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BLOW= “Because Love Outweighs War,” the new acronym for life, and the name for Gary Lavard’s new line of hoodies! The hoodies hilariously feature Gary’s face on the front of them blowing a big bubble of gum, and come in an array of colors. However, this is not just another hoodie line, instead these new products are adding philanthropy to his already impressive resume. BLOW instead donates a percentage of its profits toward suicide prevention and awareness.

gary lavard blow hoodie

Gary came up with the idea of BLOW based on his current mood and mental health. He relayed on iHeartRadio’s The Hey Mikey Show, that he once dealt with depression and anxiety, issues that can lead to suicide and wanted to give back. “There’s no shame in me saying that I’m currently in the best shape of life mentally, physically, and emotionally and I owe that doing some work on myself and seeking professional help through therapy…Getting the help you need and talking to someone can really change or save your life…there’s such a stigma in the Black community with mental health and it needs to change, so I’m doing my part to give back…”

gary lavard blow hoodie

We have to say we are really proud of Gary and the contributions his making in combating suicide and discussing mental health. The Suicide Prevention Resource Center states the following alarming facts:

gary lavard blow hoodie

Prevention efforts should address increased suicide risk among Black males. While increased suicide risk among Black females also warrants action, rates have typically been higher among males. Depending on the age group, the male-to-female suicide rate ratio has ranged from four-to-one to as high as eight-to-one.5 Young Black males are most at risk, although there has been a recent rise in suicide rates among Black children of both sexes under age 13.

Mental health matters. Having a mental illness significantly increases suicide risk among Black teens and adults.6,7 Although depression must be addressed, the strongest mental health predictor of attempted suicide in this population is anxiety. Prevention efforts should help enhance the existing psychological resources that help to buffer Black people against suicide risk, and also help protect them from sources of vulnerability. For example, Blacks who are socially connected through organized religious affiliation have a lower suicide risk.8 And we are learning that social stressors, such as perceived racism, exacerbate suicide risk among Blacks.

Congratulations Gary on your latest venture! You all be sure to purchase and support BLOW by getting your own hoodie by clicking here! Happy shopping!

**If you, or someone you know is contemplating suicide please contact someone at the National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255.**

Fashion

Beyonce’s “Black Is King” is a Fashion Smash!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know all about Beyonce’s new visual album, Black Is King, which is meant to be the yin to The Lion King album’s yang!

As much as I love and adore Queen B, my old bones didn’t allow me to stay awake til 3 am to watch the premiere, however, I was able to catch it the next day which is all that matters, so don’t judge.  Now when you love fashion as much as I do you’ll often get lost in the wardrobe so bad that they will haunt your dreams at night. Black Is King was no exception as it was chocked full of amazing fashions that seduced and satisfied my craving for beauty. Whether it was big designers like Balmain and Mugler or the local African designers like 5:31 Jerome, she kept it sexy and classy. That being said, I had to list some of my favorite looks.

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Black Is King

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know all about Beyonce’s new visual album, Black Is King, which is meant to be the yin to The Lion King album’s yang!

As much as I love and adore Queen B, my old bones didn’t allow me to stay awake til 3 am to watch the premiere, however, I was able to catch it the next day which is all that matters, so don’t judge.  Now when you love fashion as much as I do you’ll often get lost in the wardrobe so bad that they will haunt your dreams at night. Black Is King was no exception as it was chocked full of amazing fashions that seduced and satisfied my craving for beauty. Whether it was big designers like Balmain and Mugler or the local African designers like 5:31 Jerome, she kept it sexy and classy. That being said, I had to list some of my favorite looks.

Black Is King

Greek designer Mary Katrantzou has never shied away from a good print.  Ever since her debut collection in 2008, fashion lovers like Anna Dello Russo have all fallen head over heels for her merchandise. Beyonce’s stylist Zerina Akers scored her this amazing number from Katrantzou’s fall 2019 collection.

Black Is King

Since his days at Givenchy, Riccardo Tisci has adored Beyonce. Now that he has taken his talents to Burberry, it was no surprise that Beyonce’s visual album would feature a few Burberry looks such as this one.

Black Is King

Anyone who knows me knows I love me some Balmain. To my delight Beyonce donned this look from the spring 2020 collection.

Black Is King

This image teased us for weeks as the world waited for the day of the premiere.  This Valentino Haute Couture creation was made especially for her by Valentino’s designer Pierpaolo Piccioli.  I loooove leopard so the fact that not only are the guys covered in it, but the car is as well. That was enough for me.

Black Is King

The name Loza Maleombho may not be familiar to most of you, however, that all may change after Beyonce wore this piece in Black Is King. 

One thing Beyonce has always been great at has been her innate ability to captivate her audience. Be it her powerful voice, her dance moves( which are always on point ), or her great style she always make sure everyone is talking about it for years to come.

Written By:

Dominique Bedell

Dominique Bedell

Dominique Bedell

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Fashion

#Trending! What’s The “Mauve?” Black Male Celebrities Embrace Softer Color in Fashion

During this year’s annual RocNation brunch a fan, who complimented Jay Z’s “pink suit” was then corrected by the rapper who let him know the suit was actually mauve. I cackled at his preciseness and went straight to Google where I proceeded to look up the color “mauve”. I was intrigued to find out that it isn’t a shade of pink at all. Mauve is actually a soft shade of purple which was named after the mallow flower.  Honestly, I’ve never heard of that flower but it sounded good on the site. 

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clifford harris tip TI in mauve

As we embark on this already turbulent year, I can’t help but be saddened by all of the death and destruction that has bestowed upon us.

Per usual I look to fashion to raise my spirits and with awards season coming to a close and men’s fashion week behind us, I was delighted to see a theme in men’s fashion. More and more the power men of today have tapped into their deeply buried feminine sides and have embraced brighter and more daring colors.

mauve

During this year’s annual RocNation brunch a fan, who complimented Jay Z’s “pink suit” was then corrected by the rapper who let him know the suit was actually mauve. I cackled at his preciseness and went straight to Google where I proceeded to look up the color “mauve”. I was intrigued to find out that it isn’t a shade of pink at all. Mauve is actually a soft shade of purple which was named after the mallow flower.  Honestly, I’ve never heard of that flower but it sounded good on the site.

mauve

When reflecting on this color I began to realize that straight men in general were embracing more “feminine” colors. Stars like ASAP Rocky, Michael B Jordan and Trevor Jackson can all be seen donning colors like pink, lavender, peach and of course mauve.

jay z in mauve suit

Could the facade of overt masculinity finally be crumbling before us? And if it is, will that have a significant impact on society as a whole? I’m thinking probably not, however, it will be a nice change if the person robbing you was wearing a more vivid color, for the better of identifying. I only kid, but seriously men deciding to wear brighter colors is most likely not the answer to all of the world’s problems, but it’s one hell of a start.

Written By: Dominique Bedell 

Dominique Bedell

Dominique Bedell

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Fashion

WTF!? Billy Porter’s Critics Choice Awards Look is an EPIC FAIL!

The beginning of the year is here and with it comes the always anticipated awards season.

This is the time of year I always look forward to seeing what celebrities will be wearing for Hollywood’s biggest nights. Along with the amazing gowns and ensembles comes the bad ones. I can usually expect my eyes to be assaulted with horrible looks and even worse accessories. The usual suspects have come to be known for this, however, there are those who constantly challenge your thoughts on beauty and what is acceptable for what occasion.

Billy Porter is one of those people. Every award season we know Miss Porter will turn out a look that conjoins our idea of femininity and masculinity. Now I don’t love everything he wears, however, I do applaud his efforts to change social norms. That is to say, until I saw his red carpet look from the 2020 Critics Choice Awards.

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Billy Porter

The beginning of the year is here and with it comes the always anticipated awards season.

This is the time of year I always look forward to seeing what celebrities will be wearing for Hollywood’s biggest nights. Along with the amazing gowns and ensembles comes the bad ones. I can usually expect my eyes to be assaulted with horrible looks and even worse accessories. The usual suspects have come to be known for this, however, there are those who constantly challenge your thoughts on beauty and what is acceptable for what occasion.

Billy Porter is one of those people. Every award season we know Miss Porter will turn out a look that conjoins our idea of femininity and masculinity. Now I don’t love everything he wears, however, I do applaud his efforts to change social norms. That is to say, until I saw his red carpet look from the 2020 Critics Choice Awards.

Now I don’t want the gays to flog me for this, but I have to say I’m a little over all of the pomp and pageantry. I expected to see Porter in something that would make me say “hmmm”, however, this Hogan McGlaughlin look left me saying “WTF Billy?”

Billy PorterBilly Porter

First of all, as a man with a man figure, a corseted strapless dress was all the way WRONG. He goes for this silhouette all the time, however, I wish at some point he would find a sleek look. If you want to turn a look that bad, give the girls a nasty “tight to the ankle” dress. Secondly, the fact that these are actually pants makes me want to gag and not in a good way. Plus when he flared them out he looked like Gumby( Google it young girls) It made no sense for him to pull out a look that would get the girls on Pose read for filth. The only thing I can say that I actually liked was his jewelry. As a lover of Elizabeth Taylor I enjoy seeing someone fill their fingers full of rings.

Billy Porter

In conclusion I’d like to say that I’m not opposed to him wearing fashions that make a statement or challenge the norms of masculinity. But, as a fashion guy I can’t condone just wearing any old thing. This dress/jumpsuit thing won’t stop me from admiring Billy and all he’s done in his long career, however, the next time he’s thinking of putting on a dress (which will probably be tomorrow) I want him to take extra time and consider his community and what we would be proud of seeing.

Written By: Dominique Bedell

Dominique Bedell

Dominique Bedell

 

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