All Posts By Dominique Barchus

Logan Browning Talks ‘Hit The Floor,’ ‘Dear White People,’ and Self-Worth

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Atlanta-born Hit the Floor and Powers star Logan Browning exudes beauty, grace, and passion in all that she does, even when she’s playing the “mean girl” we all love to hate or even hate to love. Embarking on her newest project as Samantha White in Netflix’s adaptation of the 2014 film Dear White People, making its debut in 2017, the rising actress tells us about her guilty pleasures, dating, self worth, and staying true to herself. Be sure to catch her in Hit the Floor’s one-hour special this Labor Day, September 5.

 

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Cliché: You’ve appeared in The Bratz Movie, Meet the Browns, Hit the Floor, and Powers, and now you’re embarking on your newest undertaking in Dear White People. Having played various roles, which has been your favorite and why?
Logan Browning: What I like most about my career is that each job has prepared me for the next. I continue to be challenged by the scope of the project, character, genre, etc. Bratz was my first movie so everything was new and fun because I was a teenager experiencing having a full-time job on a film set. Meet the Browns was in many ways a sitcom boot camp. We filmed an episode each day, which is an unheard of pace. Being able to improvise comedy became an integral skill as well as retaining new material at a rapid pace. Hit the Floor has overall been my most challenging role yet because of how physically and emotionally demanding it is. I was not a professional dancer before the show, and we do a full dance number each episode. My character is so nuanced; she takes a lot of my time and attention to fully commit to bringing her to life. In Powers, I got to live every actor’s dream and play a superhero! We have an amazing stunt team with whom I train for fight scenes along with being hoisted in the air on wires to look like I’m soaring around the city. For me, it’s hard to pick a favorite role because each holds a special place in my heart and has propelled my career in a favorable direction. For each project, I am grateful for the lessons and memories.

For me, it’s hard to pick a favorite role because each one holds a special place in my heart.

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Bathing Suit: Kopper & Zinc

Touching on your characters a bit, you’ve played some mean girl roles, like Jelena on Hit the Floor, but you exude this humble and sweet personality. How does it feel playing characters like that?
Well thank you. It’s just fun! I play extreme dress-up for a living. Playing characters who appear different from how people see me is a constant exploration. [I like] trying to understand the way they think, react, and make choices. It is enjoyable to experience another life. I could say it’s like meeting someone new each time and then they become a life-long friend or acquaintance—depending on the character. I will have all of my characters with me forever. I know them as separate from me, which allows me to be free in making the boldest choices possible when bringing them to life.

Congratulations on your new role as Samantha White in Netflix’s upcoming series Dear White People! That’s exciting! I’ve seen you on social media as one of many celebrities that speak up about the racial issues in society. So with that, what does being part of this series mean to you and what new challenges do you think you’ll encounter playing your character Samantha?
Thank you so much! I’m honored and excited to be a part of this project and the Netflix family. Netflix original shows have a charm and a vulnerability that is refreshing in this age of commercial break cliff-hangers and oversaturation of ‘reality’ television. Stranger Things is my current indulgence; well, it was until I finished it in two days!

Becoming Samantha will challenge me to create a character who wears many masks. She is fighting for and struggling with the one thing she cannot take off: her color. Currently I’m engulfed in a part of my preparation where I’m researching the history of colorism and African civilization. I believe the biggest challenge will be in the eyes of the viewer of every race, to embrace this social satire as entertainment, art, and a necessity.    

I am constantly evolving as a woman, an actress, and a brand.

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If you could pick any type of movie and be cast side-by-side with an actor you’re dying to work with, what genre would it be and which actor would you choose?
I get this question a lot, and unfortunately my answer is very simple: I have no idea! The most fun I’ve had as an actress has come from the ‘unknown.’ I don’t want to predict my career too much. I can say, in terms of genre, I would love to do a big box office Marvel movie someday.

So, if you weren’t acting, what do you think you’d be doing instead?
Well I’m not actually acting 24/7, so I do have time to be doing other things occasionally. I’ve recently rediscovered a love for reading. I’m intrigued by philosophy studies as well as poetics. I am currently studying French. I would love to be an interior designer, house flipper, creative head of an advertising agency, or maybe run my own business. I have an affliction for American homelessness as well as a passion for the development of confidence and future planning of young women. I’m young myself, and open to life’s possibilities. Who’s to say I won’t eventually pursue one or all of those things?

When I’m off, I actually still like to be pretty busy. A great morning run followed by brunch with someone I love, maybe later a museum or some other socially/emotionally stimulating activity, and end with making a yummy dinner or trying a place I’ve never been with some of my favorite cast-mates. Movies, plays, and live music are always winners in my book.

Okay, let’s talk hair! I’ve seen you post your naturally big, beautiful, curly hair on Instagram and your message of embracing your most authentic self. How do you stay true to yourself in the industry?
Thank you for noticing and complimenting! Honestly, I’m still learning who exactly it is I’m staying true to. I am constantly evolving as a woman, an actress, and a brand. I decided I wanted to embrace my curly hair because I thought it was beautiful. I love that it is an extension to the world of my DNA and who God made me to be, and it’s also so much easier than straightening. I love being a ‘curly girl.’ I know it’s not for everyone, but I do hope that my actions and intentions will positively influence the world around me. My hope is that everyone feels comfortable and confident in their own skin. By owning our own beauty, we give others the permission to do the same.

By owning our own beauty, we give others the permission to do the same.

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Maxi Dress: AMI Clubwear; Necklace and cuff: NMD

We’ve all got one when it’s time to indulge. What is your guilty pleasure?
I am an avid ‘people watcher!’ I’m not exactly sure if that counts as a guilty pleasure, but if I could sit somewhere unseen and watch people or listen to their conversations, I’d be very entertained!

You’re beautiful, young, and successful, but we rarely see you in the media making headlines about love connections, which in retrospect is a good thing, but tell me: what’s the story on your dating life?
Over time, I’ve learned to keep my dating life from being too public. The word itself—dating—should be reason enough. When you’re dating, you’re getting to know people. In that process, relationships will flourish and fail. You already have to deal with the beauty and the pain on your own for a time. Extending that to the public creates the potential to lengthen a painful breakup. It’s also not my prerogative to have multiple partners attached to me in the public eye forever. I’m very picky about who I allow into my world, but you still won’t catch me parading my relationships on social media or around town for the aforementioned reasons.

Just to leave us with some wise words, tell me: what do you consider to be your five keys to success?
1. Work hard
2. Have gratitude
3. Have fun
4. Be prepared
5. Constantly improve

Read more Entertainment Interviews on ClicheMag.com

Logan Browning Has Arrived: Photographer: Quavondo, Makeup: Lysette Castellanos, Stylist: Melissa Lynn. Featured Image: Metallic Dress: Wow Couture, Gold Disc Earrings: Wanna Collection.

Massy Arias Proves She is a Beauty and a Beast

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Fitness guru and dancing queen Massy Arias proves to us that fit is the new sexy. Sharing uplifting words, she’s a woman with a heart of gold and on a mission to not only motivate people physically, but to build them up to be mentally and emotionally strong. Here, she tells us how she found happiness in being fit and in love, while building an empire of her own.

Cliché: Everyone does something that they consider to be an escape, so why is focusing on your fitness that outlet for you?
Massy Arias: Since exercise releases endorphins in your body that make you feel good, it is the tool I use to keep myself grounded, focused, and live an exciting life. I am always finding new ways of staying active and that means meeting new people, visiting new places I never thought I’d go to, and keeping my mind occupied while doing something positive. I usually end up doing things I’ve never done before and getting a kick out of them. There is never a day where I don’t meet someone I find really cool and have a great time. My day is full of positive energy and that’s why fitness is my escape to a happy place.

What was life like for you coming to the U.S. in comparison to being in the Dominican Republic?
Being that the majority of my family is back in the Dominican Republic, I think life was very hard. I had to adapt to a culture I wasn’t familiar with, and as a teenager, it was tough to overcome the insecurities that brings.

How would you describe your fitness journey?
My fitness journey hasn’t been easy, but it has been the most rewarding experience so far. I have had so many downs, but in those downs I have found that I am very strong-minded. My journey has been exciting, but it has definitely brought its challenges. It has given me purpose and continues to bring out the best in me.

You regularly post motivating words to your followers. What is the most important message you’re trying to send to them?
On a fitness level, I want them to always strive for progress and not perfection. When trying to reach any goals in fitness, many of us don’t take into consideration all the variables that influence overall physical progress. We want to believe in the idea of instant gratification and set unrealistic goals that are unsustainable.

I will give you a really good analogy that can be applied for different scenarios: If someone loses 1 pound a week, that is about 50 pounds in the year. Slow progress is still progress and obsessing over slow progress will only hinder your motivation to continue working towards your goals.

If you are really out of shape, you can start walking because walking will soon turn into jogging, then running, and finally you will be sprinting. Your body is a machine that adapts to the stress you put it through. Don’t get discouraged because you are not at the level you want to be yet. If you strive for progress, you will always stay positive because every day you are trying to become a better version than you were yesterday. Don’t quit because you’re not getting there as fast as you thought.

massy 2You’re constantly put into the category of “#bodygoals.” What exactly is your goal with your physique?
To be quite honest, I don’t think I have any aesthetic goals as of right now. Many of us do not realize that our bodies are actually a machine that adapts to whatever stress we put it through. So instead of focusing on an aesthetic goal that might hinder my motivation based on the time it might take me to get there, I am putting all my focus on my performance. By always improving on my performance, I know that my body will change accordingly. My goal is to stay healthy and, above all, happy.

A little birdy told me that you’re engaged! Congrats! Want to give us a little inside recap of your love story?
Yes, to Stefan. Ironically, we met on social media, but before the craziness of today. [Laughs] An online friend connected all of us in a group chat, trying to assemble a group of fit influencers. One day, Stefan decided to call me out of the blue and I decided to call him back. He was in Los Angeles, and I was in New York. We began texting, then speaking every day, and after a year, we knew we needed to meet. I took a flight to go meet a man I had never met before. As cliché as it sounds, it was love at first sight. We dated long-distance, coast to coast, for a year before we decided that we should be on the same coast. We then lived in New Jersey for a year, then returned to LA thereafter, where we still live today. We want to have a simple beach wedding this summer and make it official.

You’re more than just a fitness guru, but also a businesswoman. Can you touch a little on what you’ve been doing?
When I first started my own personal training business, I was focused solely on training clients in person. As my client listing and popularity grew, I realized how many people I wasn’t able to connect with. I started with an online system and ran it through my own website. In addition to working with clients online, I created The MA30Day system—my personal 4-week nutrition and workout program. Since it’s gone live, our clients have lost over 70,000 lbs collectively.

As my personal brand and social media presence continued to grow, I wanted to capitalize in a conscious way by helping guide others and teaching them my concepts. I saw many people promoting products and selling items that they didn’t believe in, and I knew it wasn’t for me. I’ve been patient and have built long-lasting professional relationships and partnerships that I feel strongly about. I’m currently a spokesperson for a plant-based supplement company, and have recently come out with my own series of products, which I am extremely excited about. I won’t ever work with a brand or represent a product that I don’t personally use or believe in. I have a few projects on the board for 2016, but I’m not sure I’m ready to share those just yet. [Winks]

You’ve been through a lot of trials and tribulations in life. What advice would you give those who feel like they’ve hit rock bottom?
My advice to those who are hitting rock bottom is to embrace whatever they are going through instead of sinking deeper into it. Once you embrace your situation, you can start seeking the help of those who love you unconditionally. Your friends and you family can be of tremendous help, but only if they are aware of what you are going through. Know that in every situation in life, there is room to grow and to learn. That is extremely important. If we can look at our past mistakes as lessons, we will realize that failure is another form of learning how to get better at whatever is that is holding us back.

Read more Health articles on ClicheMag.com

Massy Arias Proves She is a Beauty and a Beast: Photographed by Paul Smith

Joseph Sikora Talks ‘Power’ and His Character, Tommy

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A hustler with a heart of gold or regular Joe Schmoe? Actor Joseph Sikora, known as Tommy to some, gives us a behind the scenes brief on what it’s like being on the hit TV series Power, which is returning for a third season this July.

Cliché: First off, congratulations on the new season of Power!
Joseph Sikora: Yes, thank you! It’s a really exciting season; I’m really proud of it. It was really interesting just how Courtney Kemp Agboh really capitalized on the second season and the tumultuous relationship between Tommy and Ghost, in terms of exploring the topics of family and loyalty and realizing what those bonds are. Sometimes there are these real deep things in your psyche that are existent for most people, but specifically for Tommy and Ghost, they’re reacting out of really old, deep bonds.

Yes, I was actually looking at that [on Instagram]. I see you and Omari Hardwick (Ghost) are actually really close off-screen. I love that dynamic.
Yeah, we are close friends. He’s a special human being. He’s a wonderful, giving man and such a talented actor, but it’s also the other aspects of his daily life. He’s such a great dad and an incredible poet. He’s big on education and does talks specifically with black youth. He’s really a special human being.

So let’s talk a little about your character Tommy. Do you find similarities between the two of you, or are you guys polar opposites?
I think the similarities between me and Tommy are we both tend to be really angry guys and go from 0-60. However, the difference there is that I had six years of therapy and I understand why I get angry and what my triggers are and I own my anger, whereas Tommy’s anger owns him. I think that we are both also very loyal people. I think that even though he does some treacherous things and makes Power almost hard to watch sometimes, his soul is true, his intentions are true, and he’s not a liar, and I think some of those are the reasons why people can’t just say, “Oh, this guy is despicable,” because he has all of these admirable qualities. He’s like a real person; he’s balanced, just like me, just like all of us.

Many fans of the show are obsessed with him.
There’s a multiplicity of emotion in the character, but I get it: he’s a sexy motherfucker, isn’t he? [Laughs] I guess it’s a bit of a turn-on when a guy can protect you and provide for you. I think women see that he’s a strong guy who’s good with a gun and who’s honest and loyal; it seems like a good package. The only thing that’s negating is that he’s a little off. Sometimes I watch and I’m like, “I’d be scared of me.” I’d be scared of that guy.

When you first started acting, did you think you’d be where you are today?
I don’t know. I’ve always thought there would be some sort of success because I wasn’t better than good at anything other than acting. Sometimes when I was acting, I really felt like a vessel. I felt like there was something that wasn’t there before; it felt a little like magic. Something was getting created out of nothing and that happened here with me. I’m proud of Power; I think it’s a great, undervalued show. Sometimes people [see] hustlers, guns, and drugs, and are like, “Nah, I’m not into that,” but I think if people take the time to watch the show, they’ll really see different aspects of their own life.

You have an extensive list of actors you’ve worked with, but is there anyone you’re dying to work with on a dream project?
I would love to play on Brothers with Michael Shannon. The first time I ever saw him act, I was 14 and I was taking acting classes at Piven Theatre Workshop. Mike was doing a play called Killer Joe at the Next Theatre in Illinois and I was just so blown away. I think if I could have any actor’s career, it would be his. He is [not only] one of the most outstanding actors, but one of the most upstanding people I’ve ever come across. I would also really love to work with Phylicia Rashad. She’s amazing. I would love to act with her, but I would also love to be directed by her. I just feel like she has kind of this special, old soul.

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If there was any other career you might have chosen, what would it have been?
Well, I’ve always put my name on the list for the Chicago fire department. In Chicago, unlike New York, you have to live in the city to work for the city. So growing up on the far northwest side of the city, my neighborhood was predominately firemen, cops, or city workers, so most of my friends, or at least the people I grew up with, are cops, firemen, or city workers. I figured that I would be, too.

What is the craziest encounter you’ve ever had with a fan?
I think they’re relatively tame; I’ve got to say fans are usually disappointed that I don’t talk and act like Tommy, especially when we are coming right off the series; I’m still in great shape, I still have the haircut, and I think we have a bit of a reciprocal tough swagger. People, especially on the subway, will be like, “Yo Tommy, yo Tommy, that’s my guy Tommy,” and I’ll be like, “Hey man, what’s your name?” and he’ll be “Jim” or something, and I’ll say, “Hey Jim, I’m Joseph.” Yeah, they’re not into that. I’ll start talking and they’ll see that I don’t have a thick New York accent or they’ll be like, “I thought you were bigger,” and I’m like, “Yeah bro, you know, television. I don’t know what to tell you. Sorry.” [Laughs] Then they walk away and I’m like, “Oh man, did I disappoint them?”

What would you say is the biggest downfall with being in the public eye, especially on a show that’s so popular right now?
Almost none. I’m very, very grateful. I love the fans and I don’t mind the attention. I mean, sometimes it’s difficult if I’m trying to shop. The salespeople leave from behind the counter to take a picture or if I’m at the airport and about to miss a flight, the TSA people are like snapping photos and I’m like, “Are you supposed to be doing this? Aren’t you on camera? Won’t you get in trouble?” [Laughs] But to me, those are such slight things. I’m very blessed.

What’s the most influential piece of advice someone has ever given you?
The most important thing is to teach people how to treat you and that’s not easy to do. I’m a people pleaser; I want people to be happy and I’ll go the extra mile to make somebody else happy at my own expense. You have to teach people what your boundaries are. Tell them, “I won’t do that,” or “I won’t sacrifice that much.” You have to love yourself more and put yourself first.

Read more Entertainment Interviews on ClicheMag.com

Joseph Sikora Talks ‘Power’ and His Character, Tommy: Photographed by Quavondo

Allison Williams Celebrates Keds’ 100th Birthday with 100 Shoes

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100 years, 100 styles! Happy birthday to Keds! In Celebration of Keds turning the big 1-0-0, Collective Creative Director Allison Williams (pictured above) honored the brand yesterday the way it deserves: surrounded by 100 pairs of the classic kicks, of course!

Williams is continuing the centennial year celebration following the launch of new Keds Collective Ladies First during NYFW with Ciara, and she’s doing it in style. 

Bringing us a century of iconic fashion, show off your keds with the hashtag #Keds100.

Happy 100th birthday to Keds! Cliché Magazine wishes you 100 more!

Read more Fashion News on Clichemag.com

Photo courtesy of Keds

How Lornalitz Baez is Inspiring the Fashion Industry

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Fashion model Lornalitz Baez is breaking barriers in the fashion world and inspiring everyone who has ever been told they “can’t” to love themselves regardless and just say “Eff it!” Here, she gives us a look into her struggles with body image, being mixed race, and her hopes for the fashion industry while chasing a life-long dream.

Cliché: We all choose different paths in life, so for you, why was it modeling?
Lornalitz Baez: I’ve always loved photography and having my photo taken. Ever since I was a little girl, I have pictures of me where I’m posing for the camera. My parents say they remember me running toward the camera and I was never really a shy girl. Then around the age of 12, my mom started putting me in beauty pageants. I was tall for my age; I remember at 5 years old, I looked like I was a second grader. [Laughs] So my mother said, “I need to do something with this.” No one in my family was a model. Everyone in my family is either a teacher, a business owner, or a lawyer. I fell into kind of liking the pageantry; I competed in something small for my first competition and I made top 5. I also remember just always being intrigued by fashion magazines and fashion shows. It was always something that I loved. I would always play dress up in my mother’s shoes and in her makeup, so I just think it was always in me because there was no one in my family that was a model or anything like that. I was the first and the only so far.

Who inspires you? Who do you look at and just go, “Wow”?
I always try to gear toward someone that I found was relatable to me, because I’m mixed—I’m Puerto Rican and 40% Japanese and I have more African American, Indian features. Growing up, it was hard for my agents to put me into a category, so I kind of gravitated toward Tyra Banks. It was like, okay, she’s my complexion, she’s tall, she’s beautiful, and a top model, but she didn’t have my body shape because I was very curvy, so with that, I started to gravitate toward J-Lo. You know, she was the first one with the whole booty, the curves, and she’s Puerto Rican. So I would definitely say it’s between Tyra Banks and Jennifer Lopez.

So with that [feeling as if you don’t fit in a certain category], I know you’ve battled with body image. Did that stem from the fashion industry or was it something that transpired before then?
Oh no, that came from the fashion industry. [Laughs] I didn’t even realize my body was an issue until I got in the fashion industry. In my family, everyone is curvy. Everyone is shaped so differently, but there really isn’t a size zero. My cousins are size 12, 14, and 18, but they’re healthy, voluptuous, tall women. No one has ever told me growing up that I needed to lose weight. It was never family; it was definitely the industry. There wasn’t a “junior plus” when I was growing up. So I had to pick and choose. My agency said I had to either lose weight—I was a size 12 at age 12 and 5’8”—or fall into this video vixen-ish type of work because there really wasn’t a market for plus. So when you’re young and this is a dream of yours, you get manipulated a little bit and that’s what happened to me. I was a young girl and I really didn’t know any better, so I told myself, “Okay, I’ll just lose the weight. How hard can that be?” It turned into me losing the weight, but then it became a struggle to maintain the size in order to continue working, and that’s where the whole eating disorder came in because you start trying different diets, and you start experimenting and talking to other models that are also in the same predicament. So then it became me trying this diet pill, and that diet tea and hearing them say, “Just go to the gym, but go three times a day,” and those are all different forms of eating disorders.

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There are many young girls struggling to find their place—not just in the fashion, but in society in general. What advice would you give them having been someone that went through it?
What helped me was just saying “Eff it.” [Laughs] I went through that journey and afterwards, I was able to discover what I wanted and what made me happy. So I tell girls and women of all ages that I got to the point where I was not going to listen to other people anymore and realized I needed to listen to myself and love myself enough to realize that I am enough. I had to remind myself that if they—the fashion industry or people in general—don’t want to accept me, then eff it. I am where I want to be in my life and I do what makes me happy and proud of myself in the end of the day. So my advice is to really internally figure out what is making you feel this way and try to surround yourself with like-minded people, friends, and family that you can really trust, inspirational books and motivational speakers like Les Brown. You have to find yourself. There are so many of us trying to break the barriers in the fashion industry—even myself. I’m trying to break the barrier for the ethnically ambiguous. Not just the black and the white, but the Asian and the Indian and the ones that are mixed like me. The change has been slow, but it’s happening, especially with the first full-figured model on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Now we just need the first full-figured African American, or Asian or mixed model on the cover. I think if that happens, then it opens so many doors for the younger generation to feel more accepted and feel like they have somewhere to fit in.

The Sports Illustrated cover was a huge deal and I think the fashion industry, especially overseas, is taking responsibility in how these models look. I know there are countries that have been putting weight requirements on these girls because they want them to look healthy and have some meat on their bones and I applaud them for that. What do you think about this change?
They don’t talk about it, but it’s because many young models were dying because they were malnourished. That’s the reality of it, and people overseas were complaining and uncomfortable going to these shows and seeing bones on the runway. They made it known that they can’t appreciate the clothing and the fashion when all they’re focused on is the model that looks unhealthy and it’s sad. I think it’s also starting over here, too. I walked in NYFW for the first ever full-figured designer (Ashley Nell Tipton) to win Project Runway and I was her muse. I was the model that was able to close out her show. Also, some designers are letting one or two full-figured models walk with the straight models in shows, so hopefully over time there isn’t a label anymore of straight size or plus size and everyone can just be a “model.”

Tell me about your most fun, most difficult, and most scandalous shoot/modeling jobs you’ve ever done.
The most fun job I’ve done was shooting a Hawaiian Tropics swimsuit spread in Hawaii. I love Hawaii. I just feel I could see myself retiring there.

The craziest shoot was for this magazine and I don’t even remember the name anymore—I think I purposely erased it from my memory. They were trying to do a reshoot of Jesus and the 12 disciples and they tried to throw me into the mix as a temptress, but then they were like, “but we need you topless.” [Laughs] It was the weirdest thing, but this was years ago. [I thought] topless was something you had to be okay with as a model, so I told myself, “Might as well go topless.” That was horrible because the quality of the shoot was terrible. It wasn’t a top photographer, it was just a random shoot, and my mom got to see the pictures and she was not happy about that. [Laughs]

The sexiest one I’ve done—and I’ve done a lot of sexy ones—was a photo shoot in New York City where I wore leopard high waist panties and posed topless. The photographer made me feel really comfortable and the room was filled with cameras because I was filming for an episode of Curvy Girls season 1 on NuvoTV.

What is one of your biggest dreams as a model?
I want to be the first Afro-latina Japanese full-figured Victoria’s Secret model. I want to be an Angel. I would love that. I want to be the face. I want to be with the other models, wings on, walking the runway.

Read more Fashion News on ClicheMag.com

How Lornalitz Baez is Inspiring the Fashion Industry: Photographed by Michael Hermageno

Finding Dory: After 13 Years, Was it Worth the Wait?

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It has been 13 years since the release of Finding Nemo (2003) and Disney Pixar has finally brought us Finding Dory! Written and Directed by Andrew Staton, our favorite fish are back and swimming through yet another ocean adventure, but this time Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), Marlin (Albert Brooks), Nemo (Hayden Rolence), and friends are in a search of Dory’s parents. With the film’s June 17th opening, we have the rundown of 5 things you need to know, expect, and brace yourself for when making your way to see this instant classic.

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1. Bring tissues… seriously
This is specifically for you ’90s babies. If you saw Finding Nemo when it first released, you have built an emotional bond to this story and to have waited 13 years for the sequel, prepare for the film to tug at your heartstrings within the first 5 minutes. Don’t worry, there will be tears of joy and moments of uncontrollable laughter, but nonetheless there will be tears as the film sheds light on the importance of friendship, family, and believing in oneself.

2. It is an emotional rollercoaster
Just when you think things are great, they’re not. Just when you think things have made a turn for the worst, they haven’t. You’ll find yourself talking to the screen and wanting things to hurry along and get to the happy ending, but once again you’re slapped with another obstacle. Brace yourselves. You’ll either be on the edge of your seat in anticipation or sinking in your chair fighting back anxiety–there is no in-between.

3. There will be a lot of “O-M-G” moments
The seamless intertwining of Finding Nemo into Finding Dory will evoke feelings of nostalgia and answer so many questions that you didn’t even know you had. Finding Dory transports you into the past and gives you an in depth look into Dory’s life, both past and present, as she searches for her parents and where she came from.

4. You’ll have an urge to want to speak whale
Trust me, you will. You’ll learn of how Dory developed this unique “skill” and it’ll be almost impossible not to imitate it.

5. It’s worth the wait (hint: stay after the ending credits)
Although we’ve waited 13 years for this sequel to come to fruition, it was well worth the wait. Staton did not miss a beat from the creation of a new and exciting storyline, to staying true to the character personalities and tying in the past with the present. Finding Dory is easily going to be one of the top animated films to ever be released and enjoyed by those both young and old.

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Bonus: Sigourney Weaver
That is all.

zip2it

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Photos courtesy of Movie Web, Screen Rant, IGN and Zap2it

Dancer Asia Monet Chats ‘American Crime Story,’ Acting Advice

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Ten-year-old dancer, singer, and actress Asia Monet is full of life, love, and a whole lot of talent. She may be young, but don’t let her age fool you; she’s taking the entertainment world by storm and loving every minute of it. Sassy, smart, and on the path to stardom, Asia gave us the inside scoop on her struggles as a young performer, her love for Beyoncé, and the secret behind her success.

Cliché: At the tender age of 10, you’ve accomplished so much in the dance, acting, and singing world. Where do you draw inspiration from and who would you say inspires you the most?
Asia Monet: My mom always said I was a self-motivated kid from day one who loves the stage and loves the challenge. I wanted to do everything! I guess she’s right. I’m a total Leo and I like everything about what I do! I’m inspired by people who are strong, driven, passionate, and don’t give up on their dreams. Misty Copeland always comes to mind because her story is so amazing and reading about Oprah’s story is another inspiration. There are so many!

As such a young entertainer, what have been some of your greatest challenges?
I think the challenge of being 5 years old and starting in the entertainment industry first as a dancer is that you want to be so perfect and don’t realize that you have so many years to grow and mature. Since you’re on TV, you are critiqued as if you are a teenager and people forget you’re still a kid. I was always critiqued really hard, and I had to stay strong and stay focused, so my love for what I do wouldn’t be taken from me. It made me grow up fast, but I wouldn’t change a thing. It has made me strong, and now that I’m acting and singing, I’m prepared.

What would you consider to be your biggest strength, weakness, and greatest fear?
My strength is that I am very good under pressure and I can tune things out to stay focused. My weakness, well… I feel it’s trying to please everyone all the time. I have to learn to be stronger and tell myself, “No one can please everyone all the time.” My mom tells me to be happy with myself first. My fear is definitely that I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing right now. I’m so happy acting, singing, and dancing. I feel so blessed and grateful I’m able to do all this. I thank God every day for all my blessings.

Your family is extremely involved in your career. What are the best and worst things about that?
It’s the best. I couldn’t do it without my family and my amazing team around me. Even when there are moments we disagree, it all works out at the end. I know they will always have my best interests at heart… my mom is definitely my rock.

Going from reality television shows like Dance Moms and Raising Asia to playing Sydney Simpson (O.J. Simpson’s daughter) in the scripted series American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson is no problem for you, but which would you say you enjoy more?
One million percent being an actress now in a scripted series is the best. I could never go back; it’s what I’ve always wanted and working hard with my acting coach has prepared me. I’m really in a happy place!

You’ve accomplished so many things in a short period of time, but what would you say has been your greatest achievement or most prized experience thus far?
That’s always hard to answer, but I think I would have to say being on a Ryan Murphy project is pretty amazing. I have always been a fan of his work, and being a part of American Crime Story is on the top of my list. I know a lot of girls auditioned for this role, and I feel blessed that they picked me.

If you had the choice to perform with any dancer, singer, or actor, who would they be?
I think everyone knows this one. Beyoncé (Queen Bey) would be at the top of that list!

Describe your ultimate day off from dancing, singing, and acting. What would you do?
My ultimate day off would be flying somewhere tropical for the day, shopping, seeing a concert, and going to swim with the dolphins. Then I would meet Beyoncé, perform with her, and fly back on a private jet. Then I would wake up from my dream!

As a dancer myself and a music junkie, I constantly have that one song I’m currently listening to on a loop or stuck in my head. What song are you obsessed with now?
“Formation” by Beyoncé and “Work” by Rihanna.

Let’s talk boys. I know you’re 10, but everyone has a celebrity crush growing up. Who might yours be and why?
Celebrities! This changes daily but Yazz from Empire and Zac Efron.

What’s a quote or mantra that you like to live by?
Two quotes by Maya Angelou: “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it,” and “You will face many defeats in your life, but never let yourself be defeated.”

Read more Entertainment Interviews at ClicheMag.com

Dancer Asia Monet Chats ‘American Crime Story,’ Acting Advice: Photographed by Birdie Thompson, Hair/Makeup by Nichole Ray

Valery Ortiz On Writing Poetry and What Beauty Means to Her

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Guilty pleasures, embarrassing moments, and encouraging words are what triple threat Valery Ortiz had for us when she chatted with us in February. Reminding us of what it means to be beautiful inside and out, the Latin bombshell let us in on some intimate moments, her passions, and future aspirations.

Cliché: You’re an actress, dancer, TV personality, and now, a writer. In which setting do you feel the most at home?
Valery Ortiz: That probably changes often, but I can say I feel the most “at home” when I’m writing. Usually when I write, it’s just for me, so I tend to not hold back and be the most vulnerable without fear of being judged. I feel the safest and “at home” through some of my poetry.

You were named one of Maxim’s 50 Most Beautiful People. It’s pretty obvious why, but what do you find to be the most beautiful thing about you? What does “beauty” mean to you?
Beauty to me is so complex, from the obvious outer beauty to one’s mind and passions and heart. More than anything, it’s just so personal. If I had to pick, I’d say the most beautiful thing about me are my roots. My family, my childhood, my story—I think that’s the most beautiful in anyone. Their roots make them who they naturally are and there’s nothing more beautiful than that.

If there was one motto in your life that you live by, what would that be?
“Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.” I love this because I think it’s important to always believe in yourself, to visualize yourself happy, healthy, succeeding. Your thoughts, whether positive or negative, are extremely powerful. What you think will validate what you do, so be careful and mindful of the things that occupy your mind on the daily. You are building, whether you realize it or not, a foundation [for your life, that is] either positive or negative with a clear, simple thought. Use it to your advantage!

You’ve always been quoted saying, “family is everything,” but what does your heritage mean to you?
My heritage makes up so much of who I’ve become. It really made me fall in love with tradition (big or small), culture, and people. I’m such a proud Latina and I love where I come from. I’ve had such strong, positive influences throughout my life and it’s made me appreciate everything that makes me, me.

No one on this earth is perfect. Would you mind telling us about one of your most embarrassing moments?
One of my most embarrassing moments happened when I was auditioning for a water park commercial in Orlando, FL. Long story short, I used to sweat a lot. It was a huge insecurity for me, so I would put toilet paper under my arms to help absorb any perspiration. That’s embarrassing enough. [Laughs] Well, that day, like many—I rushed to my audition with my swimsuit, cover-up, and a couple of tissues under my arms. When I got to the audition, they asked everyone to take off their cover-ups and come in with just swimsuits. I go ahead and do that pretty quickly and my toilet paper automatically falls on the floor. The first thing that came to my head was, “Oh my God! They’re going to think I was stuffing my bikini!” I picked up my little sweat saviors and tried to pretend nothing happened. I was super embarrassed. Update! Now they sell over-the-counter prescription strength deodorant (which works, by the way), so no more tissue under my arms ever again! And I booked that job!

Actress Valery Ortiz by Photographer Carlos Velez

If there was an era or event you could travel back in time to, what would it be and why?
The first thing that popped in my head was traveling back in time to see my parents grow up. One: I love that era anyway, and two: I’m so intrigued to see who they were as young kids, teens, and adults before my brother and I were born. It’d be cool to interact with them and get to know them in a way a child never really gets to know their parents.

One would assume that being in the spotlight and in front of the camera all the time means being conscious of your physical health. What do you do to stay in tip-top health and shape?
Everything! [Laughs] Those who know me can tell you, I work really hard to maintain my fitness. Lucky for me, I enjoy working out. I honestly feel off if I have to miss a workout. I do things like hiking with friends, running, taking a Zumba class, or doing a workout video at home. I also watch what I eat and try and have some balance. That’s the most challenging. But if I have a goal, I’m pretty disciplined.

What would you consider to be your guilty pleasure?
Oh my! You just inspired me! Here’s my ultimate guilty pleasure: I would be eating pizza, with a deliciously cold glass of wine, followed by some warm peach cobbler à la mode while watching The Bachelor. [Laughs] And then I’d go on a hike to feel a little better.

You’ve done so much work with kids, especially now being an author of bilingual children’s books. What sparked this passion? What is your goal with this new journey you’re embarking on?
I’ve always loved to write, and thanks to my mom, who never threw away things my brother or I did as kids, I have a collection of poems I’ve written since about 9 years old to date. That helped spark my passion to write a children’s book series. My goal is to publish them as tangible books or through an app and hopefully tie it in with a charity. Honestly, when I wrote them, I was just going off of inspiration. I didn’t know where they would end up, but I can’t wait to see them come to life. It’s always been a dream.

Do you mind sharing a short poem with us?
Absolutely! I have some old poems on my website, but this one I haven’t shared:

What happens…

The sun sets, we left, one car in front of another.
Memory creeps, too steep, but the heart has had time to recover.

Time heals, soul meal, but it doesn’t deserve all the credit.
After all, stand tall, happy isn’t found in a karat.

Sun fades, all shade, but the light only gets brighter.
Don’t hate, love fate, you always knew I’m a fighter.

Time heals, dried tears, so many years in the making.
Butterfly, it’s time, these dreams are yours for the taking.

Years down the line when people hear your name, what is it you want to be remembered for?
I hope I’m always remembered for making people feel good about themselves and inspiring them to do something they once didn’t think they could accomplish.

Read more Entertainment Interviews on ClicheMag.com

Photographed by Carlos Velez

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 Brings on Pure Nostalgia

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The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows film, following the lukewarm response of its predecessor directed by Michael Bay, is likely to achieve the same feedback from die-hard fans and critics alike. The film was everything it was expected to be, for the good and the bad.

Directed by David Green, this sequel follows Ninja Turtles Michelangelo, Donatello, Leonardo, and Raphael as they take on Shredder who has joined forces with mad scientist Baxter Stockman and henchmen Bebop and Rocksteady to take over the world. Enlisting the help of April O’Neil (Megan Fox), Vern Fenwick (Will Arnett), and a newcomer: the hockey-masked vigilante Casey Jones (Stephen Amell) as they are faced with an even greater nemesis: the notorious Krang.

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Green’s adaptation of the ’80s-’90s cartoon and comic was rather flawless and brought back pure nostalgia in respect to the Turtles and their contrasting personalities and demeanor. As far as Megan Fox’s role as April–just like the first movie, that’s still questionable. However, Green’s strategic execution in focusing on her playing more of a secondary, light-hearted role made it more tolerable to sit through this time around. Is she gorgeous? Yes. But April O’Neil wasn’t exactly created to be known as the sex symbol that Fox is.

Although, according to Deadline, the film made approximately $35 million during its opening weekend it is seemingly falling short of expectations in comparison to its forerunner, which banked approximately $65 million during its opening.

In spite of its less than spectacular showing, the TMNT sequel shed light on important societal issues, including acceptance and self-esteem. The underlying messages of being true to oneself, not judging a book by its cover, and accepting those for who they are were threaded throughout the plot line and gave the film a substantial amount of depth creating heartwarming moments.

In all, the movie adaptation of the Mirage Studios comic was entertaining and stayed true to the essence of the main characters, however as reminiscent as it was, it was unable to capture the authenticity that the TV series and graphic novel provided to its audience.

Read more Movie Reviews on ClicheMag.com

Photos courtesy of Comic Book News and EW.com

‘Violin Crooner’ Damien Escobar Chats Music and the Industry

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Known as “The Violin Crooner,” Damien Escobar is the epitome of what a true artist is. His talent as a violinist, musical creativity, and enthusiasm makes his performances something you can’t take your eyes or ears off of. He is transforming the way we hear music by letting us feel the rhythmic melodies through his violin strings, and if you didn’t know who Damien Escobar was before, trust us, you’ll definitely know now.

Cliché: You’ve gone from being the other half of a heavy-hitting duo to now a powerhouse solo artist. What has this journey taught you?
Damien Escobar: To stay true to who I am as an artist and to keep the music first. Money, glitz, and glam epitomizes so many artist’s “arrival,” but not for me, at least not anymore. This journey has taught me that music is an antidote safe to “OD” on. As an artist, we serve a higher purpose for so many; I don’t take that power for granted.

Of all the instruments, why the violin? What captured your attention about it, and did you ever explore other options?
Violin was the first instrument I was exposed to at the age of 6. I was the youngest of three siblings, so I had to wait my turn to take up the instrument in school. As you can imagine, I was impatient as hell, so when it was my turn to take, I never looked back.

What was the first song you learned to play and what is your absolute favorite song to play?
My first song was “Twinkle Twinkle,” but my first dope song was “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, K.525” by the OG Mozart. That was my go-to song to get girls when I was 10 years old. [Laughs] It never let me down!

Thus far, what has been your most rewarding or stand-out moment in your career?
So many moments—big moments—to choose from, but I would have to say touring with Oprah Winfrey was pretty dope.

I’ve watched your livestreams on Facebook and the way you take requests from fans. You innately seem to know how to play practically any song they choose. How did you teach yourself that?
I’ve always had a really good ear, but as of the past three years, I’ve developed a really great ear. It just takes practice like anything else. I’m a great violinist, but I’m always reaching to be the greatest. Mike Jordan of the A-string type shit. [Laughs]

If there was any singer that you could play the violin alongside, who would it be?
Whitney Houston. We’ll vibe in heaven someday.

This isn’t your first rodeo in the music industry, but this time around as a solo artist, what has been your biggest challenge?
Starting over was difficult. In the early stages, everyone would ask me, “Where’s your brother?” Even my own family was saying that I couldn’t do it without him; it was crazy. I was discouraged. Finding encouragement was difficult in the early stages, but I pushed through it and it worked out.

You’re only in your 20s and you have quite the resume. What is your ultimate goal with this path you’ve started on?
I would have to say that I won’t be satisfied until I get music in rotation on Top 40 radio. Until I make this genre so popular that the Grammys are forced to add our category to the actual live show and not the pre-show, there’s still work to be done.

I’ve read the comments on your videos and seen the reactions your fans have to your performances, specifically the female fans. Have you ever used your musical talent to wine and dine a lady?
[Laughs] I love my female fans. Some of the things they write on my videos have me rollin’ at times. Have I ever wined and dined a lady with my violin? Hmmm… maybe. [Winks] A magician never tells his secrets.

Well, whether you want to be swooned or simply hear an amazing talent, catch Damien Escobar on tour and keep up with him on www.dameesco.com.

Read more Entertainment Interviews at ClicheMag.com

Featured image courtesy of Tom Estey Publicity & Promotion

Season 22 of Dancing with the Stars Kicks Off with a Bang

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It’s time to move it, move it and slip into those dancing shoes! Season 22 of Dancing with the Stars is here and if you missed last night’s premiere, we’ve got you covered!

This season of DWTS welcomes back straight shooter judge Len Goodman, after being missed last season, and alongside the beloved judge were none other than Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli.

Cast of Season 22 includes:

1. Kim Fields and Sasha Farber dancing the Cha Cha (20 points)
2. Paige VanZant and Mark Ballas dancing the Foxtrot (21 points)
3. Doug Flutie and Karina Smirnoff dancing the Foxtrot (15 points)
4. Jodie Sweetin and Keo Motsepe dancing the Tango (20 points)
5. Geraldo Rivera and Edyta Sliwinska dancing the Cha Cha (13 points)
6. Marla Naples and Tony Dovolani dancing the Quick Step (21 points)
7. Wanya Morris and Lindsay Arnold dancing the Cha Cha (23 points)
8. Ginger Zee and Val Chmerkovskiy dancing the Jive (23 points)
9. Mischa Barton and Artem Chigvintsev dancing the Tango (16 points)
10. Nyle DiMarco and Peta Murgatroyd dancing the Cha Cha (23 points)
11. Antonio Brown and Sharna Burgess dancing the Quick Step (21points)
12. Von Miller and Whitney Carson dancing the Foxtrot (21 points)

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Courtesy of ABC via Yahoo

The night started off with a bang as actress Kim Fields and her partner Sasha Farber spiced up the dance floor with a sexy and sassy Cha Cha routine, setting the tone for the rest of the night after a score of 21/30. Some couples rose to the challenge tying up the scores and others came out feet a blazing with three couples — Boys II Men member Wanya Morris and Lindsay Arnold, TV personality Ginger Zee and Val Chmerkovskiy, and deaf model Nyle DiMarco and Peta Murgatroyd — surpassing the duo with high scores of 23/30 for the night.

As amazing of a start to the season it was, not everyone could be great. Lowest scores of the night included actress Mischa Barton’s painfully awkward Tango with Artem Chigvintsev receiving a 16/30, former NFL quarterback Doug Flutie and Karina Smirnoff’s not-so-smooth foxtrot scoring a 15/30 and coming in at the tail end was a rather stiff yet heartwarming performance from 72-year-old reporter/TV show host Geraldo Rivera and Edyta Sliwinska with an earned score of 13/30.

All in all, there is a lot of talent this season and the judges, especially Carrie Ann Inaba — who couldn’t contain her excitement all night, are ready to see what these dancers have in store! Remember, the judges scores only count for part of how results turn out, so make sure you vote to ensure your favorite couples stick around!

You can catch Dancing with the Stars on ABC every Monday at 8/7c.

Read more TV Reviews on ClicheMag.com

Season 22 of Dancing with the Stars Kicks Off with a Bang: Featured image courtesy of Heidi Gutman/ABC

Ciara Kicks off NYFW and Celebrates 100 Years of Keds

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Whether center stage slaying her fans with high energy performances, on the sidelines cheering on her football beau Russell Wilson, or dedicating her time to her son baby Future, singer Ciara is always ready and set for action. But, how does she do it during NYFW? In her Keds, of course!

Partnering with Refinery29, alongside host and creative director of the new Keds Collective, Allison Williams, the “I Bet” singer kicked off NYFW and celebrated the iconic brand’s centennial year with a special live performance at Center548 in NYC.

Keds Celebrates Centennial with Allison Williams and Ciara in partnership with Refinery29 in New York City on February 10, 2016.

Keds Celebrates Centennial with Allison Williams and Ciara in partnership with Refinery29 in New York City on February 10, 2016.

Not only did the party mark 100 years of Keds history, but it also celebrated the recent announcement of the Keds Collective, Ladies First. The campaign incorporates a diverse group of notable tastemakers from the fashion, music, art, and technology sectors that represent the brand’s commitment to female empowerment and individuality. Throughout 2016, Keds will be continuing their global Ladies First platform, unveiling a new Spring ’16 ad campaign.

Once it was time for Ciara to hit the stage, guests enjoyed a live performance of fan-favorite “Goodies,” ‘Dance Like We’re Making Love,” as well as her own rendition of “I Will Survive.” Midway through her set, Ciara expressed how thankful she was to be part of such a milestone event as she stated, “Ladies First is what it’s all about, and when I got the call to be a part in the partnership with Keds and to be a part of the new campaign, I thought ‘Oh my gosh, I feel so honored.’”

Ciara Performs at the Keds Centennial in partnership with Refinery29 in New York City on February 10, 2016.

Ciara Performs at the Keds Centennial in partnership with Refinery29 in New York City on February 10, 2016.

Ciara wasn’t the only one that felt such deep gratitude to be able to partake in such a monumental piece of history for Keds. Actress Jamie Chung shared her special Keds experience with Cliché Magazine when we asked how she connected with the brand:

“They were the first real brand [of sneakers] I have really ever worn. When I was younger, my parents couldn’t afford the real thing and I used to wear the knock offs. Well, one day we went to Disney and the color on the knock offs melted right off! After that, I’ve been wearing Keds ever since! Now to be here celebrating 100 years with Keds and a part of the campaign, it’s like everything has come full circle.”

Jamie Chung Celebrates the Keds Centennial with Allison Williams and Ciara in partnership with Refinery29 in New York City on February 10, 2016.

Jamie Chung Celebrates the Keds Centennial with Allison Williams and Ciara in partnership with Refinery29 in New York City on February 10, 2016.

The star studded event also saw the likes of Nico Tortorella (Younger), Wendy Williams (TV Personality), Gigi Gorgeous (model), and Tess Christine (YouTuber) as they came together to toast Keds’ milestone.

Allison Williams, Piera Gelardi Celebrate the Keds Centennial with Allison Williams and Ciara in partnership with Refinery29 in New York City on February 10, 2016.

Allison Williams, Piera Gelardi Celebrate the Keds Centennial with Allison Williams and Ciara in partnership with Refinery29 in New York City on February 10, 2016.

Cliché Magazine wishes Keds a happy 100th birthday!

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Ciara Kicks off NYFW and Celebrates 100 Years of Keds: Photos Courtesy of David X Prutting/BFA.com