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  • Frendy's Flashback Friday

    On March 24th, 2002 Halle Berry became the first black actress to win an Oscar for her leading role in Monster's Ball, while Denzel Washington became only the second black actor (after Sidney Poitier) to win in the Best Actor Category for his work in Training Day.

  • Pray Everyday

    Goldlink is releasing heat after heat, which are all getting us fired up for his forthcoming project At What Cost.

    The D.C spitter's latest scorcher comes in the form of "Pray Everyday (Survivor's Guilt)," an introspective tune that finds him..well..praying everyday (duh)...to make it in this crazy world.

    Check out the banger below and look out tomorrow for Goldlink's major label debut album.

  • More Life

    What can I say? Drake has yet again smashed it with his new album More Life. Unlike Drizzy's previous sonic offerings, this one is heavily influenced by his trips across the pond with features from English Grime artists, such as the highly regarded Skepta and the Godfather of the genre himself Giggs.

    Looking at the project's title, the '6 God' could be declaring his love for the UK. Even on his Boy Meets World Tour he still is able to produce an album of this calibre, which really is a credit to how hard he works and how important it is for him to keep the fans happy.

    This album proves that Aubrey's career is far from ending and truly shows he is ready to set the benchmark for any rapper who wants to challenge him. Additionally, the project clearly served as his platform to showcase noteworthy talent from England.

    More Life is an all-round incredible album and definitely worth keeping on repeat, as you will immensely appreciate the quality of the chunes after each listen.

    Written by: Joshua King

  • Justin's Vision

    I was fortunate enough to become friends with the exceptional photographer Justin Amoafo, right before his ascension into elite lensman status. Justin was only 15 years old when we initially met but his tremendously poised demeanor and go-getter mentality positioned him light years ahead of his peers.

    Born and raised in Queens, New York by Ghanaian parents, the multi-talented visionary was instilled with an immense value for education.  As a matter of fact, at the age of 11 Justin suggested that he should attend boarding school. “I was always an outcast and wanted to expand my horizons, experience a new environment,” says Amoafo. With his parent’s approval and a lucrative scholarship, the young adventurer was enrolled at the prestigious Eagle Brook in Western Massachusetts. 

    Justin was one of only six black kids in the entire institution but the statistic didn’t cast a shadow of fear on his pursuit of enlightenment. Amoafo was so in awe with the refreshing scenery at his new abode, he decided to freeze it all in time.  Using his roommate’s state-of-the-art camera, Justin began to take pictures of the beautiful landscape surrounding Eagle Brook.  Since then, photography instantly became Amoafo’s primary focus. He started posting photos on Flickr, which ultimately led him to gain fans across the world.

    Immediately following boarding school, Justin attended Brooklyn Tech HS with an increased passion for snapping.  After a year of saving up lunch money, the bright-eyed shutterbug was able to purchase his very first camera, the Canon t2i. Mastering the art of Flickr, Amoafo leveled up to Tumblr, where he garnered even more admirers.

    Justin is currently attending NYU Shanghai with a major in Interactive Media arts and Business but that isn’t stopping him one bit from putting work in behind the lens.

    FRENDY: What compelled you to study abroad after high school?

    JUSTIN: As a kid, I always dreamt of traveling the world. After a summer abroad in high school, I made it my business to take advantage of every opportunity to see a new place. Naturally, I had to pursue college options outside of the USA.

    FRENDY: Is it difficult for you to find a balance between schoolwork and photography?  Are you able to find steady shooting gigs in Shanghai?

    JUSTIN:  One of the most difficult things for humans in general is maintaining a balance. Whenever you find yourself in that comfortable place, life switches up your situation. Thankfully, my major at school and my real life career/hobbies are intertwined, so usually it’s not too difficult.

    Work in Shanghai has been steady, thankfully. People here show a lot of love. When they see you doing great work, they’ll always go out of their way to help you get gigs. As usual, staying hungry & seeking out opportunities is also a great way to close gigs.

    FRENDY: You’re one of my favorite people to follow on Snapchat due the display of your worldly adventures. Are your travels for leisure or work?

    JUSTIN: Both. Living internationally already makes it much easier to pick up clients that require me to travel or have an opportunity abroad. I’m always itching to travel regardless, so most of my free weekends and ‘vacations’ are spent visiting a new city.

    FRENDY: How did the relationship with your muse Sira P Kante come about?

    JUSTIN: *Laughs* She’s definitely my muse. A modern day Naomi Campbell.  Sira and I met through one of my good friends. We met up for a test shoot one day in Summer 2016 and the rest is history.

    FRENDY: I admire your effortless ability to network with the industry’s finest. I noticed that you’ve been shooting superstar musicians and promising actors who are from the motherland. What set of events lead to such astounding opportunities?

    JUSTIN: Every connection I’ve made, both business & personal has been organic. I never force relationships, but I’m definitely not above a cold email or intro. That being said, the world is smaller than we all think. It’s so often you want to work with someone and a friend (or friend of a friend) can make the connection for you. Organic networking is the best, especially when you’re already social.

    FRENDY: What are the top 3 pictures you’ve ever taken?

    JUSTIN: I don’t think I have 3 strict top favorites but here are some that I like -

    FRENDY: Are you planning to take your creative talents into new heights?

    JUSTIN: I’m always striving to be my best self. Photography is one of my passions, but by no means is it my only means of expression. I am working on expressing myself fully, with no filters or limitations. We’re in the era of the multidimensional artist and I think that’s so great. Everyone should be able to create with no filter.

  • Balenciaga: The Master

    In fashion, there have only ever been a handful of greats. Countless labels have come and gone from the fashion week calendar, but there are some names with an undying influence that continues to ripple through the industry. Cristóbal Balenciaga was most definitely one of them, and this May the storied Victoria & Albert Museum in London will open a blockbuster exhibit entitled Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion, that examines his work and legacy.

    If French fashion designer Madeleine Vionnet was about revealing the body in its truest form, Balenciaga was focused on honoring its foundations while reshaping it in his own vision. He was a true architect of the body who developed fabrics, like the silk gazar created for him by the illustrious Swiss textile firm Abraham, that could complement the volumes and sculptural shapes he desired while celebrating the woman beneath.

    Cristóbal's drive was legendary with no detail too small to escape his eagle-eyed attention. For just one example, he spent the better part of his life trying to make the perfect sleeve, developing countless iterations to achieve his desired effect. Unlike most of his contemporaries, Balenciaga was a true craftsman who could make every garment from the ground up himself, going so far as to make one sublime black dress entirely on his own for every show--without ever divulging which one it was.

    Phenomenal technical feats never ceased coming out of his atelier (coats with only one seam made from one piece of cloth, gravity-defying infanta gowns inspired by his Spanish heritage) and were, astonishingly, the norm. In 1968 when Balenciaga felt he no longer connected with the people of the day, he quietly shuttered his house at the age of 74 and died only a few years later.

    The house of Balenciaga, once considered the greatest in Paris, languished for years with a headquarters that fell into such disrepair; a flooded basement ruined dozens of priceless couture pieces. It was eventually revived to great enthusiasm, but Cristóbal’s singular mystique never diminished and even after numerous entities designing under his name have moved on, his religious devotion to excellence remains a true, unblemished beacon in fashion.

    Written by: Martin Lerma

  • Wish You Well

    Right on the heels of his Def Jam signing, Amir Obé liberates the very first single titled "Wish You Well," from his highly anticipated EP NØTÇW.

    Produced by Amir's frequent collaborator NYLZ, the boisterous banger features Obé wishing his wrongdoers well in the midst of all the success he's acquiring. I feel you homie!

    Check out the jam below and look out for the project's release on March 30th.

  • Not Your Average Hypebeast

    Those who follow Aaron LiawAarons_World ) on Instagram are fully aware of his lavish lifestyle and ultimate group of close friends, which consists of Levi, Kai and the forever seemingly-annoyed Angelo Nitsopoulos. Although much is known of Aaron, whom I previously featured on the blog, and the Bent Lee bros, Nits is somewhat of the odd man out.

    With a quick scroll down his gram, one can instantly get a sense of Ang’s expensive taste but there has to be more to him right?  Other than the quick cameos on his clique’s hilarious insta stories and vlogs, not much is revealed about the sporty Markham, Ontario native. Well, that’s why I’m here.

    Let’s take a look into the real world of Angelo and find out about his immense love for hockey, fledging business, spending habits and why he looks so damn pissed all the time.   Peep my exclusive interview with him below:

    FRENDY:  I must say it’s quite incredible to witness how close you are with Aaron and the gang.  Nowadays, not many can proclaim they are tight with even a handful of people.  How did you meet them?

    ANG:  *Laughs* Yeah its pretty wild that three Asians and a Greek/Macedonian can hang out daily. So, I met the guys during the winter of 2014.  As I sat in my basement watching hockey while simultaneously creeping on Instagram, I saw a 5’3 140Lbs Aaron doing stick handling moves on the ice pretending he was Sidney Crosby. I thought to myself ok that's different, but then started to take in all the gear he had and wondered who he actually was. At the time, Levi and Aaron had a men's hockey team called The Trillers and a buddy of mine told me I should go play with them. So I hit up Levi and said if you ever need players let me know. A week later I was playing my first game with them. I walked into the dressing room, turned to my left and saw the “5’3” kid who said to me, “ Here sit here Angelo”. As if I had never been in a hockey dressing room in my life. Levi was sitting across from me, looking like a pro MMA fighter flooded with tats (I was a bit intimidated).

    My first game with them was amazing!  I scored three goals.  After that Aaron was like ok “you can play with us,” like it was some sort of accomplishment for me. As we were changing in the locker room I hear someone on the team say to Aaron, “YOU GOT BALMAINS IN THAT HOCKEY BAG BRO ” and that’s what got me thinking ok I need to learn about what the hell they are doing/ talking about because I had no idea what any of these brand names were back then.  I saw Aarons Instagram and figured to myself that “Balmains” must be what he wears.

    So throughout our hockey team that's how myself Aaron and Levi hung out. Kai never played hockey at all so he was never around the rink unless he was pretending to coach us. I would always hear stories about him though. I met Kai on our (Aaron, Levi, Kai) first trip to NYC and boy what a story/trip that was.  That's when my passion for fashion really began and I instantly switched my look. Happy I met them though, I never had any siblings so they taught me a lot about things. When I was 18-19 they took me on some crazy experiences that most kids don't get to do, so they are kind of like older brothers in a way for the most part.

    FRENDY:  That’s a pretty epic story. I assumed you knew them for way longer than 3 years.  What was your “look” before your fashion awakening?

    ANG:  Yeah, I mean friendship grows pretty quick when you hang out as often as we do. OMG, my look I don't even want to talk about *Laughs*. To be honest I didn't even have a look. I guess I could say it was the “hockey style.” Long hair, sperry boat shoes, golf shorts and a V-neck t-shirt, which makes me cringe thinking about it. I didn't even really take fashion seriously; I would wear sweatpants every day, whatever shirt I found in my room and just went about my day. I was too focused on my hockey career at the time and didn't care how I dressed outside the rink. I knew what Yeezys were and what not but never had a clue on how to get them or even knew they were so limited. But to say the least, my look was terrible *Laughs*.

    Looking back at what I wore then compared to now is like a two year old messing up all his toys when he is pissed off.  That's the best way to look at it. Its funny thinking back at it, I would get so excited to wear these pants that don’t even fit right or shoes that don’t even go with the fit and thinking “wow this is sick,” when it's really god awful.

    FRENDY:  Aw man, I needed that good laugh. Do you remember your very first fire fit?

    ANG:  I do remember it actually, but I wouldn't say it was fire. I would say my first favorite fire fit is my Supreme patchwork outfit with my Red Octobers *Laughs*. I was so happy when I got the sweat suit in the mail. Most will say it's ugly but half the world tried to buy it and failed miserably.  That Aside, it really is a crazy piece. The hoodie and pants are both hand-made with different patches. Most don't understand that, they just see a “grandma-like table cloth” because they don't understand it. The Red Octobers were worn just so I could be over the top.  Shout out to Mike at 'On The Arm' in Vegas who plugged me with it too. My favorite thing is wearing either full tracksuits or full sweatsuits as you can probably tell.  I don't really care what people think, I don't buy clothes for people I buy them for me.

    FRENDY:  Going back to what you stated earlier, the great impression you left on Aaron due to your hockey playing skills eventually paved the way to a solid brotherhood.  How long have you been playing Hockey? Was it your goal to turn pro growing up?

    ANG: *Laughs* Aaron was impressed to say the least, I guess most people on Instagram don't follow me for hockey, I never post anything related to it. I started skating at around three years old and started playing hockey at four, which is really young. I've played for 17 years and counting and won't ever stop playing for fun. It’s every kids dream and goal to play in the NHL.  I went to PEAC, which was a private hockey school. All we did was skate, train four hours a day and screw around in class. I kid you not, a teacher quit because we “stressed her out” too much.

    Our team was unstoppable, our first line was, Ho Sang, Mcdavid, Subbans and so many more it was hilarious.  We didn't lose all year and wasn't allowed in tournaments. I was talented but as I got older I slowly lost interest in the game and at 18 decided to stop playing competitively. I will say though I don't regret any of it, hockey taught me a lot about certain things in life.  Most of my best friends play in the NHL so it's cool to see them succeed and because of that I still get to be apart of the game somehow.

    Once you play hockey and are born into the hockey world you never really get away from it. Hockey gets my mind off things when I can't find a piece of clothing that I want *Laughs*. I never would have thought when I was 15 that at 19 I would be addicted to fashion. Thank the guys for that one.

    FRENDY:  Here comes the million-dollar question: when you’re not copping the finest threads or slithering on the ice, what is it that you do for a living to remain so fresh?

    ANG:  *Laughs* Yeah the million-dollar question that people are soooooo curious to know. Never really understood why people have to ask that nonstop. From now on I'm just going to say “yeah, I won the lottery in grade 6, kept it quiet though.” But yeah, myself, Aaron, Tristan Thompson of the Cleveland Cavalier, Savas, and Simon (which are Tristan's close friends) own ProLocker together.

    FRENDY:  Can you tell me more about ProLocker? Aaron mentioned it during my sit down with him.

    ANG:  Of course, the easiest way I can map it out for you, without giving too many features away since we are launching very soon, is to say that it's a platform where we show what players use on and off the court/field/ice. Furthermore, we also provide info on where you can buy that exact equipment model around the world and different places to get it. That's the basis of it but there are loads of features besides that. I don't want to give too much away but we are excited for it. Check us out at Prolocker.com!

    FRENDY:  Sounds amazing, I'm sure you guys can’t wait to launch it. When will that happen?

    ANG:  Yeah we are really excited about it, in a perfect world we want to launch in the next month or so but we are all still fine-tuning the site. Plus we are gathering content prior to release but you can pre subscribe to the site now and follow us on Instagram ( @Prolocker ) to find out more.

    FRENDY:  I sincerely hope your followers will stop asking about what you do for a living now. Doubt it though. Since we got that out the way, let's explore your closet. What are some your favorite brands right now?

    ANG: Yeah, they probably won’t to be honest *laughs*. My favorite brands...well obviously you can tell I like Supreme. I also have other labels in my closet, people think I’m a hypebeast and just wear one particular brand.  I have a lot of Saint Laurent; their jackets I own are my favorite pieces. The detail on them and the way they look is crazy! I also have Haider Ackermann items that I like a lot, wouldn’t say its my favorite brand though. Bape obviously, I had a crazy Bape phase where I was just copping from them non stop but I kind of got sick of it. Stone Island is really comfy to wear; I got a bunch of that. I honestly have most brands you can think of. I just hate when people say “Nits you’re a hypebeast.”

    My take on that is at the end of the day most people in fashion, besides the people creating, are hypebeasts in their own special way. Just because I have a Supreme item that everyone wants I automatically get identified as a “hypebeast.”  It’s ok in my opinion if someone buys a piece of clothing that an artist or influencer may have worn first.  Unfortunately, most consider that as being “hype”.

    When you see someone wear a piece that you like, why not buy it for yourself? Nothing wrong with that at all but most people get mad and call it hype. I don't know, maybe they’re just jealous. Either they don't have access, have a plug to get an exclusive item or simply just can't afford it, which is totally understandable! I feel blessed that I am able to purchase things I like and have never been the type to bring someone else down because they can’t get something.  I'm not going to lie and pretend I don't like things that are hyped, there's a meaning behind it. Most of Supreme’s prized pieces have some sort of unique backstory, which is another reason why that brand is so strong.  At the end of the day, people call me a hypebeast but deep down inside they all wish they were able to cop what I got.

    FRENDY:  Which sneakers are in your constant rotation?

    ANG:  I wear APLs all the time. Shout out to Adam and Ryan! Jordans for sure, bred 1’s, royal 1’s, all the 1’s really.  I used to wear Yeezys a lot but its getting saturated in the market now. I try to stay away from wearing them all the time.  If I get a pair early, I’ll throw them on.  I really like my Nike Presto x Acronym kicks, they’re extremely comfy and their colorways.   Last but not least, my Air Max 98 ’s. I never really got in to the Adidas NMD wave.

    FRENDY:  Who do you feel has the best style in the entertainment industry right now?

    ANG:  A$AP Rocky.  I respect him because he barely wears what’s “in."  The guy literally flies to Japan to buy brands nobody knows about so you have to respect that.  He started so many trends it’s insane!  He is always ahead of the game and steps outside the box.

    FRENDY:  On one of your recent insta stories, I saw you were putting your followers on to alot of rising brands. How often are you researching for potential new gear?

    ANG: Yes I was, people don't understand that I’m young and got into this just a few years ago.  Most of them will say I am a “culture vulture” but I am the furthest thing from that. So for those reading just know I spend hours daily looking at what's up and coming in fashion. I will literally sit on my computer and log on to Japanese sites that aren’t even written in English and Google translate it to read articles on what's next. 

    If we want to talk about Supreme culture, I literally learned about each season, each piece and so on. Till this day I am researching meanings behind their pieces. So no, I did not just see Supreme and decided to hop on buying stuff for fun.  I put the effort into learning about it, which most do not do. That's what a culture vulture does, buys stuff to say they have it and not know anything about the brand’s ethos. I hate that. Daily, I am always looking for new stuff to get and new brands that people don’t know about. Aaron will always we call me and say, “let me guess researching?” I enjoy doing it.  It’s fun to learn about upcoming stuff and their origins.

    FRENDY:  Since your passion for fashion runs deep, did you ever think about fully diving into the industry with your own brand or investing in one that you really believe in?

    ANG:  No, probably not.  I am to busy with ProLocker and other stuff. I rather support brands by buying their clothes, never really thought about creating my own but who knows maybe I could do it.   I definitely put the time into researching about it.

    FRENDY:  You have the money, cars and clothes but is there a special lady out there you’re sharing it all with?

    ANG:  *Laughs* Well I definitely don't have it all.  There are way more important things in life than money, cars and clothes. In terms of special ladies, I am single but have a one on the radar. Once you get a girl, “you have to put her in designer,” as Future says. The guys always make fun of me though by always saying “Nits brings the tings to Fring’s”.

    FRENDY:  That’s hilarious.  Well I’m sure there are tons of tings who are willing kick it for a day...or couple of months.  Since you’re always in the latest gear, is it a requirement for them to have a sense of style or it doesn’t really matter?

    ANG:  * Laughs* Actually yes I if I were to date a girl I would want her to be into fashion like I am. She doesn't have to wear the latest stuff but definitely needs her own sense of style 100%. It’s always cool to have a girl that can relate to what you like. At the end of the day though it's not everything! But yes I would prefer it.

    FRENDY:  For sure, it’s all about being on the same frequency. Man, it was a pleasure having this conversation. Looking forward to see what you and the fellas will get into next.  One more thing I need to know before we end though, if you were stranded on a desert island what three things would you bring?

    ANG:  Likewise! If I were stranded on an island the three things I would bring is a boat to get off the island, food, and a laptop with 4G so I can stay up to date with gear.  Stay Woke!

  • Sneaker Design or Technology?

    Well, a little bit of both. But I’d opt for design because even if I did want to “optimize my performance” (which is pretty much limited to the gym and annual Races For the Cure), my kicks must remain visually appealing.

    Adidas AG ’s new chief executive Kasper Rorsted is opting for technology. He has promised to increase the company’s profits with their partner BASF to make more Boost material.  For those not into shoe design or even running, Boost is the white, Styrofoam-like, lightweight, cushioning soles, which has been pretty much behind Adidas’ growth the last few years. Preferred shoe design, colors, silhouettes and price (of course) for the moment has been the brands’ differentiator. Until now.

    Nike recently unveiled what appears to be their answer to Boost with the ZoomX sole.  The new technology will be debuted in the Zoom Vaporfly Elite running shoe targeted specifically to marathon runners.  Furthermore, the kicks include a carbon fiber plate that can be personalized/customized for stride of the runner.  According to researchers,  It will make you four percent (4%) faster. Well, not you or me probably, but really, really, really, serious runners.  Unfortunately, these sneakers may never be available to the general public!

    Instead, the company plans to unleash the Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4% on June 8th.  They will have the Nike ZoomX sole and a fiber carbon plate, but it won't be customizable like they are for marathon runners.

    Written by: Lauren F. Indvik

  • Easily

    It's Saturday night and extremely brick outside, so I decided to leave you all with a calm jam from rising British singer Bruno Major.

    Yeah, I know at first sight it looked like I was going to write Bruno Mars (haha).  Not only do both artists share the same name, they have the uncanny ability to produce songs that hammers the soul.  Major's ethereally smooth single "Easily," was released about 3 months ago but it's potency has only increased!

    Grab your shorty, a warm brew and enjoy the soothing sounds below...oh you're welcome.

  • Karl Lagerfeld's Chanel

    Karl Lagerfeld launched his Fall 2017 collection for Chanel into space with the help of an elaborate set complete with a Coco-stamped rocket ship. The French house's signatures of tweed, camellias and quilting were all there, which baffles the mind to consider how Lagerfeld has managed to reinterpret the same handful of codes for more than thirty years.  With the focus clearly on unknowable frontiers, I also couldn’t help but ponder about the future of Chanel without him. Karl is uncompromisingly unique; the kind of fantastic idiosyncratic fashion animal that used to seem far more common.

    Lagerfeld, along with contemporaries like Azzedine Alaïa and Rei Kawakubo, represents a generational cohort of excellence that spent decades fixated, obsessed even, on learning the craft of making clothes. All are or will soon be octogenarians, yet they remain the most innovative and exciting designers working today who perpetually spellbind us with the power of their creations. Their breed is simply irreplaceable.

    Alaïa and Lagerfeld in particular have a couture pedigree learning every fabric, stitch, embroidery, cutting technique, shape and fit imaginable under the auspices of impossibly demanding teachers, whose lessons were enhanced by autodidactic tendencies. The lengthy tunic silhouettes that so often show up in Lagerfeld’s collections for Chanel and Fendi are references to the elongated lines of the Vienna Secession.  Furthermore, his famous tweed suits are actually not tweed at all, but rather fine silks that are densely embroidered to maintain the tweed look minus the bulk and weight. There are only a handful of people alive today with these extraordinary capabilities.

    What will happen to fashion when these people die? Who will the standard bearers be? How can this tradition, this habit of greatness be maintained when true apprenticeships are so few? In the documentary Valentino: The Last Emperor, widely-respected fashion critic Cathy Horyn lamented that Valentino and his ilk were so great because they learned couture in the 1950s.  Without proper education, the métier could never genuinely evolve to represent a new era.

    Couture is both a process and a state of mind, a perpetual search for something transformative. I don't know who will be the next great designer, but my hope is that, somewhere, a young person is toiling in an atelier under a lovingly firm hand, bent on bringing forth the best of their talents.

    Written by: Martin Lerma

  • Frendy's Flashback Friday

    On March 10th, 1876 Alexander Graham Bell (inventor of the Telephone) made the first ever telephone call to his assistant Thomas Augustus Watson saying, "Mr Watson, come here. I want you."