A rundown of need-to-know people, places, happenings and things, for the love of the culture.
Stay Here: A Minimalist Catskills Escape
Sisters Coco and Breezy Dotson were known for next level lewks long before today’s era of instafamous fashionistas. Taking it back to the good old MySpace days, the then-teenagers amassed more than 50,000 followers obsessed with their fun, DIY approach to fashion. They eventually launched a cult eyewear brand that has been worn by icons such as Prince and Lady Gaga and recently became the first Black-owned opticals label carried at Nordstrom. Now the creatives have turned their eclectic taste towards the hospitality industry with their latest venture, The Lorca. Located in Shandaken, New York, the mountain retreat features five thoughtfully redesigned homes perfect for escaping the hustle and bustle. The minimalist interiors feature stone fireplaces, chic ceramics and antique Persian rugs. Visit thelorca.com to book your stay.
Rock This: Levi’s x Marrisa Wilson NY Trucker Jacket
Levi's celebrated International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month with a limited-edition drop. The collaboration with Guyanese American label Marrisa Wilson NY includes a bootcut jean and the standout piece—a customized Trucker jacket. Soul music inspires every MWNY collection, and the designer’s favorite female R&B tunes are featured throughout. Catch titles like “A Woman’s Worth,” “Ex-Factor,” and “The Sweetest Taboo” on the interior and exterior are all done in Wilson’s signature boucle embroidery that resembles textured hair. An homage to #BlackGirlMagic indeed, The Trucker jacket retails for $268 and is available now on the Levi’s App.
Taste This: Sweet Treats by Blondery
Auzerais Bellamy’s direct-to-consumer bakery sells handmade blondies, but not just the signature kind—there’s cinnamon sugar, red velvet, strawberry rosé, and a gluten-free version. “I started Blondery with the hopes that I could create a space that both challenged and nurtured not only for myself but for others who are marginalized and underestimated,” Bellamy explains. She staged at Michelen-starred restaurants like Daniel and Per Se in New York and was the executive pastry chef at Brooklyn’s Pies ‘n’ Thighs. Frustrated with the lack of representation in the fine dining industry, in 2015 Auzerais ditched her job as the pastry sous chef at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery and ventured out on her own. “The food industry is tough for everyone but the added layer of being Black and a woman meant I had to teach myself, learn quickly and keep a smile on my face regardless of what was happening. I don't want anyone to feel like that.” Baked to order in Brooklyn and shipped nationwide, visit blondery.com to place your order.
Read This: Professional Troublemaker: The Fear-Fighter Manual
New York Times bestselling author, speaker and podcast host Luvvie Ajayi Jones delivers a masterclass on escaping the trappings of self-doubt in her latest release, Professional Troublemaker: The Fear-Fighter Manual, out now. The Ted Talks alum encourages readers to face fear head on and remove the shame and guilt that we often put on ourselves when experiencing this emotion. Living fearlessly, she explains, doesn’t mean being immune to fear; it means not allowing it to stop you from pursuing your goals. This follow-up to her first book, “I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual” will inspire you to go after your dreams and re-up on courage.
Shop This: PAPAIŸO’s Caribbean-Made Marketplace
Jamaican trailblazer Micha Alleyne’s e-commerce shop, PAPAIŸO, sells artisanal goods from talented makers based in the Caribbean. Intent on diversifying the luxury market, Alleyne’s vendors also represent a promising model for the future of design. “Our artisans have an approach to luxury that can add valuable perspective to the global conversations taking place in the industry today, she explains. “They are grounded in a made-to-order DNA that is gentler on people and the planet and that has been a well-established practice in the region.” Products span the gamut from home goods to resort-inspired fashion from local brands like Meiling, Pinto Pottery and Project Runway 2011 winner, Anya Ayoung-Chee. “The best brands from the Caribbean sometimes exist below the radar, ensconced in a whimsical world of night markets and local fairs,” Alleyne adds. That’s why she does most of her recruiting in person, hitting local marketplaces to find fresh talent. Visit papaiyo.com to shop artisans throughout the region.