#TRENDSETTER: ZEL, 21, NEW JERSEY

#TRENDSETTER, Articles, Culture, Fashion, Fiction

Steven “Zel” Vasquez, 21; Graphic Designer, Cover Artist, Fashion Blogger

IG: Sayitaintzel

Inqueries: Byzelclo@gmail.com

“It’s BYZEL”

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Black Culture is about intersection, and Zel’s art is no different. Crossing the decadent fashion of rap culture with digital graphics, Zel is forming a career by making the unexpected a statement. While most would think a digital artist focuses less on physical presentation, they will be surprised to find Zel pays as much attention to what he is wearing, and how he feels with it as he does to the tools of his trade — a sentiment someone like me, who feels aesthetic conveys as much as a written word, agrees with.

Zel’s Inspirations could come from the very artists he designs his concepts for: such as the subtle festive street looks of ASAP Rocky, or the maddening lost outlook of Kanye West. There is an approach to his graphics and designs that always feels familiar, yet vibrant and distinct like a splash of color on a monotone backdrop.

 

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Even though he attends school far out in the boondocks of Hackettstown, New Jersey, he where style takes a backdrop to the salt-pillar lifestyle surrounding the college, he still maintains he isn’t simply Steven Vasquez — but the artist who creates: Zel. He appreciates the power of attention and detail on a t-shirt, in footwear and on a Mac book screen.

Whether it is a custom fit, or a digital concept for his favorite artist’s albums, Zel maintains a bold, elegant and sharpness. His art continues the trend of true Black Boy Joy.

For graphics and designs, well, BYZEL, reach the artist at byzelco@gmail.com or at his IG: Sayitaintzel.

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#TRENDSETTER: mufaro limited, Cincinnati, OH

#TRENDSETTER, Fashion, Non-Fiction

By: Steven Underwood

Product Rating: 4/5

Ohio has a lot of inspiring artists walking the scarlet pavements, and even more inspiring black businesses. On the suggestion of model, Brandon Watters, I decided to look for one instead of supporting some white enterprise and feeding the capitalist agenda. I still ended up feeding the capitalist agenda, but I also ordered one of my new favorite tops.

Mufaro’s boutique is a collection of largely unisex East African-inspired streetwear. The founder, Mufaro (IG: mufaro_ltd), is a Zimbabwean born designer from Cincinnati, Ohio who was featured in numerous fashion shows including the Ankara Miami fashion week, the RAW Artist showcase, and the Emani +Mufaro Expose in Dallas, Texas. Mufaro LTD.

But, even with these ventures under his breath, I only really needed to know he was an Ohio artist, and I leapt right into his site and put my coin into his purse.

I ordered the Dashiki Extended Shirt/Skirt ($60.00). A neat black long sleeve with a flowing skirt covered in Zimbabwean-inspired print and three zippers on either side and up the tail. It is a unisex piece that men can wear as an extended tee (which I do), or as a skirt.

Photos courtesy of Mufaro LTD homepage

Ever since I collected the shirt, I have worn it exactly five times, and it has never failed to impress. It’s infinitely versatile: suitable for numerous occasions and makes a very clear statement about what I am about. I get compliments and unlike when I usually try out something new in my style choices, I don’t feel any bit of self-consciousness and hyper visibility. The one issue that I encounter is that many of the western-inspired styles that frequent my closet do not – or cannot really match the design choice. But, I enjoy a challenge; and this outfit gives me a challenge to own my own unique style – because style should never come easy, especially when you’re doing it for yourself and not for the power in the brand.

The design is beautiful, and the only real difficulty I had with the end product was a trouble with the stitching that came undone on the inseam when stretched just a little too much when I pulled the shirt on. Still, the product is beautiful.

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mufaro limited New line imagined by Zimbabwean born Mufaro (male) Based in Ohio (Cincinnati) Inquiries|mufaroltd@gmail |Ankara Miami fashion week www.mufaroltd.com