The Isis Nicole Magazine
INDEPENDENCE Fall - Winter 2015
BABEO BAGGINS & BABE SIMPSON | PHLEMUNS | PHOEBE LOVATT | MILAH LIBIN
From the Editor
While putting together our fourth issue, I learned that it is important to be resilient. I also learned that infectious optimism - a theme which you’ll see throughout this INDEPENDENT issue - surmounts all of those little nasty voices that say you’re not good enough. If there’s anything I want readers to take away from this issue, it’s that you are worthy and your dreams are real. Nothing passionate and vulnerable comes easy. Hannah Black and I spent each day this summer answering to ourselves as teens. Would the younger version of myself be proud of who I’ve become today? Would she read this? Would she feel inspired? It’s probably a cheesy approach but haiiii, it’s working. And we’re so proud to share this experience with you. Now go ahead… turn the page and set your wildest dreams free!
x Isis Nicole
Masthead Table of Contents & Contributors 8
Abra Cadabra 68
Eugene Taylor Brand 10
Collages by Tagen Donovan 72
These Days with Eric Montanez 18
Donnika Anderson 78
Suzi Analog 20
Wild One 85
Smart Girl Speaks 24
Caroline Jacobson 91
Stefy Pocket 29
Sass and the City 34
Living in the Past Lane 100
Sailor Swan 38
Avec Amour 104
Babeo Baggins & Babe Simpson of Barftroop 40 Stars in Her Eyes 50 Reconstructing the Blues 58 Introducing Siobhan Hogan 64
Babe Simpson & Babeo Baggins of Barf Troop Photographed by Charlotte Rutherford
Lead Photographer Hannah Siegfried @bahannahcupcake
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Text and photography copyright ÂŠ 2015 by The Isis Nicole Magazine.
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Contributors Charlotte Rutherford is an acclaimed London-based photographer and director whose dreamy, humor-tinged imagery reminds us that, â€œyou can do, like, anything!â€? www.charlotterutherford.com
Superhero Mag contributor, Anna Fearon, is a London-based fashion photographer / director whose high-shine glamour shots create a playful take on woman meets girl. www.annafearon.com
Bryan Allen Lamb is a photographer and filmmaker based in Chicago. His goal is to preserve the emotion of important moments as they happen. For this issue, Lamb brings us up close and personal with Eric Montanez. www.bryanallenlamb.com
Isaac Kariuki is a London-based visual artist, PR papi at POC modeling agency Lorde Inc, and editor of Diaspora Drama Zine. His work centres on themes of internet culture and nostalgia as it relates to marginalised identities www.isaackariuki.com
Nicola Sargent is a trans writer living in Chicago and can usually be found near a jukebox or walking around confused about which bus to take. @nordiciceprincess
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
Stefy Pocket is an Italian born, London-based photographer, currently living the tropical dream in Mexico. She specializes in creating images that highlight different perceptions of cultures and lifestyles, always trying to keep the photos honest and real. www.stefypocket.com
Layout and Photography: Hannah Siegfried Styling: Hannah Black & Letesha Brady Set Assistant: Isis Nicole Model: Rachel Natale
INtroducing Letesha Renee (pictured, right), a Chicago-based designer and stylist whose work can be seen on the likes of singers on the rise, Eryn Allen Kane, Lili K, and Telana. Eugene Taylor, Reneeâ€™s first 70â€™s inspired collection, named after her grandmother, pulls from her love of functional streetwear and high fashion. eugenetaylorbrand.com 10
Eugene Taylor Brand
Apparel by Eugene Taylor Brand
Photography: Bryan Allen Lamb
These Days with Eric Montanez It certainly helps to use your imagination. At least thatâ€™s what comes to mind when speaking with web-designer and entrepreneur, Eric Montanez, 25, whose philosophy is to create something meaningful within its necessity. Montanez and his friends work on independent merchandise and web service, Haight Brand, founded by Pat The Manager, with artists like Chance The Rapper, Vic Mensa, and The Social Experiment under its roster. Continuing to flex a proven sense of leadership, Montanez and his staff have also recently launched a broadcast series, These Days, which aims to cultivate an optimistic ecosystem for Chicago-based recording artists to thrive.
Singer, songwriter, producer, and creator of the record label Never Normal. Words by: Isis Nicole
POP QUIZ! #1 In the process of glo-ing up, Suzi Analog has: A) Taught courses at Yale B) Shared a bag of Skittles with Beyonce C) Changed her name to Vanessa D) None of the above #2 Suzi Analog once said the world needs: A) To relax B) More real love C) To just dance D) Another round #3: Suzi Analog created her first dubbed vocal mixtape at the age of: A) 10 B) 25 C) 13 D) 18 Answers: #1, A, #2, B, #3, A
Top: Stephanie Gancayco Pants: Chan + Krys Accessories: DVMVGE (used throughout) Jacket: 10Deep Creative Director & Stylist: Stephanie Gancayco Photography: Derek Anthony Welte
Top: Stephanie Gancayco Skirt: Krystalrae
Tall tee/dress: Fony
Smart Girl Speaks
Nestled in her Brooklyn apartment, Milah Libin, 22-year-old director, poet, and co-founder of urban feminist collective, Smart Girl Club, alongside performing artist, Destiny Frasqueri, addresses her experience with weakness, strengths, and what it means to be independent. Interview: Isis Nicole Photography: Hannah Siegfried
How would you describe your weakness? Milah Libin: I am a very anxious person, and as a result, I am not confrontational at all. IN: I believe that this is my weakness, too. I can be so naive and vulnerable to people who are underserving of me at times, and it brings me to tears. ML: I have let people walk all over me without even once telling them straight up how I feel. This is something I need to work on - being more honest with myself and others. IN: It’s important. Especially within this very selfindulgent culture. I appreciate your honesty and desire to assert yourself. I want that for everyone, even myself. Can we talk about the origins of Smart Girl Club and your affiliation with Know-Wave Radio? ML: I started hanging out at Know Wave when it was just kicking off and my friends had a show for our collective, Letter Racer. It was mostly just fucking around, making prank calls, playing music and free-styling. This was in someway a catalyst for Destiny (formally known as Princess Nokia) and I to start Smart Girl Club. Even though the show is really fun, the energy was very male dominant. We realized we had to create our own space where it felt more safe and driven by femininity. We thought to ourselves, if all these boys are doing it, why can’t we? It was only natural that Smart Girl Club started a show on Know Wave. We are very close with the creator, Aaron Bondaroff.
IN: I’m so inspired by what Bondaroff and Madeline Poole have accomplished. It helps me get doubt and fears of something being impossible out of my head. I’ll treat myself to their IG pages while Surf plays in the background, and just soak up all the imagery. It stimulates me, those backseat babes. I’m like, which babe is getting chauffeured this week?! ML: He’s like an uncle to us, and he was totally down for us to do whatever we wanted. We play music, talk about our life experiences, have guests that we look up to, etc. It’s a nice platform to share with the world what Smart Girl Club is doing and what the future looks like. IN: What makes a Smart Girl? Is she someone with adversities? Is she admired?
ML: Women are born with adversity. The minute we leave the womb, whether initially gendered as female or not, we are placed into a small box of how a woman is supposed to act, look and treat men. Naturally a “#SmartGirl” is someone with adversities. She is also empowered by them. She embraces them, and ultimately overcomes them. As a Smart Girl you must love all your sisters, treat them with respect, embrace growth and development. IN: And her mission? ML: To love yourself first and foremost, and the women around you. This means brown women, white women, trans women, asexual women, big women, small women, etc. Every woman regardless of sexual orientation, identity, color, or size, is your sister. The thing about Smart Girl Club is that every woman is a part of it. We are not in any way exclusive. There is nothing you need to “do” to become a part of it. We only ask that you love yourself and all women. IN: How do you declare your independence?
ML: … How I believe many people in my generation do, through the Internet. Specifically, using the platform of Tumblr. There are little to no restrictions of what can be posted, which can allow for some inappropriate and vulgar content. It also allows people of all ages to engage in discourse surrounding current events and political issues. It might sound funny, but I have learned so much on Tumblr through the people that I follow. IN: Oh no, it doesn’t sound funny. I’ve gained a lot from Tumblr. I got flown out to London for a documentary titled Nailgasm, directed by Ayla Montgomery, who is a good friend of mine that I met from Tumblr. She and Sophy Robson trusted me enough to enter their realm and ever since, I’ve been pursuing what makes me happy. The community is real. ML: There is an amazing community of people younger than myself that are highly opinionated on subjects that may be glazed over in more mainstream media. On the downside it allows anonymity, which can result in a lot of unnecessary or misguided hate - some-
thing that I have personally experienced. In my own life, at least, positives trump the negatives [making Tumblr] a space where I can post my work, thoughts, even selfies, and for the most part feel safe. IN: Has what you’ve curated on Tumblr had any affect on your life offline? ML: I have made “Internet friends” with whom I exchange support and ideas. It’s all very strange and futuristic. I have personally really embraced it. This next generation, the future, we are strong and we have access to information on a larger scale because of the Internet’s platform. I’d like to think that someday because of things like Tumblr - which in many ways is a news source for young people. Adults will laugh at me for even thinking this, but maybe in the not too distant future the army of conscious, social-justice bloggers, artists, allies, etc. will rise up and rule the world! IN: In building a sisterhood, virtually and spiritually, how do you know what opportunities to throw yourself at and when to resist?
â€œAs a Smart Girl you must love all your sisters, treat them with respect, embrace growth and development.â€?
ML: I think most importantly I have to be constantly aware and conscious of my skin. I am a white woman. Although I do face similar sexism and adversity as all women, it is extremely important for me to confront my white privilege. This means, in certain conversations, I must simply listen. On Tumblr, for example, I will reblog certain posts to show solidarity and support, but I must know that it is not my voice that needs to be heard. I exist as a platform for women less fortunate than me to get their stories across.
watching endless episodes of Law and Order: SVU. Upon doing some research (i.e. internet stalking) I became very infatuated by his and Coco’s relationship. They seem to treat each other with respect and love. Despite all the Hollywood bullshit, they are still together! That being said, I haven’t really watched all of the Ice Loves Coco episodes, but from what I’ve seen it just cracks me up.
IN: Where’s the most beautiful place you’ve ever been?
ML: They are both so off guard and real with each other, it’s really endearing. At the end of the day, with all famous couples, we don’t really know what they’re relationship is like, but I’d like to think they love each other to death and will be together forever. Also, visually, I think they’re the most perfect and weirdest couple.
ML: I grew up in New York City, so I have an immense love for the urban landscape. In terms of conventionally beautiful I might say a beach in Sweden I visited last summer, or a cemetery filled with stray cats that I came across in Buenos Aires. In my heart, what is truly beautiful is this city - New York. My favorite place to walk around is Chinatown. There are so many hidden beauties, like the neon signs in Chinese characters, or the red and yellow confetti sprinkled across the pavement after the Chinese New Year. I also love Spanish Harlem, which I attribute to Destiny. She took me around to some of her favorite spots the first time we hung out one on one and it was beautiful. Imagine ferris wheels amongst open fire hydrants, the smell of crispy chicken and corn, a constant murmur of noise. The city is always breathing. I love old subway cars, old worn in graffiti, littered construction gloves. This is what really inspires me and I find to be the most beautiful. IN: I recently came across your illustration of IceT and Coco. How does this couple inspire you? ML: [Laughs] That’s so cool that you found that drawing. I actually did a series where I drew images I found of them together. I became very obsessed with Ice-T as a result of binge
IN: I’m familiar with the show title, but I’ve never taken the time to actually watch it.
IN: That’s so sweet! And finally, what doesn’t kill you… ML: Honestly is there anything better than saying, “makes you stronger?” What doesn’t kill you gives you the drive to keep living, at least in my life. I’ve been in places before where I have felt like giving up, but then there are those pivotal moments where you realize that you’re here for a reason. Somethings have happened in my life recently that reminded me how precious life is, how fleeting it is, how fast it can all end. Sometimes it takes a death to make you want to keep on living. I know that sounds odd… it can go either way, but for me, in this moment, I am finally ready to live, and I mean get old! Get all wrinkly and shit. It’s an amazing feeling to want to get there. I feel grateful to even be here now.
Special thanks to American Apparel Mexico City
Photography and Styling: Stefy Pocket Assist. Styling & Illustrations: Taquitojocque All clothing: American Apparel
THE CITY Photography: Lillie Eiger, Florals: Hannah Black
Sassy /sasi/ adjective, informal: lively, bold, and full of spirit; cheeky.
Born out of eight years of friendship and a wine fueled evening, Morgan Hall, Amy Timms, Sascha Buckley, and Madeleine Witney became SASS, a new London-based online magazine and creative platform that aims to give you the 411 on fashion, film, music and art through inspired posts.
Sailor Swan Freelance writer CharnĂŠ Graham, 27, compares her girl power #SwanDay party planning approach to her favorite superhero Sailor Moon. Sheâ€™s bubbly and determined; quilaties reflected in her effortless ability to coordinate events for creative working women of color under her food review and music journalism project, What Up Windy.
Photography: Hannah Black Makeup: Aonna Barksdale
Babeo Baggins & Babe Simpson Photography by Charlotte Rutherford Interview by Hannah Black Introducing Barf Troop: the force of nature rap collective (comprised of Babeo Baggins, Babe Simpson, Babelien, Babe Field, and Babenstein) has been inspiring the Internet for years with their unique flows, sick style, and inclusive message. Formed online as a response to the male dominated world of rap, Barf Troop’s DIY attitude and creative vision are paving the way for artistic female and nonbinary babes alike. From their Calico Collective art event, to Babe Simpson’s fire track “Martians,” and Babeo Baggins’ breakout mixtape “Posi+ive,” the troop can’t stop winning.
Can you share one superpower? Babelien: Telepathy is a big one in Barf Troop. And one weakness? Babeo Baggins: Although I hate to do it, let me put a Drake line here, "They point out all my failures and whisper my accomplishments." I work very hard and people [that do not] respect that make me feel really belittled. It's going to take a lot of time and selfreflecting for me to be able to handle that without anger. What Rae Sremmurd lyric describes your current mood? Babe Field: "Everybody got a dream that they chasing and everybody got a motherfuckin' hater." Barf Troop is on the rise and people are either for us or against us. The important thing is [that] we ain't going nowhere! What’s your favorite part about working with of a collective of artists? Babelien: The diversity within the group, but also the similarities. It's great to have likeminded people to bounce ideas off of, and the support and love we get from within the group is so great. You can really feel it. Something you are afraid to do on your own? Babeo: Play a show! We've never played shows alone
but I'd be really scared to. Barf Troop is my support group and I need them there to give me the power up before going on stage or I might not be able to do it. Knowing you have someone on your team who has your back when you mess up makes things so much easier. What makes you feel most independent? Babelien: Looking back on things I've written like... "Damn, I did that? That was me? Wow." I love to impress myself and the rest of the Troop, so any time I can do that and say I did it on my own is exciting for me. It makes you feel so huge. If you could exist in the world of any cartoon, what would you choose? Babeo: 'The Simpsons' means so much to me. I have grown up with it as well as learned so much from it. 'The Simpsons' has always had a way of tackling tough issues and hitting key moral points in a goofy manner. I've carried so many life lessons with me for so long because of that show. I really don't want to imagine myself as a person who had never seen it because I know for a fact I would be completely different. It really helped shape me into the cool being I am today. That being said, I need to be in 'The Simpsons' as Krusty's blue-haired afro child and Bart as my bf, clearly. Instead of becoming big fish in a small pond, you formed and grew online. What challenges and opportunities for innovation go along with coming up on the Internet rather than in a physical setting?
Babe Simpson: Without a “home base” and us living so far apart, it becomes hard to pinpoint where a sound comes from. We aren’t a huge part of any local scenes in our own areas, yet, because we’re not all together to be active and play shows constantly. On the other hand, Barf Troop has spread much faster through the Internet and allows us to play in locations we wouldn’t have been able to access so easily if we were only grinding locally. We definitely have to keep lines of communication open because we’re not able to have like, clubhouse sit downs like other artists about what we’d like to get done. It’s very easy to bounce ideas off one another through voice calls and voice memos, so it’s like we carry our team in our back pockets all day long. Barf Troop has a super devoted and active fan base. What are some of your favorite experiences with fans online, in real life, or while performing live? Babe Field: My favorite was in February at Up Yours. I talked to one of our fans after the show and she held my hands and told me that she loved my music [with this] really good energy. It was a really cool experience to see how responsive everyone has been. Everyone who's come out to the shows [or] shared our music with their friends has been super supportive. Performing is so much less nerve wracking when you know people have your back and want you to succeed. Are there any artists you’re dreaming of collaborating with in the future? Babeo: TINASHE! She is so amazing and a perfect popstar. Outside of that, I'd love to do stuff with King Krule because I've always been his biggest fan. Babe Simpson: Flying Lotus, Gorillaz, Nicki Minaj, Kendrick, Christopher Owens, Sleigh Bells, Charli XCX! Advice for those on a mission to glo up and DIY? Babelien: The glo up is special to me. I like to think of it as becoming your own greatest creation: building yourself from
the ground up like you would a brand new house. Becoming what you dream of being and learning to love yourself in the process should be the end goal. You have the power to pick and choose exactly what kind of person you want to be in life, and that's something that can never be taken away from you. Think of yourself as a blank canvas. If you could paint anything there, what would it be? How do you want to see yourself? The whole premise of DIY is self- empowerment, if you ask me. It's just about taking that plunge. What would you like to see more of in the remainder of 2015? Babeo: LGBTQ and female artists In the rap game. The constant narrative has been about men and their plights and accomplishments. There are no other stories for CIS men to tell at this point. That isn't "real" anymore, their "struggle" isn't the important one anymore. I don't want to hear about it! I want to hear about trans girls and non binary babes and gay boys. I want to hear about struggles of people in my circle of life, I want to hear their stories! Those are the stories that need to be told. Those are the ones everyone is waiting to hear. It has become a point in our current culture for listening to these voices and letting them speak clearly and loudly for all to hear. What would you like to see less of in the remainder of 2015? Babelien: Less of people dismissing the ideas of young people as simple fantasy -- especially the ideas of young black kids and other kids of color. When you dismiss a child's imagination and don't take their ideas seriously, they can never grow from that and it hurts their self- esteem. Encourage kids. Listen to them. Let them know their importance. What doesn’t kill you… Babelien: Ruins your hairline. Babeo: Teaches you how to kill your next opponent. Simpson: Makes you stranger.
Check out more from Barf Troop barftroop.tumblr.com @barftroop
St ar s in
Photographer: Anna Fearon Stylist: Hannah Grunden MUA: Sophie Cox using MAC Pro Models: Catriona @ First and Patrish @ Profile 50
Patrish wears bikini top by American Apparel
Patrish wears MAWI earrings
Photos of Phlemuns F/W 15: Franc Fernandez Abstract Photography: Hannah Siegfried Interview: Hannah Black 58
Reconstructing the Blues
How would you describe a day in the life of James Flemons? Well to start, I’m most likely up until 4 a.m. doing some sort of research. Five days a week, I work eight hour shifts at Opening Ceremony. In between my duties I’m usually emailing and texting with stylists, or musicians, or other creatives in regards to PHLEMUNS, just utilizing as much time productively as I can. I have three different email accounts open at all times! Depending on what’s going on, stylists may come to my job to pickup or drop off my pieces, I might be shipping out sample for editorial pulls, or doing sketches and pulling inspirations. I’m constantly finding ways to keep myself present on social media without forcing myself down peoples throats. A lot of my opportunities and orders come from traffic on social media. Then I get off of work, journey home, and work more. My two days off consist of a little lounging but usually sewing from morning to night. It’s just a never ending machine that’s not very exciting, but my excitement these days comes from seeing a new finished product or when a new PHLEMUNS feature comes out. Who or what serves as your muse? It changes pretty frequently to be honest because I’m such an eclectic person with style. I never draw from one type of inspiration so it’s always in motion, but ever since I was 19-years-old, a friend of mine by the name of Stacey Nishimoto has kind of been coined as my muse. She possesses so much unique style,
beauty and strength. I find it really inspiring. To add to that, my mom has always been a muse of mine, and a few big style influences like Diana Ross, Pam Grier, Andre 3000, and John Paul Gaultier. In the past few years, I have been referring to my old designs from childhood, around 200-300 fashion sketches since elementary school. All PHLEMUNS pieces are 100% created by you, and it seems like a new artist is wearing your designs every day. How do you maintain your work ethic? To be completely real, sometimes I don’t even get how I keep at it. Initially it’s deep rooted back to my childhood and having very determined influential parents. It’s funny though, because deep down I’m such a lazy person who would gladly sit on my ass and watch Netflix all day. The quick demand for things really keeps the ball rolling and at this point if I don’t do it, it literally won’t get done. I have no one else to fall back on so if I want the progression I desire I have to work as much as possible to keep the work coming my way.
Apparel by Phlemuns
For me it’s really about being conscious of progression and doing what it takes to further myself. Being a workaholic who loves to stay busy definitely helps. In the end I really just make clothes for myself for fulfillment. If other people like or want them, it’s an added bonus. What makes you feel most independent? Hands down, my own space, my own belongings, and my time alone. Simple as that. I’ve been stuck in entirely too many settings where those things are lacking and I’ve come to realize I, literally, go crazy and you’ll meet a James you won’t enjoy encountering. Your work evokes the anything-goes playfulness of the new millennium. What early 2000’s babe would you love to see in Phlemuns? Off the top I’d have to go with Ananda Lewis, Christina Ricci,and Joy Bryant [but] all I’ve ever wanted to do was make matching fits for Blaque. Your pieces have been featured in a stunning array of editorials, on high profile celebrities and underground favorites alike. Are there any artists you’re dreaming of collaborating with in the future? I’m really into young figures who subtly say, “Fuck you, I’m me.” I’d be down to get my clothes on Travis Scott, Zendaya, or Jaden and Willow Smith. My pants were featured on one the Garden Twins, but I would love for both of them to rock my stuff. I would also really just love to
see more everyday people in PHLEMUNS. I’m really open to working with anyone creative who genuinely loves and believes in what they do. I’m a strong supporter and always down with creative people coming together and collaborating. [Winks!] A few people on my list are already in the works, so you’ll just have to wait and see. What’s next for Phlemuns? The biggest move in 2015 is most definitely being sold in stores and developing into a more structured legitimized brand. This has been a long time coming, and I’ll finally have a platform to showcase my work which is really encouraging. Advice for those on a mission to glo up and DIY? Don’t think, just do. It sounds so basic but it really turns things around. I used to spend so much time in my head overthinking my actions or how I should do somethwing. [Truthfully] all those things get answered once you just put yourself in motion. Try anything and everything and utilize the Internet. After graduating college the World Wide Web definitely become my second schooling. Also, if you see someone doing an idea you had don’t fall back from it. Do it anyway and make it your own. That’s something that used to hinder me tremendously.
INtroducing Siobhan Hogan, founder and creative director of womenswear brand Shopfloorwhore, who humbly describes herself as a hair bleach addict and eternal traveller.
Isis Nicole: Lately I’ve been listening to a podcast called “On Being”, where Krista Tibbett starts her questions with spirituality. Do you come from a religious background, or have a belief in a Higher being? Siobhan Hogan: I believe in a god. Who or what that is, I am still trying to work out. IN: Claire Underwood or Cersei Lannister? SH: Claire Underwood. IN: Powerful and chic. What are your favorite luxuries? SH: UBER, good coffee, and a soft ass bathrobe. IN: I knew I interviewed you for a reason! What led you to fashion and who do you design your pieces for? SH: Growing up in Liverpool, fashion was always a big thing. It’s the whole working class mentality to look rich even when you are poor as hell! Everything revolved around looking good, hair done, nails did, new outfits. I started working for a clubwear designer, think flouro, lycra and iron on diamanté. It was a dream! From there, I went to uni, got my degree, left Liverpool for East London and went between Fashion PR and Luxury Retail. [That is until] I sat back and realized I wasn’t a conventionally corporate kinda gal. IN: Those focal points. They get their way every time! SH: That’s how Shopfloorwhore was born. I wanted to build a world in which girls like me had the freedom to be who they wanted, and explore their own creativity along the way. Essentially, I wanted to make exclusive pieces that were accessible, fun and coveted.
IN: I love the playfulness and the more is more collection you’ve created. SH: I focus on making pieces for strong minded, free spirited babes who have something to say and ultimately want to have fun. My brand is tongue in cheek, it’s not meant as a serious point of view on the world, I just want my customers to wear Shopfloorwhore and enjoy it. IN: What’s your greatest superpower? SH: I can see right through people. IN: And your greatest weakness? SH: I am a grade A procrastinator. IN: Who are you telling? I’m trying to become more attentive to patterns that lead to my procrastination. Like, am I really resisting work that needs to be done because I’m being lazy or is it because I’m avoiding “fear of failure” in my head. But that’s a discussion worth coming back to in a future issue! As a #GIRLBOSS how do you manage your hustle while still supporting of other up-and-coming bosses? When do you know to consume? When do you know to save? SH: I keep focused on my journey, and appreciate all the success my fellow #BossBabes achieve. We are all in this together and it’s good to know that young women as a whole are taking charge and building their own futures. I try to collaborate with
as many babes as I can. I have so many talented friends who started out as fellow creatives I reached out to, and I think it’s important to work with other people. It’s amazing how big initial ideas can go when you get together on a team level. I strongly believe everyone has their own journeys, so it’s not a competition that said, it’s healthy to keep aware of what your contemporaries are doing, and push yourself to be the best you can be. IN: How do you manifest your own lane? SH: Stay strong, keep doing what you believe in, and be nice. IN: When can we expect the launch of a ShopFloorWhore flagship store? SH: [Smiles] When I get a very generous investor. IN: Have you always had an independent nature or did experiences shape you? SH: I’m a pretty independent person, but it took a few different experiences to make me realize vtvI could do what I want, pay my bills and live happily ever after. IN: That’s endearing. And finally, what doesn’t kill you… SH: Gives you strength, focus and determination.
Abra, the DIY duchess of Atlanta’s Awful Records, ruled the aux cords of summer with her self-produced, bass heavy LP, “Roses.” The lush album, full of heartbreaking, ‘80sinspired tracks, evokes an inky sky electrified by neon, and explores the seductive side of the ominous. Her videos for “Roses” and “U Kno” showcase a glossy, candy-coated exterior cloaking something both vulnerable and sinister. Get ready to ride the darkwave soundcloud.com/darkwaveduchess 70
Photography: Shelby Sells Styling: Alanna Pearl and Shelby Sells
Tag e n Donovan
Photography: Isaac Kariuki Styling: Donnika Anderson Lipstick: MDM Flow Interview: Hannah Black
a k i n
Whether you’ve seen her face in the pages of a new magazine or on fashion-forward hubs of Tumblr, model, Donnika Anderson, could respectfully be described as a woman who is approachable, elegant, and assured. Alongside her university studies, Anderson is represented by POC modeling agency Lorde Inc, founded by art history grad, Nafisa Kaptownwala. She also contributes to Superhero Mag, a contemporary virtual archive for girls around the world who are the bomb-dot-com. As summer came to a close, Hannah Black caught up with the London-based babe to discuss how she leads in the fast lane while making it all look so good. Describe a life in the day of Donnika Anderson: I don’t really have a typical day at the moment. I’m living between London and Nottingham for uni, have a part time job, do stuff for Superhero Mag and model so everyday’s different. My ideal day would be going to a cool location in London to do a shoot with a fun team, then, spend the
evening smoking and watching a weird film with this cool guy I’ve just started hanging out with. [Smiles] Or, I’d spend the morning in bed, then trawl around the charity shops, find cheap stuff, run home and try it all on while taking stupid webcam pics and videos to my favorite songs. You’re involved with tons of projects as a face and creative force behind My Superhero Mag as well as modeling for Lorde Inc. What’s the best part about being involved in different experiences? I’m a super capricious person. Experimenting with so many aspects of the creative industry keeps things fresh. It also teaches me about different creative processes which helps me produce better work in whatever I do. I also get the chance to meet so many interesting people who have so many amazing ideas. That’s probably my favorite part of being in the creative industry. I love modeling the most because it’s so cool being able to wear really weird outfits that I wouldn’t usually get a chance to wear in real life.
You’re always be on a video set, a shoot, or on the runway, and that doesn’t even account for what you do behind the scenes! How do you stay motivated? I get motivated by the thought that it’s these years that really count in establishing yourself in life – especially in modeling. Obviously, I’m not like a proper big model or anything, but it’s still mainly something you can just do when you’re young. It’s so important for me to make the most of every opportunity I’m offered. Where do you find balance?
The creative industry is so spontaneous. I actually find it really hard to balance with my job, which I need to pay rent. My boss is beginning to hate me for always taking days off. I spend adequate amounts of time with friends and family so they know how much I love them! Life’s great at the moment. I’m loving it! What makes you feel most independent? I’ve always been. I love having a job to make my own money so I don’t have to sponge off my parents.
Who are you dying to collaborate with in the future? Clio Peppiatt and Christian Cowans. I want to do more stuff for bigger names. I’d also love to meet Junglepussy, Contessa Stuto, and Fetty Wap. Advice for those on a mission to glo up and DIY? Be nice and network! You never know who you’re talking to or what they could do for you… GOOD LUCK <3
Over the next few months singer/ songwriter, Daryn Alexus, plans to release several songs and videos leading to her next EP. Following her sophisticated R&B/Disco mixtape "GREEN," "The Wildflower Series" explores a variety of genres that showcase vocal growth. From her recent performance at TIPFest Chicago along with Chance The Rapper and Kendrick Lamar, to being recognized in the Chicago Tribune as this year's newfound voice, the budding star plans to champion her own path for the world to hear.
Photography: Hannah Siegfried Makeup: Aonna Barsdale Styling: Hannah Black Set Assistant: Isis Nicole 90
C a ro l i n e Ja cobson Artwork: Caroline Jacobson Creative Direction & Styling: Hannah Black Photography: Hannah Siegfried
There was a time Champagne Cari, better known as, Caroline Jacobson, didn’t see art in her future. That was until the Chicago-based painter dropped out of business school to invest in her newfound dream. Jacobson, who’s influenced by the likes of Egon Schiele, Marlene Dumas, and Henri Matisse, commissions portraits that show off female sensuality with a sense of empathy under her brush. “I paint, because it scares me,” said Jacobson who continues to confront her fears. “I’m very capable of doing absolutely nothing. Trust me, I can lounge hard. But painting is the only thing that has made me want to not do nothing. It’s the only thing I’ve ever really cared about.” @champagnecari carolinejacobson.com
Powerhouse Phoebe Lovatt is the celebrated author of The Handbook For Women Who Do Creative Work and founder of The Working Women's Club, a physical and virtual space for driven women. Delighted by her wisdom and experience, we got a chance to interview Lovatt and discuss her contagious philosophy.
Isis Nicole: Can you share one superpower? Phoebe Lovatt: I’m a master of the 15 minute nap. IN: And your weakness? PL: I talk and think fast, and can be impatient with those who don't. IN: Where were you in 1992? PL: Yung Phoebs was roaming the seedy streets of London's Soho on school days, and monkeying around the Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood on weekends. IN: It's probably hard to choose, but as the author of The Handbook For Women Who Do Creative Work, what's your favorite piece of advice from it?
IN: You're responsible for a number of iconic interviews with artists including Nicki Minaj and Chance the Rapper. Does your background as a journalist have any influence on your role as a moderator or vice versa? PL: Undoubtedly. I've been a journalist for seven years now, and I've learnt a few things along the way. At this stage I feel pretty confident as an interviewer, and I'm enjoying the process of translating those skills into my work as a moderator. IN: How did you and nail artist Madeline Poole meet?
IN: What does it mean to be a girl boss?
PL: I can't even remember the first time, but it was probably through Aaron Bondaroff - founder of OH WOW/Know Wave radio, MP's man, and a connector of crew worldwide. Big up Aaron and Madeline! Power couple for real.
PL: Integrity, hard work, showing kindness to yourself and all around you.
IN: In a city such as LA, how do you remain competitive without being cutthroat?
IN: And your wisdom on how to not be a sus girl boss?
PL: I don't compete, I collaborate!
PL: You have to know what you’re about, and celebrate it. Fuck standing up there feeling shit about it. Take it, love it — or don’t do it." (Neneh Cherry)
PL: Don't talk about it; be about it. IN: I've read in your bio that The WW Club started as a temporary work space. What led your movement to become weekly? PL: It's more than weekly; it's daily! The WW Club has no start and stop time: it's
a movement, a community, and a whole spectrum of events. The pop-up space was just the beginning. Now it's everything from work parties to talks to radio shows. Next stage: global takeover.
IN: What doesn't kill you: PL: Makes for a really good story later down the line. thewwclub.com @thewwclub
Photography by: Hannah Siegfried 100
Living in the Past Lane Words By: Nicola Sargent
Nostalgia is my drug. I’m one of those people that holds onto things like they’re souvenirs when they’re, more often than not, garbage. I’ve been described as a blossoming hoarder. I have an award from Kindergarten for “best listener” that’s just a piece of paper with stickers on it. I get lost in remembering, I feel lost when I can’t. I think the addiction is innately a product of the human condition; there’s something about reaching out for something that we can’t grab. It strips away the feeling that we control our fate, an idea that can be so frightening that it manifests into fatigue and anxiety. It’s rare that we have moments that are truly present and filled with clarity but that’s usually where the answers are, if there are any. When we don’t trust ourselves as we exist in the now we look anywhere else for our sense of closure, even if we end up with more questions. I was convinced, after severe persuasion, to visit my mother and sister in my hometown, after having moved away only months prior. I battled them on it, claiming I should be working by the time they wanted me to come and wouldn’t be able to take the time off work. I wasn’t working, and this wasn’t particularly surprising to me even though I barked up and down about how I have to create my new life and new me. I was positive I would suddenly erupt into my new self and find my journey. I paid all my dues and fought through my struggles, surely the old skin was going to shed. As I’m sure most people are aware, it doesn’t work like that, but I had fought so many demons and jumped so many hurdles that I couldn’t imagine the next phase of my life as anything other than ten steps forward. Let’s keep in mind that this was my third time leaving my old home, so maybe this frayed logic was warranted at the time. Initially I was relieved to feel some sense of independence and peace again. As time passed, I became overwhelmed. I started to miss how my life used to be, my dead end job and my midnight drives across the back roads of town. I stayed in bed, and when I wasn’t in bed I was out having fun to instill a sense of purpose in myself. After a defeated sounding phone call, I agreed to go back. My mom booked the tickets and some weeks later I boarded the train, hoping I was being taken to a place that would remind me where I was supposed to go and where I wasn’t meant to be at all.
“People and places adapt, they shrug their shoulders and carry on.”
My mom and I drove from the train station talking about what I planned to do with my time. It was comforting yet uncomfortable to be there again. I knew I had to go back to my old job; I had to know what I would feel when I walked inside. When the day came, I called my friend that worked there and after some shrieking, I hung up and made my way. My old job was at a palace ice rink tucked away in a part of town that boasted strip malls miles long and a cluster of every chain restaurant in America. I found a spot in the parking lot, exactly where I used to park, and sat in my mom’s car. I have no idea how long I sat there, but long enough that I finally decided to get out so that no one thought I was some kind of well-dressed criminal. I arrived and spent my time joking with old co-workers, gossiping about what had happened since I left. It’s a strange experience going back to a place that consumed so much of my time only to realize that no matter what, life just goes
on. It’s not that I wasn’t important. That’s just the process of things. People and places adapt, they shrug their shoulders and carry on. I felt like I was watching two screens overlapped on each other; my memories of the past and the certainty of their near future.
in but aren’t able to capture with the same meaning anymore. After I got back from my trip I spent the next couple of weeks in a weird state of mind. It was as if I had figured out what my life would’ve been in those short months had I not left.
I realized I was holding onto something that everyone else let go of. When I left,
On a rainy day a friend confided in me her despair at where her life had led. I took her hand and told her that there is no absolute truth in any journey, and that we’ve worked so hard to become the people we are today. Our road can be overwhelming but we’ve fought much worse. I told her we’re going to be okay. It’s hard to see the light when the future looks so dark and hazy. It’s easy to feel weakened by wishing for something that’s lost, to give in to the weight of it all. You can’t live in the past, but sometimes the foundation of independence is peering back into it to remember where your strength came from. Just be sure to not get caught in a daydream, or you’ll never see the new kinds of beauty in front of you.
I decided to take the long route that I used to take so I could decompress and listen to music. The evening had grown densely foggy, making it feel like I was driving my way out of a dream and back into consciousness. I didn’t feel anything that I thought I would on that drive home, but that’s what nostalgia is. Driving on streets that you know in a car that isn’t yours, taking pictures of things you once saw beauty
Photography: Marie May Styling: Astrid JohnsenÂ Model: MĂŠlanie Jouglen
Pum Pum Socks x IN Mag pumpumsocks.com
Superhero Mag is the epitome of modern-day girl culture; it showcases a range of amazing art from around the globe, crafting one mind blowing issue. Each theme-oriented issue is a colour bomb showering you with glitter and transporting you to a magical world full of cute illustrations, fun photographs and cool inspirational girls! www.superheromag.com instagram.com/superheromag
Published on Oct 9, 2015
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