Kick the Hype


vogueGivenchy designer Riccardo Tiscwent on instagram straight flexing with his sneaker collaboration with Nike for Vogue Magazine (styled by Grace Coddington). Pictured with supermodel,Joan Smalls draped across his shoulders was a kodak moment. Granted the photo of the Vogue‘s editorial wasn’t clear as expected. Needless to say, it was enough for the hypebeasts to start saying their tax money for the highly anticipated sneaker.The Air Force 1 Hi Boots would be retailing for $225 at select Nike stores. It appears Nike is not ready to play nice with the folks after Kanye dunked on them during his recent interviews. I find it hard to believe the two (Yeezy and Tisci) don’t discuss the athletic company of their sudden decision. At the end of the day, they are not going to break a friendship regards to a cooperation. It wouldn’t surprise me if the sneaker is launched around the same time as Kanye’s sneaker with Adidas. Only time will time.

Iron Will

Homerun with Umit Benan


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Racism in the fashion world has always been a taboo. Last year, supermodels, Naomi Campbell and Iman, put the industry on front street with the deprived positions obtained to black people in the fashion world (i.e. designers, models, buyers, editors, etc). Indeed, we are one of the top consumers in every industry! Now in 2014, fashion designer, Umit Benan, created a nostalgic collection inspired by Jackie Robinson, the first African-American to play in Major League Baseball. Although blacks have always been the unsung hero on style, swag, and taste-making, Benan recapture those classical moments one would see at their grandparents photo album to the runways with his all black modeling cast. A solid nod to the rich and grounded colors hue in varsity jackets, wide lapel sportcoats while the relaxed silhouettes provided easy suiting. Besides avant-garde Maison Martin Margiela and Rick Owens, there has not been many who are seeking to embrace more ethnic beauty (i.e. black, asian, arabic, hispanic, etc.) to capture a universal audience!

Iron Will

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Jil Sander 2014 collection


1389464604056_Jil-Sander-Fall-Winter-2014-22In 2013, jewel tones color palettes were a hit and miss. Instead, we have seen a surplus amount of leather, Baroque inspired collection, and saturated amount of street goth labels. Personally, I love all 3 of them before the trend became rapid to the masses. needless to say, its time to give it a break and appreciate the simple things in life. Jil Sander‘s 2014 fall collection exhibits those things in minimal proportions. If you’re going to be basic (rather say minimal), you must possess the finest in silhouettes and fabrics. Basic garments being constructed in the finest quality is the synonymous with Jil Sander brand. What is so special about the color palette in its subtly. Who ever thought about creating plum with a blueberry blue with Emerald green, maroon, etc. Ironically, I believe each color can act as a neutral due to its subtle intensity.

Iron Will

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Coming out in that new wang looking like Liu Kang


1389894661667_alexander-wang-fall-winter-2014-10The upcoming fall 2014 collection for Alexander Wang appears to be very promising. Since 2008, it has not been a dull moment for the designer. Being best friends with ASAP Rocky, giving free garments in NYC, being creative director for Balenciaga, being referenced on the Yeezus album is just a few of his accolades lately. In addition, I believe this collection truly demonstrates why he’s always in popular demand. He keeps it real and dark. However, the collection decided to flirt with colors of dusty tan or reddish-brown. It also appears leather is not going to be taking a backseat in the trend department anytime soon. Overall, I love how he uses basic garments (i.e. sweatshirts and sweatpants) and create in the most luxurious way which is simply irresistible.

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#tbt the object of winning


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This shot occurred at a regional karate tournament which I won my second grand championship. I recently got back into the tournament scene this past fall. Although I didn’t place as desired, it has pushed me to make myself greater. Extraordinary is the only option.

2010 was a great year because it reflected my journey as a martial artist seeking truth for myself and not from a single source. It was a great moment. However, I was still in the crosswords whether if martial arts was a motivator. Sometimes winning titles doesn’t always determine your happiness. In competition, no one wants to be the loser. Granted, if we all learn something in our battles (inside and outside the ring), then we all walk away as victorious. 2014 will be a different story. It’s time to see if my dedication to the art should pay off!

#TBT Oso Tayari Casel – Shaolin Chang Quan/Kupigana form


As a black martial artist, its not often you have martial artist who seek to demonstrate the beauty of both cultures. Often times its very one sided. Sometimes this can develop a cultural conflict. However, its great to learn from different cultures without sacrificing your own. it shows growth and epitome of freedom. One of the pioneers of the black martial arts community, Oso Tayari Casel captures the aesthetics of martial arts and culture quite effortlessly!

The Split


Volvo Trucks released the dopest video ever featuring Jean-Claude Van Damme.  To highlight its latest truck technology, Van Damme stood between two trucks as they drove down a road backwards. After his epic monologue ends, the two trucks slowly drift apart from each other to highlight their Dynamic Steering system. Meanwhile, he taken the split into another level. For those who are not aware, I am an extreme fan of Jean Claude Van Damme (JCVD). Afterall, he is MAIN reason why I wanted to do martial arts, period! From roller coast ride dealing with fame and drugs, he has shown us he can still do what he does best – make epic shit!

Fight of Flight


13033_1239643025491_7579739_n #tbt 5 years ago was a fight or flight point moment. Losing my brother really took a tow of me, which I even considered on hang up the martial arts forever (obviously, I haven’t quit). Granted, this was an unprecedented emotional experience for me; therefore, I didn’t know where to go. I mainly trained by myself, no school backing me or anything. I needed time to figure what’s my true purpose. I competed at a martial arts tournament in Cincinnati as verdict for my future direction.

13033_1239643065492_13435_nDespite my oppressing moments, defeat was not an option. I went all the way to fight for overall grand! God shown me the light to never quit no matter the circumstances and do what you are passionate about! From then on, I recognized my purpose. Personally, thank my parents and my son being at my corner through it all (celebrating my victory with my pink polo and denim jacket 😉 )!!

Iron Will

Tournaments are the club; Dojo is our home


DSC05450There are plenty of things you can gain from competing on the martial arts tournament scene. One of the greatest benefits for being in the sport martial arts world is seeing other martial artists from all over. Martial artists from different styles, backgrounds, personalities, etc. Chances are you may be competing with these people in your division (i.e. weapons, forms, fighting) or see them compete for the nighttime finals.

Each competitor possess different strengths and weaknesses. At tournaments, I try to utilize these to climb to the top. Unlike all games, you don’t win them all. No one likes to lose. I do not like losing because the entire purpose is to win. However, the only exception of losing is discovering oneself. For example, last national tournament I competed was at the Battle of Atlanta 2011. Unfortunately, I did not place the way how I wanted. My techniques were on point, but my timing was off. Through months, it was very difficult to pinpoint the missing piece of the puzzle. Brian Ruth, a well-respected martial artist in sport karate, stated I lacked aggression from my attacks. It was crazy enough to finally recognize this issue.

This is a priceless moment which the monetary things such as trophies and money does not matter! You  it the exposure to other people foreign to you.it’s the goal setting it’s the dealing with disappointments well as success. The dojo or Dojang is your home. Like every other home, you learn the fundamentals of life. You learn health, respect, courage, leadership. These are not shared in tournaments.. In the tournament scene, you only learn the desire to win and great sportsmanship! One must return to the essential traits to anchor this endeavors.

Tournaments are a great place to utilize them. If you want to be a great athlete you must maintain proper health. If you want to do well in tournaments, you need to show respect to the past present and future competitors, coaches and judges. You step on any mat be it for forms, weapons or sparring you are showing courage to step outside of a comfort zone and allow yourself to be judged by others and finally if you are part of a team or school competing you need to take on that leadership role.

Metaphorically,some times we focus so much about the club (tournaments) in which we forget about our home training (dojo). In today’s society, this is extremely crucial. We always want to show off, turn up, but don’t want to place the necessary home skills to offer for the real world. When the club is over, you have to worry about going home safe. Are these domestic values gonna help on your way back. It’s all fun and games until the light are on and the music stops playing. It’s something to think about.

“Iron WIll”

 

World Order


Music Videos have been kinda dull lately. Despite the high def quality and cool camera angles, it appears every one is following the similar template as others. This music video from World Order is definitely liberating! World Order is a Japanese band formed by Genki Sudo, a former Japanese MMA fighter who was known for his unorthodox, amazingly-choreographed ring entrances and adroit footwork. He’s since traded the fighting trunks for slim suits and spread collar shirts—but he’s kept his pop-and-lock dance moves as fresh as ever.

Their precise dance moves are perfectly accentuated by their clean-fitting suits. Sartorial mobility at its finest. Who says wearing slim suits means sacrificing movement? The next thing I would love to see is trickers kicking and twisting in tailored suits!

Marc Jacob’s Exodus from Louis Vuitton


FILE - Marc Jacobs to Leave Louis VuittonAfter 16 years creative directing with the prestigious fashion house, Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs took his final bow at Paris Fashion Week. The American designer will be focusing on his namesake label. There has been speculating based on a potential departure, but it has became a reality. Throughout his tenure with the label, Jacobs created their first garment collection along with transforming Louis Vuitton from a dusty leather goods brand to one of the most virtuous labels in the world. His directional designs and collaborations with artists like Takashi Murakami, Pharrell WIlliams, Kanye West, Steven Sprouse, and Yayoi Kusama helped with their popularity to new heights!

I am not sure if it has anything to do with the market shift and 6% decline in sales or what. Bittersweet emotions would rise to those who had admire the collections throughout the years. This is like the same feeling we all had with Nicholas Ghesquiere left Balenciaga. It not easy seeing a major component from a label to depart. However, I strongly believe this is also a liberating moment for him. At the current moment, there is not confirmation on whose will replace the throne to the Parisian fashion house. One thing for certain is no one can deny the legacy he has built with the company.

H&M’s New Edition… Cos


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It is common for companies establishing different echelons of fashion chains. For example, you have Old Navy, The Gap and Banana Republic. Each store has a specific demographics and various prices point to attract everyone. When it comes to the swedish fast fashion brand, H&M. Who would have known? Although there has been speculation,  the release of its so called little big brother brand was not declared official. The new sibling company goes by the name of Cos.

According through various sources , a new store will be opening in SoHo owned by the people who own H&M. The clothes are supposed to be a more fashionable and better quality opposed to their counterpart; therefore, the garments are more expensive. Judging from the collection featured, it does possess a much thorough European approach. We all love the pricing at H&M; however, clothes appears slight more towards every wear with a stylish touch, but Cos is runway ready! At the current moment, you would have to live in Europe to process for any of the items. I truly don’t understand how an e-commerce site would not allow us Americans to get our palms on their latest product. Hopefully they don’t take forever like to create one like H&M did.