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The Isis Nicole Magazine

IN LOVE Winter 2015

Issue #3




Letter from the Editor,

New year. New magazine. And for the third time, here is proof that anything is possible. Okay… so maybe I lowballed the truths of this IN LOVE issue. Ya know… made it sound a little too our wish was some genies command. I had to put on a uniform, remove my nail polish, clip my nails *sad face*, wear a company hat, scrub toilets, wash dishes, peel onions, roll burritos, and endure some of the craziest customers on Earth. It was the most taxing experience of my adult life for $9.25 an hour, so you know this is one for the books. Though I wasn't paid the amount I believe I deserved, I gained a valuable lesson that's damn near impossible to put a price on. Humility. Nothing strips away your self-importance like the fast food industry, but it takes an exceptional person to find gratitude in the garbage. I showed up (late) to my day job everyday because I anticipated the growth of The Isis Nicole Magazine. True, in the physical, all the noise and doubt made things a little unclear, but when a change of season approached, I knew in my heart that this would be another chance to witness something greater than me come to life. At the end of December I was debating whether or not to email Glossier, a new makeup brand, for a job position with their company or to ask them to advertise in this issue. I choose the latter and instead they asked me where to host their party in Chicago. Obviously, things didn't work out with the advertisement (they glossed right over it) but things did work out as far as my recommended location and successfully arriving to their event. It was there that I got my makeup done by Emily Weiss herself (she called me beautiful), and it was there that I met our featured creative director, Hannah Black. Who would've guessed that the same place I asked our cover artist, Daryn Alexus, to feature in our magazine would be the same place I met my mega-supportive angel miss Black. But Isis… with no "real" money and no "real home" during the summer how did you find time to be IN LOVE? The inspiration came after my boyfriend. You see, we met through Tinder and he was literally my first match. He was also the first person I exchanged my number with on the dating app, and we pretty much communicated with each other everyday until we finally met in person. A few drinks and dinner later, we're still madly into each other and he's a constant reminder of how beautiful life is. Truthfully, I don't think I would have had the courage to have our first magazine launch party without him. Our contributors and friends like Zoé, Gaia, Mae, Steph Stone, Vanessa, Florence, Sara, Laura, Damon, Sofie, Jendella, Leila, Ayanna, Suzan, and Austin played a huge role in the culture and encouragement of our magazine as well and I'm so fucking thankful. Special thank you to every single artist who participated in this third issue. Reading this issue, I hope you find yourself IN LOVE. I hope you find yourself inspired. I hope you find yourself.

Keep warm til we see ya this summer babes. x Isis Nicole

Table of Contents Masthead & Contributors 8

Self Service - Rhea Carter 72

INtroducing Lola Coca 10

Cool, Calm, & Comfortable 74

Pretty in Pink 12

BFF’S in Business 76

Self Service - Mae Sicard 17

Rolling Stone 77

Boom Selecta 22

Tu es à moi Bébé 82

Cult Classic Not Bestseller 26

Oui 86

MC Midori 30

Fonny Stone 88

Young Wild and Green 36

Finding Mr. & Mrs. Right 90

Baewatch 46

Felicia Limada After Dark 92

Erotic Laundry Night 50

Sugar & Spice, F*** Being Nice 94

Carpe Diem 52

Buns and Roses 98

Eva and Eve, Adam and Eve, Adam and Steve 58 Magdalene Hymn 59 In Bed with Professional Weirdo Sara M Lyons 60 Chick Habit 63 Embrasse ma Chatte 68 Cin City Renaissance 71


Eat, Pray, Fashion 100 Fashion Bloggy Girl in a Fashion Bloggy World 103 Restless In Chicago 106 Self Service - Shereen Alex 109 INside Nasir Mazhar 110 Oppostie Page: Daryn Alexus Illustration by Sara M Lyons


Creative Director

Isis Nicole

Hannah Black



Editorial Design Assistant

Sales + Marketing Manager

Damon Shuler

Laura Cook



For all contribution, distribution, and advertising inquiries please contact: info.theisisnicolemag@gmail.com theisisnicole@gmail.com Made in with love IG: @TheIsisNicoleMag Twitter: @IsisNicoleMag Facebook.com/TheIsisNicoleMagazine Soundcloud.com/TheIsisNicoleMag www.theisisnicolemagazine.com


Text and photography copyright Š 2015 by The Isis Nicole Magazine. www.theisisnicolemagazine.com All rights reserved. No part of The Isis Nicole Magazine may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publisher.

Contributors Shelby Sells is a photographer and journalist who focuses on love, sex, and relationships. See her Pillow Talk series with Kreayshawn, Njomza, Nicky Ottav and more on www.shelbysells.com

Bryan Allen Lamb is a photographer and filmmaker based in Chicago. His goal as an artist is to preserve the emotion of important moments as they happen. For this issue, Lamb brings us up close and personal with DJ Chanté René Linwood and Pivot Gang’s, Saba.

Charné Graham is a Chicago based music journalist and food critic who believes words are deeds. Catch her latest interviews with your next favorite rappers at www.whatupwindy.com


Gaia D is a Denver-based pwhotographer with an undying love for 35mm film scans and paper collages. In this issue she interprets selfie culture with model Mae Sicard and it’s dangerously sexy. www.gaiad.com

Naomi Wong, 19, is a London-based photographer and film student. For this third issue she collaborated with stylist Alicia Ellis and model Ellie at Select. Wong believes that there’s a recurring theme in her work - the boredom of growing up in the suburbs and longing for something more. @naomiwongo Nina Coomes (right) is a Nagoya born and Chicago bred, banana pudding enthusiast, writer, and nowhere near perfect seeker of salt and light. See her poetic life style blog at www.opaquerie.com

Sophie Jones is a London-based photographer who specializes in portraiture and lifestyle. She has a passion for urban youth culture and, for this issue, introduces us to VEVO UK presenter Cheyenne Davide. www.sophiejonesldn.com

INtroducing Lola Coca

Styling: Jo Heng, Photographer: Maximilian Hetherington


Top 5 romantic-comedies I don’t really watch many films that don’t have Angelina Jolie in [it.] Jenny Aniston is the queen of Rom-Com. When did you first fall in love? When was the first time I didn’t fall in love? [Laughs] I think the first time was when I was 14-years-old, and it was with this guy two years above me in school. What happened? [Laughs] Ah man. He dumped me because he just wanted to smoke weed with his friends. Judging by this, it was for the best! Are you in love now? I’ve slyly been in love with someone for three years but I can’t bring myself to talk to them about it. It’s the Aquarius way!

T @itslolacoca IG @lolacoca


In 12


A chat about ink, italiano, and illustrations with Anti-Agency model Chiara Mottironi. Interview by Isis Nicole

Isis Nicole: First things first, champagne or chocolate? Chiara Mottironi: I literally cannot pick just one out of these, so I’ll take both. IN: And what’s the sexiest language? CM: Italiano per sempre! IN: Who would you say was your first celebrity crush? CM: [Laughs] Probably Nelly. IN: What! Nelly? CM: I think I was drawn to the gold teeth, toothpicks, and shorts combo. Oh and his smile! I was like, “yep Nelly is the one for me.” IN: But now you have your real one. The one who’s allowed to love you down.


CM: Extremely so. My 1luv, Kane. IN: When did you fall in love with art? CM: I’ve been into all things art for as long as I can remember. I broke my right wrist when I was three and learnt to draw with my left hand because my mum said I couldn’t handle it [laughs] so the love for it has always been there. IN: Thus, the makings of you as an illustrator? CM: [Yeah] I began getting more into the illustration side of art, around three or four years ago, when I would create work for stories I liked. Eventually [it led to] illustrating anything that created a narrative in my head, whether it was a feeling or music. I was lucky to have had the opportunity to create a cover for DJ Eden Hagos which opened up a whole new world of what illustration can be. It’s great to see how much it keeps on developing.  

IN: How about your tattoos. Are they also mostly designed by you?

IN: Balance is beautiful. What do people notice first about you?

CM: I always think of what I want done but I never design them myself. [Instead] I leave that up to my friend, and insanely good tattooist, Wink. He’s honestly a wizard.

CM: I think my eyes? [Laughs] I get compliments on my eyes sometimes, so I guess that. [I love] my lips and chocolate banana cake baking skills.

IN: [Laughs] Shouts to Wink! You know whose ink I’m obsessed with at the moment though, Sotogangster. That crews signature is all wiggly and cute. I only have one tattoo that I got done in Ohio when I was 18 but I’m down to get something done by em’. But back to you babes! So you’ve found love, you’ve found a way to express yourself through illustrating… How in the world did you begin your career as a model? CM: Umm… I don’t really know. [Laughs] I kind of just fell into it. I never planned to do the whole modeling thing professionally but I was always happy to help friends out. I guess it started with doing shoots with my gal, Charlotte Rutherford, literally for fun. We used to create monthly posters for our friends night, Tropico and then all of a sudden Doc Martens got in touch through a friend of mine to go for castings last October. I was lucky enough to have been picked for their AW14 #STANDFORSOMETHING campaign and still think it’s mental. IN: According to Anti-Agency, they are for people who could’ve been models and decided not to. How did they find you? CM: I joined Anti-Agency at the start of last year after they found me over Facebook and I’ve been with them since! I like how I can have my modeling on the side and still pursue my interests. I have a nice balance between the two.

IN: What do you notice first about others? CM: I have a slight obsession with eyes and hair so it’s usually those. IN: If you could change anything about selfie culture what would it be? CM: I think I’d get rid of those apps that allow you to photoshop yourself down a trillion sizes for a ‘better’ selfie. Like excuse me? Girls and women do not need more digital manipulation than what we are already bombarded with daily through magazines, TV and everything else.

“If anyone I know is not feeling themselves, I will always try to make them laugh and let them talk it all out. Plus a sweet treat of some sort never goes amiss!”

Photography by Chiara Mottironi & Charlotte Rutherford


s e rv i c e

sel f



Model: Mae Sicard Photography: Gaia Dinehtah


Photographer: Sophie Jones (Sophography London) Styled by: Cheyenne Davide Assisted by: Kiran Gidda

INtroducing DJ Cheyenne Davide, a 22-year-old presenter for VEVO UK and 107.3 FM Reprezent radio. Claim to Fame: Modeling on a billboard for Dr. Martens in London. Superpower: I can balance three cats in one hand, at the same time! Weakness: Mean boyzzzz. On working with VEVO: VEVO is cool! It’s also really fun because it combines my love of hosting and music. We have a really great team of people behind the show [as well] and when I got the call saying I was chosen, I literally cried! Self-Service: Love yourself and love your svelf. Take as many as you want and be confident with who you are! @CheyenneDavide


“Love has so many different emotions. It can hurt, be great, make you angry, sad - jealous, but love can also help you grow. Love is why I try so hard to succeed!�

Sofie in a Tokyo bathroom



INtroducing DJ Sofie Fatouretchi, a 23-year-old powerhouse behind music’s leading platform, Boiler Room, founded by beau, Blaise Bellville. Words by Isis Nicole 26

Isis Nicole: I’ve learned that you’ve crisscrossed from America to Europe. Where is home? Sofie Fatouretchi: I was born in Palo Alto, California. My parents aren’t American, and when I was in my early teens my mom’s work permit ran out, so I spent my teenage years growing up in Vienna, Austria - a really small, safe, relatively nice city - boring if you’re young and want to do something with your life. I studied classical violin and viola there, at the Konservatorium. IN: Making music your first love? SF: Music has always been first and foremost in my life. It’s taken on a lot of different shapes so far, whether DJing or working in music. Working on music is what I’m tackling next. IN: How did you end up working with BoilerRoom.tv? SF: I got involved in February 2012, when I had just been hired by Stones Throw Records after having interned for them. Stones Throw was set to do a label takeover for Boiler Room’s first visit to Los Angeles. My former boss, Peanut Butter Wolf, suggested I open for him, Dam Funk and J Rocc, and this maybe an hour before the show started - shoutout Henoch for giving me that ride back to where I was staying at the time for me to pick up my laptop. Me playing that set led to me being asked to run a permanent outlet for Boiler Room in Los Angeles. IN: And over time… SF: My work at Boiler Room developed into a full time role - programming music beyond the west coast, saw me moving to NY; and ultimately ending up in London working from our headquarters here. IN: That’s incredible, to be so competent within music. SF: I wear a lot of different hats within the company with a weight on music programming, creative direction and business development, which is great as long as I don’t spread myself too thin. We’ve just recently launched an editorial section on our site which is hugely exciting, [and] we finally have the opportunity to contextualize the shows we do and give ourselves a voice; beyond just being known for covering electronic music (which is definitely a popular part of what we do, but also just a fraction of the different genres we enjoy and cover.) 

Top to Bottom: Sofie and Blaise, New York Blaise in their living room Car pipe, London Opposite Page: Sofie in their living room


IN: Aside from music, I’ve been collecting thoughts on selfie culture and its impact on and offline. Your take? SF: Weird that that’s a term, right? Selfie culture. Not that I’ve never taken a picture of myself, but some scenarios are bizarre. The other day we had Joey Badass perform at Boiler Room, not on a stage or anything; just smack in the middle of this packed basement in East London. He would circle the crowd, take turns facing everyone, [and] it was such a vibe. Right while he was turned towards where I was standing, these three people behind him just started taking selfies. Not even with Joey in them or anything, even though his back was turned, people were doing that, too, but whatever. These folks were just taking pictures of themselves, making silly faces and shit. And then looking at them, and then re-taking them. All the while he was just laying it down, they could have just been anywhere, staring at images of themselves on their phones.

IN: See, shit like that is bizarre to me. I know it shouldn’t be, considering the times and all, but when I’m in the moment, I’m there. Not online. This is also probably true since I don’t have a smartphone. But I also find myself questioning if it’s not online, did it ever happen? Does every experience need validation and proof? Are memories not enough most times? It’s too much. I don’t want to freak out! Let’s close with love. How do you define it? SF: For me, love is something when you really can’t help it, there’s nothing you can do about it, and you can’t shake it. That’s the way I feel about my man. I absolutely used to be driven by obsession first, in anything, it was my primary motivator a few years ago for so many things. I’d get so bored, though - I’d obsess about someone, we’d end up going out, I’d tire of it really quickly since I guess I didn’t really love them. So yeah, absolutely, it’s gotta be so strong that you can’t do anything about it. That’s just the way it is.



INtroducing MC Midori, a 23-year-old visual artist drawn to the infinite possibilities of fashion. She’s been working for New York streetwear label Gerlan Jeans, the art collective Shanzhai Biennial, and Bjarne Melgaard with aspirations to become an art director. Photography: Olivia Seally Stylist: Qiana Roberts






& Green

Interview: Isis Nicole Photography: Vanessa Riojas Illustrations: Sara M Lyons Styled by: Isis Nicole Assistant: Kevin Quin Assistant: Zac Maur Assistant: Aris Theotokatos Nails: Retro Nails LDN & Britney Tokyo

Daryn Alexus is a self-proclaimed vintage enthusiast. She also refers to herself as a late bloomer who still needs to suck her thumb in order to relax. But in time, hungry to break through, the world will claim and know Alexus as the future of R&B. Currently residing in Chicago, by way of D.C., the convivial singer-songwriter was totally cool about last minute changes to her scheduled cover shoot. She even went so far as to invite myself and contributors into her high-rise apartment, on the South Side of Chicago, to host her spread for this issue. I was comforted by her demeanor, an uncalculated burst of delight - just like her music, rhythmic with the same amount of free spirit one can only experience in full effect when Alexus and her band come to life, live. She’s an entertainer undoubtedly extolling the virtue of Beyonce and stage supremacy of Tina Turner.  “In my music, people notice that I’m doing something different,” Alexus says reflecting on how critics received last years release of her album GREEN, a project sonically reminiscent of a ‘60’s doo-wop meets boho-disco. “Every single writeup acknowledged my rebellion against todays sound. Some not knowing how to categorize me, some creating a new category, and some using a typical category while emphasizing the fact that I really sound like no one. And that’s huge for me right now. To stand alone in a sense.” 

Isis Nicole: Can you share a little bit about your early background in music? Daryn Alexus: My mom had me in every arts program in D.C. I [even] did musicals and everything as a kid. She always wanted me to do theater, which I still love and haven’t abandoned, but music is what speaks to my heart most right now. IN: And as you grew into adolescence?  DA: I went to an arts high school and college and should have gotten a lot of training while there, but I never had the right discipline to truly grasp it all, or desire to. And growing up, I became extremely self conscious of my entire existence. I went into a ball and stopped singing and acting and anything that involved me being vulnerable, judged, or watched. I was terrified of an audience, even if it was just a stranger walking on the opposite side of the street that just happened to look up at me. So that’s when I took to writing. I started journaling a lot [and] really loved creative non-fiction and fiction writing. In high school I would skip my music classes to go to the writing classes. 

IN: But on stage you have so much gusto! And you command fearless attention, especially with the calland-response when you perform songs such as “Go Wild” and “1990.” Who would have known!

DA: Extraordinary talent and creativity. That’s just so authentic to me. When someone who is not even trying, captures something so beautiful in a way that no one else could.

DA: GREEN was my way of letting it go. When I was skipping music and at the peek of my insecurity levels in high school, one of the writing teachers gave me a book called Breath Eyes Memory by Edwidge Danticat, which followed the life of a young Haitian girl coming into her own and over coming obstacles. It stuck with me. She stuck with me. And I read that book maybe four or five times. There is a scene in the novel where a green balloon is released to symbolize releasing any baggage and

IN: Ah! So seeing yourself in others. I dig that. And your latest discovery in Chicago? DA: Beavers Coffee & Donuts hot out the grease cinnamon sugar donuts, and Cellars. They have the best chopped salad I ever had in my life and I’m not even a huge salad person. IN: They say they do things the old fashioned way, which would explain why it’s so good! Now that we know a little more about your favorite finds

When I released GREEN, it was symbolic of me releasing my green balloon in the air, getting rid of everything that was holding me back, and running towards freedom.

IN: Which is how you made your fears essentially function, for the better? DA: I never channeled that into writing actual songs until about 2011. I wrote my first song off of a beat on YouTube and I’ve been writing music ever since. I carried that fear with me well into, like, now even! 38

negative energy, and that powered GREEN. When I released GREEN, it was symbolic of me releasing my green balloon in the air, getting rid of everything that was holding me back, and running towards freedom. IN: What do people notice first about you? DA: Visually, for a while I had bluish green hair. I almost always have giant hair, whether it’s my natural fro or a beautiful ‘natural’ weave. IN: I’m starting to acknowledge the colours as your signature. How about sharing what you notice first about others?

in Chicago, I think it’s also necessary to know about some of what you favorite on Twitter. A lot of quotes from Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyers! Does spirituality played a role in your art? DA: It plays the biggest role! That’s where it came from, that’s where it comes from. This is nothing I’ve done on my own. It’s all God. I always say, I can’t take credit for any song I write. Every time I get a good song, it feel like someone is singing to me in my ear and I’m just writing it down. A friend once said to me, “you may not always be singing about God, but every song is from God.” And that’s so real to me. It’s what keeps me going when I want to quit, it’s my strength and encouragement.


IN: Looking into your future, you will most likely be ___ DA: Very successful, best known for my live performances. IN: What makes you go wild? DA: Chick-fil-A.  IN: When did you fall in love with music? DA: At age four when I first heard my aunt Roslyn sing ‘I love the Lord’ by Whitney Houston.  IN: What was your hardest lesson of love?  DA: Learning to love myself first. I was such a sad, angry person, I couldn’t make anyone else happy without learning how to make myself happy first. Being in a relationship not having learned that lesson is a really miserable place to be.  IN: Are you in love?


DA: [Laughs] Though I’m not there yet, I’ve learned from those in the positions i want to be in, to keep those questions a mystery. IN: Okay, I won’t pry, for now! As a growing artist, how do you find balance in an age where everything is instant? Does your creative process require you to take time? As an editor, I get overwhelmed, not with the creative side but with the business side and demand of things. Sometimes it all feels like so much at once. DA: Oh my God, yes! I couldn’t relate more. Doing everything yourself is exhausting! Creating the product is one thing, but getting it out there is another. Having to go here go there talk to this person, meet that person. None of whom care about who you are or what you’re doing, but you have to do it off of the need to keep your face and your brand seen and growing. Learning the business while still trying to grow in your craft. Its extremely overwhelming! I’ve learned to definitely take time. If you don’t take time to create, everything else will be a waste of time. 

IN: I have to get better at not trying to do what my boyfriend calls “shouldering everything.” DA: Never be afraid to ask for help! It’s impossible to do anything alone.  IN: What do you love most about being a performer? DA: The platform you get in that moment to completely take someones mind off of anything they may be going through. When you can put on a good show, you can make people happy and inspire people. That’s a feeling I can’t get from anything else. IN: Did you ever have to go through a lot of jobs that you hated before you landed a full-time performance career that you love? DA: [Laughs] I’m still going through that! I can’t afford to quit my day job just yet, but there have been several that I hated so much I just stopped showing up and they just mailed my last check to my house.  IN: Where are you working? DA: The job I have now is for a marketing company and it’s pretty cool! I read, that when you’re a working artist you have to work no less than 80 hours a week. If you’re working 40 hours a week on somebody else’s dream you have to work at least 40 hours on your own. Though I still have to work, I make sure I spend plenty of time on my craft.  IN: I believe doing for yourself and doing for others strengthens your purpose. We’re getting close to the end of our interview. As you know, this is the IN LOVE issue, and I’m collecting thoughts on selfies. If you could change anything about selfie culture what would it be? DA: The level of importance. People put their self worth and value into how many likes a selfie gets. They don’t feel beautiful or more importantly, valuable, if they don’t get X amount of likes or more.  IN: I agree. It doesn’t take a number of likes to assert worth. The likes and love should start from within. What do you love most about you?  DA: The woman I’m becoming. She seems pretty cool. 



Photo: 46 Hannah Siegfried


Least favorite trend(s):

Sylvia Kochinski

Them diahrrea pants and them slouchy beanies.


Claim To Fame:

Dhahran KSA / Los Angeles, CA

I can use power tools AND pirouette.

What do you want to be remembered for:

Would you rather live life in a thermal filter or black and white:

Ideally, making heaven a place on Earth. Most Known For:

Videogirl Unknown For:

I used to be a ballerina. I also have a degree in Literature. Sexiest thing ever done for you:

A Serbian lover-girl once broke my window. More recently, an Egyptian lover bought me Japanese silk rope. Top five vices:

Latex, wine, bronzer, bootcut pants, and saying ‘bitch’ too much. INspiration:

Creatively: Gogol and Nureyev. Spiritually: tropical flowers. Emotionally: Jeffrey Dahmer’s apology tapes.

Last year, thermal; but I could get into some B&W rightnow since we live in a post-50shadesofGray world. You had just lost your phone in the toilet on an airplane when we first met. By now you’ve probably got another device. How’s your new celly holding up?

Girl! I think I cracked it about 300 times. I’m cursed with telephones, really… You were coming to LA from Paris. What was living in France like?

Tipsy and bureaucratic. Should every woman experience romance at least once with a French man?

No! It’s a myth!

Currently on your playlist:

Is there any French or Hollywood cliché you’ve ever lived up to?

94. 7 theWave, SickoMobb, Crime Mob, Country Radio, Pink Dollaz and always Lil Wayne.

In Paris I did eat brain once… As far as a Hollywood cliché goes, maybe using the hashtag “ucantsitwithus” #oops.

Favorite nail artist:

How does a Sylvia make the most out of living around the world?

MPnails always & 4ever! Weirdest thing that’s ever happened to you:

I probably don’t… but it’s fun to compare the churches and the red-light-districts of different cities.

I believe it was being evacuated out of Saudi Arabia on a jet plane during The First Gulf War.



Erotic Laundry Night Photography by Alexane Leprieult 50

Carpe Diem


Pictured: Producer, Stefan Ponce, son, Manhattan Tesla Ponce and DJ Chanté René Linwood.

Actress slash DJ slash not-like-a-regular-mombut-a-cool-mom, Chanté René Linwood, shares how she and Grammynominated producer, Stefan Ponce, fell in love, the importance of family and how motherhood redefines existence.

Interview by: Isis Nicole Photography: Bryan Allen Lamb

Chanté René Linwood: Stefan and I met at an in-store party for Black Market Caviar. I remember I walked up to him and asked if I could DJ. He [claims] that he normally never says yes to anyone [so] surprisingly he said yes. Stefan later asked me to start a DJ group with him that we’d call Buck Fuddies. I knew he just wanted to get in my pants, but I instantly wanted to know him more. Isis Nicole: How did you know you were in love? CL: You know it’s real love when you can fart in front of one another. IN: It’s true. I fart in my sleep right next to my boyfriend and he still manages to say ‘ I love you’ in the morning. Now back to you two, were you a fan of his music? I really dig his production for Childish Gambino’s 3005 and Vic Mensa’s Down On My Luck. CL: His music never ceased to amaze me then and it still blows my mind now. He’s such a creative being. IN: Without a doubt. And he’s got a Grammy nomination to prove it. Was he a fan of your history in film? 54

CL: He used to text me a lot about going to see The Dilemma in theaters (a Ron Howard film featuring Vince Vaughn and Linwood) but I always blew him off. I give him shit to this day for not watching the entire film! IN: [Laughs] Poor guy. I wanted to give my boyfriend shit for not reading the rest of Gone Girl like he said he would. We did watch the movie together so I guess it sorta makes up for it. That’s love for ya! How would you define what love means? CL: Love is dramatic. It seems so pointless at times but I think without love there would be no point in living. It’s the ultimate driving force behind everything we do, everything we like and everything we want, in life. I’m a crazy romantic, [but] honestly, what do I know? My standards of love come from movies. Shameful admission: I like romantic comedies. IN: I’m guilty of enjoying rom-coms and things like Sex and the City too. When you’re not catching up on movies, you’re taking care of business as mommy. Has motherhood reshaped your purpose? CL: Becoming a mother screws up everything!  In the best way possible. I love my son, Manhattan Tesla Ponce, more than myself, more than living, more than anything in the entire universe. Seeing his first smile and hearing his first laugh made everything brighter. I’ve never known such a pure love existed. His existence makes life make sense. My family and close friends are my main source of happiness. The best times in my life is when nothing else matters but enjoying the moment. IN: Carpe diem. And lastly, what do you love most about Chicago? CL: Chicago is an enigma. It’s the perfect place to start in anything. I’ll never forget this city. I got it tattooed on me.


What Linwood wore:

Nike Tech Fleece poncho, Top Shop biker jeans, and Ricardo Tisci Nike AF1, a Louis Vuittion Neverfull MM in black epi leather.


Photography by Austin James White

Eva and Eve, Adam and Eve, Adam and Steve

magdalene hymn // dan brown don’t know shit by Nina Coomes hallelujah     for  your carpenter’s hands hosanna       to the wide calluses evening out                       the wear of my flesh shalom          there is  rest for the weary pooled in        your lips but let me drink again.

i am no Samarian from that well,

praise be     the naked slope of your back glory             of planked cedar &                       sand colored dip holy               is the scent of you breath in the evening                      drowned in the Galilee peace be        your voice, deepens olive                        each exhale a peace offering tell me

how many doves caged in your chest? is there room for a raven?

amen, in your arms amen, i am a half strung psalm amen, of this hymn & heart break amen, a love song for love manifest amen, from a cracked clay prodigal amen, with pelt soaked in myrrh amen, and maw stained blood & wine amen, for you  i brim                                   over amen,   amen amen.

i say again

In Bed With Professional Weirdo

Sara M Lyons

Sara M Lyons is the it-girl of illustrations with dreams of becoming the next Lisa Frank for millennials.

Claim to fame: She brought Whatever Forever to your coffee mugs (you're a loser if you stole it) and Beyonce, Nicki and GIRLS to your fingertips. Peep her customized nail decals! 60


Photography: Naomi Wong Model: Ellie at Select Stylist: Alicia Ellis

Chick Habit Sunnies - Linda Farrow X Luella Fur collar and cuffs - Helen Moores Denim two piece -Â Shao Yen

Top - Antipodium Skirt 64 - Vintage Chanel

Dress - Holly Fulton


Embrasse ma Chatte


I’m SOTO. I am at the head of a Luv Gang, so they call me Sotogangster < 3 I’m 23-years-old, living in Lausanne, Switzerland. I’m an illustrator, nail and tattoo artist. I do crush a lot! It’s always good to feel butterflies in your stomach. That shit makes you beautiful...

Isis Nicole: How did you get your start with tattoos and nail art.

Soto: I’m good with my hands and I love to learn how to do things myself. I ain’t gonna pay for things I can do and even make some money out of! IN: When did you fall in love with design? S: While in school, I started working in a little streetwear shop and it really taught me that there are no boundaries between fashion and art. This is very important when you try to make a business out of your work. You have to be very open minded and try everything. IN: What do you love most about your job? S: I meet so many awesome people! It’s insane! We are living in this crazy Instagram era, I love traveling, and it makes everything so simple! Working hard is the only thing that make me proud of myself. I feel so blessed! IN: What does love mean to you? S: Love is a tricky thing. I used to confuse it with pity, play the nurse, and [in turn]wasted so much time! If some of you still think you can save your man, please stop! Love yourself. Hold your own hand and the universe will reward you. IN: And what would be the best way to do that?

S: Take good care of yourself, look in the mirror and be proud of you! Love is all about confidence. Find a partner that tells you everyday how much of a boss you are, and give it back times ten! Empower others and yourself. That’s love! IN: Do rude girls need love too? S: Aye! Of course! You just have to find a real boss that’s able to tell you to chill when you go mad crazy, but still support your career and your bossy business woman attitude. We all grew up with Sailor Moon, the Spice Girls and TLC. All this “girl power” energy is hard to handle for men!

“Be careful with each other so you can be dangerous together.”

Icon(s) of Love: Dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;angelo <3 Lil Kim vs Nicki Minaj Baby North West 70

Cin City Renaissance

Antonio Wooten Jr, born and raised in Cincinnati, deems himself to be the plug and a great friend of Jesus - but he won’t forget those who’ve been by his side along the way. His provisional cut and stitch clothing line, Appreciate the Craft, has gained the attention of his hometown heavy hitters, including director, Josh Kelly, of The Yes Life, producer, Flow Clark, and photographer, Mark B Wavy, in the wake of his hashtag ambition.

If your hometown had its own fragrance what would it smell like? Lowntness Galore or Ten of Deez. What do people notice first about you? My maturity. I’m not the stereotypical teenager and people rarely believe me when I tell them my age. How old are you? 17. Looking into your future, you will most likely be: Happy, alive, thriving, inspiring others, soaking up what’s new and innovative, and probably upsetting some people along the way while I take over.

We all have to start somewhere. Your journey begins as soon as you make your first step. - Rhea Carter 72



Model: Rhea Carter Photography: Miranda Barnes

Cool, Calm & Comfortable Chicago bred rapper and producer, SABA has released his sophomore mixtape ComfortZone last summer, and after being featured on the critically acclaimed project Acid Rap from Chance the Rapper, Sabaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s efforts in production and rapping has been nothing but superb.

Interview by: Charne Graham of What Up Windy Photography: Bryan Allen Lamb 74

Charne Graham: With the mixtape, GetComfotable being the prelude to ComfortZone, how long has Comfortzone been in the making?

 Saba: There are some songs on ComfortZone that were made before GetComfortable even were. I would say I worked on ComfortZone for about a year. Most the writing and concepts of ComfortZone were done way before my first tape, but I just put GetComfortable out first because I wanted to make sure the ComfortZone was completely ready. 
 CG: What was the process like? Did you do the writing first or produce the tracks?

 S: I’m pretty sure all the songs, with the exception of the outro “United Center,” I did the tracks first. CG: Are you still heavily influenced by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony? S: Yeah, very much so. I think influence is like how new you can be, everyone is influenced by something. I think what you do with the influence is what really matters. Bone ThugsN-Harmony were a big influence, but they’re were also hella east coast cats who I listened to as well. I think melody wise, I look up to Bone Thugs and even my father, who is a soul singer, has a heavy influence on my sound. I like to combine everything I like into this Saba gumbo. CG: What was it like to work with your dad on ComfortZone? S: It was hella funny just because it’s my dad. [Laughs] We originally had like four or five tracks with him but we ended up just using one. Just being around him felt very supportive and honest. CG: What was it like being a part of Chance’s project Acid Rap? S: It was pretty cool. Chance and I came up on the open mic scene in Chicago together. You know the Young Chicago Authors and YouMedia. We always had a mutual respect for each others work. CG: Chicago rappers seem to often be set into different categories and genres. Do you feel like you display versatility to collaborate with any Chicago artist? S: I don’t think I’m in one category even though the media likes to put all the Chances and Vic Mensas in one box. It’s not bad because both of them are tight but I feel like all of us to awesome and different things with music. Even putting Chance and Vic Mensa together is like something I get but at the same time I don’t because they even have different styles. The media thinks you either sound like Chief Keef or Chance if you’re from Chicago. As a Chicago artist, it’s gets annoying but I understand it, that means it’s a matter of getting big enough to where people will start saying someone sounds like Saba.

 CG: What’s next after ComfortZone? Can we expect another Pivot Gang Project? S: I’m pretty sure MFN Melo will be the next person to drop something from Pivot Gang. I like that we all can come together as a group for projects, but we all have a different sound to bring to the table. We want to let people know that Pivot is not one of those groups where everyone raps and sounds the same. [Laughs] I like to consider Pivot Gang as a boy band. I want to show that the Sisqo or lead singer of the group can change any time a new project drops. It’s not just me. We’re a collective and we’re friends, so it’s easy to support each other.

Interview By: Isis Nicole Photography: Ola Onda

Fruitmilk, by Pauline Shaw and Kelynn Smith, started over a bowl of soup noodles in late 2013. The duo talks running a business as BFF’s and their shared interest for installation and retail. Isis Nicole: What is it like to work with one of your BFF’s?


Fruitmilk: Working with your best friend is crazy! It’s completely a symbiotic relationship. We need each other so much, and every decision we make, we run past each other at least three times. Creating a shared perspective allows us to dissect everything in ways that we wouldn’t normally do on our own. And when we disagree, we disagree to the fullest! But the fight reveals what is really important to our own aesthetic and principles. That’s what helps shape Fruitmilk. IN: How do you determine what will go in your space. Does it need to stand out/fit in/fulfill fashion or function? Fruitmilk: We don’t have a certain set of criteria that we follow. Taste is such a fleeting concept and it’s constantly evolving. For us, it’s more of a gut reaction we have to certain work, and when we both feel it - we know it’s right. We’re often drawn to pieces that straddle the line between form and function. Works that subtly reveal themselves to you.   IN: Since this is the #IN LOVE issue, we need to end with your favorite quote on the subject. Fruitmilk: It’s not me, it’s you.



I work in a fancy world but I wouldn't consider myself fancy. Life is good.

What do Miley Cyrus, Kelly Rowland, Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato and Khloe Kardashian have in common? Steph Stone right at their fingertips. The enchanting LA-based nail stylist let's us in on losing magic at Disneyland and finding love in the City of Angels.

Photography: Vijat Mohindra Makeup: Denika Bedrossian Hair: Eddie Cook


SS: I have been married for five years so I'm definitely missing out on the dating app era! It sounds fun though and incredibly interesting. IN: I had Tinder for five or six months, and he was my first match. I like to think that we could be the next Rom-computer love movie for sure. What's your favorite romance movie or novel?  SS: I am not a hopeless romantic so I don't watch very many movies or read romance novels because of that. I just can't get into them, romance movies or romantic comedies. [Those movies] don't make me feel good. I just feel silly and cheesy.  IN: But if you had to choose? SS: I strongly relate to the relationship between Richie and Margot Tenenbaum in the The Royal Tenenbaums.  Not in a literal way that I'm in love with an adopted sibling, but just that feeling of being in love with someone who is completely unattainable and "wrong" for you. IN: What was your love life like before?

Isis Nicole: What was your first screen name? Steph Stone: My first screen name on AIM was "icandotheroboc0p" - inspired by "The Frug" a song by Rilo Kiley. IN: How do you feel about selfies? SS: When people post selfies it makes me feel like I'm socially allowed to post them too which makes me happy. [Laughs] The only thing that gets me is when people post serious quotes under their selfies. I used to take myself that seriously and I just can't any more, it's funny to me. IN: Do you happen to have a favorite dating app? I actually met my boyfriend on Tinder.

SS: Before getting married I would pick someone who I knew I would never get the courage to talk to and just idealize them and secretly be in love with them. No one should ever be that way. You should always share you're feelings. You'll regret it your whole life if you don't. [Truth is] it might work out or it might not, but it definitely won't happen if you don't open up.   IN: I'm working on opening up, not only in regards to intimacy, but also in everyday life. I want to carry myself in my most honest-to-God form possible, which at the core, is good-natured and kindhearted. What do people notice first about you? SS: Probably my demeanor. I'm friendly but shy, so I tend to be on the quiet side.  IN: What do notice first about others? SS: The first thing I notice is the energy surrounding someone. It sounds silly but I’m really good at reading people and their moods. I try to use that to guide my interactions with them and figure out how I can make them the most comfortable with me. 

IN: Establishing comfort is paramount, even within the nail art community. What do you love most about being a nail artist? SS: I feel so lucky every day of my life. I love my job and all of the people I get to work with. Every single day on set is different and I am the kind of person who needs that. I have never been great with a routine. I am so thankful that I get to have a career that requires creativity. I also love seeing the bigger picture come together. When I see a campaign or cover that I got to work on come out, I'm just like "I can't believe I got to be a part of that team with all those other amazing talents." IN: That's the feeling I aspire to have everyday. When did you fall in love with nails and colours? SS: Painting and drawing have always been my thing even though I was never amazing at any of those things. I [just] had a need to do it. Growing up my family and friends would tell me I was great at "art" but I knew it was always pretty mediocre. My skill didn't matter though and I would do it anyway, because you know when you just need to create. With nails, it wasn't love at first polish because I've never really been a girls girl if that makes sense. I've always been a bit of a tomboy. IN: Yet somehow things turned outâ&#x20AC;Ś SS: Once I realized that nail art could fulfill that need to create and become a career. I was sold. I just feel really lucky. IN: Did you ever have to go through a lot of jobs that you hated before you landed a career that you love? SS: I never imagined that I could have a career I love this much. Yes, I've done a lot of other work before finding the right fit. I used to work at Disneyland. I love Disneyland but working there was awful because you lose the magic. I've been a personal assistant which is crazy because you essentially don't have your own life. It's almost like being a mom. When I first started doing nails, I was trying to make on set work my priority but when you're new, it's not nearly stable enough to support you, yet you have to be fully available if a last minute shoot comes up. IN: How did you survive? SS: I would keep my days available and go into a photo studio at night after it had closed and clean it up for extra cash. This industry isn't easy. I've scrubbed toilets and done a ton of bitch work to be able to do what I do [now]. I knew what I wanted and it's all worth it if you can see your goals coming to life in the end. IN: And this is only the beginning! 80

SS: [Absolutely.] I still want more for my career and I have a lot more I want to achieve. This isn't the end result for me, I still have a lot of hard work to go. IN: How did your love for Erin Jeen, founder of Shop Jeen, come about? SS: [Laughs] I guess my love for Shop Jeen is that obvious, huh! It's funny, Erin and I became e-friends last year, but I hope we can meet in person someday soon! I die for everything they carry in their store. The whole Shop Jeen vibe is very me right now. IN: Definitely. It's very cyber-girl-irl. SS: I think it fits into the whole Tumblr kind of culture that I am obsessed with. I am very weird and I love weird things. I work in a fancy world but I wouldn't consider myself fancy. I like when fashion can be fun and strange. I think that Erin and Shop Jeen make it easy for girls to find their quirky style in one place. Shop Jeen is also very nostalgic, which I love, carrying stuff like Lisa Frank journals and Windows 95 all over print backpacks. It's weird but when I see stuff like that I feel some sort of connection and I'm just like, 'I want that because it reminds me of when I was five', even though I'm supposed to be an adult now!

Photography: Stefan Deyn 82

tu es à moi bébé An uninhibited 19-year-old mademoiselle finds ecstasy in France.


Photography by Scott Kaplan


every hour by Nina Coomes i love you every hour not every minute or every day but every hour with the rising and the setting of the minute hand i love you. just often enough to crucify my spirit just long enough to miss the weight of your long soul fluttering in the palm of my stomach. i love you every hour at 12 o’clock with the cranium crease of a lonely bedsheet at 1 o’clock in the sweat of a nightmare at 2 o’clock in the depth of a half snore at 3 o’clock with the witches cackling at my windowsill at 4 o’clock in the wetness of dawn’s satin slippered feet at 5 o’clock with the spider crawl of sparks down my calf at 6 o’clock when my room mate grinds her coffee at 7 o’clock when i push the heavy warmth from my form at 8 o’clock stuck between oatmeal or toast at 9 o’clock painting glittering bronze murals on my city street eyelids

at 10 o’clock in the gritty gutter tastes of my tea-cup at 11 o’clock when the day is still a teenaged beauty queen at 12 o’clock again amongst the laughter of my heels up the stairs at 1 o’clock with the low chatter of branches on skyline at 2 o’clock in the slumped shoulders of the aging sun at 3 o’clock with the powder sugar Braille of a childhood afterthought at 4 o’clock with my piano at 5’oclock with my dinner at 6 o’clock

with my legs at 7 o’clock with my lungs at 8 o’clock with my tongue at 9 o’clock i love you so much it begins to leak chilly mercury down the dip dyed thermometer of my spine at 10 o’clock i dwell in the puddles of our autumns together at 11 o’clock i place hot pumice stones on my eyelids drawing them down to touch their toes plie into the marionette strings of sleep


Love is a universal emotion that creates positive vibrations for growth and strength. It is a deeply rooted emotion that is eternal through and for all forms of life. It is unforgettable and unspoken.

- Fonny Stone

Finding Mr. & Mrs. Right

Words By: Shelby Sells


I know what it’s like to be lonely. Depressing nights spent crying, watching Netflix, masturbating and praying that you’ll meet the man or woman of your dreams. Loneliness stems from a lack of physical and emotional attention, the feeling of being connected with someone. Let’s face it, life’s a bitch that’s been on her period for too long, and no one wants to face that alone. Some of us tend to fill the void with little flings and meaningless relationships (i.e. I don’t see this going anywhere but maybeeeee after a couple more dates something between us will click???) Partying also encourages this behaviour (i.e. hooked up with a random dude at the club I hope he calls me). Now for a short period of time these coping mechanisms seem to work! Meeting and flirting with someone new makes you feel wanted and validated and not so terribly alone. However, once the fun is over you’re fully submerged back into devastation and despair. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to be in love. It’s only human nature. There’s not another intoxicating experience in the world like finding true love and comfort in a partner – especially if you’re a romantic like me *wink*. The idea of finding a person who understands me sexually, mentally, and emotionally not only turns me on ( A LOT ) but also brings me immense joy. I’M JUST LOOKING FOR THE SYD TO MY NANCY ( YES I KNOW HOW THAT TURNED OUT IDGAF!) So where do we find love? It can honestly happen anywhere at anytime. I know that sounds vague as fuck, but it’s the truth! You never know who you’re going to meet or be introduced to. I think the most important part about meeting someone is where you are in terms of loving/being yourself and where you are in your life. In my own personal experience, I realized I was lonely because I didn’t have a whole lot going on in my life besides partying… a lot. Loneliness doesn’t seem to hang around much when you create a few outlets in which to manifest yourself. Hanging out with genuine, caring, loving friends, succeeding in your line of work, and expressing yourself artistically are all things that free the negative energy from your life. When you’re truly happy and love yourself and are okay with being independent – that’s when real love finds you. If you look too hard to find Mr. / Mrs. Right they’ll never appear. Don’t stress! Make your life the fucking bomb and let love find you.


Model: Felicia Limada, Photography: Melinda Griffith â&#x20AC;&#x2039;

Sugar & Spice, F*** Being Nice

Excerpt with fashion designer Sina Ruby, better known as Afghan Spice, originally seen on Pillow Talk.

Interview By Shelby Sells


Shelby Sells: Are you currently dating? Sina Ruby: I am in a relationship with myself, so yes, and I have a side boo. SS: How do you normally meet guys? SR: I feel like through mutual friends. It’s the best kind of way to meet someone. I love when it’s organic, you know? With the Internet and all that shit it normally doesn’t work out because people are too into themselves online. SS: I was going to ask how you felt about online dating. SR: I feel like it can work out for some people, but I feel like it works out best when you two already know each other – it’s not like you’ve seen that person for the first time online. Again, it just sucks because people use the Internet to be someone they’re not, rather than be true to who they are. I think the Internet can be really deceiving. [Laughs] Catfishin’ ass hoes. SS: How would you describe your sexuality? SR: I think my sexuality has a lot of different colors and many different levels. I’m a very open person. I don’t really have a type. I’m more attracted to personalities. I’m [also] either really sexual or not sexual at all. I’m really extreme in that way. I’m either not having sex for months or when I am having sex it’s multiple times a day. I feel like the older I get the more open my sexuality becomes. You’re taught from a young age that everything is so black and white – gay or straight, this or that, you’re together or you’re not – there’s this whole grey area and I love the grey area. I’m so fucking grey, I don’t want to be one way or the other. SS: There is a lot of middle ground that people are just now starting to explore and I think it’s cool that more people are starting to recognize that things aren’t so black and white. Does your sexuality translate anywhere else in your life? SR: Yeah, I mean it’s not even intentional. I’m just a really sexual person, so much so that it does translate into my everyday life – the way I dress, the way I carry myself, etc. I feel like sexy is the number one adjective used to describe me. I’m not really described as cute or anything like that – not that I can’t be any of those things – it’s just

that from a young age I’ve always been this way. I’m not doing it for anyone else, I genuinely love feeling sexy versus feeling cute. I like feeling sexy over anything else. To me it’s the most powerful feeling, I guess it’s almost like a drug for me. SS: [Smiles] There is nothing wrong with feeling sexy. You’re definitely not afraid to speak your mind, which is something I really respect about you. Have you ever been discriminated against for being a sexual person or talking about sexual things? SR: For sure… all the time. The more I open up my mouth, the more backlash I get – especially when it comes to talking about sexual things or looking sexual in any way. Sadly people don’t want to see it. The worst part is that the main source of my discrimination comes from my own people. People of middle eastern descent. I would say they make up 99 percent of my haters. [Laughs] It’s like my cousins back home and shit. It makes me sad because those are the people I want to help. I try not to let it get to me too much – if I see something rude I’ll just delete it or block it. I’m not going to give my haters one second of my time. I’d rather devote my time and energy to people who are doing positive things. SS: Fuck the haters. They are definitely a waste of time. What are your turn ons and turn offs? SR: Turn offs… definitely guys that are too shy or too insecure. Guys who aren’t passionate about anything. I’m really turned on by guys who speak their mind and aren’t afraid to stand out or go against the grain. I really like guys who have their own opinions and are passionate about something. Passion is sexy. Morals are even sexier. If you’re a shady motherfucker, I can’t fuck with you. I want someone with dreams and morals, which is so rare. If I can find that, I’m down for you. SS: What’s been your experience dating in LA? SR: Dating in LA… shit I’ve had good and bad experiences. I was really naive when I moved here and I never thought to question people’s motives. I [now] realize that everyone here has a motive, whether it’s good or bad. People will try to use you for the dumbest shit – shit you wouldn’t even think about. Dating out here… it’s like when it’s bad it’s bad, when it’s good it’s good. I’ve had both.

SS: Do you play games? SR: I used to play games. I think you’re taught that you have to play games in order to win what you want (a relationship.) When there’s two people playing games you’re really not going to get anywhere. I don’t participate in the games anymore, I’ve just been really honest and upfront with people. It’s crazy to be 100 percent honest because a lot of people can’t handle that, and I’m okay with it. It filters out the bullshit faster. I know what I want. SS: Do you have any fetishes? SR: I’m used to controlling everything in my day to day life, so the bedroom is the one place I like to be bossed around and let go of my control. [Laughs] I like to dress up and make things exciting. I like creating new experiences, so anything new is exciting to me. That’s a fetish to me. SS: Do you masturbate?


SR: [Laughs] Yeah. If I’m not in a relationship, sometimes it gets really bad and I can do it like five times a day. I have to stop because I get so tired afterwards and I’ll literally pass the fuck out. When I started masturbating regularly, I started learning how to make myself orgasm every time I have sex. If I can do it to myself then I can get off every time and it’s not really the guy’s responsibility. SS: Are you a single or relationship kind of girl? SR: I’m like this weird in-between. I’m a monogamous lover because I want some of the things a relationship can offer, but I don’t want obligations or expectations that go along with it. I like doing my own thing, and I don’t like having to check in all the time and do all that. At the same time, I don’t like sleeping around with a bunch of different people because it’s just not me and I’m not getting anything positive out of doing that. When we’re together, let’s be together. It’s not even relationships that I don’t like, it’s people’s ideals of what a relationship should be. [Laughs] What book did I not read that everyone got this bullshit from?

SS: [Laughs] Seriously this isn’t the 50’s anymore – there are a lot of ways you can spend time with people. What defines cheating to you? SR: I’ve cheated before, but I’ve never emotionally cheated, because to me that’s the worst thing you can do. It’s one thing if you hook up with someone randomly – it’s another thing if you’re talking to someone all the time, calling and texting and becoming emotionally invested in them. It’s different if you randomly hook up with someone you have no ties to. To me emotional cheating is so much worse than physical. People are animals and I don’t really know, I guess you can’t really understand it until you’ve done it. I don’t condone cheating but there’s some shit that literally means nothing but sex. SS: What’s the worst break up you’ve been through? SR: The worst break up I went through wasn’t my biggest love, but it was really bad because prior to seeing this guy I was already in a really bad place – and you shouldn’t really fuck with anyone when you’re mentally and physically unhealthy. I had just lost my dad, my mom was still in Afghanistan, and I was moving houses a lot. I didn’t have a home. I didn’t know who I was. I didn’t know what I believed in, I was just kind of sick for a little bit. SS: The death of your father and your mother being out of the country is enough to throw anyone

through a loop. I’m sorry. SR: Deciding to fuck with this guy when I was going through all of that… it just wasn’t the right move. He broke up with me because he thought that I cheated on him. I didn’t, and it was horrible because he was the first guy I had ever slept with that I had feelings for. SS: It can be scary being vulnerable with someone and giving them your body… SR: When he broke up with me I remember being a mess. Thankfully around this time I had just started school in San Francisco. I just remember being really busy. I was taking six classes and working 40 hours a week. I didn’t really have time to grieve or anything. I think staying busy was the best thing I could’ve done for myself at the time. It helped me not feel so alone. Immersing yourself in something definitely helps. The pain is never going to go away, but one day you kind of just learn how to live with it and learn how to use it for the better. SS: Turning negativity into positivity is something we can all use some work on. Thank you for sharing. Do you ever see yourself getting married? SR: No. I’m down to be with someone for the rest of my life because I believe in monogamy, but I don’t really believe in marriage. I don’t need a piece of paper or a tax break to prove to society that me and this person are in love. I mean maybe

when I’m older the definition of marriage will be different, but right now it’s so sus to me. I don’t really have any desire, but I would like to have a party and shit. I’m down to celebrate my love. SS: Hell yeah! Love deserves a celebration. What’s your definition of love? SR: There are so many different types of love. I feel like love should be pure. Recently I’ve learned to love in a different way, almost like I’m loving for the first time. Before I would love with expectations. I wanted something back in return for my love. True love has no expectations. You give just to give. If it’s not unconditional love I’m not sure if I even want it. I truly believe that you can’t love anyone unless you love yourself. You can be in love with different people in different ways… there’s no right or wrong as long as you’re not hurting anyone. Love is love and if it’s real, it never dies. SS: Amen to that. Do you have any final thoughts on love, sex, or relationships? SR: To any girls… I don’t know if anyone can relate to me, but don’t be ashamed of who you are. Especially shoutout to any sexy Middle Eastern bitches, you got more than those eyes! Don’t be ashamed to show it. I feel like so many people are ashamed of their sexuality. If you’re not hurting anyone physically or emotionally you are not a bad person! Be proud of your body and who you are.


buns & roses

Starring Remy Fox Photography: Shelby Sells


Interview By: Isis Nicole Photography: Sydney Rae Williams


“God gave me a gift to create and I feel that I am giving it back,” says Marcel Coleman Jr., a Chicago-based fashion designer, by way of St. Louis, who creates strictly off of transcendent intuition. A divine flair which led to our re-introduction to one another at Soho House Chicago, accompanied by his right-hand man and model, Andrew Grace. The burgeoning designer, with the éclat of Jaquemus, talks denim, Daryn, and dreams.

… your choice of fashion icons? Marcel Coleman Jr.: Craig Green. I like his use of art and structure. There’s also Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osbourne of Public School because of their culture and influence, and Henrik Vibskov for his love of color and keeping things fun. … are you IN love? MC: Yes! God has blessed me … what’s it like to work with one of your BFF’s? MC: To go through this experience with a best friend is amazing. I have a person who’s as honest as Andrew “Drew” Grace [which] is a blessing, even when you don’t want it to be. The amount of time he takes out of his own life to help me on like everything is incredible! [Laughs] He takes time to understand things and I appreciate him. … if you had to pinpoint what determines your designs, what would it be? MC: It truly depends on how I’m feeling and what I want to create at the moment. I spend a lot of time on prints that are inspired by my exploration throughout Chicago, New York or home. I love architecture and I make things that have structure, lines, and denim. … why denim? MC: Denim is something I love because it’s timeless, it holds up, and it’s fun to dye. All my garments are for comfort and cool. I want you to be yourself in my collection. That is my goal

“ [With] every piece I create, I gain more of my freedom and I get a piece of life. My garments tell stories and I’m excited for the world to read them. “

… what was the inspiration behind your design for Daryn Alexus? her pleated skirt was love at first sight. MC: You know that came from a series of ideas by Drew and I, inspired by the 1960s or something, and altered for modern times. It began with a jacket then surfaced into a skirt. [Laughs] I usually run with the last idea I go with, close my room door, and get busy. Daryn’s entire look was a risk. I played with shape and paint. My spirit said do it , I did it, and it worked! 
…what are you hoping to achieve in your next collection? MC: A bigger understanding of me as an artist. I plan to release more textures, prints and silhouettes all done by me. I love the freedom I’ve grown to understand that you have as an artist. I can create absolutely anything I think of, love it and have fun with it too. My collection I’m working on now will be my release of myself, my fears, my setbacks to create hope, love, and an appreciation for life. … which part of Chicago do you find inspiring? MC: The streets! I spend almost my entire day outside, and I love it. Cold or hot, rain or sun, Chicago streets are a great place for inspiration. The people you see, the accents you hear, the attitudes, the movement, the steady development. Its grown to be a pretty sweet place. Took a while but I can finally say, “I fell in love in CHI-CA-GO!”

Marcel Coleman Jr. (@tracissalc) Andrew Grace (@thentherewasdrew)



in a


Opposite Page: Yellow Ralph Lauren Sweater - Blitz Vintage Nike Runner Shorts Bamboo Hoops - Ebay White Reebok Classics

INtroducing UK fashion blogger Clarissa Henry, also known as VDR, who spills the tea on turning her blog into her dream job, dating in London, and what it takes to be recognized online. Obsessions: Vintage & Sportswear. Superpowers: Right cheek dimple and big curly hair.  

Words by Isis Nicole

Why she matters: VDR elevates generation-Y-fi through fashion approved by the likes of CAT, JUJU FOOTWEAR, and BEANIE BABES.

Photography: Bardha Krasniqi

Isis Nicole: You have a category on Vintage Doll Rissa called Loving. What types of stuff do you love? VDR: Where do I start! I would say I love all things that inspire me, from music like Hip-Hop and R&B, to art and fashion. I especially love up-and-coming brands, exclusive stuff and vintage sportswear. Tomboy’s stand up! IN: Who was your first celebrity crush? VDR: I’m so embarrassed to say but it had to be Bow Wow. IN: Oh my goodness! No way! Next question, where are the hottest guys in the UK? VDR: There’s no specific place where they are, you kind of just have to be at a cool club or event like a live show. You get some really eccentric and creative guys at those places. IN: Baby hair or nah? VDR: Oh yes honey. IN: Are you in love? VDR: Hmmm… I would say I’m almost there. IN: What’s the dating scene like in the UK? VDR: I would say it’s quite crazy. London is such a sociable place where you’re meeting people everyday. It’s fun I guess, but I feel like nowadays people aren’t letting it happen naturally as there are all these new dating apps and sites... crazy stuff. 102

Fila Polo - Urban Outfitters White tennis skirt - American Apparel White Reebok Classics

N: Guilty! I met my boyfriend on Tinder. So we might not have the same interest in dating apps, but we do share a liking for editorials. I’ve read that you want to create your own magazine! Can you share more about that? VDR: Yeah! I’ve really grown to love zines and photography magazines, and all the visuals stories a publication can make you experience. I plan to create something along those lines, with a set theme each time and cool fun short articles to really get the youth involved. IN: That’s awesome! How else would you say that you elevate others in a more present sense? VDR: I get a few questions on my Tumblr about confidence and I always try to tell em’ that your

imperfections make you who you are, and that if you like something do it. Do it for yourself and no one else. Stay fabulous always. IN: Sound advice. I like it! Is this part of what it takes to be a great blogger? VDR: [You have] to know who you are and what you stand for, and to be consistent and engage in your audience. Don’t compare yourself to others and just do your thing! Funny enough, I went straight into things I was interested in and enjoyed doing. Like assisting editorials and shoots. After gaining that experience I kind of just said to myself, “Yeah you can do all this yourself now.”

restless in chicago by Ireashia Bennett

The city was a watery blur. I couldn’t see anything

outside of the CTA train station crying on the phone.

through the waterfall escaping through my tear ducts.

“Do you want to come home? You can stay with me

I hiccupped and tried to silence my sobs as much as

until you find an apartment…” Now, any sane person

I could. I couldn’t speak, I could barely breathe but I

would have packed their things and headed home. But

clutched my phone to my ear as if my life depended it on

the moment she said home, images of a dark house,


cracked ceilings, yelling and the permanent smell of cigarettes pervaded my head and I couldn’t stomach it. I

Everything around me looked like a melting water

would rather be homeless and figure shit out than to be

painting through my tears. I tried to cry as silently as I

back home in a dysfunctional and lonely house. I get that

could without strangers noticing me but it was no use. I

stubbornness from her.

clutched my cell phone to my ear and heard my mother on the other line.

“No, no…I’ll be fine. I’ll figure it out,” my face was mostly dry now and the world seemed back to normal. Ma, still

“Hello? You there?” Ma asked on the other side, her

worried about my safety, reassured me things would be

voice full of worry and anxiety. “I can’t hear you, can you

okay. Even though it didn’t feel like it.

talk to me?” I swallowed and sighed heavily.

“You’re no stranger to struggle and I know you can get

“Yeah…yeah, I’m here,” I said, wiping my face.

through this because I’ve seen you get through things

“Are you okay? What’s wrong?”

so much worst. Dry your tears and keep stepping, life

“I just feel so alone right now,” I managed to mumble

moves on.”

out before the tears came back. I felt like I should

“Aight, ma, I’ll call you back later.”

just suck it up and keep moving. I had things to do,

Another heavy sigh and I go up the escalator to the

photographs to shoot and moves to make. Once I heard

trains. I didn’t know who I was going to stay with that

my mother’s voice a sense of comfort came flooding

night or the many nights after, but I couldn’t think about

through me and I turned into a baby and let everything

that. I had to think about saving face and making sure no

it out. I cried and stammered as she tried her best to

one knew. And so the fun begins.

make sense of it. The art of crashing is that you never stay at a friend’s “I-I don’t know what I’m doing or whether I should even

place for more than two nights in a row. After the third

be here right now. I’m just…feeling really shitty right

time, you start to feel like a burden and people start to

now, Ma.”

act a bit weird around you. You realize there’s a

“I don’t like to hear you like this, okay? This is not …

limit to some people’s hospitality. People don’t like their

Where are you staying tonight?” Her voice came out

personal space being invaded too much and when you

harsh, almost accusingly, but knowing my mother that’s

began to notice their ticks, it’s time to move on.

how she gets when she doesn’t know what else to do. “I don’t know.” Despondently, I looked at the time. I had to be at my internship in 20 minutes and I was sitting 104

And never look how you feel.

Hungry? Look full. Dirty? Look clean. (Hell, go try some

myself, I knew I would get through it. Resilience lies in

perfume samples at Macy’s before you go to work.) Tired?

the power of hope and that summer I hoped, wished, and

Drink caffeine until you got bags under your eyes because

prayed a-fuckin-lot.

who knows the next time you’ll get some shut-eye. It’s easier for me to cope while I’m busy if I just tell everyone

Eventually, everything came crashing down on me in

I’m fine. Things aren’t great, but I’m good regardless.

the bathroom of a Subway restaurant. I stood naked as

That hard outer-shell was enough defense for people to

I washed myself with a bar of soap and a dirty t-shirt.

stay away and it gave me time to deal with what was really

Littered around my feet was my journal, my high school

going on inside.

gym bag with dirty clothes I’d been wearing for three days spilling out of it and my shoes that were nearly worn

Some nights, I wandered the streets to distract myself. I

down to nothing. Underfed, overworked and running on

wanted to get lost in other people so I didn’t have to face

four hours of sleep, I was exhausted and had a massive

the gnawing questions and worrying that went on inside my



“My life is a fucking mess,” I assessed to my reflection,

After 2am, streets of Chicago are empty and most of the

noting the heavy bags under my eyes. Suds were slipping

bars are closed, so you can’t bum cigarettes or flirt with

between my breasts and the water was still running and

bouncers to get into clubs for free. Everyone has found a

I felt like I was close to passing out. I was jolted when I

corner, bed, or alleyway to sleep in and the only souls left

heard the door unlock and swing open half way. I ducked

walking are the lost ones. The souls who are restless yet

quickly behind the door to slam and relock it before the

tired, talking to themselves and dead lovers as they shuffle

person could see me naked.

across cold concrete in a light summer’s night.

“Sorry! I’ll be out in a few minutes!” I called, my heartbeat escalated from embarrassment. I sighed and looked down

This would be my third year in Chicago and I felt a

at my naked body before hurriedly putting my clothes back

little lost, cold, and very lonely. The only people that I

on and collected my things. I cleaned the suds and water

feltconnected to were the true city people—the bums,

that spilled and opened the door, my stomach heavy with

the crack addicts, the lost children, and the restless


wanderers. The street folks of Chicago were more real to me than some friends who smiled in my face. They saw me

A teenage girl was waiting nonchalantly, looking at her

and we talked about life and personal philosophies under

iPhone before looking up as I came out of the bathroom. I

a heavy-hung moon in a darkened park while sharing a

smiled crookedly, trying to hide my embarrassment, “Sorry

couple of cigarettes. On nights when all I wanted was a

I took so long.” She didn’t say anything as she brushed

pillow to rest my head on and a full belly, these people

past me to the restroom. I walked over to a table to rest

supported me with their wise words and encouragement.

my heavy bag and to pretend to look something up on my phone to process the previous series of events. I mean, did

I called on my family and sometimes even they were

I just wash up in a fucking Subway? I shrugged. That’s life.

helpless, my mother had no money to send me and my grandmother could only support me with wisdom. I called

After a few long beats, I gathered up my bag and pride

on friends, some welcomed me and others turned away.

before walking out without back but felt their curious

There were days when I would not eat because I was so

stares piercing my back. I went down the sidewalk and

busy and after work I would go to Wicker Park and nap at

sat on the dirty curb between two parked pickup trucks. I

The Wormhole or hang out in a park. I reminded myself

pulled down my knee-highs and began to lotion up my legs

that I couldn’t stop, I had to keep my head up and even

and thighs. I may have been homeless but I refused to be

through the crying and private rage fits where I cursed


Slowly as I began to do this, childhood images of my grandma’s dark brown hands rubbing salve on my legs to soothe my eczema swam through my head. I remember looking at my greasy legs, as she’d exclaim, “Girl, you got the prettiest legs! Can I have your legs?” With that memory, I felt light creep back into my heart. I always found it interesting how the mind worked—connecting present actions with memories of the past. All it took was that memory to warm my heart and keep me going forward. Two hours later, I was alone in a café waiting for something to happen. Waiting for someone to hit me up to hang out, waiting for an event to pop up on Facebook, and waiting for an irritating and gnawing loneliness to dissipate. I didn’t really want to do anything; I just wanted a bed and a warm body behind me. Since I didn’t have that, the next best thing was to go to a bar or crash a party. Nothing came up and I spent the night alone in a park in Wrigleyville. Huddled in a dark corner of a park, with a flannel t-shirt sheltering me as much as it could from the night chill, I thought a lot about the actions that led me to this point. It wasn’t my lowest point, but it was definitely a situation I never thought I’d be in. I reflected on different routes I could have taken that may have been easier or more fruitful, but I just ended up thinking in circles. The shoulda-woulda-coulda scenarios didn’t matter. What matter was the present and what I was learning from this situation. With every struggle, triumph, and failure, I have learned something valuable. That “aha!” moment comes to me in the midst of a struggle and I’m able to think my way out of it instead of sitting in it and complaining about it. My journal has always been my solace in times of distress, so I took to writing poems and little notes to keep myself going. I wrote this one night when no one picked up their phones or read their text. I was sitting on a train platform, watching as trains went by.

In chicago I have been hungry, hopeless and homeless i have walked through wide midwestern streets my feet making heavy imprints to document how far i’ve come in chicago, i have laughed the loudest and loved the hardest in chicago, i chased down my dreams til my toes bled and bones ached fiercely determined, i made a home in Chicago the streets became my home, the people my family with them, i have danced crazily in darkened parks to the beat of my own heart-drum in chicago i found love a love that i have danced barefoot in cool sand tasted psychedelic colors with and saw bright visions and heard clear voices with together me and love were young, ignited and free in chicago i accepted and was accepted i found my humanity through my insanity in chicago i realized my magick  and finally became whole 106

se r v ic e

s elf

Model - Shereen Alex at Charles Stuart International, Photographer - Jamie Jupp, Makeup - Aminah Draskovic , Stylist - YOUTH 


Nasir Mazhar AW15 108

Vicky Grout takes us backstage with London-based fashion designer Nasir Mazhar during Fashion Week.Â



Profile for The IN Mag

The Isis Nicole Magazine Issue 3, Starring Daryn Alexus, 2014  

IN LOVE | 2014 Starring Daryn Alexus

The Isis Nicole Magazine Issue 3, Starring Daryn Alexus, 2014  

IN LOVE | 2014 Starring Daryn Alexus