Kiki Peterson K. Milele Kiki Peterson K. Milele

Vixen Chat: Fashion Designer Kiki Peterson Talks K.Milele, Urban Fashion + Fashion Classics

Kiki Peterson has created, designed and relaunched several clothing brands over the span of her 19-year fashion career, notably Rocawear, Sean John and House of Dereon. With a keen eye for apparel, a knack for targeting the every day Vixen woman and always following her heart, Peterson is now set to launch K.Milele, her first women's collection. Deriving from her full name Kianga Milele--meaning "sunbeam everlasting"--the sassy yet bold collection will be a contemporary take on the bossy type. Admit it, ladies: Whether it's for a night out with friends or a board meeting with the suits, we want to feel great in what we wear as well as accentuate our young womanly essences.

Because Kiki has lent her know-how and creative balance to several avenues in this way, Grey Goose will honor her as a Rising Icon in Fashion. VIBE Vixen chats with the honoree about the new fashion venture, what celebs should wear her threads and what major moves she was making at 19. -Niki McGloster

What inspired the launch of K.Milele?
K.Milele is something that has been in my heart for years. As a teenager I was making prom dresses, and in college, I was making fabulous cocktail dresses. But I happened to catch a once in a lifetime wave in an unexpected new industry. The urban market was new, fun and fresh, and I was lucky enough to be one of the pioneers and launch the first juniors urban brand. From the success of Fubu Ladies, my career shifted to the juniors market, so before I knew it, 18 years passed. I haven't had the opportunity to do the type of designing that drove me to this business originally; I've been longing to get back to designing contemporary dresses. It has always been my first love and I'm ready to reclaim it.

In three words describe the line?
Sexy, vivacious and feminine.

What is your vision for the first collection?
When I thought of what I should do with this collection, I looked down at the tattoo on my forearm that reads "Let me fly." I knew that's what I needed to do. I've spent so many years designing for everybody else, following their esthetic and pleasing their customers. With K.Milele, I just wanted to FLY! From concept to colors, fabrics and design, I wanted it to represent where I am now, as a 37-year-old woman. I wanted beautiful fabrics and feminine appeal.

What age group are you targeting?
It's not about a specific age group. There is a certain level of sophistication that my collection carries, that may lead to a more mature customer. But I honestly feel like I have something for everyone who's purse and style can handle it.

What have your learned from previous employers about fashion and design?
Every job I've had, I've discovered new ways of being more efficient. Each company operates in their own way, and I can take pieces from each of them and work it into making my own system as efficient as possible. Efficiency is key in a business plagued by deadlines. Being late in any stage of the design/sample/production processes can cost lots of money or even cancellations in orders if you ship late.

It seems that our generation has stepped away from the "urban" wear and look to more tailored or slimmer fits. How do you feel "urban" fashion can be revitalized?
Urban clothing was a huge phenomenon, and just like any phenomenon, the market gets flooded with everyone wanting a piece of the pie. Most of the market's flooding isn't from the original source of the movement. The urban market had evolving trends similar to any other category. For instance, even in couture fashion, there's not one look. The trends, colors, aesthetic changes seasonally and varies amongst designers. The Urban market was that way at one point, but when the market got flooded, they clamped onto one specific look that read the most "urban"(baggie jeans, football jerseys, large logos) in an effort to capitalize on the market the most. Being on the inside, this frustrated us because we're here to design what we liked to wear as young black men/women. Now if you know young black men/women, you also know that we love style and fashion. We are not trying to look like last year. But it was beyond our control. Urban took on a life of it's own, and we couldn't sell the new looks we tried to introduce. The buyers didn't give us the credit of evolution. Yet high end designers constantly take urban trends and built it into their collections. It's crazy. Today the word "urban" is a dirty word! Coming from someone who was there, who knows we were building dope, evolving collections that the buyers would ignore, I can't help to feel a bit sad when I see what the word means to people today.

You're 19 years into the game, what were you doing at that age?
By 19, I was already designing and calling shots for a major brand.

Wow. If you could see any celeb in K. Milele, who would it be?
Dita Von Teese!

Nice! She's very retro glamour. If you could work closely or collaborate with one fashion designer, who would it be?
Betsy Johnson. I've always been a huge fan!

What's your favorite piece from the collection?
That's like picking a favorite child! But if I were tortured into choosing, I'd have to say I love my color-blocked pieces the most.

How does K.Milele fit the current or upcoming fashion trends?
I don't worry too much about fitting into trends. I'm constantly gathering inspiration throughout my everyday life, through shopping, walking down the streets of new york, traveling, fashion magazines and trend sites. Current trends are stored somewhere in my brain and therefore play a part in my designing, but I try to steer away from anything too trendy. I'm a huge vintage fan. I'd like to think of my pieces as fashion classics.

Lastly, in your own words, what's a Vixen?
A Vixen is a woman who's comfortable in her sexuality without flaunting it. Her appeal is apparent, and her confidence will never go unnoticed no matter how hard she may try to play it off. But then again what Vixen chooses to shadow her confidence?

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Six years ago, Kelly Rowland released her fourth studio album titled Talk a Good Game. The project boasted hit singles like "Kisses Down Low" and the transparent "Dirty Laundry." Now, the Houston native is preparing to release a project that'll surely satisfy fans' patient earbuds.

In an interview with Billboard, Rowland shared her hopes for putting out a new body of work and the pressure that she's encountered since she's been in the studio. "This is by far the longest, most pressure-filled process ever, only because I know what it's supposed to be and I have been so hard on myself. I know it," she said. "And it's the first time I've said it out loud. I've been extremely hard on myself. But it's definitely coming, and I'm more so excited about this project than anything else."

The news follows the recent release of Rowland's "Kelly" track, which was met with critical acclaim in November 2018. In addition to preparing the release of new music, the "Motivation" singer discussed fans' wish for a Destiny's Child reunion. The rumors have been fueled by social media photographs of Rowland with either Beyonce or Michelle or all three, especially during Beyonce's past Coachella performance. But Rowland assures readers that it's not what they think.

"It's so funny. I guess every time people see us together, they just see music but I see sisterhood, and that's what we are and that's what me, her, Michelle [Williams] and Solange and I are. People see us all together, they immediately think music. I'm like, no. Just family." As Rowland previously mentioned Solange, she hopes to one day work with her again.

"I'm a huge fan," she said. "I love her writing and how detailed and particular she is. I always wanted to figure out how the heck she has so many different layers of harmonies when she is constructing these vocals, and it's so complex but simple. It's genius. It's the genius in her genius mind that she has in there." One of the last times the pair collaborated was on Rowland's "Simply Deep" track off her debut solo album of the same name. Solange also penned a few songs off the same project. Fast forward to 2016, and Rowland's vocals were featured on Solange's iconic A Seat at the Table.

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Teyana Taylor To Pay Homage To Ballroom Culture In "WTP" Video

Teyana Taylor aims to keep her hot streak of innovative videos coming thanks to this recent announcement. Taking to Instagram on Wednesday (Jan. 9), the "Gonna Love Me" singer will show adoration to ballroom culture in the visual for "WTP."

Directed by Gregory "Beef" Jones, The Aunties Inc., and Taylor herself, the Harlemite takes viewers on her journey to the expression-filled space where she hopes to rack up 10s across the board from a group of judges. The premise of the video also seems to follow a mockumentary format airing on a fictional network named FEMTV. Alongside Taylor, other men and women get ready to display their talents and confidence on the ballroom floor.

"WTP" is featured on the mother-of-one's sophomore album, K.T.S.E., which was released in June 2018. While the rollout's controversy didn't entirely muddle the excitement behind the project's debut, Taylor said she was sold on the idea that her album would be treated as the biggest out of G.O.O.D. Music's string of releases last year.

"I didn't know ahead of time that there wouldn't be any singles or visuals. But I knew that it was going to be the five-album thing," she said during a HOT 97 interview. "[Kanye] wanted [my album] to be last, he wanted mine to be the biggest. That's the way they sauced it up. I was sold."

The video will debut on Jan. 19. Check out the teaser below.

 

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👀 1.19.19 👀 #WTP Directed by @teyanataylor & @ogbeefjones @theauntiesinc 🙏🏾🙌🏾🙏🏾 The wait is ALMOST over. 😏 @museumofsex

A post shared by Jimmy Neutch- Shumpert (@teyanataylor) on Jan 8, 2019 at 6:32pm PST

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Trina Braxton’s Ex-Husband, Gabe Solis, Dies After Battle With Cancer

Gabe Solis, the ex-husband of Trina Braxton, lost his battle with cancer, Thursday (Dec. 20),  TMZ reports. He was 43.

Solis passed away at his home in Texas, surrounded by friends and family, according to the outlet. No official details have been released about his passing.

Solis had reportedly been keeping his cancer battle private. His death came as a shock to his loved ones. On Friday (Dec. 21), Braxton seemingly mourned the loss of her ex-husband with a cryptic Instagram meme reading, “I need a hug..E bottle of wine.”

The former couple tied the knot in 2003, and appeared together on previous seasons of WEtv’s Braxton Family Values. Despite finalizing their divorce in 2015, Braxton and Solis confronted lingering issues from their marriage during an episode of Iyanla: Fix My Life, earlier in the year.

Braxton has since moved on to a new relationship, but remained friends with Solis.

 

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