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Mena Mode collaborates with Stephanie Bijoux
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Mena Mode collaborates with Stephanie Bijoux

This weekend, I had the opportunity to collaborate with Stephanie Omens. She hand makes beautiful jewelry, and asked me to provide clothing from Mena Mode for her shoot. I met Stephanie last year during the IDX fashion show at Emory University. I was a designer and model in the show, and I was able to model Stephanie's beautiful pieces. Since IDX, I focused more on growing Mena Mode and building a strong internet presence. I have a Twitter and Instagram page for my clothing line. I have been recognized by numerous African organizations across Georgia to present my clothing line at fashion shows. Photo shoots are another great way to build brand recognition without the work involved with fashion shows. 

As I maneuver through the fashion industry, I am realizing the importance of collaborating not only with artists that complement your work, but also artists that contrast. There is something attractive (and necessary) about taking risks in fashion world. For this reason, I decided to model with blogger Iyonna Shannon to realize Stephanie's vision for the shoot. I have not modeled in over a year, and it was refreshing to step back into a comfortable realm. Stephanie provided great insight, and she took risks that I would not have. For example, she paired the short flare skirts with head wraps of different prints. Instantly, the photos looked more colorful and force the viewer to appreciate the different prints and color schema. We could have played it safe and matched the skirts and the head wraps. I am glad we decided to mix-n-match. 

I had a blast working with Iyonna and Stephanie. Believe it or not, I have never met Iyonna before.  Her personality made it easy to laugh and smile during the whole shoot. Most of the laughs were so raw that they had to be deleted. Luckily Stephanie was able to capture a few "model-esque" poses that did not show too far up my nose. Look out for more collabs with Stephanie and follow our social media pages for more pics from the shoot.

Check out Stephanie's handmade jewelry at stephaniebijoux.com

-Melissa Issa-Boube

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