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Interview: Fabolous & Jadakiss Cooked Up Limited Edition New Balance 247 Sneakers

Freddy and Jason link for the New Balance 247. 

There's only a handful of rappers from Fabolous and Jadakiss' class who are still relevant in today's hip-hop game. With their long-awaited joint project, Freddy vs. Jason, set to arrive this year, New Balance created a version of the New Balance 247 Luxe specifically to commemorate the forthcoming project, Freddy vs Jason.

The historic shoe company introduced its latest pair of 247 sneakers with a design that was made with comfort and style in mind for today's generation of young hustlers. Fab and Kiss are the perfect pair to bring the 247 kicks to the streets of the Rotten Apple. These two emcees bring fresh ideas to the table, yet stay rooted to their origins.

F.A.B.O and Jada are no freshmen to the sneaeker game, though. Jada was part of the Reebok A5 Question Mid and Fabolous was tapped to work on the Patrick Ewing Packer Shoes.

Over the weekend, VIBE was invited out to Foot Locker on 33rd Street (NYC) for the launch of the New Balance 247 Lux Pack. Both emcees gave us the scoop on why they rock with New Balance and an update on Freddy vs. Jason.

Dinner is served. @therealkiss @newbalance [shot by @zacevan] #NewBalance247Dinner #FreddyVsJason #LifeIn247 #NYC

A photo posted by Fabolous (@myfabolouslife) on

VIBE: First, what's up with Freddy Vs. Jason?
Fabolous: It's cooking, man. It's coming. I know this is the generation of the microwave.
Jadakiss: But it's in the burners on the stovetop. This the microwave era, but fortunately we using the old fashioned way. We using the top of the stove for this.
Fab: We bringing the pots out, you know what I mean? We bringing some producers out that are gonna add a few elements. This is a home cooked meal. This ain't a pop-out-of-the-freezer thing, so that's why we're taking our time with it.

How did this New Balance collab come about?
Fabolous: Well, the 247s, that's my nickname for the shoes by the way. We're coming out with this album, so we just wanted to promote both of them and bring a custom design to the shoe. Brown, black, and white are the O.G. colors -- and these are the customs of it. I thought it would add a little flavor to the shoes, and give it a fresh look. Customs catch people’s eyes. Freddy and Jason are two big villains everybody knows, if you’ve seen the movies, so there’s a lot of different elements that make the custom collaboration with Mache cool and fun.

What makes New Balance stand out compared to other sneaker brands?
Jada: The comfort -- first and foremost. They are probably one of the most comfortable sneakers you can get for your money. We be on our feet a lot of hours, so they're a win,win for us.
Fab: I'm old school, so they go good with the sweatsuits. All the dope boys used to wear the sweatsuits back in the days so they always the New Balance. So that was my first lock in on the New Balance.

Fab, your Fabolous Week was crazy. These shoes companies recognize your gangsta.
Fab: [Laughs] Yeah, they came to me with different themes, and I thought it would be cool. Thanksgiving/Black Friday is a big shopping week and big sneaker week so we had to come out then. My favorite ones were the New Balance 999 Boathouse Row.

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Jennifer Lopez To Receive CFDA's Fashion Icon Award

Jennifer Lopez is reportedly poised to receive the Fashion Icon Award at the upcoming 2019 CFDA Awards.

J.Lo will join an elite group of fashion influencers, including Rihanna,  Beyoncé, Naomi Campbell, and Pharrell Williams.

"At the board meeting [in March], it’s always the most discussed and debated award each year," CFDA’s president and CEO Steven Kolb told The Hollywood Reporter. “There are so many worthy candidates, and everyone has really strong opinions, because style is objective, in terms of what people like and what looks good. But Jennifer has always been a steady presence in fashion and continues to be bold and make statements, and she’s someone who’s always noticed and talked about, and that makes her a perfect choice."

Lopez has been an unrivaled force on the red carpet. The green Versace dress that she wore to the 42nd Grammy Awards in 2000 is still a fashion moment people bring up in conversation.

Red carpets aside though, Kolb suggested that Lopez was bound to be a fashion icon because of her "true love" for style. "When you look at fashion and style and the way celebrities dress, even when they embrace it they can sometimes look like they’re holding it at arm’s length,” Kolb added. "They embrace it for reasons of being photographed or noticed, but you wonder if they really love it. But you can tell that Jennifer really loves it. She would be a style icon even if she weren’t on the red carpet. There’s a true love there that comes across in her style, and you can tell she thinks it’s fun."

The 2019 CFDA Awards will be held at the Brooklyn Museum on June 3.

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The North Face

Ella Mai On The North Face's 'Explore Mode' Campaign, New Music And Living In The Moment

Ella Mai is in her own age of exploration. Her eponymous debut album scored her a platinum plaque with her breakout hit, "Boo'd Up" earning her a Grammy for Best R&B Song. But the accolades aren't driving her creative path. The arc in her compass is all about the places she's traveled, the people she's met and the lessons learned along the way.

"To be honest, personally, exploration is like growth. I feel like if you don't explore new things, whether it's going outside, meeting people or trying new food, you won't ever grow because you're just stuck in your little comfort zone which can be super scary to come out of," she tells VIBE at The North Face's Explore Mode event in New York on Monday (April 15). The singer is one of three women (including model-activist Gabrielle Richardson and chef Angela Dimayuga) who teamed up with the brand to share a message of enjoying the outside world without digital confinement and the global initiative to make Earth Day a national holiday.

The London native's urge to explore came in handy over the weekend when she performed in the brisk desert of Coachella. Inspired by artists like Rihanna and Ms. Lauryn Hill, Mai helped fans enjoy the hazy sunset as she performed hits like "Trip" and her latest No. 1 song, "Shot Clock."

"It's such a good feeling, especially when it comes to radio," she shared about her track reaching No. 1 on the airplay chart. "I wasn't even sure if people listened to the radio because people have so much access to streaming platforms, but obviously having all three of my singles from my debut album, go number one on urban radio is incredible."

That energy was brought to the Coachella stage with the festival being her biggest artistic exploration so far.

"My favorite part of the performance would have to be when I performed "Naked" and because it was dark, and I performed when the sun went down, I couldn't see how far the crowd actually went back. But during "Naked," it was such an intimate moment I asked everyone to put their lights up (phones) and when I saw how far it went back I was like, "Woah." That moment sealed it for me."

"Even there were two people in the audience, I still would've done my best," she added. "But just to see the crowd be so engaged, even if they didn't know the music, was a really good feeling. I had so much fun."

As the festival energy in Indio, Calif. continued to thrive, another rested on the streets of Los Angeles following the loss of Nipsey Hussle. With the singer having ties to those close to the rapper like DJ Mustard, she says the shift in the city was hard to ignore.

"As weird as it sounds, you felt it," she said. "Even in the weather, it was super hot and then everyone got the news and it started raining. Just a weird energy shift." As a new L.A. resident, the singer says Nipsey's influence cannot be denied.

"I feel like the energy shift went both ways; everyone was really sad, grieving and mourning but everyone feels more inspired by what he was doing that they want to go out and do something and change in their community. It's still a very touchy subject in L.A., especially the people that I'm around since they were very close to him. I think everyone is super inspired to do better and try to be more like him, which is great to see. YG's whole set at Coachella was dedicated to him, I know Khalid had a dedication to Mac Miller. Everyone is super aware of what Nipsey was trying to do and how he wanted to change the world."

Engaging in The North Face's mission to explore seemed to be in the cards for Mai. Like many of us, Mai was familiar with the brand's effective coolness factor. "I remember running home and telling my mom that I needed a Jester Backpack because my cousin had one as well, and it's similar to the other stories, I wanted to be like my older cousin (laughs) so my mom ended up getting me one." But there's also the incentive to showcase the importance of stepping away from the phone screens and into leafy green forests.

"I'm such a live-in-the-moment person," she says of her lack of identity on social media. While she might share a thought or two on social media, Mai is interested in appreciating the world around her. "I feel like everyone is so consumed about documenting the day, you don't really get to live the day. You just watch it back but I like to have the memories in my head. Of course, sometimes, I'll take out my phone but I try to live in the moment as much as possible."

Part of that mission is ensuring Earth Day is celebrated the right way. With the support of Mai, Richardson, and Dimayuga, The North Face officially launched a petition to make Earth Day a national holiday.

“The North Face is no stranger to exploration and this Earth Day we are proud to join our partners and fellow explorers in a global effort to make Earth Day a national holiday,” said Global General Manager of Lifestyle at The North Face, Tim Bantle. “We believe that when people take time to appreciate the Earth, they feel more connected to it and are more likely to protect it. Explore Mode urges us to unplug from our digital lives to connect in real life to the world, each other, and ourselves in the effort to move the world forward.”

Mai hasn't hit her all of her exploration goals just yet. "I really want to go to Indonesia or Bali," she said. "That's one of my Bucket List places I really, really, really wanna go." For her essentials, the singer knows she has to bring along a windbreaker set and of course, a jester backpack. "I think the backpack is the most important thing."

In addition to a few trips around the globe, one destination includes the studio for new music. While she hasn't had time to lock down a moment to record, the inspiration is sizzling.

"When I work in the studio, I like to be like there for a good amount of time," she explains. "I like to block off two to three weeks at a time, I don't like to go to different studios and different places, it's just a comfort thing but I'm very excited to get back cause I have a lot of talk about. I've seen so many different places and met so many new people and a lot that I didn't get to experience last year."

Learn more about The North Face's petition for Earth Day here.

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Reebok May Have Missed Out On A Beyoncé Partnership

The deal between Beyoncé and Adidas was made public on Thursday (April 4) and the Bey Hive and others alike broke the Internet. Talk of the "Beydidas" collaboration and future use of the "Beyoncé 1's" was all that could be read on social media, but it turns out that there's more than meets the eye behind the story. Over the past two years, according to journalist Nick De Paula and his appearance on ESPN's "The Jump," Queen B had been meeting with different sportswear companies to discuss partnership opportunities with them.

She met not only with Adidas, but Under Armour, Jordan, and Reebok as well. However, a collaboration with the latter was reportedly and quickly shut out of the question after a meeting with the footwear company.

"Throughout this process over the last year or two, she had discussed with Under Armour, Reebok as well, Jordan at one point was interested in maybe partnering with her," De Paula said on the show. "She had a meeting at Reebok and they had a whole presentation of everything, potential products and how this could all look and she kind of took a step back and said, 'Is this the team that will be working on my product?' and somebody said yes. She said 'nobody in this room reflects my background, my skin color, and where I'm from and what I want to do.' And so she kind of took a step back and left and then it did not come to terms."

Clearly, Mrs. Carter found the diversity that was lacking at Reebok in Adidas, and now fans of the superstar, Adidas hype beasts and just anyone who wants some new heat can relish in the re-launch of Beyoncé's Ivy Park with the brand with the two stripes. A date for the release of the deal has yet to be announced, but fans can expect to be able to purchase lifestyle to sports performance products.

 

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A post shared by adidas (@adidas) on Apr 4, 2019 at 7:00am PDT

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