There is nothing worse than preparing for that spur of the moment business meeting or interview and finding nothing appropriate in your closet to wear. Many of us learn this lesson the hard way, which is why it's crucial to stay ready for anything. You might have an idea of what constitutes 'basic' business attire that seems a tad boring, but with a few essentials, you can create a dynamic group of staples that will allow you to add personal touches for a unique, professional wardrobe.
Let's do a quick inventory, shall we?
Basic black business suit
This is an absolute must – both pants and skirts. Black and grey are easy base colors to keep things neutral. If you're so inclined to add more color, do so with accessories or blouses, but try not to go overboard. With interviews and business meetings, you'll want to eliminate distractions as much as possible. Yes, those bold earrings and bright nail polish could very well be distractions!
Here is where you can make things slightly more interesting with pretty accent collars and styles. Throwing a cardigan into the mix is a great way to get your pops of color while still maintaining the sleek finish.
This is by far the best part — it's where your inner Olivia Pope can shine!
Shoes & accessories
A basic black pump and flats are absolute must-haves, no debate! Also, a briefcase and classic pearl earrings are so chic and easy to throw on without much thought. Also, please don't forget the clear or neutral-toned nail polish!
Make sure to include these items in your wardrobe and you'll be looking biz-cas fab all the time!
On Saturday, May 21st, we’re hosting our inaugural conference about how creativity and technology are changing our daily lives, from our hobbies to our work. Will you be joining us? Tickets here.
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Ever thought of creating a clothing line but didn't know exactly how? Here are some untraditional tips to get started by CEO and fashion designer Robin Barrett. These steps come after you've created your business cards, set up social media pages and bought the domain for your website. We're going to go a step further into what's imperative to a successful clothing brand.
Design something different
Most consumers want a reason to identify with a brand. That means you have to find a market that is untouched and connect with those consumers. Consumers do not want the same mundane clothing they find on every Instagram boutique and even in a department store. They need to know what makes your brand different. For example, during the conception of her brand NETTA Los Angeles, Robin saw a niche that was untouched in the fashion world — a brand that specializes in jumpsuits. We all go to boutique websites and see categories for jumpsuits and rompers, but when we navigate to the page, our options are subpar. She wanted to change that. Another interesting component of NETTA Los Angeles is their mission of service to the community. They support numerous charities and non-profit organizations benefiting the homeless as well as children. They make sure their customers feel great inside and out. Don't go trendy, go different.
Decide where you will manufacture
Will you manufacture in the states or overseas? Do you want to ensure your overseas manufacturers are fair trade? How many pieces are you looking to buy at a time? What's your budget? Where will you source fabric? How will you package? These are all preliminary questions you and your team must ask yourselves. Keep in mind, these are just a few of the many questions you will need answered before you're ready to start production. This is the most tedious yet significant part of the design process. Prepare to spend many sleepless nights perfecting your designs.
Get your team in order
Assembling a team of creatives is essential to having a successful clothing brand. Having a group of photographers, graphic designers, creative directors, models, hairstylists, makeup artists and videographers will help the process run smoothly. Whether freelance or on payroll, it's important to have these key people involved. They are there to bring your vision to life. Create visuals that will tell a story about your collection. Get as creative as you can to create something visually satisfying.
This is your opportunity to be creative. Although time consuming, social media content is a major key to success in the fashion industry. The aesthetic is everything when it comes to an effective social media post. This is the platform where you will display those amazing photos you took at the shoot where you hired that model, photographer, makeup artist and hair stylist. It all boils down to the photos which are produced. Make sure your captions drive your customers to your actual website and reflect the message that you want your desired customer to feel.
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Robinetta 'Robin' Barrett is a Los Angeles-based CEO, fashion designer and boutique owner. She created her first online boutique in 2011 called Shop VX that she has now recently revamped with new emerging brands. She has also created her very own signature line entitled NETTA Los Angeles, which is short for Robinetta. NETTA Los Angeles specializes in domestically-made jumpsuits that exude opulence and luxury for the everyday woman. Their custom designs are created for the royalty and true beauty women of all shapes, sizes and colors possess. A significant component of her brand NETTA Los Angeles is their heavy involvement in the community. She has sponsored numerous back-to-school drives, coat drives, after school programs, luncheons, fundraisers, charity galas and outreach initiatives. Her mission is to empower women to feel great inside and out.
Website: www.shopnetta.com, www.shop-vx.com
Business IG: @nettalosangeles @shop_vx
Personal IG: @therobinb
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Spring is in the air. Time for the annual life-snatching by way of thorough and intense spring cleaning. In this video, SongbirdDiva4Life walks us through how she purges and organizes her fabulous closet.
I'm just watching like: Can a sister get them hand-me-downs?
What are your spring cleaning tips? Let us know in the comments below!
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Representation matters. Black students all over the country go to colleges and universities named after white men, walk past the statues of slave owners and walk into buildings named after colonizers. So even if the University of James Baldwin doesn’t actually exist, wearing a collegiate-style sweatshirt with his name on it feels pretty damn good.
Philadelphia Printworks created a line of incredibly comfortable and extremely stylish sweatshirts named 'School of Thought' in collaboration with graphic designer Mars Five . You might have seen them as you scrolled through your Instagram feed and placed your order within minutes of double tapping the picture.
“The collection is a nod to the double consciousness expressed by W.E.B DuBois,” explains Maryam Pugh, owner of Philadelphia Printworks.
“It also refers to the dual education we receive through the state-funded education system and the education we teach ourselves in our communities. This communal education includes ideologies from James Baldwin to Harriet Tubman to many, many more.”
Their most popular sweatshirt is named after poet, radical feminist and activist Audre Lorde who wrote masterfully about the intersections of black womanhood, lesbianism and civil rights issues throughout her career.
“I feel that social activism should be ingrained in our culture. Activism forces us to face some of the more uncomfortable truths,” Pugh says.
Philadelphia Printworks features other wares, such as the brilliant red 'Chisholm For President' inspired by Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisolm, the first black woman elected to Congress and first woman to run for president. You might have seen the sweatshirt on Ebony editor Jamilah Lemieux as she interviewed Bernie Sanders. Or perhaps you saw actress Thandie Newton wearing the dope 'No Justice No Peace' t-shirt.
“I am so blown away every time I see anyone post a photo of themselves wearing one of our shirts! I absolutely love it. It shows that the message resonates. It's an honor.
“Art is an excellent tool for reaching people in a way that other methods cannot. Art should resonate, provoke thought and reflect the people,” says Pugh.
As the literal embodiment of #BlackGirlMagic, Pugh is a screen printer, business woman and software test engineer. She co-founded the company in 2010 and the small business is continuing to expand.
Philadelphia Printworks is further developing the 'School of Thought' collection into a kid’s line as wells as t-shirts, hats and hoodies. So although we may not be able to apply to Tubman University (yet), we can at least represent our favorite thinkers and revolutionaries through designs made by inspiring young artists today.
Follow Philadelphia Printworks on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
Lara Witt is a journalist and intersectional feminist attempting to dismantle all forms of oppression through writing. Follow her on Twitter and IG @femmefeministe.
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In 2015, many millennials have grown tired of the United States justice system and have decided to take action in a positive manner to show that we want change and we want it NOW. Philly natives Joe Pitts and Anthony Coleman decided to take the platform they established to spark a much-needed conversation. They decided to drop a fashion collection under their lifestyle brand Cult Classic, titled "Black Like Water" to shed light on the injustice and inequality that we face every day throughout the country. Check out the interview below for how it all came together and what the team has planned next for the collection.
Blavity: What is Cult Classic?
Cult Classic is a lifestyle brand focused on telling cultural stories through bold fashion, art and music events, and journalism via our Good News blog. Our clothing collections are concept driven and are often bold graphic/textual statements in the streetwear tradition. We started the brand about three years ago in 2012 in a row home in North Philadelphia, and it started out as a culture platform with simple banner logo tees and an ethos of exposing underground culture. Our first event was a packed warehouse party and it was so crowded it must have been close to 110 degrees in there. The term "Cult Classic" refers to any art that earns a dedicated following over time, and we want to be a valued brand of substance that will be around for a long time to come.
B: What inspired you to create the Black Like Water collection?
The Black Like Water collection was creatively headed by my business partner and Cult Classic co-owner Anthony Coleman (he also goes by Quite Hype when he DJs). He and I often get into conversations about philosophy, social justice, politics, etc., and when Michael Brown was shot and killed in Ferguson, Anthony really wanted to create a collection inspired by frustrations with our justice system. From there the Black Like Water collection was born, which I refer to as a wearable expression of the triumphs and hardships of living in a society where injustice and inequality still run rampant.
Each Black Like Water piece has a story to tell and comes with a story hang tag which explains the significance of the piece in a Race & Justice context. There are four hats and six shirts as part of the collection.
B: Why the phrase "Black Like Water?"
J: I'll let Anthony answer this one.
A: The name came from the idea of looking into your reflection in the water. When I, a black man, look into my reflection in the water, I see blackness. The color and idea of black is usually associated with absorbing all light, darkness and negativity. For Black Like Water, I wanted to focus on all that is black, both the positives and negatives.
B: Who was involved in the whole process of making the collection and what role did they play?
J: Well like I said Anthony was the creative director for this project and I helped make it happen. He came up with a lot of the core concepts and designs and I handled all of the manufacturing and some of the templates and design work. As for the designs, we had a lot of help from some great graphic designers including Jade Carter in Atlanta, Frank (Mediocre Monster) and Alex Schechter, a digital designer at Urban Outfitters who helped us tweak some things. This collection was very much a collaborative project and we couldn't have done it without all of the help we got.
B: What's next for Cult Classic and the Black Like Water collection?
We just had the Black Like Water release weekend, which included a release event in Philly at the James Oliver Gallery followed by a showing of the collection for The Source magazine's 360 Festival in Brooklyn. [We showcased the collection on Sunday the 27th in Atlanta at Space 2 and will have] a showcase in Manhattan shortly after. We will keep promoting this collection and donating a portion of all proceeds to the Norris after school residency program in North Philly. From there we will continue to push progressive ideas through fashion, events and journalism, all of which can be followed on our website: cultclassicgoods.com.
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There's nothing I love more than seeing people use social media to build their brands and show the world the things that they love — whether that is a blog dedicated to their favorite anime series or their own personal collection of paintings and illustrations. Jamilla Okubo, also known as Tumblr user Vivaillajams, is an artist and ready-to-wear designer who features a lot of her works of art online. As you'll see, they are nothing short of remarkable. Her Tumblr features a wide variety of her work, including illustrations, paintings and even some of her graphic textiles. Check out some out below!
YAS for this #BlackGirlMagic.
Make sure you follow her on Tumblr!
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