black fashion designer, Fashion, popup, recycled fashion, shopping, upcycled, vintage

The Pop Up (part 2)

Tie dyed, spray painted and sashiko mended upcycled pieces

So, I meant to do a bunch of posts, but there are only four Saturdays in every month and we STILL have more Paris vacation to go. So, even though no one asked, I’m just going to post every day until I reach my self-determined goal. Today is a recap of my pop-up experience at Regeneration in Williamsburg.

It’s not good.

Recycled tshirts for sale

I was excited about being asked to participate, and I was excited to be selling in Williamsburg, and it seemed like it would be a perfect fit. But the day came to set up, I realized that it was def not the place to be. The atmosphere felt dead to me. Then the person next to me started acting out because the pop up staff asked her to move her clothing rack over. Just instant drama, and I was just standing there, uncomfortable. As soon as the staff person left my neighbor runs over and grabs my rack and moves it, muttering to herself, then stalks back to her side. I still haven’t said anything. I’m just taking it in.

$280 to spend the weekend next to someone with territory issues. Great! I start unpacking, slowly realizing that everyone else had massive amounts of stuff, but I (oldest, obedient child energy) had brought a small amount as stipulated in the contract. Then my neighbor, out of the blue, goes ’what did you say your name was?’ and I was just done. Like, never do this. Introduce yourself, don’t demand another person’s name. It reeks of bad attitude. Also, if the person is me, they won’t tell you. And you’ll be frustrated and angry while the person (me) ignores you.

So that was move in day.

My little Regeneration shop

The next morning, before opening, I brought in some more stuff and a little table. There was someone from the popup staff walking around and I heard her talking to people and being friendly. Then she gets to me and says, ”is this your little setup?” and I was once again, done. Like… its minimalist, ok? Damn. But being me, I just said ‘yeah’, and left it at that. And stood there in my little setup feeling demoralized.

“Little” setup. FML.


Moving on from the unpleasant beginnings, I proceeded to sell three items the whole weekend. A handpainted camo jacket with sashiko stitching and an embroidered patch that I designed when the country was burning down last year. I sold a cute minidress from the French flea market, and a maxidress that I purchased in the metro. For some reason the lady that bought the maxidress left me her skirt. She didn’t ask for a discount or to trade. She just gave me her skirt.

The next thing that happened was these two girls came and one tried one my tie dyed denim vest with feathers while the other filmed her and hyped her up. I kind of tried to sell it, but tbh I was just curious. The hype one was talking to someone on the phone in an exaggerated way and I couldn’t tell if I was dealing with a kpop sensation and her stylist or two social media wannabes.

They came, they tried on an upcycled vest, then they took off

Also, none of the people selling around me spoke to me. Except once. I was outside eating a burger and one followed me outside, suddenly talkative and smiling. Meanwhile, I’m legit trying to eat quickly without choking so I can go back to my booth. It was just not a good time. Plus, why wait two days to speak? And why do you have to come outside like it’s a secret?

That burger was insanely good, though.

So, def not going back. They make a lot of demands about marketing and social media, but they never once promoted me prior to the pop up, and they skipped over my booth during the weekend. And I only made half my money back, so there no financial incentive. It’s just a lost weekend.

brooklyn, Fashion, popup, recycled fashion, shopping, upcycled, vintage, williamsburg

The Pop up (this Saturday!)

Launch party, too!

Excited!!! Im going to LIVE at the Regeneration pop up next weekend🎉 and they’re having a launch party! (Not just for me, Artists and Fleas is proud to launch their new baby market!). Regular hours are every weekend from 11am to 6pm, at 70 N 7th Street in Williamsburg, but this week? There’s a party from 5pm to 7pm!🎉🤗

Here are the deets:

Shop 20+ vintage, thrift and upcycled fashion sellers at the Regeneration Celebration Saturday, September 25th from 5-7pm. Special guests include @screamie_weemie stick-and-pokes, @toothcharm tooth gems, mochi from @theboiisco, live stream shopping and $20 shopping credit from ShopShops (download the app here and get $20 spending credit to shop the market!), drinks from Recess, custom jewelry from @lesmissnyc, DJ sets from @poptrainrecords and more.

I went by there on Sunday to take a look, and its adorable.

I don’t usually post mid-week, but its Wednesday and I want to make sure I promoted that fact that I, and some curated preloved and vintage fashion, will be at Regeneration (70 N 7th Street in Williamsburg) this Saturday and Sunday from 11 am to 6 pm.

I even made new postcards and a sign:

Accessories, achievements, american made, american retail, black fashion designer, clothes, clothing, coats, E commerce, ecofashion, ecommerce, entrepeneur, Fashion, fashion designer, fashion photo, footwear, lifestyle, recycled fashion, upcycled, vintage

The Business

SEBMARKETBK on Shopify

Working on my Shopify store and trying to gain perspective on my side hustle business. Constantly thinking of how to push it into sustainable success. Doing a lot of running around, researching, taking classes and looking at long term strategies. Plotting shopping trips and new marketing strategies.


Going through my inventory, looking for ways to style my items, and just taking time to be still and look at everything and find the significance and meaning in every piece.

Also, since I lost a little weight, I’m trying things on and looking at how pieces will work on real people, how things go together, etc. I’ve been selling since 2015 and have worked pretty much nonstop since quarantine trying to build a brand, trying to find an audience, trying to sell, trying and trying to stay on top of things and stay sane.
I can see the finish line, but I still have to figure out how to get there.

black fashion designer, Fashion, fashion designer, recycled fashion, streetstyle, upcycled

The Sales

I handpainted this Almost Famous jacket and it SOLD THIS WEEK!!!

One thing about the past year of worrying, anxiety causing, horrifying and alarming events was having to retreat into a bubble (quarantine) and having to really and seriously think about what I would do if my job didn’t come back. Luckily I’ve been selling stuff online since 2015, and I had that to fallback on. My online business gave me something to focus on and a lifeline, since so many were shopping online.

The last few months have been collectively better than the last few years, and the last few weeks have been amazing. But this week really floored me because I sold items that I had refashioned and handpainted, which made me super happy. I believe in everything that I list, since I picked these things to sell, but when I sell something that I personally created, it’s like having wings on my heart.


This week I sold a handpainted denim jacket for full asking price and I was on the floor because I also sold a pair of penny loafers that I reworked into fun fashion statements. I think these are so cute, tbh. I wanted to do something that suggested spats and had an old fashion, 30s feel. I’ve sold designer, vintage and plain old used but selling items that express my personal creative outlook is icing on the cake.

This week I sold a handpainted denim jacket, these shoes and a striped sweater with embroidered patches. I started experimenting with reworking and upcycling items in 2018, and I’ve sold 16 items, from bags, to tiedyed t-shirts to shoes. One the one hand, it’s an economic endeavor because I do want my items to sell, but they’re also individual artistic statements. I put a lot of effort into every piece, even the ones that seem simple like dip bleached jean shorts. I took a sashiko stitching class, bought a sewing machine, spent days in the bathroom tie dying. Every sale gives me the energy to work on more ideas. I’m dying to get into screen printing.

6 years ago I was just trying to make a little money selling blogger perks and thrifted items and now I’m a fashion designer. Granted, there are tons and masses of people ironing on patches, bleaching, tie dying g and stitching items. A lot of people have sewing machines and are doing creative things with them. I’m not the only person handpainting denim jackets, and I’m not the only one who loves drawing hearts. But that doesn’t stop me. You can’t always be the first and only, but you can do what makes you feel happy and creative and not worry about the competition.


accessaries, black fashion designer, Fashion, ootd, personal style, recycled fashion, streetstyle, Style, stylist, upcycled

The Fresh Stylist

I started following Jerelyn Tavarez of DresslikeJ on instagram after participating in a #consistencychallenge led by lifestyle inluencer The Mattie James during quarantine. I got to witness her work at stayI got creative when we were all stuck inside and slowly I started looking forward to her fashion styling magic. It’s not just about looking at some random person wearing clothes? It’s that she messes with her stuff so that it completely expresses her personality. At this point, I cringe at them word fashion (honestly) so it takes a lot for me to like personal style bloggers. But how can you dislike someone who will turn her clothing inside out, upside down and backward?

You can’t. It’s impossible. She makes dressing up look like fun, plus she will have you running to your closet to play with your own stuff which can either lead to a lot of compliments or just a fun evening drinking wine and dressing up. What I like about DresslikeJ is that she leaves her followers room to be delighted, both with her ingenuity and their own possibilities. Who doesn’t need that? So I sent Jerelyn a few items from my online shops to work her magic on.

The dress:

Jerelyn chose a Farm patterned kimono top dress that slimmed down to a pencil skirt, bold statement earrings and an upcycled denim jacket that I designed. I can’t lie, I was really excited to see how she would work with these pieces. She did not let me down.

Jerelyn Tavarez of DesslikeJ

Perfection! Jerelyn gives off a casual but glam summer vibe, and I love how she puts a red and blue dress with a bright yellow shoe and gold bag. It’s a subtle nod to the gold flecks in the earrings, and brings a shot of surprise to the outfit that makes it a head turner.

True to her style, she turned the dress around and it’s stunningly sexy. The tie across the front is reminiscent of a harness bra or a lariat necklace. It’s sensational. Jerelyn told me “I loved the dress as is! Wanted to add a pop of yellow to feel a little vibrant. Then I thought of wearing it backwards. Instead of hiding the strings figured I would create a cute little detail in the front. Voila, a different outfit!” 

The jacket:

Jerelyn Tavares of DresslikeJ wears SEBMarketBK upcycled denim jacket

Here’s how Jerelyn styled my upcycled piece: “The jacket was the main focus so I didn’t want to take away from it. Decided to do something different and align the jacket a bit uneven. Paired it with a pair of blue track pants and wore my strappy sandals. Decided to wrap the straps around the pants for a more stylish look!”

Of course I had to get Jerelyn to give a little interview for the blog.

The DresslikeJ interview:

SEBMarketBK: What got you into fashion blogging? 

DresslikeJ: I would always get compliments on my style. People would ask me, “where did you get that?” I would tell them it’s just a top I wore backwards or a dress I wore as a skirt and they would be shocked. Social media started becoming such a huge source for information so my friends started pushing me to start expressing my love for clothes and style on IG. In November, I started with Fashion Tip Fridays then during quarantine, I was able to dedicate more time and work on new ideas. I also have to thank Sidewalker Daily. I was taking a group coaching class and they played such a huge role in me creating the newsletter. 


SEBMarketBK: You have such a fun, sexy style! Where does your inspiration come from? 

DresslikeJ: Thank you! My inspiration comes from everywhere. I get ideas from anything and I also like to switch up the way we might normally wear a specific item. I love both Solange & Tracy Ellis Ross’s style. & I love combining different patterns and prints. Accessorizing is key to me. 


SEBMarketBK: If you had to pack a bag for a mystery trip leaving in an hour, what would you grab? 

DresslikeJ: Giiirrrlll!!! I’m going to assume this is a summer trip and it’s for the weekend haha! So I would grab two swimsuits, sunglasses, 2-3 head wraps, a maxi dress, a bikini top to pair with some dressy pants, Nike sandals, two pairs of biker shorts, two tees, one sexy fitted dress, a pair of dramatic earrings. Oh and a pair of cute flats that go with everything plus a pair of sexy heels! Oh and can’t forget my liquid highlighter!!! Need to have that glow where ever I am!  

SEBMarketBK: Have you picked up any new styling skills from quarantine? 
I’ve been able to be more creative with my own fits and recycle pieces I never thought I’d wear again. I’ve also been trying to learn how to use safety pins correctly! Sounds crazy but I would always have my friends do it for me. 

SEBMarketBK: Where do you see DresslikeJ in five years? What do you want for yourself and your brand? 

DresslikeJ: Wow! I am hoping to have my own fashion consulting business and an online boutique where people can buy my pieces! 

Check out DresslikeJ on instagram and don’t forget to sign up for her Fashion Tip Fridays newsletter. You can also shop her closet here.

Until next time!

Faith/SEBMarketBK

art, black fashion designer, Fashion, fashion designer, fashion photo, influencer, photo, Photography, recycled fashion, upcycled, vintage

The Beautiful Flowers

I don’t usually feature other photographers, but I have a soft spot for perfection and I had to do a post about an amazing woman who makes art out of old clothes, bedsheets and her gorgeous daughters Jayla, Jada and Ella. I’m usually super jealous… but her work is so good that I had to get over myself.

photo courtesy of Alissa Bertrand of @jabellafleurs

I started following Alissa Bertrand’s page during quarantine and it kept me engaged with the old. I started waiting for Alissa’s posts. They’re like a portal to a fairy tale world where all the princesses are black with beautiful natural hair. Her work reminds me of old Ralph Lauren ads, or Sally Mann’s revealing body of work that starred her pre-pubescent children. Every image is stunning. The lighting is soft, the girls are self aware and graceful, and the clothing is everything a girl or woman wants in her wardrobe.

Phot courtesy of Alissa Bertrand of @labellafleur

I studied photography at Parsons and Columbia College Chicago, and I don’t think that I’ve ever seen such a cohesive body of work or such consistent excellence. Enter the fact that she is doing all of the styling with clothing that she designed, and all of the hairstyling and grooming for the girls and you have a one woman fashion army. If she decided to sell prints, I’d buy them. And I wouldn’t mind a grownup version of this stunning white cotton dress with eyelet lace, either.

photo courtesy of Alissa Bertrand of @jabellafleur

I got Alissa to answer a few questions about her images and her plans for the future.

Alissa Bertrand with her daughters Jada, Ella and Jayla

The Jabella Fleur interview:

SEBMARKETBK: What inspired the photographs that you take of your daughters? Was there an artist or designer or magazine that informed your distinctive photography style? 

Alissa Bertrand: What inspires the photographs I take of my girls is just simply trying to capture them and the clothing I make for them! It’s also a way for them to have some really amazing pictures of themselves as children, to look back upon and remeber all the times we spent together along with all the fun adventurous stories too. I don’t look to others to inspire what I do. I’m a vintage fanatic and I love vintage aesthetics, so a big part of my look is evoking that style. 

SEBMARKETBK: Did you study photography or take any lessons? 

Alissa Bertrand: I’ve never studied photography! I wish I had some more knowledge in photography. I simply know the basics of what I like and what I want to capture along with the feeling.

phot courtesy of Alissa Bertrand of @jabellafleur

SEBMARKETBK: When did you start designing clothing? Do you remember your first garment? 

Alissa Bertrand: I started sewing from the 8th grade, and designing and repurposing about 10 years ago! The first garment was a maxi dress for the girls. 

I don’t look to others to inspire what I do. I’m a vintage fanatic and I love vintage aesthetics, so a big part of my look is evoking that style. 

Alissa Bertrand, creative designer and stylist

SEBMARKETBK: Do your daughters take pictures or create clothing like you? 

Alissa Bertrand: My daughters don’t take pictures. They’re just my mini-muses. They do enjoy sewing and creating little things. 

SEBMARKETBK: Where do you see your artwork taking you? Are you interested in being in galleries or museums? 

Alissa Bertrand: I see my fashion and photography taking me to the next level in fashion. I’m currently working on a fashion collection for girls, hopefully coming out SS21! I hope my work will end up in magazines and introduce myself and designs to the world! 

So as a way to thank Alissa for helping me hold onto sanity during the horrible weeks of quarantine and then the first weeks of the protests against the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and too many others, I’m doing this blog post. She reminded me that art has the power to heal, and that consistency is key in creating a successful art process. Her work reminds me to look towards my family for inspiration and savor the small pleasures and victories available to me.

Please follow Alissa and her girls on @jabellafleur (and tell others!) so that she’ll be a mega-success and I’ll get the coffee table book I keep begging her for. Any requests for collabs or publication should be directed to her on instagram.

Until next time,

Faith/SEBMarketBK

american made, beauty, beauty products, black fashion designer, Fashion, fashion designer, influencer, makeup, recycled fashion, summer beauty, upcycled, woman boss

The Beauty Boss

I was thinking about what to blog about this week as I was scrubbing up in the shower and then I realized that I wanted to write about some of the black owned brands that I’ve been buying from. As a former beauty and fashion influencer, I now hate everything. Partly because I was just used as a lure for big businesses that find it cheaper to throw a party and give away merchandise that they can write off and still profit. Partly because after testing so many products that were not meant for my skin or hair I realized that I was a pure idiot to keep promoting a system that doesn’t really see me as valuable. So, now I try to buy from small, independent and Black companies. If I’m going to influence people, then I want to influence them to help build new companies and business moguls.

I came across Goldenbrownskin LLC after they posted on Fashion Bomb Daily’s instagram page. I started with the Rose lip gloss ($4) and ended up going back for the Coconut and Rose brown sugar scrub ($27.95) that looks super expensive and pretty in the bathtub edge. My items were created, packaged and shipped quickly, and the owner was really nice about answering messages and whatnot. You really feel that there’s a human being behind the screen making beauty magic for you.

8 custom tubes of lipgloss, with custom labels from Goldenbrownskin LLC

One night I was looking for something to buy and I noticed that they were offering Wholesale lipgloss. You get 40 to 100 tubes custom made for you. I chose five flavors and GBS worked with me to create the colors that I wanted. They basically went flavor by flavor with me specifying my color choices and then sending me photos of the progress. I sell them and give away tubes with items that I sell in my online shops and people adore them.

Of course I had to be nosy. I love finding out about people’s processes and ideas. So here, in her own words, is Goldenbrownskin LLC:

SEB Market BK: What made you start a business for yourself? 

Goldenbrownskin LLC: I started a business for myself because I noticed I work better alone. I’ve always been a leader, a creative & I enjoy helping others. 

SEB Market BK: What inspired your Upcycled designs? Did you go to fashion school? 

Goldenbrownskin LLC: I have a lot of old clothes & I don’t like being around crowds of people so I normally just rework the items I have. I love to see ideas come to life. I’ve never been to any fashion school, I just watch a lot of YouTube, lol.

SEB Market BK: Your lipgloss is amazing! How did you get into creating your collection and what got you into selling wholesale? 

Goldenbrownskin LLC: Thank you so much! I started making lip gloss because I wanted to experiment with a variety of products, that women would shop for all the time. I enjoy doing wholesale more than making individual lipgloss because I like helping others start their own business.

SEB Market BK: You’re taking orders for custom t-shirts now. Are you going to be designing a collection exclusively for Goldenbrownskin? 

Goldenbrownskin LLC: I have started taking t-shirt orders, but I am still practicing. I’m not sure if that’s something I’d get into, I really enjoy making custom tees for other people. But of course a branded t-shirt with “Goldenbrownskin” has to happen! 

SEB Market BK: Tell me about your latest product, Dragon Butter. It looks like the secret to perfect summer skin! 

Goldenbrownskin LLC: Yes, so my body butters are my new favorites. Everything is natural & homemade. My fav body butter is the dragon butter, I love the strawberry scent. The body butters a natural raw African Shea butter. The Shea butter is great in healing and evening out your skin tone. Works great for individuals with any skin disorders via eczema, psoriasis, rashes etc 

SEB Market BK: You’ve been really outspoken about the protests. How has the current climate affected you and what are you doing to make a difference?

Goldenbrownskin LLC: I haven’t personally been too affected by what’s been going on. I have a blended family so it’s a hard subject to speak on, but I have been donating 30% of each order to fund the BLM movement. It’s a very sad situation, something I truly don’t understand.

So, basically a savvy business owner with empathy, kindness, and social conscience as part of her business plan. In other words, a Queen building an empire of love. Yes, I do see what just wrote. I said what I said. Click to check out Goldenbrownskin, and follow her awesome instagram, too.

Until next time,

Faith/SEBMarketBK

achievements, activities, beauty, beauty products, Fashion, hair products, haircare, home, recycled fashion, self-care, upcycled, vintage

The Hours

As a lifelong introvert, I’m no stranger to staying in while the sun is shining and everyone else is off having fun. Ever since I was a kid, staying in was my favorite option. I was the weirdo that had to be forced outside and had no one to play with when I got there. I read book after book, fought with my brothers and thought up crazy ideas for what I would be when I grew up. None of which involved being (self) quarantined because of a global pandemic. This current time period is straight from a scifi movie.

I’ve only been in here for 8 days, so far. On April 1st I find out if anything is happening with my job, so for all intents and purposes I have nowhere to be until April 2nd. So what am I up to? Am I stir crazy? Lonely? Panting to leave? No! I’m busy. Busy af. Here’s why:

1.My mommy:

Just before I went in for the long haul, I had a long talk with my Mommy. We haven’t spoken in a few years because I remembered some things and I felt justified in withholding love and attention from her. I’m an adult and she can’t make me do anything. Enter coronavirus and I realized that whatever happened, happened. That’s all. It was just stuff that happened a long time ago and I have to let that go. The first thing I did as I was prepping for quarantine was run up and down Utica Avenue putting a box of wigs, haircare products and a big African gown for Easter. That’s how I love people, I shop for them.

This stuff is for her next box, an early Mother’s Day present. Kmart on 34th Street was closing and I started slowly looking through the place, extracting style gold for my Mommy. I didn’t get shoes, because I was trying to do a surprise and my brothers didn’t text me back when I asked for the shoe size. I figured two full outfits, plus a nice housecoat (the blue and green folded item), and I got her a long slip because her generation wore them. Florals are cheery and colorful, so I know she’ll smile when she wears these tops. The bottoms are stretchy, for her comfort. Plus a book of bible verses, because she not only believes in God, but she prays for me. I figure this will help her pick topics to focus on.

I ran all over the place looking for someone to love me, and all I needed to do was love my mom and let her love me back. It’s so peaceful.

2. My laundry:

I had laundry piled up before quarantine happened, but things have entered a critical area. No undies and no inclination to wash them myself. Also some thrifted items that I was supposed to send out so that I could post them. And my favorite socks were dirty. And my workout clothes need cleaning. And I want to have all of my sheets available. LUCKILY the laundry service is considered essential (think hospitals and nursing homes, not just for people too lazy to use the laundromat in the building like me) but now they’re only picking up at night. I got half the laundry out, with the next load ready for next week.

So now I can clean the bathroom and decide if I’m finally going to finish that storage table I made and then left unfinished.

3. Selfcare:

I decided to branch out and try a new natural haircare provider and I found Fro.ology on Etsy. She had all the products I had grown to love, with improvements. I got the Hair Tea Rinse, $12, which has lavender, peppermint, and chamomile to soothe and nurture the scalp and encourage growth. The Onion and Garlic Hair Oil, $10, is an anti-microbial (kills the fungus that causes danduff) with vitamin c, infused with hibiscus, rosemary and lavender. I used this as soon as I got it because my scalp was so dry and it works wonders. I also ordered the Super Thick Deep Conditioner, $10, which contains aloe vera, rose water and rice protein. It is indeed thick, and super moisturizing. I used it this afternoon and after leaving it on for an hour (I got busy and forgot about it) I rinsed with cold water as directed, patted dry and had the curl definition promised.

And did I mention that Gianni, the business owner, included a full shower cap and tea infuser? I really appreciated that touch. The products are great, the shipping is fairly quick (about 5 days as she makes the products to order), and I’m definitely sticking with this brand for the long haul. Make sure you check out Fro.ology on instagram, too.

The night before I had to come in the house I raided Target’s beauty aisles and ordering products online because boredom is real. I have also been lagging behind on my total body selfcare. I have been running and running for 3 years, swinging from job to job before finally ending up where I wanted to be as a Visual Merchandiser. I’m getting better at merchandising, and getting bigger assignments. But I was tired from all the crappy jobs that made me feel like a cog in the wheel. I figured this quarantine isn’t just about the corona virus, it’s about me.

I barely ever have time to do my nails. I bought a tube of depilatory and it’s still sitting in the bathroom. I NEED to take care of myself to feel good about me. After 8 days, I am starting to shed the stressful, pinched feeling that I’ve been carrying and starting to forgive myself for mistakes and starting to feel good about whatever future is going to be there for me. This is the first time in three years that I can stay home and not be afraid of losing my job or not being able to pay rent. I know it was caused by something bad, I do feel for the people that are sick and dying. But it also reminds me to LIVE.

Last but not least, I’m going to the post office on April 1st, and I’d love to be able to mail out some new, used , vintage or upcycled items for you guys to flex in. I’m having a yellow tag sale on selected items and bundles. Go to http://www.depop.com/sebmarket and get 25% off on yellow tag items, and if you do a bundle of 3 or more items, you get 25% off as well as free shipping. If you’re on the app, I’m @sebmarket.

How are you dealing with self-quarantine? Are you even in the house? If not, please remember masks, hand sanitizer, handwashing and staying 6 feet away from others to help flatten the curve. I know it all seems scary, but you can only control yourself. Do the right thing, and try to help others if you can

Until next time,

Faith/SEB Market BK

Accessories, adornment, art, denim, ecofashion, Fashion, model style, ootd, personal style, recycled fashion, streetstyle, Style, upcycled

The Feather Jacket

The one where I bought some chicken feathers and I had this denim jacket. Trying to get some use out of that time in art school that I’m still in debt for.

About to be hyped up.

I won a contest and got $100 to go shopping, I saw a plain, Old Navy denim jacket and I got so happy because I had a bunch of paint in colors that I never use ,plus some gold glitter that I got at Micheal’s. With Labor Day coming I was thinking that I wanted something that expressed that part of my culture (my family is from Guyana) without me having to wear anything that caused my bottom half to be exposed to all the world.

Prudish Yankee. I know. I don’t whine up and I can’t twerk. My soul is now bare.

I saw some feathers at the fabric store and the wheels started turning and I was like Eureka! or Irie…or whatever and even though I have no experience putting feathers on anything I knew my moment had come. It was time.

The fields of color are inspired by one of my favorite painters, Mark Rothko. It’s funny what the eye and heart will respond to. I went to a school where I was outnumbered and learned about artists who didn’t share my gender or race, but there you go. I love Rothko’s glowing, living fiends of dreamy saturated color. The idea of the color itself being the art, to force you to just contemplate the meaning and feel of a shade or hue is very powerful to me. This jacket needed gradations of tropical, vibrant shades that blend into each other like a layered frozen cocktail.

Once the paint was dry I added two rows of feathers for the win. Like the feathers on beautiful mas costumes worn by goddesses from places like Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad, etc. Gold glitter is dusted across the shoulders and feathers like highlighter on brown skin. It’s the whole West Indian Day Parade and Carnival and Cropover in one upcycled jacket. I thought about adding rhinestones or big fake jewels but I liked it this way. Business in the front, bacchanal in the back.

White guy art meets black female immigrant culture. It’s so fetch.

Shop the blog:

Handpainted denim jacket with feathers, size XL

Hand painted rainbow jacket with feathers. Lightwash, classic construction. 100% cotton. Front is plain, with distress area. Back is painted from shoulders to waistband. Shoulders are painted. A double row of feathers runs across the back, dusted with gold glitter. Basically a birthday party in jacket form. Measures 24 inches from shoulder to hem. 22 inches from armpit to armpit. 23.5 inch long sleeves. *Free shipping *Only ships in the US.

$250.00

Crystal ear cuff

Giant crystal ear cuff. Big rectangular faceted crystals outline the curve of the ear, with an underline of tiny crystals running underneath. Cuff has a clip for the top of the ear to hold it on. *Free shipping. *Ships only in the US.

$30.00

Topshop jeweled faux leather minidress, size 4

80s style strapless black faux leather minidress with sweetheart neckline. Large acrylic jewels are set into the surface like a glittering net. The back is plain. Buttery soft leather like polyester, fully lined. Top is boned to provide support and a perfect fit. Pleats at the waist. Zips up the back. Brand new with tags, never worn. 25 inches from bust to hem. 12.5 inches across the waist. 17 across the hips. 18 inches across the hem, so leg opening is 36" circumference. *Free shipping. *Ships only in the US.

$65.00

Steve Madden spiked stilletos, size 10

Steve Madden party heels. Matte black velvety spike heeled covered with metal points. Cutout on the sides. Worn once for a photo shoots, soles are lightly scuffed. Shoes are true to size. Heels are 4.5 inches high. *Free shipping *Ships in the US only

$56.00

black fashion designer, Fashion, fashion designer, photo shoot, recycled fashion, shoes, stylist, upcycled, vintage

The Lone Wolf

My biggest creative problem is procrastination. I like to set up projects with all the supplies and then spend weeks walking around them. I started this jacket last year but I wasn’t fully satisfied with it. Last week I looked at it and the spark went off and I finished it in three days.

The jacket already had the groundwork, but it needed some juice pumped into it. I started by painting the back panel and brushing on a eerie full moon. I found this sawesome snarling wolf patch and delicately added some red paint around the mouth. I distressed it to look like it had survived the owner turning into a wolf… or had just fought a wolf off.

Dip-dye bleaching freshened the piece and provided a better backdrop for the embellishments. It’s, um, AMAZING!!!

On location at the Nomo Soho Hotel with Shoott Photos 6/29/19 (get a 10% off your photos when you use this link!)

It’s the perfect jacket to wear with some vintage. Here I styled the Lone Wolf with my favorite skull tank top, a 70s patchwork skirt in lightweight summer cotton and a pair of chocolate brown Manas Designs motorcycle boots. The bag is an upcycled wristlet that I handpainted and embellished. Throw on some red lips (like this Cranberry Stilletto Lip Whip from Beauty Bakerie, $20) and you’re ready for photoshoots, shopping and an easy casual dinner.

How much are you loving this beautiful backdrop? It’s at the NoMo Soho Hotel, in NYC. I haven’t seen the rooms or anything, but I bet it’s a cute place to get away to. And they have a cool looking bar and restaurant.

See you next time!

Faith/SEB Market BK

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Lone Wolf upcycled jacket, size M

Upcycled Lone Wolf jacket SEB Market BK original. Black roses wind around the front, a rhinestone encrusted snake slither around the collar on the left side. Handpainted back panel with wolf patch. Lightly sprinkled with stars and studs, faux pearls and a sparkling bumblebee on the back. Cuffs have acrylic jewels inside. Jacket has been bleached and distressed. Measures 21 inches from shoulder to hem. 19 inches from armpit to armpit. 18.5 across the waist. Sleeves are 24 inches from shoulder to wrist. *Shipping is included in the price. **United States only.

$200.00

Vintage 70s cotton patchwork skirt, size M

No label, probably handmade 70s patchwork skirt. Cut and sewn patterned panels with a floral waistband. Zipper is inset at the waist with two sets of snaps. Simple and flattering a-line shape. Colors have mellowed with time. Excellent vintage condition. 27 inches long, waist is 15 inches across. 22 1/4 inches across the hips. Skirt wides to a 37 inches across the hem. No size, but should fit a medium. *Shipping is included in the price. **United States only.

$45.00

Manas motorcycleboots, size 10

Buttery Italian Manas Design leather motorcycle boots. Features zipper trim on top and a decorative chunky (non functional) zipper on the sides. Insert strap across the ankle. Zippered closure. Round toes. Lug soles with chunk heel. Some light scuffing, but overall excellent condition. Fits the foot like a glove. Says size 41, fits US 9.5 (with socks) or 10. Boot is 7.5 inches high on the leg, above the ankle and below the calf. *Shipping is included in the price. **United States only.

$150.00

SEBMarketBK upcycled floral wristlet

Hand painted floral wristlet with patches, pearls and rhinestones. Double sided, with two zippered compartments to hold cash, cards, bus passes, parking validation tickets, movie and concert tickets, cash and a zippered pocket for change. Black on black interiors, bright brass hardware. Detachable wrist strap. Measures 7.5 inches long, 4 inches high, 1.5 inches wide *Shipping is included in the price. **United States only.

$60.00