Bohemian Rhapsody

Mom put me on to Queen. She spent a good bit of time in London during her formative years in the ’80s. When I was a kid in the ’90s, we’d clean the crib while listening to Queen: Greatest Hits I & II. I can still see her dancing to “Radio Ga Ga” in our Silver Spring Towers apartment’s living room. “Don’t Stop Me Now” and “Bicycle Race” used to be my jams!

Rami Malek’s looking good as Freddie. For a while, I was a bit bummed that Sacha Baron Cohen left this role behind. This trailer’s easing my nerves, though.

Maybe I’ll see it with Mom this fall.

TDE’s Nike Collab for The Championship Tour at a Tour Stop Near You

 

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TDE’s Championship Tour merch | images c/o Nike

 


 

Last week I hit the Forum in Los Angeles for the Championship Tour, which features Kendrick Lamar, SZA Schoolboy Q and the rest of Top Dawg Entertainment’s roster. I’ve seen both Lamar and SZA in the last year. But this trek was a refreshed, abbreviated version of their 2017 tours and it was an added treat to see Q, Isaiah Rashad and Jay Rock for a bit.

I was hanging with buds from Nike, who were introducing their collab line with TDE via the SNKRS Stash experience. Concert attendees with the SNKRS app were alerted around 9:30pm through push notifications that Lamar’s Cortez Kenny III available for purchase. Of course, they sold out in minutes. But Nike’s move adds a nice touch, beyond exclusivity. Not only do you have to have the Internet and quick fingers, but also be at the specific location your favorite rapper is to get clothes and kicks that rep his team.

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This weekend the SNKRS Stash app returns for the Championship Tour’s Houston stop. Look at the dates below to find out where else you can be a part of the action:

Houston, TX at Social Status – May 19-20
New York, NY at Concepts – May 26-30
Boston, MA at Bodega – June 4-5
Toronto, ON at Livestock – June 11-12
Chicago, IL at Notre – June 14-15

Louis Vuitton’s Time Capsule | My Visit to Their Past

 

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Louis Vuitton’s Time Capsule Exhibit | all images c/o Louis Vuitton/BFA.com


 

If you saw a picture of Louis Vuitton, would you recognize the subject of the image? I’m not referring to a dress, a pair of shoes, or piece of luggage. I mean the man. For those of us who consider ourselves in the know when it comes to fashion, or even care a little about today’s trends, it’s easy to follow your favorite designer on social media or by frequenting sites like Vogue and BoF.

[PRIVATE FOREVER] LV TIME CAPSULE OPENING COCKTAIL

But on Thursday (May 17), when I hit the U.S. debut of Louis Vuitton’s Time Capsule exhibition in Los Angeles at the Westfield Century City atrium, I got a chance to not only be educated a bit about the Frenchman whose LV logo is synonymous with excellence, but to actually see his face and learn about his couture house’s history.

[PRIVATE FOREVER] LV TIME CAPSULE

I didn’t know LV was the first to put wheels on luggage, or that the brand was among the first to make flat-topped trunks that could be stacked upon (curved tops are great for rainwater run-off, but that’s about it). I didn’t know that Vuitton was born in 1821 and grew a gnarly mustache. I didn’t know the depth LV has dug trying to beautify so many parts of our day-to-day lives.

 

 

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You a traveler? Here’s a sexy-ass duffle bag. Tuckered out from brutal travels, but there’s no spot to rest your weary body in sight? Peep a vintage trunk with a built-in bed. Did you love music in the early ‘80s? LV had a fresh monogrammed box that stored 10 cassettes. Need a gown for a huge party? No prob’. Here’s the one-shoulder, embroidered lace evening look Emma Stone wore to the Golden Globes earlier this year, expertly crafted by current Women’s Artistic Director Nicolas Ghesquière’s gifted hands.

[PRIVATE FOREVER] LV TIME CAPSULE

Love art? Both Jeff Koons and Takashi Murakami have shared and paired their aesthetics with LV. Speaking of coveted collaborations, pieces from punk icon Stephen Sprouse and streetwear brand Supreme also hold spots at the showing.

Louis Vuitton has accomplished a lot since its 1854 start. That’s over 160 years of sartorial excellence. The Time Capsule exhibition officially opens today (May 18) and runs through June 10, 2018. I suggest you make that trip and witness the glory. As LV prepares for its next era with newly appointed Men’s Director Virgil Abloh at the helm (his first show is weeks away in June), it’s a good idea to see where they’ve been before finding out where they’re going.

Bravo, “This is America”

Within the first 24 hours of this video dropping, I peeped several creatives of note singing their praise of it. Takashi Murakami, Ava Duvernay, Virgil Abloh, A$AP Rocky and many, many more love it.

I always enjoy these occasions, when we can all gather around a something and appreciate every bit of it. In this case, it’s the music, lyrics, dances, symbolism, ad-libs from southern Hip-Hop’s all-stars, artistic direction, and cinemetography. Childish’s Gambino’s “This is America” music video is the best clip of 2018 so far. It has inspired a collection of think pieces on its cultural, racial, and political impliations and impact and It’s fun reading the different interpretations folks have of it.

Thinking Back to When Childish Gambino Wasn’t Black Enough

It’s rare, I think, that things in the African American ethos–with such subject matter and heavy content–go viral. The last “Hey, did you see XYZ? Let’s talk deeply about it.” moment we’ve had on the positive side on things was Jordan Peele’s Get Out at the top of 2017. Glover’s video has about 42 million YouTube views as of 4pm here in Los Angeles. Big numbers in general, but especially for something only three days old.

Let’s keep spreading this fire. Donald is right on time with this one. Well done.

A Dinner For Nike

Flaunt Magazine Dinner with Nike and Revolve

Photos by Bianca Vazquez and Araya Diaz/Wire Image


 

One of the things that has been most exciting about my role at Flaunt Magazine is the ability to tell full stories here. For 10 years I’ve been interviewing creatives. Over the last four years, I’ve learned how to produce and edit video shorts. And since starting at Flaunt last July, I’ve not only been able to do exhibit the aforementioned skills, but I’ve been producing events that compliment the articles as well.

So far I’ve assisted on a celebration with Prada, led an art installation preview and 10-part video series for with The Broad Museum and recently, spearheaded a project with Nike. Back in November, Nike reached out to me to talk about how excited they were about their 1s Reimagined collection, a ladies-only line of remixed Air Jordan 1s and Air Force 1s. I sent a writer to their Portland HQ to get a sneak peak of the footwear and we shot all 10 pairs in-house here in LA. It was all pretty conventional journalism.

Flaunt Celebrates Nike’s 1 Reimagined with Revolve

Flaunt Magazine Dinner with Nike and Revolve

But the part that excited me most–outside of showcasing dope fashion–was the my pitch of putting together a dinner that celebrated a diverse collection of women in several facets of fashion, the arts, and entertainment. Collaborating to accomplish a goal is a winding road. Our ideas took many turns. Revolve entered the mix around January as the space (the roof) where we’d have it.

Long story short, it turned out swell. I had a hand in just about everything–from how we’d title the dishes on the menu to connect to theme of the shoes to flower arrangements on the tables to selecting guests to each person having a hand-drawn sketch to identify where they sit and take home.

To go from one phone call in November to looking at 40 attendees (art curators, designers, models, actresses, influencers…) enjoying themselves on a rooftop dinner in February because of great ideas and teamwork is pretty damn awesome. Looking forward to doing more things like this.

Me x Kobe Bryant x Dear Basketball

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Kobe Bryant | shot by Ian Morrison for Flaunt


 

Whenever I interview someone who’s incredibly well known and popular, my goal is an obvious one: Find something new out. Most people know this person’s general life story and highlights.

So my question for you—after you read this interview I had with Kobe Bryant for Flaunt Magazine—is did you learn anything new about him? I think I dug out about–hmmm–three intriguing nuggets. Each third of the story has one.

Talking to Kobe and Disney animation legend Glen Keane (he drew Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast!) about their Oscar-winning short Dear Basketball was a treat. I’m a huge Kobe fan. Players who entered the NBA in the mid-‘90s were the ones I watched bloom into stars and Kobe was my favorite. The skill, the passion, the talent, the Hip-Hop meets Air Jordan 2.0 vibes… He was dope. So much so that I wouldn’t play as anyone but the Lakers on NBA Live or 2K from about 1997 to maybe 2010 or so when I stopped being a consistent gamer.

It was difficult to keep my cool, but thankfully I don’t think they could tell. The interview  went well and writing the piece was a breeze. We rapped about Michael Jackson, storytelling, discovering your life’s purpose as a youth and more. Give it a read.


 

A story about the photo shoot for this Flaunt piece:

During the photo shoot for this interview, I was talking to his Dear Basketball publicist  about one of my goals for the new year. We were just days into 2018 and knowing that I closed ’17 eating wild and glorious amounts of food and sweet treats, my goal was to lose 15 pounds in January. Kobe overheard me. About 10 minutes later, he walked over and looked me up and down—sneakers to the longest strand of hair on my head.

“You’re trying to lose weight?” he asked. “Yeah,” I said. I told him that I’d looked up Dwyane Wade’s weight (we’re about the same height), saw that he’s 220-ish and thought I could get there with some discipline. Kobe asked how I was feeling so far. Cutting back on eating garbage is pretty easy, I explained. But the 4-5 gym workouts a week that I had picked up were making me sore and tired as hell.

A smirk crept onto his face as his shoulders shrugged, like a two-piece combo of indifference and hilarity just presented itself. “Your body will get used to it,” he said through a light chuckle. “Yeah,” I responded. “True.” We shook hands. He left. On my way home, I too laughed. That was such a Kobe response.

Kobe probably never complained about the temporary pain he endured during the thousands of hours he’d spent training in gyms, running on tracks and recovering from numerous injuries. He knew it was part of the process. A little work and pain now, a trophy later. That’s a fair exchange. I took it all in while sitting in the back of my Lyft headed home, grinning ear to ear. “Kobe didn’t give a fuck about my gym pain because he’s a bad-ass and bad-asses aren’t trying to hear that shit,” I thought. “That’s why I love that dude.” Then I snapped out of it. Haha, what a nerd I am sometimes.

By the way, I lost that 15 pounds. Again, go read my Kobe story.

 

-bw