Money vs Value

Flashback to your favorite 90s rap artists on television flashing their ice and cash flow. They were so cool. Some would make a fan out of their stash while others would “Make it Rain” to show us money wasn’t a thing. It wasn’t until recently that I realized that money was the decoy and money only has value because we give it just that. But money isn’t the end all, having equity and assets is truly where its at. The silly diamonds and fancy cars shining kept us blinded. I call them perishables because from the moment you buy a car or a nice piece of jewelry, the value decreases. Money as most of us know is a printed piece of paper. We then as humans give it value based on what society tries to influence us has the most value. This is why marketing and audience reach is more important than ever. As vain as it may sound, Instagram influencers’ are a great example. Before you judge, let me explain. Social media gives us a chance to have content and ideas shared around the world in an instant and have access to a huge audience. Instagram users who have actually taken time to understand the algorithm of the app are able to grow their following and increase their audience. The bigger the audience the more influence the person has. The more buzz created is exactly what businesses are looking for. Businesses capitalize on this so much that they even have business tools that help them to measure this “buzz”. So the value that is created is quantified and businesses partner with “influencers” for paid advertisements and marketing. Influencers are super valuable to brands that want to maximize profit, but they’re also the tastemakers that provide a relatable aspect that a lot of brands cannot provide on their own.

Money can never be the end all. When it gets to that point, the purpose of the business gets cloudy and the audience becomes disinterested. Many fashion retailer brands are shutting down business and leaving shopping in New York City a thing of the past. Once fashion became about profit margins and less about the art, I knew there would be a shift. I just didn’t ever think some of the most iconic retailers and brands would fall victim. Where did they go wrong? What could have been done differently? Everyone wants to go straight to the numbers but let’s be honest fashion is changing. There are so many amazing new brands that believe in the art of fashion that they’re willing to sacrifice to keep the integrity of their small brand making a big impact. Sometimes big brands get comfy and forget they too have to keep their market stimulated and not just with product and a household name.

Aside from e-commerce crushing brick and mortar, what other reason is there that retailers are suffering today?

Sunday Funday

It was a great day taking care of business like a boss babe but also stopping and taking time to smell the roses. I mean really, I went shopping and found the best dress on sale at Maje for my friends upcoming GirlChat event.

This dress was cool. I wasn’t sure if the stripes were a little reminiscent of an outdated outfit I had as a kid but I passed and got another beautiful one instead.

I indulged in banana pudding from Magnolia Bakery because we all know you get the banana pudding when you go to Magnolia’s. It was such a beautiful day in Rockefeller Park. I love summers in New York where the sun just brushes up against your skin.

Cover Girl has opened its first ever store located right in the heart of New York City, Times Square. It was an awesome experience to say the least. The staff was super friendly and inviting. They had no probs with me taking photos and Dana even took a photo of me behind the selfie ring light. Check out some photos of the fun we had.

Wonder Woman

I can’t remember a time where I didn’t enjoy styling. To me a fashion stylist covers all facets of styling which is why I’m annoyed when society tries to box you in. You’re either editorial or wardrobe but never mixing the two. Just another one of human’s ways telling you you can be good but not great. I choose to be great.

I’ve always been blessed with the people around me letting me know I can do anything I put my mind to but also anything that I’m passionate about. I thank God for the strong beautiful black women who have made it possible for me to go forth and carry the legacy.

From a little girl playing dress up games on my computer to styling my doll babies in different outfits, it’s truly something I find a passion through. Telling a story through a concept and truly when you wake up in the morning and put on your clothing there is a deeper thought process to why you chose the clothing that you did. As a stylist, I want to take out the superficial and fickle repertoire that fashion has built up for as long as it has existed and really get into the deeper intellectual and art form of fashion.

For me fashion has always been a way to express myself and allow others to take from it what they wish. Like the saying goes “people going talk regardless so you might as well be true to you and let them talk. “

This shoot was an amazing experience and I’m super blessed to have worked with Brooklyn bred photographer Dani B @dvn1b . She is so talented and such a hustler boss babe so we created fire. The model was amazing and a talented stylist as well as designer @MirantaGeneva and check out her line @wencozy for dope threads. The three of us banged it out and from me to you here is Wonder Woman.

A concept styled and creative direction by me. It was a fun challenge working with Miranta who is based in DC where I’m from. It was tricky going back and forth communicating closely when we could. Thank God for technology and shared notes on iphone. The Wonder Woman concept stemmed from us wanting to celebrate Woman and all the different things that women deal with and make look so easy. Women are so beautiful and strong and powerful so we really wanted to show all sides of the woman making sure nothing was left to the imagination. Also just in case you really didn’t believe in yourself, aside from styling I held it down with the makeup which I used NARS, Anastasia, and Covergirl products. We imagined it for you. So, Enjoy!

Special thanks to

Maguy de Chadirac

Transporterr

Meiyang Jewelry

FordhamRowe

Wing and Weft Gloves

Conspiracy NYC showroom

Spending time in Soho

We started the day going to soho to the Apple store. I finally saved up enough to buy myself the MacBook Air. I brought my boyfriend with me so we could spend time together too. Let me just say Soho is still my favorite neighborhood in New York City. I rarely got to explore the stores when I worked in the area. They have the best brands to shop.

First distraction of many was the Acne store. I only went in to browse and see the new collection as I had never been in the actual store. It was nice to touch the different fabrics and see the aesthetic of the store. From the outside the windows are black tinted, but inside is a magical wonderland with cool lighting and an almost optical illusion

Acne textured jacket in Old Pink

I’m really into sets and they did the most amazing unconventional suiting for women. I love sets mostly because I’m all about a wardrobe that you can maximize. For example you can wear sets all in one look to make a statement, then you can wear each piece with another item in your wardrobe. The leather accessories were also impressive. They were soft as I don’t know what. I’m a sucker for buttery leather.

Many stores we explored shared lots of bold colors for their spring summer collections. There was also lots of sheer, mesh, and cutouts. This reoccurring theme of seeing through something.

The Apple store on Prince Street was weirdly not busy. I got all the info I needed and found out Costco was running a great deal on the same model laptop and so I ordered online from them. (Update: I had a hard time placing my order. They canceled my order the first time because they could not verify my address. How crazy is that?! I thought that happens before you take my money.) Anywho, I did purchase a USB adapter for when my laptop arrives because newer models don’t have the adapter port.

This is why technology doesn’t really move me. Apple says we removed this part to make your laptop lighter but now you must buy this part separate. I digress. I am excited to get my laptop though! I got the Gold color.

My friend recommended Piccolo Cucina just past Thompson on Spring for lunch. They had a great lunch special and the food was delectable. Being that I love to enjoy food as an experience, I had to go. The place was very tiny but cozy and somehow comfortable inside. We did have a 30 minute wait in which I went across the street to Dominique Ansel Bakery just to use their bathroom because it was so tiny in the restaurant I didn’t even feel to bother. Side note this bakery is so delicious and known for its cronuts. It’s like so yummy and they have a new flavor each month. If you haven’t had one, get there early before those sweet treats run out.

So we sit and have a delicious lunch. It starts with the grilled calamari with guacamole and Carasau bread. It is the most flavorful yummy taste ever.

(Obviously I eat before my photos.)

I usually have fried calamari so I was a bit nervous of the texture but it was well cooked and so smoky and mouthwatering. The guacamole was the perfect touch and flavor. We had a bottle of red wine and enjoyed our pastas which came out in huge pots. I had Lobster linguine and my boyfriend enjoyed his pasta in lamb Ragu. For dessert we enjoyed creme brûlée. It was a great time.

I love to eat good food. I grew up spending holidays with family everyone cooking for a dinner celebration. The room filled with love and good food. This is what I love. I was very happy we waited to go to this place. Next time we will make reservations for sure.

Last stop was the fashion district as I’m working on a project and need to source fabric. I usually go to a fabric store in Brooklyn but this time I figured we could go to Mood since we were already in the city. Mood is cool but I sometimes get overwhelmed with the options.

Thankfully I had an idea of the colors and fabrics I wanted so it wasn’t so bad. There was help at every corner and pretty busy too. I love how the fashion district still exists and has various wholesale shops, fabric and trimming stores and more. This was a trimming place where you can find all kinds of trims for your designs. I love the artwork shown on the side of the building. It’s a great attention grabber not to mention iconic people.

It was a lovely day. I am also now considering taking up sewing classes at Mood. They are fairly inexpensive and reasonable even for a busy schedule like mine.

Xoxoxo

Chanel$Bunny

Worn throughout Vince plaid button down, H&M crushed velvet trousers, Nike platform AF1

In life you’re always lucky. It’s up to you if you choose to take the time to realize and appreciate it, but that doesn’t mean those little blessings aren’t there. The most important thing is to live with a life of passion and place happiness at the center of your universe. No matter what that looks like for you.

My boyfriend and I visited my home town city, DC, to celebrate Easter Sunday with my family for our traditional holiday dinner at my aunts place. We stayed with my sister and her husband at their place in neighboring Laurel, Maryland. I was surprised at the things I saw in my city mostly because I barely even recognized certain areas. So much has changed so quickly and one can’t help but to look at the influx of people moving into the city.

It was so lovely and refreshing to be home again with all my loved ones enjoying each other under one roof. A familiar yet new feeling after finally making it home to a family holiday get together in a long time. Love filled the room along with the aroma of a delicious Sunday dinner, paired with wine and spirits and my aunt’s infamous pineapple upside down cake. It was a beautiful time.

This year I made a resolution that I would do more traveling and less of the routine going to work and coming home. It’s no way to truly enjoy the true value of your life. Taking time off from work was not only much needed for me but it was also beneficial for my boyfriend. He had a great time and he got to experience more of my background and the strong amazing people who are a huge part of who I am today. This was great for our relationship.

Sunday we went go cart racing then straight to my aunts place for dinner. The weekend was tight with only really one day to enjoy. After dinner, my sister and her husband took me and my boyfriend sightseeing downtown just a 20 min drive from my aunts place. We didn’t get to visit the memorials but we did see them from the lawn of the monument. It was a nice night with a beautiful sundown view over the water.

Life is beautiful. You just really owe it to yourself to stop and take time for the blessings all around you. Working hard is great but the true luxury of life is enjoying what you have while you have it. Nothing is promised so spend time with loved ones, visit new places, and talk to people and make connections outside of work!

Xoxoxo

Chanel$BunnyNYC

All photos taken by Chanel

Red swimsuit H&M

Leopard Maxi Skirt alice + olivia

Shoes Helmut Lang

Support your people

Shopping with friends is fun, but supporting your friends who have their own businesses is an even more fulfilling act. I am thankful for the connections I’ve made with so many different talented people while living here in New York. The (5 closest people in your circle rule) well let’s just say, I have a solid number that I can count on my hand whom are phenomenal bad ass boss women (and men) in their own right. Whether it be their career, their hustle, or just their beautiful and genuine soul; I am super rich in friends.

(Left Tancee @eventsbytancee, Center Ashley @ashleydezarai)

My latest obsession has been shopping with my friends. My girl Skye has Jessie’s Vintage which is a curated shop of vintage finds. I’m not too fond of retail places with a lot of scattered goods but I do love a good find. Her shop always has something that catches my eye and that one piece that somehow I need in my life. It doesn’t make it any better that her prices are super reasonable and budget friendly for my budget.

(Accessories : Jessie’s Vintage Closet )

Lilith and Mary is another retail shop that I recently purchased from. I love the beautiful colors and intricate details of these nippies. I would say these nippies are not just a fashion statement but also a way to honor and celebrate your nipples. My girl Kennie runs the online shop and she is also an amazing writer who’s erotica stories always take me back to high school days sneaking and reading my moms Zane books. Yes she’s that good.

Lilith&Mary nipple covers

T.U.L.I.C hand painted art. My good friend Tahjay is a publicist for new talent and I came across this brand because her boyfriend is the founder. He has amazing talent and can customize any article of clothing you want. The options are endless and it’s a lovely unique one of a kind shopping experience. They work together as a family unit and I love watching them grow more and more their successes.

Support small businesses and even more important support your friends, people you know and can relate to you. It means so much more. The light you give out is also the light you shall receive in turn.

Xoxoxoxo

Chanel$Bunnynyc

Spring Tings

In spring all things bloom. I was born September 24, yes the best sign a Libra, but back to the much lesser point. Lol. Spring is a lovely time of the year because all the flowers come out and make us happy and remind us of all the beautiful parts of life. In New York, the weather is nice but slightly cool at times so don’t leave your jackets at home.

Even not in full bloom these flowers in my neighborhood are beautiful. Spring is also perfect for hanging out at open venues ie. rooftops, outside seating, with a group of friends. One of my good friends had a birthday celebration on a rooftop in Brooklyn. I literally finished up at work on Madison Avenue and trained and ubered (judging) my way to the other side of where I live in Brooklyn.

We had a beautiful time. This is just one of the many photos that captured Ashley’s Bday celebration. The weather was perfect this day and the rum punch was on point as well as the mac and cheese. God bless the cook. I wore my work outfit which was really all alice + olivia with my new silk printed scarf from Fiorucci. Robots are printed on it and I’m kinda obsessed with printed scarf accessories these days. Just not this obsessed. Haha. Come on Mango.

Don’t get me wrong a good sale at Mango and you can find some gems. I find this printed scarf bag interesting and intriguing which I believe fashion should be as a form of art, but lest not lose practicality of functionality here people. This is clearly scarves stitched together. What exactly is this bag holding of mine without it getting damaged or ruined. But I did love the concept.

Xoxoxo

Chanel$Bunny