27 July 2014

Beautiful People: Evi

(Evi wears a vintage coat, turban by J. White Original, and bangles by A. Bernadette)

Evi is a natural story teller deeply invested in telling children's stories. Born in Cyprus, Evi is an anthropologist who writes children's books that explore social justice narratives from the perspective and voice of young children.

Current Projects

“The Green Line” is a children’s story that deals with the partition of Cyprus into ‘North (Turkish Cypriot) and ‘South’ (Greek Cypriot) through the eyes of a young girl. This story is part of a larger project called WorldWideBuddies, which consists of a series of fictional, educational stories about children from all over the world, aiming to promote cultural awareness and shed light on the multitude of experiences and realities that exist.

(Read the complete "The Green Line" here)

Evi's Relationship to Brasil

 Everything that has to do with Brazil is so vibrant - even its name!

Evi's Relationship to ReciclaGEM

 Evi has been a longtime supporter of ReciclaGEM, and has even brainstormed with us projects on how we might used recycled clothing in a workshop to support the imaginative storytelling of young children. 

Evi is truly a Beautiful Person to watch. 

Thank you, Evi, for your beauty, artistry, talent and grace! You make our world better,


Beautiful People: Cladia Ayoub

(Claudia Ayoub wears a dress by ReciclaGEM, a necklace by Ladyfied Vintage, and shoes by Jeffrey Campbell's vegan collection). Photo by Austin Phelps.

Born in São Paulo and raised between São Paulo and Rio, Claudia Ayoub is an interdisciplinary performance artist who explores themes of ancestry, Afro-diasporic spirituality, ritual, carnival, and the complexities embedded within performative and non verbal story telling. She completed her Masters of Performance Studies degree in NYU Tisch after studying visual arts at the Fine Arts Center of São Paulo. She utilizes the diverse media of performance art, painting, installation, sculpture, video art, and education to explore themes ranging from São Paulo and Rio’s Carnival as a performance of the wondrous - its relations to African Brazilian religions to recovery-redemption-rescue of the self, and the appropriation and misappropriation of space. 

I modeled out of admiration of my friend's work, and the will for enriching the transmission of the Brazilian culture across places. 

"Overcome with art the monotonous conformity of all things." 

Current Projects

One of her most recent performances, "The Secret Face of Living Things: How to Make People with Objects II," was a six-hour interactive performance piece, which explored the potentially conflicting tension that can exist between the many significances objects can bear. In the words of the artist,

Is an object, in and of itself, sacred or profane?Where lies the space of possibility? – where all objects can relate, no matter what their varying significance to different peoples.And what does it mean to conceive an antagonistic potentiality: such as a deity that is simultaneously sacred and mundane? This performance is a culturally specific reflection on the social necessity of this dichotomy, and at the same time is an experiment on how it can be engaging to different individuals.
(View the clip of the performance, and the research that informed it here)

Claudia's Relationship to Brazil 

Passion and love for the beauty and richness, and hope for better changes. Changes that can improve the quality of people's lives, but don't corrupt our vitality of living. Although I feel like a hybrid person and a citizen of the world, the rhythm of my heart and soul is Brazilian.

The richness of its colors and flavors, the warmth of the people, the dancing, the possibility of navigating through so many worlds within worlds. 

Thank you, Claudia, for your beauty, artistry, talent and grace! You make our world better,


Beautiful People: Sierra "Squirrel" Lebron

(Sierra wears a corset by Tiffany Moy, a necklace by Ladyfied Vintage, vintage pants, converse, and a bangle by A. Bernadette)

Sierra Lebron is a New York based, globally inspired midwife-in-training, doula, jewelry designer, and all around fashion aficionado and healer. Her work is a daily moving meditation in spirituality and the affirmation of life. Whether designing jewelry, or dancing for Yemaya, Sierra, better known as "Squirrel" is a beacon of inspiration.

I am a reflection of your beauty.

(Photo Credit: Kamau Ware)

Sierra's Relationship to Brazil 

I am waiting to run through South America. 

Endless Singing and Dancing

Squirrel is truly a Beautiful Person to watch. 

Thank you, Sierra-Squirrel-Yemaya, for your beauty, artistry, talent and grace! You make our world better,


Beautiful People: Laura Musholt

(Laura Musholt wears two smocks by STATE, a vintage tulle skirt, and necklace-belt by Marlandia)

Laura Musholt is a yoga teacher, social worker, dancer and model. Laura is a yoga instructor at three different yoga studios, and has rocked runways and photoshoots since 2005 as a model for sustainable fashion. As an avid traveler, Laura has lived all over the globe. And her global perspective and love for movement and people extends beyond the arts into social work.

To me, sharing my love of movement and people brings me great joy! 

(Modeling Reborn by Soham Dave, at Fair Fashion Runway)

(Modeling Kibonen NY at Fair Fashion Runway)

Current Projects

Laura continues to support independent sustainable designers, and has just recently been featured in the Spring 2015 Look Book shoot for label, Launch by Susan Young!

(Left: Launch by Susan Young, Right: Choonri Collection, 
one of the designers helping to create her wedding dress)

Laura is also getting married in October, and will be having an "Indian western fusion wedding," and has been working with two designers for whom she's modeled to create the multicultural and beautifully synthesized complete look.

Additionally, Laura and her fiancé developing a new app that "helps people create healthy habits; how to eat and move though out the day to stay healthy and feel good in your body."

Laura's Relationship to Brazil 

I have visited Brazil a few times and each time I set foot there I immediately felt a sense of warmth, excitement and positive energy. Brazil has a personality unlike any country I have ever visited. Brazil is alive!

Laura's Relationship to ReciclaGEM

Laura has graced the stage modeling in the collections of fellow designers that have showcased alongside ReciclaGEM, and will soon be modeling in our next look book!

(Laura modeling Soham Dave and Leota NY at Fair Fashion Runway)

Laura is truly a Beautiful Person to watch. 

Thank you, Laura, for your beauty, artistry, talent and grace! You make our world better,


Beautiful People: Tessa Allen

(Tessa Allen wears a dress by ReciclaGEM, scarf by J. White and her own boots.). 
Photo by Austin Phelps.

Tessa Allen is a performance artist and dancer, who has explored various themes of story telling, conventions of beauty and identity formation in her work. Originally from California, she pursued dance as a choreographer and dancer of the Willamette Dance Company, and further expanded her  passion for interdisciplinary studies through her Masters of Performance Studies degree from NYU Tisch. She is a talented performer, and illustrator, who uses many media, whether ink or her own body, to tell stories. At the time of the shoot, Tessa was recovering from an injury. With her body as her instrument of beautiful story telling, she modeled the beauty of the body in all of its stages of healing.

I enjoyed an opportunity to represent the beauty of a body in recovery!

 (Photo Credit: Charlotte Martin)

Current Projects
Tessa is a frequent collaborator with Krystalla, and together, these two Beautiful People make magic through their performance art troupe, PAKT. Included in their collaborations are performance projects, Money and Eating, videos that narrate in a light-hearted and yet sardonic voice the power dynamics embedded within the quotidian things we often take for granted.


Tessa's performance project, Unless These Bones Are Shaken, explored the idea of story telling so seminal to Tessa's work and the ways the body, movement and memory can narrate nationality. Whether exploring the Northwest of the United States or her Finnish ancestry, the stories of place and the cultures associated with such places truly distinguish Tessa's artistic voice. 

Tessa's Relationship to Brazil 

When I was in 7th grade we had an exchange student from Brazil live with us for 6 months. She became another older sister to me and taught me capoeira and samba in our living room. She introduced me to the vibrant warmth of Brazilian culture, and since I have always been struck by the sense of passion for celebration and the embrace of vivacity that I especially associate with Brazilian music. 

Tessa is a Beautiful Person to watch. 

Thank you, Tessa, for your beauty, artistry, talent and grace! You make our world better,


26 July 2014

Beautiful People: Charmaine Bee

(Charmaine Bee wears a smock by STATE, a dress by Leota NYC, and her own shoes). 
Photo by Austin Phelps.

Chamaine Bee is an interdisciplinary artist and herbalist, who explores through photography, performance art, mixed media and so much more themes of ancestry and community. Through her art practice, she has been an artist-in-residence at illustrious residencies around the globe and has had more than one of her community-engagement focused projects funded by organizations such as the Brooklyn Arts Council. Through conceptual and documentary photography, film, video, and textile art Charmaine explores the rich layers of African Diasporic spirituality and personal histories. Charmaine’s work places an emphasis on memory and ritual, she explores this through examining her personal family narrative within Gullah culture. 

Her tea company, Gullah Girl Tea, is a line of organic and fair trade tea blends and herbal remedies, inspired by and in homage to her Gullah heritage, and more specifically, her grandmother, who instilled in her the importance of honoring one's heritage. Charmaine generously sponsored the photoshoot with one of her delicious teams for the entire team on set- obrigada!

 (Photo Credit: King Texas)

 (Photo Credit: King Texas)

(Photo Reposted from: MOMA PS1)

(Journey-Lucid Dream Tincture, available on Etsy)

Current Projects 

Charmaine is currently exhibiting her work in Baltimore as an MFA in Studio Art degree candidate at MICA, among many other installations and projects, brewing (no pun intended :-) )

(Photographed with fellow artist, Paula Wilson, at the Frieze Art Fair. Credit: whitehot magazine)

Charmaine's Relationship to Brazil 

About me, I am currently deeply engaged in my visual arts and tea making practice. Within my work I explore ritual, memory, travel and African influenced spirituality. I am originally from Beaufort, South Carolina and am a descendant of Gullah culture. What took me to Brazil initially in addition to wanting to learn about dance practices was a desire to connect the dots of African Diasporan experiences and my time in Brazil has heavily influenced how I approach being Gullah in my arts practice. I currently live in Brooklyn, NY. I modeled for the publication because of my deep love for Brazil and I appreciate the vision of The River Revista.

(Photo Credit: buyafrica.blogspot.com)

Brazil feels like home to me in so many ways.  I traveled to Brazil for the first time in 2006 on a college study abroad trip.  What took me there was a deep passion in learning about the relationship between "secular" or non religious forms of dance and spiritual dance, specifically dances associated with Orixa worship/ celebration.  While in Brazil I lived with an Afro Brazilian family and my host mother was a historian who wrote about the Quilombo communities of Ceara.  I traveled there again a few years after my trip and intend to go again this year.  Brazil is a space of inspiration for me on so many levels.  I love the beauty of the Portuguese language, and I love the African influences on the language, I love the music, and I love the depth and beauty held within the stories I exchange and share with my friends who live in Brazil.  The conversations always go deep, always hit a mark of truth, and I really appreciate that. I feel like Brazil is this beautiful complicated space of so many layered languages, cultures, ideas, spirits and that space encourages me to open and unearth those layers within myself.

 I love the complexity.  The dynamic energy, the music, the art, the layered histories sharing space.  There is the history of colonialism, slavery, and there are deep and meaningful conversations taking place about that history, whether those conversations are taking place via visual art, dance, music, or conversations with people you encounter on the street.  I love that there are these deep layers beneath the surface of the visceral beauty and they are consistently being unearthered.  I really love it as a space of exploring the Western African Diaspora and its many complex layers and history.

Charmaine is a Beautiful Person to watch.

Thank you, Charmaine, for your beauty, artistry, talent and grace! You make our world better,


Beautiful People: Wismine Joseph

(Wismine Joseph wears a headpiece necklace by Marlandia, smock and shorts by STATE, and shoes provided by Krystalla Pearce). Photo by Austin Phelps

Wismine Joseph is a traveler, thinker, and a daily philosopher of life. Born in Haiti, she has spent a significant time living in the United States, Colombia, and Brazil. She is a first generation college graduate of Wesleyan University and is deeply invested in socioeconomic justice, with her own personal journey informing that perspective. 

I am originally from Hinche, Haiti and came to America when I was 5. I am currently a nursing student. My art is writing poetry and one day a book (hopefully). Modeling has been a secret fantasy of mine so I had to take the opportunity to be fierce, like a cheetah. There was a lot of love and good energy in the studio and I feel so lucky to to have been part of the shoot. 

Unrequited Love by Wismine Joseph

The breeze is not as gentle, 
The birds don't sing as sweet 
Because there is no hope 
Of you ever loving me. 
\A fool to think for a moment 
That those distant stares, 
And smiles beneath the trees 
Meant more than what was there. 
\I was blinded by the fire 
Burning in your eyes. 
I was moved by the passion 
Dwelling in your mind. 
\You came with whispers 
And stole my self-reliance. 
While creeping under my soul, 
You made light of your defiance. 
\You have no place by my side, 
Not a reason left to stay. 
Forget thoughts of speaking, 
There is nothing more to say.

Wismine's Relationship to Brazil 

I lived in Brazil for about a year (with breaks in between). I initially went to teach English in Sao Paulo for 3 months. I spent the rest of my time in Salvador and traveling to other northeastern cities. 
I loved all the sunny days in Rio and Salvador.

Wismine is a truly a Beautiful Person to watch.

Thank you, Wismine, for your beauty, artistry, talent and grace! You make our world better,