Everyone’s been asking about them! And finally – I have news. I had done a post on Jackson‘s buttery soft, slouchy clutches last summer when he first sold them at MAXANDSUZANNE‘s pop-up Hamptons shop. Now, after months of development, JACKSON is officially ready for takeoff. As Jackson’s business partner, I am proud to announce the line is now being sold at Debut (298 Mulberry Street, NY, NY) with more stockists to come.
JACKSON is a line of accessories designed by recent Parsons School of Design graduate, Jackson T. Moad, who studied fashion and product design with an emphasis on leather goods and conceptual accessories. Having trained at Ralph Lauren Collection footwear, Jackson has spent the past two years developing the line of minimal, unisex leather clutches.
“I could never find a bag that was as gender neutral as it was utilitarian. It was always either it bags or briefcases. I started from scratch. The result is JACKSON.”
Produced in Manhattan in very small quantities, JACKSON clutches are casual, unstructured, and expertly crafted. Using unexpected, individually selected skins sourced through local distributors, the clutches are designed to age beautifully. With a focus on leather’s natural beauty, quality and versatility, the JACKSON clutch is a blank canvas, understated enough for both sexes. Available in various leathers, colors, and sizes (small (Oz. – 11.5″ x 8″ – $225, Kg. – 16″ x 11″ – $310), JACKSON clutches epitomize the everyday essential.
Vodpod videos no longer available. World Premiere: “Window Seat” – Erykah Badu
My boyfriend’s a huge Badu fan. So, while we’re jamming to an early leak of the Queen of Neo-Soul’s soon-to-be-released new LP, I’ma dedicate this world premiere video to him. New Amerykah Part II (Return of the Ankh) arrives 3.30.10. Get on it.
Song of the Day: “None Of Your Business” – Salt’n’Pepa
I still know every word to this song 17 years after it’s release. The video (above) plays like the original “Dirrty” video (mud wrestling, male groping, wet sloshing) and is still as nasty as it was so many years ago. The latest V magazine even paid homage to the female hip-hop groundbreakers of yesteryear with a special spread featuring signature gel-ed baby hairs, silken jackets, neon windbreakers, clashing prints, platform Reebok’s (perhaps a bit more Ginger Spice than Spinderella), bucket hats and doorknockers. If the look wasn’t so unabashedly adopted by sneaker heads and hipsters, I’d be rocking these duds like it was ’93.
It’s funny how similar these special edition Michael Jackson L.A. Gear (circa ’87) sneakers are to… practically everything on the market today (think Chloe Sevigny x Opening Ceremony/Givenchy Hommes hybrid).
World Premiere: “Microphone Killa” – Freeway & Jake One
If you couldn’t tell by now, I’m quite the Freeway fan. Peep the blog’s first mixtape, riddled in Freeza’s husky street flows, for proof. Sadly, there hasn’t been much made of Freeway‘s latest album (which came out last month) with producer Jake One; Stimulus Package. Other than its Wallpaper-worthy package design by Brent Rollins (image above), which threw even the highest tier of critics when it debuted months before its street date, the former Roc star can’t seem to catch the break he so surely deserves. As perhaps the most prolific artist of his genre, Freeway‘s recent recession-themed set only skims the surface of his talents, offering little justice to his hard work. The Philly-bred emcee, having dropped a track a day for a month and a half (Month of Madness ’09 mixtape), is as under appreciated as one can get in a post-So Far Gone, Weezy-driven world. Take “Microphone Killa,” for example; there’s no doubt Freeza has the best ad-libs in the biz, engages with his primo production, yet is once again relegated to the underground in the current soundscape. If it was any other genre, I’d say it was due to his looks. But rap?
Vodpod videos no longer available. Song of the Day: “Stuntin’ Like Mufasa” – Lil’ Wayne
The only way I can stomach Lil Wayne’s syrup-induced gruff is if its laced with ironic hipster instrumentals (read: Vampire Weekend, Spoon, Animal Collective), a Drake chorus, Nicki Minaj, or a Disney theme like this … Sorry.
On rainy days like these, I like to sit home and reminisce-slash-reenact TLC’s CrazySexyCool interludes with friends and family. It was just yesterday that I stared into the six eyes of the three members on its inimitable album cover. The sky blue disc transports many back to their first CD. While everyone else was drowning in “Waterfalls“, I recall being drawn to a little diddy called “Diggin’ On You”, which came after “Kick Your Game” and before “Case of the Fake People” on the now-classic 90’s LP. It was perhaps the least successful single off the massive-selling set, but offered a romantic, aggressively more mature sound compared to the trio’s earlier adolescent acoustics. Less sex-obsessed and more seductive, TLC graduated sex ed with straight A’s. They set their genre’s bar so high, it’s been hard to top since. CrazySexyCool was an indisputable pinnacle of the 1990’s R&B scene, boasting freshman productions by now-veterans, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Dallas Austin, and Jermaine Dupri. “Diggin’ On You” remains one of Babyface’s best productions with its subtle whining drone background that’s screaming to be sampled.
Bonus Track: “Sumthin’ Wicked This Way Comes” – TLC
(Feat. Andre 3000)
Sarah Williams presented her master’s collection consisting of expertly crafted, constructively contorted fine luggage at London’s College of Fashion to ooh’s and ahh’s aplenty. Try getting through security checkpoints with these babies and you’re bound to miss your flight.
If you haven’t already, I suggest indulging yourself in what Essence.com calls the ‘most offensive‘, culturally prideless 44 minutes of all time. While it may arguably be true, I can’t help but helm T-Pain‘s first cartoon musical the ‘most offensive brilliance’ I’ve seen since Don’t Be A Menace in South Central While Drinking Juice in the Hood. Only one thing: what’s Teddy Pinder gonna do when he gets in trouble with the law? After lampooning Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and Oprah, he’s got no one left to defend him! Cochran’s gone.
Vodpod videos no longer available. World Premiere: “Sponsor” – Teairra Mari (Feat. Gucci Mane & Soulja Boy Tell’Em)
Remember that hooch named Teairra Mari? She was signed to Roc-A-Fella (when it was still in existence), hailed as “the princess of the Roc”, only to release a slutty little one-hit entitled “Make Her Feel Good.” Yeah – well, she’s back, under new management, and making hilarious R&B worthy of Smoke & Mirrors sponsorship. You’ve got to give her credit for convincing her AA sponsor to pour liquor and throw dollars. The video’s just as much a joke as the song is. From the start, you can tell she’s still an amateur, swiveling around in a toe-up gold bustier jumpsuit mouthing the words to Gucci’s opening bars (and failing miserably). Then she’s seen dancing (again in a jumpsuit) in the backyard of what looks like a McMansion from TheReal Housewives of Atlanta. Her operatic flow is what puts her back on the map (ba-ba-ba-buy), but the video is what guarantees her place right back in the dollar bin. You’ve gotta love it. Ri-ri sure do.
This past January, I was asked to assist on a L’Uomo Vogue shoot with fashion editor and famed Michael Jackson stylist, Rushka Bergman, at Splashlight Studios. To my surprise, we were shooting Ms. Tyra Banks – yes… Ms. female-empowerment herself… and even more suprising – she was nice, down-to-earth, and devoid of any diva-tude (except she did bring her own Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel mix to play during shooting). At one point the world-renowned supermodel even called me “beautiful,” to which I replied meekly, “I think you’re beautiful, too.” The afternoon heralded a sophisticated, old Hollywood glam set of photos reminiscent of Janet Jackson‘s 1995 Design of a Decade shoot. Coinkydink? Probably not, just fate. Enjoy some exclusive cam-phone shots (click to view in full size) and an interview with Tyra herself below.
If there was ever a voice I’d have sex with, it’d be Craig David’s… It was Y2K and originality was a thing of the past for R&B music. Half-Jewish and hailing from Southampton, UK, Craig David, brought Garage-inflected R&B stateside with the help of then-producer duo, Artful Dodger. At the ripe age of 19, David owned top positions on every British chart imaginable with debut hit, “Fill Me In” (one of the best songs of the decade no doubt). His second single, “7 Days,” also enjoyed blockbuster success in the states and overseas; in turn, spawning a remix by DJ Premier featuring Mos Def (featured below). It’s David’s mild mannered, string-laden love songs that separate him from the Ne-Yo‘s and Usher’s of the world. A booty-call from Mr. David could easily bed a mother of four. His adoption of Garage delivery, shuffled rhythms, and 2-step drum patterns, helped to distinguish him amongst his peers early on in his career. Losing it over the next two albums (abandoning Artful Dodger for Soulshock & Karlin and most recently Mark Ronson), David’s all but disappeared from the domestic scene. One can only hope the now-28 year old crooner retreats back to former sounds for his next effort. I still pop Born To Do It when I need a steady groove. “Booty Man” (below) is a hilarious romp around a Wonka melody that’s so uncalled-for it’s spectacular.
Song of the Day, Pt. I: “Fill Me In” – Craig David
Song of the Day, Pt. II: “7 Days (DJ Premiere Remix)” – Craig David (Feat. Mos Def)
Song of the Day, Pt. III: “Booty Man” – Craig David
What’s in an expression? If faces are embodiments of the soul, then illustrator, Hannah Lee is like their House Speaker. Her works, having been featured in Bust, Bitch, and Time Out New York publications, have the ability to single-handedly bring illustration back to the forefront. There’s something unwittingly fashion (and thus, commercially viable) about Hannah’s illustrations, perhaps even a tad Toledo-esque. Her pop cultural dealings are more than apparent (she’s played with hip-hop and indie rock, lifestyle caricaturizations, political faux pas, comedic doppelgangers, and dorm room norms) and her humor enormous. Her depictions of dress, specifically street style, prove her tireless attention to social constructs and subcultures, inner meanings and self-actualization. Having attended Parsons School of Design with yours truly, Hannah is of a burgeoning generation of talents experimenting with underused mediums.
Thank me later… Drake channels his inner Wayne (minus the hoarseness) on the Boi-1da produced first single to his eagerly-anticipated debut LP. “Over” isn’t what I was expecting, but, I can more than bet it’ll do. Just listen to the symphonic styling.Wish I could say it’s Drake at his best or even most triumphant, yet the track plays as if he were made to carry Weezy’s torch whilst under lock and key. Come on Drizzy… we want your So Far steez back! But, hey – everything’s kosher… I know it’s far from over.
I was asked to write and guest curate a selection of punk-inspired jewelry for SALE.com’s Scoutblog. I did a jewelry edit a few months back based off my own collection, so for this run, I chose from the web’s top e-tailers. Take a peek.