Tell me about yourself.
MJ: My name is Mheri, which means "One whose power is fluid and flows from above". I'm 19 years old and I'm from Brooklyn! I run a fashion blog on Instagram and I'm a brand ambassador/stylist at Staple Pigeon.
What is the "Brown Sugar Collective"?
MJ: Brown Sugar Collective is a group/project I run with 2 friends of mine. Brown sugar perfectly summarizes the type of women we are as well the type of women who identify with this collective. It's not just about being black and a woman, it's about the cultural significance and power that comes with that combination. It's as deep as brown and as sweet as sugar. We hope that everyone will join us on this journey.
Why do you think it's important to give black creatives a space collaborate with other creatives?
MJ: New York City is filled with young creatives whose passions range from photography, film to fashion, and digital media. Using social media as their weapon of choice, millennials have transformed hobbies into self-starting careers. We're aiming to unite the black creatives of NYC. Our goal is to empower and uplift black youth by providing them space to collaborate and partner with their peers. We need to prosper in this world and help each other become the best we can be.
How would you describe your sense of style?
MJ: Honestly, there's no real way to describe my sense of style lol. I want to say streetwear cause that's easier but it really matters on my mood and the season. I tend to dress more hard or "street" in the winter than the summer where I dress more girlie. My style definitely takes on a more 90's, hip-hop feel over all.
What is streetwear to you?
MJ: To me, streetwear is a culture. It's a form of someones expression; they're doing their own thing whether that's gravitating to the more skater look, the 90's hip-hop look, or a little of both. It's pure and something that you make your own.
Not many women could pull off the tomboy chic look. Especially when it comes to rockin' Staple. What is it like interning as a brand ambassador for a brand that is a respected key player in streetwear and sneaker culture?
MJ: It definitely isn't easy to pull off the tomboy look while wearing staple, at least for me since the clothes are mostly sized for men, but I make it work. Interning at Staple has truly been awesome. It's such a creative space where everyone is open to new ideas and they definitely leave room for me to learn. I always wanted to work with Staple after I was first exposed to the brand because I knew that the company embodied my definition of streetwear so it was a perfect fit. I will say that since I've been working there, I've been rollin' with the tomboy look more lol.
Are there any women (or men) in the industry who you look up to? Who & why?
MJ: Vashtie is one of my idols. I want to create something for myself where I can incorporate all my passions, beautifully, to have the ultimate creative career experience. She is a multi-talented women who is dominating the game. I admire her work ethic and would hope to one day progress to accomplishing the same. Also, her style is poppin' and she always looks like she's having a blast while working so that's key.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
MJ: 5 years is a long time from now but like I said before, I want incorporate my passions into a career and having fun doing it. Until then I'm going to keep trying new things and having new experiences. We'll see where the journey takes me.
Follow Mheri on Instagram @Grime.Galore!