Posts tagged with "javier pedroza"

Modelo Illustration by Reb Czukoski for use by 360 Magazine

Modelo × Mister Cartoon

Modelo, the beer brewed for those with The Fighting Spirit™, has teamed up with legendary LA-based Mexican American tattoo artist, Mark Machado aka Mister Cartoon, to invite fans around the country to celebrate Día de los Muertos in style.

To honor the tradition of Día de los Muertos, Modelo has launched custom 24 oz. Model Especial and Modelo Negra LTO cans designed by Mister Cartoon himself, evoking classic Día de los Muertos motifs such as skulls and marigolds, alongside an exclusive line of Día merchandise featuring Cartoon’s art that fans can claim starting on October 25th through the holiday season.

Mister Cartoon offered an exclusive interview with Javier Pedroza to explain the process of his partnership and to talk about heritage.

MODELO®

Born in 1925 in the small town of Tacuba, Mexico, Modelo has been bringing distinctive high-quality beer to people ever since, including Modelo Especial®, Modelo Negra®, and a flavorful lineup of Modelo Cheladas. Modelo Especial is a golden, full-flavored Pilsner-style Lager with a clean, crisp finish. As the #1 imported beer in the U.S., Modelo Especial recently surpassed 150MM cases sold in 2021. The Modelo family of beers are exclusively brewed, imported and marketed for the U.S. by Constellation Brands.

MISTER CARTOON

Mister Cartoon’s richly detailed, hand-rendered designs are inspired by the style of tattoos that originated in the streets of 1970s’ Los Angeles – fine line Chicano black and grey custom tattoo art. Cartoon took this style of tattooing and brought it into mainstream culture. He is known as a pioneer in the tattoo world, and as one of the first artists to get global notoriety by tattooing celebrities, athletes, musicians, and actors alike.

Ballerina by Mina Tocalini for use by 360 Magazine

Bombazo Caribbean Skirts Featured at New York Fashion Week

By: Javier Pedroza 

Milteri Tucker Concepción is a busy and multi-talented Afro Boricua who holds degrees in Biology, Chemistry and a master’s in Dance Education. She is an author, a mother and was casted in Lin Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights the movie. As we approach #NYFW2021, Milteri puts on another hat, as designer.

Milteri is the founder of BOMBAZO and the artistic director of Bombazo Dance Co. The Puerto Rican-Bronx based non-profit dance organization’s focus is to educate, advocate, preserve and perform Bomba Puertorriqueña. As an author, educator and master Bomba dancer, she lectures across the United States and the world. I sat with Milteri and we spoke about Bomba, fashion and Puerto Rico.

Milteri, tell our readers, who is Milteri Tucker Concepción? 

Well, I was born and raised in Puerto Rico and grew up with a passion for dance since I was 5 years old. I  recall dancing in “la Sala”(the living room) with three of the most influential women in my life: my grandmother, mother and aunt. As part of my upbringing I remember dancing, planting and assisting my elders in the kitchen. I also vividly recall shopping for fabrics with my aunt and watching my grandmother Abuela Teresa, warmly referred to as “Mama” sewing. My aunt “Titi” Maria Concepción was a designer who attended FIT and designed clothes for top actors in Puerto Rico. I was blessed to have been raised in a household full of  love, and love for my culture!

As a teenager, I studied dance in La Escuela de Bellas Artes in Ponce, PR. At 17, [I] moved to NYC to pursue careers in dance and science. In 2006, I graduated with a dual major of Dance and Biology with a minor in Chemistry from Hunter College. I currently hold a masters degree in Dance Education from NYU Steinhardt. Today I am a renowned Bomba master dancer, choreographer, scholar, dance educator and author. [I wrote] the first bilingual Bomba children’s book, titled “Bomba Puertorriqueña” and illustrated by Boricua artist, Mia Roman.

I’ve had the privilege to perform in multiple venues across NYC and the world – from the prestigious Lincoln Center, Madison Square Garden, City Center, Summerstage, Pregones Theater, BAAD, The Latin Billboards Awards, dancing for Don Omar with choreography by Maria Torres O’Connor, to amazing community centers.

I am a cultural warrior (guerrera cultural) who safeguards our traditions of Bomba Puertorriquenas, via [my] 501c3 non-profit dance organization: Bombazo Dance Co, Inc and international brand of Caribbean dance skirts: Bombazo Wear-Bomba & Caribbean Dance Skirts®. I was recently  featured in Lin Manuel Miranda’s movie, In The Heights, as the Bomba representation.

How was your experience filming ‘In the Heights’?

Being invited to dance Bomba for In the Heights was a surreal experience and a dream come true! It was an honor to represent our African heritage through our traditional dances. However, one of my favorite memories came after the movie premiered…. I had the opportunity to open the 2021 Virtual National Puerto Rican Day Parade in NYC, where Lin and I danced Bomba together.

What is the history of Bomba?

Bomba is Puerto Rico’s oldest musical genre, dating back to the 17th century and created by the African enslaved and free people of color from the Caribbean. This was one of the ways they communicated in our coastal sugarcane and coffee plantations.  It is a secular practice, where the community gathers to sing, dance and drum.

Why did you create Bombazo Dance Company?

I founded Bombazo Dance Company to show the world that Puerto Rico has rich African ancestry, and that our traditions are very much alive. As a Bomba dance company, we communicate through dance and drumming. [This is] reflected in our traditional folk art dancers. It is also important to create a safe space to fuse Bomba with other forms of dance – such as ballet, contemporary, social dances and dances of the African and Caribbean diaspora.

What inspired you to create Bombazo dance wear? 

At the same time I started Bombazo Dance Company, I was teaching Bomba classes to the community and needed skirts. Believe it or not, it was hard to find a seamstress who could make Caribbean skirts or a location to purchase them. I wanted to create skirts that fit all Caribbean dance styles, because I am that dancer. And voilà – Bombazo Wear Bomba Caribbean Skirts was born! My mother, Dr. Margarita Concepción, and I are the CEOs and we sew the [skirts] too. Our skirts are handmade, custom[ized] and tailored to each client. A part of the funds go to aid families affected by the earthquakes in Southern Puerto Rico.

How does it feel to be invited to NYFW 2021 / Harlem Fashion Week?

It is an honor to have been invited to showcase for a second time in HFM! The organizers are truly showcasing diversity within their shows and providing  opportunities for designers of color to present their designs to the world. It’s important to me – as a woman of color, a Latina and AfroBoricua – [that] they understand my vision of dance as fashion. And my skirts have fashion written all over them!

Tell us about your upcoming collection “Resistencia y Libertá!” (Resistance and Freedom)

I am the creator of the Puerto Rican Bomba Flag Skirt®. A flag; its colors, represents a collective orgullo – pride for its people. Our flag was conceived and designed here in NYC. It was prohibited to fly The Puerto Rican flag in both Puerto Rico and New York at one time. Its pride is back after Hurricane Maria, [now] you see our colors in every town’s building and rinconcito (corner) in both Puerto Rico and the diaspora! Therefore, my new collection for 2021 is titled: “Resistencia y Libertá!” Where each skirt in the collection represents a social cause affecting Puerto Rico – such as the cultural resistencia by the people, No al Feminicidio, Boricua hasta en la Luna, Afroboricuaness, LGBTQ+ representation and support in the Bomba Community, ect. It is important to note that this is a brand and line designed and sewn by a Bomba dancer, a person from the community. These are skirts [are designed] with a mission. Part of the funds go to help families affected by the earthquakes in the South of Puerto Rico and organizations/community ensembles continuing the labor of safeguarding Bomba traditions in the island.

Any advice for the youth who want to connect and immerse themselves with their African roots and Culture?

Learn about all parts of you! That makes you unique and special. Speak to your elders: abuelas, abuelos, tias, tios and elders from your community. They have a lot of wisdom and years of experience you can learn from. Always connect to your culture, to your African roots! There is an African proverb I love : “Sankofa– in order to move forward you must know your past!” Know who you are, where you come from, so that you can pass the knowledge to your next generation! Ubuntu! (an African Proverb [that] means “I am because we ALL are!”)

For more information and to view images, please visit HERE.

Missing JP Ramirez

Very esteemed make-up artist, JP Ramirez (42 year old Chicago native), who has worked with many people in the entertainment industry, including 360 Magazine, was found dead a few days ago.

Ramirez was last seen in Hell’s Kitchen this past week.

Recently, family and friends held an evening vigil in his loving memory. If anyone has information relating to his disappearance or death, please contact the authorities.

360 Latinx Editor, Javier Pedroza says, “To know JP is to love JP! Juan Pablo was one of the most sweetest and creative souls that I had the honor of knowing and create magic with. Growing up in New York City as young adults, we were discussing our future and how we would help humanity. JP had a sense of community and was always there for anyone who needed him. I will miss dancing ferocious salsa, styling together and laughter with our friend, but we will never forget his heart and soul. Rest in power amigo and thanks. Love you.”

“He was a beacon of hope, with a positive spirit that penetrated the room. We met JP on a special music presentation for our agency as a makeup artist, featuring LaJune. He will be missed but not forgotten,” says Vaughn Lowery (President of 360).

Newly appointed 360 Creative Director, Armon Hayes says, “Having had the pleasure of working with you [Ramirez] … his openness and willingness to collaborate on short notice was unparalleled. I knew I was seeing somebody special. Talent beyond what the eye can see, we’re really going to miss you and you made an impact on me.”

According to the 360 brand ambassador LaJune says,” JP was a brilliant light, his energy was exhilarating and soothing at sight! He was really talented yet very humble. I am so fortunate to have had to opportunity to meet and work with him! Losing JP is a reminder to enjoy every beautiful soul you encounter. Pray to turn the page and send light and positive vibes to your loved ones.”

Find out more about JP Ramirez and his talents from a recent interview.

A celebration of JP Ramirez’ life will be held at 7pm on Friday, August 6, 2021. The ceremony will start at 7:30pm and take place at Tito Murphy’s (346 W 46th St, New York, New York 10036.) Guests are invited to come dressed as you are, as JP loved for you. The celebration of JP’s life will include both a bar and DJ.

Juan Pablo celebration poster image via Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 Magazine

I AM LAJUNE

*LIVE PERFORMANCE – 360TV

**FAN FAVE – FIBRILLATE

***NEW VIDEO – BLOW

****LISTEN – VH100 PODCAST

Hip-Hop songstress LaJune resurrects with her latest single YA! It’s the follow-up to Go Girl off her new record entitled, Mind. This artist’s prolific sound is reminiscent of an iconic Timbaland track. With senses engaged from jump, the bass notes transform into a melodic, yet husky hook. Her words are witty and wise, demonstrating her prowess with a pen.

Her second extended-play provides a glimpse into the psyche of an emerging artist. In addition, this lyracist is the first female inducted into 106 & Park Freestyle Friday Hall of Fame. No stranger to the stage, she has showcased her talents by opening for R&B stars Joe, Case and Chrisette Michele (Grammy winner).

A trilogy of transparency, Mind, was released at the top of the year. Recently, LaJune announced her second video off the third album entitled, What You Got, featuring cinematographer Shaleek Tukes and director Ameer Copper. The visual voyage depicts the conflict of the higher and lower self. On screen, she exudes fierce tenacity and conviction, witnessing social injustices on her television. The opening scene immerses the viewer into a diabolical domain, digesting police brutality against both minorities and women.

ABOUT LAJUNE

Currently, she is the co-host for VH1’s podcast Vh100 – devoted to discussing music, pop culture and celebrity news.

Not to mention, this content creator exhibits her acting chops in an interrogation scene with actor Jim Shearer. Check out the behind the scenes of What You Got by Amenze Victor.

Right now, LaJune is moving towards the launch of new projects in parallel with motherhood.

Cop LaJune’s Mind Merchandise

lajune grant photographed by armon hayes for 360 magazine.
singer, songwriter and rapper lajune grant inside 360 magazine.
lajune grant inside an article for 360 magazine.

LaJune performs with band.

Cardi B Illustration for 360 Mag

21 in 21

21 Afro-Latinxs to celebrate in 2021 and beyond! 

By: Javier Pedroza

It’s Black History Month, which gives the planet time to reflect on how African American achievements have contributed to US history and how African achievements have contributed to the world. Although, don’t forget it is important to highlight and celebrate Black accomplishments year around. Due to the current global climate, it’s important to become more knowledgeable and celebrate the Afro-Latinx population for its contributions to US history and the world.

After 2020, it is an especially important time to embolden the community to take part in the celebration of Black culture. This year, the Black History Month theme is “Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity” which explores the African diaspora and their contributions.

To really understand the African diaspora it is essential to acknowledge that there were more African slaves to Latin America than to the United States. “There were 11.2 million Africans who came to the New World in the slave trade and of that 11.2 million, only 450,000 came to the United States,” Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. said in a discussion about his PBS documentary series Black In Latin America. He added, “The real black experience, in terms of numbers, is all throughout the Caribbean and Latin America.”

Today, Latinx should understand their roots, which have an undoubtedly long history of African heritage. Hispanics & Latinx identities are beautifully complex, multifaceted and multidimensional. A Pew Research Center survey of Latinx, adults shows that one-quarter of all U.S. Latinx self-identify as Afro-Latinx, Afro-Caribbean, or of African descent with roots in Latin America. This is the first time a nationally representative survey in the U.S. has asked the Latinx population directly whether they considered themselves Afro-Latinx.

Many Latinos identify with their ancestral countries of origin – Puerto Rico, Colombia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Cuba, Peru, the Dominican Republic, etc. Others may also identify with their Indigenous roots and all of these experiences made contributions to Black History. A goal to have moving forward is to celebrate global Black History and continue to recognize the contributions African-Americans have made to the world, including achievements made by Afro-Latinxs & Afro-Indigenous people. It’s imperative for Latinxs to acknowledge their African & Indigenous heritage given that history and cultures are inextricably linked to slave trade in the Americas, genocide and the African Diaspora. 

Here’s a growing list of amazing Afro-Latino (a,x) heroes and their contributions. 

1. Arturo Alfonso Schomburg

(January 24, 1874 – June 10, 1938)

Place of birth: Santurce, Puerto Rico 

Contributions: Arturo Alfonso Schomburg, born to a Black mother and father of German descent, was a historian. Mr. Schomburg is considered to be one of the Fathers of Black History & a key figure in the Harlem Renaissance. Schomburg’s lifework consisted of research and preservation—work that would lead him to become one of the world’s premier collectors of Black literature, slave narratives, artwork, and diasporic materials. 

2. Dr. Marta Moreno-Vega 

(January 3, 1942)

Place of birth: East Harlem, New York

Contributions: Dr. Marta Moreno-Vega is an Afro-Boricua who established the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute (CCCADI). Dr. Moreno Vega has been an advocate for cultural equity, cultural studies and education. As the second director of El Museo del Barrio, one of the founders of the Association of Hispanic Arts, Network of Centers of Color and the Roundtable of Institutions of Color, Dr. Moreno Vega has contributed to assuring that the contributions of African and African descendants are integral to the lives of civil society in the Americas. 

3. Celia Cruz 

(October 21, 1925 – July 16, 2003)

Place of birth: Havana, Cuba

Contributions: Celia Cruz was a singer & recording artist born and raised in Havana, Cuba. She was one of the most iconic artists of the 20th century. Her many honors included three Grammy Awards and four Latin Grammys for recordings such as Ritmo en el corazón (1988; with Ray Barretto) and Siempre viviré (2000).

4. Dr. José Celso Barbosa 

(July 27, 1857 – September 21, 1921)

Place of birth: Bayamón, Puerto Rico 

Contributions: Dr. José Celso Barbosa was a Physician, Sociologist and Politician.  Known as the father of the Statehood for Puerto Rico movement, Barbosa was the first Puerto Rican, and one of the first persons of African descent to earn a medical degree in the United States.

5. Ruth Fernández (Ruth Noemi Fernández Cortada) 

(May 23, 1919 – January 9, 2012)

Place of birth: Ponce, Puerto Rico

Contributions: Ruth Fernández, “El Alma de Puerto Rico Hecha Canción” (“The Soul of Puerto Rico Turned Song”) was a Puerto Rican contralto, actress, and a member of the Puerto Rican Senate. She was the first and only singer ever elected to the Senate of Puerto Rico. She was considered by many to be the Rosa Parks of Puerto Rico when she refused to enter the Vanderbilt Hotel in San Juan through its back entrance because she was a woman of color. The owners of the hotel stated that blacks had to enter through the rear of the building, but during one evening where she was set to perform at the hotel’s ballroom, she marched into the hotel via its front entrance. After this event, the hotel changed its policy.

6. Cardi B (Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar)

(October 11, 1992)

Place of birth: Manhattan, New York

Contributions: Afro-Latina Cardi B is a Dominican & Trinidadian rapper, songwriter, and actress raised in the Bronx, New York. Recognized by Forbes as one of the most influential female rappers of all time, Cardi B is known for her aggressive flow and candid lyrics, which have received widespread media coverage. She is the highest certified female rapper of all time on the RIAA’s Top Artists (Digital Singles) ranking, also appearing among the ten highest-certified female artists and having the two top-certified songs by a female rap artist.

She is the only female rapper with multiple billion-streams on Spotify and became the first artist to top the inaugural Billboard Global 200. Her accolades include a Grammy Award, eight Billboard Music Awards, five Guinness World Records, five American Music Awards, eleven BET Hip Hop Awards and two ASCAP Songwriter of the Year awards. In 2018 Time magazine included her on their annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world, and in 2020, Billboard honored her as Woman of the Year. 

7. Rosa Alicia Clemente 

(April 18, 1972)

Place of birth: Bronx, New York

Contributions: Afro-Boricua Rosa Alicia Clemente is the 2008 United States Vice-Presidential Candidate, Producer, Journalist, Political Commentator & Scholar-Activist. Rosa is a graduate of the University of Albany and Cornell University. She is currently a doctoral student in the W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies of University of Massachusetts Amherst. 

8. Congressman Ritchie John Torres 

(March 12, 1988)

Place of birth: Bronx, New York

Contributions: Ritchie Torres is an Afro-Boricua politician who is a member of the Democratic party. He is the US representative for New York’s 15th congressional district. Torres was the first openly gay candidate to be elected to legislative office in the Bronx, and the youngest member of the city council. Torres won the November 2020 general election and assumed office on January 3, 2021. This makes him one of the first openly gay Black men elected to Congress (along with Mondaire Jones). This also made Torres the first openly gay Afro Latino elected to Congress. As such, he is one of the nine co-chairs of the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus in the 117th United States Congress. 

9. Zoe Saldana (Zoë Yadira Saldaña Nazario) *Trending Now

(June 19, 1978)

Place of birth: Passaic, New Jersey

Contributions: Zoe Saldaña is of mixed ethnic heritage, with her mother being of Puerto Rican descent and her father hailing from the Dominican Republic. Zoe is the only performer to get star billing in more than one movie that grossed over $2 billion worldwide with Avatar and Avengers: Infinity War. 

10. Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos 

(September 12, 1891 – April 21, 1965)

Place of birth: Ponce, Puerto Rico 

Contributions: Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos was a Puerto Rican attorney, social activist, nationalist and the son of a mixed-race mother who was the daughter of slaves and a Basque father from a farming and landowning family. The latter not only provided no financial support but also did not legally recognize his son until he was 19, and Albizu Campos grew up in poverty. In 1912 he was awarded a scholarship to study chemistry and engineering at the University of Vermont. He transferred a year later to Harvard University, majoring in chemistry and literature and becoming the first Puerto Rican Harvard graduate. Many people in Puerto Rico consider Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos the father of the Puerto Rican Independence Movement. 

11. Carmelo Kyam Anthony

(May 29, 1984)

Place of birth: Brooklyn, New York

Contributions: Carmelo Anthony is an Afro-Latino professional basketball player. He has been named an NBA All-Star ten times and an All-NBA Team member six-time Anthony also played in the 2016 Olympic Games, his fourth straight stint in the Olympics, which was a record for a US male basketball player, breaking the old record of having played in three Olympiads he shared with James and Robinson. He has celebrated his roots by giving back to Puerto Rico, remodeling basketball courts in a poor neighborhood 3 years in a row now. 

12. La La Anthony (Alani Nicole Vázquez) 

(June 25, 1981)

Place of birth: Brooklyn, New York

Contributions: La La Anthony is an Afro-Puerto Rican actress, host, producer and New York Times best-selling author. La La Anthony has supported charities such as the Elton John AIDS Foundation, Gabrielle’s, Angel Foundation, GLAAD and Voto Latino. 

13. Rosie Perez (Rosa María Perez) 

(September 6, 1964)

Place of birth: Brooklyn, New York

Contributions: Rosie Perez is an Afro-Latina actress, choreographer and community activist. Rosie was appointed to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS by President Barack Obama in 2010. Among many honors, Rosie was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Fearless as well as three Emmy Awards for her work as a choreographer on In Living Color (1990–1994).

Perez has also performed in stage plays on Broadway, such as The Ritz, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, and Fish in the Dark. In addition, she was a co-host on the ABC talk show The View during the series’ 18th season. 

14. MJ Rodriguez (Michaela Antonia Jaé Rodriguez) 

(January 7, 1991)

Place of birth: Newark, New Jersey

Contributions: MJ Rodriguez is an African American and Puerto Rican actress who is among the largest cast of transgender actresses on the show Pose. MJ made history by becoming the first Trans woman to ever sign a beauty deal with Olay Body. MJ was awarded the Hispanic Heritage Special Trailblazer Award at the 31st Hispanic Heritage Awards in Washington D.C. 

15. Ramon E. Contreras 

(22-years-old)

Place of birth: Brooklyn, New York

Contributions: Ramon Contreras is a young political activist, advisor and filmmaker who is changing the nature of civic engagement by championing and encouraging minorities to participate in politics. Ramon is a fierce gun control enthusiast and founded YouthOverGuns, a platform advocating for change in underserved communities of color. He led a protest of thousands across the Brooklyn Bridge and is the National Strategist for the nation-wide organization, March for Our Lives. 

16. Laith Ashley De La Cruz 

(July 6, 1989)

Place of birth: Harlem, New York

Contributions:  Laith Ashley is a model, actor, singer-songwriter and entertainer of Dominican descent. He was the first transgender man to be featured in a Diesel campaign. Laith has been on the cover of countless magazines and has had featured stories published on countless others all around the world; ie, British GQ.

Laith was on the cast of the reality TV series, “Strut,” executive produced by Whoopi Goldberg, and raised the heart rates of viewers in his appearance on hit series, “Pose,” on FX. Ashley is also an activist, particularly in transgender issues. He worked with FLUX, a division of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which is dedicated to raising awareness and providing support to trans and gender-nonconforming people. 

17. Dianne Morales 

(June 21, 1967)

Place of birth: Brooklyn, New York 

Contributions: Double Ivy League graduate Dianne Morales is an Afro-Boricua with degrees from Harvard University and Columbia University. Dianne is the former CEO of several multi-million dollar social service nonprofits and is also the first Latina / Afro-Latina candidate for New York City Mayor. 

18. Johnny Pacheco 

(March 25, 1935 – February 15, 2021)

Place of birth: Santiago De Los Caballeros, Dominican Republic

Contributions: Johnny Pacheco was one of the most influential artists of Latin music. He was one of the creators of The Fania All-Stars and Fania Record (#latinmotown), the most successful record label in the history of Latin music. 

19. Aida Rodriguez (Aida Margarita Parada Rodriguez) 

(August 29, 1977)

Place of birth: Boston, Massachusetts

Contributions: Aida Rodriguez is a comedian, host, producer, actress and the first Latina / Afro-Latina (Puerto Rican & Dominican) to appear in two comedy specials airing in one month on both HBO and Showtime. Aida’s latest comedy special premiered on Netflix as part of the “They Ready” series hosted by Tiffany Haddish. Rodriguez has also appeared on Comedy Central’s This Week at the Comedy Cellar, The Nightly Show, five-time host of the PBS Imagen Awards, NBC Last Comic Standing’s finals, TRUtv’s Laff Tracks and is also a regular contributor for The Young Turks. 

20. Indya Moore 

(January 17, 1995)

Place of birth: Bronx, New York

Contributions: Indya Moore is of Haitian, Puerto Rican, and Dominican ancestry. They are an actor among the largest cast of transgender on the show Pose. Moore does not identify as a Latinx, and instead identifies as Afro-Taíno. In June 2020, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the first LGBTQ Pride parade, Queerty named them among the fifty heroes “leading the nation toward equality, acceptance, and dignity for all people.” 

21. Gina Torres 

(April 25th, 1969)

Place of birth: Manhattan, New York 

Contributions: Gina Torres is an actress and the first Afro-Latina to create, produce and star in her own show, ‘Pearson’. Torres won the ALMA Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Syndicated Drama Series for her role in Cleopatra 2525. Gina also received the Best Supporting Actress award by The Imagen Foundation (Spanish for “image”) Awards, the only premier Latino entertainment awards program dedicated to honoring the positive portrayal and creative excellence of Latinos and Latino cultures on screen. 

Fact Check: We strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn’t look right, contact us!

Alondra Delgado shot by Tim Schaeffer, Makeup/Hair by Johnna J. Perez, Styled by Sean Dylan Perry. For use by 360 Magazine

Alondra Delgado Q&A

By: Javier Pedroza

From acting out telenovelas scenes on “The Island of Enchantment” to Hollywood, California…

Say hello to actress Alondra Delgado, born in Mayaguez and raised in Arecibo Puerto Rico. Ms. Delgado is very proud of her Latina heritage and can currently be seen as Vanessa Montes on the CW football drama , ‘ALL AMERICAN’  ’, which follows the journey of star player Spencer James (Daniel Ezra) as he is recruited away from his homeschool to play for Beverly Hills High. Vanessa is the daughter of the new head coach and the confident new girl at school who has a history with one of her classmates. The cast also includes Taye Diggs and Samantha Logan. The third season is airing now. While Delgado has guest starred, wrote, and produced other shows and short films, this role has introduced the young actress to an exciting new level of stardom. Here at 360 Magazine, we dished with Delgado about her role on All American, upcoming involvement in the film Safe House, her Puerto Rican heritage and Latinx idols, and more.

  1. How was your upbringing in Puerto Rico?

My childhood in Puerto Rico was beautiful. I love Puerto Rico. It involved a lot of dancing, since that’s what I started with first when I was two and a half years old, going to the beach, studying in a bilingual school, and acting on feature films when I was seven years old. It was great! 

  1. What are some of your favorite things about your community / culture?

I love the people and the warmth and passion we all have; and of course the food!  We always have a party in every activity. We are loud, passionate, and very prideful of our tiny Island! 

  1. What attracted you to begin a career as an actress?

Growing up I never liked cartoons that much. I was always fascinated with the Telenovelas and would play out scenes and act like the mean characters. My mom saw my passion so she put me with a talent agency. I did my first feature film when I was seven, and I fell in love. 

  1. Where were you and what was your reaction when you received the call from CW confirming your role as Vanessa Montes?

I was at my mom’s house with all my family decorating for Halloween. My manager and agents called me and I screamed and jumped and hung up the phone three times by accident. I was so excited! And it was great that my close family was there because we got to celebrate right away.

  1. How has your experience been, so far as the new girl at school on All American?

It’s been great! I’ve had a lot of fun and have learned a lot. It’s an experience I’ll never forget.

  1. Can you describe how you feel working alongside Taye Diggs and Samantha Logan?

It is amazing. At first I was a bit scared and nervous to be on set because this is a great cast. But once I was there, they were very nice to me and I’ve been learning a lot about them. 

  1. Will we see more writing & producing any time soon?

I’ve been writing some things recently so that is definitely something that will come soon, hopefully. 

  1. Who are your role models in life?

There are many Puerto Rican figures that always inspire me, like Rita Moreno and Benicio del Toro, who have had a great career in Hollywood and always represent the Island. Someone I always look up to is Roberto Clemente, who had a huge passion for baseball and loved helping others. That is something I would love to do!

  1. With the lack of Latinx talent representation (in front and behind the cameras) in Hollywood, how would you advise “the industry” to move forward?

I think lately there have been a few more Latinos out there, but we definitely need more. I would say that we need to stop writing characters that are specifically Hispanic rather than giving roles to Hispanic actors. There is always this mindset that the character has to be this or has to be that, rather than hiring people because of talent and not looks. So many people have started to watch All American and are excited because there is more Latino representation now. We need to change our mindsets and hire because of talent! 

  1. Any advice for teenagers who dream of writing, acting and producing?

Go for it! If you have a passion, you have to try it. You have to have a positive mindset because it will not be easy and you’ll face rejection, but you have to learn how to trust and believe in yourself and your talent. If you work hard enough, you’ll make it. 

  1. What is one of your top acting tips?

I love to learn the lines and then just play with it. Read it with different people and you will find different things from each read that will help you create a character with more depth. 

  1. What can you tell us about your upcoming film Safe House?

I am so excited for this one! It’s an action film. I play Carla and she is the lead character. She’s a strong female lead with a lot of stunts and drama. People will love her! 

Alondra Delgado shot by Tim Schaeffer, Makeup/Hair by Johnna J. Perez, Styled by Sean Dylan Perry.

Illustration of Melania Trump and Jill Biden by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

Dear Melania Trump, Our 2nd Immigrant First Lady

By Javier Pedroza

Dear Melania: Why didn’t you invite the new FLOTUS, Dr. Jill Biden, for a private tour of the White House living quarter?

“Under all circumstances, we must never desert ourselves”. – Louisa Catherine Adams, the first FLOTUS born outside of the United States of America (1825 to 1829). Historically, First Ladies are mostly respected and admired. The coveted position has been uncontroversial until 2021. 

Melania Trump, formerly known as Melanija Knavs, was born on April 26, 1970 in Slovenia. At age 16, she began what would soon become a successful modeling career, appearing in many high profile ad campaigns and working with some of the best photographers in the fashion industry. In 1996, Mrs. Trump moved to New York and 10 years later she proudly became a United States Citizen. Former First Lady Melania Trump is the wife of the 45th President, Donald J. Trump and the mother to their son, Barron Trump. She is the second First Lady born outside of the United States, and she is the only First Lady to become a naturalized United States citizen. 

Mrs. Trump is the first modern former First Lady to break one of the transfer-of-power rituals; welcoming the incoming president and family into the White House. This American tradition commenced in the 1920s and was respected all the way to 2017, when outgoing FLOTUS Mrs. Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama hosted Mrs. Melania Trump for tea while discussing the private residence. 

“Mrs. Trump should have invited Dr. Biden in for the traditional coffee. Typically, the first lady would come prepared with questions, she’ll meet and talk to the chef, the full time residence staff and have an opportunity for them to break the ice. It’s a courtesy, but logistically it’s incredibly helpful. That didn’t happen,”Capricia Marshall told The New York Times. Capricia Marshall was the former White House social secretary in the Clinton administration. 

In 2016 when former President Barack Obama welcomed Donald and Melania Trump to the White House, Former First Lady Michelle Obama held her head up high despite Donald’s reckless lies about her husband. Michelle Obama went on instagram and described how she felt during that time, sharing that while she was “hurt and disappointed,” she accepted that “the American people had spoken.” She went on to write, “My husband and I instructed our staff to do what George and Laura Bush had done for us: run a respectful, seamless transition of power — one of the hallmarks of American democracy.” 

On January 19th, 2021 CNN reported, “Melania Trump left the White House with the worst popularity rating for any first lady at the end of her term in polling history. The latest CNN/SSRS poll had Trump’s favorable rating at 42% to a 47% unfavorable rating. The 47% is the highest unfavorable rating we ever recorded for Trump. It’s also amazingly high from a historical perspective.” 

On January 20th, another protocol was broken when neither the former President nor any member of his family attended the inauguration. The Trumps also bypassed the laying of a wreath atop the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Ceremony, where the Biden’s were joined by former Presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and their spouses. 

As trending headlines like “Trumps’ snub of Bidens historic in its magnitude” by CNN circulated in the media early this week, we watched Melania Trump address the nation for the last time as First Lady of the United States. This was her first on camera appearance since the January 6th insurrection on the Capitol and she had not been seen in public since New Year’s Eve. During her farewell speech she spent much of her time expressing the importance of kindness. “In all circumstances, I ask every American to be an ambassador of Be Best. To focus on what unites us, to raise above what divides us. To always choose love over hatred, peace over violence and others before yourself.” 

Was this Melania’s opportunity to demonstrate to the world that she is her own person? A proud immigrant from Slovenia who later became an American citizen who respects all aspects of what it means to be an American or perhaps Melanija Knavs has always been a Trump. 

“Develop enough courage so that you can stand up for yourself and then stand up for somebody else.” – Maya Angelou

Interview With Raul Peñaranda

New York designer Raul Penaranda has been making his dream a reality designing luxury women’s wear with an aesthetic that stands apart with a mix of edge and sophistication. Through this uncompromising style, Raul has dared to be himself and only two years after debuting at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week was declared by FORBES magazine as one of the fastest growing fashion entrepreneurs to come out of the small business industry with his 100% USA manufactured ready to wear fashion line for women and Vogue Mexico named Raul “The New King of New York Fashion Week” for his extraordinary craftsmanship, attention to detail and exquisite style.

Raul was born in Cali, Colombia. He grew up in Caracas, Venezuela and moved to Miami, Florida with his family as a young adult. In 2000, Raul relocated to New York City where he was offered a freelance design position at Liz Claiborne, while enrolled at F.I.T and Parson’s. Over the next ten years, some of the industry’s most established fashion houses felt his creative impact such as Oscar de la Renta, DKNY, Zac Posen and Tommy Hilfiger. He has held key positions as Creative Director of Merchandise and Trend Services, Senior Designer and Textile/CAD Designer. Recently during New York Fashion Week, Raul’s burgeoning style culminated in a tremendous showcasing of ready-to wear designs entitled “Opulence”for Fall 2019. Presenting to his largest audience to date, Raul did not disappoint as his models walked the runway in handmade fashions indicative of his daring yet romantic style that has gained him recognition from the CFDA. Still, Raul is only getting started and with ten seasons of inspiring collections there
is only one demand from the designer ‘show the world who you are’.

www.raulpenaranda.com

 

Raul Peñaranda, Fashion Designer

Q & A for 360 Magazine

Q1- What or whom inspired you to start Designing?

A-I design because of the love and respect that i have for my mother and sisters; and that love and respect i want to share it with every women in the world…..and my clothing line is the language in which I able to express it.

Q2-Who are some of the notable men and women you’ve dressed?

A-Vanessa Williams, Lynda Baquero, Gabriela Isler, Kimberly Dos Ramos, Majida Issa, Jennifer Arenas, Dayana Mendoza, Cynthia Bailey, Brande Roderick, Blanca Soto, Maria Celeste, Irene Esser, Liliana Gil, Estefania Fernandez, Adriana Arango, Jill Zarin, Kika rocha, Cindy Taylor, Romina Nabhem, Paulina vega, Veronica Albornoz, Shirley Rumierk

Q3- When our readers are shopping, what are three must haves in their wardrobe?

A-A little black dress

B-A Comfy pair of jeans

c-Statement dresses for daytime and gala

Q4-When Creating for the red carpet, what do you and or clients look for?

A-More than a beautiful pieces, I’m looking for something that is an extension of my client’s personality knowing that less is the ultimate sophistication.

Q5-How does your culture influence your work?

A-Tremendously, from the vibrant colors, to the seductive silhouettes and to the lavish fabrics…..it’s a total package that empower any women and express her distinctive point of view. A perfect balance of two words…Seductive without being trashy and elegant without being old, celebrating all curves and shapes.

Q6-Who are your Fashion icons? Why?

A– Halston for his simple aesthetic that shows to the world that less is more. Oscar De La Renta: For not only the beauty of his designs, but for his humbled personality that inspired me like no other.

Q7-What advice would you give to aspiring Fashion Designers?

A– to not be afraid of being different, to be discipline, to be determined, to be kind, to be humble and to conquer the world

 

Puerto Rico Relief Funds 

A message from Javier Pedroza (360 Brand Ambassador).

“Good day. I hope this message finds you in good spirits.

As many of you may already know, Puerto Rico has been adversely affected by back-to-back natural disasters.  

My hometown (Aibonito) took a direct hit from Hurricane Maria; and it has been destroyed. To no avail, I haven’t been able reach/locate my father, grandmother and/or aunts.

As of late, I’ve established a GoFundMe account to help rebuild the island and aid the victims during these trying times.

If you can, please click the below link to support my efforts. Any amount is greatly appreciated.”

Help Aibonito: 

http://www.gofundme.com/aibonito

Essence Festival 2017 Recap by Stylist Javier Pedroza

#essencefestival #2017 recap! My #gal #pal is BUUUUSSYYYYY 🙂 @SelenisLeyva and her girls Dascha Polanco @sheisdash & Adrienne Moore @acmoore9 wrap up their OITNB #neworleans tour. Thank you to @nicolemillernyc, @gabrielandco, @carltonjonescollection, @ninashoes, @dannpp86, @onna_ehrlich and @melraps . Styled by me 🙂 @javier_pedroza and glam by @mua_evelyncruz.