce Webber, and Arthur Elggort, to name a few. MR: Is knowing how to work a film camera important for photographers? JJ: For me, learning film was a really substantial way to learn how to photograph. Well, it was the only thing I could do at the time. But the learning process came from making the most extensive and unforgiving mistakes. Learning without digital is much much harder than doing things the way we can today. Today you can have your own photo lab on your desktop computer and you can see your exposures on your camera. I’d shoot a roll of film and have to drive from Calabasas to Hollywood and a lot of times I would get back and find that most of the photos were overexposed, underexposed, or out of focus.

Model Taylor Hill @taylor_hill

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Model Taylor Hill @taylor_hill

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MR: Has working in hair and makeup affected the way you photograph? Has it affected the way you treat your team or choose the people you work with? JJ: Absolutely. When I started taking photographs, I knew my approach to how I would relate to people was different from 90% of other photographers that I had worked with. I believe that my experience in hair and makeup was the best schooling possible, and it taught me to be a perfectionist and to pay attention to finite detail and giving direction. Every good fashion photographer is obsessed with detail. You have to notice the little things when you shoot people, even if it seems as minuscule as finger positioning and flyaway hairs. My background has a lot to do with how I control a shoot and how I take responsibility for everything. I completely immerse myself in it. I have created my own style and work very differently from other photographers. I tend to more than just my camera. I am involved in the way the model’s hair is transformed and whether her lip lines are even. My true connection to the talent has always started in the makeup room. There is always a connection and oneness between the models and celebrities I shoot and myself. When I photograph anybody, I’m 100% hands-on. Teamwork is very important to me but when any artist is painting a picture, they have a vision that they are responsible for presenting. The talent can feel and see my passion when I am involved on set. I often hear, “He really cares about how I look,” and “he makes me look amazing.” The more I give, the more they give. The more fired up I am, the more energy and excitement they show. I’m constantly pushing for more options and variations and I don’t want to stop shooting. I don’t do this to make money. I never have. I do it because I love the art form of creating imagery and relationships. Even though I am paid to photograph people, I don’t look

at them as jobs or assignments. I look at them as times in my life that I want to capture. I want to put an environment around my subjects that I’ll never ever forget.

MR: With influencers and individuals beginning to drive advertising instead of big agencies, what does the future of editorial and advertising look like to you?


JJ: The business as we know it today it may be completely different in ten years. The billboards and television are going away. Ad agencies will use half of the money they are spending on these things to instead reach influencers and the customers directly through social media and other new media platforms. It’s changing the music industry. It’s changing

everywhere. It really comes down to branding, and everything is a brand. Talent is a brand, product is a brand. People have begun to brand themselves and the brand campaigns they create on their own. Lot’s of amazing things are happening in the digital world.

MR: What is it about people’s eyes that intrigue us so much? Why do you think you photograph them so well? JJ: It is often said that the eyes are a window to the soul. The main thing I constantly say when I’m shooting is, “Look at me! Look at me!” Maybe that has something to do with it. I say, “Look at me! Chin down.” Those are the two things that I’ve been told I say a lot. I’ve had clients book me on jobs who tell me they chose me because they saw something different in the talents’ eyes that they don’t see in other photographers’ work. They tell me it’s the way they look at me and that’s a nice thing to hear.

MR: What’s next on the horizon? JJ: I have my own photography business, along with White Cross Management and my full service production company, White Cross Productions. We produce all of my photo shoots and TV commercials that I direct. I am also very involved in music and developing musical talent with my management company. I represent amazing talent from music artists to supermodels. We know the business isn’t the same as it used to be so we are forging forward, using new platforms to make and sell brands. I am also developing a cosmetic company, White Cross Cosmetics, which will be launching in the near future. We discover so much incredible talent, and I will continue to grow and brand the different aspects of my company to their full potential. My team and I are diligently forging forward and living in the mystery of what the future holds for us. ■

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the face of

L E F A I R “

I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to make a change in my life.


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Writer Madeline Rosene @madelinerose Photographer Jim Jordan @jimjordanphotography with White Cross Management @whitecrossmanagement Retouching White Cross Productions @whitecrossmanagement Wardrobe Stylist Kate Peris @kateperis Model Tanya Mityushina @mit_tanya Model Agency Elite Model Management @elitemodella Manicurist Rosanne Sabella Sollecito @missrosane Hair Artist Mishelle Parry @mishyparry with Tomlinson Management Group @tmgla Makeup Artist Kristee Liu @kristeeliu Videographer Ben Shani @benshaniphotos Lighting Kalina Knox & Matt Quinn @themattquinn Location White Cross Studios @whitecrossstudios

Following her heart and intuition, Russian model and this issue’s Face Of LEFAIR, Tanya Mityushina, is always looking for an opportunity to investigate the unknown.

MR: When did you find out you were cast for Sports Illustrated? TM: I found out I was booked a week after I met Sports Illustrated’s editor, MJ. A week after the normal casting they called me and said, “We are going to Malta for a shoot.” It was shot last October and it’s out already. This particular issue featured islands. They wanted to shoot the clothes and bikinis in beautiful locations that they haven’t shot in the past like Malta and Cuba. Sports Illustrated was one of the best clients I have worked with so far. They have an amazing team of such nice people. Plus, the publication has been out for so many years and they have given careers to so many women. I feel honored.

MR: Did you always know you wanted to be a model? TM: Actually, I wanted to be a journalist. I was in college studying journalism in my hometown. During my studies, I went to visit my cousin in Moscow. We were at a mall. Ugh, this is such a basic story. I almost feel bad telling it. Everyone has this same model discovery at a mall story. There was this girl I knew from my hometown at the mall. I knew she was a model. We weren’t really friends but I knew her. She was like, “Hi Tanya!” and she asked if she could take some Polaroids of me. I was like, “Okay, that’s weird but okay!” She took some pictures. I didn’t really think twice about it. About a month later she asked if I could go to the States and that American Elite wanted to represent me. I flew to Los Angeles. I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to make a change in my life. I wasn’t really feeling the whole idea of journalism but I never thought I wanted to be a model. I never thought, “This is my dream!” I thought, “I might as well try it out.” But there were many obstacles. I spoke no English when I moved to LA; it was difficult for me to adjust. Generally, people are nice and

friendly, especially once they get to know you but the language barrier made this tough for a while. It’s been five years now and it’s been really exciting actually. For Russians, being patriotic almost goes hand in hand with deploring other countries. I remember my dad being very judgmental of the United States while I was growing up. But my philosophy is that people are people everywhere. There are girls just like me everywhere. I was never concerned with politics. When I told my parents I was going, they weren’t super worried or anything. It was almost like they weren’t interested at all. I am constantly traveling. I have taken trips to Paris, Australia, Singapore, and so many places. It’s not like I live full time in the US, but to this day, my parents have never visited me here. I think it’s a stigma, a kind of negativity in which some Russians think something is wrong here. It’s a basic unwillingness to accept another country. My parents aren’t fearful or worried about me; it’s a negative state of mind that won’t allow you to be part of something that might challenge you.

MR: Is modeling difficult? TM: It can be hard. It can be mentally challenging but I don’t think it’s hard work. The difficulty lies in not being in control – that’s the hardest part of modeling.. Most of the time on set they will have a storyboard or a mood board and the team will point their fingers at it and you will stand there. I usually have no say. I’m not there to have an opinion. But I get paid and the good part is that as a model, you are working with people not for someone. The other difficulty is that your agent and managers never tell you what’s happening until you book a job. Sometimes it’s so short notice, like, “Okay, that’s in two days or two hours.” I can never really plan anything. I went on vacation with my boyfriend to Italy and my manager asked me to fly back home. I always have to sacrifice something in order to further my career. LE FA I R MA G A Z I NE | 1 3 7

White Cross Collections

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I think the best things that have ever happened to me are ‘Okay, why not?’ things.

MR: Who have been some of your favorite clients to work for? TM: One of my favorite clients was Sports Illustrated. It’s awesome when you arrive on set and people genuinely care about what you think. That’s how I felt there. I’ve also worked with Victoria’s Secret a few times. The people are really fun— all the makeup and hair people they work with are the same every time so it feels like you are reunited with your family when you go back and work with them. They also shoot for two weeks straight so if you shoot with them, you really shoot with them.

MR: Besides being beautiful, what makes a great model? TM: Personality. When I first started working in the United States, I had to go to Singapore to get tear sheets (Some proof I was working on campaigns or for magazines) for my work visa. Everyone said in Singapore it is really easy to find work so I said, “ok.” It was my only trip to Asia. I hadn’t been there before and I haven’t been back since. There are so many beautiful girls there. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a comparable concentration of beautiful models anywhere- not in New York, not anywhere. I was there for a month. I worked maybe two jobs every day and I left. I kept wondering why so many of these nice, young, beautiful girls wouldn’t get the job they auditioned for and some who were sort of average looking would get it. I didn’t understand.

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But I thought about it and I think when I look at a campaign, I always want to see someone I can relate to—someone interesting, someone that will catch my eye. I want to see someone. I want to see a person, not just another pretty girl. If I’d rather be around down-to-earth people, wouldn’t I also rather see pictures of them? Simply, if I can look at a person and they give me a good feeling, I’d rather hire them. It’s instinctual.

MR: You had a small part in the film Don Jon. How did that come about? TM: My manager asked if I was available to go shoot a movie. Of course I said, “Okay, why not?” I guess that’s the kind of person I am. I think the best things that have ever happened to me are “Okay, why not?” things. I did a pilot called Eye Candy for MTV. I was murdered—choked. That was interesting too. I don’t know if I’d like to be an actress. Maybe! For anyone to take me seriously, I would need to get into classes. I also had the pleasure of working on a commercial with Antonio Banderas recently. He was everything you would expect him to be— charming and fun. He likes attention. He’s flirty and into himself. He’s Antonio Banderas. How can you blame him?

MR: So what’s next for you? TM: That’s a tough question for me. I think I will wait for someone to come ask me if I want to go to outer space and I’ll say, “Hey why not.” It will happen for sure. ■



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Photographer Samuel Black @samuel.black Model Joy Corrigan @joycorrigan Model Agency No Ties Model Management @notiesmgmt

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WE BELONG TO EACH OTHER Writer Madeline Rosene @madelinerosene


t’s dark inside the lounge of the Lotte New York Palace Hotel, but it’s easy to spot Brittany Ross, wearing a fringy poncho, leggings, and loads of rings. Located across the street from Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in Midtown Manhattan, the luxury hotel combines a 19th-century landmark mansion with a 55-story modern tower. Not only is Brittany the Co-founder of Mission108, a support organization that advocates on behalf of the impoverished and victims of human trafficking, but she is also a dedicated Yogi and wife of Red Sox pitcher, Robbie Ross. She is sitting at a table glowing behind a glass of Burgundy beneath a hand-blown chandelier. “This is not a fun conversation to have,” she says, “but it’s important to shed light on this.”

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After what I witnessed I knew from that moment on I would spend my life trying to end trafficking.

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MR: What is the meaning behind the number 108 and how did Mission108 come to be? BR: There are 108 stitches on a baseball, 108 beads on a catholic rosary, and 108 beads on a mala necklace, a Buddhist prayer necklace (I teach yoga). Psalm 108 is also in the dead center of the bible. This number started showing up in our lives. It started following us around and we felt a strong connection to the number. I like to think that Mission 108 came to us but I have always had a heart for serving others. My mom raised me to think about other people's needs and emotions. I'm intrigued by people as a whole, other cultures and the condition of the human heart. Five years ago Robbie and I were at a point where we felt like we really wanted to start giving back. We tried working with different charities and organizations but many of them couldn’t work with our crazy baseball schedules and needed people who could be available full-time. So we decided to do our own thing. Robbie and I are the kind of people who just start weeping when we see that Sarah McLaughlin dog commercial, “In the Arms of an Angel.” You know the one. But we were looking for that one thing that we lost sleep over. Robbie and I started going to Nicholasville, Kentucky a more rural area with a lot drug use and poverty. Nicholasville neighbors Lexington (where we’re from). We started knocking on doors and asking people what their needs were. Around that time I started going on mission trips and I learned a lot. I traveled all over- Ethiopia, Haiti, The Dominican Republic, Uganda, and India. The minute I stepped foot in Ethiopia, Africa a medical and dental mission trip, something happened to my soul that I wouldn't be able to ignore. Since then, I've done trips for mission work every six months, sometimes more. I saw what extreme poverty looks like. I worked with people who live on less than a dollar a day. Most of the trips I had taken were built around the same theme—travel to the country, provide a service, and leave heartbroken. There is a lot of good that comes out of mission trips that require you to build a road or a church or a school. But when you simply focus on providing a service, you become the hero. You become the American that comes once a year and gives gifts and then leaves the people in shambles the other 355 days of the year. After my trip to Haiti I did not want to do missions anymore. I was over the system and I felt like we Americans were doing more harm to the people we were serving than good. We were well intentioned but still not affecting change. Last year in July, my grandma passed away. I was at a pivotal place in my life. I did a lot of soul searching. I reflected on what I believe in and who I believe in. I was starting to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to honor my grandma and make her proud. She is a huge part of why I do this. I thought about how I am a baseball wife and following my husband’s career. I knew I had to start working on something I was passionate about. July of last year I went to Uganda and 1 5 0 | L E FA I R MAGAZI NE

the entirety of the trip was focused on relationship. It was not about what we could do for them. It was simply about building relationships, listening to their stories, letting them show us their homes, meeting their children, and asking each other questions. The more I got to know the people, the more I understood what their needs were. I learned that the most susceptible people in the world to human trafficking were the extreme poor and more specifically the extremely poor women and children. Most importantly, I learned that trafficking happens everywhere. People think it’s something that only happens in the slums of India, Africa, or in Vegas but it happens in my hometown in Kentucky and New York and many parts of the United States. I came home and started researching. I was losing sleep over it. I could not read enough about human trafficking and sexual exploitation. I am still learning and educating myself everyday. Robbie and I were invited to go to India to learn more about human trafficking- go to the brothels, go to the slums, go to the train stations and witness trafficking take place right in front of our eyes. After this trip, we knew this would not just a hobby for me while Robbie plays baseball. This is something God has lit a fire in my soul for. And when God speaks, you listen to Her (Sometimes, I need God to be a woman, especially in this industry). After what I witnessed, I knew from that moment on I would spend my life trying to end trafficking.

MR: Where does Mission108 spend most of its time and efforts? BR: Mission 108 partners with organizations who are already doing good in their communities. We partner with the Refuge For Women that has safe homes for women in recovery all over the US. We partner with Bright Hope who we have been to Uganda and India with. I love Africa. I always will. We are hoping to go back soon. But India, India did something to me I love Africa. I always will. I know I will be back there soon. But India, India did something to me. It flipped me upside down, in a good way. We witnessed a miracle there. I’m always drawn to the places where miracles exist. India is also important because it leads the world in trafficked people. Because we feel so strongly about anti-human trafficking we will go to India as much as possible.

MR: When you travel to India, what do you do exactly? We partner with organizations in India that are helping oversee and provide for recovering victims of trafficking. We also spend time with our various partners building relationships. We meet with churches who are aware of these issues and working towards finding solutions to the problems in their communities. We spend a lot of time in the safe home. It’s the only safe home in India that is recognized by multiple governments around the world and officially declared safe. It’s so important to research because trafficking is very affiliated with government corruption so it is hard to know if a safe house is actually safe.

During our last visit I met a 14 year-old girl who had just been rescued from a brothel. We witnessed demonic depression leave her body, her eyes rolling back in her head, as she told her story. To see her first steps of freedom was truly amazing. She finally felt safe. They speak Hindi in India. The 14 year-old girl I was talking about got into a verbal altercation with an older woman who was also rescued at the same time. I could tell it wasn’t a good conversation so I asked the translator to come over and translate what was going on. It turned out that the older woman was her pimp. She was the woman who had been trafficking the girl.

All the trafficked women look young in body but aged in the face from all of the abuse. I watched a brief transaction. The American in me said, “I want to go buy her and I want to save her.” But the reality is that you can’t fight this easily. It takes strategy and time.

MR: What is Mission 108’s message and goal? BR: “We belong to each other” is our vision statement. The mission statement is:

This young girl had just told us how grateful she was to be rescued and then the older woman told her she was going right back to the brothel where she belongs. The government is so corrupt. Even when a brothel owner gets raided, since the population in India is growing so rapidly, the girls will be replaced immediately, and the brothel will stay in business.

Mission 108 supports organizations and advocates on behalf of marginalized people in the world with a focus on human trafficking and the extreme poor. The goal is sustainability. In communities with conditions of extreme poverty, many of the inhabitants are lacking trade skills. In order for these people to be sustainable, they have to learn profitable skills. The organizations we partner with teach the mothers how to grow and sell crops so they don’t have to sell their family into slavery. We teach the girls how to braid hair and do henna so they can go get jobs. Mission 108 has accepted that slavery won’t end in our lifetime. Slavery has existed forever. We are trying to infect the human heart, to make people love and value each other. That is the only thing that will bring any change.

MR: How much does it cost to buy another human being?

MR: Why do you think trafficking exists? Why is there a high demand for sex slaves?

BR: It really varies from situation to situation. One of the girls in the safe house with whom I spoke was being sold for $17 per sexual act and was forced to have sex with at least ten men per day. Ten men is on the low side and she was not profiting at all. There are different types of transactions going on in sex slavery. There is also domestic and bride slavery. Bride slavery is the purchase of a women or child without consent to be married to a man and then resold as property so that it appears legal to the government. This is a popular practice in Indian culture because of the low female to male ratio. Domestic slavery is when children are promised jobs in cities, taken from their families and sold for roughly $100 to placement agencies that resell them to families for a higher profit (roughly $700) to be abused and sexually assaulted. It is really difficult to pin point a price because it varies drastically.

BR: Society puts shame into sex. We don’t talk about in churches. We don’t talk about it in our governments. It’s not something that any society has created a healthy environment around. Where there is shame, there is sin, and where there is sin, there is shame. When there is a society that undermines women, there will be human trafficking. Women are not treated equally in most societies.

” ”

The government in India oppresses women. When a woman ages out of the industry, they are given the opportunity to pull other women in. Traffickers will tell these women, “The younger girls will trust you. Tell them their lives will be better and they will get an education.”

We are trying to infect the human heart, to make people love and value each other. That is the only thing that will bring any change.

MR: Who are the people buying these women? BR: In India, a lot of times they aren't even women at the time of transaction. Pimps are buying or persuading families to give them up. The buyers are called “Johns.” I remember seeing a John. They look shady. They’re usually Nepaulian or Indian. They’ll be on their phones with ear buds in, following young women around.

But I believe our generation is changing this. Prior to our generation, you served your husband and you obeyed. Prior to our generation women weren't encouraged to find their own way and work as much as you see in today's age. You see more women on stages, in politics, in the church, and using their mouths and brains to affect change. You also see more great men supporting women and encouraging us to do things different. We live in a world where as much as we don’t want to admit it, women are not valued as much as men. Trafficking is a blatant example of this power dynamic, but misogyny exists in many different ways. One of my yoga inspirations, Jen Pastiloff recently posted a quote on her Instagram: “Male privilege is: women being forced to say, ‘I have a boyfriend’ to stop a man from hitting on them because he respects a potentially non-existent man more than he respects the woman in front of him.” LE FA I R MA G A Z I NE | 1 5 1

MR: How does trafficking differ in the United States?

tells us the needs and we help them fund those needs.

BR: I know more about this on a global level. I’m still trying to understand the American mind and how the system works here. In America, trafficking often starts in strip clubs or sex clubssometimes these women are trying to make money on the side so they can go to school. Often it begins from sexual abuse within a family. In fact, the majority of sexual abuse in the United States happens within the family. When people are traumatized at a young age, it affects their self-worth and confidence. Unfortunately, it’s a cycle. One woman I spoke with watched her mom get hit by a car. Her mother walked into a car. She killed herself because she was so deeply involved in prostitution, drugs, and trafficking and synchronously, that is the only life her daughter knew. The majority of women who are trafficked, even after rehabilitation and recovery, go back to their lives of sexual exploitation.

MR: Is Mission 108 religiously affiliated?

A lot of trafficking, no matter where, comes down to manipulation. It’s very psychological. These women are tricked into wondering if they have they been trafficked or if they chose this life. “Am I worthy of a better life?” they wonder. “Is this man my boyfriend?” Usually they don’t even know his real name. This is of course no indication of how intelligent these women are. Most of them are highly sedated on drugs and their ability to comprehend is at a very low level. However, the recovered women I have interacted with at The Refuge for Women are some of the most brilliant, inspirational and self-aware women I have ever met. We currently have safe house locations in Kentucky and Vegas and we’re opening them in Chicago, Southern Florida and Texas. Even the men who are victimizing the women have been victims. They have suffered abuse before. I don’t know a lot about it. It’s hard in America to send someone to prison for trafficking. The laws protect the trafficker more than the trafficked because prostitution is illegal.

MR: How can people get involved? BR: Every year in January during the off-season, we take a trip to India. As of now, it is invite only and we don’t publicize it, but we hope to change that in the future. We take a team of 20 people to India through our partnership with Bright Hope. We aren’t like other missionaries and programs, we don’t build a road, and a bible study and go home. We don’t want to go over and play the hero and leave. It’s not what we stand for. We have formed lasting relationships. We want to learn from them and have them learn from us. We hope, as more Americans learn about trafficking, they will want to get involved too. You can donate to Mission 108 via www.mission108.com. The money goes to our partners who are working endlessly to end and prevent trafficking. The main human trafficking branch is in India and is employed by Bright Hope. Their job is to figure out what the victims and community need most (medical care, food or housing). Then Bright Hope reports back to Mission 108 and 1 5 2 | L E FA I R MAGAZI NE

BR: We are Christians but we don't consider ourselves religious. I view religion as a set of rules by which to live. Mission 108 believes in faith. We live and breathe by Faith in the Holy Spirit. However, we believe in breaking down religious boundaries. We don’t feel like someone has to be of a certain religion to participate in the mission or be helped by the mission. We try not to put a huge emphasis on religion. My husband and I did a “No H8” campaign and we received a lot of hate from the Christian community. People were threatening my life and Robbie’s life. We never want religion to be an excuse to behave a certain way. We believe actions speak louder than words. Religion should always exist for love and to make you a better person.

MR: You said that you couldn’t help but want to buy and save that little girl from a life of slavery. Would you ever consider adoption? BR: Since before I can remember I would tell my mom I would one day adopt from every continent. We’ve had three miscarriages. I know adoption is in our future. I’ve pictured our family with many different races and a mentally challenged child. I see myself mothering a child that requires a little more responsibility. Robbie is the most amazing husband and he will be the most amazing dad. But just like human trafficking, adoption is very corrupt. We’ve seen first hand in Africa just how corrupt it is— many homes that house orphans will make their residences look more poor, not feeding their kids when people come to look so they appear more hungry and more needy.

MR: When all is seen, said and done, what keeps you going? How do you keep such a positive outlook? BR: I think knowing that suffering is something we all experience on different levels and truly believing that at the end of the day, we are all taken care of helps me stay positive. I have an incredible tribe surrounding me, giving me counsel and supporting me. You see, we belong to each other. I see a lot of good in the world. I allow myself to go to beautiful places and meet beautiful people. I don't allow myself to get swallowed up in the darkness. I’ve been traveling, sharing my heart, sharing my knowledge and sharing what human trafficking is to large groups of people. Spreading the word keeps me going. We desire to see a shift in the way that women and children are viewed both here and other countries. It is always and has always been about the human heart. If you can infect the human heart with love, then most problems will dissolve naturally. Everyday we’re just going with the ebb and flow, rolling with the punches. In the end, we can only change ourselves and that’s how the world changes. For more information visit mission108.com. ■


We are trying to infect the human heart, to make people love and value each other. That is the only thing that will bring any change.

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