Thursday, January 30, 2014

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Reads

Vintage Black Glamour: The Book!

This long awaited publication is on the way!  Vintage Black Glamour has been compiling some of the most fabulous and stylish photos of African-American history-- spanning decades.  Curating pictures which may have been missed by major magazines, VBG will give your coffee table all the selections you've missed.  

Check out details on the upcoming feature, and register for yours!

  • Premium high price point hardback book
  • Clothbound cover with printed design and foil detailing
  • Interior printed on heavyweight art paper
  • Over 200 pages and over 150 stunning black and white and colour photographs — including many rare and unseen archive images
  • Reading ribbon
  • Delivered direct to your door — not available in bookstores or from other online retailers
Image of the book by Nichelle Gainer. Published by Rocket 88.register

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Tops

Top 5 Reasons Now is Perfect for Aspiring Fashion Designers!

It seems like so many people want to be fashion designers, but those with the true talent and passion have never had it easier.  Today, we are sharing 5 reasons now is a great time to be an emerging fashion designer.  The perks open door after door.  

We hope these reasons will continue to encourage aspiring designers.  There's so much out there for you to take advantage of!

1.  More Education
In addition to those of us who love the legal side of fashion, and now have the Fashion Law Institute, The Fashion Law Project, designers have an increased wealth of education at their finger tips.'s top 50 fashion design programs offers a great start for the artist who wants to secure the technical foundation, too.  Columbia College in Chicago also has a fast growing program.  The School of the Art Institute of Chicago is another top-of-the-line university.   

2.  Pop-up Learning
If you already have the formal eduation, or just want to get a quick fix, conferences are the perfect option.  Swim Lessons, a conference run by POOL, is a tradeshow part of the world-renowned MAGIC conference.  Swim Lessons is specifically for emerging brands and gives designers the tools they need most when starting out.  In addition, How to Make it in Fashion, hosted by is also spreading its wings, adding LA to the sites after starting in NYC.   

3.  Funding
Just look, the money is out there.  A lot of times, young designers have the toughest time finding funding to support their emerging brand.  You struggle with showcasing your collection, often at a reduced price to get your name out.  You're still due the appropriate value of your brand.  The Council of Fashion Designers of America offers the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund for young American designers, as well as the CFDA’s Swarovski Award, which supports emerging American designers.  LVMH Prize is offered by the Louis Vuitton Moet Hennesy brand, to help yound designers get up and running.  They also get advice and guidance from established designers.  *There's still time to apply for this one!!

Elle‘s Fashion|Next competition awards American college students with scholarships to continue their fashion education, and the Chicago Fashion Foundation offers scholarships to local design students.  We are obviously a bit partial to this one--it helps put Chicago's fabulous fashion scene on the map!

4.  More chances to showcase
Aspiring designers have more opportunities to show off their collections than ever before.   Some of those opportunities are even free!  Made at Milk provides free show spaces to up and coming designers during NYFW and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events does the same during the summer Sidewalk Sale.  

5.  Social Media
This sort of makes everything easy.  Where designers once had to literally walk their designs around and schedule showings, they now have the ease of social medial.  The showing is instant.  Of course, this comes with a cost, as it makes way for infringement if designers are not protecting their intellectual property and being vigilant online.  However, by doing the right things to cover the brand legally, social media is one of the greatest assets to the emerging designer.  

Designers are always welcome to show off their stuff right here, too.  See, some have already!

For more, check out these tips from lawyer to fashion designer!

Monday, January 27, 2014

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Empowers

#ReadyToStareWokeUpLikeDis: The Movement!

Ready to Stare is one of our favorite jewelry lines, and it has now turned into an empowerment engine.  Fashionable jeweler, Alysse Dalessandro has taken a line from Beyonce and used it to free herself and allow ladies holding onto insecurities to free themselves, too.  It is things like this that need the most attention, especially for young women in their early teens, looking for the right role models to choose.  

This movement is uncovering an encouraging meaning of "I woke up like this"--being comfortable with the woman you wake up as, and not being wrapped up in what others say you should look like.  

#ReadyToStareWokeUpLikeDis helps women look inside themselves and tell the stories they were too scared to share.  This movement is more than necessary, as we continue to live in a judgmental world supported by photoshop, airbrushing, and such a new, often hesitant, embrace for curvy figures.

We are so proud of Alysse and her movement, and encourage you to join her.  

To share you story, check out hers and others' here.  If you want to get more involved:

1) Share the post from the #ReadyToStareWokeUpLikeDis site. If you don’t feel comfortable sharing your story – share hers. 
2) Buy the shirt here and tell people about the movement behind it. 

3) Post a photo on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, wherever, and share YOUR deepest insecurity. Tag it with #ReadyToStareWokeUpLikeDis so everyone who is following can see it. 

And as always, get your Ready to Stare accessories here!  

Thursday, January 23, 2014

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Sports

The Barclay Barber Shop & The NFL's Extra Point--

There's some pretty interesting things happening in professional sports, so we want to highlight 2 that have caught out eye--one about style, another about function.

The Basketball Barber Shop
What more could you ask for when going to an NBA game?  A haircut!  The Barclay Arena, home to the Brooklyn Nets recently teamed up with GQ Magazine to open a barber shop.  The reviews have been pretty stellar so far.  The shop has decor matching the black and white home team colors, and GQ magazines even lace the walls.  Stylish gent and Nets guard, Deron Williams was one of the first to get a cut.

The place is pretty swanky.  Looks like this one is a must-see when saying "Hello Brooklyn".  Prices range from a $10 cleanup to a $75 shave and cut.  An array of other services are offered.

Have you been?  What did you think?!

Is the Extra Point Facing Extinction?
Over the last few weeks, we've seen a lot of excitement in the NFL.  The Super Bowl is set between the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos.  The talk around the social media scene quickly turned to Seahawk Richard Sherman's post-game interview (nice take on the backlash here), and the League is considering eliminating the extra point after touchdowns.
One proposal NFL officials have discussed as a replacement to the field goal, is to give seven points for a touchdown with the option to run what is now a two-point conversion play for an eighth point.
Commissioner Roger Goodell said, "There's one proposal in particular that I've heard about,". "It's automatic that you get seven points when you score a touchdown, but you could potentially go for an eighth point, either by running or passing the ball, so if you fail, you go back to six."  Over this past season, there were just 5 missed extra points out of about 1,200. It seems like the challenge really isn't there anymore.

What do you think?  Is the kick too easy?  Should they keep it?  Have another idea?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Fashion Law

How to Spot Fake Merchandise--

This topic has been visited a few times--on this site through various posts, and by some of our fashion law friends.  However, a reminder is always good, especially as e-commerce continues to dominate.  We want to make sure you're fully aware of what you're buying, and why you shouldn't be buying items not properly sourced to the right designer.

Here's some guidance on purchasing the right pieces:

It's improperly placed
If it's not in an approved retailer, is positioned in a mall kiosk, or is sold on a street corner or out of a trunk--it's fake!

The price is too good to be true
Real luxury goods come at a cost.  When you enter their stores, they'll tell you you're making and investment, not a purchase.  If the price is way beyond right, it's not real.  No hardworking designer--established or rising--is short selling their work.

It doesn't look quite right
Does the design look just a tad bit off?  Are the letters skewed?  Are the letters wrong?!  If anything about the item is not right--it's fake.  Artists are perfectionists, and they don't let imperfect products hit the market.  If an item looks off, don't buy it.

The signs are obvious
This is when logos are incorrect.  Trademarks are terribly infringed, and real artistry is compromised.  You know you are dealing with a fake when all of the 3 above are present.  You can also be sure when the seller can barely give you facts about the brand.  Frequenting designer shops--even department stores--you'll find knowledgeable sales associates who know about what their selling.  When you can't get a straight story on what you're buying, keep your money.

It's produced in the gray market  
Gray market goods skirt the line of infringement.  Their crafty, shifty ways to make goods seem legit.  They're not.  Gray market goods are produced at legitimate factories, but under illegitimate terms.  These goods are categorically fake.  Don't support them.  They're made contrary to the factory's terms with the designer, skim designers of their rightful money, and impair brand quality in the market.  How would you want your hard work treated?  As Fashion Law Trailblazer Susan Scafidi points out in this news spot on Superfakes, these items often fund organized crime and terrorism.

We often tell you how goods are found in the market, but here is another reminder:
The Rating System
(1) The real thing
(2) The real thing....but the designer finds something about it imperfect for sale
(3) A great fake; looks real, but it's not.  We still discourage purchase of these.
(4) A terrible fake.  Sellers and buyers should know and do better.  Smh.

Be careful when shopping and make sure your purchases are legit on all levels.  For more, check out our 3-part series on The Battle Against Counterfeits.  

Thursday, January 16, 2014

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Business

20/20 Business: Models and Strategies for Artists--

The Chicago Artist Coalition is here to help again!  If you are working on a business idea and need just a little extra help, check out the workshop below.  It'll be totally worth the time and minimal cost!

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Chicago Artists Coalition
A.B.C Art.Business.Create
A.B.C Art.Business.Create is a professional development program that equips artists in all disciplines with essential career training and networking opportunities.
We want to know what training you need. Send us a story about a learning experience you've had in the business of art. We'll pick one a month and publish them on Chicago Artists Resource ... and give you $50 to boot. So tell us:
Tell us your story.
Photo by Claire Demos.
A.B.C Art.Business.Create
20/20 Business: Models and Strategies for Artists
Saturday, January 18, 2004, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Price: $15 General Public, $10 CAC Members
Free for BOLT, HATCH and Launch Residents
Chicago Artists Coalition, 217 N. Carpenter, Chicago, IL 60607
Saturday, January 18, 2004, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Drawing from frameworks implemented by the Center for Entrepreneurship at Millikin University, this workshop will focus on helping artists build an understanding of what stage they are at in their career and help them create a vision for their future business as an artist.
Presenters Sharon Alpi and Andy Heise will take artists through a series of exercises in order to craft a three year plan to achieve their goals and Assess areas of personal and business strengths, weaknesses and competencies, which is the first step to developing transition tactics to enhance success.
In this workshop you will learn how to use two helpful frameworks to help define, sharpen, and refine your strategy for realizing your goals in a realistic and impactful way for you and your customers: The Idea Sketch Pad and The Business Model Canvas.
Photo: Claire Demos
Click to register for this workshop.
Sharon Alpi
Sharon Alpi, Director of the Millikin University Center for Entrepreneurship
For twenty-three years, Sharon Taylor Alpi has played a key role in developing innovative pedagogy and programs at Millikin University. She is a faculty member at the Tabor School of Business and the Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship which she assisted in founding in 1998. She is a recipient of the Governor of Illinois’ Small Business Award for Women in Business Advocate of the Year, the Athena Award from the Decatur Metro Chamber of Commerce and the 2009 YMCA’s Women of Excellence Award in Education. Sharon directed a major research engagement project, Accelerating Entrepreneurship in Central Illinois, designed to assess the regions ability to nurture the launch and growth of innovation based, entrepreneurial companies. Seeing the need to assist women in the community she is also a part of a Giving Circle comprised of women who share common committed values of service.
Any Heise
Andy Heise, Associate Director of the Millikin University Center for Entrepreneurship
Andy Heise is Associate Director for the Center for Entrepreneurship at Millikin University. Andy is a member of United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers (USASBE), and has attended national conferences for Self-Employment in the Arts, and The Experiential Classroom. Andy is currently enrolled in the USASBE Social Entrepreneurship Certificate program, and received his MBA from Millikin in May 2013, and his BA in Commercial Music from Millikin in 2008 with honors and distinctions for scholarship, musicianship, contributions, and performance.
A.B.C Art.Business.Create is funded in part by the Coleman Foundation, the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation and the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

Chicago Artists Coalition: Building a Creative Marketplace.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Honors

MLK & AKA: An Endless Commitment to Service

Today we celebrate the 85th birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  King changed the world in countless ways and taught us a different way of thinking.  He organized communities in every city he lived-- Birmingham, Memphis, Chicago, and more-- while setting an example for all those watching. Dr. King changed the struggles of America, and showed us what true love, dreams, determination, and strength are about.

Today we honor Dr. King.  We not only admire his work, but his dream of love and service to one another.  Reach out to someone today, and keep the dream alive.  Share yourself, your talents, and strive to make a difference in the world around you.  Not just today, but everyday.  He did.

"Everybody can be great, because everyone can serve." - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Today we also honor the women of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.  As a proud member of this premier sisterhood, I am always excited to honor the organization which means so much to me.  Ms. Ethel Hedgeman Lyle and 19 other leading women at Howard University started what has become more than a young girl's dream.  In 1908, no one could have dreamed what Alpha Kappa Alpha would become.  AKA has personified sisterhood, service, education, and leadership-- day after day for 106 years.

This organization set the tone for the sororities following it, and continues to be a trailblazer on campuses and in communities.  We thank the 20 Pearls for their example, and do our best to continue living the purpose each and every day.

Skee-Wee Sorors.  

Thursday, January 9, 2014

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Sports

The NBA Name Collection--

Tomorrow, the NBA will be debuting the "Name Collection".  After creating buzz at the start of the season, the idea will become a reality.  The Miami Heat and Brooklyn Nets have been selected to highlight the line, when they play tomorrow night.  

Players will be wearing game jerseys with their popular nicknames on them-- Lebron will wear "King James", Paul Pierce will wear "Truth", and Ray Allen will rock "J. Shuttlesworth"--to name a few.  The Shuttlesworth jersey is pretty timely, as we've heard a lot of talk about Allen and famed director Spike Lee considering a sequel to the 1996 film "He Got Game".

Photo from Spike Lee's Instagram

This game should be a sight to see.

Which players do you want to see with nicknames on their backs??

For more sports fashion, check out these designer football helmets on Chi City Fashion!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Fashion Fix

Chicago Fashion Foundation Red Door Spa Event!

CFF is one of our favorite organizations.  Check out this event they're having next week, and get your ticket now!

Join the Chicago Fashion Foundation at Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa for a little wine and post-holiday pampering!

Thursday, January 16, 2014 -6-8pm

919 N. Michigan Ave., #4
Chicago, IL

The following services will be offered: 

-fast blowout
-chair massage
-makeup touch up
-customized foundation
-skin consultation with brow wax or lip wax
-nails polish change

$25 for non members
Free for current CFF members


The mission of the Chicago Fashion Foundationa 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization, is to provide academic scholarships to Chicago-area college students majoring in fashion related studies and coordinate educational programs for the Chicago fashion community.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Tops

Top 5 Reasons to Work Out in the Morning--

The holidays tend to put a few extra pounds where we don't want them.  It's ok.  There's always an opportunity to get them off.  Sure, the New Year is a common time to start over, but you have a new start every day--new year or not.  

It can be tough to make the time to exercise. You have to find what's best for you.  The gym is best for some, working out at home is best for others.  But exercising in the morning is actually a really productive way to create a positive routine and there are lots of benefits.  Even those of use who hate the morning can get into it.  

1. You'll sleep better
It's been proven, people who wake up early for regular exercise sleep better than those who work out later in the day. Working out stimulates your body, so doing it in the morning will give you energy for your day.  Working out at night can make it tougher to get to sleep, since your energy is up from the exercise. Sleep is everything.  Having a good night of sleep sets the tone for your entire day and is essential to good health. 

2. It's better for your schedule
Working out in the morning helps you avoid skipping it because things come up.  You get it out the way immediately, and build it into your daily routine. When things pop-up after work, you don't have to worry about neglecting your exercise--you've already done it.

3.  You'll burn fat instead of calories
Who wouldn't want to take advantage of this one?! There's an easy way to do this one: when you get up, have some water, and do your workout. By not having calories, your body needs something for energy and the first source is glycogen.  While you sleep, your glycogen depletes, so your body burns unwanted fat to get you through your workout.  Win-win!
*Not eating too close to bedtime and eating breakfast every morning are essential to this, too.  

4. Your productivity improves
Studies show, exercising increases your productivity, mental clarity, and gets your endorphins moving. Exercise increases your ability to focus, where you may have been easily distracted before. 

5. Metabolism increases
Exercising in the morning helps you continue to burn calories after your workout. Research has proven, people burned 37% more calories over the next 14 hours after working out than people who did not work out in the morning. By keeping your metabolism going, you will be burning more calories all day. 

*We are not advocating getting up extra early to work out.  We know that struggle.  Find the workout that works best for you--even if it's just a sample--to get your day going.  Get as much sleep as you can :)

Here's to you and your health!

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