Hailing from Miami Florida and Zanesville Ohio, Micah Mcdonald and Wayman Bannerman are a dynamic fashion pair that have electrified the fashion industry with their ability to create classy and bold designs that have attracted premier level clients like Tessa Thompson, Keke Palmer, and Forest Whitaker. Originally an investment banker for JPMorganChase, Wayman was finishing his program at the Fashion Institute of Technology and worked with Henri Bendel as a visual and marketing relations consultant. His commitment to become part of the fashion world paid off and he contributed to publications such as GQ magazine, Vanity Fair, and L’Officiel. Like Wayman, Micah also attended FIT and worked his way through the industry by sharpening his skills as an intern. During his own journey, he captured POVs for Marc Jacobs and later decided to make styling his full time job. 

Photo credit: Stefanie Keenan – Getty Images

Wayman and Micah originally met through a mutual friend who thought it would be a good idea for the two to get to know each other. Initially, Wayman recalled being reluctant to meet Micah but after getting to know each other more “We figured out we had all of these parallels and similarities, we ended up talking all night”. With a friendship born, the two moved into solo successful freelance styling careers before, but it would take some time until they joined forces. Finally in 2013, Wayman and Micah came together after realizing their potential as a unit: “we were doing our celebrity vision boards together in my apartment … we said, what if we try to acquire them together instead of losing them to an outside party. And that’s how we joined forces”. 

Since becoming a duo, the two have only exponentially gotten stronger as a styling wrecking crew that pulls top designs for some of the best known celebrities. Whether it’s designing sleek and nifty suits for Jerry Ferrara or adding vibrant class to Allyson Felix’s formal wear, creativity and purpose is to be expected from W and M. But even more than that, they both strongly believe in creating stylish wear for all kinds of people : “We want to show that we are not only catering to the African-American market … We live a diverse palate—it’s a part of our daily lives—and we want to show we can work with an array of people”. Doing so, Wayman and Micah not only enhance the fashion industry with their design but also with society at large by being able to create artistic clothing that transcends possession of a single group and is able to be appreciated by all lovers of fashion. 

Thrifting is in a new era of immense popularity that is unlikely to die down anytime soon. It’s easy to see why– not only does thrifting allow people to find unique pieces, but it also benefits the environment. People from various financial backgrounds are starting to buy second hand, and the trend is only rising.

Being new to thrifting however, can be overwhelming and at times frustrating. It’s confusing figuring out where to start, so here is a breakdown of thrifting tips and all the ways you can buy second hand:

Consider the demographic around your thrift store
One area can hold multiple thrift stores, and it can be hard narrowing down exactly which thrift store you want to go first. Although Ideally you would want to go to all, sooner or later, a way to figure out where to go first is to look at which end of the clothing spectrum you ‘re looking for. Are you looking for high fashion and pricier vintage clothing  or contemporary clothing that can be sold in current retail stores? After figuring this out, you can find out which neighborhood has thrift stores that are likely to hold the type of clothing you are looking for by looking at its demographic. A simple search for an area’s average income and average age demographic will tell you all you need to know. For example, stores that hold vintage clothing are more likely to be found in an area with a higher average income and older age demographic.

Thrift on weekdays instead of weekends
The weekend is when most people have the most free time: thus, thrift stores get their highest volume of customers during that time, resulting in a depletion of inventory. Additionally, stores typically get their highest number of donations during the weekend, so going on a day like Tuesday or Wednesday means that there will be a newer inventory out on the floor to sort through. If you want to take it one step beyond, you can even ask employees if they know whether or not their store has a particular day they restock on.

Buying second hand online through thrifting sites or resell apps
A common misconception is that buying second hand is limited to going in person to thrift; however, the resale industry spans far and wide online as well. Online marketplaces like those on Facebook or resell apps like Depop, Poshmark, and Grailed make it possible to buy second hand right from home. Clothes range from handmade to discontinued vintage to designer brands, and filters like color, size, and style make it easy to find exactly the type of clothing you are in search of.

Don’t overlook thrift store outlets
Thrift store outlets are where clothing that doesn’t get sold at regular thrift stores end up. Rather than hanging up on a rack, clothing is piled in huge bins where thrifters can dig through hundreds of clothes in one bin. Thrift store outlets are probably the most affordable, as clothing is bought by the pound for as little as two dollars. If you have no prior commitments and don’t mind hunting for hours, this is definitely a place to go to for hidden gems.
(Pro tip: bring gloves)

Go to vintage stores for curated fashion
Thrift stores hold multiple styles, and it can be exhausting looking through them all trying to find that one particular style you like. Enter vintage stores. Vintage stores still sell second hand clothes, but usually carry a curated selection of clothes. Prices can range from twenty dollars to over a hundred. If you are looking for a specific style but don’t want to look through multiple pieces of clothing and aren’t confined by budget, vintage stores are a good place to go to.

A Short Guide to Finding Hidden Gems:
Look at every item
Put on a podcast or music, and take the time to look at every single item. Don’t expect to leave after thirty minutes or find a clothing item you like after only looking at one rack. Thrifting is a culmination of a variety of styles, sizes, and eras, and finding hidden gems means putting in the work to do so. Don’t give up if you can’t find anything you like after the initial skim, it can take up to three, four, or even five laps around the store.

Come up with an item guide before you thrift
If you don’t have the time or energy (it can be draining) to look through every single item, you can come up with a guide before you go in to thrift. If you have a preference for certain materials or a color palette you like your clothing to be, keep that in mind and you can bypass clothing you know you won’t wear.

Look at potential
Play around with the piece of clothing in the fitting room. See how it looks like at its normal length or held back at a shorter one. Buttoned up or tied together. Loose or taken in. A simple crop or dart sewed into a piece of clothing can change its style completely! One of the best things thrifting is how it can be a creative outlet.

Keep in mind about impulse buys and overconsumption
It’s easy for impulse buys to run rampant in thrift stores due to the “low price” trap. Purchase only clothes you need or can see yourself wearing. A way to combat this is to shop with cash only so you have a fixed budget before you go (some stores might be cash only as well), or make a list of the specific type of clothing you are looking for. Although buying second hand is good for the environment, overconsumption can still happen in the thrifting community and it’s important to still buy second hand with the concept of sustainability in mind.

Remember to treat thrift stores employees with respect and leave the thrift store better than when you found it. Happy thrifting!

Over the last few months, photographers have become more creative in adapting to the changing circumstances of a COVID-19 reality. As the need for social distancing constricts the need for contact, the never-ceasing pursuit of passion still fuels creatives across the globe. In this case, within creating images, a new and almost previously unsought form of photography has and will soon become the norm.  

Virtual photography exists to bring a photographer and a client together through virtual/ online lenses, with meeting spaces such as Zoom, Skype, and several others channeling these virtual creative expressions via an online(with the help of a professional). The photographer primarily talks with a client and guides the client on creating the perfect backdrop and finding the most frame-appropriate angles for capturing that “money shot.”

Shot through FaceTime by Tim Dunk (timdunk.com)

With screenshot technology, photographers can creatively turn life-like poses captured in home environments into something remarkable, and what makes for photography bank in the present climes are the editing skills required to transform low-quality images into works of art. Adding a few layers of photoshop and editorial skills onto these images, create portraits good enough to hang over the fireplace, or land on an editorial front cover.  

 

Will virtual photography become the future of photoshoots?

While social distancing and the new principles of less contact create fear in many, it’s hard to believe the world could ever return to its pre-COVID ways again. Even as cities and most activities slowly open back up, will people continue to follow these social patterns they’ve developed? 

It may be a long time before shaking hands is an acceptable greeting or sharing drinks become acceptable in the social contract. Still, in-person photoshoots may be one of the newly outdated standards for the creative industry. Being able to learn and master forms of virtual photography and impeccable editing techniques will be critical factors that define a good photographer in the future.

As virtual photography is touted as an excellent solution for photographers to temporarily keep the photography lights on, it is hard to presume that in-person photoshoots will continue in the upcoming months. People are anxious to return to their regular routine and get on with life as they know it. On the plus side, many of these photoshoots can be done outside if need be. The typical engagement shoot walking through the park or across woodsy acreage is still a possible backdrop in a socially distant future. Photographers could become adapt to taking pictures from a six-foot distance to continue creating these portraits if need be. 

However the case, photographers must embrace the new normal of virtual photography and hone and develop practical photography skills to adapt to this new method of creating images. It is by far the safest method of conducting photoshoots to minimize contact. With this new norm, photographers should accept clients’ wishes to remain distant and adapt to these times creatively.