Category: fashion + style

10 BEST SS20 MENSWEAR COLLECTIONS

to view collection, click the designer name to launch video and/or gallery

runway look no. 291. DIOR MEN with kim jones now at the helm, looking back at the history of christian dior, and thinking particularly about the ways that john galliano was able to tap into the archival genius of mr. dior, himself- there is no doubt in any fashion heads mind that, dior as brand aged to 73 years old, has the best archives around. no longer rested in the minimalism or even referred to as ‘dior homme’, jones has allowed the menswear division of the label to take on it’s own respective space, where menswear is hitting hardest. the range of accessories, went all the way off. from the miniature pieces that showcased the dior x rimowa luggage collaboration, to the continued reworking of the iconic saddle bags, this collection was just that a collection. inspired by the art of daniel arsham, the concept of decaying futurism showed itself on the runway with aged letters that of course spelled out, ‘dior’ – as the models walked across pink sand. the most genius thing about this collection were the incorporation of the structural pieces that appeared on the catwalk to what was shown for accessories. it was truly an accentuation of what inspired the collection, even looks that are worn by the artist who inspired the collection made their way in. the lab style coats, and round lensed glasses are almost a uniform for the american artist, arsahm; who shared his creative process across dior’s own official youtube channel. pink was a trend this season, for menswear, but no collection was as thorough, for me, as dior men. my top pick for the season, absolutely, hands down. from last season to this, kim jones proves that he is the front runner for what menswear can be, with absolutely no limitation of greatness.

runway look no. 34.jpg2. VALENTINO pierpaolo has mastered this way of integrating what has worked well in the market for the house of valetino and keeping it securely into collection elements, while slowly pressurizing the new vibes in a fresh and unsuspecting way. to avoid it feeling jarring, the transition feels natural and paced. when valentino garavani himself exited his namesake label, the house had no allotment of accessories, which many labels rely on for middle market sales. but in the last four years alone, not to mention the womenswear accessories from the red valentino and rockstud collections- the menswear accessories range for the label has since exploded. while the street continues to dominate and influence the catwalk, these designs this season, and ever season really, showcase almost a greatest hits collective. i loved the wearability of the looks, while elevating the simplicity with ways you haven’t seen valentino worn before. there was a focus on t-shirts, and of vital importance, the visibility of the valentino “V” logo worn on many of the looks, accentuated by brash belt buckles. the label, which is among my absolutely favorites, has been doing an amazing job since i last left off reviewing runway. even when not actively reviewing in this space, i have continued watching; and can securely place this collection as number two for the season. pictured in each of the mini-posts for each number in the countdown are my favorite looks, picture is look no. 34- i love the look of functionality. the easy, on the go, almost convertibility of a men’s look is exactly how i dress myself. there was a fresh take on the dad style vacation button down, that added the right touches of vibrance to the collection, without it feeling overpowering.

Vuitton-L58.jpg3. LOUIS VUITTON virgil takes flight, breaking the format of design, expectation and shattering the boundaries that had previously existed for casting. artist, delfin, of los angeles, closed the show as athletes, rappers and new faces alike all walked the show. the use of the vuitton monogram is likely the most iconic of fashion, second to only the chanel CC’s- and this season, that was pronounced. the show invites incorporated kites, and the same kite was showcased as the collection clothes, as delfin walked in all white, dropped with a multitude of vuitton men’s bags. the color story was interesting, because it was so far ranging. stoned greys and now-and-later flavored pinks walked in the streets of the runway, which was used as a catwalk. the reinterpretation of the vuitton LV is always so interesting to see, because virgil abloh is an artist himself. pastels and use of florals, in really innovative ways, styled into the bags, and used as print in the collection were all seen. the collection, as it has been since virgil took over the men’s side of vuitton, was a spectacle for the senses. an obviously fire collection, i rate it as third for the season, because the hype clouds the greatness of the clothes, in my mind. a powerhouse of labels,   the house of vuitton is solid, but with kim jones at vuitton before abloh, some of these concepts, though inspiring; are not as new as fashion newbies are gassing them up to be.

Alyx-L204. ALYX the power is in the details- whether the choice to do chromed out hardware against ice cold blacks- or earthy use of browns and khaki’s with shots of purple- it was all kept clean. a newer label among the collective of my top 10 this season; the line is designed by matthew williams, is based in new york city, and is entirely produced in italy. there’s a militant air to the clothes, and a functionality of modernity that sets the collection apart from others. while the runway show, itself, is more about it’s purpose for wear; the collection may appear flat in stills. with the battle of showmanship for the big fashion houses, i love to look at collections like a guy- thinking of what is best to wear, which details stand out the most and which of the collections is just, simply, good design. pronounced uh-leekz, there was a true fashion aesthetic to the collection that wasn’t over the top or over done. everything was subtle enough, but powerful enough to be noticed. pieces in this collection showcase the same convertibility as others seen in my season’s picks, and could easily be paired together. i am excited to see what ways celebrities will be wearing these pieces, and how they’ll be styled for editorial. with male celebs like, american rappers travis scott and A$AP rocky, british rapper, skepta and neo socialites like luka sabbat being associated with alyx studio; the collaborations that williams has participated in, including moncler and nike only add to his stock, and elevate his cool. alyx is a collection to watch, if you’re not already. and if you’re not already, and haven’t been- catch up, love, you’re already behind.

00008-tom-ford-menswear-spring-20.jpg5. TOM FORD always a refinement of american design, tom ford is a true original who sticks to his guns. his collections these days, seem to ride the undercurrent of luxury, and don’t rely on controversy or the validation back by the legacy empire lines like ford’s earlier career did. baring in mind his most poignant design works, at both yves saint laurent and, of course, at gucci. i find it important to balance my season’s picks to both runway and off-runway presentations. tom has always been a favorite of mine, and his influence at those other labels still live there today, and in his own collection, you see the root of those influences. this season’s collection was presented via look book, in an editorial-esque format, which i absolutely loved. the color story was nothing crazy, or even surprising. tom seems to enjoy playing to the etiquette of menswear in all the right ways. the collection is undoubtedly one filled with essentials and male classics. with a more pronounced feel of accessories, the strongest moments were the sleek brown sheen moments throughout. love that, despite all of the trends he’s created throughout his career, he no longer relies on such controversies or spectacles, and instead just keeps his focus on classic elements. theres something subtle and rested about the collection and it’s opted styling notes. the most vibrant, or spring like moments of color are shown at the close, as pink, green and yellow leopard seem intended for the finale, while purple zebra pops in for a moment as well. not my style, but not something new to tom’s stable of style tricks. kept simple, aside from the pops of color; even still, tom ford presents a set of classics that will stand the test of time, after people have forgotten about the animal prints.

Versace-L31.jpg6. VERSACE with excess of their brand DNA, leave it to donatella to continued to keep their legacy aesthetic afloat, with a floral explosion coming out of a ferrari on a rotating platform for the models to walk around during the show. leather trenches, and animal prints- as well as this super interesting two faced design concept that seemed to combine two looks into one. loved that concept the most, even if it was included as a style collision. showing a combined effort of both menswear and womenswear this season, a move that more labels are doing- alyx did the same as well; versace isn’t always my first choice aesthetic for these top ten lists, i admired the set, the casting as most of the choices. there was a punk rock feel, that showcased an array of colors suitable for spring in the collection. the collection seemed to open to more sophisticated choices that were more tame, and as the collection progressed, things got a little more animalistic and radical. the collection closed to a seductive set of leopard prints paired with black leathers, on both men and women; which was all too true to the versace name and legacy. throughout the collection, gianni versace was used on ties, and there was a much more noticeable focus on accessories for men, which has grown with the italian based fashion house, over time. instantly versace recognizable, i liked this collection as pieces, not full looks. felt like combined looks were often too loud, for my own personal taste. but you gotta respect donatello’s approach to stay true to her brother’s house code. the amazing set was a collaboration with artist, andy dixon and the show was soundtracked from start to finish with music by the prodigy.

Fendi Look no. 3.jpg7. FENDI a beautiful color story can carry a collection a long way. such was the case with this seasons menswear collection brought forth by the house of fendi. likely the most spring vibed collection of all of the season, inspired throughout by gardening- the set, prints and even the casting seemed to blend seamlessly. beautiful details grounded the collections in a familiar, but fresh type of way. beautiful bags cascaded across the garden where the show was held as a diverse casting of male models glided from one look to the next. while many associate the works of karl lagerfeld with chanel, he worked alongside silvia fendi for longer than he was at chanel. since his death, i have been wondering how or if this would impact the ways that fendi is putting out collections, if it would affect their aesthetic, but it seems it hasn’t or perhaps it’s too early to tell. accessories were a mainstay and headlined for most men’s collections this season, which i loved. the blurred lines of femininity and masculinity were enough to make female consumers just as excited about accessories ranges that were shown. the signature double facing F’s from fendi’s logos were about the only hardware in the collection, outside of buckles on snakeskin loafers. hats looked like bee keeper nexts and geometric patterns and lined prints made their way into the collection on laser cut leather bags, and some of the looks leading to the close of the collection. there was a peaceful nature the collections soundtrack, but as the collection neared it’s finale, it acme more tribal with the intro of more prints. surprisingly, there was more color on the models, and the collection complimented that beautifully. i hope this becomes a mainstay with the fashion house, as it has been a noted absence before.

Givenchy look no 33.jpg8. GIVENCHY clare waight keller has surprised me. while i am all too well known a fan of givenchy by riccardo ticsi, her choices to maintain and massage have been interesting. classic house code of givenchy dictates a cleanliness unseen by other labels. but there was this urban influence of tisci’s taste that still remains. keller has maintained a balance of old and new, with regard to the the classic. as questionable as it may be to have her add ariana grande as a brand ambassador, (doesn’t matter how pretty you sit little girl, you’ll never be audrey hepburn); the collection shown for men this season included a powerhouse of accessories. accessories being a strength which keller has showcased through past work at other labels, even more with the french fashion house, givenchy has also pronounced and expanded their accessories collections. especially with the range of bags that are offered. there was a delicate inclusion of athleticism that didn’t distract from the collections cleanliness this session, and some polished looks for formal events of the season. neck scarves and bare chests were topped with pastel toned blazers. the use of blue throughout the color palette was done beautifully. easing into the grasp of a major fashion house has been the approach of some, while others like kim jones has taken the more turn-the-house-on-its-head approach. the ease of flow, to slowly start new concepts and keep the more recent and modern, that approach has been carefully planned and executed well. while nothing too exciting was presented, the drama for collections and designers are usually saved for the fall lines. that said, the offering of the season was well received by me, overall a well rounded effort.

Prada look 28.jpg9. PRADA unsuspecting, and true to it’s heritage of stealth luxury; prada i liked. usually, the collections grow on me. then i see how people are wearing the pieces and it takes on a greater form. understated as the house has been, the neonlight lined shanghai setting for the collection was anything but. bold colors created the perfect nod to the spring and summer of 2020, while the classic blacks kept things cool to the touch. i have long loved the nylon accessories collections of prada, and have loved what they’ve created as far as design futurism. again, another collection that included a range of khaki on khaki i love the use of full tonal looks. outside of that, the iconic blowing bag showed it’s familiar faces for the house as eyewear, and sneakers were accented by yellow and pink socks. prada over the season has also diversified their casting, and this season was no different. very happy to see the range of color showcased, in palette and ethnically this season. pants in the collection were cropped but loose, tops were either cut low like a women’s top or buttoned all the way up. berets showed themselves in the collection as well as lab style coats with sharp lines and clean vibes. men’s toiletry bags were held like clutches and that travelers feel from the last few seasons was still hanging around. overall, prada is a label that acts as a gift that keeps on giving. while i ranked it as the 9th best in the collection, it’s treasure-like appeal is one that usually grows on me as we approach the season, or i see editorial representing the lines from a different style angle.

Joseph look 3.jpg10. JOSEPH when reviewing menswear, i think of the grounded nature and rules that apply in design. there is a structure that guides menswear, and while fluidity has become injected, if even just to keep things interesting, femininity goes in and out, here and there. as the last collection of the season- i find that the overall vibe was pretty effortless for joseph. soft butter leathers, bucket hats and 90’s nirvana-cobain-esque heathered knits showed throughout the set. off runway, and presented in look book form- i still fuck with a good old studio session to show the clothes. i hate fussy shit, and this collection, i feel; is packed with powerful wardrobe additions that will stand up not only over time, but stylistically as personal choices. and that to me is true style. while other labels and brands in the collection showcase similar concepts, lines and looks- i really liked the collection for it’s simplicity. with the history of joseph existing first as a store, which broke and focused on bringing new and emerging designers to the masses, the label, founded by joseph ettedgui, is one that echoes the same attraction we have to collections by phoebe philo in her beloved céline days, or even in some of the refined ways that prada showcases polish by design. overall, i think wearability is the most crucial part of menswear; with the importance of effortlessness. great use of color, without pushing too hard. the styling was done thoughtfully as well, as you can see any of our wardrobe being elevated by a few pieces in this collection. from fit to concept, and even filler pieces to accent more high powered designs, this collection is the right amount of balance. to close my seasons pick, i think joseph’s offering for the season is the best choice to roundabout my selection.

jeremy’s return to runway review doesn’t stop at menswear
stay tuned through show season as more collection reviews will debut
at the close of each season, in a collective of a top ten, as seen here
for updates down to the minute follow @jeremydante

 

RETURN TO THE RUNWAY

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everything starts with runway. in this space, that has been proven. new faces debut on the runways, which show us the collections. the collections dictate the trends, which are showcased in editorials and advertising campaigns. and with a few months that separate, the rest of the of the cycle returns for the new and next season. runway today, has two mainline seasons, and two pre-seasons, with the inclusion for some- a couture season as well as a bridal season. so collections are a constant for major fashion houses.

at jeremydante.com, we’ve covered runway, beginning with menswear, circulating through couture and then covering womenswear. this has become a major component for content, and drives most of what has been done and what has been done most consistently. as we enter into the next decade, i have found that my content has provided a social study of sorts. it provides another layer of my level of taste, helps to refine my eye and plugs me in to culture in a way that no other forms of media, art or news could ever dream of. celebrating 10 years in the digital ‘scape, i want to return to this formalized and structure method of discussion and review, for the sake of educational purposes in direct alignment with my models at LITA mother agency.

to manage this process much more efficiently, and to not revert to the single post per review method; collections will be presented in a top ten style – at the close of the season once all collections have shown. the formulation of 10 is in direct tandem with the 10 years i’ve crafted my content for you, and will set forth the process for other content and forms of education, i can share or create within that. a return to the runway for me, content-wise, represents a homecoming. the internet has dramatically altered our sense of real time. and rather than waiting for live in seasons to become published in the glossies, my original approach of dubbing what i like and why, will help communicate with what ways i am strategizing and building my business for the agency. as process obsessed as i am, i still very much love the connectivity of writing in this space, and with a greater intention for my business, there is no better time than to make the return. all that said, i do find it necessary, after 10 years, to remind those that have may forgotten- where it all started.

DEFINING DIGITAL IDENTITY

IDENTITY

while this piece was being drafted, a fraudulent instagram account, using a 2010 image of me shot by tarrice love was discovered. already thinking about this piece, and delving into it as i have done other topics in this space, i’ve been thinking about identity, what it means to go digital, and how my pathway has represented me. through building LITA; and really identifying what each value means singularly as well as a four-pillar post of ideals- i thought, “who is the person i am today, and how is who i’ve been in the past reflected in that?” these questions spur into a web of other mental conversations with self. questions become answered, only leading you to the next question. and soon enough you’re aboard a train of thought, that seemingly has no stops ahead.

taking a glitched, soft focus drift back into the 90’s – 1996 or so, let’s say. i remember my grandma on my dad’s side getting her first computer. i remember her AOL account name, furnishing the user98943 type of automatic email generator. so many things about that time, have remained etched in my brain. the sounds of the experience, hearing dial up being connected, the customization and decision making process of creating a screen name. who to connect with, and how? what would you send in an email? how would you make it personal? how would you make it, you? the feeling of the keyboard, and the rhythm you catch when you learn to type. or even remembering proper keyboard placement. the luxury of printing in color. it’s all such a glitched moment now, because it’s an era that has long gone. the accessibility to things has placed greater artistic mastery of how best to translate who you are, through something as impersonal as digital. entering into the next decade and life of who i am, through the internet; celebrating ten years in this space makes it necessary to create a creative check point for what has been done, so we can propel forward. my dad suggested to me in 1996, “you should build your own website”; way ahead of blogs, long before instant messenger and before we were HTML coding for myspace, which is what eventually became my start to the digital world of building an image. while i scoffed at the images of others, laughing at how disconnected these “images” were from real life. i vowed to always take the realest approach to showing who i am, whenever willing to share it. obviously, you drift to and from the private space to the public space. concerns of oversharing. it still blows my mind how ahead the suggestion from my dad was. i was still trying to survive oregon trail, google wasn’t just beginning to form, as a team.

the content of this site, for starters, developed quickly but authentically. acting as a digital notepad of fashion happenings, guided by the fashion calendar provide the premise. but the lingual context that really reached to connect with kids in the hood, to translate fashion to them outside of rap, was the aim. the framework of how women were praised, and how the content created around them either supported or flawed them. a genius study, and true mirror of sociology at play, but also hidden yet represented through image. the styling of hair, down to the texture, the classist placement of images through photographers and the darwinistic process we just call, “casting”. understanding there was more, i; much like the campaigns and casting pieces became hidden yet represented by the content. the choice to show full fashion editorial; or to go through the process of looking at every single piece of clothing that walked the runway not just in new york, but in london, paris and milan; and for one season tokyo, which proved to be too far a departure for my audience. (i know guys, as cool as shit is in japan, those reviews just didn’t stick)

i initially adopted the same process of models for big name brands. as a default example, naomi campbell for versace. the model being dubbed, “the face of..” — and in an effort to represent true content through a better lens of curiosity (bryan boy really ain’t shit) for culture; i dubbed myself ’the face of fashion blogging’ to be the representative for what form of writing seemed to be void of writing, and void of intellect to be honest. dolce & gabbana caught it and did a write up, when they were still somewhat cool. and soon after burberry PR and i got into conversation, which resulted in me being one of the first to live stream a fashion show. Flash to the Kanye tweet, which was a digital transport of the link to Kanye West during the recording sessions of “my beautiful dark twisted fantasy” by ryan leslie. which flashes to the MTV press coverage, the stint as a content writer for chris brown. each moment, like a domino in one string of notches one knocking another into the next. with no further attempts to laundry list my blog resume (gag me); what is most interesting to reflect on for me, is how i’ve managed to represent myself.

today, my work revolves around the representation of others, and in essence, it always has. but if i wasn’t able to represent myself, this type of work; and even taking on the challenge would’ve been out of the question. through study of sociology, i discovered a theory of self actualization, and knew this happened to me in my sophomore year of high school. i remember entering into a really clear head space; which affected the ways i related to people, how selective i was socially and where i fit into this world. understanding that, though small, we can do powerful things that affect and influence the lives of others. through understanding this, i learned to manipulate privacy, and secrecy, through creating an allure. that magnetic approach to generating content, brought people in an the perspective i brought into the fold is what kept them. over time, and through consistent shooting off of content and thought, grew the site.

into the future, with recognition of the past, representing models and artists who haven’t considered pockets within the strategy, is where the challenge lies. outside of myself, the work deals in the responsibility of seeing through flaws to find beauty, and seeing through beauty to find the flaws. it’s about connecting the disconnected, and convincing those not looking to buy to sell. it’s emotional, it’s creative; it’s a strategy. as a check point, that’s as subtle a voice as i could explain it, while also delving into the depths of what i am trying to share. im thinking about every step of the process, every single day, connecting me to you, and the past to the present, the future even further into the future. with responsibility, i’ve always approached every aspect of my work in this same fashion. no pun intended.

4: 4 – A IS FOR ADVERSITY

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the last and stongest, yet most fragile of all our agency values is adversity. i sat and contemplated so much about what adversity means to the industry, to the culture, to the models and lastly, what it has meant for me. there is an interesting cross over of the creative and personal, the logical and the emotional that has become highlighted for me. aspects of process that i find successful creatively or in business have an alignment to things i am aiming to do emotionally, or even romantically. all relationships connect. success should connect not separate. the greatest adversity that one can face is that of themselves. and in the process of development, or even re-development- especially for models, is them facing themselves. to tackle the uncomfortability of body image, unrealistic societal beauty standards versus contrast to fashion fantasy. to face yourself is the ultimate bravery. the hardest challenge of life is to consistently change, and grow past what you even thought possible.

through the development and re-branding of dehonney, we did a lot of emotional work, and built a bond like family to really take push single aspect of career and comfort against the rails. challenging gravity and rejection aggressively, but strategically. knowing when to listen, when to speak, when to push, and when to ride the current. it’s all a delicate dance, and adversity has shown its face in the industry in so many ways. in this space, the promotion of models of color has been what set us apart. with the creation of LITA, this is the same mission; almost an extension of the cultural activism that was represented through the content here on my site. as it is more than a blog, i say models do more than model. they represent the similarities and dissimilarities of culture; they are the fixtures that fashion cannot survive without; they are the silent power players who are gracious enough to say nothing, and let their presence do the speaking for them. this requires great concentration, thorough understanding and true loyalty.

all around the world, girls are vying for the opportunity to model; but the market is not an easy one to survive. those that do, have overcome financial hardship, emotional sacrifice and even time away from family. doing show season, shooting editorial, hitting show room appointments in the off season and still managing to keep a 23-inch waist while standing 5’10” is not for the weak. theres a reason why they’re strutting with confidence in the highest heels- they’ve overcome. girls have moments, some burn out; some get tired, others keep going. there are layers to the adversities that models face. among them, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, racial bias among many other things. what is normal, as an industry hardship could go into a whole other exposé; we’ll save that for another time. the last of our 4-part series of values, the “A” is at the front of the alphabet and leads. adversity sitting at the back end of our acronym, is almost symbollic; in that, you cannot discovery the mastery of the other values, without having to face the most challenging of them all- adversity.

i focus adversity, on the ability to recognize oneself. that recognition, for some, never comes. they live their lives in the ideas of others, existing in the circumstances and critiques of others, without learning to elevate past that. some may find this a challenging notion, as models are expected to fit into ideas. but for women, as a whole and societally; it’s almost as if they need to know the rules in order to break them. the challenges i’ve faced as a mother agent, have resulted in time spent developing models that never get to see the agencies, because creative pathways differ after a year. another adversity. but there is power found alongside the pitfalls. and while i speak intentionally vague to leave room for interpretation, for all- not just model; recognizing yourself, the error of your ways, and how to move forward with corrective action that is self directed- that is the real adversity to face. adverse is to oppose ones desires; but those desires need to be yours before they are defined by anyone else. you are first, always. and the centering of that focus is not selfish, it’s success. to align yourself align, truly, is to do so with the higher power that rules over all.

this is the fourth and final installment of this series
read all 4-parts of this series, for the full development methodology of LITA
for more information visit http://LITAmotheragency.com 

BEHIND THE BOOKING: DEHONNEY FOR ELLE

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the road of redevelopment that we’ve embarked upon together has been one of trust, and delicate pathways of faith. remaining in constant communication regardless of how far we were from each other, my relationship with dehonney is one that i now use to exemplify all other relationships in my life, truly. seen through the lens of jacques weyers, through the editing of elle south africa’s fashion director, dime alara, my first model dehonney is seen in the latest issue of elle south africa’s november issue.

for veteran readers, editorial features are nothing new in this space. but things began to feel stale, and fashion is about moving forward. in the past five years, i’ve taken long strides to get myself to a different place that i didn’t even expect. i never thought i would go to new york city to become an agent, but i did. and it was there that i met dehonney. revelation of process and explanation of terms is what this space has always been about. it’s been about education, it’s been about elevation. in this newly formed series, i wanted to share portions of our process that it took us to get to this point. in the game of modeling, it’s about more than just getting the shot, and each model featured has a story, behind the story you see published. this is the real story behind the booking.

every element, from the simple use of color in her book- we fought for. the release of contract- we fought for. money- we fought for. and we’re still here fighting, behind the scenes, each step of the way. what i’ve learned personally is the importance of knowing when to sit up and fight, and when to sit back in silence. it’s taught me so much about myself, as a mother agent, and inversely; in my own private emotional exchanges as a man. it’s beyond editorial, ladies and gentlemen. the process of development is truly a purpose and, beyond that can allow you a unique experience of transcendence. it’s a battle of outer versus inner. a challenge of control and release, emotion and performance; of silence and solitude. one of extreme patience, intense faith and elevation of faith. we were blessed to be placed in the south african market, while reviewing placements in new york city, and the south african interest for placement was a response that took six months to even come through. the process of fashion and how to bring a girl to a certain level is not one that is ever certain. models must understand this before they even think about entering the arena. dehonney is a master of this.

when we got to south africa, dehonney started working immediately, she was seeing clients and booking nearly off the damn plane. we entered into this market, having a goal to shoot with elle, seeing other girls who had done similar and returned to the states to make a killing in the new york city market. that was our goal. we always function from the mantra, “let’s see what GOD allows” — having a full understanding that all blessings in this industry granted to us are, just that, allowances. we function from a frequency of reveling beauty to receive it. and for just a three month stay, as soon as you come off that plane- the clock is ticking. clock is ticking on your visa, it’s ticking for how much time is left to see clients, and how much time you got to kill every frame you got; because soon enough, the stay is over and you’ll return home with a full book a couple coins, or you’ll return thinking about what you could’ve done and why you’re in the negative after you leave. we’re smarter than this, and came equipped, emotionally and energetically to ramp up to the highest heights possible.

the president of our agency took dehonney on, as a main focus, after i went back and forth to tell dehonney’s story. this proved to be the perfect layer of understanding needed to push through to the other side. she made the call, urging the editors of elle to see dehonney, despite her not being requested. they seen her, loved her and soon enough we got word that she was booking the main fashion editorial, styled by their fashion director. bookings are numbers- if it’s not about the rate, it’s about the exposure- if you can hit both, that’s ideal. for us, elle was at the top of our list, and obviously we wanted to land the cover. which we’ve seen done in this market, so we ramped up. all the creative elements worked perfectly for us in this case, the images came out beautifully and dehonney shot twice with this same photographer while in this market, this past summer. she was also photographed for south african cosmopolitan. the photographer loved her, and the energy and capturing of dehonney’s beauty is evident.

no girl should be forgotten or left behind, and it is something that happens frequently in fashion. we understood the importance to continue to push, and never give up. we continue to push but love that we are able to share the evidence of our elevation here with you. to graduate from producing content that supports the industry, to sharing works that support the evidentiary elements of our own personal success is the top. we didn’t get the cover this time, but we got twelve pages and reached a goal. there is surely more to come, but our shared message to all the girls of the world is- never. give. up.

dehonney is represented by LITA mother agency
she is available for bookings in new york city
email LITA@jeremydante.com 

3: 4 – T IS FOR THROUGH

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in development of the logo for LITA, the letters signifying “love” and “inspired” are italicized. these elements were intentional, as love can be fluid and free, it is flexible, and can withstand gravity defying feats through it’s passage of process. the last two letters, signifying, “through” and “adversity” stand tall and strong. for the last two values support the fluidity and freedom of love. to go through something is never ending. in the process of model development, building an agency and curating experience through creative strategy is unending. much like the fashion calendar, the door to fashion revolves. girls come and go, but the relationships that are found within the confines of fashion and industry are never forgotten. they mark moments and are frozen in time through photography. when taking on the challenge of becoming a mother agent, i had to seriously consider what the job would entail. could i take on the challenge of supporting women, in the toughest corners of work? through emotional coaching, personally, and creative coaching, professionally. could i balance the ins as well as the outs of the ways successful women are built in business and able to withstand as human beings outside of that chaos? would i be able to take the girl, trust the girl and have her trust me with her career, her image and hand her off to the right hands? all of these were questions in my mind, when dehonney originally approached me about becoming her mother agent.

my initial gut reaction was fear, to cast it away as though i had no know-how. to back down from the challenge immediately, before really thinking of the emotional strengths i brought to the game of fashion. in challenges, my creativity brought me through, dehonney and i were taken through many tough moments where we just sat and thought, “what the fuck does this mean?” – many, many times. but we pushed through together, and maintained communication through every single thing. there isn’t one aspect that we don’t discuss. as a new face, rae ventura and my communication style is modeled in the same way. it feels good to push through a challenge and use communication to combat whatever lies ahead, especially when you dont know what could be waiting for you on the other side. the T for “through”, visually represents the twists and turns of process; essentially a fork in the road type of approach. as the third of four values, this value really withstands through all other values and is at the core of them all, truly. while others can bend and twist, through is everlasting, and a pillar of strength that all other values rely upon. pushing through is incredibly valuable as a trait, outside of fashion, and just committing to oneself to transform in all the right ways, to make it to the other side.

transitions are inevitable in every process. transitions have no limitation on frequency, or even time. they are as necessary to growth as oxygen is to human life. in the house of four values that comprise my agency, through is the subtle yet striking value. it sits amidst a core of values that are strong, and keeps them all together. like a mother to her children, the ‘T’ in LITA is always there, and completes a trifecta of strength through it’s gentle nature and seamless threading efforts. in the development process for models, and any artists, there is a waiting period. in this waiting period, you’re left to face the silence of your own stagnancy, and learn how to deal with the challenges of that. sitting in the silence, you learn to speak with purpose and thus move into your purpose through that struggle, and transitional space.

re-evaluation, reproach, regret, recognition- it’s all there. unavoidable, sometimes hard to discuss but necessary to address. with my models, everything works through communication and confrontation. without confronting issues, or even simply addressing them, there is no way to combat them. in my own process as an artist, this is what i have found most helpful through trial and error. without communication, everything dies. in aligning the success of my creative persona with my emotional personality, this is a process that we find many moments of transition through our life as human beings. it’s that push and pull that gets us through, keeps us going and allows us to fail and succeed all the same. failures are necessary to success as darkness is to the light. to approach any transition, you must first accept the commitment of taking the good with the bad. otherwise, you won’t pass through to the other side. in building the house of values of LITA Mother Agency; in thinking of what matters most, personally as well as creatively, what impacts culture; the value of ‘T’ can easily be overlooked since the other values are so strong, singularly. but not without proper measure, the transitional important of ‘T’ in our acronym is what allows our agency to stand.

“T” is really the game changer, and interpersonal connector of all our values, as it can also be interchangeable. early development seen “T” being substituted as transcendence, but with language flow, ‘through’ worked better as a forward motion. whether transcending, translating or transitioning- it’s all moving upward. as the third of four values, the last of our acronyms reinforces all others. all values work together, and can stand alone, but work best when paired together; securing a four corner post of strength.

the fourth and final installment to follow part three is ‘adversity’
follow this 4-part series, and our development methodology at LITA
for more information visit http://LITAmotheragency.com 

2: 4 – I IS FOR INSPIRED

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inspiration has been the driving force for the note taking that has lived within this space. that inspiration has, over the last decade, gone from dreams to reality. i believe that my shared inspiration in this space is what has allowed my career to manifest, my artistry to thrive and for me to come into a greater understanding of who i am through each of those separate pathways. as the second value in the four part structuring of values with L.I.T.A., inspiration follows love and is second to love for it’s strength in leading where love leaves off. inspiration is the identity of where we have been in direct correlation with where we are headed. i am a believer that the reality of our fantasies exists within our inspiration. the ways that we cultivate this inspiration, the ways we embody that, the ways that we reach for those goals- that is all evidence of our reality.

my inspirations lie in four major categories, sound, style, self and beauty. in no particular order, these elements constantly circulate my world and have allow my personality and my drive to dominate in a way that is consistent with my perception. in beauty, i have admired the many models that make up the modeling industry, both male and female. while fashion is the only industry where women thrive, unapologetically, i often find myself identifying with the balance of hard and soft, the vulnerable and the strong. in thinking of the women i am most inspired by, and how best to represent them, my mother agency is named after one of my greatest inspirations, my grandmother.

through my inspiration of her, and the legacy that continues to evolve around her, each of the girls who i choose to develop are made aware of her life, her standards and are thoroughly communicative in every aspect of love. through empowering energy to transform trials to triumphs, and to open ones heart as wide as one’s mind to the world that awaits them on the other side. from jaw dropping images, to sincere redevelopments, my inspiration has been fed to my models, we now have two; and we share inspiration on an on-going basis, just about every day.

from everyday conversations, to sharing struggles and quietly celebrating our goals reached, while waiting to announce- inspiration is among the most intimate aspects of life for artists, and treatment of such should be taken seriously and represented sensitively. after thinking about how best to put my feelings of love into words in part one of this series, i thought, this process of definition never ends. i feel the same of that attempt to define, with ‘inspiration’. in the formation of my mother agency name, it was intention to form love as “inspired”, and to do so in the past tense, because my agency honors the past. in honoring the life of my grandmother, and also for honoring what was for what will be- it goes without saying that understanding the past is empowerment to change it for the future.

that is what we have been doing, at a slow and steady pace with my agency and girls. this thorough nature of process is about building the strongest foundation in order to secure the highest possible success rate in development. fashion has always been about timing, and always will be. but as an industry of beauty, the sense of timing that is more calculated for results is, at times, overlooked. love inspired is a process unto itself. to know love is to be love, and to shine through that as an example in all of your engagements. as part two of this four part series, i hope that, even beyond the mother agency, and with me as a person, you have been inspired, are stunned at what can be done and feel encouraged to push the limits to greater heights in your own ways, in and outside of fashion. my mother agency will be known for the love that my girls have for me, and i for them, in a way that sets us apart, and already has, in building trust. in our house values thus far, in this series, love cannot be anything but inspired when it rings true to those who feel it. i urge you to not only think of your inspiration for part two of this series, but to live that inspiration and to become it. love inspired is action for change.

the third installment to follow part two is ‘through/transcending’
follow this 4-part series, and our development methodology at LITA
for more information visit http://LITAmotheragency.com