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Seven years is a long time. To me, it’s the whole enchilada, full commitment, no running back now, all or nothing. Local Wolves has always been an idea in the back of my mind but I thought nothing because to create something you would need the capital first. I realized that I was wrong because the more you invest into your work, the outcome is worth it. I struggled for a while learning how to let go and ask for help instead of always trying to do everything myself. It has opened more doors for collaboration and seeing other perspectives has been insightful to me. Seven years brings me back to a random episode I watched of “Shark Tank” and trust me, I fell in a analytical hole of numbers from social media, sales and so forth. It consumed me because the market is competitive... hello real world. After over half a year hiatus and huge support from my friends and loved ones, I dived back into Local Wolves. The goal was simple: create content that I was inspired by with a team who are just as passionate about the magazine and grow together in unity. I took time for myself for once. I spent hours to reconnect with friends, take care of my health (physically and mentally), living in the present, not let social media consume me but hey, it’s still a work in


progress but I highly recommend a digital detox every now and then. Life onscreen and offscreen isn’t what you imagine as so picturesque and I would often compare myself which made me feel shameful— it’s so dangerous but I think we all go through this one way or another. I felt down and would ignore anything magazine related. I took time to focus on other things like revisiting what I missed the last few years. You see, I would have LW as the highest priority which meant everything else would fall under the magazine. Looking back, I value that I was driven but I lacked balance. Flash forward now, I carve out time to work on Local Wolves, while working a full-time job— which is still a day by day learning experience. I often daydream of the first HQ for Local Wolves. The amount of fun and meetings with brands that I’ve been following as a fangirl of many things. Seven years through the wave of self-publishing has taught me patience and don’t ever stop at just “no”. Find another pathway and you’ll get to your destination. I’m still creating new paths at Local Wolves and I honestly don’t know where I’d be without this golden gem in my life. I wouldn’t be here without you reading this, liking our posts or commenting on our work at Local Wolves. Trust me, I’m a giddy fangirl just knowing that our readers still read and contribute to this magazine. My love for the team and readers are beyond anything. Through my ramblings, just know that roadblocks in life aren’t meant to hinder you, it’s meant to challenge you to overcome those obstacles. We got this, fam. I’m rooting for us. Cheers to another seven and forever years later!

Cathrine Khom

founder & editor-in-chief, local wolves


classics 02 08

editor’s letter





wolfie submissions


field advice



features 32

sally garcia






miranda rae mayo


ciara riley wilson

56 84

isabelle estrin ashley aka bestdressed


carina chazanas


leigh-ann kamifuji


jessica neistadt


adelaine morin


bao and sheng vang


lauren leggatt

perspectives 62

female creatives in the music industry


angel of the magnolia




disco blonde


creatives of new orleans


where do we begin?


wingless fairies



local wolves is an independent digital and print magazine driven by the passion of storytelling for creative minds from diverse fields of work.

adelaine morin @adelainemorin los angeles, caÂ

miranda rae mayo @msmayoalldayo los angeles, ca


bao & sheng vang @vangbao @vangsheng corona, ca

natalie somekh @natsomphoto newport beach, ca

general info@localwolves.com press press@localwolves.com advertising advertising@localwolves.com get involved community@localwolves.com

bestdressed @best.dressed los angeles, ca

WOLFIE TEAM founder / editor-in-chief cathrine khom copy editor sophia khom outreach coordinator penelope martinez community coordinator erin mcdowell marketing coordinator elizabeth eidanizadeh social media coordinator keaton web social media coordinator jessica spiers web coordinator tiffany ma music curator sena cheung web design jesus acosta logo lisa lok / fiona yeung cover photo dillon matthew design / illustration annie lefforge, ellissa nicholle schatz. kelsey cordutsky, lisa lok, jenny sorto, yoolim moon, megan kate potter, bethany roesler, sama al-zanoon contributing writers amanda galvez, caroline edwards, jasmine rodriguez, kendall bolam, lauren speight, mackenzie rafferty, mary retta, michelle ledesma, miranda reyes, natasa kvesic, steven ward contributing photographers andre nguyen, ashley seryn, carianne older, caylee robillard, danny luna, dillon matthew, dustin stafford, emily dubin, emma valles, isha shah, jesus acosta, keliee yu, kennedi koozer, lucy blumenfield, megan baker, rachel lewis, sabrina giacomaggio, sara feigin, selina ye, tia liu

carina chazanas @carinachaz los angeles, ca ciara riley wilson @ciararileywilson los angeles, ca

raiche @mynameisraiche pittsfield, ma sally garcia @callmeflowerchild los angeles, ca tess yarbrough @safetytess austin, tx CONNECT

girli @girlimusic london, uk isabelle estrin @isabelleestrin new york, ny jessica neistadt @jessicaneistadt los angeles, ca lauren leggatt @laurenleggatt vancouver, canada leigh-ann kamifuji @leighannk_ orange county, ca

website / localwolves.com twitter + instagram / @localwolves fb / facebook.com/localwolves read online issuu.com/localwolves print shop magcloud.com/user/localwolvesmag print design ad lisa lok (right page) custom lettering jenny sorto

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There’s nothing quite like stumbling upon a place less visited and discovering that it’s a hidden gem. You’re filled with a sense of wonder, the feeling like you’ve found a rare treasure, something only you and possibly only a handful of others know about. You feel a sense of exclusivity, you’re proud, yet you can’t wait to share it with the world. I have always been obsessed with places that were off the beaten path or unknown destinations. When I moved from Los Angeles to Portland three years ago, I fell in love with the Pacific Northwest and it’s been a non-stop adventure since.

Considered one of the Seven Wonders of Oregon. It was named after all of the colorful layers of its hills that have formed from various geological eras. The giant red hills really made it feel like you were walking on Mars.

This is located in Hillsboro, Oregon. A man named Bruce Campbell purchased this retired Boeing 727 in 1999 and moved it in the woods to live in. He is part of a group of people around the world known as the Aircraft Fleet Recycling Association (AFRA). This plane is equipped with water, electricity, and sewage— a complete working home. If you visit his website and schedule a time, Bruce will even give you a tour.


“I’ve always admired fashion editorial work and aspire to showcase this through models from different cultural backgrounds. The reason for working with multiple models comes from my recognition with racial representation. Often select races are underrepresented in mainstream media. I want to expand my work by celebrating different racial backgrounds, and normalizing this in fashion photography. Through this photo, my goal is to represent various different ethnicities and their ability to showcase beautiful editorial work.” — ABBY SIVA / TORONTO, CANADA (LEFT PHOTO) / MODEL CREDITS: FINN BLACKMORE, ANGELIA JAYASINGHE, AND ADA HO (LEFT TO RIGHT) I can’t remember your face and I never even knew your name. Yet I remember what you said. I know it was only a 4-letter word but the feelings which that word evoked have stayed with me. It made me feel grotesque and undesirable. It made me feel unloved and so unworthy. It made me hate the way I looked. As I walked away from you, I felt the tears build up in my eyes until they completely glazed over. Then with just one blink, the water drained down my cheeks and I desperately prayed I could turn into someone else. I wanted my soul to float from my body and make itself at home into a pretty girl. A girl who had sun-kissed, glowing skin with sleek, soft hair which swayed down her back. As she turned her head, it would swish around her head so effortlessly as if she was in an advert. Her teeth so perfect she wouldn’t be afraid to laugh hysterically with her mouth as wide as can be because she would still look completely flawless. A slender figure with protruding collar bones and a visible thigh gap. And to top it off, thick dark brows with long fluttering lashes which framed her face so beautifully. I had bushy, curly red hair and skin so pale I could blend in with my white t-shirt. My eyebrows were so white it was as if I had bleached the living daylights out of them and no matter how hard I tried, I never had a straight-outta-the-90’s Kate Moss kind of body. All of my life I have been taught that my external attributes are unattractive. By movies, by music, by

men AND by women. In the past, I have been verbally taunted purely based on my looks. I did everything to change who I was. I dyed my hair, piled on the fake tan, dyed my brows and didn’t eat, just to get a step closer to that true beauty standard I yearned for. My goal was to be a new person, so far away from who I actually was. I look back and feel immense empathy for my younger self. I was trying to be someone I wasn’t. Someone who was desired. Someone who was loved. Someone who fit in. But now I look back and wonder why I wasted so much of my energy on looking like just another clone. I was doing it for those around me. This mindset was drilled into me by looking online and seeing nothing but flawless, airbrushed women being applauded for their perfection. However, slowly but surely, I feel like we are seeing more and more strong women going against the grain and showcasing different bodies, different races and different backgrounds. Giving every woman a platform to just be themselves and allowing us all to be happy with who we are! To embrace my Girl Power and give the middle finger to societal standards, I don’t diet or excessively exercise anymore. I have scrapped celebrity fitness regimes and do enough to be healthy and I do n’t deprive myself. I walk out of the house without makeup and hold my head up high to show that my confidence radiates from the inside out. I cheer for the successes of other women instead of pitting myself against them, to show that there is enough room for all of our achievements. I make sure I compliment people’s internal attributes before I compliment them on their looks because that is what they should learn to value. I only follow people online who promote values of equality and tolerance, not those of hatred and bullying. I only follow people who don’t make me feel guilty about who I am. Although societal standards still exist, I feel like we are moving forward to not only accept our differences, but embrace them too. — SHANNON HOWARTH

I remember being in the 4th grade, playing a game of kickball at recess with the rest of my classmates. It was my turn to kick and I could hardly stand still in silent anticipation. I put the full force of my tiny 10 year-old body into the kick of that ball, running as quickly as possible to the base, quietly beaming with pride from my performance. It wasn’t long before one of my classmates called out to me, informing me (and all my friends around me) that I “run like a girl.” It was obvious in his tone that he meant those words as an insult, and in a sudden state of embarrassment, I immediately quit the game and spent the rest of recess watching from the sidelines. What might have seemed like one isolated incident repeated itself again and again throughout my childhood. Suddenly, the word “girl” became synonyms for “weak,” “sensitive,” and most of all, “less than.” Entering into my teenage years, I felt absolutely determined to prove my worth to those around me. Hearing that I “wasn’t like other girls” was the only way I could truly feel affirmed in my identify as a woman. Every girl I saw became competition and I worked


tirelessly to maintain a detached, emotionless front to the world. Believe it or not, I quickly learned that pretending to be some coldhearted badass was likely the worst possible way I could’ve handled that situation. However, thankfully growing out of that, it put me in the position where I was forced to look to other women to learn the meaning of true empowerment. I was overjoyed to discover there’s nothing wrong with being emotional, or soft, or caring, and this caused my view of women to instantly change. Where I used to feel overcome by insecurity and competitiveness, I instead felt overwhelmed by a feeling of complete admiration. These days, when I ask my friends how they’d describe me, I’m often told about how gentle my presence is. At one point in time, I would’ve taken that as a sign of weakness— a part of me that would’ve been instantly molded into something more palatable to what my idea of a “strong woman” looked like. But I’m happy to say that I now embrace the gentleness with open arms, and I think this is a great first step. — KATHRYN PAIGE / ATLANTA, GA — LORENA LAVIN / QUITO, ECUADOR





“A Reminder” She is one to be admired, A force to be feared The lady of every hour, A muse to be endeared Her voice commands attention, So give her space and offer time, Let her reach her utmost potential, Witness the wonders of her mind Whether she gave you life, Or a woman you only see in passing, Protect her, and respect her Know her “no” is not her asking


You may praise her for her beauty, Though she exists beyond her exterior She endures more than can be explained And her resilience is superior Her words and thoughts are healing, Trust in her divine insight, She is celestial, an intellectual, A star in her own right The female aura is unstoppable, Adversity’s worst foe To fight is of her essence Being one is the only way to know So here is your reminder To think about the pains Of knowing who she would like to be As prejudice and hate remains And if you yourself are a woman, Keep your sight on your pursuits The systems built to break you, Make you no less astute Repeat your desired mantra, Do not shy away from conceit Put yourself on a pedestal The way you deserve to be — KYLA SAZON


Triumph - I was getting coffee with a friend of mine the other day, one of those friends that you feel are part of a little species only you can understand. I feel rebirthed, I told her. I feel like everyday is bursting with potential and excitement, even if I’m just spinning honey into a mug of hot water. Even if I’ve spent the day grocery shopping or cleaning the house. Even if I’ve only had the time to write a bad poem. The morning presses through my curtains, whispers me awake. It kisses me on the nose and leaping out of the sheets. Everything can be an adventure if you think of it as one, she said. That settled in my mind for a moment. I can feel the strength growing like roots from my feet, but the little tendrils are still fragile. I must be careful of the gusts of wind that come with winter, that leave me off-kilter and rushing into my car mid-day, the doors cracking a bit from the ice that’s crept between them. I feel strangely generative in the depths of January. It could be that I’ve been reading Under the Tuscan Sun as a reminder of Italy, or the romanticized version I have of it now, a year later. I can practically see the tiny petals that scattered, white and wild, in the local park, where couples laid on the grass, blanketless and giggling. It could be that I’ve been trying to get myself to do yoga in the mornings – I get antsy when it hits twenty minutes, but at least I’m trying. It could be that I moisturize my skin every night, and that I have time to snuggle in bed and flip through a book. Oh, how liberating that is, the freedom to read purely for myself. I’m creating content without thinking, letting my thoughts exist freely and wholly, and the more time I have to think, the more the thoughts come and come, like bricks building a wall. The other night, Alex and I were going to go to a small apartment that was canceled last minute. We were both relieved, content with my house and its stupid orange carpet,


crawling up the stairs like the remains of some sad Muppet. Finding a simple happiness in the dining room set. One of the chairs has been dismembered, its arm dangling off because someone leaned on it the wrong way. Alex still came over, but in the grey sweatshirt I got her for Christmas and two pints of ice cream, demanding that we watch SVU. We kept taking turns to pause it, and never got through the first five minutes. We talked about men and how they seem never to be governed by guilt. We think about this guilt. Guilt for sleeping with someone or for refusing to, guilt for not going to the gym twice a week, guilt for not enjoying the taste of alcohol on our tongues. I think of the guilt I felt on the floor of my sophomore year dorm after he taunted me with our walks from the coffee shop to campus, his hand on my sleeve. The tears that came, the way that Nicole climbed down from her desk chair and held me. She held me, not like I was weak, blubbering into her shoulder, but like I was a strong thing that needed an anchor because strong things that break crumble the quickest. Remembering this now, I look on us as in a silent film, an image of two women hugging one another, forming a pyramid. For a moment, we were one. The woman who has been broken, and who will be broken again and again, but the strong woman too, the one that will lift herself back up from the disappointments, the pain. And now, here I am, in the car with Jackie and Abby, slicing into New York City. Abby’s clunky red van is so out of place in this sleek, compact, glittering space. I feel myself opening my arms up like great wings, gesturing towards the skyline, welcoming Jackie to my city. The light is a misted golden, and we are singing in unison. I can see the car, driving up a hill like we’re rising up from water, glistening. The world folds open for us, bursting with possibility. — DANIELLE FUSARO




“Blossom” The sun kissed my roots as if to say “you’ve been underground too long.” I decided it was time to bloom, it was time to unfold, it was time for me to dance. The wind is my partner and together we’re invincible. Invincible… It tells me to go here, then there – I never thought I could move like this. You’ll pass by, snap photos of me, and look back when the winter gets to your soul. When it starts to ice over and freeze all your warmth... remember this moment. When it was just me, my partner and you. Remember how I smelt. Remember the sound of my movement and how it made you feel. How you got lost in me... I did this for you. — AMANDA SMITH — GLOWLIE PHOTOGRAPHY

“Hags” Burn the witches to save men’s pride. Let the little girls sit aside while the boys raise their hands and be in bands and get in nasty fights. Tell the girls, “You’d be prettier if you smiled” and “Only sluts where those kinds of clothes” To let them know their place. Underneath all mankind and the layers of makeup on their face. Put a noose around their neck, call it “The Patriarchy” for lack of a better phrase. Knock the chairs out from under them, let them hang their heads in shame for ever thinking they could be Equal. Better. The Best. Don’t they know that no matter what they do, we’ll still just be looking at their chests? — KAYLIN WHITE


“What we want for people to take away from this is that we celebrate diversity, community, and girl power. We celebrate you for who you are and support you in who you want to be. Our members are mothers, daughters, educators, writers, artists, designers, creatives, all who have contributed to our growth and success by bringing their own vision to the group. We also welcome male members who are supportive of our mission. We are strong independently, but a force to be reckoned with together. Our power lies in our ability to empower each other and share in each other’s successes.” — BRENDA PHAN / BOSTON, MA




I sway my hips to find bliss and peace in my thoughts of you Take us under into darkness where love and patience lay together on one pillow A room where our feet face forward, or left to right turning throughout Love like two open doors welcoming To where home is within us — BRITTANY TRAYLOR STYLING BY ANDREA PONS PHOTOGRAPHY BY SARA ROOLF

“The Flowering Female” Both strong and delicate A woman is the epitome Of balance She builds herself up Firmly planted in the ground Using her roots to learn And grow tall as the sky Yet she is sweet smelling Through the process With a compassionate heart To match her inner and outer beauty There is nothing more Powerful, Alluring, Inspiring Than a woman — HANNAH KOZAK (h.k.)



“Define Your Power” Give me all your complexities of “girl” Not for them to be deciphered or solved but to say “yes” — CAMERON SMITH (RIGHT PHOTO)


Why do you create? Why does it matter? These are questions I ask myself before I execute a project. My answers are always, why wouldn’t I, and why wouldn’t it. Photography is my opportunity to allow strangers to get a glimpse of my subjects, as well as my own individuality through visuals. For me, it’s never been about how far or how fast I can grow in this industry. Being “known” was never my goal, learning was, and I’m always astonished by those wanting to learn from me. I say that because in all transparency, I don’t have the slightest clue what I’m doing or where I’m going. It’s exhilarating, because it leaves room for me to experiment all aspects of photography, and to take a gamble on my work no matter the outcome. I’m self taught. Having never taken a photography class, I have relied heavily on my medium, which was a borrowed camera, my community of wonderful friends and most importantly, trial and error to teach me. Let me tell you....there were plenty of trials and plenty of errors, and the amount of photography phases I went through is uncanny. Still, they were experiments that lead to realizations. Ultimately, I didn’t believe my photos would amount to anything. They were essentially me messing around with a camera and having some sort of wild idea, but I figured I would enter them into contests, because why not? There’s no harm in it. It wasn’t until I got my first breakthrough

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with VSCO and the “Walk in the Sun” contest that I realized, I’m actually not an amateur. I was considered equal to the others who I saw as well established, inspiring photographers. That was so surreal to me. All because I took a chance on myself and others took a chance on me. I put a lot of pressure on myself to be continually creating monumental photographs. Often times it’s disheartening and it places me in reoccuring creative ruts. However, the recognition I do or don’t receive doesn’t define who I am or my progress. Nonetheless, I’m aware of it, and I take the necessary breaks till I’m ready to get back on my feet and start shooting again. I don’t ever feel sorry for taking care of myself, but when I get the “What are you working on now?” or the “What’s next?” questions it can be very discouraging. Especially, when I’m not working on a project, let alone even thinking about one. Not that I ever blame others for asking, I’m incredibly thankful to

anyone who even wants to know! Still, internally I question my value in the industry and if I’m where I want to be. Comparing my work to the work of others when in reality our work is vastly unassociated with one another. I believe social media plays a big part in that. It also plays a big part in my sourcing for inspiration. It’s a never ending cycle, but, it’s more important to be intentional than it is it be current. To backtrack, these lulls were important to my growth. They forced me to analyze my current standpoint, what I liked/ disliked about my work and move forward from there. That’s what I advise anyone to do who questions themselves. Take a step back and try something completely new and out of your comfort zone. If you don’t, you’ll never know, and there’s absolutely no harm in attempting. I always remind myself that I am creating for me, as organically and authentic as I can, and the rest of the world can follow.

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As the conversation of climate change has progressed from a dependency on scientific research to confirm its existence, to a realization that most of the detriment imposed on the environment is caused by humans—there has been a significant rise in the act of sustainability. Though the beginnings of this response were that of genuine concern for the environment, what is now considered a “sustainable lifestyle” is known to be led by an upper-class, white woman who frequents Whole Foods with a reusable tote bag. This image is projected to an extreme on social media sites such as Instagram and YouTube, and shares an expensive and highly consumerist interpretation of what sustainability is. Nevertheless—even when it seems the true purpose of sustainability has become lost— in the crowd of those who lead sustainable lifestyles one can find SALLY GARCIA: a Los Angeles based creative, sustainable-lifestyle promoter and project manager at her local park agency. “Being in the park field in Los Angeles I’m around some very environmentally conscious people and I would have to say that that has heavily influenced my lifestyle and the amount of knowledge I have gained,” explains Garcia. These environmentally conscious lessons, that she’s learned through her job in the Los Angeles parks department, translate clearly in her online presence which promotes a sustainable and “environment first” lifestyle. The term “lifestyle” is not just a general description, but is truly represented within Garcia’s work. Everything from sustainable fashion, to homemade cleaning products—”Save those orange peels and add vinegar and you have multipurpose cleaner!” says Garcia—and sharing various recipes, there is no doubt an all-encompassing approach to her sustainability. When clicking on Garcia’s Instagram account @callmeflowerchild one is led to her biography, which highlights the fact that she lives on Native American territory:


the Tongva Territory. Highlighting this point led Garcia to the topic of the history of the act of being sustainable and the power of recognition. “I think it’s important for all of us to work towards correcting the stories and practices that for years have intentionally erased Indigenous people’s history and culture and this is the first step in decolonizing those land relations,” says Garcia. To an extent, this act of erasing the history applies to the history of our treatment of the environment. Native American tribes were highly regarded as having deep connections and respect to the land they lived on—each element on Earth was dependent on one another. As colonization ravaged North America, there became a need to progress the industrial abilities of the newly formed colonies. The original act of conservation and sustainability became closely associated with the lower class, mostly made up of people of color, who were the working class. When asked where she learned most of her tricks for living a sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyle, Garcia mentions her mother as her main source of inspiration. “I’ve always cared about sustainability in a subconscious way growing up. I was always told to reuse as much as I could, mostly out of necessity,” shares Garcia. She recalls the times she’s heard her mother talk about growing up in Mexico and how every resource was used to its full potential. To Garcia, this act of conservation and sustainability comes as second nature and by sharing it through an online platform she’s received the same appreciation that she gives her mother for introducing her to the same practices. “Sustainability is nothing new,” says Garcia. “BIPOC have been making eco conscious decisions far before it was the ‘it-thing’ to do, due to necessity and survival. This is why I try to make an emphasis on the easy things we can do that don’t require us to spend a lot of money.” And yet the community for sustainability and climate change awareness is exclusive to the point where it does not include the people this harsh reality is affecting the most.

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Garcia, as a Mexican-Salvadoran-American woman sees this same nationwide erasure and simultaneous need for recognition translated in her work. “You must work twice as hard and really work towards finding what makes you stand out from the sea of white influencers that influx the space. Race can totally be an issue in gaining followers or respect as a creative. Sometimes it can seem like we’re under a microscope,” explains Garcia. “The second one of us speak up on racial or social justice issues, you lose followers and some brands don’t even want to work with you. This happens because many can’t accept the fact that they need to be comfortable with having uncomfortable conversations.” The fact that brands choose not to work with creators who are women of color that also speak on blatant discrimination, or injustices, shows that the industry values the aesthetics they present rather than inclusivity and diversity. Even though Garcia has a full plate with work in her local park department, being enrolled in a part-time undergrad program and working as a lead naturalist for a nonprofit that provides access to public outdoor activities for undeserving communities—she sees her work as a creative equally as important.“I try to engage

with everyone as much as a can because I genuinely love meeting and getting to know people,” says Garcia. “And I want to constantly share tips, DIYS, recipes and outfits but sometimes I need to put my work and life priorities first. I’m still figuring it all out honestly.” Garcia offered tips for how to start living a sustainable life—which are listed down below—and ended with a statement of motivation for anyone who is ready to take on an eco-friendly lifestyle: “The tiniest of changes in our habits can have a great and positive impact in our lives and in our environment.” SALLY’S TIPS • First and foremost, use what you have. Don’t feel like you need to go out and buy a whole zero waste kit to start. Do you have an empty pasta sauce jar? Use that as your travel water bottle, coffee cup or to go container. • Try buying second hand as much as you can. This goes for clothing, home decor and furniture. You can even host clothing swaps with friends. • If it’s accessible to you, try taking public transit a couple times out of the week. • Got vinegar and oranges? Save those orange peels and add vinegar and you have multi-purpose cleaner!


Rising recording artist, RAICHE, effortlessly combines both her natural talent and bold personality - which propels her into another level. With her brand new EP Drive, and a growing social media following, it is quite clear that Raiche has made an impact and does not plan on stopping anytime soon. Beginning by uploading cover videos to YouTube in a small town two hours outside of Boston, to now having 20K+ followers on Instagram, the young artist focuses on ideas of working hard, radiating positivity and possessing confidence in not only the lyrics of her music, but in the habits of her everyday life. The power of social media in today’s world is evident across all disciplines. It’s importance and possibility in reaching an audience, spreading a message and displaying anything can all aid in advancing a career— which is exactly what it has done for Raiche in only a few short years. “Some people think otherwise, but for me social media keeps me creative. Keeps me wanting to try new things and step out of my comfort zone. You have to be one step ahead to grow your Instagram page. It’s important to showcase your product and in my case it’s me,” says Raiche. This constant practice of pushing boundaries and walking the tightrope of contentment and complacency is the number one motive behind Raiche’s songs. She uses motivation, confidence and consistency as a starting point and elevates those feelings to her music. “I stay up on my game by constantly pushing myself out of my comfort zone and then after feeling completely uncomfortable, taking some time for myself to appreciate the work that I’ve put in and the product that’s come from it.” Her song “Money Pies,” the fifth track on the EP, is an excellent example of just how important these concepts mean to her.


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This collection of songs flow together seamlessly, but each differ slightly in style. Cultivating a unique sound based off of modern day pop and soulful, bluesy undertones, it’s no wonder that Raiche loves both oldies and classics. Listeners can expect to hear a nod to the past, mixed with breezy, fresh vocals and upbeat melodies. “Drive,” the first song and the title track “...had the strongest direction and story line,” says Raiche. “It describes my character and qualities as a person very well.” “Complicated,” the third track on the EP, has over 200,000 plays on Spotify and is Raiche’s second most popular song on Spotify. “I think listeners are resonating with “Complicated” because humans are creatures of love and we all go through heartbreak and the motions of relationships. “Complicated” is easily identifiable.” Honesty and reliability are strong takeaways from Drive which are intentions on Raiche’s radar. “It’s important for my music to always have a positive message, I feel that as a writer and artist, I have a very serious and important job. The music people listen to becomes imbedded in their mind and what you keep in your mind turns in to the actions you make and how you move through this life.” Being a role model for listeners to look up to excites Raiche and influences the direction she is heading.

When asked about her creative and writing process, Raiche says, “I feel the most creative at night time. When it’s just me, myself and I chillin’. It’s almost always a melody that comes first then the lyric. When I’m alone it comes all at once though, like a song from my heart.” Navigating the music industry by sharing her journey and showcasing exactly what it takes, strikes a serious momentum of growth, ambition and desire. Raiche states that her biggest inspiration is her mother, who has always had a tremendous work ethic that was impressionable from a young age. Taking that stride and running with it, has allowed Raiche to make an immediate impact in the charts where she has found listeners demanding and enchanted for more. The best has yet to come for Raiche, who’s sound and authenticity is ready for whatever comes her way next. Anticipated to only advance and flourish, Raiche says that “the future feels and looks bright. Expect to see my face around more and more.”


Milly Toomey, also known as GIRLI, defines pop her way. The English singer and songwriter grew up in London and, like many artists, saw music as something she could escape to. “I loved performing and I loved going to gigs and was obsessed with bands, so starting my own made sense,” she says. Milly does not stick to one sound, and each song differs from the rest. She shares that her latest album, Odd One Out, was inspired by “a mix of pop music like La Roux, Kate Bush, Lily Allen, punk like Violet Femmes and The Slits, and 90s ballad bands like The Cranberries to EDM/ banger vibes like Avicii and Charli XCX.” Visual aspects of her work play a significant role in expressing who GIRLI is as a performer. “My pink hair is my signature look,” she says. “That’s very important to me. And my dress style needs to pop and say something about my individuality to me. My music videos need to tell a story and express the emotion the song encapsulates. Live shows are all about energy and fun. Nothing visual I put out can be boring!” I ask her what ‘pop’ means to her, and she replies, “Pop is whatever you make of it. I think I make pop for everyone. People who don’t listen to pop, people who are massive pop fans. I don’t think “pop” is even a definite genre anymore because so many artists are pushing the boundaries of pop songs.”


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“i don’t think “pop” is even a definite genre anymore because so many artists are pushing the boundaries of pop songs.”

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MIRANDA RAE MAYO is a jack of all trades, and a kind, charming, and vivacious one at that. Miranda recalls her earliest years with a smile that I can hear through the phone; she can trace her passion for performance back to her childhood. “When I was three or four, there was this tree stump near our family’s house and Snow White was my favourite movie, so in the morning I would go and stand on this stump and I would sing at the top of my lungs. I remember being nervous and then I’d look around and when nobody was telling me to be quiet I’d just get louder and louder. So, that’s not acting but it is performing; getting up on my own stump stage and commanding attention.” Miranda’s most current role is her ongoing portrayal of Stella Kidd on NBC’sChicago Fire, and I was interested to see what she enjoys most about playing this fiery character. “I enjoy the physicality that playing her demands. It is such a welcome challenge,” she says. “I love the community aspect of the world that she lives in. I love the firehouse and the comradery between all of the members of the house. She is a shyster and she’s really funny. She’s always up for a good scheme and that’s really fun to play.” Of all the roles she’s had, Miranda feels she has had the most opportunity for growth through playing Stella: “I’ve taken away something different from every project I’ve worked on but this one I’ve been in a relationship with the longest. Every role that I’ve done though has been beneficial and impactful. It’s like asking which one of your lovers has been the most impactful. I think you learn something different every time you enter into a relationship, whether it’s with a person or a project.”


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LEFT: Ganni sweater, Mother denim + Rachel Comey red boots RIGHT: Holy Smokes Mother tee, Ulla Johnson olive pant + Rodebjer orange muff/clutch


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“the more that i dedicate to being in communion with myself and my authentic desires, the more that life magically unfolds and provides everything that i need.”

Beside her acting career is a budding musical career as well, though she doesn’t plan on placing emphasis on one over the other. “I am really committed to expressing as authentically as I can with every opportunity that feels right at that time and it’s my intention to be as clear of a channel as possible. I’m performing a live Burlesque show in April. There’s one song in the show that’s very soulful and there’s one that’s very jazzy, and sexy, and there’s another one that is really rockand-roll with a country vibe. I think any artist is really focused on allowing whatever song wants to come through to come through.” I ask her who she’d consider her biggest influences at the moment. Her answer? Her Chicago Fire co-stars, Eamonn Walker and David Eigenberg. She says, “I’m around them so much. They have such a commitment to not only their work but to being beautiful human beings, so that’s something that is really inspirational to me. I’ve also been thinking a lot about Meryl Streep lately. She did this interview and she said something along the lines of, ‘The really good actors are where they are, they’re not thinking about anything else’. That little snippet of wisdom has really been informing my work lately. As far as musically, Amy Winehouse is a huge inspiration. She’s so free!”


Mindfulness and meditation are key practices that Miranda has integrated into her life, and she is vocal about the power they hold for her. “I have noticed that when my mind and my ego get wrapped up in trying to figure everything out, my life kind of falls apart and I experience a massive amount of overwhelm,” she shares. “The more that I dedicate to being in communion with myself and my authentic desires, the more that life magically unfolds and provides everything that I need. It is a practice of focus. Meditation is really just a practical way to get in touch with oneself.” She raises a point: how different could our world would be if our leaders practiced mindfulness too? On this note, she mentions her adoration for the Holistic Life Foundation; a non-profit organization she has been involved with that is committed to empowering communities by fostering self-care and mindfulness practices. Miranda has many things to look forward to this year, a few of them being her upcoming Burlesque show and moving into her newfound home in Chicago. “This city has been so good to me,” she says. “I actually just bought my first home and it’s in Chicago! If that’s not telling how wonderful this city is, I don’t know what is.” There will be a bit of a hiatus for her this summer, which will allow her to go home, spend time with family, and visit California.

RIGHT: odebjer faux fur vest, Rachel Comey yellow silk blouse with Ulla Johnson olive pant LEFT: White Apiece Apart top, Mother denim + white Rachel Comey boots

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CIARA RILEY WILSON lives by one quote: “If you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.” It’s clear that this superstar’s bold and ambitious attitude has treated her well so far, as she is now an actress, dancer, and Disney Channel star — all at the age of 18. Originally from Portland, Oregon, Wilson grew up dancing competitively and began coming to Los Angeles for acting opportunities at age 12. Today she works as an actress and dancer, living out her dreams in LA. Most recently, Wilson played Athena in Disney Channel’s newest Kim Possible movie. “Working on the live action Kim Possible movie was by far the best experience of my life,” says Wilson. “My favorite memories include falling in love with my character Athena and truly going on the emotional journey of this movie with her.” Athena is a new character in the Kim Possible storyline, a new high school student that Kim and Ron befriend who also happens to be Kim’s biggest fan. Athena ends up tagging along on important missions throughout the movie and befriending Kim and Ron along the way. Wilson speaks to the process of bringing this new character to life, noting, “Athena is the most

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complex character I’ve ever played and truly goes through a journey in the storyline of Kim Possible, so it was an exciting challenge for me as an actress to dive into this role. Because Athena is a new character who wasn’t in the original cartoon series, it was fun for me to create her backstory and personality.” Wilson is not only an actress, but also a trained dancer. Aside from creating this dynamic new character, Wilson loved her role in Kim Possible because it allowed


her to experiment with physicality through stunt work. “I thrive in roles that call for an element of athleticism,” she remarks. “Whether it be dance, stunt work, martial arts, or even physical comedy, I always find myself wanting to utilize that type of physicality.” It’s clear that Wilson is keen on blending her two passions; the artist has been dancing her whole life and grew up doing jazz, tap, ballet, contemporary, and hip hop dance competitively. Since moving to Los


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Angeles, she’s booked dancing roles in several music videos for artists like Fifth Harmony and Chris Brown. She reflects that although her focus has shifted more towards acting, she finds that her two passions often go hand and hand. “I love when I can do projects that combine them and have found having a strong dance background comes in handy for many roles, including the rigorous stunt training for Kim Possible!” Aside from acting and dance, one of Wilson’s biggest passions is empowering young girls. “The roles that attract me most are the people I most want to be like,” she notes. “The girls who are outgoing, leaders, unique, and walk to the beat of their own drum. I have always loved comedy and the bold characters that come with it.” She furthers that young women who aspire to be performers should never give up on their dreams. “Never doubt that you aren’t capable of everything you set your mind to,” she emphasizes. “Especially for young women in the industry: you can do anything. Point blank period.” While Wilson has already accomplished a lot at a young age, the performer speaks to future goals and plans for her next projects, one of which is breaking into comedy. “There are many things I hope to accomplish in the future, but my number one goal has always been to be on Saturday Night Live,” she admits. “Whether it be as a host or in the main cast, watching SNL growing up has shaped me as a sketch comedy actress and a person.” Although young and still breaking into the business, you can expect to see this superstar in several new projects this year including Disney Channel’s Coop & Cami Ask The World as well as L.A.’s Finest, a new girl power action packed cop drama starring Jessica Alba and Gabrielle Union. Ciara Riley Wilson is bold, ambitious, and clearly thriving — ­ get ready for this talented woman to light up your screens very soon.


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ISABELLE ESTRIN describes her Instagram as “French countryside meets a Prozac commercial.” Swiping through Isabelle Estrin’s Instagram page can transport you to a dreamy European town or romantic New York apartment. Filled with images of fruits and flowers, mirror selfies, and snaps of Estrin lounging in her underwear, Estrin said her page is often described as “the French countryside meets a Prozac commercial.” New York based content creator first downloaded Instagram during her high school math class when she was 15 and “was really into heavy eyeliner.” “Since then, my account has evolved as I have,” Estrin recalled. “It reflects my evolving style and interests, as well as what I’m drawing inspiration from at any given time.” Estrin’s feed has evolved from the days of her using Snapchat filters and posting pictures of polaroids. However, the overall essence has stayed the same: real images of Estrin with friends, eating or drinking red wine, pinned against the New York landscape. “I spent most of my childhood coming to New York, where my parents met and most of my family still live, so New York was always a big part of my identity,” Estrin admitted. “I felt drawn to New York because so much of who I was is instilled in this city. Moving to New York shaped everything about me, I am who I am because of this city.”

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Estrin grew up in the suburbs of Atlanta but went to college in Manhattan at The Fashion Institute of Technology. While at college, Estrin began interning for The Break, an onlinebased Vintage store, where she is now the Director of Wholesale and Customer Service for the company. “The Break became my family as well as my dream job,” Estrin said. “I was so lucky to be given the opportunities and the trust that The Break awarded me.” Estrin in no stranger to working for fashion retail companies, with past experience at Free People and Reformation, but working for The Break has changed the way she dresses. “The Break also completely influenced my style and refined my taste,” Estrin admitted. “I learned to make better choices when it came to dressing myself, and that there is nothing quite as powerful as a woman in a well fitted blazer.” While working for The Break has impacted her style, as her Instagram page showcases Estrin in cream dresses, vintage pieces and tulle skirts, various people play a role in her personal style. “Solange is my biggest style inspiration,” Estrin claims. “Whether it’s through fashion or her art, everything she does is so powerful. She is the embodiment of style. My other style inspirations are my friends. They each have such unique, individual personal style choices and emit so much confidence through those choices. I definitely feed off their looks whenever I have to get dressed, often times I’m stealing something from their closets as well.”


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“i like to embrace womxnhood and femininity through supporting womxn and practicing inclusivity in all aspects of this support.”

Although Estrin’s feed is mainly snaps of her wearing dresses, she also exudes confidence with her many topless mirror selfies and photos of her in her bra and underwear. “I think everyone feels some sort of insecurity when posting themselves but it’s important to be kind to yourself,” Estrin said. “I don’t find posting on Instagram and self-confidence necessarily interchangeable. It is easy to assume through social media that people, especially womxn, are confident, flawless entities. It’s OK to feel confident online and less so in real life.” Through her feed, Estrin embraces womanhood and femininity, while supporting her friends and fellow women. “Girl power means recognizing and embracing ourselves and the womxn around us,” Estrin stated. “I like to embrace womxnhood and femininity through supporting womxn and practicing inclusivity in all aspects of this support.” When it comes to the future, Estrin remained open-minded and focused on the simpler parts of life. “I just want to be someone who can continue to support my loved ones, drink red wine, and eat cheese in the south of France with my four dogs.”

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From one look at TESS YARBROUGH’s vibrant YouTube channel and Instagram posts, anyone can tell that she is one of a kind. Over one phone call, I could hear the old soul and die-hard music lover in her, and she’s just as lovely and spirited as she is online. I ask her if she remembers who her first favourite artist or band was, and she says KISS without hesitation. “My first concert I went to was KISS. I was 5 and I was obsessed. I was the kid with the little rock-on hands. I saw them four times before the age of 12. I used to get mad at my brother if he talked during my favourite songs and I’d make my dad start them over. At one show my dad painted my face in a parking lot because this woman was handing out face paint, and it’s funny to me because I am that woman now.” At the end of April, Tess will be celebrating 11 years on YouTube. She first started her channel, under the username safetytess, because she loved watching her family’s home videos, and creating her own eventually became an outlet for documenting her life and passion for music. “I never watched regular TV because I would just rewatch our home videos. The big reason I started it was because I liked vloggers and what really propelled me to make videos was a family vlog channel I used to watch,” she shares. “About 10 years ago my dad got really sick and that was very hard, and I used YouTube as a way to cope and document my life. It slowly morphed into music lifestyle because I loved Tegan and Sara. They helped me a lot when my dad was sick. At that time no one really vlogged concerts so I started doing that too.”


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She says that her online presence is all about “giving new music to the old generation and old music to the new generation”. She says, “Not everybody has the joy of growing up with the Beatles or having their parents share something like that with them, so I try to share knowledge and history of music because I love it so much. You should be able to like the Rolling Stones and One Direction on the same level, and nobody should make you feel bad for that.” Fan culture is certainly impactful, and it can be an integral part of the adolescent experience especially. I ask Tess in what ways fandoms have shaped her experience as a music lover, and she replies, “They’ve impacted my life in the sense that they’ve built temporary communities around everything I do. You’ll always find someone in some fandom. It’s this way to build communities you don’t live in but you can go to them when you need to. Fandoms build communities around the music and that only helps propel the music further. Everyone around the world becomes a friend, and the fandom is like a family you got to choose.” Our conversation quickly turned into us mutually gushing over our favourite artists and sharing the kind of power fandoms hold for us. Tess mentions her crush on Mick Jagger (in 1968, specifically) and her collection of weird 60s memorabilia: “I collect 1960s teen magazines. They’re just so much like fandoms. They really are the Twitter of that time period. Fan culture hasn’t changed, it’s just the medium that is constantly changing.” Tess has a heart of rock-and-roll gold, and it’s clear that she puts out the content that she loves. On her platforms you’ll find her documenting live shows, experimenting with vintage fashion, dancing at festivals, and sharing a love for music that simply radiates.

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If, according to Oscar Wilde, every “portrait painted with feeling” is more a portrait of the artist than the sitter, then it stands to reason that any photograph taken with such emotion—say, a snapshot of Solange Knowles performing at FYF in Los Angeles in 2018—is less a portrait of a Grammy Award-winning artist at a major music festival and more of the photographer behind the lens. And in this particular case that photographer is NATALIE SOMEKH—who in that particular moment was flooding her eyes and face with tears while blowing-out the eardrums of her fellow photographers nearby as she sang every word of the R&B superstar’s songs—all the while still in fervent diligence snapping photographs of the performer. The photographs Somekh captured that night carried all the hallmarks of her unique eye: from her sublime, softly-saturated colorways to the tender moments—all wrapped-up in the chaos of a live performance—that she seems to so effortlessly freeze. It’s intimate, closely guarded split-second portraits that Somekh delivers with her photography, instances that are lost the moment her subject blinks an eye, begins turning their body, vibrates their vocal chords to sustain a note—moments long gone before your memory of them has even begun to flicker and fade. At 21-years-old Somekh has experienced billions of these moments and attended more concerts and music festivals than even the most avid of music fans ever would or could if given two lifetimes to attempt it. After skipping her senior year prom to pursue photography, she landed a position while still in high-school at The Observatory in Santa Ana as the house photographer, shooting shows almost every night and remaining quiet about the fact that she was underage until she had to be put on the payroll.


“I would act mature and hope nobody would ask,” Somekh said of her predicament. “My phone thinks that The Observatory is my home. You know when the notification pops up, and it’s like “It will take you 15 minutes to get home.’ I’ll be like, ‘Wait, I’m already home? Oh, it means the Observatory.’ I’ve shot every single genre, but rap has been the most interesting. Before I worked at the venue, I never listened to rap, but now I can tell you about (most) rappers from what they are like in person to what they want on their rider. Lil Yachty loves Domino’s pizza and their chicken wings.” Because of her position at The Observatory, Somekh has documented an eclectic mix of artists and bands that—if one was ever so inclined to list—would probably resemble the kind of festival bill we could only dream of. She’s found herself in an endless loop of surreal moments and strange scenarios; from standing side-stage watching kids mosh to Travis Scott’s Coachella set to the bizarre scene of Cage the Elephant throwing McDonald’s cheeseburgers at Morrissey. And her photographs are a scrapbook of monolithic giants—Scott atop his phoenix, Frank Ocean in headphones serenading at the center of an FYF crowd, St. Vincent cut-in-half by a single ray of light while tearing into a riff—yet even the star power in her photographs has to relinquish itself to her tenacious capturing. It doesn’t matter if she’s photographing the main stage at Coachella or on tour with punk-rockers Mt. Eddy, Somekh’s photographs are warm moments of dynamic love, hope, excitement—even perhaps anxiety and pain—that are as much a part of the people in the photographs as they are herself. And that style and approach appears to have a lot to do with how and why she picked up a camera in the first place.

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clicked. I realized that I wanted to work hard enough to create art that speaks volumes just like how the portrait of Monroe by Avedon reached out and shook me to my core.” That photograph of Monroe by Avedon is as striking a photograph with such simplicity could possibly be—you’re probably picturing the famous “flying-skirt” photograph taken by Sam Shaw in 1954—but that’s not it. Avedon’s capture instead sees a still-glamorous Monroe with her eyes downcast, caught in a potently vulnerable stare—the photograph is missing all the euphoric joy that Shaw’s and other photographs of the actress/singer often emblazoned—but it’s possibly the most human piece of Monroe that has ever been left imprinted on anything in this world. And so it’s not hard to see why or how that might’ve affected Somekh in her art. Concert photography might’ve been her first run-in with the professional-side of the industry—it allowed her to develop her style and taught her how to control and use challenging lighting situations to her advantage—but the spirit of Somekh’s photography is rooted in the subtle intimacy and profound emotionality of a 1957 portrait of Monroe.

“I discovered photography during the summer of 8th grade. I remember rummaging through my mom’s garage and stumbling upon her Canon AE-1 Program. Opening up the case that protected this camera was like opening up Pandora’s box.” From there she started taking portraits of her friends and attended events in her neighborhood—football games to protests—Somekh was there looking for any reason to push that little button and freeze a moment in time forever. More recently she was there on inauguration day in 2017, like so many others, in downtown Los Angeles protesting the election of Donald Trump—a man accused of sexual assault by multiple women who has gloated over being able to commit such heinous acts without reprimand—snapping a particularly affecting photo of a faceless person, blocked by the crowd around her, holding up a sign: “We are better than this.” But the moment that really solidified her eventual pursuit of photography came years previous, from pure happenchance, when browsing the internet for inspiration. “I came across the photo of Marilyn Monroe taken in 1957 by Richard Avedon. I clearly remember being in awe of how this portrait captured the essence of Monroe’s soul. Marilyn Monroe in her most authentic form, Norma Jean looking sullen and exhausted. During this moment, something in my mind

And there are other moments—as well as people—that have anchored photography as not only an outlet to express herself but also help her feel more connected with those around her. One of those individuals is her Papa, an 87-year-old doctor that specializes in anatomic pathology. Somekh has detailed in the past working closely with him, helping him photograph on his Leica camera tumors that form in the fetus and neonate in the hopes of diagnosing and studying their causes. “He has written books on books about the subject and took all of the pictures to accompany the cases. My mom always talks to me about being traumatized after walking into my Papa’s darkroom as a child and finding images of tumors drying on the walls. I see them as quite beautiful. Anyone who has spent time shooting and developing film knows the number of hours and dedication that goes into producing a photograph. Recently, we have been bonding over this, and I just got him the tools to reconstruct his darkroom.” More recently, in September of last year, Somekh ran into Future Islands frontman Samuel “crazy-legs” Herring backstage at The Observatory and had an enriching, life-affirming conversation about art and expression with him—which she described as one of the most “surreal experiences” she’s ever had at the venue. “He struck up a conversation with me, and we talked about how songs he wrote ten years ago have a completely different meaning now. We also talked about how important it is to remain vulnerable in today’s world. There’s a certain taboo with creating a persona where everything is fine when it is not.

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The strongest people are the ones who are not afraid to be vulnerable. We cannot hide from our true self, our true feelings, because in doing so we are cheating ourselves from experiencing life.” It’s important moments like these—moments fueled by the intimacy of human connection—that continue to course in the subtle but tangible undercurrents of Somekh’s art. And it’s what driving her now to explore outside the realm of concert photography and into new genres of her art. “I believe portrait photography is where I thrive,” Somekh says of the genre. “There is just a lot more creative freedom through being able to conceptualize and control every aspect of an image. Concert photography will always be my first love, but right now I am working on expanding my areas of expertise. I thoroughly enjoy being able to work one on one with a model in a collaborative environment.” And thrive she has, photographing artists like Francesca Simone for She Shreds Magazine—a publication dedicated to highlighting female guitarists and bassists—and in her own creative endeavors. Like the pair of cinematically ethereal photographs she snapped of her friend in Laguna Beach, California—sitting on an outcropping of rocks in the midnight-blue dark, illuminated in red-light. Somekh’s creative engine and raw, insatiable desire to capture is a driving force for everything that she pursues in her art—and while her talent and skill is self-evident—as a women, working in a predominantly male industry—that isn’t always enough. “I think the hardest thing to deal with is being denied access when I have the correct credentials,” Somekh said of the challenges of being a female photographer. “As the Observatory’s house photographer, I have had the opportunity to create photo teams for festivals like Beach Goth, Day N Night, Tropicalia, Summertime in the LBC, and Smokin’ Grooves. Being in charge of these teams as a woman has been, for lack of a better term, challenging. On many occasions, I had the highest credentials of anyone at that festival, and I still had to have one of my male photographers vouch for me that I was working the festival and not some random person with a production wristband. It’s tough when you’ve worked so hard to be able to have opportunities like this, only to be denied of your rights by a security guard on a power trip.” “There have been plenty of times where I have been denied tours because they don’t want a female in their camp. There is always someone who is uncomfortable with the thought of having a woman on the road with them. They usually blame it on a girlfriend back home or some BS. This just grinds my gears because although it isn’t an issue for me, people make a big deal about it. The last tour I went on I was the only woman among thirty men. We had a great time! I believe that if a man cannot control himself in the presence of a female then he shouldn’t be on the tour anyway.”


“Advice I have for woman and young girls trying to enter the music industry as creatives would be don’t be afraid to stand your ground. When someone tells you you don’t belong in the environment don’t let that discourage you. Just give them a menacing glare and tell them you do. There’s nothing that throws people off like a woman who isn’t afraid to challenge them. You belong. You’ve always belonged and I want you to know that.” It’s that kind of staunch perseverance that not only outlasts longstanding, sexist barriers within male-dominated industries—it’ll topple them as well. Somekh for one isn’t going anywhere: she’ll be returning to this year’s Coachella, this time as a part of the team that’ll be photographing the music festival. And when asked what the phrase “girl power” meant to her—as a female and as a female artist—Somekh said it meant being “unapologetically woman.” “Girl Power is not only about instilling confidence within yourself but empowering others to do so. When women support each other incredible things happen. I believe now, more than ever, representation means everything and is crucial for young girls to look up to women who embody all that is Girl Power. The movement is about standing up for yourself and the lives of others. I feel as though women artists are the pioneers to making the Girl Power movement happen.” “We are the ones who can express our views and present them to the world in a way that resonates with people. Therefore, we have a particular duty as artists to be active in fighting for human rights and gender equality. The future is in our hands, and we have the key to changing the status quo.”

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Hello! My name is Liz Meade and I’m the founder of Threebrand Media, a PR, branding, and artist development firm based in Nashville, TN. When I was asked to share my insight on being a female creative in the music business, my first instinct was to relay how lucky I am to be able to do what I love for a living and how hard work and persistence always pay off in the end… but I’m so tired of hearing that story, aren’t you? When I was younger and still trying to navigate this industry, I would always read articles about successful music executives and wonder how they made their way into that position. Most all of them chalked it up to a strong work ethic and a bit of luck. But I’ve worked on sold-out stadium tours, represented Grammy-winning artists, and marketed No. 1 records, and I’m going to be real with you all. The truth is, it wasn’t luck or hard work that landed most of us a job in the music business. According to the UK Music “Measuring Music” report only 30 percent of senior music executive roles are held by women, despite making up 59 percent of entry-level positions and 60 percent of internships. Of those few executive roles, only 11 percent belong to women of color, while a mere 33 percent are held by women ages 45-64. Looking at statistics like those, it’s hard to view success in the music industry as a meritocracy or a chance opportunity guided by fate. Women are equally as hard working as our male counterparts, so why isn’t our inclusion in this business equally representative? Unfortunately, the outlook for our artists is just as bleak. The Annenberg Inclusion Initiative reported that of the 700 most popular songs from 2012-2018, only 21.7 percent were performed by female acts. Of those same songs, 12.3 percent were written by female songwriters, with an abysmal 2.1 percent being produced by women. Additionally, only 10.4 percent of Grammy Nominees from 2013-2019 were women. So how do we change it? In a world of Lean-In feminism and Recording Academy presidents telling women to “step up” for equality, the responsibility still somehow falls on female executives and creatives

to generate our own opportunity in a land where there is none. If gatekeepers hold the power to change the narrative, and most all of those gatekeepers are male, how are we expected to take ownership of our success? Put simply, we can’t. More than ever, women continue to bypass the system by making their own rules in the independent market, but the majority of revenue still lies within major distribution, publishing, touring, etc. We need the help of our male colleagues to move the needle. We need to hire women. Hire older women. Hire fat women. Hire people of color. Hire LGBTQIA+ people. Hire non-binary people. Hire disabled people. And in the reckoning of the #MeToo movement, we’ve got to listen to them in order to retain them. Believe them. It’s imperative. I’m not lucky. I’m someone whose ability to take out enough student loans to afford a college education granted me access to an unpaid internship that turned into an entry-level public relations job. That job turned into opening my own business when my previous employer gave me the tools to do so. That’s not to negate all of the effort that went into maintaining the aforementioned, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I’m only here writing this article because I had access to certain advantages that others did not. Certain systemic barriers were set in place for me to succeed in some ways and fail in others. It was not chance or luck that put them there. They were deliberately created to keep certain people out— people like me and so many more that are underrepresented in this industry. But perhaps my saving grace was that someone who was already established in this business offered me a seat at the table with the same deliberateness of a system that sets too many of us up for failure. So whether you’re currently working in the music industry, or you’re just looking to break in, my charge to you is this: when you get a chance to pull up your own chair, make room for others who need that spot even more than you do. Change starts with us. What will your table look like?

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I’m Caylee Robillard – I’m a live music and portrait photographer based in Atlanta, Georgia. I think live music is the closest thing in this world to magic and getting the opportunity to capture the feeling you get at a show is everything to me. The movement, life, momentum, and energy of live music is something I am constantly trying to convey through my photos. The greatest part of being a photographer within the music industry is the ability to take someone’s memory of a show they loved and transfer it into a photograph that lives beyond that one night. I’ve been shooting shows for almost 2 years, and over that time I’ve learned a lifetime’s worth about myself and what art and expression means. Being a female creative within the music industry has its challenges, but nothing compares to the feeling of creating something that not only means so much to me but, also to other people. The growth that the industry has seen just within the two years that I have been a part of it, has been immense and absolutely incredible to witness. I am constantly seeing badass woman conquering the music world, whether it is through photography, production, performance, etc.

“i think representation is vital to being a female creative within this industry – the more women i see creating incredible art, the more empowered i feel.”


There is still room for growth but, massive steps are being taken in the right direction. I hope to be able to empower other women in the music industry, because I am constantly inspired and empowered by the women around me. If there’s one thing I would want to share with aspiring creatives, especially women in the music industry, it would be: you and your art are valid, keep creating, and make things that matter.

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shley centers her messages of empowerment and self-love vis-a-vis her wide array of YouTube videos on her channel titled, bestdressed. Videos that quelm on authenticity and honesty in a realm that is often contorted to exemplify perfection. bestdressed crafts the video concepts herself, directs them, and edits them until they become the refined beautiful pieces that pop up on your YouTube suggestion page. She has activated a space where it is okay to talk about topics that other YouTubers stray away from— losing your virginity to openly talking about how to combat racism and sexism. Simultaneously, she gravitates toward implementing moments of design appreciation in her Outfit of The Week Videos, discussing how to couple thrifted finds with stellar vintage pieces. Truly, she has become everyone’s sister—the one they can look to for unabashedly honest advice.

mom to discuss the topic with, therefore I turned to her videos as the form of advice I could always go to. “I’m so glad the video about sex reached you. Sometimes I feel pressured to create certain trendy format videos that I know will get more views or make brand-friendly content, or at the most basic level make videos that YouTube won’t automatically demonetize.” She addresses the shock she encountered when the video amassed so many views. “I honestly didn’t think that video would get many views (and knew it wouldn’t make any money), but I felt an urge to talk about something that nobody else would. Sex on YouTube is dramatized into clickbait, joked about, or ignored all together, so I wanted to just sit down and chat about my experiences with sex without stigma and hopefully help some women along the way,” she explains.

“Our culture keeps so many topics taboo, especially for women,” she states. “Politics, sex, swearing, eating disorders, even something as simple as showing your skin without makeup or not sucking in your stomach rolls is seen as ‘risky territory.’ It’s frankly exhausting to be filtered and Facetuned and spandex’d all the time. So, I hope by being vulnerable and honest with my viewers, they can feel a little more comfortable with their real selves,” she continues.

There is no one template or script that bestdressed abides by in her videos. She acknowledges that YouTube is a space where people display their best moments in vlogs, but she eagerly shows the highs and the lows of everyday college life as both a student and YouTuber at UCLA. Navigating the demands of both her devoted YouTube subscribers that stretch over 1 million and academia are quite the task. bestdressed willingly expresses the importance of taking a candid approach when it comes to how she portrays herself through her videos.

I spoke with her about how her video about sex particularly stuck with me, as I only ever attained sexual advice from the realms of Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City and loose references in Seth Rogen movies. I, myself, identify as one of her viewers that never had the older sister or open-minded

“Something I learned early on in film school is that creative control is more valuable than money,” she states. “Having complete creative control over my videos, from concept to filming to editing to distribution to “marketing” (the thumbnail and the title), is my absolute favorite thing about YouTube.”




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bestdressed asks herself a rhetorical question that displays her intentions on being true to not only herself but her viewers. “Would hiring an editor save me about 30 hours each week? Yes. But that’s a feeling I never want to give up.” There is no hesitation and no inner debate within her own self-reflection. She is someone who finds meaning in creative freedom rather than risking it for a few moments of relaxation. When I ask her the question about how she finds breaks being a one-man show, she lightheartedly jokes saying, “Error 404 Cannot Process ‘Break’.” “I’m notoriously bad at relaxing because I’ve been instilled from a young age with a good old-fashioned Puritanical work ethic. I hate when people glamorize the “grind” but between school and YouTube, I’ve pretty much worked seven days a week for the past two years. A lot of the things that used to be my hobbies — like thrifting or sewing or taking photos — are now part of my job, which makes work fun but also makes everything into work. I just graduated college last week though, and I’m excited to take some healthy time to unwind! Spending time with friends or my boyfriend without my phone, going for walk in nature (I sound so old lol), or getting lost in a good movie sound nice.” Even if she were to win the lottery tomorrow, bestdressed’s goals are still cemented to her film work. “I just finished up a screenplay called KEVIN GETS LAID that’s a satire of frat culture and toxic masculinity, but I think my next screenplay would be the one I’d fund. Ever since I watched the FYRE documentary, I’ve been rolling around this idea in my head for a Wolf of Wall Street-style dark comedy about the influencer industry. I think it would be an interesting commentary on social media culture and wealth, and be a great opportunity to have a female-dominated cast.” she notes. Every aspect from facilitating discussion about personal subject matter to displaying layers of vulnerability on screen equates to the reliability her audience finds within her. “There’s value in making a fun, helpful, well-edited tutorial, but I’m not ignorant of the world outside my fashion bubble,” she says. “I don’t want to look back and think “Damn, I had over a million people listening to me, and all

I told them was how to pattern mix?” I try to incorporate issues that are relevant to my viewers and personal to me. The whole genre of “beauty/fashion guru” is so deeply tied with ideals of femininity that I find it hard to keep my mouth shut about feminism. By making videos about fashion, doing my makeup, being relatively skinny, and showing off my relationship with my boyfriend, I’m reinforcing a centuries-old ideal of (straight) femininity, so it’s the least I can do to throw in a sex joke here or there to shatter the illusion.” She coins fashion and picking certain wardrobe pieces as a pivotal origin of her confidence. In particular she cites a couple essential pieces like chunky black boots from UNIF, turtlenecks, and some killer high-rise jeans as adding to the unstoppable feeling. bestdressed feels ready to conquer the world when, “Sometimes I feel most confident dolled up with a twirly dress and sometimes I love masculine pants and my hair up. I haven’t been to New York in a while, but walking down those city streets surrounded by hundreds of confident people rocking their personal style also gives me this boost of second-hand confidence.” “Oh, and wearing some cute lingerie underneath my outfit never hurts either,” she adds ever so subtly. “To me fashion is like art you can wear! It can make you feel like a boss or a 50’s babe or a movie character. Especially if it’s thrifted or something I’ve sewn or altered myself, it feels like a unique extension of my personality,” she says. Flashback to her 7th grade fashion collection, she recounts some of her questionable outfit pieces. “There are so many to choose from, but if I had to pick one, it would be my scarf phase. I watched one YouTube video on 50 Ways to Wear a Scarf’ in 7th grade and I was sold. For the next two years, I wore a scarf newly every day to school. My favorite was a festive plaid infinity scarf from Target, but warm weather didn’t stop me either. You could catch me in spring with a mint green t-shirt and a pastel striped scarf. I even wore scarves with shorts,” she says. “YES, SHORTS,” she adds for a little extra emphasis.

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The nostalgia spun by archival YouTube fashion advice videos springs upon the fundamental role that YouTube played in her early, monumental stages of life. “I was one of the few kids in my hometown who really latched on to early YouTube, but when the only store within biking distance is CVS, I was desperately in need of entertainment. I watched CommunityChannel religiously and even started an incredibly crappy (and thankfully now deleted) comedy channel when I was in elementary school. I still long for those days of the random webcam skits on the OG YouTube. Later in middle school and high school, as I grew out of my tomboy phase, I watched Michelle Phan, Chriselle Lim, and Jenn Im who helped shape my sense of style and served as amazing Asian American role models who made me feel like YouTube was a space where I was welcome,” she states. bestdressed redefines YouTube. It is not just a place for solely entertainment purposes anymore. It’s a place to put your unwavering trust in your viewer’s hands. Plethoras of advice and easier access to knowledge that is often limited to higher education is what amounts to bestdressed’s success. She does not hold any barriers when it comes to her content, she ultimately creates what makes herself happy, not to please the rubric of what will attain the most views. Limiting her to a title of “creative” or “YouTuber” is underestimating who bestdressed is as a person. She uses her platform to offer more knowledge to her readers and give them some time to think about topics that others stray away from, whether those be of race, sexism, or sexual education. She highlights and underlines those topics as if they were boldened on a college-ruled notebook. Nothing is too taboo or unworthy of being heard, bestdressed offers her social commentary through a small 4-minute vlog if she desires. That refreshingly honest perspective has given her loyal audiences that look up to her and frankly bestdressed still finds herself shocked that she has generated a sisterhood and most importantly, a family with her viewers. “I feel honored and lucky and a bit undeserving. I still can’t wrap my head around the number of people who take time out of their day to watch and listen to whatever bullshit I have to say. I have major imposter syndrome every day but I keep reminding myself that you don’t have to be perfect to be a role model. I’m still figuring out who I am but I guess



that’s the part that people like. Sometimes I feel guilty for sitting in my bedroom talking about fashion and not tackling larger, more urgent issues in the world, but other times I’m like hell yeah, showing young women that they can be smart and stylish and sexually active and kick ass does matter, even if a lot of people (mainly men and older folks) don’t quite understand the value. In an ultra-filtered, sponsored, monetized era, it’s really hard to find genuine people, and I hope I can be that for some people,” she states. When asked what she hopes to manifest for the rest of 2019, she says, “Oh boy, where to start! I always have 10x more idea than I have time to do them. I have a couple exciting new projects in the works that have been lifelong dreams of mine so I guess you’ll just have to wait and see... to be less vague though, I’d love to continue to push my videos to new and more cinematic formats, make mini documentaries about issues I’m passionate about, direct a music video, start a podcast, finish my second screenplay, and think of ways to use my skill sets and all the opportunities I’ve been handed to help the people who need it most.” In the guise of a media saturated world producing the same reiterations of content, bestdressed is the gem of empowerment we all vitally need. The older sister to confide in, the wardrobe master on a budget, and the friend who will not hold back from telling us the honest truth.

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Friendship over rivalry. Encouragement over envy. Acceptance over judgment. Love over spite.

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We are sisters; not by something as accidental as blood, but by choice.


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Intimate objects make for intimate stories. For CARINA CHAZANAS, her constant infatuation with perfume embedded in her from an early age. It makes for a story that is still evergrowing and in fruition as time continues to unwind. We think of these intimate objects as a reminiscence of something we’ve once adorned but has left almost permanently. Only, for a second, you’re walking around the city, and you pass by a person or a store or maybe even a restaurant, and just then you’re reminded of that warm feeling. Perhaps as if memory capsules, within each creation of her perfume, Chazanas wants to create memories that feel close to home and also familiar to others with scents like amber, bergamot, vanilla, and florals that’ll sweep across your senses like a graze of delight. Growing up around the perfume and skincare industry by working alongside her mother’s brand, LaNatura, as an insightful young voice, led her to create a vegan, non-toxic, and unisex perfume brand of her own, Dedcool. Given her background and entrepreneurial spirit, she created Dedcool with the forefront of clean beauty and non-gender formalities.

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To be both aware and self-efficient requires quite a bit of patience, but Chazanas has stated the process of getting clean beauty out of the woods and into the market is one she feels strongly about because of how close it hits home for her. “Starting from the beginning stages of the company, I wanted to make sure Dedcool was in stores like Urban Outfitters and Neiman Marcus to get the word out. As the business progressed and became more successful, we decided exactly where to place the product, and it’s still surreal because I know this is only the beginning.” And so, it is. The neverending crowd of support and success following Chazanas’s first launch of perfume made her want to proceed further with more scent palettes, and then with the Chazstick, which is a chapstick created with the same intention as the rest of her products; vegan, non-toxic, and unisex. When asked of her future endeavors, she said she’s hoping to create CBDinfused perfume and more.


It’s essential to spread self-awareness and consciousness to things like clean beauty and non-toxic ingredients that are truly good for us to approach it the correct way. Clean beauty, though a healthier and happier alternative than the norm, seems to be harder to market even in today’s society which is slower to open their arms to better things. We’re all trying to find a better route to our skincare and beauty routine in hopes of not only benefiting ourselves but the environment as well. Though it may seem strenuous to have a fresher approach, it’s almost always easy to start small and gradually build upwards. When asked about favorite clean beauty skincare and makeup brands, Chazanas insists Credo is the go-to shop for natural beauty, “Credo is a store that encapsulates all that’s natural and vegan. I love Josh Rosebrook and Jillian Dempsey in terms of clean makeup, so if you’re looking for a fresh approach towards a new daily regimen, these are some I’d recommend.”

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Creating a brand and becoming one with a company come lots of trials and tribulations, but it seems as though Chazanas has encountered very little tribulations. Being that fragrance is very personal to her, she says you have to become a shapeshifter when setting the tone in a company especially being a woman, stating, “It’s definitely important that women have a say in what’s being sold to them.” It’s often hard to create something and be as successful the first time; it becomes difficult to utilize failure or rejection towards a sense of creativity that’s instilled from within. Chazanas says when speaking of creating, “Have a clear vision of what you want. Nothing happens overnight. Today, everything is so accessible with a click of a button; I think people forget it takes a lot of time to make a brand and to create a concept. Keeping that whole is essential.” What I felt was interesting about the whole conversation was the normality in which Chazanas spoke. How could the idea of something so simplistic have an entire vigorous proposition yet? When someone feels so strongly about their name and merchandise, that’s when you know it indeed is only the beginning. It’s never easy nor is it ever too difficult to achieve what you set the mind to do, especially when it comes directly from the core. As previously stated, in all magazines, in all articles, in all the daily routines, women are scolded, betrayed, belittled in ways unimaginable. But when has that stopped the wrath? The respectable and notable rage of overcoming, growing and succeeding. That, there, is what leads the unknown to the familiar. And Carina Chazanas is fulfilling that very notion with her brand, Dedcool.

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LEIGH-ANN KAMIFUJI, a travel and lifestyle influencer from Orange County aims to exhibit realness and positivity across her social media platform. Kamifuji’s demeanor on-camera is both fun and laid back, inviting the viewer into her life and making them feel like family. A native of California, Kamifuji has enjoyed living in ‘The Golden State.’ “I originally grew up in Orange County and college brought me out to LA,” she says. “I just love how one moment you can be catching some waves, and the next you can be snowboarding down mountains. Everyday feels like I’m ‘California dreamin’ for sure!” Kamifuji’s Instagram feed includes numerous pictures of herself snowboarding across snowy slopes or lounging at the beach— she’s living the California dream and inviting us along for the adventure. Like many other successful content creators, Kamifuji has expanded her social media presence to YouTube. She began her YouTube channel with the purpose of self-improvement and getting herself out of her comfort zone. “I started my YouTube channel as a ‘video diary’ to look back at memories and reflect on them for self-improvement purposes. I used to be such an introvert so when I first started I was so far out of my comfort zone. No joke, I would have to re-record things several times because I would get so nervous and tongue-twisted!” Having started less than a year ago, Kamifuji’s personal channel has already gained over 11K subscribers and is growing steadily everyday. Living so publicly comes with it’s ups and downs. Kamifuji says the most difficult aspect of her career is the tendency to compare. “The most difficult thing is trying not to validate myself based on how my social posts are doing,” she says. “I was never one who would necessarily care how many ‘likes’ I was getting, until it became my full-time job. It’s hard not to get caught up in it all.” An advocate for healthy and authentic living, Kamifuji describes meditation and yoga as the most impactful practices in her life. “I started doing yoga and meditating a couple months ago. It has taught me how to slow things down and enjoy life for what it really is. I think it started spilling into all aspects of my life and has changed everything for the better.”


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When asked her best advice for developing a healthy lifestyle, Kamifuji says it’s all about balance and mindset. “We all have to start somewhere. We’re all human, and it’s natural to progress, plateau, regress, etc. You want that piece of pizza staring at you? GIRL, eat it! No lie, I still make 2am trips to Mickey D’s for their french fries every once in awhile. If you’re thinking of it as a ‘diet’ rather than a lifestyle change, it won’t work. At the end of the day, as long as you’re trying to be the best version of yourself for the present and the future, then that’s all that matters.” The greatest advice someone has given her, she replied: “In a world where you can be anybody, just be yourself. I think it is totally prevalent with the way social media is now because everyone is so caught up in fitting this ‘image’ when we can all just unapologetically be ourselves.” As Kamifuji continues to pursue her dreams, we can rest assured that her authentic self will shine through and radiate a positive influence on everyone around her.

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“Jump right in and go for it.” JESSICA NEISTADT, a YouTube content creator and blogger, is all about letting doubts go and pursuing what fits best to intuition. It’s a moment of clarity to see a mission of accomplishment when accompanied by its fulfillment, predominantly if it’s something one has worked extremely hard at for what seems an infinite time. Everyone has an outlet which they find access to reach due to their passion, but if there’s no will power, where will it lead? Neistadt, now leading a full-time life on Youtube has kept the silence to a minimum. Vocalizing every one of her ideas and with helpful videos on what seems everything, she is paving the way for women who are trying to conceive their own ideas in a society which appears trivializing. The radiance that Neistadt beams throughout her videos on YouTube is noticeable. When asked about how she continuously grows from YouTube and the steps it’s taken to get to where she is now, she says, “The most important thing I’ve learned with finding happiness and success on YouTube is to find and create content that you love. If you create content that you’re not passionate about but gets you views and subscribers, sure you’ll see a form of success, but it won’t be lasting in the sense of fulfillment. You’ll feel like you’re creating for everybody but yourself, and ultimately you’ll burn yourself out.”

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It’s obvious that not very much of us have it as easy as the next. We’re all in different scenarios, put into different situations that have either done us well or pushed us over the edge or maybe even both. In this society, it’s hard to get to certain places without trying more than once. I suppose that’s the beauty of it; not knowing and just continuously going. “A lot of people think it’s the significant achievements and moments that define success and while that it is true, I think many people don’t realize that success comes from all the little choices and things we accomplish every day.” Neistadt is one to interpret the truth in every which way; from understanding the unrest of college life and trying to pursue an alternative that she loves— and that’ll not only benefit her but the people she cares about— to becoming that very feeling of unrest and pursuing the things she had unintentionally set her mind to from the beginning. Indeed, it’s not about the life she had before YouTube. It’s about what she’s employing on her future goals and how she’s using her current status to succeed in her endeavors. It’s not surprising that her platform has given her a space to talk about matters that need listening. Neistadt states female empowerment is a vast topic she feels strongly about, so much so, in which she’s created a series on her channel titled “Girl Boss Series,” where she shares personal advice and experience to help every woman feel important. “I created this series not only to help fellow women but also to build a community where we all can support and

uplift each other. I think the community aspect is so essential when it comes to female empowerment because there is such strength in numbers, and knowing that there are other women who are going through the same thing or that there is someone out there who believes in you, can make all the difference.” It’s also exponentially challenging to continue doing what you love when people are telling you otherwise. When asking Neistadt about what advice she’d give to those who are trying to market themselves in any industry, she says, “It’s tough to hear any negative feedback when it comes to your dream. I dealt with that when choosing to drop out of college and pursue YouTube. My family was furious, friends told me that I was crazy, people doubted me, but I was so determined to make it happen, that I let my dreams and motivation drown all that negativity out. So let your vision and your drive to accomplish your dream drown out anyone who doesn’t believe in you and work hard to show them otherwise. Surround yourself with people who do believe in you and put more weight into their thoughts and opinions than those who don’t believe in you.” The feeling of knowing something when you’ve come across it is vaguely familiar. When you know you’ve dawned on success, even for a short bit, it’s more than enough. Use it, grow from it, and try to adhere to your own needs in different ways. You’ll probably encounter something that’s been hidden beneath the seams the whole time.

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#GirlsSupportingGirls is the mantra of influencer and girlboss ADELAINE MORIN. Since starting her YouTube career in 2011, Morin has cultivated a girl-powered brand and movement across multiple platforms. By channeling her inner Aquarius, Morin has committed to using her voice and platform for positive change. Before Morin’s YouTube debut, the landscape of the platform was a lot different from what we’re used to today. Morin called it, “the years of Bethany Mota and Blair Fowler.” Morin saw her passions mirrored in these rising YouTube stars. “When I was younger,” Morin added, “I had a thriving passion for all things room decor, makeup, hair, fashion, and editing.” Seeing these passions materialized on YouTube, fueled her passions. She began taking notes on her favorite YouTubers: how they started their channel, what she liked about their videos, etc. “I didn’t realize, but I was manifesting my future job,” she added. Much has changed since Morin began her YouTube career. Rising to the challenges presented by the platform’s changing algorithms, Morin has learned to adapt to the ever-changing platform. “I’ve learned that you cannot stay stagnant...you have to grow and change your content when YouTube does,” Morin added. In the face of these challenges, Morin argues “it’s all worth it. I love my job,” and of course, her “amazing fans.”

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Beyond the visible adaptations of her content, Morin has experienced immense personal growth since starting her YouTube career. Becoming her greatest advocate, she’s learned the importance of standing up for herself and her vision. Morin’s journey of self-empowerment began shortly after starting YouTube in 2011. In high school, Morin experienced bullying as a result of her YouTube channel. Other girls called her names, physically pushed her, and posed her at the center of a vicious cycle of rumors. Morin’s experiences both in and out of YouTube shaped her to be who she is today. She began standing up for herself and realizing the importance of words and actions. Now, as an empowered and brave #GirlBoss she hopes to “get rid of the stigma that girls need to compete or be catty towards each other to succeed in life.” Thus, created her apparel line focused around this mission and the hashtag #GirlsSupportingGirls. With a massive audience of young girls at the ready, Morin is creating an empowering and inspiring movement. Women rise when they support each other. Morin doesn’t tolerate anything less, “if you see any form of bullying stand up and say something.” Morin has learned to cope with her bullying and use her voice as a tool towards change. Through her mission of empowering her young viewers, Morin has channeled a feminist message. “Sorry to break it to you, but if you believe in equality, you’re a feminist,” Morin commented with pride. She recognizes that feminists must push for equality and inclusion across the board, partnering with brands that share a similar message.


"treat others with kindness. Your words and the way you treat people can affect them more than you know..."

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Morin proudly partners with Hollister and Tarte Cosmetics, brands that mirror her passion for equality and inclusivity. Morin is proud of Hollister’s inclusive approach to advertising, showcasing models with diverse body types and ethnicities. Her other partner, Tarte Cosmetics, learned from their inclusion scandal In response, Tarte released a new foundation with 50 shades. Morin is proud to be working with Tarte for her upcoming makeup palette; yes, this girl boss literally does it all. “I’m so glad that they’re growing as a company. A lot of companies do not care about diversity or what consumers have to say... [Tarte is] being diverse and inclusive in everything they post and release,” Morin noted. The Adelaine x Tarte palette is available now on Tarte.com and Ulta Beauty Stores! Morin’s passion for her makeup palette was palpable as she went into detail about her journey to the finished product. She used her experience as a graduate from makeup and skincare college, being very picky when it came to shades she chose. “I’d love for you to swatch and smell the palette and hopefully fall in love,” she noted. Morin said that it smells like vanilla and will make you feel like a total girl-boss. Morin’s brand and movement have manifested beyond social media through her donation efforts. Morin donates to girls non-profit organizations through her makeup Instagram and apparel line. “When I promote my apparel, I’m not promoting it for me I’m promoting it for the charities,” and to ultimately push her message of girls supporting each other. Morin has built the brand and movement with a positive and far-reaching scope. There’s much more to come from Morin’s growing brand and impact. This “yellow-ball-of-sunshine” girl-boss is a force to be reckoned with and powerful inspiration for inclusivity in the influencer community. Her best advice to young women reading this issue is such: “Treat others with kindness. Your words and the way you treat people can affect them more than you know...and remember that this is your life you are here to serve you and live your most fulfilling life.” I think we all could use a little more of Morin’s yellow-ball-of-sunshine-girl-boss attitude in our lives.

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creatives of new orleans



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allie catalanotto I started my photography career very randomly. It was never an interest or hobby of mine. But my friend was shopping for her upcoming mission trip, and she encouraged me to get a camera. Still unsure why, but I used my tax refund to get a nice camera and I immediately fell in love! I couldn’t help but keep going. I’m inspired deeply by wild places and the wild human spirit in all of us. I’m not sure I have a certain style! I spent the majority of my first year trying to achieve what other people were doing and chasing styles that I wasn’t really into. It took me awhile to solidify myself in doing my own thing and not getting wrapped up in what everyone was doing around me. My style is people— I love capturing who people are and celebrating them. New Orleans alone is one of the most culturally and creatively diverse cities in the world. It’s no wonder creatives are drawn to it. The music, the food, the people, and history are what have shaped my love for this place my whole life. So it’s only fitting that the backdrop for most of my photography is the one and only New Orleans. It’s blooming. Every time I look up, someone new is chasing a creative endeavor and I LOVE it. Most people would say that it’s over-saturated, and they are right. What do you expect from a city that’s bursting at the seams with expression and art? It’s hard sometimes— not everyone has the same spirit of community, and things can became a competition to see whose business is more popular and who’s pictures are the best. But then there are the ones who just do it for the love of creation. And those are the people I adore and respect. There’s enough room for all of us. I hope, in 5 years, that New Orleans is continuing to grow creatively and that we are walking hand in hand, lifting each other up and celebrating one another up. I think that just depends on the day. Sometimes, a good rooftop will do and then other days, there’s nothing better than the Bywater. I also really enjoy the garden district, and the feel of Hollygrove. There’s something so New Orleans about these places. Girl Power. Probably my favorite thing the Spice Girls ever said. Girl Power to me means love and celebration and helping each other grow. It means walking hand in hand through life. Staying together when obstacles come our way. Lifting each other up and pushing each other forward. It means not letting any girl make decisions that could hurt her or validating her in toxic behavior, but being honest with her and helping her to be her best self. It means being open and receptive to new knowledge that could help us better love our sisters. It means not overlooking any of our sisters but standing behind and for each and every one. It means carrying each other’s burdens and helping make the world a better place for the next generation of girls. I love women. I love what they bring to the table. I love who they are down to their deepest parts. They are the crown of creation. God was not done with the universe until women were made. I think that says a lot. Girl gang forever!


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molly olwig HOW DID YOU GET INTO PHOTOGRAPHY AND WHO OR WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO PURSUE IT? I’d always been taking pictures since I was young, whether it was on a phone or some point-and-shoot camera. Before I went to uni, I got my first DSLR, and I have to thank one of my best friends, Aubrey, for asking me to photograph live shows for his music website. Little did he know at the time he asked, I didn’t know how to shoot manual, so I was scrambling to figure out the mechanics of photography. I fell in love with the idea of freezing a moment because my memory absolutely sucks. I struggle with severe depression and anxiety, and photography’s always been that thing for me that gets me out of bed, gives me energy and keeps me creative. DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE AND WHAT MAKES YOU UNIQUE. HOW DOES NEW ORLEANS HELP SHAPE IT? If I have to peg a style to my work, I guess I’d say my images are a blend of editorial and portraiture. The colors in my images are typically muted but bold, though I try not to get stuck in a particular style. The way I compose or color an image changes based on the environment, model and tone I want to achieve. I don’t think anyone looking at my photography would be able to point to a photo and say, “New Orleans. For sure,” but New Orleans has certainly shaped me on an intrinsic level that bleeds into my photography. New Orleans is bold and resilient, both in people, colors, architecture, neighborhoods and history. The way New Orleanians relate to me is directly related with how I aim to be with my photography — comfortable, confident and ever open and adaptable to change. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE GROWING CREATIVE SCENE IN NEW ORLEANS? AND WHERE DO YOU SEE IT GOING IN 5 YEARS? LOL, I don’t think I’m at a level where I can properly comment on the creative scene that’s included Louis Armstrong, Trombone Shorty, Brandan Odums and so many others, but I’ll give it my best shot (pun intended). It’s definitely vibrant and growing. It’s hard to

really capture the scene because I feel like everyone’s a creative in the city — musicians/singers/bands, painters, sketch artists, models, photographers, actors— I could keep listing but yeah, creatives grow up here, move here, travel through here and thrive here, and that’ll always continue. I could hardly begin to imagine where it’s going to be in 5 years. I’m sure the film scene will continue to grow as more shows and movies are coming here for sets. Photography has grown a ton because DSLRs seem more accessible.. seems like everyone has a DSLR because of Christmas or a birthday. The more the merrier. WHERE ARE YOUR FAVORITE PLACES TO PHOTOGRAPH IN THE CITY? I don’t have a favorite place, and I know that’s a copout answer but hear me out— I play this game in which I make myself think about how I would handle a photoshoot if I had to shoot in a certain area. So if I’m walking and I see an alleyway, I would challenge myself to imagine how I could pose the model or what angles/styling/etc. I would use to make that alleyway the best place for a photoshoot. The game makes photography super accessible because I can’t afford studio equipment, stylists or MUAs. It encourages me to always be growing in my vision, and it trains my eye to see the beauty in any location. Of course, I’m not perfect at it, but it helps me to grow out of a closed-off frame of mind and into a perspective that doesn’t limit me to a “perfect” location — every location can be perfect. WHAT DOES “GIRL POWER” MEAN TO YOU? I’ve had the toughest time answering this question because “girl power” isn’t a phrase I’ve ever accepted at heart. I feel that the phrase is problematic... it’s like someone telling me, “Oh, your photography is amazing for a girl!” No— if someone’s complimenting my photography, it’s going to be because the image is good not because I’m a girl. Power is the ability or capacity to do something. Power comes from practice and dedication. Power comes from integrity in action and kindness to others. I don’t think that’s something you can gender.

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thu vo WHEN DID YOU START MODELING AND HOW DID YOU GET INTO IT? I was at Lakeside Mall and saw a set up for a runway show in front of Dillard's. One of my friends from church was walking in it so out of curiosity I approached the lady standing on the sideline and found out that the fashion show was for a fundraiser sponsored by the vendors in the mall. I was so excited and asked her how I can start a show for my high school. She kindly gave me her business card and it was the jumpstart of my modeling career. DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE AND WHAT MAKES YOU UNIQUE. HOW DOES NEW ORLEANS HELP SHAPE IT? My style is classic and simple. I like simplicity because it doesn't get old. It also makes me feel like a million bucks! There's a certain sophistication about simplicity. New Orleans is such a diverse city with people from all walks of life. It enables me to express myself freely without expectations to stick to the "norms" or trends and that's what I love about this city. You can be yourself in New Orleans. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE GROWING CREATIVE SCENE IN NEW ORLEANS? AND WHERE DO YOU SEE IT GOING IN 5 YEARS? I think New Orleans is constantly growing in the creative scene and it will be growing even more in five years. However, I don't think the modeling industry will be growing anytime soon. Most of my clients are local and I think it's so wonderful that they are utilizing local models, makeup artists, and photographers for their marketing needs. For models, I think the market is too small. There are a lot of talent in the city, but there aren't enough opportunities. I think I can speak for all models here when I say if you want to grow in this industry, you have to leave this city. It's sad, but there aren't enough jobs in New Orleans to pursue modeling full time. WHAT DOES “GIRL POWER” MEAN TO YOU? Girl Power means being in control of your own life. The full embodiment of girl power to me is someone who knows what she wants and makes it a reality through patience, hard work, and perseverance. WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE NEW ORLEANS PHOTOGRAPHERS TO COLLABORATE WITH? Before I answer this question, I'd like to take this opportunity and thank all the creatives I've worked with for the past 8 years (omg, has it been that long?!). This is not limited to just photographers but also makeup artists, hair stylists, wardrobe stylists, and all the vendors and clients who have shown me so much support and love. ​T here are so many talented photographers in New Orleans, but I would like to name some honorable mentions of some of my favorite photographers who are originally from New Orleans but may have relocated elsewhere. Amongst my favorite photographers are Meganne Claire, Keely Nguyen, Leicester G. Mitchell, Kaylynn Marie, Augusta Sagnelli, and German Rogue.


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A quick binge watch of Studio86’s YouTube channel and you can tell how passionate sisters BAO and SHENG VANG are about fashion. Between running a successful YouTube channel, co-founding Hlub Jewelry and curating an online vintage shop, the Vang sisters encapsulate girl power. “Girl power to us is redefining society’s standards of women and women coming together to empower one another,” the sisters said. One way the sisters do this is by embracing their Hmong heritage with entrepreneurship, which they bring to their jewelry company, as ‘hlub’ means love in Hmong. “Being Hmong American women, we have been confined by our culture to be a good housewife and by our society to work under men,” the sisters stated. “But why should anyone’s culture and/or society be allowed to decide what they should and shouldn’t be? We want to break these standards and we want to set an example for women all over the world. We wish to pave the way for other girls who have a dream, any dream, to go out there and chase after it regardless of what anyone tells them.”

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The Corona, CA-based content creators are not girl bosses — they’re just bosses. Since launching their YouTube channel in 2016, the sisters never seem to take a break. “Social media paints this fun and glamorous life online but for us personally, a typical day consists of us just working,” they explained. All of the Vang sisters’ different social media platforms revolve around fashion, which they said is something they have always been interested in. “At the end of the day, our individual styles were developed from years of experimenting and learning what works for each of us,” they said. “The key is knowing your own personal style. We love that social media is a two-way street where we’re on there to inspire people and to be inspired by others... Knowing your personal style means that with everything you wear, you add your own special touch to it.” Bao and Sheng said they were inspired to first start their YouTube channel after following creators Jenn Im and Chriselle Lim and always planned to run it together. “This decade is the heart of the digital age and YouTube and Instagram are two of the largest creative platforms, so why not? We love fashion, photography and videography and to have these mediums for us to share our work with people of similar interests is absolutely amazing.” The Vang sisters are focused on the future, but want to stay in the present to focus on their three major businesses. “We just want to nurture and grow what we’ve started,” they explained. “We do think a lot about our future but we don’t have an exact plan. We have a big picture and that is reaching and inspiring more people and as for personal goals, to just be happy and live comfortably.” 2019 has been a big year for the Vang sisters and we can’t wait to see where the future takes them.


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"we wish to pave the way for other girls who have a dream, any dream, to go out there and chase after it regardless of what anyone tells them." 146

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“It’s the little things.” This is a phrase we often throw out to encapsulate our admiration for life’s most infinitesimal details. As artists and creatives, it’s often these little things found around us that capture our attention and allow us to manifest our brightest ideas. A thrift store. A perfectly textured pair of jeans. A piece of glassware or a quintessential piece of vintage clothing. One small detail allows creativity to bloom, our best work manifested. This inspiration is the spark to the flame in the work of photographer and designer LAUREN LEGGATT. “I find with any creative process it starts with a seed of an idea or a piece of inspiration. One of my life mottos is to never ignore those odd or crazy ideas, the ones where you think, ‘well that’s super weird,’ because I’ve usually found that when I run with those ideas and build on them they turn into really cool projects. Usually, consciously or unconsciously, shoots are centered around a feeling, color or some sort of texture that I’m inspired by currently (i.e. mylar, linens, a light airy feel, the color blue etc.) I can build an entire shoot in a couple minutes around the fact that I found a perfect shade of textured pants at a thrift store.” Growing up in Bermuda, Leggatt’s dad always had a camera in hand, and would regularly lend her his DSLR. Time spent running around her backyard taking pictures of plants and bugs led her to winning second place in a biodiversity photo contest at age 7 for a photograph of a snail. Though she admits it was the last time she’s ever taken a picture of a snail, her love for photography has been fierce ever since then. Her passion for design began after she watched the film Julie and Julia in 2010, and began her own blog. “I’ve always been an insanely crafty kid — why buy something if you could make it? — so it was good to have a place to put all my ideas.” Posting regularly about her fashion, recipe, and craft adventures forced her to think creatively, eventually designing the blog herself, and was constantly pushing herself to make it better. “I loved the process so much that I started offering blog design to people all over the world. I ended up designing around 60 blogs for people in Korea, Australia, the UK, Turkey, the US and Canada and more. This was by far the most pivotal moment in me realizing that this was a career that I could actually pursue — and love.”

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Today, Leggatt’s passionate work as a freelance editorial photographer involves working with brands to create lookbooks or social media content. Back in 2014, her work was featured in a magazine for the first time; in March, her work was featured on the cover of one. Often she’ll be able to do collaborative shoots with local Vancouver creatives and brands, and she finds working with like-minded people to be the most rewarding projects of all. Leggatt balances photography along with design work for local companies, and finds freedom in being able to set her own schedule. Leggatt has been able to see her work evolve throughout her lifetime, and describes her current design style as more “refined and intentional.” As a photographer, she believes her work is always evolving, but finds herself gravitating towards more warm tones, her favorite comments being that her work is “light and airy” — and upon viewing her work, it’s easy to see why. “Inspiration comes from a wide variety of sources for me. I’m finding that the most authentic source of inspiration is found in thrift stores and in vintage pieces that I want to add into a shoot. Lots of times this means a gorgeous piece of glassware, or an incredible piece of vintage clothing, or even a texture of linen that I think would look incredible as a backdrop. I also find people really inspiring, anyone being wholeheartedly themselves is a huge inspiration for me and if I get to work with them it’s even better. Lately I’ve also been super inspired by sunlight and shadows and how it reacts to different elements and can be manipulated to add such a unique effect to a shot. All I want to do is play in the light!” Like many creatives, she mentions self-doubt and imposter syndrome to be some of the biggest hurdles she tackles in her career. “It’s something I’ve been experiencing a lot lately, especially with the growing presence of social media. I’m working on reminding myself that as creatives we never truly experience our work for the first time. We see the initial idea, not the finished product, and the things we would change instead of the things we’re proud of, which can be hard to remind yourself of when you’re knee-deep in self-doubt. Art and creativity are such a vital part of life,” says the Capricorn creative on her art philosophy. “It’s one of the truest forms of self-expression and it makes life so darn beautiful. Creativity is my favorite form of meditation and when you get into that creative flow there’s pretty much nothing like it. I truly believe that everyone possesses an element of creativity but it’s just about tapping into it.”

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lauren's work



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wingless fairies


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LOCAL GEM: Long Beach is full of amazing gems! For a quick bite, Olives Gourmet Grocer. They have the best sandwiches, homemade treats, and the nicest employees. Lola’s Mexican Cuisine for happy hour and margaritas, and La Parolaccia for date night, best pasta and wine… and amazing homemade hazelnut gelato.

ON YOUR FOLLOW RADAR: I love Allana Davidson (@allanarama) for general beauty, fashion, and lifestyle content. I could scroll through any celebrity makeup artists page all day, but I love Katie Jane Hughes (@katiejanehughes) and Nikki Makeup (@nikki_makeup). For the laughs, Jason Biggs (@biggsjason). He’s hilarious.


ON REPEAT: Armchair Expert Podcast will forever be on repeat! I can’t get enough of it.

CELEB CRUSH Colin Jost, he’s on Saturday Night Live and hosts Weekend Update. I’m a sucker for funny guys. Also, Milo Ventimiglia... (do I even need to explain myself for that one?) DREAM DESTINATION: Greece or Italy! Somewhere warm and where I can hangout by the beach.

YOUR HOROSCOPE SIGN: I’m a Gemini (don’t hate me, you guys!) and I do think that I fall in line with a lot of Gemini characteristics. I’m pretty outgoing and quick witted, but I’m also super indecisive and act impulsively a lot of the time.

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so, i hope by being vulnerable and honest with my viewers

they can feel a little more comfortable with their real selves