Penny’s Ink: AfriDally

Photo Credits:
Editorial Name: AfriDally
Photographer: Emmanuel Lopez 
Creative Director, Stylist, Makeup Artist: LoudPen
Models: Danielle Mia Moore and Greg Peoples
Casting & Production: 8515
Designers: Mory Jay by Memory Jora and BabaAfrik Outfits
Jewelry: Strut 
Makeup: Civilized Cosmetics 
Publication: de la Pen...All Pen Everything
Publisher ISLP 
Photo Credits: Editorial Name: AfriDally Photographer: Emmanuel Lopez Creative Director, Stylist, Makeup Artist: LoudPen Models: Danielle Mia Moore and Greg Peoples Casting & Production: 8515 Designers: Mory Jay by Memory Jora and BabaAfrik Outfits Jewelry: Strut Makeup: Civilized Cosmetics Publication: de la Pen...All Pen Everything Publisher ISLP
Photo Credits:
Editorial Name: AfriDally
Photographer: Emmanuel Lopez 
Creative Director, Stylist, Makeup Artist: LoudPen
Models: Danielle Mia Moore and Greg Peoples
Casting & Production: 8515
Designers: Mory Jay by Memory Jora and BabaAfrik Outfits
Jewelry: Strut 
Makeup: Civilized Cosmetics 
Publication: de la Pen...All Pen Everything
Publisher ISLP 
Photo Credits: Editorial Name: AfriDally Photographer: Emmanuel Lopez Creative Director, Stylist, Makeup Artist: LoudPen Models: Danielle Mia Moore and Greg Peoples Casting & Production: 8515 Designers: Mory Jay by Memory Jora and BabaAfrik Outfits Jewelry: Strut Makeup: Civilized Cosmetics Publication: de la Pen...All Pen Everything Publisher ISLP
Photo Credits:
Editorial Name: AfriDally
Photographer: Emmanuel Lopez
Creative Director, Stylist, Makeup Artist: LoudPen
Models: Danielle Mia Moore and Justin Collins 
Casting & Production: 8515 
Designers: BabaAfrik Outfits
Jewelry: Strut 
Makeup: Civilized Cosmetics
Publication: de la Pen...All Pen Everything 
Publisher ISLP 
Photo Credits: Editorial Name: AfriDally Photographer: Emmanuel Lopez Creative Director, Stylist, Makeup Artist: LoudPen Models: Danielle Mia Moore and Justin Collins Casting & Production: 8515 Designers: BabaAfrik Outfits Jewelry: Strut Makeup: Civilized Cosmetics Publication: de la Pen...All Pen Everything Publisher ISLP
Photo Credits:
Editorial Name: AfriDally
Photographer: Emmanuel Lopez
Creative Director, Stylist, Makeup Artist: LoudPen
Models: Danielle Mia Moore and Justin Collins 
Casting & Production: 8515 
Designers: BabaAfrik Outfits
Jewelry: Strut 
Makeup: Civilized Cosmetics
Publication: de la Pen...All Pen Everything 
Publisher ISLP 
Photo Credits: Editorial Name: AfriDally Photographer: Emmanuel Lopez Creative Director, Stylist, Makeup Artist: LoudPen Models: Danielle Mia Moore and Justin Collins Casting & Production: 8515 Designers: BabaAfrik Outfits Jewelry: Strut Makeup: Civilized Cosmetics Publication: de la Pen...All Pen Everything Publisher ISLP
Photo Credits:
Editorial Name: AfriDally
Photographer: Emmanuel Lopez 
Creative Director, Stylist, Makeup Artist: LoudPen
Models: Danielle Mia Moore and Greg Peoples
Casting & Production: 8515
Designers: Mory Jay by Memory Jora and BabaAfrik Outfits
Jewelry: Strut 
Makeup: Civilized Cosmetics 
Publication: de la Pen...All Pen Everything
Publisher ISLP 
Photo Credits: Editorial Name: AfriDally Photographer: Emmanuel Lopez Creative Director, Stylist, Makeup Artist: LoudPen Models: Danielle Mia Moore and Greg Peoples Casting & Production: 8515 Designers: Mory Jay by Memory Jora and BabaAfrik Outfits Jewelry: Strut Makeup: Civilized Cosmetics Publication: de la Pen...All Pen Everything Publisher ISLP
Photo Credits:
Editorial Name: AfriDally
Photographer: Emmanuel Lopez 
Creative Director, Stylist, Makeup Artist: LoudPen
Models: Danielle Mia Moore and Greg Peoples
Casting & Production: 8515
Designers: Mory Jay by Memory Jora and BabaAfrik Outfits
Jewelry: Strut 
Makeup: Civilized Cosmetics 
Publication: de la Pen...All Pen Everything
Publisher ISLP 
Photo Credits: Editorial Name: AfriDally Photographer: Emmanuel Lopez Creative Director, Stylist, Makeup Artist: LoudPen Models: Danielle Mia Moore and Greg Peoples Casting & Production: 8515 Designers: Mory Jay by Memory Jora and BabaAfrik Outfits Jewelry: Strut Makeup: Civilized Cosmetics Publication: de la Pen...All Pen Everything Publisher ISLP
Photo Credits:
Editorial Name: AfriDally
Photographer: Emmanuel Lopez
Creative Director, Stylist, Makeup Artist: LoudPen
Models: Danielle Mia Moore and Justin Collins 
Casting & Production: 8515 
Designers: BabaAfrik Outfits
Jewelry: Strut 
Makeup: Civilized Cosmetics
Publication: de la Pen...All Pen Everything 
Publisher ISLP 
Photo Credits: Editorial Name: AfriDally Photographer: Emmanuel Lopez Creative Director, Stylist, Makeup Artist: LoudPen Models: Danielle Mia Moore and Justin Collins Casting & Production: 8515 Designers: BabaAfrik Outfits Jewelry: Strut Makeup: Civilized Cosmetics Publication: de la Pen...All Pen Everything Publisher ISLP
Photo credit: Matt Kennedy/Marvel Studios Photo credit: Matt Kennedy/Marvel Studios

Dear Pennies & Pens,

It’s been 7 years since I started styling and I must say it’s been an adventure. For years, I didn’t even consider myself to be a stylist nor did I think I was particularly stylish. But lately, I’ve noticed that I get a lot of compliments on my outfits and personal style. I’ve also realized that it’s always been like that, I’m just now starting to see it.

I feel honored and blessed that people have even taken the time to notice and offer kind words about my personal style. As far as my style inspirations, I adore my mom and my paternal grandmother’s style. They were my first examples of style; they are always dressed to the nines. And being that they are both Black women from the South who didn’t come from rich families, it is truly amazing to see how they were able create so many different looks.

LoudPen (Image by Megan Weaver)

LoudPen (Image by Megan Weaver)

However, I’ve also incorporated the style of those I don’t know into my styling work as well as my own personal style. I have always loved Janet Jackson and Aaliyah’s style. I am a die hard tomboy so I love how both of these women have walked the line between feminine and masculine. I think it’s so chic and powerful!

Nevertheless with my latest shoot, AfriDally, I really wanted to challenge myself. To go where I’ve never gone before. So when I started thinking of concepts for the shoot, I kept thinking about Coming to America and the forthcoming film, Black Panther. Coming to America is by far my favorite movie of all time. I love this movie so much it’s not even funny. I can quote every single line. I love the writing, acting, cinematography, the directing, the costumes, everything about it is perfect.

Photo credit: Matt Kennedy/Marvel Studios

Photo credit: Matt Kennedy/Marvel Studios

One of my favorite parts of Coming to America is at the beginning when Prince Akeem is to meet his bride; the costumes in this scene are the most fabulous things I have ever seen in my life. We’ve all seen movies that depict European aristocracy so how refreshing to see a film that depicts African aristocracy wearing traditional African pieces in such a luxurious way. There’s seriously never been anything like it since which is crazy because Coming to America came out in 1988!

On the other hand, I’m also a huge superhero nerd. A lot of people don’t know that about me. Idk why that is because I’m obsessed with Batman. However, I stop at the Christian Bale franchise…Penny no likey Ben Affleck #sorrynotsorry. Anywho, since I love superhero flicks and being Black, I was absolutely thrilled when I heard about the forthcoming film, Black Panther. A superhero movie with an all Black cast? And it’s set in Africa? How epic is that?! This never happens!!!! Like ever!!!

So of course I am planning to see the film. What’s even cooler is that Ruth Carter designed the costumes and she’s a fellow Hampton alum not to mention one of the best costume designers of all time. She’s done some of the most iconic Black films of the last 20 years. She’s definitely brilliant.

Photo Credits: Editorial Name: AfriDally Photographer: Emmanuel Lopez Creative Director, Stylist, Makeup Artist: LoudPen Models: Danielle Mia Moore and Justin Collins  Casting & Production: 8515  Designers: BabaAfrik Outfits Jewelry: Strut  Makeup: Civilized Cosmetics Publication: de la Pen...All Pen Everything  Publisher ISLP

Photo Credits:
Editorial Name: AfriDally
Photographer: Emmanuel Lopez
Creative Director, Stylist, Makeup Artist: LoudPen
Models: Danielle Mia Moore and Justin Collins
Casting & Production: 8515
Designers: BabaAfrik Outfits
Jewelry: Strut
Makeup: Civilized Cosmetics
Publication: de la Pen…All Pen Everything
Publisher ISLP

Okay so back to AfriDally, I decided to use Coming to America and Black Panther as the inspiration for the shoot. In my head, I thought what’s the point of being a Black stylist if I’m not going to do shoots that celebrate multiculturalism? I love being Black and although I’m not sure exactly where my family comes from in Africa, I do know our roots are there.

Basically, it’s like this: I want to celebrate the culture and style of my people. And yes, I consider Africans to be my people. Although there is sometimes a disconnect between Blacks and Africans, I believe that we are one in the same but we were separated by the unfortunate circumstance of slavery. But that’s a whole nother story.

Photo Credits: Editorial Name: AfriDally Photographer: Emmanuel Lopez  Creative Director, Stylist, Makeup Artist: LoudPen Models: Danielle Mia Moore and Greg Peoples Casting & Production: 8515 Designers: Mory Jay by Memory Jora and BabaAfrik Outfits Jewelry: Strut  Makeup: Civilized Cosmetics  Publication: de la Pen...All Pen Everything Publisher ISLP

Photo Credits:
Editorial Name: AfriDally
Photographer: Emmanuel Lopez
Creative Director, Stylist, Makeup Artist: LoudPen
Models: Danielle Mia Moore and G Peoples
Casting & Production: 8515
Designers: Mory Jay by Memory Jora and BabaAfrik Outfits
Jewelry: Strut
Makeup: Civilized Cosmetics
Publication: de la Pen…All Pen Everything
Publisher: ISLP

My goal with this shoot was to create an editorial that was inspired by African style. African style is sooo underrated, it’s not even funny. It’s also widely copied. If you look at all the high fashion designers, they’ve all incorporated African prints and culture into their collections. While they may not have given proper credit or used Black/African models to represent this, they still did it. Make no mistake, there’s a reason why we call Africa the motherland. It’s truly the homeland of history and culture as it relates to all mankind.

I decided to do the shoot right here in Dallas because there aren’t enough high fashion editorials being created here. It all still seems to be happening in NYC, L.A., Paris, Milan, and that’s all fine and dandy if you’re Vogue and you’ve got the budget to fly your team all around the world for on location shoots. But what about indie pubs like de la Pen…All Pen Everything?! We can’t do shit like that. And more importantly, do we need to?

Photo Credits: Editorial Name: AfriDally Photographer: Emmanuel Lopez  Creative Director, Stylist, Makeup Artist: LoudPen Models: Danielle Mia Moore and Greg Peoples Casting & Production: 8515 Designers: Mory Jay by Memory Jora and BabaAfrik Outfits Jewelry: Strut  Makeup: Civilized Cosmetics  Publication: de la Pen...All Pen Everything Publisher ISLP

Photo Credits:
Editorial Name: AfriDally
Photographer: Emmanuel Lopez
Creative Director, Stylist, Makeup Artist: LoudPen
Model: Danielle Mia Moore
Casting & Production: 8515
Designers: Mory Jay by Memory Jora
Jewelry: Strut
Makeup: Civilized Cosmetics
Publication: de la Pen…All Pen Everything
Publisher: ISLP

I mean at this point…isn’t shooting in the subway or Central Park a little over done? I mean yes, the Manhattan skyline is dope but I’ve seen it in almost every movie I’ve ever watched. It may be classic but it’s definitely not original. So I wanted to think outside the box. I also want to help put Dallas on the high fashion map because I believe that it has the potential.

If you go out to brunch or dinner in Dallas, you had better come dressed to impress. It’s definitely a city that values personal style. Dallasites are also lovers of design and care about aesthetics. I mean for goodness sakes most of the bridges in the city don’t really connect to anything but they make the skyline pretty so there they are. Same thing with the lights. Dallas has this thing about lights. Every building lights up at night. *shrugs*

So I wanted to incorporate all of these inspirations into the AfriDally shoot. In essence, AfriDally is about fusing African style with the culture of Dallas. I met the photographer, Emmanuel Lopez, last year. I honestly don’t remember exactly how we met but I know we kept in touch via text and Instagram. We finally sat down and met in July and that’s when I told him about AfriDally. As it turns out, Emmanuel also loves Superhero flicks and was down to do the shoot.

Photo Credits: Editorial Name: AfriDally Photographer: Emmanuel Lopez Creative Director, Stylist, Makeup Artist: LoudPen Models: Danielle Mia Moore and Justin Collins  Casting & Production: 8515  Designers: BabaAfrik Outfits Jewelry: Strut  Makeup: Civilized Cosmetics Publication: de la Pen...All Pen Everything  Publisher ISLP

Photo Credits:
Editorial Name: AfriDally
Photographer: Emmanuel Lopez
Creative Director, Stylist, Makeup Artist: LoudPen
Model: Justin Collins
Casting & Production: 8515
Designer: BabaAfrik Outfits
Jewelry: Strut
Makeup: Civilized Cosmetics
Publication: de la Pen…All Pen Everything
Publisher: ISLP

That said, I spent the next couple of months preparing for the shoot. To say it was hectic is a gross understatement! I’ve done many shoots in the past but this was biggest shoot I’ve done in almost 2 years. I had to find designers, models, choose the location, and purchase all the beauty and makeup supplies we would need for the shoot.

I seriously lost count of the amount of emails and text messages I sent in regards to this project. But one thing I realized is that it’s so much easier to complete a project when you work with people you know or those you know through a mutual contact. Although social media is a place where we can connect online, there’s nothing like real relationships. That’s how I was able to find designers and book the models. If it wasn’t for my network this shoot wouldn’t have happened.

Photo Credits: Editorial Name: AfriDally Photographer: Emmanuel Lopez Creative Director, Stylist, Makeup Artist: LoudPen Models: Danielle Mia Moore and Justin Collins  Casting & Production: 8515  Designers: BabaAfrik Outfits Jewelry: Strut  Makeup: Civilized Cosmetics Publication: de la Pen...All Pen Everything  Publisher ISLP

Photo Credits:
Editorial Name: AfriDally
Photographer: Emmanuel Lopez
Creative Director, Stylist, Makeup Artist: LoudPen
Model: G Peoples
Casting & Production: 8515
Designers: BabaAfrik Outfits
Jewelry: Strut
Makeup: Civilized Cosmetics
Publication: de la Pen…All Pen Everything
Publisher: ISLP

I found one of the designers Memory Jora, Creative Director and Owner of Mory Jay via a friend of mine Photographer & Blogger, Stephanie Bolton. I also discovered the brand BabaAfrik Outfits via a Photographer/Blogger/Stylist friend Jacob Clayton. Mory Jay is truly a fabulous label! The design and fit of their pieces is truly phenomenal. And it’s no different with BabaAfrik Outfits. I remember pulling their pieces out of the box and thinking about how amazing the quality of the fabric was. BabaAfrik is definitely a label to watch.

As far as the models, Memory told me about Danielle Mia Moore and Justin Collins (one of the male models) is Danielle’s boyfriend. Greg (one of the male models) was my only “cold call” in that I posted a casting call in Model Management so that’s how we connected. I also got jewelry from Strut On Bishop, I had connected with the Store Manager Sam awhile back and was finally able to incorporate their amazing pieces in a shoot. Simply put, relationships are everything!

Photo Credits: Editorial Name: AfriDally Photographer: Emmanuel Lopez  Creative Director, Stylist, Makeup Artist: LoudPen Models: Danielle Mia Moore and Greg Peoples Casting & Production: 8515 Designers: Mory Jay by Memory Jora and BabaAfrik Outfits Jewelry: Strut  Makeup: Civilized Cosmetics  Publication: de la Pen...All Pen Everything Publisher ISLP

Photo Credits:
Editorial Name: AfriDally
Photographer: Emmanuel Lopez
Creative Director, Stylist, Makeup Artist: LoudPen
Models: Danielle Mia Moore 
Casting & Production: 8515
Designer: Mory Jay by Memory Jora
Jewelry: Strut
Makeup: Civilized Cosmetics
Publication: de la Pen…All Pen Everything
Publisher ISLP

I also learned a very important lesson. And that is how important it is to be on time. I will be honest with y’all and admit that I was late to the shoot because I forgot to set my alarm and overslept. To be even more honest it’s because my BFF threw a party the night before and I got a little lit. I know. I know. I know. I’m human y’all, forgive me. I wasn’t going to say anything but I want to live by de la Pen’s tagline which is “With us, keeping it real never goes wrong”. So that’s the reality. Penny’s isn’t perfect. She makes mistakes. Even 7 years into the game. My apologies. #andthereitis

The other lesson I learned was to prepare for the beauty part of the shoot further in advance. I spent so much time focusing on the clothes that I didn’t get to dedicate the time I would’ve liked to planning the beauty looks. However, I am the master of making a way out of no way and was able to make it work. Also, I am so grateful to Civilized Cosmetics for providing their amazing lip gloss for the shoot. Not only are Civilized Cosmetics’ products Vegan they work great! The lip gloss application was super smooth and I never had to reapply. So shout out to Civilized Cosmetics for their long lasting, high quality Vegan products!

Photo Credits: Editorial Name: AfriDally Photographer: Emmanuel Lopez  Creative Director, Stylist, Makeup Artist: LoudPen Models: Danielle Mia Moore and Greg Peoples Casting & Production: 8515 Designers: Mory Jay by Memory Jora and BabaAfrik Outfits Jewelry: Strut  Makeup: Civilized Cosmetics  Publication: de la Pen...All Pen Everything Publisher ISLP

Photo Credits:
Editorial Name: AfriDally
Photographer: Emmanuel Lopez
Creative Director, Stylist, Makeup Artist: LoudPen
Model: Danielle Mia Moore
Casting & Production: 8515
Designer: Mory Jay by Memory Jora
Jewelry: Strut
Makeup: Civilized Cosmetics
Publication: de la Pen…All Pen Everything
Publisher ISLP

When I look at the photos from AfriDally, I can’t believe it’s a product of my creative vision and work. I feel so blessed to be able to do what I love. Once the cash starts flowing more, ya girl will be on cloud 9. Stay tuned for more AfriDally and 7 Years of Ink in the next post!

And there it is. de la Pen…All Pen Everything. With us, keeping it real never goes wrong.

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LoudPen
LoudPen is CEO of ISLP and Co-Founder of 8515. Over the past 8 years, LoudPen has gained extensive experience in lifestyle blogging, writing, editing, production, publishing, marketing, public relations, creative direction, styling, brand management, and event planning. Originally from Cincinnati, OH, LoudPen is based in Dallas, Texas.