Arshay Cooper recounted his experience as a member of the first all-Black high school rowing team in a memoir titled 'A Most Beautiful Thing.'
The memoir is also the subject of a new documentary directed by former Olympic rower Mary Mazzio.
Cooper’s memoir portrays his experience growing up on the West Side of Chicago in a neighborhood surrounded by gang violence, and the unlikely circumstances that led him to join his high school’s newly created rowing team in the late Nineties. “I would go and speak, and a lot of kids would ask me how do you become successful when you live in a neighborhood that doesn’t have a lot of resources? And I talked about how rowing was my way,” says Cooper.
“It was such a wealthy, first-class affluent sport. We only raced with very wealthy high school kids. And there was this new world that we see that was different from ours: almost like a different America in the way that they lived and the way we live,” he says. “We joined this sport and we became a team, started traveling, and it was different guys from different gangs in one boat. [The book is about] how we bonded and became a brotherhood through the sport of rowing. And the impact that we not only made in our lives and our schools, and how the sport moves us.”
“The ultimate goal is to make sure that these rowing teams reflect the diversity in their cities,” says Cooper, who has his eye on an even bigger win: a more diverse Olympic rowing team. “In the 100-plus years of rowing, there’s only been five [Black] Olympians,” he adds. “But now there’s more and more Black folks rowing.”
Tap the link in bio for the full interview.
Kim Jones designed his spring @Dior collection, titled “Portrait of an Artist,” as an homage to Ghanaian painter @AmoakoBoafo.
The starting point was Boafo’s painting “Green Beret,” showing a man wearing a shirt covered in an ivy leaf print, dark green pants and a matching beret. The motif reminded Jones of an ivy-covered dress designed by Christian Dior in 1950.
The biggest challenge was transcribing some of the paintings onto clothing. One portrait was hand-cut and then hand-painted onto a pale gray mink top. Another was embroidered on knitwear. “We both agreed we just wanted some very, very high-end pieces — things that are almost museum-worthy,” Jones said.
“And what was funny: he’s actually a massive Dior fan, as much as I’m a fan of his. So they’re all dressing in super cool ways, mixing up stuff. African style has always been something I love. Seeing how people dress in different parts of the continent is really interesting,” Jones added.
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🎨: @amoakoboafo 📸: Jackie Nickerson/Courtesy of Dior
@louboutinworld is committed to expanding representation.
The designer is bringing its flesh-colored Nudes collection into new digital corners, namely the @Drest fashion game app.
Christian Louboutin's Nudes collection grew from its original five flesh tones to eight colors this spring, alongside new options for men’s styles. All eight of the colors will be available across the shoe styles coming to the app.
“I truly think it’s our responsibility as people having a voice to use all the ways we can to address these subjects,” Louboutin explained. “This partnership is one of them, with a lighter and more playful touch.”
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Report: Adriana Lee
French handbags may soon be hit with tariffs.
The administration of President Trump said late Friday that it would impose 25 percent duties on $1.3 billion worth of French fashion goods, the response to a digital services tax in France that impacts companies such as Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook.
The office of U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said it would delay implementation of the action for up to 180 days if “the Trade Representative determines that substantial progress is being made, or that a delay is necessary or desirable to obtain U.S. rights or satisfactory solution.”
That gives the U.S. and France until Jan. 6.
The measure hits a large swath of the fashion industry and could make it more expensive to import a variety of French-made beauty products and handbags — from eye makeup preparations and soap to handbags wrought in materials ranging from reptile leather or plastic.
Report: Evan Clark