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Atlanta is an “eventful” city, and we mean that in the most sincerest terms. Indeed, there is an event for everything you can think of; business launches, re-branding, fashion shows, and even potato chip bag reveals (we are not joking). Seldom, however, at any of these events will you find food for your soul, medicine for your spirit, and genuine empowerment to fuel you through life. Thankfully, local Atlanta fashion stylist and philanthropist, Rishawn Felton, managed to give us just that with his panel discussion at the aptly named, “Breaking The Cycle Empowerment Conference!”

Rishawn Felton & Brandi Williams

The event took place at local Atlanta hot spot, The Buckhead Loft, where Rishawn, alongside the host and singer, Brandi Williams (Blaque), Dr. Shana Lewis (author/counselor), Tyler Burton (writer/journalist), Latonya Sampson McDonald (life coach/associate marriage family therapist), Byron Jamal (author and founder of PathFinder guide), Rodney Wash (television personality), Antwain Donte (motivational speaker/artistic director), and Christoper McKinley (motivational speaker/beauty enthusiast) tackled topics and issues surrounding spirituality, mental health, and racism. Noted attendees included Julian Lark (Celebrity stylist/Editor-in-chief of Kontrol Magazine), Michael “Hey Mikey” Fanning (media personality/radio host), Maurice Ravennah (philanthropist/CEO of Phoenix International, Inc. & Griffin Global Bank), Lipstick (television personality), Tramel Harris (television personality), and Martel Star (Web Star and artist).

Breaking The Cycle Empowerment Conference

The panel each had their own feelings about each topic, but all came with hope and belief that their past experiences and various fields of expertise would be able to help someone. The progress of the event was straightforward and to the point allowing ten minute intervals for a break between each topic of discussion, giving the guests chances to mingle and network. Each topic was one that hit close to home for so many. Spirituality and mental health in particular were quite jarring as panelists and guests opened up about the importance of a relationship with God and that all paths of belief were a way to connecting to Him personally. As for mental health, many disclosed how they were delivered from suicidal ideation, and challenged the stigma of seeking therapy in the African-American community. Lastly, as it pertained to racism the panelists discussed how hundreds of years of systematic racism and current oppression can and do have an effect on the spirit and psyche.

Yes, the topics at hand were heavy; but they were all the more timely. In the age of social media, rates of depression and suicide are at an all time high, people place themselves on unrealistic and unhealthy timetables, and people are mistaking self-confidence with self-consciousness. This conference was needed. Rishawn plans to do this annually, but is willing to make them more frequent as the need arrives. All we have to say is kudos, my friend.

Fashion

[REVIEW] Fashion & Fashion Faux Pas! The Vanguard Fashion Show Has a Promising Start

COVID-19 has largely derailed social events in Atlanta, and the world at large. However, as learn to live with the virus, here and there events are making a comeback.

The first autumn event falls to Kiid Fro’s “Vanguard Fashion Show,” and it was an event definitely worth talking about!

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kiid fro vanguard fashion

Photo Credits: Matthew Harris (IG: @scoobylx, ScyFlyCreations)

COVID-19 has largely derailed social events in Atlanta, and the world at large. However, as learn to live with the virus, here and there events are making a comeback.

The first autumn event falls to Kiid Fro’s “Vanguard Fashion Show,” and it was an event definitely worth talking about!

Grade: B-

The event took place Saturday night, October 17th, in a surprisingly stylish venue in Downtown Atlanta. There were a couple of socialites and notable members of the city’s Black LGBT community gathered to watch some of the latest fashion lines of the season. The show begin with a late start but was overlooked largely thanks to the venue’s tasty drinks–sangrias we believe–and great conversations with fellow Kontrol Magazine’s Lifestyle Editor, Byron Jamal, media personality, Imani Vanzap; a rising star and “auntie” of Atlanta’s Black LGBT community, “About Him’s” Brandon Karson Jordan, Outpour Media Productions LGBTQ owner, Antar Bush, and Carl Levonzell aka K $tarr, an actor, indie rapper, and hilarious radio personality.

When the show finally began, and in between intermissions, we were able to see some amazing pieces of fashion. Never before, have I been to show where I liked all of the lines, or even more so saw pieces that I can actually see everyday people wearing. All of the lines pulled off high fashion with their own touch of haughtiness with the functionality of “The Everyman” in mind. Nevertheless, the lines must be chastised for their lack of plus-sized male models. The diversity was blaringly lacking in that department. More brands are now embracing bigger men–Savage x Fenty, Target–and even New York Fashion Week had one plus sized male model. This is something we hope will be corrected in the future.

However, we must admit we loved Jae Amour’s “The Penthouse Collection” and Soomar’s lines the most. We are familiar with both their work and have seen nothing but growth in the right direction from these designers.

However, the event was marred, as aforementioned by tardiness, long intermissions between the presentation of the fashion lines, and sound issues which seemingly crippled what could have been a great opening performance–the Voice of Array has “The Range.”

We did like Kiid Fro’s handling of the media, he was respectful, hands on, and ensured any information needed was freely given or arranged–Atlanta take notes! Also he mirrored Issa Rae’s philosophy of “reaching across the table” to friends, family, and associates to get his event off the ground using them as performers, models, media, and staff.

vanguard fashion show 2020 kiid fro Zoe effect black z-pack bag

Zoe Effect Black Z-Pack Bag

As a finishing touch noted guests were given Z-Packs as gift bags! These cute little bags definitely follow the trend in high mens fashion of now having little bags to compliment trendy outfits.

For this to be Kiid Fro’s first event earns him some major cool points. His general love and the admiration and respect he garners from his community is somewhat heartwarming and enviable. We will be watching. Kudos.

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Social Life

Grand & “Yizclusive!” Yisrael Wright Opens “The Yizclusive Experience” Mens’ Salon!

The landscape of Atlanta is changing by the day. There are new neighborhoods, parks, events, and of course new businesses. One upstanding man turned businessman and salon owner, Yisrael Wright, is standing above the rest with the opening of his brand new salon catering towards men, “The Yizclusive Experience!” Located in the Grant Park area in Atlanta’s new Beacon Shopping Plaza, the salon offers a variety of services for men including haircuts, manicures, pedicures, facials–THE WORKS! “Men like to take care of themselves and care about their appearances. I want a safe and comfortable place for them to meet, be taken care of, and above all else network. The barbershop is like the hub of the community, and my salon is going to be the literal plug, while you get to look and feel better about yourself.” Yisrael states. 

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the yizclusive experience

The landscape of Atlanta is changing by the day. There are new neighborhoods, parks, events, and of course new businesses. One upstanding man turned businessman and salon owner, Yisrael Wright, is standing above the rest with the opening of his brand new salon catering towards men, “The Yizclusive Experience!” Located in the Grant Park area in Atlanta’s new Beacon Shopping Plaza, the salon offers a variety of services for men including haircuts, manicures, pedicures, facials–THE WORKS! “Men like to take care of themselves and care about their appearances. I want a safe and comfortable place for them to meet, be taken care of, and above all else network. The barbershop is like the hub of the community, and my salon is going to be the literal plug, while you get to look and feel better about yourself. Yisrael states.

When Men Meet

The Yizclusive Experience is truly “the beacon” of The Beacon, opening with a weekend of celebratory events. The first event was “When Men Meet,” an exclusive dinner for a few of the salon’s male patrons and supporters–“Menbers”–as The Yizclusive Experience refers to them. The group consisted of photographers, businessmen of various backgrounds, journalists, managers, and realtors. There the guests were served a three course meal and networked with one another, speaking on family, supporting Black businesses, and how they can help one another advance. “It’s important for men to gather together and uplift one another. There’s so much room for each of us to make it doing what we want to do…let’s show some strength.” The night ended with a powerful group photo of all the men together, standing in solidarity.

As aforementioned the salon is far from your typical barbershop, offering an array of services designed to enhance and care for the entire body, including massages. Besides a haircut, you can receive various facials. Our favorite is the 24 karat gold mask one, which can help renew skin, increase blood flow, and is chalked full of antioxidants and minerals. It diminishes the depletion of collagen and sagging skin, while encouraging the growth of new cells, and lessening the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. An even more amazing service provided involves dealing with Pseudofolliculitis barbae, a skin condition causing hair bumps and severe skin irritation brought on by curly hair that grows back into the skin causing inflammation. It is estimated that about sixty percent of African-American men deal with this issue, but The Yizclusive Experience’s facial steaming and treatments have been met with rave reviews and positive results. “My skin was really bad down there [under his neck] and tried using a beard to cover it, but I went to see Yiz [Yisrael] and he got me right. My beard looks amazing and it’s totally cleared up. I stay referring my friends…” Jason Carlton, a patron of the salon stated.

The actual opening day was a true community event as family, friends, and supporters from throughout Metro Atlanta attended the ribbon cutting ceremony. The event also included live music from Dj Zel, hosted by Dandre Lavell with food and desserts provided by Chef Mark Brown and Tracey Wright, respectively. Yisrael’s team was on site to offer services and assist with festivities. The entire was a welcomed and positive experience. Since then the salon has offered its traditional services along with a free oral screening for the community. “I’m really glad to see this place is here. We need more outreach to the community like this. I learned a lot of information…” one patron added. Opening a salon is quite the accomplishment for anyone, let alone for someone who is only thirty years old. Yisrael has vision and will, and we are sure that will carry him a long way. “This a dream come true and the manifestation of a vision. I want The Yizclusive Experience to be seen as a pillar in the community, a gathering of great and like minded people, and to just improve the life of any and everyone who comes to it…” You can book your own appointment by checking out The Yizclusive Experience’s official website, www.theyizclusiveexperience.com/.

Check out more photos from the events below:

 

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Social Life

The Cast of BET’s “Boomerang” Celebrates Season 2 Premiere @ Paramount Studios!

Last night, BET Networks celebrated the season two premiere of its Lena Waithe and Halle Berry executive produced show “BOOMERANG.” Show cast members Tequan Richmond, Tetona Jackson, Lala Milan, Dime Davis, Leland B. Martin and RJ Walker were in attendance.

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the cast of boomerang on bet season 2 premiere party at paramount studios

Last night, BET Networks celebrated the season two premiere of its Lena Waithe and Halle Berry executive produced show “BOOMERANG.” Show cast members Tequan Richmond, Tetona Jackson, Lala Milan, Dime Davis, Leland B. Martin and RJ Walker were in attendance.

lena waithe the cast of boomerang on bet season 2 premiere party at paramount studios

Lena Waithe

Following the success of Lena Waithe’s BOOMERANG first season, the half-hour subversive, smart, serialized comedy that is fielded by romance, friendship, gender politics and more returns for season two. The original cast are back to deal with the ramifications of Simone and Bryson’s breakup and how it effects the group’s friendship.

the cast of boomerang on bet season 2 premiere party at paramount studios

Throughout the season, each of our main characters: Simone (Tetona Jackson), Bryson (Tequan Richmond), Crystal (Brittany Inge), Ari (Leland Martin), Tia (Lala Milan) and David (RJ Walker) look inward to find out who they truly are while discovering that together, they’re growing apart. Guest stars for season two will include Jaleel WhiteJoey Bada$$, Walter Emmanuel Jones and Kim Wayans.

martin lawrence the cast of boomerang on bet season 2 premiere party at paramount studios

Special guests in attendance included: Terrence JMartin LawrenceCameron Hamilton & Lauren SpeedLance GrossKellee Stewart and more.

“BOOMERANG” season 2 premiere Wednesday, March 11th at 10PM EST on BET.

Catch additional photos from the Season 2 premiere party below:

About Boomerang:

BOOMERANG is a half-hour subversive, smart, serialized comedy, fueled by romance, friendship, gender politics, love and, of course, sex. The story picks up roughly twenty-five years after the “Boomerang” movie and centers on Simone Graham (daughter of Marcus Graham and Angela Lewis) and Bryson Broyer (son of Jaqueline Broyer), who are marketing professionals trying to step out of their parents’ shadows. The series follows a group of childhood friends who are looking to make their own mark in the world…all while navigating their feelings for each other.

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