Dress Code My Melanin Dress Code My Melanin
VIBE/ Stacy-Ann Ellis

Dress Code: My Melanin's Hats Are A Mix Of TV Nostalgia & Unashamed Blackness

The spotlight is on My Melanin for 'Dress Code,' VIBE's fashion and style series test driving rising brands from an every day life point of view. 

‘Dress Code’ is VIBE’s fashion and style series, where were we test drive rising brands from an every day life point of view.

MY MELANIN SAYS

Founder: De'Montaz Brown

Happy Customers: Kevin McCall, HoodCelebrityy are fans of the brand. I recently sent some products to Tammy Rivera and Shod Santiago. I've been connected with Masego and he thinks my whole brand is dope.

On My Melanin's Humble Beginnings: The idea for My Melanin came about at the "Stand with Missouri" protest on campus. I grew angry with people only showing up to protest in order to be in social media pictures, school newspapers and to increase chances of being seen on news channels. I felt like everything was an attempt to go viral and it just didn’t feel genuine. I feel like if we’re going to protest an issue we should protest it daily, not just one day out of the year or when theres a traumatic event within our community. So I created My Melanin, a brand that spreads awareness to the daily struggles all minorities endure. The name My Melanin was chosen simply because thats the most prominent problem minorities face, which is being discriminated or stereotyped for the color of our skin. I feel like we all should embrace our melanin. Its extraordinary, unique and beautiful.

On The Design Process: I want my products to represent Minority culture. We’re a culture that’s built on distress. When you see my hats you’ll obviously recognize that it’s distressed. That design is to represent the wear and tear our culture has been through, but regardless of its rips, scratches, holes, and patches its still beautiful. The font is edgy to show off the grit, diversity, and uniqueness our culture inherits. My products are designed with great detail to really give you that feel of minority culture.

Their Uniqueness In The Marketplace: We are My Melanin. When you wear my products you’re spreading a message. No matter what obstacle you may face today, you’re going to conquer it and be proud while you’re doing it. Be unapologetic in the skin you’re in. Feel beautiful, handsome, educated, successful in My Melanin. That is what my brand is about. My Melanin is telling the story of what its like to be a minority in America by causing social tension while being fashionably correct. It's the perfect balance and representation of minority culture.

How The Designer Wears My Melanin: When I wear My Melanin, I wear it boastfully. I want everyone around me to know what I’m wearing and what I’m representing. I want it to be the first thing you look at when you see me. I wear My Melanin with no regrets, no apologies.

Favorite Item In Current Collection: The Martin Melanin Denim hat. I’m really big on 90s everything, so coming up with this design and picking the denim fabric to go with was all to pay homage to the 90s era. Although the Martin series will soon be discontinued, I'll definitely be coming back with another denim design soon!

VIBE SAYS

Ashley Monaé, Writer:
Many times we wear articles of clothing, not necessarily thinking about the message it spreads. However, with My Melanin, there's no question what the topic of conversation is. It's all about being unapologetically black and loving the skin you're in -- something I'm down to support, especially with today's climate of the fashion industry where the lack of diversity among models and designers is startling. So, nonetheless, here I am repping my God given hue in Manchester, Tenn. at this year's Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, where the sightings of folks with melanin is few and far between, but the joyful vibes are plenty.

I chose to rock the Martin Melanin Denim hat that boasts of a distressed denim fabrication. Dad hats are on-trend right now, so it was the perfect combo for my low-maintenance festival fashion during the 90-plus degree days we endured. Not to mention, the revamp of the whole Martin, 90s throwback design is nostalgic of one of my favorite eras. So, in conclusion, I'll definitely be gloating in all my melanin glory this summer with this cap.

Stacy-Ann Ellis, Assistant Editor:
If you take a look at my Twitter bio, one thing becomes crystal clear: I, without a doubt, love the skin I'm in. As a self-proclaimed "proud product of blackness," there are few things I love more than flaunting and praising my (our) God-given chocolate hues. Every single shade under the sun is worthy of admiration. So guess who was a happy camper when her My Melanin cap came in the mail? *points to self*

The budding brand's lightly distressed "Martin" Mango Melanin hat is the right amount of bold and brag. I'm a longtime believer that golds and yellows look great against brown skin, and this hat further proves it. For the throwback TV lovers, the nod to Martin emblazoned on the front of the hat is another form of appreciation for unfiltered blackness. This will easily be a summer staple.

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Lola Plaku And Puma Unite For 'NOVA GRL PWR' Shoe

CEO of Lola Media Group and bonified music industry heavyweight, Lola Plaku has been honored with her very own sneaker collection with Puma.

Released Friday (Jan. 18), the two-piece sneaker collection is a new twist on a classic '90s pair of kicks designed by Plaku herself. Blending mesh and leather, the shoes come in Black-Surf, a black-based shoe with pearl pink, dark blue and yellow accents and Peach Bud–Pearl Blush a light pink and white sneak.

“Lola is known for spearheading a mission to empower young women, and this partnership pays tribute to her efforts with a Nova sneaker pack aptly titled GRL PWR,” said PUMA’s Senior Head of Select, Yassine Saidi.“Lola inspires others to create change and push culture forward, making her the perfect co-creator of the new Nova.”

A bright shining star indeed, Plaku was named one of Billboard's rising stars to watch in their 2018 R&B/Hip-Hop 100 Power Players issue. Formerly known for her talents in music journalism, the entrepreneur has gone on to create her own blog iLuvLola. She is now working on her mentorship program GIRL CONNECTED, built to help aspiring female professionals.

“This campaign is truly about building self-esteem and creating a platform for self-discovery, growth, and empowerment," Plaku said about the collaboration. "Girls and women should believe they can be anything they want to be."

You can cop the Puma NOVA GRL PWR sneakers now, with the second design making its way in March.

See photos from the very colorful campaign and styles below.

Peach Bud/Pearl Blush

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Lola Plaku and crew 

READ MORE: Tupac Estate And Marvel Connect For Special 'Black Panther' Clothing Collection

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Getty Images

Prep Your Pockets: Rihanna Reportedly Launching Luxury Fashion House With LVMH

Tackling more than music these days, Rihanna's brand has expanded past her "Pon de Replay" days. Nearly 14 years strong in this industry, the all-Fenty-everything empress is now gearing up to launch a luxury fashion house under her name.

According to multiple sources and Women's Wear Daily, LVMH (Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton) and the 30-year-old singer/songwriter have been attending hush-hush meetings with the worlds largest luxury group. LVMH has reportedly also cherrypicked employees from within the company, including workers from Celine and Louis Vuitton to work with Rihanna and neighboring associates.

Though details about the launch are extremely limited at this time, many have already developed high hopes and expectations for the " Work" singer's newest business venture.

While this exciting new business venture marks an amazing high note for the Barbadian songstress, many fans await her highly anticipated return to music since her 2016 Anti LP. According to Ms. Fenty herself, her next project should be dropping sometime in 2019. The album was originally rumored to be a dancehall record meant to pay homage to her roots, but there has been no confirmation from RiRi since production began.

 

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John Lamparski

Michael B. Jordan Is The Face Of Coach's Men Label

If you have eyes that work (hell, even if you have one eye) then you can tell Michael B. Jordan won the genetic contest. The Creed II star is equally known for his roles in feature films as he is his face, which is why he's been tapped to represent the men's label for Coach.

The 31-year-old actor released a statement about the partnership and expressed great gratitude and excitement about his new venture.

“I’ve been a fan of Coach for a long time and truly respect their inclusive and optimistic values,” Jordan added. “I’m honored to be a part of Stuart’s vision and creative process.”

The admiration goes both ways. Coach Creative Director Stuart Vevers was equally thrilled with Jordan leading the campaign for the men's line.

"I’ve really enjoyed getting to know Michael over the last few years," Vevers said. "He has been a true supporter of Coach so it felt like a really natural step to collaborate more closely and create a partnership we can take to the next level."

While Jordan holds it down for the men, Selena Gomez remains the face for the women's side of the house.

Congrats to Mr. Jordan. We see you. [Insert eye emoji here]

READ MORE: Michael B. Jordan, Black Star Rising

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