Wednesday, August 15, 2018

This Was Made By A Black Woman: Cortisha Patrick of Tudecor


I remember sitting at my first Philly Fashion Week and witnessing Tudecor. Of all of the brands I was seeing (and I was seeing some amazing Philly lines, yall.) one of the brands that stood out the most was Tudecor. The combination of unabashed femininity, urban edginess, and unashamed sexy grabbed my attention.

I remember how the pieces moved or clung to the body in strategic ways. I remember how the models moved, how they walked, how they posed. Tudecor showed strong, sexy women just being their strong and sexy selves and I have been a fan ever since.

This time on This Was Made By A Black Woman: Cortisha Patrick of Tudecor.

"Hello, My name is Cortisha Patrick and the name of my brand is Tudecor. My clothing line targets all women of different shapes and sizes. The only thing you have to do is be "clexy" (classy + sexy). I created a brand that is for the women who are classy but admires their curves and sexuality. I love to dress the women that walk into a room and without speaking Tudecor does the talking for her."

When asked how she became an entrepreneur, Cortisha says"After coming home from college I had no job and did not know my next move. I woke up at three o'clock in the morning and created a complete collection within thirty minutes. I contacted my father and told him I wanted to produce a show. One month later, on November 25, 2012, I had my first sold-out show. Then multiple stylists contacted me to pull for celebrities and I was contacted to do Philly Fashion Week. God revealed to me that I should use all of my gifts and no longer sit on them."

When asked how she arrived at the design space, Cortisha says "My father is actually a designer and so was his mother. Sadly she died when he was just three years old. I would recall being very young while sitting on my father's lap as he would sew. I would allow me to stitch straight seams at the age of eight. I would come to school dressed for the Met Gala. My principal would contact my mother and ask if she was aware of how glamorous I was. It was my expression. My mother always allowed me to express who I was through fashion. I would dress everyone around me and have fashion shows at school. I never thought to make clothing. I would call my father almost every day asking him to make me dresses. It was until God stripped me of nothing which made me realize that all I needed was within me...fashion.

Cortisha is a passionate creator who is dedicated to her craft and to her brand. "Tudecor is beyond just a brand it's a generational connection. Every piece serves a purpose and every collection has a story." 

While Cortisha may have fashion in her blood, but her heart is definitely with her community, as seen through her dedication to those in need. "A portion of every single item that I sell goes into my nonprofit organization that I started at Penn Medicine which is call Penn Medicine Outreach Program. Every two months I provide families with clothing and food, care packages to the army and help with different needs for freshmen college students. My brand is bigger than me. I do not speak too much about it because God can see my work. Furthermore, my favorite product from my brand is the outcome of my work."

I asked Cortisha what being Black Woman-owned brand meant to her, she had this to say "The words Black owned/ Woman-owned is music to my ears. (Let me repeat it for the people way in the back!) Black Owned/Women Owned. All I can do is scream! Yes, it makes me feel that good. It shows strength dignity poise and power. It shows that I am unstoppable. I represent and stand firmly for the next generation to come. I am the example for the children that we as black women can do more than the expected. We are the light and the force to be reckoned with. Black people especially black women we are the bomb.com."

You can snag your own Tudecor pieces here and show your support and stay up to date with the latest here.

Reclaimed Readables #WomanCrushWednesday

Happy happy hump day, loves! This week's #WomanCrushWednesday features 3 monochrome outfits to make Fall to Winter transition easy, how this successful CEO and Founder shuts down her inner critic, Halsey shows off her natural hair to remind us of her roots, 1st Somali-American state lawmaker is already making history and the woman could be Conn. 1st Black Democrat in Congress.

Man Repeller: 3 monochrome outfits to make Fall to Winter transition easy
Huff Post: Jahana Hayes could be Conn. 1st Black Democrat in Congress
Bolde: Independence is overrated
MyDomaine: How this successful CEO and Founder shuts down her inner critic
Byrdie: Halsey shows off her natural hair to remind us of her roots
BuzzFeed: The 1st Somali-American state lawmaker is already making history

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Virgil Abloh is Collabing with Nike for Serena Williams


There was just so much goodness in that title, I am doing a happy dance just thinking about it.

You read that right.

Virgil Abloh, the design force behind coolness embodied brand OFF WHITE and more recently, the newest lead designer on the Louis Vuitton team has teamed up with Nike to create an Off-White collaboration with muse being the GOAT herself, Serena Williams.

Nike officially announced Abloh's "Queen Collection" for the tennis great, who will debut the designs at the 50th edition tournament of the U.S. Open in New York at the end of this month.

Abloh tells Fashionista:
"What I love about tennis is the gracefulness. It's an aggressive and powerful game, but it takes touch and finesse," said Abloh in an official statement. "So the dress is feminine, but combines her aggression. It's partially revealing. It's asymmetrical. It has a sort of ballerina-esque silhouette to symbolize her grace. It's not about bells and whistles and tricks. It's just about it living on the body, and expressing Serena’s spirit with each swing of the racket."
The "Queen Collection" is full of Off-White signatures, like "Serena" in all-caps, quotes, and zip-tie tags, and ranges in price from $130 to $900. While the collection consists of a tennis dress (in both black and white) with a tule like skirt (inspired by ballet), a bomber jacket, and a bag, I am particularly excited about the glittery pair of NikeCourt Flare 2 sneakers and the limited-edition styles of Abloh's previous Nike collaboration The 10 which includes a Nike Air Max 97 and The 10: Nike Blazer Mid SW with gradient-colored soles.

While Serena is the muse, the Queen Collection is not just for her. The collection will be available at select Nike and NikeLab retailers, as well as Nike.com. 

Cue my happy dance.

Reclaimed Readables #TuesdayShoesDay

Happy Tuesday readers, and friends!

This week's #TuesdayShoesDay Readables feature over 20 slip-on sneakers, 20 lace-up leather sandals, the shoes that you can wear all year long, how a statement shoes can transform your whole outfit, 19 pairs of super comfy sock sneakers, and throwback shoe that is majorly resurging.

BuzzFeed: 19 pairs of super comfy sock sneakers 
Fashionista: Slip-on sneakers
Coveteur: The throwback shoe that is majorly resurging, how a statement shoes can transform your whole outfit
WhoWhatWear: 20 lace-up leather sandals, the shoes that you can wear all year long

Monday, August 13, 2018

When "Unite The Right" met the United Right

Yesterday, Unite the Right 2 was held in Washington D. C. For weeks, we had been hearing of the anticipated crowds of white supremacists that would be descending upon D.C. The city itself was in preparations as well, shutting down certain subways and mobilizing its police force. Businesses posted signs in rejection of the even, preparing to drive supremacists away. Even apps like AirBnb, Uber, and Lyft were we allowing their operators within the city limits to deny service to any white supremacists during the event.

"Unite the Right 2" wasn't just gathering in "honor" of last year's Charlottesville Tiki Torch, polo, and khaki pant clad protest of the removal of another Confederate statue. Like with most things in this nation's racial past, I consulted the voices of my elders, who reminded me that this upcoming march was not the first time white supremacists had been so bold as to parade themselves on D.C.'s streets. The last time white supremacists marched on the Nation's Capital on August 8th, 1925 may not be remembered by most, but it was a frightening display of terrorism affirmed by the country as 30,000 hooded men marched those same streets that our country's founding fathers and mothers had done.

Here we are, nearly 100 years since that brazen and gross act of visual terrorism, and Unite The Right's next march threatened to echo that event in number and in terror.

Last year's Charlottesville protest and the counter-protest the following day that led to violent clashes and the brutal murder of Heather Heyer left more of a mark on me than I initially cared to admit. With the generational ingrained terror and violence these groups have inflicted on my own community and others along with the knowledge of that 1925 march added to the violence and harassment inflicted on non-white groups as emboldened by the nations highest seat, I woke Sunday with a high sense of stress. I stayed away from social media for most of the day, fearing to see imagery that would etch its way into my heart the same way that the visuals from that 1925 rally and Charlottesville have implanted themselves.

Then I broke my social media guard and checked Twitter.






Turns out that the "highly anticipated Unite the Right was not only incredibly poorly attended, it was overwhelmed by thousands of counter-protestors. As the Atlantic Reports:
"In the end, though, only about two dozen ‘Unite the Right’ marchers ascended the escalator from the metro platform—all men, except for one bandana-clad woman. It was a dismal showing for a group who, only a few days before, had been expected to turn out in the hundreds. Both the 2017 ‘Unite the Right’ rally and this year’s were organized by Jason Kessler, a 34-year-old who identifies not as a white nationalist but as a “white civil-rights” leader. Kessler had set up Sunday’s event to keep the momentum going for the movement—but after last year’s tragedy, and the ensuing bad publicity, most alt-right groups chose to stay away.
It began to rain in earnest at 5 p.m., and the ‘Unite the Right’ protesters were ushered away quietly by their police escort. They paused to wait for one of their members, who had gotten caught, bewildered, in the throng of reporters. Across the square, behind the fence and the line of police horses, the counter-protesters didn’t even notice they had left."

Seeing this did something for my heart in ways only being there might have done better. It was a reminder that as loud and emboldened as some of those who have adopted or ingrained bigotry, misogyny, and racism, there are indeed more who will rise to not only meet but confront them. Seeing only a handful of white supremacists outnumbered even by the police officers that were assigned to protect them and completely overwhelmed by those who had come from around the corner and across the country to directly oppose their message, from various ethnicities, socio-economic backgrounds, educational backgrounds, ages, and life-stages, has warmed my heart and restored my own personal resolve that we, as a country united, can deal the final blow to supremacy of all kinds, and that we can truly begin to see each other not despite our differences, but in acceptance and in celebration of those differences. 

How symbolic that such a defeat to white supremacy would happen in the nation's capital, where Unite the Right was met by a United Right, right in morals and ethics and ideals of this great nation that we all claim to love; where those who would twist the narrative of civil rights were met by those who would seek rights for everyone regardless of orientation, identity, or ethnicity; that those who would withhold the promises made by the forefathers from everyone but themselves would be overtaken by those who truly believe in freedom and justice for all.

This is America.

Prayerfully, this is a sign of things to come. Keep resisting.