The Funk Boutique: Creating a Confident, Strong and Sustainable Impact

The Funk Boutique: Creating a Confident, Strong and Sustainable Impact

Celine by Hedi Slimane dress; Khiry earrings; stylist’s own gloves
Celine by Hedi Slimane dress; Khiry earrings; stylist’s own gloves
Photo: John Edmonds for W Magazine

Two things that connect us all: music and fashion. This May marks the release of W’s Music Issue, featuring none other than “Icy Girl” Saweetie, among its multiple covers. All personal drama aside, Miss Saweetie has had an amazing 2021. With the release of “Best Friend” featuring Doja Cat in January and her most recent drop “Fast (Motion)” which came out last Friday, she is stepping out of the shadows and making herself into a household name.

Though her recent breakup with Migos rapper Quavo exploded all over the news, Saweetie didn’t let that distract from her goal. As W reports, news of the split hit the internet as she entered the photoshoot, and she typed her breakup statement as she sat in the chair getting ready. Finishing up, she told writer Lynn Hirshberg, “I’ve learned that the world doesn’t stop for anybody,” as Zerina Akers (one of this year’s The Glow Up 50s Honorees) put the last touches.

Saweetie’s debut album, Pretty Bitch Music is set to drop late this summer and as she twirled in the mirror, looking at herself in one of her looks—a slinky Gucci dress—she said, “maybe I should wear my hair like this on the cover,” referring to her hair, styled in an elegant 1960s bouffant pageboy. Requesting that they turn up some Earth, Wind and Fire and the Supremes, she began serving all the looks.

And I mean, these are straight lewks. From the hot pink Valentino haute couture to a sequined Gucci dress with dramatic spaghetti straps that extend well below the décolletage to end in, yes, heart-shaped pasties. But could we expect anything less from the Queen of Ice, the Content Queen, the Icy Girl Herself? No. The other looks expertly styled by Akers include intricately draped pieces and one little Chanel romper that gives off high-fashion “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club” vibes—but in a really good way.

W’s Music Issue not only chronicles Saweetie and the trajectory of her career but also Bad Bunny, Megan Thee Stallion, Lucky Daye, Jazmine Sullivan, Davido, Rico Nasty and Akeem Smith.

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Books and Looks

Books and Looks

Nigerian designer Taofeek Abijako pulled his inspiration for his 2021 collection “Johnny Just Come” from his favorite books by the late Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe. No Longer at Ease and Chike and the River have prevalent themes centering around the “intersection of African tradition and modernity.” Abijako tells Vogue he connected with Achebe’s point of view and the coming-of-age stories he found himself resonating with. The silhouettes are “heavily inspired by West African traditional wear,” with sleek lines combined with utilitarian pieces. The bright and monochromatic pieces can mix, match and work together, playing on the designer’s boyhood memories.

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Lemlem and H&M

Lemlem and H&M

We love it when a good sustainable collaboration rhymes. The most recent H&M collaborations have been nothing short of amazing, from the Simone Rocha campaign to the DVF homeware collection, but it’s fantastic to see a sustainable Black brand coming in hot for the summer season. Supermodel Liya Kebede, founder and creative director of Lemlem creates beautiful summertime staples that are perfect for lounging on the beach or having dinner with friends in the city. “Because we created this beachwear collaboration together right in the midst of the pandemic, it was extra significant to all of us that the spirit of this collaboration and the collection be about a sense of joy, and a focus on what connects us,” Kebede tells Vogue.”

The collection includes caftans, swimwear, accessories, sundresses and matching sets all created with sustainable materials in Lemlem’s signature colors and patterns. The collection is now live online at H&M.

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Makeup and the Power of Self-Expression

Makeup and the Power of Self-Expression

Makeup has been a mode of expression for Black people for, well, ever, and five queer Nigerian artists—Uche Uba, Michael Kohh, Ashley Okoli, Ayopo Abriri and Ayo Lawson—use makeup as a way to walk the line between protest and self-expression. Speaking with Lagos-based writer Vincent Desmond for Allure, each artist explains how they use makeup differently but all agree on a central theme: while they posit that living in Nigeria as a queer Black person is “worse than living in hell,” they find they are truest to themselves in the makeup they wear. From the heat that makes it impossible for some to be in drag 24/7—where a few feel they are at their best—to bearing the criticism of wearing a full face as a man or woman, these artists hold their own and stick to their guns, making it possible for others to do the same.

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Eye Candy by Elisa

Eye Candy by Elisa

Elisa Johnson has one of those senses of style, the type that can switch up between baggy sweats and sexy sets and exude the same level of confidence. But the one accessory, day or night, that holds each look together are her enviable shades. She can pull off literally any shape—and now we can, too. Elisa Johnson (the brand) launched on May 10 offering five different shapes—Jane, Flynn, Gigi, Lyric and Bonnie—in a variety of neutral colors to match any outfit.

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Campbell’s Candid Stance on Equity in Fashion

Campbell’s Candid Stance on Equity in Fashion

The Queen of pandemic fashion and safety graces the cover of V’s Summer edition and as someone said (Editor’s note: Okay, it was me), gatdamn—Naomi Campbell is still doing the damn thing. As you can see, Campbell power poses in a Tom Ford bikini, Burberry coat and boots while dripping in Cartier—because, of course. The shoot with Mario Sorrenti is the first she’s done in New York since last year and the supermodel speaks with V about the “growing demand for diversity in fashion” and the work she is doing to create a future for Black models that is equitable.

April 14 marked the 35th anniversary of Campbell’s modeling career, and in a rare moment of vulnerability, she touches on how it’s a bit nerve-wracking to work with younger models in the industry. But her passion for equity in the fashion industry overrides any insecurities about the younger models who have recently emerged, many of whom she’s taken under her wing. She tells V that ownership in fashion is “not impossible,” as it has been seen in art and music. She closes the interview with a powerful statement: “If there is one thing that I do leave in this business, it’s that I would like to be a part of that change in making sure that these young ones have that.”

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Not a Good Look for Old Navy

Not a Good Look for Old Navy

Illustration for article titled The Funk Boutique: Creating a Confident, Strong and Sustainable Impact
Photo: Justin Sullivan (Getty Images)

I really want to know who decided that it was a good idea to start profiting off of Juneteenth. Old Navy recently hired the influencer agency Mavrck to reach out to talent and after sending an email out to 300 Black influencers, the campaign was met with major backlash. Not only did the email ask the influencers to pay for the campaign’s t-shirt, but offered a measly $425 for a post on their feed and three stories to Instagram. FashionUnited reports Mavrck released a statement saying they meant to send the email to two types of influencers—”macro and micro”—and apologized for their approach to the campaign.

But to be perfectly honest, the approach isn’t the only thing they should be apologizing for. Juneteenth is the celebration of the emancipation of slaves; asking Black people to pay into and receive a very small amount of money to help a white company profit is a lot backward. There are plenty of ways this “campaign” could have rolled out; unfortunately, Old Navy chose one of the worst ways to go about it.

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