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MINZLY is the designer behind the clothing brand King Minzly Experience. 

MINZLY became interested in making her own clothes when she was a senior in high school. At the time, she was already into photography and wanted to be able to curate her own shoots, but found stylists to be unreliable. MINZLY looked to her own wardrobe for answers and started “messing around with clothes.” 

MINZLY said, “At the time I was staying with my grandmother and would come home and sit at this folded table and glue sh*t to a jean jacket. It was terrible. I didn’t have the money for fabric or anything else in fact, but knew I wanted to make my own clothes, so I did just that. As time went on, I was finally able to buy a $27 sewing machine at a pawn shop. After that, I watched youtube tutorials to teach myself how to sew. The rest was history!”

MINZLY wearing unreleased KME. Styled by @kmecustoms; photographed by @j.mos; edited by @dak.ta

MINZLY makes custom, high-fashion garments. When describing her designing style she explained, “the kind of art I create is making streetwear high fashion.” In the future, MINZLY sees herself designing for events and companies such as the Met Gala and Vogue Italia. She also plans to build King Minzly Experience into a worldwide brand. 

As an artist, MINZLY hopes that her art will “empower others to understand themselves better and accept themselves as they are.” She said, “It’s amazing how just being your true self can lead to having an amazing career. Sometimes us individuals are just afraid to be INDIVIDUAL!” 

You can stay up-to-date with all of MINZLY’s art pursuits by following @kingminzly and @kmecustoms on Instagram.

Building Others

“The type of art that I do is anything that sparks joy in me or in the people around me. That’s something that I’m really passionate about, sparking joy and making sure that people receive a positive message from my art. My main message is that you are enough and that you can do anything you put your mind toward achieving.”

De’Ante Massenburg

De’Ante Massenburg is a creative from Virginia Beach, Virginia. He models, designs clothes, sings, acts and dances as a Musical Theatre major, at Howard University.

The first art form Massenburg ever explored was singing. From the age of four, he was in love with music, but did not have the natural singing ability which most music starts claim. His talent was learned and practiced. By middle school, Massenburg started learning to play instruments, as well as dancing. He is now trained in ballet, jazz, hip hop, modern and contemporary dance. In high school, Massenburg shifted his focus toward acting and fashion. During his junior year, he starred in his first play as Seaweed in Hairspray. During his senior year, Massenburg began designing his own clothes and released a clothing line, Bag Heads, which became very popular at his high school.

Since college, Massenburg has continued all of his creative pursuits, with a focus on modeling and fashion. Along with three of his friends, Massaenburg founded his own modeling company, Models of the Mecca, to teach young Black students how to make it in the modeling industry.

Via @meccamodel

“Anything that I do is to help others,” said Massenburg. “When I came into this whole modeling and fashion thing at school, I really didn’t know anything. Talking about Models of the Mecca, I didn’t really know what the hell I was doing as the model coach, but I did some research and asked my mentor for help so that I could share what I learned with them. Networking is so important to be because it helps me meet people that can help the people I work with. That’s really what I care about, making sure that the people around me win.”

Since launching his modeling career, Massenburg has participated in both DC Fashion Week and New York Fashion Week. As head of Models of the Mecca, Massenburg has helped several of his models make it into fashion weeks and the Howard University Homecoming Fashion Show, as well as throw their own modeling showcases and fashion shows.

Via @radical.tae

In the future, Massenburg plans to launch his own media company, release films, and create more affordable spaces where people can learn about and appreciate all of the fine arts.

You keep pushing. If you fall down seven times you get your ass up eight times and you keep pushing. Nobody can tell you that you can’t do something that you put your mind to. Nobody can tell you that you’re inadequate. Learn how to be comfortable being uncomfortable because being uncomfortable will take you to new heights and allow you to take new risks that you’ve never taken before. Move past what’s expected of you.”

Follow @meccamodel and @radical.tae on Instagram for more.

Taira Rice, Reaffirming Identity

Taira Rice is a 20-year-old illustrator from Harlem, NY. 

Her illustrations speak on the topics of intimacy, confidence and the duality, within the context of being a queer woman of color. Rice attempts to challenge the flattened representations of African American women that we see in the media. Her goal is to show Black women’s try to different ways of being—their complexities, their flaws, and especially their sexuality. 

Via @I_dead_dont_know on Instagram

Her earliest childhood memory is of creating. Growing up, she spent a lot of her time observing others, their mannerism and what make them unique. Illustration has remained Rice’s outlet for self-exploration and social change because she has always been fascinated by what makes people different. She seeks to identify these differences to show that they are what make us good and should not be used as a tool to ostracize. 

She said, “When I am drawing a character they represent an attitude or an energy that consists of complete contentment with one’s self, unapologetically. There’s subtle and individual mannerisms in their clothing, the way that they move and everything hints toward what they are confident about. I personally am trying to transform outdated definitions of romance and pleasure and individuality, to normalize queer identity, femme sexuality, and represent women of color without searching for approval from anyone or anything.”

Via @I_dead_dont_know on Instagram

As a queer Black woman, Rice is has been troubled by queer women of color’s erasure from media. She has always had a love for movies and comics, but found that love challenged when she realized that there was no one who looked like her playing any of the roles she idolized. IN the future, Rice plans to write her own graphic novels and create cartoons that better represent her and the millions of Americans who identify as Black, queer, or simply different. 

“As a Black woman, I never saw myself in any of things I was interested in, like comic books, movies and a lot of forms of media in general. Since I never saw myself, I figured I’d draw women that I could see myself in and that other women could see themselves in, so that they did not feel they were being left out of the world,” explained Rice. 

Because her subject material deals with many controversial issues, Rice has receives some negative backlash from her work. But she believes that the lives she touches greatly outweigh any of the criticism. Rice proves that even if your message is difficult for others, you must always remain honest to it if it is what you believe in. 

“Some of the things I make, some people will really love it and some people will think it’s too racy, but at the end of the day I am trying to represent us in a way we haven’t been represented before so that’s obviously going to get some different opinions. But I know why I’m doing it. The responses I’ve gotten from other women inspires me to keep going because I see that the are seeing themselves, and that is the entire goal,” Rice said. 

You can see more of Taira Rice’s artwork by following @i_dead_dont_know on Instagram. For clothing featuring her designs, check out on Instagram. 

Menace Of Environment Studios.

Marquiah Snowden is the designer and creative mind behind Menace Of Environment Studios.

Snowden has always had a creative spirit. She was exposed to the arts from a young age, and she continues to pursue creativity today because creating has always left her with a feeling of goodness. 

“Ever since I was a kid, I was always given the tools to be creative, to be different. As I’ve gotten older, I stayed like that—I’ve always been doing something creative because it makes me feel safe and it makes me feel good,” said Snowden. 

Snowden began Menace of Environment Studios just over a year ago. Menace of Environment Studios specializes in one-of-one pieces, all handmade by Snowden herself. However, as the brand begins to expand, Snowden has started to release other bulk items so more people can participate in the Menace of Environment Studios style. 

Being a business owner is not always easy, but Snowden believes that it is worth it. 

She explained, “Having your own brand is like, it’s yours. You can be as creative as you want without anyone stopping you, without any limitations on what you can do. The hardest part of that though is that you have to motivate yourself. Everything is not going to happen right away, your brand is not going to blow right away, so you have to continue to believe in yourself. Sometimes you’ll want to stop, but you can’t stop.”

Through all of her pieces, Snowden hopes to inspire others to embrace and love their own unique differences. She receives her inspiration from other creative outlets, such as watching documentaries and listening to music. 

@m0estudios on Instagram
@m0estudios on Instagram

As a business owner, Snowden has a simple mission: “My goal is just for people to love my brand. That’s it—for people to love it as much as I love it.”

You can see more of Marquiah Snowden’s deigns by following @m0estudios on Instagram. You can shop these unique looks at

Embrace the Weirdness

Maia Pina is a 20-year old writer, painter and designer from Pasadena, California.

“I like to consider myself kind of a jack-of-all-trades,” explained Maia.  “I dabble in a lot of thing, and am currently trying to dabble in a few more things. I want to try everything before I die. Right now, I paint, I design and I write.” 

Maia comes from a creative family, but did not begin discovering her own creativity until this year. 

She said, “I have always been very artistically inclined, but everyone in my family is an artist so the role of the “academic child” fell on me. I never really explored any of my artistic outlets until I got older. I did not start working on any of these things really until last fall.” 

Maia is now dedicated to exploring her creativity because it has already helped her to find and love all of the things which make her unique. She does not believe that artists should stick t one creative medium, but rather that they should strive to express themselves in any way possible. 

“I convey a lot of emotions and I use each outlet to convey different things. Some things that you can convey in a poem you can’t convey in the same way in a painting; some things that you can convey through clothes you can’t convey in the same way through a poem,” said Maia. 

Most recently, Maia started a series of paintings which utilize numerous stylistic components. Her favorite piece from the series, entitled “Niggas In Love,” depicts a cartoon-ish Black man bearing flowers for the person he loves. 

by Maia Peina

“Stylistically, it was the first type of painting I’ve done in this particular style, where I used a lot of different mediums to create the piece. It’s acrylic, water color, oil pastel, colored pencil and sharpie. The painting itself actually depicts a nigga in love—It’s a Black man in a durag holding some flowers, and in his face, which is based on the Freaky Fred from Courage the Cowardly Dog. I tried to convey a sense of exhaustion. He’s been up all night but he’s so in love that he doesn’t care and he’s at the door with the flowers regardless,” she explained. 

In the future, Maia hopes to create a career for herself in which she can combine her love for fashion design, writing and painting into one. As an artist, she hopes to inspire others to be the most authentic expression of themselves. To Maia, your power comes from your ability to share yourself without fear and without regret. 

“Being weird and liking weird shit, even as a Black girl, is OK. You really do not have to conform. Being yourself and liking the things that you like regardless of what the people around you like is really where it’s at. As a Black girl who is in to some really weird shit, that was always a part of my person, and feeling lost and feeling like there was no one to relate to me was real. That is what used to stifle my creativity. Embrace the weirdness. Embrace your weirdness.” 

You can see more of Maia’s work by following her @bonzaimai on Instagram.

Recap: NTUIIT Artist Gathering

Last Friday, May 17th, NTUIIT co-hosted an artist gathering with ONLEVIBEZ. This event featured talent from local DMV artists, including performances, art displays and clothing to shop. 

NTUIIT is a clothing brand, but, more than that, they are an artists collective. They provide spaces where artists can come mingle and create together in a fun and relaxed environment. 

The founder of NTUIIT describes their brand as, “a very edgy and carefree brand. We hope to push other people to always be carefree and be themselves.”

Founders of NTUIIT (@ntuiit.25)

You can follow NTUIIT on Instagram @ntuiit.25, where they post their clothes and also give updates on upcoming shows. 

View photos from NTUIIT’s last show below. Full recap with all pictures and videos can be viewed @sikkmagazine on Instagram.

“Art to me has never been ‘oh I need a little money, let me go make some art.’ It has always been the only way I can express myself without instead going out and doing something stupid to myself or someone else. I’m 21 years old and art is my passion.” – Kinlo Da Rtist (@kinlodartist)
“I do a lot of abstract art. I’m into guts and blood and random shit, and I just like to make sure it coexists and goes together. I have a lot of art that I’m selling which you can find on my art page (@Marley_seday). I sell T-shirts, stickers, prints. Just check out my art.” – Marley Seday (@marleemarzz)

Jada LeBour

With a completely-unique style comes fashion designer, Jada LeBour. Jada LeBour studied fashion design in Paris and London before returning to New York to launch her clothing line, Jada LeBour. 

Creating dresses, suits, accessories and the like, Jada LeBour says that she designs all of her clothing for “fun, chic, young girls.” Her goal is to make a statement in any occasion. 

“My aesthetic isn’t common. You could describe my style as really bold, really kitsch. Sometimes I’ll mix patterns and fabrics together that don’t go together because I want people, when they wear my pieces and walk into a room, to have all eyes on them. I want my clothes to you make you want to get to know the person wearing them,” said Jada LeBour. 

Unlike other clothing brands, Jada LeBour has never released a collection. She instead unveils her designs in 12-piece “mini-drops.” She is currently focused on realeasing at least five new pieces every month on

@jadalebour on Instagram

By the time she was eight, Jada LeBour knew how to sew and had discovered her love for fashion. However, it was not until her teenage years that she believed she had the ability to truly be successful in her craft. Placing all bets on herself, she dropped out of fashion school to pursue Jada LeBour full-time. 

“I always knew I wanted to do it though, even when I was younger. I’ve known how to sew since I was eight, but I never knew that there was a career in fashion because back then it was not something we saw so frequently like we do now. But once I saw that people can really make a living off of this I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, I have to do this. I really want to do this’” told Jada Lebour.  

In the future, Jada Lebour hopes to be a luxury brand, widely known around the world. She also hopes to inspire other creatives to believe in themselves. 

She said, “No matter where you come from, you can do design, you can do fashion, you can do anything in the creative world…I want people to look at what I’ve done and know that they can do it too.” 

For Aliens and People Who Feel Like Aliens

“This could have happened to anybody, but the fact that this happened to me in the era of communication—in this time where email, phone, text, social media and we’re all connected and we’re all together. Maybe this was the perfect time to make clothes for aliens or for people who feel like aliens. They had no way of contacting or speaking about it before, but now in the privacy of their own home and in the comfort of your own home, you can be like ‘wow this person gets me and I can wear this clothing and I can feel good about myself.'”

Monique Charlie Petrovsky

Clothing designer, Monique Charlie Petrovsky, is the creative behind the eccentric up-and-coming brand, Remordur. Based in Los Angeles, Remordur, is dedicated to creating unique pieces that speak to the individual. However, the “individual,” may not be who you suspect. Petrovsky’s most frequent customers are Remordians, who, according to Petrovsky, are beings from another galaxy, living on planet Remordur.

“I am under the impression that I am being told by–and I don’t know maybe they’re gods or who knows who they are–people or beings from Remordur, what to create to make beings from their planet more comfortable here on our planet” says Petrovsky.

Unlike other artists who gain their inspiration from life experiences, Petrovsky says that she receives all of her design ideas from the Remordians themselves. Sometimes this can be frustrating because her creative process moves more slowly than the creatives she knows who are able to create from seemingly anything. But, Petrovsky is also thankful for the messages because they allow her to understand exactly what the Remordians need.

After receiving her design ideas, Petrovsky ventures to old junkyards looking for recycled materials like old army bags, belt buckles and chains that she uses to create jackets, pants, etc. When she finishes designing, Petrovsky waits for a Remordian to come pick up the clothing and they take pictures.

However, Petrovsky does not receive any monetary compensation for her work as she claims, “I wouldn’t be true to my art, I wouldn’t be true to my design. I wouldn’t be true to Remordur and what I really believe Remordur is if I asked people to pay for the clothing. Because, really, money and payment, that’s all human, and even though I’m human, it’s not Remordur.”

It can be difficult to run a brand like this. Petrovsky is the only person she knows who receives these messages. This can make it difficult for her to know exactly what to do next, making this entire venture an ongoing learning process. She remains inspired because her goal is not only to create clothing, but to produce an accepting space for some of the most misunderstood groups.

“It’s not for everybody, obviously…It is for the few people who do come to me and completely and immediately understand the vision. And maybe they are human, but there is something in them that doesn’t feel human, and I speak to that something, that little alien in everybody,” explains Petrovsky.

Petrovsky has plans of expanding Remordur into an entire lifestyle brand, with Remordur-oriented beauty salons, hotels, and a Remordur modeling agency.

Her designs, and more information about Remordur, can be found on Instagram (@remordur) and on

View some of Monique Charlie Petrovsky’s work below:

Meet Alasia Shalai, the 24-year-old Powerhouse Behind Shalai Studios

Shalai Studios was started just over two years ago by Maryland native, Alasia Shalai. 

Shalai was working as a styling assistant in New York, when she noticed that brands were not offering fashionable streetwear for women. As the founder, creative director and photographer behind Shalai Studios, Shalai hopes to create streetwear that women can feel both comfortable and beautiful in. 

“You can be that boyish, rugged girl and still be the baddest bitch,” said Shalai.

Now, Shalai Studios has grown into a sough-after clothing brand, with over ten thousand followers on Instagram. Most recently, Shalai released the “Tomboy” collection, featuring “Tomboy” bedazzled across sweatpants and t-shirts to highlight the fact that women can be both comfortable and stylish. 

When starting her own business, Shalai had dreams of fun photoshoots and glamorous events. However, Shalai soon learned that owning your own business was much more technical than fun, and that you often have to put business first. 

“The business part of it is very important. It’s easy to look back and be like ‘Damn I didn’t make the profit I should’ve made.’ It goes beyond designing and photoshoots. There are real technical things behind it,” explained Shalai to SiKK Magazine. 

Nevertheless, Shalai believes that the work is worth it. She said, “I never want a job or opportunity to make me feel like I can’t express myself fully. That’s why I love being a business owner, because I can express myself fully and my customers can see all that’s in me.”

In the future, Shalai hopes to watch Shalai Studios grow into a booming and profitable business that will allow every woman to feel like their most authentic selves. Shalai Studios is also in the process of creating its first men’s clothing line — stay tuned!

View clothing from Shalai Studios below:



Reclaiming Our Culture

After all of these years of oppression, I feel that it is now our right to create.

Precious Iferika, creatively known as pDub$, is an “all-around-creative,” meaning that she is dedicated to learning about all creative mediums in order to better her brand. 

“I am creative all around. That is why it is called pDub$ Unlimited, because I am learning new things every day to add to my brand,” said pDub$. 

Behind all of pDub$ work comes with a message to push conversations about social and political awareness. Recently, Pdub$ released a collection entitled Black Youth Aren’t Thugs. The idea for this collection was sparked when one of her friends was identified as a criminal and pulled over the police simply because he fit a description. As a counter to this, Pdub$ created a narrative to suggest that Black youth t be viewed as young adults by the police, as other races are, instead of as threats because of the color of their skin. 

In the future, pDub$ will continue her mission of using art to spark social change through opening her own children’s home. She hopes to create a space where struggling youth can receive housing, counseling and art therapy to help them solidify their identities through creativity. 

pDub$ began her brand during a difficult time. She was undergoing sexual harassment and had no one to turn to. She sought to find to her voice and be able to give comfort to those struggling in similar situations. 

“If you met me before the year 2015 you could say that I was a shadow. People who feel the same way I felt can wear my clothes can find the comfort and confidence in them that I found and be happier. I just want people to wear my clothes and be happier.” 

pDub$ creates unisex clothing that every person can find themselves in. 

“With my clothing being as freeing as it is, you find a sense of identity. After all of these years of oppression, I feel that it is now our right to create, and I feel like God didn’t put me here for myself, He put me here for everyone else. I don’t feel like my life is for me, I was meant to exist on a larger scale, to make it count, thats why I strive for this.”

View clothing from pDub$ Unlimited below: