Category Archives: Fashion

A Necessary Ramadhan Personal-Reflection In Mercy!!!

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Here’s a story for the Record-Books:

Ramadhan 1435 AH/2014 CE…I went to Masjid Ar-Rahman, on 29th St bet. 5th Ave & Broadway, in Manhattan, NYC-After making the congregational Maghrib/Sunset Prayer, my shoes go missing. I’m honestly mad as Hell: those Sneakers were brand-new & fresh out the box, I barely had them for a whole week, I got them for free…they were a gift. So, you can understand why I was duly pissed all the way off!!! I felt so violated that someone, a Muslim, would dare to steal something during Ramadhan in the Mosque no less. I was just thinking in my mind what I would do, and how would I hurt this Person who took what was mine, if I woulda caught-up to them. It even got to the point when I was yelling, and causing a scene, concerning what was taken from me. Some other Muslim-Brothers attempted to clam me down, but it just wasn’t working: I came in the Mosque with my Sneakers, and I had wanted to leave with my same Sneakers. But, guess what happens next?

Check-out how merciful Allah, the Creator/Lord of the Universe is:

1. He bestowed mercy upon the one who took my footwear, so I would not have acted out of anger against a fellow Muslim, during Ramadhan of all times.

2. He touched the heart of a Muslim brother who volunteered to give me his own shoes.

3. He touched the heart of another Muslim brother who actually drove me to a sneaker-store & bought me a brand-new pair of Sneakers…cash, which ironically were fresher & cheaper than the sneakers that I had gotten taken from me at this Mosque…the Sneakers which were taken from me were the Nike Andre Agassis, in Dead-stock/Brand-New condition. But, then the brother had bought me a pair of Nike ACGs, also in Dead-Stock/Brand-New condition.

4. Most importantly: the person who took my Sneakers actually did me a favor, because along with my shoes being taken, then perhaps a portion of my Sins have also been taken from me, which will make it easier to meet Allah on the Day-of-Standing, because the less Sins that a person has on their back, the better for them, when it comes to being judged by Allah on the Day of Days…So, I still considered myself a Winner.

Gareth Bryant/2016

Mister Mildor’s “Wrong Place,Right Time” Photo-Exhibition

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Mister Mildor to Exhibit his Art in a Solo Photo exhibition Show on August 1st, 2015

Alan Mildor
www.mistermildor.com
246 Union Avenue
Brooklyn, New York, 11211
Mobile Phone: 347-721-8760

The Glass House Art Life Lab gallery announces Mister Mildor’s first solo street photography exhibition “Wrong Place,Right Time.” On view August 1st, 2015 this exhibition features 20 photo based works of art that is a compelling glimpse into Mister Mildor’s reality. Controlling what some may say is Urban Disorder in New York City with his photographic techniques, this exhibit will provide a colorful and dynamic view of the people and places that makes New York City’s heartbeat.

Mister Mildor love for his local environment is evident in his work. Mister Mildor confessed “I love photography and videography because it doesn’t only give me the ability to freeze time but it allows people to appreciate the moments in their life, no matter if it’s despairing or delightful. There is always a right time to capture life, even in the darkest of places.”  Mister Mildor has captured life from all boroughs and will continue to capture love, pain, freedom, and all the things associate with living the life of a city dweller. Mister Mildor is beginning to have a constant presence through his art and is starting to shine through photographies meteoric rise into popular culture.

Alan Mildor aka Mister Mildor, is a Brooklyn based photographer and videographer. Alan’s artistry has been commissioned by some of the world’s largest brands and musicians. Mildor’s visual art has been published on Complex Magazine, 2 Dope Boyz, and Rap Radar. He has provided all the visual campaigns for Alife, Hood By Air, Dj Venus, Tisa, Brian Wood, Rich Weirdo Clothing, and for Touro College. Mildor Also created branded video for Clubhouse Barbershop, Vinnies Styles, and Vulkan The Krusader.

About The Glass House Art Life Lab
Glass House is an art-life lab founded by artist Lital Dotan & Eyal Perry, dedicated to hosting artistic practices based on performance, participation and time based art in the domestic sphere, under the motto that  “Art Should Be Experienced in a Place that Allows Staying.” Since it’s relocation to Southside Williamsburg in September 2012, Glass House host performances, screenings, exhibitions, workshops and a residency program all dedicated to promote hosting as artistic discourse.

General Information
Mister Mildor Presents “Wrong Place, Right Time”
Where: The Glass House Art Life Lab
Address: 246 Union Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11211
(Between Scholes and Meserole)

Nearest Subway: L (Lorimer), G (Broadway), M & J (Hewes)

contact@glasshouseproject.org

www.mistermildor.com

Apathetic Times

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We live in the days of Malice…
…selfishness make us callous.

All we desire is to pursue our own wants…
…we live by immorality, demonic thoughts.

All day in, all day out…
…we complain & shout.

Forgetting just all too often…
…to be grateful for something.

We look down upon those who have less…
…thinking material things equal success.

It’s like we only concern ourselves with Fashion’s latest trends…
…or how many millions our favorite celebrity makes and spends.

We worry too much about when’s the next time we will eat Steak or Lobster…
…while millions of People on the Planet die because they lack clean Water.

But, in the end, we just chase the Illusion…
…to an dauntingly never ending conclusion.

We perceive that this is all there is to life…
…attaining things while causing others strife.

There will be a day when we will regret not caring for one another…
…we’ll be shamed for treating our fellow Man as less than a brother.

There will be fear, we will shed tears…
…and know that this day is very near.

Gareth Bryant/2015

Meki-Vee Fashion: Struting the Runway for Charitry

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Strut for a Purpose

When we think of Fashion, typically: many things come to mind, like Runways, Fabrics, Colors, Fashion-Weeks all over the Planet, sponsored by the titans of the Fashion & various other industries. What does not, however, come across our minds is the thought of Charity. No matter how noble Philanthropy is, in an industry as fast-paced & focused on materialism, presence, the desire to look great at all times, being charitable really doesn’t fit the typical profile. But, fortunately, there exists fashion companies such as Meki-Vee.

Meki-Vee fashion production has just completed their very first charity fashion show. The Meki-Vee team truly pride themselves on giving back to the community and making a difference in the lives of others. This year, as they’ve prepare for the production of their fashion show, they desired to place important focus on their philanthropic efforts to raise monies for healthcare facilities, which is centered on helping children receive medical care from various illnesses, which is exactly why they believe Queens General Hospital is the ideal facilities for people to donate to, because of all this hospital does in Queens, NY.

For more info. about both Meki-Vee & Queens General Hospital:

When it comes to the Fashion-Scene: Fashion Avenue News sets the Streets of New York ablaze!!!

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I had the privilege of being able to attend a recent event hosted by Fashion Avenue News. And, let me tell you something, they know how to party & how to throw a party. Their fashion designers pulled some really great exhibitions, along with some great models, which melted the runway, with every step that they took on it. It was truly a marvelous experience, to say the least. I, myself, being an infant, having to grow-up really fast, within the Modeling-World, was very keen on the extent of professionalism at this event, as well as superior accommodations at a very swank hotel, right in Midtown, Manhattan. Also, the different types of connections that one can & does make at these types of events are among the key attractions & benefits of even coming to these types of events in the first place.

Events like this just scream exposure: there were high-class designers & fashion notables, there were in-house connects from places like the Mercedes Benz Fashion-Show, which holds annual shows during Fashion-Week in NYC, right within Bryant Park, which I was personally invited to attend, which is like super-duper awesome!!! Yeah!!! The whole night, I was linkin’ up with photographers, fellow models, notables, all sorts of personalities, to forge fashion-alliances, to start building something real for myself, my career. Fashion Avenue News is where it’s at, and they know how to bring people together, for all things fashion, to enjoy the releases of new styles & trends as well as introducing fresh modeling-talent & start-up clothing companies to the public-sphere. I feel that if I’m to be somebody in the Fashion-World, then, I definitely need to make Fashion Avenue News events among my top-priorities.

For more info. about Fashion Avenue News:

http://WWW.fashionavenuenews.com

Gareth Bryant/2014

Y.O.Y.O.: Y.ou’re O.nly Y.oung O.nce

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Your youth is such a priceless treasure…
…don’t waste it on a worthless pleasure…

…If you so chose, to just let your desires run loose…
…you don’t get 2nd-chances with youth, you’ll lose…

When you dwell within the days of innocence’s bliss…
…don’t be deceived by the Devil, as he blows a kiss…

His lips are a dank, dark, toxin, which spews a harsh odor, from his twisted, doubled, tongue…
…he means to deceive us, when we 1st approach maturity: it’s easiest to misguide the young…

…Youth is the state of Life that our Lord allots…
…when we value & use it wisely, we can do lots…

…However, when we follow the crowd, chasing possession, power, fame…
…we’ll end up looking back, years later, regretting what was done in vain…

…From 10 to 20 & from 20 to 30: livin’ wild, rachet, carefree, dirty…
…from 30 to 40 & from then on you’re washed-up: no longer pretty…

You chose to do you; yet, deceived & oppressed yourself…
…only on your deathbed, do you realize Life’s true wealth.

Gareth Bryant/2014

 

INSHALLAH Clothing: It’s a Brand that takes a stand

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ICC #9
Author’s-Note:
We’re here with X.L. Lawrence, who commonly refers to himself as XL Abdullah, Founder & CEO of INSHALLAH CLOTHING, giving Islamic-Fashion an ever evolving definition, with all kinds of trendy, cool, looks, People of all walks of life can purchase & enjoy-He’s a Fashion-Designer, Humanitarian, and all-around great guy. I’ve decided to interview him, as to what makes him tick, from a fashion perspective & here’s what I’ve got for you.
ICC #1
G.B.: How old were you when you decided that Fashion was your thing, that it was something which you really acquired a true passion for?

X.L.: I guess during High School when I visited a college adviser to help me figure out what schools I should look into. I know I always like art and clothing but never thought about fashion per say but after speaking with councilor realize how much I did like fashion. I always dressed a little different from the rest of my peers. I always liked taking items and making them my own.

 

ICC #2

G.B.: As a Muslim, first and foremost, how important is Fashion, from an Islamic perspective, in your eyes?

 

X.L.: It’s very important. And important for a number of reasons. First here in America most have a stereotypes about what they think Muslims look like. LOL…Even some Muslims have set ideas about how they think Muslims should look like and dress. These ideas don’t make sense being just like Christians, Jews etc… Muslims are made up of every ethnicity, race, social classes etc… Yeah we have what is called Sunnah ( the ways of the prophet Mohammad -PBUH ) but every Muslim don’t follow every Sunnah. Some grow beards, some don’t. Some women cover their heads, some don’t. So why think everyone wears the same clothing. WE DON’T !!! With that being said, I design clothing that reflect young America. Clothing that reflect young American Muslims. Clothing that is relevant to all on some level.

ICC #3
G.B.: When did you decide that making a clothing line was what you really wanted to do?
X.L.: Ironically, I’ve been in the footwear business for 15yrs and designed for a few different companies and brand and always said I wouldn’t design clothing. Too many people doing it or trying to do it. For me it was a turn off. LOL.. But after reverting to Islam Allah revealed a few things to me in a number of ways made me realize this is what he wanted me to do.
ICC #4
G.B.: Who/what inspired you to actually get this clothing line started?
X.L.: My inspiration for INSHALLAH CLOTHING actually came from a place of empathy. One day I was on the subway when I saw a Hijabi sister sitting on the train with her down. A first I didn’t think much about it but after 10 minutes of her sitting there with her head down I began to wonder if there was something wrong. After 15mins I began to feel a sense of discomfort coming from her. I wonder why and began to check out her surroundings before I came to realize it was because people were looking at her in a negative way. I was hoping to make eye contact with her to let her know she had a brother there if needed but that opportunity never came.
This touched me and mad me sad. I began to say Allah I wish there was something I could have done to change that situation. The next morning after prayers I began to think about what I had saw on the subway and said to Allah again, I wish there was something I could have done to change that situation. Within second a idea for a tshirt came to me and I ran to my computer and start designing it. It said I LOVE NEW YORK with NEW YORK being in Arabic. Below in small letter said NEW YORK in English for those who may not know Arabic. I felt this tshirt would have spoken for the hijabi sister on the subway that day and made her feel a little more at ease. And INSHALLAH CLOTHING began.
INSHALLAH Clothing #1
G.B.: Why did you choose to name your clothing line “Inshallah”?
X.L.: I truly believe everything is Inshallah (If Allah willing) and want to give glory to Allah/God for everything that happens with this brand, good or bad.
INSHALLAH Clothing #2
G.B.: What makes you stand-out among other Muslim clothing brands, both past & present?

X.L.: I believe our brand isn’t just for Muslims but for all people that believe in term or phrase INSHALLAH so our brand is more universal. Our brand is created with a more universal message and approach.

ICC #5
G.B.: Every clothing brand wants to represent concepts, ideas, ideals, etc. So, with that being said, what do you want your brand to represent, what concepts, ideas, ideals, do you want people to take away from, while supportingInshallahClothing?
X.L.: That they are wearing and supporting a brand that stands for awareness, understanding, unity and peace.
A brand that give credit and glory to whom it belongs to. A brand that will change the world by changing its perspective on the things they may have never known before.
ICC #6
G.B.: Do you want your brand to be pigeon-hold as a “Muslim-Brand” (exclusive to only Muslims), or do you want it to just be universally recognized as a brand (that anyone/everyone can enjoy)?
X.L.: I think I’ve answered that already.. LOL…
ICC #7
G.B.: Do you think/believe or hope that Inshallah Clothing can/will be a driving-force to represent Islam in a more positive light, within the Fashion Industry, in the Public-Sphere, among Muslims, etc.?
X.L.: Yes, I truly do. And believe that’s why Allah/God gave me this vision.
G.B.: Okay, let’s talk just about you, as an individual, now: Since the recent event in your neighborhood, regarding the Man that you helped to identify for Police, who was a Sex-Offender, tell us, how does it feel to be a Real-Life Hero?

X.L.: My last name is Abdullah which means slave or servant of Allah/God. My act of helping is just a natural action of being a servant of Allah/God. So I’m no hero I’m just a Muslim (one who submits to Allah/God ) .

G.B.: There are, unfortunately, sadly, many ugly misconceptions, stereotypes about Islam & Muslims. But, when people like you prove all of those untruths wrong, how powerful, do you believe, is that impact, in the Public-Eye, to have them see Muslims whom are the exact opposite of the negativity which they are constantly bombarded with vie the Media?

X.L.: Some may stay stuck in their misconceptions and some will step back and reanalyze things. The more good that is displayed by us Muslims the more we have a chance to make people reanalyze what they think they know or  about us.

G.B.: As a Muslim, as a Father, how important is it for you to have play a positive role in making sure that Criminals, such as the person whom you had confronted, were & are always confronted by members of the Community?

X.L.: As a father I’m so glad I confronted the criminal as I did. Now I feel a little that my wife and daughter along with the rest of the community is a little safer.

G.B.: What would you like your legacy, as the founder of Inshallah Clothing, to be, or have you even thought that far ahead yet?
X.L.: To have been someone that created a brand that creates dialogue, creates unity, and in return changes the world and world of fashion.

For more information about him & his clothing-line, please, visit here:

http://www.inshallahclothing.com

The Evolution of my Confidence:

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Author’s-Note:
I’ve arrived at a beautiful realization, today, based upon a much-needed epiphany, decided by Divine-Providence, from Allah, the Creator/Lord of the Universe.

For every person who has ever told me that I wasn’t good enough for them, there have been thousands who would tell me they want me by their side…

…for every person who has ever said that I’m “too-dark”, there have been thousands who have said your skin is beautiful…

…for every negative comment about my beard, there have been thousands of positive comments about it…

…for every person who has mocked where I come from, there are thousands who wish to hear about how I became the person that I am, despite the challenges of my life-experiences…

…for every person who has discriminated against me for being a Black-Man in America, there are thousands of their children who want to walk, talk, dress, act, be just like me…

…for all of those haters out there who have slandered me, Allah, my Lord has shielded me against their lies, and protected me from their hands being the cause of my demise.

So, for all of you who can’t appreciate me, you’re the minority, and those who do appreciate me, greatly out number you.

Gareth Bryant/2014

A Commentary on the “Muslim Women are Cool Too” Video:

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Author’s-Note:
Allah states, within His Noble-Book: “Oh, Prophet!!! Tell your Wives, along with your Daughters & the Believing-Women, to cover themselves. That is to ensure that they are recognized publicly & not harassed. And, Allah is All-Forgiving, Most-Merciful.”.(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.33, 59)

Since this “Somewhere in America Muslim Women Are Cool Too” video has went viral, basically, there has been a lot of buzz about it: good, bad, ugly & all sorts of in between. There are some whom have taken the video out of proportion from both the Conservative & Liberal camps within the Muslim-Community, anywhere/everywhere that this video has been viewed. So, what I’ve decided to do is simply ask someone,  whom is pretty much on the level socially, yet sincerely attempting to be an adherent Muslim, what are their potential concerns that this video may be projecting. I’ve decided to interview my brother Navroz Shariff, who I take to be a very balanced, well-rounded Muslims, to chime-in to personally examine this video & what image this video could possibly be sending to the public about Muslims generally, and also Muslim-Women. And, I know that a lot of People, Women (both Muslim & Non-Muslim alike) will take issue with Men speaking about the issue of “Hijab”, based upon a very ignorant misconception that (from both Men & Women: Muslim & Non-Muslim alike) that Islamic-Issues are monopolized by Genders, and/or that Hijab is only a Women’s-Issue…both are completely false (learn more about the reality of Hijab: http://www.garethbryant.wordpress.com/2011/11/24/theoriginofthehijabofthemanwomaninislam/).

Navroz Shariff pic

G.B.: So, what do you think about this phenomenon, known as Hijabi-Culture?

N.S.: The purpose of Hijab is to be inconspicuous, not to stand out, glowing with make up and various kinds of fashion-accessories. I am afraid that this video will make guys much more curious about our sisters in Islam who wear modest-clothing and it may even get to a point where they will be disrespected in the streets, because, guys will have the mentality that they can just approach them similar to any non practicing girl or any Non-Muslim for that matter. We know those who do not cover their `Awrat/Private-Parts, wear tight-clothing, and show their shape, love the attention they receive from guys. Unfortunately, this video is tarnishing the respect that girls who wear Hijab properly deserve, because, guys will start to get the impression that girls who wear Hijab are the same as girls who don’t and are just as approachable. Have you ever seen how non-Muslim men act towards our sisters who properly cover their `Awrat? They show so much respect to them. Ask any of the Hijab-wearing sisters how a woman is in front of them wearing a skimpy-outfit gets whistled at and harassed while when the modest sister passes the guys the all just quiet down. Ironically, the non-Muslim men here in America give our sisters more respect, compared to fellow Muslims in some/many Muslim-Countries. Our sisters in those countries get groped, harassed and even raped, even when they sincerely attempt to dress modestly.

G.B.: Well, honestly, many Muslim-Women who may choose to not dress properly, Islamically, or not cover their bodies to any extent, may say, “Even without ‘Hijab’, I’m still ‘Modest'”.  So, let me ask you: what is the (Islamic) definition of Modesty?

G.B.: You can’t have modesty without HIjab & vice versa: they define one another simultaneously Both Hijab & Modesty are (jointly) signs of purity and dignity; they highlight the Muslim-Woman as a pure, chaste, integral, woman and sets her apart from the immoral-behavior associated with women who dress/behave immodestly. It is an external-protection, for chaste Muslim-Women, against the evil that exists within the world. When a woman wears a Hijab she is less likely to be harassed by men, with lusty-motives, especially here in America. For our sisters who cover and wish to be inconspicuous, in my humble opinion, this video has just put them on the radar and Non-Muslim men will begin to think they are no different than women who don tight-jeans, mini-skirts, etc., who show their `Awrat. It is bad enough for some that men in some/many Muslim-Countries showing disrespect to our sisters, now the non-Muslim men will also do the same. May Allah protect our sisters, and in particular I am thinking of my lovely wife here, and guide us all. And, for the sisters that see this as a Hijab instructional-video (believe me some do), the perpetrators in the video will all be responsible for all the sisters they mislead when standing alone in front of Allah.

G.B.: Do you think that Muslims are trying too hard for socio-cultural/socio-political acceptance in Non-Muslim-Countries/Non-Islamic societies, at the expense of their religious-integrity?

N.S.: It seems that Muslims are desperately trying to be accepted even if it means that they have to sculpt their religion to gain acceptance. They heed more the creation than the Creator. What does this say about their emaan? It may very well be a test for them from Allah which they are failing miserably. Mu`awiyah wrote to `A’ishah (May Allah be pleased with them both), asking her to write him a letter giving him advice but not to make it lengthy. She wrote: ‘Peace be upon you! To proceed: I heard Allah’s Messenger (saws) say, “If anyone seeks Allah’s good pleasure at the cost of people’s displeasure Allah will keep from him the trouble caused by people; but if anyone seeks people’s good pleasure at the cost of Allah’s displeasure Allah will leave him in people’s hands.”

G.B.: Are you at all biased to their views on what direction Muslims should turn towards?

N.S.: If we were to stick to the Qur’an and Sunnah, then we would not be having this discussion. Is that what you mean by that question?

G.B.: Have you previously revealed your general-views regarding this new-wave of “Islamic-Identity?

N.S.: Yes, my views I tend to write in public; but, to verify that I am not biased, I ask others that they think about my opinion, discuss with them, look at it at other angles.

G.B.: How much opposition do you/have you received as a result of your views against your stances against this brand of “Islamic-Expression/Islamic-Identity”?

So far, none. But, there are many people who condone what the video shows, and the way it depicts Muslim-Women.

G.B.: If you could have a serious-conversation with either the producers of, and/or those depicted within this video, what would you say to them, and how would you say it; meaning how would you even approach the conversation?

N.S.: Honestly, it really depends: if the producers are not Muslim, then I would question the sisters…if they both are Muslims, I would question both of them and their agenda, especially with regards to the explicit lyrics and dress-style which are contrary to Islamic practice anyway…if they are just young, then I would question the elders in the video what were they thinking and that they should know better to guide their sisters.

G.B.: Are you fearful of fellow Muslims viewing you of being “backwards”, “too conservative”, “unrefined”, “too traditional”, etc.?

N.S.: I am only fearful of Allah. Islam is not about picking and choosing what you of Islam and compromise it.

Islam is not about picking and choosing what you like of the Deen and compromising.