FASHION & LIFESTYLE FOR ALL!
Boss Moves: Top 10 Must-Haves for Power Men
As part of our special Month of the Man features, BlackEnterprise.com is featuring career content tailored especially for males of color.
If you've stepped across that stage and have finally landed a job, congrats to you. You've made it. Now it's time to get ready for the first day in the office. There are some things that every power player needs to win in his profession. From blazers to speakers, these items will make your life easier and keep you looking good at the same time. —Joshua Perrin
A nice, fitted blazer … According to GQ Magazine, a blazer is one of the most important pieces of a man's wardrobe. Try a gray, black, or blue to start. One of these colors allows more versatility in your wardrobe. A great one like this Liz Claiborne linen piece will go well for morning meetings and after hour hotspots. The cut of the blazer is everything; for a slimmer fit try the Italian cut, while the British cut favors a more athletic physique
A reliable GPS for those long business trips …
According to a review of About.com's business travel channel, Garmin GPS was cited as the number one GPS system to use. In addition to being thin, the unit has a highly-sensitive touch screen, with multi-touch capabilities (like an iPhone) for pinching or zooming. You can find this system at BestBuy starting at $86.
Telling time the classic way
I know, a watch is not necessarily the first item we think about because we're so reliant on our cell phones. But, a nice professional watch has been a staple in men's fashion for centuries. Try a simple faced on with a leather band, like the one found here. Prices vary.
File sharing gadgets
File sharing equipment can be essential for a quick exchange of information your hurried morning commutes. The iTwin is a double-sided flash drive that allows you to plug two devices up at the same time, without the hassle of passwords and uploading/saving. As an Apple product it is $199, and can be found on iTwin.com.
I'm another title
A good line-up …
Every now and then you want to maintain consistent stubble and the Remington Ultimate Stubble Trimmer Lithium Ion is the tool to do it. The lithium power source in this product ensures hours of battery life and the digital display allows you to accurately set length preferences. It also features multiple interchangeable heads. This one starts at $73.95 and can be found at The Good Guys.
The little things are essential
Neckties, cufflinks, pocket squares and socks can change the presentation of a plain white button down. Adding one of these items can make make your outfits appear new and different. Stay on the lookout for creative cufflinks like these or a striking tie with different designs. AskMen.com suggests men buy new socks every six months, so don't be hesitant to pick up a new pair every now and then.
The right bag …
A messenger bag is the perfect way to bridge the transition from a backpacks to briefcases. You can find them as cheap as $23 on Target.com. Find one with multiple pockets so that you can separate important work-related papers from your personal journals and schedules.
A set of office-friendly speakers
Speakers like the JBL Flip are a great accessory to add to your desk. The compact portable Bluetooth speaker is designed to be used horizontally or vertically. It sounds good and plays loudly for its size, has speakerphone capabilities, and ships with a neoprene carrying case. You can grab one for $100.
Back up battery power
Our Smartphones seem to be in need of a charge all the time considering the frequency with which we use them. This problem can be solved with an extra power source such as the Kensington Pocket Battery. The Pocket Battery Pack for Smartphones adds 3.5 hours of additional talk time, and has both mini and micro USB charging cables as well as a USB charging tip built right in for recharging so there are no parts to lose.
Personal shoe-shine kits
A pair of black and brown loafers or lace-ups are standard in the office place, but let's not forget the importance of shoe maintenance. Investing in a solid shoe-shine kit is a quick solution to the scuffs and wear and tear of your favorite pair. Kits can be found for a cheap at $30. This one from Nordstrom includes brushes, extra polish and a small stand to work on.
Men's Watches & Cologne
At CFDA awards, the biggest stars of American fashion are activists and foreign-born designers
By Robin Givhan June 6
NEW YORK — The loudest, most sustained applause on American fashion’s big evening of celebration was for the tall, slender woman with the cropped platinum hair wearing the cobalt blue dress by Gabriela Hearst and diamond ring by Monique Péan.
She was the president of Planned Parenthood.
The editors, designers and retailers — gathered for the annual Council of Fashion Designers of America awards — gave Cecile Richards a standing ovation when she was introduced. They cheered her during a video montage that showed her speaking up for women’s rights. And they roared at a sound bite of her pointed remarks during a congressional hearing that appeared to leave Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) chastened and speechless.
The admiration was mutual. Richards thanked the CFDA for the support it’s given her organization and proclaimed that “looking good and doing good go hand in hand.”
The fashion industry handed out its top honors Monday night to the top designers in apparel and accessories in an annual ritual that always aspires to be more culturally momentous than it is. As host Seth Meyers joked, the CFDAs are called the “Oscars of fashion, but only by you guys.”
Heidi Klum and Zac Posen. (Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)
As black cars crawled through Eighth Avenue traffic toward the Hammerstein Ballroom, police officers tapped on windows, asking occupants to show proof of their invitations. During the cocktail hour, the conversation ricocheted from industry chatter to the London terrorist attack to Washington politics to the strange mirrored box in which guests cavorted for a phalanx of photographers, who captured their pantomimes for Instagram.
“They told us to dance,” said designer Zac Posen, who was boxed in with model Heidi Klum. “But there was no music.”
As the crowd meandered into the main ballroom for dinner, the tables were aglow and stocked with wine, champagne and large bottles of tequila — along with slices of lime, shakers of salt and shot glasses. No bread. It was going to be a boozy evening. And if there was any doubt, after CFDA chairman Diane von Furstenberg thanked Swarovski for its longtime sponsorship, she instructed the audience: Drink the tequila! Yay, new sponsor!
Diane von Furstenberg and Eva Chen. (Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images)
She also held forth on immigration policy — an area of heightened focus for the trade group. When she asked how many people in the audience were immigrants, a significant number of hands were held aloft. Underscoring the globalism that defines Seventh Avenue, the winner of both the menswear and womenswear designer of the year trophies was Raf Simons for Calvin Klein. A Belgian native who has presented only one season at the fashion house, Simons has already had an enormous impact thanks to his interpretation of American idealism and exceptionalism. A visibly emotional Simons accepted the menswear award, noting that he and his team “came to America because you, its people, are inspiring to us.”
Nicole Kidman presents an award to Raf Simons. (Theo Wargo/Getty Images)
Simons received his womenswear trophy from actress Nicole Kidman, whose gleaming presence left him stammering and discombobulated. After reiterating his thanks to his team and to the industry, Simons also offered a kind of mission statement for those in any creative industry: “Be an inspiration for how the world should look.”
The top award for accessory design went to Stuart Vevers, the British designer who leads Coach — another legacy brand with an aesthetic rooted in American craftsmanship. Vevers has been unabashed in his mining of iconography such as the retro cool of Route 66 and Harley-Davidson rebelliousness.
The Swarovski award for new talent went to the designers of Monse — Laura Kim, a native of Seoul, and Fernando Garcia, who grew up in the Dominican Republic and Spain.
Pat McGrath, center, with veteran models Karen Elson and Amber Valletta. (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Pat McGrath, the British makeup artist, was honored for her wizardry with eyeshadow and lipstick, designer Kenneth Cole for his philanthropy and social activism, and Franca Sozzani, the late longtime editor in chief of Vogue Italia for her eloquent use of fashion to speak to cultural concerns such as domestic abuse and environmentalism.
Alek Wek and Demna Gvasalia. (Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)
The international award — which now feels almost obsolete given the flow of design talent across borders — went to Demna Gvasalia, the subversive designer who has fetishized workaday uniforms and turned cheap nylon totes into luxury handbags for Vetements and Balenciaga. He was introduced by Sudanese model Alek Wek, dressed in a black Balenciaga gown and acid green legging-boots, who said she shared an emotional connection with the Georgian native because they both grew up in war-ravaged countries.
Gvasalia, who enjoys upending traditional notions of beauty and luxury — and as a byproduct, courting controversy — greeted the formally dressed audience wearing black trousers, a black baseball cap and a T-shirt emblazoned with “Rammstein,” the German heavy metal band. (Sigh.) The group is known for its stage pyrotechnics and has had brushes with controversy, from charges of indecency to accusations of fascist sympathies, which the band has denied. (Sigh.)
Rick Owens, who was born in California but has built his business in Paris, received the lifetime achievement award, though he is not yet 60 and presumably still has a long stretch of career ahead of him. Indeed, his work these past few seasons have been some of his most provocative, compelling and, quite simply, beautiful.
His work was presented in a short film, that had models in sweeping feathered coats walking through a rocky, Nevada landscape — like otherworldly creatures on an unspoiled vista. He spoke about the importance of being heard and feeling seen. Fashion has been his microphone and his stage.
Janelle Monáe in a Christian Siriano jumpsuit at the CFDA awards dinner. (Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images)
But the most emotional reception was reserved for Richards, along with her fellow honorees, feminist icon Gloria Steinem and singer-actress Janelle Monáe. The CFDA board of directors was inspired to celebrate them after the Women’s March on Washington, arguably the year’s biggest “fashion moment,” when hundreds of thousands of marchers converged on the nation’s capital wearing pink “pussy hats.” The trio didn’t organize the march, but their ongoing work reflects many of the concerns that it addressed. Monáe made them plain in her remarks.
“My relationship with fashion began with my music and with a way of paying homage to my working-class parents … I stand here in my black and white giving honor to them,” said Monáe, in a Christian Siriano jumpsuit. “I try to give a voice to a community that feels like their voice does not matter.”
And then as she warmed to her audience, Monáe leaned in. “Women’s rights are human rights, LGBTQ rights are human rights, poor folks’ rights are human rights, immigrant rights are human rights, minority rights are human rights,” she said. “None of us are free until all of us are free.”
The audience cheered. And American fashion drifted into a misty night.
NOVEMBER 20, 2014 4:51 PM • LOG IN • REGISTER
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3 Awesome Global Destinations for a Working Vacation
3 Awesome Global Destinations for a Working Vacation
When you're forced to combine work with play, these locales are ideal for both
by Kandia Johnson Posted: November 12, 2014
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For most of us work-life balance is an everyday struggle. According to a Glassdoor survey, 61% of employees admitted to doing at least some work while on vacation. Unfortunately, what this means in a world of Wi-Fi and smartphones is that technology is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it makes it easier to work remotely; on the other, there’s an assumption that you’re available 24/7. And if you can’t access the Internet, managing your business while you’re away is almost impossible. I mean, really, who wants to return from vacation only to respond to 400 work e-mails.
So chances are you will be checking in periodically, even if you’re only logging in for five minutes to check e-mail. And if there is one more thing we look forward to before a vacation filled with sightseeing and sitting around poolside, it’s making sure our final destination has reliable Wi-Fi and cellphone service. With this in mind, here are three countries where you can soak up some culture and take care of business.
London is the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom and is known as a culture and business hub. From exploring historical sights and events to nightlife and fashion, London is a great place to visit. Each neighborhood has its own flair, and the “tube,” London’s mass transit system, is a fast and efficient way to get around the city’s neighborhoods and to and from the its three major airports (Heathrow, Gatwick, and Stansted).
When it comes to Wi-Fi—an essential for business travelers—London does not disappoint. You’ll find free Wi-Fi available at plenty of shops and cafes (for example, Starbucks, McDonald’s, JD Wetherspoon, etc.). Or if you need anytime Wi-Fi access, try BT Wi-Fi, a hot spot service located in public cafés, hotels, pubs, stations, and airports.
Costa Rica is a paradise for a semi-vacationer looking to explore nature and get some work done in between. High speed Internet is easy to find in most populated areas of the country. And most rental properties, restaurants, cyber cafes, and bars provide Wi-Fi and phone service as well. But with unlimited panoramic views of cascading waterfalls and green mountains, you’ll be forced to shut down your computer, relax, and get in touch with what matters most.
Bangkok, Thailand is a bustling city with plenty of action, but it’s a perfect place to feed your cultural appetite. From temple hopping around Wat Pho (the reclining Buddha temple) and Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) to exploring Thai culture and food at various street stalls or restaurants, no two days in Bangkok will be the same.
You can also eat cheaply and get around fairly easily via taxis; the Bangkok Mass Transit System (BTS ), an elevated train; or the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT), an underground train, which covers the majority of the main center of Bangkok. Co- working spaces such as Launchpad, a co-working place and community for entrepreneurs, are also available throughout Bangkok, Thailand.
Take note, if your work is based in New York City, there will be a 12-hour time difference, so responding to concerns or taking conference calls may be challenging. But let’s remember, you’re on vacation and it’s perfectly OK for you to unplug.
Regardless if you’re a culture seeker, adventurer, nature lover, or foodie, if you’re planning to mix business and pleasure, make sure you research your destination before you arrive in the country.