H&M

I haven’t shopped at H&M for about 5 years because they aren’t sustainable. Having heard that they burnt collections which didn’t sell I was pushed even further away from the brand. Fresh on the heels of this ‘Monkey’ jumper, I understand why people are calling for this boycott but what I really hope is that you follow through. Don’t spend your money there until real change comes – that includes representation at all levels because I’m pretty sure this ‘Monkey’ jumper wouldn’t have got past a POC executive and if it did – shame on you. If you think we are being sensitive, you don’t know your history and need to read up.

Black kids have been characterised as animals for centuries – monkeys in particular. It’s how they justified European/American human zoos from the late 1800s to late 1900s. For a nice day out people went to watch Black people (search Ota Benga) who were on display, usually forced to live behind gates and in cages similar to animals in a zoo today.

Ota Benga was a Congolese man, a Mbuti pygmy known for being featured in an anthropology exhibit at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1904, and in a human zoo exhibit in 1906 at the Bronx Zoo. Did H&M think adding the word ‘coolest’ would get the jumper the nod from black Twitter or something? There wasn’t even an image of a monkey on the jumper so SMH and FOH together. Like I said, boycotts are great if you don’t cave the minute you need to make a quick purchase. Read more about the outrage here.

10 POC Artists you should get to know

I will always remember visiting Pantheon – Basilica di Santa Maria ad Martyres in Rome, Italy, (a former Roman temple, now a church on the site of an earlier temple) and seeing this stunning painting earlier this year. I was surprised at how emotional I felt seeing the two black women in the painting at the back. It made me think about artists of colour and how I would have loved to see more of this kind of work growing up in Cambridge. So here is a post featuring POC artists you might want to be aware of, if inspired-diversity floats your boat.

Harmonia Rosales

Based in Chicago, artist Harmonia Rosales’ inspiration arises from living life as a woman of colour. She describes her art as being born out of “a combination of my love for history, thirst for endless new knowledge, and dedication to social action.” I have been following her work online for a while (@Honeiee), falling in love with her incredible reimagining of the classic Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam. To keep up with updates, you can subscribe to her mailing list at harmoniarosales.com. I posted about her here.

Jurell Cayetano

Painter @turnjurell wows with post-impressionist portraits. Working with gouache and colored pencil, fine artist Jurell Cayetano creates post-impressionist style portraits that delightfully employ elements of synthetism and cloisonnism (a style of post-Impressionist painting with bold and flat forms separated by dark contours) techniques. Read more…

Thanksgiving

I read an article today which said, “You probably don’t come close to realizing the degree to which indigenous people suffered and sacrificed so that America could be what it is today. Even if you’re well meaning, you’re probably not as grateful as you should be.” There are some great articles out today on MIC and TruthDig (by @Chelsey.Luger) on acknowledging the indigenous sacrifice this season and Teen Vogue just posted a powerful video, below, that’s worth watching. Read more…

DTMH

DTMH. For those who do not know, Solange’s hairstyle for the Evening Standard editorial was a symbolic, culture-rich style. My beautiful friend @Shingai is known to regularly rock similarly threaded ornate styles when she performs. This hairstyle is symbolic, rich in culture and hella offensive to be edited out. Even the journalist who wrote the accompanying article and photographer who captured the original image have condemned the magazine’s edit. Read more…

Cicley Tyson on ELLE

As if she weren’t already legendary enough, actress Cicely Tyson just landed a magazine cover at the age of 92. The actress, who recently presented alongside Anika Noni Rose at the Emmys, is one of Elle’s picks for this year’s Women in Hollywood Issue, and her cover is gorgeous. The annual list, which celebrates a number of Hollywood’s trailblazing females, prompted the reveal of seven different cover versions created by the publication. It seems like Tyson’s might be the most popular.At 92, Tyson is officially the second-oldest woman to grace the cover of a magazine — fashion guru Iris Apfel was a cover girl at 93.

ELLE Magazine deserves all the praise for honouring this absolute legend Cicely Tyson. I’m not sure why some people are upset that her cover is in black and white, for me it makes this legend stand out even more. No distractions, just her power. How many times have you seen an icon (over the age of 90) looking so amazing and powerful on a magazine cover?  @ElleUSA || Photo by @TerryTsiolis, styled by @SamiraNasr.

How to tie a headwrap – Part 3

Here is my third headwrap tutorial video – this time featuring a little prop, my AWE Inspired Classic Diamond Awe Medallion’.

Watch the videos here, you can slide right to watch the full video which is broken to 3 parts but clicking on the left and right arrow on the Instagram post below – enjoy! Also clear here to watch the tutorial and read below… Read more…

How to tie a headwrap – Part 2
Here is my second headscarf tutorial video, as requested by my Instagram followers…

I tie this style for drama and ease – all your hair away from your face and a pretty cool statement. If this headband tutorial is easy to follow then I’ll keep going, so let me know in the comments please. If you have a favourite style you would like me to recreate, comment under the pic (browse #SamatasHeadwrap on Instagram to see them). This gorgeous headscarf is from  luxury British fashion house Lily and Lionel, I actually met the founder at Tom Dixon  dinner last year – she is incredible and talented so do take a look at what the brand creates by clicking in the link about my look here.

Read more…