THE LEGEND OF ANGELES

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they left angeles city in 1967, the largest populous city in the province of pampanga, in the philippines. angeles city was home to clark air base, my family entered into the united states on military clearance. my life has been based in the bay area, new york city, and my relocation to los angeles has seemed like a full circle moment. blessings spinning from the sky and into my heart in only a way that angels could carry. i sat on my way to work and told leya, “you wanna know something interesting? my family is from angeles city in the philippines- and now i am in los angeles.” the first born grandchild of our the third generation of my family, my cousin angelo graduated from UCLA; and now my entrance leads me to new paths. all things by design of god; i often think of the signs that god is giving to me, the blessings that have come and those that have gone. i remain rooted in gratitude, but in this space, in this city and in this chapter of my life, in becoming my fully destined self, i think of my grandparents, who guide me now, from the heavens. the concept of angels. the thought of salvation. of making it to the other side and coming into the light from the darkness. the battle of facing fears versus losing to them, and the irony of victory through surrender.

my life has been a constant challenge of resistance and release. whether looking to stay in control, or acting out of control- the pressures have always been. survival is in my blood, transcendence is a family tradition that cannot be avoided by me. it’s been inherited. challenging myself and others around me, as if to wrap myself in my own figurative wings in life, i’ve gone out of my way, above and beyond to protect my own purity, hoping to inspire greater purity in others. the results of that still yet unrevealed, things i touch are heavily scented with my aesthetic, my darkness shines like light and none of that is in vain. it’s through the hard work of the generations before me- my understanding of what it means to be american, about celebrating women, about crediting culture- i am who my ancestors, and relatives were and still are because i am survived. i told my sister last night, “you can feel however you want to feel about me- I’m in your bloodstream” – and like the cancer that spread into my grandmother’s GI track, giving her only 7 days to live after prognosis- my purity will run through the symbollic blood flow of life, my hope is to infect every cell into purity until true beauty is more accurately defined.

i’ve discussed concepts of beauty at length in this space, feeling much like i do in my expressions of love- that no words, actions or intentions are enough for definition. to fight, commit and dedicate oneself is a life long work. you study it, you rehearse it, recite it and present it. you defend it and move into spaces where the purity is called into questions; but the only thing that will remain is that of what is true. because what is true purity if it has not been challenged by the unpure? what joys can be felt without contrasting pain. for it is those who give that will receive. those who are paying attention who will be paid in return. it’s all vibes, moods and attitude. awareness is meticulosity,  and in that cleanliness exists the purity of details and the refinement of what is real. beyond DNA or thought process, and into theories of higher power, and evidence of that- will live forever, love. so as i sit gathering myself for strategy.

losing to win, leaving the familiar to come back into a space with such a gratitude that you fall to your knees. there is no way that i could chop this shit up so you could understand what it’s like to live it, man. the pictures, the articles of beauty, and then seeing true beauty beyond the computer screen, but then seeing all this shit connected. a blessing, beyond any greater truth. in this full circle moment, each second is contained within a halo, and by the way i heard that song today, in my referential space. the presence of angels in life and death are undeniable, for those who have actual faith. it is in life’s surrender that the truth comes. vulnerability for strength and all those others comparatives that i could type out for you- if you get it, you do. if you don’t- you never will. and that is what probes my sensitivity, my quick nature to walk away, or to disengage entirely at improper phrasing, poor choices or stupidity.

from cold concrete streets and rotting subway rails to a land of sunshine and freedom of my upbringing, gratitude can’t be cited enough in this time. counting every single loss as a blessing for having existed, the time is now realized as the most powerful, where you make it count or get counted out. you have no time to waste, and even in that wasted space- it’s still by god’s design. angels. giving me my strength, my gramma and grampa. i see you and feel you; regarding my relationships with you as active and still standing. first and second generations here are represented as another symbol of me, as i sit in the third row generation, watching as generation four enters the runway. and in that, i love.

jeremy danté is now living and scouting in los angeles, ca
to schedule a meeting email LITA@jeremydante.com

 

THE LULLABY ON BROADWAY

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there is a scene at the end of the 1993 film, starring michael j. fox, “life with mikey” that thrives in this energetic lane that i have longed for and lived in for my life. the scene includes a young girl named kimberly, who sings a striking rendition of “the lullaby of broadway”. in my specific collective of sonic and visual references, this one exists. i’ve never sat and seen the film, nor have i had the desire to do so. it’s just that one scene, at the very end that always pulled me in. oddly enough, the last few days i spent at my new york apartment, my roommate drew martin mentioned that scene. and immediately we talked about it, and just that moment. that talent defining breakthrough of a moment, where a skill is realized, and you break away from private study or meticulous concentration and escape into the judgement and acceptance of others who will share in your talent. it’s those moments, whether subtle or overbearing that my life is all about.

it’s about timing and understanding of development. it’s a crash course of loss and gain, contrasted with public desires in a private space of artistry. that’s what new york has been for me. a distant dream of industry, social realm and quite darkness with loud opportunities that i longed for. and so i left, leaving my home of california to escape into the greater unknown. equipped with love and protected in that as well, 2014 was the winter of blizzards in new york city. and i didn’t mind. i would walk 5th avenue, or go for  coldstone near times square. i defined new york city within my own terms, often of isolation for greater purified sense of inspiration. i was alone. losing love in the space, losing jobs in that city, lost looking for where to get on, where to get off; where to eat. crying in the middle of the snow, trying to keep my hands warm in single digit temperatures and chills. it wasn’t easy. when it was hard, it was the most difficult, but when it was easy, it was like water. the tug and pull of the fluidity and difficulty showed me many things of others, and most intimately things of myself. swinging back and forth were the moments of my own proven strength with moments of necessary surrender.

i left my apartment sobbing like someone had died, and with the loss of my two grandparents in october and november, the sense of loss was overwhelming. i cried the entire drive to terminal 2 at JFK, from my apartment at 700 W 178th street in Upper Manhattan. thinking of the love i was leaving in my space, the dreams that came true and those that came crashing down. i realize that in my life, i need to develop a greater ability to let go, and be stronger in faith than i have been in the past. not to cling to what i define as stable, or comfortable or easy, but to manage in a way that leans on strength in faith. guidance by angels, brought me to the city of angels, where i was met with new opportunities which will open new ways for life and love. the cross street of my apartment in new york city was broadway. and with the assemblence of attention to detail, following my desire to find the signs with proper interpretation from where they’ve come from god; this post titled itself.

i waited for the train on the pier of san clemente, awaiting to ride into los angeles, and thought of this new life. not entirely new, because i am a native of california, but new as a chapter of my life. to be where i am is a blessing, to have been able to lead as i have, to be guided as i have been- there is a god that looks down with an abundance of blessings and a greater plan for me than i can imagine. as things unfold, i look back at the moments of love and hold to the lessons, while forgetting the struggles to create my own pathway of things i’ve survived and moved past. the enslavement of minds that created gaps of bridges that i chose to burn to save my own sanity and influence. the purity of my white room that always helped me to maintain the beauty of the darkness under the right light. and when i say the right light, i mean the light from within- boundless and without a color for categorization.

within range of family, shining under the sun, the lullaby that i created at the cross street of broadway is a story that only i, and maybe one other know. privately guarded, my new york story is a love story. it’s a story of survival, triumph and loss- like all the great stories which lay the foundation for other stories to gather. representing aesthetics and culture along the way, i’ve loved and lived in new york city. building character through each set back, and steadily climbing while fighting to be greater, not just for myself, but for others. and that is the only way to live. that is the only way to love. always remembering the details for the grand scheme of designs by god. we’ll see what the sun brings this time around, and while new york is never too far away, the pits and peaks of the city have contributed to the power of my own ability in ways no one can tell better than me, in my own words, as i have in this space for the past nine years.

for the moments of greatness that i’ve lived through
in new york city, and the love that i felt along the way

LITA: PHILOSPHY + FOUNDING PRINCIPLES

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love inspired through adversity. a culmination of a life long philosophy, reflection of self and guiding principle for development. through each phase of my own growth process has been check points, challenges and even re-examination of past lessons in order to transcend into greater levels of performance. this pathway, which i have followed has organically developed for me in my own life and will now serve as a force for the women who i take on to educate, develop and power into greater awareness of their own potential, beyond what they may see within themselves. inspired by my maternal grandmother, and a photograph i found of her during my design process for her funeral services in october 2016; she stood amidst 11 women, wearing the highest heel, had the highest ponytail and the smallest waist. after all the departures and separations i had experienced in fashion, thinking of how much i was committed  to my own ideas, the image struck me like a sharp reminder of who i am. thinking of my grandmother and the ways that she was always poised, always smiling and always representing at best; it was only natural that i name my mother agency after her, the mother of all mothers- in my family and in my world.

a mother to 5 children, and grandmother to 14; estelita bulatao was a loving sister and dedicated wife. through adversity she approached the unknown with faith and through those processes intentionally applied love through measured patience. a survivor and pioneer from the philippines and into the united states, she knew how to turn nothing into something great, was resourceful and inspired by beauty and had particularity in all aspects of building family, home and experience. it is in these same principles, that i will guide, develop and design the women who i choose to take on through my mother agency. the process of creating and developing instincts is a religious experience for me. i commit through worship to my ideas which i feel are guided by a higher power i was raised to believe in. these beliefs give me strength in weakness, light in the dark and faith in doubt. beyond any form of greater meaning, and defining of purpose, to be placed in a position that reinforces the power of women is where i feel i serve most significantly.

love is at the basis of all that i do; it drives my passion and allows me to go into a mode of almost robotic like consistency through execution. as a new and emerging collective, the ideas and potential of what i see for the future of what i am building are being constructed every day. through partnerships, meaningful inspiration and understanding of strategy and personal growth, the founding principles discussed here provide a backdrop for what will be, through what is. for models looking to redevelop, or new faces entering the game; LITA will provide a sense of nurture and balance to what can often times be seen as silent and unnecessarily difficult in the industry of fashion. dealing in reality, through a basis of clear understanding and yes, love, LITA will lead by example by providing an antithesis within the scope of the fashion industry. respecting the structure enough to bring forth new methods, LITA is not afraid to explore uncharted territory, take on the challenge of transformation and understanding strain to aide those in need, to get to higher ground.

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for the everlasting legacy of estelita bulato 1940-2016
for information on the agency visit litamotheragency.com
or contact scouting@jeremydante.com

CHAPTER 10. THE LEGACY

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“i love your face” she said, as i sat in front of her with glossed eyes and a soft smile. i had just arrived at the hospital- going straight from the SFO terminal to the car, and to her bedside. no stops in between. the night prior i slept at JFK, feeling the sense of urgency was too unbearable for me to stay in my apartment any longer. the morphine had set in, but she was still strong enough to talk, and as she seen my tears stream from my face she said, “don’t think like that, darling”. already knowing what i was thinking but always staying faithful that everything would be okay. that was her way, and when i say her way, i mean ‘a way’. that’s how it has always been for us and in my family; you just find a way to make it work. the rule was not to cry in front of her, although i broke the rule instantly. we each got individual moments with her in those final days. each morning, as her responses slowed to a minimum, i continued to sit with her each morning, play songs and have my moment, holding her hand and crying when i needed, at her side, for her and in every opportunity i had to speak to her, and be present. i arrived back in the bay that sunday, by wednesday she had transcended into eternal life. like a scene from a movie, the cinematic vibe was more poetic in real life than it could have been through any camera lens or technique of lighting. we knelt at her bed side, all of us surrounding her bed, until we seen her no longer breathing, it was all happening so slowly, almost gently. on her last night, i slept by her bedside, sleeping almost in a half state; listening for her breathing and waking every two hours to administer morphine by hand. “gramma, it’s jeremy- I’m gonna give you more medicine” she heard me and would gently swallow, no resistance or tension, she was relaxed. we were all there, and she knew it, demonstrated fully was our love for her, down to the last moment. there was this feeling of unrelenting emotion; where you can’t cry hard enough, you can’t release enough, the grief created too great a sense of tension, while the state of disbelief was almost urging you to let it out- a tortured state, where you just go with what you can feel and express in the moment.

gramma was always attentive, very precise and particular. always dressed, poised and aware. in passing, i came to greater realization of my roots and felt a necessary return to who i am, in being home and even to the last breath, gramma made sure that i was taken care of; leaving signs that she is still with me, as i see them everyday. almost unmarred by the process of age, i sat with her each night and morning, taking as many moments i could in those final days. just looking at her, remember how her cheek feels against mine whenever i would greet her and give that affection. thinking deeply on my flight from the east coast and back to my home on the west coast, thinking of how she snuck me into her house last christmas when i was having issues with other family members. she instructed her children, when she they started telling her she only had a few days left to live to “stop excluding members of the family”. i couldn’t help but think she was talking about me, she always fought for me, and never stopped trying. so when i think about shit that i been through- whatever bullshit happened at the model agencies, the issues that people have had with me and wanting shit my way, or even my talent of being able to develop something from nothing, and to identify hidden strengths in women. these skills, the poise, the pin point presentation- that’s the legacy. i designed her program, creating soft roses and pink against a modern type face to keep her current but classic all the same. i sang at the service, “prayer of st. francis” – the lyrics resounding like her memory in not just my heart, but the heart of every single person in my family, “make me a channel of your peace”. the love she and my grampa had trascended every line and limit in existence.

in a moment now frozen in my mind, visually; my grampa was wheeled to her bedside, and immediately, in what would be her final and most responsive moments of interaction, she moved toward my grampa, reaching for his hand as he told her “i love you”. she got prepared to make a statement, which was her last spoken request to all of us- 2 remaining brothers and their wives, 5 children, 14 grandchildren, 3 great granchildren, nieces and nephews- we were all there, listening to her. she said, “take care of one another”. and even the last time she opened her eyes, we all crowded around her as though we were on the set of a 90’s music video. i said, “hi gramma!!” and she said softly, “hi baby” – as i launched to kiss her immediately after hearing her speak. crying isn’t even the word. the tears were streaming steadily for weeks on end, even following. grampa and gramma were always strong together, she let him lead and he reveled in that. married 53 years, they were like royalty having ascended into the united states from the philippines in 1968. they had already been married in the philippines and had three children at the time of their departure of the islands. he like a president and she like a first lady, they lived in san francisco before relocating in the 80’s to an urban suburb of west pittsburg, about 45 minutes outside of the city. this is where we grew up. gramma and grampa took care of all 14 grandchildren, collectively and individually in very special ways with each. in this miraculous way, we were all honored and given our private moments in life and even in death. if you could believe that a family that large could share that close, this is the true miracle of love and again, the legacy of my family. one that i am proud to share in the final chapter of this year long autobiographical series. originally intended to be twelve parts, ten chapters will mark the end and approrpriately for the life and story of my grandparents.

seven days following gramma’s burial, it was too much for grampa to bare, he also ascended into eternal life. upon returning to new york city, i had to leave back on the same flight but this time, i had not made it in time to have a final goodbye with grampa. i started to think of their life together, the lost loves in my life and the great duty in being together, and working together, building and honoring each other, together. after marrying gramma, grampa left his own family to come to the united states with gramma’s father, my lolo, who was a soldier of world war II and was able to gain entrance into america through his military status. this feat changed our lives forever. the lives of my gramma, my grampa, their children- my uncles, aunties and mother. this was the game changer. similar to my relocating to new york city, it was this courage that they had that found it’s way to me. the seemingly vain way of self photography, or the slight movement of hair, the charm of a great joke and gentle pose for a photo with a soft smile- gramma and grampa together created these moments and awareness in life, and thus my life. grampa’s strength and sacrifice for love mirrors my own willingness. gramma’s attention to detail and how to do things right, to follow the rules and abide by structure- their faith together and individually, their community building among the filipinos who were relocating into the far east bay, and their leadership in our church. all of these things, these vitally important and instrumental moments of development that we almost looked over, because we were just focused on getting things done and being together, making it work in the moment. beyond whatever shit happens, success or failure- the life of love and strength lead by my grampa, antonio bulatao and my gramma, estelita bulatao is  built into the fibers of my being. there are not enough words, or any form of phrasing that i could compose to equivalize the love and gratitude that i have for my life and the responsibility laid upon me to defend and protect that legacy in the ways i am already doing. what i have built here is proof of this legacy, you cannot have one without the other. dedicated for the entire duration of my existence as an artist and human being, my gramma and grampa will forever be the source of all that i do and all that i have done.

written for the everlasting life and legacy of
antonio and estelita bulatao
my inspiration forever

FACES OF THE FUTURE • THE TOP 10 FEMALES OF SS17

thriving on fresh talent each season, the fashion world is one of great work and great controversy. the use of girls, the tumult of the development process for some and the lack of diversity which is still at the forefront of represented beauty is what keeps us watching. in the movement of #blacklivesmatter, i felt it important to retreat to some of my old content, as i feel the hope of these messages of success are what we need. selected here are ten females who have already walked the runways of haute couture in both paris and milan. as the couture season initiates the new fashion season, the bookings each girl lands, and the agencies that represent them play a large role. in paris for couture, to shows in new york, back up to london, through milan and back to paris at the close- runway is a dominating aspect of modeling and can significantly impact or destroy a career. in the high end, image compartments of modeling, runway is king. from runway, you gain the visibility and are able to enter into editorial; which can lead you to advertising campaigns. this is the normal trajectory for what is deemed successful in creating a model. magazine covers, show packages, and presence in new digital components of luxury brands also play a role. but without runway, who are you? tough as it may be, this is the truth. each girl in this feature have been hand selected, and throughly reviewed ahead of publishing. while there are no real predictions one can make, only hopes, in fashion; these are my selections. and as the season gets underway, we will see which girls will advance to next season.

mayowa-nicholasMAYOWA NICHOLAS winner of elite model look in her region, nigerian stunner, mayowa is represented by the society in new york, and elite globally. elite owns the society, and with the strength of such a partnership, mayowa has been able to dominate aspects of runway, and is one of the most promising faces on the fashion scene. for the FW16 campaign season, mayowa is seen for miu miu, yves saint laurent and dolce & gabbana. on the runway, last season she walked in over 20 shows, including both prada and dior. for this new season, for couture, she appeared in five shows. her lead into the new season is strong. her look is strong yet delicate, she’s a star on the rise for this versatility. put her on your radar.

noemie abigailNOEMIE ABIGAIL represented by DNA in new york, and viva in paris. on the couture catwalk, noemie has already been seen this season for valentino, fendi, elie saab and giambattista valli. noemie is in her second season debuting as a prada exclusive, last season. this exclusive also landed her the FW16 ad campaign, shot by steven meisel. with her already stellar track record and impressive relationship with prada, keep your eye out for her. she has also been seen on the runway for saçai, which links her to super stylist, karl templer. i’m sure her rounds at interview magazine will be seen in the coming months, where templer is also the creative director. noemie became the first black winner of elite model look france, in 2014, at 16.

karly-loyceKARLY LOYCE she’s the fresh faced black girl that you seen in those céline ads. represented by women model management in new york, london and paris; karly has quickly become almost synonymous with the cool vibes we associate wth celine. androgynous in ways, but versatile enough to channel an elegance, on the runway she’s a killer. for the couture season last month, she appeared for giambattista valli, elie saab, vauthier and yes, chanel. she’s been well received on the editorial front, appearing for american vogue, WSJ and vogue germany- her star will continue to rise with the coming season, internationally. karly represents a new class of cool girls that are taking over fashion, and dominating the industry.

selena forrestSELENA FORREST debuted as an exclusive for proenza scholar, last season, selena forrest came out swinging her first season. represented by NEXT she’s been the face of proenza for two seasons now, and this season for couture, she appeared for both fendi and chanel. she landed the cover of i-D magazine, is cited as a the top new comers and is the campaign face for DKNY, plus she’s also seen as part of the nike x olivier roustieng collaboration campaign.  fresh faced as ever, selena gives off that effortless and at times tomboy vibe. captivating for her youthful look, you can see in her features that this will only grow into greater beauty in years to come. with her features, selena is super versatile for new era and classic beauty alike.

nahjiya-imaniNAJIYAH IMANI new face represented by heroes NYC, najiyah imani is already making waves appearing for the prada resort collection and for the miu min look book. with stunning bone structure and elegant features, najiyah is possibly the freshest face in this collective of girls. i will definitely be keeping an eye out for her on the runway, and can’t wait to see how that will set her up for success on the campaign and editorial circuit. versatility is the name of the game in modeling and this girl has many dimensions. one of my favorite faces this season. love her early reception, which is creating all the right vibes for her as a new face.


diloneDILONE
 existing within that subset of models that hinge on androgyny, the industry seeks the edge that dilone of DNA models possesses. she has that effortless cool with her laid back features, but also holds that transformative quality that draws her in many directions from commercial appeal to high end experimentation. from major brand advertising to editorial circuit visualsa native new yorker, she has already made appearances with marc jacobs, burberry, versace and fendi. with campaigns, she’s doing incredibly well, even at this early a stage- booking for coach, versace, balmain and opening ceremony. from tom boy to high end glam- I’m seeing stars for dilone. mother agent? omit management, also based in new york.

farihiya-shireFARHIYA SHIRE marilyn agency in new york, farhiya is a gorgeous talent i spotted on the couture runways of jean-paul gaultier. while not a new face, per sé; having already been featured in international editions of glamour as well as a few B-level shows, i like her. her look is that kind that blends cute with sophistication, reliant on the team she is working with or the vision of casting directors. her book, from what i’ve seen doesn’t nearly do her justice. one of exceeding potential, i am hoping to see more of her on the runway. marilyn has been an industry force, having gone through rebranding, we’ll see how well they work for farhiya, this season and onward. versatility is key in the modeling game, and we’ll see how hard farhiya can push through.

photo-sep-07-7-01-27-pmMARIE FOFANA spotted on the runways of dior haute couture, for the fall 2016 season; maria has a bubbling presence with more of the edgier circuit of fashion and editorial. through much curiosity, i had been watching marie and seen she was represented by ford in paris, being discovered by crystal models also based in paris. from the looks of her instagram, i am seeing IMG- so she is one to add to your model tracker, she may be popping off soon and could be considered an underdog. with her already interesting track record in paris, she’s one to keep an eye on. the fashion season is filled with surprises, IMG could be hiding her for a global exclusive at one of the big fashion houses this season.

photo-sep-07-7-08-09-pmLONDONE MYERS (the lions) debuted as a YSL exclusive, londone myers is also the current face seen in the windows at american retailer, the gap. her relaxed image is the current grade of girl that the industry seems to be favoring. represented by the lions, this girl is dripping in potential. with her already outstanding track record with campaign bookings, and the commercial strength of the lions and their VS tie-ins, her features and all the powers that be are sure to play well in her favor, on the high-end and commercial tip. with mention of newer agency, MSA on her profile, the rapping from the lions could’ve been an agency swap-snatch move. which is always interesting.

crystal-noriegaCRYSTAL NOREIGA represented by elite in new york and premium in paris, i spotted crystal at gaultier couture. always a master of high style and casting appeal, gaultier had a few girls that were not used by others. with sure shots, and girls with star power potential alike, there are no true predictions for any girls, any season with any clients. such is the case for crystal noriega. she was a new face at DNA in 2011 at 18 years old, and then popped up at elite. with agency shifts, either the girl was not supported or clients were not responsive. i see the potential for her and will keep her on my radar for the bookings she lands this season, and monitor where else she pops up.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 9. BLACK TO THE BEGINNING

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the bones that built this site are black. america, as i know it- is black. art is black. beauty, is black. and while many variations exist as means of texturizing contrast between light and dark- the beginning is now and will forever be black. inspired, single handedly by the editorial shoot of steven meisel featuring sessilee lopez, this site was born. that issue, the 2008 all black edition of italian vogue is the best selling issue of vogue, of all time. the only issue in the publishing history of conde nast to go to re-print. affectionately, i was drawn to sessilee. cosmically, i was drawn to her. it was as if the energy was elevated into the universe, leading me into a new level of life that i had never anticipated beforehand. living in my home of the bay area, within the northern calfornia region, just outside of san francisco- it was me, my laptop and a vision.

steadily, i began to understand, study and analyze the fashion industry. having already been previously engaged in musical media for many more years prior; the internet was affecting the influence of music and the concept of visual sounds was running rampant. i seen this. looking for something new, something that drives information and bridges the gap- i started to write about fashion. understanding that there was no go-to source for ‘black fashion’, for lack of better articulation, in the digital blogosphere at that time. i didn’t so much like the idea of segregation that lived in the concept and titling of ‘black fashion’ either.  so, i started to craft the content with a focus on ethnic models, shit- the only fashion we knew was from rap lyrics. we seen kim and foxy rocking chanel, we seen mary donning fendi sunglasses and noticed the versace shirts on the backs of tupac shakur and later, B.I.G. as i started to build into this direction, the narrative grew, my voice amplified- the response started to grow and quickly. the international audience responded in no time at all, many industry heads started to tap into it. because of my ‘fashion from concentrate’ direction- many thought i lived in new york city. my network continued to grow in that region,  and the work was done off-site.

many of the models i profiled became friends of the site, and from editorial fashion spreads to runway review, jeremydanté.com became a vital source of fashion media, with a cultured and ethnic voice. there was no need to call it black fashion, or to highlight things in an ostentatious way- i just did it. spoke about it, represented it. i spoke on the dimension in which i know style. i highlighted issues, and praised the moments of glory that uplift our culture. and that is what i’ve been doing since then. with the issues of police brutality crashing into headlines, daily- we must understand that the misrepresentation of our people is nothing new. during the journey of this site, i have taken every opportunity to uplift and re-appropriate in as many ways as i could. maintaining a luxury appeal, i wanted us to be able to have a space where we would be credited for our immeasurable influence of beauty and regality.

merging aspects of music into the fashion dialogue, i was able to get the attention of kanye west and MTV, a blessing of visibility, as much of the work done here is for culture and those outlets. high-end hip-hop, as kanye describes, was the perfect description of the content. initially, i thought i would be a silent partner, contributing only dialogue in a lonely web space for myself. but others joined the conversation in over 137 countries around the world. when i finally relocated to new york city, after going back and fourth with my choice to do so, over a six year period- my goal was to enter into the industry with the same tenacity and purified power of understanding that, yes, we are under represented. upon my relocation, after being unhappy with my job at a small fashion directory company, i called sessilee. i told her that i needed to get out. she said, “i can make a call” – and she did. while much of my segue into the industry was stressful- i would not change any of the experience. i think that many aspects of change and growth are found in struggle. i knew who i was before i got to new york city, i’ve said that many times and will always remind you.

so, to be met with unfavorable or challenged circumstance- boo, i’ve been there, i’ve done that. no struggle will knock the course- it will only lead to more enlightened psychological frame work. and let’s be clear- i am never one to lead with misinformation, lack of truth or fear- ever. i am very grateful for all opportunities i have come across and had the blessing to be a part of. while i recognize that all things are temporary, my mission remains intact. this chapter, dedicated to the work for culture i have done on this site, is a reminder of where we’ve been together. a checkpoint; we are not done- there is more work to be done. further barriers are left unbroken. we are culture. there is no barrier strong enough to block our light, or lock into our destiny as purely and effortlessly as we will and do, each and every day.

we define the beauty in which we derive, because we’ve lived it. we are that beauty, and represented in that is no need for promotion within our own community. it’s the world that exists outside of us that seems to forget. but someone elses inability to properly value us is not an actual indication of said value. here, black culture and most ethnic beauty is and will always be celebrated. here, we have remained committed to bridging the gap of underrepresentation in media, and have pushed the boundaries of those limitations to create a new era for ourselves. that work, will never stop. and even when we achieve those goals- let us remember, that is when the real work begins. because to become a legend is step one, and to maintain that is a whole other ball game, thus the lifetime of dedication called upon us to carry out that work. while many may look past the media-hybrid social work we are doing- these aspects of media are still intended to represent the people, the world around us. and our beauty, our culture will never be ignored. as long as we continue to address it, and represent it thoroughly, we won’t be deterred. to be beautiful is an inner quality, to approach all things purely and resourcefully, articulately- are skills. let’s continue to do that work and represent the beauty we’ve always known, each and everyday, with each other and to inform those unaware.

dedicated to the many models, editors and writers
who actively represent our culture each and everyday, 
in the world of fashion, and in all areas of media

WHAT KENDALL FOR VOGUE MEANS FOR FASHION

US_Vogue_September_2016_cover 2

no one is with a cooler agency, or of the most famous celebrity family than kendall jenner. all of this is a PR dream. and while many dreams can come with their trappings, kendall and her team have definitely positioned her through hard work and the right bookings. many deem her as flat, say she is under developed. but, the point of fashion is to be fresh, to capture an innocence before it is tarnished- to capture youth and allow it to live forever through style and photography. the kardashian factor is inarguable. many expectations of models require performance, but some are reliant on luck. whether genetics, or a chance meeting with a scout- it’s all an alignment of energy and opportunity.

kendall, in the series she grew up filming, was seemingly a bit more reserved and shy. even in the episodes which showed her older sister kim kardashian encouraging her to model, she was seen rejecting forceable ideas of what models should be, or the rigor of certain routines. steadily, like many other developing models, she studied models of the past and even intentionally entered into fashion rather silently. she debuted on the runway for marc jacobs, which is how many other girls get their start to become a hot item and continued to flourish. her visibility within the hollywood scene has lent it’s power to her follow through success, but you can’t force someone to work as hard as kendall has. i say all of this to say that she has earned this cover. but now let’s talk some real shit.

let me tell you what this cover means for fashion. american vogue in particular is this heavily political publication entity that prides itself on being a leader. almost as manufactured as american politics itself- the decision for who lands the cover are strategically aligned with cultural impact, happenings in music and film- and then fashion seems to seamlessly hit in and around all of that to create the vogue image. many seem to forget that magazine covers were home to many great supermodels of the past. our celebrity obsessed culture created a shift that american vogue, in many ways, spearheaded. but now, with the hybrid editions of celebrity children landing fashion opportunities for their elevated cool factor, and blueprint of street-inspires-style; we are looking at the next generation. with models like gigi hadid and kendall now gracing the covers- we’re looking at the rebirth of the supermodel for the next generation.

while on the topic of model authenticity and earned respect, i think karlie kloss should have landed this cover before kendall. while i give kendall her respect and dues- karlie exists without a famous family and has crafted her success on thoughtful partnerships and intelligent choices, like a real business woman should. hailed as one of the top 30 models of the new millennium, kloss burst onto the scene through NEXT model management and quickly killed the catwalk for dior, oscar de la renta and yes, chanel. while there isn’t one designer runway she hasn’t touched- her slow burn success is what true models are made of. covers of italian vogue, regularly- karlie loss is and has been the one to beat, but no one was ever able to do so. a performer of theatricality and understandability through poise- kendall’s cover will act as a firestarter for the return to the covers for models everywhere.

a perfect blend of celebrity, modeling and that ever alluring vibe that fashion loves to create with the question, “who’s that girl?”- fashion is about intrigue. fashion is about creating new ideas, and representing women in all their glory, beautiful- either experimentally or transformatively. when done the right way, brands are built into the presence of these women, and while kendall may have secured the bookings- from the grit of the modeling industry, girls like karlie kloss are the real MVP’s. in 2015, kloss enrolled at NYU, after she had already killed the international fashion scene, to which she is still a booking staple. having begun modeling in 2007, kloss is now represented by IMG, is now 24 years old, hails from chicago and has been a leading example for young women everywhere. she created kode for karlie, a partnership with flatiron school and code.org, which supports young girls with karlie’s shared interest of coding in computer science and software engineering. karlie’s kookies was created to benefit hungry children around the world, and is a partnership through FEED projects. it’s time her success be seen more on the frontline and in a solo cover, for american vogue. she is about building unity and philanthropy around young women and embodies the true ideals of what it means to be an american. thanks for the lay-up ken, now karlie can get us a winning shot.

kendall shot by mert + marcus
styling by tonne goodman
september 2016