Courtney was born and raised in suburban St. Paul, Minnesota, but always wanted to move to sunny L.A. She turned that dream into a reality when she was accepted to UCLA, where she obtained an undergraduate degree in economics. Courtney’s passion for fashion and modeling started very early on. After various shopping sprees with her mom, they would outfit her new clothes and partake in an impromptu photoshoot in their backyard. Courtney’s other interests include volleyball (which she competed in for seven years), yoga, karaoke, tennis, trying new foods and going to concerts.
Vaughn Lowery, founder and publisher of 360 MAGAZINE, is set to release his first book this month. Move Like Water × Be Fluid is a stunning memoir documenting the author’s journey from a childhood in the Detroit’s subsidized, section 8 housing to a successful career in fashion and media. The arc of this remarkable passage twists and turns in surprising ways, ensuring readers will believe in the concept that this life truly is what you make it. The text will debut as an exclusive multi-volume installation within 360 MAGAZINE and marks the inception of the brand’s foray into publishing.
This provocative coming-of-age story explores the power of branding strategy, a technique the writer developed at an early age and carried with him throughout his lifetime. Lowery, from the time he was a young child, is able to comprehend that one’s innate, individual self is their greatest commodity in life. Through the highs and lows that inform his experience, he stays true to that ideal. Lowery puts forward a raw and compelling narrative of a child, and later a man, who repeatedly picks himself up, reimagines his life, and finds innovative ways to move forward. The self-empowerment so emblematic in Lowery’s character and story promotes readers to adopt the author’s tactics in their own lives.
The influence of prominent civil rights leader Joseph Lowery, the writer’s grandfather, is prevalent in this work. A beacon for both hope and progress during the Civil Rights Movement, the legacy of Joseph Lowery weighs heavily on the narrator. This, along with his upbringing and existence as a black man in America, make Lowery both introspective and contextually aware when it comes to race. Moreover, draws parallels between the movement his grandfather championed and led, and the Black Lives Matter movement of today, exposing the failures of our system and calling for meaningful, systemic change. Both Joseph and Vaughn Lowery are members of the first intercollegiate historically African American organization Alpha Phi Alpha. Lowery simultaneously considers the work he can do, as a singular human being, to forward social justice causes in his day-to-day life and interactions with others.
In 1920, his grandmother, Agnes Christine Moore Lowery (the little girl in the blue dress, also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha), came with her grandmother to become the first black to vote in Tennessee. The kids’ book, The Big Day, depicts their journey the day she voted, now available on Amazon here.
360 Magazine is also now selling one of a kind home goods via Chairish, a curated marketplace for the best in vintage and contemporary furniture, decor and art. Check out this piece designed by 360’s founder Vaughn Lowery.
In the year 2020, which has been afflicted with an overwhelming amount of change, there has never been a timelier moment for insight from a man like Lowery. As mentioned, Lowery’s deep ties and connections to racial justice in America feels incredibly relevant, as do his thoughts on digital media, something Lowery pioneered years before COVID-19 forced the world hurriedly online. Constantly at the forefront of social change, Move Like Water × Be Fluid offers an understanding of the current moment, yet looks forward to the possibility of an evolved, cosmopolitan world. One that Lowery aspires to through all his works, including this installation and 360 MAGAZINE.
As we follow the author through grade school, high school and on through Cornell University, we collect advice from a myriad of powerful secondary characters. From all walks of life, these secondary support systems offer Lowery the push he needs to continue on striving towards something better. We watch Lowery model the work ethic of his admired older sister, gain confidence from an encouraging teacher, change the trajectory of his life due to a neighborhood mentor, and learn from the critique of a Residential Advisor. This self-help-book stands apart for never failing to appreciate the importance of an individual’s support system. Fittingly, while the book catalogues Lowery’s journey to success, it inspires and encourages readers in the same way Lowery’s community uplifted him – to take action towards a meaningful life.
Comparable titles to Move Like Water × Be Fluid include other stories of individuals who later turned to publishing their experiences in self-help books. Numerous celebrity examples include Becoming by Michelle Obama, Shoe Dog by Phil Knight, or The Path Made Clear by Oprah Winfrey. These titles, as well as Lowery’s first book, all feature introspection and explanations regarding the course of the authors’ lives.
The following descriptions outlines the chapter-by-chapter journey within Move Like Water × Be Fluid.
Chapter 1: The beginning of Lowery’s journey is marked by his complicated childhood in Detroit, distinctly connected to his sense of place and community. Financial struggles and surroundings reminiscent of the song “Gangsta’s Paradise,” as well as the author’s early experience with assault contextualize the course of Lowery’s life.
Chapter 2: A childhood mood, coupled with the realization of his intelligence, swiftly changed the direction of Lowery’s life. Following a move to New Jersey to live with his older sister, Lowery’s early experiences of racism shine a light on his passion for racial justice today. The opportunity to participate in an honored education program again changes the trajectory Lowery follows.
Chapter 3: This chapter offers insight into the ups and downs of high school, a narrative many are familiar with. Yet, Lowery’s poised observations throughout the chapter reflect his early understanding of the world.
Chapter 4: After a remarkable yet complex journey through high school, Lowery achieves the first of many dreams by gaining the chance to attend Cornell University in New York. At Cornell, he is able to expand his understanding of self and what he hopes to accomplish.
Chapter 5:Saks Fifth Avenue recruits Lowery to work in their corporate office, marking Lowery’s first foray into the world of economics and fashion. The advice he gains from mentors in the field prompts him to shift towards a career in acting and modeling, supplemented by working in the Medicare Department of U.S. Healthcare.
Chapter 6: New York, in all its hectic nature, pointed Lowery west towards California where he could further capitalize on his talents in the entertainment industry.
Chapter 7: This chapter details one of the events in Lowery’s life for which he is best known: his commercials as “Joe Boxer Guy” that overwhelmed the nation. Following ups and downs in Los Angeles, this success cemented Lowery’s understanding of his own talents as well as his ties to L.A.
Chapter 8: Following an offensive home invasion, Lowery pivots to continue embracing what life throws at him with appearances on NBC’s “Scrubs” and “America’s Next Top Model.”
Chapter 9: With plenty of capital and the space to complement his next steps, Lowery founded 360 MAGAZINE in 2008, powering through the tidal wave that was the recession all due to his own brains and the belief in his product and brand.
Chapter 10: After another painful reminder of the inadequacies of the justice system in America due to an unjust prison stay, Lowery’s comprehension of what is truly important is once again realigned. Despite his negative experiences, his magazine is able to be on the cutting edge of the Los Angeles scene.
Chapter 11: The number 360 is ubiquitous to Lowery – one embodies the other. His appreciation for both his own capabilities and expertise, as well as the ones of others, assures his magazine and brand are constantly evolving.
Chapter 12: Thinking on the future following the tragic death of a friend, Lowery is nowhere near finished and is more than ready to continue is many metamorphoses. He now exists in a space where he strives to empower others, all around the world. 360.
Additionally Vaughn has an audio book titled, “Say Uncle: The Story of Vaughn Lowery” which loosely based on his childhood. It is available for here on Amazon Music. For additional info on Vaughn Lowery visit Wikipedia and IMDb.
Armon Hayes is an editor for 360 Magazine and the creative director for Ace of Haze Style of Ace (AOHSOA). 360 Magazine and Armon are reaching out to brands regarding sponsorship opportunities with their companies. On Saturday, June 12th btw 4PM-8PM, his intimate immersive pop-up shop will be reminiscent of a traditional Bronx Bodega, and is a collaborative effort to elevate both brand’s priorities in popular culture and design (PC+D). This creative intersection is the environment in which his team, partners, friends reside and thrive.
This boutique and private shopping experience will be held at the #360TRAP Bronx workspace, with Armon and friends. Space is compatible with all ideas from the imagination. The event will feature #AOHSOA Trunk Pieces and lifestyle choices, specifically designed for consumers to live their best PC+D lifestyle.
Target: 25 appointments, including live/digital/customized orders.
The pop-up will possess a carnival theme and will feature creative activities and decors compatible with this fun concept. The event’s open bar will run for four hours and feature signature spirits of mixologists, as well as festive tapas. This event will be a privileged opportunity to reinforce brand awareness and network among target audiences and sponsors.
Our signature drink for the night will be the The Remix by INDOGGO® Gin:
Muddle strawberries in a cocktail shaker, add INDOGGO®, lemon juice, simple syrup, and ice cubes. Shake, then strain into a rocks glass, serve with crushed ice.
Participation in the event will take place by invitation only. The guest list was developed using email databases and social tools, and includes relatives, friends and influencers. Visiting appointments will be staggered in increments of 45 minutes each, as the event will follow all COVID-19 precautions as recommended by CDC guidelines. For more information on the event’s scope, please see the Media Kit.
For sponsors, their brand logo will be featured at the event through marketing tools used for social engagement. Swag bags available with purchase. An exclusive selection of my lifestyle choices will be organized and presented to festivalgoers. Sponsors can take part in these levels of participation:
Bronze: Brand can choose to be part of the “Swag with Goods” lifestyle, a must-have gift bag. $249
Gold: Sponsors will have a page built on 360 Magazine’s website and their brand displayed during the event. $475
Platinum: Sponsors will receive a full-page in a forthcoming edition of 360 Magazine. Their brand will be posted to the event, and samples of their product or branded gift cards will be included in the VIP Swags. $789
This summer event will also be the precursor for World Blood Donor Day (6/14) and Armon Hayes’ birthday (6/16). You may RSVP HERE.
Armon looks forward to working with Bodega sponsors as he moves forward.
Isabelle Grace Jewelry creates stunning, timeless pieces of jewelry. These beautiful baubles have been spotted on celebs such as Katherine Heigl, Christina Milian, Danica McKeller and more. Customers can create their one-of-a-kind jewelry by selecting personalized charms, initials, and semi-precious stones. With a wide variety of hair accessories, bracelets, necklaces, rings, and anklets, customers are sure to find their next favorite statement piece.
Zavor Cookwear offers practical kitchenware that has been recommended by “America’s Test Kitchen,” Good Housekeeping, and more! Zavor’s Noir Cookware Collection is durable and retains heat, which allows for even cooking throughout dishes. With quality cookware like the LUX LCD Black multicooker, DUO Pressure cooker, Induction PRO cooktop, and the Crunch Air Fryer Oven, making dinner is easier than ever. At the Bodega, all of the aforementioned products will be auctioned off to guests in a raffle.
All of these cookware pieces are designed to go from the stovetop or oven to an elegant table presentation, without mess or worry. The simple yet modern design offers absolute cook-and-serve convenience. For more information, you can visit Zavors’ website.
Multi-talented Don Benjamin transitions from modeling to music
→ Los Angeles, California June 2020 – After a successful modeling career and placing in the top three of hit modeling competition show, America’s Next Top Model (ANTM), Don Benjamin takes aim at the music industry.
Benjamin’s music isn’t the traditional mainstream rap we’re used to hearing. He hopes his music influences our society in a positive way. “I’m a fan of Drake and J Cole. Lately, I’ve been listening to more gospel rap, artists like Bizzle, Eshon Burgundy, and Lecrae [noted Christian rappers]. Music lately feels so negative. It’s all about doing drugs and degrading women. I need something that is gonna feed my spirit and motivate me to be a better person,”
Don Benjamin on distinguishing himself from the direction of current mainstream rap artists: “I don’t feel like much rap nowadays spreads positivity. Most songs that take off aren’t really saying much of anything. I want to spread a good message.”
During this time of unrest, Benjamin has taken a stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and joined the music industries Blackout Tuesday. Other celebrities, including Beyoncé have used their social media platforms to demand justice for George Floyd and encourage their followers to take action.
→ PUMA × The Hundreds – California streetwear brand The Hundreds joins PUMA to debut a new line of footwear, apparel and accessories inspired by the last three decades, called “The ‘90s Cliques”.
→ Shaggy – Grammy award winning artist Shaggy, known for top hits “It Wasn’t Me” and “Boombastic,” discusses the variety of his music and how he remains grounded.
→ YaVe Tequila by Joe Cruz – Motivated by his passion for family and community, Joe Cruz creates YaVe Tequila. After many attempts to get the right formulation and an incredible shift to a team of female chemists, the world’s first naturally flavored tequila was born. Although this tequila was introduced shortly before a world-wide pandemic hit and YaVe’s original plan of having a large presence in bars is impossible, they’ve managed to grow their online presence with partnerships and influencers. YaVe has angled themselves as an essential for a stay at home happy hour.
→ Michael B. Jordan × BODYARMOR – BODYARMOR’s largest campaign to date, voiced-over by award winning actor Michael B. Jordan, is rooted in the belief that no matter who you are, only you can make you better.
TRAVEL JOURNALIST THOMAS WILMER INTERVIEWS 360 MAGAZINE PUBLISHER VAUGHN LOWERY
Small to medium sized business often fall short due to high turnover. Vaughn Lowery, Publisher of 360 Magazine, provides listeners with first-hand knowledge on the ever-shifting world of digital publishing and content creation through a youthful lens. Likewise with his innate ability to be accessible, he speaks to working in tandem with emerging generations and how their input could be detrimental to the survival of a brand.
An Additional Conversation with 360 Magazine’s Publisher Vaughn Lowery
If Vaughn Lowery was asked what his idea of success was 10 years ago, his answer would be very different from what it is today. He may have said that success means doing what he loves to do, being accomplished, or having a certain amount of material things.
“Success to me now is having a purpose in life and feeling passionate and fulfilled by it,” says Lowery.
Lowery got his first taste of the industry while interning for Vibe Magazine while on Summer vacation from Cornell University. His sister drove him into New York City every morning to drop him off and always advised him to be the first one at the office. One morning Lowery found himself alone with the publisher of the magazine at the time, Keith Clinkscales, which gave him the opportunity to speak with him one-on-one. It was due to his sister’s advice that he got the chance to do what no other intern would normally get to do.
After finishing up at Cornell in just three years, Lowery became an executive trainee with Saks Fifth Avenue. He was able to get along with everyone in the office and was doing great when he was called into his boss’s office one afternoon.
“She told me I was in the wrong business; that I was very charismatic and should try acting,” Lowery says, “but, I liked the path I was on at that time.”
It wasn’t until Lowery was asked by someone connected to the talent industry if he was a model that he truly considered breaking into the talent industry. Shortly after taking professional photos and getting them out to agencies, Lowery ended up with Ford Models. From there he did photoshoots, tv commercials, and ad campaigns, all while still working in outside sales at Aetna US Healthcare. Once he began modelling full time his face was in the pages of GQ, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, and Gap. By being around people of all different positions, primarily in the magazine publishing industry, Lowery came to understand how content was produced. It was right before the recession hit while he was living in LA that Lowery made the transition from modelling to the publishing industry.
It was his experience in modelling that inspired Lowery’s creation of the 360 Magazine. While working on any given shoot, Lowery was often one of just three or less black men. Often times he was the only black man on a set which drew his attention to the lack of representation in the media industry. Lowery’s goal for the 360 Magazine was that it would fill this niche and promote diversity across the publishing world, specifically the covers of its magazines.
For those wanting to work in the media industry, specifically in the publishing world, Lowery suggests starting from the ground up.
“Being self taught and learning as you go is something you need to be open to,” says Lowery, “Ask tons of questions, and learn everything you can from every position.”
Lowery warns that it’s important to be open and cordial to everyone, because you don’t know when your paths will cross again. Making connections and using them is how most people gain opportunities. He also adds that just by hanging out with people you’ll always learn something that you can apply to aspects of your work.
Things in the industry have been changing and becoming more digitally focused since the beginning of 360 Magazine’s launch. The magazine was started during a time of e-zines, so it’s not a surprise that the website came first. Lowery had experience with creating websites from a young age so the move from print to digital was natural for him. It was clear to him where the industry was going.
“Print was getting costly, bookstores were looking dilapidated and even Barnes and Noble was focusing on their version of the tablet, the Nook,” says Lowery, “All the magazines were looking alike anyway.”
Print was still important though. Besides the fact that advertising agencies want to see a physical copy of a magazine before working with them, print is taken more seriously due to its cost. Other companies will be aware that a certain magazine has the funds to support itself if they have a print copy to show for it.
360 Magazine printed their first issue in 2009, but it was costly. Lowery began thinking that there had to be some other way to work with print. It was then that he decided to do print on demand publications. 360 Magazine linked with Blurb, which allowed anyone to order a print copy of the magazine right from our website. They’ve been distributing to them for 9 years now.
The magazine’s estimated circulation, which is based on print, is 110,000 from print on demand. This number doesn’t tend to move much, but most people end up reading 360 Magazine’s online articles through WordPress.
When asked what makes a media contributor most marketable, Lowery says that in this industry you need a social following and the ability to network. Being accessible and having a portfolio of published work is a great place to start as well.
“Do it all,” Lowery says, “monetize, write, take photos, be on time, and take initiatives.”
The hardest thing about the industry in Lowery’s opinion is breaking into it and surviving on freelance jobs along the way. Writers should be prepared to sacrifice mentally, physically and financially. While working for a publication, Lowery says that writers need to do what they can to become a valuable asset to them. That way, a publication will be more likely to keep you on board and help you in the future.
As for internship positions at 360 Magazine, Lowery aims to teach interns everything that he didn’t learn. He’s assigns articles for interns to write, pushes them to network, has them do coverage and teaches them how to get published or to self-publish.
“We teach interns how to be resourceful and find themselves in the organization,” says Lowery.
When interns can bring business to the magazine, the magazine will bring business to them. Special assignment opportunities are available for interns who finish their program and are still looking to remain involved. Lowery says that while the magazine is specifically looking to groom editors, that if a publication wants to really pop, then they have to have a revolving door.
When asked what goals he has for the future of 360 Magazine, Lowery responded that he aims to keep it three dimensional with podcasts and web series.
“I want to be able to put the brand out to different countries and places in America,” says Lowery, Local presences would strengthen us.”
He also says that he’s interested in the possibility of a reality spin off or docu-series, as well as introducing more formal programs for educational purposes.
Michael Letterlough Jr. is an Award-winning fashion, commercial and portrait photographer whose work has been seen and published in national and international magazines such as Forbes, Vogue Italia, GQ, Vibe, EuroMoney, Ebony/Jet and Essence to name a few; as well as international selling CD and book covers, national ad campaigns, top modeling agencies, and countless celebrities – including Janet Jackson, Kevin Hart, supermodels Beverly Johnson and Janice Dickinson, and Hip-Hop mogul, Russell Simmons.
However, it’s the work Michael has created with such companies as American Express, Nike, and the Bravo TV Network, as well as smaller businesses and individual personalities that positions his style of imagery as strong, commercial branding tools. When aligned with businesses – big and small – Michael has the ability to creatively and ingeniously produce photographs that not only perfectly represent their brand, but also command an audience’s attention.
Michael was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated with a degree in Communications/Magazine Journalism from Temple University. After beginning his professional career as an entertainment journalist, he eventually discovered his passion for photography and developed much of his photography career living in New York City. Michael currently lives in Los Angeles, California.
Jerris Madison is a Los Angeles-based noted Fashion Photographer who is also the Publisher and Editor-In-Chief at OBVIOUS Magazine. OBVIOUS Magazine is one of the most influential magazines with a global reach of 4 million each month via social media and obviousmag.com.
Among his clients are Kevin Hart, Essence Magazine and Eva Marcille. Jerris’ most recent work was featured on the Dianne Reeves 2015 Grammy win for Best Jazz Vocals Album.
A Detroit native, Jerris finds his stability through family and friends. Noted for always “living his best life”, this perspective was put to the test in November of 2014 when Jerris lost his right leg to Chondrosarcoma Bone Cancer.
Not one to be slowed down, Jerris views himself as a survivor and continues to play varying roles such as Image Consultant, Social Media Expert, Film/TV Wardrobe Stylist, Motivational Speaker, as well as Photographer. He hopes that his story and experience will lead him to become an author, global philanthropist, potential talk show host, and even docuseries that focuses on his life and the stories of other amputees around the world.
Editor. Fashion Chief. Photographer. Survivor! Jerris Madison, you deserve this ovation!
The 2018 #NBA#AllStar Weekend will be in #LosAngeles, February 15th-19th. The world will be in Los Angeles and the world will be watching. Let’s show the world we can have a great time while still exuding compassion for humanity. There will be a series of Celebrity Charity Lifestyle Events. The purpose and objective of this All-Star Weekend Celebrity Charity Lifestyle Events are to bring awareness to homelessness in Los Angeles as we are asking every attending guest to bring a blanket, a coat/jacket, socks and hygiene products. The items will be donated to help assist one to four organizations that provide assistance to the homeless community.
Los Angeles is America’s homelessness capital. About 58,000 people in Los Angeles County experience homelessness on any given night. L.A. County is known for glamour and glitz, but if you look past the bright lights, you’ll see what angels see — men, women, and children of all ages that have lost their homes — and their hope….http://urm.org.
These Celebrity Charity Lifestyle Events will be during the 2018 NBA All-Star Weekend here in Los Angeles, February, 15th-19th. The main-event will be on Thursday, February 15th at the Crocker Club 453 S. Spring Street/DTLA, 5P-8P: Happy Hour, 8P-10P Red Carpet/Celebrity Arrivals and 8P-2A #PartyingForAPurpose. These events will bring awareness to the homelessness epidemic in Los Angeles…
WELCOME TO LA Celebrity Charity Party, Thursday, February 15th, 5p
1P-5P Celebrities/volunteers/brand reps participation will meet at Culver City Plaza 9400 Washington Blvd. to drop off collected goods to one-four chosen non-profit organizations who provide goods and services to benefit the homeless.
Kristoffer Forby is a 21-year-old Scandinavian celebrity/model who hails from Denmark. Over the past few years, he’s been featured in numerous ad campaigns around the world: ASOS, Adidas and Nike.
In 2015, Forby was discovered by a Barneys New York store manager while shopping. Shortly after, he booked various editorials for online fashion magazines. Fast forward two years, he’s become one of the most sought-after international talents of today.
As of late, he’s become a top digital influencer who boasts over 548,000 Instagram followers and has recently set up a YouTube channel where he curates his daily travel adventures alongside of his closest friends.