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When political unrest meets fashion it is usually a powerful statement or a symbol of a great awakening. However, when it came to Vans’ recent shoe design, the deal was dead in the water before it got a chance to grow its land legs. The shoe company is facing a boycott in Hong Kong over a controversial shoe design alluding to the city’s anti-government protests which have become increasingly frequent and more violent. Vans opted to withdraw the shoe design from their site and inventory, an act which had many protesters posting videos of them  throwing their shoes in the trash or burning them!

via CNN.com

Held annually, the Vans Custom Culture competition invites the public to submit their own shoe designs, with the winner of an online vote receiving $25,000 and having their sneakers manufactured by the brand. After voting opened last week, one entry quickly rose to the top, reportedly garnering tens of thousands of votes — a shoe themed around the months long protests in the semi-autonomous city.
The proposed sneaker has since been removed from the competition website.

The proposed sneaker has since been removed from the competition website. Credit: Vans
The design, attributed to a Canada-based user named Naomiso, features a red bauhinia, the flower on Hong Kong’s flag, and one of the yellow umbrellas synonymous with the city’s 2014 pro-democracy protests. Illustrations on the sneaker’s side depict a crowd of protesters wearing gas masks, goggles and hard hats. On Saturday, with over a week of voting still to go, the submission was removed from the competition website. In a statement posted on Facebook in Chinese and English, the brand said that “a small number of artistic submissions have been removed … to uphold the purpose of Custom Culture.”
We really cannot say if Vans was right for removing the shoes or not, clearly as a company they made an executive decision they felt was best for them. Meanwhile, political unrest continues in Hong Kong with no end in sight.

Fashion

Fall & Trending–Combat Boots!

In the past, combat boots were strictly used in a utilitarian capacity.

Mainly used in the front lines of war, these boots were great for keeping the feet safe from the rough terrain and keeping your agility at tip top shape. These days, you can find this accessory on almost every runway. Countless designers have created their own interpretation of the combat boot and the many different ways they can be worn. The true question, however, is when and where is it appropriate to wear them?

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Combat boots

In the past, combat boots were strictly used in a utilitarian capacity.

Mainly used in the front lines of war, these boots were great for keeping the feet safe from the rough terrain and keeping your agility at tip top shape. These days, you can find this accessory on almost every runway. Countless designers have created their own interpretation of the combat boot and the many different ways they can be worn. The true question, however, is when and where is it appropriate to wear them?

Truth is, you can wear them wherever you want. As much as I appreciate a woman in a dope pair of heels, I love to see a combat boot moment. It’s a great way to give the impression that you’re a rebel and reject fashion norms all while staying perfectly chic. At Alexander McQueen, many of the looks were shown with knee high combat boots. The boots were effortlessly paired with everything from avant-guard dresses to pant suits. They were mostly all black, but some were adorned with studs and different colored laces. This was the perfect example of essentially planning your entire wardrobe around a single pair of boots, which is important when you really have no time to plan full head to toe looks.

Combat boots

For those that don’t want to blend into a sea of regular combat boots, they can march to the beat of Prada. Their fall 2019 collection featured an array of different styles of boots. Many of them were accessorized with tiny belt bags, which if I can say for myself, I LIVED!!! I would never have thought to attach belt bags to my combat boots, however, when you’re Muicca Prada, setting trends is a natural talent.  Balmain designer, Olivier Rousteing is another one that never colors inside the lines. A few years ago, Rousteing featured peep toed combat boots in his mens spring 2015 collection. I would have daily fantasies of myself stomping around the city in those. Who cares if they don’t have a clear season they can be worn? Fashion isn’t always practical and you don’t set trends by dressing like everyone else. So all that being said, I look forward to seeing eveyone in their dopest pair of combat boots. Happy stomping.

Written By:

Dominique Bedell

Dominique Bedell

Dominique Bedell

 

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Fashion

Hot Ticket! Yovanna Momplasir (@Yovanna_love) Celebrates Launch of ‘Momplaisir’

On a beautiful Sunday afternoon at Salon Moraee in Lindbergh, Atlanta’s flyest waited in anticipation for the debut collection from Yovanna Momplaisir.

Before the show, party-goers relaxed to the sounds of DJ Che Mack while sipping on any of the many different flavors of “Moskato,” a line of flavored moscatos, from the Moskato bar. Through the window everyone could feast their eyes on the models posing outside in their swimsuits. I was so busy soaking in the atmosphere  of gorgeous glittering Atlanta socialites that I hardly realized the show was starting.

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yovanna momplaisir momplaisir launch

It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon at Salon Moraee in Lindbergh, a number of Atlanta’s flyest and finest citizens waited in anticipation for the debut collection from Yovanna Momplaisir.

Before the show, party-goers relaxed to the sounds of DJ Che Mack while sipping on any of the many different flavors of “Moskato,” a line of flavored moscatos, from the Moskato bar. Through the window everyone could feast their eyes on the models posing outside in their swimsuits. I was so busy soaking in the atmosphere  of gorgeous glittering Atlanta socialites that I hardly realized the show was starting.

Indeed what a show it was!  The red carpet was hosted by our very own Michael “Hey Mikey” Fanning. The first round of looks were the swimsuits we saw on the models earlier. Every model was pleasantly chic in their barely there swimsuits, which were accessorized with Momplaisir sunglasses. It was to everyone’s delight that the looks also featured hair pins that read “That Bitch”. This phrase, as we all know was made famous by Momplaisir on The Real Housewives of Atlanta. The ready to wear portion of the show was the icing on the cake.

The collection was tailor made for a woman on the go who works hard, but plays even harder. Everything from beautiful jumpsuits and formal gowns to the more casual logo tees and jeans, all possessed a sophistication held only by experts in the world of fashion.The pink looks sprinkled throughout were easy and flawless, with a few of the looks being accentuated by her Momplaisir fedoras. (You can see footage from the fashion on our CEO’s, Michael “Hey Mikey” Fanning’s IG @HeyMikeyATL)

The climax of the show, of course, came at the end when Ms. Yovanna Momplaisir herself made her entrance during the finale. Her silver sequined blazer dress guaranteed she held all of the attention, and rightfully so. What better way to capitalize on such a classic moment in television history? I can see this collection being rocked by any and everyone. K. Daniel Talent produced an amazing event! Once everything was said and done, and I said my goodbyes, I left the party feeling like I had truly been a part of something special. Kudos to Yovanna and her team!

Written By:

Dominique Bedell

Dominique Bedell @artfreak88

 

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Fashion

“BLOW!” Gary Lavard (@GaryLavard) Releases New Hoodie Line Benefiting Suicide Prevention & Awareness!

BLOW= “Because Love Outweighs War,” the new acronym for life, and the name for Gary Lavard’s new line of hoodies! The hoodies hilariously feature Gary’s face on the front of them blowing a big bubble of gum, and come in an array of colors. However, this is not just another hoodie line, instead these new products are adding philanthropy to his already impressive resume. BLOW instead donates a percentage of its profits toward suicide prevention and awareness.

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gary lavard blow hoodie

BLOW= “Because Love Outweighs War,” the new acronym for life, and the name for Gary Lavard’s new line of hoodies! The hoodies hilariously feature Gary’s face on the front of them blowing a big bubble of gum, and come in an array of colors. However, this is not just another hoodie line, instead these new products are adding philanthropy to his already impressive resume. BLOW instead donates a percentage of its profits toward suicide prevention and awareness.

gary lavard blow hoodie

Gary came up with the idea of BLOW based on his current mood and mental health. He relayed on iHeartRadio’s The Hey Mikey Show, that he once dealt with depression and anxiety, issues that can lead to suicide and wanted to give back. “There’s no shame in me saying that I’m currently in the best shape of life mentally, physically, and emotionally and I owe that doing some work on myself and seeking professional help through therapy…Getting the help you need and talking to someone can really change or save your life…there’s such a stigma in the Black community with mental health and it needs to change, so I’m doing my part to give back…”

gary lavard blow hoodie

We have to say we are really proud of Gary and the contributions his making in combating suicide and discussing mental health. The Suicide Prevention Resource Center states the following alarming facts:

gary lavard blow hoodie

Prevention efforts should address increased suicide risk among Black males. While increased suicide risk among Black females also warrants action, rates have typically been higher among males. Depending on the age group, the male-to-female suicide rate ratio has ranged from four-to-one to as high as eight-to-one.5 Young Black males are most at risk, although there has been a recent rise in suicide rates among Black children of both sexes under age 13.

Mental health matters. Having a mental illness significantly increases suicide risk among Black teens and adults.6,7 Although depression must be addressed, the strongest mental health predictor of attempted suicide in this population is anxiety. Prevention efforts should help enhance the existing psychological resources that help to buffer Black people against suicide risk, and also help protect them from sources of vulnerability. For example, Blacks who are socially connected through organized religious affiliation have a lower suicide risk.8 And we are learning that social stressors, such as perceived racism, exacerbate suicide risk among Blacks.

Congratulations Gary on your latest venture! You all be sure to purchase and support BLOW by getting your own hoodie by clicking here! Happy shopping!

**If you, or someone you know is contemplating suicide please contact someone at the National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255.**

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