26 Year-Old GM Engineer Mukhtar Onifade Starts Fashion Line Celebrating African Culture (VIDEO)

Detroit-based engineer and fashion designer Muktar Onifade (photo via atlantablackstar.com)

article by Ricky Riley via atlantablackstar.com

Detroit-based engineer Muktar Onifade is using his skills working as an engineer to create a fashion line that celebrates West African culture.

The 26-year-old native Nigerian and General Motors calibration specialist said he was inspired to launch his line, VIZUVLGVDS (Visual Gods), after going to a fashion show featuring beautiful African styles. “To be Black now, you have to be fearless really,” Onifade says in a Thursday, Feb. 9 NBC Black profile. “There has to be this certain level of self-belief in what you can accomplish.”

Onifade saw an opportunity to make a line that could be worn anywhere and any time outside of special occasions and events. To put his plan into action, he took his first paycheck from working at GM and brought a sewing machine.

Since 2015, his VIZUVLGVDS line has featured two collections that showcase his meticulous engineering talents and his African cultural heritage.

To read more, go to: Engineer Uses First Paycheck to Start Fashion Line Celebrating African Culture – Atlanta Black Star

BLACK HISTORY MONTH: Gift Ideas For Friends, Family or Yourself

article bvia madamenoire.com

Who says Black History Month isn’t a celebration? Check out 10 super chic items for you (or others) that celebrate blackness.

To see more options and to click through to buy, go to: I’m Black Y’all: 10 Black History Month Gifts For Yourself

Chance the Rapper Honors Obama Family With #ThankUObama Fashion Line

Chance The Rapper in Malia Obama T (photo via theroot.com)

article by Yesha Callahan via thegrapevine.theroot.com

Chance the Rapper and his black-boy joy just doesn’t quit. And this time he’s using his notoriety and fan base to pay tribute to the Obama family with a new clothing line. Chance announced the project Thursday on Twitter with a link to ThankUObama.us.

“With this project i wanted to timestamp a period in my life where i felt like i can do whatever i wanted to do and be whatever i wanted to be,” Chance wrote on his site. “The night Obama won his first term gave me so much hope, especially & most importantly as a black man. I decided to make a collection saying ‘thank you’ and give me something to smile at every now and then when I look in the closet.”

The line includes a T-shirt with Malia Obama’s name, as well as one with a Notorious B.I.G.-esque photo of Barack Obama, as well as a shirt with “Barack N Michelle” written in black-and-pink graffiti with their anniversary date.

To read original article: Chance the Rapper Honors Obama Family With #ThanksObama Fashion Line

Lupita Nyong’o Speaks on Colorism and More Opportunities for People of Color

Lupita Nyong’o (Photo: Courtesy of Vogue)

article by Erica Schwiegershausen via nymag.com

In the October issue of Vogue, three-time cover girl Lupita Nyong’o talks about growing up in Nairobi, and her desire to see more African narratives represented in Hollywood and beyond. “I want to create opportunities for other people of color because I’m fortunate enough to have a platform to do that,” she said.

Recently, Nyong’o starred in “Eclipsed” on Broadway, playing a 15-year-old girl held captive by a rebel officer in Liberia. In her latest film, “Queen of Katwe,” she plays the mother of a Ugandan girl who becomes an international chess master. (The film opens next week.) And she’s also working on the forthcoming film adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s “Americanah“— a love story that centers around two Nigerians.

“Being able to use my platform to expand and diversify the African voice … I feel very passionate about that. It feels intentional, meaningful,” Nyong’o said.  She was drawn to “Queen of Katwe,” she said, because it was “based on a true story, an uplifting story out of Africa.”  Nyong’o also reflected — not for the first time — on the significance of seeing darker-skinned women represented and celebrated as beautiful.

Alek Wek changed how dark people saw themselves,” she said. “That I could do the same in a way for somebody somewhere is amazing.” She added, “The European sense of beauty affects us all. I came home from college in the early two-thousands and saw ads on TV with a girl who can’t get a job. She uses this product. She gets her skin lighter. She gets the job. The lording of lighter skin is a common thing growing up in Nairobi. Being called ‘black mamba.’ The slow burn of recognizing something else is better than you.”

Working on the set of “Queen of Katwe,” Nyong’o said a young Ugandan-British woman came up to her and said: “I’ve never had so many people call me beautiful until you showed up. I get called to auditions I never would have been called to before. I know it’s because you exist.”

Source: Lupita Nyong’o Wants Opportunities for People of Color

SNL’s Leslie Jones Graces the Cover of ELLE’s 1st Women in Comedy Issue

ELLE

Comedian Leslie Jones on Elle Magazine (photo courtesy ELLE)

article via clutchmagonline.com

Leslie Jones is looking fierce with her signature spiky hair on July’s cover of Elle, which celebrates women in comedy.

Jones, who is starring in the upcoming Ghostbusters remake, made mention of her Elle cover at an impromptu stand-up appearance.

“I ain’t used to that (crap)!” she said, adding that her recent fame has inhibited her love life. “I used to be able to be on those sites, you know Tumblr, Grindr, Tinder. Yeah, I said Grindr, I ain’t passed trickin’ a gay man into (having sex) with me,” she joked.

“I just knew that I was funny, and I knew that it was just a matter of time. I didn’t know what was going to actually happen—this is definitely way bigger than I thought—but I knew there was no way I was going to be that funny and nobody was going to notice it.” — Leslie Jones

Jones even joked about how uncomfortable she was dressing for the cover, especially as a size 12.

“I had 22 (bleeping) outfits on today. Jimmy Kimmel had on one (bleeping) suit,” she complained. “I can’t move in this (outfit), trying to be cute. You’re going to see some bra straps.” She said she took off the jacket and then her shoes. “Let me take these shoes off, too,” she said, kicking off her heels.

Well, no one never said Jones doesn’t keep it real.

Elaine Welteroth Named as Editor-in-Chief of Teen Vogue

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Elaine Welteroth poses for a photo during Spring 2016 New York Fashion Week, Sept. 14, 2015, in New York City. (ROBIN MARCHANT/GETTY IMAGES)

article by Angela Bronner Helm via theroot.com

Elaine Welteroth, who made headlines when she became Teen Vogue’s first African American beauty director, has been made the title’s new editor-in-chief.

She will be the youngest editor in the company’s 107-year history. She is also the second black woman named to head a Conde Nast book; Keija Minor has been at the helm of Brides magazine since 2012.

According to her Linkedin profile, Welteroth, 29, has held editorial positions at Glamour and Ebony magazines, and has been at Teen Vogue for more than three and a half years. She received her degree in Mass Communications/Media Studies with a minor in journalism from Cal State Sacramento.

The current EIC of Teen Vogue, Amy Astley, will be moving to the head position at Architectural Digest.

To read more, go to:  African-American Woman Named as Head of Teen Vogue

Ava DuVernay to Direct “The Battle Of Versailles” for HBO Films

Image (1) AvaDuVernay__130711182034.jpg for post 539182

Director Ava DuVernay (photo via deadline.com)

article by Nellie Andreeva via deadline.com

The story of the 1973 Palace of Versailles fashion show that put American designers and black models on the map is the subject of The Battle Of Versailles, an HBO Films movie co-written and directed by Selma helmer Ava DuVernay.

She is co-writing the project, now in development, with Michael Starrbury (The Inevitable Defeat Of Mister And Pete). It is based on the 2015 book The Battle Of Versailles: The Night American Fashion Stumbled Into The Spotlight And Made History by fashion journalist Robin Givhan.

battleofversaillesThe movie will chronicle the November 28, 1973 fashion show that took place at the Palace of Versailles. A fundraiser for the restoration of King Louis XIV’s palace, it pitted the top five French designers (Yves Saint Laurent, Hubert de Givenchy, Pierre Cardin, Emanuel Ungaro, and Marc Bohan of Christian Dior) against five then-unknown Americans (Oscar de la Renta, Bill Blass, Anne Klein, Halston, Stephen Burrows and Anne Klein, who brought along her then-assistant Donna Karan) in front of an audience of the world’s social elite. By the end of the night, American fashion would be born, racial barriers broken, and the industry would be left forever transformed.

The French designers kicked off the evening with a big-budget, two-hour extravaganza featuring elaborate set pieces and a live orchestra playing classical music. The Americans followed with a 35-minute show to a pre-recorded Al Green soundtrack, backed by a simple line drawing of the Eiffel Towel. Against all odds, the Americans emerged victorious, hailed for the energy of their presentation, with a lot of the credit going to the fearless 30 models, 10 of whom, in a groundbreaking move, were African American.

The event was also chronicled in Deborah Riley Draper’s 2012 feature documentary Versailles ’73: American Runway Revolution.

DuVernay recently signed on to direct A Wrinkle In Time for Disney. In TV, she is writing, directing and executive producing the upcoming OWN drama series Queen Sugar, which she co-created with Oprah Winfrey.

To read more, go to: http://deadline.com/2016/03/ava-duvernay-battle-of-versailles-hbo-films-1201722419/