25 July 2008

CHICAGO, IL -- Street Beat...Make-up to Match, E. 59th Street & S. Woodlawn Ave

Asides from the trendy frames, I noticed how her eye make-up complemented her racy zebra jacket. The little things...

p.s. click picture to get an enlarged view

CHICAGO, IL -- Street Beat...Save Darfur Tee, W. Roosevelt Road & S. Jefferson Street

The distressed nature of the jeans caught my eye, even though I know with all the technology behind jeans manufacturing that their not as old as they appear. Quirky shirt to add.

12 July 2008

Another Chike-Ikechi Hiatus

For those who have been frequenting the site and wondered where I vanished to, I sincerely apologize. St. Louis hasn't been the best of places to style hunt for various reasons. Namely, my lack of transportation in getting around the city.

To quench my boredom and to put my noggin to use, I've assumed a post as a menswear correspondent for online fashion magazine, My Fashion Life. In addition to snapping the odd photo, I'm also very much into fashion journalism so I'm just flexing my abilities in this new role. The magazine is starting up a men's section, My Fashion Life: For Him and I've been behind the early workings of that venture.

Pay the site a visit to get fresh, opinionated perspectives on fashion news, shopping and beauty advice, trends and more. There's something for both ladies and gents!

Chike-Ikechi will be back...

25 June 2008

Chike-Ikechi on Jamati Online!!!

Usually when you start out in an industry such as fashion, you make it a point to know where your roots are and stay close to those few friends you began the trek with, espousing each others work at every opportunity.

I'm sure you've noticed that duo of Côté Minou hold that spot in my heart as dear friends. I love these ladies and what their doing for fashion, African and mainstream.

The anticipation has been mounting for the label to stake their rightful claim on African fashion and my word did they do it with some pizazz! Côté Minou recently had their official unveiling to the fashion world through the event, The Paparazzi Launch. Audiences were wowed and the press coverage has begun to roll in for Côté Minou and I couldn't be any happier.

I mentioned a while back that I helped shoot the Côté Minou look book and a few shots from it were included in a recent interview the Maryanne Mokoko and Stephanie Mouapi did with Jamati Online, a full-fledged e-zine that provides a portal into the African Diaspora.

The Côté Minou/Jamati interview can be viewed here and the shots featured in the post.

29 May 2008

ST LOUIS, MO -- Street Beat...Summer Hats, Rag-O-Rama + Delmar Loop

The hats definitely consummate their respective outfits.

A Change of Scenery...St Louis, Missouri

So my time in Washington, DC has come to a momentary end. I've graduated from Howard University and have since moved to St. Louis to hopefully take up a summer research post in the Department of Psychiatry at Washington University in St. Louis before I embark on graduate school.

What does this move spell for Chike-Ikechi? Well my focus will now shift towards capturing the style that exists in St. Louis and its surrounding counties. I'm new to the city so it will take some trekking about to locate where eccentric denizens congregate. In the interim, bear with me and Chike-Ikechi--we are not abandoning what we've started here.

Stay tuned and thank you all for your patience.

20 May 2008

ST LOUIS, MO -- Street Beat...Horizontal Stripes, Heather Hill Lane

Interesting that The Sartorialist reported a similar trend of horizontal stripes for this spring. Coincidence or should you proceed to get horizontal!

19 May 2008

WASHINGTON, DC -- At School...Graduation Best, Howard University

I know I've given GQ a plug before on their How To Buy A Suit: The Complete GQ Guide, but I had to bring it back again for all my collegiate brothers who are about to embark on the real world. Congratulations to the class of 2008 and I hope my piece of advice goes a long way in helping you set the tone in your prospective careers. I stand by the saying looking good is good business because when you wear a suit that fits, you will notice an immediate effect in your carriage and confidence which will ultimately spill over into your approach to work. Like the chap pictured above; get yourself a suit that accentuates your physique and complements your youthful swag. Splashing about experimental colors such as a purple tie or a brown ochre colored shoe complete with matching belt doesn't hurt either and detaches the suit from its somewhat conservative realm.

8 May 2008

WASHINGTON, DC -- At School...Best Foot Forward, Howard University

To put your best foot forward this summer please get a stellar pair of sandals that make you own any look! It's not by coincidence either that Harper's Bazaar's May 20th Best Buy Of The Day feature was a pair of Etro sandals (pictured below) so getting that pair of sandals for the summer couldn't come at a more opportune moment.

I love the detailing on young lady's sandals that gives it that safari chic look thats going to be big this summer. Also, going for a sandal that has an ankle strap of some sort will only flatter, accentuate, and draw admirers to the physique of your ankle/lower leg. The Etro sandals really capture the gladiator sandal trend with the volume of straps it has. The young lady's sandal, on the other hand, is a more delicate rendition of the gladiator sandal with its single strap. In appreciating the entire sandal complete with its creative ankle straps, it is only natural for the movement of the eyes to welcome the beauty of the lower leg (and hopefully your entire outfit if your as stylish as Ms. Ashley here)! So do away with those flip flops and put your best foot forward people and you can't go wrong this summer!

Photo courtesy of Davies + Starr (Harper's Bazaar)

WASHINGTON, DC -- At School...Skull & Bones Baby, Howard University

The colors of the shirt, tie and vest come together beautifully. But I'm also loving his little skull and bones trinket on his wallet chain. As we can see here, the skull and bones symbol is not reserved for the dark, hard-edged, rocker image, but can blended into a colorful, light-hearted aesthetic.

Stefano Tonchi (below), New York Times Magazine's style editor, steps out in a daring manner in terms of tie selection. Infusing the "skull and bones" fashion insignia on a tie and pairing it with a very polished suit complete with pocket square shows that the "skull and bones" is hitting high-end fashion circles in a suave way! Jim Jones, Shop Boyz and others alike who put this skull and bones look on the map are really starting a crossover culture don't you think? Party and work like a rock-star indeed!

Photo: Scott Schuman (The Sartorialist)

WASHINGTON, DC -- At School...Hints of Blue, Howard University

I love what she did with her eyes. It's the littlest of things...

WASHINGTON, DC -- Street Beat...Tribal Footwear, Kenilworth Avenue, NE

4 May 2008

WASHINGTON, DC -- Street Beat...Mixed Trends, Gallery Place-Chinatown Metro Station

The nautical feel of the cardigan thrown over a floral top is a nice play on some spring/summer trends. She said the playfulness of the scarf topped off the sailor effect she was going for!

1 May 2008

WASHINGTON, DC -- Côté Minou Outtakes

Recently did a photo shoot for the lovely ladies of Côté Minou for a look book their putting together for their recent collection. Here is an outtake from the shoot. These ladies are definitely delivering that element of Africhic into fashion. Their ability to work African fabrics into very modern, sophisticated looks for the everyday woman is what separates Côté Minou from other design houses who work primarily with African fabric. Look out for the official launch of Côté Minou this summer, June 21, 2008.

29 April 2008


Posts have indeed been very infrequent for the past week or two. That is soon to change. I just completed my BSc/Honors Thesis which has kept me locked up, typing away on the effects of hypertension and hypotension on frontal-executive functioning (a type of cognitive ability like memory) in middle-aged African Americans. I'm happy with the work I've produced and shall soon be rewarded for my efforts with an Ipod Touch... YAY!!! Well, that's the rumor going around the Honors Program and I'm praying there's more than an ounce of truth to it.

Anyway, Chike-Ikechi will soon be back in effect. Sorry again for the lethargic posting, but it is soon to change.

25 April 2008

WASHINGTON, DC -- At School...Tribal Chic, Howard University

Summer is literally at our door step, knocking and wanting to be let in. The transition into a season that boasts a plethora of looks, colors, and moods can be an easy surmount for some and difficult for others. Trends may help frame how you should approach the upcoming season, but if you have a confident, personal style then working those trends into a unique concoction will be no problem. Take the lovely lady above (she's a familiar face). This has got to be the most creative take on the tribal/ethnic trend that's set to blossom this summer. The layered bracelets and necklace adds a bold, textural contrast to warm colors that define summery, ethnic look.

But please peep her stockings! By incorporating a very original take on the animal skin prints, she goes above-and-beyond the routine tribal look. The run-of-the-mill snake skin clutch or shoes is the safest bet for most, but she opts otherwise and executes it brilliantly!

23 April 2008

WASHINGTON, DC -- Street Beat...Tailored and Traditional, Kenilworth Avenue, NE

Owing to his slender physique, I love how he has gone for a more form-fitting presentation with his traditional ware (i.e., agbada) thus exposing the intricacies of the lace material and the tailoring. The agbada is usually worn with a very flowing, wide-sleeved robe that functions more for show than for ease of wear. We see here he's gone for the latter. The shoes are an added love!

22 April 2008

WASHINGTON, DC -- At School...Corduroy as Seasonal Mainstay and Eco-Friendly Option, Howard University

Today is World Earth Day and the global community's heightened awareness of the Earth's environment could not coincide better with the flurry of interest being generated around eco-friendly fashion. Environmentally sensitive fabrics and production techniques are the new rave in these eco-fashion circles. Advocating these eco-friendly clothes/brands is one way to support the movement or one can simply adopt a frugal approach in how they meet with fashion and choose to define their style.

Even in the spring months, we see here that corduroy is still rearing its head proudly. Corduroy can be differentiated according to the width of its cord or the "wale." Finer-wale corduroy (as pictured above) is not too stuffy and can be transitioned into more temperate weather conditions. Nonetheless, corduroy's durability has made its use to be largely reserved for slightly nippier climates. However, the disordered, up and down nature of weather this year is an indicator that the environment is in a phase of change. As a result of the erratic weather, the corduroy fabric is becoming a mainstay look throughout much of the year sans the extremely warmer and humid months of summer. Experimenting with corduroy fabrics during the not so cold months of the year is not completely taboo (as previously thought) since it is a great way to maximize on the fabric's sturdiness and also practice conservation when it comes to our wardrobe. Let's face it, predicting a stretch of consistent weather has been tough to come by of late so safeguarding oneself against the elements à la corduroy is not a bad start.

It's not reserved for the wintry months. A navy cotton henley corduroy jacket makes an all to unfamiliar appearance in DKNY's 2006 Spring/Summer collection.

Photo: Marco Madeira (men.style.com)

WASHINGTON, DC -- At School...Architectural and Colorful, Howard University

16 April 2008

WASHINGTON, DC -- At School..Blue Planet, Howard University

Men.Style.com just issued their Spring 2008 trend reports and this young gentleman struck me as a perfect fit for this emerging Blue Planet look that is steadily creeping up at mens runway shows. His outfit definitely exudes an aquatic-theme (à la boat shoes) that makes me literally want to go deep-sea diving or hop aboard a cruise filled with stylish denizens the world over. On second thought, maybe thats too much blue to handle.

WASHINGTON, DC -- At School...Ms. Bintu Kabba, Howard University

If you know Ms. Bintu Kabba, then you are well-aware of her position on Howard University's campus as one of the most lauded students when it comes to possessing an extremely polished sense of style. As we can see, Ms. Kabba is not intimidated in the slightest when it comes to experimenting with color palettes.

On this note of color, I've been tinkering of late about the similarities that are shared between African dress and that of the culture that surrounds African American dress. Ms. Kabba is from Sierra Leone, but spent most of her formative years in Philadelphia so to me her perspective of dress is figurative of both cultures. I've seen her fashion lovely, multihued African lace ensembles and at the same time very modish, Western-influenced pieces that are nothing short of vibrant when paired together.

So I ask you this? What is the difference between the vibrant colors that adorn African lace, ankara, or kente cloth fabrics and those that are consciously mixed and matched resplendently in a style definitive of todays contemporary African American youth? The fabrics may not be similar, but owing to the African ancestry common to both cultures, there is a shared aim that can be seen in the affinity towards embracing energetic color schemes in ones dress.

I'm just pondering for future projects, but in the mean time enjoy what Ms. Kabba has to offer!

15 April 2008

WASHINGTON, DC -- At School...The Boots - Part 2, Howard University

I'm kind of over the keffiyeh craze (actually, I was never really on it) so that's not what drew me to capture this shot. Yes, the keffiyeh/scarf is a lovely accessory, but these days the eccentricity of ones scarf is what will save the individual from being branded as too cliché.

So what had me spellbound you may be asking? (1) The cowboy boots and (2) the creased jeans. These are two elements of style that are both audacious and not too often attempted by the weary-hearted. Moreover, they work hand-in-hand in complementing the overall ensemble. The creased jeans is a trend that is popping up of late and we see here how its utility helps in revealing the rustic elegance of the boots. If in the event he had chosen not to exercise some sort of amendment to the length of the jeans, the boots would have been hidden and the visual transition from the jeans to the boots would have been a far cry from pleasant with its crumpled appearance.

The nice fit of the leather jacket is an added aesthetic bonus!

14 April 2008

WASHINGTON, DC -- At School...Eyewear is my Specialty, Howard University

I love how he kept his accessories consistent with the illustrations on the t-shirt. Whether it was a conscious attempt or not bemuses me.

WASHINGTON, DC -- At School...Friday on the Yard, Howard University

WASHINGTON, DC -- Street Beat...Michael & Kingston, Sherman Avenue, NW

Yes, this is Mr. "Blue Velvet Pants" himself from the Midnight Marauders post! I hope this look makes you equally as happy.

13 April 2008

WASHINGTON, DC -- Street Beat...Muted and Loud, 17th Street, NW

I really love the mellow blends of pastel colors, but the move to punctuate it all with a rather vivid, multicolored ascot (in the day time, mind you) is truly a bold, fearless statement.

WASHINGTON, DC -- Street Beat...Howard University Bison Ball, Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center

9 April 2008

WASHINGTON, DC -- At School...Psychedelic Paisley, Howard University

Of late, finding an individual who is striking out daringly with their sense of style has been tasking.

Part of it may be due to some unsinspiring weather that has hit The District. Another is owing to my busy research/graduation schedule. Outside of fashion, my other alter ego is that of a scientist immersed in neuroscience, psychophysiology, and dealing with cardiovascular disease epidemiology from these two frameworks. I'm in the process of writing up/completing my honors thesis!!!

But science aside, I was relieved when I ran into this young lady. The colors represented on her paisley patterned blouse excited my sensory palette from across the room. I'm not sure where she got the blouse from, but its vibrant, warm colors instinctively made me think of the desert-swept, semiarid topography of Persia where the paisley motif draws its roots from.

WASHINGTON, DC -- At School...A Hint of Floral, Howard University

Spring must really be in the air. The floral pattern on the tie in addition to its stark juxtaposition with an entirely black suit lends a relaxed, playful feel to the look. Also I must call to attention the nice fit of the suit. For my male collegiate peers here at The Mecca, this is how a suit is to be worn--fitted and not 2-3 sizes bigger than you. I'm not a big fan of three button suits (I'm a short chap so they look rather long on me plus a great deal of three-button suits are worn in a Bernie Mack, oversized style), but the fit makes me overlook that.

In order to replicate this fit and overall look, the lovely folks over at GQ and Men.Style.com put together a "How To Buy A Suit" guide.

8 April 2008

WASHINGTON, DC -- At School...Those Earrings, Howard University

Fashionably speaking, the spring/summer months are looking to be fruitful and full of color once this shoddy east coast weather clears up. In meantime, earrings like these give us that glimmer of hope for the better days to come.