At 15 years old, Melissa Alexander (aka Phyllis.Iller) was convinced she was going to be a DJ. She had the passion, the love for music and the rhythm to make it happen. All she needed was the equipment. So when her father asked her what she wanted for Christmas, she made sure to ask for two turntables and a mixer. To her surprise, she received a small digital camera instead. “I was slightly disappointed,” she recalls, “but, little did I know, this would be the beginning of a love affair documenting the life I saw before me.”
If you’ve never been to an event created by Nirjary Desai, you’ve been missing out. Radiant, lively, lavish and grand, her events are tailor-made once-in-a-lifetime celebrations. “If it’s not perfect, it’s not right,” the spicy but sweet Zambian-born trailblazer says.
After becoming the first black woman to win an Oscar Award for costume design last month, the internet buzzed with her name, but Ruth Carter’s legacy began decades ago. In fact, her career in film started more than 30 years ago when she designed costumes for Spike Lee’s “School Daze” in 1987. Since then, she’s worked with some of Hollywood’s most prominent directors including Robert Townsend, Ava Duvernay, Steven Spielberg, John Singleton, Lee Daniels and of course, Spike Lee.
It’s not everyday that we’re confronted with the idea of legacy. Sure, we’re taught that actions have consequences and that what we do matters, but when was the last time you thought long and hard about legacy? When was the last time you reflected on your role in the larger world? Have you taken the time to consider how the heritage of your ancestors determined so much of who you are today? These are the questions painter and artistic director Jarvares “J.Q.” Franklin encourages us to ask ourselves.
It doesn’t take long for guests to take note of Canopy’s luxurious vibe. Within seconds of entering the West Peachtree parking garage, valet staff greets you with smiling faces as they grab your bag and park your car because, well, self-parking isn’t allowed. Located in the city’s artistic district, the boutique hotel is walking distance from Piedmont Park, Atlanta Symphony Hall, the Alliance Theatre and the High Museum of Art.
He’s designed more than 750 household items, yet most of us don’t even know his name. We use his products day in and day out, never stopping to think about the details of how the items were made. Instead, we drive to a store and grab what we need, never quite realizing how his sacrifices resulted in our convenience.
Like most brands with lasting legacies, British retailer Kurt Geiger began as a fascinating tale of history, struggle, desire and passion. The son of a Jewish Viennese merchant, Geiger spent most of his childhood working in his family’s drapery business.
They refused to invest in her dreams and spewed out some really harsh criticism. “The chances that this is a business are practically zero. You only have so many minutes on Earth, don’t waste them trying to sell lipstick,” Businessman Kevin O’Leary told 29 year Detroit native Melissa Butler in 2015 on ABC’s “Shark Tank.”
With his collection of charcoal pencils, acrylic supplies and oil paint, 26-year old Oliver Okolo is making his mark on the world. “I try to pass a message of self awareness and also bring our attention to all that is happening in our society today,” the self-taught artist tells The Spark, an art magazine.
“We can do two things when confronted with uncomfortable truth,” Canadian American musician Jordan Edward Benjamin told Billboard Magazine. “We can ignore the evidence, gaslight the victims, obfuscate facts and distract the public, or we can try and tackle these issues head-on and demand that systematic failure be met with systematic change. I believe art, and rock ‘n roll, must always side with the latter.” A quick snippet from any of Benjamin’s songs will let you know his mind is made up. ‘grandson,’ as he is affectionately known, decided early on that he would use his artistry to talk about hard truths. His debut EP, A Modern Tragedy vol. 1, conveys these truths with thought-provoking lyrics, genre-blending sounds, electric guitars, heavy metal clangs, unexpected bass drops and one-of-a-kind vocals.