Women Wednesdays: Dominique Drakeford

    March 28, 2018

    We are so excited to feature Dominique Drakeford in our Women Wednesdays series. She is making waves in more ways than one in the sustainable and ethical movement. Dominique is an environment educator, community advocate, sustainability stylist, and also founder of Melanin and Sustainable Style (MelaninASS) – a platform dedicated to celebrating and giving a voice to communities of color in sustainable and ethical fashion, beauty, and wellness.

    Dominique is truly inspiring, and we are excited for you to get to know her and her story a bit more. We’ve been focusing a lot on sustainable style, and she has been one of our go-to women for socially conscious and environmentally sound style. Whoever says that you can’t do both hasn’t met Dominique because she not only champions an ethical and sustainable lifestyle, she rocks it so damn well.

    1. When did you first realize that you wanted to focus on sustainable and conscious clothing? What drew you to it? 

    I would say sometime in my early college years. I knew in high school that my passion lied in some sort of creative environmental work. I think around Sophomore year in college is when I started to fuse my love for fashion and sustainability together. I was always drawn to fashion’s ability to communicate – culture, politics, attitude, etc. I think it just became second nature that fashion can creatively, culturally and politically convey the importance of sustainability without compromising style.

    2. Tell us more about MelaninASS.

    MelaninASS is literally my baby – and like most socially conscious platforms – it grew from 1) frustration and 2) love. I was frustrated about the lack of visibility for POC in this space. I was frustrated seeing all of the appropriate in the fashion world but also in this community as well. I was frustrated that not enough platforms for and by POC were covering sustainability. Now the love – I have such an unwavering love for black people and POC in general. We are an incredible people who so much to offer that gets overlooked and exploited – and my sheer love for melanin made me want to share the brands and stories that aren’t vocalized enough. With the right resources, tools and influences – POC can become the driving force to take sustainability to the next level. It’s starting to become a conscious hub for creative global pioneers of color.

    3. What characteristics do you admire most in other women? 

    Beauty – Women may be complicated yes, but the sheer beauty of women is the driving force for everything. And I’m not talking about the outside necessarily – the beauty of passion, of skill, of resilience, of being a change agent. The beauty in women is what connects us and drives us to be leaders.

    4. What was the best piece of business advice that you’ve received? 

    Create your own opportunities.

    5. What is your personal or professional motto?

    Invest in work that feeds your lifestyle and life purpose.

    6. Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently when you started?

    NOPE – I believe in alchemy – the shitty things that have happened, the “mistakes” that I’ve made and the things that I “regret” are part of the journey that transforms you to becoming the person you’re destined to be. So as far as I’m concerned, as difficult as it may to swallow and as easy as it is to complain, I’m right where I’m suppose to be and wouldn’t change a thing. Everything happens for a reason – the universe is working some magic that I may not see yet.

    7. What resources do you recommend to someone starting in the fashion industry especially when it comes to sustainable and ethical clothing?

    That’s a tough one – because the suggestions I would have given 5 years ago are very different from now. Fashion and Sustainability are such huge under takings. A documentary I would suggest watching is A True Cost which is on Netflix. Then I would suggest reading different books and articles but based on what aspects of sustainability you’re interested in. But True Cost would be my very very 1st resource to dive into – and then from that documentary – you will have a bunch of thoughts, feelings, idea etc and from there you can navigate the direction you want to go in terms of resources.

    Otherwise … I think it can be very overwhelming.

    Also – simply follow people and/or brands on say Instagram that resonate with your style and/or activist values.

    8. What inspires you?

    The earth and indigenous cultures (which as the basis of sustainability) despite whatmainstream advocates convey.

    9. What’s next for you? Anything exciting that you’d like to share?

    I’m not sure LOL – I’m working on a few different projects but I’m honestly just taking my journey one day at a time. I’m most interested in doing more work focused on up-lifting communities of color to be more sustainable in their fashion, beauty and wellness.

    Photos Courtesy of: https://www.dominiquedrakeford.com/

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    Fashion: Lirika Matoshi

    March 27, 2018

    We have to take a moment to be in complete awe of Lirika Matoshi and her collection of embellished fishnets, stockings, and socks. From the celestial sky down to the elements of our planet, Lirika draws inspiration from the outdoors and re-imagines it in her pieces. We love the high details and how her pieces adds a touch of chic art into any outfit.

    All of her pieces are handmade, btw. That’s wild because no two are exactly the same. We love that. Check out a few our other favorite pieces below, and if you’d like to purchase a pair or two, go ahead to Lirika’s ETSY shop. Let us know if you have your eyes on anything!

    Photo Credit: Lirika Matoshi

    Fashion: Travel and Shoes

    March 16, 2018

    Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Style Approximately may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services, or your clicking on links posted on this website. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own.

    I’m going on a long trip very soon. I’ll fill all of you in all the details at a later time, but one of the hardest things for me to do is to pare down my shoe collection. I try to pack light…for all the snacks and treasures I find abroad.
    I love shopping at Nordstrom as they have everything I need and are always on top of the latest fashion trends, designers, and brands (Hello Everlane!).I’m also a big fan of their free shipping and their generous return policy. Nordstrom started out as a shoe department, so I knew I was pretty set in my search.

    I’ve pared down a list of 6 shoes that I feel are versatile and useful for my travels as I will be doing a lot of walking in different terrain and weather. Check out a few of my favorites, and if you find any shoes that would go great with traveling, let me know!

    The Adidas NMD R1 STLT Primeknit Sneakers (pictured above) are pretty, aren’t they? They’re the perfect sneakers for traveling. They’re light and the upper material is knit, which I love not only for the aesthetics, but especially for traveling when feet can swell. These can be used not only for walking around the city but for engaging in a more serious workouts. The style of these sneakers add a much welcome pop to an all black outfit.

    I always like to bring a casual sneaker to simplify my look. It’s versatile in that I can wear it with jeans, shorts, skirts and dresses. I’ve always been a fan of Superga because of their clean design and how comfortable they are. I’m a sucker for the grey ones.

    I think booties have do be one of the most versatile pair of shoes. They can elevate a pair of jeans and ground a pair of shorts. They can also provide some edge to a sweet and delicate dress. The heel of the Blondo Victoria Cutout Bootie is walker friendly with a 2 inch heel. These are also waterproof which I have found to be so important when travelling. There have been one too many times have I been caught in a rainstorm with sneakers that became soaked, or booties that kept my feet dry but the 3 inch heel make it uncomfortable to walk for long distances. These boots are the best of both worlds and black is the perfect neutral.

    For those nights out or those day trips that require a little dressing up, I like to bring a low heeled block sandal. The Bella Vita Fitz Block heel sandal is a gorgeous shoe that will go well wherever you travel. With a heel height of 2 inches, a flattering ankle strap, and a transparent inset for the block heel, these will keep you steady on cobblestones and dancing all night without having to take them off.

    Sandals are the ultimate vacation shoe, and the Mayari’ Birko-Flor is your happy travel companion. Birkenstocks are famous for being comfortable and this style adds a feminine twist to the sandals. Your feet will be happy exploring with these on.

    Loafers are a nice addition for traveling as they add polish to any outfit especially jeans. If you’re going to somewhere a little dressier in the daytime it’s a nice to have a pair of these on hand. The Gucci Brixton Convertible Loafer is classic and can be also worn as a mule to get more looks out of this shoe.

    I hope you find this useful, let me know what shoes are on your “must list”, when you travel!

    Fashion: NooWorks

    March 15, 2018

    If you’ve been keeping up with our Instagram, you would know that I’m having a love affair with NooWorks and my Magic Cheetah Jumpsuit. I got to preview their lookbook for their upcoming collection, and I’m excited to share a few favorites. 

    Nooworks specializes in making socially and ethically conscious clothing. All production is made in California with shops in SF and LA. The brand has a unique and creative edge because they partner with different artists for each season to create pieces that cannot be replicated anywhere else. For this collection, they paired with ceramicist Lorein Stern and graphic designer, The Good Twin.

    Nooworks is also women owned and women ran. I got a chance to visit the SF shop, and I loved the vibes they set in store. The staff were friendly and welcoming; it was nice to have friendly conversations and just hang out while shopping.

    The clothing itself is incredibly comfortable and I’ve never felt as confident in a jumpsuit like I do with my magic cheetah. The pieces are bold, but I believe that’s what Nooworks is going for: be bold, feel proud, and remember…you are effin’ badass.

     

    Fashion: Ulla Johnson FW ’18

    March 14, 2018

    Ulla Johnson’s aesthetic is something I’ve loved and admired for some time. To celebrate her brand’s 20th anniversary, her Fall Fashion Week show in New York paid homage to her personal style and the early beginnings of her line.  

    The collection was rich in deep tones, velvets, laces, pinstripes, and sparkle. I love how she called her collection a “Meditation on Trousers” serving as a reminder of how women wearing pants in business (and in Congress!) was still frowned upon even through the 90s. Her collection was a means to focus on the struggles and achievement of women. She balances the delicate feminine touches that her designs are known for with strong fabrics, silhouettes, and oversized wide leg pant suits. With so much going on in the world especially for women and women of color, Ulla wanted to put joy with the designs, cuts, and colors of this collection. My favorite pieces? The disco dance party vibes from the off the shoulder overside dress and jumpsuit.

    Check out the rest of our favorites below. Let us know if anything caught your eye too.

    Photo Credits: Vogue