I recently attended one of thee premiere fashion events in D.C. Just days ago Anifa Mvuemba’s (Hanifa) held her very first live runway show at the National Portrait Gallery. The show was live streamed and recorded for the rest of the world, you can watch it here. I can be seen at the 1 hour 24 minute mark of the video. Don’t blink you might miss me, lol. I’m the vision in winter white but this isn’t all about me.
ALL HAIL HANIFA
Ms. Mvuemba did not come to play, she came to slay. The show’s theme- HANIFA A DREAM IN DC lived up to the hype. You couldn’t ask for a better canvas than the Portrait Gallery. The show was a grandiose display of black girl magic. The models ranged in size and color. Ya’ll already know how I feel about size inclusion, I will die on that fashion-hill a thousand times. More than 400 guest were in attendance. I mean anybody who’s anybody in fashion and style was there. Yes I got the invite, this baby blogger is moving up in the world. My look for the even was even mention worthy, check out the article on Hello Beautiful.
Pyer Moss- fashion designer, Neffi Walker- creator of the Black Home, queen of décor and all things beautiful, Angela Rye- political pundit/style and changemaker. I stood right behind Angela (she was seated, I was standing with the rest of the chattel reporting on the event). I was totally unbothered by that, honestly I was just happy to be there. Not only was I there, I was breathing the same air as Angela Rye and Pyer Moss, and Neffi (we’re best friends in my head). I’m still on cloud 9. Claire Sulmers- founder of Fashionbombdaily was also there. And we’re not going to gloss over the fact that I was in the same room with Ms.Sulmers twice in less than a month, let’s just let that ruminate for a second, ok I’m done. Now about the show…
I stumbled upon some tickets to an early screening of Will Smith’s new film, King Richard; just added movie critic to my repertoire. The film is a bio-pic on Richard Williams, the father of tennis mega stars Venus and Serena Williams. Let me start by saying this is a must see. Will Smith delivered a convincing performance. We all know this isn’t Will’s first rodeo in the bio-pic arena (Ali, Pursuit of Happyness) and he didn’t disappoint. He channeled all his bio-pic powers to deliver a human and relatable Richard Williams, right down to the walk, quirks and mannerisms.
I was pleased Mr. Williams was depicted as more than a cantankerous, overbearing, self-serving, opportunistic parent living vicariously through his daughters. Instead we got to see a complex human, a father, a provider, and protector in King Richard. Maybe I saw all of this because of my personal experience. My father taught my twin sister and I how to play tennis as well. We played competitively for many years as well. We were nowhere as talented as Serena or Venus, that kind of talent is God-sent.
KING RICHARD Reviews
Their story parallels my own experience in so many ways. We share the same faith, we grew up in some of the roughest areas of the country and we played a game most people deemed a “white person’s sport”. Little black girls playing tennis in Compton or Bedstuy Brooklyn wasn’t as normal as it is today. Black tennis stars were few and far between. Yes we had Althea Gibson and Arthur Ashe but that’s more or less where the buck stopped. You had to be a real visionary to see yourself excelling in a sport where no one looked like you.
If Richard Williams was nothing else he was a visionary. In real life we know he was a hot mess express, a visionary but a hot mess just the same. The film details the families struggles with life in the hood and it doesn’t get any more hood than Compton, LA in the 80s/90s. Gang violence was at an all-time high, crack-cocaine ravaged black and brown communities, and police brutality was the order of the day. Making sure all 5 of your daughters made it out unscathed was a tall order for any man. Mr. Williams rose to the occasion, he had a plan. He was the only one who was aware of the plan at times but he had one.
Happy Fri-yay!!! Big news gang, IVN has joined the SHE Media Partner Network!!! The SHE Media family uses it media muscle to take baby bloggers like myself to the next level. They help brands build, scale, and grow into media powerhouses. This is truly an honor as they don’t accept just anyone into the network, so I must be doing something right.
So how did all of this come to fruition? I recently attended the BlogHer Biz conference in Brooklyn, NY. BlogHer is a part oft he SHE Media family. I’ve been a huge fan of the BlogHer platform for sometime. When they announced they would be doing an in-person conference this year, I knew I had to be there. I registered for the conference to secure my seat at the table. I also applied for the scholarship they offered and as luck would have it, I was selected. Watch the replay here. I made the highlight reel on their IG page too; pats self on the back. It does pay to be well dressed, just saying.
IVN x SHE Media Partner Network
The conference was everything, it surpassed any expectations I had. I met some of my biggest sheros in the fashion and business world. Claire Sulmers- CEO, Editor in Chief, and founder of Fashion Bomb Daily (FBD) was one of the this year’s VOTY spotlights. The VOTY spotlight is one of BlogHer’s newest ways of giving content creators their flowers for the contributions to the industry. Claire’s story resonates with me on so many levels. She’s a native New York, her family hails from the same Caribbean island as mine, the Bahamas, and probably the most impressive fact about Ms. Sulmers is that she built her media empire from the ground up, see a snippet of acceptance speech below. I literally visit FBD’s IG page or website daily. It was literal thrill to see her live and in-person. I can only dream of the level of success she’s achieved.
Quality- Theses garments are well made. They’re designed for wear and tear; hopefully not too much tear. When the time comes, these pieces can be passed down to a younger sibling, cousin, or family friend; still in mint-condition.
Discounts- There’s a always sale going on, you just have to catch it. I rarely full price for anything.
Style- These pieces are expertly curated and designed. My Laila doesn’t get excited about too much, but she loved the pieces we received from the last two collections and that’s saying a lot for a 12 year old girl… #picky
Steps down from soapbox…
We needed to do a festive Fall look and we’re been long overdue for a Mommy & Me look. My sister-in-law Julie (photographed below) suggested we take my nephew Jaxxon to a local farm for some outdoor fun while visiting my mom in North Carolina. Boom two birds with one stone, festive fall look meets Mommy & Me awesomeness. We also took some pictures of Jaxxon and Julie. I love candid photos they tell the story and you don’t have to say a word; somebody’s a mama’s boy who has an affinity for Superman.
I know my Jaxx is a looker, but let’s get back to the reason we came, Laila and Andrea cuteness.
*** Full Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning if you make a purchase via the link provided I will be compensated.***
At this point it’s basically an IVN tradition to shoot a look from Target’s Annual Fall Designer Collection. Ya’ll know I love me a good high end meets low end look; high on the design low on the price and Target never disappoints. Since I aim to please, here are a few of my fave’s from this year’s drop.
Target Fall Designer Collection
My favorite designer from the drop was Victor Glemaud collection. The collection featured his signature- knit skirt sets. These sets are as, bright, bold, and well made as his higher-end designs. Of course I bought every piece of the polka dot set and made Amanda buy the top and skirt. Amanda would not let shoot this collection without her. The quality of the pieces is impeccable, soft, comfortable, with plenty of stretch.
It’s sweater weather and I’m on a real tear when it comes to these cardigans. I’m kinda obessesed. This edition of sweater weather features another Hanifa staple, the Miya cardigan dress. This dress is so versatile, it can be worn as dress or double as outerwear. It comes in a variety of colors, so there’s literally something for everyone. The material is super soft (not itchy), which is must when it comes to sweaters. It can be dressed up or down, with heels or sneakers, party or the park, it’s utility piece you’ll have in the closet for years to come.
Fall has officially arrived and I’m ready to embrace everything that comes with it. Cooler temperatures, cozy sweaters, and amber and crimson leaves twirling in the wind. And of course there’s everything apple related, apple cider, apple picking, apple pie, I’m here for it all. You can however keep all things pumpkin related, as we’re going to get pumpkin spiced to death until January.
But I digress this post is about stuff I love about Fall and that’s a cozy sweater. I’m on a real tear when it comes to the big comfy sweaters for Fall. This is just the first installment in my sweater weather series so stay tuned!
Let’s get into the reason we’re all here, the sweater, specifically the sweater dress. A sweater dress is a Fall must have for me. This Hanifa sweater dress and scarf checks all the boxes. The Olivia, is a Maxi Sweater dress you won’t regret buying. It’s in limited stock and colors at the moment, currently only available in Lime and Raisin.
Hey gang! I know the unofficial end of summer was last weekend but me and Amanda are still summering…lol Since we’re all about to be pumpkin spiced to death we didn’t want to miss the opportunity to share our annual body positivity swimsuit shoot with you all.
In our latest installment of the everyBODY matters series, we’re wearing the Matte Collection’s Kai swimsuit. I’m rocking the white Kai-Cheetah print and Amanda is in the black Kai- Snake print. Why did I choose the Matte Collection for this year’s shoot, it should be pretty clear as to why, but I’ll go ahead state the obvious anyway, they make swimwear for everyBODY!!! The Matte Collection swimsuits are super affordable, comfortable, stylish, and just the right amount of sexy. Perfect for the ladies that want to give’em a little razzle dazzle on the beach or pool side.
It’s our 3 year anniversary gang! This past year has been A LOT!!! Between you, me and the walls I didn’t wanted to throw in the towel on the blog, for a number of reasons. At the height of the pandemic it seemed silly, dare I say insensitive to post about fashion and fun when some many people were sick, suffering, and quite literally dying. So many people are still struggling just to make ends meet. However instead of throwing the baby in with the bath water I decided to pivot, because that’s what champions do they adjust.
IVN TURNS 3
I’m so glad I made the decision not to quit, not to give up on my dreams, not to give up on the community we’ve built. The IVN community is small but thoroughly engaged, something you can’t find just anywhere. It’s really all about the engagement and adding value. It will be so cool to have big brand sponsorships and an enormous following on all my social media platforms one day, but having an attentive and engaged audience is what I’m most proud of and how I measure our success. You guys allow me to experiment and grow without being pigeon-hold to one genre or niche. At it’s core this blog is definitely about fashion but you all let me share everything and I appreciate that more than words can express.
Hey gang! The Nordstrom Anniversary sale is still on and popping!!! I promised a shoe edit, well here you go!! This edit includes shoes, boots, booties, and slippers.
The Comfort Zone
And our first category for the evening is comfort. Nothing beats a good house shoe. I love me a good Ugg slipper, I love them even more when they are on sale. Ugg slippers usually retail for a $100 or more, trust me the discount this sale offers is definitely significant.
1.Ugg Cozette Slide– This slide comes in several colors, however the brighter, bolder colors are currently are only a part of the anniversary sale.
2.Ugg Sherling Slipper– This slipper also comes in several colors, however the brighter, bolder colors are currently are only a part of the anniversary sale.
Sexy Lady Sandals
These Vince Camuto sandals are giving major Bottega Veneta vibes without the Bottega price tag. The shoe comes in three different colors. Steve Madden also has Bottega-like sandal, the Kenley (not on sale) but worth the purchase.
Schutz Strappy Sandal- this sandal is great alternative to the higher-end all be it iconic Stuart Weitzman strappy sandal. I own several pair of Schutz shoes/boots and they are worth their weight in gold. The shoes are always well padded, adding extra comfort which equals extra wear time. Let’s face it after the age of 30 all heels have a shelf life of 30-60 minutes.