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Meet the Black woman designing the WNBA’s coolest apparel, Andscape

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Founder and owner of the streetwear brand Playa Society Esther Wallace she all the time knew what was occurring in women’s basketball. Her latest clothing collaboration of the WNBA pays tribute to those that helped construct the buzz around women’s basketball.

“We knew we were awesome,” Wallace said. “But we’re glad the rest of the world is catching up. This collection pays tribute to those who made it – the players, the creators – everyone who knew we were cool and did the work to get us here.”

The Summer 2024 collection features a cream hoodie and T-shirt with the words “If You’re Just Now Tuning Into Women’s Basketball, We Told You So” in the WNBA orange colorway. The products can be available on the brand’s website from Friday. The slogan describes Wallace’s partnership with the Playa Society and her commitment to elevating players.

For Wallace, who also designed a brand new clothing line for the Golden State Valkyries, that is his second collaboration with the WNBA this month. The Valkyries are an affiliate team of the Golden State Warriors in the WNBA and one among them two latest expansion teams inducted into the WNBA since 2008. Named after a gaggle of female warriors from Norse mythology, the team will play its first season in 2025. The clothes are already left sold out twice because it was first released.

Wallace told Andscape he doesn’t have words to explain the opportunity to work so closely with the WNBA, but it surely’s been an extended time coming.

Golden State Valkyries T-shirt by Playa Society.

Briele Chanel

“I don’t even think it’s a flattering word,” Wallace told Andscape. “I don’t know what words to use. To (tentatively) receive an email from the Golden State Warriors” – the two teams share an office – “to keep up with those early conversations like, ‘we don’t have a name yet, we don’t know what it’s going to look like yet, but we know we want some Playa Society merchandise”, it was cool.

Wallace wasn’t stressed about how all the pieces got here together for her Valkyrie clothing collection. Yes, she was creating works before the band had a reputation, but these are her favorite projects. Everything she did at Playa Society prepared her for this.

“It’s like playing clutch, right?” Wallace said. “Quarter four and I got to finish the project and then see everyone’s reaction and how much everyone liked the product, which was cool because I was like, OK, I did it in quarter four and I got the win. It was special.”

Even as a toddler, Wallace knew she desired to design clothes. “I was that kid who walked around with a sketchbook,” she recalls. “I took it everywhere. It was my whole childhood.” She began sewing clothes for herself and even assumed that she would go to review at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

In January 2018, Esther Wallace launched her streetwear brand Playa Society. The company’s name was inspired by a scene from the movie

Briele Chanel

“However,” Wallace said, “I was very tall.” While people round her urged her to play basketball, she insisted on becoming a designer. “I was very stubborn.”

It wasn’t until she dropped out of performing arts highschool, where she began studying costume design, that she began to wonder what her life on the court may be like.

“All my friends went to regular public school, and I dropped out after about three days and ended up going there,” Wallace said. “I didn’t realize the school had the No. 1 girls basketball team in the state and a few of the top basketball players in the country. Of course, I didn’t know that because I wasn’t eager about basketball in any respect.

She was convinced to take up basketball during her sophomore 12 months of school and went to a basketball game at the University of Massachusetts (Wallace is from nearby Springfield). UMass played against Temple, which was a life-changing experience for her.

“This is Temple, where Dawn Staley trains,” Wallace explained. “So I see Dawn Staley on the sidelines, Candace Dupree, who was playing at the time, and all these black girls. I say to myself, “Oh my God, this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.” All he needed to do was see Staley and her team and Wallace forgot about design.

Wallace thought she would play basketball so long as possible after which coach. During her master’s studies, she played abroad. “I wrote my master’s thesis on the misrepresentation and underrepresentation of women’s sports in sports advertising.”

Although Wallace maintains that she wasn’t desirous about starting an organization at the time, “someone at one point asked, ‘Why don’t you solve this problem?’ “

From that moment on, she began to assume what it could be like if, as a substitute of coaching women’s basketball, she could design and influence women’s basketball. Wallace returned to the United States in 2014 and went to work.

“I started playing around with my own screen printing designs, I tried to build my own printing machine, but it was a disaster,” she said.

Instead, Wallace designed the pieces and took them to be printed. In 2017, she developed a straightforward but direct T-shirt. The word “woman” has been crossed out above the word “athlete” on a separate line. The business took off.

“When I was designing it, I had a feeling it could probably be big,” she said. “So at first I was nervous about putting it out there because I wasn’t sure, but I finally put it out there and all of a sudden I was selling hundreds of these T-shirts.”

Initially, she printed the T-shirts in batches of 40-50 pieces, and when those sold out, she increased the variety of T-shirts to 100 pieces. The T-shirts simply sold out. “When I started selling them, it was on tables at the market. Something like that, but when I put it on the Internet, I was selling hundreds of things like that.”

That’s when it became clear to Wallace what he wanted to construct the brand around. She gave herself two months to develop Playa Society as an idea, name and brand.

Wallace said she knew she needed an appointment. Otherwise she would never have decided to publish anything. “I assumed wherever you were could be adequate. I kept telling myself the same thing,” she added. “I’m a perfectionist and I could just separate things endlessly.”

Playa Society was established in January 2018. The company’s name was inspired by a scene from the movie.

“Like a lot of young black girls, I was obsessed with ,” Wallace said. “Is this scene when Monica gets excited in the automotive, she says, “I’m a ball game.” This conversation was always the essence of what I wanted to create – just defending it at that moment was the energy I needed. The “ball playa” part really stood out. I wanted (my brand) to be rooted in community, so I played around with what that language could appear to be, and eventually I got here across Playa Society.”

Wallace launched her brand, and WNBA players embraced it almost immediately. In April 2018, it was worn by WNBA star Candace Parker “Sportsman” T-shirt. on former NBA player Kevin Garnett’s show on TNT. It was a giant moment for Wallace, personally and professionally.

“The message was attached to her for some reason. It gave me some energy and enthusiasm to continue,” she added. “I was giving jerseys to all the NBA players at a time when no other brand was thinking about the WNBA or women’s basketball, so I was building those connections.”

At one point in the summer of 2018, all of the WNBA players were wearing Wallace uniforms because the National Women’s Basketball Association bought them from her, and getting the players’ support meant loads to them. “Sue Bird was one of my first clients. Sylvia Fowles. Natasha Cloud always buys,” Wallace said, naming a few of her early supporters.

For Wallace, having that support simply made her wish to push harder for her girls. In 2020 (COVID-19 lockdown), she left her job at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she was chargeable for marketing. It was the biggest risk she had ever taken, but that summer she sold “thousands” of “The Athlete” T-shirt, which was still her principal product at the time.

The following summer, Wallace had a probability to check with someone in the WNBA and pitched the idea of ​​working with the Playa Society. Wallace said she treated the conversation as practice for the future, but the WNBA liked her ideas. “They said, ‘Yes!’ and I thought, “really?” “

Her first WNBA collection launched in September 2021. It included a hoodie, sweatpants with matching team logos on the leg, and a T-shirt with the WNBA logo.

“I remember it sold out,” Wallace recalled. “It got here back once I was using (e-commerce platform) Shopify and Shopify notifications made money sound. All I remember is that it faded and faded, after which it began to fade. Wallace then checked and noticed that her first release had sold out inside the first hour.

She said it was a vital day and she or he continues to answer this request. “It was just a matter of building it all as the community grew, as women’s basketball grew. Responding to the need and desire for better merch, but also exploring new designs.” This was a challenge because Wallace operated largely as a one-man band.

While the designer is worked up to see the WNBA shine in a brand new highlight, she desires to make it clear that the attention should not be fleeting. “WNBA, the product was good. It was great and it will only get better,” Wallace said. “It must be the focus of everyone here, so it is not like we suddenly have an excellent product. Many things have been missed and underrepresented.

I hope I can do loads more because I do know plenty of people can be focused on what’s happening now. I just wish to have fun the game and ladies as an entire, not only right away.

Channing Hargrove is Andscape’s senior fashion author. It’s easier than admitting how strongly you discover with the lyrics “Single Black Woman Addicted to Retail.”


This article was originally published on : andscape.com
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Years after T.I. was slammed for attending her OB-GYN appointments, daughter Deyjah Harris declares that he “was right” about keeping her virginity

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TI may not all the time be spot on in his approach to parenting, but there is no such thing as a doubt that his children are absorbing his beneficial words of wisdom.

The rapper’s eldest daughter, Deyjah Harris, revealed that the recommendation he gave her years ago about relationships has come full circle. In a series of Father’s Day posts shared to her Instagram Story, the 23-year-old revisited a televised conversation her dad had with her about maintaining her virginity in an early episode of “TI & Tiny: The Family Hustle.”

In the clip, a much younger Harris sits and her dad tells her, “Baby, you are a fairly girl, so guys will all the time pursue you. They’ll let you know you are pretty, they’ll let you know you are smart, and so they’re just telling you that to get sugar.

TI’s daughter Deyjah Harris says her dad was right about his advice on preserving her virginity. (Photos: Tip/Instagram; Deyjahimani/Instagram.)

At the time, Deyjah had thought that “sugar” was simply a code word for kiss, but within the context of the conversation, the term had rather more meaning. The “Live Your Life” artist further explained how vital it’s to differentiate who’s worthy of her “sugar.” Today, the young lady stated that not much has modified in relation to her dad’s advice on the matter.

“He still says it to at the present time, and truthfully, he’s right. Every yr I tell myself “hold the sugar” due to him, he’s so real that he got me into the sport,” Deyjah captioned the post.

Several social media users appreciated the lecture, although they noted that it was a message that also needs to be shared with sons.

Of comments there was a perspective that stated, “Now she sees that he was only trying to protect her!” Another comment read: “So amazing that he remembers and listens to him putting it in the game. She’s 10 steps ahead!” However, the conversation within the comments took a pointy turn when TI’s 2019 comments about Harris’ doctor visits resurfaced.

One user asked: “She has no choice but to keep her ‘sugar’, doesn’t he take her to the GP and check her hymen?” Another said: “He was always a good dad and you hated him so much for the doctors’ comments, even though they were very intrusive, he only ever wanted to protect his daughter.”

During an appearance on the “Ladies Like Us” podcast, TI stated, “We go to the gynecologist every year to check her hymen,” and “we talk” when asked how he educates his children about sex and virginity.

“The Rubber Band Man” received backlash from fans who felt it crossed a line. When he joined The Red Table Talk for a conversation about the hymen gate, he explained, “I never said I was in any exam room. This is the assumption. This is false” and that as an 18-year-old he never said that this was currently happening.

His wife, Tiny, was present during this final discussion. The Xscape singer claimed that the encounters he mentioned occurred when his daughter was 15 and 16 years old. At his daughter’s request, he decided not to debate this controversial comment any further.


This article was originally published on : atlantablackstar.com
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Here’s who won the 2024 Tony Awards night

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JUNE 16: Maleah Joi Moon, winner of the award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical for “Hell’s Kitchen”, poses during the 77th Annual Tony Awards at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center on June 16, 2024. in New York. (Photo by Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)

The 77th annual Tony Awards took place last evening at New York’s David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center, honoring the actors, plays, musicals and songs which have defined Broadway in the 2023/2024 season.

One of the night’s biggest winners, newcomer Maleah Joi Moon, took the stage to perform alongside creator and producer Alicia Keys. Moon had her breakthrough in 2024, starring as “Ali” in the musical loosely based on Keys’ childhood, which was nominated in 13 categories this 12 months.

Here's who won the 2024 Tony Awards night
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JUNE 16: Alicia Keys and Maleah Joi Moon perform on stage during the 77th Annual Tony Awards at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center on June 16, 2024 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)

Moon took home her first Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical, one among several trophies this 12 months that went to Black actors and behind-the-scenes creators after a banner season on Broadway.

Here's who won the 2024 Tony Awards night
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JUNE 16: Kara Young poses with the award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play for “Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch” during the 77th Annual Tony Awards at 7 p.m. The David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center on June 16, 2024 in New York City. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)

See more of this 12 months’s Tony Award winners below:

This article was originally published on : www.essence.com
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Kenya Moore Speaks Out Following Reports of Suspension from ‘The Real Housewives of Atlanta’

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Kenya Moore broke her silence Saturday after she was reportedly suspended indefinitely from “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.”

The actress took to social media to deal with reports that she was suspended from filming a reality show after allegedly sharing explicit photos of castmate Brittany Eady on the opening of the Kenya Moore Hair Spa in Atlanta. Hollywood reporter. Photos that reportedly appeared on posters finally week’s event ‘allegedly found online’ Entertainment tonight reported.

Moore sharply criticized the reports statement on X (Twitter) wrote: “I would never engage in revenge porn, I have never distributed anyone’s private photos or videos, or requested images belonging to others to use to threaten or blackmail. I was always justified. I can’t talk about HISTORY even if people are spreading fake news.”

Kenya Moore attends the NEW YOU Beauty BAR / NEW YOU AWARDS event on April 13, 2024 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Daniel Torok/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

The 53-year-old media personality also spoke out on her Instagram Story, saying, “Don’t consider anything you hear and half of what you see. The truth at all times involves light,” based on THR.

The alleged incident was reportedly caught on Bravo cameras, with ET reporting that “the network is still reviewing the content displayed by Kenya during filming.” According to him, Eady was accused of threatening Moore before opening a hair salon, allegedly using the word “gun.” Page six.

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Eady apparently addressed the reports in a post on her Instagram Story, writing: “It’s never an excellent feeling to be targeted or TIRED BY SOMEONE I assumed would draw me right into a recent circle I’ve never met “.

She added: “For the record, I have never owned any weapons or threatened anyone. I’ve never been to jail, been in a fight, or even received a speeding ticket. That’s not my character. I am hurt by the narrative that is being presented. Evil is evil.”

Moore has been a solid member of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” since 2012. The sixteenth season of the fact series is currently filming and can premiere in 2025, based on reports. Way to go.

This article was originally published on : thegrio.com
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