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Taylor Swift Rocks Her First Vogue Cover!

18 Jan

Taylor Swift graces her first cover of Vogue’s magazine for their February issue. I have got to say I am in love with the floppy hat. It has been a big fashion accessory for a couple seasons. It’s also an added bonus to any outfit for any season whether spring, summer, fall or winter.

Besides how awesome she looks on the cover, in her interview, Swift talks candidly about her bombshell career, her past loves, her public image and of course dating. She says she is not currently seeing anyone but working on her fourth studio album which she describes as “this earth-shattering, not recent, but absolute crash-and-burn heartbreaks.”

 The star talks about what she is looking for  in a future beau but she also has a number of red flags that she looks for. We all have been down the road of hearbreaks at a point in our lives and we can also take advise or hear and learn from others. I am definitely interested in reading this issue from the young, fresh, vibrant country celebrity.



A Mother’s Love…..

21 Nov

There are many times in life where a story can just inspire you…. Chocolate Hair/Vanilla Care is such a story that not only inspires but moves you. I came across the site from one of Simply Studded’s writers “Hershey“.  And after looking at this women’s labor of love I was moved to interview her. This is the story of a mother’s love and dedication…. It is a lengthy interview but worth every detail so please read it in its entirety.

Boo with her parents and the Judge on adoption day...

1) What lead to you creating your website Chocolate Hair, Vanilla Care? What was your thought process during the creation of the site?

I started the web site when I realized that it would be easier to point people to a URL than to take the time explaining haircare in the middle of Target. 🙂 Seriously, I think there was a point when I was out shopping and other adoptive parents would make a beeline over to me to ask me about my daughter’s hair. I would always do my best to explain as much as I could, but there was only so much information I could share in an impromptu meeting in the store before our children would grow restless and end the conversation. Setting up the web site made it so much easier for me to just put everything in one place and then point people there.

2)  I looked at the hairstyles and you and your husband are good!!! I need to learn a few styles for my future baby. Did you teach yourselves how to style your daughter Boo’s hair or were you both trained by a professional.

Good old trial and error. I make mistakes all the time. I’m fortunate to have an online friend from a message board who had a daughter Boo’s age, she is an adoptive parent, and is African American, and a licensed cosmetologist. I remember asking a lot of questions before Boo was even a few months old. She would send me photos of things she had done on her older daughter’s hair and I would go from there. Like I try to tell all new adoptive parents, everyone is a beginner at some point; and I’ve only been doing this for a few years and had to learn without anyone coming to my house to show me how. If I can do it, they can do it.

3)  I am an African-American women and I am also a product of the Foster Care system. I believe that children should find love in a family wherever it exists, race should not be an option. However there has been a lot of criticism about transracial adoption. What are your thoughts on this and have you or husband received any criticism or negativity for your choice to adopt outside of your race? If so how did you respond or handle that criticism.

This is a really complicated subject upon which I could spend pages discussing. I think that one of the important points of offering information on the web site to foster and adoptive parents is to help them understand things that they might otherwise be afraid to ask, for fear of judgment. I’ve had Cacausian people ask me if we were going to adopt an American, why didn’t we adopt a white one? I’ve had African American people tell me straight-up that they don’t agree with transracial adoption or intermarrying because they believe that we can never understand the experience of our daughter. The truth is, the opinions of other people on this subject matter to me about as much as my own, which is not at all; the only opinion that matters to me is the Lord, and I strive to do the best I can raising my daughter in a way that is pleasing to Him. And in doing so, that’s what I think gives me the strength to counter the nay-sayers.

4) Why was it important to you to take such a direct approach with doing your daughter’s hair, and learning about the hair texture, techniques and even skin care. Why was that so important to you?

In a way, my answer to this question is in conjunction with your previous question: I think it’s important that when people become a parent to a child that they learn how to properly raise them. Women aren’t born knowing how to breastfeed their children, they learn by doing it; but the child needs to eat, so finding a way to feed a child is a necessity. Caring for your child’s hair and skin is no different, in my opinion. It’s a need of the child that must be met and as a parent, that’s my job. Just because the needs are different or unfamiliar to me doesn’t mean that I can’t learn how to do it. Better yet, the more that I learn about the caring for my daughter, the closer I feel to her in being able to meet those needs, no matter how different they might be from my own. Not sure if that makes sense. But I am more than aware of the fact that some who disagree with transracial adoption do so because historically there hasn’t been the effort by adoptive parents to learn how to care for the hair and skin needs of children of African descent. And I think that’s fair. But also, historically there have not been the resources available for adoptive parents to properly learn how to do so. I’m hoping that in some small way that this web site helps fill that gap. I also have to say that starting the Facebook page along with the blog has been amazing. I’ve been able to watch people from all over the world learn and share with one another, people from all different races and ethnicities talking about what’s in the best interest of their children.

5) I went over your list of essentials and I saw a few familiar items and a few unfamiliar items such as ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar). Without giving away your secrets can you explain why it is better to cleanse your hair with ACV versus shampoo?

I’m just not a fan of sulfates in shampoos, as they really do a number on my daughter’s hair. When she was younger there were not nearly as many products available as there are now for sulfate-free options. At the time, most options required costly purchases online and I felt that I needed a cheaper alternative; ACV rinses helped meet that need. However, as I’m seeing more products move into the stores in my area, that might change, although since we’ve found a routine that works for us we probably won’t be making any adjustments to it until it’s necessary to do so.

6) Reading your Blog it is like the reader is taking a journey with you, Boo and your husband. What made you want to detail your life in this dynamic way? (Personally I find it fascinating and as a mother -to- be I actually learned a few things.) But what was your vision or purpose creating this sort of life journal if I can call it that.

Originally when I first started writing I had the intention of only documenting hair and leaving the family aspect out of it entirely. But I received so many quesitons via email about adoption and our experiences that I felt it important to bring those into the online discussion. People have questions; there’s an interest, I guess, in how we handle certain situations, especially those related to the transracial make-up of our family. Just like with providing hair information, if sharing more of our story is helpful to others, then that’s what I want to do.

7) Now your website covers everything from extensions, to twist, to complicated braids and basic essentials in hair care. Was it important for you to learn all these various styles and techniques or was it a personal goal, something you wanted to prove to others.

I have to laugh a little at this question, only because I never realized how much doing hair fit my nature until I started doing it. I’m a very creative person, but I’m aslo extremely detail-oriented. For example, I paint. In water colour.  In 10mm x 10mm squares on vellum.  One teeny-tiny square at time. So the more intricate the hairstyle, the more intriguing to me. And the more creative I can be, even better. Further, the more that I can do with my daughter’s hair, the more she appreciates it. She loves all of the things that her hair can do; if I hadn’t bothered to learn anythng other than puffs, I can’t say for certain that she would feel the same way.

8 ) What are 3 things you want to teach and instill in your daughter that she can carry on until her old age.

Wow!!  That’s another tough one. First and foremost, I want for her to know that God made her the way that she is for His pleasure, and He doesn’t make mistakes. Secondly, there are a great many injustices in the world, but “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty” (Prov. 16:32). Lastly, but not least of all, that she was loved, both by us as well as the family who placed her for adoption.

9) I know you may not be an expert but I feel you have a lot of experience in hair care. Have you ever thought of launching your own hair care line or is something that is in the works?

LOL No, nothing like that has ever occured to me. I enjoy writing, so I will probably just stick with that.

10)  I am very observant and at the end of your site it says powered by Jesus Christ…. As a fellow Christian has your personal relationship with God influenced your mission with the website at all or even influenced your vision.

I view my blog as my ministry. It puts me in an odd place among bloggers, but I don’t blog for myself, I blog as a way to serve others. Where bloggers are often told not to be influenced by what their readers want (unless they’re blogging specifically just for numbers), I am very influenced by my readers; after all, I’m here to serve them so if there is something that they want to know more about, that’s what I will do.

11)  We always like to leave off on a happy note… So please leave our readers with a few words of inspiration or a quote you live by…

I believe Ralph Waldo Emerson’s definition of success is something hope I may be worthy of aspiring toward: “To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children, to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends, to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded!”

Boo Looking Lovely!!!!

Singing “Put a little love in your…Pot”

1 Sep

I always get joy out of highlighting people that are doing great things in their community.  Last week I went to New Orleans, Louisiana to do a rebuilding project with the Missions Ministry of my church.  We had the honors of staying in a very humbling camp site called “Camp Restore”.  Aside from this being one of the best things that I have ever experienced, I was able to eat some GOOD down home New Orleans cooking.  Throughout the week, just to name a few, we had things like Creole Red Beans and Rice, New Orleans style Barbeque Chicken, Baked Chicken, Salisbury Steak with Green Peppers and Onions, Chicken Pasta, Collard Greens, Dirty Rice, Grilled Pork Chops, Andouille Sausage, Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce, Stewed Apples with Cinnamon and Nutmeg, and the highlight of the week was Ms. Lorraine’s “Crawfish Monica”.  Mmm Mmm Mmm… I cannot begin to explain to you how amazing it was!!! (I used the exclamation to stress it. LOL)

Ms. Lorraine & Mr. Charles Breaud

I was honored to meet the Couple behind the amazing cooking.  Ms. Lorraine and Mr. Charles Breaud, whom after 43 years of marriage are still enjoying sharing the kitchen at work and at home. Here is a peek into our conversation…

What made you decide to become a professional cook?

Just watching people enjoy themselves eating different foods and dishes.

Who were you inspired or mentored by?

My grandmother who had a restaurant and my mother who cooked for 9 children every day.

How long have you been doing this and what motivates you?

I have been cooking ever since I was12 years of age. People telling me how great the food tasted [motivated me].

How were you able to manage your home/family life and your job being that the culinary business is so demanding?

By putting God and my family first, things just fall in proper order, having good people helping me.

How has it been working so closely with your husband for all of these years?

It has been a ladder, but we enjoy each other’s company and putting things together.

 How did you get involved in working with Camp Restore?

My sister Brenda Johnson was the head cook. I had retired and she called one day and asked if I would come and work with her, and I said yes.

What is your average work day like?

Busy but I enjoy it.

 What would you say defines New Orleans cooking?

The layer of different seasonings. The love people put in preparing the food.

 I have found that there is a lot of history behind many of the dishes that you cooked for us.  How does that play a role in your cooking?

The history came from my grandmother and mother that is how I learned to cook.

 A lot of people suffered great loss post Hurricane Katrina, did cooking bring you comfort through the process of putting the pieces back together?

I was the only one in my family that didn’t lose everything, so my family came to my house and I would cook for them. There is nothing that can replace family. Material things come and go.

What is your funniest kitchen incident?

I had a full pan of rice and trying not to drop it, I did a split and didn’t waste a drop.

 What is your most successful recipe?

Ms. Lorraine’s “Crawfish Monica”.

 What ingredients should every home have in the cupboard or refrigerator?

Salt, pepper, garlic, and good taste buds.

 Would you like to leave us with a recipe?

Yes, smile and love yourself, family, and all others.


LOL in true chef style Ms. Lorraine did not leave us with any food recipes, but a true life recipe.  Thank you so much for taking the time to share your life and love of cooking with us.

God Bless

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” -1 Corinthians 13:13

Style Watch…

22 Jun

While having a cocktail (ok maybe two), with some friends for my birthday. I couldn’t help to love the outfits around the room. The girls were really stepping out as they usually do. One look that I loved was courtesy of  Camoy Briscoe, as it was put together and matched up very well. In my opinion, the look was overall HOT.

Therefore, in today’s edition of Style Watch we will be looking at this Event Consultant’s attire from Head to Toe.

Questions on the Fab attire:

Trish: Camoy! I’m really feeling your outfit!!

Camoy: Thanks Girlie!

Trish: What was the inspiration behind your outfit???

Camoy: I was going for Tribal meets Fabulous look tonight!

Trish: I can totally see that! Do tell where the clothing is from…

Camoy: Sure, no problem! My blouse is from American Apparel, shoes are Giusepps, bag is from Marc Jacob, and get this…the skirt is from Forever 21!!!

Well there you have it people! What do you think of our style watch???

Stay Blessed,


Candace Coles!!!

8 Apr

Candace Coles

Here at SimplyStudded we have an intensive eye for Fashion, Food, and Music! With that being said I’ve had the opportunity to sit down with an inspirational soulful singer by the name of Candace Cole! For those of you who may not know who Ms. Coles is, she is a talented, bright, and intelligent singer who just released her first CD titled “FingerPrints”.  I was ultimately blown away by her talent and had to share with our Studded friends. Without further hesitation please take the time out to learn more about the person behind the beautiful voice…..Ms. Candace Coles.
Trish: Ms Candace Coles…Finally! Thanks so much for doing this interview with me! I really enjoy listening to your music!

Candace Coles: You’re so welcome Trish!

Trish: At what age did you start to sing?

Candace Coles: I started singing as a young girl – we all know the singing into the hair brush scenario and yes…that was me…lol I remember being in church as a small girl and they called me to the front to announce to the congregation that I was going to be a singer…I was all of 6yrs old… But I didn’t actually begin my singing journey until I was about 8yrs old. 

Trish: Did you take any vocal lessons to sharpen your craft?

Candace Coles: Yes, when my mother found out I wanted to sing she sent me straight to the arts school in my district- we moved to NC, and in the 6th grade I began The Durham Magnet Center for the Arts and later moved to the DC area where I attended The Duke Ellington School of The Arts. So from the age of 11-17yrs old I took classes in dance, music, and theatre.

Trish: I know you attended Berklee College of Music. What was that experience like for a soulful singer? Did it heighten your music passion?

Candace Coles:  I believe it allowed me to connect the skill to my talent. It also allowed me to gain strong relationships that have been pivotal in my music career. I made lifelong friends that just so happened to be super talented producers, songwriters, and musicians. So the passion has been there all along, I think mostly it’s allowed my passion the opportunity to shine.

Trish: Did you always know that this is what you wanted to do?

Candace Coles: Yes. My cousin always teased me saying she wished she always knew exactly what she wanted to do like I did. I think it’s always been in my heart and they say whatever you focus on expands so I’ve been focusing solely on my career for a Loooonnggg time. So it slowly but surely expanding!


Trish: I really love the tracks from the album, did you write most of the songs?

Candace Coles: I wrote all of them! I co-wrote with Gordon Chambers on track 5 – Nervous. It was a catharsis in a way – just getting out all of the emotions I was feeling as I approached this project…so it’s quite relieving to see the EP in complete form.

Trish: What is the inspiration behind your music? For example, I get zoned out listening to Nervous…the lyrics are really deep. Do Tell..

Candace Coles:  Well with the song Nervous particularly, Gordon came into the session and said “How do you feel about your career and where you are right now?” I replied ” Well, I’m nervous, but I’m optimistic, it’s not a negative nervous…its like when you know something big is coming and you can’t sleep the night before…its a good feeling!” Then he dug in – asking all about my insecurities and how I felt about everything…I followed up with writing my thoughts – wondering how people who are legends conquered their fears… I ideally wanted each record on the EP to speak to the champion inside of all of us – so that we could have something to listen to on our journey to success. Most likely if you vibe with this song in particular it’s because you have a deep passion for something in this world and you’re sincerely nervous!

Trish: Who are some artist that you would love to work with and why?

Candace Coles: I love to work with people who are sincere and talented at what they do – be it songwriters, producers, and musicians alike. I find my collaborations only work with people who genuinely follow their hearts and don’t allow the “industry-pressures” to rule their work. That being said I would love love love to work with people like, Jill Scott, or Raphael Saadiq, CeeLo… simply, genuinely talented people that shine their own light… I don’t feel that any of them are a replica of any other person I’ve seen or heard. That’s what I love the most about them.

Trish: Are there any upcoming events for you in the tri-state area? If so, please let us know where.

Candace Coles: Yes! I will be performing at SOB’s this summer in NYC!!! Please tune into the site– I hope everyone can make it out…if you do want to come please contact us to get on our list for admission! I would love nothing more than to see all your shining faces in the audience – that’s what propels me to really perform!

Trish: Now you know we thrive on Fashion here at Simply Studded. What are some fashion designers or trends that you love this Spring Season?

Candace Coles: Ooooohhh yes! I must say I love Badgely Mischka this season for evening attire – the gowns I’ve seen have been exquisite! In terms of day-to-day, I have been in the market for fresh colors and comfortable wear and I see Mr. Marc Jacobs understands me this spring…lol I’m all about comfort, style, with a spark of fabulousness! 
I own a pair of Silver Diamond Manolo flip-flops that just about sum up my fashion sense…Fabulously comfortable! So this season like most seasons, my friends will tell you – I bargain hunt for color and anything flowery! But when the night falls – I adore these fabulous feathered Christian Louboutin (I have to save up for them) pumps I saw with a form-fitting cocktail dress- can’t be afraid to flip it… I feel that if nothing else there should always be a party on your feet – gots to have some shoe game! hahaha

Trish: What is some advice that you can lend to someone who is looking to pursue a music career?

Candace Coles: Now-a-days the only advice I can share is to be yourself, and create your own formula. The season of ‘fitting into molds’ is fading FAST! There are great people that have come before us and for that we can look to them for input but I totally feel you should find your own light and pursue it. Especially with youtube, and twitter, and vimeo – we now have the opportunity to build our own brands and broadcast it- without the restraints of a big business over haul. So I advise upcoming people in the music profession to first, know your craft, perfect whatever you do- be it writing, performing, producing, managing etc. – and know that it’s in your heart first (meaning it’s a passion and you’re not just following a fad).Then, when you build the necessary strength in your craft – begin to share it with the world! I wish much success- especially to those who were BORN for it- the bottom line is…follow your dreams, use your heart and your feet will follow!

We there you have it people!! For more information, please check out Candace’s website

Below is a link for the song  Nervous off the Fingerprints Album….Tell me what you think!

Be Blessed,

Limitless Creativity…. Mariela Zapata!!!

27 Mar

I had the opportunity to meet with Mariela Zapata, founder and CEO of Zapata Designs.  She is a talented young woman from Washington Heights in New York City.  We at SimplyStudded love spotlighting designers who are adding spice to this world and she is doing just that!

Mariela has a beautiful handbag line with designs that have been seen in the hands of Hollywood sweethearts such as Kay Cannon, Kate Baldwin and Victoria Clark.  I know you all are sure to fall in love because the designs are absolutely breathtaking!  I cannot wait to see what else is in store.  And because I love sharing with my fashionistas.  Enjoy!


Ki: Who is Mariela Zapata?

Mariela: Who is Mariela Zapata?!  Extremely in love with her collection that she just launched.  An authentic, passionate woman who is in  love with creating what she envisioned, showing it to the world, and having her pieces transform women’s outfits into something unique and beautiful.

Ki: What led you into designing accessories, as opposed to shoes or clothing like a lot of other designers?

Mariela: I do handbags now, but I also design shoes.  However, what led me to accessories is because for me, accessories are the final touch to an outfit.  It identifies a persons individual taste and sense of style.  So, my love and interest for accessories is to define a woman’s style through my design and her choices in my accessories.

Ki: So I know you are from the Dominican Republic, how does your culture affect your designs and inspiration.

Mariela: A lot affects it in terms of the vibrancy, the charisma, the music, the color, the food, and the beach.  That warmth, that sense of love, that melody, that rhythm behind my culture inspires me.

Ki: I have many friends from the Dominican Republic, and I must say the culture is beautiful!

Mariela: Thank you!

Ki: One celebrity who was spotted wearing your designs was Kate Baldwin.  Do you have any other celebs that you would like to see wearing your designs?

Mariela: To wear my designs, I would love to see Halle Berry, Julia Roberts, Sarah Jessica Parker, Zoe Saldana, who actually shares the same cultural background as me.  Also Nicole Kidman, who is very chic, Anne Hathaway, Jennifer Anniston , and Jessica Alba.

Ki: A lot of Fashionistas!!!  So when designing, do you listen to music?  What is usually playing in the background?

Mariela: I listen to music!  I’m very inspired by music!  I listen to a lot of different types of music.  I love world music, but my favorite is Sting!

Ki: Niceeee!  Well I know you are an Uptown girl!  Has the culture influenced you?

Mariela: Yea, absolutely! The edginess of growing up in Washington Heights.  Being raised in New York.  That edge, the diversity in terms of how I incorporate each different material and how I blend it with textiles and combinations of the different tones of each textile.  All those different components of Uptown and where I was raised now show in the details of my handbags.

Ki: Do you plan on expanding your accessory line further?

Mariela: Future wise my designs will expand into shoes, and belts, and different accessories.

Ki: Is there one quote that you live by, that inspires you, that keeps you motivated?

Mariela: Happiness is a journey, not a destination!  Just keep going and be very in love with what you do with yourself.  Believe in yourself.  Everyday be happy because we’re presented with different things. Life is so unpredictable, so enjoy everything you do especially if you are allowing your dreams to come true!

Ki: So “Happiness is a journey, not a destination”!

Mariela: Yes! Or “Fashion is my passion!” LOL

Ki: What else can we look forward to from Mariela Zapata?

Mariela: Right now, as you see, I have an evening collection.  We are working on launching a more casual line which is going to be AMAZING!  The line will have details focusing on woods and stones which will be the embellishments on the designs.  And future wise, there will be shoes and belts!  We will go into home accessories as well!  It would then pretty much cover every accessory in your world and life!

Mariela was truly delightful!  She is a beautiful young woman who is very passionate about her work. Her great personality shines through and it was an honor getting a chance to meet her!  She is definitely a designer to look out for!  To see more of her work and to make your orders please visit her website at

Here is some of Mariela’s electrifying creations… Enjoy….

Monaco Black Clutch

Barcelona Silver Clutch

Egyptian Gold Clutch

The Queen of Kings…

28 Feb

Here at SimplyStudded, you should know by now that we thrive on fashion and remain fashion forward! We love to give recognition to those individuals who are trail blazers. With that being said, we’ve had the opportunity to sit down with none other than Christiane King for an interview. Please take the time out to read this dynamic interview and get familiar with Ms. King…

Christiane King

Thanks so much for taking the time out of your day to do this interview with us ladies @SimplyStudded. Let’s begin the interview by getting to know Christiane King.

 1) Who is exactly is “Christiane King” and how long have you been designing for? 

Christiane King: I was born in the Cote d’Ivoire (French for the Ivory Coast) where I spent most of my childhood and college years. After earning a Bachelor’s Degree in International Trade in the City of Abidjan and interning at the country’s top oil refinery, I realized my passion lied somewhere else.

I always showed a strong interest in fashion. But growing up in a country where fashion is highly underrated, I could not get my parents’ support, nor could I guarantee myself a successful career in fashion.

Soon enough the opportunity to travel presented itself and I left the Cote d’Ivoire for Paris and later relocated to Los Angeles. Experiencing both French and American cultures has really allowed me to broaden my fashion sense.

Once in the United States I decided to go after my dream and began studying Fashion design. I graduated from Woodbury University in Los Angeles with a Bachelors Degree in Fashion Design and after years designing for a local apparel manufacturer, I decided to start my own label.

I launched my first womens wear collection in the Fall of 2006.

2) What would you say is the inspiration behind your work?

Christiane King: The woman’s body is my greatest inspiration. My design philosophy is to create clothes that are flattering to the woman’s body and bring forth her best assets. I love to use layers, textures, volume and draping to achieve that. Now when it comes to environments and things that keep my creative fuel burning, the spectrum is vast. From nature, to art, to furniture the smallest detail can trigger a tremendous creative outburst.

3) I’ve noticed that your collection pieces are extremely detailed and have a ruffled flower ensemble in some of the pieces. Would you say that this is your signature look?

Christiane King

Christiane King: My signature look is a piece that embodies three characteristics: Feminine, flirty with an organic twist. I definitely like a “girly” look and flowers really speak to me.  So you’re most likely to see a ruffled or flower-inspired piece in most of my collections.

4) I see that you have been creating some flawless pieces for quite a few credited celebrities since 2008. Please tell us one celebrity that you would like to design for but haven’t done so yet?

Christiane King: Yes, I have been very fortunate to have many Hollywood starlets wear my designs. My ideal woman to design for is a strong, assertive, feminine woman who has a good sense of who she is and what she wants in life. She is a woman who is not afraid of taking risks but who also knows that trends should never outsmart her personal style. They are a few women that I think embody these qualities but if I were to name just one celebrity I’d like to design for, I’d probably say Jada Pinkett-Smith.

5) How do you come up with the concept of your creations?

Christiane King:  As I mentioned before, I love nature and that is usually the best environment for me to be in at the start of a collection. I usually pack a picnic bag, armed with a blanket, a sketch pad and pencil and go sit at a park or botanical garden for hours. It usually does take much to get started with my concept once I’m in the right environment.

6) What was the most challenging aspect of getting into the fashion industry for you?

Christiane King: I would say that my decision to go back to school and attain yet another degree, this time in fashion design was a challenging decision.

I was starting over at the age 21, which is when most people graduate from college in the United States. Although that sounds young to me ten years later, it didn’t at the time. But I was so eager to learn about a subject that fascinated me for so long that I took it as an amazing opportunity and went for it 100%.

7) Are there any other lines that are on the horizon for Christiane King? For example would you design a men’s line?

Christiane King: I’m looking into working on a small collection of purses. I will keep you posted when that happens!

8 )  What are some suggestions that you would give to someone who wants to embark in the world of designing?

Christiane King: First and foremost, I think it is really important for anyone who chooses to become a fashion designer to be passionate about this field. The fashion business is very competitive and cutthroat. It is not all the glitz and glamour it is often made to look like but instead it is a lot of hard work. You also have to be able to build a tough skin to filter through all the criticism (good or bad) that you will receive throughout your career. To be successful in this business you have to know what you’re doing by getting the right education. Love what you do. And believe in what you do. I love this quote by Jim Cathcart: “Aim high! The future you see, is the person you will be”. I live by that quote!

9) What are some upcoming events for Christiane King that the public can look out for in the near future?

Christiane King: Well, I am currently working on finishing my Fall/Winter 2011 for Los Angeles Fashion Week in October but I’m always open to participating in charity fashion shows. I don’t have any of these shows scheduled at the moment but I usually try to take part in local shows to help good causes any way I can through my art. Updates on my upcoming events are always posted on my Facebook Fan Page at or in the news section of my website

10) Where do you see your company and brand in the next 5 years?

Christiane King:  My future aspiration is to see my brand become a household name. I’m working hard on staying on top of women’s changing wardrobe needs. I hope that by continuing to create designs that are in tune with what a woman wants, I will be able to take the brand to the next level. I strive to create clothes that better women’s lives and still maintain my design aesthetic.




Christiane King


Christiane King

Christiane King

Christiane King

The Creativity of Personal Chef Kimberly Parris

24 Feb

It’s Black History Month and I will like to honor a Black woman that is making history.  Personal Chef Ms. Kimberly Parris is taking the culinary world by storm.  A graduate of the Art Institute of New York City, Kimberly has taken her creativity and her love for food and created a power couple of Mmm Mmm goodness. I was blessed with the opportunity to interview Ms. Parris, and I will like to share my experience with you. Please enjoy the mouthwatering and funny interview and photos that follow.


Chef Kimberly Parris

Why did you choose to become a personal chef instead of the more conventional restaurant chef?

I’m not a traditional person by any means. I strive to go against the grain. To me, being in a formal restaurant environment, albeit stable and exciting all the same, becomes stifling to my creativity. As a personal chef, not only do I have the ability to show and utilize my training, but I also have the opportunity to show my creativity. It’s my personal canvas.

How would you describe your services?

I am a French inspired Caribbean caterer and personal chef that offers the experience – the food, the ambiance, the service, the entire package.

What inspires you?

Two things ultimately inspire me – my love of creating, and my seven year old daughter Michele. She is such a little grown up, and always pushing me to pursue my dreams.

How is your creativity expressed in your work?

I am a lover of taking unusual combinations and putting them together to create new masterpieces. A prime example of this is my white sweet potato pie. The average American is only familiar with the orange yellow sweet potato that goes in pie. For me, I wanted to be able to create a new experience and exposure to my clients, so I thought: what if I did a pie with white sweet potatoes instead? How would that change the flavor profile? I tried it, and now it’s a signature dish of mine. Many of my signature dishes come from an ‘aha!’ moment, a moment where I stretched my boundaries and decided to be more creative.

What kind of clientele do you cater to?

I cater to everyone! When I started, I would cater to two markets: the single black professional or the working family professional of black or Caribbean descent, for the most part. But now I cater to everyone – I’ve done work for Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child, I’ve done large scale events for major entities such as the New York Urban League and United Cerebral Palsy, as well as small brunches for the average working professional. If you’d like a taste of K. Parris eats, you’ve got it!

If you had 20 minutes to prepare for a dinner party of 4, what would you throw together?

Sheesh! 20 minutes? Ok ok… I’d probably throw together a starter dish of Papaya, Cucumber and Tomato Salad, which is really simple and palate cleansing, and then I’d do a simple Brown Rice Pilaf with some Grilled Ginger Honey Salmon and Buttered Asparagus. I might even throw together a Berry Crisp if I had 5 extra minutes to spare…but sheesh! I’d hope that’d never happen…I’m good at working under pressure, but I like to be prepared! =o)

Thank you so much for sharing Ms. Parris!

Island Grilled Shrimp Skewers

White Sweet Potato Stuffed Baby Bellas

Jungle Girl's 1st Birthday Cake

Assorted Hummus Platter

For further information, please visit

Embracing My Curves…

13 Feb

In the world of fashion there is very few designers who shake the industry upside down. I mean completely turn it on its head. Well Monif C is such a designer.  Monif C  caters to plus-size women in a way that is nothing short of fabulous. I have seen many clothing lines that try to design for a plus size market but they have nothing on Monif C….. Monif has captured fashion, style and elegance in every piece she  creates. I had the pleasure of interviewing Monif C and finding out  what makes her tick  and  all the inspiration behind her designs.


1) Who is Monif C and how was it established?

Monif C. is a contemporary lifestyle brand that was established for the
purpose of giving plus size women fashion forward and luxurious

2) What made you cater to a “plus size” audience…? (Sorry but I hate
the term plus-size)

The reason we cater to plus size women is because I am catering to
myself. I am a plus size woman and my mother and I started this company
5 years ago because we were frustrated with not being able to find
stylish, contemporary clothing.

3) I love your convertible dress I think it is chic… Smart and
fashionable… What made you come about designing and patenting the
design for your company?

The idea behind the Convertible Dress is based on vintage multi-purpose
dresses as well as obis, sarees, and togas. I figured if anyone needs a
universally flattering dress like the “Marilyn” Convertible Dress it is
plus size women.

4) I noticed on your site you show different ways to wear the dress does
it come with a style guide? So the consumer can learn how to create the
styles you have showcased?

The “Marilyn” does not come with a diagram on how to tie the dress, I
have found that is not the best way to learn how to wrap the dress. We
have 6 videos on our website that are linked to our youtube channel These videos give step by step
instructions for most of the styles.

5) What is Monif C overall goal for your company?

The overall goal of Monif C. is to create a brand and lifestyle that
inspires and empowers plus size women and provides clothing and soon
other products that cater to our sexy, confident customers.

6) What word will you use to describe Monif C…? 
The word I would use to describe Monif C is “innovative”. We are doing
things that have never been done in the plus size market ever before.

7) With all the health scares a lot of women have taken to a healthier
lifestyle by losing weight. Celebrates like Jennifer Hudson and Tocarra
who were known for their voluptuous curves have shed the pounds… What
are your opinions on this? Do you feel it is a healthy message that is
being sent? Why and Why not.

I am a big fan of being healthy no matter what size you are. I think
it’s a personal choice for each person to decide how they want to live
their life. I take my life and health into my own hands so it doesn’t
bother me at all nor does it send me any “message”. I am happy though
that we are seeing more diverse body types and I think we need to see
more women of all shapes and sizes. There is not ONE right way to
“look”, beautiful women can be 130 pounds or 300 pounds. There are many
plus size women that are very healthy, they workout, eat right, and I
don’t believe you have to be a size 6 to be healthy. I believe no
matter your weight, you should first love yourself and you will decide
what is healthy and normal for your body and nourish your body how you
see fit.

8)  Who is Monif C dream client (if you haven’t already dressed her).

My DREAM client would be Oprah. HANDS DOWN! She is such a beautiful
dynamic woman with a gorgeous figure and personality and she’d look
amazing in Monif C.

9) Now I looked at your site and you have a St. Tropez bathing suit that
is to die for!!!! Unfortunately you don’t make my size… As a company
do you see yourselves branching off into other markets and sizes or are
you primarily Plus Size.

As Monif C. continues to expand, we will certainly diversify our product
offerings. I do believe strongly that our brand is a voice for the plus
size woman and I am committed to keeping that focus.

Classic Sophistication….

4 Feb

Designs by Charles Corvsky Dieujuste

At SimplyStudded we are always looking for what’s hot, what’s fashionable and what’s current… Upon my quest I came across a phenomenal designer by the name of Charles Corvsky Dieujuste.  Charles is a designer who is up and coming and full of potential. He is a Designer who truly knows how to design clothing that frames a women’s body. I had the pleasure of interviewing Charles and getting into the mind frame of what it takes to be a Designer.

Charles Corvsky Dieujuste

1)      Who exactly is Charles Corvsky Dieujuste?

Charles Corvsky Dieujuste is a hard working Haitian-American who is working on his ultimate goal; Designing women wear is one of his many passions. I am not the most perfect individual but I am working towards perfection! I am a student, I work fulltime and I am working towards my brand. I am not as fortunate as others to delve into the industry with vast contacts. But I am working towards it. I am an optimist and believe that opportunities don’t just knock on your door. In life you simply must go after what you really want. I mean i guest I am aiming for the ultimate goal to fulfill this ultimate dream.

2)      What is “Fashion” to you (in your own words)?

Fashion to me is a form of expression. An expression from my thoughts, mind, mood, art, lifestyle etc. But ultimately fashion is what has been transformed into apparel or garment.

3)      What influenced you to become a fashion designer?

When I was growing up I remember telling my mother that I wanted to do something pertaining to the arts. That Idea was not a great one because she opposed it. As i grew older I knew sketching was something that I enjoyed doing. I remember making my first garment when I was ten. I made a skirt for my sister out of paper with fringes on it. The paper was like mustard yellow I can remember it like it was yesterday. I remember my sister was like 5 or 6 at the time and I don’t know if she remembered the experience. At the time I didn’t have a clue about garment construction except for watching my aunt making dresses in Port-au-Prince. To think my first garment was sealed by elmer’s glue at the ends…. Wow… Till this day I laugh at that experience.

Designs by Charles Corvsky Dieujuste

4)      I read your Bio and realized you are from Haiti. How has your culture affected your designs?

My culture plays an important part in my designs. It plays a part when i get the opportunity to use vibrant colors in a collection. The brand is new and growing! I can’t wait to play and experiment with some vibrant colors in the future.

5)      Looking at your collection it is cohesive. You have separates and dresses. Is there any piece you are mostly proud of?

Thank you so very much. The pieces that I ultimately love are the floor length gowns. My aesthetic consists of old classic glamour with feminine silhouettes and a splash of modernism. Because of the economy and our time frame my clientele unfortunately are not wearing floor length gowns unless for a special event. CCD is working on balancing both worlds.

6)      Your Spring 2011 collection is ultra-feminine, soft and screams elegance. What was the inspiration behind this collection?

This collection was simply based on the mood that I was feeling at that moment. Ultra feminine is CCD’s main goal. The inspiration behind this collection was Back to Basics. In other words creating a collection where I felt pieces could be worn during the day and also styled for evening gatherings or weekend festivities. The right accessories could surely bring these key pieces to life. In terms of styling it would simply be left to your imagination. Go wild have fun with it!

7)      As a Designer you have to stay ahead of the trends; what do you see as the upcoming trends for women this year.

Personally I don’t go after trends! I choose to create as it comes naturally. Honestly trends are for the consumers. In other words the consumer that is purchasing the garment should create the aura of the garment. Set your own trend I say…. Be original be bold… Everyone has their sense of style. Embrace it!!!

Designs by Charles Corvsky Dieujuste

8)      What is one word that can be used to embody your designs?

CLASSIC…  The reason for this is because my designs can be worn 5 years from now. All you have to do is accessorize it to your preference. Accessories are key to any garment.

9)      If you could collaborate with one designer, who would it be and why?

They are so many great designers that I truly admire and would collaborate with.  #1 is OSCAR DE LA RENTA,  #2 VALENTINO, # 3 ELIE SAAB, and #4 ZUHAIR MURAD. These designers are amazingly talented!!! I would love to collaborate or work with anyone of them if I am given an opportunity. Lastly CHRISTIAN DIOR my all-time favorite.

10)  Where do you see your company going in the next few years?

Honestly I am not sure where the company will be headed in the next few years. I am open to the wonderful opportunities heading my way. All I can say is let the hard work begin!!!!!!

11)  Where can consumers go to buy your clothing?

Consumers can make purchase via online all information is on the website.

12)  If you could dress one celebrity client for the Red Carpet, who would it be?

Oprah Winfrey…. She is a strong woman and represents herself quite well. She is intelligent, compassionate, bold and makes her own decisions. In spite of it all she overcame a lot of obstacles and is a continued success. I admire all these qualities about her!!!!

13)  Okay Charles leave our readers with some parting words of inspiration or a quote you live by…

DO NOT LET ANYONE STILL YOUR JOY! INDIVIDUALS AT TIMES ARE BITTER & HAVE NOTHING ELSE TO DO BUT TO BRING YOU DOWN! ON THAT NOTE RISE ABOVE IT ALL. This is something that I live by day to day. At times life can throw you a curve ball you simply must rise above it all.

Designs by Charles Corvsky Dieujuste