KimberlyNichole - Rock Ballerina KimberlyNichole - Rock Ballerina

Vixen Chat & Giveway: KimberlyNichole Talks Tutus and Her Vintage Chic Look

Rock ballerina KimberlyNichole is taking the music industry by storm. Known for her powerhouse vocals and frilly tutus, the songstress has received critical acclaim as both an indie and international sensation. Riding off the success of her self-funded debut EP The Yellow Brick Journey, the Seattle native has dug her heels firmly in NYC as a force to be reckoned with.

Among those to have taken note include MTV, BET and the legendary duo Ashford and Simpson. In 2011, she was named a BET Music Matters artists and returns to their stage next week to perform at the BET Experience in LA. She is also the 2012 recipient of the ASCAP Foundation's "Reach Out and Touch" Award in honor of the late Nick Ashford.

After watching a "magnetic" performance, fashion god André Leon Talley even invited her to the VOGUE offices and penned a feature on her, likening her performance to "watching a Meissen porcelain miniature come to life."

We recently caught up with the Vixen via phone while taking a summer stroll in Harlem to talk about her vintage chic look and getting camera ready for performances.

-- Stephenetta (isis) Harmon

VV: You've earned your moniker as "rock ballerina" with the amazing tutus we've seen in you in over the years. How did that look come about?
KimberlyNichole: It's funny. I'm not married to the tutu. It kind of just happened naturally. The lady who designs them had reinvented this vintage dress I had and she added these layers of tulle that made it look like a tutu. I loved the look of it and every collaboration we've had since then has had some rendition of the tutu.

Your live shows are so full of energy. How do you keep your look camera-ready while still rocking out?
A good primer and good finishing powder. I love Iman's Primer and use either Black Opal or MAC's finishing powder.

KimberlyNichole - WILD & Wonderful: The LIVE ExperienceVV: What are some other backstage must-haves?
KN: I must have my playlist of The Doors and Sarah Vaughan, and a nice pair of heels to rock out in. Oh, and some type of head piece or hat.

Nice! If you had to empty out your travel bag right now, what goodies would you pull out?
Besides my vocal and allergy medicine? [Laughs]. I have my iPad, a lot of make-up and my tutu, of course! I also always have some sort of high-waisted lamé pants and either one of my grandfather's or my grandmother's hats.

Before you jet west for the BET Experience, you've put together an intimate show, "WILD & WONDERFUL," this weekend with Sophia Urista and Rahbi at the Kazino. What should we expect?
The space we're playing is a pop-up tent that is made to have an old school vaudeville-slash-cabaret-slash-burlesque feel. So, expect a lot of wild antics, some good singing and showmanship reminiscent of our musical forefathers. We're definitely tapping into a lot of raw authentic, rock and blues sounds.

Vixen is giving away two tickets to KimberlyNichole's New York show, WILD & Wonderful experience. Want to win? Email us your name, email and twitter handle below for your chance. Enter by Friday at 5pm for your chance to win. We'll announce the winner Friday at 6pm.

[contact-form-7 id="60726" title="KimberlyNichole Giveaway"]

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Ava DuVernay And Theaster Gates To Lead Diversity Council For Prada

Major luxury brands like Prada and Gucci have been under fire since releasing luxury items with racial undertones. Sparking controversy that is not easily repaired with public apologies, Prada has announced a Diversity and Inclusion Council lead by director Ava DuVernay and social practice installation artist Theaster Gates.

Gates and DuVernay, who have used their art in social justice missions will join " Prada’s initiative to elevate voices of color within the company and the fashion industry at-large.” The pair will also help the brand provide the opportunity for designers of color to obtain internships and apprenticeships that are inclusive of diverse communities.

In a statement to WWD, Miuccia Prada, Prada’s Chief Executive Officer, and Lead Creative Director stated explained the brand's willingness to learn from their own mistakes while actively including creative of color in the company.

“Prada is committed to cultivating, recruiting and retaining diverse talent to contribute to all departments of the company, Prada said. "In addition to amplifying voices of color within the industry, we will help ensure that the fashion world is reflective of the world in which we live, and we are thrilled to be working with long-time collaborators, Ava DuVernay and Theaster Gates, on this important initiative. We look forward to working with the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council to help us grow not only as a company but also as individuals.”

The Diversity Council will work alongside the company's Social Responsibility department to recommend strategic approaches within the next few months.


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Solitary Alignment: 5 Self-Affirming Reads For Single Ladies On Valentine’s Day

Ahh, the Feast of Saint Valentine—the Hallmark holiday that strikes us with its arrow each year, for better or for worse, depending on your bae status. While the romantic holiday is adored and celebrated by many, if you’re still reeling over, say, your ex’s refusal to commit, chances are Feb. 14 is more of a heartache for you than anything.

But as a wise woman once said, “If they liked it then they should’ve put a ring on it.” So whether V-Day has you scared of lonely or sulking over a lost love, as another wise woman once said, they “would be SUPER lucky to even set eyes on you this Valentine’s Day. That’s it. That’s the gift.” Shout out to The Slumflower.

Sure, having a bae on Valentine’s Day is cool, but so is reminding yourself why you’re just fine without one (cue Webbie’s “Independent”). In fact, single folks have better relationships overall, according to the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. You know how the old adage goes: love yourself before loving someone else.

For this Valentine’s Day, VIBE Vixen rounds up a nourishing list of books for our sisters doin’ it for themselves. Consider this your reminder of how badass you are—because you are! Oh, oh, oh. *Beyoncé voice*

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This season of BET’s Boomerang looks like it will be filled with bomb hairstyles, plenty of passion, and some “aww sh*****t” moments.

Tune in to Boomerang on BET every Tuesday at 10/9c to see if this nice guy will ever finish first.

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