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CNCO Just Partnered With Forever 21 On A Capsule Collection And It’s Just As Urbano-Cool As You Could Imagine

The 2010s resuscitated boy bands, and we’ve been living for it. But there’s one boy band in particular that we stan, the Latinx pop group CNCO. These Latinos have quickly caught up with other heavy hitters like BTS or The Jonas Brothers, and they’ve done it both in English and Spanish. The “Reggaeton Lento” singers have established themselves as somewhat of an iconic group for young Millenials and Gen Z-ers and to further confirm their ‘pop star’ status, they’re dropping their very first fashion collab.

The group was formed during a musical competition—very much like One Direction or Fifth Harmony.

Instagram @cncomusic

Since their formation in 2015, thanks to Univision’s reality show “La Banda,” the Latin Grammy-nominated phenomenon CNCO has dazzled the music industry as one of Latin pop’s most influential and prolific hit-makers. CNCO is composed of five Latinos with different backgrounds, who are not only stylish but also eye candy —even if I’m old enough to be their cool aunt: Christopher from Ecuador, Erick Brian from Cuba, Joel from Mexico, Richard from Dominican Republic, and Zabdiel from Puerto Rico.

Since their debut in 2016 the trailblazing group has won several awards and topped charts left and right.

instagram @cncomusic

Their debut album, Primera Cita, hit No. 1 on the Top Latin Albums chart in 2016. In April, their eponymous sophomore album debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Latin Albums, Latin Pop Albums and Latin Rhythm Albums charts, becoming the top-selling Latin debut on the charts of 2017. Fast forward to 2019 and it’s become almost impossible to hear “Qué quiénes somos?” and not reply “CNCO!” at the top of our lungs.

The chart-topping, platinum-recording group have been tapped by Forever 21 for a capsule collection. 

Are you even a pop superstar if you don’t collaborate with a fashion brand? Designers and fashion brands at the low, high and midpoints of the market often team up with pop stars to reach loyal fans and —why deny it— hopefully boost sales (and we all know F21 could use some of that).

CNCO x Forever 21 capsule collection is available to shop now!

Instagram @forever21

The collaboration dropped just this week online and at Forever 21 stores in the U.S. and Latin America. The 21-piece collection includes ready-to-wear pieces such as graphic T-shirts, sweatshirts, denim jackets and accessories for men and women, ranging in price from $4.99 to $39.99. 

The pieces feature CNCO members Christopher Vélez, Richard Camacho, Zabdiel De Jesús, Joel Pimentel and Erick Brian Colón, a newspaper print, world tour merchandise-inspired artwork and the group logo.

The collection is a different take on Forever 21’s typical ‘merch’ style collections.

Instagram @forever21

“This exclusive collection is a fashion forward take on ‘traditional tour merch’ style pieces,” said Forever 21 executive vice president Linda Chang. “Each garment was designed one-on-one with the band members and features dynamic details and graphics. With a variety of styles ranging from trendy fleece hookups to a newspaper printed bodysuit, there’s something for everyone.”

“This partnership means a lot to us, because we’ve been following and wearing Forever 21 for a long time,” CNCO said. “To be able to collab with them on our own line and them be open to our ideas and culture is super cool. We’re very honored and thankful, and we really hope people like it!” 

The group shared the news on their Instagram page.

Instagram @forever21

With a combined 16 million followers on Instagram alone, CNCO, have been described as “the Latino One Direction” by Rolling Stone. The boys took to Instagram to announce the collab; “We’re so excited to announce our collaboration with @forever21 available now!!!” the Latin group wrote. “We are super grateful to be able to have this collaboration and our own line! We hope you guys like it!”

Forever 21 is launching this collection after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in late September. 

twitter @cnn

The Los Angeles-based fast-fashion retailer said it will close most of its locations in Asia and Europe but will continue to operate its stores in the U.S., Mexico and South America.Through this partnership with CNCO, the retailer will be better able to connect to the Latin American community and its music, which according to Billboard, had its highest growth year in 2018. 

CNCO is currently making the rounds with their EP Que Quienes Somos, which was released Oct. 11 and debuted at No. 1 on the Latin Pop Albums chart dated Oct. 26. Shop the collab collection now on www.forever21.com

Stevey Harvey Made a Tacky Joke About Miss Colombia and the Internet Isn’t Having It

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Stevey Harvey Made a Tacky Joke About Miss Colombia and the Internet Isn’t Having It

Dailymail / Twitter

After the 2015 Miss Universe disaster where Steve Harvey erroneously crowned Miss Colombia? who? the winner of the pageant when Miss Philippines Pia Wurtzbach was actually the winner, we assumed that Harvey would try to be on his best behavior from now on. But of course, Steve Harvey being Steve Harvey, he couldn’t play it straight for too long. And, once again, he’s embroiled himself in another controversy–again, involving Miss Colombia.

From the get-go, Harvey started off his hosting gig awkwardly, immediately addressing his 2015 headline-making mix-up. He then proceeded to make an off-color joke about the fiasco. “Colombia’s gotten over that. They’ve forgiven me,” he quipped. “Well, not all of them. The cartel’s still tripping a little bit”. 

As if this opening joke weren’t offensive enough, Harvey continued to rag on Colombia when announcing that Miss Colombia Gabriela Tafur had qualified for the Top 20. 

After being announced, Tafur approached Steve Harvey, joking with him a little about his his famous absentmindedness. “Yes, I’m here,” she joked. “Are you sure you read correctly? Should I go back?”.

Harvey admitted to Tafur that he was “struggling” with his hosting duties, to which Tafur replied, “You’re forgiven”. Sensing an opportunity to shoe-horn in another narco joke, Harvey said: “You’ve forgiven me, not the cartel…They’re not handling it the same way.”

Tafur, although she looked as if she were trying to be a good sport and smile it off, appeared to become a bit more frozen after he cracked the joke. It also should be noted that the audience didn’t seem to respond well to the joke–there was little laughter to be heard coming from the crowd.

The backlash to Harvey’s joke was swift, with Colombians accusing the comedian of perpetuating negative stereotypes about  their beloved South American country.

The truth is, pageantry is an important aspect of many Latino cultures–especially ones in South America. Part of the reason that many of these women join pageants is to be a positive representation of their country for the rest of the world. 

There is even a “National Costume Show” portion of the competition where contestants dress up in outfits that illustrate an authentic aspect of the culture of their home country. No country is perfect and the pageant isn’t meant shouldn’t be turned into a platform to single out a country and bring attention to its flaws.

Miss Colombia, for her part, took to Twitter herself to drag Harvey for his offensive joke. 

Although many people still associate Colombia drugs, gangs, and violence, its murder rate has fallen to 25% in the last 25 years. In 2016, the Colombian government and the guerrilla Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia signed a peace treaty with the goal of putting an end to a violent civil war that has last 52 years. The treaty included switch illegal crops like coca with alternatives, hopefully minimizing opportunity for drug traffickers. Since then, Colombia’s homicide rate has dropped to an all-time low

Not only was the audience unimpressed with Harvey’s inappropriate joke, but Twitter was too.

It’s one thing to slip up once, make an inappropriate joke, and then stop after you’ve learned the error of your ways. Harvey continued to make Colombia the butt of his jokes and he crossed the line. 

This person made a point to call out Steve Harvey for trying to embarrass Colombia on a worldwide stage. 

Miss Colombia is chosen to be a representative about the best parts of her country. Tafur has nothing to do with cartels. 

This person explained how Harvey’s “joke” was disrespectful to actual victims and survivors of cartel violence.

Believe it or not, cartel violence is an epidemic in Colombia. We guarantee that if Harvey experience the violence in person, he wouldn’t be making light of the situation on international TV.

In an event as globally inclusive as Miss Universe, it’s imperative to recognize that no country is perfect.

Colombians are tired of being thought of as narcos and drug addicts in the eyes of the world. 

This Twitter user was full of kind words for a woman who handled an uncomfortable situation with such grace

I like how @IAmSteveHarvey makes a joke about the cartel to #MissColombia and then cut to her package and she’s like “I’m a lawyer and have been fighting violence in my country.” Get it girl. And Steve, sit down man. #MissUniverse

‘We’re The Ones Making Wigs Modern’: These Female Entrepreneurs Want You To Support Black-Owned Hair Businesses

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‘We’re The Ones Making Wigs Modern’: These Female Entrepreneurs Want You To Support Black-Owned Hair Businesses

xoxovirginhair / Instagram

According to research, African-American consumers will spend nearly $2 billion on hair-care products, this year alone. And although a lot of that expenditure goes toward products aimed at caring for natural hair —like shampoo, conditioner and styling products, which are also very important— a lot of $$$ is also being spent on wigs and extensions —of terrible quality, may I add. These black women grew tired of fighting and fussing with wigs and hair extensions of bad quality, so they created their own businesses to fix the problem.

Up until recently, products like wigs and extensions were primarily produced by people outside of the black community. And perhaps that’s why there were so many issues.

Twitter @olaleyepeter6

According to Mintel, between 2015 and 2019, the use of braids and extensions by Black consumers in the U.S. grew 64% and the use of wigs spiked 79%. It’s also Black women who are seen wearing the film lace frontals “Oba wigs” and drawstring ponytails and yet, a lot of companies are white or Asian-owned but Black-presenting. “It’s problematic and needs to be discussed,” says Stephanie Nolan, founder of XOXO Virgin Hair.

Nolan first came up with the idea to start her own hair business after working as a model in the early 200s.

Instagram @xoxovirginhair

Ever noticed how hairstylists spend the majority of prep time fussing and fighting with weaves and wigs  before even being able to put them on? “They would have less-than-desirable experiences working with hair extensions or wigs that just weren’t cooperating,” says Nolan. “And it would end up really dragging out photoshoots.”

She had experimented with weaves in her personal life too, and in more than just a few occasions, the hair she bought just didn’t meet her expectations.

Instagram @xoxovirginhair

“I know that the everyday woman also doesn’t have time to fuss with their hair in the morning because she has to be at work at 8:30 in the morning,” she says. “And spending a lot of time on hair just takes away from being able to eat breakfast, being able to commute, so many things.” So she started her own company in 2014, aiming to release a product that would be convenient, easy to use and most importantly, of high quality.

Heat Free Hair by Ngozi Opara

Instagram @heatfreehair

Ngozi Opara owned a hair salon in Washington D.C. around the time when the natural hair movement started to take off. And she started to see a lot of clients that wanted to grow out their natural hair —which more often than not had been straightened or relaxed. They didn’t want to cut off their hair, so thy opted for sew-ins instead. “At the time, there weren’t any extension products on the market that would blend properly for women with coily hair textures (think 3B and 4C),” Opara says. “Clients were using virgin hair, but the only available options all came in straight, wavy and loose curly textures.”

The textures available meant that Opara had to straighten her clients’ hair in order to get it to blend properly, and she wanted to be able to manipulate their hair without using any heat. “I set myself up to be the first company to [make] virgin hair exclusively for natural hair textures.”

In 2013 Opara moved to China to learn about the manufacturing process.

Instagram @heatfreehair

After six months in China, she learned that not only did the factories have no concept of how the product they were making was being used, but also that a lot of the people producing the wigs didn’t know how to create textured hair without using chemicals. After a lot of tests, roundtable discussions and educating, they eventually got to a place of understanding and were able to create a product all parties were proud of. Now, Opara owns her own factory in China —with more than 50 employees.

Gina Knight, an influencer and wig designer based in the U.K., noticed that the same issue was prevalent in hair extensions across the pond.

instagram @ginaatinukeknight

Just as Opara hadn’t been happy with the texture of virgin hair for wigs, Knight couldn’t find options with hair similar to her own texture. “Having to have more of a Eurocentric wig just wasn’t me,” Knight says.

Black entrepreneurship in the wig and extension space is picking up speed but there’s still a lot of work to be done.

instagram @ginaknightwigdesign

“We are the ones who are utilizing [the product] the most, we’re making it modern, we’re making it so that other races want to get in on it and want to wear wigs,” Knight explains in conversation with Fashionista. “But I think people need to be honest with the fact that, in the supply chain, we don’t have a stronghold,” she says. “Along the line, it does fall out of the hands of Black-owned because we have to source from all over.”

Many companies realized there was a market, and they jumped on it without considering the group they’re marketing to.

twitter @morganjerkins

That’s probably what’s most upsetting about how the industry has evolved since these entrepreneurs first started their businesses. “When I created my brand, I had this customer in mind, I had my clients at the time in mind, I had myself in mind,” Opara says. “I shared the same pain points as the people who would benefit from my product and I didn’t even necessarily know it was going to take off, I just wanted to help solve a problem.” It’s unfortunate, she says, because the companies with more power take opportunities away from black female founders that are creating these products for their community.

It’s important to support Black women and their businesses so even more companies can thrive.

Instagram @ginaknightwigdesign

“I feel like it’s my duty almost to try to encourage people to support Black businesses because I know the value that it has for future entrepreneurs,” explains Opara. “But I also feel like, at least for myself as a consumer, I want to know that the brand I’m buying from is a brand that actually cares about me and not just about the money that they’re making from me.”