Meena Harris Empowers the Phenomenal Woman
What happens when fashion, feminism, and philanthropy collide? Meena Harris’ “Phenomenal Woman” campaign, inspired by the illustrious Maya Angelou’s iconic poem is born. I’m sure that by now you’ve seen countless celebs like Issa Rae, Tracee Ellis Ross, and Viola Davis rocking this bold statement tee with pride and for good reason. 100% of the proceeds will be donated to Emerge America, EMILY’s List, Essie Justice Group, Girls Who Code, NARAL, Planned Parenthood and The United State of Women. For those of you curious to know how Meena conceptualized and executed this revolutionary campaign with such impeccable timing, we’ve got the inside scoop for you right here:
In Her Shoes: What inspired the launch of the “Phenomenal Woman” campaign?
Meena: Coming out the presidential election, a lot of us were obviously feeling defeat and experiencing grief. But I still woke up the next morning having confidence that, even though we may have lost, we wouldn’t be deterred. Most of all, I knew that we as women are strong and resilient — and we are phenomenal! I wanted to expand my t-shirt brand post-election, to create a unified and empowering identity for the new wave of activists that have risen up, while also honoring the women who came before us. One of those women is Maya Angelou, and her poem Phenomenal Woman inspired the words that I now wear proudly.
In Her Shoes: How long did it take you to get the campaign up and running from conception to execution?
Meena: It all happened very quickly, in large part because of the momentum coming out of the election and the Women’s March. I printed a sample batch of t-shirts at the end of January, and our big launch was March 8, International Women’s Day. On that day alone, we sold 2,500 t-shirts, and during the first two months of the campaign, we sold nearly 8,500 tees to benefit our seven non-profit partners.
In Her Shoes: Was this project a collective effort?
Meena: I’ve partnered with Omaze, an online fundraising platform, to run operations and some of the digital marketing, but everything else for the most part has been a solo effort. I’ve also been lucky to have incredibly supportive friends that have volunteered in various ways to keep the campaign going, including showing up for our in-person pop-ups to help with major components like event planning, promotion, and actual setup. I feel really luck to have such a generous and encouraging network!
In Her Shoes: Who was the first celeb to participate and how did you get others to join in?
Meena: Issa Rae and America Ferrera were the first celebs to participate. Both are friends, so being able to show others that such influential and inspirational women leaders had joined our cause from the very beginning made it pretty easy to convince others to participate!
’Cause I’m a woman/ Phenomenally/ Phenomenal woman/ That’s me.
– Maya Angelou
Click here to celebrate the Phenomenal Woman in you today!
Entrepreneur, Ade Hassan Launches Nude Shoe Line for Women of Color
The London-based brand made a shoe line for women of all shades
Ade Hassan Nubian Skin Shoe Line
After launching her Nubian Skin lingerie line in 2014, Ade Hassan has decided to explore the footwear industry with her new label, designed exclusively for women of color. The diverse brand has much to offer; from her curvy girl friendly, plus-sized tights, to the versatility of models on her website, Ade Hassan has mastered the art of representation one heel at a time. Hassan spoke with EBONY.com about her product inspo, creation process and future plans.
A post shared by Ade Hassan (@itsadehassan) on Feb 22, 2017 at 11:45am PST
EBONY.com: Your brand is so refreshing and you cater to women that were forgotten for so long. Tell us about your story. Why did you start your brand?
Hassan: Thank you! Nubian Skin was born out of my own frustration of not being able to find what I wanted in shops. Nude lingerie and hosiery in my skin-tone was something that simply wasn’t available, so I decided to create it! I knew I couldn’t be the only one who felt this way.
A post shared by Ade Hassan (@itsadehassan) on Dec 9, 2016 at 6:21am PST
EBONY.com: So now you have this amazing brand of lingerie and have decided to add a footwear collection. How was the creative process?
Hassan: I love shoes. I knew in my head for years, the exact type of shoes I would want in nude if I could find them! The dream coming to life was a happy moment of serendipity when I realized one of the ladies in my network was a footwear designer. We worked together on creating the shapes in my head into the technical design and then it was a matter of finding leather that matched our shades perfectly. We also added a new color – Champagne!
EBONY.com: What was the hardest part in the process of designing a shoe?
Hassan: We’ve gone with classic shoes, so the style was easy for me. Determining the heel height took a lot of thought.
EBONY.com: Why did you decide to create a Nude collection?
Hassan: Shoes were something I always wanted to do, so when I met a fantastic manufacturer we thought we’d jump on the opportunity. Shoes are another thing that is regularly made in ‘nude’, but not in a spectrum of colors.
EBONY.com: How would you recommend the shoes be styled?
Hassan: Nude goes with everything, so it’s an incredibly easy color to wear with any other color. Both shoes are classic silhouettes, so the heels look great with jeans and a cute top but also with a party or office dress. The flats are classic and subtle and can be put with just about any outfit but this spring we’re particularly loving them for work and running around town.
EBONY.com: I’ve come across Nubian Skin on Asos.com and Nordstrom.com. How has the response been from the American market?
Hassan: Incredible, we never could have predicted how much support we would receive. We were also incredibly fortunate to have ASOS and Nordstrom pick us up really early on – it means a lot to have such big names supporting your brand.
EBONY.com: While we know being your own boss is not easy, and includes some lows. The high of collaborating with Beyoncé on her formation Tour trumped them all, I am sure. How did the Beyoncé collaboration come to life?
Hassan: It definitely did – what more could you want?! We received an e-mail in one of the inboxes about the collaboration and immediately thought it was a scam, so I reached out to a few friends who work in the industry and they replied telling me that it was definitely real and to respond – so we did! It is unbelievable to have an artist like Beyoncé choose to wear Nubian Skin as the base for her costumes on the Formation Tour. Beyoncé is a global phenomenon and the fact that her team knows about our brand and have selected it is a testament to the work we’re trying to do. It is such validation to see a squad of beautiful, brown women and know that Nubian Skin has a product which is allowing them to express that diversity to perfection
What can we expect from Nubian Skin next? Can you give us an inside scoop/things you are working on?
Hassan: A lot of the feedback we’ve received so far has been about the need to include larger cups, so we’re working on a collection that will be going up to a G-cup (US I-cup) and will be out later this year. After that, we have lots of exciting ideas up our sleeves, so you’ll have to wait and see!
EBONY.com: With such beautiful designs, what is the philosophy of your brand? Who is the Nubian Skin Woman?
Hassan: Our philosophy is Empowering Women & Embracing Our Color. We want women of all ethnicities to feel included, appreciated and most of all sexy, in lingerie especially tailored for them! The Nubian Skin Woman is any woman who wants to feel comfortable in her own skin.
To learn more about Nubian Skin, visit Hassan’s website here.
On Our Radar For August
Our editors are more than thrilled to embrace this new summertime month. Why? Because August is packed with exciting new launches and collaborations that we can’t wait to get our hands on. From celebrity fashion lines and YouTube channels, to beauty goodies that will keep our closets stocked for the rest of the summer, these debut events and products are not to be missed.
Mother + Kind Campaign, ‘Play Nice’ T-shirt: We could all use a reminder to play nice every now and then, and these sweet tees—as part of the new Mother + Kind campaign—are the perfect inspiration. Keep the idea front and center by donning this simple and sweet shirt this summer and fall.
Melissa McCarthy releases new clothing line: Melissa McCarthy is one of those celebs who always looks chic and sophisticated while strutting her stuff on the red carpet, and now you can get the look at home by snagging a piece or two from her new clothing line. (image: D DIPASUPIL/FILMMAGIC)
Nicole Richie launches Birchbox collaboration: We are dying to break into the guest-curated Birchbox from House of Harlow 1960 creative director and reality show star Nicole Richie. It’s packed with beauty goodies like lip tint, in-shower lotion and a microdermabrasion skin exfoliant.
Treat Collection’s non-toxic nail polishes: This Berlin-based nail polish brand gives us access to non-toxic polishes that we don’t ever have to feel guilty about. The best part? There are 54 fabulous colors to choose from!
Boll & Branch launches line of fair-trade certified bath towels: We are really excited to try out the line of bath towels from luxury linens brand Boll & Branch because they’re the first in the world to earn full Fair Trade certification. Pre-order yours starting August 6th.
Karlie Kloss debuts new ‘Klossy’ YouTube channel: Model, entrepreneur and NYU-accepted student Karlie Kloss just announced her brand new YouTube channel “Klossy.” Subscribe to get a behind-the-scenes peek into Karlie’s high profile life, both on and off the runway. (image: Taylor Hill/Getty)
The Lively Show with Jess Lively and After The Jump with Grace Bonney: If you’re looking for creative inspiration as we ease into the last part of summer and gear up for back-to-school season, check out these two podcasts. Both feature interviews with top bloggers, bakers, writers, designers (plus so many more!), and the archives for both shows are packed with valuable insight.
Krochet Kids intl. pioneers the #knowwhomadeit movement: This non-profit apparel brand—which carries a line of beautiful clothing, bags and accessories for men, women and kids—is spearheading a toast-worthy movement to help us celebrate the people who makes the products we enjoy every day.
Revlon unveils LOVE IS ON Million Dollar Challenge: Revlon just announced an online fundraising challenge which invites charities that focus on heart disease, women’s cancers and diabetes—three health concerns that modern women face every day—to raise money within a six-week timeline. Revlon has promised an additional million-dollar donation to the winning charity. We’re proud to encourage this crusade!
When Nourish Snacks first asked about sending me their pre-packaged snacks to try, I was apprehensive. Typically, I’m not keen on packaged snack foods as they are notorious for being full of unhealthy ingredients. But it’s not always easy to make time to stock the fridge with super healthy snack options and it can be a challenge to find ones to grab when you’re a hectic mom on the go. Nourish Snacks have been awesome for those moments. Plus, they are healthy and so yummy.
Created by NBC’s TODAY Show nutritionist Joy Bauer, Nourish Snacks can be found in select Starbucks locations or ordered online. They are made with wholesome ingredients and packed with protein, antioxidants and fiber. Plus, they are dairy-free and gluten-free—things that make moms happy for the times their little ones want to share their snacks (just make sure they are eating ones that aren’t potential choking hazards).
Meet 5N1 Designs
(L-R) Elisa Shankle & Lyani Powers
Have you ever walked into a business or space and just felt like something was missing? Do you have an eye for design? Curlfriends Elisa Shankle and Lyani Powers of 5n1Design.com do, and decided to make a business of it. 5N1 Design is a multifaceted interior design ﬁrm specializing in creating experiential, high-end commercial, and hospitality design projects that marry a company’s mission to their environment. 5N1 founders Elisa Shankle and Lyani Powers provide a comprehensive range of services including brand development, functional spatial layouts, visual aesthetics, and project management. Their projects stand apart due to their ability to source not only their roots in fashion, set design, and high-end furniture design, but also their impressive network of creative artisans and experienced architects. Through the spirit of collaboration and determination they are able to create the desired face for organizations and customize experiences for their clients. With clients like Fuse TV and Sarah Jessica Parker’s Nordstrom Pop-Up Shop, 5N1 executes your project needs surpassing your expectations.
Get to know the beauties behind the brand:
Reigning from one of the top design schools in the country, Elisa graduated Pratt Institute with a BFA in Interior Design. Her design and business background is very diverse having worked for high-end residential and commercial design companies in New York and London. Her expertise is versatile having the capability to render a full set of construction documents, yet also pick out that perfect fabric for a custom sofa. Her projects have spanned from office environments to beach homes, making her desirable amongst a diverse clientele.
Coming from a strong analytical background, Elisa has always fostered an appreciation for experimentation within the design process. She is known for taking your desired taste and guiding you above and beyond what you might have initially imagined. Elisa’s ‘Why Not?” attitude actualizes your vision and raises it that extra level.
Lyani is certified in Interior Design and Drafting Studies by The Art Institute, as well as the American Association of Interior Designers and Certified Green Building. She has studied construction drafting, interior planning, furniture restoration, and carpentry.
Having worked on both independent and large budget projects for companies in various genres, her versatility and eclectic approach allow her to translate her clients’ voices into visuals, no matter the budget. Her strength is in providing optimal service and in taking a project from concept to reality. Addressing challenges and developing innovative solutions has earned her the nickname of Powerhouse. Lyani is undeniably dedicated to getting the job done and getting it done with style.
To learn more about 5n1 Design click here!