Issuu on Google+

www.urban-coco.com

Urban Coco All things bright and beautiful edition

Issue Two

April 2012

Katie Melua

Fashion, lifestyle and music magazine


W

e love to champion women in business at Urban Coco but from time to time we spot Male entrepreneurs that deserve some recognition.

This month, we introduce Black Diamond Life LTD, run by two male entrepreneurs, Curtis and Kel, who are still pretty young and clearly have an exciting future ahead.

BEACH BEAUTIFUL HIT THE BEACH IN THIS SUMMERS KEY BEACHWEAR TRENDS FROM COCOBAY.CO.UK

www.cocobay.co.uk ... your holiday starts here! Browse Coco Bay’s On-line Collection of stunning mix-and-match beachwear and discover the perfect bikini to flatter your shape. First hand fitting tips, Free Returns/Exchanges and Next Day Delivery mean beachwear shopping has never been easier. Urban Coco readers can take advantage of 10% off your first beachwear order at Coco Bay (*excludes jewellery) Just use code COCO12 at the check out www.cocobay.co.uk

Tell us about Black Diamond Life Limited, what made you form this company and what does it involve? Kel: Black Diamond Life Ltd is more than just an events management company; it’s an image and a statement. The company was formed as we felt there was a huge gap in the market up north for more London style VIP parties, especially in Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool, and Newcastle. The idea began in June 2011 when we

Men in Business AmosuCouture who has formed an alliance with Swarovski and we’re collaborating with an up and coming fashion company called www.fillmywardrobe.com. You’re already making a name for yourself across the UK with back to back sell out events, how do you come up with fresh ideas to stay ahead of the competition? Kel: Curtis seems to come up with idea after idea like you wouldn’t believe, he isn’t just an ugly face!! Two heads are always better than one, Curtis and I do bounce of each other. Overall the key reason to the sell out events is down to marketing and having the right team on board. Curtis and I feel the promoters who work for Black Diamond are a key part of the success. They work hard and never fail to deliver, however always remember the main reason to a successful night is effort. Do not assume your promoters will do all the work as the hard work begins with the event organiser. For anybody looking to do what you do, what advice would you give them? Curtis: Every promoter/event manager has their time and right now it feels like this is our time. Starting your own night and being different is hard. On a positive side it’s great fun and the job satisfaction of pleasing the crowd is second to none. But on the negative side I think people think it’s as simple as creating a flyer, getting a club, throwing out a few invites on Facebook and bobs your uncle! It’s so far from that, it takes up a massive amount of time, effort, and organisation, Kel and I have put the work in and right now are reaping the rewards. What can we expect to see from you in 2012? Curtis: The list is never ending, Black Diamond Life Clothing as well as doing more Black Diamond events across the country and Black Diamond is launching in Dubai later in the year and not to forgot celebrating our 1ST Birthday Party in mid September.

Black Diamond started brain storming and with my experience promoting in the South and Curtis in North, it made perfect sense to come together. It’s a tough industry, having to compete with other club nights and events. What sets your events apart? Curtis: For me I think this is the hardest thing. Our events are always set apart, all our DJ’S are exclusive to Black Diamond so they don’t play anywhere else in each city. Personally I think the major difference at Black Diamond is the fact that we literally bring the whole country together and have guests come from Scotland all the way down to Wales and every city in between. You have Black Diamond Weekender coming up in Marbella which sounds amazing. You must have a great time, is there a serious side to the industry you’re in? Curtis: Kel and I have been going to Marbella for the past 5 years, every year it gets a little more exciting but this year it’s different because Black Diamond are coming to town. So on a serious note there are a lot of event companies in Marbella this year so the competition is fierce and the “network” world isn’t getting any bigger. The Black Diamond weekender is offering four big parties spread cross the weekend from 21st June - 25th June. We have partnered with a number of organisations such as:


Dancing Dolls

Urban Coco Advertorial

W

e were first attracted to the Dancing Dolls label when we saw their pieces on the catwalk of a fashion show last year. The brand stands for everything we believe in at Urban Coco, a brand for fun, fearless and feisty females.

Dancing Dolls was originally launched to provide attire for dancers, with interest quickly growing around the brand they relaunched in 2010 as a more diverse and accessible fashion label. We caught up with the brainchild behind Dancing Dolls, Paulinah Eboh-Sampson to find out more. When your label launched, you initially targeted the dance industry, why was this? Dancing Dolls UK is the accidental Fashion brandIt was never supposed to be what it has become! At a young age, I was part of a then well known drama group. It was whilst in this drama group, I first fell in love with the textures and fabric used for many of the costumes for the performances. From there, I went on to study Performing arts and Dance at college. Because of some the connections I made whilst being a performer it meant that dancers were the first customers I had and I specifically only made dance wear. The idea was to keep this client base and still stay close to the art form I love and appreciate so much as well as launch a separate fashion label. The first ready-to-wear for Dancing Dolls UK was a total chance opportunity and allowed me to introduce swimwear, which I had wanted to explore. The collection was received really well on the fashion circuit taking the brand to a new direction.

How do you want women to feel when they wear your designs? Happy! I want women to walk with an air of confidence that comes through from their attire. After all, a woman should be seen not heard. I want Dancing Dolls women to let their outfit scream loudly without the volume. In three words, how would you describe your label? Wow! 3 words, that’s hard! Adventurous, sexy, daring, flirty, commercial yet unique. Ok- I could be here a while.... If any celebrity could wear your designs, who would you want it to be and why? Kimberly Wyatt! She is just the best representation of the brand, beautiful dancer, experimental with fashion and that leg extension.... to die for. Other celebrities who I think could wear the brand would include Jessie J because I have noticed she loves her cat suits and we have them a plenty! What can we expect to see from Dancing Dolls UK in 2012? Dancing Dolls UK is set to show its third collection ‘Closet Princess AW12’ for the first time in full on the 8th April at Essex Fashion week, followed by an appearance at ‘Touch of London’ on 25th April. I do want to get more stockists for the label as well as making an even bigger mark in the USA as well as the rest of the world. We are currently stocked online via Fashion Pony, Fashion Killerz, Us trendy, Global Fashion brands, ASOS Marketplace, as well as La Femme Chic Boutique in New York.

Remember the name dolls! www.dancingdollsuk.com

www. urban-coco. com

1


Contents 4 Lust List

This month we have picked out lots of pastels, florals and pattern pieces that are bang on trend.

7 Valentines

Read all about our recent Valentine’s day escapades

8 All things Bright & Beautiful Fashion Shoot Check out all the must have designs this season and get inspired for your new Spring wardrobe

20 Highstreet Highlights

Key pieces that are going to be sell out’s this season. Get it or regret it.

24 Katie Melua

Read our recent interview with our cover star.

39 Mocha’s & Mojito’s

This month we visited Restaurant Bar & Grill, Manchester and had a wonderful time. Read all about our favourite dishes and our recommendation on where to rest your head for the night

40 Street Chic

Who’s hot on the streets of Leeds this month?

42 Competition

WIN WIN WIN with Gorgeous Couture

43 Spotlight

This month were loving girl band, Vanquish

44 Launch night

See all of our lovely guests from our debut magazine launch

49 Socialite

Check out some of the hottest events we have been to this month

27 Corn Exchange

Find out more about Leeds most eclectic shopping destination

Back cover

This month we introduce our ‘Men in business’ regular feature

28 Strip club Industry

This month sees the launch of our regular topical debate starting with a focus on the strip club industry. Are you for or against?

31 Dating Disasters

We asked our readers for their dating disasters which are sure to make you chuckle

34 A week in the life of...

This month we caught up with fashion blogger, Sheree Milli, to find out what inspires her wardrobe choices

38 Touch of London

Date for the diary guys, we are proud co sponsors for this not to be missed event

Contributors Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief Laura Bartlett

2

Videographer: Tyron Maynard Make up Artist: Natalie Willingham

Senior Designer Anna Wanczyk

Art Director/Stylist: Lara Ostertag

Writers: Dale Ellis, Georgina Ryall

Model: Olivia-Fayne Lamb

Photographers: Simon Paterson (Fashion Shoot) Josh Tarn (Street Chic) Romeyo Hines (Launch event) Younis Khan (Launch event) Shutterstock credits: Pages 2, 34,35 illustrations by Cherry Blossom Girl Pages 4,5 illustrations by Mcherevan Pages 40 illustration by F-F-F-F

www. urban-coco. com


a e t wh ebat abou 012. ical d head ll p a o t s 2 u o ur tells her in lcome o o head t of t rom e g see f lly, we w r writers heir poin lub t rip c t m s Fina o of ou o e r f h t t c n w bje et so wher uss a su we focu e with? at c h y wh re t is g n d a o o enjo uld t u m o u y is o l h y il o ,t e view ry, who w ally hop ou and w y re st indu e again, ether for Onc put tog ou all! my 10 ave we h hear fro ncoco20 o a t b r e v u @ lo t me Twee

a aying s y b to rt to sta ank you e t n a w ive th t cam mass body tha ted our y ever d suppor unch, an e la alongt magazin hose , t debu k s to all in letters than ave sent rd s to a that h l s and c and say i ema ratulate enjoyed s cong uch you night wa m how ing it. The cess and read ssive suc as been u a ma edback h so as yo ll the fe helming s smiles a Q. w over magine it n Coco H e it can i d at Urba, edition 2. uI gwhr the roun we are alreaisdsyhiningatnhdroSpring isg

I

to

g ere bein sun So h ilst the e tweetin BBQ is h r er? e a w h t ea h this w, birds nd t f us (a ith nice w match o o d n o in p w w u o t is t h ly e s t g ite he in defin at do we ring clot a plenty h p s hem lit). W ice new robe ave t n ward ht we h S / Well d S n new ings Brig se a cour your h . n for our ‘All t ain you s e io u t s a is spir gh t, ag esigner u in o o t r o e h h d G ing t ion s endent rows ul’ fash dep t from if by b in t u n a o u o treet h Be and e our pus u stand ce Highs treet o u e y h d ig s will s p make lso intro the h ll at l m a e o e r h f to .W W, a es piec rowd g NO the c hts, key be buyin s s thi lig High u should too. ature his e f w s T yo price ourite ne fe of....’ that ger Blog dable av e li n h t io h affor of my f in s a k F e s ’s me We One our ‘ on Grazia o welco what h th is s mon we focu ee Mlli w us know r s th mon year, She and let s. h ld r e o h oice rview wit o w h r of t c e n h e h t io o w t in h , us in s her fas have our ie Melua t e a e ir K p w ins urse r girl, Of co th’s cove n o m this

rtlett a Ba Laur

pect

n ex

ca t we

r Edito

r e t t e l s ’ r o t i Ed


£8 Matalan

£22 Republic.

£17 Primark

£25 River Island

Tea Rose Bustier Bra £50 Pants £38

Boohoo.com £20

£24.99 Missguided.co.uk

Dune £85

La Senza Bra £30 Brief £16

4

www. urban-coco. com


Office £75

Preen at Debenhams £70

Next £30

Therapy at House of Fraser £35

Very.co.uk £99

SAVIDA at Dunnes £21

F&F at Tesco £14 £75 Monsoon

www. urban-coco. com

Fashion World £50

5


Blossoming from one woman’s determination to start up her own business that was close to her heart, Silver Heartprints seemed liked the natural choice for Founder, Maria Breeze.

craftsmen. Capturing your imprints couldn’t be easier, with Silver Heartprints non-toxic, no-mess, impressions kits sent out to your home after your order.

It was after the momentous and special birth of her baby, which is a gift in its own right and an inspirational, life changing moment, that Maria realised that special moment needed to be captured forever. So, whilst on a career break to be a full-time Mum, she began to look at the idea of capturing finger, foot and hand prints within pure solid silver, resulting in a range of personalised and stunning jewellery like no other.

Ideal for you, your loved ones and your little ones, the collection offers stylish jewellery that can be worn with pride and affection, with each piece tailored to your needs and specifications. The collection even offers customers the opportunity to capture children’s artistic masterpieces in silver through its innovative Kidzart service, or celebrate a pregnancy with a babyscan pendant or charm. More recently, a popular trend is capturing handwritten messages and names.

Maria explained: “Using my background in fashion design and retail marketing, I wanted to bring a whole new collection of jewellery to the market that was colourful, stylish and dynamic, whilst also retaining that personal appeal. Capturing such an individual feature as a baby or child’s imprints seemed like the perfect way to create exclusive designs and beautiful keepsakes, so we launched online with a range that offered an array of choice when it came to personalised jewellery and gifts.” From pendants to charms, whether they be on necklaces, bracelets or keyrings, the detail and care that goes into each piece shines through, with each order 100% handmade by professional jewellery

Customising almost anything the customer wants, Silver Heartprints is the perfect place to find that special gift that is truly unique to cherish for a lifetime. ‘Whatever the choice of gift, we know it will be ordered with love,’ adds Maria, ‘so we ensure we create and deliver it with the same sense of respect, pride, excitement and pleasure.’ Father’s Day Inspirations: Visit Silver Heartprints’ Just for Him collection for a fabulous range of cufflinks and keyrings to create that ultimate special gift.

www.silverheartprints.co.uk


Forget all the single ladies...

I

t’s the day of the year that all singletons loathe, February 14th. Wherever you turn there is love in the air. From colleagues gushing over their flowers that have been delivered to work (why didn’t he just give you them in the morning at home, show off!) to love songs on the radio.

14th February Where are all the single men

Where are all the single men

NOT A CHANCE

So this year I decided to get the rest of my single girls together for a night out on the town, drinking cocktails, having a good catch up and obviously looking for fellow single men. Three bars later we hadn’t bumped in to a single man, literally. First stop was a packed out club, wall to wall females, cougars and quite frankly desperado’s. Every time the door opened everybody looked round in the hope that a hot man was about to grace our presence, no such luck. Moving on to the second bar we entered and exited within 30 seconds, as soon as we walked in to the place it was full of smooching couples, candles and music that was what you expect to hear when you’re about to get down to the business. So, moving on to the final stop for the night we had given up all hope that we would spot a suitable bachelor and decided to order a few bottles of wine and forget about men for the night. With 5 fearless females in the group, we had such a laugh reminiscing on previous adventures and started planning for our next meet up. Nowadays, less than a third of women say they actively dislike being single but I bet if you asked them on Valentine’s day that figure would go up. One thing we realised is, if there are no men out on Valentine’s day but there are every other day of the year, the men we usually see are already spoken for! And for the men that are single, a bit of advice, get yourself out on Valentines day your sure to catch a lady! .

where are all the single men? www. urban-coco. com

7


House of Dereon ÂŁ75 www.houseofdereon.com


Roc & Doll £135 www.rocanddoll.co.uk Shoes are Sam Edelman £129 www.danielfootwear.com


Eucalyptus ÂŁ76

www.eucalyptusclothing.co.uk


Roc & Doll ÂŁ115 www.rocanddoll.co.uk


Pussycat £36 www.pussycatlondon.com Shoes are D&G £320 www.danielfootwear.com


Friday on my mind ÂŁ84 www.eucalyptusclothing.co.uk


Ruby Rocks £59 www.rubyrocks.com


Ruby Rocks £54 www.rubyrocks.com


Ursula Melanchez ÂŁ85 www.ursulamelanchez.co.uk


House of Dereon ÂŁ90 www.houseofdereon.com


Advertisement

��������������

����������������������������������������������������������������� �������������������

��������������������������� �������������������������� ��������������������������� ��������������������������� ���������������������������� ����������������������������������� ������������������������������� ����������������������������������� ������������������������������������� ������������������������������ ������������������������������������� ������������������������������������ ���������������������������������������� ������������������������������� ��������������������������������� �������������������� ����������������������������������� �������������������������������� ���������������������������������� ������������������������������������ �������������������������������������� ������������������������������������� ����������������������������� �������������������������������������� ���������������������������������������� ��������������������������������������� ��������������������������������������� ����

�������������������������������������� ���������������������������������������� ���������������������������������� ��������������������������������� ��������������������������������������� ���������������������������������������� �������

��������������������������������������� ������������������������������ ��������������������������������������� ����������������������������������� ������������������������������������� �������������

��������������������������������� ������������ ����������������������� ��������������������������������������� ��������������������������������������� �������������������������������������� ����������������������������������� �������������������������������� �������������������������� ��������������������������������� ���������������������������������� ��������������������������������������� ������������������������������ ��������������������������������� �������������������������������������� ��������������������������������������� ������������������������������� �������������������

�������������������������������������� �������������������������������������� �����������

���������������������������� ��������������������������������

������������������������������� ����������������������������������� ������������������������������������ �������������������������������� ���������������������������������� ��������������������������������� ����������������������������������� ������������������������������� ������

����������������� ���������������������������� ������������������������ ������������������


French Connection Floral Dress £125

Dress £135

Yellow jacket £165 Lace skirt £87 as shown on model Orange Skirt £82

Yellow jacket £165 20

www. urban-coco. com


Next Floral Wedges £38

Floral Tea Dress £32

Dress £33 Shoes £58

Box Clutch £18 www. urban-coco. com

Bangle Set £12 21


River Island Jacket £55

Dress £80

Trouser £30 Jacket £35 Bandeaux Top £20 Padlock necklace £12 Collar Choker necklace £15 Chain necklace is £25

Wedges £55

Clutch bag £30 22

www. urban-coco. com


Matalan

Cami top £8

Chiffon prom dress £18

Coloured Shorts £8 Sorbet Coloured Block Vest £7 Multi Hoop Drop Earrings £6 Coloured Skinny Jean £16

Printed Cork Sandal £20 www. urban-coco. com

23


Cover Story

24

www. urban-coco. com


W

e all dream of our own Happy ending in life and it’s so nice and refreshing to see that Katie Melua has got hers. First brought to our attention aged 19 when she released her debut single, ‘The closest thing to crazy’ in 2003, Katie was an instant success. Selling millions of albums worldwide and amassing a nice healthy bank balance in the process yet this star remains very down to earth. She doesn’t have an unnecessary entourage, diva demands nor is she harassed by Paparazzi which makes a refreshing change. This is one girl that really is all about her music. Feminist Katie is a rare talent. Along with her angel like voice she can speak English, Russian and Georgian. Her roots take her back to Georgia where she was born and spent her initial years living with her grandparents. From there she moved in with her parents and recalls having to carry buckets of water up flights of stairs for all of the family. After the aftermath of the Georgian civil war she moved to Northern Ireland with her family where she lived for some time until moving to London and eventually in 2008 she got her own place in Notting Hill where she set up a recording studio in the spare bedroom.

You’re very inspiring and considering your humble beginnings in Georgia, you must have days when you need to pinch yourself? I’m not really the pinching myself kind of girl, I like to get my head down and work especially when the work I do is such a great job. I was obsessed with music from a very young age and feel very fortunate that I am able to do it as a career. It will probably be hard to pinpoint one specific time, but what has been your career highlight to date? I was a fan of Queen from a very young age and performing with Roger Taylor and Brian May was a huge highlight most especially as it was in front of Nelson Mandela. You were first brought to our screens on spoof TV show ‘Stars up their noses’ and you won.

I’ve been touring all last year around Europe but I did have a break a couple of years ago due to health reasons and I got to take some time off to get back to full strength. Your style is pretty relaxed but glam at the same time. Are you a designer diva or do you shop on the highstreet? I like mixing both. I love vintage and second hand shops but also like designers such as John Galliano and Ralph Lauren. Who inspires you? I saw the film The Lady recently about the Burmese opposition leader Aung Sui Kyi and I found her life very inspiring. She has been under house arrest because she has tried to bring democracy to her country. Such a strong inspirational woman.

Do you think you would have followed your musical path if

Katie Melua: Happy Ever After If you had to describe your music in 3 words, what would they be? Intimate, emotional and subtle.

After having a lot of success, Katie unfortunately had a break down in 2010 and was hospitalised and from there ordered to take some time out. We chatted with Katie to find out more about how she manages to remain so grounded and what inspires this young superstar. Since your musical debut in 2003, you’ve had a fantastic career. Including being the UK’s best selling female artist and Europes highest selling European female artist in 2006. Within 5 months of your first album release you sold 1.8 million copies and following this your second album went platinum four times. It’s been said that you have an estimated multi million pound fortune and all of this you have achieved under the age of the 30.

www. urban-coco. com

you didnt win or take part in this show? I think I would have followed in music anyway because I was so obsessed with it although winning ‘Stars up their noses’ did give me confidence which always helps. You’ve been lying low for a couple of years now, what made you decide to take a break from the scene?

What can we expect to see from you in 2012? I am going on tour again and my first UK gig is at Hampton Court on 22nd June then a further tour at the end of the year. Katie is clearly in a good place. With the recent announcement of her engagement to adrenaline mad world Superbike racer, James Toseland, she is full of smiles. He proposed to her in December whilst they were on a break in the Maldives making this one happy girl and things looking amazing for the year ahead. Were glad to say Katie is back to full strength and wish her all the luck in the world for 2012. For regular updates from Katie visit www.katiemelua.com

25


g Featurin Ladies & Men’s Fashion, Vintage, Bridal Accessories, Millinery, Jewellery, Maternity Wear & Beauty

www.leedscornexchange.co.uk


Urban Coco Advertorial

S

ince it re-opened to the public in 2008 following a £1.5 million refurbishment, Leeds Corn Exchange has attracted a raft of new boutique retailers as more and more independent traders recognise the appeal of its breathtaking spaces and growing reputation as a place where traders can be creative and offer something more individual and edgy than the high street, giving customers a unique and personal shopping experience. There’s nothing worse than investing in a new outfit and then seeing a whole host of other women wearing it. Due to my need to feel individual and not blend in to the background of life, I was over the moon when the Corn Exchange reopened its doors with a new fashion offering that isn’t available anywhere else in Leeds, all under one roof. With boutique shops that create new one-off pieces and a host of vintage vogue on offer, you can guarantee you won’t be bumping in to anybody else in the same style. One of my favourite shops in there has to be Moo Designs, run by a mother and daughter

www. urban-coco. com

duo who already have a successful independent store in Barnsley and have graced the people of Leeds with their on trend presence. Alongside their own Moo designs, they also stock pieces from locally sourced independent designers including Katie Newsam, who is definitely one to watch this year. The word is only just starting to spread to let people know about how much is on offer at Leeds Corn Exchange, but with many positive changes having taken place in recent years, this eclectic boutique venue seems well on its way as re-establishing itself as the jewel in Leeds’ fashion and retail crown. If you’re looking for a unique shopping experience then Corn Exchange has everything under one roof. You can chill out on the comfy sofas having a coffee with friends whilst eating an overly delicious hot dog from Primo’s (I would recommend the Mexicana. One word. Scrumptious). Following this you can get glammed up for a night out in one of the beauty venues, the award-winning The Original Lash & Nail Bar often have pretty enticing offers available. Then shop until you drop in all the boutiques where you can get the perfect outfit, from a glamorous dress by a talented new designer to a piece of vintage fashion or jewellery, you can guarantee you will find what you need in there. If you’re out with your boyfriend, fear not, there is plenty on offer for him too including a traditional wet shave or haircut from the award winning Imale. Making its fashion stamp more noticeable in Leeds, The Corn Exchange is planning several fashion shows within the venue including the upcoming Catwalk for Life on April 19th where you will see firsthand all the choice that is available with all the traders getting involved. www.leedscornexchange.co.uk

Leeds Corn Exchange

Photography: Roger Moody

27


To strip...

O

ne night, strolling through Leeds I saw a group of girls finishing work at one of the leading strip clubs in the city centre. I watched, intrigued, to see three girls, huddled up together, laughing, all wrapped up and fully clothed, having a ciggie and a natter outside. They didn’t look emaciated and sad and they certainly weren’t leaving the club draped around a drug dealer. How much do we really know about this industry? I spoke to a dancer working in several strip clubs in the city centre. Shanice, 19, found herself in and out of care from a young age and in her own words, ‘had to grow up very fast’. She moved to Leeds to get her life on track and started promotional work for some big clubs only to find the glamour lacking. “I needed a job fast and promotions is long hours but easy money if you’re good. “I’d be working sixteen hour shifts in the cold with no break, but I had to eat- I got on with it.” A friend she’d met through promotions kept telling her she should dance in the clubs and wanted to take

28

her there to see what it was like. “Before I became a dancer I looked down on the girls.” Shanice reflects. “I thought it was awful, then one month’s rent turned into two I just decided to try it out. I’d been working six nights a week as a promotions girl, I was so tired, I was ill.” It was after that night, that her opinion on the industry and indeed the girls, began to change drastically. “I was nervous when I first did it but afterwards I realized it wasn’t that bad at all. The girls are lovely. The bar staff are nice. The manager was amazing. He talked me through the rules and made me feel a lot safer with it all.” And as her understanding of the business grew, she began to enjoy the benefits of working in such a busy, well paid environment. “We’re all normal people. There’s students training to be teachers and there are girls who work in Asda. It’s about having two sides to you.” This seems to be a key factor in stripping and lap dancing. Not to mention in role play, pornography and sexual fantasies. They’re all associated with temporarily becoming someone else and putting on an act. And while ‘costume’ and role play in the bedroom continues to be shunned in most polite society Ann Summers are watching their sales go up year after year. I asked her to throw some light on the industry in terms of becoming someone else and putting on a performance. “When I’m at home I’m one of the lads- I watch football, I drink beer,” she laughs, “I’m so different! But when I’ve got my hair done and the make up and all the perfume and stuff I don’t feel the same. I really do feel amazing. And then as soon as I leave the club the Vans go back on and I’m just me again.” “It’s not just about taking your clothes off.” Shanice explains. “It’s about interaction and getting into the mindset of your customer. They expect to be left speechless.” I asked Shanice how safe she felt the industry was. “I feel very safe in this club. After a warning they’re thrown out straight away. It’s entirely fitted with cctv and we have panic buttons. Although I’ve worked in bigger clubs where the protocol is that if they’re spending big

As our society is becoming more naturally objective, that image of the down-on-her luck waitress who needs more money for her drug habit is an increasingly ancient projection

After speaking to Shanice it became blindingly apparent to me that the problem with the sex industry in Britain lies with our society. And by that, I don’t mean a new generation of young girls who want to be topless models, they are far from the problem. The issue seems to be our incessant need to keep natural, red blooded desires behind closed doors as if it is something to be ashamed of. Firstly it’s no secret that sex sells. And I’m disinclined to think that this is purely the product of a broken world- the market for ‘gentlemen to be entertained by women’ has been a thriving one since the dawn of time. I suspect the notion that our sexual ardour should be hidden away is a product of our British ‘uptightness’ and who can blame us? From a young age our inquisitiveness about sex is met with squirming, cringing adults who can hardly string together a tale about the birds and the bees without blushing. Consequently, a market has been created whereby people feel so ashamed that they will pay to relieve their urges privately. And it’s when these powerful instincts and desires are forced into the dark and not met with regulations and security that women (and men) are being left susceptible to abuse. It is however, evident, that as more girls are doing their research and ensuring they know their rights, stripping is fast becoming an accepted field of work to get into. Research from Leeds University showed that few stay on and do it as careers, most using it to make quick money to put towards future endeavors.

www. urban-coco. com


... or not to strip? money they can do what they want. I’m not into that.” Me- So you’d say some strip clubs are safe and some aren’t? “I’d say most are. “Mm and my work friends text each other if we’re starting a new club on our own. We text each other when we get there, then when we leave and then again when we get home. Just to be safe.” Girls lap dancing and stripping in the industry is still a taboo subject in many circles and I don’t think that will change for a long time. Although as time goes by I think people are more aware of the motives behind becoming a stripper. As our society is becoming more naturally objective, that image of the down-on-her luck waitress who needs more money to pay her rent and subsequently her drug habit is an increasingly ancient projection. While it can’t be disputed that girls have encountered trouble in the trade, there are plenty of clubs where the girls’ safety is top priorityto the point of being safer taking their clothes off in this regulated environment than they would be propping up the bar at their local club, in their shortest skirt, on a Friday night. I asked Shanice what she plans to do after this. “I’m only nineteen. So far my plan is to save and travel. I want to work abroad for the summer season then maybe move away. I love Leeds but I fancy a change.” Shanice is confident and easy to talk to. I get the distinct impression that she doesn’t care what people think. I asked if she was happy and I’m pleased to hear that she is. “I’d say it’s the most stable I’ve been. I’ve got a lot less to worry about. I am a lot happier. I think the last piece in my puzzle would be to find someone open minded to share it all with.” By Georgina Ryall

www. urban-coco. com

T

he sexualisation and objectification of women is all around us: from music videos, to advertisements on the sides of buses to strip clubs on our street corners. Much research shows links between the portrayal of women as sex objects by the media and the sex industry with attitudes that underpin violence and discrimination against women. The normalisation of working within the sex industry is pervasive; you only have to look at the front cover of most women’s weeklies to see images of Jordan. But remember, she is a business woman not a glamour model. Or so they say. It’s argued that sex is the problem, sex sells, sex is everywhere but this is simply not true. It is pornography that is everywhere. Ariel Levy once said, “ Sex is one of the most wonderful things we as human beings have and we’ve reduced it to polyester hot pants”. The notion of sexy is singular and also racist, ageist and discriminates against disabilities whilst rejecting difference; another wonderful facet of humanity. What is most frustrating within the rise of raunch culture in the UK is the constant use of the word ‘empowerment’. You cannot read about the sex industry be it glamour modelling, lap dancing or pornography without this constant and weak justification. What is most sad is the notion of reward, in the form of a certain lifestyle and material possessions. When we talk about choice we must discuss the macro view of this industry but most discussions end up about the personal. We read stories of individuals who

struggled financially and then entered the sex industry to be able to buy the ‘hottest’ new dress. We have to look at what pressures we put on young women to be desired and the lengths young women will go to gain these apparent merits of ‘empowerment’ and ‘success’. To say that strip clubs are harmless is naive. To say that women who strip are sluts is wrong. Licensing laws around strip clubs and the ‘freelance’ business model does not protect the women working in these environments. If one woman is willing to go that bit further others lose custom in the competitive environment reducing choice for those wishing to make money. Research suggests that young teens gather the majority of their sex education from the media. Schools are now running workshops with parents to explain to them what “sexting” is, which with young teens is essentially the production and distribution of indecent images of children. Lots of which, due to social networking sites, end up online without the consent of the girls involved. When we consider the number of women and young girls forced into sex work through trafficking, it concerns me that women in the UK would voluntarily enter willingly with the options available to them. But then, let’s consider the options available to women. Surveys of UK Teen girls turn out time after time that their professions of choice are glamour modelling and lap dancing. Issues surrounding maternity leave, child care, loss of jobs in the public sector which has impacted on women the most and cuts in the benefits system show clearly that women’s choices are fewer and being able to work is harder. We live in a society which is fundamentally misogynistic and unsupportive of women where the key decision makers are men.

Sex is one of the most wonderful things we as human beings have and we’ve reduced it to polyester hot pants What do male politicians really know about the lives of women? Especially when discount vouchers to strip clubs are included in conference delegate bags. With celebrity culture, the rise of reality stars and the idea that anyone can be famous; we live in a culture where the route into the sex industry is not only an appealing one but a real option and for some the only option if they want the lifestyle sold to them in glossies. Our society grooms young women into desiring this world and rewards them with the pay packet. By Dale Ellis

29


Want to advertise in the next edition of Urban Coco? Contact us today to find out more: sales@urban-coco.com

New boutique open in the Corn Exchange, Leeds 0113 2433383 Bespoke service Handbags Clothing Jewellery Footwear Childrens Menswear

10% off

‘Moo Designs’ exclusive boutiques were set up by a mother and daughter entrepreneurial team back in 2009. They wanted to create a place that they would both be happy to shop, and work in. From this initial idea, with help from a creative team supporting their visions, they have now designed a contemporary brand for all ages, all sizes, all styles.

Photography: Roger Moody

‘Moo Designs’ began their success by being renowned for producing raw and edgy leather bags and accessorises. This developed into designing an array of clothing and products, as well as stocking local designers from places such as Leeds and Wakefield and some from further away such as France, Italy and Holland.

30

Great service is at the heart of everything they do at Moo Designs; from making customers feel at ease in the shop, to going that extra mile to supply customers needs. Peppercorn Jewellery and of course the original ‘Moo Bags’, make for a completely fresh shopping experience.

www.moo-designs.com info@moo-designs.com ‘Like’ us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Also at; Lucroum, Hanson street, Barnsley, S70 2HZ 01226 241380

Moo Designs

*In store only on production of this flyer

www. urban-coco. com


Dating disasters

A

t U.C we love to have a laugh with our girls, conversations usually end up being all about men. So we talked to some fearless females that we know to find out their dating disasters, as expected, they ALL want to remain anonymous!

I

went on a date with this guy, I didn’t even want to but I though oh give him a chance. Went to the cinema, it was his idea and when it came to it we ordered our tickets and he was like let’s get some drinks, some crisps some chocolate and sweets and then the cashier said that would be £26....and he just stood there....and I had to pay! I couldn’t believe it, sat through the film and I couldn’t even enjoy watching it for thinking this cheeky bugger has invited me to the cinema when I didn’t even want to go and made me pay! So at the end he offered to give me £5 towards it, told him it didn’t matter, £5!!! Not even half of it, then he tried to kiss me at the end of the night which was very awkward and I just said oh god my parking tickets going to run out better go and walked off.

‘W

hen I was living in Amsterdam I met a literature student and he asked me out on a date. We went for a drink and I knocked my glass of wine all over him so I didn’t think I would see him again, but to my surprise he got in touch and asked me out for a second date. I agreed. He asked me for my address so he could pick me up, I waited and disappointingly he never showed. Then two days later I got a letter through my letterbox that had been typed on a typewriter that was four pages long... It opened up with Shakespeare quotes and finished with his own poetry..In his letter he said, “That although he wanted me ‘carnally’, he thought it would be best if I remained an abstract fantasy so by the time you receive this you will know this is why I stood you up.” He then went on to admit that he had lied about his name. And he had lied about his age, he said he was 23 but then admitted he was 21. He also went on to inform me of the exact dosages of the anti depressants that he was on and said that maybe one day that I would recognise myself in one of his books. He signed it, ‘A dead poet I shall be.

www. urban-coco. com

I

went on a date with this guy, all was going well, having a laugh and conversation flowing nicely. I went to the toilet and when I came back out he had gone! So I sat back at the table and thought he can’t have left me, no he must have gone to the toilet. So I sat there drinking my wine for ages. The bar was dead too and the bar staff were all looking at me strange. After about ten minutes I realised he must have left. So I rang him to ask where he was and he said....I’m at home! HE HAD LEFT ME IN THE BAR! So I went off to my mates crying

‘W

ell we met on a night out, started texting, arranged a date and decided go for a meal at a country pub but as I got in his white BMW he claimed to have forgotten his wallet. I said it was fine and that I would pay. The meal went fine, he was a bit cheesy, it got late and as it was a fair drive back I said we should leave. Driving past the airport he pulled into a ‘viewpoint’ known in the area as a local dogging site, claiming to want to watch the sunset at 10pm at night. As he parked up a steamed up car opposite flashed his headlights! He then leant in for a kiss to which I said “not a chance mate, take me home

Think you’ve had a more disastrous date? Then we want to know! Email laura@urban-coco.com and tell us all about it!

31


E

mma’s Home and Garden is a fun and thriving florists with a focus on providing exciting and unusual flower arrangements, plants and homeware. With a special flair for all things quirky and a 1940’s and 50’s’s vibe running throughout, including the music, (dancing is encouraged) they aim to provide each of their customers with distinctive, fragrant floral arrangements using only the highest quality fair trade flowers, foliage and herbs. Sisters Emma Taylor and Rebecca Ridgway are the creative force behind Emma Home and Garden.

Emma s Home and Garden

Urban Coco Advertorial

After several years of working as a freelance Florist, Emma took the leap and opened her stunning, eclectic Shop in March 2008, using her passion for all things vintage and quirky she created a beautiful shop to create unusual and sought after designs. A year and a half on and the business was expanding so fast that Emma decided to ask her sister Rebecca to come on board. After working in Textiles and training in fashion Rebecca felt this was a great opportunity to use her creative skills and what better way than to work alongside her sister. Their shared passion for flowers plants and styling have kept them going through the tough economic times and excessive working hours, of course a few cheeky glasses of Prosecco has helped along the way. They are becoming recognised across the UK for the elegant, quirky designs they create at some of the most stylish venues across the UK, setting the mood with colour, fragrance and style. If you’re a bride getting ready for your big day, Emma’s Home and Garden can take care of your floral needs. They make every bride feel special with

32

their warm, friendly and relaxed approach starting with a free consultation to discuss your dress, colour scheme, style and budget and regular updates right up until the big day. All of their flowers and plants are fair trade where possible and although they usually work with the seasons, they can fulfil most requests. They invite you in to their cutesy shop at Baildon Village, right on the edge of the Yorkshire Moors, to have a chat and a good old cuppa to discuss your needs and discover lots of other quirky treats on offer.

Visit www.emmashomeandgarden. co.uk or call 01274 599500 today

www. urban-coco. com


Why Choose After Dark? • Hire or buy • Sizes 2 to 36 available • Full range of accessories • Air conditioned changing room • Easy free parking • Evening viewing available by appointment

After Dark, which has been established for over 20 years, is the perfect choice when you have that all-important occasion to attend and you need to look absolutely fabulous. At After Dark you will find over 500 gorgeous evening, party and occasion wear dresses, in a range of sizes from 2 to 36 available to hire or buy, many of which are exclusive to us. So you can guarantee you will be wearing something really special and unique. If you are a lady who is a little above average size then you will be delighted with the extensive range of stylish designer dresses available for real women. To make life even easier we can put together the total look with our fantastic range of jewellery, stoles and evening bags to accessorise and compliment your stunning outfit. So if you appreciate personal service and are tired of trawling the High Street shops and finding nothing suitable, then After Dark is for you. Just don’t be surprised when you are spoilt for choice.

After dark 23 Brooklyn Court Cleckheaton West Yorkshire BD19 4TJ

www.ladieseveningwearhire.co.uk

Tel No: 01274 851925 Mobile: 07836240494


Fashion Blogger

E

veryday is a catwalk so we think it’s important to always look your best, looking good means you feel good too. We spent a week with Fashion Blogger of the year (as voted by Grazia) Sheree Milli to find out what inspires her daily fashion choices and where she gets her ideas from for her popular website www.glitzngrime’

Monday

Tuesday White lace dress & black platforms Floral Suit & Turquoise shoes “I love this summer’s matching floral suit trend taken from the Celine S/S show, it’s such a bold look and I got a few funny looks when I first wore this but I think fashion should be fun and this definitely is! The suit and socks are ASOS, the shirt I got for £5.99 at H&M, bargain, and the shoes are from Office.”

“This lace dress I wear a lot, I got it in the Urban Outfitters sale ages ago but as you have to wear a slip underneath it works for all seasons, I usually play it safe with a nude or black slip but as Mint is such a big trend this year I picked up the jersey maxi dress (beneath) from Topshop to freshen up an old dress. The super platforms are Deena and Ossie. I LOVE high heels, the higher the better”

A week in the life of... 34

www. urban-coco. com


Fashion Blogger

“ As a fashion blogger, I have to update my website www.glitzngrime.com regularly with outfit posts so since starting the blog I have become more adventurous in my style choices, although I’ve always had quite wacky tastes. Now, with all the street style snappers about it’s important to remember that everyday is a fashion moment! I also have my friend/ photographer Ben following me round documenting my outfits, so that helps to keep me dressing well!

For events I always try and wear vintage, just so I know for sure I won’t be wearing the same thing as another blogger! Nightmare! If I could share one fashion tip with everyone, it would be to not save your good clothes for ‘best’ or special occasions, what if they never come? I’ll wear a ball gown to the shops, I never get invited to balls!”

Thursday Wednesday

Beige Maxi skirt & fur gilet

White string vest, jeans & creepers

“I have this American Apparel maxi skirt in loads of colours, it’s so easy to wear! I wear it high waisted with a bandeau to show off a flash of midriff! The clutch is vintage from the amazing Blue Rinse in Leeds and the gilet is from good old Topshop.”

“I love my underground creepers, they give me a bit of extra height. The string vest I borrowed/stole form my brother. The jeans are vintage and extremely worn, which I love... skinny jeans are over. The Aztec backpack is ASOS as are the gummy bracelets. i did my nails using the Model’s Own nail art pen (a blogger favourite)”

`Friday Aubergine Sequin jacket & grey maxi “This sequin jacket was a major steal, it was reduced from £300 to £35 in the Selfridges sale, maybe because nobody else wanted it, but I love the colour. The vest is my boyfriends, he’s 6’5” so I love to nick his tops as they’re really long on me. The skirt is H&M, the shoes Office and the Clutch ASOS.”

... a Fashion Blogger www. urban-coco. com

35


If you are looking for a taste of Miami then we have our very own South Beach inspired bar here in Leeds. It is situated on the former boutique site and has very much changed from the dark wooded interior to a bright colourfully themed bar. The music is funk, soul, disco with a heavy 80’s inspired sound from resident weekend DJ’s. If you like your beach cocktails, good looking people and that ‘holiday feeling’ then this place is a must. Its not overly expensive and the cocktails are not complicated. There is even a nice little outdoor seating area to soak up the sunshine. Thursday nights are highly recommended where pretty much any cocktail is 2 4 1, including the infamous Pornstar Martini. Happy hours between 5 and 8pm and is open Tuesday to Saturday.

T h u r s d ay s

241

M a r t i n i & Cha m pa g n e Co c k ta i l s D J

G Q

U N D E R G R O U N D

HIRSTS YARD, (NEXT TO NORMANS) WWW.SOBEBAR.CO.UK

P R O J E C T


Touch of London cordially invites you and a VIP guest to the new and very exclusive Touch of London Networking Event’s Launch Party. This prestigious event will be taking place at The Glass House, Royal Leamington Spa on Wednesday, April 25th commencing at 7:30pm.

By Invitation only! Touch of London are Hosting a unique schedule of 6 annual business-tobusiness Invitation only lifestyle events for top-level executives and decision-makers from the fashion and Lifestyle markets. Touch of London Events will truly be a unique opportunity for decision-makers and executives from numerous industry sectors to meet, pro-actively network and create exciting partnerships in a high-class, relaxed and socialable environment. In lavish surroundings, this event will be an evening of true Glamour and opulence from music and fashion to the entertainment and showcases. Touch Of London will entertain guests with an extravagant fashion show. In addition to this, you will also be able to see some wonderful luxury goods and services showcased by our event partners and event sponsors. After 2 hours of professional networking and a high-class designer fashion show, Touch of London will lead you into a late night sumptuous party with a Celebrity Live performance.

To enjoy a spectacular evening

RSVP to Rsvp@touch-of-london.co.uk ASAP please if you would like to attend with your name the names of your guest’s, company names, positions and contact email addresses. Dress Code: Dress to Impress Venue and Location: The Glass House, 38 Warwick Street, Royal Leamington Spa, CV32 5JS The touch Of London Team and Partners look forward to seeing you there. Touch-of-London.co.uk


s ’ a h c Mo

&& &

Mojito’s Mojito’s

s ’ o t i j o M

A

s soon as we arrived at the restaurant we were greeted by the well dressed staff that made it clear we were in for a sophisticated and high class evening. We decided to be shown straight to our seats as opposed to having a drink in the bar as we were so

hungry we just wanted to get seated, order and get stuck in. We were placed at a romantic table for two by the window overlooking Manchester City centre and it wasn’t long before the attentive waiter introduced himself and made it clear he was there to fulfil any need we might have during the meal. We opted for a bottle of Rose Ancora wine to get the evening started and mulled over the extensive food menu. I opted for Crispy Duck spring rolls with a plum and pineapple sauce whilst my guest chose the Goan Spice Fishcakes with a Tomato Chutney. The starters arrived in good time and went down perfectly with our chosen wine. The spring rolls were cooked to perfection with the most tender duck and subtle flavourings, I ate every crumb! The Fishcakes were ‘to die for’ and both dishes were presented impeccably. Moving on to our mains which arrived in just the right amount of time you need between meals. Again, I chose Duck. This time round it was the Cripsy Duck, Chinese Greens with Honey and Sesame and my guest chose the Baked Mushroom, Spinach and Cheddar Cheese Pie. The Duck fell off the bone and melted in my mouth and the hint of Chinese inspired seasonings made this one of the tastiest duck dishes I’ve ever had. I was told that the Baked Mushroom pie was divine. In all honesty, I am more of a savoury eater than sweet so I don’t often opt for dessert but I couldn’t help but be tempted by the Warm Chocolate Fondant with Salted Caramel Ice Cream which was recommended by the waiter. My guest chose the Vanilla Crème brulee with Scottish Shortbread, Strawberries and Basil.

If I had to describe the dessert in one word it would be...breathtaking! The chocolate sauce oozed out of the centre as if in slow motion and then clashed with the caramel ice cream causing a meltdown of flavours that worked perfectly together. All in all with the perfect service, attentive (but not annoying) staff, the mysterious lemon flavoured alcoholic shot which the waiter gave us to end the evening, the succulent meats, gorgeous flavours, romantic but on trend music, best seat in the house and the perfect company this was a wonderful dining experience that I can’t wait to repeat. Book your table today by calling 0161 839 1999 or visit www.therestaurantbarandgrill. co.uk/manchester.html

Wondering where to stay when you’re eating here? Then fear not, we have checked out all the available places in Manchester and think that StayManchester.com is definitely one that comes out on top. (see pictures above) With apartments that have 1 bedroom up to 3 bedrooms it’s the perfect place to choose, whether you’re going for a romantic night away or a few days with friends. We were lucky enough to be staying on the top floor in room 1201 which was a 2 bedroom apartment with

www. urban-coco. com

an en suite in the master bedroom. The living area was overlooking the city which looked stunning at night and created the perfect backdrop for a romantic night away. There was everything you would expect in an apartment from a dining area to a large kitchen, if only we were staying for more than one night! Book your apartment today by visiting www.staymanchester.com

39


40

Claire, 29, Hairdresser from Newcastle Jacket: Topshop Skinnies: Primark “I have them in every colour!” Shoes and Bag: New Look

Michelle, 25, works in marketing Maxi skirt: New Look Jacket: Miss Selfridge Bag: New Look

Megan, 18, Studying Fashion in Huddersfield Top: Catwalk, independent boutique Skirt: In Love With Fashion, Topshop Shoes: Can’t remember

Hollie, 24, works in marketing Jacket: H&M Fur Collar: Vintage Dress: Forever 21, New York Shoes: F&F at Tesco Bag: River Island

Rio, 20, studying primary education Shirt: Ralph Lauren Trousers: Topshop Boots: Primark Scarf and bag: Accessorize

Yasmin, 25, works for an airline. Sunglasses: Pop Boutique (vintage) Jacket: H&M Top: Topshop Shorts: Blue Rinse

Chic

Street

Street Chic

www. urban-coco. com


www. urban-coco. com

Evie, 21, studying business Jacket: Best Vintage Top and Shorts: French Connection Bag and Shoes: Topshop Hair Bow: American Apparel

Jessica, 21, works in fashion Jacket: Urban CodeDress: Blonde and WiseBag: Moo Design Sandals: Topshop

Lucy, 25, Fashion Buyer Cardigan: Versace at H&M Dress: Bank Shoes: River Island Bag: Alexander Wang

Charlotte, 23, works in admin Jacket: Topshop Top: H&M Maxi Skirt: New Look Bag: Accessorize

Sam, 21, Art Student Top: Urban OutďŹ tters Leggings: Fat Face Shoes: Dr Martens

Mieeda, 21, studying primary education, works in Karen Millen Hat: Topshop Scarf: Primark Blazer: New Look Shirt and boots: DorothyPerkins

Kate, 24, opening a new fashion boutique in Leeds Jacket and Shirt: Zara Trousers: H&M Boots: Faith Bag: Vivienne Westwood

Rachel, 20, Studying PR and Communications Scarf: Primark Cardigan and Jeans: River Island Shoes: New Look Bag: Louis Vuitton

Street Chic

41


Urban Coco Competition

Co

G

m

p

et

orgeous Couture is the online premium destination delivering the most on trend designs inspired from the latest catwalk trends, celeb style and red carpet looks. Gorgeous Couture also boasts itself on having a unique Made to Measure service.

it

n

io

Available with all of their products, enabling you to have the garment created to your specific measurements for a perfect fit every time. All of their items are handcrafted specifically for you within their award winning UK design studio. They also pride themselves on using the most luxurious fabrics and components, delivering the ultimate product to you every time. All Gorgeous Couture products are created from their Signature Italian Jersey and Crepe fabrics, available in a rainbow of classic and seasonal hues, many designs also incorporate genuine Swarovski Elements. You can get your hands on one of their stunning designs by entering our competition

WIN an M2M dress to the value of £150! To enter, tell us the name of the online personal stylist at Gorgeous Couture. Is it a) Rebecca b) Adelle c) Kate Email your answer to competition@urban-coco.com along with your name, number and address. Competition closes on 30th April and the winner will be notified via telephone and email.

Good Luck 42

www. urban-coco. com


Spotlight We also had a huge gig at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. We just love the buzz that performing on stage together gives us. There are a few girl bands around at the moment, do you think there’s room for all of you? Yeah for sure! It seems that all these girl bands bring something different to the table... We know we’ve got a lot to give!

The next big thing?

B

ee, Holly, Lizzy, Rianna are four very special girls with one very special sound. We caught up with them to find out more about this bright, pop-tastic girl group. How do you girls know each other? We met at the open auditions that were held in London to form ‘Vanquish’. It was a really scary time because

www. urban-coco. com

we all wanted the place in the band so much! When the four of us were finally put together that was the start of a very exciting journey, and we’ve become like sisters since then. Your single, ‘The harder you Love’ will be released this month, it’s very catchy and a teaser for your upcoming album launch. What can we expect from the album? Expect loads more very catchy pop tunes! There are definitely some surprises, including a bit of dubstep which we’re all massive fans of! It’s an album of songs that will make you want to get up and dance. You’ve had some exciting things going on, performing with Lemar in front of 7000 being one, what have been your personal highlights so far? Everything we’ve done so far from recording our album to making music videos, gigging in tiny clubs in front of 25 people to performing on massive stages before a crowd of 15,000 has been a new and exciting experience!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years time? Oooooh, well, we would all LOVE to have our own arena tour! If we keep working hard it could happen! Either way we just want to be a successful girl band making music that people enjoy. As long as we’re still smiling in 5 years time then it’s all good! There are so many people out there keen to get in to the industry but its really tough. What would your advice be to them? It is tough, but if you want it enough you just have to be persistent and keep trying until you get there. Make contacts, network, get involved! Most of all, you have to be prepared to work very, very hard, have fun, but take your work very seriously. You’re clearly a bunch of Fashionista’s, do you like to keep on top of the trends? We are all massive Topshop fans actually - before rehearsals we often take a trip into Topshop Oxford Street - it’s like a dream world! But at the same time we all have our own individual styles. Ri likes her vintage, Bee is a bit of a spiritual fairy, Lizzy loves the Victoria Beckham look and I just wear whatever I like the look of! Follow their rise to the top: www.twitter.com/vanquishgirls www.vanquishofficial.com

43


Launch Event

W

e had an amazing time at our debut magazine launch. We started the night with our VIP exclusive event at Harvey Nichols Leeds where we were joined by 80 guests who enjoyed Vodka and Apple mixed drinks, top class music by DJ Angel Lee and an opportunity to grab a copy of the magazine before it was available anywhere else.

Photography: Romeyo Hines

44

www. urban-coco. com


www. urban-coco. com

45


Launch Event

G

uests were treated to an exclusive performance by our first cover girl, Hatty Keane which was thoroughly enjoyed, she brought the house down! Several drinks later, we made our way to the Official after party at Norman Bar, Call Lane.

Photography: Romeyo Hines

46

www. urban-coco. com


www. urban-coco. com

47


Launch Event

D

uring the night we were joined by over 200 guests, all of which were treated to Urban Coco cocktails on arrival, complimentary nibbles and lots of dancing! We would like to say a massive thank you to every single person that came along to support our launch night and hope you had as much fun as we did. Photography: Romeyo Hines Younis Khan

48

www. urban-coco. com


Socialite Photographer Simon Dewhurst

I

t was the annual S/S Fashion show at Harvey Nichols, the place where Fashionista’s go to get inspiration for their new season wardrobes. The night was a roaring success, with the male models in particular causing a stir amongst the ladies. It was very refreshing to see models with a smile on their face and clearing enjoying themselves. Although who wouldnt enjoy wearing designer clothes like these?

I

t was fun a plenty with an afternoon of judging the recent cocktail competition at Bibis Restaurant in association with Bombay Sapphire www. urban-coco. com

49


Socialite

W

e were invited to a networking evening with Fiona Mcintosh, Founder of Grazia UK. It was an all round informative evening with a Q&A with Fiona which gave us a great insight in to the world of Grazia. The event was hosted by Katie Popperwell who writes for Emerald Street and was organised by The Manchester Fashion Network.

R

ed Russian PR LTD launched DiscoBeat on Friday 16th March at the newly rebranded Arch Bar 4. The discretely located destination bar is situated under the fourth arch beneath the train station on Sovereign Place adjacent to the Hilton Hotel. Guests walked down the red carpet and were welcomed with pink vodka cocktails on arrival. They were spoilt for choice with an eclectic mix of sexy, vocal, funky, upliftinghouse music mixed by music house legend DJ Levi Lewis. 50

www. urban-coco. com


Socialite

F

ashion Catalyst held their first fashion-networking event on Thursday 22nd March 2012. The event tookplace at Epernay Champagne Bar in Manchester, a chic and intimate bar venue in the City Centre. Theevent took on the unique format of Speed Networking – like Speed Dating but with the aim of meeting fellow professionals.

W

ildcats celebrated their 5th birthday with an exclusive party hosted by Desperate Scousewives sisters and Callum Best. Guests were treated to drinks on arrival and top music seeing everybody dancing away until the early hours. www. urban-coco. com

51


Top Picks

V30473

www.my987wardrobe.com

www.sergedenimes.com

Covers for British, Tel: 020 7289 7485 Italian and Paris Email: info@glaucarossi.com Vogue. Campaigns www.glaucarossi.com for Louis Vuitton, GLAUCA ROSSI Missoni, Bvlgari. SCHOOL OF Brand ambassadors for Topshop. MAKE UP

Online jewellery retailer, bringing high fashion styles at affordable prices.

www.cellina.com

Dress your Sole

A

lex has lived on the Upper East Side in New York City for the past 9 years which is an area known for its high end fashion stores. She was the typical starving artist type and could barely afford to eat never mind shop for couture apparel! Just looking at the items in the shop windows on Madison Ave was enough to make her feel guilty. Alex was particularly fond of Christian Louboutins and thought that there must be a way for young women like her to give their soles a cool new look- similar to a Louboutin but with a lot more options to suit every

52

style and taste. Around the same time, nail decals were popping up everywhere and something clicked in her head and Arch Tags was born shortly after. When Alex isn’t creating new identities for our soles, she works as a celebrity makeup artist for fashion and TV. Arch Tags already offer lots of quirky designs and patterns but they offer customised designs so you can literally have anything you want to give your shoes a new lease of life. 2012 will see Arch Tags continue to create new designs; one of their latest is the Charity Tags where a percentage of the price is donated to charity, so nice to see a small company giving something back. They recently launched Bowz which are stick on enhancers for your flats or heels and lots more exciting product launches in the pipeline.

Check them out today and give your shoes a new sole. www.archtags.com

Arch Tags

TRAINING THE WORLD’S LEADING MAKE UP ARTISTS

FA S H ION PHOTO GR A PHIC M A K E UP

www. urban-coco. com


W

e love to champion women in business at Urban Coco but from time to time we spot Male entrepreneurs that deserve some recognition.

This month, we introduce Black Diamond Life LTD, run by two male entrepreneurs, Curtis and Kel, who are still pretty young and clearly have an exciting future ahead.

BEACH BEAUTIFUL HIT THE BEACH IN THIS SUMMERS KEY BEACHWEAR TRENDS FROM COCOBAY.CO.UK

www.cocobay.co.uk ... your holiday starts here! Browse Coco Bay’s On-line Collection of stunning mix-and-match beachwear and discover the perfect bikini to flatter your shape. First hand fitting tips, Free Returns/Exchanges and Next Day Delivery mean beachwear shopping has never been easier. Urban Coco readers can take advantage of 10% off your first beachwear order at Coco Bay (*excludes jewellery) Just use code COCO12 at the check out www.cocobay.co.uk

Tell us about Black Diamond Life Limited, what made you form this company and what does it involve? Kel: Black Diamond Life Ltd is more than just an events management company; it’s an image and a statement. The company was formed as we felt there was a huge gap in the market up north for more London style VIP parties, especially in Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool, and Newcastle. The idea began in June 2011 when we

Men in Business AmosuCouture who has formed an alliance with Swarovski and we’re collaborating with an up and coming fashion company called www.fillmywardrobe.com. You’re already making a name for yourself across the UK with back to back sell out events, how do you come up with fresh ideas to stay ahead of the competition? Kel: Curtis seems to come up with idea after idea like you wouldn’t believe, he isn’t just an ugly face!! Two heads are always better than one, Curtis and I do bounce of each other. Overall the key reason to the sell out events is down to marketing and having the right team on board. Curtis and I feel the promoters who work for Black Diamond are a key part of the success. They work hard and never fail to deliver, however always remember the main reason to a successful night is effort. Do not assume your promoters will do all the work as the hard work begins with the event organiser. For anybody looking to do what you do, what advice would you give them? Curtis: Every promoter/event manager has their time and right now it feels like this is our time. Starting your own night and being different is hard. On a positive side it’s great fun and the job satisfaction of pleasing the crowd is second to none. But on the negative side I think people think it’s as simple as creating a flyer, getting a club, throwing out a few invites on Facebook and bobs your uncle! It’s so far from that, it takes up a massive amount of time, effort, and organisation, Kel and I have put the work in and right now are reaping the rewards. What can we expect to see from you in 2012? Curtis: The list is never ending, Black Diamond Life Clothing as well as doing more Black Diamond events across the country and Black Diamond is launching in Dubai later in the year and not to forgot celebrating our 1ST Birthday Party in mid September.

Black Diamond started brain storming and with my experience promoting in the South and Curtis in North, it made perfect sense to come together. It’s a tough industry, having to compete with other club nights and events. What sets your events apart? Curtis: For me I think this is the hardest thing. Our events are always set apart, all our DJ’S are exclusive to Black Diamond so they don’t play anywhere else in each city. Personally I think the major difference at Black Diamond is the fact that we literally bring the whole country together and have guests come from Scotland all the way down to Wales and every city in between. You have Black Diamond Weekender coming up in Marbella which sounds amazing. You must have a great time, is there a serious side to the industry you’re in? Curtis: Kel and I have been going to Marbella for the past 5 years, every year it gets a little more exciting but this year it’s different because Black Diamond are coming to town. So on a serious note there are a lot of event companies in Marbella this year so the competition is fierce and the “network” world isn’t getting any bigger. The Black Diamond weekender is offering four big parties spread cross the weekend from 21st June - 25th June. We have partnered with a number of organisations such as:


www.urban-coco.com

Urban Coco All things bright and beautiful edition

Issue Two

April 2012

Katie Melua

Fashion, lifestyle and music magazine


Urban Coco Issue 2