Models from all walks of life graced the “runway” for the 2018 Global Runway Atlanta fashion presentation—sporting pieces from well-known brands like Brooks Brothers, Spanx, Sean John, and ExOfficio. Each model had their own distinctive style giving you a wide range of vibes from suburban, preppy to the latest chic, effortless fashions.

“My team wanted to ensure we embodied the essence of each brand. For example, ExOfficio is a travel apparel brand, so when we styled the models selected for this show, we ensured [that] we included key accessories that really told the story about why the brand exists. Our team also styled the selected items to ensure they were on trend, giving the audience a sense of what is cool to wear in the marketplace today,” explained Fashion Entrepreneur and Wardrobe Stylist Robert “MiddleMan Fresh” Flood, of the Middleman Styling Firm.

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Most 13-year olds haven’t entered the workforce just yet, but Victor “Beau” Shell, 13 of Athens, Georgia is going on his seventh year in business as the Lil’ Ice Cream Dude. As the owner and CEO of Lil’ Ice Cream Dude, Beau has grown and expanded his ice cream truck business and will soon be opening his very own ice cream store called, Lil’ Ice Cream Dude’s Cool World, in his hometown.

When Beau was only seven years old, he approached his parents and told them about his dreams of owning an ice cream cart and sharing his favorite treat with his community. Thinking it was only a passing phase, his parents did not rush out to buy ice cream carts. But Beau’s passion for ice cream and being an entrepreneur was not fleeting and Beau was persistent.

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Band of Outsiders is a preppy clothing line. But hold your horses, shouldn’t their brand be named something like ‘band of insiders,’ due to the fact that top designers tend to be elitist and make their clothing for the in crowd? After all, fashion is all about setting the standard for what everyone should be wearing.

However, this is not the case for Scott Sternberg’s brand. His company seeks to be something other than fashion. By paying homage to the classic American preppy style, Band of Outsiders doesn’t overtly hit you over the head with flamboyant colors, plunging necklines and big shoulders. Rather, they casually understate their uniqueness through ironic pop culture references that are consciously veiled within their marketing materials and the design of the clothing. Sternberg is the whispering rebel behind this preppy movement and his focus is on a careful hand in the production of his garments. His sardonic vibes have gathered quite a following, including celebrity fans Kirsten Dunst, Aziz Ansari and Karlie Kloss, while obtaining a new idea of preppy.

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Although R&B may seem like it’s taken a backseat to other genres, the first lady of Dreamville Records Ari Lennox refuses to let it die. Her neo-soul sound and down to earth vibe gives her the relatable edge that many artists seem to lack these days. Lennox got her first taste of fame on YouTube, where she has 33 thousand subscribers, and used to upload covers of popular songs. She has remade songs like “Drunk in Love,” by Beyoncé and “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay,” by Otis Redding. Lennox would add her own flavor to the songs by slowing them down and changing up the beat. Her smoky vocals have a very wide range that allows her covers to sound unique and fit her soulful demeanor.

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Artwork can overwhelm you with emotion or bring up certain memories from your past. When I first saw artist Richard Hart’s painting of an individual, that seems to be a woman based on the facial features, gazing blankly into the distance with what looks like the weight of the world on her shoulders, I immediately felt her pain.

The painting was inspired by a picture of a sculpture created by author Malvina Hoffman. I couldn’t stop staring at this one particular piece of art. The eyes in Hart’s painting drew me in and allowed me to feel a sense of sadness and loss of hope.The simplicity of the colors blue, black and white somewhat represent a darkness that hangs over them.  Around her eyes, there’s a huge presence of the colors black and dark blue, demonstrating she’s tired and possibly feeling defeated. There’s a small amount of the color white in her eyes that could be illustrating just a small bit of optimism, that things could still get better.

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“In all that I do, I look to honor and obey God.”

Kareem “Biggs” Burke, a powerful entrepreneur, revealed his purpose in an interview with Black Enterprise. Whether it is through his work on the fashion scene and business world or with his philanthropic work with humanity, through his organization New Canaan Society, Biggs has found many ways to impact the lives of people around the world through his mission.

Burke has been active in the business world since the mid-1990s, with his former business partner, rapper and businessman, Jay-Z. Biggs and Jay-Z co-founded Roc-A-Fella Records and Rocawear Clothing, which are both a part of the Roc-A-Fella empire. With Jay-Z being the face of the companies and Biggs working in the background, their companies have been very successful in both the fashion and music industries.

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With more than 65 million views just five days after its release, Donald Glover’s “This is America,” has the internet buzzing. The video, which has been repeatedly called “genius, shows Glover as his alter ego “Childish Gambino” dancing with a group of African children while violent, terroristic and war-like incidents are taking place all around them.

Left open-ended and with little resolve, the video ends with Gambino running from the madness as a mob chases him (which resembles a scene  in Jordan Peele’s Get Out). It’s jarring and disturbing yet intriguing and compelling as well. The lyrics, like the video, tell a story of complicated contrasts. There are parties and guns, guerilla warfare and dancing, high-class consumerism and contraband, all in one video.  “What Gambino put together is a true picture of America where so many of us get to dance and sing and laugh and create,” journalist Isaac Bailey of CNN explained. “All the while others are largely ignored and trapped in the background, struggling and sometimes dying in a sea of ugliness that many of us would rather not acknowledge, knowing it would ruin the pretty pictures we’d rather focus on.” Evoking the transformative power of art and dance,  Glover as Childish Gambino puts America on display and instead of home of the free and the brave, we’ve become home of the ying and the yang.

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Since the 18th century, the industrial revolution industry has created a way of life that harms nature, from deforestation to air pollution. Many political advocacy groups, like the Environmental Defense Fund, have taken action to reduce industrial growth, while others have decided to let their voice be heard in a different way.

North Carolina based contemporary artist Brian Mashburn uses his artwork to express his feelings about the matter. Mashburn is known for his hyperrealistic oil paintings, which typically depict a post-apocalyptic world, in which animals habitats are encroached upon by human activity, and human beings are few in numbers. At first glance, his pieces portray beautiful scenes of nature, but the meaning behind his work runs a little deeper. The artist showcases the beauty of the environment by including animals and outdoor scenery in his paintings. He then brings you back to reality by displaying the negative effects of urbanization, while maintaining the fact that nature and industrial urban areas coexist. Though they exist in the same space, they appear to be on different scales.

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