Candid Creator S6, Finale E13: Social Media Manager & Editor, Rashima Sampson

Welcome to the finale of season 6 of Candid Creator. This season was full of laughs, deep convos, and inspiration from the dopest creatives- and in true Candid Creator style, we are ending this season with a bang. We are having a candid conversation around ‘dating today in your 20s’ with Rashima Sampson, social media manager and contributing editor at WhatRUWearing. Mary and Rashima don’t shy away from topics like, is it even possible to meet people in real life vs. dating apps and is there really a ‘right time’ to have sex for the first time with someone!?! Between the two of them, Rashima and Mary have had their fair share of relationships. Their ups and downs have guided them through many decisions, where they have confided in each other’s honest opinions about finding love and how best to hold on to it, all while not losing yourself in the relationship. As partners in crime, nothing is off limits in this honest episode. Rashima, no stranger to dating apps, and Mary, on the contrary, not having any experience with meeting lovers on apps, bring just the right balance to this topic and just enough real world experience to add color to what’s really good in today’s dating scene. Make sure you are connected to us on social media @candidcreatorpodcast and keep up with our YouTube channel, Candid Conversations, while we are busy curating more amazing interviews and concepts for our next season, coming at the beginning of 2019. Thank you to all of our listeners for a wonderful season, and keeping the creativity flowing! We truly appreciate y’all. And to check out all the work Rashima puts in for WhatRUWearing, make sure to follow @WhatRUWearing and@PRGirlSeries as well as some of her amazing editorial here.


Candid Creator S6, E12: Fine Artist Brandon Breaux

On this week’s episode, we catch up with fine artist and designer, Brandon Breaux, who is proficient in painting, sculpture, web, video, print, and much more. Brandon is known for being the artist behind all three of Chance the Rapper’s iconic album covers, and is recognized worldwide. Brandon takes us back to the days of his first artistic passion, how contributing to the culture has always been part of his DNA, the moment he finally had his breakthrough and his exciting, new, upcoming projects! The first thing we will say is that there was no shortage of surprises during our conversation with the incomparable Brandon Breaux. Without pouring all the tea, we’ll tell you that we learned about his passion for dance (you’ll have to listen to find out what kind) and how music facilitated his introduction and contribution to the creative community. With the organic membership Brandon had from day 1 to the best of the Chicago creative community, opportunities to enter in the world of design, are never far behind. We learned that as a kid, Brandon always loved to draw, and took a lot of interest in the visual aspects of design, where figurative work gave him the ability to portray people, the human condition, and tell stories through his art. Brandon told us about his drive for learning, and how taking classes developed skills that he never knew he had! You won’t be able to stay out of your feelings when you hear him about the moment he become a well-known and influential visual artist within the creative space. His story about how he collaborated with Chance the Rapper will blow you away! To follow Brandon’s adventure, make sure to follow his instagram, and check out all of his projects on his site!  


Candid Creator S6, E11: Musical Artist “ProbCause”

In this episode, we have, as described by Compose Yourself Magazine “an artist of many strokes”. Colin Grimm, or better known as Prob Cause, is a musician and has collaborated with the likes of Chance the Rapper and Griz, and is an artist who creates animated cartoons and is in the process of creating his own children’s book! Colin shared whether music or art came first, how him and EDM Dj, GRiZ, became good friends, and how “Prob Cause” came into existence. From the moment we sit down with Colin, it is clear how passionate he is about his craft. A craft that he has been passionate about from a young age. We learn what an early love for graffiti gave him, as an artist, both positively and negatively and what he might do differently if he could go back in time. From an education perspective, Collin graduated with a degree in fine arts from the Art Institute of Chicago, as well as the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, which was the beginning of his unique ability to combine art and music the way he does today. And when asked about his past to present relationship with music, the answers might surprise you. Let’s just say Mary and Colin connected on their past love for EDM and their current love for Hip Hop. And like any true artist from Chicago, he has his own Chance the Rapper story. We loved meeting him and getting to know him during our conversation. Follow Colin on instagram to be the first to hear of new releases and know where he is performing next, and check out his site for more information on his music, art, videos, and his shop!


Candid Creator S6, E10: Makeup Artist, Mollie Gloss

This season has been filled with the most talented creatives, and it’s not over yet! This week, we caught up with the fabulous makeup artist, Mollie Gloss, who has paved her way in the makeup industry, one contour at a time. She’s known for using crazy and vibrant colors, as well as A LOT OF GLITTER, which we are all the way here for. She talks about her relationship with makeup, what the industry was like when she started her career, and her thoughts on the way the beauty industry has become more inclusive. It’s clear from the moment we sit down with her that Mollie is a veteran in the makeup scene. Mollie reminisces with us about the days before the apocalypse of YouTube makeup tutorials, beauty gurus and bloggers. When the struggle was real! Finding inspiration and figuring out what your artistic aesthetic is, or could be, was not as simple as going online to see what everyone else was doing. In a time where makeup and brands are evolving to be more inclusive and diverse, we had to get Mollie’s perspective on Rihanna’s Fenty and other brands that have made it easier for women of all shades to have access to fun, high quality makeup and why the hell it took so long!?! Her answer is everything! Despite the current status of everyone thinking they are a pro because they have 2 followers and people, in general, being able to teach themselves with tutorials, Mollie continues to evolve her skills and her brand, delivering innovative looks and face-beats like we’ve never seen before. She’s the real deal! To check out all of her gorgeous looks, follow Mollie on Instagram. And to see the full portfolio of her work, check out her website.


Candid Creator S6, E9: Visual Artist, Louis De Guzman

This week, we sit with the very talented visual artist, Louis De Guzman. He incorporates abstract pop art into his paintings and merges his past with his present to create work that draws inspiration from abstract expressionism and pop culture iconography. During our conversation with Louis, we learn how he pulled together his most successful (to date) exhibitions, what it feels like to design for world renowned brands and what his culture means to him during his artistic process. And not to pat ourselves on the back, but (tap, tap) Louis reveals the details of his latest project to us FIRST! #HumbleBrag. Like most artists, Louis has always been an artist- ever since childhood. So, it was an easy decision to go to school at Columbia College to study design. It was there that opportunities stated to present themselves to Louis. A first of those opportunities, being a chance to showcase his artistry in, of all places, a barber shop. In addition to his artistry, Louis shares his love of installations with us and what building something of that magnitude means to him and what he hopes it means for the audience he is curating it for. And as if all of that was not enough, he has had the pleasure of creating for the likes of the Soho House, NBA, Just Don, Nike, and Def Jam Recordings. We are so happy for and proud of Louis for all he has already accomplished and all that he plans to make a reality in his future. Make sure to go check out Louis’ newest work, a Vinyl Sculpture titled “Elevate". To catch him at his next exhibition and to find out more about Louis and the artistic brand he is building, follow him on Insta, and check out his site right now!


Candid Creator S6, E8: Host Of “No Ketchup Chicago” Podcast, Sean Little

Joining us on this week’s episode is one of my favorite people and podcast hosts, Sean Little! Sean is the host of Chicago’s very own “No Ketchup." He's telling us about Chicago sports, culture, the scene, and anything poppin’ nationally, while avoiding corn balls by any means necessary. Sean came to talk to us about why he started his own podcast, how he’s dealing with major career changes, and the struggles he has with voicing his opinions without trying to offend his audience. Sean was an aspiring sports broadcaster before he decided to make podcasting his full time job. While at school, the reality of the competitive nature that broadcast journalism made him realize he needed to find another avenue that still fulfilled his love for sports. During his search, Sean started at a marketing firm, and later went on to work for CBS sports. This man LOVE sports, can you tell? Although he was surrounded by a concept that he loved, he felt out of place within his corporate work environment. We dove deep into why Sean decided to go the entrepreneur route to start podcasting full-time, and why creative freedom is important to him. We had so much fun talking about all things podcasting, we couldn’t forget to play a game involving Sean’s dope fashion sense! Make sure to listen to Sean’s podcast, "No Ketchup”, with new episodes out every week, and give him a follow on Insta to peep all his amazing fits and funny videos of him covering, you guessed it, sports events!


Candid Creator S6, E7: Multi-instrumentalist & Singer Luke Titus

On this week’s episode, we caught up with multi-instrumentalist and singer, Luke Titus. His background in music will blow you away. He told us about what it was like being a member of a band called Woo Park, drumming for Noname, being on stage with the Blue Man Group (remember those high school field trips?!). He also taught us the lessons he has learned from breaking away and becoming a solo artist. From the moment our conversation began with Luke, it was clear that we were in the presence of one of the sweetest souls around! He walked us through his childhood and his journey to find is personal sweet spot in the music industry. Dabbling early on in singing, drumming and song-writing, by the age of 17 he had already done SO much. By 17, he was a member of 2 bands, drummed for Blue man Group and developed his own genre-bending sound along with an impressive fan base. Seemingly a “Jack of all Trades”, the next logical step in his progression as an artist was to attempt being a solo artist. And, let us be the first to tell you, he is kicking ass at that, too! During our conversation, Luke drops knowledge on how he approaches being a solo artist and the lessons (so far) he has learned from the experience. Luke currently has two EP’s available titled, Colors and Aside of Love. Prepare your emotional heartstrings for his explanation around his Colors EP, what inspired it and what it means to him.

To keep up with Luke Titus and know where to catch his next show, follow him on Instagram. And to become an immediate fan of his music, listen to both Colors and Aside of Love on Spotify  and Soundclounow. 


Candid Creator S6, E6: Host of WGN’s ‘Chicago’s Best TV’, Lauren Scott

Happy Friday! On this week’s episode, we sat down and interviewed Lauren Scott, host of the television show, Chicago’s Best, where she goes on the road to explore and sample Chicagoland’s best, affordable and iconic dishes. Can you say “dream job”?! Who wouldn’t want to eat at the coolest restaurants and be on TV? Lauren told us about how she got her start in broadcasting, the obstacles she had to work through to get to where she is today and what really goes into making TV. Any idea we had going into this conversation about how glamorous the TV life might be got eliminated the moment we sat down with Lauren. During our conversation, she talks to us about the first job she got after graduating from school. As a broadcast reporter in Houston working extremely long days that didn’t stop at the weekends, in order to be competitive in her space, Lauren describes the amount of hustle she had to put into her career. She dropped facts on us like how most reporters apply to over 100 stations before even hearing anything back- and in some cases, the feedback can be ‘we already have a black female reporter’. Cringe! But through all that, our girl grew some thick skin and it gave her the courage to move around and do that job in many different cities before realizing her passion was no longer in the tragedy that can be broadcast journalism, taking advantage of the opportunity to host Chicago’s Best during the course of this past year, making her new work day routine something for anyone to envy: hair, makeup, good food and great drinks?!? Sign us up! To connect with Lauren and find out how to catch her on TV, check her out Lauren’s InstagramChicago’s Best airs weekly on WGN-TV Sunday nights at 10pm, and there’s also an app that fans can download where you can discover featured restaurants in your own neighborhood!


Candid Creator S6, E5: Visual Artist & Graphic Designer Maaly Williams

Coming at you with another hot one guys! This week we got the pleasure of interviewing one of our favorite people. Maaly Williams is a visual artist, graphic designer, and the producer of the podcast, “Kommon Wealth.” In this episode, we talk about what it means to be a visual artist, where his love for design came from, the lessons that he’s learned over the years, and how to stay focused when you’re working on 58,593 things at once. Talking to Maaly, we learn that as a kid, he loved cartoons and animation and that this love was what sparked his interest in design of all kind - graphic just being one. Not really knowing what he wanted to do or what visual arts was fully made up of, Maaly decided to do it all- and well, at that! With his organic love for drawing, painting and digitalization, he became comfortable with the notion of not being boxed into any one thing- and man are we here for it!?!  In addition to being able to successfully work as an independent artist, Maaly continues to live his best life by being involved with "After School Matters" where he teaches graphic design and visual arts to his students. We truly feel super lucky to have known him before our interview and are looking forward to seeing where life takes this artist. Make sure to follow Maaly’s instagram where you can keep up with him and all the dope shit he puts out, check out “Kommon Wealth The Podcast”, and check out his website to hit him up for all your graphic and logo needs!


Candid Creator S6, E4: Artist & Singer, Tatiana Hazel

In this week’s episode, we get to talk to the multi-talented young artist and singer, Tatiana Hazel. She got her start on Youtube, amassing 70k views on a video for one of the first few songs she wrote and sang. Recently hitting Spotify’s top charts as a number one artist to look out for on the “Nuevo Noise” playlist, Tatiana walked us through how a hobby became a career, what it was like starting her musical career at such a young age, how her heritage has inspired her music, and how she has accomplished so much including developing professional relationships with Spotify and Apple Music. The deeper we dove with her, the more we fell in love! Tatiana writes her own music and taught herself how to play guitar. From there, she started producing beats, exploring different genres of music, as well as adding an element of Latin fusion to her style. Mixing the love of her culture with her musical talents, Tatiana released her first single fully in Spanish, “No Me Encuentras”, which made big waves in the industry and, more importantly to Tatiana, with the people who love her music. She’s loving the response, and the fact that people can really connect to her music and heritage. We can’t get enough!

Check out Tatiana’s Spotify and Soundcloud to listen to her new EP, Toxic, and connect with her on Instagram so you could support her at one of her upcoming shows!


Candid Creator S6, E3: Stylist & Personal Shopping Consignment Expert Symone Snowden-Wright

We have been having so much fun with season six! And just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, we go ‘head and introduce you to Symone Snowden-Wright. Your new girl crush is a stylist and personal shopping consignment expert at Luxury Garage Sale. Her passion for what she does comes out in her every word during our conversation. We talk to her about where her love for fashion came from, what drives her to be the best personal stylist she can be, and her opinion on fast fashion vs. investing in quality. From a young age, Symone couldn’t shake the fashion bug and found herself interning for many fashion brands. In describing her journey to LGS, we learn that after moving to L.A. to take a job in e-com, she realized she wanted to find a balance between a professional career and fashion as a hobby. But then quickly realized that in order to do that, she needed to immerse herself in the fashion industry. Though she knew Chicago was not as much of a fashion mecca as L.A., she moved back home and continues to prove that your location doesn't determine your success.

To feed your fashion habit, stay connected with our girl Symone on Instagram as she shows off the latest fashion to hit the racks! And make sure to check out @luxurygaragesale if you’re boujee on a budget!


Candid Creator Season 6, Episode 2: Rapper and Musician Sovren

This week, we kick it with our friend, Sovren, who is a rapper and musician. He also happens to work for RSVP Gallery, one of the dopest streetwear stores in Chicago. In this episode, we get to hear his views on the rap industry, his description of his killer fashion sense, and what it’s like working at such a creative, well-known fashion boutique. Spoiler: Famous people come in all the time!

Sovren explains, initially being from Pittsburg, but now living and thriving in Chicago, what it feels like to be a part of the creative community of Chicago, which largely is made up of amazingly talented people that the world doesn’t know about yet. Being a part of this creative environment, Sovren’s music and fashion sense are unmatchable. Sovren gives us his thoughts on old hip-hop vs. new-hip hop, and explains how people forget about the sub-genres that make up rap itself. It’s unlimited! And don’t worry, we did not miss the opportunity to talk about his ‘fits. We tell him how we love the fact that he’s not afraid to merge colors of all sorts, and mix textures that make our heads turn and backs BREAK.

Check out Sovren’s Instagram to see the fits that we can’t get enough of, and follow him on SoundCloud to listen to his dope tracks, and to be the first to know about new music.


Candid Creator Season 6: Jewelry Designer Kristopher Kites

Welcome back bitches! We are back and better than ever with the launch of season 6. We’re kicking it off with the amazing and innovative jewelry designer, Kristopher Kites, who has been shutting down the internet with his Comic-Con and Superhero inspired pieces that do a great job incorporating those nostalgic vibes that we love, oh so much. Kristopher has gotten a lot of buzz and love from the creative community, including Vogue, for his first ever jewelry line. In our conversation with Kristopher, he reminds us of our childhoods as he walks us through where his inspiration came from for his latest collection. We learn how designing almost came 100% natural to him and how he has evolved as a designer beyond using his god given talents to learning his craft. He gives us the run-down on how he creates the pieces, what the marketing process has been like and some insight on what it feels like togain popularity and how he is dealing with it all.

This is just the beginning for Kristopher, and we can’t wait to see what he decides to create next. He’s the real deal! To cop one of Kristopher’s pieces, check out his website, and make sure that you’re connected with him on Instagram so you’re the first to know about what’s coming next!


Fast Fashion Season 5: Finale, Candid Conversation with Farissa Knox, Founder + CEO of WhatRUWearing and RLM Media

Wait … is it our season finale already!? We couldn’t think of a better way to leave you guys off before we come back next season with surprises, upgrades and things you won’t be able to believe, than to have a candid, unfiltered AF conversation about some of today’s most controversial and hottest topics with one of our most favorite people. In this steamy episode, Mary sits down with non-other than the founder of WhatRUWearing, Farissa Knox. As many of you know, not only did Farissa start WhatRUWearing, which is responsible for this podcast, daily fashion, style, beauty + creative editorial and web series’ like PRGirl, but she is also the founder of RLM, a media advertising agency and holding company. Farissa’s entrepreneur career is going on a decade and she is just getting started. In addition to building companies, being a content creator and a self-published author, she is a pro at being 100% authentic and that is why we have to grab her every now and then and turn her mic up! We sat down to discuss relevant, important, and controversial topics, because well, WE CAN, and we feel that it is crucial and necessary to be able to listen to other people’s opinions, and teach others in the process. In this episode, we touch on diversity, including beyond race, try to tackle the difference between girls having a “Hoe Phase” and an “Exploration Phase”, and talk through what it means to be selfish, in life and in relationships. Check out our season finale now and make sure to stay connected to us on social media as we do the equivalent of a day to night outfit change and meet ya’ll out later. Thanks for the continued support! Be back soon. Stay tuned, and shop Farissa's book, here!


Fast Fashion Season 5: Episode 8, Fashion Designer Chelsey Carter

In this week’s episode of FFP, we sat down with fashion designer, Chelsey Carter, the head designer and creative director behind Alex Carter. The brand and her clothing have been featured in Vogue, Verluxe, Kiss Magazine, Chicago Social, Off Kilter Magazine, as well as on SZA (dying). Her designs and personal hairstyles are breaking through the competitive fashion landscape, one statement accessory and piece of clothing at a time. Chelsey sat down to talk to us, ski pant-overalls and all (they’re just as cool as they sound), about what influences her, and what it means to be an emotional designer. She took us back to her early teens to reminisce on when she first started designing, and how she knew she was meant to go into an artistic career. Her art teacher noticed her effortless and distinct style, and gave her a helping hand by suggesting she go into fashion design. She filled us in on why she thinks it’s a good idea to “fly under the radar of gender” in the fashion world when it comes to picking a name and aesthetic for your brand. We also got a real education around why independent designers charge what they do for their work, sometimes in the $200-$300 per piece price range, and how little they are actually profiting. Check out the whole episode to hear how Chelsey got that bomb denim ensemble on SZA for the Grammy’s earlier this year and make sure to follow her on Instagram to keep up with her crazy life. If you want to rock one of Chelsey’s designs, take a look at her catalog on her website!


Fast Fashion Season 5: Episode 7, Photographer Alina Tsvor

In this episode of FFP, our girl, Alina Tsvor, a renowned Chicago based photographer, stopped in to chat with us about her successful career. She specializes in portraiture, commercial, lifestyle, travel, storytelling, and social content. She’s accomplished so much already in her career, and she’s only getting started. We get to learn what is was like working with some of the amazing clients she’s shot for, like Adidas, J. Crew, Nike, Chicago Bulls, BMW, Beats by Dr. Dre, Bacardi, and so many more. Our very own Mary Mel started off by bonding with Alina over their shared Russian backgrounds, and how it has shaped them and their work ethic. Alina told us about her family, and how her photography career started with the first camera she was ever gifted. We learned what it is about photography that continues to keep her in love with her passion. With some of the controversial changes taking place in her industry with so many models accusing male photographers and directors of sexual harassment, we had to make sure to get Alina’s reaction to it. She is open and honest with us about her personal experience with the controversy and how it impacted her personally.  This is just the beginning for our Alina, and we can’t wait to see what’s next for her! Make sure to keep up with her on Insta, and check out her website to see the many campaigns she’s shot for!


Fast Fashion Season 5: Episode 6, Hip-Hop Artist, Producer & Songwriter, Sir The Baptist

We’re coming at you with another exciting episode that you don’t want to miss! Our good friend, Sir the Baptist, paid us a visit straight off his international tour. Sir is a hip-hop and R&B recording artist, producer, songwriter, and a huge philanthropist. He’s labeled  holistic lyricist, and is proving himself as a chaplain in the modern rap culture. Humble as can be, our guest takes us back to the beginning of his musical journey, revealing the fact that he was homeless, living out of his car at a moment in his life when he was trying to bless the world with his talent. We find out how he found his way out of that reality, and how he used (and uses) music as his outlet for speaking about things that matter to him, and preaching realness to all who have the desire to listen. He told us how important spiritual currency is to him and what it means to him. Sir calls himself an “urban monk!” He dives deep into his definition of what that means and how the urban monk knows how to dig into the most important things without being aggressive, all while “wearing some fly kicks” 😉 Contrary to what some may think, his music isn’t focused on religion, but more so focused on the reality of people and spirituality. We dug deep into what it means to be an independent artist and the power he sees in signing with a label. Since Sir went on tour with Jay-Z (UM YEAH), we HAD to ask the first thing that came to mind about Queen Bey and oh yeah… what it was like touring with Mr. Carter himself. And you guessed right, it was unbelievable. As if the journey and success he has had so far in the music world is not enough, Sir is coming out with an exciting new project which is a short film called “God Is On The Way", a powerful story of a woman involved in sex trafficking overcoming her odds to find love. We cannot overstate how amazing this man is! Make sure to follow him on Instagram where you can check out his music, and take a look at his website so that you can catch his next show!


Fast Fashion Season 5: Episode 5, Model Essence

We’re coming at you with another good one, guys! A new type of creative made her mark on our show this week. Essence Taylor, a new face on the modeling scene making big moves in editorial and on the runway. We first met Essence at the Sheila Rashid show this past winter where Essence was modeling Sheila’s amazing new collection and we were so captivated by her beauty. Timing could not be more perfect for her right now. As we sit down to talk with Essence, she is fresh off of doing jobs for  J. Crew, Walgreens, and Vogue Italia! Ummm…YEAH

Essence graced us with stories from her childhood and we learn what took her from Ball State University, bringing her back to Chicago. It was never a real question in her mind whether or not fashion was the route she wanted to take, so once back in the city, she pursued fashion merchandising and marketing, opening the door to modeling opportunities, giving way to the blossoming career she has now.  As a dark-skinned Black woman,Essence tells us some of the hardships she faces (still) in the modeling industry. We get to live vicariously through Essence listening to her describe what it’s like seeing her face in ads and in magazines- spoiler alert: something close to amazing. Essence’s career is only getting started, so make sure to follow her on her Instagram to keep up with her. We are looking forward to saying we knew her ‘when’ before she’s a staple at NYFW, modeling for Balmain!


Fast Fashion Season 5: Episode 4, Lyricist, Teacher and Musician, Matt Muse

New Episode Alert! Lyricist, teacher and musician, Matt Muse, stopped by our studio to enlighten our lives and it is safe to say, we’ve completely fallen in love with his sweet personality and his passion for music. Matt grew up in a household full of music. His parents wanted him to stay busy by learning how to play the piano and singing in the choir. Matt croons for us as he acknowledges that not only did that push towards music keep him out of trouble, but it introduced him to his passion. He’s proud (and rightfully so) of how raw and genuine his raps are and follows it up with a perfect blend of confidence and cockiness that you can’t help but agree with. Although he is aware of the motivation that can be invoked by his lyrics and the work that he does with his poetry students, he doesn’t consider himself a motivational speaker. He is an artist- and a great one at that! And as if his credentials couldn’t get any better, we learn he is an alum of Donda’s House, the nonprofit created in honor of Kanye West’s mother that supports young, aspiring artists of Chicago. Before we let him go, he dished about his next (secret) project, and spit a few bars from his favorite, unreleased song! We had a wonderful time getting to know him and his motivation. Now press play! For more information on Matt, his music and how to keep up with his performance schedule, follow him on Instagram and stay in touch with us. You are not going to want to miss him.  


Fast Fashion Season 5: Episode 3, Event Planner Ciara Jibri

Get ready to kick back and laugh with one of the funniest, vibrant, and hardworking women in the event planning industry, Ciara Jibri. She’s a fashion publicist and event coordinator, as well as one of our good friends. We were so happy to sit down with Ciara to learn more about the platform she recently started, Haus of Mimosa, which is a bi-monthly networking social event to “simply connect people from all walks of life.” Ciara is always on the scene. If there is an event, Ciara is there, and workin’ it. Born and raised in Chicago, we get a feel for how much passion Ciara has for her city. Attending Columbia, Ciara pursued a degree in fashion marketing and management. And as if it wasn’t cool enough that she has carved out the perfect space for herself in the fashion industry, she comes connected, as we learn the secret sauce. Hint: SHE GETS IT FROM HER MAMA! Like many of us, it took Ciara some time to figure out exactly what she wanted to do in fashion. We learned in this episode that it was being booked as a model that set the direction for not just where she is now, but where she described seeing her brand going in the next few years. If you are looking for that last bit of confidence to pursue a career in fashion or build your own brand, Ciara gives us advice on how to make that a reality, the types of people to surround yourself with and the kind of mindset you need to have- all while gushing over her man’s talent, who also happened to be in the studio during our interview to support his boo! Can you think of a better way to spend the next few minutes than listening to this conversation?!? For tickets to Ciara’s next Haus of Mimosa event, click here, and make sure to look out for her fashion show, POISE, on April 15th!  Follow Ciara on Instagram, as well as H.O.Mso you can keep up with her and her crazy life!


Fast Fashion Season 5: Episode 2, Artist & Creator Lauren Asta

Wow, do we have a treat for you guys today! Meet Lauren Asta: a traveling muralist and artist. We got the insight from this doodle dame on her inspiration behind her unique, rather mysterious, murals that make everyone stop and stare. If there’s a clean white wall, Lauren’s painting it. You might be familiar with these insane murals on some of the buildings in Chicago, or in other cities like Berkeley, San Francisco, Memphis, and Huntington Beach, that Lauren has graced with her paintbrush. In our conversation with Lauren, she takes us back to the beginning of her career. She explains that she has been drawing for as long as she can remember, originally getting her education in photography in Northern California. Because she was hungry to feed her artistic passion after earning money after school outside of what she studied, she decided to move to New York in hopes of becoming a famous artist.  As Lauren walks us down her artistic journey to finding the version of the self she is today, she describes the process of soul searching and longing for her paintbrush and the next opportunity to paint and how the opportunity to paint her first mural came to be. After spending time with Lauren, we are sure that she is the most glamorous homeless person we know (inside joke you will be in on once you check out this episode). Hit play now to find out who those mysterious characters are that seem to radiate through every mural Lauren does, and what’s coming up next for her. And this is all just the beginning, so make sure to follow her on Instagram, and check out her website to see more of her famous murals.


Fast Fashion Season 5: Episode 1, Recording Artist Melo Makes Music

We’re kicking off season 5 with an independent musician named Carmelo, also known as Melo Makes Music! He is influenced by every genre that exists and creates *WARNING* highly addictive music that goes beyond the realm of hip-hop. Despite partying with him all night the night before our interview, he showed up ready to go, bringing his A-game to interview with us! Melo starts off by tellingus where his “triple M’ed” name comes from (shouts out to Soundcloud). Calling himself a recording artist, he prefers to let go of any titles that hold him to one type of music “since there is so much that goes into making the song evolve.” He gave us some details on what it feels like being on stage, and how his nerves have since turned into pure adrenaline. Not only does he rap, but ladies, he SINGS too! At some point we did get a little serious for our industry heads and dove into Melo’s thoughts on the music industry. We talked about whether or not music is being dumbed down and if songs even have substance anymore. And as if he wasn’t amazing enough, we found out he has friends in high places. Melo shares with us what it was like collaborating with Taylor Bennet, AKA (Chance the Rapper’s brother,) and the entire process of what it was like making their song, Sleepless. We had so much fun interviewing Melo, even though at times, he forgot who was actually being interviewed (lol). To keep up with MMM, follow him on Instagram, and check out his website so you can catch him on tour so you can vibe with him.


Fast Fashion Season 4: Episode 12, Musicians Na’el Shehade and Via Rosa of DRAMA

WOW. Is it the end of season 4 already??? Time really does fly when you’re having fun! We’ve had incredible creatives throughout this entire season, and so you know we HAD to end it with a bang. In our 12th episode of this season, we chat with our great friends and musicians, Na’el Shehade and Via Rosa, also known as DRAMA duo! The duo describes their music as happy-sad music that you can actually turn up to…(we know we do). Na’el had produced for many artists worldwide such as Chance the Rapper, Kanye West, Chief Keef, Snoop Dog, and many more from MTV, but eventually decided that he needed to have his own passion project. The universe brought him and Via Rosa together, creating three songs the first night they met (it was meant to be)! Being carefree, confident, and having loads of creative freedom, the duo has no plans of signing to a record label anytime soon. Their music video for their hit song,“Hopes Up”, caught wind back in January, 2016 with over 76k views since its release, and they’re just getting started. They believe their “I Don’t Care” approach kicked off their success, letting that resonate within their songs and performances. Follow the duo on Insta' and FB and make sure to listen to their amazing new album, Gallows, on Soundcloud! Also, check out their website to follow their upcoming shows so that you can turn up with them. Fast Fashion: The Podcast Experience from WhatRUWearing will be back with more hot interviews and dope individuals early next year. In the meantime, make sure to follow us @FastFashionPodcast and sign up for our email newsletter to stay in touch with us and our obsessions till then. Til' next season, guys!


Fast Fashion Season 4: Episode 10, Singer & Songwriter Chai Tulani

We are almost at the end of season 4 (can you believe it?!?) and we are not slowing down! This week, we got to catch up with a the very special and unique musician, Chai Tulani. Chai's a singer and songwriter that incorporates soul, hiphop and blues into a unique style he calls soul hop!

Chai is currently based in Chicago, but is a Kenyan native who moved to the states when he was four years old. He’s been into music since he was young, but took the leap to make it his career four years ago. When he describes his style of music, for him, it doesn’t really fit into one genre. So instead of trying to fit in, he creates with an electric mix of Hip-Hop, Soul, R&B with a sprinkle of Reggae and we are here for it! We talked to him about what his music means to him, and all of the elements of creativity that make his songs sound good to him. Going to one of Chai’s shows, you will see that not only does he incorporate this Kenyan vibes into his music, but he infuses it into his personal style as well! Chai  talked to us about some of his biggest marketing strategies. He’s not afraid to put in the work. He believes in the power of performing at open-mics', putting his music on Soundcloud (of course!), and surprisingly, the power of UBER!! What?!

In this episode, Chai gives us a taste of some of the details for his second official project release called Rebxl. We’re so excited to hear his upcoming project on November 22nd and to support him along the way! So give him a follow on Insta’ and take a listen to his most popular songs on Soundcloud. If you would like to check out his upcoming shows, check out his website and maybe we’ll see you at his next show!


Fast Fashion Season 4: Episode 10, Artist And Creative Producer, ‘Logik’ Julian Gilliam

In our latest episode of FFP, we caught up with one of our favorite creators, Julian Gilliam, also known as Logik. Julian is a visual artist, animator, photographer, and painter. We got to pick his brain and learn about the visions behind his art and creative projects, what influences him, and the amazing clients he’s worked with. Getting to know Logik, and behind his name, was lots of fun! He gave us some insight on the fact that he has always been a true artist since he can remember, but it has been a long journey for him to find the aesthetic/style for his art. He recalls from childhood that whenever anything was put in front of him, knowing that he could make it better. Born in St. Louis, growing up in Ferguson, Logic moved to Chicago when he transferred to Columbia College during his junior year. Utilizing many different art forms to capture his work, painting being his prominent and animation being his favorite, he describes his art creations as “aspirational and uplifting propaganda,” that are meant to influence people around him. He touches on the many projects that led him to the world of advertising, starting as a freelancer, and working his way up to working as the art director for The Estate of Tupac Shakur, working with Nike, and finishing his first commercial. We found out what he thinks about the rapid change in technology, and how he keeps true to himself, as well as his art. He’s not a fan of the ‘suit and tie’ look, ladies, but he sure knows how to put a dope fit together. Take a look at his projects here, and creep on his Insta’ to keep up with him and so you can catch him the next time he’s live painting!


Fast Fashion Season 4: Episode 9, Singer & Contestant On The Voice, Sa’Rayah

In our latest episode of FFP, we get to chat with a special lady named Sa’Rayah who started off her singer career with a group called Chicago Catz. From there, she went on to become part of the "Top 12" contestants on the 11th season of The Voice! Sa’Rayah talks to us about being in the competitive music industry and what keeps her motivated, why she picked the celebrity judge that she did over the other who also turned around during her blind audition on The Voice, and what we can expect next from her (she got us SUPER hyped). Sa’Rayah is from Chicago and grew up in one of the most infamous neighborhoods in the city called Cabrini Green. She grew up singing in church, and we learned that she got her first solo when she was five years old. Sa’Rayah was all things music as a child. Musical theatre, choirs, solo-ensembles, and going to countless competitions was how she spent her childhood. And as if we couldn’t love her anymore, she makes a point to point out in our interview that she’s not only limited to singing one genre. She loves singing anything from soul music (her fav’), pop, hip-hop, and even rock. She is “up for the challenge” of keeping the essence of the song while putting her personal twist on it. So what can we expect from her next?!? In addition to starting her own record label called RegalRock Entertainment. She’s currently finishing up an album, with a single scheduled for release in mid-November, which we couldn’t be more hyped about! You can find Sa’Rayah on The Voice here, and make sure to follow her Instagram, as well as her Facebook to get in on #SunRaySunday where she chats real talk with all of her followers.


Fast Fashion Season 4: Episode 8, Professional Dancer & Dance Instructor Eddie Martin ‘Pause Eddie’

In this episode of FFP, we interview our boy Eddie Martin, also known as Pause Eddie, who is an explosive dance machine whose incredible musicality does not skip a beat. Eddie is an instructor who teaches Chicago footwork and hip hop in different parts of Chicago in various renowned studios. He’s known for his aggressive crossovers, erks & jerks (*SNAP*), as well as his intense footwork. He also gets to brag and say he has worked with the likes of Willow Smith,Nicki Minaj, and Chance the Rapper.

Eddie was born and raised in Chicago, finding his passion for dance at age 14. Eddie reveals where the name, “Pause Eddie” comes from, and what Eddie calls a “gift, given by the leader of his group, King Charles. We learn that footwork is a street style, born and raised in Chicago. The style’s inspirations comes from tap-dancing (Eddie’s favorite), break-dancing, african tribe, and house music. Eddie describes his classes as intense and made sure to tell us “you’re gonna be tired as hell, but have a good time.”

Keeping his cool and confidence when being on America’s Best Dance Crew, America’s Got Talent, and Willow Smith’s FireBall Video, he’s taken all these opportunities to keep working on his passion, and perfect his teaching strategies. When we asked him where he sees his career in dance going, he confidently shot back, “This will take me wherever I want it to take me.” (we love him) To keep up with Eddie and his footwork, follow him on 
Insta’, as well as his youtube channel to watch all of his recent and upcoming dance videos.


Fast Fashion Season 4: Episode 7, Photographer, Creativer Director, ASOS Ambassador Elizabeth De La Piedra

In this episode of FFP, we interview the wonderful Elizabeth De La Piedra, who is a photographer, creative director and, as of recently, a featured ASOS ambassador! Elizabeth’s work has been featured in top publications like Vogue and Esquire. Liz joined us to talk about her style inspirations, her love for thrift shopping (YAS), and her ideas behind her innovative photography projects. Liz was born in Peru, and grew up in Sydney, Australia, where she picked up photography in Melbourne, and majored in documentary photography. Once school finished, Liz ventured out to the states and interned in Chicago. Not feeling inspired enough, she decided to move to New York to intern for photographers and agency masters out there. After working on her craft, Liz moved back to Chicago, where she started a family and had ADORABLE babies, and started her own practice. She discussed the difficulties of long distance in the early years with her husband, Josh Young, (one half of popular EDM duo Flosstradamus, who recently started his new project, YehMe2) but since they were both so busy with work, she wouldn’t change those tough years for anything. Liz describes her photography as "rooted in documentary and portrature.” It’s inspired by real life experiences and humanity in general, but aesthetic wise, it’s more traditional. The photographer’s ALPHABODIES project caught major attention for “exposing the naked truth behind social taboos.” She collaborated with Lydia Neubauer, a health and wellness instructor, and featured two female dancers and tells us all about what the experience of making it was like. Check out Liz’s website and grab yourself a copy of ALPHABODIES, and make sure to follow her on Insta’ keep up with all of her dope outfits, as well as her DEPOP account to cop some of her looks!


Fast Fashion Season 4: Episode 6, Director of Sales & Marketing, Sarah Aiken

In this episode of FFP, we interview our lovely friend, Sarah Aiken, who is the director of sales and marketing for VMR, the sleek, minimalist showroom featuring luxury fashion by design houses from around the world. VMR carries everything from Balmain, Brandon Maxwell, Nili Lotan, Off_White (dying), RTA, Iro, and of course, Zimmerman. Sarah also appears in the newly released web series, PRGirl, the reality web series created and released by WhatRUWearing just this week!

Sarah talks to us about her BAD A$$ bosses, and what it's like working at such a unique boutique, that she describes as the “in-between” of Lulu-Lemon, and Gucci. Growing up, Sarah was not ALWAYS decked out in Off_White. She was obsessed with preppy brands such as Vineyard Vines, later letting the street style of Chicago take its place in her personal style.  As if that wasn’t enough to keep her busy, Sarah also manages the social for VMR, as well as the Insta’ and Facebook for Chicago Illuminating Company, which is the coolest event space in Chicago’s South Loop.

Of course we had to get the real of what her experience was spending her summer filming, PRGirl, with her best friend, Alex Moresco(check out our awesome interview with her from S3). From the sounds of it, we definitely think she was born to be in front of the camera. Make sure to follow Sarah and her dope clothes on Instagram, and don’t forget to check out VMR on Instagram, for all the designer eye candy you can handle.


Fast Fashion Season 4: Episode 5, Founders & Designers Of HERO/BLACK, Angela Brantley & Rhea Fernandez

For this episode of FFP, we sat down with the dynamic duo Angela Brantley and Rhea Fernandez, the founders and creators of the luxury streetwear brand, HERO/BLACK, inspired by architectural cuts, and masculine and feminine silhouettes. They revealed how the universe first brought them together through the shared love of modeling and a very similar sense of style.We learned the origin behind the name of the brand. Hint: Someone they both love is a Hero and black is both of their favorite color. (Duh).

The designers wanted to conceptualize HERO/BLACK and create a network for strong, creative, fashion-forward women. Although “Chicago will always be home” for the duo, they have future plans to expand the brand into a variety of cities, a favorite being New York. “Why not?” We got to hear about the “experiment” brand, Idle. Wild, that the duo worked on before creating what is today, HERO/BLACK. They have come so far in as little as 2 years, from, first, designing t-shirts and clutches, to, now, a full collection. The girls talked about how exhausting it is to keep up with the rapid change in social media and brands, and how to stay calm in the midst of all the chaos. With their success, we think they’re handling the madness just fine!

“When we’re thinking about our consumer, we’re kinda thinking about ourselves. Because everything that we create, it’s because we wanted to wear it, it’s something we wish existed.” To keep up with the girls and their up-coming designs, follow HERO/BLACK on Instagram, and check out their site to snag some statement pieces for yourself!


Fast Fashion Season 4: Episode 4 With Stylist & Digital Producer Sal E. “Sal So Groovy!”

For this week’s episode of Fast Fashion, we get to chat with style maven, Sal E, also known as Sal So Groovy! “A stylist, "A Maker, and a Mover”. During our conversation with Sal, she tells us when she noticed she had an eye for styling, what it’s like being a digital and visual artist, where she gets her project inspirations from, and being a part of projects with up-coming artists and creatives, such as Jamila Woods.

Sal talks about her innovative aesthetic when it comes to styling, and giving herself “challenges” of not using certain patterns, colors, or materials whenever she works with her clients. Inspired by one of her favorite stylists, Shirley Kurata, Sal shares her love for color and how its one of the most important tools that a stylist can have. Not only is Sal involved with many up-coming creatives in Chicago, but she’s also part of the styling team for the lovely women of Nike’s Air Society. Can you say, DAMN?!

Sal is simply “aiming to create beauty with new materials, using a mouse as a pencil, using wardrobe as paintbrush, and using love for imagination as clay.” To keep up with all of her up-coming projects, follow Sal the Stylist on Instagram, and check out her site to see all of her dope projects!


Fast Fashion Season 4: Episode 3 Tyler Lambert

For this episode of FFP, we caught up with innovative and self-taught designer, Tyler Lambert, the man behind some of designs that the likes Kylie & Kendall Jenner can’t get enough of. Tyler dished on his thoughts regarding influencers asking for free clothes, the impact social media has on his brand, and how being a designer is a God given talent.
When we sat down, Tyler explored his feelings about his hometown of De Pere, Wisconsin, revealing where the inspiration for his designs and aesthetic stem from. Tyler had a childhood filled with creativity, inspired by the people of northeast Wisconsin. Taught by his mother, Tyler learned the basics of using a sewing machine at a young age. From there, his aspirations of becoming a designer led him to Chicago's School of the Art Institute of Chicago, eventually deciding to leave to do his thing.
Since leaving school and building his brand, his designs are worn by the Jenner sisters and the beautiful Sofia Richie, and most recently have been sported on Bella Thorne, Tana Mongeau, Nathalie Paris, and Bebe Rhexa. We had so much fun getting to know Tyler. If you don’t already follow him, follow Tyler on Instagram to be in the loop of all the dope celebrities wearing the shit out of his clothes, and check out designs that you can rock and purchase directly from his site.


Fast Fashion Season 4: Episode 2, Photographer & Artist, Nathan Michael

This week, we caught up with independent photographer and founder of Low Res, Nathan Michael. We learned all about Nathan’s start in the photography industry, what drove him to build a business around his love for taking pictures and art, the impressive clients his company works with, and his thoughts on smart social media for brands as they grow. Nathan shared a little about his personal life, and explained what being a small town boy raised in Saginaw, Texas, means to him. Before he settled in Chicago, Nathan was able to move around a lot - and we mean, A LOT. After successfully co-founding Popular Pays, Nathan realized that he missed creating and building a community around a brand. He went on to build what is now today, Low Res. Low Res (pronounced Low-REZ), serves as a visual content agency, event space, and hub for creative minded people. Click here to go behind the scenes with Nathan and WRUW. Did we mention that Nathan has a podcast as well?! The Creative Muscle is a “podcast for the creative in all of us”, with episodes that debunk the myth that creativity is just for artists. Follow Nathan and his brand, Low Res, on Instagram and Facebook to get and stay inspired around your art and what you love creating.


Fast Fashion Season 4: Episode 1, Fashion Designer Sheila Rashid

Welcome to season 4 of Fast Fashion: The Podcast from WhatRUWearing! To kick it all off, we interviewed 29-year old designer Sheila Rashid – who, most famously, is the creative brain behind those cute as hell overalls that are now synonomous with Chance the Rapper’s overall brand! (See what we did there?!?) We all saw the video of Beyonce touching them while giving him a hug back stage at the VMA’s last year. And we can guarantee you that we freaked out just as much as he did! As if that wasn’t enough, Sheila Rashid has the likes of Zendaya, Mick Jenkins, and many more obsessed with her designs.

When we had the privilege of sitting down with this amazing chic a couple of weeks ago, we talked about her roots in the design industry, Chicago’s DOPE fashion scene, and her love for street wear and denim. Her designs have evolved immensely since she decided to leave Columbia University before graduating, taking her own path while using Chicago as her inspiration, and incorporating an “androgynous” aesthetic into her unisex clothing brand. Sheila told us what makes her brand unique and dished how hand-made clothing goes a long way to keep a brand exclusive, organic, and authentic.

Make sure to check out Sheila’s famous designs on her website, and follow her on Instagram & Twitter. She is literally blowing up and we feel so lucky to now be able to call her a friend. f you want to dig even deeper into who she is and her inspiration, check out her feature on MILK.XYZ’s Gender Diaries where she discusses her relationship with gender and how it intersects with her relationship with the fashion industry.


Fast Fashion Season 3, Episode 8: Hip Hop Artist Solo Sam

In our season finale of Fast Fashion, we catch up with hip hop artist Solo Sam. Solo Sam is a unique MC with an awesome retro vibe, but music wasn't always on his agenda. The 21-year-old was originally on his university's football team. Due to an injury he was forced to be off the field, which lead him to his new career.  Solo tells us how he stands out in city full of music, how he came up with the name of his upcoming album "Egocentrism," and gives us a sneak peek of one of his favorite songs. The refreshing artist is the perfect example of how things can fall flawlessly into place, even when they seem to not go our way.
Click here to add to your apple podcast library, and be sure to watch behind the scenes, here.


Fast Fashion Season 3, Episode 7: Fashion Stylist & Chicago Blogger Bebe Jones

If you don't know BeBe Jones, she's definitely one that should be on your fashion radar in Chicago. Recently, we spent time with her in the studio and fell in love immediately. She is a true lover of fashion with the most positive, and infectious personality. During our convo, we learned about her family values, how she combined her two loves (journalism + fashion) to start her company, and her love for Chicago! Want to know how NYFW influenced the name of her company? She also shared how her 'Ah-ha' moment in her journal lead to an opportunity with NIKE Chicago. Be sure to check out her website and follow her on Instagram for 'All-Things Stylish' from designers and stylists to featured Style Mavens and fellow bloggers.
Click here to listen on iTunes and add to your Podcast library.


Fast Fashion Season 3: Episode 6, Fashion Designer Alyse Young

In this week's episode, we meet Alyse Young. Alyse started designing prom dresses a few years ago before heading all the way to London to study design and falling in love with the idea of designing her very own full line. Sounds like a fashionista fairytale, right?!
Today, she launches her debut line, London Alyse, on her e-commerce platform for young, professional women who don't want to sacrifice color and their unique sense of style just because they are heading to the office. You can find all chic things from matching two piece sets to a beautiful patterned dress that shows just the right amount of back (perfect for 9am - happy hour!).
We learn what inspired her the most when coming up with concepts and color patterns for her first line, how she manages the design and production process and the marketing approach she uses to reach the woman she wants in her clothes. Hint: Bad Ass Chics Only!
Click here to follow Alyse London on Instagram, and don't forget to watch our Fast Fashion behind the scenes.
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Fast Fashion Season 3: Episode 5, Former Ms Illinois Marisa Buchheit

This week we talk to the 2014 Ms. Illinois about her pageant career, how she got started and what she is doing now. This girl is so unstoppable we have to tip our hat crown, to her. She went from being the shiest girl in the room to standing on stage, competing against other ladies and becoming a professional opera singer- but most importantly, not taking herself too seriously!
Marisa’s recent performances include recitals and fully staged operas in the United States, Italy, France, Austria, and Thailand.  And of course, she looks amazing while doing it all (seriously, you should see the dresses she gets to wear!).
Marisa Buchheit expresses her love for the purity of her genre and why she thinks it will never die out- and she sold us! For news on shows to catch Marisa in and to stay caught up on what she doing, make sure to check out her website and and follower on Twitter or Instagram!
Don't forget to download our podcast so you have access at all times to past and new episodes.
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Fast Fashion Season 3: Episode 4, Rapper Tripp Heavy

In the latest episode of Fast Fashion, we dive into a whole new category of guests to introduce everyone to one of our favorite underground Chicago rappers, Tripp Heavy. After Mary Mel gushes about how and when she found him on SoundCloud (click here to see video) we get inside the artist's mind about where his inspiration comes from, where he wants to take his career, how Chance the Rapper changed the independent game and the mark he wants to leave on the world. We even get him to share, live on the spot, one of his favorites from his new album coming out this month. Check him out and make sure to stay close so you can add him to your workout playlist this summer.
Don't forget to download our podcast so you have access at all times to past and new episodes.
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Fast Fashion Season 3, Episode 3: Katy Lynch- Entrepreneur + Co-Founder of Codeverse

This week we publish our conversation with the beautiful Katy Lynch. Investor. Entrepreneur. Self Exclaimed Super Hero. We sat down with her a few weeks before she launched her newest venture, Codeverse, to talk all things business, female empowerment, and how we can all be prepared for the future. She gives us all the feels as she tells us her feelings on starting businesses, what kids should be studying in school today and how she came up with her new venture, Codeverse, the world's first fully interactive coding school and educational tech platform that teaches kids to code. Trust us, if you ever had the thought to start your own business, you will be 100% ready after listening to our conversation with Katy. Don't forget to watch our In the Studio episode, and make sure to keep up with her on LinkedIn and Instagram for all the things she is up to now, and in the future.


Fast Fashion Season 3, Episode 2: Alexandra Moresco, Founder of A. Moresco PR (Publicist)

There are some people who love fashion, and then there is Alexandra Moresco. In this episode of Fast Fashion, Mary catches up with Alex Moresco - fashion blogger and PR Maven extraordinaire. Not only was she working on her fashion blog and growing her empire while in school at Depaul, but by senior year, Alex already had clients for her own PR firm. Her business has continued to boom, and now she's working with celebs left and right all over the country. So how did she market herself and put her foot in the door, AND stay motivated in such a large industry? Listen to the podcast and find out! Learn more about Alex's company Follow Alex's Instagram Follow Alex on Twitter


Fast Fashion Season 3, Episode 1: Candid Conversations With Athena

It's a new year and a new season for WRUW's Fast Fashion! To kick things off, your new host Mary Melniko sat down with the WRUW crew and singer / fashion stylist, Athena, to talk about everything ... and we mean, everything. From the social media world of followers and relationship drama (how do you tell a friend to move on and stop chasing someone!?), to keeping the honeymoon stage alive and taking care of yourself, WRUW gets real in the studio. Oh yeah, did we mention Athena was on The Voice, and gave us a little taste of one of our favorite songs ... what better way to end a podcast? Don't forget to check out our new video series capturing the look and conversation while recording the podcast by checking out our first episode of In the Studio with the WRUW squad.


Fast Fashion Season 2, Episode 7: Katie Schuppler- Style Consultant & Contributor

Katie is a girl after our own hearts. She is creative, organically understands the rules behind how to get dressed in the morning and, oh yeah, has a little jewelry company on the side with her husband. When we say she is creative, we really mean it. She has her own blog that is product focussed and she contributes on a regular basis for Chicago Woman's Magazine. When we say she knows how to get dressed, she really does! She has her own styling company with clients she does at home/closet consults, shopping and look books for. In our season finale of the podcast, we chat with Katie about all of this plus how much her and her husband love to travel and how they plan on paying for their trip around the world, how she describes her personal style and how her dad is her biggest motivator. After all that, if you want to see what we talked about after the podcast was over, check out our season finale of Behind the Scenes featuring Katie.


Fast Fashion Season 2, Episode 06: Whitney Middleton, Stylist & Creative Director

stylist whitney middleton As soon as Whitney Middleton learned that there was even such a thing as a job that paid you to put people in amazing clothes (thank you Rachel Zoe), she knew it was the job for her. She left her corporate job and dedicated her life to fulfilling her passion in the job she wanted. After doing some creative direction work with e-drop off full time, she decided to take the leap into being a full time, independent stylist. Now she has been to New York Fashion Week and is responsible for some of the most talked about looks from Chance the Rapper. Take a listen to some of the things Whitney still wants to learn and what is the outfit she credits with the most significant to her career and will remember forever. Then, if you haven't already, go check out what we talked about in the studio when the mics were off on our latest episode of Behind the Scenes.


Fast Fashion Season 2, Episode 5: Blake Von D, Digital Influencer

In this week's episode of Fast Fashion, we explore with and get to know, Blake, the curator and founder of the site Blake Von D. As you can already tell from her style, she is a force to be reckoned with. We talked about her own personal struggle with her self esteem, how she started her blog, and the idea of if her posting her outfits on Instagram everyday is actually doing anything positive for the world. After listening to this episode and understanding the true influence this influencer is having on the blogispher, the short answer is- YES! And in addition to the fun, hilarious nuggets Blake gives us in her Behind the Scenes episode we recorded around recording the podcast, Blake dishes on some of her new favorite tools for having the perfect Instagram.


Fast Fashion: Season 2 (BONUS EPISODE) Candid Conversations Series (01)

Sex. Career. Relationships. Just some of the topics the WhatRUWearing team decides to chat candidly about in our first candid conversation episode. We invited Kira Dohrn Jones, the lady behind @lifeofke and bestie to our very own host, Meghan, or as most of you know her as, Ms. Lincoln Park Minute. Kira is in her senior year at DePaul University, majoring in PR and minoring in Advertising and has her sights set on taking over LA after school. We had so much fun!!! When does a hook up turn into a relationship and how do you even know? Is 'Friends with Benefits' a thing you could do, or nah? Before graduation, when is the best time to start looking and applying for jobs? How the hell do you network? Advice from Farissa on how to get the most out of a job you might not love, before landing your dream job... The tip of the iceberg when it comes to the questions we discussed freely and openly, in some cases, maybe a little too freely and openly if your mom happens to listen. We are looking at you Kira!!!


Fast Fashion Season 2, Episode 4: Alyssa Doorhy, Founder of CoChic Styling

Alyssa has been busy in the fashion industry ever since graduating from University of Miami, Ohio. After earning her Communications Degree and working at a small ad agency for a time, the opportunity presented itself to open a fashion boutique with her family. After four years of running the store, it was time to shut it down. The inspiration for starting her personal styling company, CoChic Styling, which stands for comfortably chic, was a combination of how tough retail is and her realizing that what excited her the most about her job was helping the boutique customers put together outfits, even if it was with items from their closet at home with pieces from the store. In this week's episode, we chat with her about this, some of the lessons she took from the boutique to her styling company and what she loves the most about styling brides to be. And because you need something else to distract you from doing what you're supposed to be doing, check out our latest episode of Behind the Scenes with WhatRUWearing, capturing what happened in the studio with Alyssa when the mics were off.


Fast Fashion Season 2, Episode 3: Jacki Debb of Jax and Debb Boutique

If you are looking for something to inspire you to not give up on an idea or dream that you have, look no further than Jacki Debb. Not even out of her twenties yet and she has successfully professionally styled models, worked with some amazing fashion retail stores and has launched her very own unisex boutique right here in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood. In this week's episode, Jacki shares her secret formula for making all of this a reality. In addition to having the right relationships, experience and a dad who tricked her into creating a massive savings account, she credits determination and not being able to take 'no' for an answer, as the sauce that makes what she's serving, so delicious! When you are done listening to Jacki and daydreaming about what you would do if all of sudden one day you learned you had accidentally saved enough money to start a business, take a peek at what happened when we were done recording in our latest episode of Behind the Scenes with WhatRUWearing, featuring Jacki!


Fast Fashion Season 2, Episode 2: Lily Duevel, Founder of Ladder PR and adoptedSTYLE

If you look up "hustler" in the dictionary, you will find a photo of Lily Duevel, fearless leader and founder of both Ladder PR and adoptedSTYLE. Seriously. With a full time job as an enterprise account manager at Yello, a talent acquisition software company, in addition to two companies of her own, Lily is truly a Jane of all trades who discovered the keys to combining fashion and communication, effortlessly. A natural born entrepreneur, Lily took on her first fashion venture in the sixth grade selling the gently worn Abercrombie and Hollister clothes she no longer wanted, to friends. Needless to say, "Lily's Closet" was a big hit in her Minneapolis-based middle school. That is, until her mom found out and shut down all operations, immediately. That didn't stop Lily though, who originally saw a career path in teaching our youth. Having observed her mother, who previously pro bono styled fashion shows for local boutiques, in exchange for free clothes, Lily quickly figured out that a career path in marketing and communications was a better fit for her. So she transferred schools, switched her major and never looked back. Since graduating, Lily has moved to Chicago (with only 5 days to do so), held a sales position at Groupon, where she was promoted every six months and ultimately helped build out the sales team, created a boutique public relations agency, and a styling service, that all started with a simple tweet. And somehow, she still finds time to Soul Cycle at the end of the day. If we didn't already convince you, Lily is someone who you want to know and can learn from. Plug in your headphones and get inspired. And when you're done, be sure to watch our behind the scenes episode with Lily. Her personality lit up the entire studio.


Fast Fashion Season 2, Episode 1: Kristine Steiner, Fashion Illustrator

On the season 2 premiere of Fast Fashion, we sat down with Kristine Steiner, one of the best Chicago-based fashion illustrators in the game. To date, Kristine has had opportunities to illustrate for major brands ranging from Neiman Marcus, Rue La La, David Yurman, Cotton and more. Always drawing as a little kid and expressing a strong interest in visual art, Kristine fell in love with fashion illustration around age eight or nine, when she became aware that fashion was an actual industry, due to her love for shopping and clothing. She then went on to study fashion design at the Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago and now, her incredibly chic and charming creations bring leggy, modelesque and vibrant fashion silhouettes to life by way of our Instagram feeds! Strongly influenced by pieces she wishes she could wear, would love to see hanging in her closet, and of course, her own personal style, which she describes as minimal, Kristine credits her brilliance, in part, to her job in retail working as a visual merchandiser and finds much of her inspiration through street style in Chicago, because you just never know what you might see on the city streets. Kristine's availability to transform anyone into the more stylish sketch of themselves is incredible so check out her episode and find out who she follows on the gram, for style inspiration, her creative process, which clients she dreams of working one-on-one with, the advice she'd give to aspiring illustrators and what she does for fun, outside of sketching. Also, be sure to check out the behind the scenes view of her episode, below and subscribe to our brand new YouTube channel!


Fast Fashion Episode 10: Farissa Knox, Founder of WhatRUWearing

 The first words that come to mind when we think of Farissa Knox, founder of WhatRUWearing are: fearless, fabulous, unapologetically herself. From her Bronx meets Lakeview personal style to her ability to command attention in a room, without saying anything, Farissa is someone anyone would have the honor to know. On the season finale of Fast Fashion: the Podcast Experience from WhatRUWearing, we sat down with Farissa and discussed entrepreneurship (she has two companies, one which she started in her twenties), what it means to be a boss, period and why you should strive to be the best version of yourself, her experience in self-publishing a book (Love, Sex and Friendship: In No Particular Order), dating in your 20s (she's had some intense experiences) and the future of WhatRUWearing. This episode will give you a glimpse into the life of Farissa but also provide you with a little peak into what makes her a role model for so many twenty somethings. And because Farissa is an open book, literally no question was off limits, meaning this is one episode you definitely will not want to miss. 


Fast Fashion Episode 9: Kathy Ruda of Nike

If you don't know Kathy Ruda, creative genius and Nike's Digital Field Services Coordinator, you should! Kathy has an incredible success story, one full of tenacity and big dreams. When we sat down with Kathy a few weeks ago, we quickly learned that she has a passion for people, a social media savvy spirit, longing for leadership and craving for community involvement. Hence why, she was the perfect candidate for her current job -- she currently works for Nike Central Territory as the Digital Field Services Coordinator and is a Women's Health Magazine 2016-17 Action Hero. So how did the 2015 graduate of the University of Illinois - Urbana manage to graduate and get one of the coolest jobs ever in less than a year? Well, you'll have to listen to the Podcast to find that out! Do know it didn't just happen by luck, a love for fitness and stylish athleisure wear. Pop your headphones in and get inspired because Kathy's story and outlook on life is absolutely phenomenal! 


Fast Fashion Episode 8: Lauren Gilliam, PR Manager at WhatRUWearing

If you or someone you know has ever worked in the world of public relations, you know there are some truly out there but fantastic, stories. While things don't get too crazy, with this week's guest, unless you count an influencer missing her flight the day of an event she was booked for and our guest having to dash into overtime to fix it, she provides a refreshing perspective on what it's like to work behind the scenes of a fashion brand versus within an agency setting and how she found professional success. This is one podcast you won't want to miss because not only does Lauren touch on her professional success but she also drops major key's on how to healthily maintain a long distance relationship, her love for the Kardashian's and the fashion brands she swears by. Literally, this girl could be a walking billboard for some of the ones she named. Take a listen and get a behind the scenes look at the career and lifestyle of Lauren Gilliam, WhatRUWearing's PR Manager.


Fast Fashion Episode 7: Emily Cleary of Entertainment Cruises Chicago

If you looked up "Jill of all trades" in the dictionary, there's a strong possibility that you'd find a photo of Emily Cleary, Marketing Manager at Entertainment Cruises Chicago. Before taking her marketing talents to Entertainment Cruises, where the young maven handles all things related to marketing, advertising and promotions for the yacht line, Emily extended her sparkle and professionalism to Rent the Runway and Teen Vogue, where she worked with Adele before she reached her current star potential! Locally, Emily also had the pleasure of working with Margie Korshak and Monika Dixon Public Relations, where she received a job shortly after graduating from the University of Illinois. In the latest episode of Fast Fashion, we sat down with Emily and talked about how to be a successful intern and entry-level employee, if working at Teen Vogue was anything like how it was portrayed on The Hills and that one really awesome moment when Anna Wintour complimented her shoes! 


Fast Fashion Episode 6: Sydney Thompson of Classic City Chic

Not all fashion bloggers are created equally and that's what makes Sydney Thompson of Classic City Chic so unique! According to Sydney, her and her best friend, Maya, who she met while attending the University of Illinois, created Classic City Chic, post grad, due to discussions around fashion and style lacking realistic perspectives. Sadly, we all can't have closets full of Chanel and Dior. As a result, the duo went on to start their blog and dedicated themselves to expressing their creativity, exploring their various ideas and passions while helping their readers look great in classic, affordable pieces! Sydney sat down with Meghan and discussed her favorite places to shop, how she feels that malls are overrated and how she takes unique pieces and makes them her own. 


Fast Fashion Episode 5: Vinova Deniz of See You at Brunch

This one's for all the free spirits and foodies out there: meet Vinova Deniz, the brains and photographer behind the delectable "See You at Brunch" Instagram account and hashtag. We chatted with the New York native, who will soon be moving to Miami for a post grad opportunity with Hillstone Restaurant Group - who made it very clear that she's through and through a New Yorker, having grown up in Manhattan and moved to Chicago for college by picking a city out of a hat- about Chicago's hospitality scene, how the idea of "See You at Brunch" originated and her definition of comfort food (hint: it's not your mother's mac & cheese!) Whether you eat out every day, are experimenting more in the kitchen or are a professional bruncher like Vinova - this is one conversation you won't want to miss. You're sure to walk away inspired by her carefree nature.



Fast Fashion Episode 4: Nicholas Butts of 10 Management

Nicholas Butts has an alluring energy that can't be matched. With Barbie as his muse, the Junior Agent at 10 MGMT Modeling Agency paved his own lane, at a young age, and never looked back. In this episode of Fast Fashion, Nicholas talks about growing up in a small town in downstate Illinois (shoutout to Decatur), why he's not fit for New York City (the whole "working to live" aspect isn't really his thing), his method for scouting models in the city (it's brilliant, if we do say so ourselves), post grad plans and his work with GLAAD and their GLAAD Hatter Brunch and Tea Dance, taking place on May 15. 


Fast Fashion Episode 3: Kristi Pawlowicz, Founder of 522 Envy

Kristi Pawlowicz is not your average 20-something. At the ripe age of 26, a few years after graduating from Mizzou, Kristi successfully started and opened her own clothing boutique - 522 Envy, formally Envy Evanston. Having previously worked at the Envy boutique in Columbia, Missouri during undergrad, Kristi fell in love with retail and after serving as a manager at a family owned boutique, she ventured out on her own in 2013. On today's Fast Fashion episode, we chatted with her about advice she'd give her collegiate self, what her self proclaimed "hot mess chic" style consists of, the trends she's predicting for summer, what's next for 522 Envy and how she got her fiancé to propose to her after ten years of dating. Yes, you read that right - ten years! 


Fast Fashion Episode 2: Kayla Reyes and Andrea Valle of John Marshall Law School’s Fashion Law Society

On Episode 2 of Fast Fashion, we sat down with YouTube sensation Kayla Reyes of CutesyGirl09 and Andrea Valle, both Fashion Law students at John Marshall Law School in Chicago. With impeccable style and grades to match, the hardworking ladies explain what “fashion law” entails from a legal standpoint, describe how they represent their personal style in a conservative, male-dominated field and dish on who their favorite style and beauty gurus are – yes, Kylie Jenner is included in this, as well as tips for how to score one of her coveted lip kits! They also spilled details surrounding our co-sponsored #BOSSPERIOD: a Women's Empowerment and Fashion Show Extravaganza, taking place on Thursday, April 14 from 5-8 pm at John Marshall. While it’s certainly an entertaining listen, it’s also inspiring and informative for those who may want to pursue more unconventional careers within the fashion industry. 


Fast Fashion Episode 1: Laura Kujawa, Market Lead for Gilt City Chicago

We all know Gilt City. With locations in Chicago, Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington D.C. it’s literally impossible not to know about the exciting and one-of-a-kind offers suggested by the network. Whether you’re looking for location specific restaurants, shopping, spas, salons, events and even fitness – the team at Gilt City has you covered! But how do they find these fabulous suggestions? Look no further than the curators. In Chicago, Laura Kujawa, Gilt City’s Market Lead, is responsible for making you fall in love with some of your favorite spots. So how did she get there? Host Meghan McAllister of Lincoln Park Minute asked just that amongst a number of other questions about Laura’s love of fashion and the best items she’s ever splurged on, in addition to a few that she wouldn’t necessarily drop major coins on. You’ll definitely want to take notes on this one.

Links from this episode: https://www.giltcity.com/chicago