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A Rooftop Soirée

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A rooftop party is quintessentially New York. Gathering with friends overlooking the city’s view of skyscrapers, apartments sitting atop each other like pieces in a Tetris game, and public and street art as far as the eye can see, those moments on the roof are a celebration of all the city has to offer. We take you inside our rooftop party celebrating our squad of New York women who inspire.

Chelsea is known for art and the amazing architecture of the High Line. It’s also home to some of the most beautiful views of New York. Standing upon any rooftop and you can see the beauty of the city’s architecture all aglow in the evening light. It’s here where we decided to throw an intimate soirée with the women from our She’s So AphroChic campaign.

On a warm New York evening, the rooftop was decorated with a colorful array of AphroChic pieces. White sofas were filled with cushions in shades of fuchsia, deep blue, black and white. Baskets handmade in Rwanda became the perfect catchall for pieces like napkins and flatware. On the table, guests were treated to charcuterie, local fresh fruits and wine, and lots of good conversation. The smell of lavender wafted through the air, freshly planted on the rooftop deck.

As Beyonce’s Formation played in the background, guests talked about their creative paths, their little ones, and most importantly about the beauty of Black women gathering together. And how special it was to have a gathering of these women in particular, many who have broken the mold in their industry – a magazine editor, fashion designer, costume designer, model, floral designer, DIYer and author.

It was a night showcasing some serious Black Girl Magic. Just another evening surrounded by some of the most talented people you know in the city that never sleeps.

Guest List
Derica Cole Washington
Emily Howard Kudva
Maiysha
Krystle De Santos
Jessica Cumberbatch Anderson
Nana Yaa Asare-Boadu
Courtney Arrington Baldwin

Photographer Chinasa Cooper
Videographer Drew Wesley
Location Home of Genevieve Gorder that was generously opened to us.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

A Cultural Lens On Floral Design

Kathleen Hyppolite of Kat Flower and Emily Howard of Phileanor know floral design. The two women, who have recently partnered to form, The Floral Salon, are among Brooklyn’s top floral designers. Creating naturally whimsical arrangements, they are part of a new generation of floral designers informed by today’s cultural aesthetic. Never too fussy, their designs are inspired by the maker movement that can be seen throughout the borough, with a focus on the organic, the artisan and the handmade.”The work I do with flowers tends to be gestural, but not too wild, complex, but not busy, and feminine without being prissy,” says Emily. “My arrangements imbue their settings with a sophisticated, grown-up whimsy that I think a lot of clients are looking for these days.”

In a recent shoot that we produced for ELLEDECOR.com, the two shared their point of view on new floral design trends for 2016. Their arrangements nestled among beautiful tabletop displays with vintage china at You & Yours Fine Vintage in Greenpoint, the designers shared how today’s cultural aesthetics are resulting in more relaxed arrangements where the simple shapes and movement of the flowers shine. “I try to use the same approach with flowers as I would food,” remarks Kathleen. “Using fresh, seasonal elements to create a thoughtful and natural design that captures each bloom’s charm, grace, uniqueness and beauty. My style is textural, personal, with notes of romance and whimsy.”

From the bold tropical arrangement created by Kathleen, to the soft and disparate color palette that can be seen in Emily’s arrangement of antique peonies, the two share floral design trends that embrace color, texture and a new cultural aesthetic. For the full article visit ELLEDECOR.com.

Produced by AphroChic
Florals by Phileanor and Kat Flower
Styling by Angela Belt
Photography by Patrick Cline

Inside The AphroChic x Guildery Launch Event

In early October we gathered with friends at one of the hippest new spots in Brooklyn for a launch event to celebrate our company’s first licensed collection – The AphroChic Collection by Guildery. To make it even more fun, we decided why not do a photo shoot with one of our favorite home decor outlets, Elle Decor, to add to the festivities. The celebration, held at Ode to Babel, provided a way for guests to experience the AphroChic brand on a number of levels, from decor, to food and music. Gathering a diverse group friends representing fashion, art and design, it was truly a magical Brooklyn night.

Epitomizing our focus on global culture and style, we designed the evening with unique elements from several cultures within the African Diaspora in mind. The dining table was lined in one of our latest designs, Ndop. The pattern is based upon Ndop cloth, a traditional relief dying method used by the Bamileke of Cameroon. Napkins had a specifically African-American touch made with our Silhouette fabric featuring women with afros. Beneath the tables a collection of Moroccan rugs from Woven Accents were lined to create warmth, and add a sense of coziness to the intimate fall affair. The geometric prints of the Beni Ourain rugs were also a perfect complement to the textiles and origami dinnerware on the table. Behind the tables, to add texture, we created a Juju Hat wall installation with a collection of neutral and natural feather hats from Authentic Africa in Harlem. Stemless glassware from World Market added to the festive celebration. Metallic gold paint on the bottom of each glass added a glow to the table. And soft light was provided by ILLUME’s majestic glass, and demi and pillar mercury glass candles in a mix of gold and silver metallics on the table. The final element, gorgeous floral arrangements by Phileanor that added a sophisticated pop of color.

Taking a page from our book REMIX, where music playlists were featured for each house tour, we wanted guests to not only see what AphroChic is in terms of design and styling for the evening, but to hear it in the music as well. We invited our friend, Grammy-nominated progressive soul R&B recording artist, Maiysha, to perform songs that represented the AphroChic vibe. She serenaded guests, accompanied only by acoustic guitar, with songs from her first album including Alchemy and You Don’t Know, as well as covers of Peter Gabriel’s Sledgehammer. The Minneapolis native also included a nod to her hometown with an inspiring cover of Prince’s When You Were Mine.

The final element of the evening was the food which endeavored to allow guests to literally taste what the AphroChic brand is about. Chef Rashad Frazier of Pulled Together, created a savory soul food menu for the evening, reflecting the brand’s soulful aesthetic. Dishes included: braised pork shoulder atop cornbread, a sweet potato puree and apple ginger chutney, and for dessert, a warm apple cobbler with vanilla bean ice cream that excited all our tastebuds.

The evening was not only special because we launched a new collection, but because of those we shared it with. It was absolutely one of our favorite evenings – a celebration of diversity and culture that we don’t see reflected too often. It was truly an AphroChic night. Read more about the evening on Elle Decor.

Photographer: Patrick Cline

Satya Twena’s Paris Rocker Chic Hat Party

Working in New York is cool. It’s not just because this is by far one of the greatest cities in the world, but because it’s a place where literally anything you dream up can become reality. That’s what happened with the hat party we produced for Lonny Magazine this spring. The event was held at our friend Satya Twena’s millinery here in Manhattan. On what was a dark and stormy day, we had the fun of bringing our concept to light, producing a chic hat party with a little bit of a rocker edge.

From the beginning, the vision for this event was a sophisticated hat party with edge, and the guest list was just right. Satya’s group of creative friends included eyewear designers Coco & Breezy, photographer Nick Onken, actress Maggie Grace, director Matthew Cooke, fashion guru F.E. Castleberry, Loren Brill of Sweet Loren’s and fashion designer Carrie Hammer. The group was an eclectic one, and for many of them this first time getting together was a fun gathering of unique and creative minds. Photographer Anna Moller captured the party beautifully. With an eye for capturing the details and people, you can tell from the photos that everyone had a blast!

We worked on a stunning tabletop for the party that Satya had dubbed, “Paris rocker chic”. Floral designer, Emily Howard Kudva of Phileanor brought in the darkest flowers that literally popped in the light-filled space. Her lush arrangements of deep purple, hot pink, and almost black flowers set a dark and romantic vibe in the space, perfect for a cool party. To keep the eclectic look going, we styled the table with a mix of Seletti’s Juxtapose china from our favorite Soho store – Michele Varian. For a little bit of shine, brass trays and utensils from Japan added a metallic mix. Decadence came in the form of a heavenly cheesecake and delectable sweets from Mah Ze Dahr Bakery. Some of our favorite pieces, like the alabaster grapes and porcelain apple boxes, became the finishing touch on the lush table. And of course, we couldn’t forget candles. We used our favorite white grapefruit candles from Murchison-Hume. The event literally looked and smelled delicious.

Our styling extended into the bar, where we worked with mixologist, Issac Flores from Dick & Jane’s Bar in Brooklyn, an unmarked speakeasy in Fort Greene. A white table became the bar for the event, topped with a stunning array of purple dogwood branches. We wanted Flores to sport a laidback look, in jeans, a tie and suspenders. He was topped off with a hat from Satya Twena to finish the look. And the drinks were delicious. A secret recipe from the bar itself.

Parties are perfect, especially when you can express a unique point of view, and this one certainly did. The only thing we regret, that we were producing this shoot and not a part of it! Maybe next time.

For more images from this event and the perfect mint julep recipe, read the whole article on Lonny.

Images furnished by Anna Moller Photography

Designer Sisters Throw A Colorful New Year’s Eve Bash

As the holiday entertaining season ensues, we couldn’t wait to share with you our latest feature for HGTV.com. A colorful New Year’s Eve bash thrown by my sister and stylist, Angela Belt, and I. In collaboration with photographer, Leon Shipp Belt, we captured an inspiring New Year’s Eve event for you, that sparkles.

AphroChic: Designer Sisters Throw A Colorful New Year's Eve Bash. Photographed by Leon S. Belt.

Letterpress cards in hot pink and cream, reflect our modern color palette of gold, black, white and pink.

AphroChic: Designer Sisters Throw A Colorful New Year's Eve Bash. Photographed by Leon S. Belt.

The table is covered in a glittering gold wrapping paper.

AphroChic: Designer Sisters Throw A Colorful New Year's Eve Bash. Photographed by Leon S. Belt.

For simple flower arrangements that pop, use bunches of pink roses.

AphroChic: Designer Sisters Throw A Colorful New Year's Eve Bash. Photographed by Leon S. Belt.

A few pieces from the Christmas holiday can also be integrated into your NYE decor. Striped vintage ornaments add a festive touch.

AphroChic: Designer Sisters Throw A Colorful New Year's Eve Bash. Photographed by Leon S. Belt.

Keep things sweet and light with a selection of mini desserts.

AphroChic: Designer Sisters Throw A Colorful New Year's Eve Bash. Photographed by Leon S. Belt.

For a modern touch, integrate fun plates in black and white stripes.

AphroChic: Designer Sisters Throw A Colorful New Year's Eve Bash. Photographed by Leon S. Belt.

A smile booth can be easily crafted using wrapping paper and some white balloons.

AphroChic: Designer Sisters Throw A Colorful New Year's Eve Bash. Photographed by Leon S. Belt.

Leftover bows from holiday wrapping also make the perfect silly headbands.

AphroChic: Designer Sisters Throw A Colorful New Year's Eve Bash. Photographed by Leon S. Belt.

See the entire party on HGTV.com!

Produced by: Jeanine Hays and Bryan Mason of AphroChic for HGTV.com

Stylist: Angela Belt

Photographer: Leon Shipp Belt

 

A Colorful Dining Collection From Klomp Ceramics

Black and yellow is the perfect color combination, and this new collection from Klomp Ceramics proves it. The South African company recently released a line of handmade porcelain plates, bowls and cups. The pieces are perfect for setting a bright and graphic table display that brings a little bit of South African style home.

AphroChic: A Colorful Dining Collection From Klomp Ceramics

AphroChic: A Colorful Dining Collection From Klomp Ceramics

AphroChic: A Colorful Dining Collection From Klomp Ceramics

AphroChic: A Colorful Dining Collection From Klomp Ceramics

Source: Klomp Ceramics

Stylish Ideas For A Summer Picnic

It’s time to break out the picnic baskets, colorful throw blankets, and your prettiest melamine plates and flatware. It’s picnic season! Stylish blanketside gatherings with friends are a must this time of year. It’s just a matter of putting together all of the right elements to throw a super chic outdoor event.

AphroChic: Stylish Ideas For A Summer Picnic

For a unique backdrop to all of the yummy food you’ll be serving, gather your favorite scarves, pillows and blankets to create an eclectic lounge area. We love the idea of mixing cultural pieces like kilim pillows, suzani blankets and a few Persian rugs for a colorful display.

AphroChic: Stylish Ideas For A Summer Picnic

For picnic parties, think about bringing in unique seating. Cushions are wonderful and comfy for guests and poufs are perfect too. Look for poufs in summer shades like bright white, pastel pink or sunshine yellow for an unexpected touch.

AphroChic: Stylish Ideas For A Summer Picnic

Layer a few of your favorite rugs to define the picnic area. Don’t worry about a matching design or color palette. A funky mix of bright area rugs with geometric designs will create a modern and vibrant display.

AphroChic: Stylish Ideas For A Summer Picnic

And if you’re feeling daring, put up a tent to create an intimate space for a casual luncheon. This is the perfect spot for a romantic picnic for two.

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The Gentleman’s Bar Cart Essentials With Courtney Lake

We love the work of interior designer Courtney Lake. His design company, Monogram Decor, is known for impeccable and classic style. So, when we had questions about how we could help gentleman of all ages style the perfect bar cart, we knew Courtney was the man to talk to. He shares with us his tips on creating a flawless bar for any gentleman who loves entertaining.

So Courtney, what are your tips for styling the perfect bar cart?

I am not 100% sure when I fell in love with bar carts but in almost every project I have done, one has found its way into the final design. Whether mid-century cool or Hollywood Regency glamour, I think bar carts are the perfect ways to inject a tiny dose of masculine flair into a space with the added bonus of booze. Seriously, booze and design – it’s a match made in heaven in my book! In all my bar carts, I follow a base set of rules for what they should house including:

Five Liquor Stickler – Stock List

I strongly believe that bar carts should have the 5 basics: dark rum, whisky/bourbon, vodka, gin and a “wild card”. At the moment, I am smitten with mescal – think tequila’s more refined older brother. Made from agave, like tequila, the distillation process produces a smooth, smoky and potent libation that I am gaga over. I recently experimented with the liquor and came up with a recipe I call “Pink Heat”. Don’t let the name fool you, the drink is like a beautiful, intelligent woman – full of surprises and may knock you flat on your arse if you aren’t careful.

Recant the Bottle – Decant Your Booze

We are adults now, so it’s time to lose the handle bottles. I go to Costco too but that doesn’t mean I want to show the world how big of a lush I am! Invest in beautiful decanters to store your spirits. And I know some liquors are light sensitive, and by no means am I saying destroy your stash for the sake of beauty, but for as little as $10 you can definitely class up your bar cart. I personally am smitten with these beauties from West Elm.

Man Up – Tool Up

The best cocktails I have had follow some simple rules. They follow a recipe – aka – someone measured the ingredients. Nothing worse than a poorly mixed drink. So man up and invest in the following: a jigger, a cocktail shaker and strainer, a stirrer and most importantly a cocktail book. I think this book can do no wrong – it has over 1000 recipes and covers the basics to the esoteric in simple language.

Courtney’s Pink Heat Recipe

1 jigger of Hanger One Chipotle Vodka

1 jigger of Cielo Rojo Bacanora

3 jiggers of Wild Poppy Blood Orange Chili juice

1 teaspoon of agave syrup

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon chipotle powder

chili flakes (decoration)

Directions:

Mix sugar and chipotle powder on a small saucer.  Moisten rim of glass and roll edge in sugar mixture.  Set aside.  In a cocktail shaker add vodka, bacanora, juice & agave syrup with ice and shake.  Place one large ice cube & strained mixture into rimmed glass.  Garnish with a pinch of chili flakes.

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