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Chan-lo Exclusive Interview

#ChicksNKicks | Priya B - adidas Originals Amberlight High

Name: Priya BLocation: Dallas, Texas by way of Houston, TX Occupation: On-Air Personality and Host of K104 FM's "At-Work Party" Kicks Shown: adidas Originals Amberlight High Website/Contact: www.myk104.com/priya/ Twitter: @TheRealPriyaB IG: TheRealPriyaB

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Throughout October we’ll not only be providing facts to better inform you about DV, but we’ll also introduce you to some pretty fly #ChicksNKicks who laced up to spread the word right along with us.

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“Less is more. Be yourself, be hard working, and you won't have to show any piece of your skin.” – Priya B

Priya B is the fun-loving radio personality many of us rock with via K104 FM's weekday "At-Work Party." As the host of one of the nation's top shows in her time slot, Priya brings an energy that is unmatched and finds herself constantly bringing the best out of her audience. After having the opportunity to watch her in action, we're pretty sure that she's broken down daily drops and radio edits to a science.

After tackling prominent positions with Houston's 97.9 “The Box," Orlando's Power 95.3, and now K104, it's clear that Priya didn't make it as far as she has by shying away from the tough stuff. That said, we sat down with this radio maven as she got deep about Domestic Violence, showed out in her adidas Amberlights, and reminds everyone (I'm talking to you, young ladies) that success is all in how hard you work - not how much you show.

Watch below.

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Credits: Video, Photos & Graphics: WMS Photography Make-Up: DJ Kitty Apparal: Adidas US

Join us to help change the facts and make a difference for victims of domestic violence.

What can you do now?

• Donate

• Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram, to view and share our #ChicksForChange actions for the month of October.

• Rock out in purple, shawty! Purple is the color of Domestic Violence Awareness Month!  During the month of October, use your flair for fashion (or the purple pieces in your closet) as  a way to #SpreadThePurple. Be sure to mention our social media profiles or use the hashtags, #ChicksForChange #SpreadThePurple, to make certain we see you in these e-streets!

• Buy beauty! Grab a beauty find (or 6) from #CNK beauty Crissy Henderson’s online shop!  This month you’ll receive $5.00 her Willow Grace Beauty Lip Plump using the promo code ‘VOICEUP’.  

• Change your profile!  Our friends at CalVCP have brought amazing images for you to spread the word!  Change your Facebook Cover Photo, swap out your Twitter Header, spread the word with a profile photo, or simply share a fact. It’s up to you!

• Hashtag Away! #DVAM2014 #ChicksNKicks #ChicksForChange #SpreadThePurple . Got em? Good!

Chicks N' Kicks: Devi Dev | Converse Chuck Taylor Classic

The whole motivation behind this Chicks N' Kicks experience isn't as much about the shoes as it is about the women who walk in them. Positive energy, just like it's negative step sister, is contagious. So, it goes without saying (more often than not) the energy you put out is the same you'll receive. Earlier this month, I pulled up to Devi Dev's Houston home way too early for a Saturday morning shoot and Devi, clad in her PJ's with cup o' java in hand, greeted me and the team at the door with a smile, a bear hug, and a ready-to-work attitude. All positive everything.

As one of radio's marquee personalities Devon "Devi Dev" Brown makes her living by sparking great conversation so, it was really no surprise that her CNK Q&A flowed with a certain ease. From her start at LA's 93.5 KDAY to her days as Sway Calloway's other half on Sirius XM's Sway In The Morning on Shade 45, Devi's bubbly personality is one that has attracted and kept listeners glued for nearly a decade. Music, her undying love for her hometown (Los Angeles, in case you didn't know), and even "Scandal" recaps kept us chatting as Devi's face was beat to perfection, but it was our deeper conversations about life, the perception v. the reality of success, individual growth, and SO MUCH MORE that really introduced us to the amazing woman you hear on your airwaves.

Take a look below as Devi brings us into her comfort zone, gets real about her pre-fame struggles, and delivers a healthy dose of what I've dubbed, "Devi-isms."

Name: Devi Dev Age: 28 Location: Houston, Texas Occupation: Radio and Television OG (Get your daily dose via 93.7 The Beat) Kicks Shown: Converse Chuck Taylor Classic - OG Red Website/Contact: www.devidev.com Twitter: @DeviDev IG: DeviDev

Chan-Lo: Thank you so much for having us in your home. It really is an honor.

Devi Dev: Not a problem. Thank you so much for coming.

CL: Let's dive right in because I'm pretty sure it's safe to say that people are familiar with your name and your professional history. That said, you started off in LA radio at KDAY...

DD: That's right.

CL: Wrecked shop in Houston...

DD: Well...*laughs*

CL: Then, you made your way to New York with Sirius XM's Sway In The Morning on Shade 45 and return back to Houston where you're now at 93.7. How have those transitions worked to bring about the personality we see today?

DD: You know, it's crazy because I'm still in my twenties and I've been doing radio for 10 years. I guess I always have been about evolving, but I'm so blessed that great timing and opportunity just kind of melded together to create that for me. I think a lot of it has to do more with being a genuine person, being talented, and being humble; that really opens up a lot of doors.

Here's the thing, I saw a meme the other day that said "Oprah Wasn't Built In a Day" and I think one thing that I've realized, especially in this age of instant gratification...people think they have to be that now and that success is what a handful of people think about them. It's so much more than that.

CL: It's interesting that you say that. I recently heard someone say, "An overnight success is 10 years in the making..."

DD: Absolutely! That's the perfect quote. To quote The Outliers, "you've got to get your 10,000 hours in." Especially because of social media, people think someone's on - that's not leaving a legacy, that's not leaving an impact, and that's not really connecting. I say that all to say, that it's [more] about being consistent.

I've been on the radio 10 years and I haven't considered myself as "good" until maybe the last 3. No matter what anyone else thought, I knew that I hadn't hit my peak of what was possible.

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CL: Your time with Sway, in itself, had to be a big learning experience, yes?

DD: Absolutely. I can't speak highly enough of Sway. People don't understand what a massive influence Sway has been. He was actually one of my radio icons growing up when he did radio in the Bay [Area] for many years and then got syndicated in LA with The Wake Up Show. Aside from his work, Sway is such a completely together person that it inspires you to want to have a life outside of what you do. He inspires you to want to BE a great person and not just be perceived as one.

I remember when I was working with him at Sirius...every day he got mobbed. People are so drawn to him and every single person he made time for. Even if he only had an extra five seconds, he gave them that moment and honored that experience.

CL: Your fans have become familiar with the radio and television personality, but who is Devi on a personal level?

DD: Well, aside from the person you might hear on the radio, see on your TV, or on your Twitter timeline - because I be Tweetin'. *Laughs* Um, I'm really focused in my personal life on constantly growing as a person and my spirituality. I'm constantly reading books all the time and doing things to enrich my spirit. A lot of people, especially in this industry, get caught up in grind[ing] and "team no sleep" no, forget that! I wanna live! I wanna be alive. You can't forget to make a life. Aside from the grind to achieve my dreams, it's also my dream to be a great person when I'm just alone by myself and not on the radio or on TV.

A great mentor a few years ago told me, "Whether it's 5 minutes a day or 45 minutes a day, make sure you do something that is just for you - not career related, not family related - that nourishes your spirit."

CL: OK, let's go with that. How do you do that for yourself?

DD: Well, at first I didn't think that was possible. Even 5 minutes, I was like, "I gotta do this and I gotta do that" blah, blah, blah. But the more I did it, the more I felt the universe was opening up to [me]. So now, a typical day for me is waking up and meditating for thirty minutes, doing some reading, and getting my day going. All the stuff you see me on Twitter and Instagram doing, squeezing that all in [throughout the day] and THEN, going home to meditate again for thirty minutes, do some reading, and taking some time to catch up on my DVR or some of the hot shows and then I get sleep.

CL: It really seems like success is all about balance for you at this point...

DD: You have to be balanced and aligned! And I feel like you're not even going to be as blessed as you could if you don't show yourself that you are that important to you. Investing in yourself is such a huge thing. I used to think that meant putting money into my website or putting money into be able to go to this or that conference. I thought that was the epitome of me helping me, but outside of that if the entertainment industry crashed tomorrow - [I] still have to be able to sleep at night and know that outside of what people perceive, [I] make a mark in this world in a way that feels true to me...

CL: Being a good person is a little bit more important.

DD: It's so underrated. Especially in this age of Twitter and Instagram people think it's better to be perceived as a good person than to actually be a good person. In my belief system, I'm here to find myself and get to heaven. *laughs*. I'm here to live purposefully and in order to do that, you can't just be who you are at work you have to really get to know yourself.

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CL: It's interesting that you say that because we're all about empowering young women, and really anybody for that matter, to seek out better and greater for their lives. What are some of the things that you take with you on a professional level?

DD: There are two things. When I was 19, I was interning at Motown/Universal which is in Santa Monica. I was interning for a wonderful man name Big Paul who was the VP of Mix Show and he used to treat me as an intern with so much dignity and integrity that I felt undeserving. I remember one day I asked him, "Why are you so good to me?" and he said to me, "Dev, one day you could be my boss. You never treat people bad because you don't know where you'll end up." It's all about being a good person because it's the right thing to do, not because of what might be returned to you. In this industry, you're up or down on any given day. You never know if the kid who was hitting you for advice is one day going to be the President of a company and you're trying to be down.

The other thing happened years ago when I went to Chicago to see a taping of the Oprah Show. At this time, I really didn't have any extra money, like I barely got myself to Chicago. I was rationing my meals...

CL: I love that you're talking about this because I think more than a few of us can identify with that 'how-am-I-gonna-pay-my-rent' struggle at some point on our way to achieving success...

DD: Oh, absolutely! You get to that $30.00 overdraft fee and start tallying your expenses in your mind. So, I used this last little $10 I had during that trip to buy a coffee mug that I still use usually every morning. The front has an "O" on it and on the back it says, "Become more of yourself." That's resonated so deeply with me because, to bring it back to the earlier point, who are you if you're not becoming? Aside from all of this, aside from sitting here with you and doing this interview and this fun photo shoot, who am I as a woman? What am I going to become and who am I going to be to the people who really know me in my life? Sometimes you never really know, but it's the constant seeking that definitely makes me who I am.

Everyone has their own belief system, but at least in my opinion, you have to really believe in something bigger than yourself to truly be blessed. So, yea. Those are two things that are SUPER important to me.

CL: That's awesome. I'm not even sure what question I was going to ask next. *Laughs* Ok, so as someone who has really created her own lane on a professional level, how do you continue to raise the bar?

DD: I'm a radio geek. I'm one of the only personalities that goes to radio conventions with the program directors, marketing, and general managers. I want to know every aspect of what I do. It helps me in my craft and my brand just to know how the rating system works, how PPN works, how long a typical listener listens. I definitely seek outside of the box. Speaking directly to people in radio or want to be in radio: don't just worry about how you look online. You still have to get hired and you have to show and prove ratings and connecting with an audience. Twitter following looks good, but at the end of the day this is a business.

CL: Since this is Chicks N Kicks, we know you love your Chucks. What makes you feel feminine, but still comfortable?

My favorite shoes of all time are absolutely Chucks. Solid, black, low top Chucks. I've kind of broadened my collection so now I have high top leather Chucks and tweed Chucks. The other shoe you'll always catch me in are Air Maxes all different kinds.

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CL: Did you celebrate Air Max Day?

DD: I did! I didn't even know it was Air Max Day until I woke up and saw on Instagram. I was like, "Ahhhhh!" Air Maxes and Chucks are pretty much my staple. I'll switch out for heels if I have to go to an event, but this is really the kind of chick I really am on a regular basis.

CL: You have so much going on and we see the vision boards all around. What's next for you?

DD: My biggest goal this next year is to book more TV. I was so blessed to have that show with MTV, but I really would like to delve into more television, and not just hip-hop related television. I'd just like to connect to my audience - not just about music, but about life.

CL: Ask Devi...

DD: Well, I don't know about all that advice - depends on what you're asking *laughs*

CL: Ok, Devi-isms, coming soon.

DD: YES! That, and memes!

For more on D-E-V-I (and to pick up a few books from her reading list) visit her via Instagram and on Twitter.

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Make-Up: Juan Tamez Clothing: Jonnell Chavez Video x Photos: Calvin Green of Popular Press Houston Editing x Graphics: Chan-Lo x Jason Sanders of WMS Media

Chicks N' Kicks: Tinashe | Air Jordan 11 "Gamma"

"It's all about being inspired." - Tinker Hatfield I think its safe to say that the first season of Chicks N Kicks was a ridiculously cool experiment. We had no clue what we were doing, we just knew that somehow the inspirational women we were meeting and the sneakers we love just kind of fit together seamlessly. Today, we launch our second season of Chicks N Kicks a little bit wiser and more aware of the purpose of our vision: promote and uplift successful women who are making a name for themselves; proving that brains, beauty, and a great pair of kicks make for an amazing laced hustle.

That said, RCA recording artist and budding superstar Tinashe is a great kick off (pun intended) to our second season. As an entertainer, Tinashe has probably done more in her 21 years than many of us can imagine. Born Tinashe Jorgenson Kachingwe, the Los Angeles native received her start in film at the age of five and has since appeared in over eleven feature films including Akeelah and The Bee and The Polar Express. Tinashe's stint in the five-girl band "The Stunners" helped cultivate her sound before embarking on a solo career at the ripe old age of 18.

In 2012, Tinashe released two critically acclaimed mixtapes In Case We Die and Reverie before inking a major deal with RCA Records. We met up with this rising star at the Le Meridian Hotel in the heart of Dallas, Texas to talk about her debut solo album (due for release this year), what sets her apart from the flood of talent in a city that breeds superstars, and her obsession with Jordan 11s.

Name: Tinashe Age: 21 Location: Los Angeles, CA Occupation: RCA Recording Artist/Actress Kicks Shown: Air Jordan 11 "Gamma" Website/Contact:www.tinashe2on.com Twitter: @Tinashe IG: TinasheNow

ChicksNKicks: We've almost seen a rush of artists coming out of LA in the last three years. What sets you apart?

Tinashe: I think I have an interesting perspective. I'm mixed, I'm from California, I'm 21 and I write my own music. Everyone has their own story to tell and I just want to be true to myself. I think embracing what's real about you [and embracing your differences] is what sets you apart from people. My dad is from Zimbabwe...

CNK: Your mom is from Iowa, right?

Tinashe: Yes! She's from Iowa! You know, it's such an interesting combination and I just try to embrace all the different sides of me and not limit myself to one thing.

CNK: Even though you're relatively young, you've been singing professionally for quite some time. Talk to us a little bit about your former girl group 'The Stunners' and how you eventually decided to go solo.

Tinashe: I started in 'The Stunners' when I was 14. I was working in major studios, writing music for people, and learning how to record music. The Stunners was a very valuable experience just to get my feet wet and learn. When I was 18, I really felt I was prepared to do my own thing - it's been a great ride for me to make my own music about stuff that relates to me.

CNK: We were talking earlier about the music that makes people feel something. Would you say your perspective makes you a more relatable to your audience?

Tinashe: Absolutely. I think being relatable is what connects you in an organic way, especially at the beginning of your career. I don't necessarily have a normal life, but I still go through the same stuff that a lot of people go through.

CNK: Speaking of being able to relate, In Case We Die x Reverie were two pretty personal projects that you dropped back-to-back in 2012. Tell us about that process.

Tinashe: I actually made In Case We Die in less than a month and Reverie in the same. I wanted people to have something really tangible to hold onto in terms of my style and who I was.

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CNK: How would you describe your personal style?

Tinashe: It's a lot like my personality - I like to showcase different sides of myself. There's definitely a strong side of my personality that's super laid back and more introverted; a lot of that comes across in [my wearing] sweatpants, t-shirts, and crew necks. I like to be comfortable and casual, but still swagged out. I like to wear a lot of boy's clothes. [laughs]

CNK: Would you say you're a little bit of a tomboy?

Tinashe: I guess, yea...in a way. I didn't used to, but as I grew up it's what made me comfortable. There's another side to me, though, that's va-va-voom [laughs], you know? That comes across in my music as well and sometimes I'll throw on some heels and a little crop top - you never know.

CNK: This is Chicks N Kicks - we obviously love tennis shoes. So, tell us about your favorite pair of sneaks.

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Tinashe: I love Jordan 11's. All of them. I'm obsessed with J's - I have Bred's, these are the Gammas. I have the Space Jams at home.

CNK: We heard you love the Cool Greys...

Tinashe: I do love me some Cool Greys. Those are actually the first pair I've ever bought.

CNK: OK, favorite way to rock your sneakers?

Tinashe: With a big oversized sweater, tee, or jersey dress. Super comfy, a pair of socks and just something that might make no sense. Just do me.

CNK: Last, but not least - what can we look forward to from you this year? I know your RCA debut will hit us later this year, correct?

Tinashe: I'm doing a whole bunch of shows, traveling around and meeting a lot of my fans in different parts of the country. I get to visit London in April and get ready to promo the album and then, hopefully, more singles and more videos.

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Thanks to: Tinashe Gloria at RCA Records Damon Lott at RCA Records Mike Nazzaro Jean Njamen of Nerdy Fresh Jason Sanders of WMS Photography Le Meridan Hotel - Dallas

#ChicksNKicks SNEAK Peek: Behind The Scenes w/ Professional Golfer Maggie Noël

Purdy lady? Check. Talented chica? Check. Awesome kicks? Double check. Tiger, Tiger Woods, ya'll? Yuuuup. Meet Maggie Noël: purdy lady, talented chica, kick fiend, and professional golfer. Maggie, who has been golfing since she was a youngin', was kind enough to grace our Chicks N Kicks screen as we joined her on the green.

This video acts as a sneak peek to our FULL FEATURE on Maggie which will hit the Chan-Lo.com screen on November 20, 2013. Until then, get acquainted with this gorgeous golfer in this BTS clip.

Video and Editing: Jason Sanders of WMS Media Special Thanks to: Maggie Noël and Top Golf Dallas

Chicks N' Kicks: Valerie Des'Rae | Nike Air Max Darwin 360

I don't even remember my first meeting Valerie Des'Rae. Ask me where, how, or in what capacity we were introduced and I probably would stare at you with a distinct air of uncertainty. Now, ask me what I first realized Valerie's chops as an artist and I can recall the moment I fell in love with her captivating use of color blocking and the pop art feel of her fiery (and sometimes risqué) pieces. Random was the art show when Valerie's "Oral Fixation" collection all came together on one 30-foot wall and I realized that Valerie has the type of talent that only flourishes when the art is a direct result of the artists love for their craft. Fun-filled cloths of cotton replace the brooding pieces we often hear labeled "masterpieces" in the art world and slight smirks with raised eyebrows replace the stuffy, museum-like feel of traditional gallery shows. Basically, Valerie's art makes me want to write a check and buy a bit of the fun for my living room because it makes me happy. Apparently, a number of people feel the same because Valerie Des'Rae sold out that Random show and she's booked for gallery showings in September and another in November - all featuring walls (plural) of work. That being said, I thought it would be a good idea for you to get to know this 24-year old chica, her Nike Air Max Darwin 360's, and her blowtorch.

Name: Valerie Des’Rae Age: 24 Location: Dallas, TX Occupation: Esthetician by day, Freelance Artist by night Kicks Shown: Nike Air Max Darwin 360 Website/Contact: Twitter/IG - @valeriedesrae

CL: You just recently started getting back into painting, which is surprising given the projects we’ve seen. When did you decide to resume your art? Did you expect to receive this much encouragement?

VD: It wasn’t until I met Brenton, my boyfriend, that I got back into art. The first night we ever hung out he invited me over to paint and when he saw what I could do he started to encourage and push me back into it. I never expected to get all the positive feedback I’ve received. It’s truly an amazing, overwhelming feeling.

CL: You’re also part of a performance painting collective, correct?

VD: Yes, Ace of Dames. We paint live at local events in order to add more of a creative element. There's really something about seeing something created from scratch that makes people appreciate your craft a bit more than they would otherwise.

CL: Speaking of appreciation, I always find it interesting to talk with artists because you all seem to really take in your surroundings and find inspiration in the things some of us would deem ordinary. What are some of those little things for you?

VD: Oddly enough, shadows. Even though they have no true color and are very dark they’re fascinating as hell to me! Shadows make images come to life, much like contours do when light hits your face a certain way.

CL: People might not know that you’re also a big part of PiecesofBlaq. How do you bring your vision to that brand?

VD: I’m a woman. I bring the femininity to a brand that originally started out only catering to men. However, the brand is on hiatus for the moment, big things to come, stay tuned!

CL: Two words – Oral Fixation. Tell us how this series came about.

VD: I’m an esthetician when I’m not being an artist. The lips were familiar because of my love for make up and being dolled up. But lips have been done so many times, I had to make it different. Then the fixation part came into play and I began to think about every day habits. How many things could I incorporate with lips that people would relate to? So it went from all the way from the innocent childhood memeories associated with a bomb pop, all the way to more *ahem* adult subject matter in the form of a purple penis...LOL! I wanted to push the limits, and making it a phallic series did just that.

CL: Are there any artists whom you feel have directly influenced your style?

VD: Absolutley! Andy Warhol for his pop art and vivid colors and Banksy for his play on spray paint and stenciling style.

CL: As an artist, I’m sure you draw inspiration from a number of mediums. In what capacity do you find yourself at your most creative?

VD: Acrylics are my go tos, but I also like working with spray paint, it make things look so much more organic.

CL: Do you think your flair for the arts contributes to your fashion sense?

VD: Of course! I think fashion is just as much art as a painting. And my style is inspired by what I love to do.

CL: As we head towards the end of the summer and the last half of 2013, I still find it so amazing that you returned to art just last year. Where do you see your work going in the next few years?

VD: In the MoMa…kidding, but a girl can dream! I really hope I can get to a point where my work is recognizable not only by people but by my fellow artists. I think it is so cool when your peers know your work immediately when they see it.

CL: Obviously we love sneakers. What are a few of your favorite pairs to rock?

VD: My trustee grey Air Flights! They go with just about everything!

CL: Anything else you’d like our readers to know?

VD: I’ll tell you the best advice I ever got from my Mom - “Do what you love and the money will come.” I am doing just that and I couldn’t be happier.

Photos x Edits: Jason Sanders of WMS Photography Makeup: Brannigan Maxwell Video x Edits: Jason Sanders of WMS Media

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Purdy lady? Check. Talented chica? Check. Awesome kicks? Double check. Blowtorch? Wait. What!?!

Take a peek at our BTS talk with the lady with the lip fetish. We took a minute to capture Valerie in artist mode as she finished a special Chan-Lo.com addition to her "Oral Fixation" collection - complete with that blowtorch.

#ChicksNKicks SNEAK Peek: Behind The Scenes w/ Freelance Artist, Valerie Desrae [Video]

Purdy lady? Check. Talented chica? Check. Awesome kicks? Double check. Blowtorch? Wait. What!?! Valerie Desrae is a Freelance Artist who happens to be creating some heat with her colorful (and sometimes risqué) pieces. We took a minute to capture Valerie in artist mode as she finished a special Chan-Lo.com addition to her "Oral Fixation" collection - complete with that blowtorch.

This video acts as a sneak peek to our FULL FEATURE on Valerie which will hit the Chan-Lo.com screen on September 12, 2013. Until then, get acquainted with this creative latina (and her dimples) in this BTS clip.

If you missed our last Chicks N' Kicks feature with Kia McIntyre of The Mixx Magazine, check it out now!

Chicks N' Kicks: Kia McIntyre | Nike LeBron James Galaxy x OG Chuck Taylor Low

Name: Kia McIntyreAge: 31 Location: Lexington, KY Occupation: EIC of The Mixx Magazine/ HipHop & Pop Marketing Rep for WBR Kicks Shown: Lebron James X Galaxy Website/Contact: Kia@themixxmagazine.com/Twitter: @kiamixx/www.themixxmagazine.com

What do you imagine when you think of a boss? Power, success, drive, take-charge attitudes, and an unapologetic view of the ladder climb are all things that come to mind when I conjure images of a boss-(wo)man.

However, the "Boss" mentality is one that we've seen splashed, dashed, and damn near dismembered in the mainstream. Everyone from the guy making big decisions in the boardroom to the homie finding success in a small hustle has found strength in a term usually reserved for...well, people who actually employ others. And while becoming a legitimate boss has indeed become a big deal in music lingo, it has not (unlike many things in this male dominated industry) remained a title only associated with the fellas.

Nakia "Kia" McIntyre is one woman who we've come to admire for her boss-like hustle and take-charge attitude. A native of Lexington, Kentucky, Kia has managed to turn her fledgling hobby as a writer into a legitimate business with the creation of an online publication by the name of The Mixx Magazine. Music, fashion, and lifestyle commentary are all in the mix (or Mixx) as Kia continues to up her readership, her reach, and her team from hometown stand-out to national scene-stealer. Add Kia's gig as a marketing rep for Warner Brothers and you've got a woman who is well on her way to boss status and even bigger boss business.

We had the chance to talk shop with this Bron-donned beauty as she enlightened us on her journey, her family, and her no-nonsense hustle. Plus, we received great advice and more than a few amazing shots as we traveled to the heart of Kentucky.

CL: The Mixx Magazine is obviously doing quite well with a 30K+ readership count. Talk to us a bit about your journey from KY Standup to, what is now, The Mixx Magazine.

KM: Ky Standup was my hobby and The Mixx is my hustle. The journey was nothing more than a bittersweet struggle. It had its highs and lows, but ultimately everything worked out in my favor. I’m blessed.

CL: You obviously have a passion for music and hip-hop culture in general, but Kentucky isn’t exactly known for its blossoming hip-hop scene. What molds do you feel have been broken due to The Mixx’s presence? Do you see significant growth in the scene since you started?

KM: To be quite honest, the mold hasn’t been broken. There’s a lot of good talent in Kentucky, but not too much consistency. The mistake that I see artists making is that they get a hot song on the radio, get good feedback on a visual or a mixtape and then get that “I made it” attitude and take a break. Instead of taking a break, they should be using the exposure to capitalize on longetivity for their career. Anybody can get a video premiered on MTV Jams, but what are you going to do after it goes off? MTV isn’t going to keep pushing it. It’s the artists’ job to continue to be consistent. Take that leverage and market yourself. Nobody is checking for Kentucky artists, so artists here have to work ten-times harder. I offer my help and resources to people who I see that are serious about their craft, but at the end of the day the artist has to do the work.

CL: I always find it interesting to talk with fellow writers because we seem to have a certain understanding of the trials and triumphs associated with this scribe life. Looking back, or even now, what would you say has been the biggest hurdle you’ve faced in establishing a publication?

KM: The biggest hurdle was awareness in running a business. My hobby turned into a business, so I had to transition from a writer to a business owner and I knew nothing about the business side of trying to start a publication. But now, I’m on top of it. I got this here! LOL.

CL: That being said, what are key differences between Kia “the writer” v. Kia “the editor?” Do you feel you have to wear one hat more than others as your success grows?

KM: Kia “the writer” turns creative expressions into words that nobody may understand but her and the people closest to her. Kia “the editor” makes sure the content presented to The Mixx readers is eye-catching and professional. I definitely wear more than one hat. When people ask me what I do jokingly reply with, “I check emails & shi*t.” There’s no way to describe everything that I do. I’m very hands on when it comes to The Mixx, except for our site. LOL. I should probably learn a little more about site maintenance.

CL: Speaking of hats. You’re actually the first mommy we’ve featured in the series. As a mother and a business woman, it’s got to be difficult to balance your two worlds – but I can’t imagine building something from the ground up and supporting a family. Do you think your kids are your biggest source of motivation? What advice would you give to young women who may be trying to follow their dreams and raise a child?

KM: The “politically correct” answer to this question would be “Yes.” But, my kids aren’t my biggest source of motivation. Me wanting to be successful was not driven by my kids. I’m not too proud to work a 9-5, so my motherly obligations will always be taken care of; the success is just extra. I am my motivation! I wanted to live a life that I would be proud of. Kids don’t understand that their needs can’t be met because YOUR dream didn’t come true. I do what I have to do to make sure my kids are taken care of, then I motivate myself to be the successful individual that I want to be. There’s a separation between the two.

My advice to women period who may be trying to follow their dreams and raise a child(ren) is to never give up. Don’t get discouraged when things don’t go right and don’t live your life according to how others think you should be living it. If I would have let others deter me from doing what I felt was right, I would not be in the position that I am in now. People still have their opinions on the way I live my life, but they’re also not the ones cutting me a check every month either.

CL: A number of people might not know that you also do marketing work for one of the biggest labels in the nation. What doors do you think that opportunity has opened for you?

KM: It has opened up a lot of doors for me. The amount of opportunities that have been presented to me have been overwhelming. The list goes from national publication features, event hosting, clothing endorsements, and some things in the works that I can’t talk about yet, but I’ve had to turn down some good ones just because I know I don’t have the time to really dedicate. Moreover, I have been put in a position to where I can be of help to others trying to get their foot in the industry door and my Mixx team gets to reap the benefits of being affiliated.

CL: Chicks N’ Kicks is really all about promoting healthy business relationships amongst young women who are working hard to create a legacy. When all is said and done, what do you want people to remember most about you?

KM: I did it my way! I didn’t change myself to fit into that “typical industry woman” profile. I didn’t sleep with anyone to get “on” and I didn’t kiss anyone’s ass. I worked hard to become the person that I am and when it’s all said and done, can’t nobody take what I built. I don’t owe anybody anything - that’s all me and my mixx team!

CL: What are five things you’d want young women interested in following your footsteps to know about growing their own company?

KM: 1. Success is not an overnight achievement. 2. You have to be passionate about what you’re doing. Remain focused. 3. Know the difference between a hobby and a business. Every great idea you have is not made to be a business move. 4. Have a plan and do your research. 5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. 6. Note to self: A woman who knows her worth is a powerful woman. (I know you said 5, but this is a plus #newrules)

CL: Finish this sentence – “My personal style is ______.”

KM: Classically Chic. I’m always brimming with confidence so I just rely on classic, simple items that don’t require a lot of thought. I might throw on a sundress with chucks or cowboy boots, then you may see me in pair of skinny jeans, a cute top and some heels. I like to be comfortable, but I can get dolled up for whatever the occasion may be.

CL: As we head towards the end of the summer and the last half of 2013, What kind of personal and professional growth have you seen this year? What can we expect to see throughout the next five months?

KM: As far as personal growth, I’ve done a huge turnaround. It’s safe to say that I’m not the same person I was a year and a half ago...and that’s a good thing! LOL!

Professionally, I’ve accomplished so much and within the next five months I’ll be damn near unstoppable. I love challenging myself! I have so many major projects that I’m working on right now and can’t wait to share. Happiness is the key factor. Once you find that point of happiness in your life it opens so many doors. If you’re not happy with how your life is going, you’ll be mad at the world and your attitude will reflect it. Find that happiness and you will feel like a brand new person.

CL: Obviously we love sneakers. What are a few of your favorite pairs to rock?

KM: I love chucks, but I wear Lebrons and Airmax as well.

CL: Anything else you’d like our readers to know?

KM: I direct videos. The most recent video I directed was Smoke of Fieldmob’s “Make It Rain” video. His camp flew me into Miami Memorial Day weekend and we shot the video.

[There is a] cute little boy that thinks I’m a model on Sundays. So, I guess I can let everyone else know that I’m a model, but only on Sundays. Lol.

Want more from Kia? Read her candid interview with VIBE Vixen after you check out her exclusive Chan-Lo.com spread. PLUS, we went behind the scenes at Kia's Kentucky shoot. Watch the video below and get to know August's Chick N' Kicks.

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Photos By: Staci Marie Edits: WMS Photography/WMS Media; Staci Marie Studios Video: Deon Day

Additional Thanks: Krista Hayes Hair: Veronica Gentry Make-up: Heather "Pink" Davis Stylist: Heather Leigh Fink's Farm (Shoot Location)

Chicks N' Kicks: A$hlay Ca$hlay x Tae Merida | Nike Blazers x AF1 Butter

As our Chicks N' Kicks series has continued to grow, we've interviewed a number of young ladies who are making waves, taking names and rocking kicks as they handle business, but never have we featured a duo...until now. Los Angeles-based creatives A$hlay Ca$hlay and Tae Merida are an inspiring pair not only because they've managed to make a name for themselves in a city packed with talent, but they've done it while remaining a team in both their individual and collective efforts. As a photographer, Ashlay Cashlay delivers images that tend to capture your attention. As a person, Ashlay Cashlay delivers a personality that does the exact same thing. With a generous Tumblr following (due, in large part, to her personal reflections and what I've dubbed, Ashlay-isms) and a voice that seems to reach well beyond her 27-years, Ashlay Cashlay continues to march to the beat of her own lens as she dives into the male-dominated directing world. If that wasn't enough, Tae Merida is pretty much a trip to the triple threat candy store as this statuesque beauty proves she's more than just a pretty face with the marketing and creation of 20andSomeChange - a new addition to the production company AND online magazine she (along w/ business partner Ashlay) are creating for your everyday consumption.

Take a look below as we head to the Santa Monica Pier to chop it up with this model entrepreneur (see what I did there?) and this self-described "wave goddess."

Name: AshlayCashlay Age: 27 Location: LA Occupation: Photographer, Director, Creator. Kicks Shown: Nike Blazers Website/Contact: www.ashlaycashlay.com / info@ashlaycashlay.com

Name: Shante' "Tae" Merida Age: 27 Location: LA Occupation: Model, Marketing, & Entrepreneur. Kicks Shown: Air Force 1's -Butter Website/Contact: www.TaeMerida.com / booking@TaeMerida.com

CL: For those who may not be familiar, tell us a bit about yourselves.

AC: IM ASHLAYCASHLAY. PHOTOGRAPHER/ DIRECTOR/ CREATOR; WAVE GODDESS.

TM: I'm Tae Merida; My heart is with modeling & my mind is with marketing. I'm a humanitarian at heart, loyal by nature, a bit of a spitfire, and the girl that can make anyone laugh.

CL: Ashlay, talk to us about how you got into the video directing game and how your creative eye has grown since your start.

AC: I STARTED PHOTOGRAPHY KNOWING I WOULD EVENTUALLY TRANSITION INTO FILMING AND DIRECTING. DURING THE PROCESS OF ME TRAINING MY EYE I STARTED SEEING STILL IMAGE CAPTURES IN THE FORM OF MOVEMENT, THE MOMENT THAT STARTED HAPPENING I KNEW IT WAS TIME TO GIVE FILMING A SERIOUS TRY. I THEN BEGAN FILMING, DIRECTING AND EDITING.

CL: Looking back on Arima Ederra’s “Earth To Arima,” it seems like your photographer’s eye played a huge part in the shot sequencing and the presentations of color. What did you learn most from that experience from a director stand-point?

AC: ARIMA EDERRA'S "FLOW CHART" WAS THE FIRST FULL LENGTH VIDEO I DIRECTED. IM GRATEFUL FOR A NUMBER OF REASONS BUT WHAT THAT EXPERIENCE TAUGHT ME IS ALWAYS FOLLOW YOUR GUT FEELING - DOING SO ALLOWED LITTLE ROOM TO INDULGE IN DOUBT WHICH LEAD ME TO CAPTURE ALL THAT I ENVISIONED EXACTLY AS I ENVISIONED.

CL: Tae, it’s so interesting to see some of the images you’ve shot because you seem so versatile in your modeling ability. When did you know that modeling was something you could see for your future?

TM: I have always had a passion for posing and playing dress up at a young age. After I graduated college and trying to get into my field, I had a moment where I had to ask myself what really gives me the most fulfillment. -And shortly after I relocated to Los Angeles in pursuit of my happiness.

CL: We’ve peeped some of the footage and the buzz surrounding 20andSomeChange. Talk to us a bit about the concept behind that collective.

WE ARE CURRENTLY REBRANDING 20ANDSOMECHANGE.COM BUT WE'RE HAPPY TO ANNOUNCE IN ADDITION TO OUR PRODUCTION COMPANY WE WILL BE LAUNCHING AN ONLINE MAGAZINE. ASHLAY AND I WILL PRODUCE AND EDIT CONTENT ALONG SIDE A FEW CONTRIBUTORS. THE IDEA BEHIND '20ANDSOMECHANGE' WAS TO SERVE AS A PLATFORM TO HIGHLIGHT UP & COMING AND ESTABLISHED ENTREPRENEURS IN THEIR TWENTIES; AS WELL AS PROVIDE A MEDIA OUTLET FOR TWENTIES ALIKE THAT COVERS EVERYTHING FROM FASHION, MUSIC, ART, EVENTS, & LIFESTYLE MINUS THE NEGATIVE PRESS. BE SURE TO CHECK BACK IN A FEW WEEKS FOR THE RELAUNCH OF OUR SITE!

CL: Chicks N’ Kicks is really all about promoting healthy business relationships amongst young women who are working hard to create a legacy. One thing I really like about the two of you is you really seem like you genuinely support one another. What are some of the ways you help each other excel outside of your collective work?

AC: FOR STARTS IM TERRIBLE AT SCHEDULING. TAE' ON THE OTHER HAND IS AN AMAZING PLANNER I HAVE MY MOMENTS WHERE TO MUCH IS GOING ON AND SHE IS ALWAYS THERE TO QUICKLY GET ME BACK ON TRACK. ALSO, SHES REALLY GREAT WITH HEALTH AND FITNESS SO IM BLESSED TO HAVE GAINED A NUTRITIONIST AND A TRAINER ALONG SIDE MY BUSINESS PARTNER AND FRIEND.

TM: I always say Ashlay is my biggest cheerleader, and I truly mean it. If I come up with an idea, Ash is not only behind it but will encourage me to actually follow thru with it and take on any creative direction. She's has a "motherly" instinct and genuinely has my best interest at heart.

CL: Finish this sentence – “My personal style is ____________.”

AC: A TOUCH OF VINTAGE AND AN OVERALL IDGAF. WEAR WHATEVER MAKES YOU SMILE AND FEEL GOOD ABOUT YOURSELF.

TM: Edgy with a touch of sleek & simple. Your style is a true reflection of your identity, so do you and have fun with it.

CL: Ashlay, we’re huge fans of The Cashlay Project and the chronicles of your journey. Your posts seem both extremely personal and insightful – what, if anything, does this catharsis do for your work?

AC: THANKYOU! TCP IS MY ONLINE MEMOIR I DONT PROMOTE IT IF YOU'VE VISITED COOL. IF NOT COOL. THE ARCHIVE BACK DATES TO 2008 - ITS BEEN A SOURCE FOR ME TO REVISIT ON DAYS I NEED A REMINDER ON HOW FAR IVE COME.

CL: You’ve both are working and living in Los Angeles. What kind of growth have you both seen in 2013? What can we expect to see throughout the remainder of the year?

AC: FOR ME IM BREAKING OUT OF MY SHELL AND OWNING ALL OUTLETS THAT IM ABLE TO BE CREATIVE IN. ALL IN ALL IM BEING ME. . PEACE OF MIND ; PIECE OF MINE. AS FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR I WILL CONTINUE TO DROP VISUALS.

TM: Personally, the transition of moving to LA has been a huge blessing. I'm learning to truly 'let go & let God'. I've slowly but surely let my guard down and found a way to turn my insecurities into a form of confidence. Throughout the process, I've seen growth in my modeling and a clearer way of thinking. For the remainder of the year I will continue to focus on my passion & build my brand.

CL: Obviously we love sneakers. What are a few of your favorite pairs to rock?

AC: MY ALL TIME FAVE SNEAKERS HAS TO BE MY HIGH TOP BLACK AF1 WITH THE GUM BOTTOM IVE HAD THESE SHOES FOR 10 YEARS. - I DONT THINK I WILL EVER GET TIRED OF THEM.

TM: All the Jordan 1's -especially the black & gold. But most likely you'll catch me in a pair of Chucks. #TaelorGang

CL: Anything else you’d like our readers to know?

AC: SEND OUT POSITIVES VIBES TO THE UNIVERSE AND THEY WILL RETURN. I ENCOURAGE YOU TO TRY IT.

TM: My Daily Mantra: "TAKE PRIDE IN HOW FAR YOU HAVE COME & FAITH IN HOW FAR YOU WILL GO".

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Photo Props: ChripImages Photo Edits: WMS Media

Chicks N' Kicks: Jade Alston | Adidas Superstar 2.0

su·per·star (spr-stär)n. 1. A widely acclaimed star, as in movies or sports, who has great popular appeal. 2. One that is extremely popular or prominent or that is a major attraction.

The definition of a superstar is pretty self-explanitory. We're constantly bombarded with images, videos and stories about those folks who just tend to have a certain sense of "popular appeal." So, it's quite fitting that Jade Alston opted to wear a pair of shoes that are called, you guessed it...Superstars. You may or may not be familiar with singer/songwriter Jade Alston, but you will be. The Philly-bred beauty is far more than a pretty face and a pair of to-die-for legs, she's also ridiculously talented on both the mic and with a pen.

After honing her writing skills with the likes of Grammy recognized hit-makers Claude Kelly, Chuck Harmony & Jon Jon Traxx and releasing two mixtapes (Single On A Saturday Night and it's follow-up Sunday Morning: Single On A Saturday Night, Pt. 2), Jade has captured the attention of the music world in more ways than one.

But, music isn't her only passion. This year she's using her own experiences as an artist to help others just like her as she launches her non-profit initiative The {Art}ist Label. The {Art}ist Label is an art-focused parent brand to several ventures that support The {Art}ist Label Inititiative. The {Art}ist Label Inititative is an effort to support art education among young people and to show the possibilities for careers in the arts. Jade's message to the youth is to “own your art.” The fashion forward singer is also tapping into her enthusiasm for other forms of art by working as a brand ambassador and designer for several up-and-coming fashion labels.

Whew! She's a busy gal. While Jade's star is yet to reach it's highest point, it's only a matter of time before this starlet is seeing her name in more lights than we can imagine, because, even in our brief conversation with her - it's clear this gal has a clear case of star appeal.

Take a look below as we talk Philly sound, peer comparisons and one killer fashion sense.

Name: Jade Alston Location: Philadelphia, PA Occupation: Indie Pop/Soul Recording Artist & Songwriter Kicks Shown: Adidas Superstar 2.0 (White and Blue)/Adidas Original High - Vanity (Black and White) Website/Contact: www.JadeAlston.com

CL: Tell us a bit about how your background and how growing up in Philadelphia influenced your musical inclination. JA: Philly is so honest, so real. I think that’s why my music is that way. There’s something about the air here that forces you to be that way.

CL: There have been a number of prominent musicians that have come out of your hometown of Philly, PA. How would you say you differentiate from the likes of Jill Scott, The Roots and even new acts like Meek Mill?

JA: I’d say I’m a good blend of the “earthy” soul movement that started here, mixed with the new stuff that’s going on with hip-hop here. Like Kanye said, I got the Benz and the backpack. lol

CL: Would you say your perspective makes you a bit more relatable to your listeners than some of your female peers? JA: I wouldn’t compare myself to my peers. One of my main goals is independence. But I would say “relatability” is something I strive for when I write. You can make your own comparisons though. [Laughs]

CL: Speaking of other artists, - you’ve been dubbed “a combination of Toni Braxton and Aaliyah.” Do you agree with the comparisons?

JA: Ok, Ok, If I HAD to compare myself, then yeah I’d say those two are huge influences, among others. I can’t deny my warm, sultry voice. I didn’t choose it, it chose me, lol. And people do often say that my personality/vibe remind them of that homegirl thing Aaliyah had.

CL: Anyone who has heard your debut project, Single On A Saturday Night, can pretty much get the gist of the EP. Talk to us about it’s sister record, Sunday Morning: Single On A Saturday Night, Pt. 2. Do you think it gives listeners a better understanding of the sound we can expect from you?

JA: The second project definitely goes a little deeper into my sound but still not fully what I have in mind for my album. But it’s all about progression & I think this one is definitely a step up from the first one.

CL: I’ve got to say that I absolutely LOVE the Brownstone sample you used in “If I Was Your Girl” and I dig the high-energy we hear in “”Guessing Games.” How did those particular records come about?

JA: Both started with the beats from the production team, The Rose Bros. I honestly wasn’t sold on the “if I was your girl” beat right away. It took a couple hours to catch a vibe for melodies. Then the concept just came to me. Guessing Games was a little easier. They play the rough version of the beat & I immediately started singing melodies. It just felt really great, almost instantly.

CL: After the video for “Searching” you were definitely on our fashion radar. How would you describe your personal style?

JA: It’s always changing. But no matter what, my personal style always has some sort of homegirl element because that’s who I am.

CL: What should fans of your music look forward to in the coming months?

AR: Videos, new projects, more fashion evolution, collaborations, etc…We kinda shut down for a while to really revamp things. I’m excited to get things rolling again.

CL: Obviously, we love kicks. What are some of your favorite ways to rock your sneaks?

JA: If I’m wearing sneakers then I love to be sexy & show my legs in short shorts or skirts or something like that. I like to add a feminine edge.

CL: Anything else you’d like our readers to know?

JA: Stay tuned for what’s next. I’m pretty excited about what we have up our sleeves!

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We figured you might want to see this songstress in action so, take a look below as Jade performs her OWN rendition (complete with guitar) of Drake's new joint, "Girls Love Beyonce."

Photo Props: Jasmine Alston Graphic Props: Jason Sanders of WMS Photography/Media Additional Nods: Melissa Patterson, Jade Alston, Power 105.1FM

Chicks N' Kicks: Jonnell Chavez | AJ 13 Retro CDP.

Name: Jonnell ChavezAge: 25 Location: Formerly Triple D, Now West Coast Steezin’ Occupation: Designer x Creator x Graphic Artist Kicks Shown: Air Jordan 13 Retro CDP Website/Contact: www.JONNELLCHAVEZ.com | create@jonnellchavez.com

Despite her tiny frame (she's 5'2") Jonnell Chavez is nothing to take lightly. Self-described as "sexy with a dash of ratchet," the half latina beauty has not only become a design heavyweight in the male dominated graphic arts field (you might recognize her work from Draya Michele's 'FINE ASS GIRLS' campaign) but she's also beginning to take her design talents to that clothing game with the release of a small collection of items that have created quite a buzz...inside and outside of the Mary Jane crowd.

We sat down with Jonnell to talk motivation, inspiration and 'Ratchet Season' all while she rocked a mean pair of AJ 13's.

CL: For those who may not be familiar, tell us a bit about Jonnell Chavez.

JC: An artist and designer. A bit outside the box and non-traditional. I’m weird… I embrace my weirdness… it works for me.

CL: One has to be quite the creative personality to do what you do. Talk to us about how you got into the design game and how it’s changed, for you, as your business has grown from infancy.

JC: I fell into it actually. Originally I wanted to pursue audio engineering, however, I took an instant love once exposed to design. That was many moons ago…when I was designing flyers for $45.00.

Design is constantly evolving, as am I. I have recently made a shift to move away from designing nightlife flyers to focus more on business branding such as logos, packaging, websites, etc. You can see by visiting my website =) jonnellchavez.com

CL: LOL! There goes that branding! You’ve really had a hand in creating a number of eye-catching designs. Which would you say was a design that has helped put a stamp on who you are as a creative eye?

JC: I think my design style period is what has captured people. It’s feminine yet, not super frilly and girly. Recently, what really solidified things was designing the FINE ASS GIRLS street wear brand for Draya Michele of Basketball Wives.

CL: Websites, logos, full-scale graphics – you pretty much do it all. Why did you decide to go into business for yourself instead of taking your talents elsewhere?

JC: Welp, design is the only thing I have stuck with in life. I got fired or quit every job I had before so one day I said, "I’m just do this from home, it’s got to work," and it worked! It took a lot of prayer and patience, though.

CL: Finish this sentence – “My personal style is ____________.”

JC: Street Chic. Sexy with a dash of ratchet. Hence, the name for my line's second collection, 'Ratchet Season.'

CL: Speaking of your line, even with the number of clients you’ve generated as a graphic artist, you’ve still managed to start your own line of apparel. How did that come about?

JC: I originally designed and started planning at the top of last year, but my designs were too intricate so I pushed it to the side. One day, I woke up and said, "It’s now or never. I have to do this." I just made the switch from doing 48-hour projects [for my graphic design company] to five day turnarounds or more so that both businesses can run smoothly.

CL: I loved your take on The-Dream’s hit with your “Dope Bish” tee as well as your simple take on the Mary Jane/Bandana combination crew. It seems as if music might play a role in your creativity when it comes to your graphics for the line. Would that be a correct assumption?

If so, how much inspiration comes from certain songs?

JC: Thank you! Music does play a role in my designs, however, I didn’t even know The-Dream had a song titled "Dope Bish" until, like, a month ago. LOL!

My next collection, 'Ratchet Season,' has been inspired from everything we deem ratchet from the early 90’s. I love playing with bandanna prints, gold...the whole west coast vibe [is an inspiration]. I have an entire 'Ratchet Season' playlist on Spotify that consists of all music that inspired this collection. There is a lot of Tupac on there. He was a real G. Ha!

CL: You're getting ahead of me again! Seeing as how you’ve just made a big move to Los Angeles, what can we expect from you in the next few months?

JC: AHHHH and it’s been the most hectic move ever, but well worth it! I will be releasing 'Ratchet Season' at the top of April and I expect to drop a few exclusive items as well that will be available on JonnellChavez.com.

My creative studio will be expanding with the addition of four new creative minds, so that’s something I'm looking forward to!

CL: Obviously, we love sneakers. What are a few of your favorite pairs to rock?

JC: Chucks, of course! LOL! any color is cool long as they are still G and not cheesy. I also love Nike Dunks. I think those are really cute if worn the right way.

*Writer's Note: Jonnell was originally supposed to rock a custom pair of Chuck's in our shoot, but they we uncompleted as of our call time.

CL: Anything else you’d like our readers to know?

JC: Just a reminder that 'Ratchet Season' will be out at the top of April! Visit my website JONNELLCHAVEZ.com and follow me on my social networks! You can find me on twitter, IG and Tumblr @JonnellChavez.

Thank you so much!

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Photo/Graphics: Jason Sanders of WMS Photography Make-Up: Jamie Dionne Shirt: 'Ratchet Season' by Jonnell Chavez - Coming Spring 2013.

Chicks N' Kicks | Kari Michelle - Converse All-Star High Tops "Art Is Free Expression" Edition

Name: Kari MichelleAge: 22 Location: Los Angeles Occupation: Model/Assistant Designer Kicks Shown: Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star High Tops "Art Is Free Expression” Edition Website/Contact: Twitter - @AceBoonCalhoun

With the body of a goddess, the face of a 20-something beauty and eyes that could even melt Omarion's famed "Ice Box," 22-year old model Kari Michelle is, without question, one of the most enigmatic people I've ever interviewed. While you may take one look at Kari's images (there literally wasn't one bad picture in the bunch) and immediately create your own assumptions, she still mystifies and makes us all want to get to know more about the auburn-haired Texas gal.

After attending college in Iowa on a full track scholarship and receiving a degree in Apparel Merchandising, Design and Production, the statuesque stunner (she's 5'9") tried her hand at modeling...and won. After touring Europe and moving to Los Angeles, Kari signed with CESD Talent and is now becoming a model you'll want to remember. She has no plans of stopping there, either - she did study at the London School of Fashion, after all. See? Totally an enigma.

Get to know Kari below and be sure to check her out in all of her Chuck Taylor glory.

CL: You’re absolutely stunning in your pictures, but I’m pretty sure most people don’t know you were actually a track star. Tell us a bit about your background and how you started modeling.

KC: Back in Texas, I had no way of going to college financially so I ran my ass off. Although athletics are/will forever be a large part of my life I had to exercise my other talents in life. I always got that I “should be a model” so after my college track days, with my degree obtained as backup, I decided to give the modeling a go. I surprisingly turned out be much more successful at it than I would have ever thought. Having the industry connects I am making now will greatly help my ultimate dream of having my own line later in life.

CL: You seem to have a very eclectic sense of style. How would you describe how your personality reflects in your everyday attire?

KC: I have a very strong personality thus my attire is strong as well. You get what you see. I am bold, loud, and daring much like almost any piece you can find in my closet. I actually struggle to find a piece that is plain!

CL: Obviously as a model, you don’t always get a say in what you wear. How do you make even something that isn’t your style your own?

KC: You have to be able to throw a spin on anything. Wearing an overstated accessory or funky pair of shoes is normally how I complete a look.

CL: Before moving to LA you jaunted around Europe, correct? How did that change your fashion perspective?

KC: The real question is what perspective didn’t Europe change! London, where I studied, is a very eclectic melting pot of cultures and lifestyles so I really learned to incorporate/not be afraid to try other cultures' style of dress. Also, it showed me that fashion could be anything. It doesn’t matter if an item is “in” or not. Wear what you feel represents from the outside things that you find beautiful.

CL: What’s been the most massive change in your life since moving to Los Angeles and signing with an agency?

KC: Most massive was living abroad. My entire world view changed and exposed me to things that have brought me full circle to be the woman I am today. I feel more prepared from that experience mentally to do things such as model and live in LA.

CL: Obviously, we love kicks. What are some of your favorite ways to rock your sneaks?

KC: I love a cut off graphic sweatshirt and some high waist bottoms, then a hat or funky scarf.

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Photo Props: Chris Thompson of ChrispImages
Editing Props: Jason Sanders of WMS Photography