Fired Up!

Milan's showing of men's wear is a hit that just might be a home run!

(sketch by Missoni)

Every winter (in January), and every summer (in June), the madness ensues for men's wear editors and buyers to catch a glimpse of what the international design squads have to offer, and for the collections this year -for Spring/Summer 2011- the madness showed no signs of dying down!

(sketch by Fashion Illustration Central)

Albeit we're about to enter into a cold-front, it doesn't hurt to be reminded of what's to come, yet it's more motivation to hit the gym even harder (these next few months), so that we may "re-buff" for next summer ;)

STYLE 101: reports...

"Juicy Fruits"

"The Strokes"


"White Lights, Big City"

www.google.com, www.fashionillustrationcentral.com, www.gq.com

pants on the ground

Is "sagging" an epidemic or a fading trend?

If we look back to the days of Adam & Eve, where clothes were non-existent, one might argue that getting dressed is affectatious, and droopy-trousers are a side effect. Yet, because we live in a society where virtually everyone wears clothes, it has become common practice to wear a decent ensemble in public (with private, body parts being covered).

But (no pun intended), as history has often shown us, when a younger generation adopts a fad or a new trend -regardless of derivation- it may take a while for it to become out-of-date... and such is the case with sagging pants.

Popular culture (via music videos and magazines), has typically presented sagging as 'an urban thing' (read: hood), often ascribing the look to Black (African-American) males. Moreover, wikipedia.org documents Lee Baker (Dean of Academic Affairs at Trinity College of Arts and Sciences), as having said that sagging is "widely believed [to be] adopted from the United States prison system where belts are prohibited... to avoid suicide by hanging oneself, or to avoid being used as a weapon in fights." So, if we were to put 2 and 2 together, we could surmise that previously incarcerated Black men were released from prison, returned to their neighborhoods and dressed beltless on a day-to-day (as if they were incarcerated), which would, in turn, create a trend?! Well, according to prisonpolicy.org, in 2007, America's prisons and jails were comprised of "one in ten (10.4%) Black males aged 25-29, 1 in 28 (3.6%) Hispanic males and 1 in 59 (1.7%) White males in the same age group," which reveals a disproportionate number of men that could possibly label sagging as being derived from prison and carrying over into the streets.

* Video (A Dose of Reality, Saggin Pants)

In contrast, Newsweek magazine quoted Todd Boyd (a professor at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles), as saying, "In the 1980s, long before labels like Sean [John] and Rocawear catered to Black men, the jeans of popular designers like Tommy Hilfiger were made too narrow for the Black male body. So people started buying jeans two or three sizes too big, and —voila!— a style was born."

Yet, if Boyd's theory holds true (sagging's trivial origin), that would mean David Dicks (Flint, Michigan police chief), has a distorted opposition towards men who wear pants below the waist. Dicks (an African-American), received criticism for calling sagging "a national nuisance." He ordered his officers to arrest 'saggers' on sight, for "immoral self expression." In regard to Dicks' order of Michigan police to arrest 'saggers,' Atlanta, Georgia's Benetta Standly (an American Civil Liberties Union organizer), said, "we see this as racial profiling... It's going to target African-American male youths. There's a fear with people associating the way you dress with crimes being committed." Ironically, Flint, Michigan was ranked the third most dangerous city in America, by Congressional Quarterly, in 2007.

Even President Barack Obama weighed in on this discussion.

Back in 2008, Obama stated on MTV, that ordinances -such as Dicks'- were "a waste of time," and "Having said that, brothers should pull up their pants. You are walking by your mother, your grandmother, your underwear is showing. What's wrong with that? Come on. Some people might not want to see your underwear. I’m one of them."

What's your side of the story?! To sag, or not to sag: That is the question: And here, General Larry Platt offers us a very nuanced answer:

* Video (General Larry Platt, Pants on the Ground, American Idol (Season 9), FOX. January 2010)

www.google.com, www.freep.com, www.youtube.com (MontezMiller, imryanmac), www.newsweek.com, en.wikipedia.org, iamgenerallarryplatt.com, www.prisonpolicy.org


What to wear as SUMMER turns into fall, includes plaid, deep-V's and a cool attitude.

Here's STYLE 101's Men's Trend Report for August 2010:

* Download. Shop. Enjoy!

People Watch

STYLE 101's list of up-and-comers to look out for, is here and ready for your download... Enjoy!!!


1) Who are you, and what do you plan to accomplish with your talent?
I am Shaun “Pynne” (pronounced Pen) Williams. I am a recording artist (and businessman), that has a mission to share my talents with the world, and help others while I do it. Originally from Cleveland, OH, I moved to New Jersey when I was in High School; I went to Queensborough Community [College- The City University of New York] where I was a full-time student (studying electronic recording technology), and worked federal work study, valet parking and interned for Def Jam simultaneously. After school, I went on to intern, stepped up to marketing assistant and ultimately became a marketing manager for Baby Phat by Kimora Lee Simmons. I worked with Def Jam’s first female MC, Nikki D, on Team Strong projects. Now, I am putting more focus into my solo music career; music has always been a part of my life and now I am giving it my full attention.

2) When did people start to notice your potential?
People have always noticed my talents. When I was younger, I sang in the church choir (actually, both the youth and mass choir). I started rapping years ago and worked with a few different squads, but they weren’t that serious, so I had to move on. I work with Nikki D -on Team Strong- right now, as well as my solo artistry.

3) Where is your career headed next?
My career is headed to wherever GOD (or the Universe- whatever your higher power happens to be), allows it to go. I plan on going all the way to the top; in addition to my music, we just started a catering company, 4th Course! Catering, specializing in home-style (soul food) cooking. My first clients were Phat Fashions and The 135th St. Agency; they both showed me so much love. We also have other ventures in the works. You’ll have to stay tuned to see where I’ll show up next.
* Audio (Shaun Pynne):


1) Who are you, and what do you plan to accomplish with your talent?
I am a woman, sister, friend, model, stylist, writer, blogger and lover. Through my online magazine I hope to showcase a world outside of mainstream; Quixotic Online (www.quixoticonline.com), is a place for the progressive individual. I hope to continue to build a platform for students and writers to showcase their talent and build a community full of individuality.

2) When did people start to notice your potential?
In 2005, I started freelancing as a stylist and was fortunate to work with recording artists, models and showcase my talents on various television shows. From there, I started writing trend forecasts for local publications in Baltimore, MD, and then created my blog, A Brown Girl’s Chronicle (www.abrowngirlschronicle.blogspot.com). This is where people got to see that I had something to say, outside of fashion. Now, I am a contributing writer for Afro Punk, and I am the Creative Director and Editor for Quixotic Online (www.quixoticonline.com).

3) Where is your career headed next?
I am open to just about anything... I love to be creative. I want to continue to write and open up the platform for teenagers and young adults to voice their opinions, when it comes to alternative lifestyles outside of the cubicle. I am also planning to continue my journey with photography -and who knows- I might become a cobbler; I love creating that much [laughs]!


1) Who are you, and what do you plan to accomplish with your talent?
I am Torriana Danielle Towns, but I go by Torri D. I’m 23 years old and I live in Long Beach, California. I’m a free spirit person who tries not to live day by day -sad or mad- but walking on faith. With my talents, all I ever wanted to do was create, [without needing to be] noticed or not. I think it’s important to not always expect the riches, but enjoy [the] gift that was given and if riches stem from it, great, if not, you still have your gift.

2) When did people start to notice your potential?
My potential was first noticed when I was around 4 years old, I would sneak into my aunt’s, grandma’s, mom’s and my grandpa’s things, cut them up and make something new out of it (and this was their top-of-the-line expensive clothes they would buy). When I hit the age of 8, everybody got tired of it and bought me a dress form, fabric and a sewing machine. I was 1st Place winner in an art contest in 6th grade, and went on to making dolls and -pretty much anything- art, thanks to my wonderful grandmother, Lillian (an artist herself), who taught me everything I know.

3) Where is your career headed next?
My next stop is launching my own jewelry line and clothing line; every day I come up with new things. My first website www.soulfulthreadz.webs.com, has been great, thus it’s time to upgrade with products I have created. My new website (I’m working on now), is Lotus Elleven, and I hope to have that flourish into something I’ve only dreamt about. I would love to own my own boutique one day (with all of my handmade clothes and jewelry), and also start a program to mentor young women of color. But, until then, all I can do is pray and thank God for the hands and mind that he blessed me with.
* More information on Torriana Towns can be found at her YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/Torridiana777


1) Who are you, and what do you plan to accomplish with your talent?
My name is Reina; I am an unsigned artist, singer, song writer, model and costume-jewelry designer for cLUTTER. With music, I would like to bring my lyrical talent and story-telling ability to the world, I want to be able to evoke certain feelings [within] people, when they hear my songs, and with my jewelry, I would like every woman to have a piece of something unique and different, to add to their collection. Now, with modeling, I would like to change people’s perspective (as to what a model should look like), I want the world to know that a size 10/12 model -still- isn’t completely plus size; average women, with a bit more fire, can rip the runway with the best of ‘em, and could probably rock-the-socks off a couture gown!

2) When did people start to notice your potential?
Well, with my music, I was always singing in my high school functions (whenever it was allowed), and I just recently started showing my jewelry to others, and they instantly loved it! Modeling always came natural to me; as a model, it didn’t take long for people to realize that -though, I’m not the tiniest- I show up and show out!

3) Where is your career headed next?
Well, right now, with my music, I just want to build a bigger fan base for myself and continue to do shows, until the right music group or label comes my way (Sean Kingston’s new label would be a good fit). Hopefully, you will soon see me on the covers of your favorite, big-booty, girl magazine… but you can definitely catch me in a STYLES BY CHIMERE fashion show and photo shoot (all the time, any time). And with my jewelry, I would like to do more shoots [that include] cLUTTER, and possibly -in the next two years- become a costume-jewelry designer for one of my favorite stores, TOP SHOP!
* More information on Reina White can be found at:


1) Who are you, and what do you plan to accomplish with your talent?
I am Carolynn Washington, also known as TheHeartfeltHoney in the YouTube natural hair community (www.youtube.com/TheHeartfeltHoney). I am a writer, product-line designer, and natural hair and lifestyle enthusiast. Using my God-given gifts and talent, I hope to uplift and inspire all people to pursue their goals and find peace in life. My current steps toward achieving goals are just letting go and being free; when we let go of control and let God take the wheel, beautiful things happen!

2) When did people start to notice your potential?
I have no idea (lol)! My friends [and] coworkers have always saw things in me that I did not immediately see in myself. I always knew that I loved to write and read and create... But it wasn’t until Junior High School that I truly started to see God working in me. Because of the faith others have had in me, I have gone on to do many things that I never thought were possible. I received a Bachelors of Arts Degree in English and Modern Language (with a concentration in African-American Literature), from Bowie State University. During my matriculation there, I was president of my collegiate sorority chapter Zeta Delta Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.; Editor of my collegiate newspaper “Spectrum;” resident assistant of my collegiate dorm and the list really goes on and on (lol)! But, I attribute all these accomplishments to God and the work he does through people.

3) Where is your career headed next?
Only God knows (lol)! I am working diligently at the things I love and allowing God to order my steps. I believe if I do the things that make me happy, work won’t feel like a chore but lots of fun and fulfillment!! I wish the same for everyone who reads this. God loves you!!! You were born with gifts; find out what they are and pursue them!
* More information on Carolynn Washington can be found at her blog: www.HoneyCee.BlogSpot.com