Saturday, October 21, 2017

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What do you do when you have a once in a lifetime opportunity to do something many have worked their entire lives to do?  You receive an opportunity to rip the high-fashion runways of Milan with one of the most recognized luxury brands in the world.  This open door may lead to a host of other potential opportunities that could catapult your career and your brand; however, there’s this one problem.  You realize this big break clashes with some of your personal beliefs and values.  What would you do? Would you remain silent in an effort to avoid destroying your potentially epic big break?  Would you speak out?  Would you take a stand?

This is what happened when Atlanta rapper Raury staged an unplanned protest during the Dolce & Gabbana runway show in Milan.  The millennial-themed fashion show showcased, young, popular bloggers, YouTubers,  influencers, and artists from around the world.

Dolce & Gabbana recently came under fire after dressing the 1st Lady.  Melania Trump was decked out in D&G throughout here trip, including a $51,000 3d Coat. Many people across the world decided to protest the brand for standing by Trump and his administration.  In an extremely petty response to the protests and criticisms, D&B decided to launch a campaign called, “Boycott Dolce & Gabbana”.  The response included t-shirts, commercials, and an entire launch which basically mocked protesters who voiced their disdain for the brand supporting the Trumps.

“When I saw a commercial featuring the boycott T-shirt, and it looked playful and lighthearted—it was a joke. It was a troll. Me, as a young man from Stone Mountain, Georgia, the birthplace of the Klu Klux Klan, I really felt this mockery of boycotting. Who knows, if boycotts didn’t happen, if Rosa Parks and M.L.K. didn’t step up…who knows if I would even exist. Boycotting matters. Boycotting is real. “

Raury, after already agreeing to participate in the fashion show learned of this protest after he had already flew to Milan, practiced, received free clothing from D&B, and made lots of new friends while practicing for the fashion show.  Before hitting the runway (24 hours before showtime), Raury was torn and did not know how to respond or what to do. In an interview with GQ, he explained how he experienced so much “confusion and fear”. In some ways, the 21 year-old believed that he and the other influencers were being used.

“There was a moment backstage when they started passing out the shirts, when [the models] didn’t have any context for what they meant. They were coming out of the shower and the robes, after getting makeup put on, to someone saying, “Hey, now put this on and let’s start Snapchatting.”

They were making us represent something that only I knew what it was about. These kids are about to co-sign this, and they don’t even know what it means. They’re using the shit out of us. We’re not scapegoats. You are not about to wash your hands with us. They were really pushing for me to wear it, too, specifically.”


Then, it happened. Raury walked the runway and honored the terms of what he had agreed to.  Then during the finale, he removed his Dolce and Gabbana hoodie to show the phrases, “PROTEST”, “GIVE ME FREEDOM”, and “I AM NOT YOUR SCAPEGOAT” written across his chest.  Then, the young millennial rapper immediately disappeared, never joining the other models for any additional photo ops.  Raury was offended that D&G was catering to millennials, but mocking protesting and thought their response to the protesters was very “un-millennial”.

As a young artist in the entertainment industry, Raury did what many people wouldn’t have dared to do.  He went against the grain, stood for what he believed was right instead of following the status quo, and chose principles over popularity.

What would you have done?

Syllabus Magazine, the Carolina’s source for Music, Culture and Fashion

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Nike has a new product for Muslim women that is actually pretty cool.  A head cover called the “Nike Pro Hijab” is set to launch Spring 2018.  The hijab was developed at many female athletes complained about wearing traditional hijabs during athletic competitions.  For example, UAE weightlifter, Amna Al Haddad voiced her concerns about the weight, potential for a head covering to shift, and its lack of breathability interrupted her focus.


Nike heard the concerns of these female athletes, saw a need, and launched a 13-month task of researching and developing this single-layer, pull-on, lightweight, polyester design – which can be found in dark and neutral colors.   Not only is it lightweight, it is more breathable than traditional headscarves, but remains opaque, which is still a requirement for women from the Muslim culture.

In a statement, figure skater Zahra Lari was emotional and excitement about this innovative Nike product and is already using it.  Lari said,

“I was thrilled and a bit emotional to see Nike prototyping a Hijab. I’ve tried so many different hijabs for performance, and … so few of them actually work for me. But once I put it on and took it for a spin on the ice, I was blown away by the fit and the light weight.”

Nike not only created this dope product, they also launched a very controversial video, that went viral, depicting female athletes in the Muslim world.  The video however, did offend some who thought it was a bad depiction of life in Arab countries.  Check out the video and Nike’s new products, and continue to applaud companies who are still working on adapting to diverse and beautiful world.



Syllabus Magazine, the Carolina’s source for Music, Culture and Fashion

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As old hip-hop heads continue to sound like bitter old guys trying to flex on a new crop of hip-hop all stars, the youngsters are continuing to prove to the world that they are about the business of rap and enterprise. Hip-hop pundits, time and again have proclaimed that many of these rappers would be one-hit-wonders, but these young, future moguls are determined to leave their footprint in the world of hip-hop and prove the naysayers wrong.

Lil Yachty has taken much of the heat this past year from dj’s, rappers, and bloggers who have tried to pin him as the head of the “mumble rappers”, but Yachty continues to press on and has landed a deal with a well-known fashion brand.  On Saturday, the 19-year-old rapper announced via his Instagram that he would be joining the Nautica Team as Creative Designer for their Capsule Collection. Not only would he be taking on a designer roll, but Lil Yachty has also been the face of the brand for the Urban Outfitter’s collection.


Lil Yachty has single-handedly invigorated the brand by rocking the gear and guess what, the folks at Nautica are very pleased.  In a press release the President of Nautica, Karen Murray stated:

“We are excited to be collaborating with Lil Yachty this year. He is much more than just a music artist. He is a creative soul. His innate passion and affinity for the brand, fabulous taste level and the way he looks in our clothes, make him the perfect partner for the Nautica brand.”

This announcement comes on the heels of rapper also making it in the 30 under 30 list for Forbes Magazine of musical influencers.    Lil Yachty seems to be having a great start to his new year.

Syllabus Magazine, the Carolina’s source for Music, Culture and Fashion

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We are all born to stand out, nobody’s born to blend in.  How boring would this world be if we were all the same. – Halima Aden

Meet Halima Aden, the St. Cloud State University, 19-year old student that’s trending throughout the internet for making history.  This past week weekend, Aden became the first woman  to wear a hijab and burkini while competing in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant.  She’s made history simply because she was able to compete while wearing the hijab throughout the entire pageant.  She also held firm to her culture’s traditions by wearing a burkini, which is a full-body bathing suit which covers everything from the neck down.

Halima Aden not only reps her culture, but the bilingual college student received a huge applause from the audience as she walked across the stage.  Although Aden did not win, she made it into the top 15, where they only chose 5 contestants to go into the final round.

Born a in Kenya, Aden was a refugee prior to her family moving to St. Cloud, Minnesota.  Never before competing in a beauty pageant, Aden believed this was the perfect opportunity to change any perceptions some may have regarding Islam and Somalia.  According to CBS news, Aden explained:

“I thought for a very long time that I ad to conform or maybe change the way i look, or maybe the hijab was dimming by beauty.  I took a moment and then i realized, you know what, there’s a lot of girls who do wear this and this is their reality.  It just made me even more prouder to wear it.”

With the climate in the United States being so intense right now, stories like Aden’s helps in cementing the bond that we all should have to respect and admire varying cultures.


Syllabus Magazine, the Carolina’s source for Music, Culture and Fashion

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Check out this flawless bride! 86-yr-old Mildred Taylor Morrison shared her wedding pictures and the internet went into a frenzy.  Mrs. Mildred is aunt of Nichelle Gainer, the creator of Vintage Black Glamour, a series of books and a site that shows the beauty and history of black glamour.


image provide by Mildred Taylor Morrison


image provided by Mildred Taylor Morrison
image provided by Mildred Taylor Morrison
image provided by Mildred Taylor Morrison
image provided by Mildred Taylor Morrison
image provided by Mildred Taylor Morrison

Syllabus Magazine, the Carolina’s source for Music, Culture and Fashion



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