By Tiasia Newman
I'm pretty sure I was hip-hop before I even knew what it was. Music artists like Brandy, TLC, and Aaliyah spoke to my heart from the very beginning. From the start, I was always just different. I wore oversized jeans with button up and heels to middle school like somebody's creative arts teacher. Who knew that was exactly who I would one day become…..just on a level untouched, until I put my gifted hands on it. I started in a hair salon at 14 and never looked back. I was groomed as a well-dressed hustler. Only, my product was: love, a listening ear, and a new way to see yourself upon leaving the chair. After a few successful hair shows where the models were dressed to kill, "Tiye the Fashion Stylist" was born! After my first season as the lead stylist for Philadelphia Fashion Week, I was sold for pennies on the dollar. Between Iris Bonner - designer of THESEPINKLIPS, and Smiley Jones - designer of Burning Guitars, I knew I was shifting gears directly into the fashion world with no remorse. Don’t get me wrong! I still love the art of hair, and Kia Sterling - the lead hairstylist of Philadelphia Fashion Week, still inspires me greatly to this very day. However, I learned to marry all aspects of "Tiye the Artist" to become the gatekeeper of fashion. After spending time on learning about the "Who's Who of fashion'', I settled on the life and times of fashion journalist Isabella Blow to be my muse. Over the years, I've realized I'm simply a comfortable misfit who can speak to the heart of fashion. To the rest of the world fashion is just about clothes, but I understand that it can raise the dead! It’s truly a tool of self expression. But sometimes, you have to scream at the top of your lungs JUST to have your voice heard at a whisper. And we all know what can come of the right person doing just that. A woman with low self esteem can be healed by a new hairstyle. Simply offering a different way people see themselves can be like wiping the steam of the mirror and bringing a distorted image into focus. A good pair of shoes can make the meanest gangster step in the name of love to avoid a crease across the front of them.
I've never spent much time looking for praise. I figured out a long time ago this is a thankless job. I learned to clap for myself instead of waiting for an applause. That way, I didn't need anyone's approval to take a bow for my accomplishments.
Work the room and leave an impression; that way my absence is felt and they come looking for me when I'm booked elsewhere! Long days and short nights run together like best friends since my youth. As different as yin and yang, but still as thick as thieves. I've been up and I've been down, but I learned to pack light and enjoy the ride. I no longer look for approval, but give it instead. I gave up looking for a plug, and became one YEARS ago.
Took my lessons, blessing, and struggled and made magic. Now I just run from city to city waving my magic wand around! Molding all my broken pieces into the art of love and addressing as fashion. Most will never open the letter for being caught up in the envelope decorated in labels; some known and some strange, but they will receive it regardless. So here's the first look into my journey of becoming hip-hop’s favorite stylist. Stay tuned as I tell you a story, a tall tale, a feeble, and a biography of my Product of Sacrifice!
Together, we will learn about emerging fashion brands, upcoming moguls in the music industry, and the amazing DJs who bring it all together to create this thing we call "hip-hop". It is my intention to show and prove that 99% of the time, fashion really is just clothes, but 1% of the time…..it transcends into something else. I am, in fact, the 1%. So come see, know, and understand that I turned my scars into beauty marks. Watch as I welcome designer catastrophe into my world of couture ruckus while finding beauty from the ashes…..