noir

THE FIGHT.

Hey guys!  Decided to talk about my fight.     ...with My 'friends'.   When I began my business, I would share my ideas and goals with friends.  There were some that were very supportive, those are the friends that are with me now.   Then there were those that were quite critical of my endeavors.  That would've been cool, if the input that they offered was qualified/substantiated by a knowledge or an extensive amount of experience with what I was getting into.  It wasn't.  Then, there were those that were just not at all receptive, reciprocal or supportive.  That was really interesting because a lot of them were 'friends' that I spent a lot of time with.     So... WHAT THE HELL?!?!?? Why was this happening?    I started to retrace my steps and analyze the person I was/am.  Have I been supportive of others' endeavors?   I thought back to quite a few instances where I absolutely hadn't.   WHY?  Well, for the most part, there were a lot of my friends that just had different ideas about life in general.  My moral compass will not allow me to get involved with some things... but others, I just wasn't ready.   I, myself, wasn't ready.   It wasn't my 'friend' that I would not support.  It was the fact that, though we were afforded the same opportunities, they were taking advantage of their situation... and I wasn't.  I wasn't ready.   It clicked!!!  The support of my 'friends' is sometimes more about them being able to be challenged to be great... greater, than being in my corner rooting for my success.  It's a really tough thing; being challenged.   Seeing another person seizing opportunity when their circumstances are so similar to our own, can be downright depressing.   So I started making the most of my own situations.   I found that I inspired people that I did not know personally, so deeply and profoundly, while some of those closest to me seemed unfazed by everything going on in my life.  ... But they weren't.    They were battling with their own issues.  Accepting their friend and their friend's success.  As I did.   This is definitely NOT the only reason people don't support others.  It IS however, something that I have experienced and have seen in others (that we later confirmed). All this to say, I cut a lot of people out of my life that really just didn't know how to be truly supportive.  But it was more about them, than me.  It sucks nonetheless.   I battle with trying to be supportive of others while challenging myself all the time.  It has made appreciate others' achievements.  I am also more understanding of my friends that CANNOT accept what I am doing whether it is about me or them.   YES!! it's true, I could really suck. I could be a little delusional, but maybe I'm not.   So with just so much as a kind word.  I try to support others.   Pay it forward!  It could inspire absolute greatness.  Most of all it will promote positivity and we REALLY need that nowadays.  Just saying.  Keep fighting!  Never know who'll be inspired.   a.   

Hey guys!  Decided to talk about my fight.    

...with My 'friends'.  

When I began my business, I would share my ideas and goals with friends.  There were some that were very supportive, those are the friends that are with me now.  

Then there were those that were quite critical of my endeavors.  That would've been cool, if the input that they offered was qualified/substantiated by a knowledge or an extensive amount of experience with what I was getting into.  It wasn't. 

Then, there were those that were just not at all receptive, reciprocal or supportive.  That was really interesting because a lot of them were 'friends' that I spent a lot of time with.  

 

So... WHAT THE HELL?!?!?? Why was this happening? 

 

I started to retrace my steps and analyze the person I was/am.  Have I been supportive of others' endeavors?  

I thought back to quite a few instances where I absolutely hadn't.  

WHY?  Well, for the most part, there were a lot of my friends that just had different ideas about life in general.  My moral compass will not allow me to get involved with some things... but others, I just wasn't ready.  

I, myself, wasn't ready.  
It wasn't my 'friend' that I would not support.  It was the fact that, though we were afforded the same opportunities, they were taking advantage of their situation... and I wasn't.  I wasn't ready.  

It clicked!!! 

The support of my 'friends' is sometimes more about them being able to be challenged to be great... greater, than being in my corner rooting for my success. 

It's a really tough thing; being challenged.  
Seeing another person seizing opportunity when their circumstances are so similar to our own, can be downright depressing.  

So I started making the most of my own situations.  

I found that I inspired people that I did not know personally, so deeply and profoundly, while some of those closest to me seemed unfazed by everything going on in my life. 
... But they weren't.   

They were battling with their own issues.  Accepting their friend and their friend's success.  As I did.  

This is definitely NOT the only reason people don't support others.  It IS however, something that I have experienced
and have seen in others (that we later confirmed).

All this to say, I cut a lot of people out of my life that really just didn't know how to be truly supportive.  But it was more about them, than me.  It sucks nonetheless.  

I battle with trying to be supportive of others while challenging myself all the time.  It has made appreciate others' achievements.  I am also more understanding of my friends that CANNOT accept what I am doing whether it is about me or them.  

YES!! it's true, I could really suck. I could be a little delusional, but maybe I'm not.  

So with just so much as a kind word.  I try to support others.  

Pay it forward!  It could inspire absolute greatness.  Most of all it will promote positivity and we REALLY need that nowadays.  Just saying. 

Keep fighting!  Never know who'll be inspired.

 

a. 

 

THE SELF. PORTRAIT

The Self Portrait.  I personally believe that the self portrait is a prime example explaining one of the issues going on in our 'pop' culture.  The fact that the 'selfie' has become extremely popular is a representation of the amount of people that feel the need to  express themselves, people that want to be seen.  The self portrait is actually one of the most common art practices throughout history.  Michelangelo, DaVinci, Picasso, Rembrandt... they all did it.  As a matter of fact, in art school, it was a required assignment that we had to complete.   So why the disdain now?   As artists, we tend to take a tremendous amount of pride in our work.  There was a time when artists were the true rockstars of society.  Before people were sidetracked by weapons of mass distraction, there was a genuine appreciation for talent, dedication and hard work.  As time passed, people learned how to exploit the arts and make money from the appreciation people had for them.  The mediums by which the arts were conveyed, became more accessible and the way people were able to experience the arts grew tremendously .  The respective markets became saturated and popularity replaced talent and hard work.   Artists were pretty pissed about this.  So here we are, everyone can now produce a picture, a portrait, a self portrait, but what I see is, people despising the art form.  From the outside it can seem pretentious and narcissistic, but it isn't always.  This is such an amazing ride we're on.  The gradual changes in our body sneak up on us and often, we are shocked at what we see of 'ourselves'.  Living inside this vehicle but not feeling all the changes that happen.  Seeing the wrinkles form, the nose grow crooked, the hair growing in... or falling out.  How could one NOT be fascinated.  How could you not document this.   I think the issue started when the self portrait went to the shitter.  Literally!  Once people took the self portrait in the bathroom (as a normal practice), it defiled the image, both figuratively and literally.  It was  no longer an art form.  It was no longer an exploration of the journey, or an expression of the souls vision of the body.   But the truth is, once you look at the self portrait with disdain, it is actually you that has disregarded the art in it.  Irrespective of how or where one does it, it is still a documentation, an exploration of the journey of one's life.  I have heard many people say they "refuse to take a selfie" or that they feel it is all about conceit.  But what about those that take it for themselves?   Whether they share it or not.  Ultimately, it is for the self.  So that people can experience you as you do.  So that you get a chance to see yourself as others do.  So that you can see yourself, as you were once.   Our entire culture has been given the opportunity to be celebrated.  To knock that celebration only truly affects you.  If you do not want to see excessive "Selfies" it is as simple as not looking.  Do not subscribe to the things that you do not want to see.  It's pretty simple.  But to criticize the art form, to criticize an artist or one who is exploring and documenting their journey is more damaging to you than it is to them.     Harboring hate for someone is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.     Love your self.

The Self Portrait.  I personally believe that the self portrait is a prime example explaining one of the issues going on in our 'pop' culture.  The fact that the 'selfie' has become extremely popular is a representation of the amount of people that feel the need to  express themselves, people that want to be seen.  The self portrait is actually one of the most common art practices throughout history.  Michelangelo, DaVinci, Picasso, Rembrandt... they all did it.  As a matter of fact, in art school, it was a required assignment that we had to complete.  

So why the disdain now?  

As artists, we tend to take a tremendous amount of pride in our work.  There was a time when artists were the true rockstars of society.  Before people were sidetracked by weapons of mass distraction, there was a genuine appreciation for talent, dedication and hard work.  As time passed, people learned how to exploit the arts and make money from the appreciation people had for them.  The mediums by which the arts were conveyed, became more accessible and the way people were able to experience the arts grew tremendously .  The respective markets became saturated and popularity replaced talent and hard work.  

Artists were pretty pissed about this. 

So here we are, everyone can now produce a picture, a portrait, a self portrait, but what I see is, people despising the art form.  From the outside it can seem pretentious and narcissistic, but it isn't always.  This is such an amazing ride we're on.  The gradual changes in our body sneak up on us and often, we are shocked at what we see of 'ourselves'.  Living inside this vehicle but not feeling all the changes that happen.  Seeing the wrinkles form, the nose grow crooked, the hair growing in... or falling out.  How could one NOT be fascinated.  How could you not document this.  

I think the issue started when the self portrait went to the shitter.  Literally!  Once people took the self portrait in the bathroom (as a normal practice), it defiled the image, both figuratively and literally.  It was  no longer an art form.  It was no longer an exploration of the journey, or an expression of the souls vision of the body.  

But the truth is, once you look at the self portrait with disdain, it is actually you that has disregarded the art in it.  Irrespective of how or where one does it, it is still a documentation, an exploration of the journey of one's life.  I have heard many people say they "refuse to take a selfie" or that they feel it is all about conceit.  But what about those that take it for themselves?   Whether they share it or not.  Ultimately, it is for the self.  So that people can experience you as you do.  So that you get a chance to see yourself as others do.  So that you can see yourself, as you were once.  

Our entire culture has been given the opportunity to be celebrated.  To knock that celebration only truly affects you.  If you do not want to see excessive "Selfies" it is as simple as not looking.  Do not subscribe to the things that you do not want to see.  It's pretty simple.  But to criticize the art form, to criticize an artist or one who is exploring and documenting their journey is more damaging to you than it is to them.  

 

Harboring hate for someone is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.  

 

Love your self.

the fall of prints...

This fall, I am thinking bold prints.  Like this.  I am usually very earthy and muted for the fall.... which is absolutely cliche (Floral? For Spring? Goundbreaking! - Miranda Priestly)  But this year, I am thinking bold prints and patters.    Ralph Lauren Purple Label RalphLauren.com

This fall, I am thinking bold prints.  Like this.  I am usually very earthy and muted for the fall.... which is absolutely cliche (Floral? For Spring? Goundbreaking! - Miranda Priestly)  But this year, I am thinking bold prints and patters.   

Ralph Lauren Purple Label RalphLauren.com

essentials 9.11.14

Men's Essentials. 9.11.14 Some of my favorites, happen to be Tom Ford.   If you know me, you know that I have a philosophy on everything (Because Philosophy sounds so much better than opinion HA!).  But to be completely earnest, a philosophy is a thought out understanding, or at least approaching the understanding of something.  So these are my essentials.  They all have meaning behind them.     Glares: First off... let me explain "glares".  I was in India doing a radio interview with Jeeturaaj on Radio Mirchi a few years ago (long story) but he was really the chillest guy.  After the interview, we were asked to take some photos.  Jeeturaaj was totally into it, but he would never show his face or take off his sunglasses.  I asked him about it and he told me that he was all about anonymity.  He said he loved that his 'thing' was just always about his voice.  Then he said "I never take off my glass".  I said "Glares? that's probably the coolest name I have ever heard for sunglasses".  Because of his accent, I misunderstood, but we all liked the word 'glares' and that is what I have called them ever since.  I feel like the eyes are very intimate.  I feel like when talking with people, the eye contact is a very delicate thing.  That being said, I can't let just anyone look into my soul like that!!!  So these are literally the blinds, or at least the tints for the windows to my soul.  I have found what I like and what I think works for me.  A masculine frame.  Very strong top bar and refined details.  Nothing trendy,  these have to last for decades.  If it is not an aviator (which NEVER) goes out of style, these are my pick for the long haul.  Dress them up, wear them casually, they just work!     Noir De Noir: This fragrance is easily one of the sexiest things you'll ever smell (along with the majority of Tom Ford's Private Blend collection).  Thats not the key though.  You've got to invest in more than one scent and once you do, mix the scents.  I personally LOVE Tuscan Leather, but it is very, almost too sexy.  It is literally spicy and strong.  I had to stop wearing it, until I mixed it with Oud Wood.  Oud Wood is a sweeter scent and calmed Tuscan Leather down.  It was at that point that I began to think that this is probably the most pleasure you could have with your nose.  Seriously.  These scents will have you literally smelling yourself all day!  Be careful with the TF Private Blend collection.  They are oil based and DO NOT come out of clothes or off of the skin easily.  With that said, this is an excellent, manly scent that your girlfriend, wife, significant other, BFF etc. will love.    Oud Wood Body Moisturizer: The fragrance alone is enough for me to by this moisturizer, but what i like more about it is that is doesn't leave me feeling oily.  I have very dry skin and very few things have this combination of things.  This fragrance is a perfect blend with all of my other fragrances, keeps my hands from looking like I was punching bags of flour and doesn't feel like 'soul glo' on my hands.     TF Lip Balm:  I picked it up on a humble.  I was at a fashion show once and my sis walked over to me and shook my hand.  She then places some blistex in my hand like we were conducting a drug deal.  I appreciated it!!  I was dehydrated and talking all day.  Only God knows how long I looked like 'Ashy Larry' before she got to me.  Let's be honest, at $25, This stuff is extra expensive, but whatever they use in here, lasts and feels good for hours.  I'm sure blisex, chapstick or whatever else will work just fine, but I am a victim of good marketing.  They explained to me the benefits of all the materials they included (and excluded) and so I tried it, and I love it.  I swear it feels water proof.     So that's all for this little excerpt.  I hope that someone at least tries some of this stuff.  I personally feel like if you're going to do something, why not do it with style.  After all, no matter what you're doing with your life, you are your brand.  Invest.  It is what people see and have to go on.     Beauty by TOMFORD.COM a.

Men's Essentials. 9.11.14

Some of my favorites, happen to be Tom Ford.  

If you know me, you know that I have a philosophy on everything (Because Philosophy sounds so much better than opinion HA!).  But to be completely earnest, a philosophy is a thought out understanding, or at least approaching the understanding of something.  So these are my essentials.  They all have meaning behind them.  

 

Glares: First off... let me explain "glares".  I was in India doing a radio interview with Jeeturaaj on Radio Mirchi a few years ago (long story) but he was really the chillest guy.  After the interview, we were asked to take some photos.  Jeeturaaj was totally into it, but he would never show his face or take off his sunglasses.  I asked him about it and he told me that he was all about anonymity.  He said he loved that his 'thing' was just always about his voice.  Then he said "I never take off my glass".  I said "Glares? that's probably the coolest name I have ever heard for sunglasses".  Because of his accent, I misunderstood, but we all liked the word 'glares' and that is what I have called them ever since.  I feel like the eyes are very intimate.  I feel like when talking with people, the eye contact is a very delicate thing.  That being said, I can't let just anyone look into my soul like that!!!  So these are literally the blinds, or at least the tints for the windows to my soul.  I have found what I like and what I think works for me.  A masculine frame.  Very strong top bar and refined details.  Nothing trendy,  these have to last for decades.  If it is not an aviator (which NEVER) goes out of style, these are my pick for the long haul.  Dress them up, wear them casually, they just work!  

 

Noir De Noir: This fragrance is easily one of the sexiest things you'll ever smell (along with the majority of Tom Ford's Private Blend collection).  Thats not the key though.  You've got to invest in more than one scent and once you do, mix the scents.  I personally LOVE Tuscan Leather, but it is very, almost too sexy.  It is literally spicy and strong.  I had to stop wearing it, until I mixed it with Oud Wood.  Oud Wood is a sweeter scent and calmed Tuscan Leather down.  It was at that point that I began to think that this is probably the most pleasure you could have with your nose.  Seriously.  These scents will have you literally smelling yourself all day!  Be careful with the TF Private Blend collection.  They are oil based and DO NOT come out of clothes or off of the skin easily.  With that said, this is an excellent, manly scent that your girlfriend, wife, significant other, BFF etc. will love. 

 

Oud Wood Body Moisturizer: The fragrance alone is enough for me to by this moisturizer, but what i like more about it is that is doesn't leave me feeling oily.  I have very dry skin and very few things have this combination of things.  This fragrance is a perfect blend with all of my other fragrances, keeps my hands from looking like I was punching bags of flour and doesn't feel like 'soul glo' on my hands.  

 

TF Lip Balm:  I picked it up on a humble.  I was at a fashion show once and my sis walked over to me and shook my hand.  She then places some blistex in my hand like we were conducting a drug deal.  I appreciated it!!  I was dehydrated and talking all day.  Only God knows how long I looked like 'Ashy Larry' before she got to me.  Let's be honest, at $25, This stuff is extra expensive, but whatever they use in here, lasts and feels good for hours.  I'm sure blisex, chapstick or whatever else will work just fine, but I am a victim of good marketing.  They explained to me the benefits of all the materials they included (and excluded) and so I tried it, and I love it.  I swear it feels water proof.  

 

So that's all for this little excerpt.  I hope that someone at least tries some of this stuff.  I personally feel like if you're going to do something, why not do it with style.  After all, no matter what you're doing with your life, you are your brand.  Invest.  It is what people see and have to go on.  

 

Beauty by TOMFORD.COM

a.

life

Our beautiful friend Adri.  It's pretty amazing, what she does.  Yoga, Charitable work, loves her friends and family deeply and is very much in touch with her spiritual side.  Such a refreshing person.   More on her soon :) Stay posted. 

Our beautiful friend Adri.  It's pretty amazing, what she does.  Yoga, Charitable work, loves her friends and family deeply and is very much in touch with her spiritual side.  Such a refreshing person.   More on her soon :) Stay posted. 

Beauty

This is my stunning friend Sequoia!!   When I decided that I would start shooting this beauty and style campaign, Sequoia was absolutely perfect.   My ideas of beauty and style are pretty simple.  They are based more on emotion than anything else.  Simplicity, effortless style, these are the things that I find beautiful, the things that make me feel the imagery.   Everything that Sequoia put on was absolutely gorgeous and she was dope with that alone, but Wouri and Ashunta added their magic and took the imagery over the top.     But why the campaign?   I was watching a television survey in which they polled people about which public personality had the best features.  Men and women were asked individually and the results were pretty standard.  Just what you'd expect from a "sponsored" poll.  Then I thought... who the hell is running the show?  A lot of our preferences seem to be pre-selected nowadays.  So I really began to think of what I find beautiful.  And then I put it down on paper.  And then I decided I would shoot it.      Going through the finishing touches and getting ready to post images.   Thanks to the team:   Ashunta Sheriff:   Beauty  Wouri Vice:           Impromptu Style Magic  Sequoia Carr:       Model Ananta:                 Art Direction & Style The New Black: A/W 15

This is my stunning friend Sequoia!!  

When I decided that I would start shooting this beauty and style campaign, Sequoia was absolutely perfect.  

My ideas of beauty and style are pretty simple.  They are based more on emotion than anything else.  Simplicity, effortless style, these are the things that I find beautiful, the things that make me feel the imagery.  

Everything that Sequoia put on was absolutely gorgeous and she was dope with that alone, but Wouri and Ashunta added their magic and took the imagery over the top.  

 

But why the campaign?  

I was watching a television survey in which they polled people about which public personality had the best features.  Men and women were asked individually and the results were pretty standard.  Just what you'd expect from a "sponsored" poll.  Then I thought... who the hell is running the show?  A lot of our preferences seem to be pre-selected nowadays.  So I really began to think of what I find beautiful.  And then I put it down on paper.  And then I decided I would shoot it.   

 

Going through the finishing touches and getting ready to post images.  

Thanks to the team:

 

Ashunta Sheriff:   Beauty 

Wouri Vice:           Impromptu Style Magic 

Sequoia Carr:       Model

Ananta:                 Art Direction & Style

The New Black: A/W 15