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Neriah Fisher her music journey PROM what are you

wearing this year?

Alone Together Band on being young &

Andrew Yianne on photography

up-and-coming

building your brand with

hair and make-up guru

Janise Mayo

Issue 7

Everette Taylor


CONT 13

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18 festival lineups 10 music we love 11 spring playlist 12

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Janise M


TENTS 40

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62 92 50

Mayo 26

a letter to graduating seniors 84 movies out soon 86 books we love 89 a personal take on the 90 women’s march on Washington

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THE TEAM Carol Wright is a freshman studying Journalism at American University. She realized at the age of eleven that photography was her passion and it was photography that ultimately led her to create Nyota Magazine. Carol is also passionate about public speaking and was given the chance to give a Ted Talk at the age of seventeen where she talked about the lessons she learned from creating Nyota. Carol loves to create and hopes that wherever life takes her in the future, photography will be at the center. Niara Wright started her career in middle school as a motivational speaker, encouraging young girls to be themselves and express themselves through clothing. As a victim of bullying, she did not want other young people to suffer. It was then that she realized she could marry her love of teaching with her passion for fashion. Early in her career at the young age of seventeen, she directed and styled two fashion shows at the Cherry Hill Mall and one in Philadelphia for Philadelphia Fashion Week. Niara is also a poet, winning the Young Poets Poetry Slam at Yale University at the age of sixteen. Niara also taught entrepreneurship and served as a counselor for Independent Means at Oxford University in England. Niara also has a Fashion Industry Certificate from the Teen Vogue x Parsons program and is continuing her education at Rowan at Burlington County where she is getting her associates in fashion design. At the end of 2016, she was a finalist in the Independent Fashion Calendar’s Designer Development Contest where she debuted her collection TØMBÄB (tom-babe). Niara is the CEO and President of TWL(The Wright Look). TWL is her styling firm with the goal to empower its clients through fashion. A well dressed man or woman feels confident and is sure of themselves. TWL focuses on helping its clients find the “Wright” look that compliments not just their bodies but their lifestyle. Through TWL Niara has styled fashion editorials for the Courier Post and SJ Magazine. Currently, Niara owns The House of Flair Lifestyle Boutique and Showroom in Haddonfield, New Jersey, that houses independent artists and designers who don’t have their own store front. In 2015, Niara and her sister, Carol, decided to create a platform for young people to showcase their talents. As a result, they created Nyota magazine. Nyota is an online platform that discovers and promotes the rising stars in fashion, music and culture. The magazine just celebrated its one year anniversary this past September.


Haley Bowcutt is a Junior at American University studying Film and Media Arts, Graphic Design, Marketing, and Business and Entertainment. Haley is a graphic designer for Forty Four Hundred, a division of the American Marketing Association at AU, the graphics designer, videographer and editor for Walk This Way, a show produced by AU students for NBC4, and the graphics designer for Why Don’t You Love Me? an AU student produced game show. She also plays Division I field hockey at AU. This is Haley’s first issue with Nyota and she is incredibly excited to be a part of the team! Nicole Cox is currently a Freshman, majoring in Graphic Design at American University. Starting at a young age, Nicole has always enjoyed creating art, whether it was writing stories or painting with watercolors, she always found a way to create, but she never expected the computer to be used as another medium for her creativity. Thanks to the help from her college professor, Kate Resnick, she was able to explore her interest in Graphic design and hopes to one day pursue a career in the field and become a User Interface Designer.

nigh yo tah

(n) means star in the African languages of Swahili and Lingala


FEATURES Neriah Fisher- Music Alone Together Band-Music Janise Mayo- Fashion Andrew Yianne- Culture Everette Taylor- Culture

CONTRIBUTORS Jenna Caldwell- Writer Raissa Sapardan- Photographer Nana Gongadze- Model

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EDITORS NOTE Issue 7 is almost like starting a new era of Nyota. Our team has changed, and we got lucky enough to add two graphic designers to our ranks. This issue reflects a sense of change, in the magazine yes, but also in our country and the world around us. We’ve gathered diverse content and features, from an article on the Women’s March, photography captured all through the nation’s capital, musicians that moonlight as youtubers and words of wisdom from a young, entrepreneur. As always we hope you enjoy this issue and you keep shining like the stars you are. Love your Co-EIC’s, Carol and Niara Wright

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M US U


SIC


Festival Lineups COACHELLA The festival of festivals released its 2017 lineup and everyone simultaneously screamed in excitement. The queen b herself is headlining, along with everyone’s favorite rapper Kendrick Lamar and Radiohead. There are still tickets for this festival, but I doubt that will last long because this year’s lineup is one for the books.

GOVERNOR’S BALL A three day long event jam packed with your

favorite artists on an island in New York City equals heaven. While each festival lineup that’s been released has been one to take note of, Gov Ball’s is definitely at the top of our list. Chance the rapper, Childish Gambino, Phoenix and Lorde are just a few of the artists that are set to wow the crowd this year. I don’t know about you, but I am definitely saving up to buy my ticket.

PANORAMA Panorama is gearing up for its second year with a lineup that brought tears to my eyes. This festival, also taking place on Randall’s Island in New York has managed to get a lineup that has everyone buzzing. Frank Ocean, Solange, Tame Impala and Alt-J are a few of the big names ready to take over the island. If this festival hasn’t already sold out then you need to save up and buy your ticket.

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Music We Love Clueless Kit: Come to a Stop

Bishop Briggs: River

Novo Amor & Ed Tullet: Alps

The XX: I See You

Billie Eilish: Ocean Eyes

Leighton Meester: Heartstrings

Odesza: In Return

Talking Heads: The Best of Talking Heads


Spring Playlist

SWEET // LEIGHTON MEESTER COME TO A STOP // CLULESS KIT FT. KORA THIS MUST BE THE PLACE // TALKING HEADS OCEAN EYES // BILLIE EILISH SHAPE OF YOU // ED SHEERAN ANOTHER DAY OF SUN // LA LA LAND CAST TOES // GLASS ANIMALS TRYING TO BE COOL // PHOENIX

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NERIAH FISHER Interview by: Carol Wright

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I love music and have always had a passion for singing and it’s always been my biggest inspiration. I see you are born 4 days before my sister and my uncle. Are you a typical Pisces- a peace maker ,especially among your three siblings?

inspiration. I’ve probably gotten the most serious within the last two years with writing and I taught myself how to play the piano and the guitar so that

I do, I’m very free spirited and I always try to give advice especially with my siblings and since I am the oldest I always get blamed because I have to keep everything peaceful and stop all the fighting. Now to what we all want to know. How did you get started? When did you realize you had a passion for music? I’ve always loved music it’s always been my passion, but for social media it started with a love for photography on Instagram with a bunch of different color feeds, and once I noticed that that was starting to get action I started making music more public, and I started posting videos to Youtube. I love mu- really helped me get more involved in music. sic and have always had a passion for singing and it’s always been my biggest 14


Who are some of your music inspirations?

definitely helps living in LA, I couldn’t see myself living anywhere else.

I love Olivia O’Brien, I love her style also Selena Gomez, Sara Bariellas and Alessia Cara.

You also have a Youtube, (some people startyoutube channels to become famous or make money) What was your motivation?

What are some of your favorite songs at the moment? That’s a hard one. At the moment I love I hate you, I love you. I love Olivia O’Brien’s version of Complicated, I love all we know by The Chainsmokers. Where is your favorite hang out place in California or somewhere?

For me, I grew up in the entertainment business because of my mom and so I kind of had the idea, but for me it was more to share music that I love and create a hobby of creating beauty videos, but the main reason that I really started it was to do music covers but then once I started doing

I love going to the beach in Malibu, that’s definitely my spot. I love going to the beach and writing or swimming. A fun place is The Grove, it’s really fun and I go there a lot. Does being in California motivate your creativity? It definitely does, especially once you indulge in the whole social media, Youtube world you start to meet so many different people and so many more creator and it’s so fun to collaborate with them and share ideas. So it 15


that I realized how many opportunities there are in the Youtube world and I started doing vlogs and more lifestyle themed videos across my channel, and now it’s just so fun. I want to stay home and film instead of going out and doing stuff.

right now. 2017 will definitely be a huge year for my music, I’m going to release original music for sure and an EP of just my original music and I’m also going to be releasing an EP before with some covers of songs, and I’m super excited.

Who are some of your favorite Youtubers?

Which of your passions is your favorite thing right now: singing, makeup, or Youtube videos?

A lot of my friends have channels. I love Summer Mckeen, my friend

As much as I love all of the stuff I do

I can’t go a day without singing or playing guitar. I feel like music is part of who I am, definitely over everything music is what I want to pursue as a career. Paige, and Olivia. I love, love, love Tana Mongeau she is the funniest person and the funniest Youtber I’ve ever seen and I also recently started a vlog channel with my boyfriend Finn. It’s been super fun doing videos like that, a lot of my fans have loved that which is really cool. Do you plan to release original music in the future? I actually am working on a lot of stuff 16

on Youtube, music will definitely always be my passion. I can’t go a day without singing or playing guitar. I feel like music is part of who I am, definitely over everything music is what I want to pursue as a career. What is the best advice your parents have ever given you? They both told me to believe and stay true to yourself. I got super lucky because they’re both the best parents and


they endless support and I owe it all to them. They always continue to help me succeed, and motivate me all the time and it’s hard for parents, for example my dad, he’s in the business but my mom knew a lot more about the entertainment business and so it can be kind of scary for parents to have their kids delve into the whole social media world, but they were so supportive and they really helped me with everything.

Follow Neriah: Instagram: @neriahfisher| Soundcloud: Neriah Fisher| Twitter: @neriahfisher| Youtube: Neriah Fisher

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Alone Toge


ether Band Interview by: Carol Wright

How did the band come to be? Calista (lead singer) and Chloe (bassist) met while in a former band in early 2015, Calista performed as the co-vocalist and Chloe as the bassist. They became friends instantly, and decided to respectfully leave their previous band in order to make music that better fit their styles. The girls were introduced to Anthony Guerra (lead guitarist) through a mutual friend. After about a year of performing together, their original drummer decided to leave the band. However, Calista, Chloe, and Anthony were still very eager to perform so they reached out to Chloe’s older brother, Jacob Guzman (drummer). Although he was only supposed to fill in for a few shows, he decided to officially 19


“Everywhere we turn, there is a unique story waiting to be told and that’s what inspires us to write.” join the band soon after realizing surreal experience being on the the potential they all had together. stage and knowing that so many legendary artists have performed Do each of you have a part in the there as well. songwriting process? Does living in California help Our song writing process usually inspire the sound and feel of your begins with Calista having an idea music? for a song; She’ll write out the lyrics and we’ll collaborate on the Yes, living song as a band until everyone is in California happy. has definitely had a huge Each of your songs has an impact on uplifting message, what inspires our music your lyrics? because there Thank you. The inspirations is so much come from everywhere: personal culture and experiences, movies, TV shows, diversity. and things we see happening in Everywhere the world today. Even other great we turn, music inspires us to write songs. there is a unique story What’s your favorite location waiting to you’ve performed in? be told and That’s a tough one, but we would that’s what have to say our favorite has been inspires us Whisky A Go Go. It was such a to write. 20


Growing up in L.A. has allowed us to truly express ourselves and not be afraid to be different. Where do you see the band in five years?

doesn’t happen, as long as we are able to still make music and bring good vibes to a crowd then we’re happy. Who are some of your music inspirations?

Our main goal in five years is to be at large music venues and festivals Our music inspirations are U2, (like Staples Center and Coachella) Coldplay, Maroon 5, and Cage the and even on the radio. If that Elephant.

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Can our readers expect a full album or EP in the near future? YESS!! April 2017! We are so excited, we have such great songs coming! Which song is your favorite that you guys have recorded? Our favorite song has been “Show Me” because it’s upbeat and fun to dance to. Lastly, where can our readers find your music?

You can find our music on: iTunes, Spotify, Youtube, Soundcloud, & our website (Alonetogetherband. com).


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f A S H fASH


H I O N HION


Janise May Natural hair guru, MUA, and lifestyle youtuber

What made you start a youtube? up. I didn’t try to actually get good at it until about a year ago. I started YouTube because all of Now I absolutely love it. It’s the my hair fell out! I was tired of creativity that gets me. the natural thing so I bleached it then weeks later I decided to re- Since belax it. Worst decision ever! It all coming a came out! I thought the YouTube youtuber, channel would be a fresh start what opand I knew I could help other portuniwomen. ties have opened for How scary was “the big chop”? you? When I first went natural and My own did the big chop I wasn’t afraid clothing, at all. I was excited and felt inmy own sanely liberated! hair mask What advice do you have for and I get girls trying to go natural? free stuff! Keep your hair moisturized girl! That’s the key. Water!

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Were you always into make up?

How has your life changed?

I always liked to play in make-

YouTube


yo

is my job now. I can stay home with my babies which is such a blessing. What are your favorite natural hair products?

I love As I am products and my hair mask collaboration with Belle Bar of course. It’s for growth and hair repair.

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Don’t feel like you need to be a certain way. Be exactly who you are unapologetically, and your audience will gravitate. Seriously, what are all of the colors you have dyed your hair? Are there any other colors you still want to try?

Thank you so much! My family has a huge impact! My daughter is constantly in the background making her cooing sounds and it’s just apart of me. I’m a mom I have tried everything that I and that’s could possibly want! Lol blue, what you gray, pink, red! I’d go back to are going pink for sure. I think I’d shoot to get when for a pastel version. watching As you progressed on youtube, I my videos. see that you have evolved into a Sometimes lifestyle vlogger. What’s next for my son bargthe J.Mayo youtube? es in when I’m recording I think I want to do more vlogs and Jerel (my actually. More relaxed videos where I’m just adventuring and fiancé) does sharing my personality and life his thing evwith my J*BABES (my subscrib- ery now and then as well. ers) Congrats on your new addition Who are your to your family! How much of an favorite youimpact does your family have on tubers? your brand? 28


I love Jackie Aina, Glamazontay, Don’t feel like you need to be a Lupe Sujey Cuevas those are just certain way. Be exactly who you a few. are unapologetically, and your audience will gravitate. With the popularity of beauty vloggers growing and most of Where can we find you on social them being caucasian, what ad- media? vice do you have for young girls Instagram: _j.mayo and Snapof color who want to start their chat: jmayoxo own channel? I would say to go full force.

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Prom is M

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My Runway Don’t you hate it when you show up to prom wearing the same dress as someone else? It’s time to think outside the box for prom this year. We teamed up with The Wright Look Imagery to give you show stopping prom looks inspired by this past NYFW (New York Fashion Week) Will you be rocking any of these looks this year?

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The 90’s have been back for a while now and the velvet trend isn’t going away. Whether you’re edgy, a bombshell, or casual. Here are the different ways to style velvet for prom. Looks inspired by Rebecca Taylor. 34


T Shirt: Nordstrom $38, dress: rawglitter.com $97, clutch: Circus by Sam Edelman $27, shoes: simmi.com $38

Dress: prettylittlethings.com $31, bracelet: houseofflair. com $28, clutch: houseofflair.co $60, shoes: boohoo.com $38

. Shirt dress: Tsumori Chisato $230, earrings: houseofflair.co $20, bustier: boohoo.com $9, boots: prettylittlethings.com $38, clutch: Alexander Wang $129

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Jacket: MSGM $250, dress: chicwish.com $62, shoes: simmi.com $38

Top: Jill Staurt $298, pants: Victoria Beckham $209, shoes: simmi.com $38

Earrings: houseofflair.co $20, top: Julien David $135, skirt: missselfridge.com $195, shoes: gojane.com $40

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It can be a little intimidating to wear a print to prom. We at TWL got inspired by Ralph Lauren’s flowy florals paired with distressed denim and transformed the trend into prom look that will surely make you the talk of the night.

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Camouflage and prom aren’t two words you would usually use in the same sentence but here are some stylish ways to wear to trend to your big night. Inspired by Yeezy season 5

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Top: glamourous.com $21, dress: river island $19, choker: newlook. com $12, clutch: houseofflair.co $88, boots: gojane.com$55

Jacket: topshop $75, top: topshop $3.75, skirt: netaporter.com $140, earrings: houseofflair.co $20, clutch: edie parker, shoes: simmi.com $38

e Choker: houseofflair.co $50, top: nelly.com $22, jeans: ashish $677, shoes: simmi.com $8.75

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Tombab Apparel Building a Brand Niara Wright “If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough.”

didn’t want to enter this contest. But with

I

the encouragement from my family and

afraid of failing. So, when I got the email

by the grace of God, the clothes fit them

from the Independent Fashion Calendar

like gloves. The models did their own

about a Designer Development Contest I

makeup and hair, I accessorized them

thought of all of the people who would be

from items from my store and I almost

great for it instead of myself. After much

cried at how perfect they looked. It was

convincing from my mother (basically it

exactly what I wanted.

had always dreamt of launching my

friends, I made it through the night. The

own clothing line, but if you know

models all were friends that my mother

me and my past. I have always been

and I scrambled together last minute and

wasn’t an option), I applied to debut my first ever capsule collection, Tombab. Fast forward, I get accepted and go into production. I created a three look mini collection that summed up the aesthetic of the entire line. With no formal sewing classes, two-hand me down sewing machines, no serger and not one model fitting, Tombab hit the runway in New York City on December 17th, 2016. As we arrived on the scene, my stomach filled with butterflies as I peeped out my

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competition. I started to remember why I

Due to some confusion with the pre-show judging, I went from presenting 4th to presenting second to last. I picked my song, practiced the walks with my models and my clothes hit the runway. Holding my breath and watching each look walk out, I reminisced on how I dreamt of this exact moment when I was ten years old. I thanked God for telling my mom to force me to do this. I was so proud and happy that Tombab was brought to life.


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A

fter the finale, I accompanied

could I have the audacity to enter a con-

my models and designs at the

test with barely any experience at my age.

end of the runway to answer

Regardless of the outcome of this compe-

questions from the judges. “If you went back six years ago, what advice would you give yourself to help you become a better designer?”

you again.” I almost started to cry. That confirmed that I had a shot at be-

Due to the fact that I was the youngest de-

ing a designer, that I was on

signer in the competition (by at least ten

my way to achieving my

years), I found this questions hilarious.

dreams. During a brief in-

“Well…” I began, “ six years ago I was

termission while the judges

in highschool..” the judges and audience

chose the winner, one of the

chuckled, all realizing how young I was.

judges snuck backstage to

I continued by telling them how high

tell me that if my construc-

school was one of the lowest points in my

tion was cleaner, I would

life, how I had trouble fitting in, made

have had this competition

poor decisions that have affected my life

in the bag. My collection was

today and how I would advise myself to

the most marketable, sellable and

just be myself and focus on my character

could fit any woman’s style. At this mo-

rather than fitting in and letting what peo-

ment, I couldn’t help but blush for two

ple called me affect who I was.

reasons: 1. For how excited I was and 2.

As I finished my response, another judge burst out “Wait a minute!” Yancey Edwards, celebrity hairstylist seemed to be impressed with what I have accomplished. He continued by saying, “how

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tition, you are a winner! I know I will see

For how dissapointed in myself I was, disappointed because my mom told me to ask for help with the construction but I allowed pride to get in the way.


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A

ll of the designers were called

my spring/summer 2018 line and hope

back out and the winner was

to present in September. I am current-

announced, holding my breath

ly taking orders for my current designs

at the slight chance that I might be called,

and will continue to grow Tombab into a

another designer was picked and the

household name.

show was over. As I walked backstage to pack my things, Yancey caught up with me to confirm what the other judge said about my construction. “Basically you won second place.” We exchanged contact information and promised to work together in the future. Even though I didn’t win, I did not give up on Tombab and my family has been very supportive. I am currently designing

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The moral of this story is to follow your dreams but don’t let pride get in the way. Instagram: @tombabapparel


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Spring Fev Mo de l

Nana Gongadze

Ph otogr a p he r s

C a r o l Wr i g h t Raissa Sapardan

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@nyotamagazine

/nyotamagazine

@nyotamagazine

/nyota magazine 61


Designers to

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Look Out For As fashion grows and changes, more and more new designers emerge. Catch them and check them out before they blow up.

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Bryan Jimenez The epitome of clean and cool, Bryan Jimenez is the designer of the future. Born and raised in the Dominican Republic, Jimenez started out as a graffiti artist in New York City. He later developed a love for fashion in his teens which led him to create a lookbook with original designs. That lookbook led to his acceptance into FIT where he is currently growing his brand, Bryan Jimenez NY.

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bryanjimenezny.com


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Josh Langford Philly is booming with innovation in the fashion industry. BWC Garments, which stands for Built W ith Craft garments, is a cut and sew clothing company. The company was founded by Josh Langford (Head Designer) and Rob McGraw (Brand Manager). The company is only two years old and has already caught the attention of celebrities such as Mac Miller. The brand is growing, and is becoming more than just clothing; it’s becoming a lifestyle. Early last year, BWC launched BWC Sounds, a music and event sector of the business. The sound of BWC is a mix of jazz, broken beat and soulful house. BWC Sounds plans on curating mixes, dinner parties, rooftop soirees, music showcases and special events.

bwcgarments.com 67


Justin Etienne I don’t know what you were doing when you were nineteen, but I’m sure it wasn’t making a name for yourself in the fashion industry. Justin Etienne, born in Brooklyn, NY, is currently attending Fashion Institute of Technology and is taking the fashion industry by storm. Etienne first caught the industry’s attention when he interned for Hood By Air. Etienne’s works have been featured on Vogue.com, Complex Style, WWD, Style.com and more. He is currently working on his gleam series, mixing denim and sequins to create a beautiful style juxtaposition statement.

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justinetienne.com


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Marta Goldschmied Being denim royalty (daughter of Adriano Goldschmied who founded Diesel and AG Jeans), is no surprise that Marta Goldschmied’s denim label, Made Gold, is a success. Made Gold is a luxury streetwear brand that is denim focused and girl-powered to the max. You can see her jeans rocked by millennial divas such as Keke Palmer, celebrity stylist Roxy, and Bella and Gigi Hadid.

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Milano Di Rouge Check out hip-hop’s new favorite luxury streetwear brand, Milano di Rouge. Born, raised and thriving in city of brotherly love, Milano Di Rouge is the unisex streetwear brand that everyone is talking about. Founded by Milan Rouge in 2012, the young designer is truly making a name for herself. Her brand has been rocked by Keke Palmer, Black Chyna, Angela Simmons and her biggest advocate, Meek Mill.

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milanodirouge.com


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C U LT C U LT


T U R E TURE


An interview with Andrew Yianne By Carol Wright

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When did you start taking photos? When did photography go from a hobby to a passion? I have been taking photos in one way or another almost my entire life. I can still remember the thrill of buying a disposable camera, filling it up, and waiting anxiously for the day when my prints arrived at our local Walmart developing center (remember those?) when I was just 8 years old. Nothing beat the excitement of opening a package of blurry prints of my cat or shots from family vacations. Gradually, I started upgrading from disposable cameras to experimenting with digital cameras. During my freshman year of high school, I joined my school’s TV Production class to help out with the photography team. I was assigned to shoot Friday night football games and basketball games. Soon, I realized I needed better gear to shoot my assignments and that my basic kit wasn’t going to cut it. As my equipment grew, so did my passion for photography. I spent countless hours browsing YouTube video tutorials, reading magazines, books, and spending the rest of my time shooting. By the end of my senior year, I had worked for my state newspaper for 3 years, created a successful Humans of New York-esc project for Charleston, West Virginia, shot the cover for 3 different state magazines, and shot advertising campaigns for a beauty product line, a technical school, and Spanish singer Manu Rios. However, my greatest accomplishment thus far has been working with a non-profit organization by utilizing my photos to inspire and enact community and economic development throughout the state of West Virginia.

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Who are some of your favorite photographers?

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I’m constantly looking up to photographers such as Finn Beales, Benjamin Heath, Samalive, and former White House Photographer Pete Souza.


What is your favorite type of photography?

My favorite type of photography is a toss-up between landscape and photojournalism. Landscape tends to be more relaxed and aesthetically pleasing, but photojournalism is new and exciting every day, especially in a city like Washington, D.C.

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If you could shoot one person, alive or dead, who would it be? Beyonce. No doubt about it. She’s definitely an experienced model and I love the metaphors and visual imagery she was able to create in her latest album.

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Is photography something you can see yourself pursuing full time in the future? While I definitely love photography and I honestly couldn’t see myself without it, I don’t think I would pursue it full-time. I have my personal career goals set in the international field or in the federal government. If I pursued photography full time, it would transition from something I enjoy and can engage with whenever I want, to my primary source of income—stripped of enjoyment and replaced with the need to sustain myself and my well-being.

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What is the greatest opportunity photography has led you to? The opportunity to form connections and network with other photographers and organizations has been invaluable in my work. Without shooting sports for my high school, I wouldn’t have made the connection with the Charleston Gazette-Mail. Without the Charleston Gazette-Mail, I wouldn’t have been able to reach out tolocal nonprofits or photographers abroad.Without forming connections, my work would only be able to circulate through my inner circles rather than across the globe. 82


Do you have any advice for aspiring photographers? This might sound clichĂŠ, but never stop shooting. Last year, I started and completed a 365 project where I posted one photo to my social media every day. Before the project, I felt that my work was okay, but not consistent or up to my own high standards. By keeping a running feed on my Instagram page, I challenged myself to maintain a consistent shooting and editing style. The project definitely paid off not just in terms of my work as a whole, but how I view the world around me in general. Now, I pay closer attention to details and maintain consistency in my life. As a college student, consistency in my personal life is definitely useful. Had I not challenged myself to shoot and post every day, I think my photography would have gradually gotten better over the course of a year, but it would not have been as refined and aesthetically pleasing as it could be.

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A Letter to Graduating Seniors

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Seniors, take a moment to breathe. Remember that no matter which schools accept or reject you life still goes on. In this moment it may seem as though all anyone cares about is which school you’re going to or what your major might be, but you don’t have to know the answers to those questions right now. Focus on these last few months, the change you’re going to face next year, the fact that your senior prom is approaching and the moments you have with these friends are shortening. Take a moment to remember the good times you had in high school. The homecoming dances, the basketball games, the A on your English paper. Moments and things that seem trivial right now will be huge next year, because you’re going to hit a point where high school feels like a distant memory. You’re going to reach a point when memories from freshman year blur with your junior year and soon you won’t be able to tell them apart. Ignore anyone who says taking a gap year is pointless, ignore the counselor who says you won’t get into your top choice and focus on those who encourage you; because soon you’ll be throwing your graduation cap high. Soon you’ll be walking down the path, arm linked with your best friend, cameras pointed in your direction and you’ll be crying happy tears. Soon your name will be called and that diploma will be placed in your hand. So seniors, remember to breathe and be present for these last few months.

Love, Carol

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Movies we’re excited for...

IN THEATERS SOON! The boss baby is set to come out March 31st. The plot is simple, an adopted baby (Alec Baldwin), who turns out to be a spy that can talk, needs to make sure babies all over don’t lose their cuteness factor. All the while trying to keep his identity a secret while his new seven year old brother Tim tries to expose him. Gifted, set to come out April 12th, is about a single man named Frank Adler (Chris Evans) raising his niece Mary (Mckenna Grace) in Florida. He promised his sister he would give Mary a normal life, but once it is revealed that Mary’s mathematical abilities are above average, Frank’s mother gets involved and her plans for her granddaughter may tear Frank and Mary apart.

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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 is set to come out May 5th. Everyone’s favorite group of misfits is ready to continue fighting crime in space. This time, new characters will be thrown in the mix (and hopefully another A+ soundtrack)! Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead men tell no tales comes out on May 26th. After the fourth movie, fans have a bit of a right to be wary, but this one seems to be going back to old roots. Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) once again gets himself nto a sticky situation that he’ll have to drink and sword fight his way out of. The plot is this: Jack Sparrows nemesis, Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem), has escaped from the Devil’s Triangle, and the only way Jack can survive is if he finds Poseidon’s trident. In order to get the trident, Jack has to make alliances with an astronomer and a man from the British navy.

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Books we we love love Books we love Books

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A Personal Take on the Women’s March on Washington By Jenna Caldwell “Have you been to the gynecologist yet?” Scarlett Johansson asked. Speaking to a sea of primarily white women, decorated with pink pussy hats and comical posters, I was warned that the Women’s March on Washington was a white feminist movement. I was advised to not attend; my kind was unwelcomed, uninvolved and unimportant. Yet, in this very moment, I searched deep within my memory, filing through years of doctor visits and check-ups, until I landed upon my first GYN visit at 16-years-old. Nervous and excited, I remembered believing that this was a passage into womanhood. A stranger’s hands on my breasts, the cheap thin paper ripping beneath my shifting weight and

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most memorable of all, my mother. Angry, tense, and uncomfortable of the notion that her daughter was one step closer to no longer being hers. And as I reflected upon my own experience, I drowned out the voice of Scarlett, looked at the women around me and wondered if they too had made this passage into womanhood. Were they also sixteen? Did they go alone? Did they too suffer from the awkward gaze of a parent? Nonetheless, I felt comfortable. To be surrounded by hundreds of thousands of women, whether they resembled my physicality or not, I felt safe. All 500,000 of the woman that filled the nation’s capital were in understanding


of one another. If not politically, racially or culturally, we all have had shared experiences, unique to us as a gender. There was no need to feel ashamed of our bodies or its functions and necessary care routines. There was no need to shrink ourselves down until we became invisible to the male gaze that yearns to swallow us whole. We came together as one to hold a demonstration against the old age ‘Boys will be boys.’ Men must be men and ungrasp their suffocating hold onto our bodies.

house, but once inside, they hung up their coats and moved in where they were not always welcomed, but always belonged.

The white woman’s privilege served as a comforting factor throughout the Woman’s March in that police did not make a single arrest. When your privilege is used for helping the advancement and protection of the marginalized, then it becomes momentous. As a society, we have become quick to reject one another on predisposed ideologies formed by childhood teachings and the media.

For too long mainstream feminism has been synonymous with white feminism, only catering to the problems white women face. Fortunately, the Women’s March on Washington was an incredibly diverse event when considering their speakers. Hearing from women like Angela Davis and America Ferreira to Linda Sarsour and Gloria Steinem was a truly life changing episode. Not only am I forever grateful and humbled to have been a part of a historic event, especially as a young Black woman, but I feel more knowledgeable having learned about issues that affect white, brown and black woman collectively and uniquely. The Woman’s March organizers made a profound attempt in making their event as intersectional as possible and succeeded.

Many women of color made the presumption that were not welcome to the Women’s March and chose not to attend. Why preach “Don’t judge a book by its cover”? As women, especially women of color, the door has never been open for us. We pry. We invite ourselves in. And once you got inside, you would see the progress your people have made. They may have not built the

My grandmother nor my mother ever protested. It is a privilege to demonstrate, march and voice your anger. For years, I have longed for their absent stories of resistance. Stories of us overcoming as a people, their footprint on history. This is a privilege that I will not deny my children. I will continue to march whether or not it means I must continue to pry.

“They may have not built the house, but once inside, they hung up their coats and moved in where they were not always welcomed, but always belonged.”

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Everette Taylor

By: Carol Wright

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During your senior year of high school you were homeless. What kept you motivated during that time? What did that time of your life teach you? That it couldn’t get any worse than it already was and that I was meant for so much more than my current situation. I knew that if I could make it out of this situation, I could make it out of anything. That pushed me everyday. I read in Inc. the value you place on the importance of emotional intelligence and that you believe now with social media, people can see through others. Can you explain that further? For example, the past election. People are now saying they regret having voted for Trump, even though he’s been pretty transparent. A lot of startups/companies see people as just numbers and data. They forget that these numbers are real people with feelings, wants/needs, etc. It’s important to make business decisions while having a strong understanding of people. Also managing and getting the best out of people takes strong EQ. In terms of social media and people being able to see through others. I think if you’re fake and not genuine nowadays, people will see right through it and call you out for it. You’re better off just embracing who you are. Following that last question, do you think it’s fair to base your opinion on someone on his/her twitter or instagram? Especially when there are many facets to a person. I know this slightly contradicts what I just said but social media is rarely, if ever the total picture of someone. Do I think it’s fair? No. But you should understand that people are people, and they will judge what you show them. What advice do you have for someone starting their own company? Optimize your time and cut unnecessary distractions, make sure you have product/market fit, build your team with people who are passionate and remember to not lose sight of the things that truly matter in life. 93


Why do you think diversity in the tech community is so important? Do you think the topic of diversity is talked about enough? Well before we get into the ethics or morality of it all, it’s just smart business. Data shows time and time again that the more diverse your company is, the more successful it tends to be. Having diverse perspectives and minds in your company from different walks of life can only strengthen your business. But beyond business, there’s so many underrepresented people that grow up in this country thinking that their options are limited. Tech is a career path that many don’t know is an option. It’s important for the younger generation to see examples of other minorities and women killing it in tech. Social media is a large way for people to brand themselves these days. What’s the biggest mistake young people can make on social media, in terms of branding themselves? Trying to brand yourself without accomplishing anything. I put in the time and the work before ever doing any type of personal branding. Make sure you bring accomplishments and talent to the table. What advice do you have for people trying to build their brands and gain traction for their company? Figure out what your target audience looks like and where they live in the digital and physical space. Once you do that, figure out content that they care about and engage your audience on each different platform. The reason I built GrowthPup was to make it easier for people to do just that on social media.

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You’re young and have already accomplished more than some people have in their entire lives. What’s next for you? Well my main focus is building Skurt into the most successful company possible and expanding into new cities. Beyond that, I just became the National Brand Ambassador for NASA’s Startup Initiative and Technology Transfer Program helping aspiring entrepreneurs commercialize NASA technology for their own business use. I also launched GrowthPup less than a year ago and it’s a service to help people grow their followers and engagement on Instagram. Hope to see that continue to thrive as well as my other companies. If you weren’t working in marketing what do you think you’d be doing? I do much more than marketing, common misconception but I would definitely probably be in the VC space helping underrepresented entrepreneurs.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

Everyone is replaceable. Never get too comfortable in the position you’re in, you’re always replaceable and there’s always someone coming for you spot - especially if you’re at the top.

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Nyota: Issue 7  
Nyota: Issue 7