Posts tagged with "top models"

Vaughn Lowery illustration by Allison Christensen for his book Move Like Water x Be Fluid produced by 360 MAGAZINE

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Move Like Water × Be Fluid

By Katrina Tiktinsky

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 projects 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.

Photo of LaJUNE by Armon Hayes for 360 Magazine

Photo: Armon Hayes, Talent: LaJUNE

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.

Move Like Water x Be Fluid, by Vaughn Lowery, is available this month exclusively on the 360 MAGAZINE’s website. 360 MAGAZINE has received numerous accolades, and has recently been featured on Dancing with the Stars. Stay in touch by following both Lowery (@vaughnlowery) and 360 (@360magazine)

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.

Roger Moenks photography inside 360 MAGAZINE

With a Style of Their Own

The NuAuthentic Celebrates Fluid And Transgender Individuals
 
By Photographer Roger Moenks with Shelly Brown
 
Roger Moenks is a leading celebrity and fashion photographer who has published several books highlighting inspirational beauty including The Class of Click (featuring Click Agency’s most notable models), Inheriting Beauty, and I Am Eco-Warrior: Portraits From The Front Lines Of The Sustainability Revolution. However, The NuAuthentic is his first book portraying the transgender community through individual personal expression, creative freedom, and the ability to embrace one’s identity and proclaim it with a spectacular boldness.
 
The NuAuthentic is a 196-page visual exploration and portrayal of 100 of the most intriguingly beautiful genderfluid and transgender individuals in New York City.  The book by photographer Roger Moenks with curator Shelly Brown sets out to underscore the triumphs, struggles and powerful beauty of its non-conformist subjects who are “free to be” through self-expression, self-acceptance and love. Life may have been much simpler when people were divided into two genders, male and female,  but today’s new reality reveals that a full-spectrum of beauty may be found through the freedom to express oneself in non-traditional ways and through a rainbow of colors. 
 
“Today gender is actually an ever-expanding continuum comprised of authentic warriors who dared to be who they want to be and claim their right to express themselves freely, making them all the more beautiful and intriguing subjects to photograph,” says Roger Moenks. “The exciting thing about today’s social landscape is that you can’t assume anyone is either a ‘he’ or a ‘she,’ nor can you presume they are just one of those two possibilities. It’s up to them to tell you how they identify, and you just might be surprised by what they say.”
 
“Gender is optional, expression is everything,” adds Shelly Brown.  “Diversity and differences are to be celebrated and supported. My role as curator for The NuAauthentic was a labor of love since I recently lost my 28-year old trans sister who struggled in life and found solace and love in the transgender community which gave her the freedom and acceptance to reveal her beautiful soul. The book is a testament to those trailblazers who took abuse from their families, schools, communities, and stayed true to their individual beauty. We salute you with love, acceptance and respect.”
 
Transgender and genderfluid people have always come to the nightlife, a world of inclusion where one is accepted and applauded for the very features that may have gotten them bullied in the high school cafeteria and ostracized in everyday life.
 
Susanne Bartsch known as “Queen of the Night” for her iconic club nights, special events and show productions representative of New York City nightlife graces the cover of The NuAuthentic.  She was instrumental in promoting the drag queen and House Ball scenes and also gave rise to the careers of such notables as RuPaul and Marc Jacobs. She continues to create an Avant Garde club landscape in which people are art and use their looks to make bold fashion statements and continues to provide the space and freedom for people to express themselves.
 
Rob Smith, CEO and founder of The Phluid Project, the world’s first gender-free retail store and global movement, is also portrayed in the book. The concept of non-gender clothing designed by Phluid and independent artists were carried by Phluid and featured throughout the book. 
 
MILA JAM is a model, actress and pop recording “artivist” who had always celebrated diversity and the different gender expressions. According to MILA JAM, “The NuAuthentic is a snapshot in time that commemorates the trans movement as another slice of life to be celebrated. As we find strikingly beautiful differences in plant and animal species, we can also find exquisite differences in how we view humanity.”
 
The NuAuthentic speaks to Bradley Miller, who is also portrayed in the book, because it is representative of “who I am.” “The trans community has to face pain and adversity to be who we are, but it also shows the world that we can be loved and beautiful.”
 
Trans people are continually targeted with bigotry and hatred. And so, trans and gender nonconforming people are left to fight the battles of everyday life, which they do with flair, activism, and chutzpah. The NuAuthentic captures them in all their gutsy glory and will retail for $75.00 on Amazon.com beginning December 10th.  Proceeds from The NuAuthentic will be 100% donated to LGBTQ youth programs.
 

About Photographer Roger Moenks

German-born Roger Moenks is a celebrity and fashion photographer who has called New York City home for almost 20 years. Best known for his portraiture, he has previously published three books: The First Class of CLICK; Moving Still; and Inheriting Beauty, featuring 90 women from around the world at the forefront of society and industry—a group that includes such high-profile figures as Roberta Armani, Delphine Arnault, Kiera Chaplin, Francesca Versace, and many more. In cooperation with Montblanc and UNICEF, Moenks also created images of 12 leading actresses for a Sotheby’s auction, the proceeds of which raised a quarter of a million dollars for the charity. Moenks’ work has appeared in such magazines as L’Officiel, Harper’s Bazaar, GQ, Interview, Visionaire, and Flaunt. He has directed music videos for Blank & Jones, commercials for Van Cleef & Arpels and Moët & Chandon, and created the documentary Shooting Milk, featuring survivors of the Andy Warhol era and including never-before-seen footage of the artist himself. In the past several years Moenks has dedicated much of his time to socially conscious causes. His last book “I Am Eco Warrior” features 53 innovator environmentalist around the world trying to save our planet featuring Jane Goodall, Ted Turner, Richard Branson, Stella McCartney and many more. 

For additional information on Roger Moenks go HERE.