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Industry Flashback: Luella for Target Go International

17 Jan

Remember when designer-high street retailer collabs were still new and exciting? When Karl and Stella signed up for one-off collections for H&M? Ahh, the memories…  Well,  news of Jason Wu’s collection for Target and whispers of Celine (gasp!) doing a possible mass retail capsule line had us thinking wistfully about the Luella for Target collection released in 2006. Luella Bartley’s version of girly, cheeky punk penetrated her entire collection for Target, and although the clothes skewed a bit young (as do almost all of their designer collabs), it was still interesting to digest and the accessories were just plain fun. To be perfectly honest, we have luxe/mass retailer collab fatigue at this point and often find that while the pieces produced in these collections may look good on our laptops, upon closer inspection in the store, the cut-rate fabrics and construction leave much to be desired. These cute-as-a-button accessories from  Luella X Target remind us of the halcyon days before these mashups became just another spoke in the brand-building wheel of a designer’s career.

Luella for Target iPod Case, 2006


Luella for Target Tote, 2006



The Industry: Africa Fashion Guide

10 Jan

Labels like Suno and LemLem have been instrumental in placing the aesthetic of the African continent firmly on the radar. Soon, a new website will serve as the link between the fashion industry in the UK and EU and African fashion designers and textile producers. Founded by fashion designer Jacqueline Shaw, Africa Fashion Guide’s new website launches this week and will serve as a business platform to promote the work of designers across the continent. Shaw has also written a book profiling the work of Africa’s most talented designers, called Fashion Africa: a Visual Overview of Contemporary African Fashion, which we are adding to our must-read list. You can purchase the book here and keep an eye out this week for the launch of the website.

The Industry: Jamie Summers for Lurve Issue #5

5 Jan


Living in “the country” isn’t really our cup of tea, but we seriously love the idea of  editorials shot in the middle of nowhere. The new issue of Lurve features a story with model Jamie Summers (IMG London) shot by Fabien Kruszelnicki and styled by Nell Kalonji. Looks include pieces by Jean-Paul Gaultier, Carven and Meadham Kirchhoff.  Needless to say, we hope to see much more of Jamie at the collections next month.









The Industry: Itaysha Jordan Interview

20 Dec

Just as we are obsessed with the tangible objects produced by the fashion and beauty industry, we are equally enthralled by the ever-important talent behind the scenes. One artist we have been tracking is New York-based fashion photographer Itaysha Jordan. With a client roster that includes Rolling Stone, the Vogue Italia blog, Carol’s Daughter and Bill Blass, Jordan has definitely carved out a path for herself in an industry in which there are no overnight success stories. Her photos of Sessilee Lopez and Arlenis Sosa are among the strongest images of the models around. Jordan took a moment out of her busy schedule to chat with us via email about her work, her influences and to offer some salient advice about breaking into the fashion image-making business.

The Black Market: Tell us how you got your start in the industry.

Itaysha Jordan: I moved to New York from Boston in 2005 and began building my portfolio by setting up appointments with model agencies and collaborating with various makeup, hair and wardrobe teams. I’ve also been blessed with many mentors.

TBM:  What do you think are the elements that make a successful and compelling fashion photo editorial? 

IJ: 1st and foremost, a clear idea concept; secondly, the team/tools to execute the vision; and thirdly, the synergy to bring it to fruition.

Itaysha Jordan

TBM: What photographers, artists and other image-makers influence your work? 

IJ: I get asked this question quite often, and can’t pinpoint any 1 artist that I am influenced by – there are a number of variables. I refer to this as “Collage” – a mixture of fine art/artists, history, pop culture, languages and the power of women. Photography-wise, I really love street shooters, those that capture moments in time without obviously posing their subjects. This is more so an innate gift vs skill.

This is a quote I love:

”There is a creative fraction of a second when you are taking a picture. Your eye must see a composition or an expression that life itself offers you, and you must know with intuition when to click the camera. That is the moment the photographer is creative. Oop! The Moment! Once you miss it, it is gone forever.”- Henri Cartier-Bresson

Most recently I came across the work of Vivian Maier – ( )An AMAZING street photographer who was based in Chicago and shot from the 1950’s through the 90’s. Her work was discovered after her death. She is definitely an inspiration.

Misty Copeland by Itaysha Jordan for Essence Magazine

TBM: Can you give us your take on the lack of minorities in the upper echelons of the fashion industry? 

IJ: This is an on going topic in my circle. I will attempt to summarize my view which is constantly developing: I believe that if you’re good, you’re good. Most good work is eventually noticed. Quite frankly, I think there is an abundance of mediocrity out there – a lot of rushing and overnight artisans that I just don’t think have the skill level, YET. Its so much deeper than calling yourself a “celebrity” such n such, as a way to command respect. For longevity, it takes time to get to the so called ‘top’. Look at the current top teams; most have been working since the 80’s/90’s that’s 20 to 30 yrs. Irving penn was practically 100 yrs old when he died.

I’m not oblivious to the fact that there is room for more minorities in the upper echelons of the fashion industry, but simply saying why not do your own thing if they aren’t listening? I would also challenge those that have made it regardless of color to reach out and pull up another… mentor!

On another note, I abhor being categorized by my race in relation to photography (because its about the talent) although I do realize that its rare and this is why my work stands out. Its also my theory, that there is still a market that is not being served. An international market of “minorities” that loves luxury items and service, yet  may not make 100k+ per year but doesn’t consider themselves “Urban” this market wishes to see their likeness in advertisements & editorials in  a modern way.

What I am doing is carving my own lane. I believe I am that bridge >>> the connector to the locked gates of the “top” and can serve this developing market.  I will no longer rely or wish to break into “the cool club”. I will just continue to work harder and increase the quality of my work.  The industry is much too over saturated and filled with politics. Anyway, isn’t it ultimately about who you know? 🙂

Sessilee Lopez by Itaysha Jordan

TBM:  What advice would you give to aspiring fashion photographers to help them build a solid career? 

IJ: I would advise aspiring fashion photographers to study both master photographers and the masters in fashion design. Understand how garments work on the human body – the construction and beauty just as much as how to properly expose an image. Lastly, take a business course!

Please follow Itaysha on these networks:



Twitter: @ItayshaPhoto


Arlenis Sosa by Itaysha Jordan

The Industry: LeBron James’ New Menswear Boutique

14 Dec

Exterior of Unknwn Boutique in Miami

When we first heard whisperings that LeBron James is opening a high-end menswear boutique in Miami, we admit to just a little bit of snickering. “What the?” But when we saw the list of labels he and his team plan to stock the shelves with, we stopped laughing and started thinking about booking a ticket to South Beach for a close-up look of our own. Called Unknwn, the store opens on Friday  and is housed in Miami’s luxury Aventura Mall.  The space will offer clothing and accessories from, in part, 3.1 Phillip Lim, A.P.C., Band of Outsiders, Jeremy Scott and Commes des Garcons Play. We stand corrected, King James. For more info check out

The Industry: Herieth Paul in Dress to Kill Winter Issue Editorial

8 Dec

One of our favorite websites,, posted this amazingly beautiful editorial from Dress to Kill magazine, and we had to share. Featuring model Herieth Paul, photographed by Max Abidian and styled by Cary Tauben,  this is one of those photo stories that we will keep coming back to. Herieth is insanely gorgeous (thanks in no small part to the impeccable styling), and the overall tone of the story is moody and endlessly chic. Having a background in print editorial work, we understand the work involved in producing photo stories and we have spent many hours agonizing over the order of images within a story. It isn’t often that an editorial comes around where the middle images are just as impactful as the opening and closing images. Love.

The Industry: Zoe Karssen

17 Nov

Zoe Karssen T-Shirt, $95,

Along with the search for the perfect ankle boot, the perfect bag and the perfectly cut leather jacket, the quest for a cool printed T-shirt is ongoing. We have been following Amsterdam-based label Zoe Karssen since their launch last year and we have to say that they might just have the cheekiest t-shirts around. Clearly inspired by model-off-duty looks, Zoe Karssen has quite a loyal  following among celebs and cool girls everywhere.


Zoe Karssen Tank, $86,


Zoe Karssen T-Shirt, $110,


Zoe Karssen T-Shirt, $92,


Zoe Karssen Sweatshirt, $155,