Reflection Magazine II Fall 2017

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Fall Volume II 2017


The Art of


RYDERWEAR: Australian Workout Brand

Russian Designer:

Alexander Terekhov

Introduction Reflection Magazine is an international fashion magazine that focuses on up and coming fashion designers from around the world as well as topics on women’s interests. We are a unique magazine that aids in discovering how women from around the world think, dream and overcome issues that many women face on a day to day basis. We offer a blend of content featuring new or undiscovered designers from Brooklyn to Hong Kong and topics such as fashion, style, women’s health, beauty, and much more.

Mission Statement Reflection Magazine is a publication aimed at revolutionizing women’s self-sense of beauty in their reflection. We advocate for confidence in every individual’s unique style and aesthetic. Through our distinctive view and portrayal of fashion and beauty, inside and out, we promote the celebration of young, undiscovered talent in clothing design, while steering away from the conventional notions that are currently placed in the fashion industry. We strive to be a contribution to the day when women will look in the mirror and not feel the need to compare themselves to an impossible, edited, and unrealistic image of perfection. Instead, they will appreciate the glamor and elegance they possess in their own expression of style. Paul Andrews Publisher



Media Correspondant

Paul Andrews

Richard Brooks

Executive Editor

Marketing & Sales

Art Directors

Contributing Writers

Joe D’ambrosi Nazir Abbas Joe Klaus

Scatto Savit

Kristen Catalano

Virginia deGuzman Arielle Tipa Hannah Mayer Kristen Catalano Gabriella Saitta Jacalyn Malsich Andreanna Hammond Genista J.

Graphic Artists


Managing Editor Joe Klaus


Jackie Monaco Rebecca Bruch Nazir Abbas

Nazir Abbas Jackie Monaco Kevin Sperando Nathalie Bravo

Thank you to our internet sources for other images used throughout this publication


1.800.680.3213 Copyright Information Reflection Magazine (ISSN 1931 – 5295) is published monthly by UA Media, Inc., 24 Woodbine Avenue, Northport, New York, 11768. All contents copyright 2016 by UA Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use in whole o rpart of the content without the prior written consent of UA Media, Inc. is strictly prohibited. All logos and trademarks are the properties of their respective owners. Although the writers and the publisher have exhaustively researched all sources to ensure the accuracy and the completeness of the information contained in this publication, we assume no responsibility for errors, inaccuracies, omissions, or any inconsistency herein. The opinions expressed in all materials are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of UA Media, Inc. or Reflection Magazine. Printed in the United States of America.



Featured Designer: Ryderwear


Fashion 6. Alexander Terekhov 10. PONY 14. Olive Bella 26. Namilia 36. Sticks + Stone 44. Christina Palomo 54. Ryderwear 58. Bally 66. Maria Meza

Style 18. Boots 30. Makeup Brushes 50. NYFW Trends Lifestyle 22. F%&@#*g Perfect 32. The Real World 40. The Art of Tattooing 48. Open Letter 62. Suicide 70. Secret Life

Letter From the Editor Dear Readers, Welcome back to another exciting edition of Reflection Magazine! We have been busy constructing our second edition of Reflection Magazine for you to enjoy. We love being able to showcase established as well as up and coming designers along with sharing some personal, compelling stories from real women. In this edition you will find features on designers form around the world including South America, Switzerland and Russia! Along with the designer features you will find articles about choreography, some healthy/beauty tips as well as some empowering stories about women who have overcome extreme emotional turmoil. In the second edition of Reflection we tackled subjects such as suicide, sexual assault and relationships. We guarantee that this issue will leave you on the edge of your seat wanting more! Now that fall is in full swing its time to break out your hats a jackets. Although you outfit may be covered up most of the time because of the cold weather try experimenting with different hats and scarves to showcase your unique style. Be bold, be brave and be you! Like the Edith Head once said “You can have anything that you want in life you just have to dress for it.� The best, Kristen Catalano




Brings Polar Opposites Together Story By: Kristen Catalano



lexander Terekhov is a master at bringing two polar opposites together. Whether its mixing elegant and extravagant or sexy and modest he has it covered. The Russian born designer’s work has been a favorite “going out” brand for many Russians for over a decade despite the increasing competition and appearance of new brands. His newest collection features a blend of modest and sexy and is a combination of everyday wear and formal wear.

When Terekhov was just ten years old he created his first dress for his mother and has not stopped. Since establishing his brand in 2004, Terekhov has been known for creating elegant womenswear with clean silhouettes and an inclination for extravagant patterned or metallic fabrics. He uses a minimalistic design along with expensive fabrics in order to achieve this look. Terekhov graduated from the Institute of Fashion and Design in Moscow before training at the prestigious Fashion House, Yves Saint Laurent. Since his training, Terekhov has partnered with Walt Disney to create a number of dresses inspired by the 2013 film, “Oz The Great and Powerful”. Russian GQ Magazine named him “Designer of the Year” at their Man of the Year Awards. Cont. pg 8


One of the things that I respect most about Terekhov’s brand is that he creates stylish clothes that are modest. His dresses feature high collar’s but do so in a way that they look fashionable and unique as opposed to looking too modest, a rare find in todays society. When a designer creates a piece with a women’s integrity in mind that proves that his heart lies with his clients and their satisfaction as opposed to the fame and fortune. His genuine personality and respect for women is what originally drew me to his line as I am sure it will you. In his more recent collections, he has added more colors and experimented with more risque designs without straying too far from his original concepts and ideas. Terekhov has expanded his brand to not only include women’s clothing bus also men and children’s! His spring/summer 2018 line for children is adorable, filled with bright colored dresses and swimsuits that will make your little girl look fashionable while also feeling comfortable. All of his children’s clothes follow the same code of ethics that he uses for his women’s line which means that your little princess will not be walking around in an outfit that is not meant for her age range. Nowadays kids wear designs that are not meant for them and have become sexualized in todays society. In his autumn/winter 2018 line for women he used a lot of deep, chocolate browns which is perfect for this time of year and gave the collection a cozy/homey feeling. The pant-suit style outfits that he included in this line stand out because they are sophisticated without being looking too masculine, perfect for someone who recently got a promotion at work and wants to stand out in their new position. His mens collection for this same season included a lot of the dark browns as well as some stand out jackets. These jackets would be a great gift for your boyfriend because they are casual enough to be worn everyday!


The Russian designer is all about keeping his costumers happy and satisfied so when he found out that they were going to tailors in order to make their clothes have the perfect fit and excellent quality he quickly adapted to meet their needs. He developed a “Alexander Terekhov Costume Line” in collaboration with Alelier Moscow, a business wardrobe that is tailored to your standards. Terekhov’s line can be purchased in shops all around Russia as well as Germany, France, Austria and Switzerland.



Products Of New York Story By: Kristen Catalano



he shoe company, PONY, has been creating a lot of buzz lately with their reinterpretations of classic sneaker styles and designs. The letters in their name Pony, stand for “Products Of New York”. When Roberto Muller established PONY on Madison Avenue in New York in 1972 he never imagined that it would become on of the top athletic brands around the globe. Originally PONY was known for producing athletic footwear but the company has now expanded to include sports clothing and street wear. After being on the fashion scene for less then a decade PONY’s sales volume had reached over $800 million in the United States alone in the early 1980s. Championship athletes have worn Pony in just about every major sport including the World Cup, the Super Bowl, the World Series and the NBA Finals. Following their 40th anniversary in 2013, Pony launched a series of collaborations with retailers and designers including DKNY, Colette, Art comes first, Smiley, Rothco, Mark McNairy and a premium “Product of New York” collection in collaboration with Barney’s. Nowadays they carry a few selections of shoes on the website that are continuously swapped out for different styles. On their site now they are three different shoe designs, they all come in both men and women. My favorite are the “Top Star White”, they are a simple white shoe with a streamlined shape on the side. The stripe comes in three different colors that you can chose from including black, royal and white. I personally love all three and for the low price of $60 theres no reason why you cant have them all!


They are a modern take on the 1975 classic sneaker and will definitely add a retro vibe to any look. They are causal so can be worn with jeans but would even look cute with an edgy dress paired with a leather jacket. Along with this pair they also have a “Top Star Hi White” which are pretty much the same as the other except they have a higher top, these are even more reminiscent of past styles and highlight PONY’s heritage. The design on these also come in all three colors and the price is just five dollars higher , $65. The last shoe that they are currently carrying online is the “Top Star Canvas”. Honestly when I first saw these they looked yellowed and a bit old to me so I was not impressed but after further observation I discovered that they are meant to be off-white. If you are like me and off-white is not your thing then they also come in navy and black! These shoes would be great for someone who likes to have one pair of shoes for their everyday activities because they only cost $65 and will match everything. Something that I found interesting is that the company’s archives are available online and you can see the evolution of sneakers that they have created throughout their entire history. Looking at some of their older designs it is easy to see why they are considered trailblazers in the foot wear industry because most of their designs are still incorporated in shoe designs today. Despite their growing popularity PONY has kept their prices extremely low, even in comparison to bigger brands such as Nike and Adidas, so if you are looking for a pair of sneakers why not check out their website and support a brand that got their start in New York!


Business Woman Turned Designer Story By: Kristen Catalano



hen Louisa started her online store three years ago she never expected it to grow as quickly as it has. To date, the entrepreneur has sold over two thousand products and been featured in a number of different publications. Despite her growth in sales, Louisa still hand makes all of her designs in her New York City apartment to ensure that every customer is happy with their product. The designer’s company/store is called “Olive Bella” and she told us that her mother was her main inspiration behind opening up her own shop. Growing up she watched her mother knit amazing pieces and it awakened something inside her. However she did not unleash this creative passion right away and began working as a Marketing Database Manager at a start-up company in New York City. While working here she was once again inspired to create and opened up her shop in 2015. Today, Louisa still works at that same company while also running Olive Bella. Her biggest motivation for keeping this shop running despite her hectic schedule is the feeling she gets from creating something special for someone, “I love the feeling of creating something that’s meaningful to someone’s life. It warms my heart to hand-make each and every product and see the creation from start to the moment the jewelry piece create new memories for the customer.” Currently her studio is her 600 square foot apartment that she and her husband share so in the future she hopes to move to a much bigger space. Once in this larger space she wants to accumulate more tools and supplies so that she will be able to offer new products and expand her business. Cont. pg 16


Louisa’s shop carries every type of jewelry that you can imagine from earrings to bracelets to necklaces. The designer uses a lot of gold and silver along with rustic designs. It is clear the the eye that she is inspired by nature so it wasn’t surprising when she told us just that, “I’m inspired by everything in nature from my travels. You’ll find everything from leafs, mountains, birds, stars and moon. The mountain necklace was inspired by the majestic Andes mountains at Patagonia in Chile and Jungfrau region in Switzerland.” Making her products serves as a therapeutic experience for Louisa which is not out of the ordinary for designers. Many people feel that they can only truly express themselves and their feelings through their art. Olive Bella carries a lot of amazing pieces including zodiac jewelry, mother-daughter necklaces and friendship jewelry. Her prices are affordable so this is a great place to get a cute, meaningful gift for everyone in your life. Louisa uses gemstones, rope, beads and even leather in her designs so there is something for every style! My favorite piece in her shop is definitely the constellation necklaces because they are simple and delicate enough to be worn anywhere. I’m a sucker for versatility and non of Louisa’s designs are too fancy that you will look out of place wearing it in your day to day life. Oddly enough these necklaces are also Louisa’s favorite to make, “My favorite piece so far is the zodiac necklace. I just love making this necklace because of the sentimental meaning to my customers. It means different things to different customers but it gives me a lot of satisfaction knowing what I am creating is something that the receiver will hold dear to her heart.” If you are looking for a gift for the upcoming holiday season check out Olive Bella for unique, handmade gifts!





Should You Rock This Winter? Story By: Kristen Catalano



ith winter poking its cold little head around the corner it is almost time to say goodbye to sandals and adios to flats. Before it is officially freezing outside its important to know all of the hottest styles this year so that you don’t get left out in the cold. One trend that dominated the winter fashion lines this year were sock boots! Sock boots come in a variety of styles but most have some sort of heel. The tighter the better is the moto with these boots so they will be sure to keep the cold gusts of wind away from your toes. These boots are great for the office because they are comfortable but also dressy enough that you wont look out of place. They look great with everything, including dresses, slacks and even jeans! Sock boots come in a huge variety of colors and patterns. These can also be one of the cheaper options because you can score a great pair for under $50! My favorites are by Steve Madden because they are made to last and the prices aren’t high, they also have a nice selection. Cont. pg 20


Thigh high boots saw a comeback a few years back and they are still going strong. These boots are great for a night out during the winter, especially when you are wearing a dress or skirt. They will keep the better part of your legs warm without being too bulky and making you look like you are going skiing. My favorite thigh high boots are the ones that have a corset-like back because they add a bit of class as well as cheekiness, perfect for a night of dancing! These boots also come with or without heels and can be found in most shoe stores. Lace-up booties were also featured on number of runways these season. Lace-up booties are perfect for work and date nights because they are classy, cute and can be worn with almost any outfit! The nude colored booties are my favorites because you can see all of the details and they match everything. The black lace-up booties are cute as well but the laces and details get lost a bit in the dark colors. These are another cheap option and can be found for as low as $20! A must have for this fall and winter season.


If you are looking for a sharp and sleek look then pointy toed boots are definitely the way to go. These are great for a night out and have a rock ‘n’ roll vibe that will have crowds flocking to you. Some of the pointy toed boots are great for the office as well, depending on what your offices atmosphere is. There are a couple of different brands that carry nice versions of these but my favorite are from Guess and Steve Madden, their prices don’t break the bank and their designs are simple but cute. Lastly for those days with a foot of snow of the ground and a boss demanding that you come to work classic snow boots are your best, and safest, option. But fret not you can still be fashionable even in the terrible weather, some companies that sell cute and practical boots include UGG, L.L. Bean and Zara. All of these companies boots are $200 or under and you will be very happy when that first big snowfall hits and you aren’t scrambling for something to wear.


“F%&@#*g Perfect” Story By: Gabriella Saitta Let’s face it, accepting ourselves for every piece of what we are is quite the battle. Maybe you don’t like the way your hair falls, or maybe you think your lips aren’t plump enough, or that your walk with too much of a limp because of your prosthetic leg. Maybe you’re embarrassed by your voice because someone told you it’s too low for a girl, and gee, are anyone’s fingernails this crooked, and what you would do for the chance to have just one less freckle because Andrea next door has a perfect 34 freckle count and you’re stuck with 35. What a freak. Regardless of what you believe makes you an atrocious monster, P!nk shared some strong words in her VMAs speech that perhaps can inspire us all to accept who we are and live bravely. Cont. pg 24




On August 27th, after giving a spectacular performance, P!nk stepped up with nothing but smiles to receive the Video Vanguard Award. While expressing her gratitude to her fans, P!nk felt that there was more than just the award to show acceptance for. P!nk encaptured the audience with a heartfelt anecdote about her sixyear-old daughter’s struggle to appreciate her personal beauty, and, just like her music, struck a hard note in all of us. P!nk tells the audience that one morning while driving her daughter to school, she hears her daughter say, “I am the ugliest girl I know.” When she asked why, her daughter replied “I look like a boy with long hair.” P!nk found herself so bewildered by her own daughter’s selfhatred, that she quickly ran home and created a Powerpoint presentation to convince her otherwise. Overcome by her adoration, P!nk listed off beautiful and inspiring artists such as David Bowie, Janis Joplin, and Prince who wore their unique beauty with such integrity and grace that decades later, they are not only remembered for their unmatchable talent, but revered as icons for their magnificent androgyny. These artists, she explains, are successful and marvelous because

they were who they were out loud, no matter what constraints of society tried to keep them quiet. “We don’t change,” P!nk continued, “we take the gravel and the shell and we make a pearl.” There is going to be a lot of ugliness to us; nobody is perfect. Radiating true beauty is to wear what people will tell us is “ugly” regardless. Wear whatever it is you have with such brightness that the world around you will have no choice but to accept you as you accept you. Be proud of everything you are, even the “ugliness” because maybe it’s the “ugliness” that gives us the strength to be beautiful.



The Brand Using Fashion to Have a Voice on

Sexualization and Femininity Story By: Hannah Mayer



fter the recent events of New York Fashion Week, there were many people left unhappy due to top designers such as Rodarte, Proenza Schouler and Tommy Hilfiger deciding to ditch their usual NYFW slot and show elsewhere. Yet, we mustn’t be let down, instead we must think of all the budding new designers this creates a new space for on the catwalk. Here, Reflection introduces you to Namilia, the brand founded by designers Nan Li and Emilia Pfohl and tells you about its fashion breakthrough. Although Namilia made its first NYFW debut in 2016, this doesn’t stop it being constantly on the rise, even after it was only founded two years ago in 2015. With a dedication to having a voice on sexualisation and femininity, they are true, “destroyers of false perception.” Nan Li and Emilia Pfohl, who met at University of the Arts Berlin, named their first collection: “My Pussy, My Choice” which was to break through the perception we often see of what women “should look like”. The collection featured rainbow unicorns, inflatable elements and even a phallus shaped bralet. It was also to show, “A celebration of the new girlhood which is about to change the way we understand and relate to gender clichés.” Cont. pg 28


Yet, although this was the designers first bold and unique collection, it certainly wasn’t their last. Namilia’s most recent Spring/ Summer 2018 collection which was shown at NYFW, “The Indiscreet Jewels” displayed a vagina-themed array alongside various barely-there outfits and blown-up breasts. This was based on Denis Diderot’s novel from 1748, which reads that King Louis XV of France is the owner of a ring which is able to make women’s genitals talk. The founders behind these creative pieces say they use clothing as a form of expressing beliefs, conflicts and dreams and we’re totally on board with that. As were the other audience members of Namilia’s shows who undoubtedly stand for promoting powerful femmes. They’re sure to be one to watch and we can’t wait to see what Namilia next brings to the catwalk. Why not take a look at their other collections? You can explore and find out more about Namilia on their website “http://shop.namilia. com/” or keep up to date with the fashion revolution on Instagram by following @_namilia_




Guide to Makeup Brushes


Story By: Christina Michael


here are so many makeup brushes on the market it can be overwhelming to say the least. If you don’t know where to begin, here are some of the best, basic brushes to achieve a full face look that is flawless. For a perfect base, start with a foundation brush to place and blend your foundation evenly. Start at the center of your face and blend outward and upward towards your hairline for even application and voilà! To get some extra coverage with a concealer brush, it’s important to pat the product on to the area with the brush until you achieve full coverage that blends seamlessly with your foundation. For a brush with even more versatility, try an angled brush. You can use this to apply blush, bronzer, or highlight. Just sweep it along the cheekbones, hairline, and/or jawline, depending on which you’re using it for. Another multi-use brush is the brow/eyeliner. This can be used to apply gel liner or eyeshadow used as a liner wet or dry. It’s also perfect for brows. The angled shape places brow powder, wax, or pomade exactly where you want it allowing you to fill in and shape. Now with highlighters, some can be intimidating with their intense pigmentation and shine. This is where the fan brush comes in. It’s ideal for highlighting. It gives a sheer but buildable application making it great for intense highlighters. A fan brush can also be used to sweep away excess eyeshadow. And finally, using a lip brush is a great way to wear lip color. It provides a detailed application of lipstick/lip gloss, helps to blend colors together to create an ombre lip or a personalized shade, and applies smoothly and evenly. There are tons of different brushes on the market in all different price ranges. You should start out with these basics until you’re more comfortable and experienced with them.


The Real World Story By: Kristen Catalano

Graduating college is one of the most exciting yet scary times of your life. It is a huge accomplishment that should be celebrated but it also means that you will be thrust into the real world where you will be expected to cover your day to day expenses. Which includes paying back those monster student loans that you took out when you were just eighteen and had no idea what a high interest rate was. As a recent college grad myself I can fully relate to grads who felt more stressed out the day following graduation then they did during finals week. I was lucky enough to have a summer internship in my field lined up after graduation but there was a catch, it was unpaid. I was also lucky in the sense that i had been at a job for over a year so I was able to make my work schedule around my internship which left me with just enough money to cover my bills and go out once or twice a week. Cont. pg 34



But sadly many students are not as lucky as me and colleges are not making it any easier. My school offered a “career center” but it was never brought up by any of my professors in my three years there, I don’t even remember learning about it when I went for a tour of the school. For my freshman orientation they made sure to wow us with all of the selections in the dining hall and fun events but they never once mentioned the career center. Even the oncampus recruiting is becoming pointless because in my experience if you are not in the top 10% of your class then they are frankly not interested in you. They will simply hand you a pamphlet, tell you to email them your resume (which you will) and then you will never hear from them again.


If you have recently graduated from college and have no job relax, you are not alone, 83% of college students don’t have a job lined up after college and 32% of college grads say that they have never had a job. The first thing that you need to do is write a resume that highlights all of your strengths, don’t add a reference from a previous job if you got fired for goofing off to much and don’t put your mom down as your main reference. Both will make you look bad so instead put down a favorite professor of yours that you had a good connection with or maybe a coach that has helped shape you along the way. Next start sending your resume to any jobs that are even close to your field. Even if they are not exactly what you want everyone needs to start out somewhere and you never know what opportunities they may lead to.The job market is the best that it has been in ten years so the jobs are there you just need to know where to look, sites like indeed are the best because with one click you can apply to jobs in seconds.

A monthly budget is also extremely important in making sure that you don’t drown yourself in debt your first few months as an “adult”. Make sure you set aside enough money for your bills as well as food, gas, etc. Even though you may feel physically sick at the idea moving back in with your parents after graduation may be your best option financially. Apartments these days are expensive and you don’t want to default on your student loans or car insurance because you are too proud to move back into your childhood bedroom. Instead embrace the home cooked meals that you once yearned for and the pink walls of your bedroom that you once begged your parents for. Whether you decide to go the apartment route or move back home do not make any major financial decisions until you have found a job and have been a the job for at least six months. Don’t go out and purchase a new car or max out a credit card until you know what your annual salary will be. There is nothing fun about your new car getting towed away because of failure to pay or your credit card getting declined in front of all of your friends.

Although finding a job after college may seem like an impossible task, its not. Take a deep breath, write a kick-ass resume and send it to as many people as possible. Don’t get discouraged when you fail to hear back from employers that you thought you closed the deal with. Something will come up it just takes time.


Sticks + Stone




“As we progress across years & decades & as our world becomes more connected than ever, it becomes more apparent that there are many social & environmental issues that are direct outcomes of the fashion industry & excess consumerism.” – Jacky Stickler, Founder & CEO of sticks + stone etting the mind wander is the key to any creative feat, but letting it roam free without borders or limitations harbors infinite possibilities. Jacky Stickler effortlessly transports herself to an untapped paradise with her brand, sticks + stone – a Queensland-based label with a heart and soul of its own. With an eco-conscious philosophy, sticks + stone is a brand that is as fashionable as it is sustainable. “Our team gets great satisfaction out of making conscious decisions that will have long lasting positive impacts”, says Stickler, who oversees a talented and ethical staff of women who share her vision in casual luxury, and most importantly “who love the work that they are doing and prospering in a positive environment.” Sticks + stone originates from Stickler’s “ love for the outdoors & affinity with the environment at an early age,” and whose aim is to “inspire women to look & feel their best & to use their positive energies for good.” The debut collection from sticks + stone, “The Voyager”, includes both casual and formal pieces, and which, according to Stickler, “materialize ideas of social and environmental consciousness. Simple silhouettes, crafted ethically with sustainable materials to create timeless quality pieces.” Such gentle timelessness is seen in their organic cotton dresses, tops, and pants. Despite Stickler’s gorgeous array of environmentally conscious casual and dress wear, the question still remains on if she will branch out into accessories. “We’d love to work on some collaborations with other sustainable accessories designers!”, Stickler told me. “sticks + stone are firm believers in bringing different skill sets together. The potential to create something of distinct & immense beauty via collaboration is unique & exciting.” “It’s so wonderful to work with beautiful, environmentally-friendly fabrics that have been farmed, harvested, and spun consciously with love and care”, Stickler told me when I asked her what the best part about being an ethical and sustainable brand is. “You can literally feel it in the finished product!” Check out the brand at!




The Art of Tattooing Story By: Kristen Catalano


t is almost 2018, we have put humans on the moon, developed cars that can drive on their own and luckily most of us have come to the conclusion that an individual with a tattoo can be both intelligent and hardworking. Over the past decade tattoos have slowly become more mainstream and accepted in society. In the past individuals with tattoos, women especially, have been harshly judged and ridiculed for the art that they chose to put on their body. But now that people are starting to take the time to understand tattoos and the art behind it women are no longer looked down upon or judged for using their body as a canvas for art. We talked to one of the most in demand tattoo artists on Long Island in order to get the inside scoop on what the current trends are and the art behind tattooing. Cont. pg 42



Dominick Cali has been tattooing for a few years but that was not always his plan, “I went to Pratt Institute for Digital Art and graduated with a BFA. I found myself two years out of college with little freelance work and overall, frustrated. I was open to other opportunities. My now co-worker, Will Walker, is a long time friend of mine and we reconnected not too long after I graduated. When he explained what tattooing was like I really started to consider the idea of it. It just kind of stuck with me and I felt drawn in. So I reached out for an apprenticeship at Michael Angelo Ink and the rest is history,” said Cali. What some people don’t know is that most people have a reason behind every tattoo that they get, whether its in memoriam of a loved one or simply an expression of their personality, “A lot of people have meaning behind their tattoos. Whether it be familyoriented, memorials of loved ones who past away or pieces that remind them of some type of life lesson. Some, it’s more about aesthetics and just being a fan of art. Some people just see their body as a canvas. I think both routes are equally valid and it’s totally up to the individual,” said Cali. Trends are always changing, this is true for tattoos as well but lately more women have been getting hip tattoos, inner arm tattoos, photorealistic tattoos as well as tiny tattoos. “Every tattoo artist has their specialties. But for me, people tend to ask for black and grey, and usually on the realistic side. I think this is mostly just where my strengths lie. It’s a snowball effect. If I do a few good roses, skulls, or portraits, and people that are looking for those types of pieces stumble upon my work, they’ll of course come to me based on work they’ve seen me do,” is what Cali had to say about what most people come in for. The tattoo artist also noticed that most women typically opt for more delicate tattoos, “Women are usually more likely to ask for their tattoos to be delicate and on the smaller side. But, honestly, I have a huge variety of clientele and most of my clients are really into getting serious work done. So size usually is based on what will look best for the design and the part of the body that it will go. Most of my clients will trust me to make those decisions.”


Tattoos are truly an art because their purpose is to make a statement, challenge viewers and/or alter someones perception. Tattooing itself also requires creativity, patience and talent: all of the things that painting or drawing require. Personally Cali likes to put his own twist on every tattoo that he does, “Most clients give me a starting point and I almost always come up with a design almost entirely from scratch. I use references and ask for direction from my clients, but that’s it. As long as I feel like I can connect with my client, I know I can make them a piece that they’re happy with. I prefer to design a new and original piece based on the client’s idea. If they have a reference, I will consider the style and design. But, I ultimately want to make them something new. If you’re paying me to tattoo you I also think I should put in the work to give you a piece that no one else has.” This Long Island based tattoo artist also uses tattooing as a way to express himself and the things that he enjoys, “My preferred style of art in general is what I’d describe as ‘dark and classy’. Aesthetically and thematically I enjoy horror and macabre imagery. Not everyone can see beauty in darkness, but it’s something I have always have been drawn to. I try to find balance between the grotesque and the beautiful.” Since the stigma that was once attached to tattoos has lifted and they no longer keep you from landing your dream job, more women are getting tattooed, even the older generation is getting in on the fun! “I’d say sixty percent of my clients are female. And most of my clients are between the ages of 20 and 30. But I’ve tattooed people as old as 75.,” said Cali. Dominick Cali currently works at Michael Angelo Ink in Medford, NY. For appointments or if you have any questions you can email him at or follow him on Instagram @domcalitattoo


Cristina Palomo-Nelson: South American Fashion Designer

Story By: Kristen Catalano



ristina Palomo-Nelson and her partner, Megan Papay, have built an empire based on something that has been apart of Palomo-Nelson’s life since the day she was born, shoes. Cristina was raised in El Salvador and spent most of her childhood running around her parents shoe factory. It was during this time that her love for shoes developed and her designs began to spring up in her mind. The two women created the line “Freda Salvador” in 2011 and have had a successive lineup of collaborations since then. They most recently collaborated in June with Sarah Swell. Swell is a jewelry based designer and created a signature anklet to go with a special edition Freda Salvador loafer. In the future they hope to delve further into western style by creating a line of ankle boots and experimenting with mixed snake prints. The contemporary line of shoes is produced in a small family factory in Elda, Spain and has been worn by an impressive list of international celebrities including Ashley Benson, Emma Roberts and even Courtney Lowe. Supermodel Gigi Hadid has worn Freda Salvador in four different fashion weeks! This celebrity lineup shows that the women have been successful in their attempt to develop a line that has something for every age group and fashion.

Cont. pg 46


When Cristina set out to create a line of shoes she wanted to create shoes that were fashionable but did not seem like they were trying too hard. Comfort was also at the forefront of her designs, so if you chose to slip into a pair or Freda Slavador shoes know that your toes will still be in tact and functioning by the end of the night! Crisitina’s personal style is tailored, clean and classic which is why she uses her shoes to make a statement. All of Cristina’s designs tie back to her and she leaves a little bit of herself in every pair of shoes she creates. Cristina’s heritage and home is very prevalent in her work. The first collection of shoes from Freda Salvador was created in Cristina’s family’s factory in El Salvador. The name of the company also ties back to Cristina’s upbringing with the name Salvador being chosen as a homage to her homeland. When they held their first sample show the women were not expecting more than one hundred people and stocked accordingly. Unbeknownst to them their brand had become a hot commodity and they sold out within eleven minutes of opening. After browsing the website it is easy to see why their sample show sold out so quickly. Their boots range from causal to high end, my personal favorite are the “Ace Lace-Up Boot X Anndra Neen”. These come in two different colors and have beautiful embellishments going down the front that add a more personalized look to an otherwise generic boot. The chunky heel is also great for folks like me who have not mastered walking in heels but love a few extra inches. Their mules and flats are also versatile for women of all styles and professions.


The El Salvador native has been able to launch such a well sought after brand not just because her designs are to die for and her shoes are comfortable but also because she is relatable and faces a lot of the same difficulties that every day women face. For example, in multiple interviews she has talked about her struggle to maintain a healthy balance between work and home life, something that most working moms can relate to. Although it may seem impossible having a similar schedule like Cristina’s where you draw distinct lines and set aside specific time for work and fun it is definitely achievable. Freda Salvador is constantly changing and growing as a brand but still remains true to their roots. One of the main reasons that I believe this brand has been able to receive such international support in a short period of time. Cristina is proof that if you work hard enough your dreams can come to life.


Open Letter By: Kaitlin Oster I should thank you for the reminder that I’ve been through enough in my life to not allow your selfishness to affect me as I initially thought it would. A fine line exists between selfishness and self care, which you blurred, and I began to back down and step away the moment you used the word “blame” in regards to me developing feelings for you. You see, though, actions speak louder than words. You told me you weren’t ready for a relationship, but showed me everything I thought I ever deserved without asking for it. How could you blame me for falling for that? At the same time, I can’t blame you. I can’t blame you for attaching yourself to my independence. I can’t put you at fault for seeing stability, openness, and empathy that you needed in such a fragile time in your life. It’s almost a compliment that you saw it fit to drink from my well, because you knew I could handle the inevitable let down you would be to me in the end. Alternatively, I credit your soul. Yours is so very old. I saw it in you. I saw you. I saw someone that needs to be alone in order to completely know themselves. You, however, are not ready for that. For your soul is old, but your self-assurance is lacking. I do not believe you truly know how to be alone, and that makes me believe you do not really know who you are. You have goals, and dreams, and plans that were extraordinary - that I will always respect. At the same time, you are lost in drive. The more I saw that, the more I knew to back away from you, and the more it killed me to do so - because I already fell for you. I fell so hard.


You told me you don’t believe things happen for a reason, but after our last conversation, I must disagree. In fact, I should thank you. Thank you for showing me everything I want and deserve, and everything I will not - and should not - tolerate. Thank you for reminding me how to feel, because it reopened a vault inside of my soul that inspired me to write again. You gave me something to pour into, you inspired me to write more, you inspired me to put colors back into my world. This experience broke the monotony of my existence and reminded me that I am an artist, and I am a creator. Thank you for making love to me, and for stopping it when you saw me starting to love you. I do not believe, however, that you were, in anyway, protecting my emotions when you said we needed to back off each other. Your intentions were to do what was in your best interests without the regard of my emotions, and blocking mine out was an effective way to just protect yourself. That, my dear boy, is where the line of selfishness and self care blurs. Doing what is best for you is best done alone. I will miss you. I will miss our late conversations about the world, and I will always think about your eyes - the laughing, deep, soulful eyes that spoke louder than you ever could. That depth, I hope, to find in another.


5 Trends You Can Wear Now Straight From the

NYFW Catwalk Story By: Hannah Mayer



lthough New York Fashion Week may be over, the trends it has created are certainly not. Come Spring 2018 everyone will be wearing them, but if you want to get a heads up and start applying them to your 2017 Winter wardrobe go ahead. Here’s Reflection’s list of 5 trends you can take straight from the NYFW catwalk and make totally adaptable to your own wardrobe now.

1. Cargo


If you’re looking to make your style a bit grungier, look no further. Cargo pants are definitely a thing this season with thanks to Hellessy and Sies Marjan. These designers sported them in vibrant colours, the perfect accompaniment for a plain white t-shirt and trainers.

2. Sports


A renowned favourite, sports chic is back from designers Alexander Wang and Fenty x Puma. This saw Rihanna grace the catwalk wearing an all in one electric blue body with harness detailing and what looked like ski goggles. Wang went for a more subtle sports chic look dressing his girl-racer models with motocross leather trousers and cami tops. It’s time to get the leather trousers back out of your wardrobe.

Cont. pg 52


3. Raw


This NYFW saw the return of raw denim from designers varying from Tom Ford, Tibi and Calvin Klein. It’s time to ditch the oversized, ripped denim and replace it with clean, fitted indigo garments. A key note being – fasten your jacket all the way to the top for an edgier look, this was a look that dominated this year’s runways and don’t worry, the fashion Gods have clarified its totally acceptable to wear double denim.

4. Fringing Making a swift comeback, Diane Von Furstenberg and Monse were sure to welcome fringing back onto the catwalk, but then did it ever really leave? From fringed red and white tassel skirts to fringed silk dresses, this trend is totally adaptable to your wardrobe. Not ready to add fringing to your clothing? Why not get your hands on a fringed accessory such as a handbag to start with.


Ruched bodycons

The perfect party attire, Jason Wu, Tom Ford and Rachel Comey all made ruched up bodycons a thing this NYFW. They create that perfect bodycon yet not too clingy balance, whether it was as a sheer maxi dress or an above the knee gingham dress, this makes the perfect outfit for any upcoming events.




Story By: Kristen Catalano


yderwear is one of the hottest new brands on the sportswear scene. The brand is based in Australia but they are hoping to expand their business worldwide, “My ultimate goal is global domination in the gym wear industry and I’m striving for Ryderwear to be known as a household name. The entire fitness industry derives from the US and it’s the largest market, so it’s a given to expand here,” said David Lukic, the brands CEO. Lukic is also hoping to bring the brand to Europe in the near future, “Europe has lots of potential which we will be exploring in the near future.” Ryderwear recently held a fashion show in Adelaide in order to launch a new collection as well as introduce a new direction for the brand. The idea for Ryderwear popped into David Lukic’s head way back in 2009 when he was hanging out with his, then girlfriend now wife, Natalie. David is a former body builder and personally understood the struggle of finding gym clothes that fit properly and Natalie went to school for marketing so the two make the perfect team. “We got straight to work and year after year we grew bigger and bigger. Call it ‘right place, right time’. The fitness industry was just starting to take off like crazy, Facebook was the only real social media platform and super inexpensive to advertise on, we had very little competition and Internet shopping was taking over from retail. Everything just aligned for us but we still worked tirelessly for years. After around 4 or 5 years, we hired our first employee. With that extra set of hands it grew at an even quicker rate and we were hiring a new team member every month,” said Natalie. Cont. pg 56


The head designer behind Ryderwear Jessica Salvi, has been designing for just two years but she has a very involved design approach, “I like to see what trends are forecasted to become popular for a certain season, create some inspiration boards and define the main theme and colours. Once the inspiration board has been put together, I start to come up with some basic sketches of styles that I think would suit the themes. David, Natalie, our assistant designer Sondra and myself then look through all the designs and figure out what we think will sell well for our target market. The next step is to get some samples made and fabric swatches dyed, then when we receive those we can approve or make any changes. Once we are happy with the final samples, we place an order with the factory. This whole process can take between 6-8 months!” In the year that Salvi has worked for Ryderwear she has seen the company grow immensely, “We are building a new office space and warehouse to cater for another 50 employees and that shows how much we have grown over the last few years when Ryderwear only had a handful of employees. We can only go up from here and thanks to the rebrand we will reach a much broader and varied market.” Part of the reason behind the success of this company is that despite their growth in sales and employees, David and Natalie continue to stay extremely involved in the design and production process, “Most of my time is spent with the design team, selecting colors, fabrics and styles for upcoming ranges,” said David.


Natalie does not shy away from hard work and as Creative Director of the company she is very hands on, “I am still very involved in the design process and work directly with the them. As Creative Director my focus is more on the initial brainstorm and market research phase of the design process, product choices, color selection etc. And then I have the final say on what goes to market,” said Natalie. Working so closely with your husband or wife may not be the easiest thing but David and Natalie both agree that they are better together and their bond only makes the brands value stronger, “We work very well together and complement each other’s strengths. We’re extremely involved with the business and treat it like our own child,” said David. The main goal of this brand is to create clothes that are both fashionable and functional, probably the reason that it is the top choice of many athletes. “The most important factor involving sportswear is function. It needs to be functional because it is being worn for a purpose to help you move and work hard. If your clothing is stopping you from moving freely in the gym, they you will stop wearing it. This means making sure the fabric is suitable and the fit is comfortable and flexible,” said Jessica, Head Designer. Despite their emphasis on function and high quality materials, they have worked hard to keep their prices low so that everyone can enjoy their products. “I think the functionality of our products, the high tech fabrics we use and the price point is what makes us so desirable to athletes and gym goers,” commented Natalie. If you are looking for gym clothes that will be functional in the gym while also making you stand out then be sure to check out Ryderwear’s website to check out their new products!




Shoe Company Creates Boots For All Weather Story By: Kristen Catalano



hen Carl Franz was on a business trip to Paris in 1849 he never imagined that buying his wife a present would result in a huge life change. While buying his wife a pair of lace-up booties he notices that the design and buttons/elastic that was used was similar to what his family’s factory produced. It was at that moment that he knew that he could make these of better quality, create more jobs and improve the lives of the residents. With the help of his brother Fritz and some designers, they began producing shoes that were made entirely by hand in their basement. Three years after the establishment of the brand, they built a factory and now the brand has extended to include clothes, handbags and leather goods. By the 1870s, Bally was finally recognized as a leader in the footwear industry. After Carl’s death in 1899, his sons took over the business and continued to grow and expand the company internationally. Bally goods are now sold around the world in Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Lebanon, the United States and Turkey. The success of this company lies within their ability to create shoes that are both fashionable and practical. Their headquarters are still in Switzerland, a relatively cold country, so their boots feature a thick heel that has traction for those long winter months. This is great for women who still have to go to work even though the ground is covered in snow. The designers behind this company used their everyday experience with the different weather conditions to create shoes that are versatile enough to be worn anywhere and during anytime!


All of the soles on their shoes are made with sturdy rubber and have been handled with cemented construction, they are built to last through wear and tear! Their “Midori” boot is made from lamb leather and features a fur trim around the top half of the boot. It is a fresh take on an older biker style boot. The sole is made from rubber and has traction so these are the perfect boots for women who want to be fashionable while also being safe on the snow and ice covered sidewalks. The cute ribbon on the back adds a classy effect to an otherwise practical boot. Their tall leather boots are also great for rainy days or the days following a snow storm when slush covers the streets because they go almost as high as your knee so they will keep you pants completely dry. My personal favorite from their boot collection is their take on the combat boot. They added gold-tone zippers and woven laces which give them a unique look that will stand out from the rest of the combat boots hitting the pavement this winter season. The prices of these shoes are a bit high if you purchase them through the website but if you go to stores like “Saks Fifth Avenue” then you will be able to get them a bit cheaper. There are also three “made to order” stores in New York if you are looking for a pair of shoes that is more unique. At these stores you are able to make the shoes complete your own by choosing a style, color, sole and even the material used!


SUICIDE Story By: Kristen Catalano

“He killed himself �, three words that will be burned in my mind for the rest of my life. I can remember the exact moment that I heard those three words. I was taking a nap before I had to go to work that afternoon and my mom came in my room to tell me that my cousin killed himself earlier that morning. Since that day, almost a year ago, I have not been able to take a nap during the day. When someone decides to kill themselves it is usually because they can no longer handle the emotions that they are feeling or because they feel like a burden to their friends or family. What they don’t think about when they tie that rope around their neck or fire that gun is the people that they will be leaving behind. They are not solving any of their problems they are simply passing the emotions on to the people closest to them.



The week following that fateful morning in November was very much a blur of people offering their condolences to my family and trying to put the pieces together as to why a bright, smart sixteen year old would do this. How was he this unhappy for that long and no one realized it? Why didn’t he just speak up and say something? Anything. When someone close to you commits suicide you feel a mix of emotions including sadness, anger and confusion. During my cousins wake hundreds of teens from his school came to pay their respects and I remember sitting in the chair staring at all of them one by one wondering if any of them felt guilty because they saw something happen in school that we didn’t or maybe one of them were the ones bullying him and thats why he did that. How many of these tears that these kids were shedding were genuine? How many were simply an act because that is what you are suppose to do when someone dies? A lot of the time when someone passes by suicide the guilt that you feel will eat you alive and so you look for any way to pass it on to someone else, that this is what I was doing when I was staring at all of these kids. Most of them were only sixteen, when you are that age you are both fragile yet oblivious to the world around you. You don’t realize that your actions, even small ones, have consequences. Most of them time, even when someone leaves a note, you will never truly know what was going on in their mind when they finally took the final step and chose to leave this world. I found that it is best to move on and grieve on your own time instead of trying to act as Olivia Benson or Elliot Stabler on Law and Order: SVU and cracking the case.


Sometimes it is easy to see that someone is suffering and once you think back you will begin to see signs that you didn’t even recognize before but other times its a complete blindside. For example, a few months ago the lead singer for the world famous band, Linkin Park, Chester Bennington, killed himself. From the outside looking in it seemed that Chester had everything that anyone could want, five wonderful children, a record breaking career, money and a loving wife but on the inside he was suffering. Recently, his wife shared a video of him laughing with his children just hours before he committed suicide. She shared this in order to bring awareness to depression and shine light on the fact that it is not always someone sitting in a dark room all day. I think this video had a powerful impact on a great deal of people and needed to be shared. Almost 7% of the United States population suffer from depression and every year 44,193 Americans die as a result of suicide. I never in a million years thought that my baby cousin would be included in this number but it happened and has started a fire in me to spread awareness about suicide that will not be extinguished. After reading this story I hope that that same fire ignites in all of you so that hopefully suicide will be a thing that kids learn only about in history class.


Maria Meza

“I don’t see fashion as a job, I see it as a lifestyle which makes me have fun and project my own vision”.


“lifesyle” is the word that 29-year-old Mexican designer Maria Meza uses to describe her fashion line. Maria Meza is a new face designer from Mexico, living in New York city. She was born in Irapuato Guanajuato, Mexico where she studied fashion design and haute couture.“What inspires me the most about fashion is being able to create, having something in mind and make them through a piece of clothing, whether it is shoes or accessories. I see fashion as a language, a way of self expression.” When asked how long she has had an interest in fashion her expression said it all. With a big smile, she said, “I have loved fashion since I can remember. I remember when I was a child and my parents gave me money, I used to save it to buy special pieces of clothes. I was madly attracted to fashion. I love unique pieces that are beyond following a trend because it change from time to time. Sometimes we get trapped from all of their details that make them unique and desiring. Quality is another basic factor. I believe that design and quality are the best fusion.” Recently she turned her dream into a reality, by launching her own jewelry line, Pipirisnais. She defines her brand’s concept of creations and designs as mexican magic. After studying fashion design in Mexico, she continued her studies with 2 years of Haute Couture studies with Letica Fuentes. She decided to become a freelancer because she liked the idea of having her own business. At the time she focused on high fashion couture ; during that 2 years she made 13 unique garments. After that she decided to move to Guadalajara Jalisco in Mexico where she had a new adventures in art world, specific in paint-


ing, “That was literally a time of self discovery because up until that time there was only fashion in my head. After 4 years of exploring, I had the opportunity to work with many brilliant people that made me learn new things, even own my own artistic project. I did some collaborations and textile interventions in a few pieces that took me to a showcase in Bangkok. This one was one of the most important because it made me realize any diversity of art in this world. I love to travel and explore new places, and it became a part of my inspiration to create new things. I’ve been in the world of fashion for 10 years. As a freelancer I worked on my private projects, and I’ve been doing arts since 5 years ago. I loved this part of my life because it makes me complete and more free as a creative being.” While doing a lot of projects in Mexico, she also had collaborated with Vogue Mexico. Maria has break every walls in her life. She is a true artist and believes that New York is a place where she can express herself. ‘I came to New York to be more who I am, to show what I’ve got for this world! New York is a huge and busy city this place can make you or break you down. But for me, New York is pushing and inspiring me to create and work harder on my project with the unique way, make me learn more for who I am and for what I want to show out my styles. In this town being unique is part of it.” Cont. pg 68



Maria has spent her time in New York, working as a stylist as well as growing her jewelry brand that recently launched. “During the time I’m living here I realized that presenting yourself with no bias either boundary is essential – you have to open to anything. I really enjoy going out and see fashion everywhere in New York. I find it’s fascinating that this city is so liberating where you can shine out yourselves. And inspirations are everywhere in this city.” Maria said New York gives her more and more inspiration especially, on accomplishing her own jewelry brand which it is her dream.“I’ve started about this brand since 2 years ago it was 6 months before I came to New York - Pipirisnais is a contemporary brand that I want it to shine with the concept of equality of sex, especially the power of femininity becoming one, no gender differences. The design of earrings got inspirations from many things: art in all of its expressions from painting, sculpture, nature, sexuality leaning towards eroticism, geometry, or even the body parts like vaginas, penis, lips, hands and hearts etc. The brand was created in fun and natural way, no rules or limits, just flowing and magic growing that’s why Pipirisnais is a Mexican magic and let you feel our unique. With magic I mean everything that shines in this world: music, painting, nature, imperfection, poetry, eroticism, color, photography, art.” So where exactly did the name, “Pipirisnais” come from? “Pipirisnais was created as a mispronunciation of the already inaccurate phrase “people is nice”, from some group of Mexican immigrants to the USA, it could be “nice people” or “fancy people”. Or even a thing – some-

thing that looks high class/expensive. From time to time ‘Pipirisnais’ became popular even being used in soap operas as it spreads around the country. I found it interesting to know its background and the pronounce of the word. I can feel fun and joyful, to be Pipirisnais – it’s very fascinating.” said Fuentes.” For its first collection Pipirisnais starts with 9 main ideas of 15 different designed pieces using acrylics with different textures and colors from the most kitsch stones in jewelry. The glitter, mirrors, primary colors - carey, black, white and Barbie pink take the stage in a collection where the freedom and unique has taken place. “Pipirisnais is my life project, I’ve devoted 2 years of my life for it and I’m very happy about it. I’ve really enjoyed the creative process, that is what I enjoy the most as a creative. I feel free to create my ideas from everything that inspires me with no limits or bias, I just flow and work it on creating my own project.” Pipirisnais has team of Mexicans – designed by Maria Meza. They are all creative people who chasing for their dreams of ‘creating arts’ as a magic with no limits. The jewelry will be on sell both on website of Pipirisnais which based in New york ( and at the same time on virtual store “Boriska” (www. that based in Mexico. As for the future, Maria is planning to make a new collection that brings different pieces that complement each other. She is thinking about bringing the design of shirts and bags as the next steps of Pipirisnais while continuing her design and stylist work.


This is part one to my story, my childhood and the early years of my addiction when I did not know or believe that what I was doing was wrong and was not normal.


Secret Life Story of a Privileged Girl Gone Wrong. The Secrete Life of a Priviledged Girl Gone Wrong is an ongoing story of my personal life’s struggle battling addiction, loss, and losing my sense of self. I want to share my story with you in hopes that any young girl battling addiction can hopfully relate and see that she is not alone in her struggles. Also, putting my story out there for the world to see I hope will bring relization to sterotypes people have on addicts. Addiction does not care who you are, where you are from, what race you are, what gender, what religion you practice, it can and it does happen to all types of people. I did not come from a broken home; I was not abused as a child. I was raised in a loving family with parents and grandparents who taught me values and morals. The diseases of addiction still got me in its grips and held me down for years. My story is real and it is scary. My life has not been pretty, but in order to save another suffering addicts life, I must share my story to help prevent other girls from hitting the rock bottom that I did. My hopes are to raise the next young addicts bottom, that she will get help before she has to experience the things I had to experience. No one deserves to live a miserable life. If you are struggling with addiction I want you to know that there is a way out and if you reach out for help there are people who have been exactly where you are and they are willing to help in anyway they can. With Love, C.M.S.


hen I was younger I never really felt like I fit in. I


flight of stairs, and allegedly had to have her older brother and

remember always trying to be like the others girls.

his friends throw me into the shower... naked, at 12 years old. I

I would dress like them, do my hair like theirs,

did not remember that night, but I do remember waking up and

and even based all my decision making on what

thinking that I couldn't wait to do it again (even after finding out

I thought they would do. I never actually felt comfortable in

that 4 older boys saw me completely naked covered in throw

my own skin. I had an amazing childhood; I was brought

up). I achieved a sense of calmness when I drank, and soon

up in a large, loving, Italian family where everyone was

after found the same feeling by smoking weed.

extremely close and got along perfectly. I was the odd one out or “BLACK SHEEP” when it came to my family. I acted out, threw tantrums, screamed and yelled if I didn't get my way, and eventually pushed my family away to hang out with my friends. Little did I know that I was demonstrating “ADDICT BEHAVIOR” at such a young age.

Usually, starting to use mind altering substances at such a young age will eventually lead to more hardcore drugs in the future. My family warned me but I did not care. I always remember idolizing the bad kids in movies, thinking it was cool to skip school and smoke cigarettes, so the “DRUGGIE” life seemed exciting to me.

Yes I was showing signs of “addict behavior” since the age of 9, but I did not touch any sort of mood altering substance until I was 12 years old. This is when I found alcohol and marijuana. The first time I ever had a drink, I was taking shots of vodka at a close childhood friend's house. I ended up blacking out, throwing up all over myself, falling down a

By the age of 15 I started experimenting with pills and it wasn't long until I found my first love... cocaine. From the second I snorted my first line of coke I knew I found my “drug of choice”. It was perfect for a young teenage girl. It made me outgoing, kept me up at parties, neutralized my drinking, and most importantly kept me skinny.

cont. pg 72


This love affair lasted all through my high school and college careers. During high school my friends always knew exactly what bathroom I would be in, at exactly what time, and they would come just to score a line from me. During my teenage years I always preferred coke over pills, but that all changed when my boyfriend of 2 years died in a tragic car accident. I was 17 YEARS OLD, lost the only person I have ever loved (up until that point at least), and I didn't know where to turn. A mutual friend handed me a xanax during his wake and right away I knew this was some sort of miracle drug that just made you happy and erased all pain from your life... or so I thought. It wasn't long until I was popping 4-6 full xanax bars a day and living in a complete black out. I wouldn't know what day it was, I wouldn't remember seeing people, I turned into a zombie girl who eventually no one in school wanted anything to do with.


Fortunately, a few months passed and my pill phase seemed to be over. At this point in my life my parents were convinced that I may have a drug problem, but since I put down the xanax cold turkey, completely on my own, I convinced myself that it was proof that I did not have a drug problem at all. Though I was still using heavy amounts of coke, weed, and just discovered acid, ecstasy and mushrooms. I convinced myself that it was all in good fun and that I was young and one day will grow out of my bad girl phase... wrong again.



Be Seen by the Eyes of the World


Become a Reflection Model


Photoshoot With Brittany





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