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Fashion Forward: Alexis Phifer Relaunches Ghita Line; Shares DIY Tips For Style Exploration

In the collapse of Alexis Phifer's engagement to one of the hottest rappers of our time, Kanye West, the fashion designer submersed her focus into her clothing line, Ghita.VIBE's own @travhova got the scoop on Alexis' thoughts on Amber Rose and life post 'Ye, but also chatted with the fashionista about rekindling her love for fashion in the wake of a market crash, gaining respect as a black women among designer giants and elevating your style on a budget. -Niki McGloster (@missjournalism)

Update us on your fashion line? How's it been going over the years?
For the past couple of years after Kanye and I did break up, the market crashed as far as retail sales, so I think I skipped about one season. It is my passion and it is my love and I did find that it really is important, as a designer, to, at least, show that you're willing to do work, so I would post different seasons on my website just to have that to show "Yes I'm still here and you can order from me." I left my showroom, and I was making dresses out of silk. People didn't really want to buy a $400, $500 dress that wasn't necessarily designer like a Cavalli or something like that, so I took time to reassess what I wanted to do, and I started making pieces out of a rayon blend and things you can wear every day like tank tops, tee shirts. It's a full-on line now; it's not just a dress line. Now it's a little more for everybody, and it's basically a re-launch of the line. It's going to be sold in Kitson starting at the end of June for fall, and it'll be in other stores, but Kitson is the first.

How do you pronounce the name? Is it Gee-da?
It's Gee-ta (Ghita). I just like to make sure people pronounce the T as a T instead of a D.

Where did you get the idea for the name?
It has multicultural different meanings, but I take from the Middle Eastern one and it means "A special jewel." I wanted the line to be named after a girl, so I went through all these different names and all the different meanings and that one just stuck with me. I thought the meaning behind was great so I rolled with it.

Style is a physical representation of us, and as people grow older, their style changes. Has your personal style evolved in any way?
The only thing I ever wanted to do was to be a designer, so I'm always evolving and changing in my style –always. That would make me feel stagnant if I wasn't switching it up. I'm on Style.com every day and all kind of different blog sites just to see what's going on. That is genuinely is what I'm interested in. That's my world. Those are the things that make me happen.

It doesn't feel like work?
Um, I mean it definitely is a labor of love, but I wouldn't chose to do anything else.

What are some ways for young girls who don't have a lot of money to explore their style? Do you have some do-it-yourself advice for anyone that wants to take their style to the next level?
I don't think it's about how much money you have; I just think it's about your personal style. Good places to go are vintage stores, resale shops or thrift stores. You can get a good fur coat in there for $40, a leather skirt for $10. You can mix up those things and stylize it; maybe you can find a sweatshirt and cut the sleeves off, don't be afraid to go get rhinestones and sew them on the tops of your sweaters or don't be afraid to add shoulder pads. There are always ways to customize on a budget, and I'm not mad at Forever21 and H&M and Zara. All those stores knock-off stuff quicker than designers can get them out.

Is the industry better now compared to the industry five years or seven years ago for black women to gain respect?
I never say "I'm black so it's going to be hard for me." If anything I think it's better because I feel like I have more opportunities, like I've been approached by Essence and on my Twitter [account] a whole bunch a black girls follow me. When I'm around Tom Ford or Marc Jacobs, they're always so complimenting, you know it's a game recognize game type of thing. I see you for who you are, and you see me for who I am. If you're on that level with yourself, then other people will have to come at you that way. I just think it's a bonus to be a black girl in this business because not only are you a role model for yourself and your people but other people as well.

Have you had any struggles?
My parents never said to me, "You have to work harder because you're black, because you're a girl." I just think of me as just me. That's just what it is. Even raising my son, I don't put that stigma on him either. Whatever it is that he loves and is passionate about, work hard and do that, but "You're black and this and that" –he's God's child like everybody else.

Where do you want to go from here? What are your ultimate goals in the next five years?
I definitely want a family, [and] I want four kids. I would like to be a successful businesswoman having a line that is accepted by women all over.

 

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Courtesy of Melody Thornton

Melody Thornton Provides Power Vocals To Stirring Solo Single "Love Will Return"

There's a romantic and mysterious aura that seeps into Melody Thornton's solo single, "Love Will Return." From the big band production to Thornton's riveting vocals, it's almost shocking that a gem so bright was hiding in plain sight.

The recent release is the lead single for her forthcoming EP expected to be released next year. Formerly a member of the pop group The Pussycat Dolls, Thornton has shown off her singing chops over the years through the group's most popular tracks like "Buttons," "I Don't Need A Man" and her 2012 solo project, POYBL. With "Love Will Return," Thornton pays homage to inspirations like Eartha Kitt and her Arizona roots. Co-producing the track with Eric Zayne, the singer shared with VIBE how cinematic the creative process was.

“The entire evolution of the song was magic,” she explained. “There’s just something spiritual about it. It moves me in a way like no other song I’ve written before.” The track is a strong introduction to her vocal abilities that appeared to be gravely overlooked during her PCD days.

Last week, The Pussycat Dolls reunited without Thornton, leaving many wondering why. "What I want for myself and for my bandmates are for them is to really enjoy their lives," she told Chart Show TV in January when rumors began to surface of a possible reunion. "When I was in the group, I was a kid...I'm primarily a vocalist. Nicole had been signed twice so it only made sense for her to sing the majority of the leads. But then, I kept being asked to wait my turn and it never came– and we only released two albums. So it's this mistaken identity that I've kind of had to unravel. For me, there's really nothing to go back to."

The ladies are all on good terms with Thornton as Nicole Sherzinger and the rest of the ladies wished her well wishes on her solo endeavors. "It just didn't align [with] where she is in her life right now," Sherzinger said. "She's doing a lot and doing her own music and we totally respect and understand and support her."

Nonetheless, we're thrilled about Thornton's new journey.

Listen to "Love Will Return" below.

 

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Ashanti Douglas attends "It's a Wonderful Lifetime” first holiday party of the year at STK Los Angeles on October 22, 2019 in Los Angeles, California
Randy Shropshire/Getty Images for Lifetime

Ashanti Joins Omarion's Millennium Tour

Our prayers for a female presence on Omarion's Millenium Tour have been answered with one of the most talented singers in R&B.

On Thursday (Dec. 5), Omarion announced singer-songwriter Ashanti as a special guest for the upcoming tour. "So excited to announce that Ashanti will be joining The Millennium Tour lineup!" he said in an Instagram post. The singer announced the follow-up show last week to what was perceived as a B2K reunion tour featuring Mario, Lloyd, Pretty Ricky, Chingy, Bobby Valentino and the Ying Yang Twins earlier this year.

Hailed as The "Millenium Tour 2020," the new bill features Soulja Boy and Sammie, with the Ying Yang Twins, Pretty Ricky and Lloyd returning to the mix. The tour will also include Bow Wow, who has several jams (and an album) with Omarion like "Let Me Hold You" and "Girlfriend."

Before joining the tour, Ashanti was a special guest during Lloyd's performances of their 2004 hit, "Southside." With such a large and memorable discography, fans will be thrilled to hear some of the Grammy-winner's biggest hits like "Foolish," "Only U," and recent releases like "Say Less" featuring Ty Dolla $ign and "Pretty Little Thing" featuring Afro B.

This will more than likely be a another big financial boost to the tour. The inaugural Millennium Tour grossed $6.7 million from its first eight reports, according to Billboard and set a career-high for B2K. They also went on to earn $5 million from three additional dates at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif. (April 13-14), State Farm Arena in Atlanta (April 4-5), and Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif. (April 12).

 

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A post shared by ⚡️Omarion ⚡️ (@omarion) on Dec 5, 2019 at 5:57am PST

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Comedian B.Simone attends day 1 of REVOLT Summit x AT&T Summit on September 12, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Revolt

Boss Goals: B. Simone Earns $100K In Two Months With Beauty Line

Renaissance woman B. Simone is wrapping up her year in a big way. The comedienne, rapper and businesswoman scored a major win after raking up $100K in sales of her beauty line.

B. Simone Beauty was announced over the summer but has been in the making for over a year. Vegan and cruelty-free, her line supplies colorful lip liners, bold lipsticks, makeup bags and accessories. Simone officially launched a site for her products just two months ago with a plan to make $100K. The goal was met ironically on the last day of November, leaving her speechless.

B. Simone shared the moment in an emotional Instagram post Monday (Dec. 2). "This is bigger than me it has NOTHING to do with me," she captioned the video. "It has EVERYTHING to do with God and showing people Him by the way I act and spread LOVE. Even on every tube of lip gloss it says “FAITH OVER FEAR” on the back! I live by that ... God won’t let you down you just have to believe even when you can’t see the outcome. The sky is the limit when it comes to me I swear I’m a monster and I’ll never quit! Manifestation at its finest ... God favors me because he trusts me.

Simone also opened up about her doubts but continued to have faith in meeting her goal. "I had one more day to meet my goal and I started thinking, 'Maybe you aimed too high! Let’s just do a 100k$ goal for December.'  THAT WAS THE ENEMY y’all !!! When I woke up this is what happened... I do none of this alone I keep God-fearing people around me who love me, believe in me and see my vision. Thank you to my manager, my team, all of you and God. None of this is about money it’s all about walking in your purpose and changing the world around you to a more comfortable better place."

 

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A post shared by B. SIMONE (@thebsimone2) on Nov 30, 2019 at 10:49am PST

B. Simone has experienced plenty of other wins with her other talents. As XONecole reports, she hosted Will Smith's birthday party, produced and starred in her own hilarious dating show, provided comedic relief on the VH1 series Girls Cruise with Mya, Lil Kim and Chilli, as well as sharing tips on monetizing in the social media space at the Revolt Summit.

Boss goals indeed. Check out B. Simone's stunning beauty line here.

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