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spring, 2012 ISSUE $5.99 ONLINE/DIGITAL

Arm Yourself! Help Fight Breast Cancer

RIGHT NOW Who’s That Girl? Your Bullying Couldn’t Stop Me!


The G Twinz

Be The Village Pandora’s Rack A New Track to Fashion I got the look

Taking on Chicago’s Rap Game

IN THE SPOT WITH Zoë Damecela, Chicago’s Fashion “It” Girl


Reflections Reflection: The Mirror Image I love my reflection. As a child, I would look in the mirror and say “I like her” You know that girl with the coiled hair, full lips and big eyes? I really liked her. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean the rest of the world liked my reflection but that’s not relevant to me at all. Love your reflection. No mistakes were made in your unique design. Make the best of your reflection. Make sure you reflect the radiance of the mighty sun and the confident glow of the moon when the world goes dark at night. I just got Nikki Giovanni deep on you! lol Reflection: The Expression As I approach my high school graduation, I reflect on my life and my 12 years in school. I must admit, I was a dreamer in school from the very beginning. I had to work extra hard to make my grades. I think it was because I longed to find a creative outlet. I transformed the geometric shapes of Geometry into the Eiffel Tower. In History class, my mind roamed the streets of Tokyo checking out the latest Anime styles. After all of that dreaming, I realized in order to reach my dreams, I had to get a good education and make the most of it. I had to study hard to make my dreams come true. Reflection: The Manifestation Making your dreams a reality. uStyleu is my dream come true. I love fashion, I love photography, I love expression, I love diversity, and I love Chicago. I’m staying right here to pursue my dreams in the city that embraced me and accepted uStyleu with open arms. My next goal is that college diploma, study in Paris and business school…Stay tuned.

Reflection: Gratitude Rev. Jesse Jackson, Brian McCoy, Jason Robinson, Rev Janette Wilson and the entire Rainbow/PUSH Coalition staff, thank you for making my “Be the Village” dream a reality and for booking my first photography gig on the HBC College tour. uStyleu photo shoots are not just about fashion, but fashion with significant messages. Rob Smooth of M.I.C. (Made In Chicago) production studio, thank you for welcoming us into your awesome loft space for this issue’s “Who’s That Girl” fashion spread. Looking forward to seeing you guys this summer! KazRik Productions for the use of your space for the “On the Rise” interview. Everyone who came out to the shoots, spent time with us and donated to our cause. Thank you Dorothy Tompkins and New Beginning for supporting uStyleu’s dedication to fashion, diversity and acceptance…Jodie, Always…. and Forever grateful for your sponsorship and for pushing me to be the best I can be. Love you!

Chloe Graham

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ON THE COVER Models: Jabari Cornish Alexandra “Alex” Alcantara Stephanie Johnson Kevin Hines Wayne C, Chambers Jr. PHOTOGRAPHY: Michael Kostopoulos, 630-842-6787 MAKE UP DESIGN: Gabrielle Post Image Consultant, 708.268.6897 HAIR DESIGN: All About Colour Hair Salon, 708-206-1149 DESIGNER: DaJé Clothing,

Contents | spring



uStyleu Advertisers




M.I.C MADE IN CHICAGO 500 W. Cermak Chicago, Illinois 773 578-0008 PPL Legal Services 773-550-6803 All About Colour Hair Solon 18100 Martin Avenue Homewood, IL 708-206-1149 Hair Artists, Color Specialist, Waxing

16 Ustyleu Mag Staff


Editor in Chief chloe graham Creative Fashion Director Erika Degraffinreaidt

KazrIK ProductIons 877-769-JAMS (5269)

New Ad Media Manager Kim Smith Public Relations/Media Big Red Head Ideas, Inc. Advisor/Mentor Maudlyne Ihejirika Jodie Blum

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Stanley Que, owner of StanleyQue Strike-A-Pose Photography & Videography, believes that moments can last a lifetime if captured on film! For over 25 years, Strike-A-Pose Photography has captured special memories with simplicity, creativity, ingenuity and enthusiasm. Stanley Que specializes in digital photography, graphic design, customized CD & DVD musical slideshows, photo restoration, individual and group portraits, graduations, proms, weddings, trade shows, etc. E-mail your request to All work is contractual. Stanley’s work is featured in this issue’s “Be The Village” photo shoot.

Jaren Green Jaren is a student photographer at Harington College of Design. Her specialty is street/fashion photography. She has a degree in graphic design and plans to open a design studio in Chicago. Jaren’s work is featured in this issue’s “Who’s That Girl?” photo spread. Her work was also featured in the 2011 fall issue of uStyleu Magazine’s “Stop Staring” and “My Own Cup of Tea” ads.

Michael Kostopoulos

Photographer Michael Kostopoulos has been shooting hair, beauty, style and commercial images for over 34 years. He is called “The Hairstyle Photographer” because he shoots some of the top hair designers in the business and gets them in hairstyle magazines in the USA and in Europe. He is a former executive editor of two nationally distributed beauty magazines. His model discoveries have been seen on national television, runway, print and tradeshows. Catch him on or call 630-842-6787. Michael’s work is featured on the cover page of this issue as well as the Daje’ Clothing shoot.

Sylvia Yvette Bouye-Roberson

Sylvia Yvette Bouye-Roberson, a fashion designer and CEO of BOUYE’ DESIGN Clothing Line is known for her Bohemian designs, modern styles, European images with some Vintage, and Costume inspirations. She has been designing since the 1980’s, but has had great family seamstress influences as early as nine years old. The business is made up of two companies, BOUYE’ DESIGN and BoAgent Production. BOUYE Design is the Brand and Business Name. BoAgent Production is the branch company where they discuss fashion marketing, hold open calls for models, and come up with ideas for a new collections and advertisement as well as events. Sylvia’s designs are featured in the “Who’s That Girl?” photo spread. Contact Sylvia at 312-623-8704 or by email at

DeJah Lloyd DeJah Lloyd is a second year fashion design student at Columbia College-Chicago. In 2011, she launched her own clothing line DaJé (dah-jay). DaJé Clothing can be found at or on Facebook at DeJah’s designs are featured on this issue’s cover and inside pages. Want your work featured in uStyleu? Email us at 4

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THE URBAN CEO According to Jason McCoy, founder and CEO of JMI Elite, “It’s a great feeling to do what you enjoy doing” McCoy’s company specializes in providing cutting edge photography, marketing, advertising, and branding services to industry professionals. One ingredient of McCoy’s success and enthusiasm for his work is his intention on generating results-driven outcomes. JMI Elite is committed to delivering a product that meets the need of the client and aptly addresses the diverse demands of the marketplace. The company takes pride in upholding the highest standards of ethical and professional business practice. JMI Elite is an urban multi-media consulting firm whose high-quality services ensure the client’s visibility in gospel and mainstream markets. In addition to the media services available, JMI Elite contracts as event planners as well as booking agents. The company books artists, speakers, and industry professionals for private and corporate engagements both nationally and internationally. JMI has had the privilege of successfully providing services to Jennifer Hudson, Derek “Fonzworth” Bentley, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, BET Networks, and to name a few. McCoy insists that “Your brand is your bridge to the culture”. JMI Elite connects understanding of the marketplace to producing results. Results that will guarantee that your name is synonymous with excellence and that your brand makes a large-scale impact on consumers for many years to come. JMI Elite invites you to join their long list of satisfied clientele.

(312) 833-1097 spring 2012 Issue |



Despite what my clothes may say, my style is simple. I dress myself in health and self acceptance.



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who’s that girl?

Photography by: Jaren Green Designer – Bouye Design


’m Omofadeke, named after my grandmother in Nigeria. I’m a Classical and Jazz vocalist. When I was a baby, I’m told, my cries hit octaves that would make Ella Fitzgerald blush.

I’ve always had a lot of confidence. Maybe that’s why I was bullied in elementary school. I could never be a bully because I love who I am so much that I don’t have time to hate on other people.

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A R M you rsel f !


lest bracelets are symbolic of individual stories that represent someone’s COURAGE, PASSION, HUMILITY, EMPATHY, FEAR, SACRIFICE, STRENGTH, FAITH, LOVE and VICTORY in their experience with cancer.

Our bracelets can be found on the wrists of mothers, fathers, grandparents, children, sisters, brothers and friends who all have one thing in common – HOPE.

BLEST is not your typical bracelet. This simple, artistic design was created by breast cancer survivor Erika Bracey, to serve as a constant wearable reminder to breast cancer fighters, survivors and supporters of the importance of healthy lifestyles, mammogram screenings and self-examinations. “I wanted to design something fashionable that people would want to wear on a daily bases. When I was going through my treatments I met some courageous women and men that were having a difficult time paying for medication and being denied crucial treatments due to lack of finances and access. I recall thinking; someone has to be able to help. Someone can make a difference in the lives of these individuals. One day I realized that someone was me. While wearing her various bracelet designs, others began to notice and made requests for their own to wear in solidarity. Eventually, there was an overwhelming reaction from family members and friends, which sparked the idea to extend the design to ALL those affected by or who support the advancement of Breast Cancer Awareness. It is Erika’s goal to help provide comfort until there is a cure. Billions of dollars are donated annually to research, but in real time millions of people are stricken with breast cancer and cancer in general and perish due to lack of knowledge, access and resources. A portion of the proceeds from BLEST will benefit those women who are still battling the disease by providing them with “right now needs”, which are inclusive of emotional, medical, or financial support.

Blest Bracelets for comfort until the cure!

Photography by Jason McCoy, JMI Elite


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I Got The Look

Model: Marvin Anderson III “Tre” Photography: Chloe Graham Hair: Edward Hopkins – 773-668-5747

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Look At Me Now

I have Autism. Do you still like what you see? I attend a regular high school I attended my Homecoming dance, and I’m going to college. That’s because my mother noticed something very unique in me and got me tested early Autism Speaks. Are you listening?


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ë o Z

da m E c E l a

in the spot


by Dajah D. Blackwell

oë Damecela is Chicago’s “It” girl of the fashion industry. Damacela’s Fashions has a deep rooted belief in the development of young talent, small business and the importance of grass-roots marketing. According to Zoë, it was very to her mother to independently launch her business with very limited assistance from her parents and teachers. This value has certainly paid off for this Northwestern University Sophomore double major as she steadily exhibits exceptional business sense beyond her years. Zoë realizes that it takes more than raw talent to be successful. Proper education, exposure and as well as grass root marketing is essential to sustain a flourishing business.

Location photos by Nesto Photography Sketching by Zoë Damacela

Always the entrepreneur, at age eight, Damacela began her first homemade greeting card business. Zoë’s cards and invitations progressed into a general interest in art. In high school, Zoë launched her apparel line using the profits from her previous business ventures which has transformed from the creation of fun, teen-age formal wear to more sophisticated collaboration and specialization with a customer’s style and preferences.

Damacela’s currently speaks and makes special appearances primarily focused on encouraging American youth and putting their own ideas into action. Damacela attended Bill Clinton’s Global Initiative in New York City and has been a keynote speaker for President Barack Obama’s Start Up America Initiative. At age 17, Damacela was featured on Tyra Banks’ talk show, “Tyra,” and as her mentor, Tyra has introduced her to the fashion industry. Damacela is also involved with the Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship. This organization encourages children and teenagers in low-income communities the value of education and the development of entrepreneurship. This summer, Zoë will be interning at Seventeen Magazine in New York. “You’re not going to walk into a party wearing the same dress as five other people, “ states Zoë.

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PHOTOGRAPHY: Michael Kostopoulos, 630-842-6787 MAKE UP DESIGN: Gabrielle Post Image Consultant, 708.268.6897, HAIR DESIGN: All About Colour Hair Salon, 708-206-1149 DESIGNER: DaJé Clothing, www.DaJé 14

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Parish Lewis Photography, Chicago

“We are not forcing positive messages on our listeners. It’s something they really want to hear”


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go to to comment on Da G-Twinz

On The

Rise Da G-Twinz


By Hannah McEwen

ruth be told, Da G Twinz’s inimitable rap style is music to a multitude of listeners’ ears. They endow fans with relevant messages while utilizing clever beats, unique collaborations with no profanity, yes we said it, no profanity or disrespect to women.

According to identical twins Justin and Jarrell, “we are not forcing positive messages on our listeners. It’s something they really want to hear.” Known for making remix’s to song’s with mad creativity and radical energy, Da G-Twinz true Hip-Hop style is heard as soon as they step up to the mic. Da G-Twinz are definitely “On The Rise” to prominence. Jarrell began critiquing his rap skills at the age of 12 devoting great dedication to match his brother Justin’s already developed lyrical talents. Justin was inspired by the music of

106 and Park, TRL, VH1, and MTV at the age of 13 which he attributes to his ability to deliver more charismatic swagger to his style. “I love battling because that’s my time to be the comedian and make people laugh.” Justin says. Jarrell and Justin collectively create a one of its kind sound that will inspire and evoke listeners to reflect and dig deeper into the connotations of their lyrics. Their new release “Believer” introduces us to an innovative new sound featuring the melodic violin strings of Eric Stanley, the contrasting percussion beats and of course the inspirational lyrics of Da G-Twinz highlighting their struggle to the top. This song make you want to get up and do something positive. These twins are definitely soaring to success.

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How it works Pandora’s Rack is not a consignment store. It’s quicker than that. We pay CASH on the spot for your New and Like New, Brand, Designer Clothing! 1. Bring your new and gently used clothes to our store. 2. Get cash on the spot or trade for the items we accept. (You get more value with store credit). 3. Leave happy with cash or a new outfit. :) We buy clothes that are clean, in-style and in good condition. We buy a variety of brands for ages 16 & up. Women’s Sizes 0 – 3X. We have Causal, Career & Dressy Styles

Store Hours:

Monday – Saturday 10a.m. – 7p.m. (Summer open till 8p.m.) Sunday – Noon – 6p.m.


(Located in the Ravinia Plaza) 15218 S La Grange Rd., Orland Park, IL 60462


Phone: (708) 966–4643, Email:

Model: Ashley Lampkins


andora’s Rack Resale boutique opened its doors on September 1, 2011 in Orland Park, IL located in the Ravinia Plaza. The owners Jennifer & Thomas Goral opened Pandora’s Rack because they know what it’s like for the struggling college student, for families hit hard by the economy, and the fashion hunters looking for the best bargains!! They believe that everyone should have the opportunity to keep up with today’s ever-changing fashion trends and look stylishly fabulous without breaking the bank! At Pandora’s Rack, we are committed to raising the standards of resale by providing customers with top quality, new and gently used, brand name, designer clothing, handbags, shoes & accessories. Everything we buy from


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our customers is in excellent “new” or “like new” condition and we steam clean every item before it goes on the rack; giving our customers the best quality in resale clothing that’s hard to surpass. At Pandora’s Rack, we make your shopping experience easy and exciting. Our resale boutique is bright, clean, and well organized, allowing our customers to enjoy their time while looking for fabulous finds and the best part is our valued prices which are up to 75% off retail will never discourage you from getting the styles and brand name, designer fashions you know and love! We are so happy to bring to you a new kind of resale boutique. We look forward to providing you with brand name, fashionable clothing and accessories for years to come...

uStyleu 2012 Spring Issue  

It's an exciting spring for uStyleu! We have so much to see and so much to say in each photo spread. uStyleu is not just about fashion. We f...