Archives for category: fashion

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By: Amanda Anderson-Niles

As we embark into a new season, we also embark into new fashion trends. And with each red carpet premiere for the blockbusters of the summer, fashion addicts are left to ponder on which looks will stick. And as of late, pajamas have made several appearances, with the help of one of music’s biggest fashionistas, Rihanna.

The Editor’s Take:

I try to be open minded with fashion, but I can’t see how wearing pajamas on the red carpet can be deemed stylish. Even in a pair of stilettos, Rihanna looks like she just hopped out of bed. I don’t care which big name designer signed off on these rags, I’m still highly disappointed that we’ve come to the point in fashion where rocking pajamas in public is acceptable.

I miss the short, black hair, cute short cut rockin’ Rihanna. Yeah she may be back to black tresses, but her style has been missing since the Chris Brown fiasco. I’m hoping she’ll cut off the silky weave and bring back the fierceness we all loved.

Until then, not even “Rebel Rihanna” can pull off pajamas…

Supermodel encourages wigs over weaves with upcoming wig line.

By: Taren Vaughan

Supermodel Tyra Banks has traveled down many different avenues in the fashion and entertainment industry. Posing in front of flashing cameras and taking trips down the Catwalk are things that Tyra knows ever so well and through America’s Next Top Model has strived to help aspiring models make a name for themselves in the competitive world of fashion. She has even held her ground well as a talk show host of a self-titled show. Her list keeps growing from year to year as she is constantly taking on new business ventures.

And now it is about to grow even more as it has been said that she is on the verge of launching a new wig line.

Banks’ inspiration came from her own personal encounters with her own hair. She has been said to be noticing changes in her hairline, which in turn is causing her to reveal her forehead more often:

“Tyra’s hairline has been inching back over the last few years, showing more and more of her forehead,” -source to National Enquirer.

Perhaps a tad bit self conscious about pushing those bangs to the side, Tyra Banks still gives off the “I am woman hear me roar” vibe when speaking to her female audiences about their appearance, especially Black women.

“Kiss my fat ass” still ring a bell?

As an African American woman, Banks knows firsthand the negative comments that often come our way about our size, style of dress and our hair. Rockin’ your God-given mane was not an acceptable option for sisters. But now times are beginning to change as more and more Black women are saying no to the “creamy crack” in a bucket.

Her support for natural beauty is apparent as she has relieved her own hair from weaves. And with Banks’ upcoming wig line, it seems to be promoting doing less damage to your hair while still adding a little something extra to it.

The wig line release date is not set in stone at the moment.





By: Taren Vaughan

Singer Keri Hilson has been applauded for her versatility when it comes to her wardrobe. Whether it be walking the Red Carpet in a pair of stilettos or wearing a pair of jeans and a pair of fresh J’s, the R&B hit maker can turn almost any piece of clothing into something pretty fab…well almost everything.

Hilson has recently been recruited as the new poster girl for Puma. And as we all know, Puma can’t hold a candle to other big name shoe brands like Nike, Adidas and New Balance as far style and durability are concerned. Even the long lost Reeboks are coming back in style. But they are bound and determined to get their sales up and decided that they needed to become a little more social:Link

Keri Hilson in Puma Social Video

Photo shoots, brief tidbits on her charity work, and hanging out with friends in the UK starring Keri sums it all up.

Didn’t entice me to hop in my car and go on a Puma spending spree after watching this.

And apparently, it didn’t tickle the fancy of her fans either. The Puma Social webisodes so far have gotten around a whopping 3,500 views on YouTube; 3,500 views compared to the millions of views for her musical performances, videos and interviews. They just weren’t feeling it.

It doesn’t seem like this stunt brought much hype to the form stripes at all. It’s not like she’s rockin’ a pair of retro Jordans. You could put the lamest artist in a pair of those and they would still sell with the quickness.

You would think having one of the top R&B chicks in the game to promo for you would be enough to push sales, put Puma in some real competition with the other hot sneaker brands on the market.

Truth be told, Pumas haven’t been in style for a minute now. And using the likes of a popular artist as a means to bring them back to life: epic fail.

Custom apparel designers bring about “Change” in the fashion industry.

Interview By: Taren Vaughan

Starting your own apparel company is something that many dream about. Some have tried in the past to mimic the likes of moguls Sean “Diddy” Combs and Russell Simmons but didn’t quite manage to pull off the task. But for the more determined and focused individuals out there, they took their ideas from paper and turned them into a successful reality. With a healthy dose of creativity and corporate smarts to show for, these two talented business owners thought that it would be good to bring about some “Change” when it comes to the world of fashion. And have taken the time to tell us at Urban Belle Magazine exactly what kind of movement they are on the brink of.

Urban Belle: Coming up with an idea to start a company can happen instantly overnight. Or it could come from years of contemplating on it. How did the idea of Subject 2 Change come about?

Jamie Patterson: I came in the business just a little after inception…the back story on that is Duke beat UNC in March 2004 and Zach Hawkins and I went to the bonfire. We ran into Nykki and her friend Kelli out there. We were talking and Nykki stated that she, Kelli and another person had started a t-shirt company named “Subject 2 Change” and my question back to her was “CAN I GET ON!?!”. Nykki said that 3 partners were enough and that was it. Fast forward to June 2004, the 3rd partner stopped to promote parties and I could join them if I still wanted to, and since that day, we never looked back.

Urban Belle: Starting a company of any kind can be a challenge and requires a lot of time and effort. How would you describe the start-up process for you all and was it how you expected it to be?

Nykia Elvy: The beauty of the inception of Subject 2 Change is that it actually started as a hobby. As a member of a greek organization, I was always in the market for new and unique paraphernalia, and with the limited offerings available locally, I started to create my own. I found a website that allowed me to create my own t-shirt design, and when I received it, I thought this was something I could do myself. Then, as I began to talk with others about unique ideas for other organizations, I quickly realized that there was a real need for custom apparel, with particular focus on making these apparel items fun and fashionable. That’s how Subject 2 Change was born!

Urban Belle: There are numerous apparel companies in the Triangle Area and other parts of North Carolina. What do you think makes your company stand out amongst the rest?

Jamie Patterson: Well first off, we did a lot of research on local apparel companies and at the time, there was a lack of real customer service in the custom apparel field; a lot of hidden fees and other unnecessary things which drove customers away. We spotted that and jumped on it and it’s been our mantra from the beginning. Another thing is that we can relate to what customers want because we were members of a lot of the groups that had custom apparel needs. In regards to sticking out, we are using a lot of the social networking tools at our discretion and that thing WORKS!

Urban Belle: Being that you are located in Durham, North Carolina in close reach of schools like NCCU, Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill, do you still feel as though you are able to successfully reach other student bodies in other parts of North Carolina (i.e. NC A&T, Wake Forest University, UNC-Charlotte, etc.) If so, how do you go about doing that?

Nykia Elvy: Our geographic location has been the key to our success. As you mentioned, we are so close to NCCU, Duke, and UNC, and have built lasting relationships with so many campus organizations at each school. These relationships often extend beyond the undergraduate organizations as well, because our customers often refer us to their friends and colleagues in their workplaces, churches, or other groups and organizations. That said, we rely heavily upon “word-of-mouth” and positive references, and certainly hope to expand our growing network to reach more schools in North Carolina and beyond.

Urban Belle: Although Subject 2 Change is headquartered in NC, would you all be willing to open locations in other parts of the United States?

Jamie Patterson: Sure! Our company has 2 arms, “Subject 2 Change Customs”, which does apparel for groups, churches, businesses and the like. “Subject 2 Change Apparel” is the arm of the company that creates imaginative, inspired apparel that we would place in retail outlets and actually have stores to sell the apparel, similar to O’Reilly, Billabong and Pac Sun. I would love to have a location on Ocean Blvd in Miami and another one in Hollywood.

Urban Belle: Apparel companies that start in the U.S. have a tendency to expand over seas. Is there any chance of Subject 2 Change going international?

Nykia Elvy: Absolutely! As long as a company has a website, its reach is international! As we continue to grow, I know that Jamie and I will travel to countries to Europe and Asia to draw inspiration from the culture there, and look for new markets in which to sell.

Urban Belle: As business partners, the responsibility of running a company takes great communication, planning, and time commitment. With you and Nykia living in two different areas, do you feel that that ever has an effect on how well your plans for the company come together?

Jamie Patterson: No. Communication has not been a strain with us. A phone call is a powerful thing, couple that with email and google chat and we’re unstoppable. Early on, in the beginning, Nykia and I discussed that she would be leaving NC for Business School at Fordham and we should start communicating with the available technology. That was in 2006, and at this point, it’s the way we operate. If she has any questions, she’ll call or email me and we communicate and make decisions from there.

Urban Belle: The support that you and Jamie have for each other is obvious as your company has been going strong since 2004, but how have other people showed their support for your company and its mission?

Nykia Elvy: I love this question! You’re right: Jamie and I have a lot of respect and admiration for each other. We have a strong partnership, and I think other people see that and respect it. We’ve been blessed to have created an inviting company, where our customers and friends are able to come share ideas, fellowship, and network with people of common interests. Our office has been a meeting place for so many events (photo shoots, album listening parties, wine tastings, etc.) that all bring people together. Our friends are our greatest support!

Urban Belle: As Subject 2 Change focuses mainly on apparel, do you ever host or participate in any events on behalf of the company or in conjunction with other organizations?

Jamie Patterson: As a company, we specialize in screen printing, embroidery, promotional products and graphic design. In regards to events on the company’s behalf, we have our annual “Express Yourself” T-shirt party with SoNi Events. Nykia is a member of Delta Sigma Theta, Sorority Inc. and I’m a brother of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.; we’re both very active with our local chapters and assist wherever we can with our business. Each semester we have interns from local universities (i.e. NCCU, UNC, NCSU and/or Duke). We have hosted annual meetings in our offices with local Durham Youth from “YO:Durham” and “Partners for Youth”. We co-sponsored with the Purple Champion Hospitality Group their 2nd Annual Shoebox Campaign in conjunction with Durham Parks and Recreation Department. All of our hard work and dedication to community and business has netted us the “Young Entrepreneur of the Year” award from The Durham Chamber of Commerce.

Urban Belle: Where do you see Subject 2 Change in the next five years?

Nykia Elvy: My focus is going to be on Subject 2 Change Apparel (the arm of the company that will sell ready-2-wear clothing), and opening a store in NYC. Once that store is up and running, we’re looking to expand to Miami, Los Angeles, and then who knows…stay tuned!


For more info on Subject 2 Change, visit the company’s website.

You don’t need to spend a whole lot of money for fabulous fall fashion, just focus on the essentials.

By: Amanda Anderson 

It’s a new season, and fabulous fall fashion is finally here. New York Fashion Week only stirred up our fashion addictions, as well as revealed that this season is all about bold trends, vintage fabrics, classic pieces with a modern twist, and exquisite colors that we’re dying to add to our own stash of chic fashions. In a perfect world, you’d have a huge bank account at your dispense to indulge in designer labels and just about every fashion trend to dazzle fashion editors on the runway as of late. But as the economy continues to struggle and jobs remain scarce, we’re all forced to become budget fashionistas, and become practical in our shopping pursuits and love affair with style. But your new found savvy in spotting deals with pretty labels in no way means that you can’t have the fall wardrobe to die for, it just means that you will have to focus less on how many pieces you buy, and more on what kinds of pieces you decide to add to your wardrobe. Quality, not quantity, is the first rule to shopping fabulously on a budget.

So don’t fret if you can’t splurge like you’d like, you can still feed you inner fashionable diva.

Here’s the crucial pieces you’ll need to refresh your fall wardrobe, with abusing your budget, and spending what you really don’t have.

1. The Blazer

You’ll need a blazer in your wardrobe this season, as it’s one of the most crucial pieces of fashion this fall.

Blazers are great pieces to use to add a little flair to just about any outfit, and they can be dressed up or even made into casual chic. It’s way more savvy to but a few blazers in different styles and different colors to bring a little justice to your wardrobe. But to be on the safe side and avoid overspending, I suggest two different blazers. Get a basic one and a more trendier piece, and you should be set this season.

2. Big Pants

Sure, skinny jeans might have been all the rage for the last couple cycles of fashion, but this season, big pants are the season’s must have, and a serious piece of runway candy that you just can’t ignore. Cop a few wider leg pants, and work them like no one’s business this fall.

3. Animal Print

Rather it’s a top, dress, bag, or shoes; you need to sprinkle a little animal print into your wardrobe this season. Don’t fight the urge, animal print is versatile enough to be sexy, trendy, and even edgy on your gothic inspired days. A few staple pieces will work wonders.

4. The Sexy Sweater Dress

Curve fitting, alluring, captivating, chic, and dare I say…delicious; the sexy sweater dress is an absolute must have. It’s one of the most sexiest ways to keep warm, not to mention, can be accentuated with something as simple as a waist belt, and made classic with a strand of pearls, opera length style. A couple of these and you’re set.

5. A Little Leather

Leather skirts and dresses were a hit during New York Fashion Week, so you’ll want at least one of each to keep up with the fashion addicted.

While there are many more pieces you could easily add to your stash, these are by far the essentials for the fall 2010 season. Indulge in them, work them, and you’ll appear as if you have an extensive fall wardrobe.

Real style goes further than an addiction to labels.
By: Amanda Anderson

When it comes to the world of fashion editorials, it’s necessary for every big wig fashion editor and blogger to stay abreast of the fashion trends that we see grace the runways. As the seasons change, it is the fashion editors that report on the trends, and inform fashionistas everywhere on what looks will be the staple of the season. It’s a job that requires attention to detail and faithfulness to the runway. And although we focus most of our attention on reporting on trends and keeping up with collections from the most celebrated of fashion designers, it is the fashion editors themselves that can spot a real stylish woman from a poser.

Fashion may be objective, but real style is to celebrated.

Here’s how every fashion editor can spot the stylish from the wannabes.

Trends aren’t essential to their wardrobe.

Fashion trends may be the primary focus of the fashion blogs and magazines, but by no means are they the focus of the wardrobes of the truly stylish.

Some of the most fashionable icons may have known the trends of the season, but they didn’t feel the need to obsess over them either. The real fashionistas know that trends should compliment your style, but not consume your entire wardrobe. Take a little initiative, and select pieces that speak to you inner fashion powerhouse.

Fashion magazines and blogs are useful when it comes to selecting pieces, but it’s always better to be the one who sets trends, verses following them.

High End Doesn’t Make You Stylish.

Have you ever met label addicted “fashionistas?” They won’t buy anything unless it’s considered designer, and they don’t necessarily care about the design itself, but more so the price tag. If they spend several hundreds on a pair of shoes, they feel like they are crossing into stylish territory.

When it comes to real style, labels don’t always equal stylish. Those who are more obsessed with expensive price tags and high end labels shouldn’t be mistaken for chic.

Real fashion icons (such as Sarah Jessica Parker) have the ability to mix high and low end pieces, and can make any label look high end.

Wear what you love and what looks good on you.

Great style means wearing clothes that look great on you. Know what looks best on your body type, and work with it, and not against it. It’s also crucial to know which colors look best against your skin.

Mix classic fashion with a modern twist.

Vintage fashion is essential to the closet of the chic woman. It’s imperative to always hold on to classic styles of fashion, and use them to enunciate modern looks. Trendy women miss out on making a real statement because they are too busy chasing after trends to remember the classic elements that have made the greater significance in fashion.

The Rundown

As a fashion editor, I can admit that most of us don’t care too much for following trends. When you write about fashion collection after collection, and season after season, the fashionista in you just rather rebel and wear what the hell she wants. And most editors do. And in essence, real style requires confidence, and having the ability to pick out what would look best on you, versus letting us tell you as if you are fashionally challeneged.

If you want to be a real fashion powerhouse, use the fashion magazines as the first base, but use your own intuition to develop your own style.

By: Amanda Anderson

Love fashion, but can’t afford the styles from the runway that you love? Here are the top designers that will give you great fashion, without breaking the bank.

1. Simply Vera

Vera Wang is fashion designer to some of the most stylish celebrities, and notoriously known for designing some of the most beautiful and expensive wedding gowns I’ve ever seen. As a result of the recession, Wang and many other high end designers, having taking a cure from the economy and created budget friendly fashion lines. Target is one of the first chains to begin partnering with high end designers, but Kohl’s was the pnly department store that was able to convince Wang to bring her lower priced designs to the department store.

The Simply Vera line is a wide range of fabulous dresses, accessories, tops, bags, and more.

2. Jessica Simpson

Jessica Simpson may have became a household name after her adorable ditziness on her MTV based reality show as a Newlywed, and a few hit singles; but she’s expanded her resume since calling it splits with Nick Lackey and MTV. The woman hasn’t put out an album in years, but she’s well on her way to becoming one of the biggest celebrity fashion designers we’ve ever seen. And it has little to do with savvy marketing campaigns, but everything to do with great designs, affordability, and comfort..

With an extensive line of chic handbags, curvy inspired jeans, stylish jewelry, and fabulous clothing; Simpson has managed to create a fashion empire that is dominating department stores everywhere.

The reason why Simpson’s clothing line remains one of the most sold in an industry of crowded fashion is due to her constant ability to combine affordability with comfort. Jessica Simpson has some amazing shoes, and although they are gorgeous, they feel absolutely amazing on your feet. If you haven’t gotten into Jessica Simpson’s line, you’re missing out on some great and affordable fashion.

3. Merona

Target has come a long way from our favorite and convenient drug store chain, and has now become a fashion portal, connecting high end designers and shoppers on a budget.

While there have been many great designers to collaborate with Target such as Thakoon and Zac Posen, Merona is another line that has dominated Target’s fashion scene for quite some time. Celebrated for it’s dedication to keeping up with the trends and true to your budget; it’s the biggest reason you should be shopping at Target.

4. Carlos Santana

Carlos Santana may have established himself as a legendary guitar player, but his collection of shoes is on well on its way to legendary as well.

Bold and fabulous, Carlos Santana shoes are truly in league of their own. The designs are very runway meets classic, and while the shoes may look like a thousand bucks, they are always available at a department store price that will make this line of shoes one of your favorites in no time.

Each of these clothing lines are ranged from $40-$85.

While this is a small list of great fashion labels that won’t cost you a fortune, there are many other designers jumping onboard the affordable fashion trend. Most high end designers are partnering with some of your favorite stores such as Target, Kohl’s and JCPenny’s; while many others prefer to sell in small boutiques and online shops. If you have a favorite end designer who could use a little more exposure, keep an eye on them and you may discover that they are in the process of creating an affordable fashion line as well.