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"What I Want is a White Model Dipped in Chocolate”

Look out of your window and what do you see? no look again – what do you see? yes I know that it is hard to believe but yes the sun is shining, could that mean that summer is here in the UK? don’t scream too loudly yet as you know what British weather is like. So as the sun comes out so do the freaks (meant in a nice way) as well as fashion that really should stay at home. Ladies in particular please look in a mirror before you leave the house. There is nothing wrong in dressing sexy and showing bits that men love to see but remember at the same time if you have NOT got it don’t flaunt it – enough said.

Are you serious about business or just dabbling for the fun of it?

Some of you may read this piece and think that Mr Mahogany only wrote it because he wants to make tons of money, change his old dilapidated car and buy a really big house on Bishops Avenue - well you may be right but on a serious note the piece is aimed at trying to assist people in growing their business.

A while back we launched the new Fashions Finest website (which was formerly the Mahogany Models Directory) and it has been created to be the Fashion World website for people of colour and everyone that wants to work with our community. It is aimed at promoting models, designers, makeup artists, stylists, photographers and anyone and everyone that is involved in the fashion industry.

Now after a brief introduction let me get to the crux of the matter, with the advent of Facebook a number of businesses feel that by having a Facebook page and setting up groups and an events page you will be extremely successful - WRONG Facebook is not the with all and end all. For those of you that rely solely on Facebook to grow your business, I am sorry to say this and some of you will be cursing me as you read this – your business will not grow and if you ever think you will become  a Versace, Bobbi Brown or even if I say so myself a Mahogany type business you are kidding yourself if you refuse to either advertise or take up offers to promote yourself or your company outside of Facebook.

We sent out emails to 1000’s of designers, models, photographers and other creatives involved in the fashion industry offering them FREE (YES I DID SAY FREE) profiles on Fashions Finest, to submit profiles of themselves and or articles and very few people took up the offer. Now forgive me for being stupid but someone is offering you FREE (yes written in bold again cos my head cannot just get round people not taking up a free offer), publicity on the biggest fashion website for people of colour and people do not take up the offer, is it because people do not rate the site, are too lazy, don’t get the benefits of being seen by different people outside of Facebook or what? I AM LOST.

Why do Cocoa Cola and McDonalds still spend millions every year on advertising and marketing despite the fact that everyone already knows them or buys their products and you that is still struggling to make it don’t even take up the offer of free pr and marketing. I AM LOST.

I will leave it as follows, we sent the same email to our mainstream clients and 98% of them responded & responded within 24 hours and we are currently working with them to provide regular content for the site. What is it that they get that we as a community do not get. I AM LOST.

Something to think about, Mahogany has become a well known brand name because we take up EVERY opportunity to advertise or promote ourselves outside of Facebook and twitter. I AM NOT LOST.

If you are interested in promoting yourself on Fashions Finest website or wish to contribute articles then be smart and EMAIL the Editor Deborah St Louis 07525 148327.


What I Want is a White Model Dipped in Chocolate”


Not much needs to be said about this as the video is self explanatory, so please watch it and let me know what you think? A designer stated “

Renee Thompson is trying to make it as a top fashion model in New York. She's got the looks, the walk and the drive. But she’s a black model in a world where white women represent the standard of beauty. Agencies rarely hire black models. And when they do, they want them to look “like white girls dipped in chocolate.”

The Colour of Beauty is a shocking short documentary that examines racism in the fashion industry. Is a black model less attractive to designers, casting directors and consumers? What is the colour of beauty?

  

Your Chest is too High...

In the Caribbean (I believe Jamaica) they have a saying that “your chest is too high” and this means that you want more then you are entitled to, can afford or are worth. How many of you can tell me the number of times you have received an invitation to a upcoming event and then a week or a couple of days before the event you get an email or notification stating that due to circumstances beyond our control the event has been postponed or cancelled.

Now you may not know, but I know you do know, that most of the time when you hear that excuse it is because they thought they were bigger than they were and tried to run before they could walk. In other words instead of starting off small and building up there business or event over a number of years they tried to get right to the top immediately and were well and truly deceived by the fact that they sent out a Facebook invitation and everyone said that they are attending, that they would sell out and make plenty of money. Wake up people it takes times to build up a successful event, go back and watch the early episodes of Americas Next Top Model  and Pop Idol and see how they started off, stop looking at where they are now.

Similar to my headline feature you need to advertise outside of Facebook and spend some money on advertising and more importantly have something that people want to attend, you need to have a track record before you do a major event, get the price right and advertise EVERYWHERE, REMEMBER MONEY MAKES MONEY.

News In Brief:

Rachel Williams – How to use a Beauty Pageant Title...

Many people enter beauty pageants and modelling competitions in the hope of becoming rich and famous, but unfortunately after they do win they do absolutely nothing with the title, what a waste of time.

However there is one exception, a young lady that I am proud to say I know and whom I have been watching her career closely and that is Rachel Williams who was the first ever winner of Miss Black Britain. Since winning the competition 5 years ago she has used her title to go on and become one of the UK’s leading models.

One of the reasons why I am so proud of her and giving her props is because she has not only used the title to progress her career but has done it primarily on a freelance basis, not only is she a great model but also a fantastic role model and a budding entrepreneur.  Bearing in mind the amount of winners out there it is sad that not that many are following the example of Rachel Williams whom  I consider to be a SUPERMODEL, WELL DONE RACHEL.

Fire in a Trenchtown...

Kingston Jamaica is on lockdown, do you know who Dudus Coke is? Well he is the man that the Americans want extradited to the USA on alleged drug charges and gun running.

BELOW COURTESY OF BBC NEWS
At least 27 people, almost all civilians, have died in gun battles in Jamaica, police have said, as the hunt continues for a suspected drug lord. Troops and police had stormed the stronghold of Christopher "Dudus" Coke in the Tivoli Gardens district of the capital Kingston. A state of emergency has been in place in parts of Kingston since Friday, when several police stations were attacked. A decision to extradite Mr Coke, 41, to the US had angered his supporters.
Mr Coke, who insists he is a legitimate businessman, enjoys the support of many impoverished Kingston residents who see him as a benefactor and have vowed to protect him at any cost. But the US justice department accuses him of being one of the world's most dangerous drug barons.
This is a disaster for Jamaica's reputation, Dudas is seen by many here as a kind of Robin Hood figure, a protector of the poor.

The fighting has intermittently blocked the road to Kingston's airport and forced some flights to be cancelled. The US State Department has issued a travel alert, warning citizens against travel to Kingston and the surrounding areas.
The Jamaican High Commissioner in London, Anthony Smith Johnson, told the BBC that Jamaica was obliged to respond to the US request to apprehend Mr Coke. The Jamaican government last week agreed to extradite Mr Coke to the US, reversing months of opposition to the move. Mr Coke is said to lead a gang called the Shower Posse - owing to the volume of bullets used in shootings - and operate an international smuggling network.
The drugs trade is deeply entrenched in Jamaica, an island nation of 2.8 million people with one of the highest murder rates in the world. Some 1,660 homicides were recorded there in 2009, the AP news agency reports.

Afro Hair & Beauty Live 

Afro Hair & Beauty Live – the spectacular hair and beauty event that launched the careers of the UKs top Afro Stylists – is coming to cosmopolitan Islington with a fresh look and fabulous line up! 

Taking place at the Business Design Centre, London, on May 30th and 31st, the stylish show will be bringing the best hair and beauty trends from around the world, all under one roof. 

Now in its 28th year, the show has been refreshed to bring a modern take on black beauty. With more things to do, more things to try and now even easier to get to, the show is set to draw a new wave of visitors looking for the latest products and trends. 

And with the new venue comes a new, vibrant attitude and packed line-up guaranteed to make your bank holiday the most fierce yet! The show will be split into 3 fabulous zones: 

Shop – sample brands from around the world, some of which are available exclusively at the show, and speak to experts who will help you uncover your perfect product. From natural shea butter to lace front wigs, every taste and pocket will be catered for. 

Spoil – be polished and preened with massage, threading, makeovers and more in the Indulgence Zone. 

Show – watch the amazing stage shows with fashion, dance and demonstrations across the whole weekend. 

This year, the winner takes all in the amazing Sensationnel Icon. The show-stopping spectacle will bring together the most creative hair designers from around the country, with each one creating a collection of elaborate masterpieces. Colour, shape and astounding workmanship are a must! There are three trophies Weave Genius, Braid Impact and Avant Garde.

Also check out the Annual Wahl Battle of the Barbers. Speed, accuracy and showmanship are the name of the game with this (almost!) cut-throat competition. 8 barbers, 8 sets of clippers and 2 judges will go head to head with the stop-clocked contest that sorts the men from the boys! 
with many visitors for many years. But we wanted more, and the visitors wanted more. So we have moved to new and more central location, and added elements into the show that consumers will love. Don’t think you’ve seen it all before – this year’s show will blow you away.” 

As well as all this, watch out for special guest PA’s, model competitions and a whole heap of special surprises that are being lined up for the weekend spectacular. 

MOAN OF THE DAY...

I know a lot of you look forward to the moan of the day but I have decided not to do one in this blog – aaaaaahhh that was so nice of you, as I can hear all the sighing and feel the disappointment from here.

Don’t worry I will be back in full force next time round as there is a lot to moan about.

Be good and take care – tomorrows another day

Is it FAIR?

When I started writing this blog I did it purely for fun and also cos I had absolutely nothing to do with my time (if you believe that then you are punch drunk), but I never really thought it would take off in the way that it has. On a regular basis I am either asked for my comments or asked to comment on things and people are constantly emailing, texting or calling me to give feedback, have a go or make suggestions on what I should talk or comment about in my next blog. 
So not being a selfish, ungrateful human being I would like to thank all of you that have sent me some “sugar” as well as those of you that are hating, I love you all.
Mr Mahogany New Blog Picture:
Do you like my new look main blog picture? be honest now, you know that this is the honesty blog, everyone that reads this blog can handle the truth. 
Even if you don't like it do I really care, as I like it. However if you don't like it and if you think you are bad do something better and send it to me and I will put it to the people as to whether your design is better (and I am not putting no LOL after my last comment, why do people do that they have just had a go at you and they meant it and then put lol after the underhanded comment or insult and try and soften the blow by putting lol - yeah right, they meant it).
It was designed by Friedrich Riha, Creative Director of Wasanii Design Studio . Thank you so much.
BFC/Elle Talent Launch Pad Applications (BFC is British Fashion Council)

This new and innovative scheme will complement the opportunities offered by London Fashion Week by supporting selected young designers to grow their businesses through marketing/PR opportunities and building relationships with British retailers. Find out more...

Criteria & Applications
This first level of designer support is suitable for emerging designers at an early stage in their business growth: those eligible to apply must have been in business for no more than two years. Find out more...

Are Things Changing:
For a while now it is more or less impossible for models of colour, including up coming or even  supermodels to break into mainstream  fashion and be featured in top magazines and advertising campaigns, it is a bit like having £1 in your bank account and walking into a car show room and trying to buy a brand new Rolls Royce.
Mahogany Models via its Black But Invisible campaign has been working hard to change this and we believe that via some successful campaigns such as the Italian Vogue all black issue and our work with the British Fashion Council as well as numerous media attention we have received on this issue it seems that things are starting to change. 
Very recently Alex Wek was on the cover of ELLE, Chanel Iman was featured in Allure and Liya Kebede in Vogue and we have the beautiful black model VV Brown  featured in the brand new major advertising campaign for Marks & Spencer, in London Fashion Week this year we had the highest number of models of colour ever, featured on the catwalks at LFW.
Once upon a time this just would never have happened, however we must not get complacent as we still have a very long way to go, so we must continue to push for change and insist that we are used constantly.

Mix race is the most beautiful people in the world – refer to evening standard article where I was quoted (sorry cant locate the exact article)
Not sure how many of you saw or read my view words that were featured in the Evening Standard regarding the fact that mix race people are considered the most beautiful people in the world. It started a really good debate and I loved the variety of views and comments that I received. The long and short of it is, regardless of our skin tone we are all beautiful.
There was also another article where I also commented on the issues of models and I do hope that as much as possible I am representing your views and the facts as fairly as possible.
Is it true that black women are just after men for their money or what they have?

The above was sent to me as a topic for me to comment on and trust me I was tempted to go all out on this one and say it as it is and then I thought hold on wait a minute, do I really want to get into this. Already I am public enemy number one due to some of my previous blogs and if I make the mistake of giving my views on this I to could end up living in Makoko or Ajegunle (places featured in the Welcome to Lagos documentary), as I know my beautiful black sisters would willingly deport me there as punishment. So unless I am severely harassed into talking about this and promised full immunity (Jack Bauer style) from prosecution, for now I just have to let it go.

News In Brief:

Awards & Nominations

I don’t know about you but I think it is great when you work hard and your peers or people around you decide to recognise you for what you have done and over the past 2 weeks a number of people I know have been either nominated or received an award. It is important to support one another when we are informed that someone we know receives a nomination for an award (people stop being envious and hating) and lets support and promote each other.

Naomi Divine  (entrepreneur) was recently nominated for the "above and beyond character award" which is part of The Bold and Beautiful Awards. If you would like to vote for her - please click on her name.

Shi Dolor  (fashion designer) was Recognised and awarded by the UK's first purpose built Women's Business Centre as a Creative Entrepreneur and luxury fashion design business 2010







Crystal (model, Singer & entrepreneur) she is also a Mahogany Model, was nominated in the "Most Creative Female" category at the 'London Young Women's awards and I am so pleased to say that she won. 


TMC Sierra Leone

We are pleased to announce that a Top Model of Colour franchise will be taking place in Sierra Leone later this year, so watch out for TMC Sierra Leone

MOAN OF THE DAY...

Is it Fair?

If I had a lot of money and could afford to be sued I would put the name of this person and competition all over the airwaves as I am just so pissed that this sort of thing still goes on in this day and age, be patient I will explain to you why I am very disappointed.

Nowadays every woman that has two legs and arms enters one type of beauty pageant or modelling competition, regardless of whether they are pretty or they are someone that should just be arrested for committing crimes against humanity by being so ugly (this relates only to those  that think they are pretty enough to enter competitions). Now don’t get me wrong as anyone and everyone that wants to enter should have the opportunity to enter, but some ladies need to have a look in a reinforced mirror before filling in an application form. As usual I digress because this has nothing to do with this moan and groan.

The real moan and groan is against men that decide to set up competitions just so that they can sleep with the contestants on the promise that if the girls sleep with them then they will win the competition. Now for me this is DISGUSTING as besides you being a low life it is also unfair on the girls that have entered believing that they would have a fair chance of winning the competition. I recently was asked to be involved in a competition taking place in West Africa (yes I know I normally narrow things down better than this, but we are going through an economic downturn and I just cant afford legal fees at present, so sorry but you will have to guess the country in question). I was informed 3 weeks before the competition started that the owner of the show had decided upon whom the winner was and I was also informed by reliable sources that he was having Turkish Delights with not only the girl that he had already decided was going to win the competition but also with a number of the other contestants – WHY?

Now it would be totally unfair for me to just blame the man because, I am sorry ladies but if the girls in their desperation to win a car and a nice cash prize willingly agreed to go to the dentist and “open wide” then they are as much to blame. If they refused to do this then nasty old men like this would not be able to get away with it. When girls do things like this it gives ALL girls a bad reputation and even if you win such a competition fairly some people would believe that you slept your way to the top.

I really believed that all of this kind of crap had stopped yes I know I should wake up and smell the coffee and I guess this is why I am always asked about how many of my models I sleep with or have slept with - for me business and pleasure seriously does not mix well.

PS if you want to rig your event or competition DO NOT invite me to be a judge, cos I will expose you and next time I will name and shame and I will also name the girls that cave in to this type of exploitation.

Hissing at Women:

I have a name and if you don’t know it walk up to me and say hi. 

How many times ladies does this happen to you that you are walking down the street and you hear a hissing sound, you try to ignore it and it gets louder and you turn around and see one bush man (cos men that do it are always bush and ugly) and he is trying to get your attention by hissing at you like a snake.

Guys stop it, women don’t like it and it makes you look bush. If you need to attract a ladies attention walk up to her and say hi, trust me you will go a long way by doing that and to the ladies if a guy hisses at you and you turn around and pay him attention then it serves you right don’t complain afterwards.

Be good and take care – tomorrows another day
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