Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Noted Poet, Author, Lecturer, Teacher and Host (Whewwww!!!!!) Peter "Rainmaker" Seaton wearing a One Of A Kind, Crocheted Sweatshirt from the new line ROMANCE and REBELLION by Clothing Designer/Photographer Briian Dargon,
Briian is also the designer of the Bsixtee6 and Chirp clothing lines.
Saturday, September 13, 2014
Terry Richardson’s studio behavior sparked a fashion-world conversation about the sexual harassment of female models. Meanwhile, their male counterparts are getting manhandled regularly…but can’t boys fend for themselves?
On a recent September weekday during New York’s Fashion Week showing the Spring 2015 collections, editors, buyers and other honchos on the male side of the fashion world—most of them gay men who all seemed to know one another, many of them in mid-thigh tailored shorts and sockless oxfords—milled through a series of rooms at Industria, the photo studios in downtown Manhattan. Lubricated with drinks from a free bar, they perused presentations from various designers. In every room, male models—almost uniformly tall, rail-thin, white, Northern European-looking and twentysomething—stood in formations, nearly immobile, their chisel-cheeked faces impassive. Industry types examined and occasionally approached them, feeling the fabric of their form-fitting garments and sometimes turning back lapels or hems to look at stitching and construction.
In one show, the designer himself ushered over two other men to look at the details of the pieces being worn by one model. The two men accompanying the designer murmured and nodded their heads appreciatively. Then, as the trio was walking away, the designer gently and briefly caressed the model’s neck. It was a gesture that, whatever its intentions, clearly had nothing to do with stitching or construction.
The moment was fleeting, likely innocent, but it provided a glimpse into an aspect of the industry that is usually only whispered about: sexual advances, let’s-make-a-deal suggestions or downright harassment of male models, usually (though not certifiably always) by gay male photographers, designers, casting agents or other industry poobahs. In a year in which the famous fashion photographer Terry Richardson has seen mounting allegations of sexual harassment against him by a string of former female models, culminating in aNew York magazine cover story and a very public discussion about the sexual abuse of female models, the male side of the equation has gone virtually undiscussed.
Yet as I talked the past few weeks with scores of male models, casting agents and other industry insiders—most of whom demanded anonymity—it became clear that various levels of harassment, from inappropriate comments and touching to surprise requests to disrobe and explicit quid-pro-quo offers (accept my come-ons and I’ll advance your career), happen every day to male models, creating a troubling subtextual power dynamic that echoes its counterpart on the female side of the business.
One thing’s clear: Nobody really wants to talk about it—often, least of all, the (still mostly straight) male models themselves, who aren’t comfortable using the same language of sexual harassment that the women’s side of the casting call is only just now acclimating itself to.
"Harassment definitely happens," says a men’s agent at a top agency, "more so than a lot of the guys like to tell us. A lot of them come back from shoots feeling very uncomfortable but they’re afraid that if they tell us, we’ll have to talk to the client. Then, if it gets back to the culprit, he, depending on his status, could actually destroy that model’s career."
One afternoon, I stood outside a pre-Fashion Week casting call in downtown Manhattan for a major men’s show and asked dozens of models, many of them as young as 18 and with skateboards in tow, if they’d ever been sexually harassed. (I’d been quietly tipped off to the call by the casting agent, who wants more conversation around this issue.) I told the models they could speak anonymously. Many of them said they’d never experienced it personally but that stories about certain photographers, designers or agents who had a reputation as a “perv” or a “creep”—the same names, a few of them iconic, came up repeatedly—were commonplace, almost urban legends in the modeling world.
There are variations on the story about the revered photographer who flies a bunch of models to an exotic or remote locale and then sends boys home or retains them, reality-show-style, based on their willingness to accommodate his late-night knocks on their hotel-room doors. Or the photographer who makes his models do breathing exercises and touches them simultaneously to get them “in the zone.” There’s the late legendary designer who made all his male models pose before him, one after another, in the same Speedo. There’s the A-list agent who takes new boys into a private room for measurements and tells them they need to drop their pants.
Most of the models I talked to said they’d experienced some form of ambiguous, low-grade harassment. “Guys have spent a lot of time adjusting my briefs, or wanting to adjust my junk when I can do it myself” on underwear shoots, one model told me, echoing many others. Another complained about stylists who “tuck in your shirt just a little too long and deep.” Eli Hall, a jovially cocky 24-year old suit model, and one of the few who talked openly, told me about a photographer who asked him to strip down to his underwear: “I told him, ‘What’s your problem? I’m a suit model.’
"I love getting sexually harassed!" he joked. "If I’m not getting sexually harassed, I’m doing something wrong." But then, a notch more seriously, he added, "I have a very high tolerance for verbal sexual flirtation from either men or women"—he is straight—"but I draw the line at touching."
According to many models and behind-the-scenes types, young male models quickly learn that being comfortable, even flirtatious, with gay men, who drive the men’s side of the industry, is key to their career advancement. (In very recent years, the emergence of openly gay male models has slightly changed this dynamic.) “The models who play it best are funny, charming and coy,” says the same top agent. “They’ll flirt with you all day but you’re not getting anything from them but a smile and a goodbye, and the client come away saying, ‘He’s great, he’s amazing.’”
And indeed, it seems that, once in the industry a few years, most male models master this delicate balance with no worse war stories other than the aforementioned tale of a slightly too touchy stylist or an involved underwear adjustment. “Male models tell me that some level of sexual harassment is very common but it’s just par for the course,” says Sarah Ziff, 32, a model and founder of The Model Alliance, a nonprofit that advocates for models’ rights in the absence of any union. “They said it’s mostly a problem for the younger ones, in their late teens and early twenties, before they get more established.”
Most of the models I spoke to told me that minor sexual discomforts didn’t faze them, that they were not as vulnerable as female models (in part because they industry hires them at an older age), and that they were grown men who knew how to draw a line. “It’s up to you, what you project and what you’ll put up with,” a model from Italy said after the Industria shows.
But a few models seemed genuinely shaken by prior experiences. “Someone spent two hours combing my hair once,” one told me. “Just the two of us in a room.” The same model said he’d also had an experience so bad that he couldn’t sleep for a week, but he wouldn’t divulge details, terrified that they’d reveal his culprit.
Some industry folks think that if models are skittish, they’re in the wrong business, or that they should simply set limits. “You have to be able to respect yourself and say ‘Fuck this, I’m out of here,’” says a successful straight male fashion photographer who shoots men and women alike in provocative settings.
But it’s also likely that they underestimate a strong power dynamic. “It’s easy to tell models they don’t have to do anything they’re uncomfortable with,” says Ziff. “But most models start out in debt to an agency for flying them or putting them up. That puts much more pressure on you to go along with inappropriate demands.” Then add to that agencies telling new models they are sending them to important clients who could advance their career. It’s not always easy to say no, especially if models aren’t told in advance that a shoot calls for nudity and they’re suddenly alone with a photographer and his staff.
So what should be done? Many industry folks, some models included, think that any legal or regulatory changes would take the magic out of fashion. “As a photographer, you have to manipulate models into giving you something they’re not giving to anyone else, so into that comes the psychological game of fear, lust, happiness, sadness, comfort discomfort,” says the straight male photographer. “You can’t set rules. I don’t think it’s right to leverage power or take pictures of people while they’re changing, but fashion is a crossover between business and art. If you say everything has to be P.C. and normal and cookie-cutter workplace, the fantasy is gone.”
But Ziff disagrees. “I think you can have an even more daring and safe and fun environment if there are laws on the books and people really know their boundaries,” she says. “It would protect everyone involved.” But there things get tricky: Models are classified as independent contractors—not “real” employees, which federal law protects from sexual harassment. (There is a growing push for the law to extend such protections to independent contractors in all work sectors.) Moreover, most agencies are classified as “management companies” rather than agencies, which technically exempts them from having to put the interest of the models first.
The Model Alliance is working with U.S. Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-NY) to advance legal fixes for these realities. “Just because someone works in an industry that relies on independent contractors doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t have legal protection from sexual harassment,” Meng recently told Salon.
Meanwhile, most industry insiders admit that the power to stop harassers—especially ones who can make or break careers—is highly limited. The agent at the top agency relates a recent tale of sending a new male model out to a shoot for “a big designer.” Says the agent: “The designer started asking him questions about his dating life and then invited him back to his apartment. The model declined and came back and told us about it. So we reached out to the contact for the designer and told them. They said, ‘Oh, um, ok.’ But are they going to go chastise their boss? Harassment is about power, and in fashion, it’s the bigwigs who have the power.”
Friday, August 15, 2014
Kyle is a 6'2, 180lb, Lean and Athletic Rapper/Producer and Aspiring Model who is currently seeking castings for print and runway as well as agency representation.
One of his first modeling assignments is for the new clothing line by noted photographer and designer Briian Dargon called "ROMANCE and REBELLION".
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Introducing 21 year old up and coming model Ariel White. The 5'11 unsigned stunner has been chosen as one of the new faces for the clothing designer Briian Dargon of Bsixtee6 as he preps his third collection called "ROMANCE and REBELLION.
I'm excited to see where his blossoming career takes him.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
The 6'3, 183lb lyricist is being groomed to do his part in not only representing on the music charts but also the catwalk and in print.
Kyle was photographed at the historic jazz bistro Harlem on 5th located at 2150 5th Avenue in Harlem, NY.
Thank you Andrew Shell for allowing us to use your amazing place and the food was superb.
Stay tuned as Kyle continues to make noise literally and figuratively.
Saturday, June 7, 2014
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
"LISTEN TO YOURSELF AND IN THAT QUIETUDE YOU MAY HEAR THE VOICE OF GOD" Nothing is ever lost, not even the introverted 3rd grader that was literally touched by your magic. Thank you Ms.Angelou...Thank you. - Briian
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Andy Drew 2 is a creative genius and one of the premier artisans (and also one of my mentors) in Los Angeles who's recent show was widely celebrated.
I refer to him as the "heARTist" because everything he creates encompasses a piece of him that is very universal in the stories that it tells. The craftmanship in his work is of the highest quality.
If you are fortunate to have an opportunity to visit, The Andy Drew 2 Gallery is located at 1515 Cahuenga Boulevard, Hollywood, CA 90028.
BY APPOINTMENT ONLY
BY APPOINTMENT ONLY
You can thank me later.
Monday, May 26, 2014
Purple, Hand Applied, Metal Nail Head "Bird" Motif ,Short Sleeve Tee Shirt from Chirp by Bsixtee6.
Size: Medium (Unisex)
Only One Available
Hand Sewn "Stars and Stripes" with Beaded and Sequined Eagle Short Sleeve Tee.
Only One Available
Sunday, May 25, 2014
Having attended Franklin Military School in Richmond,VA, I have a strong appreciation for the men and women who serve our country and have at times incorporated the theme into my own designs. I am so proud to introduce my friend, the Los Angeles based Designer Shay Collins to you. He continues to take the fashion world by storm with his new collection. Check out the video for yourselves.
Thursday, May 22, 2014
Indian actress Freida Pinto poses on the red carpet for the premiere of "The Homesman," at the 67th annual Cannes Film Festival.
Source: Harlem Film Center
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Live the Dream,
A Black Stars of the Great White Way Broadway Reunion Concert. Celebrating 100 Years of
The Contributions, Influence and
Legacy of African American Men on Broadway
Monday, June 23, 2014 | 8PM
Norm Lewis, Chapman Roberts,Andre DeSheilds and David H. Greer
This all-male tribute honors jazz musicians Eubie Blake, Fats Waller, Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway, Louis Jordan,Duke Ellington, and Paul Robeson.
The concert celebrates the artists’ successes at Carnegie Hall, Broadway, television, and the international touring circuit, as well as in the recording and film industries. Broadway song and dance numbers from Motown,The Lion King, Dreamgirls, Five Guys Named Moe, Ain't Misbehavin’, and Porgy and Bess make up this black tie gala event.
Chapman Roberts, Norm Lewis, Andre DeShields, Larry Marshall, Kevin Ramsey, Glenn Turner, Doug Eskew, Milton Craig Neeley, Jeffrey Anderson-Gunter, Ben Harney, Cleavant Derricks, Adrian Bailey, Marcus Naylor, Leotis Clyburn, Branden Cook, Brandon Bain, Avon Long, David Helper, Raun Ruffin, Jason Cook, Lee Summers, Stanley Hopkins, Claude Jay, Forest Ray, Keith David, Rob "Ike" Barnes, Bobby Harden, Obba Babatunde, Kirk Taylor, Wilkie Ferguson, Lacy Darryl Phillips, Clent Bowers, Avon Marshall, Scott J. Foster, Brandon Victor Dixon, Kenneth Kamal Scott, Raymond Patterson, D'Ambrose Boyd, Ken Ard, Thom Scott, C.E. Smith, Johnathan Lee Iverson, Torrence Bristow, Jayson Kolbicz, Clifton Davis, Ben Vereen, and Anthony Wayne, Vocalists
Derek Grant, Bakaari Wilder, Jason Samuel Smith, Joseph Web, Dule Hill, Vincent Bingham, Omar Edwards, and Alde Lewis,
Broadway Brown, Vocal Ensemble
Frank Owens, David Alan Bunn, William Foster McDaniel, Kenny Seymour, Julius Williams, and Abdul Hamid Royal, Pianists and Conductors
Sipho Kunene and Buddy Williams, DrumsClyde Bullard, BassKeith Robinson and Van Gibbs, Guitar
Honorees: Geoffrey Holder, Louis Johnson, Stephen Byrd, Harold Wheeler, Noble Sissle, Larry Hamlin, Berry Gordy, Luther Henderson, Donald McKayle, and Robert Guillaume
Presenters: Blair Underwood and others to be announced
Tickets from $35 - $200
To purchase, go to:
30% Discount Code,IPBI8990
This was the first promotional commercial shot for the clothing line BSIXTEE6 in 2005. Directed by Briian Dargon, Shot and Edited by Henry Cruz and starring Rolando, Erica and Josh. Briian says
"I remember being all over the place and had only been designing for 3 years at the time and had what I thought was this great idea to shoot a commercial. Of course I had absolutely NO budget but I had somewhat of a vision and the drive to make it happen. I had the very good fortune to have Rolo,Erica,Josh and Henry (Who have all gone on to have stellar careers and lives) believe in that vision and we created something that I still look at with fond amazement. I am inspired everyday by my family, friends, people I don't know and the world we all inhabit."
In the years since, Bsixtee6 has developed a second line called CHIRP by Bsixtee6 and his work has appeared in numerous publications including Japanese Vogue, The Source, Vibe, Spanglish, BRM, various blogs and websites, Fat Joe's "Lean Back" music video and Ms.Erykah Badu to name a few.
Briian Dargon, lead designer of Chirp by Bsixtee6 creates the Limited Edition (Only 10 will be made), Hand Sewn "Hustle Harder" tee shirt. Colors Available are: Red/Grey (As Shown), Black/Black, Grey/Grey. The tee sirt is 100% Cotton and the lettering is hand cut,washable Felt.
Serious Inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Briian Dargon, lead designer for Chirp by Bsixtee6 has created the limited edition "USE YOUR POWER FOR GOOD" Sweatshirt. The hand sewn sweatshirt (only 10 will be made to order) may seem inappropriate as Summer approaches but Briian says a reminder to "USE YOUR POWER FOR GOOD" is always fashionable.
Serious inquiries: email@example.com
Monday, May 19, 2014
Friday, May 16, 2014
I first met Brooklyn born and raised Singer/Songwriter/Producer/Dancer and R&B Sensation NATHANIEL at a music showcase in Harlem in 2007. He must have been all of 16 years old at the time and he and his two brothers who went by the name of the"THE PETERSONS" (and who were/are as equally talented) literally blew my socks off (Okay! not literally but you know what I mean).
Their angelic harmonies, ability to all sing lead and their dance moves kept me engaged in what was otherwise just an okay showcase and I was instantly drawn to them.
Some people search their whole lives for their calling and from the very beginning you could tell by watching them that their talent was instinctual.
Step forward seven years later and the rest of the world is starting to understand what I knew then and that is the now solo NATHANIEL aka FLYNATE is here to stay and he is taking no prisoners in his quest to be crowned King Of R&B.
Check out his collaboration with the iconic LL Cool J on the hot single "L.O.V.E." and download his "BORN" mixtape. FlyNate is flying high and it's a ride that you'll definitely want to get on.
You can thank me later.
DOWNLOAD THE MIXTAPE
Nathaniel "Born" Right Here
The Official Website of Nathaniel
Follow Nathaniel On Twitter
Follow Nathaniel On Facebook
Follow Nathaniel On Youtube
Dj KaySlay, Dj Khaled, Dj Drama Dj Doowop feat Nathaniel - King Of The Streets
Cho Boys, Wiz Khalifa feat Nathaniel - Fast Lane http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-pQtjGmBOM
MTV Appearance with Papoose www.worldstarhiphop.com/videos/video.php?v=wshhsgLUSUxB9unk3qI6
ContactFor Bookings and FeaturesFlyante.firstname.lastname@example.org
For Interviews email@example.com