IVN YEAR TWO, THE TERRIBLE TWOS
What’s life without a little click-bait?! Now that I have your attention I’m thrilled to announce IVN is officially two years old!!! That’s right we’re officially in year two of our journey to fashion icon domination…lol. The last two years have been nothing short of amazing, far from terrible. It hasn’t been all rainbows and unicorns that’s for sure. If I’m being completely honest I seriously considered abandoning the blog, especially when the pandemic hit. Earlier in the year I felt like I wasn’t growing fast enough, by all standards (standards I created in my head) I was creating meaningful and visually stunning content, right?! So why am I still in the same place, seemingly. I wasn’t where I thought I should be and that is an army of followers on IG and too many subscribers to count.
But I heard my dad’s voice in my head saying ‘Bonehead’ nothing worth it, comes easy. Don’t misunderstand me I don’t want the easy way in, I thrive on progress. If the needle doesn’t move fast enough, I’m low-key freaking out. The fact is people have access to massive amounts of content, printed and digital and I’m just getting started. While most people see the pretty pictures, the business of influencing is an ACTUAL business. There’s still so much to learn. This isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon and patience is key. I also had to realize there are so many variables that I can’t control, conversely there are so many I can.
However as soon as I came to that realization the pandemic hits!
I said to myself, whelp there goes my big influencer dream. Honestly, who cares about fashion, travel, and beauty when they just want to keep their families healthy and safe, right?! But I realized a life worth living isn’t merely surviving, it’s thriving. The world can always use a little pretty. I hit the pause button at the beginning of the pandemic but I’ve re-evaluated my WHY- if your WHY doesn’t make you cry, it’s not big enough. The little humans you see in the pictures below are my WHY. I want them to know anything’s possible if you do the work and stay focused.
And I also had to remind myself why I started this journey. I wanted to help people feel confident in their own skin through fashion. Ultimately I wanted to be a trusted resource to as many people as possible. Those may not seem like very lofty goals to some folks, but it’s my WHY. Every time someone DM’s me on Instagram, asking for advice, i.e. can I really trust that brand, how did this work out for you, it makes me so happy! There’s nothing like that “YES I NAILED IT” feeling, it’s so gratifying. I make all the hard work worth it. And that’s happening a lot these days, like I said, worth it.
Essentially I had to remember who I was and the God I serve.
As long as I put HIM first everything else will fall into place or it won’t. Listening to a little (or a lot) of Beyoncé, the queen of women empowerment, didn’t hurt either. My favorite Bey line, “Imma keep running cause a WINNER don’t quit on themselves” -Freedom, Lemonade the album, do yourselves a favor, give it a listen. And I’m a WINNER BABE!!!
Now let’s get into these LOOKs.
It wouldn’t be an IVN photo shoot if there wasn’t some kind of drama, especially the anniversary shoot. We started out as close to on-time as I can get, I even hired a production assistant to keep me on schedule, I’m hopeless. I had the ingenious plan to shoot at the War World I Memorial. We started early with the plan to be onsite by 7:30 am, we got there around 8:30 am. When we arrived, there was a lady filming and a wedding planner waiting for her bride. The wedding was scheduled for 10:00 am. We had to get dressed, nail our shot plan and get out of there so the wedding could go on as planned. No pressure right. We changed clothes, hi-jacked their flowers, (hey they were in my shot) and nailed our shot plan. I think we did an amazing job, even with Ricardo’s antics.
The shots that didn’t make the cut…
HANIFA- PINK LABEL CONGO
I’m spreading a little more black girl joy in this Hanifa master piece. Designer Anita Mvemba’s Pink Label blew me away. She is bringing it this season. She debuted the line on Instagram with absolutely no models. And she opted for a virtual show, (the pandemic demanded that piece), as I said no models, just 3-D renderings of her pieces moving gracefully down the runway…mind blown right?!?! You can get a glimpse on the website.
Of the eight pieces in the collection, I opted for the Orelie top and skirt. The top is giving all kinds of goddess vibes. The drama of the balloon sleeve and gathering throughout takes this top to the next level. The icing on the cake is the hardware. There’s a gold plated horse shoe-like embellishment that enhances the gathering throughout the top; this is a well made garment ladies and gents.
The Orelie skirt hugs the hips in all the right places and a major highlight for me is that it has POCKETS! Will I ever put anything in the, pockets, probably not, but the skirt has pockets. Both pieces are made in a “heavy” stretched cotton which isn’t heavy at all, it feels like an absolute dream on the skin. Just know I’m going to Tiffany Haddish the crap out of these pieces, by that I mean going to wear them over and over again several different ways.
Janie and Jack
And now a word from our friends at Janie and Jack. I’ve been holding onto this romper for a little while. I wanted Laila to be the focal point of the shoot, considering we were all dressed in neutrals. Laila is wearing the Tuscan Red Floral print romper, perfect for the summer weather. This romper is cool and comfortable and it also has pockets; an added bonus.
Sanaa is wearing a dress from my favorite place to shop, my closet. Nothing like an oldie but goodie. The shoes she’s wearing are new to the blog, Steve Madden’s Clearer clear sandal. Another trend I wasn’t completely sold on, the plastic sandal that is, but these shoes are surprisingly comfortable due to the padded insole. This kids has been my impromptu photographer during the pandemic, I’d be lost without her.
Last but certainly not least we have Ricardo.
Ricardo is in a linen Sean John suit that we picked up K&G Superstore, local department store. How handsome is my husband in this suit, the kid cleans up niiiiice. According to Ricardo the suite fit well, the fact that we didn’t need to get it tailored should tell you everything you need to know. Ricardo makes running IVN so easy for me, I couldn’t ask for a better partner in crime.
That’s all folks, another year of fashion, family, and fun in the books. Looking forward to what year three has to offer. Thank you to all for coming along for the ride.
Special thanks to my photographer extraordinaire Kaneisha Johnson of Dynamic Duo Images. IVN wouldn’t be what it is today without your keen eye, we’re just getting started.
Until next time gang…