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Fall 2011 Premier Issue


2 | ViTAE Fall 2011


CONTENTS Features 16 | The Epitome of Style Departments Essentials 6 | Grooming 8 | Accessories 9 | Cheers 10 | Gadgets 11 | Drive Socials 12 | Music 12 | Movies 13 | Culture 13 | Books The Parlor 14 | Gentlemen’s Corner 15 | She Says Gentlemen Style 24 | Fashion Feature Classifieds 38 | Travel 40 | Career 41 | Finance Fin

Cover: Photography by Nicky Woo. Styling by Sandrine Fouilhoux. Grooming by Jojo Rodriguez

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Photography by Russel Fredrick Courtesy of Dandy Lion Exhibit at MoCADA


My senior thesis in college was a photography exhibition titled

“Portrait of a Man”, exhibiting strong, positive, and stylish images of various men of African decent. I always felt growing up that images such as these were missing in magazines and on the newsstands. Even throughout my career as a photo editor at various publications it became very clear that though there are men’s magazines in existence, there is currently a large void missing for a successful upscale men’s lifestyle magazine geared towards the African-American man. I wanted to create something for today’s man with an essence of art, culture and luxury, addressing subjects that are usually unheard of for most men of this culture. From this conclusion ViTAE Magazine was born. ViTAE (vahy-tee), which means a short account of a person life, speaks to the cosmopolitan man living beyond the quintessential “urban” lifestyle. The ViTAE man is one who is affluent, contemporary and traditional in search of the next level of success. This magazine is presented as a journal chronicling a wide range of topics that relates to: personal accounts, advice on life, women, health, career, finance, travel, technology and fashion, which is why our tagline is the “Man’s Journal To Life.” It has been almost a decade since my senior show, since then I have immersed myself in this ever-changing world of magazine publishing. I’ve learned a lot along the way and as ambitious as this journey has been I would not have been able to complete it without the ViTAE Staff and my friends and family for support. Enjoy the magazine! Peace!

TM

Kali Abdullah CEO/Publisher

Sean Malcolm Executive Editor Rachelle Gauther Associate Editor Raquel Andres Art Director Wendy Correa Photo Editor Sandrine Fouliux Fashion Editor Contributing Photographers: Nicky Woo Mauricio Muintero

Kali Abdullah

CONTRIBUTORS Nicky Woo | Don’t be fooled. Behind her quiet reverie, are the inner workings of a creative mind and all around trouble maker. Inspired by classic photographers in her youth, she continues to develop her aesthetic in editorial. Nicky is allergic to seafood, loves artichokes, and is constantly wishing she was on a sunny isle in the South Pacific.

Mauricio Quintero | Columbian born and raised in Queens, NY, has been a commercial and editorial photographer for six years. His passion for travel and photojournalism has allowed him to work on the Vanderbilt Project in Cambodia and work with renowned photographer PLATON.

Contributing Writers: Steve “Sincere” Gilles Rayon Richards Maurice Bobb Taneda Hollaway Nekia Seymore Cheryl Yiadom

© 2011 by Drawing Board Productions Inc. Vitae is published quarterly by Drawing Board Productions Inc. All rights reserved under Reproduction in whole or part without written consent of the publisher is strictly prohibited. PRINTED IN THE USA


ESSENTIALS | Grooming

CLEAN SLATE

Sadly, the summer is in our rearview mirror and prepping your skin for the harsh fall and winter months is a must. Our grooming guru Steve “Sincere” Giles hips us to some cleansing of the epidermis game.

CLEANLINESS IS NEXT TO… “Cleanse your face twice daily with a facial cleanser that matches your skin type—whether oily, dry, combination or normal. If you’re unsure of what your skin type is, make an appointment to see a dermatologist, but the breakdown of each type is as such: normal skin is the healthiest skin with no T-Zones, which is equivalent to a baby’s skin because it’s not oily and usually stays dry in the winter and oily in the summer. Combination skin is considered skin that’s oily in some parts of your face but dry or normal in others. Oily skin is self explanatory. Bear in mind that these facial cleansers do cater to different kinds of skin—either “normal to oily skin” or “normal to dry skin.” Nevertheless, cleanse your face in the morning before your day starts and the evening before you go to bed. Stay away from using hot water to cleanse your face for it can dry out your skin.”

FACE OFF “For a busy person with a hectic schedule, that still wants pampering, I suggest getting a facial to prepare for the coming cold weather. I recommend you get a facial at least twice a month. And one of the top places in New York City to get a facial is Harlem’s BBRAXTON (bbraxton.com). Offers a variety of services, the grooming salon and spa caters specifically to men and has a range of treatments for the epidermis. The ‘Relaxation Facial’ is their most requested, lasting for an hour and hitting your pockets for $75, this top-notch treatment consists of cleansing, exfoliating & hydrating your skin.”

Here are some products you can pick up when visitng BBRAXTON’s Spa that can prepare you for the seasonal change. Tell them ViTAE sent you!

BBRAXTON

1400 Fifth Avenue at West 116th Street New York, New York 10026 212.289.3200 | info@bbraxton.com 6 | ViTAE Fall 2011

 Vera

Moore “Purifying Pore Cleanser” (for everyday cleansing)

 Vera

Moore “Calendula Oil-Free Moisturizer” (to soothe inflammation of the skin as well as soften, heal, and improve your skin texture)

 Twin  Vera

Luxe “Renewing Face Wash & Scrub” (three times a week)

Moore “Herbal Balancer” (a toner for skin) 

Photography by Nicky Woo

SCRUB-A-DUB-DUB “Exfoliating your skin is important. Using a gentle exfoliating scrub will get rid of dead skin cells that tend to accumulate on your skin, leaving it uneven. Do this method three times a week, preferably when you get back home after a full day.”


ESSENTIALS | Grooming Products FACIAL THERAPY

Think attending a spa is unmanly? Get over yourself. Still, if you’re lacking the paper to get a facial, check out these products you can use in the privacy of your own home…sissy. Photography by Mauricio Quintero

The Art of Shaving Facial Wash $22. Facial Scrub, $18. Moisturizer, $29. Skin Care Kit $65.00

Lab Series Multi-Action Face Wash $16. Daily Moisture Defense Lotion SPF 15 $37.50.

Carol’s Daughter “Bring in the Moisture” Gentle Face Wash $20. “Bring in the Moisture” Face Lotion $25. Balancing Toner $19.

Neutrogena Deep Clean Facial Cleanser Normal to Oily Skin $5.99 Sea Breeze Deep Clean Astringent $4.99 Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion For All Skin Types $9.43

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ESSENTIALS | Accessories

Coffee is the Color The color palette for fall has shifted slightly from neutral colors to a more richer tone of brown with a pop of turquoise. Here are some great accessories to add to your fall wardrobe. Photography by Mauricio Quintero

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1. Chocolate Hat by Giovannio (www.giovannio.com) 2. Turquoise Sunglasses by Moscott (www.moscot.com) 3. Blond Sunglasses by Moscott (www.moscot.com) 4. Leather Necklace by Lord Griffon (www.lordgriffon.com) 5. Scarf available at Atrium (www.atriumnyc.com) 6. Studio D’Artisan Wallet by Blue in Green (blueingreensoho.com) 7. Backlash Calf Leather Hip Pouch Khaki by Blue in Green (blueingreensoho.com) 8. Wood Interlocking G built by Gucci (www.gucci.com) 9. Bracelet by Lord Griffon (www.lordgriffon.com) 10. Backpack by Kris Van Assche EastPak (www.krisvanassche.com) 8 | ViTAE Fall 2011


ESSENTIALS | Cheers

When The Rémy’s In The System… Rémy Martin V is the first clear spirit from the House of Rémy Martin. Pronounced “Vee” (derived from the French word “Vie” for “life”), Rémy Martin V is also the first product of its kind in this category. The new spirit masterfully blends the savoir-faire and the aromatic richness of the Rémy Martin House with the smoothness and mixability of a clear spirit, such as a premium vodka, tequila or gin. The finest grapes found in the heart of Rémy Martin’s vineyard are hand-selected and harvested only once a year, at the beginning of each fall. The finished product, the exclusively crafted Rémy Martin V, is not a cognac. Rather than aged in oak barrels — the final step in the cognac making process — the liquid goes through a proprietary ice cold filtration process, giving it is brilliant transparent color, unique aroma and smooth subtle flavor with hints of pear and fresh mint. While enjoyable on its own, Rémy Martin V is meant to be mixed, it blends perfectly with any traditional mixer or prepared as a cocktail. Rémy Martin has partnered with renown NYC mixologist Charles Hardwick who has developed a series of cocktails with the new clear spirit: “The Belmondo,” “The Femme Fatale,” “The Verve” and our favorite “The Victor.” 

The Victor Double Rocks Glass 1 ¾ parts of Remy Martin V Ginger Ale Lime Dusting of Nutmeg

You can check out more Rémy Martin V recipes at www.facebook.com/RemyMartinV

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ESSENTIALS | Gadgets

Get familiar with these cameras to capture your Fall moments with SONY CYBERSHOT TX55

Separating itself from the rest of the “point-and-shoot” camp, Sony’s Cybershot TX55 delivers 3D image capture, “By Pixel Super Resolution” — which doubles its 5X optical zoom range — and autofocus capabilities. Super slim (the TX55 has the same thickness as an AA battery), the 16.2-megapixel cam can also shoot full 1080i AVCHD videos as well as a 42.9-megapixel Sweep Panorama mode.

CANON EOS REBEL T3

For those who want to coordinate with their cameras, the good folks at Canon are releasing various color variations of the popular EOS Rebel T3 line. If you’re unfamiliar with their top-of-the-line product, the 12.2 megapixel camera boasts a high-speed, reliable 9-point AF system utilizing a high precision, a 63-zone, dual-layer metering system for accurate metering between exposures. Up to 3.0 frames per second for continuous shooting and a 2.7-inch wide thin-film transistor LCD monitor with Live View function for improved viewing.

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ESSENTIALS | Drive

WHAT THE F? Lexus’ latest creation will have you speaking in tongues.

Fast. Ferocious. Force. Freakish. These are all impactful words that seem more fitting as the meaning of the letter “F” in the 2011 Lexus IS F rather than the less impressionable Fuji Speedway, the Japanese racing facility where it’s name derived from (the logo of the “F” is inspired by the racetrack’s turn one). Once you get behind the wheel, slide in the cushy leathertrimmed 10-way power seat and place a finger on the pushbutton ignition, a certain four-letter F word will surely fly from the flapper, Tourette’s style. For starters, the IS F sports the world’s first eight-speed Sports Direct Shift automatic transmission, which allows the driver to switch from automatic to manual with the ease and smoothness that would make Bill Dee Williams circa 1977 take a swig of Colt 45. In contrast to its effortless transitions, this street rocket is extremely responsive. One nudge on the gas and the F’s rugged power will jolt the unprepared. Thank the 5.0-liter V8 engine that cranks out 416 horsepower for that — which can go from 0-60 miles per hour in a staggering 4.6 seconds. Simply put, the IS F is more powerful than its aesthetics would indicate, and trust, the IS F is a looker. The aerodynamics on the sporty body alone results in increases control during neck-breaking speeds. Fresh.  ViTAE Fall 2011 | 11


Fall Features

SOCIALS | Movies & Music

Real Steel (October 7): A boxing drama set in the near-future where 2,000-pound humanoid robots have replaced humans in boxing. Charlie Kenton (Hugh Jackman) a former boxer turned small-time promoter has difficulty making a living, and reluctantly teams up with his son Max (Dakota Goyo) to build a robot that can contend for the championship.

Tower Heist (November 4): A group of hard working guys find out they’ve fallen victim to a wealthy business man’s Ponzi scheme, so they conspire to rob his high-rise residence. This crime-comedy film features an all-star cast that includes Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Gabourey Sidibe, Matthew Broderick, Alan Alda, Michael Pena, and Tea Leoni.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (December 16): In the sequel film Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey, Jr.) and his trusted associate Dr. Watson (Jude Law) join forces to outwit and bring down their fiercest adversary, Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris) with the help of Holmes’s older brother Mycroft Holmes (Stephen Fry) and a gypsy named Sim (Noomi Rapace).

Mission Impossible Ghost Protocal (December 21): The fourth film in the Mission: Impossible series. Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his new team must go rogue to clear their organization’s name after Impossible Mission Force (IMF) is shut down when implicated in the bombing of the Kremlin.

Two Step to the Bedroom Grown & Sexy Mix by Clark Kent You’re at the club and your song comes on. You’ve been playing it cool most of the evening and now the lady you’ve been checking out all night is finally What’s Love Got To Do With It

Tina Turner

No Ones Going To Love You

The S.O.S. Band

Would You Like To Fool Around

Mtume

Never Too Much

Luther Vandross

Money Don’t Matter Tonight

Prince

Use Ta Be My Girl

O’Jays

Give Me Your Love

Sylvia Striplin

I Need Your Lovin

Teena Marie

Over Like A Fat Rat

Fonda Rae

Brothers Going To Work It Out

Willie Hutch

Just A Touch Of Love

Slave

Push

One Way

I Should Have Loved Ya

Narada Michael Walden

Low Down

Boz Scaggs

When You Wake Up Tomorrow

Candi Staton

Keep In Touch (Body To Body)

Shades Of Love

Searching To Find The One

Unlimited Touch

You Know How To Love Me

Phyllis Hyman

Clouds

Chaka Khan

alone. It’s time to make a move, what do you do? I’ll tell you what you don’t do. Do not by any means break out into the “Carlton” or anything too extreme or else ole girl will point, laugh and run. You’re a smooth guy and over here at ViTAE we want to help you stay that way. Brooklyn’s own, DJ Clark Kent has blessed us with a playlist that are never fails when it comes to the “Two Step”. Maybe you can add a clap, foot tap or a turn if you’re feeling fancy, but more than anything it’s about following her rhythm. In my non-scientific poll I asked the ladies their thoughts and the consensus is a man who can dance can possibly get down with the tool in his pants. So keep that in mind the next time you step out on the dance floor. –NDS

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SOCIALS | Books & Culture Reading List

CLASSIC MATERIAL

The Tanning of America: How Hip-Hop Created a Culture That Rewrote the Rules of the New Economy [Hardcover] by Steve Stoute

For one photographer, the Dandy Lion exhibit at MoCADA is more his style. by Rayon Richards

As I walked into the room, four black men immediately confronted me. They were confident and unmoving. I wasn’t entirely sure if they were “cool”, so I took a step back to assess them. I looked around me and saw that aside from us, the room was completely empty. I turned my attention back to the men who continued to return my gaze. Still saying nothing, I moved in closer, examining their appearances. They weren’t dressed as one might expect from a young black male. No jeans, no sneakers, no baseball caps; these men wore a mix of double breasted & single breasted suits, trousers, hats, suspenders and ties. As it turned out, I was in the middle of the Dandy Lion exhibit at MoCADA in Brooklyn and the aforementioned photograph was just one of a number of amazing images telling the story of the reemergence of a subculture of AfricanAmerican men who truly took the greatest pride in their appearance. Curated by respected museum director, Shantrelle P. Lewis, the Dandy Lion exhibit is as well put together as the gentlemen in the images. The group show includes photographers such as Kwesi Abbensetts, Laylah Amatullah Barrayn, and Russell K. Frederick among others, like Brandi Pettijohn who captured my favorite photograph of a young man lying in the grass in deep thought. Webster’s Dictionary defines the word “dandy” as a man unduly devoted to style, neatness, and fashion in dress and appearance. Unfortunately, that definition is almost the antithesis to how African-American men are viewed in today’s media where sagging jeans, exposed undergarments and sloppy attire are the norm. Where one might say that hip-hop based fashion trends originate from a rebellious youth culture, the dandy is in his own right, a rebel, choosing to confront and redefine one’s perception of masculinity without conforming to the criminalized fashion that has associated itself to black men. The black dandy exemplifies cool without bravado; he is a gentleman and speaks loudly without saying a word. If bowties were as popular as baseball caps and gentlemanly behavior followed, the world’s image of a black man might one day change for the better. (The Dandy Lion Exhibit will be on display at MoCADA in Brooklyn NY until August 27th. It will then travel to Amsterdam to the Open Ateliers Zuidoost Studio for the month of September. An extended version of the exhibition will travel to Aljira, A Center for Contemporary Art in Newark New Jersey from October 27 through January 2012.) 

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama

The Way You Wear Your Hat: Frank Sinatra and the Lost Art of Living by Bill Zehme

Man Child in the Promise Land by Claude Brown

Decoded by Jay Z

Beneath the Underdog by Charles Mingus

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Parlor | Gentlemen’s Corner

Is chivalry six feet underground? What is the true definition of courting or is that notion more archaic as ColecoVision? Newbie comedian Mike Brown and up and coming writer/blogger J. Wesley joins our editorial director for a meeting of the minds. Photography by Wendy Correa

MIKE BROWN: Does courting still exist? SEAN A. MALCOLM: I say it still does. J. WESLEY: Let’s get into this conversation. Can I tell you why I think courting doesn’t exist? S: Speak. J: Courting is usually associated with chivalry and with that people associate that with stories of knights and rulers and kings. Do you see us? M: When you say us, what exactly do you mean? Us as black people? J: Black people, but that has nothing to do with it. Anybody will tell you over the course of history everything shifts, everything changes and everything evolves. After a certain point people are going to fail to realize that slavery existed.

J: I would say there is such a thing. I’m not going to equate courting with chivalry. I’m going to equate it, my version, to 2011. M: The reason I originally asked that is because back in the day when courting was popular or standard, society looked at a woman as more of a damsel. S: And their independence wasn’t as prevalent as it is in the 21st century. M: Now we’re at a time where women are so independent, trying to take a woman out and show her things, because as man I want to take care of you, they say they can take care of themselves. In our society, she doesn’t have to wait to be courted in order to be in a relationship. She could be the one who does the first move and prompt the courting and it not be a taboo or funny thing.

S: Where are you going with this? J: You mean to tell me a knight, back then, met one woman and was faithful to that one woman for the rest of his life? So now you want to associate chivalry in 2011? Maybe someone will find that one woman and be with her for the rest of his life. Back in those times, she would have to be a nice virgin, wouldn’t she? What are the chances of you meeting that in 2011? If I want love, I want love like the Serfs had. S: Wow, why’s that? J: For them to struggle and do what they were doing at that time and still make it through together, that’s love. So don’t tell me chivalry. Some girls use that word and don’t know how to spell it. M: Fact. You have to spell it before you know what it is. J: For a woman to say that chivalry doesn’t exist, they don’t know because they weren’t there. S: If you don’t believe in such a thing, do you believe in the concept of courting a woman, though?

S: What is your definition as it relates to our generation? M: My definition of courting is judging the shit out of somebody. J: Mine is three-point shots, aces, lobs…that’s courting to me. M: I was thinking more along the lines of the law—like a lawyer. J: I don’t call it courting. I call it having manners. Honestly, I open the doors for women. S: That’s considered being chivalrous. You’re getting it confused. J: To me, chivalry doesn’t exist. I wasn’t there. M: He’s not looking at it as chivalry; he’s looking at it as being a gentleman. And as being a gentleman, chivalry is already ingrained in you as having manners. J: We keep using that term but it doesn’t apply to us because it’s 2011. Now, most people aren’t the stay-at-home wife. Most people aren’t getting married at the age of 13, 14 or 15. Most people do not have parents telling them whom they’re going to marry. Most people aren’t having children without love. S: Well… M: Well… J: Let me take that back. That’s another conversation in itself. 

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Parlor | She Says That’s What She Said In her first “advice” column, Taneda Applebum tackles the importance of comfort for your girl to let her inner freak out. Who is Taneda Applebum? One real New York woman who tells no lies and tackles the tough question every man wants to know. I’ve learned a lot in my 32 years, and my Bachelor’s Degree in sex…er… social work (isn’t sex social?) adds to my expertise, hence why men come to me for advice. Like my friend who sent me this email: Neda, I’m trying to spice up my sex life with my girl but she’s too timid. I tried to do something daring last night by suggesting we have sex on the roof? She declined. How do I get her to loosen the hell up? First of all, it’s too cold to be f@#king on a roof. Nevertheless, in order for a woman to be at her ultimate freakdom, she needs to feel comfortable with herself. If she’s comfortable with herself it might not matter where she has sex. But a lot of time for normal women— not freak nasties, they have to be very comfortable. For example, I realized I crossed to the freaky side when sitting in cars conversing and listening to R&B tunes, turns into me giving them head in the whip. A warm environment at night, with music and good convo (yes women are word whores) gets me feeling…cozy.

Illustration by David King

My point is women have to be comfortable for them to unleash their inner freak. There are some women who haven’t unleashed it yet but that’s ’cause they haven’t met the right man. Get her comfy, by paying her compliments, even if you don’t mean it. A chick always likes to hear she’s the shit. Her head will get gassed. Build her trust and watch her guard lower at Godspeed levels. Achieve this by answering your phone when she calls or texts you. Affection will get your woman to freakdom faster than begging. Sure, some women love to get their hair pulled while others like to be lightly spanked, but the long lasting tight hugs and tender kisses get the panties wet, too. Do this when you’re not trying to bone her, and yes, there is such a time. Warmth also makes women comfortable. Sounds simple but understand, when you’re hot you take your clothes off. You don’t want to be uncomfortably hot, but you want to be warm enough to where taking off your clothes is a natural thing. It also helps knowing that once the clothes are off no one is going to walk in while we’re getting our rocks off. Once alone offer her a T-shirt to change into so that she’s comfortable. Do you know how much ass has been had from that simple suggestion? That’s half the battle right there. Now all you have to do is shut your face and don’t talk too much. A woman is more than likely going to screw you unless you say or do some shit she doesn’t like, so shut up. Don’t smother or stalk her either. At the end of the day if a women gets down to her undergarments and decides to leave, simply put, it’s not her, it’s you.  DISCLAIMER: The views expressed by Taneda Applebum do not reflect those of ViTAE or its management. But her views are pretty effing funny. ViTAE Fall 2011 | 15


THE

EPITOME OF STYLE Fashion trends are forever changing and over the past few decades there have been several celebrity icons who have shaped the style and look of the black man. Chronicling fashion from past to present here are ViTAE’s favorite male fashion icons, who we believe set the bar in style amongst black men today.

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Kanye West has changed the fashion game in the music industry. He constantly pushes the fashion envelope from his printed silk jackets and textured skinny jeans to his tailored suits, over-sized bags and fabulous footwear. He delivers hard-core rap lyrics and accompanies them with Edgy fashion! — Daniel Williams, Fashion Stylist

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Sammy Davis Jr has always been a favorite of mine because in my opinion he always made “classy” look effortless. During his time in the Rat Pack, I remember seeing those images as a child, and thinking to myself “that black man looks just as rich and debonair as the other guys in the photos.” That meant so much to me. “I think that fashion and style are in an interesting place right now. I love the fact that black men are willing to take more risks nowadays. For so long, I felt black men were afraid of anything that was different than the norm when it came to fashion. Today you have the skater guys dressing w/a little more rock feel, the urban guy wearing jeans that are slightly slimmer, and even the rocker type is adding a more classic sensibility to their style. I think the pendulum is on an upward swing, and I really look forward to the possibilities of where it could go.” — Darius Baptist, Co-Creative/Fashion Director

Sammy Davis Jr.

Billy Dee Williams


Jimi Hendrix


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Mos Def “ I think over all Black men have always cared about the way they look. I wouldn’t say we have downgraded but our needs and the functionality of our clothes are different from earlier generations. We also consume more than previous generations so our clothes are not built to last the way they once were. We are at a point where most people have casual, business and formal wear in their closet. In the past your good suit was for dinner with the boss on Wednesday, hanging out Saturday night and church on Sunday. Clothes have become disposable goods. Out with the old in with the new. Not many of us mend our socks any more. We throw them out and buy new ones. If we have downgraded anywhere, I would say it’s in the quality.” — Alaric Campbell When it comes to fashion, I think we as black men got it together. We have always been resourceful and able to take and make something out of nothing, setting trends and giving people around us at any moment a free fashion show. Because of that, I would say we have accelerated well. — Coffey, Fashion Guru

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Michael Jackson


Andre 3000

“ As far as fashion amongst black men today, its ever-changing. You still have your thugs who want to look ‘gangsta’, and then you have the fashion forward black men in their tailored slacks, fitted jeans, vintage tees, and trendy styles, and you have the hipsters skateboard styles: which consists of skinny jeans, vintage tees, and skater sneakers. I think in order to be a fashionable black man today, you can’t box yourself in, you have to be fully current on what’s hot now and what will be hot next!” — Daniel Williams

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The Nomad Photograpy by Nicky Woo | Styling by Sandrine Fouilhoux | Grooming by Jojo Rodriguez

Shirt by Agnes B, necklace by Chris Habana, pants and leather and gloves by A/X. Grooming ProductsViTAE Courtesy ofFall Mac2011 and Dior | 25


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Opposite: Shirt and black jacket with leather by Rochambeau. Black shirt by Rochambeau, sweater by A/X, pants by Agnes B, shoes by Cesare Paciotti, hat by A/X.

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Shirt by Rochambeau, scarf by A/X, pants and suspenders by Buckler, belt by Agnes B, boots by KVA.

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Suit by Astor and Black, cardigan by Buckler, shoes by J shoes, necklace by Lord Griffon.

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Opposite: Black shirt and jacket by Rochembeau,pants by Agnes B. Shirts by Rochambeau, coat and bag by A/X, pants by Buckler, boots by Kriss Van Assche.

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Opposite: All Dior Homme, shoes by Cesare Paciotti. Suit by Kris Van Assche, shoes by J shoes.

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TRAVEL Nation’s Pride

Take a ride (more like a tour) with us as we show you what Washington, D.C. has to offer. By Cheryl M. Yiadom Need a fun weekend out of town? Well make your way to Washington, D.C. a city that has emerged as one of the most thriving cities in the nation. From the new MLK Monument and the White House to the U Street Corridor and Adams Morgan, there are plenty of sites to see and places to go. There are a variety of reasonable travel option to DC now a days, with many popular bus lines such as Bolt Bus, Mega Bus, Washington Deluxe and Vamoose Bus that run hourly from major cities at discount rates. Also many airlines also have fall specials and several even offer shuttle flights to DC every hour from New York City, Atlanta, Miami, Los Angeles and Chicago. The fall season offers a plethora of activities to keep you entertained while visiting the District of Columbia. Here are a few events to add to you travel calendar:  Black Family Reunion (September 10)  Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) (September 21)  Taste of D.C. (October 8, 9 and 10th)  Howard University Homecoming (October 10) Take in a ballgame, and watch the Washington Nationals http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/schedule/index If football is more your thing, you can’t go wrong with a Washington Redskins Game (http://tickets.redskins.com)

Eateries: If you appreciate delicious seafood, make a trip over to Georgetown to experience some delectable cuisine. Off of K Street in Georgetown you can also go to the Washington Harbour on the Georgetown Waterfront, which includes a variety of great restaurants like the popular Sequoia’s. Downtown, there are also many great dining hotspots including Cuba Libre, 901 Restaurant and Bar, Barcode, Co Co Sala and the newly opened steakhouse on 14th and U Street called Lost Society Restaurant. If brunch is your thing, you can make your way over to Georgia Brown’s Jazz Brunch or Founding Farmers. Both restaurants offer a refreshing twist on traditional Southern cuisine and you will not be disappointed. Lounges: Sometimes clubs can be a bit overcrowded and obnoxious, however lounges such as Bar 7, The Park, and Josephine’s are great places to mingle with the ladies, hear great music and still get your party on. Late Night Grub: After a late night of partying, food may be on the brain again so make your way over to the historic Ben’s Chili Bowl. If late night chili isn’t you cup of tea head to the neighboring bar and restaurant Ben’s Next Door and partake in their popular shrimp and grits dish. Another great option for early morning waffles is The Diner in Adams Morgan. Sight Seeing: You can’t get the full D.C. experience without visiting a few museums and monuments. Avoid the crowds and see some of the country’s most treasured artifacts on a Sunday. A must see list of museums include, the Spy Museum, Newseum, the National Museum of Crime and Punishment. And for the budding photographers, focus your lens on the iconic landmarks that make up D.C. such as the National Monument, The White House, Jefferson Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial and the Martin Luther King Monument.. Safe travels.  ViTAE Fall 2011 | 37


CAREERS

Gentry Humphrey by Maurice Bobb The question that comes to mind when you encounter Gentry Humphrey, former International General Manager for Jordan Brand, is this: How many pairs of retro, one-of-a-kind sneakers does a man who was instrumental in taking Michael Jordan’s boutique shoe brand from $160 million to $1 billion in sales annually accumulate for his personal collection? The answer is just north of 1800 pair. “I guess my having over 1800 pairs of sneakers qualifies me as a sneakerhead,” says Humphrey, who is draped head to toe in custom Jordan Brand apparel and retro Jordan 5’s for the 9th annual Quai 54 International Streetball Tournament in Paris. Even the most dedicated sneakerhead would never amass the copious kicks Humphrey has. Nevertheless, no self-respecting sneaker lover would disapprove of the part-time motivational speaker’s hoarding of Air Jordans considering that he’s singularly responsible for elevating the brand and the cachet of the entire sneaker culture since joining the eponymous brand in 1997. “For 20 plus years I’ve been involved with shaping the landscape of the athletic footwear industry and it’s been awesome doing it with the No. 1 company in the industry,” says Humphrey, who has worked with and marketed shoe lines and apparel for the likes of MJ, Tiger Woods, Ray Allen, Lance Armstrong, Derek Jeter, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. Humphrey, 47, grew up in Cerritos, California playing basketball and paid his way through California State University, Dominguez Hills working for posh clothing retailer, Nordstrom, as a footwear buyer.

I love the game. I love the culture, but most of all, I love being able to assist the urban community. “I played ball in school and the game has always been a huge part of my life,” says Humphrey. “And by playing the game, I found it had an influence on my professional career, even as a buyer. I took a department that specialized in dress and casual footwear and made it into a mini Foot Locker, all because of my love for the game and for sports.” Once at NIKE, Humphrey’s extreme passion for the game and interest in being “trend relevant” allowed him to flourish in Beaverton and the industry. 38 | ViTAE Fall 2011

“I never really looked at my responsibilities as a laboring ‘job,’ says Humphrey. “Believe me, that doesn’t mean that I don’t work hard. My typical day consists of a minimum of 12-hour days and really, it’s a little more than 12 hours because I’m always at work, even when I’m sleeping. You can’t plan for creative time, so I really end up working all day long. In the end, because I love what I do, I enjoy puttin’ in the work! It’s crazy sometimes because I’ll look up and 12–14 hours have passed and it may feel like it’s only been three or four hours. This dedication ended up being noticed by many and everything else took care of itself. I’ve always wanted to be the best at whatever I do and I’m sure this attitude contributes to the success I’ve had. I’m just truly grateful for being able to do what I love. I love the game. I love the culture, but most of all, I love being able to assist the urban community. Being able to do this is definitely a blessing. I’ve been able to experience things that you couldn’t put a price tag on!” After years of doling out the Midas touch for Jordan Brand, Humphrey will transition back over to NIKE in a new role as Nike Sportswear Footwear Business Director. “I recently have been asked to take on a new area of Nike’s business that I hope will aid the company in exceeding its future revenue targets,” says Humphrey. “The company is creating the ultimate experience for the consumer that lives through sport. We will provide products and marketing campaigns for the consumer that competes, trains and express’ himself or herself through sports. I have also been asked to lead the footwear area of “Express” for Basketball and American Football. This is another area that is a great fit for me, as it combines the creative world of sport and fashion. There’s a large vault of great products where I’ll be able to collaborate with a great team of designers and developers to launch compelling future concepts. Like the great athletes, this company is in a constant ‘evolve to be great’ mode and I love that aspect about the business and about life!” 


FINANCE Dollars and Sense? Here’s some advice on the smart way to hold on to your money and make it work for you. By Nekia D. Seymore

“Money is a tool, but the only way to be financially free is to use it wisely.” This is the mantra that we will follow once we’ve explored the mind of our finance guy Ash’Cash, author of Mind Right, Money Right: 10 Laws of Financial Freedom. Here is his advice on keeping a little cash for yourself in this harsh economy and still live the life you want to live.

ViTAE: First off, I want to call you a financial expert, are you ready for that title? ASH: Thanks I appreciate the recognition. With 11 years of banking experience and helping countless people better their financial situations, I take pride at being on the forefront of a movement that is financially re-educating every spectrum of humanity.

V: Many of us like to portray an image of success when in reality we are struggling tooth and nail, how can we still have the look but also save money in the process? A: The simple answer to this is to make it automatic! If we were to survey millions of Americans to ask precisely how much money is taken out of their paychecks each pay period for taxes I can almost assure you that 90% of those surveyed would not have an answer. If you treat your savings like you treat the IRS, I can guarantee that you will not miss it for one second. Automatic deductions should come from your paycheck or checking account and be directly deposited into a savings account. This will allow you to create a nice nest egg while allowing you to budget your money; first for the things you need then for the things you want. After a while savings will become so second nature that struggle won’t even have a chance of surviving.

V: So you’re unemployed and/or a working freelancer, you meet a lady and want to impress her but your funds are low. What do you do to show her a good time? A: There are many frugal date options out there and depending on where you live you can easily “Ball on a Budget”. You can go on a picnic, attend a free concert, tour a historic landmark, play a sport or maybe even volunteer. The options are endless. The key is to have good conversation and show your date a good time. If your date doesn’t respect that then she wasn’t good for you in the first place. Money habits on a date translate to money habits in a relationship. If someone doesn’t want to deal with you because of the size of your wallet then this person is probably not going to be supportive of you saving money and making sacrifices now to live a better tomorrow.

V: Is there anything else you’d like to share with the audience? A: We must change our habits and understand the difference between needs and wants. Then we must prioritize by paying ourselves first, investing our money wisely, and creating passive income. We are still recovering from one of the worst economic meltdowns in our nation’s history. With bankruptcies, foreclosures and unemployment still high, many of us are still afraid of what the future holds. Hard times can either be the ending point or the starting point. The choice is ours and we have no excuse.  For more information on Ash’Cash please visit www.IamAshCash.com

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Photography byBrandi Pettijohn Courtesy of Dandy Lion Exhibit at MoCADA

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