Convos on Fashion over Apricot Wheels with Bree Gant

Shortly after the release of the Detroit Clothing Circle & Rock City Lookbook collab of pictorial greatness I was able to meet with the lead photographer and editor, Bree Gant, to speak more about the mag itself. The magazine consists of 3 different shoots from spring, summer, and winter of last year. The images in the magazine are so well put together that when Bree told me that I was in awe. The models are fashion and art enthusiasts wearing pieces from Detroit Clothing Circle, which is a high-end thrift store if you will, who also promotes local designers. There are a couple of garments from Serch-n-Destroy and Skandoughless featured as well. 

The more and Bree and myself spoke about Detroit's potential as a fashion realm, the more hopeful I grew. While the city already has a look, per say, young creatives feel the need to put a stamp on fashion with their own flavor. "Our mission is bringing artist together, really being a cornerstone of the tastemaking and art making scene in Detroit. Being a hub for that." Bree explains. "We want to cultivate influences and artist of actual Detroit". With both brands fueling a push distinctiviness, there's plenty to look forward to from Detroit Clthing Circle & Rock City Lookbook such as summer events as well as a fashion talk series.

Below are a few exclusives photos that Bree took this year. With her permission, of course, I'm more than happy to release these images (honored actually). She wishes to do more editorial shooting and from the looks of everything, she will. Soon.

Pictures Worth a Thousand Words: Bree Gant

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

Contrary to your Beliefs. The Art of not Conforming: The Whlgn

From mere observation The Whlgn, pronounced Hōo-Li-Gen, is now becoming a household name among people all ages in inner cities around the country. NY, Philly, LA and of course where it all started, here in Detroit (just to name a few). This group of twenty-somethings is the epitome of a walking one-stop shop. Photography, carpentry, graphic design, and so much more. Each Whlgn has their own mission for their hometown and their own gifts that set them apart from one another. Which is both inspiring and admirable.

Check out a small description of the fellow Whlgns below.

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Antonio Robinson, or better known as Tony Whlgn, grew up on the Eastside of Detroit and is a firm believer of not conforming to society’s standards and is proud of being a product of his environment. In a positive light, of course. The Whlgn was founded in 2009 and since then they’ve invited other like-minded people to follow their dreams to the fullest and eventually be their own boss. The key is to stay true to yourself and to never doubt your potential. Shortly after, he dropped out of school and began to brand himself and pursuer what he desires. Now, being in New York for 4 years, he has solidified his name as an artist. He was able to  work and elevate individuals who, undeniably, love what they do! Whether it’s in the fashion world or something music related. Slowly but surely Tony is helping reshape his environment and is inspiring others do be better by being a genuine example.

I believe in the concept of thinking, with no box, because I believe anything is possible.

Check out the many projects he has been apart of at Tonywhlgn.com


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In 2009 Philly native Rynear Smith came to Detroit to attend the College of Creative Studies and that’s actually when he met the rest of The Whlgns. While in school he was majoring  in Transportation Design, completed a year, went to study Diagnosis for automobiles at Wyotech and received his diploma! Good shit! He’s now building a brand called Details by Naj (which includes auto repair, auto consultations, and home renovations) and is also working on a custom furniture business. Yeah, this guy builds shit and is now helping build-up his city with exquisite architecture. Despite working at what may have been a dream job and the Nissan Dealership prior to his current career he has found a passion in what he does an it shows through his work!


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Marie Streety is the Color Theorist for The Whlgn’s as well as the creative mind behind the Detroit bound cosmetic line, Hometown Hues; Which is vegan, Halal and handmade. Yes, you’ve read that correctly, she makes every lipstick and eyeshadow by hand. The growing line is inspired by the city itself with lipsticks such as The Spirit of Detroit (a lovely teal with gold flakes) and Motorcity oil (a rich bold black). To see the true hues of home visit the site here! Continue Reading

MYLES HI | VICES

Recently I’ve found myself ear hooked on the very cool and calm Myles Hi and his Vices album. If you’re into weed, women and everything in between (pun, no pun?) then Vices will do you justice. When I first grabbed a listen it reminded me of The Cool Kids minus the bold, sort of simple, beats and verses from Sir Mickey Rocks. A Chuck English kind of feel (y’all knew where I was going with this). The beats ARE rather complex but it compliments well with Myles smooth flow. And if you’re not familiar he’s also a well known photographer. This is an example of transitioning music into yourself lifestyle without milking it and becoming a cornball with hopes to merely “make it”. Good shit.

While he produced most of his music you’ll hear sounds from T-Deezy, Loud Lord and Don Joh.

JOHNNY NOODLE KING

There’s always a backstory…

The first time I had pho was in New York last October. Because I was an anime head I was always envious of the cartoon’s delicious foods. Especially the steamy veggie filled, silky beef lookin’, broth-y, seemingly infinite noodle bowl. PHO. Nigga, Goku would smash them shits every time he came home to ChiChi. It was probably just plain old ramen but shit, it looked luxurious to me.

Anyway…

My favorite foodie John (@JHNANDRADWMS) went to a restaurant named Johnny Noodle King on Fort street in Detroit. When I heard there was Pho available I imagined more than a couple of bowls but nah, I was wrong. Continue Reading