Haiti Needs You 

On Friday I had the opportunity to fly to Jeremie, one of the many towns that was severely hit by hurricane Matthew. I got to see for myself what remains of this town after the passage of Matthew and for as much as I try to share my quick visit there, words fall short to describe what I saw.

It was as if the angel of desolation had passed through the town. Houses, schools and hospitals are completely destroyed, plantations are devasted, and what’s left of the roads are covered in sludge and full of debris. In other words, the town is entirely washed out.

I am not going to fill this article with heart wrenching pictures and videos nor am I going to continue describing the desolate state in which these people are left. I am however, going to ask for each and every one of your help. The storm may have passed but tough times are only beginning. Thousands of people were left homeless and infections and contaminations are just starting. While many charitable organizations, NGOs, and foreign aids are collecting donations and are preparing relief missions to help the affected areas, I strongly suggest to do research before donating to the organization of your choice. Jeremie is only one of the towns that was harshly affected. Let’s not forget Les Cayes, Aquin, Port-Salut, Miragoanes, Anse d’Hainault, Dame-Marie, île à Vache to name just a few. A little bit can do so much and during these harsh times, let us keep in mind our nation’s motto: “l’union fait la force“.

Sow a Seed organization preparing hurricane relief mission for the South

Fondation Rose et Blanc giving out shelters to the South

Haiti is a country that has suffered enough. From a devastating earthquake, to numerous hurricanes and flooding, to dangerous and unstable political turmoils, the Haitian people always manage to come through and overcome these hard times by always holding on to one thing: faith.

Miss Universe Haiti 2016: Raquel Pelissier

25 years old, 5ft9, a degree in optometry, and a charming smile, Raquel Pelissier is our new Miss Universe Haiti 2016.

Born and raised in Haiti, Raquel is passionate about aerial skills (acrobatics hanging from a fabric), she practices cross fit regularly, and enjoys cooking and reading on her free time. She is currently finishing her master’s degree in scientific research, her love for Haiti pushed her to apply for  the Miss Haiti pageant to accomplish her life long dream of being able to represent her country and will do so at the Miss Universe pageant in the Philippines in January.

10 questions with Miss Universe Haiti 2016

What incited you to apply for miss haiti ?
I chose to apply for the Miss Haiti pageant because I wanted to represent my country. I realized that Haiti is the foundation of the woman I am today. I am Haiti. Winning a crown is my way of giving back to the land that bore me since it gives me the opportunity to expose its colors and culture abroad. I want to change the way the rest of the world sees us and make a good impact.

Who inspires you?
I am truly inspired by an author who fights for protocol and values in the Haitian society. Her name is Galy and I have the honor to be her daughter. I admire her so much that I want to continue what she started and pass on everything she had thought me for a better education in the society.

What are some challenges you encountered during the pageant?
One of the challenges I encountered in the pageant was, having to be on my heels sometimes at 5 am and looking pretty. Those moments were truly those which made me realized not only that my goal was not easy but also that I was determined enough to make sacrifices to reach it.

Another challenge is to always be ready. Most of the time when they were filming us, we only had one shot so we had to make sure to give our best.

What are some of the best moments you shared during the competition?
My two favorite moments were the first and last day of the pageant. The first day because it was a day full of excitement during which I met all the candidates that have been selected for the competition and the last day because it was the day I realized that participating in Miss Haiti 2016 was the best choice I have ever made.

How was/is your diet as a miss haiti contestant? Any diet or fitness tips  you can share with us?
I wouldn’t say I’m on a diet I have just adopted a lifestyle about four years which consists of eating healthy and working out around 8-9 hours a week. However, now that I am going to compete internationally I have to go on a strict diet and add more cardio to my routine so as to lose a few more pounds. My tip is to always be aware of what you are putting into your system. Read or do your research because nothing is more valuable than health.

How were your relationship with the other contestant?
During the pageant, I got along pretty well with all the contestants. I am truly grateful to have met all these dedicated and strong women with a great vision and love for the country. I never felt like I was competing against them. My only competitor has always been myself.

Have you felt at some point of the competition that someone else might win?
When I applied for Miss Haiti, I was aiming the Miss Universe Crown. I knew I fit the international standards to represent Haiti in this pageant since Miss Universe is about being confidently beautiful, elegant and classy. Even though, I never felt threatened by anyone, I had recognized the strong contestants of the pageant and I have learned a lot from them which gave me a stronger reason to focus and do my best at all times.

As a contestant, what are your thoughts on the miss haiti organization? And what do you think can be done in order to improve the organization and the process?
I personally think that the Miss Haiti Organization did an amazing job. It is tough work handling 20 young women. Behind the scenes, there was good energy and team spirit but also moments of tears and tension and they always kept things in order at all times so they really deserve the credit for that. For improvement, I would propose to add to the agenda more hours public speaking, protocol classes and runway so as to make a greater impact.

What’s next for you as miss universe haiti? When and where will you go to the miss universe competition?
I will represent Haiti in the 65th edition of Miss Universe in Philippines in January. Before that, I am also going to Bolivia to represent Haiti in Reina hispanoamericana in November.

What can we expect from you as miss universe haiti? Any special project or vision you can share with us ?
My project for Haiti consists of teaching the youth manners and values. I also want to fight for community service to be included at school so that everyone can contribute for a cleaner and better Haiti.


Poze Brand’s 4th Collection

Based in Miami, but inspired by Haitian culture, Poze brand is a Haitian street wear brand for both men and women. The word “Poze” meaning “chill” or “relaxed” in Creole, is heard in most conversations between Haitians. The brand, founded in 2014 by Jeff Appolon, prides itself in teaching the world about Haitians, one word, one picture, and one story at a time. So far 3 collections have been released and the 4th one is forthcoming.

Check out our interview with Mr. “Poze” himself, where he discusses his latest collection.

Tell me about your new collection and what was the inspiration behind it.
• This collection follows up on the previous one which pushes the boundaries further. I want this collection to be engaging to the mind and also laid back. Half of the pieces in the 4th collection visit our rich history and capture moments of glory. As a country, we’ve taken so many L’s in the past that we forget that we were once great.


How does the collection reflect your Haitian background?
• One of the shirt is inspired by the current success of our Haitian national soccer team. I mean, we haven’t won any world cup but we are doing better now. The shirt I’m referring to shows the picture of Haitian soccer Legend Manno Sanon as he scored the famous goal against Italian goalkeeper Dino Zoff during the 1974 world cup match Vs Italy. That goal ended Dino Zoff’s long standing 1142 minutes without getting scored on. After I read about it, I thought that it was important to celebrate that moment and glorify him.


• Another shirt I have is a drawing of the statue of Marie Louise Coidavid, who was Henry Christophe’s wife. I visited the Palais Sans Soucis a couple of years ago and I remember seeing the statue. I remember how proud it made me feel. Somehow I feel that it’s the same feeling that a diaspora gets when they first visit Haiti. Even though only the ruins are left, it shows greatness once existed in our country. I feel like back then, our ancestors were a bit more courageous than us because they did more with less.

When and where can one purchase the new collection? Will it be available in stores in Haiti?
• Yes it will be available in Haiti. I had the perfect store to sell, but unfortunately with the economic instability, the store had to close down. I am looking at some other places to carry it in PV. More information will be provided soon. Everything should be available beginning of June.

How does the brand Poze reflect your personal style?
• I tend to be more on the conservative side, so my designs will be a bit minimalist. I don’t really like loud colors and too much going on in a t-shirt. I usually go for neutral designs that you can wear when you’re out. But every now and then, I’ll collaborate with someone who may have a different taste than me. I try to have the designs balanced. I’ll take suggestions from my friends and see what they prefer. After all Poze is not my personal brand, it’s the people’s brand.

Where do you draw inspiration for your designs?
• I try to keep up with the current trends and add a bit of Haitian mix to it. I’ll be on fashion blogs all day and Instagram when I have some free time. If I see something that catches my eye at the mall, I put a note on my phone. Basically my whole environment.

Is there someone from the fashion world that inspires you?
• I’m a big Kanye West fan. A lot of times I like his style but other times I feel like he pushes the boundaries but then again that is what fashion is all about. I like his style better when he’s rocking the tall tees, ripped fitted denims and yeezys. I also like Big Sean’s style, he’s always on point.



What is your personal favorite piece of the 4th collection?
• I really like the Manno Sanon t-shirt and the hat with the Poze hands. I feel like I can see those items on the shelf of an Urban Outfitters store. I like that they are Haiti related but with a touch of pop culture.

What can we expect from Poze in the near future?
• I really want to branch out to different things. I wanna go deeper into female and kids clothing but I’m a bit limited as far as man power. I want the brand to evolve and get better with time. My goal is to keep the brand alive so that one day I see it in a website like Complex, The Source or Highsnobiety as a street wear brand to watch out for.

 Fashion Ayiti, the models and Mr. Poze doing the Poze hand sign.

Adidas Originals X Pharrell Drop “Pink Beach” Collection

Hip-Hop icon Pharrell Williams teams up once again with German giant Adidas to launch the Spring/Summer 2016 collaboration “Pink Beach”.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Chelsea Lauren/REX/Shutterstock (5683971a) Pharrell Williams adidas Originals = PHARRELL WILLIAMS, Los Angeles, America - 13 May 2016

Pharrell’s passion for arts, music, and fashion comes to life just in time for Summer with this new collaboration of footwear and apparel.

Pharell-Adidas-CADistinguished by vibrant colors and inspired by tropical prints and island vibes with doodles and words created by Pharrell himself, the Pink Beach collection includes a selection of tanks, leggings, swimsuits, jackets, and ponchos for men, women, and kids.

17The footwear collection is an adaptation of the classic Adidas Stan Smith remodeled for the beach. Using molded nubuck heels and patched-tape uppers, the Elastic Slip On and Lace Up kicks are available in white as well as cool colors such as bright blue and sand grey.


See more of the collection below:

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pharell-shoes-4 pharrell-adidas-pink-beach-02_o6cl0c_npwpb0

The first part of the collection dropped on May 5th, with the second part released this past Thursday. Pink Beach is available at the Adidas online store and retailers.

“IT” Girl Of The Month: Samaria Leah Smith

Often compared to Ciara and the late singer Aaliyah, Samaria Leah Smith, daughter of LL cool J and Simone Smith has been making waves recently on social media. With her daring and unique sense of style it’s no wonder that Samaria Leah is our “IT” girl of the month. 
Get to know this fashionista on the interview below:
What sparked your interest in fashion?

Since I was a little girl I was always in and out of my mother’s clothes and shoes. My mom was always into fashion and still is. She was always fabulous and had the latest and newest of everything. I think I definitely got it from her. 


Did you always know that you wanted to be a designer? 
Absolutely, again as a child I would change outfits about seven times a day. I would sketch non stop. Cut things, tie things together and do basically anything I wanted to make anything cuter. 


What’s your favorite aspect of the fashion industry?
My favorite aspect of the fashion industry is just that it gives you the ability to express yourself in which ever way you want. Also the chance to make people feel beautiful in what they are wearing. Having the talent to be able to do that means everything to me. 


Do you draw inspiration from any designers?
I think everyone finds inspiration from other designers. It’s all about learning from others and knowing the history but using that and forming your own stylistic ideas in new, innovative ways. 

Who is your favorite designer and why?
My favorite designer would be Alexander Wang. He completely embodies what I love about fashion. He’s sleek, sexy and simple and minimalistic at times , but he also gives femininity a tomboyish, edgy, street vibe. 


Your father was a fashion icon in the 1980s and 90s. Has he influenced you in anyway?
I think he influences me in my obsessions with vintage and 90’s style.

How would you define your personal style?
My personal style is moody I would say. And I mean that by just how I’m feeling. Sometimes I feel like a tomboy, sometimes I want to be sexy or girly. Sometimes I want a bohemian vibe or structured and clean. It kinda just depends on what I’m doing that day and how I’m feeling. But my style is very diverse and I’m always open to new stuff. I’ll mix cheaper things with expensive things, If I like it like it.


What is your favorite item of clothing?
My favorite item of clothing right now is probably my shoe collection at the moment. I’m a huge sneaker head and I love sick heels so recently I’ve been getting a lot of new dope shoes and it’s growing and prospering!


What is something that makes you cringe about fashion? 
When people have all the right clothes or bomb pieces but wear them wrong or just don’t know how to rock them. That drives me crazy!


What current trend would you never follow?
I’m over the camel colored trench coat look. I think it’s been overdone. 

After graduation what are your plans in the fashion industry?

My plan is to start my own company of vintage wear and eventually my very own exclusive collection.



What advice do you have for other aspiring fashion designers?
Go to school for fashion and learn the business. Regardless if you have the talent or not…if you want people to work for you, you have to know how to do everything so you’re able to tell them what you want. You have to learn how to drape and do patterns. I’m someone finds sewing, draping and pattern to be boring and I want to hire people to do that for me but you have to know how to do it yourself, it will only make you smarter and more keen. I’ve hated this throughout college but it’s definitely made me a better designer and it will make your life easier when you’re working in industry. 

This summer we will get a chance to catch more of Samaria as she is featured on EJ and the city, a new show that will air on E!


Spring Trend: Off-The-Shoulder

Spring Trend: Off-The-Shoulder
One of our favorite trend this spring/summer is definitely the off the shoulder top. It’s flirty, flattering, and hides your pit stains!!
Be it in denim or bohemian style for a casual day look, or a statement top for a night out, show some skin and bare shoulder with either tops or dresses with the eazy breezy off-the-shoulder trend.
Take a look at some of our favorite looks:
Kerry-Washington_glamour_8apr16_rexfeatures_b_540x810 Dakota-Johnson2_glamour_5feb16_getty_b_449x675 alexa-chung-holland_GettyImagesOlivia-Palermo_glamour_13aug15_GettyImages_b_449x675


Topshop open shoulder blouse
$61 – topshop.com


OBI Brickhouse Happy Hour

Another excuse to ditch the heels and put on a pair of cool kicks? YES PLEASE!

Last Saturday Obi restaurant hosted yet another happy hour opting this time for an outdoor atmosphere. Inspired by Wynwood’s brickhouse, the outside patio at Obi was transformed into an urban setting with tables of beer pongs and  wooden benches with a variety of games available.

Staying true to the theme of the night guys and girls alike sported a “hippie chic meets urban grunge” look with denim, fringes, crop tops and sneakers to name a few.

Paired with shorts, denim skirts and even dresses, sneakers were once again a favorite of the night.

Scroll below for more of our favorite looks of the night.