Archive for the ‘The Come Up’ Category
Valentine Malone III “Shut the fuck up, shut the fuck up,” rapper Angel Haze screams at the crowd, surrounded by a halo of spotlights at New York’s SOB’s. Dressed in a black sports bra with heavy gold chains around her neck, an Emporio Armani boxer band peeks out from under her black wax denim. Her thin, boyish frame rocks back and forth with so much force you wonder how she stays on two feet. The 21-year-old emcee, AKA Native Raeen has only performed in her hometown a handful of times, but she is already a comfortable and energetic performer. The floodgates break at the show at SOB’s when a troupe of dancers rush the stage to body roll and booty pop behind her as she spits her fiery single, “New York.” Playful and engaged conversation with the audience and departures off the stage into the crowd put her in a special class of young rappers who have the confidence and charisma to hold the attention of a well-versed hip hop crowd. She is performing at a club where rappers like Schoolboy Q, Kendrick Lamar, and Shabazz Palaces have played shows in the last few months. Joining the ranks of these rising stars, Haze is ready to mark the industry with her own brand of enticing, substantial lyricism.
Seeing Double: Phlo Finister's strict Christian upbringing meets club kid giving her the skills to go far with her real passion--music R&B starlet Phlo Finister tweets a lot. The Los Angeles native’s 140-character-limited statements are littered with cryptic sentiments like “#YouthQuaker” or “#PosterGirl.” Phlo is telling us about herself, with hashtags. This year, Phlo hasn't just made a presence for herself on Twitter though. Her debut EP Crown Gold caught the attention of critics from Rolling Stone to The FADER to Complex. Tracks like “Shades” and “Wrong Number” displayed her soulful, gospel-inspired timing with pleasingly, smooth beats while “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)” reinvents Nancy Sinatra’s classic. Phlo is even using multi-genre blending, samples from Garbage to 2 Pac spliced in with her own slinky vocals and radio-fuzzed phone conversations. Music videos followed, which featured Phlo playing dress-up in everything from signature early 90’s Tommy Hilfiger jeans (Aaliyah inspired, of course) to elegant Twiggy frocks and lavish eye make-up. It’s the 1960’s mod look she prefers, or rather, is obsessed with. But beneath those purposefully painted eyebrows is a woman with goals. “I was a rebel,” Phlo (whose given name is “Elijah”) reflects. Growing up in Los Angeles, her grandfather was a preacher and expectations for excellence in her academic, extra curricular and religious life were high. “I didn’t agree with my faith. I believe in God and a higher power, but I also believe in energy, other things that don’t go by the Christian way of thinking.” Her grandmother was an English teacher who made sure that attention to schooling didn’t stop when class let out. Phlo remembers even as a young child, play time after school often transformed into study time and her childhood was a lot of “foundational grounding” and “responsibility.” Music and dance also played a big role in her life including ballet training for 12 years. The graceful, disciplined pink-shoed sport created a work ethic within her that she still relies on today. “[With ballet] you do the same thing over and over again and try to be the best at it,” Phlo explains. “It stayed with me in my career. I had to do the same thing every day and practice until it was perfect and it’s become that way with music too.” As a teenager, Finister traded in her ballet slippers for more evening appropriate footwear. Finister had a fake I.D., wore tons of make-up and dressed “really, really grown.” No one questioned that she was only fifteen-years-old and she still let herself run wild and enjoy the faux-glamor of the club scene. Linking up with the Hollywood club kids, modeling for good friend Mark Hunter (or as he’s better known online as The Cobra Snake) and slinking into the Los Angeles A-List of hipsterdom. But, Finister took the industry with same skepticism she had with her family’s faith. “I didn’t like the industry at all,” she says. “I felt like it was everything I did not stand for. Girls go through different eating disorders and they go through insecurities and it’s a really fast life. You don’t get to show case any talent." So, on her eighteenth birthday Finister reached her turning point. She was sick of messing around aimlessly and decided she better smarten up. “This life is not a game. It’s not a joke,” Phlo lectures. “I had to make a sacrifice because life is about sacrifices." Today, Finister is entirely focused on her career. Her debut LP Youth Quaker drops later this year, so she is in and out of the studio, re-working tracks, tinkering the record to perfection. Continuing her obsession with mod, she plans to re-locate to London and use the British landscape as further inspiration. Though this "look" plays a large role for her, Phlo hasn't lost sight of the the things that really matter. "For me, I never wanted to be the girl who looked so beautiful, but had nothing to say.”
Interview: Mish Way Photography: Hayden Shiebler Styling: Natasha Newman-Thomas Assistant: Hillary Eaton Special Thanks: Cateye Spectacles
Charlotte Eedson Photos: Paul LabontéMeet Anna Hopkins, the young emerging actress who snagged a breakout role to envy in Barney's Version alongside Dustin Hoffman, Minnie Driver and Paul Giamatti Okay, so maybe you don't know who Anna Hopkins is yet, but we've had our eye on her ever since she was cast in the film adaptation of Mordecai Richler's novel, Barney's Version. The film, about the "fully lived life of the impulsive, irascible and fearlessly blunt Barney Panofsky", stars Paul Giamatti (as Barney), Dustin Hoffman, Minnie Driver, Scott Speedman and Rosamund Pike, among others. Not bad company for a 24-year-old actress fresh out the gate. In Barney's Version, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in September, Anna plays Barney's daughter, Kate. Anna is so charming in her role as the proverbial daddy's girl that it's easy to see why she got the part--and you don't need a crystal ball to predict that we'll be seeing a whole lot more of her. We met up with Anna in Montreal to snap some photos and chatted with her about red carpet parties, poutine and college drama TV shows. There were some things we knew (she's a student) and some things we didn't (she sings!) and we've compiled the highlights so that you and Anna can get acquainted. Without any further fanfare, let's begin the list. 1. She's from Montreal. Not groundbreaking, admittedly, but it gives her some extra swag around her home city because Barney's Version is a Montreal story written by a Montreal writer. When it came to getting time off from her classes at Concordia University, she said her teachers were, "very supportive and they all knew the Mordechai Richler story" probably because Richler attended the very same university back when it was called Sir George Williams College. Having home field advantage also helped her feel more comfortable on set with all those Hollywood big-hitters. "It helped that it was a real Montreal story, shooting in my neighborhood," Anna said, "so when I got to set, I was comfortable and felt I had something to show the other actors." 2. She loves poutine. Sure, so does any person who doesn't hate delicious food, but Anna paid it forward to Paul Giamatti. "I remember when we were shooting a little park scene at Saint-Denis and right across the street is Las Fleurs and he had his first poutine and he was pretty happy about it," Anna said. "I feel pretty proud about that because I love poutine." 3. She's a triple threat talent who looks up to Lauren Ambrose. Not only does she sing, but Anna used to "dance professionally as a hip-hop dancer" too. Can we expect to see her in the next Step Up movie? Probably not. "I really look up to Lauren Ambrose and her role on Six Feet Under," she said. "I think something like that would be awesome--something interesting and challenging." 4. She's choosing NYC over LA--for now. "When I was starting out at 18 or 19," Anna explained, "I decided that if I go to the States, I'm going to make sure that when I do it I have enough under my belt, that I have something to offer instead of going down there and hoping for something." Through Barney's Version she got a manager in New York and that's where she's "been gearing towards more." "I'm probably going to go to LA at some point," she said, "but I don't see it as a wonderland that I have to go to right away." 5. If she was Felicity she would have picked Noel over Ben. "I watched that show so much, I loved that show, but I always had a crush on that other guy," Anna said when we blatantly asked if she talked to co-star Scott Speedman about Felicity. "We didn't talk that much about Felicity but I have the same acting coach he had when he was in Montreal so we talked about that. He's a great guy." 6. She'll feel like she's made it when she's sought after. "I think with acting, and any type of arts, you are kind of living a freelance life and you never really know [what comes next]," she explained. "When I'm feeling satisfied with the work I'm doing and I'm being sought after because of my work, that's going to be a big milestone for me." 7. She wouldn't call herself a glitz and glamor type of girl. With red carpet pictures in Toronto and New York, she could have fooled us but Anna said that, "after a week [of TIFF] it was like, Ok, back to real life." "I don't love the superficial aspect of movies and acting, but I love acting and little doses here and there are really fun." She brought her boyfriend and her mom to the TIFF festivities, including the premiere of Barney's Version at Roy Thompson Hall. She might not glitzy or glammy, but girlfriend could have fooled us with how she wears a cocktail dress. Copies of Barney's Version will be released internationally on June 28th. Credits: Fillipa K dress and belt
Alexia Hentsch, and her partner Max von Hurter felt the menswear market was missing simple and affordable. So the childhood friends, created Hentsch Man, a straightforward, yet elegant and wearable menswear line—a one-stop shop for men to shop. The Hentsch Man, man is “preppy, but cool.” Alexia says. “A sort of mix between a southern Italian and a Parisian—with the youth of a New Yorker.” Think uptown tailoring, mixed with downtown cool. Born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Alexia is now stationed, along with Hentsch Man in London. She graduated in Graphic Design from the Rhode Island School of Design, and has been working in branding ever since. This experience gave her the knowledge (and gusto) to start a brand. At the beginning Alexia went to pitch her line to Opening Ceremony, bringing only a white tee shirt and a brand book. It worked. “I think that although there wasn't much product, they liked the concept.” Alexia says. “They told us to go off and make some more products and come back. So about a year later, we went to see them with eight shirts and four trousers. That's when they took us on as our sales agents. Since then, they're been distributing our brand in the US and Japan, as well as stocking us in their stores.” The Henstch Man continues to evolve, offering both seasonal products and staples. Their white tee shirt, for example, never changes, while other items vary season to season. Every season, they try to add one or two new items to the collection. “Either a new cut of trouser, a new jacket or accessory, something to keep the collection fresh.” Alexia spends most of her time traveling between the different factories, mills, suppliers, and trade shows. Day to day, she’s designing, researching, conducting shoots, and doing a lot of administrative work. “I've just hired someone to take on the office management side of things, hopefully this will free up my time so I can spend more of it researching and creating.” Sneak peek of Hentsch Man A/W '10. Like a lot of brands nowadays, Alexia has embraced the idea of the pop-up shop. “The first one came about as a complete after-thought, but ended up being so successful, that we decided to do a second (this time with a little more planning!)” The first was the Spring/Summer 2009 Pop-up Shop in Notting Hill and the second the Autumn/Winter 2009 Pop-up Shop in Mayfair. The temporary shops have been important in spreading their brand awareness in London, and beyond. Max and Alexia, are currently working on a permanent store in London, which should be open in the next year. Alexia loves London “It's got such a good mix of old and new. Old world Europe, with all of its weird idiosyncratic traditions, but all of the new vibrance and creativity of our generation.” And even though she thinks her birth place, Sao Pauolo has more energy, her favorite city is Rio de Janiero. “There's just something about it. The heat, the light, the beach, the Cariocas.” And in the next 5 years, they’re working on taking the brand to Brazil. “Brazil really is the place to be these days!” Alexia is a woman set to dominate in a menswear world. “I love it,” Alexia says. “I feel like it gives me an advantage as I don't design for myself, but rather, what I would like to see on men.”
Photos by: Michelle Ford Heather Martin in the woman behind Mono Clothing, a growing design label based out of Vancouver, B.C. Heather--who prides herself on creating both hand-made delicacies and locally manufactured minimalist staples--not only founded and runs MONO clothing, but has collaborated with Lifetime Collective, Douglas Coupland and Yumi Eto. Heather Martin could teach us a thing or too. And not just because she is a high school drop out turned college professor. (We want to enroll in her classes.) But because she runs her own successful and growing clothing line, Mono (which you might recognize from our The Cover Story shoot with Fan Death). Born in the United Kingdom, Heather migrated to Toronto when she was four years old. Dropping out of high school, she headed west to Vancouver. While supporting herself by waiting tables, Heather was given an old sewing machine. She started revamping vintage clothes and soon progressed to making original pieces. Her boyfriend encouraged her to go back to school for design. "I had never really been to school before," Heather explains shyly. "And I certainly never thought I would go back, but when I did all these door opened up. It's like a blanket, right? You can do anything under the security of being in school." Heather now teaches four classes at the college she once attended, Textiles, Garment Construction for Graduate Students, Introduction to Fashion Design and a studio class. Mono is an extension of Heather--a parade of strong, controlled yet minimalist silhouettes. Her somewhat unisex collections are always themed: "Interlacing Opposing Thoughts," the quest for a happy medium between dark and light using hand-made lace, "Shard," delving into the darker, heavier garments made of leather and cotton and "Flight," a whimsical, light and airy interpretation. Her goal is to "explore the spaces between art, craft, design and fashion aiming to redefine the categorical convention of these genres." Or clothing for creative professionals, of which she has many loyal buyers. "I like simplicity," Heather confirms. "Style is more important than actual clothing. The way someone puts something together is way more interesting than the item itself. Clothing, for me, is quite functional. It has to be comfortable and unique." Heather is soft-spoken. She locks her eyes to yours and exudes an organic, quiet energy so unique that, at first, you can barely understand what it is. After talking with her about her upbringing, her visions and her company, you realize that it's simply confidence. It's just the right kind of confidence, never boisterous. Besides her clothing collections, which are sold in select boutiques through out North America (Eugene Choo in Vancouver, Stand Up Comedy in Portland, Assembly in New York City) and the UK, Heather is working on new challenges like film and instillation. She has two upcoming film projects-one with Gene Doe and the other with Todd Duym--which will be released this month, an instillation that premieres on March 11th at the Shaw Gallery in Toronto curated by 01// Magazine and another at Vancouver's Collage Collage shop. "It's really hard to express exactly how you want something to be, especially when you are working visually. You don't want to take something that already exists and say 'do it like this' that's boring." Needless to say, Heather has found her way around the issue of "boring."
Photographed exclusively by Jody Rogac for hearty this month, New York-based accessories designer Kerin Rose of A-morir, is conquering the fashion world one Swarovski crystal at a time. Since starting off as a part time employee at the Patricia Field Boutique, Kerin has perfected her own line of accessories, A-morir. A mere seven months after her collection's inception, Kerin's baubles were found on starlets such as Katie Perry, Rihanna and Mariah Carey. Kerin's entrance into the world of design, although explosive, was not intentional. It all started last year when Kerin accompanied a friend to a Patricia Field Runway show. Kerin was wearing a bag she had constructed herself and the consignment buyer for Patricia Field noticed the sparkling accessory hanging from her arm and offered her a part-time job at the boutique. Kerin would wear her creations into work and by the end of the day, they would be sitting on a shelf, ready to sell. As clients started to take notice of her designs, Kerin worked harder at perfecting her craft: bedazzling. When Kerin opens the door to her pink and aqua palace you are bitch slapped with prints and glitter. Kerin’s apartment is loud, warm and colorful---just like her. Miniatures, punk rock dolls in plastic boxes, whips, a zebra print rug and one lonely blow-up unicorn were all nestled amongst the organized mess. It was as though God had smashed the pinata at a drag queen's birthday party and the remains had fallen through her roof. Kerin, a Long Island J.A.P (as she proudly puts it) graduated from NYU with honors as a Pop Historian and evidence of this is all over her apartment. A poster of CoCo a.k.a Nicole Austin, Ice T’s wife dominates her bathroom, while a giant Joey Ramone portrait sits outside the hall. Kerin squats in front of her full length mirror, effortlessly powdering her face and talking glam like a starlette. It is all so very "To-Wong-Foo.” Like a lot of teenagers, Kerin’s summer job was working for her dad, except she had a very adult position—building computers for brokerage houses. Kerin laughs as she explains that the men in the brokerage firm were good at stocks, but “they weren't very computer savvy so they'd call me in and they'd be like 'Um, I don't know how this naked chick got on my desk top but I need you to get rid of it and please don't tell your Dad.” Kerin later went on to intern at Abritrage Traders buying and selling tickets. But to imagine the Kerin-today on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange seems off. A brazen Amazon broker in seven-inch stripper heels, wearing a glittery motorcycle jacket and fishnets, might stand out a little bit. Luckily, the outlandish outfits are now a part of her fashionable profession. Kerin makes all her pieces by hand and she takes pride in this but recognizes the complexity of her craft, "One of the things that is very difficult when you are "handcrafting" a good is that it can come off as "crafty." I needed to make sure that I provided the absolute best quality so my creations aren't looked down at as just hand crafted, DIY goods." She carefully explains. "I mean, couture gowns are constructed by hand but no one would look at a gown and think this is a DIY project.” Kerin doesn't want to be that person bragging about accomplishments that haven't materialized--so she never reveals good news until it is signed, sealed and delivered. When Kerin heard that her spike-embelished Sabotage shades might appear in Vogue Italia, she sat on her hands and kept it secret. When she heard that Rhianna might be wearing A-morir in her new video, she sat on her hands and kept it a secret. "Oh girl, but when the video for 'Run This Town' came out I cried for twenty minutes. I lost my shit," Kerin says. (The black pyramid-studded Barracuda shades may have kept Rihanna's eyes out of our view, but she could see us. As Kerin's website promises, "HOLY SHIT YES! YOU CAN SEE THROUGH THEM.") What's more, the Sabotage shades premiered in the September 09 issue of Vogue Italia. After such definitive exposure, Kerin finally threw up her ring-covered hands and presented herself to the world.