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Vixen Chat: Celebrity Stylist Misa Hylton-Brim Talks Fashion Academy, Front Row Couture and New York Fashion Week

All things fashion come to mind when you think of celebrity stylist Misa Hylton-Brim. She has worked with some of heaviest hitters in the industry, from Missy Elliot to Queen Latifah. She has served as an innovative trendsetter in the hip-hop community, as well as the world of fashion. Recently, she established the Misa Hylton Fashion Academy located in New York, where aspiring stylists and those honing their already-established craft have a chance to enhance their skills and learn the “Misa Hylton Technique.”

On the last day of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, The Misa Hylton Fashion Academy will honor and pay homage to the industry's top stylist, including Emily B., June Ambrose and Patricia Fields to name a few. Misa, alongside fashion guru Bevy Smith, will host the event.

Vixen had the chance to chat with Misa about her fashion academy and the accessories she just can't live without.--Keeley Ava
VIBE VIXEN: How did you develop the concept for the Misa Hylton Fashion Academy?
MISA HYLTON BRIM:
I've been a fashion stylist for over 18 years, and during that time I've had the privilege of working with a lot of the top stylist and being apart of a lot of the lessons and knowledge that they gained to be able to excel in the stylist field. I think, innately, I've always been a teacher at heart, so I decided to make it official. I started the Misa Hylton Fashion Academy to nuture up-and-coming stylists, as well as work with stylist that may want to perfect their craft a little more and expand where they are reaching currently. When I had my company Chyna Doll enterprises, which is a fashion styling company, I managed stylists. I also simultaneously worked as a Fashion Editor, and during those times, my assistants were Wouri Vice (Alicia Keys) and Mariel Haenn (Rihanna) and Marni Senofonte (Cassie, Ciara and Mary J. Blige). They all started out assisting me. I played a part in their journey and that was the influence for me starting the fashion academy.

I love the concept of the Misa Hylton Fashion Academy! The students that finish the program, if they are qualified, are they able to advance and possibly work with or for you?
Oh yes, that's always an option.

Do you have a role in this year's Fashion Week? If so, in what aspect will you loan your creative vision?
Yes I do. I'm actually styling a show, Front Row Couture, and that is on September 11th. I'm actually the creative director and stylist. Shateria Moragne-el really has her own take on fashion and she has a strong theme, so I'm really excited to work with her. I can't reveal [the theme] at this time but I will say it is fashion forward and it is hot!

Can you give some examples of what "The Misa Hylton Technique" consists of? Of course without revealing all your secrets!
To really learn about the Misa Hylton Technique, you would have to take the course, but I will tell you this: there is a specific way to style and present images and ideas verbally, visually and on set. It has to do with those three things. Those three things always ensure that you have a successful shoot.

VV: Can you give some examples of your favorite fall trends this season?
MH:
I'm not really into trends; I always thought I was apart of creating them. I love everyone that is making their own statement confidently, even if it's something I wouldn't personally wear. One of the people that is Shateria Moragne-el; her take on fashion is really refreshing. It's really clean and fashion-forward. There's a void for her type of style right now.

You have worked with some heavy hitters, from Diddy to Serena Williams, is there anyone you've wanted to work with that you haven't already?
No there isn't. Those experiences were wonderful and they helped prepare me for this moment. Now, my niche is giving back, and I really enjoy nurturing and teaching these students and helping them fulfill their dream. [I will], hopefully, help them work with heavy hitters in the industy and in the fashion world, whether it be editorial or a celebrity client or if they end up wanting to be fashion editors. There are so many avenues of fashion that you can take and have a fulfilling career, so that's where I'm at now. That brings me the most hapiness.

Name some fashion necessities for yourself.
I always have a pair of Simone I. Smith earrings. I love her hoop earrings! That speaks to my around-the-way girl part of my personality and style. Coming up in the 80s and 90s, that was a strong presence for me. It's a new age rendition of that look. She's a fan of the ghetto fabulous/urban couture look as well so I always have my hoop earrings. And hair and nails are an accessory for me; I have on some type of exotic or bright color nail polish and I change my hair color a lot. I've had every color hair so I would say those three things.

I love love love my MAC lipgloss. It's the bomb! I have a new favorite, it's the Ruby Woo matte red. I love that! Even if it wears off during the day, you can't even tell.

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Andrea Kelly Says She's Been Attacked For Calling Out R. Kelly's Behavior

Andrea Kelly has found it hard to march for women as they continue to support her polarizing ex-husband, R. Kelly.

The former choreographer shared her sentiments on an upcoming episode of Growing Up Hip Hop: Atlanta shared on Entertainment Tonight. Speaking with close friend Debra Antney, Kelly tearfully expressed her frustrations with her ex-husband and praised Antey for sticking by her side.

The former couple was previously in a child support battle for their children Joann, 21, Jay, 19, and Robert, 17. During the time of filming, Kelly owed $161,000 in back child support to his ex. In May, it was reportedly paid off by a mysterious donor.

"When I think about the ways that I have been abused by Robert, from being hogtied, having both of my shoulders dislocated, to being slapped, pushed, having things thrown as me, the sexual abuse, the mental abuse, words can't even describe," she said.

In addition to the child support case, Kelly was charged with 11 felony counts of sexual assault. He's pleaded not guilty despite reported evidence of videotapes that reportedly show the entertainer engaging in sexual acts with minors. Andrea tells Antey how difficult the process has been for her since speaking out about Kelly's behavior in the Lifetime docu-series, Surviving R. Kelly. 

"Here I am, putting myself in a position because I want to help women, and they are attacking me," she said. "There's some things that I don't even speak anymore, that I feel like, once you give it to God, you better leave with God, because if I don't leave it with God, I'm definitely going to be somewhere with my hands on the glass, visiting my children every other Sunday."

Growing Up Hip Hop: Atlanta airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on WEtv.

Watch the clip here.

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Baby Tress' Edge Styler Ensures Women Of Color Will Always Shake The Beauty Table

"Do you have edge control in here?"

It's an inquiry my niece asked me over the weekend as we got ready for our cousin's graduation. Atlanta's heat is friendly but mixed with nimbus clouds, frizz (and thunderstorms) are on the horizon. Given the circumstances, a high bun seems to be the best choice for me and my niece, a slick-back style with extra attention to our baby hairs. It's typical for either one of us to grab a toothbrush to slick and swoop our edges with pomade or gel, but with The Baby Tress Edge Styler, the process is easier and equally as stylish.

Created by boutique communications agency Mama Tress, the styler is everything baby hair dreams are made of. It's also a testament to the rise of the "style" in popular hair culture. With a dual comb and brush top, its pointed tip elevates a consumer to baby hair connoisseur.

But the styler isn't something created to appropriate black culture or piggyback on what boosts the most likes on social media. The handy styler was created by Mama Tress CEO Hannah Choi and her team consisting of other women of color like public relations coordinator Mariamu "Mimi" Sillah. The New York native tells VIBE Vixen the styler was made as a gift for an event they hosted but its intentions to propel black hair were always present.

"We try to make it clear that this is for women of color. Because we all understand the history of baby hair, we all have connections, we all have stories, we all do it differently, some people swoop it; if you see some of my coworkers they do the swirls," she said. "This is a product that we want everyone to see and think, 'I don't need to be using a toothbrush. I deserve more than a toothbrush.' This is a tool made thoughtfully with women of color in mind and we are women of color who came up with the idea because we know what we need."

Coming in six different colors, the styler's bristles are stronger than a typical toothbrush and give anyone's edges a look all their own. Over the years, styled baby hairs have gotten the white-washed celeb treatment. From the runways of New York Fashion Week to fans of black culture like Kim Kardashian, its recent love affair among popular culture crosses out its rich roots.

Many have attributed the actual rise of baby hairs to the '70s with pioneers like LaToya Jackson and Sylvia Robinson of CEO Sugar Hill Records sporting their luxurious edges with Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas being the all-time queen. Recent entertainers like Ella Mai and FKA twigs have made them fun and creative. There are also the many Latinx and black around the way queens who have kept the culture alive.

 

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A post shared by Ebony Brown (@wildcatebonybrown) on Jun 3, 2019 at 1:31pm PDT

“Our tool is more than a beauty product, it’s a conversation starter," Choi, who is of Korean descent, previously told fashion site Beauty Independent. "There are nuances of someone’s world that you won’t see if you’re not part of that community. And we felt that the conversation around why this market is so underserved should be brought to light and talked about. We are seeing such a big change now in fashion and beauty in terms of representation, and we want to be able to have that conversation without it being heavy. We want it to be approachable. Our brand is very approachable.”

When it comes to moving in the black hair space, Sillah feels empowered at Mama Tress. It also makes it easy to develop black hair tools like the styler. "I feel like my voice is listened to because I am a consumer of all these things. It's empowering to be in a position to have more control," she said. "If we're being honest, a lot of the black hair spaces are not owned by people who look like us. To be in a position where I can say "No, don't create this product, we don't wear things like this,' or 'Actually you should name it this because this resonates with this community,' I'm an advocate for my community. That's part of the reason why Baby Tress was created because it's about a larger conversation, about things not being thoughtfully made for us."

Baby Tress' next steps are to make the styler accessible to consumers and create even more products dedicated to black women.

“We need to be in retail spaces because this is a product you need to see up close and touch it and play with it,” said Shannon Kennard, account executive at Mama Tress tells Glossy. “Everyone who tries it falls in love with it.”

Sillah is more than ready for women of color to elevate their beauty regimen, one creation at a time. The future of Baby Tress includes an array of more products designed with women of color in mind.

"Anything that has to do with baby hair, we can bring to Baby Tress and make it beautifully designed and effective," she said.  "That's what this is about. It's about that step up. Again, we should not be using a toothbrush anymore."

Learn more about Baby Tress here.

 

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Beyonce Readies New Line And Serves As Muse For 'Lion King' Makeup Collection

Beyonce is keeping her fans quite busy this week. Yesterday (June 4), the latest trailer for the forthcoming The Lion King live action film gave the masses a first listen of Beyonce as the voice of Nala. To add on to the Disney film's energy, Beyonce's longtime makeup artist Sir John has revealed a special Lion King makeup partnership.

According to The Cut, Disney's Sir John x Luminess Lion King Limited Edition Collection includes "a 6-shade sculpting palette, a 12-shade eyeshadow palette, two matte lipsticks, two liquid lipsticks, a tinted lip balm, and a highlighter." Neutrals, pinks and shimmer jewel tones are all named after characters and other movie references, with various women (including Beyonce) modeling the new work.

 

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From day to night, statement or muted.. I love that there’s so many different looks you can create with this 8 piece collection 🙌🏽 I’ll be posting a few tutorials this month to show you guys some really cool things you can do with these products. & be sure to check out #TheLionKing in theaters July 19!  #DisneyLionKing #SirJohn #LuminessCosmetics

A post shared by S I R J O H N (@sirjohnofficial) on Jun 2, 2019 at 3:05pm PDT

 

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No filters needed ⚠️ Can’t Wait To Be Queen Eyeshadow Palette working that good light 👑✨ #TheLionKingCollectionbySirJohnXLuminess #SirJohn #LuminessCosmetics

A post shared by S I R J O H N (@sirjohnofficial) on Jun 4, 2019 at 9:18am PDT

While that was happening, Bey also caused a stir amongst the BeyHive with the announcement of her own forthcoming merch line. The "BeyHive" range officially hits her website on June 11, right in time for all the summertime functions.

Beyoncé's new "beyhive" range has been sent to several members of the BeyHive is promotion of her new merch line, launching June 11. https://t.co/zIkzJ9B8Qq pic.twitter.com/Ql9yWXKNDR

— BEYONCÉ HUB (@theyoncehub) June 5, 2019

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