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#WomenatWork: @ItsAriFitz brings out our deepest feels

Welcome back to our "Women at Work" series. If you joined us last week, then you already know that our newest series introduces you to a curated selection of working women discussing, of course, their professional lives. But Khafra's always trying to help you look good and live great,  so we explore the impact these women are making - through an audacious blend of professional and personal passions - on the world around us.

Allow us to reintroduce Tomboyish founder, Ari Fitz.

photographer: Brenton Gieser

photographer: Brenton Gieser

It's difficult to discuss Ari Fitz without reaching into the most vulnerable depths of my feels (or fee-fees as my lil sis would call them). In 2013, Ari and I had one very important phone call, followed by a few strategic meetings, and a short stint in a world of surreality. From that, we made magic.

Like. A lot of it.

A whole lot.

Today, the feels are lovely, dark, and deep, not because we're more homies than creative partners these days. That's to be expected of magic makers - those who come together at a brief moment in the universe's juncture for the sole purpose of sharing.

I speak about Ari from a soft spot because I look at her and see the manifestation of intentional desire matched hunger, unimaginable work ethic, and indestructible self-belief.

photographer: Brenton Gieser

photographer: Brenton Gieser

Ari is proof that if you dream it, build it, do it, it can and will come ... and in ways, that (even to me, thank god) were unforeseen. From the day I began collaborating with Ari, I recognized in her what I see in so many of us who know that we know; I saw will. And for the last three years, I've been proudly watching her wield that will, shaping a future (and undoubtedly the next media empire) along the way. 

This is the shit that moves me, folks.

I recently checked in with Ari on the current status of life. Check the best of her interview below.

On the architecture of dreams ...

I'm one of those creatives [funding] their projects with a day job, so a day in my life is pretty hectic. My nights, weekends, and lunch breaks are spent ... curating content on TOMBOYISH's Instagram, casting/producing/filming/editing fashion films, engaging with my audience at every moment, and in my spare time looking for new collaborators (photographers, videographers, brands, etc.).

On her most important project of the last year ...

Late last year, TOMBOYISH launched a partnership with Reebok Classics where we had complete creative freedom to develop something dope for their new styles. That [partnership] was definitely one of my most exciting, rewarding, and impactful projects in the past 12 months.

On what's next ...

Right now, [I'm] hosting meet-ups for TOMBOYISH to bring other tomboy-ish folk together. [I'm] headed to nine cities: SF, LA, Chicago, Toronto, NYC, Philly, London, Paris & Cape Town in the next few months.

Some sound advice ...

Don't let anyone else decide what success is for you. Define it for yourself and don't sleep until you have it.

Define it for yourself. Don't sleep until you have it.

Noted.

Need more Ari in your life? Complete our  STYLE SURVEY and request an invite to Ari's INVITE ONLY salon at Relove Vintage Boutique in SF on Friday, March 25.

 

By khoLi.

 

EXPLORE: #WomenatWork - We spoke with @Pathbrite founder Heather Hiles. It was everything.

collections, style

Selfi's Celeste Arendse presents women's "Breasts of Desire"

selfi breasts of desire

It is at once arresting and jarring to encounter the ways in which society's reading of women's bodies (particularly women's breasts) are often enveloped by a male, pornographic eye. This eye, historically, has been both damaging and derogatory.

However, Celeste Arendse, the designer behind Cape Town-based fashion label Selfi, is choosing to celebrate women's breasts - to reclaim them and expose them in a tellingly abstract, poignant, and raw manner: through clothing that celebrates and imitates art.

"Breasts of Desire," Selfi's SS16 collection, pulls its inspiration from two prominent 20th century artists: Picasso and Matisse. 

Picasso pioneered Cubism, an avant-grade art movement punctuated by abstracted works where the subjects (and objects) are analyzed from different perspectives, disassembled, and then reassembled (think of Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon). Matisse was a leader of Fauvism, an art movement that revisited a painterly style (erring from Impressionism) with attention to dynamic colors and abstracted subjects.

via Selfi

Arendse's collection takes these artists' renditions of the female body and reimagines them on moss crepe (a crisp material with an intentionally crinkled appearance) through the digital printing of abstract images of breasts. The result? Stunning apparel - wearable works of art - that reveal women's breasts in a way that isn't sexualized.

According to Arendse,

With this collection I wanted to focus on the areas of women’s bodies that I feel are being portrayed in derogatory ways and in ways that are more pornographic than beautiful. I wanted to make women’s bodies appear beautiful.

via Selfi

The collection features a white top featuring thick black lines that nods to Matisse, and a dress featuring blocks of color and abstract forms that nods to Picasso. 

The inspiration is present, forward, and articulate. And we're listening closely.

Design Indaba, like most, believes "It’s easy to read the breast prints on the garments as feminist statement about body positivity." But in her interview with the publication, "Arendse gently opposes this: not because she isn’t a feminist, but because she doesn’t want to box her work in – 'What if I have penises in the next collection?' she asks."

via Selfi

I think in terms of direction, what I want is my brand to always express itself, however it may be inspired that season. I don’t want to be confined to any colour, prints, shape or silhouette.

In a world where women's bodies are perpetually policed, where the slightest hint of an areola in an Instagram photo is reported and removed for abuse and violation (and now, cue Janelle Monae's "you cannot police me, so get off my areola" line from "Yoga"), it is empowering to see Arendse portray women's bodies - women's breasts - through clothing influenced by art, clothing telling a story about the beauty of breasts, clothing that speaks louder than words. 

via Selfi

via Selfi

collections, style

Review: Our favorite looks from Yeezy Season 3 (Images + Text)

pantone 4665

Cayenne, coco, cyan ... ochre and orange ... yellow ... marsala.

yeezy season 3 1

Pops of color pulled us into Yeezy Season 3, but we stayed for  Kanye's athleisure aesthetic.

Yeezy Season 3 is a crystal continuation of its predecessors, and while it isn't progressive or revolutionary compared to it's sibling seasons, it's athletic- and military-inspired apparel pushing the boundaries of what most call fashion.

One of our favorite looks is this coco, paprika, and peach colored bodysuit worn underneath a deep sage-grey, military-inspired and oversized coat, paired with electric blue knee-high boots with color-blocked and geometric-inspired insets at the knees.

yeezy season 3

It's uniformly flattering, sleek, and in keeping with Kanye's fashion sensibility. It's athleisure meets streetwear meets high fashion in one well-proportioned look, benefitting from the color and contrasting silhouettes.

Another one of our favorite looks is this desaturated, army green, layering of knits. It's a monochrome, tone-on-tone look marrying the simplicity of color and the body while highlighting the effect of unfinished hemlines, asymmetrical distressing, and body-conscious layering.

yeezy season 3 2

Fitted bodysuits? Cropped jackets and oversized jackets? Shearling?

Layered lengths, boxy silhouettes? Knits on knits on knits?  Yes, yes, yes.

yeezy season 3 4

Yeezy Season 3 may not have arrived in the same obstreperous tone as The Life of Pablo; however, the line drew a committed following long before the cult of Kanye saw it atop the Rwandan refugee camp-inspired platform centered in Madison Square Garden.

And, we'd wear it all in a minute.

good news

Barbie just got the ultimate makeover

via Mattel

via Mattel

It's a moment so many of us have been waiting for - Barbie just got a new body.

After years of decline in Barbie sales, Kim Culmone, head of Barbie design, asked her staff:

If you could design Barbie today, how would you make her a reflection of the times?

Beautiful things came from that question. Namely, Barbie got 3 new bodies, and more hairstyles, skin tones, and outfits than we ever imagined.

 

Get a look at all the new Barbie babes here.

EXPLORE: Willow Smith is gorgeous as Stance Socks' new muse

Dolce & Gabbana create new hijab collection

tumblr_o0jfjo2GbR1s74322o1_1280.jpg

Designer Stefano Gabbana has announced it to the world. 

“Dolce & Gabbana the Abaya collection ❤️❤️❤️❤️ #dgabaya." 

And as much as we love some Dolce …

We can’t help but think about Larycia Hawkins, a professor at Wheaton College, who was placed on administrative leave in December 2015 when she donned her own hijab.

So, of course, this raises a few questions for us. 

But, more importantly, what do you think about the new collection? Is it a sign of the times?

In honor of JackLucy’s bday, we’re reblogging this khafra creation she soundtracked for us over a year ago.

9 hours. 3 girls. 1 Elevator.

Special thanks to JackLucy for providing the featured track, “Poison Me to Blend.”

This film was shot, directed, and edited by Ari Fitz.

Creative direction, hair/makeup/styling by khoLi. of Khafra Company.

Wardrobe provided by:

Danielle Wood Designs

Mercy Vintage

Queering Vintage

SandMaiden Sleepwear

tumblr_nyp160aA9P1s74322o2_r1_500.jpg
tumblr_nyp160aA9P1s74322o1_r1_500.jpg

I DRESSED VERY CAREFULLY for her” | Rihanna Opens Up

I DRESSED VERY CAREFULLY for her, the way I would for a good friend, thinking hard about what she likes. What I think she likes. I ordered Uber Black — the highest level of Uber I’ve ridden. The driver said it would be about an hour and a half to Malibu, a long time to resist telling him where I was going.

‘‘I’m going to meet Rihanna,’’ I finally yelled over the radio.

He turned the radio down.

‘‘Rihanna. I’m going to meet her, to interview her. That’s where we’re going.’’

‘‘You kidding? That’s my girl,’’ he said. ‘‘I love her. She’s so down-to-earth. She always keep it cool with her friend and her family. Her and Melissa, I think they are the best celebrity friends. I always say that.’’

‘‘Melissa Forde,’’ I said, to show that I knew who he meant.

‘‘I took a picture with her! Look!’’ He handed back his phone and I took it skeptically. But there he was, in a tux, with his arm around Rihanna. She was smiling. ‘‘She hear my accent and ask me where I’m from. She’s so nice. I knew she would be.’’

‘‘Where are you from?’’

‘‘West Africa, Niger. I come to play soccer for University of Idaho. Oh, that’s the other thing I love about Rihanna — she love soccer.’’

Over the next two hours I interviewed Oumarou Idrissa about how he survived during his first five years in Los Angeles after his student visa had fallen through. He slept in laundromats, sending tiny sums of money back to Niger where his 25 brothers and sisters were starving. This took us through the beach traffic; we grew quiet as the SUV zipped along beach cliffs above blue water. I think we both suddenly remembered Rihanna.

‘‘Do you want me to ask her anything for you?’’ I said.

Oumarou thought seriously about this for a long time. ‘‘Yeah. Here’s my question: When she going to West Africa? Many celebrity don’t like going there because we’re so poor. But I know she have a good heart and I think Rihanna would be the one to open the door to all of them. Also if she needs a driver, or security. Or French teacher.’’

‘‘Or soccer teacher,’’ I said, as we pulled up to Geoffrey’s, a fancy Malibu restaurant. I warned Oumarou that I might be a long time, but he wanted to pick me up when I was done with the interview. He wanted to hear her answer to his question.

‘‘Don’t be nervous,’’ Oumarou called out as I hopped out of the car. ‘‘She’s really nice.’’

I SPENT THE NEXT HOUR and a half with Jennifer Rosales, Rihanna’s ‘‘24/7’’ assistant. We ordered drinks and discussed Jennifer’s reproductive future. Each time I realized I was getting drunk I nibbled some bread, and when I felt my head becoming too clear I drank more. It was hard work maintaining a light buzz for so long, but it paid off. When Rihanna’s manager, Jay Brown, appeared to tell me that this was one of her first interviews in years I just laughed. And then choked. Because here she was.

Her lips were bright red, her long nails were pale iridescent lavender, her mascara was both white and black in a way I didn’t really understand. A rhinestone necklace against her chest read ‘‘FENTY,’’ her last name. Oumarou wasn’t the only person I had grilled about what makes Rihanna great. A lesbian art history professor told me that she’s ‘‘the real deal.’’ Others used the words ‘‘magic’’ and ‘‘epic.’’ But when I tried to get anyone to pinpoint things she had said or done — particular interviews or incidents — everyone became lost in inarticulacy. Yet another friend, referencing an episode of ‘‘Style Wars’’ that Rihanna had appeared on, concluded, ‘‘You could just tell she’s a good person.’’ None of this was all that helpful.

Rihanna hugged me hello and we sat down in front of two glasses of white wine. ‘‘Your eyes are amazing,’’ she told me, pulling her chair closer. ‘‘I’m staring at you and I feel like my eyes are gonna blur because all I can see are those tiny dots.’’

‘‘Well, it’s mutual,’’ I said stiffly. ‘‘Trust me.’’ It was probably the weakest compliment she’d ever received but praising her seemed like a slippery slope. I glanced down at my carefully typed-up questions, looking for an easy opener.

‘‘Do you search the Internet?’’ I asked, ‘‘And if so, what do you look up?’’

‘‘Oh, random things. Like I will be sitting around Googling childbirth.’’

‘‘Could be more random than childbirth.’’

‘‘Childbirth is putting it the not-gross way. I was searching the size of certain things, and how much they expand, and then what happens after. …’’

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.