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Happy 1K Post: Brown Beauty Tuesday: Joan Smalls

17 December 2013
Still jet-lagged from my trip to America, and basically staying up until 5am in the morning, I nearly squealed in delight when I opened my tablet to the new issue of Elle to see Joan Smalls on the cover. I was like a groupie, a junkie in fact, skimming through the pages to read what she was up to since her infamous or shall I say famous photo shoot in Dazed and Confused Magazine where Joan took her racy photographic turn as Eve, as in Adam and Eve, a little over a year ago.

The term supermodel was coined by the 80s-90s glamazons Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Claudia Schiffer, and Christy Turlington for the heights of which many models have tried to reach, but have fallen short until now.

The new girl to beat since Kate Moss's hayday is none other than Puerto Rican born Joan Smalls. Joan has been rated the #1 model in the world by and is the 8th highest paid model in the world according to Forbes.

Joan was discovered by THE model whisperer and Givenchy creative director, Riccardo Tischi, when this then 22 year old had traveled to Paris to beat the pavement for jobs. When he saw her in the sea of girls who showed up for model casting for a couture show, 'her perfect features' stood. He knew then that she'd be a star and he would be the one to set it shooting.

Since that fateful day, Joan has gone to star in many high fashion couture runway shows and has found herself being one of the most booked models during Fashion Week. She has graced the covers of Vogue UK, Elle, W Magazine and GQ to name a few. And she is the first Latina to ever land the title of global beauty ambassador in the history of  Estee Lauder.

Elle has dubbed her the new movement in fashion to be all encompassing when it pertains to ethnicity. Showing the world that fashion represent us all.

GET THE LOOK: Winter beauty trends:

Get The Look, Joan Small

1. Pearl Creamy Liner, Skinfood, $8
2. Smooth Hold Sensational Effects Eyeshadow, Lancome, $19
3. Coral Orange, Nirvana Mineral Makeup, $9
4. Tiger Eye, Iman Luxury Eyeshadow, $8
5. Waterproof Mascara, Sephora |Collection, $12
6. Reddish Brown 70 Blush, Makeup Forever, $21
7. Hoochie Liptar ,OCC Cosmetics, $14
8. Nightmoth Lipliner, MAC Cosmetics, $15

Women Who Rock: Givenchy SS2014 Campaign

12 December 2013
In fashion news, creative director Riccardo Tisci has done it again by making singer/songerwriter extraordinaire the face of the Givenchy SS 2014 campaign.  Tisci made this decision because of the recent allegations of non-inclusion in the fashion industry. He states that he brought up in a society and family that taught we are all the same. His hope is that the images will help others embrace diversity and various kinds of beauty within the industry, an issue he believes needs to be dealt with.

Not only is Erykah the face of this campaign, Tisci has also included models Angola native Maria Borges:

Anglo-Chinese/Korean-American model Asia Chow:

and Eboni Riley (no specs on her yet):

I look forward to the day when ethnicity is no longer a topic and we just see all kinds of beauty no matter the color and size on the covers of magazine, ad campaigns and on the run way. Get a clue fashion society, there is room for everyone in your world.

Brown Beauty of the Week: Lupita Nyong'o

10 December 2013

Back from my 12 day trip to Texas, I've finally found some time to post on the blog. Sorry for being away for so long . In my defense, I accidentally left my laptop in my boyfriend's mom's car on the way to the airport, was swamped by a launch part for Lilith + McRae which was met with enthusiasm ans saw the sale of 80% of the collection, and the constant flow of friends and family stopping by to see me and meet le beau. In fact, I didn't get to see 4 of some of my fave people while home which blows, but it's ok, I will return soon enough.

For this week's installment of Brown Beauty of the week I bring you the unexpected star of the critically acclaimed film by director Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave, Lupita Nyong'o.

Born in Mexico City, raised in Kenya and educated in the U.S., Lupita did not have a large part in the film, but in every scene she was in, she stole the movie. Lupita, studied film and theater at Hampshire College and after graduating she worked on the film crew of notable films The Constant Gardner and Namesake.

She later returned to Kenya to star in the Kenyan drama Shuga and wrote and directed a short film called In My Genes, which focused on the treatment of albinos in Africa and debuted in several film festivals.

After these small successes, Lupita returned to America to study at Yale's School of Drama. After graduating from this program, she debuted her acting chops in 12 Years a Slave. This beauty's star is rising and I look forward to seeing more of her on the big screen in the future.



Lupita N'yongo Look of the Day

Style Muse Friday: Tsholo Dikobe of The Khoi Fro

22 November 2013

I was hipped to Tsholo when she showed up in my newsfeed on Facebook due to an article on African Prints' page, and boy am I happy she did.

Tsholo is one of a handful of fashion bloggers from and living on the continent of Africa that are redefining African fashion and style.

I completely obsessed with her mix of quirky prints and bright colors with classic staples, that banging afro and I find myself on her site everyday, eagerly anticipating a new outfit post. However, instead of telling her story for her, I am going to allow you to read it in her own words.

Where do you currently live and where are you from originally?

I am from, Botswana (Southern-Africa), born and bred, currently living here.

Why did you create your blog and what is it called?

I created my blog because I had so much to share about, my surroundings, Botswana, Africa and its Diaspora. It was mainly created to expose the riches of African culture, the creative talents, and to promote and provide accessibility to African local market. 

My blog is called “The Khoi Fro”. Khoi means “real people”, “men of men” of southern Africa who are physically and linguistically akin to the San. The Khoi-khoi are African historical personalities who made godly discoveries, and are a proud people with a rich culture, traditions and enlightenment spanning many years, hence the name, Khoi, honors the almost extinct tribe that is tied to our origins as a Motswana. 

I added the “vroe-woman” written “fro” to give it a twist and further acknowledge my roots and the fact that I am a proud African woman, who is kissed by the sun twice and has the capacity to love the whole world.  

How would you describe your personal style?

My personal style is mix and miss, un-planned and very unpredictable. I have to have that one statement piece in my outfit that is “off-ish” or one that pulls the outfit together. I don’t mix and match.  

How would you describe the African fashion scene nationally and locally ?

It’s an exciting time to be an African. African fashion is now the perfect “mood board” for international designers in that they now incorporate that African feel, motifs, elements and designs into their work. 

As for the fashion scene locally, Botswana is quite conservative but it’s starting to warm up to fashion as an element of expression rather than just covering up. There is that pride now in our ethnic heritage and tradition and that being depicted in our clothing. 

As for nationally, Africans now have a strong essence of being Africans. They are starting to appreciate the history and heritage that goes beyond their struggles. It’s all about re-creating their culture to fit the modern life but still being authentic, that’s how African fashion is right now. Authentically pinned for Africans themselves to interpret the fabrics and patterns and give them their meanings. It is a truly symbiotic relationship.

Who are some of Botswana's rising fashion houses or lines in your region of Africa?

Botswana designers are very much talented and a couple of them have showcased in international platforms. There is an urge to be, and reconstruct the past and the future through their designs. 

We have Koketso Chiepe,an internationally recognised designer based in UK/India who is the founder of Gaborone Fashion Weekend. We also have Mpho Kuaho, founder of Colour in the Desert Fashion Week. Furthermore there are those emerging designers, recognised and reputable designers such as Mothusi Lesolle, Botho Chalebgwa, Aobakwe Molosiwa, Lebang Setso, Thato Mokgadi, Fatima Mekgwe, Lebo Ramerafhe of Di-monde Reign, Black Trash, and accessory designers such as African Lace, Sino Ragontse, Jen Osei-Mensah, who are doing amazing jobs. 

Africans have now found their voices and no longer want to be silent about their own identity, struggles, achievements, they have found new ways to incorporate that onto their daily lives, to honour a life that is.

Look out for upcoming projects with my BFF and business partner Gaone Mothibi, together we are called GaTsh Fros. We are Botswana’s Fashion Artists. We write, create, style and do anything Fashion and culture. Like GaTsh Fros on FB and my personal page The Khoi-Fro for more.

Follow Khoi Fro

Instagram: @GaTsh Fros
Tsholo's Instagram: @thekhoi_fro,

Brown Beauty Monday: Naomie Harris

18 November 2013

Name: Naomie Harris
Nationality: British
Birthplace: London, England
Break Out Roll: Selena in 28 Days Later
Claim to Fame: Tia Dalma (Pirates of the Carribean) and Bond Girl MoneyPenny (Skyfall)
Recent: Winnie Mandela in Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom

Back in the Studio

17 November 2013

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to present my jewelry at a Boot Sale here in N. Ireland and I was happy to find that many people felt the collection was quite beautiful. I was commissioned to do three pieces and many others took cards. Hopefully, I will get to present at a Christmas Market in December.

At the moment, I am back in the studio, reworking some old pieces and planning my pieces for the SS2014 Collection. Here is a sneak peak into the color palette. Hope everyone is having a fantastic  weekend.


Be in the know: Handbags by VBell

13 November 2013

WHO: VBell Handbags
DESIGNER: Valentina Belotti
WHAT: Affordable bright and colorful GENUINE Italian leather hand-stitched handbags.
PEDIGREE: In house designer for Costume National, Dolce & Gabbana, and a consulting firm.
WHY: "I decided to make something of my own to do something that would express who I am without brakes or limits."
WHERE: Milano, Italy (but shipping world-wide)
PRICE RANGE: €38 - €48 ($50 - 65)