By Isis Nicole

Fashion bloggers, designers, editors, models, and superstars know Sophy Robson as the coolest nail girl in town. Some even go as far to say that she IS the queen of nail art since putting the pleasure in polish. Deemed nail professional of the year, her recent collection comes in a variety of designs inspired by luxury, culture and colours. Having been apart of so much in both London and the States, Robson dominates the nail game as a pioneer and creator in nail art history; just a few reasons to my fascination with Robson and what she is responsible for.

In the hub of London Fashion Week 2011, Robson took over the nail designs at TOPSHOP, focusing on Egyptian styled manicures. She incorporated hieroglyphics as a way to fulfill the request of graphics to match its fashion show Egyptian theme. After the show, I asked Robson about her decision to design.

“I checked the references and some of the fabrics and made up some colours to go with it. I wanted the thumbs and toes gold so they would shine as the girls walked down the runway. Then I added little hieroglyphic style designs, like a pyramid and the all seeing eye to each nail. It was a lot of work, but fortunately me and my team pulled it off! ,” Robson said.

Sophy Robson also took part in doing the nail designs at Vivienne Westwood SS2012 show, working with light and dark shades of green that paralleled the makeup of each model. I was blown away after seeing some of the photos from backstage posted on her now personal blog So So Fly Nails, as I am a sucker for pastels and oceanic ambiance. “I have been working with Vivienne Westwood about four years now and I love her. It is always the favorite show of my team,” Robson said after I asked what her experience was like.   “The atmosphere is always mental with all the people packed into a cramped backstage area. There are always Westwood devotees mixed with A- list celebrities. Janet Jackson made an appearance one year, but this time Pamela Anderson was hanging out. The styling team at Vivienne Westwood always thinks totally off the wall, and we mixed up loads of different green shades not many would dare but it worked!,” Robson said.

Many of the painted nails seen on the covers and or campaign ads of fashions top magazines have been blessed by the hands of Robson. One of my recent favorites is her striking red nail on Kate Moss for Rimmel London. It’s simple, classic and sexy. But as a blogger for Sophy Robson, I know that she is just as much a fan and doer of elaborate nail art. Embedding gems, glitter, jewelry, metals, fabric, you name it, and it can be done.

I was invited by Sophy Robson to join her newest brand Nail Porn, a revolutionary beauty and entertainment scene, gaining more fans of nail art by the day. Robson and her assistant, Siobhan Bell decided to turn what I started out as a contributor for since the very beginning, So So Fly Nails, into Robson’s personal blog, ridding her use for her website on Wordpress. This is a way to keep things easy and instant, leaving This Is Nail Porn to being the young adult version of the extreme nail art blog that So So Fly is known for. I can’t express how proud I am to be part of such a clever movement. Never in my dreams did I picture my love for nails to be my access to fashion journalism. Not to mention, how a girl like me gets so lucky to be under the brush of Sophy Robson. I still have yet to take for granted such a good thing.


Bigger Than Hip Hop

By Isis Nicole

Making a dent in the world of Hip Hop is just the beginning for George Clark III, also known as Flow Clark and or Kidd Flow. Opposite of many flashy rappers with big chains and countless tattoos, Flow Clark by way of Dayton, Ohio enters Dwight Lofts with a low profile wearing all black everything from his jacket down to his shoes and a scarf to stay warm during the spring in Chicago. But his muted apparel does not reflect his wholly articulated music. The 20-year-old member of Cincinnati duo Young Duece puts his all into song lyrics with a vulnerable wit that stipulates success. Quite impressive for a Columbia College Chicago student who’s ultimate goal is to be happily involved in music. No fame necessary but very much included. “I know a lot of people get into the industry because they want it. I just became a lover of music,” he says. Flow’s adoration for music started during his years of junior high school after splitting up with his former rap group Blockbusters. He thereafter teamed up with PJ Milly Ricks to create Young Duece. “Working with Flow is awesome. When I’m with him I feel like I made it but we haven’t made it yet. We both are being smart at becoming genius,” says PJ Milly Ricks. “My step dad came to me with a torn out page of Essence that was having this song writing contest called Bring Back the Music. He said I should do and I was like shit might as well,” says Flow. “I sent in the song that me and PJ had done called “Turn the Music Up”, forgot about it and then one day on the way back home from school I had a voicemail from Essence saying that I made it to the top 10. At that point I really felt like I could do it. Being acknowledged by the magazine gave me the confidence to believe in my music,” he says.

In 2007 Young Duece released The End of the Beginning. Since then the group has put out ten CD’s which consist of mixtapes and original work, including their latest album Commercially Underground that is available to buy on iTunes, and The Remixtape 2, released in January 2011. “As producers we did the Traphik album along with some work for “High School Sucks the Musical” which has like 6,000,000 views on YouTube and our most recent feature on a major artist’s project was with Talib Kweli’s Black Smith Community mixtape,” he says. “I don’t know if I told you but Talib Kweli was one of the first real Hip Hop artists that I had grown to be inspired by. My uncle put me on to him at a young age and that experience definitely got me to learn the craft of Hip-Hop. So for him [Talib Kweli] to acknowledge my work was definitely a big moment in my life.” And while pioneers in Hip Hop are showing love to the duo, Young Duece continues to expand their presence on stage opening for acts including Afro Man, Curren$y, and Mac Miller. They have also gone on to make a name off stage through collaborations with artist of the Midwest and East coast. DJ Wellblended─ also a producer, is one of their gems who incorporates what Flow refers to as the craft of Hip-Hop. “When I’m producing for Young Duece I just try to keep the music upbeat and original,” says DJ Wellblended. In addition to aligning themselves with one of the illest DJ’s, Young Duece keeps close connects with some of their imminent peers. “One we have in the works is with a guy named Brandun DeShay who actually goes to Columbia College Chicago. He was just at SXSW,” Flow says. “I feel like in the case working with Flow Clark, it’s been more mutual. We both been able to introduce new ideas to each other and more importantly, new fans. Like minded artists always have great ways to benefit each other and I hope I can turn my fans onto his and his duo’s work because they got some really great work out there. Vice versa of course. We working on a song and video now, but won’t be able to finish it until our schedules free up more,” says Brandun DeShay. “We’re also working with Elbee Thrie from New York,” says Flow. “He was apart of a group called Phony People and he actually produced our tune “If I’m Awake”. *SIDENOTE: Elbee Thrie is also a featured model in Calvin Klein’s CKONE ad with Lara Stone, Cassie Ventura and more.

Young Duece has already shot their next music video for the single “Impossible”, and is scheduled to be released by summer. When asked about the hype attached to being seen with rappers, Trinh Tran, who plays the love interest of Flow Clark, says, “I’ve recently gotten comments by people who have seen me in another music video before and they automatically think I’m some kind of ‘video vixen’ simply because I want to help out friends. Its stereotypes of video girls that make the girls who are doing it for fun seem like they’re trying to get famous or whatever.”

With all the busyness and work Flow Clark faces on a day to day basis, it’s no surprise that his personal life and dating has changed as an artist too. “Well as far as girls, I don’t know. I guess I get more attention from girls but I pay less because I’m in a different mind state. The last time I had a girlfriend was in high school and I probably took it a bit too seriously. The outcome of that was bad for me and I’m just really trying to focus on what the fuck I’m about to do with my life and how I’m going to make this music shit work,” he says. “I really don’t have to cater to things that might be required with relationships you know. I have a lot of lady friends but not anything I would consider serious.”

Even though there’s not a leading lady in the life of Flow Clark, there is indeed a definite commitment between him and his music. With a voice laid back yet secure in his future he says, “In the next five years if I’m not actually being the face of music I wouldn’t mind doing production under our company Nu Theory Productions. If we don’t become famous artists as rappers I wouldn’t mind being behind the scenes writing songs for other people. Fame is secondary. If we have to become famous to make a living then I’m all for it, but I definitely don’t need fame.”