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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

#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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Fashion

Hot Ticket! “Me’Ja Wear” by Ja’me Lamont Brings the Sexy!

When I was informed I would be attending a fashion show for Me’ja Wear, I had no idea what was in store for me.

I must admit that I was unaware of the brand at the time, however, love at first sight was my immediate reaction. As we waited for the show to start, our anticipation grew by the second as we saw gorgeous male models file back and forth to the bathroom wearing next to nothing. I was caught completely by surprise, which was pleasant to say the least. 

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When I was informed I would be attending a fashion show for Me’ja Wear, I had no idea what was in store for me.

I must admit that I was unaware of the brand at the time, however, love at first sight was my immediate reaction. As we waited for the show to start, our anticipation grew by the second as we saw gorgeous male models file back and forth to the bathroom wearing next to nothing. I was caught completely by surprise, which was pleasant to say the least.

Me'Ja WearMe'Ja WearMe'Ja Wear

Before the show started the man of the evening, Ja’Me made his way to the DJ Booth and thanked the crowd for coming. I learned that this line of men’s and women’s lingerie had actually been 10 years in the making. I couldn’t help but think about how genius the concept was. A lingerie company that catered to men as well as women and is able to be customized to your liking. Each segment exuded a different mood and featured an array of textures. He did his thing when it came to the models. Every time one sauntered down the runway you had to first get over the shock of being near such gorgeous beings. Once you were through that, you then focused on the garment at hand.

Me'Ja Wear

We were given permission by the designer to touch the garments to feel the fabrics. That was something that was easier said than done. I was interested in the fabrics, however, I was afraid of feeling like a creep for touching the underwear. Aside from the gorgeous men, there were some equally as beautiful women. Modeling bra and panty sets as well as slip tops with matching thongs.

Me'Ja Wear

 

The best part of the night was seeing Ja’me take his final bow during the finale. As he walked alongside the models you couldn’t help but feel how proud he was at that moment. After 10 years to finally get to that moment must have been quite overwhelming. We briefly spoke to him later:

Ja’Me (middle)

1. What is the overall theme of the line?
The overall theme for Me’ja Wear is  “Luxuriousness”! I want everyone that chooses to wear my line to feel sexy, desirable, and confident. 
2. Why did you decide to create your own line? Are you Moving away from photography?
– Creating Me’ja has been a dream of mine for over 10 years. Well the name changed a couple times but I believe that the overall concept, feel and vision for the line Matured and Evolved as I did. This year on my 33rd birthday on 9/11 I took that leap of faith and pressed forward towards this goal. Honestly, I’ve thought about taking a break from my camera but after much of thought I’ve decide that Im gonna divide my time between both passions. The is no rest for the Accomplished!
3. What is next for you?
– Over the next couple months I have 2 plans; 1- I plan on meeting with several buyers, boutiques and major store in hope of getting Me’ja Wear into stores. 2 – I will be planning my Official Fashion show, I am eyeing some dates in spring, possibly in May. I’ll be having another casting in February/March.
4. Are your designs body positive friendly?
– Of course!!! I created this for EVERYONE, All Shapes, Ethnicities and Lifestyles. Me’ja Wear the place where Luxury Meets Comfort!

Me'Ja WearMe'Ja Wear-HeyMikeyATL

I left the show with more knowledge about Me’ja Wear as well as a new desire to get some custom underwear made. What a perfect way to end the year.

Written By: Dominique Bedell

Dominique Bedell

Dominique Bedell

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