Melanie White Melanie White

Vixen Chat: Accessories Designer Melanie White Talks Melanie Marie, Dating and Her Biggest Pet Peeve

Melanie White chased her love of accessories in 2009, turning her dream into a Philly-based boutique. The 20-something-year-old designer, on a whim, decided to just "do my own thing," she tells Vixen. "I didn’t just always wanna always work for somebody else and make someone else richer and do what they want to do so I just wanted to do my own thing."

Self-made and successful, White is now the creator of Melanie Marie, a sophisticated collection of beaded jewelry, eye-catching necklaces, couture bags, bold earrings, sleek cuffs and a host of other things that become stylish girls' best friends. The adorable part is her tag-team venture with boyfriend Jordan Jackson. While he's selling paraphernalia for Greek fraternities and sororities, Marie blends her female-centric pieces.

VIBE VIXEN: How did you get started in the fashion designing biz?
MELANIE MARIE: I started with bags but made a switch to accessories because it's easier, quicker to make and less expensive [to manufacture]. I can make more of the product and turn it around really quickly.

Your love of accessories, where does that come from?
I’ve always loved accessories; that’s always been my thing. I could wear like a white T-shirt with some jeans, but I’d throw on a crazy necklace and some earrings. So that’s pretty much how it got started and yeah like 2009 I just liked doing my own thing,

What are some of your favorite pieces from the collection?
The “Showstopper” bag. I wear it all the time. I wear the “Channing” necklace, the “Black Leaf” earrings I wear a lot and the “Crystal” ring. Those are the main things I wear a lot.I have a lot of other pieces that I keep in my store in Philly that aren’t on the website yet.

When did you open your store?
Me and my partner opened on January 21. It’s called Greek and Life. It has fraternity and sorority items. He wanted to do that and the other half is regular designer stuff like which is my idea. So we just blended the two together.

Aw, a little romantic story there!
[Laughs] Yeah...

Did you guys start dating then create the separate companies?
Yeah, we were dating before. He told me one of his ideas and I had mine, so we just started going from there.

Nice. Now what would you say are some of the hardships of like being in business with your significant other?
Seeing him all the time [laughs]. I see him at the store then at home, but we do switch off so we’re not always there at the same times. 
Melanie Marie

VV: Is everything handmade?
MM: Most of it is handmade from me, but if I can't do it--if it involves welding or something--I’d get it manufactured.

If you could have your accessories placed anywhere, where or on which female celebrity would they be?
First would be Beyoncé. I love Beyoncé.

We all love Bey!
[Laughs] Second, I would say Oprah’s magazine. Anything Oprah says [sells] through the roof. Third, in the Kardashian store. People follow them like if their freakin' queens of America.

What trends are you into as far as accessories?
I wear things that are edgy, that are classy.

Now, what piece of jewelry do you have to wear all the time?
Earrings is just one of my things. I would never leave the house without earrings. That's my pet peeve, girls who don’t wear earrings. But if I’m wearing like a big necklace, I’ll only wear like a stud or something so it doesn’t clash or take away.

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Premiere: Inayah Lamis Busts The Windows Out Of Toxic Love In Visuals For "Best Thing"

Breakups are never easy but let Inayah Lamis heal your heart with her cheeky video for "Best Thing." Inspired by true events, the Houston native sings about bitter feelings about love gone astray.

The emotional ballad is simple in production thanks to the presence of an acoustic guitar, allowing Lamis to show off her vocal chops. Reminiscent of 2000s R&B gems like "I Wished You Loved Me" by Tynisha Keli and recent classics like Tink's "Treat Me Like Somebody," Lamis finds the right words that almost anyone can relate to.

"The track “Best Thing” was birthed from a realtime heartbreak," she tells VIBE. "I went into the lab and wrote it while I was ending a relationship that had a strong hold over me. I literally cried in the booth as I was singing it. My hopes are that every woman or man that has been emotionally broken and taken for granted by a lover will feel comfort in knowing that leaving was the best thing they ever did for themselves."

Thanks to her around the way aura, the video plays off her personality with the presence of "Smakie Lamis" taking Lamis out of her sad girl feels over her deceitful partner, allowing her to hop in the whip and bust out some car windows–even if it's not her beau's car. Directed by Michelle Parker, the video also plays up Lamis' Houston swag as she rides around town in a candy green whip.

The budding singer knows how important her songwriting plays a role in her relationship with fans. Lamis previously shared a bit of her writing style with Refinery29, while opening up about the importance of body positivity.

"Anytime something impacts my life, I write it down and make a song out of it," she said. In her previous visuals for "Suga Daddy," the singer turned up the sexy for a good reason. "I've displayed my confidence as a chunky girl in this video. So many people have things to say about curvy, bigger girls. I feel like we're in a space now where we're able to finally have a voice and be free, and still be sexy. Particularly with the wardrobe, I wanted to show some skin, to show those curves, those back rolls, those fat little pockets I got underneath my chin and shit. I wanted to make sure I displayed that and rocked the hell out of it, confidently."

Lamis is gearing up to release her debut EP S.O.L.A.R. (Storytelling Over Lyrics and Rhymes) on Dec. 13. The singer hopes to share more stories her fans will appreciate and the masses will adore. Her come-up is a digital grassroots movement thanks to her remake of Ella Mai's "Boo'd Up" in 2018 leading to her debut studio single  "N.A.S.," an acronym for "Ni**as ain't S**t."

 

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BEST THING CHALLENGE 🔥 -Stream/Download my new song BEST THING -DM me your videos -No instruments -No music -Just you & your voice -#Bestthingchallenge

A post shared by Aʅʅ I Nҽҽԃ Iʂ Oɳҽ Mιƈ... 🎤 (@inayah_lamis) on Nov 18, 2019 at 12:05am PST

Taking things up a notch, Lamis announced the #BestThingChallenge to welcome fellow sangers to show off their vocals.

Before diving into the challenge, enjoy the visuals for "Best Thing" below.

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Singer Whitney Houston is seen performing on stage during the 2004 World Music Awards at the Thomas and Mack Center on September 15, 2004 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Whitney Houston's Close Friend Robyn Crawford Details Romantic Relationship In New Memoir

Whitney Houston's personal life has been explored ten times over since her untimely passing in 2012 but one of her closest friends wants to share with the world the Whitney she knew and ultimately fell in love with.

In excerpts to People Wednesday (Nov. 6), Robyn Crawford presents a strong bond between the two in her new memoir, A Song For You: My Life With Whitney Houston. The singer and Crawford met in their youth while working at a summer camp in East Orange, New Jersey. From there, their friendship blossomed into something more romantic. With homophobia running rampant in the 80s, Crawford says they never looked at labels but enjoyed the experiences they shared together.

“We never talked about labels, like lesbian or gay,” writes Crawford. “We just lived our lives and I hoped it could go on that way forever.”

As their journey continued, Whitney's star began to rise which put allegedly put their romance on ice. “She said we shouldn’t be physical anymore,” writes Crawford. "Because it would make our journey even more difficult. She said if people find out about us, they would use this against us....and back in the ’80s, that’s how it felt. I kept it safe. I found comfort in my silence.”

Whitney's relationship with Crawford was mentioned in the 2018 documentary Whitney. Created by the singer's estate, the film focused on the singer's legacy and didn't include first-hand accounts from Crawford. Family members were weary of their special friendship.

"I’ve never seen them do anything but I know that she was something that I didn’t want my sister to be involved with," Whitney's brother Gary stated in the documentary.

But Crawford is finally ready to tell her own story while "lifting" Houston's legacy.

“I wanted to lift her legacy, give her respect and share the story of who she was before the fame, and in that, to embrace our friendship,” she tells People. "I'd come to the point where I felt the need to stand up for our friendship. And I felt an urgency to stand up and share the woman behind the incredible talent."

A Song for You: My Life with Whitney Houston is expected to hit bookshelves this fall.

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Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Black Music Honors

Keke Wyatt Announces That She's Pregnant With Her Tenth Child

Keke Wyatt has news to share that concerns expanding her family tree. On Monday (Oct. 14), the "If Only You Knew" singer revealed that she's pregnant with her tenth child.

"My husband Zackariah Darring and I are so happy to announce that we are expecting our new bundle of joy!" she wrote on Instagram. "We are excited to welcome the 10th addition to our beautiful family."

The vocalist continued to state that fans can follow her pregnancy journey on her YouTube series The Keke Show where she gives an intimate look at how she balances her career and motherhood.

 

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My husband Zackariah Darring and I are so happy to announce that we are expecting our new bundle of joy! We are excited to welcome the 10th addition to our beautiful family. Stay tuned for the release date & information for my new YouTube Series “The Keke Show” where you will see me balancing Wife, Mommy and Artist!!! Trust me.. it’s never a dull moment with my family. Love ya sugars💋💋💋 photo credit: @keever_west Styled/Designed by: @keever_west Asst: @freddyoart

A post shared by Keke Wyatt (@keke_wyatt) on Oct 14, 2019 at 4:43pm PDT

In an interview with The Christian Post, Wyatt said she believes she has "an anointing with motherhood" and looks at her children as fuel to keep striving in her career.

"I just don't believe in shutting down. I believe in that's what the Lord had for me," she said. "Babies don't get in the way of careers, we get in the way of careers. If that's what the Lord had for me from the very beginning, there's nothing nobody can do and nobody can say."

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