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Stacy-Ann Ellis

August Alsina On His Style & Hair Evolution: "I Don't Care What Nobody Has To Say"

For this edition of  Style Files, August Alsina silences the haters. 

For this edition of  Style Files, August Alsina silences his haters.

 

Whether you praise or mock August Alsina's head-to-toe style, you must admit that the R&B crooner's swagger is nothing less than confident.

Since his grand foray onto the mainstream music scene in 2014, we've seen much growth in Alsina not only as an artist but a 23-year-old who is expressing himself through his rhythm and blues tunes and a fun and quirky yet still evolving wardrobe.

On a uncharacteristically warm New York City afternoon at Def Jam's midtown headquarters, the This Thing Called Life singer chatted with VIBE about his fashion sense that has been a hot topic for the past year and his controversial hair 'do, silencing those haters that critique his sartorial choices. Continue scrolling to check out highlights from the conversation.

On his style:

I just saw Sway and he was like, “Man I gotta keep up with you because you just too goddamn clean now. You pick your sh*t out yourself?” I was like, “Yeah bro, I do this.” Then he was like, “Now come on August, you weren't always this high fashion and sh*t.” I'm like well sh*t I was broke as a muthaf**ker then and couldn’t buy everything [laughs]. I just like what I like, and I don't care what nobody has to say about me. I see people and what they say. I’ve gotten it all, whether it's that I'm weird or that I dress weird.

On his controversial tresses:

I mean I been had hair, like when I was younger, then I cut it. So basically, I just did the same thing over. I'm sick of everybody looking the same, especially with haircuts and stuff. I remember going to the BET Awards and they were laughing at my hair and it was this whole talk about it on the Internet. Right after, everyone was doing the same thing. Literally, my barber was telling me that people were coming to him and saying, "Aye, can you give me that August Alsina cut?" So it's like damn, make up your mind. First you talking sh*t about me and after that it's like...it's just weird. These mothaf***ers are weird. Everybody weird as hell and don't know themselves. They talk about something one minute and the next they're on it. Now, it's like they want to be like a n***a. But it's so crazy because they have so much to say about me. I hear the most outrageous things about myself: I wear makeup, I wear lipgloss, I wear weave. When I pressed my hair, that’s when folks thought that I had a weave. It's never that serious, ever. It's just the weirdest sh*t. Listen, I'm telling you, people say that sh*t. I'm a man bruh, don't disrespect me. But at the same time you do have n****s out here getting weaves. Fetty Wap got f***ing weave dreads in his head. If that's your prerogative cool, but miss me with that.

On fashion do's and don'ts:

I literally don't [care]. I do whatever I want to do. That's why I was saying, there's people that talk about me and that's fine. I guess you have to give people something to talk about.

On a future in the fashion industry: 

Possibly. People always try to get me to model and I never understood why at first. I would do it. As far as fashion, I would do that, too. I just want to have more time on my plate to do it correctly. I don't half-ass things, I like to take my time and not bullsh*t.

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Courtesy of BooHoo Man

BoohooMan Collaborates With Quavo On New Streetwear Collection

COVID-19 has everyone stuck inside in the house, but you still need fresh clothes for the day you step outside. With this, BoohooMan has joined forces with multi-talented rapper Quavo on an exclusive 200-piece collection for 2019's spring and summer.

The collection, inspired by Quavo’s style, will be available April 8, and will feature pieces like tracksuits, double denims, t-shirts, velour two pieces, and much more.

 

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❌ DRIP INCOMING ❌ 15 days until the biggest collaboration of the season drops 💯 Who's copping?👇 #boohooMANxQuavo

A post shared by boohooMAN (@boohoomanofficial) on Mar 27, 2019 at 11:16am PDT

“Collaborating with boohooMAN is special because they just really are the first team that let me open my creative mindset and just bring my ideas to life," Quavo said via press statement. "When I met the team they were young and represented the culture so I thought, ok, we can collaborate and do something special. I’m happy for it to come around again. This time it’s better," the Migos member continued.

Accessories also includes bucket hats, bum bags, peak caps, sliders, transparent PVC body bags, among others.

“Working on this second drop with Quavo came so naturally to all involved," said Shane Chin, head designer at boohooMAN. "Quavo has a really distinctive style, so despite the majority of it being striking, it is ultimately all very wearable, which is what we do best – provide products that speak to the uniqueness in us all," Chin continued.

 

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boohooMAN x H U N C H O. Coming soon 🥶☔️

A post shared by boohooMAN (@boohoomanofficial) on Apr 1, 2020 at 7:00am PDT

BoohooMAN has worked with the likes of Tyga, Rae Sremmurd, French Montana and others. This collection includes 100 items, and ranges from the prices of $12 - $80, which can be found here.

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Flo Ngala/Netflix

A'Lelia Bundles On Netflix's 'Self Made,' Black Hair, And Self-Expression

Netflix looks to answer the Oscars debacle from earlier this year with an exciting new four-part limited series, Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker. Starring Octavia Spencer in the title role, Self Made utilizes the research of Madam Walker’s great-great-granddaughter, A’Lelia Bundles, who wrote a New York Times bestseller about her family’s legacy in Black hair care. A’Lelia, a former network television news executive and award-winning producer for 30 years at NBC and ABC News, authored On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C.J. Walker to inform a new generation about the importance of America’s first successful Black entrepreneur.

Madam Walker was the daughter of slaves, and a widow at the age of 20. Seeing a need for healthy hair alternatives that catered to the Black woman, Madam C.J. Walker and her family built a business empire that focused on cosmetic and hair care products for women of color. Many of her company’s employees were women, including Marjorie Joyner (co-founder of the National Council of Negro Women) and Alice Kelly (the first forewoman and manager of the Walker factory). Through hard work and effort, Madam Walker turned her wealth into philanthropy and made friends with “talented tenth” MVPs: W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington.

A’Lelia Bundles is also the president of the Madam Walker/A’Lelia Walker Family Archives, making her the oracle behind her famous ancestors’ speeches, publications, documents, photographs and past public initiatives. VIBE was fortunate enough to get the engaging public speaker and lover of history to talk about her great-great-grandmother’s impact on the Black entrepreneurial spirit, discovering her own revolutionary acts through her Black hair growth, and shares why she celebrates today’s stars for championing Black self-expression.

VIBE: Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker hits Netflix on March 20, during Women’s History Month. With those events in mind, I wanted to ask you about your involvement with the series and what message do you hope the show can convey to Black audiences?

A’Lelia Bundles: My book, On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C.J. Walker was optioned a few years ago by Mark Holder of Wonder Street [Productions]. Mark then approached Warner Bros. and then Netflix about turning it into a series. Once that went through, Octavia Spencer came on board, and we went through the process from then on. I’m considered a consulting producer, which means that I had some script review, but I really hope that what comes from this is that more people will know Madam C.J. Walker’s name, and that their curiosity will be pricked a bit so they’ll want to learn even more about her.

Obviously, with the show being a limited series, you can only scratch the surface of her legacy and impact. Add to that that I’ve done almost 50 years’ worth of research on Madam Walker and her life, and so I am renaming my book into Self Made with Octavia Spencer’s picture on the cover, as well as an audiobook that I just recorded a few weeks ago.

Congratulations.

Thank you!

It is an interesting time in the world of content creation where people of color are able to inform others through the visual medium. Earlier this year, we had Who Killed Malcolm X, and When They See Us in 2019 had a new generation learning about the Central Park Five. You say  Self Made only scratches the surface, but what do you hope people take away from this show when it compares to the rise of the Black haircare industry?

There is a core of people who know and love Madam C.J. Walker, but there’s a much larger audience who don’t really know about her. I think Self Made will give people a window into her life. Octavia Spencer is the right person to play this role. She has an understanding of the obstacles that Black women face and, in her own personal life, she has certainly overcome obstacles and dealt successfully with challenges.

The message I hope people get from this series is that a Black woman in the early 20th century not only started a business, but empowered other women, and went on to become the first self-made Black millionaire. By helping those women become economically independent, she created jobs and generational wealth for thousands within the Black community.

 Switching braids a bit, I wanted to ask you about your own hair care journey. When did you learn that Black hair could be politicized?

I learned that my hair could be politicized when I was a senior in high school. Both my parents worked at the Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company, with my dad eventually being hired by another company called Summit Laboratories that made chemical hair straighteners.

At that time, I’d see Angela Davis and Cicely Tyson with the big afro, plus the Black Power Movement was in full swing. People were getting rid of their processed and straightened hair, which awakened my political consciousness. I knew to have an afro was a sign of rebellion, much like how the white kids were growing their hair long, Black kids like me were using our hair to make a statement against the issues of the time.

 To relate that to what’s going on with today’s youth, I wanted to get your thoughts on the struggles that kids like Deandre Arnold and others experience when trying to express themselves…

Companies like Sundial Brands and people like Matthew Cherry are making a statement by supporting young people while saying to the rest of the world that you will not shame our babies. It’s very hard to be a kid, especially in a predominantly white school or white town where other people want to police your body and hair. It is angering to me that anybody can be expelled from school because of the hair that grows out of their head. Our hair is beautiful the way it grows and the judgments that other people make need to evolve.

 Speaking of evolution, I must ask what your own favorite hairstyles of today are that you’d rock if you could?

I love people who have really long locs. I love how they can go in different directions or pile it up into a big crown on the head. I love just really full hairstyles that have structure. My hair is pretty limp [laughs] and I’m not able to do that, but if I could, I would. At this stage of my life, though, it would take so much work and product and maintenance that I am really all about that easy life.

 How do you feel about media places like Huffington Post’s Black Hair Defined project spotlighting stories about Black hair and the Black hair care industry?

It is really important that places like this make statements that our hair is beautiful and that there’s nothing wrong with our hair. People like Richelieu Dennis, founding CEO of Sundial Brands and now owns Essence Magazine, has created a $100 million VC fund called the New Voices Fund for women entrepreneurs of color. Support from companies and media places like these are uplifting Black hair, hair care, and cosmetic companies that make it plain that we’re not going backward and only are going to continue to express ourselves.

 Last question, Ms. A’Lelia: What is the continuing impact Madam C.J. Walker’s legacy has on Black entrepreneurs?

Her impact is that of a great American rags-to-riches story. I hope that by the time people have finished watching the series, and doing some additional research, that they really see Madam C.J. Walker as a multidimensional woman. She was the first child in her family to be born after slavery, who was a millionaire by the time of her death in 1919 and made a difference in her community as a patron of the Arts and a helper of other women to become economically independent. I think this, her being an impactful inspiration to many, gives hope to others to follow in her footsteps.

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Event attendees admire the limited-edition Sprite Ginger Collection items at the Sprite drop event at Extra Butter NY, on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020 in New York City.
Brian Ach/Getty Images for Sprite®

Sprite Launches Sprite Ginger Capsule Collection In New York City

Sprite is testing out another way for you to "obey your thirst" or "thirst for yours" with its new Sprite Ginger flavor. Introduced earlier this month, the addition to the soft drink's portfolio  "brings together the classic lemon-lime taste of Sprite with a hit of ginger flavor in every sip," according to a Coca Cola press release

To celebrate the brand's "spirit of reinvention," Sprite worked with veteran streetwear designer Jeff Staple and a team of young tastemakers and artists to develop the limited-edition “Sprite Ginger Collection,” inspired by reinvention and by the facets of culture permeating hip hop, fashion, music, and art. At a private event earlier this month at New York City's Extra Butter, Sprite debuted the brand's first limited-edition creative capsule by Staple and 9 other creatives, which consists of hoodies, jackets, jewelry, tees and more.

During a panel discussion moderated by Hearst style director, Tiffany Reid, Staple alongside creatives BLUBOY, Barbara Rego and Elan Watson chatted about drop culture, how young artists can make their mark in the industry, and the importance of reinvention.

"Having a [fashion] brand for 20+ years almost requires you, necessitates you to reinvent yourself because there's no way you can do the same thing for, forget 20 years, even 3 years before you're literally dead," shared Staple. "To me, the opposite of reinvention is death because you're not moving forward. You're just completely stagnant.

"So for me, it was always me constantly trying every few seasons to figure out a way to reinvent myself. And not in a way where I needed to stay relevant. I never felt a need to stay relevant, but I wanted to actually be able to connect authentically with the next generation of creators because that is actually what inspires me."

Dapper Dan, Amara La Negra, Mack Wilds, and Sway Calloway were among the celebrities and influencers who made an appearance at the event. Harlem's own Dave East performed a couple of his records while DJ Va$htie provided sounds throughout the night while spinning on the ones and twos.

Over the next few weeks, Sprite and Staple will continue the search for up-and-coming designers and host a series of "re-workshops" Extra Butter. Scroll down to see more pictures from the event. For more info on where you get a bottle of Sprite Ginger, head over the Sprite.com. As for where you can cop an item from the collection, follow @Sprite on Twitter and Instagram for surprise giveaways. You can also visit head over to StaplePigeon.com for more Sprite swag!

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