Your guide to Philly's diverse creative scene, nightlife, music, food & more
What an amazing event! I could end the story right there, but I won't. Let me explain further. CYL Creative Group in association with A Good Story, Cool Mentality and The McKenzie Estate celebrated the re-release of Reebook's Shaq Attaq sneakers back in April at the Grilled Cheese Steak Party sponsored by Reebok, Famjuice, Hot 107.9, UBIQ and Slingshox.
UBIQ was filled to the max with nothingbut dope people for a dope event. The first 50 attendees received swag bags that included limited edition SlingShox and DNTN, a Philadelphia-based apparel company, Branded band which allow recipients to customize their G-Shock watches. A live art painting by Don Scott, creative director of DNTN Brand Apparel, of Swizz Beats and The Reebok Shaq Attacks was done on site.
Hip-hop music blasting in one room, a competitive NBA 2k13 tounanament sponsored by Mitchell & Ness, in another. Both floors were fun and full of festivities and did I mention the food? Good eats were provided by Lord of the Kitchen Cupboard. Amongst other items attendees snacked on Grilled Cheese Steak bites keeping with the theme of the event. Complimentary beverages were flowing courtesy of the good folks over at Famjuice. Philly definitely showed up and showed out.
Kristin has made a name for herself in the Philly creative scene since she first entered it as a graphic designer. She transitioned into fashion when she turned her passion for graphic design into a socially conscious graphic T-shirt line. Since then, Kristin launched her contemporary, ready-to-wear line Strangefruit in 2006. You may have also seen Kristin making it work as a designer on Project Runway.
Her newest venture is a production space she's opened in the Germantown area.
Get to know this fashionista and see Philly through her eyes. To check out her full Philly 360° profile, go here.
I recently caught up with designer, blogger and entrepreneur, Jeanine Hays of AphroChic. It’s always inspiring to see another woman living up to all of her creative potential and living the life she wants to live. As I found out more about her, I was intrigued and wanted to know more. I asked her a few questions to introduce you all to this creative super woman–Jeanine Hays.
Flygirrl: Who is Jeanine Hays, and what do you do?
Jeanine Hays: I am the creative director and co-founder of AphroChic. I work with my husband, Bryan Mason, who is the other half of our husband-and-wife team. Together we write the blog, design products, and create a lifestyle brand dedicated to proving that the cultural and the contemporary can and do work together in modern design. We want to provide women of color with quality options when looking for décor that speaks to their cultural heritage and inspire everyone to create spaces that tell their story.
Flygirrl: What is AphroChic?
JH: AphroChic is a lifestyle brand, and there are several different pieces that go into creating the overall aesthetic that the brand follows. We started in 2007 as a blog. I was working as a policy attorney in San Francisco and Bryan was pursuing a PhD at UC Berkeley. At the time we were simply aware of a gap in the conversation on modern design with regard to women of color and wanted to do something to fill it. We quickly realized that that gap in the conversation was also a gap in the market, and we decided to do something about that. AphroChic became a home decor company in 2009 when we launched our first collection of pillows. Since then we've expanded into table linens, shower curtains, and wallpaper.
We also do a lot of writing and expert work online. I am contributor to HGTV.com, and the DIYNetwork.com among others. This Fall, the AphroChic brand will take on a new incarnation with the release of our first design book, Remix: Decorating with Culture, Objects, and Soul, that will be published by Clarkson Potter. The book takes everything that we've been saying with blog posts, articles, and products and brings it together in an introduction to AphroChic style that combines history and global textile traditions with the best of contemporary design.
Flygirrl: Where did you find the courage to step out on your own?
JH: AphroChic has grown very organically, and so when the time came to step away from the law and focus on the business full-time, it was less of a leap and more just the next logical step. Bryan and I were living in California when we launched our first collection. Before we moved back to Philadelphia, we had reached the point where it felt as though we both had two full time jobs. We would work 9-5 at being a lawyer and a student, then come home and work until two in the morning on AphroChic. We were really encouraged by the reaction that our designs received from the design and blog community in the early years. It helped us to gain our confidence as designers and realize that we had a unique voice to share in the world of design. Upon our return to Philly in 2010, we committed ourselves to working on AphroChic full time, and it has been one incredible journey.
Flygirrl: Where are your secret gem locations to get inspired in Philly?
JH: I love the Philadelphia art and design scene. One of my favorite things about this city are all of the independently owned boutiques and galleries that can be easily explored. As an Old City resident, I love to pop into my favorite design stores on 3rd Street. Millesime is my favorite place for exploring the latest in European design. ReMod Gallery has an extensive collection of Mid-Century Modern pieces that are a must-see. I love to visit the Jonathan Adler store for design inspiration. We are lucky to have one of the largest showrooms here in Philly! On 2nd Street, Gallery51 is a favorite of mine for their unique cultural exhibits and collection of global rugs. HOME on East Passyunk is also a favorite shop. They offer cool furniture and accessories from DwellStudio and Ferm Living - two of my favorite design shops.
Flygirrl: What advice would you give to other creative people looking to step out on their own?
JH: Don't be afraid to start small. It doesn't have to come all at once. Design became my creative outlet when I was in law school and my days were filled with contracts and torts, but it never would have become anything more than that if I didn't make the small decision to start a blog. My second piece of advice would be to plan. Plan everything as much as you can, but do it knowing that putting things into action will require you to be flexible. Finally, and most importantly, do what you love. Owning a small business is full of ups and downs and there will be days when your love of what you do will keep you afloat. Being an entrepreneur is truly a labor of love. And when you love what you do, it shines through in your work as a designer.
Flygirrl: Where can people find out more about you and to stay connected?
Insider Tip: And this month Philadelphia design enthusiasts can follow my pins on the Visit Philly's Guest Pinner Board
Philly 360 Creative Ambassador Florcy Morisset has done it again. This time, Florcy has partnered with well-known art curator and journalist Souleo to present Art Enology - a celebration of all things art, and all things wine.
Opening this weekend, this groundbreaking exhibition will include paintings, photography, new media, sculpture, and mixed media - all inspired by wine or created from recycled bottles. Vivant has put together a stellar line-up of events to complement this show, including wine tastings, poetry readings and plenty of opportunity to mix and mingle with the artists. You might even be inspired to buy a piece for your personal collection.
So, comeout, celebrate Philly's own and enjoy some of the best wine and art that our town has to offer!
April 26 - May 6
Vivant Art Collection
60 N. 2nd. Street
30th Street Station has a brand new visitor, and he's about 16 feet tall! Yesterday, bloggers, media and travelers gathered for the unveiling of COMPANION (Passing Through). Amtrak teamed up with The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) to bring the sculpture to 30th Street Station until May 14 as a preview to the KAWS installation at PAFA in October of this year.
The artist known as KAWS is based in Brooklyn and cited being able to hop on the train and see his artwork as one of the most rewarding parts of the day. He is most famously known for revamping characters in popular culture including Mickey Mouse, the Smurfs, and the Simpsons.
KAWS’ low key nature was apparent when he spoke at the opening ceremony. He even explained that he feels all of us can relate to the character in one way or another, the feeling of being a bit overwhelmed as COMPANION is seen shielding his eyes.
KAWS is well known for his collectors’ item toys, apparel and other products. Beginning his career as a graffiti artist, he has really played with the worlds of both fine and contemporary art. His characters represent an anti-corporate culture that has still been embraced by the major companies speaking to his ability to bridge the gap.
His work will be the start of PAFA’s Sculpture Plinth Exhibition Program. In this program attention grabbing sculptures will be placed in the facade of PAFA’s building on North Broad Street. His work will also be featured in the galleries to show the correlation between historic pieces and his contemporary work.
For more information visit: PAFA.org/KAWS
From longstanding shops, to national staples to local brands, Philadelphia has it all in regard to men’s fashion. We all know that most men like a quick and easy shopping experience, so here’s a little help to get you started!
In order to take a look at some of the great men’s stores in Philadelphia, I solicited a little help from Sabir Peele the founder and creative director for mensstylepro.com. Sabir was the fan favorite in the Best Dressed Real Man Contest for Esquire Magazine and was one of the 5 finalists in the 2010 contest.
Sabir took a moment to let us in on some of the most important things he looks for in his shopping experience.
● Sales people that are experts in regard to the products in their store.
● Friendly atmosphere.
● The ability to interact with salespeople and interject my ideas in the shopping experience.
● I love a place that I can go into and not feel overwhelmed by sales people; rather they are available when needed.
● I love shops that do specialty events for the patrons.
I also had the opportunity to get a little insight on some of Sabir’s favorite places to shop in the City of Brotherly Love. Check out his list below!
1617 Walnut Street
1601 Walnut Street 1007
1625 Chestnut Street
Below are a few great picks from Men’s Shopping Made Easy!
62 N. 3rd Street
Like Don Draper’s closet (if Don Draper’s dapper period had lasted for a couple of centuries), this well-outfitted vintage shop sells the finest in men’s fashions, dating from the 1960s back to the 1800s. Find hand-knit varsity sweaters, classic bowler hats, mint-condition oxford shoes, impeccable bow ties and traditional suiting that guys have gone for forever.
1615 E. Passyunk Avenue
Ben Sherman, Fred Perry, Scotch & Soda and Report Collection are among the fast-moving brands at this youthful retail closet, one of the anchors of South Philly’s trendy East Passyunk neighborhood. Owner Tom Longo stocks everything from brightly striped business socks to soft-washed Phillies T-shirts, bright bathing trunks to plaid golf umbrellas.
1201 Chestnut Street
Founded more than a century ago as a sporting goods store, this indie shop turned into an international powerhouse after its former owner convinced the estates of Babe Ruth and his contemporaries to allow reproduction and sale of their uniform jerseys. Soon, MTV caught on, and the shop’s pro baseball, then basketball, football and ice hockey shirts were showing up in pop videos and hip-hop lyrics. Today, having a jersey, cap or warm-up jacket re-issued here is a sign of athletic dominance. In 2007, the company became a very cool subsidiary of Adidas—but their flagship store still calls Philly home.
1509 Walnut Street and The Gallery, 10th & Market Streets
To say that Ubiq stocks new and vintage sneaks—by Nike, Vans, Reebok, Converse, Adidas, Asics—and caps—Benny Gold, New Era, Brixton—plus endless Ts and hoodies is to vastly undersell this streetwear merchant. Ubiq’s Walnut Street location occupies a rambling old brownstone where retro Casio G-Shock and Kr3w watches, striped Stance socks and artful Original Fake T-shirts are displayed like wearable, collectable, limited-edition, often vintage-inspired works of art. Among them: the store’s own line of apparel and kicks.
We took multiplatinum-selling and GRAMMY-nominated songwriters/producers Carvin & Ivan out to a few of their favorite spots in Philly, including Distante and UBIQ for some threads and sneaks.
We've been running a contest for the past few weeks to give away a pair of legendary skateboarder Chuck Treece's limited edition Nike SB Dunk McRads. Don't miss your chance to win them! Plus, Chuck is throwing in a t-shirt for the winner.
Enter for a chance to win here. Plus, we caught up with the skateboarder. Make sure you check out our exclusive Q&A with him while you're entering the contest. Good luck!
This week, I caught up with one of our city's busiest creative business women - Philly 360° Creative Ambassador Syreeta Scott. She is the owner of one of the most successful natural haircare salons in the country, Duafe Holistic Hair Care. With an impressive list of clients that include notable celebs like Jill Scott, Bill Cosby, Questlove and Smokie Robinson, Syreeta works tirelessly around the clock as she continues to build her empire. But, always mindful of her Philly roots and humble beginnings, she's one shining star that's never too busy take a moment to help other budding creatives to set and obtain their own dreams.
On March 30, Syreeta will host her third PS with Syreeta: Vision Mapping Workshop where she will walk a group emerging entrepreneurs, business-owners, artists and other creative-types through the steps they can take to mirror the success she's had in her own life. So, take a moment a moment to check out our exclusive interview with Syreeta, as she gives us the scoop on her recent trip to Paris styling hair for a certain international music icon, her favorite Philly hot-spot and the upcoming workshop.
Satuday, March 30
Pennsylvania Convention Center
1101 Arch Street
James: So, you’ve just returned from Paris styling the hair of a certain international superstar - give us the scoop?
Syreeta: Well, I started doing Janet Jackson’s hair, which is very exciting! And, the first time I styled her hair I was singing Principal Pleasure all the way through it. (laughs) This will would be my third time servicing her and it’s wonderful to be around that level of creativity. I’m so grateful to have the experience.
James: You must travel tons for your clients, what’s your favorite part about returning home to Philly
Syreeta: What I love most about coming home to Philadelphia is the familiarity. To be able to come home and see the people I know and love. Also, to experience the phenomenal restaurants - you know all of those small little “in the cut” places? And, I especially love the creative energy here in Philly. We’re known for our music, and there are so many wonderful creative opportunities at our reach.
James: So, as a Creative Ambassador and international tastemaker - tell us one Philly restaurant, artist, or event that you are super jazzed about?
Syreeta: You know I love North Third! It’s a small little quaint place with an interesting and amazing aesthetic, and the food is always consistently good. I’ve enjoyed North Third for years. The restaurant is divided into two sections, and one side will be playing old school hip hop and the other side will be playing Santo Gold, or maybe even some good rock music. Also, you never know who is going to walk in - it’s a little secret treasure.
James: Well the secret is out now! lol Ok, from Janet Jackson to Jill Scott, Bill Cosby and seemingly everyone in between, you’ve worked with some of the biggest names in the industry. Was that part of your original vision for yourself and Duafe?
Syreeta: It was a part of my vision to make sure natural hair was something that brought women comfort and that they walk confident in their natural selves. So, yes definitely. I really thank God for that whole neo-soul space and time, because when I started this I was just at the right place at the right time.
James: Tell us about your Visioning Workshop on March 30th - what can people expect?
Syreeta: Well, I am a firm believer that you can design your life. And, that it’s the little, well not really little - it’s the MAGNIFICENT tools that I been able to use over the years of being in business and throughout my life to create these amazing experiences - like traveling to Paris, doing hair for the Nobel Peace Prize, The Kennedy Honors, Smokie Robinson and owning a successful business for over ten years. You know all of those things? There were some extremely challenging times, but what helped me stay focused and move forward was my vision mapping.
And, when you find something that has brought such absolute success to you, it’s selfish to keep it to yourself. So, once I figured it out for myself, I decided that I had to share it with others. So, this will be my third workshop - the first two classes sold out! And, what a phenomenal opportunity! What I’ve found out is that when you are in purpose and passion for what God has for you, the doors just open up. You have to trust that voice, vision and spirit and just get out of the way. That’s what a lot of this is all about.
James: Great! Okay without giving away the full Vision Mapping scoop - can you give the Philly 360 audience one top tip for success?
Syreeta: Hmm, one top tip for success is... Honestly, it’s about forgetting everything you thought you knew and allowing yourself to be open for all new experiences. A large part of my success is about recreating from holes. Forgetting about the things that didn’t matter, or that didn’t suit me well and the things that didn’t help me to move forward. Getting over any barrier is always about not focusing on the problem, but honing in on the solution. And, it’s uncomfortable, but there is always success at the end!
Sneakers, fashion and music have always intersected, from the signature Adidas Run DMC made synonymous with their brand to the highly coveted Air Yeezys of Kanye West. The music industry is full of “sneaker heads” from artists to executives.
This Saturday, March 23 from 5-7 p.m., Villa will host The Sneaker Game 101: an in-store panel discussion featuring actress and First Lady of G.O.O.D. Music Teyana Taylor, producer Jahlil Beats and the legendary DJ Clark Kent.
Attendees will be able to take part in an engaging discussion that will focus on sneaker culture and will be moderated by Billy Abstract of The Coalition.
The first 100 ladies in line for the event will also have the chance to win one special limited Teyana Taylor Adidas HARLEM GLC Kit, (which includes the shoes). This commemorative kit will be raffled off at the event. Sorry fellas, only the ladies are eligible to win.
The event is presented by The Coalition (VILLA x Billy Abstract x Curran J x Chill Moody x Beano) and Adidas.
Saturday, March 23
1231 N. Broad St.