The Wing West Hollywood!

Since 2016 I have been following the growth of the “members-only women-focused working space”, called The Wing. From it’s inception, I knew it would be revolutionary. They just opened up their seventh location here in West Hollywood after popular demand. The first club opened up in NYC and has spread to Chicago, San Franciso, D.C., and soon there will be locations in London, Toronto, Boston and Seattle.

Co-Founders Audrey Gelman and Lauren Kassan got the concept from a group called The Women’s Club movement founded in the 19th and early 20th century. This club was important because it was a group where women could motivate and comfort one another in such difficult times. This movement spread across the nation and created groups that still exist today! But now in 2019, all of these aspects are what gave birth to The Wing.

Now when I say everything at The Wing is geared towards women, I mean EVERYTHING! You can drop your child off at the daycare, make a quick stop to the pumping room, do your hair and make-up, hold meetings over lunch, and take conference calls all in the same place! Often working mothers find it hard to balance everything and the women of The Wing realized this and made things so easily accessible. Even the books in the library are all either written by women or are about women. Another cool thing is that the conference rooms are all named after influential women in pop culture to keep in line with the Hollywood theme. For instance there are conference rooms named after “Princess Leia of Star Wars, C.J. Cregg of The West Wing, Lydia Deetz of Beetlejuice and Dora The Explorer”.  Even the building itself is catered toward women, according to reports, the AC and furniture are set to favor women’s body shapes and temperatures!

The Wing is also a great place for women trying to make connections in the industry. Hollywood, is extremely male dominated. As we have seen in the news, woman who are trying to make a name for themselves are constantly harassed and threatened. The West Hollywood location partnered with Time’s Up to assure that this is a safe and comfortable space for women to build their own careers on their own time. There are even several female entertainers that hold the title of Co-Founder at The Wing West Hollywood. These women include “Mindy Kaling, Jessica Alba, Katy Perry, Shonda Rhimes, Maya Rudolph, Amandla Stenberg, Busy Phillips, Laverne Cox, Sharon Stone, Sarah Silverman, Margaret Cho,  Gabourey Sidibe, Hari Nef, Gia Coppola, Rodarte designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy; Hollywood stylists Karla Welch and Jamie Mizrahi, 42 West publicist Leslee Dart, and ID PR’s Kelly Bush Novak.”

Even if you are settled business wise, it’s also a great place to create friendships with like-minded women! Being that Los Angeles is such wide-spanning city with so many people to meet, this is the perfect place to do so. You can even grab a bite to eat from the “women-run and women-staffed” cafe!

I hope I get to visit The Wing sometime soon, or even become a member one day! I look forward to the growth and success of The Wing. Read more about it here!

Chloe Wise: Artist Extraordinaire

I’ve been a fan of Eric Wareheim for quite some time and always enjoy following his escapades on Instagram. In doing so I continued to see the same girl pop up in his videos, named Chloe Wise.

In this world of social media we see a lot of people who kind of just exist. I was over the moon to see she was nothing like that, and had both personality, and purpose! I was especially thrilled to see that she was an extremely talented and witty young female artist. 

My favorite thing about her art is that her humor comes through her pieces. According to Wikipedia “Wise often critiques consumer culture, commercialization, “ideas of ‘wellness'”, and the self-construction of identity. Wise employs comedic, satirical, and self deprecating strategies while using references to art history”. Basically, her subject matter is right up my alley! She is able to accomplish this through various mediums, but works mostly with sculpture and oil on canvas. I admire the fact that she is always herself and translates that into awesome pieces of artwork.

As someone who studied and practiced art for many years, I found it hard to constantly come up with new ideas. With each piece, Chloe hits the nail on the head. They are well understood and fascinating to look at. Though I don’t draw or sculpt much these days, I love to watch Chloe go through her creative process on Instagram. I also love to just watch her daily stories because she is really fun and f**cking hilarous! 

Chloe Wise is on the track to being a huge success, her fresh take on the culture we live in is always exciting. She is one of my favorite people to watch and I’m always to eager to see what she comes up with next! Check out all of her artwork on her website, www.chloewise.com.

Skate Culture

I remember when I was about ten years old my dad bought me a skateboard. I know part of the reason was because of a little song called “Sk8tr Boi”, but I was already pretty active. I loved to ride mountain bikes, four wheelers, go-karts, and more without any fear! But for some reason I could never let go of the fear of hurting myself on a skateboard. 

Tony Hawk was the most recognizable skateboarder at the time and every boy and even a few girls wanted to be just like him – me included! However, I could never let go and learn. 

Though I do not skate myself, I have an extreme admiration toward the skate culture. It really is enjoyable to see the camaraderie among the men and women in the skate community. From it’s inception in the 1970’s, the Z-Boys objective was just to have fun and land tricks in empty pools.

Of course now skateboarding has evolved to much more. Now there are different sponsors, competitions and even magazines (shout out to Jake Phelps) dedicated to the sport. It has become it’s own “counter culture”, but the core values remain the same. 

One of the most memorable things I have ever watched on TV was King of the Road. This annual two week long “skate scavenger hunt”, first began in 2003 but was created into a VICELAND television show a few years back. This is how I was exposed to it, and I was hooked. Even if it took hours for someone to land a trick, they’d wait it out and give their support. Despite the broken bones and oozing blood, it was awesome to see how each team supported each other and how much fun they had together.

Though the sport just recently added women’s divisions, even the female boarders have always supported each other. I remember one episode of KOTR, each team was given three mystery guests who were all women, those of which the all male cast was hyped to have on their their team. It was awesome to see them be recognized based on their talent first, rather than their gender. 

All of that being said, even though the cops and the older generations might look down on skateboarding, it’s without a doubt a pretty cool and inspirational sport. There’s just something so f**king exhilarating about watching them land those tricks! Even though I never let go of my own fears and put both feet on the board, I love following the culture of skateboarding and seeing how fearless they are. The way skaters push themselves is the type of mentality that I believe people should have toward most things in life! 

Sunday Brunch at Soho House

This Sunday I had brunch at Soho House West Hollywood! Now Soho House might not necessarily be a familiar name to the masses, but it is one of the most exclusive members only clubs in Hollywood. 

In order to even get inside you must either be a member or know a member. Luckily I do!  So I was able to attend one of their regular Sunday brunches. The food was delicious of course, and the live music set the perfect ambiance for a wonderful Sunday afternoon. We were enjoying ourselves so much that we stayed through dinner! Every time I come to Soho House I have to get the guacamole. I’m not sure what kind of magical avocados they make theirs with but it is bomb!

As we were leaving they began to set up for Drag Bingo, one of the many exciting events on the Soho House schedule. I’m hoping to get a front row seat to the Game of Thrones viewing next Sunday. While we were there, we even got to take a peek at their new Mexican inspired restaurant, Maya!

Besides the amazing food, the coolest thing about going to Soho House is seeing the celebrities just being themselves and being comfortable among like-minded individuals. Soho House members tend to be on the innovative and creative side, so there’s never an uptight vibe. Most places celebrities go to they will be hounded with fans or paparazzi asking to take photos, but photos are strictly prohibited in all Soho House Clubs (so of course these are not my photos!)

Soho house is a hidden gem that has been around for ages and not just in West Hollywood! There are locations in Malibu, London, New York, Toronto, and even soon Hong Kong! Now obviously I can’t give much detail about who I have seen there or where it is specifically located, but what I can tell you is that Soho House is the place to be! 

Crate Diggin’ – Do You Recognize These Samples?

I’m a self proclaimed music head, I love nearly every genre and era of music! One of my favorite things to do is to figure out which songs certain musicians sampled. 

It’s always cool to hear how they flipped a classic track and put their own spin on it.

Listen to the playlist below and see if you can identity who sampled these songs!

Ron Stallworth: The Real BlacKkKlansman

In my lifetime I have met a lot of celebrities, and rarely do I ever get starstruck. However, this week I had the pleasure of meeting the legendary Ron Stallworth and his lovely wife Patsy at my job… I was completely speechless!

To many of you, the name Ron Stallworth doesn’t immediately ring a bell, but I’m sure BlacKkKlansman does. Mr. Stallworth is the BlacKkKlansman, thats right… he is the actual man who infiltrated the KKK! Now unless you live under a rock and have NOT heard this story, read more about his story and the movie here.

Now I’m not too sure why they were visiting the office, but from what I can tell, Mr. Stallworth is one of the kindest and most humble people I’ve ever met! It was truly an honor to meet such an influential figure. THESE are the people we should be learning about in school!

Fashion Files: Coachella Edition

To those who are unfamiliar, Coachella is a music festival that has been around for nearly twenty years! The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival  (better known now as just “Coachella”) started off as a three day concert for indie bands and artists, but has grown to be a yearly pop culture frenzy. Sadly I have not gotten a chance to attend Coachella. My dear brother and I were supposed to go last year. He bailed and I MISSED BEYCHELLA, something I will be sure to remind him of until the end of time… 

Though I have not gotten a chance to be a part of the experience, I always enjoy looking at the fashion. It is held in Indio, CA – aka the hot a** desert, so I feel that it’s essential to wear something light, comfortable, and most importantly stylish! 

Here are a few of my favorite outfits from the past few years! 

How Drag Inspires Me

A few years back I was flipping through channels looking for something to watch, and I landed on something called Rupaul’s Drag Race. Being born in the nineties I had already heard of Rupaul because of many appearances on different TV programs and famous song “Supermodel (You Better Work)”, but I thought to myself “why the heck is Rupaul racing cars?

Once I tuned in I was obsessed! Not just because of the fashion and drama, (which is always on point let me add!), but because of what drag meant to them. On the show, we get to hear many stories about the struggles they endure in their personal lives. Many have been shunned from their families because of their sexuality and “lifestyle choices”, which is upsetting. Despite these tragedies, I feel as though the show is a great platform to boost both their careers and confidence!

While I can’t relate to losing communication with my family based on my sexuality (I am a straight black woman with a great family dynamic), I can relate to how important it is to them to form a family of their own because of it. My mother has always taught me how important it is to embrace positive people and how many yearn for a positive family dynamic. After watching dozens of episodes, I decided to inform myself on the history of drag.

For many of the queens, dressing in drag is an outlet and a way of expressing their true selves. Queens like Divine, Lady Bunny, Lavern Cummings, and of course Rupaul paved the way for future queens to live unapologetically. Because as Mama Ru always says, “If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else?”

I will always find myself enamored by the art of drag and will always have the utmost respect for these ladies and their talents!

Changing the Perspective: Women in Advertisements

After hearing the plot of the show on an episode of CNN’s The 2000’s, I decided to watch Mad Men on Netflix. I am only on season 2, but from what I can see the female characters on the show balance out the crude remarks their male counterparts often make. I find myself cringing at their behavior, but it is still somewhat of a reality in the year 2019. Though us women are finally in the forefront of different companies and organizations, we still hear the same remarks the boys of Sterling & Cooper made in the sixties and seventies.

Not only were their remarks sexist, but their advertisements were too. They would assume all women had no other aspirations besides being a housewife or would put them in a light were the were only seen as an object. Mad Men of course is a television show, but it is accurate in its display on how women were represented in advertisements in the sixties.

Recently Budweiser, a company that boasts a predominately female marketing team, re-vamped some of their advertisements from the fifties and sixties to reflect women in a more positive light. Monica Rustgi, the VP of Marketing for Budweiser (and long time friend of mine!) spoke to Ad Age about the campaign. “For us, it’s all about using our past to really serve as a launch pad showing women in a more balanced fashion,” Rustgi states.

This is a fantastic move. It is always great to see women reflected in an accurate and relatable point of view. I also believe that this will set off waves for other big brands to move in the same direction. I hope to see more advertisements like this in the near future!