No matter what type of music you listen to you know who Selena is, and you even know the words to more than one of her songs. Arguably the best Latin Superstar from the 1990s. Selena gave us fashion, glamour, beauty, vocals, and sunshine. She got her start as Selena y Los Dinos making Tejano music. As the band's popularity grew people were attracted to Selena’s creative outfits, beauty, and strong voice.
In 1989 she released her self-titled solo album, Mis Primeras Grabaciones. The album was successful making the charts and earning her the opportunity to be a spokesperson for Coca Cola. From 1990 to 1992 she released two more successful albums that shot her to superstar status. She took the Tejano Music Awards by storm with iconic songs like “Como La Flor”.
Selena was also a Fashion icon and in 1994 she released her clothing line “Selena, Inc.” full of glamorous designs that brought her astounding style to everyday women. She also released her most successful album that year, going platinum in the US and gold in Mexico.
Selena was known for selling out arena size shows and giving them all that she had. Her costumes, band, and live vocals set her apart from other Latin artists at the time. Her last album, Selena Live, catered to her fan base in 1993. After the release, she started recording her first English album with the hopes of crossing over.
She was the biggest Tejano music star, decorated in awards including a Grammy, and she was loved internationally. She had one of the biggest fan clubs at the time ran by trusted associate Yolanda Saldivar. Saldivar was questioned about missing money and in return, she shot Selena killing her.
Selena’s family, friends, and fans were devastated. She was only 23 when she died and had so much more to give the world. She already attained massive success. After her death a bio-pic on her life starring Jennifer Lopez was released and so were the English songs she recorded. There are murals, statues, tons of Halloween costumes, and quinceaneras in her memory. Selena was able to achieve more things in a few years than most artists do in a lifetime. Her legacy will forever live on.
Bree Gant is a renowned photographer who has been featured in Fader Magazine, Metro Times, Essence Magazine and more. She is known for her projects like Lost and Crowned, work with Rock City Lookbook, and helping many artists ideas come to life.
With an eye for fashion, a creative will, and a drive to bring beautiful diasporas to life, Gant has not only been making a mark in the photography world but every art world in between. She has a plethora of amazing ideas and is not afraid to do whatever she has to, including riding with Aunt Ddot to do so. Gant continues to show the world the beauty she sees within her camera lens, and personally, I cannot get enough.
What inspired you to become a photographer?
My dad got me a pink Fujifilm point and shoot digital camera when I graduated from Cass. I got to Howard and never put it down. A friend at the University paper suggested me for the photo department and within the semester I was Photo Editor. I started blogging portraits of students on campus, and the opportunities just kept coming. I found not just an audience, but a mutual support system in women of color across the diaspora, and the world. We were in need of a new reflection of ourselves. My photos allowed me to communicate across time and space. I felt so powerful and when other Black women told me they felt the same just experiencing my work, I knew I could never give this up.
You are also a stylist; does that make your job as a photographer easier or harder?
I’m not a stylist. I’m glad you mentioned this because a lot of people think I am. I love aesthetics and adornment and fashion. I’m actively exploring my style, and even doing a little sewing these days. Having an eye for fashion definitely helps when shooting, though–especially with portraiture. It also really helps to work with dope professionals like Stephanie Blair and Lord Tini 🙂
You are a black female who is also openly queer, how do you think those elements of yourself influence your work?
It makes everything about politics, for one–whether I want it to or not. I remember going to an artist talk while I was in undergrad and hearing a white hipster chick who did embroidery in southeast DC say the phrase ‘art for art’s sake’ and mention how she keeps politics out of her work. I was heated. At the time, I thought it was because she didn’t use her work to make a statement and because gentrification was suffocating Chocolate City, and this white girl who landed a funded residency in the hood thought politics had nothing to do with her art. Later I realized I resented her ability to choose, or maybe her agency in choosing. ‘Art for art’s sake’ sounded like a fantasy to me. I never politicized my work. If I’m being honest I never even identified as a lesbian, even though half of campus thought I was. All I ever did was what I wanted to do, and let the pieces fall where they may. But one day I started carrying other people’s pieces…I guess the influence has been how to manage that weight, what it looks like to manage the weight of the world. Continue Reading
A couple of weekends ago the good fellas at Corner Store Goods invited the AO team out to the illustrious Burn Rubber shoe store for their 1 year anniversary/Pop Up shop event. Hosted after-hours, the brand showed love to its folks, introducing some new pieces from their collection, ranging from tees to hoodies, just in time for the fall. The spirits were flowing, the mood was lovely, and the fellas behind the brand kept everybody in the loop.
I briefly spoke with the crew about the brand, with its origins coming from the owners all meeting up at MSU; two of them being brothers and growing from there as a collective after sharing a common idea. Through the love of the people, the line has already came far with their pieces going fast and of course them being housed in one of the most popular sneaker stores in Michigan, Burn Rubber. A tall feat indeed for only a year, the brand seems to not be losing any steam with theirs designs harping in between boldness in design patterns while maintaining a subtle look that’s perfect for every day wear. Continue Reading
I honestly had a long ass weekend. The festivities for me started in the middle of last week. It was like Wednesday was Friday, Thursday was Friday Plus and Friday was Super Friday. Or whatever. I’m sure you understand the idea.
Okay so I was in limbo for literally two weeks about going out. I live my life as a hermit so getting out of the house can sometimes be rare. I’m that friend that says I’m busy when I’m clipping my toenails in front of my computer screen. I’ll think about it literally translates into but I need a nap. We’ll see is another of way of saying I’ll probably forget and accidentally plan something less eventful in its place. Yeah, terrible but I’m becoming more sociable.
My first stop of the week was an event named Art Babes. Art and Babes, yes. Beautiful art and the creative women behind each piece. All flaunting and supporting each other. It was such a joyous event. Everyone came out for it even the lil babies. Everything (the art, refreshments, music) was provided by women and the ability to work together as a unit was represented quite well. Once all the adults left, aside from the beautifully aged couple ball rooming their hearts away, a party started. One I wasn’t expecting but appreciated soon after! Continue Reading
Holiday season is in full swing and I’m here to give you my ten favorite looks for all of your Christmas/ Chanukah/ Kwanzaa/ Festivus/Whatever party needs!
What would any holiday party outfit be without some glitter?
1.) Sweet Nothings Sequin Dress in gold $78 NastyGal.com
I have a sweet spot for anything rose gold, so when I saw this low-backed midi-dress, I instantly fell in love!
2.) Rare London All Over Sequin Jumpsuit with Cross Back $106 ASOS.com
I live for anytime I can have a jumpsuit moment. And this jumpsuit is the jumpsuit to end all jumpsuits. I feel like a major Bianca Jagger moment can be had in this, all you need is a horse to ride into a club on.
3.) ASOS Petite Night Premium Embellished Romper $81.50 from ASOS.com
Shout out to my friend Jenn for showing me this. at first, I had mixed feelings about it but I kept thinking about it. Now, I’m full-blown in love. Wear it with some nice black tights or if you’re from the Cardi B camp like I am, go bare-legged. Continue Reading
It’s that time of year again! Temps are getting chillier and nothing seems more appealing (to me at least) than a little Bae-cation. If you’re not familiar with a ~bae-cation~ it’s basically when you and #Bae snuggle up for the weekend and enjoy each other’s company. It’s best when it’s accompanied by a good movie, yummy food and wine. Now while this seems like to be my regular Friday night (#bae & me are lazy as hell), even I can admit that it gets a little boring from time to time. Then I thought, what can I do to make it more interesting? And before you think it’s something weird and sexual, it’s not. My momma reads this blog (Hey ma!). I’m talking about dressing up! The same ratty old sweats get really boooorring after wearing them for the fifth weekend in a row. Here are my top seven picks for my favorite #Bae-cation looks:
Gia Lace Teddy– $58 from NastyGal.com
Oh Gia, you pretty little thing. I love this shear romper for those night where you want to feel sexy but also comfy. I think #SexRompers are gonna have a major moment in the lingerie world and I am here for it.
2.) UO X RVCA Cozy Night Hoodie ($54) & UO X RVCA Soft Serve Short ($40) from Urban Outfitter
I really love 1. the fuzzy texture and 2. this lovely lavender color which you never seen in the pj department. And you can wear the hoodie out, it’s kinda like a 2-for-1 deal! Continue Reading
Okay so, this was a bit emotional for me. I mean, why wouldn’t it be for any young women who loves hip hop and knows how much of a legacy Missy Misdemeanor Elliot holds. Yes she has been featured on tracks within past few years but I’ve had excruciating withdrawals. This is her first single since 2008. TWO THOUSAND AND EIGHT. I wouldn’t call it a comeback because I know I’m not the only person checking for newness from Missy but this young 40 something is already dominating with this video and it’s only 2 days old!
This vibrant, futuristic video has all the classic fixings to where even the youngest hip hop head can vibe and relate to. Missy’s imagination shines bright in this video and Pharrell’s touch on the record is just the icing on cake. I mean DAMN. We’re glad to see you bringing heat. But what about this album? Which will be her 7th entitled Block Party; what am I getting myself into exactly. I’m on the edge of my seat from all the excitement. Lowkey, it’s been 10 years since The Cookbook dropped. 10 years later and I’m still trying to learn the full routine from Lose Control.