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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 @trayhova 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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Jay-Z Rings In 50th Birthday With Limited Edition D'USSÉ Cognac

It's Jay-Z Day and that can only mean one thing–an endless streaming party for the music mogul. While you're jamming to Reasonable Doubt on Tidal or enjoying the re-release of his discography on Spotify, you can also be on the lookout for D'USSÉ's latest release.

D’USSÉ 1969 Anniversaire is a cognac produced from a single barrel in France where the brand's other popular expressions like D’USSÉ  XO ($199) and VSOP ($50) are made. The difference, however, is the resulting cognac was aged in a single oak cask with a single eau de vie. This is a treat for spirit enthusiasts since most barrels are blended. Jay had a chance to sample the rare batch with Maître de Chai (Cellar Master) Michel Casavecchia a few years ago, making this release one to remember.

Jay has given out 50 bottles of the batch to his closest friends and family but fans will be able to score the batch during the 2020 holiday season. Since there was only one barrel made of D’USSÉ 1969 Anniversaire, this will make it a pretty hot commodity next year.

Jay-Z became a partial owner of the spirits brand over six years ago as well as the full owner of premium Champagne brand Armand de Brignac. The Distilled Spirits Council by way of Fortune reports the brandy/cognac market is the place to be with the spirit selling 6.4 million nine-liter cases last year–a 12% increase from 2018's sales.

“The inimitable liquid of D’USSÉ 1969 Anniversaire showcases how the centuries-old traditions of the house continue to stand the test of time,” Global Brand Ambassador Sullivan Doh tells VIBE. “Once the barrel is emptied and bottled, there is no way to ever make this exact liquid again - and that is something we felt was worthy of honoring such a cultural icon.” 

If that wasn't enough, the flavors of the special batch are rich in walnut, hazelnut and candied apple. “Its aromas have now developed into an exquisite eaux-de-vie from the Château de Cognac, with characteristics unique to this exceptional batch,” Casavecchia adds. “Upon the first sip, it reveals a distinct potency with powerful, woody notes and a long stewed fruit finish, with a touch of leather and cigar box.” 

Be sure to scoop up the limited edition batch when it hits a store near you.

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Ayesha Curry Celebrates Google Assistant Partnership With Thanksgiving Recipe

Just in time for Thanksgiving, Ayesha Curry has teamed up with Google Assistant to share a hearty recipe or two for the chef in you.

To celebrate their partnership, the entrepreneur and mother of three made an appearance at Google's Friendsgiving event in New York City SoHo district on Thursday night (Nov. 14). Before starting a cooking demo, Curry talked about her love for cooking, the importance of family sitting around the table for a meal, and how Google Assistant has helped make her life easier.

"I think it's great because I can walk into my kitchen, child in hand while making a bottle, and ask what the rest of my day looks like. I can just say, 'Hey Google, what does the rest of my day look like' and it'll pull up my whole schedule and it's just one extra peace of mind because I didn't have to do anything tangible. It's effortless... It's like a digital version of a cookbook with how-tos, timers, everything in one and it can truly be integrated into your kitchen."

After using Google Assistant to playfully cue the Kids Bop version of "Truth Hurts," Ayesha whipped up her new Fall Bread Pudding with Brown Butter Apples recipe on a cast iron enamel skillet from her cookware collection. Not only did the device give step-by-step instructions, but it also provided her with alternative ingredients for one of the ingredients.

"With this recipe, you'll see it's super easy, it's fool-proof. Baking is so scientific, this [recipe] is not that. That's what I love about it."

After serving the cooked bread pudding to the audience, the Seasoned Life author talked about her upcoming cookbook in collaboration with one of her sisters and what people can expect.

"It's going to packed, full of flavor. The realistic nature of this [cooking mother] situation is that unless I'm writing a cookbook and developing recipes, I'm not cooking every night at home. That's just not realistic. We all have jobs, we all have things we're taking care of, but I'm always trying to get a meal on the table.

"So that's what this new book is really going to be about. It's going to be about quick, simple, easy ways [to cook]. I tried to keep everything 30 minutes or less, but it's packed and full of flavor."

Ayesha Curry's Fall Bread Pudding recipe can be found exclusively on any Google Nest device. If you're a Google Assistant users, simply say "Hey Google, show me Ayesha Curry's fall bread pudding recipe" and you'll have a sweet and savory dessert for your Thanksgiving (or Friendsgiving) dinner.

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Cam Newton Launches Limited Edition Travel Bag With VINTA Supply Co.

Former NFL MVP Cam Newton has a reputation as one of the most fashion-forward athletes in the world. And now, he's placing his stamp on a new travel accessory.

In early 2019, Newton joined forces with the startup premium accessories company Vinta as a creative partner, and the two have launched Newton's first premium backpack, the TYPE-II C1N, available for pre-order at vinta.co. The bag, according to a press release, is "specifically created for style-conscious travelers and busy city living."

“I’m excited to be working with Vinta and putting my first bag out into the world. It’s called the TYPE-II C1N, and it’s designed for a person like me, with a constant schedule, who doesn’t stop and wants a fashionable, high-quality bag that’s functional for everyday life,” Newton said in a statement. “It’s customizable, stylish, and every feature has been so well thought out and designed. That’s what Vinta embodies: travel made easy. I know they’ve done it for me, and I know they’re going to do it for everyone who buys one.”

The TYPE-II C1N comes in two colors – sand and berry – and is made of a weatherproof coated twill exterior, with features such as a modular leather field pack and dopp kit, space for a 15” laptop, an elevated satin interior, internal mesh pockets, and flat lay panels.

This isn't Newton's first foray into fashion and accessories. Along with turning heads with his outrageous outfits at game days and press conferences, earlier in his career, he launched a menswear line with the Southern department store Belk.

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