Flagrant City Spotlight: Who is Rashaad Holley? What is Vingt-Cinq Rashaad? [Fashion]

Recently a long-time friend of mine from my hometown of Buffalo, NY, Rashaad Holley, sat down with fashion blogger Moesha Reid and the student publication I used to write for in college, the UB Spectrum, sharing his thoughts, his vision, his past and his future passions for his current fashion line,  Vingt Cinq Rashaad.  Take a look & read more below!

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Rashaad Holley working on a custom design.  Photo Credit: UB Spectrum

UB alumnus Rashaad Holley discusses his inspiration for his clothing line, Vingt Cinq Rashaad.

Rashaad Holley wants the number 25 to symbolize a rebirth of black males.

Holley’s brand, Vingt Cinq, means 25 in French and represents an important age for black men in the U.S., due to inner-city violence.

“There’s a popular Kanye lyric, ‘I wasn’t supposed to make it past 25, guess what, I’m still alive’ and that stuck with me,” Holley, a Buffalo State student and UB alumnus, said. “There are no fashion designers coming from the part of Buffalo where I grew up. Me aspiring to be one is different, it’s not something that kids think about being.”

SHADDY

Holley graduated from UB in 2016 with a degree in business focused in marketing. Instead of entering the workforce, he decided to pursue a second degree in apparel design within the Fashion and Textile Technology department at Buffalo State.

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Rashaad Holley rocking the Flagrant City Federal Agents Tee in Buffalo, NY.

Holley’s goal is to “bring luxury to the urban look.” He’s taken the roughness of the eastside of Buffalo and uses it as inspiration for his clothing line. His great aunt’s death and his distance from his birth father showed him the importance of familial bonds and guided him through his work.

“People always say my garments are clean and I like that a lot because that’s not something you generally think comes out of the ghetto and that’s exactly where they’re from and where I’m from,” Holley said.

For the FULL link on UB Spectrum and to read more click the following link: Buffalo Born Designer Stays True To His Roots

[UPDATE] Since originally posting this piece 9 days ago, Rashaad has recently embarked on an unforeseen journey, and taking a leap of faith to pursue his career in the fashion industry, as he has been offered an opportunity of a lifetime to study at Regent’s University in London, England for the summer of 2017.  As you can imagine, this is an amazing opportunity for him to grow as a designer and as a man.   “I thank you for the time you have given me to hear about my opportunity, and I would be forever grateful if you could contribute to my growth in any way.  Thank you!” – Rashaad
DONATE HERE:  https://www.gofundme.com/summer-study-at-regents-university
http://www.ubspectrum.com/article/2017/04/buffalo-born-designer-stays-true-to-his-roots
https://www.theodysseyonline.com/college-student-inspires-others-with-clothing-line

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Around LA: The Renaissance with @joythedrummer & @DJShiva at @losglobos [Oct 10th]

Tonight!!! The Renaissance Residency with Venzella Joy & DJ Shiva kicks off this evening, Tuesday, Oct 10th, 2017 at Los Globos!


Doors open at 8pm, Show starts at 9pm! Get tickets here: http://www.ticketfly.com/event/1570473-renaissance-los-angeles/
According to Joy herself, “Shiva is one of the dopest DJ’s I’ve ever heard and we’re curating a series of shows where we’ll be performing together every other week and featuring artists.  Come experience the pioneer show of #TheRenaissance here in LA!!!” 

It’s all happening TONIGHT!!!!  10•10•17!||| $5 with RSVP|||

Fashion Week Picks by Rashaad Holley of Vingt-Cinq Rashaad [Fashion]

Reporting live from the virtual front row, I will be sharing all of my Fashion Week Picks from New York, London, Paris, and Milan Fashion Weeks.  I’m Rashaad, your new fashion correspondent and the guy to know.  I’ve been meaning to kick off this fashion section for a while, and after looking over one of my classmates’ shoulders at someone else’s post of their picks…. I figured it was time.

I’m going to dive right in.  We can catch up later.  Stay tuned for a bunch of fashion insight from yours truly, as well as an official intro.  Hope you guys enjoy!

 

I’ll say this too…. Tom Ford woke me up, Fendi was the coffee, Ralph Lauren was the brunch, and Versace was the mimosa at brunch.  Catch yall later.

 

All photos courtesy of WGSN.

Interview with Lindsey Taylor

Lindsey Taylor is a buffalo native that started Crown ENT back in 2007, and has since then developed and worked on large projects such as Ballin’ For a Cause, and most recently the Beau Fleuve Music and Arts Festival
We caught up with him to see how he feels about his personal growth, how he finds balance between it all, his views on leadership and more. 

M- Marielle ,LT- Lindsey Taylor 

M: How do you feel about your progress over the past decade? – from Balling for a Cause, Crown ENT, and most recently Beau Fleuve Music and Arts Festival. 

LT: I feel good because I was able to show growth over the past year.- that I am not one dimensional, to be able to host multidimensional events, to see how far we come, to be able to inspire young entrepreneurs and creators , to open doors for others and venues. I feel real happy with my growth.

M: Have you been able to fulfill the goals you set for yourself 10 years ? Are you where you projected yourself to be?

LT: Yes. When I started I wanted parties to be the stepping stone into doing a variety of events. I never wanted to be known and labeled as just the party promoter. Crown ENT. and parties were the foundation. I wrote goals down in notebooks – I still find some of them in old notebooks and then I would write an outline for how I wanted to execute it. I’ve been working on Beau Fleuve for two years now.

And I have made most of those, may have not hit it all the way, but to be able to see that can achieve the concept and that it is possible. 

M: did any of those goals change for you ? 

LT: things always change, I’ve wrote ideas down and went a different course with it completely. 
M: How do you focus between your projects and your personal life and family? 

LT: I’m still working on finding balance between life and projects and myself. This is currently my number one goal : to dedicate one day to my family with my phone off, just time to unplug. I’ve been burnt out physically, mentally. 

Constantly working makes your work go stale . 
Like when I took my daughter to Disney World for vacation I was watching how Disney operates: their team, their influence, how they were with guest. 

 

There was a time when something was wrong with our car and before we could go to ask for help someone was there taking care of it . 

M: wow. That leads well into my next question: What is your organizing/ planning process : do you focus more energy into work you team is doing, the work you do yourself, or strive to find balance between both ? 

LT: I’m working with distributing responsibilities to team members and building team members up so that they can be those representatives of myself. 
So that when problems occur people can go to them and they solve it instead of running me for everything. 
I wanted it to be that the answer my team member gives is the exact same thing I would say if asked.- so that if I Lindsey leave my event it would still run perfectly . 

M: How would you describe the impact you’ve had local art scene ? What lasting influence do you want to leave ? 

LT: I have always incorporated music in my events- from party promoting with Crown ENT and getting in contact with MCs and local musicians, balling for a cause I always incorporated music into that as well, I did cyphers for local rappers and over the years I’ve built relationships with a lot of artists. Now I want learn more about new artists and gain more lasting relationships. 
On last influence:

We want artists to be able to come to us and use our platform to benefit all of us, we want to be able to pioneer these ideas. With basketball people are looking it ( balling for a cause) all over the world – we get contacted from teams from Canada and Africa inquiring about it. We want to be the staple representative of this brand. 

M: what impact does your political views and association have in any of your projects? 

LT: I keep politics separate from events and projects. (I) show support in different ways. I don’t center or align with just one political party or candidate. We do have good relationships with some figures that have shown interest and been involved with some of our events. 

  
M: how do you deal with diversity? 

LT: diversity is one of my biggest things. I was born and raised in the city and attended school with people of all different backgrounds. I want to reach a diverse background of people – black, white, Asian, all people. I want to build relationships across all races. 

One of the big things with Beau Fleuve was to have as much diversity as possible, we had country, rock , hip hop, we could’ve easily just did a hip hop show, but I wanted diversity. 
In fact, this past year one of my friends invited me to a country concert and I had the best experience even though I only knew like two song, it was one of the best shows I’ve ever been to . 

M: What should people be on the look out from you ? Any upcoming projects that you can share with us ? 

LT: We are currently working on the Beau Fleuve Foundation to give back to youth arts, create scholarships and making Beau Fleuve into a Mega Festival 
M: That sounds Awesome ! Any closing statements, last words .. 

LT: Shout out to Rhonda to always being supportive, she’s great. It takes all of us coming together every aspect of media, promoters, artists and working together. Pulling together. 

Sladderdaze in the East: Dirty Logan X Juug Talk presents Tacos & Tequila – Buffalo [Sept 23rd]

Pull up today and hang with the Dirty Logan Gang and Juug Talk!!! One more time while the weather is amazing because it’s cool in Cali where BuffaLowe is, and it’s heating up back East in The Queen City of Buffalo, NY. 


MUSIC BY: Camm Scott & Prince Hakeem 

Free tacos until supplies last, $10 unlimited drinks!

Instagram.com/dirtylogan716

Lady Entrepreneurs: Produced By Girls – Zine 1 (Review)

I was overly excited to read this Zine by looked at it alone. The classic black and white marble composition notebook cover felt nostalgic to adolescence: the way it would become decorated with amateur graffiti, magazine cut outs of favorite celebrities and teen heartthrobs glued onto the few empty spaces. Also, 3D Glasses were included to be used on certain pages! 

This zine featured 5 talented young women of color, that were pictured on the cover in the cut out form.  

Each page reflects the personality of the young woman it shared itself with in a magazine cut collage form. 

The first page featuring Megan Harris- model, artist, graphic designer and part owner of Beatnik Parlor Ice Cream , is covered in a variety of ice cream cones, palm trees and California vibes reflecting Megan’s hometown. Megan is pictured in the lower corner with thick coiled shoulder length hair looking directly into the camera. Megan’s story was deeply inspiring for myself personally with her being just two years older than myself. At 26 she has left her hometown in Sacramento to NYC to further her career. 

Her advice for to aspiring entrepreneurs was simplistic which made it seem even more achievable for myself and all who read. 
On the back of Megan’s page is a goals worksheet for the reader to list what goals they have for themselves and business! 

Annabel’s page is covered with a variety of foods as well as pictures of her food truck/ mobile kitchen. Anabel is pictured in the lower corner, a beautiful young girl smiling holding a toddler in her arms. 

One of the impressive things about Anabel is that age of eight years old she has already created a delicious diverse menu that feeds many in the DMV area. Her words echo the importance of seeing women and girl bosses, starting as young as herself, proving anything is possible. 

Alias Kadir’s page background is decorated with large frosted green grapes and light pastel colors. Alias is pictured in the corner with shoulder length curly hair looking away from the camera over her shoulder. This seventeen year old explains how she found comfort in music. Alias also included how she is looking for queer artist and artist of color’s work that she wants to share via her platform. This is also something near and dear to my heart, the inclusion of queer and all artist of color is needed, our work is truly unique and needs more visibility. 

Essence Hayes’ name is spelled out in bold red block letters. Across the back of her page is a city’s outline with building lit up a night sky . By her name and along the bottom of the page are some of her pins. Essence is pictured at the bottom of the page looking directly into the camera. Essence is a painter and jewelry maker that came up with Coloring Pins, a collection of pins that are inspired by black hair styles. Looking at these pins give a more nostalgic feelings as it showcases classic black hair styles as Bantu knots and braids. 

Essence describes her journey to get her business to where it is today. From her set backs and obstacles, Essence continued on pursing her vision and has no intentions of stopping now. 

The last lady entrepreneur in this issue is Eli. Using the 3D glasses given at the front of the zine you can see the overlapping red and blue clustered pictures of Eli come to life. Eli’s outlook on art medium and Philosophy was both refreshing and left me excited to see what she will accomplish artisticly. 

On the next page PBG has an important reminder that the reader can see with the 3D glasses. The last two pages are interactive for the readers encouraging the reader to bring their ideas to life.  

After reading this Zine I felt revitalize to continue the work that I’ve been doing : with writing, with organizing and modeling .

What was most inspirational about these young women is how at their age they have envisioned their dreams and brought them to life. To find out how they succeed and overcame their adversity, read this Zine ! 
Also show support to these wonderful women by following their social media accounts and their work. 

Their presence in their fields are needed, let’s make sure it can remain. 

 Reclaiming My Time 

I’m sitting with and processing emotions from interactions I’ve had over the past week. This has been forcing me to acknowledge my social conditioning : how I default in handling situations and the result that has on myself. 

I was raised heavily in Assimilation Culture and by Respectability Politics: that if I did mind my manners, speak properly, tamed my hair- then white people would not be an issue, and if they were, to avoid Any confrontation. I’ve never witnessed my parents prioritizing their blackness over whiteness. Without noticing, I began doing the same as I’ve gotten older- that is until recently. 

In the past year I’ve been spending more time in black and brown only spaces, spaces that center blackness and organizing with people of color collectives. In these spaces I’ve realized my conditioning and how it stems from systematic self preservation tactics pasted on generationally. Returning to work in a predominately white space has triggered how I see myself, my blackness in reference to how I handle whiteness. 

I didn’t realize the problem I had with prioritizing whiteness until fellow organizer and friend brought it to my attention in the wake of Charlottesville both in a conversation we had on it and later in an important piece on this topic.* 

I was telling her how I was avoiding going to places because I didn’t want to talk with white people about what had recently happened. She shifted the conversation and my view from avoidance to standing in myself and simultaneously refusing to talk about matters that made me uncomfortable. 
 

Friday I remembered her words after enduring a rant at work from a white man on Charlottesville, how it was staged, the manufacturing of a race war and how now isn’t the time to worry about race. Despite my attempts to end the conversation it didn’t stop until my boss intervened. I felt at the end of it exhausted from listening to him, exhausted from his entitlement to my time, and his ignorance of his privilege that has resulted in so much violence. 

As a black American woman, I felt insulted and triggered by his reduction of over 400 years of oppression and violence to singular moments of eruption of race relations when white supremacy feels threatened by our fight for liberation. 

I noticed in this moment how it felt to let my identity come second in an interaction that: 
1. Did not need to be had, 

2. Would not reflect negatively on my job performance, had I centered myself 

3. Would be more loving/ honoring to myself to center my identity.

White people have created and we’re raised in a society that has always put their ideas first, gave themselves room to be expressive without judgment which in turn resulted in them believing that they can encounter any interaction in that way. Where as black and brown people were not, we have always made space for whiteness. 

Now, however is optimal time to enact Auntie Maxine Waters words and Reclaim Our Time. 

I urge all my black, brown and all intersecting identities to stop, give yourself space and reclaim your time in the face of whiteness- supremacy and toxic masculinity. 
Stop yourself in interactions ask ‘ am I prioritizing self or whiteness?’ – if the latter, reclaim that time. 

To futher quote her words in the Just Resisting post “Are we actively in this moment, joining and working to build a world we want to live in? A world that centers us? Are we engaging in the work that prepares us for what we’re so obviously up against?” 

End that respectability/ assimilation mindset and reclaim your unapologetic blackness : in your interactions, in demanding our rights, justice and the continued fight for liberation. 
I’m still working on this – from my organizing to my own personal experiences and my hope is for you to do the same. 

*Please read the rest of  Just Resisting’s Post and if in the Buffalo area be sure to check out JR’s Political Education Kickoff!on the 21st!