- Written by Jamie Jones
If you’ve had any of Mike Valli’s dishes, I’m sure you’ll agree with me when I say that they are nothing short of appetizing. It’s one thing to cook a delicious meal, but it's a totally different thing entirely to plate the food into a complete beauty. Follow him on Instagram and you will understand exactly what I mean. I think it definitely takes talent to do what he does. Chef Valli's talents don’t stop there either. He designs chef coats that are quite fashionable and soon he will be launching his own clothing line. Read the interview to find out more about the Chef and Artist...
- Written by Devin Cobbs
The year 1986 is known for many things but most importantly it is known for being the year of the tiger. Twenty-Seven year old, Francis Orekoya has taken that tiger and formed it into one the hottest apparel lines to hit the streets. It’s name “FDYNAMO1986.” Both captivating and creative, this clothing line is a direct representation of it’s creator. The Brooklyn born, Long Island raised entrepreneur had dreams of creating his own business at a very young age. His hustler ambitions began in seventh grade as he completed his first clothing transaction, it was written he would be great. Best defined by his company’s logo Francis is brave, cool, calm and collective. From T-Shirts, Sweaters and even Polo’s this brand keeps it’s customers laced with pieces of creativity designed in it’s entirety by Francis. “I’m 100% involved in the creative process, that’s what makes me different from other brands” Francis said passionately. With the summer approaching “FDYNAMO1986” has already turned up the heat with the anticipation of the summer apparel. Deeming this summer the summer of the tiger.
- Written by Stephanie Guerilus
Urbana Chappa is a celebrity stylist turned designer but at her heart and soul is a woman who is finally, at last, learning to be comfortable in her own skin. Her line, Maison de Urbana, is an extension of that empowerment and how she would like other women to feel. “Being a woman isn’t easy and that’s why I wanted to create a line that was gonna make us feel good and sexy and we don’t have to go out there and show our tits and ass to get attention,” Chappa explained.
- Written by Tara Rose Lily
Who is SCHEÉ? Caitlyn Hess, a Pittsburgh native, is the designer, founder, and CEO of SCHEÉ shoes, a luxury footwear company that recently launched. As a designer, Hess has merged her passion for helping others with her love of designing footwear to create SCHEÉ. Hess’ ultimate goal for SCHEÉ is to use her luxury footwear designs is to raise awareness and support for various philanthropic causes. To support each philanthropic cause, SCHEÉ donates five percent of total sales to its corresponding charity.
- Written by Timothy Duwhite
When asked how it feels being an honoree for the Network Journal’s 15th Annual “40 under Forty” awards ceremony, State Farm representative Michelle D. Hare (pictured above right, with Janna Andrews, M.D.) replies, “Five years ago when I moved to New York was when I first got introduced to the Network Journal. When I walked into the office I saw covers of many of the past issues and I remember telling the publisher that one day I’m going to be in your magazine. Now, five years later, here I am.” Somewhere in the silence of a bedroom there is a prepubescent child of color dreaming about their future. They are imagining all the glitz and the glam. They are envisioning a life many children their age aspire to. However, according to the US Department of Education, “Nearly half of the nation’s African-American students attend high schools in low-income areas with dropout rates that hover in the 40-50% range.” Similarly, the Education Sector, an independent think tank, reports, “Fewer than half of the Black students who enroll in college graduate from four-year institutions within six-years. Nationally, the average six-year graduation rate for all students is 57%.” The question now is, “Should these young children of color continue to dream as Hare did? Or should they just allow these statistics to swallow them whole?”