The Funk Boutique: Great Style Knows No Boundaries

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Pose actor and activist Indya Moore, has just dropped a “gender-exclusive” collection with Tommy Hilfiger. Though Moore has been in the fashion industry since they were 15, this capsule collection is the first time they are branching into apparel. Moore stated they “jumped at the opportunity” to collaborate with Tommy and appreciated that they “wanted me because of who I am and how I show up.”

The Tommy x Indya collection is not only gender-nonconforming but size-inclusive, and while this is Moore’s first time designing, they wanted to ensure all of the clothes felt good to wear—physically, mentally and spiritually. One of the greatest challenges Moore met was actually finding ways to create the bigger sizes (the collection runs from XXS-3XL) and working around the “pre-set metrics” the factories already had in place.

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The capsule itself is stunning and the photos from the shoot expertly reflect Moore’s style and vision. The collection was shot in Moore’s native Bronx, N.Y. and editorial shots feature four other activists of their choosing—all of whom are fierce advocates for trans rights and justice. The styles and designs were all taken and inspired by previous Tommy looks, including the iconic “archive striped shirt,” satin basketball shorts with full volume legs that blur the lines of masculine and feminine silhouettes, an oversized polo shirt, a sailing jacket lined with more satin, tailored, pinstriped pants and other shoes and accessories. The collection also includes a zip-up with “BRONX” displayed across the chest in collegiate font as a nod to Moore’s hometown and a reminder of where it all began.

The collection is available on tommy.com and in select global retailers starting July 13.

August Is for Adut

Adut Akech is out here showing every. single. person. that Black women are beautiful. When her career took off five years ago, Akech could confidently say she had never in her wildest dreams expected to be where she is today. The 21-year-old model is now Elle’s August cover star and her beauty is electrifying, leaping off the page—and screen—and demanding your attention. Akech talks of her childhood and how the first seven years of her life were spent in refugee camps across Kenya and the transition between living in those conditions to becoming a model in Australia at 13.

Akech was recently named Esteé Lauder’s newest global brand ambassador, and stuns us in bold neon colors that pop off the page. She poses for some monochromatic shots—my favorite being a hot pink number on a similarly-hued magenta velvet chair. To die for. Her cover look is a sequined green sweater dress with purple sequined cuffs that could go very “Barney the Dinosaur,” but in reality is just so chic and timeless.

She’s Otherwordly

“I look at [Willow] and I go, maybe there is such a thing as galactic creatures that are from outer space, just in human skin,” Jada Pinkett Smith tells Nylon. “I don’t know. But if it is, she’s one of them. She is freaking otherworldly, man.”

Not only does her mother—and the rest of us—think she’s out of this world, but legacy luxe label Mugler does, too. The brand tapped Willow to be the face of its newest women’s scent, Alien Goddess, which is the brand’s first fragrance since its acquisition by L’Oréal in April 2020. Alien Goddess is the brand’s largest launch, targeted towards people under 25.

“To me, this fragrance is a manifesto. It urges us to be wholly ourselves, to brandish what makes us unique with pride. Beyond that, Alien Goddess gives us the strength to find the best within ourselves, whoever we are, in order to accomplish extraordinary things with a positive impact on the world and those around us,” said Willow Smith in a statement to Women’s Wear Daily.

Not only has Smith the face of the new fragrance, but she spoke to Nylon for its July cover shoot about her collaboration with pop-punk icons Avril Lavigne and Travis Barker on her upcoming album Lately, set to debut on July 16. Smith is channeling the inner pop-punk prestige she’s had within her since she was a child and is bringing all of those feelings and musical techniques back in her next drop.

Naomi x TB Summer

Y’all been paying attention to Naomi Campbell recently? The supermodel is not just a new mother—congrats, mama!—but is also the new face of Burberry’s TB Summer Monogram campaign. Naomi’s Instagram post announcing the campaign makes you go “huh?” because you have to do a double-take before realizing “oh my god, it’s her!”

Burberry’s CCO, Ricardo Tisci, wanted to embrace the “balance of [the brand’s] heritage with the importance of always evolving and looking forward.” The shoot was inspired by both the past and the present, embracing Naomi’s expertise and friendship with Tisci and melding it with a new-age photoshoot atop different architectural structures facing mirrored water-like surfaces.

The cobalt blue, slate grey, and—of course—monogrammed looks will be available on July 16.

That’s a Lot of LeBron

King James has officially partnered with Fortnite’s Icon Series ahead of the long-awaited release of Space Jam: A New Legacy and is now featured across the gaming platform to bring the Icon Series to a new level. The “LeBron James Outfit” is an amalgamation of all of his powerful personalities—including the lion and the crown—yet also includes more casual “pre-season” and “on-court” looks. James’s legacy is a big one, so being able to embody that legacy and turn it into an on-screen character—outfitted with the hottest sneakers, too—is pretty damn cool.

The Queen of Kings, Ruth E. Carter—who has designed costumes for kings such as T’Challa (Black Panther) and Akeem (Coming 2 America)—really understood the assignment. James’s IRL Fortnite fit includes a navy blue sports jacket decked out with different golden appliqués in the shape of a lion. The jacket tops a navy hoodie with gold strings and James paired it with, of course, a pair of shorts.

LeBron’s Fortnite IRL character joins the Icon universe on July 14 and Space Jam: A New Legacy hit theaters and HBO Max on July 16.

And the 2021 Gucci Changemakers Award Goes To...

In 2020, Gucci announced their first class of “Changemakers,” a group of students from HBCUs, fashion schools and community colleges who were pursuing careers in fashion. This year, over 450 students applied for the $20,000 scholarship and mentorship programs through Gucci, and 22 were chosen. In addition to the funding, the 22 selected students will participate in a 6-week long virtual summer program to learn about the different career paths in the fashion industry including education, marketing, design, tech, and work with all departments across Gucci North America.

This year, the brand has announced its partnership with Gucci North America Changemakers x CFDA Scholars by Design Program which offers one student—who identifies as a woman and is a person of color—a $20,000 one-year award. This year, the top award was presented to D’on Lauren Edwards of Savannah College of Art and Design.

The next round of applications for the program opens in Fall 2021.

Nordstrom Takes the Pledge

The 15 Percent Pledge, that is.

Nordstrom has just announced its partnership with the 15 Percent Pledge and has become the first major retailer to sign on with a 10-year contract. The pledge, which holds retailers accountable for supporting black-owned businesses, has announced that it will “increase its purchases and partnerships with Black-owned or founded retailers tenfold by the end of 2030,” according to Good Morning America.

From a statement by the 15 Percent Pledge: “Nordstrom has established new goals and benchmarks to help it become a more diverse, inclusive and anti-racist organization, and has made strides towards these goals through notable product launches and curations.”

We All Scream for “Smize Cream”

And no, it’s not an eye cream that will up our smize game tenfold.

Pre-pandemic time for Tyra Banks meant preparing for the opening of Modelland, a theme park in Santa Monica that is a combination of ANTM and Willy Wonka presented to you as if it were Disneyland.

But the global panorama had other ideas.

Though it did put her back a few steps, it didn’t deter Miss Banks for long. A few years ago, Banks trademarked “Smize Cream” and was originally thinking of opening the ice cream—yes, you read that right—shop in Modelland. However, with that being postponed, Banks had to get creative—and creative she got!

The incredibly zany-looking ice cream shop has an “indoor/outdoor” thing going for it in Santa Monica. The shop currently has seven flavors that will be shipped—on dry ice—to your door and feature a “smize surprise” at the bottom of each prepackaged container.

Tyra wrote the book on branding and marketing, and clearly, since she is able to sell out ice cream flavors I initially thought were eye-creams, she’s doing something right.