October 24, 2011 § Leave a Comment
I chose Rocquelle from Consider Me Lovely for our third week in Nakate’s 8 Week Event because she’s excellent at a few things I think we all could take note from:
1. She responds.
No matter how many followers she gets, or how many comments you see on her blog posts, she responds to people – personally. And, when she comments or tweets back to you? You feel like she legitimately cares.
2. She is part of a network.
Black female fashion bloggers are incredible. They support each other. They not only comment back and forth on social media, but they are a core group of friends that I’ve seen to be some of the kindest, most loyal bloggers I’ve worked with. I watch as they trade clothes, support each other’s promotions and keep up not only on each others fashion, but each others lives.
3. Her fashion blogging has meaning behind it.
Rocquelle writes, “If you have read Consider Me Lovely long enough, you know that while I am all about clothes, shoes, outfits, and shopping, at the root of it all, I am much more than those exterior things. At my core I am really about positivity and how to be a blessing to others.”
4. She does what she wants!
I love that Rocquelle’s fashion posts are unique, and that, while she does follow trends, she keeps her own unique sense of style alive, and she doesn’t compromise it.
(Rocquelle is wearing the green runway necklace).
October 20, 2011 § 1 Comment
My dear friend Bella from the Citizen Rosebud has graciously arranged a special spot for Sacramento fashion bloggers at the next open air market, hosted by House of Fringe and This n That Thrift and Gift (oh, that means me!).
Nakate will be there, with our usual 50% street fair discount.
This is kind of a big deal, since it’s our first street and/or open air market event in Sacramento.
Here’s some details:
What is it? The “Open Air Market” in the lot next to Fringe is a dynamic, eclectic flea-market party
held every Second Sunday of the month (*weather permitting). This event was created to coincide with the highly-successful, well-attended, Sacramento Antique Faire (www.sacramentoantiquefaire) under the freeways at 21st & 22nd Streets. Our ‘petite’ but big-fun, “junior” market is ‘free’ for shoppers, held in the parking lot adjacent to Fringe, at 2409 21st Street.
Who? In the spirit of community and diversity, our market offers a wide range of fun and functional treasures for flea-market lovers. Art, antiques, bohemian chic, feisty fashions, unique crafts and thrift store finds can be discovered. In the spirit of “Second Saturday” and the energy generated from that midtown event, performance artists and other entertainment are often part of our market activities.
In light of growing interestspace is limited, early confirmation and payment is encouraged!
When? The “Open Air Market on the Fringe” is held every Second Sunday, monthly from
Where? 2409 21st Street, Sacramento, 95818
September 28, 2011 § 1 Comment
I’m spending 8 weeks in Northern CA, after moving to Portland. I feel the urge to be back in Oregon. That’s important. It’s important to walk a way from a thing, if it proves to you that it was, indeed, what you were looking for. And, I’m thankful for the perspective I’ve gained in four days. Here, I’ve holed up in a corner room that has five windows with gorgeous craftsman molding, a faded olive green shade of paint and a hardwood closet with book shelves for my shoes. I’ve got a table set up in the corner as my desk, and a friend lent me an old wooden bed frame that I love for its height and distinct posts.
I hadn’t finished taking my things to Portland, so I’ve made use of them while I’m here. My space is only half way decorated, but it’s already revealed some things about me that I had forgotten. The first is that my father is my life’s greatest influence. From the Filipino basket on my wall above my desk, to the wooden Japanese rice farmer shoes to my left, to the antique Pork box slats I’ve hung together, the beautiful things in my life are mostly from him. My room has always been filled with old road signs, rail road ties and a bottle collection he put together in his travels with a father who served as a Colonel. Others have helped, and the things from them help me see the way others perceive me. My cousin brought me home an antique camera case for me from his work at a factory a few summers ago. It sits on my book shelf with inventory around it. I was a personal assistant for a woman in New York who used to send me home with baskets. Her redneck boyfriend called it “Puerto Rican shit,” and whatever didn’t fit in her private quarters was sent home with me.
It’s also revealed, to me, that my travels have made me who I am. Around me, along with my fathers things, I am most comfortable among my collection African masks, an old tribal drum, and a bust I bought from an artist in Jinja, among other things.
And then there’s Jeremy, who I didn’t need anyone to remind me has filled my life with things that encourage me to be brave and, in that regard, to be completely myself. His is the influence bringing in a camera I had to grow into this year. His eye searched out tunics and dresses with plunging necklaces and cuts I greeted with unsure facial expressions. And, his was the laughing voice encouraging me to make plans to wear out that tunic I felt odd about the very next day. He pushes me towards ballsier shoes, and that one pair of earrings I love but I’m not sure I can pull off. He also laughs at some of my outfit choices, and tells me I “cannot!” go to Albertson’s to buy beer in my sweat shorts. His is also the presence assuring me that my work is valuable, that my company will succeed and that I should continue submitting my writing samples to literary magazines.
Before leaving for Portland, I sat down with my dear friend Ben and curated my closet. Together, we found what pieces accurately represented my style, and what I should throw out. We almost cut my wardrobe in half, enabling me to see what I love most in my closet. I coupled some of my favorite pieces, this week, with the Nakate fall line, and created some outfits that represent my true self, and my own sense of fashion, while loosely following this season’s trends.
Photo 3: ALDO’s heels, Anne Taylor Loft denim, striped shirt from Forever21, cigar purse bought at a vintage shop in Northern CA, necklace coming soon to Nakate’s Three Corners line.
Photo 6: Black H&M heels and leggings, Moroccan purse from New York street fair, tunic hand-me-down from a roommate in Port-au-Prince in 2008, Sandra yellow necklaces from Nakate.
August 31, 2011 § 1 Comment
Our first Portland trunk show is tomorrow! We’ll be selling our fall line for the very first time, and before its available online. Here is the facebook invite.
Fall is my favorite season. And, it’s our best season yet at Nakate this year. I love the collection that just arrived, and how different it is from Spring and Summer. I feel like we’re moving into another level of design – simplicity, boldness.
Here are some of my favorites, going on sale after September 9th:
August 30, 2011 § 3 Comments
Question: I am interested in so many things, and I have a terrible fear because my mother keeps telling me that I’m just going to be exploring the rest of my life and never get anything done. But I find it really hard to set my ways and say, “Well, do I want to do this, or should I try to exploit that, or should I escape and completely do one thing?”
Anaïs Nin: One word I would banish from the dictionary is ‘escape.’ Just banish that and you’ll be fine. Because that word has been misused regarding anybody who wanted to move away from a certain spot and wanted to grow. He was an escapist. You know if you forget that word you will have a much easier time. Also you’re in the prime, the beginning of your life; you should experiment with everything, try everything…. We are taught all these dichotomies, and I only learned later that they could work in harmony. We have created false dichotomies; we create false ambivalences, and very painful one’s sometimes -the feeling that we have to choose. But I think at one point we finally realize, sometimes subconsciously, whether or not we are really fitted for what we try and if it’s what we want to do.
You have a right to experiment with your life. You will make mistakes. And they are right too. No, I think there was too rigid a pattern. You came out of an education and are supposed to know your vocation. Your vocation is fixed, and maybe ten years later you find you are not a teacher anymore or you’re not a painter anymore. It may happen. It has happened. I mean Gauguin decided at a certain point he wasn’t a banker anymore; he was a painter. And so he walked away from banking. I think we have a right to change course. But society is the one that keeps demanding that we fit in and not disturb things. They would like you to fit in right away so that things work now.”
August 29, 2011 § 1 Comment
Just got one of the photos from a shoot we did with Michael Costello Cotoure‘s 2011 line. I love it! Fall this year is so exciting – the darkness and the glamor of it, the chic softness, combined with its hard lines.
I can’t wait to show you our fall collection at Nakate. It just arrived today!
August 10, 2011 § Leave a Comment
August, for me, has been a search for balance. I am moving. I am working with a naturalist to find healing from some parasites and other physical issues I picked up in Africa. I am trying to grow Nakate. I am packing. Though focused on monogamy, this piece spoke to me, and my current journey:
After years of grappling with monogamy and marriage, I finally understood it a few months ago when I went to Japan. The answer, deceptively simple and devoid of much romance, came to me while I sat at a Shinto shrine. In the pursuit of clarity, many have embraced various kinds of asceticism – some in seclusion, others within the world – living life with strict discipline to achieve lucidity. This drive to spiritual fullness, as bizarre as the choice to be together with someone forever, suddenly became fused in my mind. Monogamy is a form of asceticism, a lifestyle characterized by abstinence from various worldly pleasures, not because these are inherently evil, but because restraint brings focus.
In the book Musashi, the Zen priest called this striving for discipline a means of achieving balance and becoming a complete human. I like that better than words usually associated with being a decent spouse: good, faithful, loyal. Edith Wharton may have imbued me with the fear of adultery at heart, but she also taught me how wretched a life that strives for extremes can be, even if this extreme is “good.” I would much rather discipline myself on the quest for balance, giving myself room to err and learn, in the hopes of one day being a complete human being. That, in the end, is all we can be.
It made sense because I am searching for balance in devotion to my work. Nakate often takes over my life, and I stop enjoying it. Instead, I start resenting it. That’s when I know I have gone too far. So, when do I stop working? How do I know when it is “enough?” When I am tempted to walk away from something I believe is part of my life’s work, how do I handle that? When things are hard, and I don’t feel grateful – how do I handle that? How do I become balanced?
My friend Margaret posted this affirmation a few days ago: Balance is integrated into all aspects of my life.”
I am moving to Portland to for myself, for Nakate and for Jeremy. How do I balance these things well? How do I balance being a girlfriend, being a woman committed to global change and being myself and enjoying who I am?
I think it comes in striving for discipline, discipline as, “a means of achieving balance and becoming a complete human.” I think only the individual person knows how this looks, and feels, for them. I think it is a singular journey for each person.
Today, balance for me was leaving my own office to go sit and work in the backyard at my friend’s home. I needed to enjoy the air, the backyard, the creative space and the company. And, as I work to balance myself in purging my things as I pack, I feel that my time working there today gave me the focus necessary to balance myself tonight.
Thank you, Musashi. Thank you Margaret!