Lentheus Chaney EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Clorissa X. Wright MANAGING EDITOR Dennis Malcolm Byron LIFESTYLE EDITOR Clyde Anderson FINANCE FEATURES EDITOR Monica Compton TRAVEL EDITOR Brice Esso STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Ish Holmes STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Kudzi SirGarde Karidza FASHION EDITOR Carlton Powell DIVERSITY FEATURES EDITOR Janssen Robinson FINE ART EDITOR Dr. Rondrick Williamson HEALTH & WELLNESS EDITOR
FOLLOW US EVERYWHERE! @urbanluxmag ÂŠ Urban Luxury Media, LLC 2014. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be used or reproduced without the written permission of the publisher Urban Luxury Media. The views expressed in Urban Lux Magazine are those of the respective contributors and are not necessarily shared by the magazine or its staff. The registered office of Urban Luxury Media is 6040 Dawson Blvd., Suite F, Norcross, GA 30093. All information contained in the magazine is for information only and is as far as we are aware, correct at the time of going to press. Urban Luxury Media cannot accept any responsibility for errors or inaccuracies in such format. Readers are advised to contact manufactures and retailers directly with regard to the price of products/services referred to in this magazine. If you submit unsolicited material to us, you automatically grant Urban Luxury Media a license to publish your submission in whole, or in part, in all editions of the magazine, including licensed editions worldwide and in any physical or digital format throughout the world. Any material you submit is sent at your risk and, although every care is taken, neither Urban Luxury Media nor its employees, agents or subcontractors shall be liable for loss or damage. Published four times a year by Urban Luxury Media, LLC 6040 Dawson Blvd., Suite F, Norcross, GA 30093
A NOTE FROM THE EDITOR
Photo: Ish Holmes
WHAT MEN WANT! DOES anyone really know what men want? Could it be shiny gadgets, fast cars, exotic lovers, good food and sports? While these may be some of the typical pleasures a gentleman seeks, believe it or not, menâ€™s desires are in fact more sophisticated and complex. They go beyond the physical, shallow existence and collection of frivolous material things. Men also want quality relationships with their children, spirituality, memorable cultural experiences, a strong confident partner, and the ability to support and experience the essence of true love.
This issue will provide you with an exclusive insight on love experiences, lifestyle, personality and fashion from the male perspective. One thing is for sure: You will definitely discover that there is more to men than meets the eye. We make it a point to validate this with great journalism, captivating photos, and some really stimulating content we know you will appreciate. Flip the pages to learn the language of the Urban Lux man.
In this yearâ€™s Men Issue, you will find the luster from items like Wi-Fi hotspot cufflinks and fast cars including the amazing 2014 Lexus IS-F Sport, in addition to specialty products and expert advice just for him.
NEVER MISS AN ISSUE!
CONTRIBUTORS 1: AMELIA PAVLIK
5: MELANIE MUELER
2: TIA AIKENS
6: CHRISTIAN ROSS
3: LAMAR DIXON
7: TRAVIS HUNTER
As a freelance writer and editor, Amelia has a weakness for all things fitness and wellness. Her “spare” time is spent writing about a range of lifestyle topics for regional and national magazines, teaching everything from cycling to resistance training classes, and trying out the latest spa treatments and boutique fitness classes for her weekly blog. Learn more about her editorial and fitness experience at @fitbelleatl. A 21st century muse who has always embodied the arts, Tia has served as a source of knowledge, wisdom, and understanding for many. Her progression has led her to currently release inspiration through writing. Tia’s mission is to always inspire individuals to do their best and live their truth. @sungoddess7
Lamar is a native of Baltimore, Maryland. When he’s not thinking of ways to integrate Old Bay seasoning into cocktails, Lamar spends his time memorizing scenes from Martin and hosting the Just Different lounge series at Drinkshop inside W Atlanta Downtown. @Marlicioso410
4: JEROME CASE
Melanie is Founder and Creative Director of Mel Boteri, a company inspiring women to discover their unique style and to express it confidently through one-of-a-kind custom and bespoke accessories. In addition to being an entrepreneur, self-taught designer and business school graduate, Melanie recently added “writer” to her resume. @MelBoteri This real estate maven is the 2014 president of the Women Realtors Council Atlanta Chapter (WCR). With more than seven years of experience as an international realtor, Christian specializes in luxury properties in Atlanta with Keller Williams, the Caribbean, Africa and the Middle East. @ChristianSoldIt
Travis has always been a lover of the written word and has managed to turn his passion into a successful career. His first novel, The Hearts of Men, was self-published in 1999. Eleven books later, Hunter has written and directed his first film, based on his novel Dark Child. He also mentors at risk youth through his non profit organization, The Hearts of Men Foundation, Inc. @TravisEHunter
With a Master of Divinity degree from the McAfee School of Theology from Mercer University, Jerome is a professor at United Theological Institute and Seminary. He is also the co-host at NThaFlow Internet Radio Station. @revjcase URBANLUX
12 THE LUX INSIDER
Cigars & Beer: The Perfect Pair
15 LUX MARKET WATCH Man of Style: Key Fashion Trends
16 LUX APPROVED The Urban Guy’s Gadget Guide
18 FIND YOUR INSPIRATION
Expert Advice, Thoughts And Ideas to Consider
26 FASHION Centennial Spring
Amy Diaz: Strong, Sexy & Powerful
48 STYLE Atlanta Bachelor Pads
50 CULTURE Father May I?
52 COMMUNITY Daddies and Daughters
54 LUX AUTO The F Factor: 2014 Lexus IS-F
56 LUX ESSENTIALS Groom Like A Man!
58 LUX DESTINATIONS Asheville’s Mountain Getaway
60 LUX LUV Cedric Sanders: Lover of Life
62 DIVERSITY CORNER Diversity Appreciation: Bethann Hardison
ON THE COVER: AMY DIAZ
Photography: Oscar Picazo Cover Design: AllWays Open Creative
THE LUX INSIDER
The Perfect Pair Story and photography by DENNIS MALCOLM BYRON aka ALE SHARPTON
Beer Expert Ale Sharpton accepts the challenge of pairing two world-class cigars with ales.
eing a beer expert, I enjoy hosting several dinners and events that particularly showcase the numerous tasting profiles of ales and lagers. From citrusy to smoky and everything in between, virtually any appetizer, entrée, dessert, candy, fruit— basically anything edible—can pair with beer. However, I wanted to challenge myself and do the same with cigars since they are, in addition to beers, very flavorful and burgeoning in popularity throughout Georgia’s capital.
I invited Sean Williams, the president and owner of the Primer Mundo Cigar Company (@primermundo), to bring two of his world-class “sticks” over to one of Grant Park’s top beer pubs, Augustine’s (@Augustinesatl), to see which of the 40 beers on tap would perfectly complement them. Ultimately, Sean—who usually sips bourbons, whiskeys, rum, scotch, and other spirits when enjoying a smoke—was truly enlightened by what he discovered when sipping the ales I selected.
La Hermandad Cost: $8 a stick Wrapper: Brazil Binder: Nicaragua Filler: Nicaragua Notes: Full body cigar with notes of rich roasted coffee beans and bitter chocolate with a chewy smoke. Ale Sharpton’s Choice: As rich and dark as this cigar is, the silky smooth Avery Czar Russian Imperial Stout from Boulder, Colorado provides the flavors of dark chocolate, fig, and coffee roastiness, which were collectively perfect for La Hermandad. Even their colors were virtually identical. Its strength ranges from 10 to 12 percent ABV.
La Hermandad Costa Fuerte Cost: $8 a stick Wrapper: Brazil Binder: Dominican Republic Filler: Nicaragua and Dominican Republic Notes: Upper medium body cigar with notes of vanilla, light coffee, and a subtle spice. Ale Sharpton’s Choice: The flavor notes of this cigar were less aggressive and milder than the darker, richer La Hermandad, so a brew that wouldn’t overpower, yet share the same complexity would work here. I went local with Decatur, Georgia’s own slightly hoppy, refreshing, and crisp Three Taverns White Hops Belgian-Style White IPA, which scored high marks with Sean at 6.5 percent ABV.
I welcome you to get a couple of your favorite cigars and try your own pairing. I choose to sip first to wet the palate. Sean says to take a couple puffs first. But of course, at the end of the day, do what tastes best to you. Happy sipping and smoking. Cheers! - Ale
Cuﬀips® _____ ________
H & Hang
For the Distinctive Gentleman www.cufftips.com
LUX MARKET WATCH
MAN of STYLE
The key spring fashion trends for men
Pieces that will take your look from ordinary to exceptional.
MIRRORED LENSES Tom Ford, $410; neimanmarcus.com
DOUBLE-BREASTED BLAZER Hardy Amies, $795; mrporter.com. Floral-print pocket squares are an easy, risk-free way to add a touch of this new print to your look. POCKET SQUARES Hideoki Bespoke, $45$165; hideokibespoke.com JEANS Robert Graham, $298; destinationxl.com
FLORAL SHIRTS Sid Mashburn, $145; sidmashburn.com
Sport coat, shirt, pocket square, and duffel bag all by Hideoki Bespoke. For pricing and appointments visit hideokibespoke.com Sharp lines and a clean aesthetic to carry your essentials.
PORTFOLIO Mel Boteri, $625; melboteri.com
KEEPING SCORE Fashion week coverage tends to focus on the ladies, so our highlights will help keep you gents fresh and stylish on the market. The double-breasted blazer is making a comeback, preppy favorites are going floral, business classics are getting paired with athletic accessories, and the man bag is getting chic. How to pull it all off: Always tailor trends to For the big & tall man, your local DXL reflect your personal style and fit. store offers the convenience of a tailored fit.
BIG BANG WATCH Hublot, $17,100; Hublot Boutique, Phipps Plaza Atlanta
STATEMENT SNEAKERS AMI, $295; mrporter.com
Story by MELANIE MUELER
THE URBAN GUY’S GADGET GUIDE
Story by CLORISSA WRIGHT
ure, most guys love sports, cars, the big game and a good steak; so do we. Since we also know that the fellas like gadgets, we’ve scoured the marketplace for some other worthy additions to the man cave, the office, household or wardrobe. Add these kickass items to your artillery and you’ll impress your bros, mom, girlfriends, and...well everyone!
Vero Barista Espresso Machine Move over commercial coffee houses, WaringPro’s Espresso Maker lets you make professional tasting, high-quality lattes, cappuccinos, espressos and more, all from the comfort of your own home. Grab a mug and let the Vero do the rest. ~ $399.99 waringpro.com
Distil Union Snooze Clock Don’t be afraid to oversleep anymore. This bedside iPhone docking station serves as a 3-D resting place for your phone/alarm clock. No more accidentally hitting the wrong button feeling around aimlessly in the dark frantically trying to silence the alarm. Works with iPhone 4-5s series. ~ $34.99 distilunion.com
Wifi Hotspot Cuff Links No guy on the go should be caught without these hi-tech accessories that deliver a pop of cutting-edge connectivity to any mobile office. Simply install the included software onto a laptop, connect via USB and create a hotspot for all wireless devices. Perfect for meetings or avoiding those hotel Wi-Fi fees. It also holds up to 2GB of data so they never miss a step—or a file. ~ 249.95 redenvelope.com
Fitbug Orb Upgrade from your simple pedometer by leaping into advanced technology. The Figbug allows you to track and monitor all of your movements, all day, every day. With three modes, you can monitor aerobic steps, sleep patterns and calories burned for up to a two week period. It even partners with other health beneficial apps to help you be the best you. ~ $49.99 fitbug.com
BroApp There’s an app for directions, another for daily deals, but what about one that gives you a pass to hang with the guys and keep your girlfriend happy? BroApp is it. Seriously, if you haven’t got time to whisper sweet nothings in her ear or remember to tell her how badly you miss her, let your Bro handle it. This app allows you to send pre-programmed messages to your girl. Show her your computer-generated romantic side. What she doesn’t know won’t hurt, right? Available on Android and coming soon to iPhone. ~ $1.99 BroApp.net
Deluxe Electronic Golf Club Kooler Caddie What’s in your bag? If you’re a self-sufficient golfer, you know what we’re going to say. A Kooler Caddie of course! Don’t have time for the back and forth from the cart to the club? Need a refresher on the green? No water fountain near? No problem. Fill your insulated golf club look-alike cooler with your favorite drink (hot or cold) and say goodbye to being parched. Fits side-by-side with your other clubs with no spills. ~ 99.95 homewetbar.com
Exotic Car Experiences by Cloud 9 Living Feed your need for speed with the drive of a lifetime! Race a Ferrari, drive laps in a Lamborghini or cruise in a Corvette. The choice is yours. With locations across the nation, you can plan an awesome birthday experience, live on the edge or just ride like a celebrity for the day. cloud9living.com
Magnetic Bottle Opener Your teeth are not tools, so opening a brew with them is a no-go. If you don’t have the power of The Hulk to open bottles with your hand or are tired of searching through an unorganized utensil drawer for the cheap gas station opener, we’ve got the answer. A magnetic opener opens bottles with one quick motion and it’s safe for the surface of your fridge. Available in various colors. ~ 19.95 homewetbar.com
FIND YOUR INSPIRATION EXPERT ADVICE, THOUGHTS AND IDEAS TO CONSIDER
FYI - PERSPECTIVE
FOLLOWING IN FAITH
Story by JEROME J. CASE, M.Div.
IN THE GOSPEL OF JOHN 8:12, Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” What an Amazing promise! And all we have to do is follow, but what does following look like?
hen you think about following, try to imagine being in a military squad, running along a dimly lit wooded trail. Though it seems as if the soldiers know exactly where they’re going, the fact is that they’re running by faith. Sure the squad may have a general idea regarding a planned route, but obstacles and hazards can suddenly appear making the trek difficult.
But the key to the squad’s run can be found within each member’s unwavering faith in the commands given by the runner directly in front of them. And just like soldiers running in dimly lit woods, men of faith should daily exhibit the same, as they follow the tenets of their faith. In fact, Christian men should have no problems following, because Jesus is the person that we’re running directly behind.
During the run, only the leader will have an immediate line of sight, because the lead position always provides the best view of what is ahead. The lead maximizes the opportunity to react first to any obstacles along the route. Consequently, the squad must have faith in the leader and in the subsequent runners ahead to guide them safely.
And though it may be full of obstacles and the light on our journey may sometimes seem faint, we cannot lose hope, because Jesus indicated that He’s our light in every dark situation and our hope in every aspect of our being. Thus, we have a guaranteed promise that our leader will help us to navigate the paths of life, while developing us into faithful hand signalers for those who follow behind us.
If the leader decides to turn left, then the whole squad must turn left. If the leader leaps over a deep rut or a log on the ground, then each subsequent member must also leap to avoid injury. If the leader stops then each member will have to stop. And with each aforementioned scenario, hand signals are used and copied by each subsequent squad member until the last runner receives the visual message of warning about the approaching hazard.
Remember, as you follow Jesus, someone is attempting to follow you. And if you miss a signal or fail to leap when Jesus leaps, somebody behind you may trip and fall into one of life’s deep ruts. Therefore, stay faithful in your following until the journey is over. God bless you.
FYI - ECONOMY
Story by CLYDE ANDERSON
5 Lessons on Becoming a Financial Kingpin
t’s rare that I take away nuggets of wisdom from television shows these days. But after watching AMC TV’s Breaking Bad, I’ve discovered a few unconventional financial lessons worth sharing. First let me say, seeing how a straight and narrow high school chemistry teacher in New Mexico takes on the underworld of manufacturing and distributing methamphetamine around the globe to support his family is very entertaining. What’s more entertaining is the fact that I pondered if it were possible to actually follow in the footsteps of this enterprising chemistry genius to produce the kind of cash (or cushion) that would support families and help those whose backs are against the financial wall. I know you must be thinking, is he really about to tell me how to sell drugs to support my family?
Of course not! That would be illegal. But I will illustrate how alternative decisions (although somewhat questionable) can serve as the makings of a creative plan to save for the future. Okay so let’s break this down. Walter White is your average high school chemistry teacher who is diagnosed with lung cancer and told he has only a few months to live. Walter knows he has a job with limited benefits and foresees the mountain of hospital bills and growing debt long after he is gone, leaving his family vulnerable. Not ready to see his family go down the path of financial ruin, Walter makes a series of decisions.
1 Walter decides to figure out what is Sure, sometimes a cash flow plan may not 3 Taking advantage of a new opportunity needed to take care of his family for the next several years including mortgage payments, car payments, utilities, college tuition, weddings, plus extra expenses. He comes up with a dollar figure of exactly $737,000. Walter has the goal in mind because he took the time to figure things out (proactive thinking).
work. This may be due to four factors: 1) we leave things out, 2) we overcomplicate them, 3) we don’t actually do it, and 4) we like the idea of it and think it sounds great, but don’t actually live it.
requires Walter to make an investment of time as well as money to gather resources to produce his cash cow. He must use them both wisely to yield the results he has planned for.
2 With a hefty financial goal in mind, The lesson here is investing in yourself and
Walter thinks about ways he can earn the extra money he needs to put away for his The lesson here is setting goals. Tomorrow family using his current knowledge base. isn’t promised, therefore we have to always He learns of a chemical solution, illegal be prepared. If the goal is to have x-amount chemical solution that could possibly bring of money by a certain date, you must set in the cash (remember Walter is a chemistry goals to earn the money you need, but also teacher). Although the opportunity to earn knowing how to delay gratification and extra money is a bit risky (okay very risky). primarily focusing on your needs to save it (that means watch your spending). According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture it will cost an estimated $241,080 for a middle-income couple to raise a child born last year for 18 years. This number doesn’t include college so add another $150,000 if you are thinking a four year private institution. This brings the cost of raising and educating one child to roughly $391,080. Now imagine having multiple The lesson here is take advantage of children...you get the picture. Most people opportunities. Even if no one invites you choose not to look at that number because to join their pharmaceutical street team, it seems so monstrous and they don’t have you still have plenty of opportunity to turn a plan to obtain it, so it’s almost impossible your passion into profit. Look at what skills to hit a target that you can’t see. If you have you already have and may be providing to aggressive financial plans, its best to create a company to identify and create an income a plan and set goals for how you plan to opportunity. Do you have the gift of graphic achieve your goals. design? If so start designing websites, marketing collateral and even social media IDEA: A Financial Success Plan or budget, landing pages for extra cash. As long as you whatever you choose to call it, is crucial to can solve a problem, you will always have your financial plan. If you don’t know your opportunities to earn money. inflow and outflow, you can’t properly save, spend and reduce debt. It’s just not possible. IDEA: Start an online business to help you There are many reasons people don’t have a create passive income or serve as your second financial success plan: 1) They don’t want source of income. Motivational speaker Les to delay gratification, 2) feel too constricted Brown once told me a mouse with one hole and limited, 3) the previous plan they tried to crawl into is a sad rat, so I make sure I’m didn’t work, and 4) fear, people don’t want focused on having seven streams of income, therefore never being a slave to one. to see where they’re at.
commit to what you’re doing is still one of the best investments. When others see that you believe in your vision enough to sacrifice and commit to seeing your goals achieved they tend to support (that’s if you’re around the right people, but that’s a conversation for another issue).
Ultimately you must weigh your risk, make wise decisions and remember a family’s finances are always better off when everyone is aware of the full picture.
4 Walter is a huge success at producing
Meth and ‘earns’ more money than most average high school chemistry teachers make in multiple lifetimes. However the bigger the pile of cash, the bigger the risk of losing it all. Walter has to protect his savings by any means necessary so he decides to launder (wash) his drug money (opps…savings) clean through a typical everyday enterprise known as a car wash. Perfect cover-up for the millions made from serving the finest blue crystal New Mexico has ever seen. Lesson here is protecting your investment from harm. Although Walt chose to keep his money in a storage facility and later bury about 5 drums of it in the desert. You may not have to go to such extremes as Walter but you should consider protecting what’s precious. One way to protect your family and plan for the future is life insurance. ~ continued on pg. 22
FYI - ECONOMY
~ continued from pg. 21
IDEA: Life insurance serves to replace income due to death. There are two types of life insurance: Term and Cash Value (this consists of whole, universal, or variable). For most people, term-life is the best option. With term-life you can get a policy worth up to $250,000 and pay only $12 per month. For a similar cash value policy, you’d pay around $150 per month and only receive the face value of the policy. The insurance company keeps the cash value. It’s not a good idea in my opinion to mix your life insurance with an investment plan. Insurance is not an investment, and if it were you would yield better returns with investments like mutual funds, CDs and IRAʼs. A good term-life policy should be about 7 to 10 times your income, if you are the main income source. Don’t believe the myth that life insurance is a permanent need. The goal is to build a great Financial Success Plan to ultimately become self-insured. Also over 70% of Americans die without a will. If you have a spouse or kids, you need to have and should have a will.
5 Walter’s rise in the illicit drug trade to your 401k, 403b, 457, SEPP as well as industry actually nets him over $80,000,000. It’s amazing what can happen with a little planning. But even if you have $800, you have to start somewhere and build the formula that works for you based on proven principles. Will the money pour in as rapidly as Walter White’s did? Probably not, but the benefit here is creating a structure that works for you to achieve your financial goals. A ship that is standing still truly cannot change direction, in other words you don’t know what works and doesn’t work until you attempt it. Lesson here is everything counts. Add as much as you can to your savings goal by allowing your money to work for you. IDEA: Once you pay off your debts, I recommend maxing out your retirement with 15% of your household income. If you have the ability to participate in a retirement program like a 401k, 403b or 457 at work, do it, regardless of a match. You can do this by making contributions
Roth IRAs or regular IRAs.
A Roth IRA is a great way to save for retirement due to its tax advantages, but it also comes in handy in an emergency because any deposits you make can be withdrawn without a penalty. Will following these steps give you 80 million like Walter White? I doubt it but it can be the foundation to begin building the wealth you desire. If you are confused by how to invest your money, find a good financial advisor. If you are ahead of the game in achieving your financial goals, consider taking a more conservative investment approach to protect what you have. This is especially true for folks who are approaching the age at which they plan to retire. Ultimately you must weigh your risk, make wise decisions and remember a family’s finances are always better off when everyone is aware of the full picture or you just might end up broke instead of Breaking Bad.
If itâ€™s not Epic... itâ€™s just another event.
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A Metrotainment Cafes Concept URBANLUX
FYI - PULSE
Reclaiming Your Lost Libido Story by DR. RONDRICK WILLIAMSON
exual intimacy plays an integral part of any healthy, romantic relationship. A few of the benefits of a healthy sex life are reduction of stress, improved sleep, lowered blood pressure and total body rejuvenation. Painful sex, low desire, low sex drive, arousal difficulties and difficulties achieving orgasms can make sexual intimacy a task. Many factors influence sexual wellness such as the condition of
our sex organs, mental health and hormone balance. Sexual wellness is directly linked to our overall general health. Both physical and psychological factors come into play. The uses of certain medications such as tranquilizers, antidepressants, antihypertensives drugs and antihistamines have been shown to have an adverse effect on sexual performance. Alcohol and tobacco use can also lead to sexual dysfunction.
THERE ARE VARIOUS WAYS THAT ONE CAN MAINTAIN SEXUAL HEALTH 1. Check your current medication list. Consult with your physician to determine if your prescription medication may be creating your sexual dysfunction. 2. If you smoke, STOP. It has been shown scientifically that smoking leads to reduced blood flow to the penis thus inhibiting optimal erection. According to the American Heart Association, men who smoked more than 20 cigarettes daily had a 60% higher risk of erectile dysfunction, compared to men who never smoked. 3. Participate in regular aerobic exercise. Exercise should be at least 20 - 30 minutes three to four times a week to get optimal benefit. Before starting such a program, consult with your physician. 4. Manage stress. Stressful situations are ubiquitous. Learn to relax, set realistic life goals and expectations and keep a positive attitude.
5. Eat a well-balanced diet. A balanced diet provides adequate energy and nutrition for optimal growth and development. Make sure you are getting enough of the right types of foods and liquids to supply nutrition and energy for maintaining body cells, tissues, and organs. 6. Men should try supplements like yohimbine, pygeum and saw palmetto. And for women, try supplements like damiana and dong quai. Be sure to consult with your physician for individual advice on which supplement is best for you. 7. Take daily vitamins and minerals: B-complex, folic acid and zinc. Nutrients are key to improving circulation and blood flow. Without adequate blood flow, there is no sexual stamina. 8. Try daily omega 3. Metabolized by the liver to produce the sex hormones testosterone and estrogen, omega 3 fats may give your sex drive a much-needed tune-up.
OFTEN times it is normal for sexual stamina to vary temporarily. If you notice drastic changes lasting more than 30 days, consult with your physician because sexual stamina is linked to physical and mental health.
THE annual rebirth of bold prints and vibrant colors is upon us. The fusion of fashion and spring promotes rebellious freedoms and luxurious individualism while a sunny spring day at Centennial Olympic Park can spark the carefree inner child. Spring is in the air! Breathe it in and let it fuel your wardrobe and your spirit.
- Kudzi SirGarde Karidza
Photography: Ish Holmes and Brice Esso Models: Tiffanie Boyd, Jessica Rios, Lia Youn, Auriana Roberts, Brice Esso, Carl Keita, Blake Ballard and Deng Duot Deng Styling: Kudzi SirGarde Karidza Makeup: Kimberly Cruz Location: Centennial Olympic Park - Atlanta Clothing available at: Vitesse Exchange and Threadz Boutique
FEATURE - AMY DIAZ
AMAZING AMY Story by CLORISSA WRIGHT
o judge a book by its cover would leave you in the dark as it pertains to Amy Diaz, season 23 winner of the hit show, The Amazing Race. ~ continued on pg. 44
Photo: OSCAR PICAZO
FEATURE - AMY DIAZ
HE woman behind this beautiful package has done more in her young life than most people double her age dream about. You name it, eating cobra in the middle of Indonesia or running up the Eiffel Tower in six-inch Christian Louboutin heels and a little black dress, she’s done it. Always an adventurer at heart, a fearless Amy and her boyfriend Jason Case overcame physical and intellectual challenges while globe-trotting to snag ultimate victory on the popular CBS show. After a lengthy casting process, Amy and Jason would be introduced to the world as an attractive New England couple with an undeniable bond. Knowing that their relationship would be tested, the new couple dove in head first. After weeks of traveling and forging new friendships,
they’d triumph to win The Amazing Race and the coveted million dollar prize. If the obstacle laden show is how you became acquainted with the Dominican beauty, there’s plenty more to know, starting with the fact that she’s a serial title holder. Dating back to her first win as Miss Rhode Island Teen USA, she’d go on to win Miss Rhode Island USA and Miss Earth US with notable placements in the Miss Florida and Miss USA pageants. You’ve also seen the Screen Actors Guild card holder in commercials for McDonald’s, Crest, Dove, Burger King and more. Graduating from high school at 16, then cum laude from her undergraduate studies at 19 paved the way for her to obtain two Master’s degrees by the age of 22. If you haven’t already thought it, we’ll say it: Amy Diaz is kind of a big deal. ~ continued on pg. 46
Photography byANIBAL MELO PHOTOGRAPHY Hair and Makeup by HOLLY DALTON Wardrobe Styling by NICK PINI Wardrobe provided by PINI
FEATURE - AMY DIAZ
46 A MAN WANTS A STRONG WOMAN
BEING raised in a DominicanAmerican household provided a strong a solid foundation on which her growing empire was built. The eldest of three, Amy adoringly refers to her family as loving, proud and supportive. Seeing the joy on her mother’s face and remembering her father’s work ethic drives her forward. Knowing that her brothers are proud of her feeds her ambition and drive. Growing up, Amy’s parents encouraged their children that nothing was off limits— that if they applied themselves, they could do it all. It is with this advice and a self-initiated work ethic, Amy was afforded the opportunity to compete in a multitude of
“When you realize that you’re your only competition, no one can ‘one up’ you.” ~Amy Diaz
beauty pageants for 14 years. Pageants are a large part of the culture in her parent’s home country and being taught that there is a definite difference between beauty queens and title holders, Amy set out to become the latter. She knew that a title holder had community responsibilities and obligations to be a respectable role model for other young ladies that would follow. She stepped up to the plate and hit a home run.
A MAN WANTS A SEXY WOMAN
CHEERFULLY proclaiming that all Latinas are sexy, Amy fully embraces being viewed as a sex symbol and spicy firecracker. She’s proud of herself for never wavering from her morals. She has always stayed true to her values, even on TV. Amy is all for sexy being associated with respect and positivity. She takes care of herself and being sexy is merely the sum of her efforts. If you asked, she’d tell you to make sexy your own.
“I think that men are attracted to a confident woman. I’m only in competition with myself and cannot be concerned with other people’s opinions. I’ve got confidence in myself since I can only control myself. In fact, I love seeing other women displaying their confidence as well. Life is too short and this time should not be wasted on frivolous things.”
A MAN WANTS A POWERFUL WOMAN
TO know Amy now, you wouldn’t be surprised that she’s been going non-stop in her career dedicated to serving others. Believing that when you do what you love, money will come and that a woman who serves is a woman who leads, her trajectory is sure to make a positive impact. In 2014, she was nominated by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society for Man and Woman of the year honors. Using her exposure after The Amazing Race, she’s dedicated to raising awareness and donations to benefit research efforts for cancers of the blood. With a true highstakes approach, their team fundraising goal is to raise $200,000 in 10 weeks (campaign ends May 17th). For more information on the LLS and Amy’s mission, visit: TeamCuresToday.com. Grounded in her spirituality she knows that when you pour into others, it will come back 10-fold. Inspiring others to act and change is her life’s work—and she receives her purpose. Through motivational speaking and mentoring she plans to expand her reach and help others recognize their potential. In the future Amy aspires to become a state director within the Miss Universe Organization. Because of the positive influence it had in her life, she hopes to pay it forward for years to come. With Jason by her side, she sees greatness, a family of their own and more adventure of course! Amy’s is a life full of accomplishments with unmeasurable future projections. Not bad, not bad at all for a gal who hasn’t even turned 30.
ATLANTA BACHELOR PADS
The Residences at W Atlanta - Downtown Story by CHRISTIAN ROSS
As women, we love design in any form: From the perfect hue of a carâ€™s paint color to the boundary-pushing runways of Fashion Week in Paris, the marriage of pigments and textures is not a game in our eyes.
In the Bureau of Laborâ€™s annual American Time Use Survey, Americans age 25-54 are polled on their daily habits. Results showed that for that group over 2800 hours are spent at home. With more than 35 percent of your time annually within those walls, does it match your vision?
Our design authority extends through Facebook, Pinterest, Houzz, and a host of apps to identify what interiors inspire us. However, this is where the buck stops. This is all about you and the luxury bachelor pads that teach us women a thing or two about pausing to appreciate the male perspective.
To understand the bachelor real estate psyche a little more, I unofficially polled a few lone rangers, asking how they would want someone to describe their abode upon walking in. Smirks were punctuated with one-word answers: Strong. Defined. Sexy. Cool. Peaceful. Calming. Hot.
WHETHER YOUR HOME STYLE IS IN DRIVE OR COASTING IN NEUTRAL, WE HAVE A FEW STYLES YOU SHOULD INVESTIGATE BEFORE YOUR NEXT MOVE:
Home Tour America - Josh Vick / Justin Landis Group
The Residences at W Atlanta - Downtown
BUNGALOW: There are a ton of beautiful restored and updated homes of this one to one and half story style with Inman Park, Kirkwood, Cabbagetown, East Atlanta, and Edgewood leading the way in offering eclectic backdrops while living in upgraded pieces of history. extra credit: Choosing a bungalow makes for a great transition if you are in need of a backyard for manâ€™s best friend or considering marriage and a baby carriage in the near future.
CONDO: It may seem like an obvious choice however each building has a distinct personality and it is important to make sure you feel it out. You might like planned activities or feel a quiet space for working from home is most important to you. extra credit: The right condo location puts you in the heart of everything with enough places to fill up those 365 days on your calendar and a large networking radius. Talk to the concierge for an interior viewpoint.
The Residences at W Atlanta - Downtown
MID-CENTURY: Modern design continues to take cues from the past with homes and interiors. The era, spanning from 1933 to 1965, remains at the forefront of current trends with television shows such as Mad Men inspiring a throwback to a regal era of design. extra credit: Find the perfect spot for that vintage decanter youâ€™ve had hidden in a box. The incorporation of old and new should put you in the perfect spirit of gratitude daily. URBANLUX
FATHER MAY I? confessions of a single dad
Story by TRAVIS HUNTER
ONE of the happiest and most confusing days
of my life was October 26, 1995. It was 7:13 a.m. when a little head popped out and threw my world into a tailspin. I grew up without a father, so I had no guide to show me how to do this thing called fatherhood. But there was one thing I did know; I wasn't going to be an absentee father. I knew I would be there every step of the way. I knew I was committed to the task at hand, but had no idea how I would take this 7lb. 8oz. little boy and turn him into a man.
OUR KIDS ARE UNDER AT TACK
The teen years are very challenging. I have never prayed so much in my life for God to "fix" my child. Something happens to these sweet innocent babies when they hit 17, which has thrown me for a complete loop. I do understand their brain's aren't fully developed Being a father has brought about different and won't be until they are something like 24 challenges at different times. My son's mother years old, but damn! Not only do I have to and I split up when he was only two years old. worry about my son making idiotic decisions, And being the daddy's boy that he was, and still because all of a sudden he wants to be an is, he wanted to stay with me. The early years adult, I have to worry about society; who sees required lots of time and patience, but they were my young black child as a menace who can be awesome. I wake up super early to get him off eliminated if they "feel" threatened. to daycare before heading over to my job at the bank. I remember calling the daycare every hour Every time my son leaves the house, I'm one on the hour to check up on my baby boy. As soon nervous wreck because I fear for his life. Maybe as the clock hit 4:30 p.m., I would rush out the he has the taste for a bag of Skittles and an office and rush over to get my boy. We would Arizona ice tea and someone doesn't like the way go home and walk around the neighborhood, his pants hang a tad below his waist line. Maybe play on the swing set, sand box, etc. As he got he drove to the local convenience store and is older, the routine stayed the same but the games playing his music a little too loud for someone's changed. Instead of playing games in the front liking and they decide he's a thug. I also fear yard, he would have T-ball practice, little league other teens who look just like him because they basketball, and little league football. I kept him weren't raised to value their own lives so it's busy and around positive athletic programs. I impossible for them to value his. And don't get wanted my son to be well rounded so I had him me started on the education system. I can only take piano lessons and etiquette classes. imagine where he would be mentally if I left him in the hands of those who are paid to educate Then he hit middle school and all that came him. I'm 100% sure he would've dropped out of along with it; girls, peer pressure, more school by now just as several of his ex-football competitive sports teams, teachers, etc. I and basketball teammates have. embraced the challenge that hormones bring and taught him how to navigate the wonderful world Our kids are under attack from their peers, the of girls - always treat them all with respect and educators, bigots and sadly themselves. We have kindness, even when they don't deserve it. How to stand tall and be fathers to our children. We to handle teammates on his sports teams who must let society know that our childrenâ€™s lives weren't getting as much praise and shine as him are more valuable than anything in the world. - be humble in accepting accolades and always try to include your teammates. How to handle a I'm talking to everyone who has a Trayvon nutcase teacher who hated his/her job and whoâ€™s Martin, Jordan Davis or Kendrick Johnson goal was to make their studentsâ€™ lives a living in his or her life and as I think about the hell - keep your mouth shut and try to be as senseless murders of these young boys, I am invisible as possible. also talking to myself. URBANLUXURBANLUX
Photography by CLIFF ROBINSON
Daddies and Daughters Fostering lasting memories on Fatherâ€™s Day
Story by LAMAR DIXON
fathers with daughters upwards of 40 and 50 years in age, producing sometimes three and four generations of family at the same table.
n his 2012 single, legendary rapper Nas quipped, “They say the coolest playas and foulest heart breakers in the world/God gets us back, he makes us have precious little girls.”
However, although often insistent and employing a number of methods to get inside such as offering to volunteer or crashing the guest list, mothers are prohibited from attending - unless accompanied by their father or grandfather.
Ryan Cameron, noted Atlanta radio personality and PA announcer of the Atlanta Hawks, agrees. “You have to come correct, because you might have been that guy who was preying on the daughters or the college freshman. As a father or man in a young woman’s life, you have to do your part to educate them as to what’s going on,” he says. Cameron doesn’t just pay lip service in response to this round-the-way maxim. For the past 12 years, his foundation has hosted the Annual Ryan Cameron Foundation Father Daughter Dance - started with the purpose of providing a venue for fathers and daughters to share a memorable experience on Father’s Day and establishing a standard for daughters on how the men in their lives should treat them. Proceeds from the event also support the Foundation’s community empowerment initiatives. “I felt like if I showed my daughter the best of things – being at a seated dinner, with a formal gown on and eating good food – she’s going to be used to the best. So when some knucklehead out in the street takes her to Red Lobster, she’s not going to be impressed,” Ryan playfully jokes. While the idea of a “Father-Daughter Dance” may conjure ideas of streamers in the local high school gym or church fellowship hall, make no mistake, this is a posh event. Held annually each Father’s Day, past locations have included Ritz Carlton locations in both Downtown Atlanta and Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood, as well as the Georgia Aquarium – with this year’s taking place at Atlanta’s 200 Peachtree Event Center on Father’s Day, June 15 at 5pm and includes an exclusive fathers-only mixer the night before.
The aim by Cameron and his foundation is to make the dance the most publicly accessible of their events throughout the year, with proceeds benefitting the Foundation’s various initiatives – including its youth leadership program and golf clinic, among others. Providing some insight into how the dance is a cornerstone of the Foundation’s efforts, Cameron says, “The dance is probably our biggest event, but we don’t really trumpet how much we make from it. We’re not holding auctions during or anything like that. The cost of the ticket covers the venue and the food, and the rest goes right back into the foundation. That’s it.” Over its history, the dance has taken on a life of its own through the memories created. Fathers and daughters have been reunited, traveled from overseas to attend, and some fathers have even requested to be buried in the tuxedos they wore. “We’ve had fathers who literally just got out of jail show up and meet daughters they hadn’t seen in 15 years,” Cameron reflects. “There’s a lot of tears – we should grab Kleenex as a sponsor. At the end of the day, there’s not a dry eye in the house.” Cameron explains that in the event’s formative years, it was catered more toward the daughters, with as he puts it “cupcakes and tiaras.” To make sure that it was something fathers would equally enjoy, enhancements were made to the menu through more guy friendly additions such as steak, shrimp and baked potato. And despite starting with daughters in attendance as young as three, it now attracts URBANLUX
Aside from the bonding aspect of the dance, Ryan is looking to add a bit of equality to Father’s Day, which he feels often takes a back seat to Mother’s Day. “On Mother’s Day, if you don’t show up, if you don’t call, if you don’t send flowers or go to dinner, there’s going to be a problem! Your mother just isn’t going to have that (laughs), but on Father’s Day, it’s pretty much a quick phone call and then ‘Hey, let me speak to mama.’ Fathers that are involved are sometimes a rare breed – especially a Black father. We just wanted to even the playing field and make it a salute to [fathers]. So even though it’s a daddy-daughter dance, it’s still Father’s Day.”
Ryan Cameron with his daughters Ryan Megan and Kai
Learn more about the Father Daughter Dance, The Ryan Cameron Foundation and how you can get involved by visiting ryancameron.org.
THE F FACTOR MEET THE 2014 LEXUS IS-F
Story by DENNIS MALCOLM BYRON Photos courtesy of LEXUS URBANLUX
Lexus flexes serious muscle with this all-new sedan!
he most logical way to get around Atlanta is by automobile, so why not enjoy it as much as possible? The 2014 Lexus IS-F 4-door sedan was not only a smooth drive laced with numerous amenities throughout the cabin, but also provides the quick, responsive feel of a sports car the more adventurous driver yearns for. It’s not often the exterior of a car matches its actual performance and driving experience, but Lexus does this effortlessly; it drives as fast as it looks. Our test car was “Ultra White” and boasted numerous racing features including 19-inch BBS forged alloy wheels, a carbon fiber rear spoiler, Brembo ventilated disc brakes, Bi-Xenon headlights and LED fog lamps.
The interior further embraces the racing theme. Entrants are greeted by the orange and black leather trimmed “F” Sport seats (that are also heated), push-button start; sport pedals; and leather-trimmed steering wheel embellished with audio controls, paddle shifters, and the Sport mode gauge for more convenience. The standard equipment boasts Bluetooth, USB audio capability, premium 13-speaker sound system and SiriusXM satellite radio. We also enjoyed the optional technology package featuring a navigation system, backup camera, Lexus Eform; front and rear park assist; and the App Suite which includes Bing, Pandora, iHeart Radio, OpenTable, Facebook Places, Movietickets.com, NavWeather, NavTraffic ($2,490). However, the IS-F’s celebrity status comes from the 5.0 liter, 32-valve, v8 engine powered by 416 horses with Sport-Direct shift 8-speed transmission peaking a top speed of 168 mph. And with all of this power under the hood, this sedan still rides with a forgiving smoothness; multiple airbags (including knees, side curtain, and front seat side mounted); optimal braking; and impressive gas mileage at an average 18 combined miles to the gallon (city/ highway). So even with the congested traffic Atlanta is infamously known for, the IS-F will make its owner volunteer to run errands or even carpool just so they can spend time behind the wheel. THE BOTTOM LINE Miles per gallon: 16 city/23 highway MSRP: $63,350; $2,490 (technology package); $910 delivery and handling fee. Total: $67,250 Visit Lexus.com for more information.
7 MANLY THINGS
WAHL GroomsMan Pro: This is an all-in-one shaver with interchangeable heads, multiple combs, a rechargeable power source and full accessory package. A trimmer, shaver and detailing combo like this equips every man to be his very own barber. Can be purchased at major retail outlets. Be a good guy and snag one for your bro too!
BEARDSLEY Ultra Conditioner for beards: Who likes a rough, skin-irritating beard? We’re going to assume no one. Beardsley has an entire facial hair care line formulated to leave even the thickest moustache and beard unbelievable soft and smooth. Their site even offers how-to advice on growing the perfect five o’clock shadow. Beardshampoo.com. What are you waiting for? KARL LAGERFELD: Launched in March 2014, Karl Lagerfeld (for him) boasts top notes of fougère and lavender, blended with sandalwood, mandarin zest, amber, apple, and violet. True to the Lagerfeld luxury brand, this was a spur of the moment, masterful creation, which he wears exclusively. The highly anticipated Eau de Toilette is available at retailers nationwide.
GROOM LIKE A MAN!
Story by CLORISSA WRIGHT
OMEN aren’t the only ones concerned with headto-toe awesomeness. Believe me, men know that it takes some elbow grease and effort to be a headturner. There may (or may not) be a secret society dedicated to sharing the secrets to soft, touchable skin, a squeaky clean beard or movie star hair, so we’ve done some digging. It’s out in the open now so there’s no reason that you have to spend a million to look or feel like it. Unless you want to. Whether you’re a suit wearing 9 to 5 type of guy, a hands-on macho man or somewhere in the middle, you can achieve optimum attractiveness with a boost from these great finds. URBANLUX
AXE Peace and Harmony body washes: The number one selling men’s fragrance line fits everyone’s budget. Axe peace has masculine notes of nutmeg, citrus, amber and cedar wood. Axe Harmony boasts a sense-tingling blend of pepper, citrus and ginger. What’s not to like? Offering an array of other men-inspired products, this line can be found at most food and drug stores.
CLEAR Men Scalp Therapy: Designed to treat hair and scalp, this botanically infused, vitamin rich shampoo is proven to eliminate dandruff and soothe scalp discomfort. It’s safe to pull out your black shirt again! For your convenience this line is available at most national retail stores.
SUAVE Styling Paste: The days of hard, untouchable hair are long gone! They’ve done it again with an affordable quality hair product. Created just for men, you can count on strong style hold and touchable hair all on the same scalp. What more could a man (or his favorite girl) ask for? Available at most major retail stores.
AVAILABLE AT NORDSTROM, SEPHORA, NEIMAN MARCUS, AND GETJACKBLACK.COM
ASHEVILLE’S MOUNTAIN GETAWAY
Blending Old with New
Story by AMELIA PAVLIK
t’s a place where giant lobby fireplaces, old school jazz, and the whimsical stonework and design of the early 1900s blends seamlessly with cutting-edge cuisine, a golf course fit for a president, and an award-winning spa for him and her. Welcome to Asheville, North Carolina’s Omni Grove Park Inn. The Inn, which originally opened in 1913, has been a go-to mountain getaway for everyone from celebrities (think everyone from Great Gatsby author F. Scott Fitzgerald to President Barack Obama) to couples in need of some R&R for decades. And with the Omni Grove Park being a less than four-hour drive from the ATL, it’s an easy-to-reach option for a nervous gent looking for a spot to pop the question or a weekend of golf with the guys. Here are five reasons you should check it out:
1) Million Dollar Views
Whether you are sitting in a rocking chair on the grand back porch of the Inn or watching the sun set from your room, the views of Asheville and the surrounding mountains are legendary.
2) Food and Drink to Please Every Palate
Pan-seared salmon with braised fennel and arugula salad. Boiled peanuts. A country-chic breakfast buffet featuring old favorites like bacon and eggs and new loves like a selection of house made doughnuts and maple blueberry sausage patties. The Inn boasts food that will make every mouth happy. Visit the Blue Ridge for that amazing breakfast buffet, Vue 1913 for a romantic dinner, The Great Hall Bar for a before-dinner drink, and EDISON for craft beers and comfort food. Looking for a little after-dinner drink and entertainment? Try Elaine’s Dueling Piano Bar. We dare you.
3) The Cozy Club Floor
If you are planning an adults-only getaway, splurge on a club floor room. These guestrooms overlook the spa garden or the mountains and feature complimentary access to the spa facilities (we’ll get to these in a moment), concierge service, complimentary continental breakfast, snacks throughout the day, and evening hors d’oeuvres and cocktails.
4) Activities to Keep Everyone Busy
From kids programs to games, there is something to keep everyone busy. The Inn boasts a 50,000 square foot Sports Complex that features indoor and outdoor tennis courts, a racquetball court, indoor pool, fitness classes ranging from cycling to Pilates, and cardio and weight rooms to make any exercise fanatic happy. Golfers will enjoy the Omni Grove Park’s course, which President Obama has played in recent years. Another option? Take a 45-minute history tour to learn more about the early years of the resort and the hotel’s notable guests.
5) A Water-Wonderful Spa
Voted one of the “Top 20 Resort Spas in the U.S.” by the Condé Nast Traveler 2013 Readers Poll: It’s a multi-level paradise filled with goodies for spa goers to enjoy. This 43,000 square foot subterranean spa (perfect for couples and singles alike) features several heated mineral pools, a lap pool, therapeutic waterfall pools, and a eucalyptus-infused steam room. If you’d rather stay on the dry side, there is a spa café, fireside lounges outfitted with overstuffed chairs, snuggly blankets, light snacks and hot teas. There is also an outdoor terrace featuring fireplaces, a whirlpool and mountain views. Must-try treatments include the Grove Park Classic Massage (offered at 50 and 80 minutes) or the Sanctuary of the Senses Facial (80 minutes). Now relax. For more about the Omni Grove Park and to book your getaway, visit groveparkinn.com.
CEDRIC SANDERS, born and raised in His strength and character positioned him Anchorage Alaska, ia an amazing visionary. His fearlessness and focused determination continues to pave the way for his success as an actor. Sanders continues to expand in his craft of acting in his leading role as “Latrell Griffin” on the ABC television pilot “Mind Games.” He has been living his vision since the age of 15 with his first break in the Sundance Film Festival hit “The Ten.” His adventurous nature landed him a role in “American Gangster with Denzel Washington and some of Sanders television credits include “Life Support” with Queen Latifah and “Law and Order.”
to win the NAACP Best Actor Award for his performance in the production “Matter of Honor” and his ability to handle large projects inspires him to maintain his relationship with the theater. Cedric shares how his solid value system and the power of being a progressive thinker keeps him grounded in his professional and personal life. Cedric Sanders radiates freedom, change, adventure, and simplicity. He paints a beautiful pictorial of a man who is a lover of life and a man in love.
LOVER OF LIFE TIA: Who is Cedric Sanders when he is not in front of the camera or performing on stage? CEDRIC: When I moved to L.A. six years ago I became a big fan of hiking, I love being out in nature. I love to work out. I really have a low-key nature so enjoying my family and friends is important to me. When you are out in nature, what’s your mental process? Are you receiving inspiration? Is it a form of meditation? I am a strong man of faith so it’s natural for me to quietly pray and think about how amazing God is. When I see the beauty of nature I know that there is a higher power out there. When I am out in nature I experience calming thoughts because it is so peaceful. How do you balance your professional and personal life? I have been able to keep them separate up to this point in my life. I am sure that it changes with each artist as the years go on. Work is a large portion of my life, but I am confident that it is not my life. When I am not working I remain happy and have a life outside of work. There is always a sense of peace. What are some of your balancing techniques? One of my techniques is keeping my friends that have always been there for me close to
my core. There are many new friends who pop up and there is nothing wrong with new friends, but I latch on to the ones that have been with me from the beginning. I keep that circle tight. Since we are discussing relationships are you single, dating or in a committed relationship? I am definitely in a serious relationship; this woman is my best friend. We have been friends for nine years and in a committed relationship for the last three years. What are some of her attributes that attracted you to her? What I noticed initially was how educated she was in theater and acting and that really impressed me. What elements are essential in maintaining a harmonious relationship? The secret to a harmonious relationship is friendship. What is your definition of a friend? Real friendship requires honesty at all times, whether it hurts or not. A friend has your absolute best interest at heart. A friend is someone who you can tell your deepest secrets to. I am blessed to be in a relationship with my girlfriend where friendship is the foundation. URBANLUX
Story by TIA AIKENS
For honesty to exist within a relationship, openness and vulnerability must be practiced. How do you remain open and vulnerable? I am a work in progress when it comes to vulnerability. Sometimes as a man’s vulnerability can be challenging and I recognize that about myself. My girlfriend shows me that openness and vulnerability makes a relationship better. To have someone’s heart you have to completely give yours. I can tell you are a progressive thinker, how do you maintain your focus? I keep like-minded people around me who have vision and inspiration. The energy and company you keep really affects you. I have to stay inspired and I do this by giving inspiration to others. When I do this I learn from the people I am giving to. Do you have any closing remarks for our Urban Lux Readers? I would like the Urban Lux Readers to know that you will never know what you can accomplish unless you try. You have the Universe inside of you and all you have to do is envision whatever you desire to accomplish. If you can think it you can do it. Live life to the fullest. You only live once.
iversity Appreciation is the art of acknowledging and accepting cultural differences. In September 2013, Bethann Hardison a prominent fashion activist and former model wrote a letter to the governing bodies of Fashion Houses and Fashion Weeks in New York, Paris, London and Milan. The letter reads in part, “Eyes are on an industry that season after season watches design houses consistently use one or no models of color. No matter the intention, the result is racism. Not accepting another based on the color of their skin is clearly beyond ‘aesthetic’ when it is consistent with the designer’s brand. Whether it’s the decision of the designer, stylist or casting director, that decision to use basically all white models, reveals a trait that is unbecoming to modern society.” Hardison included in her letter a list of the fashion houses and designers on the runways in 2013, allegedly guilty of the “racist act”, naming Donna Karan, Versace, Celine, Louis Vuitton, Alexander McQueen, Calvin Klein, BCBG, Prada, Chanel, Jil Sanders, Just Cavalli, and Roland Mouret just to name a few. Her letter cited a total of 114 fashion houses and 60 designers. This brief, but powerful letter got the attention of a few who immediately added more models of color to represent their designs while othes seem to move at a glacial pace to heed Hardison’s call to action.
DIVERSITY APPRECIATION Story by CARLTON POWELL
Nonetheless, Hardison and the Diversity Coalition has vowed to continue publishing the list of offenders season after season until diversity in fashion houses and on runways are projected on a consistent basis.
As the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) gears up to celebrate their annual awards gala in June, Bethann Hardison will be honored with the organizations highest honor, presenting her with the CFDA’s 2014 Founders Award.
In an effort to provide more guidance for the industry in terms of promoting diversity, Hardison and the Diversity Coalition also submitted a list of best practices to Diane von Furstenberg and Steven Kolb, the president and chief executive officer, respectively, of the Council of Fashion Designers of America.
The mission of the CFDA is “To strengthen the influence and success of American Designers in the global economy,” and with Hardison and supporters alike, the push to include an appreciation for diversity will be prevalent in the CFDA’s mission as well.
The list includes the following guidelines: • Encourage the industry to be inclusive of racial diversity when preparing casting of models for their company needs. • Ask model agencies to include and send models of color when casting. • Request models of color every season and not be limited to Spring/Summer collections. • When speaking to model agencies suggest they scout for more models of color. • Be open minded to models of color and make an effort to add diversity to your lineup. It affects how we see things globally and how we are seen as an industry. URBANLUX
It is important to embrace diversity by learning to celebrate differences across all cultures and ethnic groups.
“Diversity is not difficult. The resistance to do so is intriguing.” - Bethann Hardison
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Published on Apr 1, 2014
In this year’s Men Issue, you will find the luster from items like Wi-Fi hotspot cufflinks and fast cars including the amazing 2014 Lexus IS...