Lets #Shock the world with YSL

Kristy

Lets #Shock the world with the newest mascara by Yves Saint Laurent. Being one of the first influencers to try this mascara in my VoxBox, I was pretty over the moon. I mean it’s YSL girl! First of all the packaging was to die for, with rose gold and black you can never go wrong. Just to let everyone know I was offered the complementary mascara for an honest review of how I liked the product.  Over the years of being in my teens and experimenting with makeup I have tried just about every mascara. I always layer different mascara’s because you want volume, thickness, and length without getting clumpy. The amazing thing about The Shock is that it can coat every individual lash, but doesn’t flake or clump. I always have the extra throw away mascara brush’s that I use with most mascaras just to get the excess off at the end, but did not need it with the YSL. I personally love the brush shape and the formula stays on your lashes well. It is super pigmented so it makes my blue eyes pop and I don’t feel the need to reapply during the day. Overall it is expensive being $29 a tube because usually I buy drugstore mascara, but if you are looking to spurge then put this on your wish list!

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the voices of feminism

Melissa

I had a firm, much needed wake up call at the Women’s March in Eugene, Oregon last weekend. One of the last speakers took the microphone and made a comment about how there were only one, if not two, women of color who spoke at the rally. An eruption of applause burst out, clapping in agreeance, but acknowledging it is only one part of the solution. The ignorance I was taking part in is a toxic and regressive environment that you may be promoting, even if you think you have progressive political and social beliefs.

Women of color, women of the LGBTQIA+ community, women with disabilities, and other minority groups have been fighting this fight for hundreds of years. Their feet hit the pavement, signs in hand, with voices demanding equality for everyone far before white women did. It’s not fair that we haven’t participated until now. It’s time we demand and refuse to back down. It’s time we will accept nothing less than full-fledged inclusivity. It’s time we use our privilege to give equality to the people whose voices we’ve ignored and who we have left in the shadows for a shamefully long time.

Intersectional feminism is essential. Every woman’s story is different and deserves to be heard. Many people, including myself are familiar with the term, but are unsure of or haven’t researched it properly to know how to apply it or discuss it. It was coined by scholar and civil rights advocate Kimberlé Williams, and in the most basic sense of the term, it’s defined as, “the study of overlapping or intersecting social identities and related systems of oppression, domination, or discrimination.” Thankfully, I know a quite a few incredible women who are patient, intelligent, and willing to take questions and graciously give answers. They offer personal stories, what intersectionality means to them, and suggestions on the things that must be done in order to make equality happen. It’s time to take the backseat and listen—it’s long overdue.

 

Laurise

I read a quote once that said feminism without intersectionality is not feminism at all. As a black woman, my experiences as a woman will always be different than those of a white woman, and anyone who is for the equal treatment of men and women have to also be for the equal treatment of WOC and white women. Non-POC feminists can incorporate intersectionality into their feminism (on the smallest scale) by simply acknowledging it. Rowan Blanchard is an amazing example of that.

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(@lauriseirl)

 

Manju

One question I hear a lot is why feminism is held to a standard of intersectionality that other movements have not necessarily been held to. It’s because, historically, feminism hasn’t been intersectional. With the age of the internet, even the most marginalized communities in the country and world have the chance to speak on a platform.

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, suffragists like Alice Paul decided on pushing for white women’s suffrage first, as they would most likely lose the South if they worked for all women’s rights. Ida B. Wells was told not to march with the white women marching for suffrage–she did anyway, but not without resistance. Native American women were not able to vote until 1924 and black women were not guaranteed their voting right until 1965. People with disabilities are still barred from voting in 16 states if they are “mentally incompetent or incapacitated.” Trans women still face many barriers with voter ID laws. And that’s just with voting.

The issues with inequality range far beyond voting from incarceration to child custody to wages. If we focus solely on white women, as we have historically, we end up celebrating achievements that are glorified as “reaching equality,” while they actually leave their sisters of color, sisters with disabilities, non-Christian sisters, and LGBT+ sisters behind. Feminism must be intersectional or it will continue to proclaim victory in a war not yet won.

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(@astronautmanju)

 

Serena

Being a transgender woman, I go through the intersectionality of being considered a woman but have the look of a man. Being judged with discrimination and being wrongly gender-identified is difficult. I want people to not gender identify so quickly, I know it’s hard but if they see a guy dressed in girl’s clothes–identify me as a woman.

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(@serenafashiondiva23)

 

Danielle

Intersectionality to me, means knowing and acknowledging that women of different races and sexual orientations experience different forms of discrimination. If you are a white female, it’s important to understand that you still have certain degree of privilege. As a black woman, I not only have to fight discrimination based on gender, I also have to fight discrimination based on race. The feminist movement has such great intentions, but most of the time you only see white middle class women. I think the reason why people have such an issue incorporating it because historically, the feminist movement did not include women of color or people who identify as females. While Susan B. Anthony fought hard for women’s rights, she was not in favor of equal rights for ALL women, and history books always seem to forget that. It’s so important for the feminist movement to become more intersectional because when all women are united, we are a force to be reckoned with. I truly believe that equality will be achieved if this movement was inclusive of all women. The best way to achieve this is to be open to having hard conversations about history and privilege. Women of color and gender minorities do not want special treatment, we just want equal treatment.

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(@daniellesandifer)

 

Negina

The night before the (great) Women’s March, I was as Obama would say, “Fired up and ready to go.” The thing about protesting is that for it to be effective, people need to show up and have their voices heard. I don’t think we had a problem with turnout on January 21st, but there did seem to be a communication issue on the topic of intersectional feminism. When women were taking to streets during the female liberation movement of the 1960s and ’70s, it was overwhelmingly white women fighting white men for their rights and it marked yet another case of people of color being neglected in American history. But it’s 2017 now and we can’t repeat those mistakes. The Women’s March this month needed to be one for all women–white or not, vagina or not–and that’s what intersectional feminism stands for. The poster I made for the protest events read “All Oppression is Connected: racism, ageism, ableism, classism, egoism, sexism. #intersectionalfeminism” for this very reason. I was a minority in the marches I participated in, so I wanted to make sure that my opinion on this whole “pink pussy” brigade was known. Not all vaginas are pink, and again, not all women have vaginas and this cannot be ignored.

Our generation is the one that needs to be correct in this sense and employ this concept that all types of discrimination intersect. We need to keep showing up for each other’s demonstrations, whether it’s to fight systematic racism or raise awareness for the environment or any other social movement. We need to be there for anyone who feels like their social identity is coming under fire because no one should be discriminated against for who they are. There’s already heavy polarization happening in this country and it doesn’t need to trickle into our efforts, in regard to those who supported the Women’s March on Washington. As so many people have been saying recently, so many great leaders and citizens, that now more than ever is when we need to ban together and fight the man and his administration that our neighbors voted for.

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(@negina.jpg)

 

Sam

A movement working to gain equality for women should be inclusive of all women and recognize that every women does not begin at the same starting line in life, that some have more privileges and advantages than others. Women who are part of other oppressed communities have a very different experience than women who are not. At Toronto’s Women’s March on Washington this past weekend, I saw a sign that read: “We can’t all succeed if half of us are held back.” I assume this was pointed at the disparities that exist between men and women, but I think the sign’s message could be applied to the feminist movement as well.

A victory for one portion of the female population is by no means a victory for all women. Intersectionality is crucial to the movement, it acknowledges the issues that women of every race, creed, socioeconomic class, identity, sexuality, and ability face and it addresses them. I would say one way to adopt intersectionality is by rejecting exclusionary language and supporting diverse voices to express their own concerns because issues like imperiled reproductive rights and the gender wage gap are just the tip of the iceberg.

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(@samhannes)

We can’t say we are activists when our sisters still don’t stand on even ground. Figure out how you can help, and do it. This will be an ongoing post where we will add women’s voices, opinions, and suggestions as we receive them, that way we can continue to learn the ways we can help each other out.

for the WYNNE

Libby

Sina Holwerda is disrupting the genre of hip hop in all of the best ways. This badass, “watch-me-break-the-rules” rebel is using her platform to make tremendous strides in the industry.

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What first inspired your love for hip hop music?

I played for a club soccer team when I was nine and we were tasked with making a warm up CD. I asked my older brother if he knew any good pump up songs and he introduced me to “Lose Yourself,” Em’s classic. I immediately fell in love, and being that my brother and I shared an iTunes account, I had all of his music on my little MP3. That night I went into my room and discovered Eminem, Nate Dogg, 50 Cent, Dre, etc. I was hooked.

What can you share with us about your journey as a recording artist? How did you get started, how did you progress and how did you get to where you are today?

I started rapping when I was nine just for fun. I would rap those same Eminem songs I had on my MP3 every night before I went to bed until I was 12 (this is not an exaggeration, I was painfully adamant about rapping every night before I went to bed). When I was 12 I decided I wanted to do this for the rest of my life and began writing lyrics everyday. I wrote a song or two everyday for two years. Granted, they were awful, but it took writing all of those terrible lyrics and trying to mimic my favorite artists for me to find who I was. It was especially hard being a young woman, not just because 0% of my friends and family believed I could pursue rap but because all of my role models were men. I wasn’t introduced to female rappers until later in high school. Because of that, it took me a long time to find my voice. I wish that I had some wonderful story where I’d hang out with my 3 best friends and we just made music in the bedroom until it took off but I didn’t have that luxury. I grew up in a suburb five minutes outside of Portland with no diversity and, therefore, had a very limited understanding and acceptance of other cultures. Nobody made hip hop and nobody understood hip hop. I was made fun of, taunted during some of my performances, and isolated because of my passion. I was different in a cookie cutter community. I grew by literally locking myself in my room and working relentlessly by myself to prove those people wrong. When I got to college I found my music people. Now I have the people I wish that I had in high school and I couldn’t be more grateful for their dedication to helping me pursue my career and their passion for music.  

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How did you come up with your stage name, Wynne?

Wynne (pronounced like win) is actually my middle name- it’s Welsh and it means fair skin and fair hair so, that’s me. What better way to enter hip hop culture than calling myself what everybody sees when I grab a mic.

What inspires your lyrics? If you could share a message with the world through your music, what would it be?

Everything. I know that’s the most broad answer possible but it’s super true. It would be easy to say that my music is inspired by my life because it is, but I also want to talk about topics that I see going on in the world, politics, social issues, etc. When you’re a right brained human it’s easy to be smacked in the face with a lyric idea at any moment. Keeps the day exciting.

Man…if I only had one message to give to people? Honestly, not to be the most cliche person of the year, but just to be yourself. It has been one of the hardest lessons for me as an artist because I love making people happy and I don’t like having enemies. When I went viral in August suddenly millions of people had an opinion on me and thought they knew my life without ever having met me. What was supposed to be a celebratory moment became a “how do I handle this lifestyle” moment. The solution was knowing that no matter what anybody thought of me or what anybody thinks about what I do- it doesn’t affect who I am. Those comments can bounce off of me and they’re none of my business. You are literally the only you on this entire planet. You’re the only one there ever will be. Nobody else knows how to be you or handle your life because they aren’t they and you are you. What a wonderful gift.  

Last Friday, on Inauguration Day, you released your new single “An Open Letter to Donald Trump” on iTunes and Apple Music. What can you share with us about the song and what compelled you to write it?

I had been wanting to release a song since he won the electoral vote but I didn’t know where to start or what to say. I got a call from Kenny Burns just before Christmas and he encouraged me to write something from my heart in the form of an open letter. I busted out all my notes from my ethnic studies, political science, and music history classes and watched some documentaries and just began speaking. I wrote about 5 different versions – it was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to write. The goal was to make it intellectual enough that people couldn’t listen passively and they’d have to google some of the references to really understand the history of our country. I intentionally left Mr. Trump’s name out of the song and neglected to explicitly mention any of the instances that I reference so that the listener has to fill in the lines.

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What is your favorite part about recording?

I actually hate recording – well, sort of. I’m a terrible perfectionist. I will isolate syllables that I think I say weird and my engineer will look at me like “wtf?” The most fun that I have when I’m recording is when it’s a collaborative effort and I have people in the studio with me. I love talking things through and bouncing ideas off the people I trust. Bringing a bag of flaming hot cheetos and kicking it in the studio for a night with my friends and just making music is honestly the best. It’s significantly less fun when I am recording by myself because I get stuck in my own mind and will pick apart my vocals like crazy. I’ve taken 250 takes of one verse before. In reality the first one was probably fine- but how am I supposed to know that if I don’t have my friends with me to ask them if it sounded funny?

Of everything you have accomplished thus far, what achievement(s) has/have been the sweetest?

Whoa. Can I say the entire year of 2016? Life’s been surreal, honestly. I would say having Snoop Dogg post my video was a pretty “holy shit” moment. I think I went numb for a few hours. My first official business trip to LA, too. I could cite that entire trip as a milestone but to be specific: I brought my friend Spencer and we flew from the tiny airport in Eugene, Oregon to LAX and I remember landing and getting in an Uber to take us to my first session with a producer in Hollywood and I just remember thinking “I did this, I got us here, I taught myself everything I know in my bedroom and I got us to Los Angeles.” Getting my first record deal offer was also a milestone…getting my first plugs at concerts/shows were milestones…too many to name but definitely Snoop and my first trip to LA. It all feels big being from Oregon.

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What inspires you as an artist?

Nearly everything. To be specific to artists though, at this current moment I am heavily inspired by: Kendrick, Logic, Drake, Travis Scott, Jon Bellion, Alicia Keys – too many to name. My artist inspirations change pretty frequently. Disney is always an inspiration –detail, color, concepts, characters. Disney always has a deeper message than is perceived at first glance and I try to make my music the same way. As far as TV shows, right now I am watching Gilmore Girls and the witty banter has certainly heightened my puns. My friends are an inspiration; freestyling with them constantly and bouncing around ideas. I get inspired pretty easily by a lot of different things.

Your website features an array of incredible music videos. What can you share with us about how you produce these?

It’s pretty much me saying to someone “Hey, hold the camera right here” the day before I need to drop it. Music videos are one of my favorite aspects of music and one of the most important. Those videos have come about in different ways but generally I edit and direct all of them. I like attention so dancing around in front of a camera is pretty easy.

Where do you plan to take your music in the future?

Everywhere. There are so many rapper household names. Think about it…Nas, Eminem, 50 Cent, Jay Z, Kanye, Kendrick, Rakim, Tupac, but nobody ever lists a woman. I want them to list me.

What advice do you have for other women in the pursuit of big dreams?

I’ve never stopped to think “Hmm, I have boobs, I must have to do things different,” and neither should you, homegirl. You’re more capable than anyone will ever admit.

Where can our readers listen to more of your (amazing) music?

Either @sinawynne on Soundcloud or sinawynne.com. I’ve had to remove most of my stuff but more is on the way.

women’s march in washington D.C.

Libby

Yesterday more than 4.1 million participants worldwide were united by the Women’s March initiative. On Friday, the New York Times released an article that shared a collection of unique inclinations and reasons for why women, men and children chose to take to the streets.

While many were united by the marches that took place all over the globe, I find it inspiring to acknowledge the different perspectives, stories and experiences of those who zealously paraded among the crowds. Melissa graciously published her photo diary of her experience at the Women’s March in Eugene yesterday, and today we’re featuring another photo diary that shares a glimpse at the Women’s March on Washington.

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Jimena Esparza is one of the most inspiring activists that I know. She is a persistent and passionate visionary and her ambitious and courageous spirit is radiant in all that she does. Jimena attended the women’s march on Washington yesterday and was kind enough to share her experience with us. Read on.

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The hallways of the metro are packed beyond capacity, filled with marchers who had just filled the streets with their bodies and voices. The metro employee, using a megaphone to reach the masses of people pushing through, tries to calmly tell us that there will be long delays. He finishes his announcement, his face telling me that he is anticipating that people will be upset and impatient with him. Instead, the crowd cheered. They thanked him. A woman in the back yelled “you have a beautiful smile, sir!”

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The positive energy was like no other.

Earlier in the streets of Washington, I had stopped for a second and looked around me. I looked at the hundreds of women carrying their own unique signs in their hands and their own unique stories in their hearts. I could feel their stories, they’ve been shaking to get out and today they were unleashed to the world- ready to not just be heard, but respected. Each story wildly different yet just as important. Together, these stories made a history book. A book filled with different colors, genders, voices and backgrounds. Today, we shouted our stories not just for ourselves, but for each other. To hold each other up.

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Today, we didn’t just witness history- we made it.

“Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world would do this, it would change the earth.” -William Faulkner

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women’s march photo diary

Melissa

Today hundreds of thousands of women (and men) gathered around the world to stand up for the rights of women, POC, people with disabilities, sexual assault and rape survivors, the LGBTQIA+ community, and other minorities. It was a day of power, action, love, and fighting for what’s right. Check out the photo diary from one of the world marches that took place in Eugene, Oregon.

 

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snowtoshoot/winter inspo 

Kristin

Portland is full of surprises. Between never fully knowing what kind of cartoon character human you’ll encounter on the street and always being exposed to an ever changing environment, it’s safe to say portlanders are always facing refreshed inspiration.

 This is certainly true of my own Oregonian lifestyle. I am lucky enough to do life with my best friend Emma of Emma Gaty Photography and because of that, we are always creating new content and coming up with new ideas and projects. While we were snowed in over the last few weeks, we spent out time together, shooting and brainstorming. 

Here is a glimpse at what we see up to during our snowpocolyps. Don’t let being home get you down, use it as an excuse to create relentlessly. If you do, you might just surprise yourself.

babe love: alandra michelle

Melissa

There are some people in the world who are your friends, but offer much more than simply a friendship. It’s the feeling that you can’t explain in any other way than the phrase “we just get each other.”

Alandra is one of those women. I met her during an internship we were both a part of and we just kind of clicked. I was completely blown away by her authenticity, creativity, and perspective of the world.She is a Jane of all trades and aside from her breathtaking photography portfolio, she has two other known talents which deserve more recognition: art and writing. Her art is stunning and the words she writes resonate much deeper than surface level. She’s worked for Nobleman Magazine, Wayfare, and does freelance work for refreshingly minimalist boutiques and cafes. I had the opportunity to interview and get inside the beautiful mind of the person I consider one of my dearest friends.

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All photos have been taken by Alandra.

You’re an artist, a photographer, and a writer–how did you get involved in each one?

I don’t really know how it happened, I was just born with it. I started writing as soon as I knew how to spell. I loved art and photography; I was happy looking at pieces in galleries and museums–standing there just staring at them. I loved music, picked up the guitar a bit, and sang a bit, but I always seemed to have a camera in my hand. It wasn’t until after one of my best friends died in high school when I began to really channel into my love for photography. I took my first black and white film class sophomore year, and formed what I didn’t know would be one of the most important relationships of my life. My photography teacher, who became my mentor and biggest supporter, picked up one of my photos and said to me, “Look at this. This is good. This is what you are going to do. Now go do.” I was pretty much sold at that moment. I think of him every now and then when I feel stuck or at a standstill in my work.

Who inspires you?

I’m inspired by women who have pushed the envelope on female standards and expectations. I love women like Sophia Bush and Lena Dunham who have used their talents and fame to enhance their roles as political and social feminist activists. Art-wise, I’m infatuated with Jenavieve Belair, a Southern Californian fashion and lifestyle photographer. She is so stripped and raw with her work, which I love. I admire women who are authentically themselves, even if it probably scares them a little.

What is a song or album that describes your life?

Hmm, my life is definitely a mix of albums haha. I’d say I’m a little bit of everything. There’s some Lana in me, a little Amy, The Kooks, 1975, LANY, CHVRCHES, and of course The Lumineers.

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How would you describe your style? Do you have a method to getting dressed each day?

I like to keep my style classy with some edge. I’m pushing myself to go further out of my comfort zone nowadays, but I definitely wear a lot of black. You just can’t go wrong with black on black.

What’s the hardest part about being a creative? How do you get past these obstacles?

Two things. Fear and comparison. There’s nothing worse than the fear of putting your work out there, the fear that no one will validate your worth, or the fear that you won’t make it. Comparison is a tough one because it’s human nature, at least for women I think it is. And we tend to use the excuse that what we’re comparing ourselves to is a source of “inspiration,” but there’s a difference. If the source that is “inspiring” you is making you feel incapable, low, or worthless, it’s no longer inspiration. Get it out of your life. Inspiration should help you grow, teach you a new skill, and ignite a fire inside you that makes you want to create and share.

 

I can’t say there’s an easy or specific way to overcome the obstacles that come with being a creative, but I do know I have to keep pushing. If you love it, keep doing it, and let that carry you. It’s easier said than done, but I’ve learned that being a creative takes passion, patience, hard work, dedication, and baby steps. Once you understand that, it’s easier to accept the obstacles, because you know it’s just a part of the journey.

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Why do you think it’s so important to empower women and other creatives?

I have so much to say on this topic, I honestly think I could write about it forever, but I’ll keep it as simple as this: People have the power to lift each other up or bring each other down. Especially in this day and age, with the heartbreak that has followed politics, the rise of social media and self image, and the increased role the creative industry has taken, why would we tear each other down? What exactly is the purpose of that? If humans have the power to inflict pain, fear, and insecurity, then they have the power to fuel each other, inspire good, and support one another. Do good and be good. Not to mention, you have no idea what kind of opportunities could come from collaboration, grabbing a cup of coffee with another creative, asking for advice or offering advice. I’m a huge believer in creating community. Creatives are soulful deep thinkers who have so much to give, and inspiration is such a huge part of who they are and the identity of their work, so why not be a source of inspiration for someone else? (And this goes for both men and women. But, women especially, we do some pretty incredible things when we come together.)

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What’s something that interests you that isn’t related to the work you do?

It’s hard to answer this question without it relating back to my work because I think a lot of pieces of life are all a part of influencing what I do and why I do it, but putting creativity aside, I’ve always been interested in politics and feminist movements. ( See, that influences my work 😉 ) If I wasn’t in the creative industry, I would be involved in some kind of female activist group. I loved US History when I was in school, and I always thought if I were alive during the time of the peace protests or when the fight for women’s suffrage was taking place, I would’ve been rallying alongside the other women I would’ve held similar beliefs with. I love the idea of fighting for what you believe in. I’m so drawn to that.

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What are your goals for the future?

I have quite a few goals: be the editor in chief of a women’s magazine, travel more and take my work elsewhere, learn Italian and live in Italy for a year or two. But my main goal is to inspire women. As cheesy as it sounds, I want to make a difference in someone. Creativity is an escape for me, and it puts me in a really peaceful spot, where I’m comfortable telling a story. I want my work to evoke something inside someone else. Something real. I don’t know how to explain it, I guess I just want to make people feel connected to my work and hopefully, feel inspired by it.

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What changes do you hope to see in the fashion, art and/or creative industries in the next few years?

Honestly, I would love to see the creative industry be taken more seriously as a career. Artists, writers, musicians, videographers, photographers, and designers fill our world with the things we love. Things that bring us emotion and keep us in touch with our human souls. Creatives are responsible for incorporating our lives with personality, beauty, style, excitement, and authenticity, whether it’s through poetry or literature, movies, music, clothing, interior structure, decor, and design. And that’s not even the half of it. Creatives put themselves wholeheartedly into what they do, and they should be recognized for that.

You can follow Alandra on Instagram here and check out her website here.

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will leather goods

Libby

I’ve been holding back my excitement in sharing this post with all of you, and now the time has finally come!

A few weeks ago our Portland team had the incredible opportunity of collaborating with Will Leather Goods, a widely-admired accessories brand founded in Eugene, Oregon. This collaboration was a high point for Velvet + Vinyl as we thoroughly enjoyed getting to work with a brand that is making tremendous strides in the industry.

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Our girl Kristin stepped in behind the lens and authentically captured the “luxe hippie” (as described by the New York Times) look and feel of the brand. We paired our (almost) all black style with some of our favorite WLG pieces while catcalling each other on the streets of the Pearl District in Portland.

These are some of my favorite shots from the shoot, and there are plenty more coming your way. Learn more about Will Leather Goods here: IG | Web

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