Fashion

LaQuan Smith
“LaQuan Smith LLC”


Recently launched in 2010, La Quan showcased his collection “Water Goddess” featuring handcrafted tailored clothing reminiscent of the ocean, sand, sea creatures, and ethereal goddesses. The LaQuan Smith woman is the personification of modernity, sensuality, and liberation in femininity. At only the age of 22, LaQuan Smith has dressed Tyra Banks, Rihanna, Sandra Bernhard, Lady Gaga, Alicia Keys and countless other Icons of Style. Touring his 1st collection around the globe from South Africa to Athens Greece, LaQuan Smith has been making a name for himself as America’s newest and youngest Couturier. Mentored by Andre Leon Talley and Peggy Cooper Cafritz, LaQuan Smith is sure to be the next talented star in fashion and art. “Story Book Path” is LaQuan Smith’s 2nd Collection.
Website: www.laquansmith.com

Dabanga Dos Santos
“Dabanga Jewelry”


 Dabanga Dos Santos is a self-taught, multi media jewelry artist who likes working with metal-especially copper; before picking up the hammer & torch. She worked professionally as a microbiologist at the Faculty of Medicine of the Eduardo Mondlane University in her homeland of Mozambique doing research in endemic cholera and hospital infections. She uses her gift to support many fund raising efforts; especially Autism and Habitat for Humanity.
Women who tell their own story; love odd combinations; thrive on show stopping pieces, and are equal opportunity wearers of the “real” and “fake” are her destination customers. Her work is a contemporary ethnic synthesis of world cultures. Materials used are copper, brass, SS or silver tone. Each piece is given a patina for an ancient look; the colors and pattern variations of the metals are characteristics of this process.

Odd shaped, misshaped, crooked pearls, sea treasures & gemstones are large players in the confection of her pieces- giving them a raw, ancient look & feel. Samples of Dabanga’s work can be seem in AfroStyle’s Magazine’s photo gallery.
Website: www.dabanga.com

Television

Rhoda Wilson
“Rhoda Wilson Show”


Confident, sultry and attractive are words used to describe the popular television presenter Rhoda Wilson. Rhoda Wilson was born in Nigeria and led an eclectic, international upbringing, undertaking her education at the prestigious Hurtwood House Boarding school in Dorking, England. With her solid educational background Rhoda Wilson went on to lead a successful career in the financial and energy sectors. Her experience in some of the world’s most prestigious firms has given Rhoda a strong skill-set with an ability to manage teams and develop successful strategies. With this skill set Rhoda has been able to speak at major events as well as offering mentoring to individuals who aspire to be the best. In 2003, Rhoda founded Cosmo Music which successfully showcased World Music across the UK clearly illustrating her strong business acumen.

The Rhoda Wilson show launched in 2005 on OBE TV and has gained critical acclaim across the digital television ever since. Recently moving to BEN TV (Sky Channel 184) the show, aired weekly, currently has a viewership of circa 1,300,000 per show. With a wide mix of subject matter, Rhoda selects her guests across the UK with the central theme of Inspiration at the helm.

A serial networker, social advocate with an incredible passion for her job, Rhoda’s goal for her show is to make a difference and is committed to making this happen. This passion is reflected by her founding the African and Caribbean Women’s Achievement and Leadership Foundation in 2007; another example of the formidable nature of Rhoda’s talents.
Website: www.rhodawilson.com

Community

Debra Bowles
“Women Called Moses Organization”


In 2003, Nixon-Bowles started “Women Called Moses” Coalition and Outreach Inc., a non-profit organization that helps battered women and their children. Inspired by the idea of “Harriet Tubman” who with her own intricate network, created a plan to help thousands of slaves out of bondage and on the path to freedom, Bowles also goes in the middle of the night, helping battered women escape their abusers and sets them up in safe houses or shelters until they can figure out their next steps. In her estimate, Nixon-Bowles has helped at least 500 of these women in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area escape but gets calls from all over the country. Website: www.womencalledmoses.org

Paul Ogren
“From War to Peace”


 Paul Ogren and his wife Sandee shared a dream. They dreamt of a world without war. They dreamt of a world where the trillions of dollars routinely spent on guns, bombs and war are instead invested in curing disease and building good schools. They dreamt of a world where bombs turn into beauty, hate into love, and war into peace. “From War to Peace” is their attempt to make that dream real. From War to Peace is dedicated to recycling weapons of war into peaceful symbols of beauty and function.  The most violent weapons ever conceived and created by man have been reformed and turned into exquisite works of personal art.  Metals from disarmed nuclear weapons are used create Peace Bronze, a wonderfully rich alloy used to cast jewelry and art dedicated to creating a more peaceful world. From War to Peace is a green company that recycles everything, making the old newly useful and all plastics used are biodegradable. The Peace Bronze itself made is recycled from missile system cabling. As a company that gives back, they donate twenty percent of all profit to deserving peace and social justice organizations in the U.S.A. and around the world.
Website: www.fromwartopeace.com

By Amber Henry