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Cruel Summer

I wanted to create what I did not see.  I remember uttering these words in 2015 while dining in the Blue Bangkok restaurant on Boylston Street in Boston.  My friend Dean Nights and I discussed my busy life of pulling clothes for VIP’s and creating a total lifestyle experience that included fine dining and clubbing for the VIP’s  all while I attended my full time job. During this time I needed and refered services to some of the people in this post for nails, hair, and graphics.  I told Dean that I wanted a place where my talented friends like him and myself could be highlighted.  So here we are with this mega post for the month of August. (Dean Knights is a tailor to the stars and aristocrats.)

I present to you the talented professionals in my circle with experience that ranges from music, graphic design, fashion and beauty who are making a difference in their respective fields.

 

Album art created by BenjiRichDesigns

 

Album art created by BenjiRichDesigns

 

Album art created by BenjiRichDesigns

 

Album art created by BenjiRichDesigns

 

BenjiRichDesigns Valentine Day gift to his fiancé this is currently my screen saver

 

Mawd Panda jumping the moon on his BMX in all white Yeezy’s

 

Kimbo Slice Art by BenjiRichDesigns

 

 

BenjiRichDesigns volunteered to create 3D printed prosthetic hands for children in need for a handathon

 

BenjiRichDesigns T-Shirts that I wear with my Chanel

 

Art Director BenjiRichDesigns

BenjiRich’s Graphic Design degree, and illustration (logo and branding) speciality afforded him the opportunity to perfectly marry with his motion graphics, videography, and 3D design background.  During his tenure with an undisclosed agency his clients included the NBA, New Balance, and Reebok.   Aside from being my personal web designer Richard also designed the backdrop for a live text to screen background during the Kevin Hart NBA Allstar 2016 after party in Toronto.  BenjiRichDesigns was also the Art director for VIP jewelry in Toronto, created logo/branding, and marketing videos for an indie record label by the name of  globe trotta records in Los Angeles.  Upcoming projects for this media expert are, vinyl toys, a clothing line and his uppermidsole blog that I will expand on when it launches.

*Fun Fact did you know that a BenjiRichDesigns t-shirt was custom made and  expedited for a movie star while he was filming in Boston?

Contact BenjiRichDesigns Creative via email: reubanks82@gmail.com

www.BenjiRich.ca

www.uppermidsole.com

www.hoopsontario.ca

 

Grammy Award Winner and Jazz Legend Wynton Marsalis

 

Perks working on my Birthday meeting Mello! Natalie, Carmelo Anthony and Belinda Munro

 

Hearts on Fire Jewelry designer Ilaria Lanzoni and Natalie

 

DJ Liz Ladoux and Natalie

 

Natalie, Michael K. Williams, David Kenneth Sommerville

 

Natalie, Bevy Smith

 

DJ Baby Yu and Natalie

 

 

Luxury Personal Shopper, Stylist, Lifestyle Expert and  CEO of Luxshop4u

In my world, we the community are on international tours styled by me, receiving life time achievement awards, walking red carpets, nominated for Grammys, charting music billboards and getting inducted into the Music Hall of Fame! My fashion expertise is put to use and my music ear is called.  Jorge Milliano and Benji Rich told me to add myself on here! I prefer to be behind the scenes!

Different phases of my website will be introduced in many capsules, I am not one thing I have been trained in many areas and will exercise my talents.  Read more about me in my bio!

 

 

Belinda Munro

 

Vincent and Belinda Founders of Jazz Houston

 

President Bill Clinton and International Singer Belinda Munro

 

Belinda Munro

This is an exciting year for International singer and song writer Belinda Munro!  She married her soul mate Vincent Gardner and their love story was featured in the Munaluchi Bride Magazine.  Belinda and Vincent are about to embark upon their August 2017 Australian Tour.  When Belinda is not on stage backing up Grammy award winning artists or singing at private charity functions and galas she is working on her long awaited album and building Jazz Houston the Arts organization that she and her husband founded.

“Belinda’s voice is angelic. Her sultry and uplifting vocals are enough to feed your soul”

NY Post

To learn more about Belinda Munro  visit www.BelindaMunro.com

Follow Belinda on Instagram @Iambelindamunro

 

 

Shellee Mendes and Oprah Winfrey article in the Boston Globe & Mail

 

 

Photo from Braintree www.Wicked Local.com

 

 

Shellee Mendes and Malcolm Butler

 

Shellee Mendes Salon Monet

Hard work should never go unnoticed!  Salon Monet owner Shellee Mendes’ photo was recently inducted into the African American Museum on Joy Street, Boston Ma.  Shortly after celebrating this occasion she had a once in a lifetime experience of meeting Media Mogul Oprah Winfrey.  When she is not working on movie sets or in Salon Monet you will find Shellee volunteering or attending fundraisers.

The Salon Monet staff are one of the most sought after hair stylists in Back Bay.  Services that they provide are highlights, blow dry, hair extensions, hair cut, eyelash extensions and many more.

To book an appointment at this award winning salon please visit www.SalonMonet.com or 176 Newbury St, Boston, Ma
Follow salon Monet on Instagram @SalonMonet @ShelleeMendes
To read more about Shellee Mendes visit

*Boston Globe’s article with Oprah Winfrey https://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/names/2017/07/20/newbury-street-salon-owner-sets-sail-with-oprah/

Braintree http;//braintree.wickedlocal.com/news/20170622/braintree-residents-newbury-street-salon-gains-high-honors

 

 

Alec Tavares from The Compound

 

 

Alec Tavares

 

Alec Tavares

Reasons that you may not know him, is because he prefers to remain behind the scenes.  A former contributor to XXL Magazine, you can now find Alec’s work on The Compound and Luxshop4u.

To read his work visit

Follow Alec on Instagram @TheLegendReal and read his current post on www.thecompoundblog.com

 

 

 

Glam Expressway in Dumbo, Brooklyn

 

 

 

Glam Expressway

 

 

The Shiloh Statement Necklace

 

 

Glam Expressway

 

Glam Expressway Lindsay Stuart

Business Mogul Lindsay Stuart is taking the world by storm!
This busy wife and mother of two girls, is a host on HSN and has a record for selling over $12,000 Tortuga Rum Cakes during a short period of time.
You should get to know her because she is also a talented makeup artist and founder of Glam Expressway accessories/clothing boutique in Dumbo Brooklyn.  With her celebrity following you may never know who you will see shopping in Glam Expressway.  When Lindsay is not jet setting for work, with girlfriends or family you will see Glam Expressway featured in Cosmo, Latina, Huffington Post, The A-List, Celebuzz, ET, OK and In Touch Magazine.

To order Lyndsay’s Tortuga Rum Cakes visit www.HSN.com
To shop Glam Expressway visit 145 Jay Street, Brooklyn, New York. www.shopglamexpressway.com

 

André with his client International Singer Belinda Munro

 

Millinery Designer Extraordinaire André at his fashion show

Christine Designs by André Millinery 

André creates handmade couture fascinators and hats.  His Atelier hat making approach has his clients flocking to him like bees on honey.  Andre’s work was most recently photographed during our dear friends Belinda Munro and Vincent Gardner’s wedding.

For inquiries visit André on https://m.facebook.com/DesignsbyAndre/

 

 

John Golden

 

Super Nova John Golden

Shoe Specialist and Stylist for a luxury retailer

John is an international socialite known for his eclectic fashion and Basquiat dreadlocks.  I first met him at a Gucci Ghost party in Boston.  His approach to fashion is to break down gender specific clothing.  When John is not in London or Japan you can find him inside the most coveted invitation only Fashion parties.
How to contact him?   John prefers not to have a social media account however you will find him photographed in local magazines.  This supernova makes his appearance everywhere and slowly hides into obscurity until he is ready to resurge.  In the above photo I decided to photograph his aesthetics from behind to get a candid view of him on the go!

 

Mr. Phillips and Jorge Milliano

 

Dj 38 and Mr. Phillips

 

Jowell, J Balvin and Randy

 

Luny Tunes & Baby Ranks

 

Frankie J Obsession (No Es Amor) featuring Baby Bash

 

Reggaeton Artist, Song Writer and Music Producer Mr. Phillips

Mr. Phillips is a highly sought after song writer, artist and music producer.  Raised in Santurce Puerto Rico, and born in Rio Piedras to a Puerto Rican mother and Trinidadian father.  Alvin better known as Mr.Phillips’ melodic yet raspy voice captured the hearts of millions  with his  “Spatoanglish” fusion of Jamaican patois and Spanish in his lyrics.  Working with Francisco Saldaña (Luny) from Luny Tunes allowed his work to be  featured on a CD compilation called Mas Flow2 with Frankie J for the hit song Obsession (No Es Amor).  Chart topping artists that received Mr. Phillips magic touch are Angel López, Alexis Y Fido, Mr. Vegas, Dmanti, Notch, Baby Ranks, Cobra, Jay Sean, Tito El Bambino, Tony Dize, Wisin y Yandel, Don Omar, El Rookie, Cynthia Antigua, Eddy Lover, Flex, Kevin Little, Yaga and Mackie.  Mega producers who worked with Mr.Phillips are Nely “The secret weapon,” Tainy, Nesty, Bones, Eliel, Luny Tunes, Preacher, Anx and Jorge Milliano. We look forward to the completion of his new Album and the Vertigo album by Jorge Milliano.

Visit Mr. Phillips on www.soundcloud.com/Mr-Phillips

To hear the new song that he wrote for J Balvin Featuring Jowell Y Randy visit https://m.soundcloud.com/jorgemilliano/j-balvin-feat-jowell-randy-bonita-jorge-milliano-remix

Follow Mr. Phillips on Instagram @officialmrphillips

 

Jorge Milliano

 

Jorge on a secret location in Star Island

 

Jorge “Jorge” Milliano

 

Guelostar and Ivy Queen

Jorge Milliano

You know his chart topping hits and the star studded artists who he’s worked with.  Since our last post (read La Musica Part 2)  Jorge flew back to Miami to produce a song for J Balvin Featuring Jowell Y Randy.  Spring 2017 Jorge and I kept on telling each other that it is going to be a cruel summer because our schedules were booked.  My schedule consisted of styling, consultations, scouting locations for designers and clothes for the talent that I work with and for Jorge it was a back to back summer of producing.  Just last week one of his dreams came true recently by working with Jamaican reggae legend General Degree.  Expect to hear new music from General Degree, Mr. Phillip’s EPK and Jorge’s Vertigo Album later on this year.

 

 

Jenn & Big Papi

Fashion Rescue Fundraiser

 

Perfect for Bachelorette parties and birthdays

 

Jennifer Nguyen

Jennifer owns Jennifer Nails on 161 and 224 Newbury Street. Services provided range from waxing, manicure and pedicure, hosting celebratory events (weddings, birthdays).  Giving back to her community by supporting her favorite charities is very dear to her as shown above.  Visit Jennifer’s Nails this summer.  Tell her that Natalie from Luxshop4u referred you!

visit www.jennifersnailsalon.com

Follow Jennifer on Instagram @Jen_nguyen224

 

Super Hero Music

Music to help me write

 

Today I was writing my Q and A for a music icon and I had writers block!  I quickly put on my super hero music to get me going! Listed below in no particular order is my writers block playlist.

 

Black Star Mos Def & Talib Kweli

I wrote an essay that received an A in college. I had Knowledge Of Self (Determintation) on repeat!

 

Maybach Music III

Maybach Music III (featuring T.I, Jadakiss & Erykah Badu) “I came alive like a month in the summer time” This quote re energizes me each and every time!

 

Wouldn’t Matter Where You Are

“He said travel anywhere your life takes you, he said chase your visions over the rainbow, your free to go.” This quote explains itself.

 

Expansion

Lonnie Liston  Smith & The Cosmic Echoes said it best! “Expand your mind, to understand we all must live in peace…”  this song has an upbeat jazz rhythm that reminds me to relax! Not to mention that it is timeless!

 

Roses

“When Im down I just draw some roses, on a pretty piece of paper.” Mos Def & Georgia Anne Muldrow

 

Swing

“I don’t hate players, I’m from the crown rhyme sayers.. I play my cards shark style kings and aces. Welcome to New York the illest of all places.” This line gives me a boost of energy reminding me of who I am and to snap out of my writers block!

 

Comment below and let me know what your go to songs are!

 

 

Guest contributer Alec Tavares

COMPOUND EDITION “CHARLIE GRIN” RELEASE PARTY

 

When I meet taste makers who share the same interest as myself I like to share their talent! I am excited to introduce Alec Tavares. Alec is a freelance marketer and writer who currently works with The Compound. The Compound is a creative agency that helps creative individuals and companies execute their projects. Take a look at what Alec and The Compound allowed me to share with the Luxshop4u community!

 

Bringing together the art and hip-hop world in co-creative fashion, The Compound has once again, pushed the culture forward!

6/1/2017  Concepts provided the setting for a celebration for the release of Compound x Ron English x Made by Monsters Final Edition Charlie Grin.  The Hip Hop culture came out to be a part of history.

Lenny Santiago from Roc Nation wearing denim.

 

 

The toy release was hosted by Lenny S. from Roc Nation and YS warmed up the crowd for DJ Enuff who provided the soundtrack for the evening.

 

Dj Enuff

 

Alec Tavares pictured here on the left. Alec use to blog for XXL Magazine.

 

Sheek Louch, DJ Enuff

 

 

 

The final edition of Charlie Grin has opened new doors and welcomed new fans, bringing out avid toy collectors and hip hop fans.  This final Charlie Grin is a more than just a collector’s toy; it is a piece of history for the culture, and beginning of a new trend for Hip Hop.

 

 

 

With such high demand for this historical piece bridging modern art and Hip Hop, you cannot help but wonder what’s next-but be certain; there will be a next! Stay tuned, The Compound is just getting started!

 

I would like to thank The Compound blog for sharing this fun event with us! Thank you Alec Tavares for covering this story and thank you to photographers Deuce Pearsall @go2deuce, Oluwaseye Olusa, Antwon Walker and Jimmy Giambrone.

www.thecompoundblog.com

Upholstery King

 

Juki Industrial Sewing Machine

 

If you live in the Greater Toronto Area then chances are your sofa, love seats or beds were made by my father over the past 40 years. Working in the world of luxury fashion I admire the time and skill that it takes to create beautiful merchandise. I deciced to interview my father to honor his legacy and his contribution to fashion and upholstery.

Natalie: Daddio, I always receive complements about my vast knowledge of textiles I have you and Pauline to thank.

Upholstery King: That’s great I made a lot of custom chesterfields in my life.

Natalie: How old were you when you became a tailor and what inspired you to design?

Upholstery King: Oh my goodness, when I became a tailor? I started at the age of 16. Nat, I just went to school it was something that I needed to do.

Natalie: Who taught you how to sew?

Upholstery King: I don’t remember my teachers name it was several years ago in Jamaica at a tailor school.

Natalie: Did you know that you would have a lifelong career working with fabric?

Upholstery King: No, no one thinks that way! The professionals say that careers change every 10 yrs. I couldn’t predict that I would make a career out of this.

Natalie: Why did you decide to leave tailoring and enter the world of upholstery?

Upholstery King: The Market changed and became mass produced. Factory’s took away our trade. When the market changes you have to adapt to change or you get left behind.

Natalie: How many years have you been in this industry?

Upholstery King: For over 53 years

Natalie: As young children we would have to go with you to showrooms and fabric stores that were closed to the public. I didn’t realize then what a privilege that was. Touching textiles, piping, learning about different needles to use for leather etc.

Upholstery King: I didn’t realize that you guys would learn from that! I wanted you to become something else and not a tailor I didn’t realize that you guys were watching me!

Natalie: Your very business smart and you know your worth. What’s your recipe for negotiating your price?

Upholstery King: Know the cost of what the materials are going for. Here’s an example, if the material is $20 per yard vs $5 you need to charge accordingly. It is very important to charge based on the fabric that you use. If the person doesn’t like it then bye, bye they can work with someone else I am too experienced and my time is valuable!

Natalie: Your talent speaks for itself and vendors always seek your talent for collaborations. How does it feel?

Upholstery King: I feel ok about it!

Natalie: What advice would you give young designers?

Upholstery King: Stay the course if you set your mind to something stay the course it’s a tough job but if you have the mind for it then why not!

Natalie: Dad that’s great you are going to help a lot of people with this I cannot wait to share! Congratulaions on your retirement

Upholstery King: Well that’s great I hope that you have my check!

 

*Photo credit Dani Blue

**Special thank you to Super K, BenjiRich, Miss Bev, Pauline and Disco

***Ken thanks for not spazzing out when I wore your clothes I was the coolest Tomboy in school because of you! I learned so much in menswear and your influence did not go unnoticed. Miss Bev thank you for teaching me everything that I know about luxury!