The Fusion Issue: Health and Music

Page 1

A Tribe Called Red + Miss Joelle Ashley + Teza T + Adiah

Worthy Magazine

Ahmir The

Future + of music

And a health movement that you can get into

The Fusion Issue: Music& Health 1













Electronic waves with A Tribe Called Red

27 Red Lipstick and Miss Ashley

38 Fitness Files with

Tisslli Brandi Cupcakes and Catwalks with Brandon Que



Inside this issue

10.Men’s Manual: Check out the editor’s picks 14. A Worthy Moment: 2013 Presidential Inauguration 16. News At A Glance 17. Blogger Spotlight: Kimberly Luxe 19. Calendar of Events 25. Miami Style: Silva Tcherassi 35. India Shawn 51. Tamara James

30 Ahmir 42.Worthy Style 50. Meet Ada 52 Miami Social Scene 60. The Couple 66. The Cool Kid’s Guide with Corvelest Walker Jr.

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A Worthy MANual Our guide to the must have items of 2013. Don’t be afraid of quilted shirts, patterns and big jewlry . The ladies love it , trust us.

Photo Credit: Joseph Adams

Editor’s Picks

B i l l i o n a i r e Navy Mishka Purple Candy

Mishka Black Candy

& Red Plaid

Cane Mop T-Shirt

Cane Mop T-Shirt

Reversible Utility Vest

S t a p l e Brown Fairisle

Still Good Navy


Callowhill Printed Cord

Novelty Shirt



Trustworthy Picks Raf Simons White &

Raf Simons Black

Blue Leather


Holographic Space

Tricolor Chained


Velcro Sneaker

Converse 2013 Chinese

Christian Louboutin

New Year Collection

Louis Flat Spikes

Marc Jacobs 2013

giuliano Fujiwara

Fall/Winter Footwear

2013 Fall/Winter


Footwear Collection



M i a n s a i Gold Hook on Black Black Eye Ring AMBUSH

Leather B

Mister Deadly Serious Ring

Inventory Magazine: This is a must have magazine for any man who is interested in gaining a deeper understanding into aesthetics of men’s fashion.


“We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths –- that all of us are created equal –- is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth.” - President Obama

Worthy Moment

{2013 Inauguration} President Obama was the second president to be sworn in on the King Holiday. President Obama also included Dr. King’s bible into the inaugural ceremony that following Monday.

Even though the actual ceremony took place in the Blue Room of the White House on Sunday January 19, 2013- The full ceremony on January 20th was an open celebration for the countless voters who voted for President Obama and a historical moment for the country.


AT A Glance Headlines that caught our attention compiled into a quick and fun read for you. Here is a look at what were thinking


If there were any doubts that Kim Kardashian was in for the long haul in her current relationship with music heavy weight, Kanye West, all doubt was squashed when West announced that Kim is pregnant. Everyone is pretty curious to see what this will mean for reality star’s wardrobe.

As Star Wars fans we were pretty excited to see the creator of Star Wars George Lucas make that bold step towards eternal happiness with his girlfriend of seven years, Mellody Hobson. Did we mention that they are both Billionaires? Talk about a power couple.


Condoleezza Rice will be a contributor for CBS. We are excited to hear what she has to say.

Congress swore in: 82 freshman House members and 12 new senators. Of that group four African Americans, five Asian Americans, 10 Latinos and 24 women were sworn in 16

A Worthy Interview

KIMBERLYLUXE Get to know one of our favorite bloggers who is making a name for herself as literally being a jack of all trades and master of all trades as well.


“Goal Diggers dig deeper.” A mentality that you can support By Ju’lia Samuels

empowerment, mental We recently had the and spiritual health. opportunity to sit down The blogger and with one of our favorite talented Web designer is bloggers to discuss the rapidly making a name for influence of her blog and herself and her words are her own personal health even impressing Megan regimen. I am happy to Good. Her featured article report that the personality on the actress actually that makes up three of the shut down the groups Web personalities behind one site. of our favorite blogs, We hope to have the matched the message of opportunity to introduce the blog. you to all of the blog’s Kimberly is a woman authors one at a time who is all about (Soraya and Asia) So first

up is the woman responsible for the eyecatching graphics featured on the Web site, Kimberly. We already visit the site religiously and more thank likely after this article, you will be checking out the site Femmes With Benefits religiously as well.

The Web site’s custom necklace: “GoalDiggers Dig Depeper.” made waves on the internet and was also featured on Fashion Bomb Daily.


Kimberly Luxe of Femmes With Benefits This blogger is making a name for herself that we couldn’t help but notice. She is one of three bloggers for a site that we can’t get enough of.

So out of everything that you do, what do you enjoy doing the most and can you explain why? Hey Ju’lia! Thank you so much for wanting to interview ME! It's crazy because when I started Femmes With Benefits you were one of this blogs that I read faithfully! It's crazy how things work out and I'm grateful to be able to connect with you. Out of all of the things that I do, I must say that I enjoy designing the most. I love coming up with magazine-esque posts that are eye catching and visually appealing. For me the writing part is the easy part, and it's the designing part that takes the longest (usually hours). There's nothing like bringing a point to life. Presentation is everything. Congrats on your article about Megan Good how did you feel about her response to the article and the over-all reception to the article? I actually woke up to like 20 missed calls-- with majority of those calls being from Asia! Then when I logged onto Instagram I had over 400 mentions and I had thousands of views on my site. I was so shocked! Meagan Good, who I have been a fan of for YEARS actually knew who I was, ready my article, responded, and posted it for the world to see. I was thankful and honored.

Is there a difference between a writer and blogger? Why or why not? I think bloggers are writers but I don't think all writers are bloggers. Blogging is a type of writing [style] and writing embodies all forms of writing- if that makes any sense.

I hinted at it earlier that you are jack of all trades, and in my honest opinion master of all, but can you elaborate a little more on all the current projects that you are involved in? Aww thanks! Well I've always been hyperactive, so I now put that in the What would you say is form of web work. I currently do web extremely important for design for many clients, I do branding minority women to & brand imaging for new companies, focus physical health or mental health and could you I just started doing bridal stationary, and I blog of course! My boyfriend is explain why? an amazing cinematographer and I'm Mental health. You can't do his number one fan! So the thing that anything physical, without the I'll be doing next will be video editing. right mental. It was only after I Nerd, I know, but I really do enjoy committed to meditation, daily journal writing, and prayer that I creating visuals. I'd also like to start a was able to find balance, discipline new website, with multiple bloggers, myself, search within myself, and but stay tuned for that, as I'm sure you'll be involved too! Also atay tuned set goals for what I planned on for videos from me in the near future! doing physically and spiritually. Mental health is the most Femmes With Benefits is an important and everything else, amazing blog would you like to naturally, follows. clear the air about the focus of the site and what the goal is of What motivates you in all the publication? that you do? The young me is what motivates The focus of the site is to write true, me. As a child you dream big- you real, and relatable content for that want the best and you don't doubt modern twenty something year old. yourself for a second. I look back It's for the "hunnies chasing dreams at the young me and I live through not money". And for the GOAL her and for her. There's nothing I diggers around the world! It's a powerhouse for real girls. It's not a can't do and I refuse to let her down. She's everything my spirit gossip blog, it's a lifestyle blog. is. She's me in my most purest form and she lives within the depths of my heart.

February 2. Sharon Carol will be releasing her book of photography entitled “Plus One.” The book offers a unique view into the unique and often exclusive world of fashion that we are sure Worthy readers will appreciate.


We can’t wait to see this film. It will be the perfect Valentines Day activity. Ethan longs to escape his small Southern town. He meets a mysterious new girl, Lena. Together, they uncover dark secrets about their respective families, their history and their town.

22-24 7th Annual Boca Raton Concours d’Elegance Presented by Mercedes-Benz

Miami Style

Silva Tcherassi

Silvia Tcherassi & Godfrey del Rio Photo: World Red Eye

Ocean House hosted Silva Tcherassi’s poolside fashion show for her Spring/Summer 2013 collection. This collection makes use of fluid and light materials, which were created especially for Tcherassi by traditional Italian companies. The talented designer is said to have taken her cues for textures from Frida Khalo and drawn influence for her color selections from Fernando Botero, for her past collections. Frida is a personal favorite for us as well. We appreciate the artistry of Tcherassi’s work.

World Red Eye Photo

Worthy Music Artwork By: Marcus Williams

A Tribal Sensation A musical experience unlike anything you have encountered. A sound that is rich with culture, hypnotic beats and deep electronic waves. A new sound is emerging that you need to know about. Meet A Tribe Called Red. 24

Worthy Interview

A Tribe Called Red

Musical movement with substance Worthy magazine genuinely believes that “Musical movements are nomadic in nature,” and our latest exchange with A Tribe Called Red’s group member, Ian Campeau (DJ NDN), serves as a testament to our belief. To say that A Tribe Called Red is quietly brewing a new musical movement in Ottawa, Canada, would almost disrespectful to the electronic music road they are paving for others to come. The talented group of DJs: NDN, Shub and Bear Witness are introducing the world to their Electric PowWow movement.

The Electric PowWow movement is a mash-up of traditional Native American music and electronic music. The auditory delight is so much more than just a form of Dubstep. A Tribe Called Red forms a seamless union of hip-hop, dancehall and for the perfect blend of culture aboriginal music.The group’s musical choices are reflective of a culture that is embedded in the whispers of history. The over-all goal for the group is simple, according to NDN

“Our goal is to promote Aboriginal culture that is our own,” the DJ said. “We are creating something that hasn’t been done before. We are creating a positive piece of art.” Their mixtape can be found on their Web site.


Worthy Interview


Creators of Electronic Powwow



The beginning Like most movements that have left a mark in history, the group’s electronic powwow creation was born out of a necessity, according to DJ NDN. “We started throwing parties for Aboriginal people because we knew there was need for it,” NDN said. “We didn’t know it would become as big as it became. We got approached by a lot of people and it turned into a responsibility. It just worked out perfectly.”

DJ Bear Witness*

Part of the group’s success is attributed to the fact that each group member has something unique to offer. “Shub is like the captain he knows how to work all the software, Bear and I will go to his house say: “We need to do this and we need to change that. Bear makes the videos by himself.”

“We wanted to think up a name people in the city could identify with and also natives on reserve could identify with.” ---DJ NDN -By Ju’lia Samuels

Noteworthy Artist In an industry that is saturated with unauthentic replicas, Miss Joelle Ashley stands as a blonde brighteyed unique creation, comfortable in her own skin, forever young and fun. It is an art that is lost in an industry that appears to have the formula for fame down to a perfect science. However, every once in a while an icon emerges who proves that the “Je ne sais quos” factor is not just a myth. There is just something about them. You admire them for having everything you lack and you just want to get to know them. While the road ahead is still long for the artist, Miss Joelle Ashley shows that promise. When discussing her music, she curls up with her bedazzled Hello Kitty cup and speaks softly and almost entrancingly. “I just want to make music that is true to who I am,” the singer says. Fast forward from a private conversation to the stage, and you see a woman with the same smile but a much more aggressive disposition. She beams with a comfortable confidence that you have no desire to challenge. You just simply enjoy the show. Her lyrical contents and hypnotic beat on her latest single, “Red Lipstick” has set the digital wires ablaze with praise for the tongue and cheek lyrics that make up Joelle Ashley’s latest single. Global Grind described her as: “A hot and sexy artist who spits no holds barred lyrics. “

Miss Joelle Ashley


Worthy Music

Antoine Chery better known as stage name Twan “Da Great” or "Mr.Two3" is an up and coming rap artist based in Broward County, South Florida. He is known for his clever word play and his witty punch lines, Twan “Da Great” is an underground MC that is sure to leave witty and tasteful lyrics in your ears for time to come. Twan “Da Great” grew up in a household raised by his mother and 2 sister siblings. At the age or 9 he received a professional musical keyboard from his father, from that day Twan "Da Great" knew he wanted to be involved with music. Knowing that his father played in a Haitian kompa band, and singing talents throughout his family, it’s no guess as to why he is now in the rap game. Growing up in Brooklyn, NY he listened to some of the most notorious rappers such as Jay-Z, Eminem, and Cassidy just to name a few, amazed at their lyrical ability and talented mc skills, that made it concrete that he really wanted to go hard into the music business. Twan “Da Great” stated that listening to them he knew that he wanted to be just like them going bar for bar, line for line and verse for verse and getting the crowds and people hyped off of his music. At 14 the young mc's parents decided to give another shot with their relationship, this led Twan "Da Great" and his twin sister having to move to south FL. The artist now (24) is growing a name fast for his self in the streets of Broward County Pompano Beach Fl, with one of his street singles “Angry Birds” and "Turn it up" both available on his independent mix tape

“My Face Clean” which is now able to be downloaded on Because f his passion and drive for music this artist is making a big impact in the City. Not only impacting Broward County with his clever lyrics and stylish swag, Twan "Da Great" is one true definition of the modern day independent rap artist. Recording and mixing his own music, filming and editing all of his projects like his music videos, blogs, and his documentary, and starting a small local entertainment company (WATERMOUF ENT. LLC). Twan "Da Great" is really starting to become a household local talent name in broward, being quoted heavily by his catchy slogan's "MY FACE CLEAN" and especially “I Jus Wanna Rap” which is a true expression of his dedication to the rap game and music business in itself. He dropped his latest single “How To Fly” which is a single that he created for the ladies. He stated that he wanted to mix this one up so all his female fans wouldn’t feel left out and they could have songs that they will enjoy also. On his mix tape (MY FACE CLEAN TOO) will embody his evolving growth as a rap artist and everyday person. Along with the music, Twan “Da Great” is a family oriented man, with a wife and 2 children. He states that "A lot of rappers are motivated with the streets and the grind, my motivation comes from my family and friends, knowing where we came from and everyone sort of relying on me to be best MOTIVATES to continue!". The young hip hop artist Journey is sure to be filled with tons of promise, and he destiny for greatness has only begun...

The Future of Music


YouTube sensation and recently signed music group, Ahmir, has managed to take us back to an era where talent did all the work, where emotions were captured in harmonic melodies and lyrics. Armed with talent and YouTube, Ahmir has won the hearts of thousands of fans not to mention the admiration of Miley Cyrus and her father, Billy Ray Cyrus. What stared out as covers to popular songs has evolved into a group of men making a name for themselves from the pages of Worthy to Vibe magazine, everyone is talking about Ahmir and we can’t blame them.

Numbers don’t lie. With a total of 209 videos, an average of 700,000 views a week per video and a grand total of 70 million views, it is safe to say that the odds for success are heavily in Ahmir’s favor. Recently signed to Robbins Entertainment, the group has anything but small hopes for their future. Worthy magazine had the opportunity to sit down and talk with the group members, and we are happy to report that Sing Sing, Mr Jones, Big Mike and KC are just as engaging in conversation as their YouTube videos. We didn’t want to stop asking questions.

“We are never pleased with our current level of success,” Sing Sing said. “We hope that are we still bettering ourselves in the future.” The group’s constant pursuit of betterment is a mentality that translates over into their fan base. The guys have started their own health campaign geared towards inspiring their fans. The campaign consists of the group members sharing pictures with their fans of their physical fitness achievements. The group shares before and after pictures to let their fans know that they can take matters into their own hands when it comes to their health.

“We decided to put ourselves in the best physical shape possible. If we could do it, we knew it would show our fans that their dreams are attainable as well.� - Sing Sing

“Our lyrics are a combination of everything we have been through. We pull from reality. Everyone can remember that one song they listened to when they got their heart broken.� - Big Mike

“The fact that we have done every genre of music is what makes our group unique. We also make sure that we incorporate that into our sound. Not to mention vocally, we can all take the lead.� - Mr. Jones

“We have been working on our latest single “War” for a while. Our fans really wanted to hear our original songs.” - KC

Check it out on iTunes

Noteworthy Artist Interview by: Pasha Gray

India Shawn



Music contributor Pasha Gray interviews India Shawn

“My uncle and I were jamming out on some ideas, and he said something about going back to the origin and it just kinda stuck with me. It had a ring to it.”

By Pasha Gray

How are you India? Anxious, restless... I know you're extremely excited about your album Origin! I am as well. What is Origin? Why/how did you decide on the name? So excited! Origin is the beginning. It's where I'm from and who I am at the core. It's doing without second thoughts. Origin is what's natural, authentic and true. My uncle and I were jamming out on

India Shawn

some ideas, and he said something about going back to the origin and it just kinda stuck with me. It had a ring to it.

What was the creative process like for Origin? The songs came first. I started it a year ago when I was living in LA. After a long and dreadful period of writer’s block, I suddenly had a burst of inspiration and started coming up with really cool ideas every time I took a shower. When I got back to ATL I linked up with John Key and sung him ideas and he was able to build around my ideas and really flesh them out. It was a perfect fit. How would you describe your sound? My sound is R&B. I grew up on R&B, and that's what comes out when I open my mouth. There's no escaping that. My good friend’s Novel described it as Brandy singing Lauryn Hill records. I liked that comparison.

India Shawn The artist has been sining since she was 15 years old

Who are the geniuses behind India? Jesus, my mother, and John Key. Who is India Shawn? (where are you from, background) India Shawn is a 24 year-old woman born & raised in Southern California by a single mother. The youngest of four,half Black American, half Trini. She's figuring life out, getting more comfortable in her own skin, and holding firm to the belief that she was meant to make an impact using her gift of song. How long have you been singing and in the business?

I've been singing my entire life. My mom tells this story about me having a little vibrato in my cry as a baby. I've been in the music biz for about nine years, now. Almost a decade. I started when I moved to Atlanta at 15 years old. Signed a publishing deal with Zone4/Universal a few years ago. What is your favorite song that you have written that’s not on your album? A song called Benjamin I wrote with my team, Full Circle. Pretty sure we'll win a Grammy for it one day.

“Never underestimate the next man. You never know who's on their way up when you're on your way down.”

My goal is to show growth with each project. I want people to respect my work ethic and the thought that I put into my work. I would love to see the world, win some Grammy's and to go down in history as one of the greats.. What’s the best advice you've been given so far on your journey? The best advice I've been given is to never underestimate the next man. You never know who's on their way up when you're on your way down, so I do my best to give everyone the same level of respect. Where can people find you at? (websites)

So I have to ask what is “My journal” about? What were you feeling at the time you wrote this song? I wrote "My Journal" with my good friend, singer/songwriter Timothy Bloom. He was the genius behind that song. I think the atmosphere and the coming together of both sides was what made that song so magical. Professionally what is you goal?


Tissilli Brandi A natural athlete with an academically conscious family, Tissilli Brandi is a solid example of beauty, brains and power. There isn’t much that this athlete and physical fitness trainer can not accomplish. Our news editor, Andre Samuels had the opportunity to sit down with Tissilli and ask a few questions. All we can say is that we are fans.

Please tell us about your personal training business? TissFit embodies Tissilli, Inspiration, and Trans4mation. Total Trans4mations has been constructed to meet the needs of any and everyone. I focus on four dimensions that I believe are key to complete wellness: MIND, BODY, FITNESS, and LIFESTYLE. While I believe these are the core components to complete wellness, they are also listed in a strong order which allows a person to think outside the box. The Total Trans4mation is what keeps us inspired to train hard and consistent. That same inspiration leaves us inclined to become TRANS4MED!! Each individual body is different and has different needs. My job is to tap into what makes you get the job done by focusing on each dimension. Once you have made a conscious decision to get fit and stay healthy……youʼve also made a decision to become a total success.

What is holding most women back in terms of fitness? FEAR!! I believe it is the MOTIVATION or lack there of to get started. Most women think being fit is an impossible feat. It is a job that you must prepare for like anything else in life. I hear women talk about their hair and how they cant stand to mess it up because of workout. Just how you set appointments each week, time in the morning to care for your hair is the same you have to do for the rest of your body. It is important to be healthy ALL_AROUND, and whatever physique or goals you have, can be attained through the right mind set and belief!! The biggest excuse I hear from women is they do not know where to start. Well, you will never know if you donʼt get started.


Fitness Files What is your best recommendation for women hoping to become more fit? How should they get started?

I think the best way is to envision what or how you would like to discover a more FIT you! See it, read about it, believe it can happen to you and become inspired by other females and their stories about transformation. You must make necessary changes and become dedicated to making this a lifestyle, but it takes being inspired! If it is a model, a story, a pair of jeans, or just your well-being, whatever‌. find the motivation, and consume yourself in finding the answers and a scheduled regimen that works best for your mental and physical satisfaction. Make a decision to look good and feel good about your body. Know that it is a process that needs to become habit, so the schedule, routine, and results do not happen over night.

Jump into the next fitness movement with:

Tissilli Brandi 38

Fitness “I am always excited about coming up with new recipes and finding clean recipes to fit into my regimen. There is no excuse to not eat healthy, too many great options out there. Back in 2009 when I was competing as an Olympic hopeful, if only I were able to apply then to what I know now, I would have been living my dream as a track star!! Everything happens for a reason and honestly, I wouldn’t change it for the world. I have come so far and the proof is in the pudding. I wake up everyday doing what I love and helping others to reach their full potential. In the future, I look forward to introducing these same healthy living tips to our up and coming. It is very important to start healthy living early in life. The changes in my body and my life have been well worth the time and dedication.”

- Tissilli Brandi 39

How does one choose a good trainer? What should women look for or beware of? The first step goes without saying, the look! If they say they are a trainer, then they should look and live the part. I am my business card and my billboard. I feel that most people respect this instantly, and become excited and intrigued. Its important to do some sort of research on the trainer to make sure their training philosophy matches up with something you think you would like. Most trainers feed the same lines, but what is most important is to FEEL that their efforts are genuine. A great trainer exudes confidence and a positive attitude. They should be very excited with working with you and become successful with your fitness endeavors and a healthy lifestyle. Lastly, feel great about your purchase, you should be excited about getting started!! What are average sessions with Tissilli like? TissFit group sessions are Packed with fun, loads of energy, and BEAST MODE mentality. Generally everyone leaves with a smile because they understand that they have conquered a classic or authentic athletes workout. Every individual and some groups are even different so as a total physique expert, it is important to know what each person NEEDS mentally and physically.

Words of encouragement: “My advice to any guy who isn’t completely comfortable with his physique is that they can change it. It’s really never too late to be who you are suppose to be.”

Kougar Jackson Fitness Fashion Model

Worthy Style

Presented by Neil Alvin Founder of BGKI




! ! n o d n a r B


By Toni-Ann Martin The Whole Foods Market in Union Square is as much of a tourist attraction as the bustling park it overlooks. It’s the perfect spot for visitors and New York City residents to cool off and grab a healthy bite to eat. For Que Brandon, 25, it’s like a second home. Although Brandon lives in the Bronx, she makes the 35-minute train ride at least six days a week to grab lunch and shop her favorite all-natural, organic products. When we met there in late June, she was shocked to find out I had never eaten at the Whole Foods Café. She snacked on yucca fries with ketchup, one of her favorites, and I opted for spinach noodles and tofu, a bold choice for a carnivore. Lunch over, we headed out into the New York heat. Dressed in a charcoal gray Calvin Klein pants suit and black boots, Brandon was all business save for the wavy fauxhawk, and instead of a briefcase she clutched a blue canvas bag full of cupcakes. We walked to First Avenue and 10th Street, entering Commodities Natural Market to the sight and smell of fresh produce. Brandon greeted an employee and reached into her bag revealing an assortment of red velvet, double-chocolate fudge, and tropical island carrot cupcakes. This was one of five stores on her list of spots to visit in search of a home for her baked goods. In March 2012, Brandon launched an online Vegan bakery, aptly named The Vakery. She’s been filling orders and pitching to natural food stores all over the city. Some are surprised to see the 5’11, 125-pound gal selling cupcakes. She kindly lets them know she’s a model, but the self-taught pastry chef now adds entrepreneur to her resume.


“It’s not fair that you’re so skinny and you’re feeding us these cupcakes,” said Brandon. It was a comment from one of her recent customers, one she’s used to hearing. Aside from a membership at New York Sports Club, Brandon’s stay-fit secret is her friends, who by no surprise do lots of taste testing. I tried a tropical island carrot cupcake, topped with a pecan sitting in a swirl of cream cheese frosting. “Do you taste the carrot? Would you mind filling out this survey for me?” she asked handing me a notebook. Just one bite revealed the flavors I expected to taste based on its name—subtle hints of carrot, pineapple and coconut. With the cupcake in one hand and a pen in the other, I rated each flavor on a scale of one to 10. Her friends’ initials were next to previous ratings. It’s a clever way for Brandon to resist overindulging and maintain her thin frame for modeling. Brandon became a vegetarian in May ! 2011 after watching “Food, Inc.,” a documentary that examines America’s meat and dairy industries. She experimented with different vegetarian and vegan recipes to adapt to her new lifestyle, and that’s when she thought about opening a vegan bakery. The challenge of replacing traditional ingredients with vegan alternatives was one she gladly accepted. “Some people do yoga. I bake,” Brandon said. She does a lot of thinking while baking and loves to see her confectionery creations come to life. “People are probably like, ‘How did you go from basketball to modeling to baking cupcakes?’” She said. “I’m full of surprises.”

The Washington, D.C., native grew up playing basketball and was a shooting guard and small forward for the Rams at the University of Rhode Island. With an interest in modeling and encouragement from friends, she moved to New York in January 2011 to pursue a modeling career. Brandon went from crosscourt sprints and shooting hoops to shooting fashion spreads and strutting down runways. She shuffled through images from the portfolio on her iPad, beaming as she talked about her proudest moments. Brandon was featured in a swimsuit spread for Glamour Magazine. In September she walked in Mercedes Benz Fashion Week for Michael Knight, and Kortu Momulu. She was also handpicked and fitted by designer Christian Siriano—her favorite contestant on the hit show Project Runway—for a fashion show in Washington, D.C. Although Brandon has done well booking her own jobs, not being signed to a major agency makes it more difficult to succeed in the industry. She goes to castings and collaborates with photographers for paid assignments, but not every day. Fortunately, the downtime allows her to focus on her entrepreneurial endeavor. Brandon understands the reservations people might have about purchasing baked goods online, especially if they’ve never tried it. By selling them wholesale and offering samples at different events, she hopes to gain customers who will in turn appreciate the convenience of having cupcakes delivered to their homes. On a routine Twitter search for opportunities in the vegan community, she came across The Seed: A Vegan Experience. Project Manager Alison Dobleman said The Seed was the brainchild of Harvey Fung, owner of 82Mercer in SoHo.




Fung felt there wasn’t an event that touched on the overall vegan lifestyle, so they organized more than 70 vendors to sell clothing, jewelry, and food, and nonprofit organizations to promote their causes. On June 16 and 17, more than 3,000 people walked through 82Mercer. Brandon sold mini versions of her red velvet, cookies and crème, peanut butter cup and jelly doughnut cupcakes on the first day, adding a gluten-free lemon ginger cupcake on the second day. Dobleman praised Brandon for being personable and welcoming to anyone who approached her table.

@TheVakery !



“She was phenomenal. At the end of the first day she completely sold out of all her product. People really liked her cupcakes,” she said. Nothing was left but crumbs and empty plastic containers. Both days were a success. “I can’t even explain that feeling. For the first time I really felt like The Vakery has a chance. People loved my product and that was super rewarding,” she said. At the event, another vegan pastry chef suggested stores Brandon should sell her cupcakes to. Each day she focuses on a different borough. She tweets about new flavors and products she’ll offer in the future. The Vakery is just five months old and Brandon has only been modeling in New York for a year and a half. She said, “When I’m into something I go in. I’m not going to flake on it. I’m going to do it 100 percent.” And with that attitude, she has plenty more cupcakes to sell and runways to grace.



Everyone has a story to tell, but most never make it to a bookshelf. Adia Kamaria was determined to see her story in print. Inspired by life experiences, she used her passion for creative writing to pen Ana’s Magic, a novel filled with ambition, adversity and love. The main character Anastacia ‘Ana’ Wright leads a glamorous life back and forth from Miami to New York— shopping sprees at Aventura Mall, bottle service and dancing at Privé, and late-night dinners at Cafeteria. She’s living it up and chasing her dreams of becoming a fashion designer, but everything changes in an instant. The girl who’s used to having it all loses everything and struggles to make it on her own until she meets Magic. “Magic comes and seems to change her life for the better, but it’s actually for the worse,” said Kamaria. The firsttime author details the life of a girl in her 20s who finds love in her darkest hour, but through it all, she makes sure Ana never loses sight of her ultimate goal. Kamaria was born in Chicago to Jamaican parents and grew up in Miramar, Fla. She graduated from Miramar High School and moved to New York to start school at the Fashion Institute of Technology, but like Ana, was forced to move back home. “When I came back home my life changed in the space of a day. I ended up staying at people’s houses and it was a nightmare. I had to figure out how to be an adult right away,” Kamaria said. She was on her own working two jobs to take care of her two younger brothers. “I took what I considered to be a really bad situation in my life and turned it into a fiction book,” she said. Kamaria was sleeping over a friend’s house when she woke up in the middle of the night with the urge to write and began not knowing if she would even finish it.

“I started to tell people around me and it was kind of motivating because my friends would always ask me what part I’m at now, so that kept me going. If anyone called me I’d answer and say, ‘I’m writing.’ I was in another world when I wrote the book.” It took her six months to write the story by hand, spending some days writing just a paragraph and others finishing a full chapter, then two months to transcribe and edit. She spent a year in a publishing deal that didn’t amount to anything. Once the contract was up, she chose to self publish the book and released the first copy of Ana’s Magic in 2008. Kamaria visited book fairs and trade shows nationwide to promote the book. When people asked her about the book and she realized she was the only way they could purchase it, so she sought a different avenue. Kamaria turned to Create Space, a company that guides authors through the self-publishing process and handles the distribution through its website and online retailer Amazon. She considered the reviews she read about her book online where readers said the plot was too drawn out with unnecessary details. Kamaria reworked the story and redesigned the book cover. In May 2012 the new version of Ana’s Magic was officially available on Amazon. Kamaria mulled over the genre of Ana’s Magic. It has the elements of chick-lit with the edginess associated with urban literature. Authors she met at book fairs would say her book “isn’t ghetto enough.” Kamaria compared it to Bling by the late Erica Kennedy and doesn’t mind classifying it as urban lit because it is about an urban lifestyle, but it’s not that gritty, she said. “Writing is one of those things to me. It’s an art. You do it however you do it, and people like it or they leave it alone,” Kamaria said. Kamaria started to work on the second installment of Ana’s Magic. Until then check out her blog, Kamaria’s Kiss, for commentary on current events, relationships and more. -Toni-Ann Martin


Worthy Athlete MEET TAMARA JAMES Former WNBA player and standout player for the University of Miami, Tamara James showed her heart for service at the City of Hollywood’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Centerwhile on break from Israel with the Maccabi Ashdod team.

The halls of the recreation community center echoed with the cheers and chatter of children participating in Jamesʼ basketball clinics and tournaments. On the site, vision screenings, diabetic screenings and rapid HIV testing was available. Jamesʼ foundation collaborated with the City of Hollywood, the University of Miami, Florida State University and the University of North Florida to make the clinics and tournament bigger than previous years. Each university had a representative who participated in the clinics. The event emphasized the importance of education and health awareness. According to the centerʼs recreation coordinator, Richard Walker, the event served as a medium to dispel the belief that the Black community is not health conscious and provided James, with the opportunity to give back. “I think this event allows people to know that we are concerned about our health. We proved that we have a focus on our health. Those who thought that we wouldnʼt come out today were proved wrong,” Walker said. Jamesʼ over-all message that she wanted to deliver to the children and families in attendance at the event was a simple call to action summed up in a simple question. “Got heart?” “Got heart? Itʼs a really simple message. Is your heart healthy? Do you have the heart to work towards your goal? Continue to do it. Itʼs a struggle and itʼs a battle, but the reward is greater,” James said.


2012 Miami Social Scene: + Fashion Night Out +Art Basel +Paper Magazine Party +Interview Magazine Party +Absolut Tune Vodka Party +H&M Miami Opening Party +Vanity Fair +Peace on E[art]h 52

2012 Events

What A Miami Scene

Seth Browarnik Photos

A look back at some of the best events in 2013


2012 Events -H&M Grand Opening Party -Interview Magazine Art Basel Party -Paper magazine and United Colors of Beneton Party


Vanity Fair Photographer: Spex Photo

Fashion Night Out

We Love The Couple Starring Desmond Faison & Numa Perrier

Dennis Dortch and Numa Perrier are the creators of an online show that is growing in popularity and is a part of an increasingly growing approach to humor. It is the kind of humor that pulls from real life and laughs at that awkward moments instead of antic jokes and over-bearing vulgarities.

“The reception was surprising at first. We thought that this would be the underground "artsy" series that not everyone could get into because of its quiet nature and focus on the minutia,” Dennis said. “As we continued releasing the minisodes, the audience and buzz grew. It clearly became our hit series. People would say things like this was something straight out of their bedroom or did we place a hidden camera in the car with them and their significant other? It's relatable nature beat any fears we had of the show being accessible. We are glad we went with our instincts and stuck to our guns.”


“Working with Dennis is very natural. We have the same sensibilities and standards but sometimes different approaches to it. I am very sensitive and quick to decide, he is very particular and likes to take his time- we are both creative though and we aren't afraid to disagree. In the end it always comes down to our common goals- to have great quality all the way down the line - so any fights are worth it.”

His Answers Where do you think Web-isodes stand in the grand scheme of TV programming geared towards minorities?

How is it working together as a couple? We have bumps, debates, and flat out arguments. Sometimes when you have 100% view and access to someone, it's often too much and neither of you are 100% on your game or professional like you would be if you set meetings, deadlines, and responsibilities like regular business people do. Our regular home life bleeds over into our professional one in ways that would never happen otherwise. But ultimately, it's efficient when getting things done. To instantly tell each other of an idea we have in a night time/bedside impromptu meeting is priceless, and you can't compete with it in another partnership configuration. And ultimately we are both fulfilling our desire to live, work, and dream with our lover. We used to call each other our LPF (Lover/Partner/Friend). In terms of TV programming, what do you think is missing? Yes, there will always be something missing in TV programming. The Couple simply offers a sophisticated view of a black relationship free of the over dramatic antics and dysfunctional stigmas usually associated with our coupling. And the fact that we avoid specific names for them other than specifying gender like "He" and "She" and anybody of any race or culture can slip on the same shoes and relate to all of it.

Hip hop started as an underground form of music with tools, "instruments" and an "out the trunk" direct distribution available to its creators to fill a void in the market. Web series are the underground reaction and new art form to the growing demand of new and sophisticated images of ourselves as people of color. Where do you draw inspiration from for each episode? Is it personal? In the early days of our budding romance, I found myself staying over Numa's apartment more than my own and it didn't make financial sense to continue paying for my own spot that I occasionally saw. We are usually on our best behavior when you know you or the other person can go home at anytime. And any clues you see about the other person's living habits you tend to ignore--almost blinded by love with the most optimistic view of your boo... but then when you decide to move in and the honeymoon period runs out... it is mostly personal stories culled from Jeanine's and separately myself and Numa's relationships. That's why they feel so real...cause they are. What has been your favorite episode so far? My new favorite is "Home Life Edition" especially the vignette "Ikea" part of it. I think most people didn't get it, but the few that did, really got it. I love that one because there is no dialog and all of the frustration and pressure a man feels putting together an Ikea product while his woman is hanging around in quiet judgment is all in there. What are your plans for the future in terms of film and show production. We are focused on our sister shows The Couple and The Number, but the real goal is the network Black&Sexy TV. More shows are coming soon along for the new incarnation of Black&Sexy TV along with my next feature in development.

What would you say makes the show so unique from other shows? The incredible focus and attention to the nuances, details, and the minutia of relationships. And being true to our honest and understated tone.


Her Answers

The show started with creative partner Jeanine Daniels. She had this great idea to do an anecdotal series about a couple- Dennis wanted someone who was a bit of an odd ball to play the girl and approached me Jeanine had a friend in mind for the guy so they threw us in a room and the chemistry was there. The rest is history! What is the main goal of the show? The main goal of the show is honesty and having real moments. We want people to relate to us as a real life couple. What is the creative process like? The creative process is pretty spontaneous. We improv based on loose scripts which requires some patience and trust that it will work out. We are also creating more structure to have better balance. What do you enjoy about making the show? Those moments when we all get excited and start smirking and laughing about a new story idea is the best because we know we've hit on something and cant wait to get it out there. What has the reception been like? People love the show and they're very vocal about it. I've been recognized a few times on the street in NY and LA as well from the series which was surprising. It was always a woman who approached and just kept kept encouraging us to do more because they felt it was really refreshing and something they had never seen before. Over all I think the show makes people happy and hopeful while still shaking their heads at the silly things that happen between this couple.

What would you say makes the show so unique? Our uniqueness lies in the sensibilities and tone of the show I think it's pretty tough to try and duplicate - there's a raw quality without being rough. What is your favorite episode so far?My favorite episode is ride or drive chick. We shot it fast and dirty and I had to really let loose. People are still talking about that episode as if we plucked it straight from their life. That's always the best compliment for me. What are your plans for the future?

Plans for the future- you'll be meeting more people in the couples world. definitely planning on more seasons and some other surprises


Where do you think Web-isodes stand in the grand scheme of TV programming geared towards minorities?

To me all of these shows releasing regularly are legitimate series. Varying budgets yes but we still have executives - producers- we are running sets -we have writing staff- the "web" part is just about distribution. So the grand scheme is a multitude of opportunities as distribution has widened so much.



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Royal Dynamite is a socially responsible community based t-shirt line that prides itself in fan favorite t-shirts and collaborations. They embrace the idea of “Collaborative Style for Awareness� through partnerships with other businesses, brands, and artists to support education, and other important causes. With that, They launched their RDCares One-for-One Initiative; for every t-shirt bought, Royal Dynamite will donate an educational package (bag, book, pencil, eraser and sharpener) to a child in need through the RDCares program. They strive to deliver the best customer service, while keeping the line fun, exciting, and intriguing. It is up to you to help them stay relevant. Royal Dynamite tshirts are part of a dynamic walking art exhibition inspired and designed by you, the RD customer.

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