ap fashion: welcome pinned x stitched!

May 5, 2014

Welcome Pinned x Stitched to the AFROPUNK community! The extremely dynamic duo, Meron Bekele and B Hawk Snipes, will be gracing the AP community with their style tips and sharing of art, music and culture! This video blog is definitely something to watch out for, as it serves as a platform for young African American creative minds to inspire and be inspired by others. Amidst stressful final exams and projects, I had the lovely opportunity to just slow down for 30 minutes and chat with the founders of Pinned X Stitched. I am truly inspired by their work and dedication to be pioneers within the evolving world of social media!
Check out my interview with these two young creative innovators below. Stay fly!

By Aliyah Blackmore, AFROPUNK Contributor *

What inspired you all to begin a video blog?

Meron: It was actually really really random—walking around Soho with our creative director—and just talking about one of my favorite shows which is “What Not To Wear” and just sharing that I didn’t see anything that represents us, you know as young African Americans… I didn’t see young African American people doing what Stacy and Clinton were doing.  This whole video blog idea… it was kind of like a joke at the time…completely forgotten about.. and B Hawk (laughs) had a really big mouth and started sharing this idea with people and then we just decided to sort of settle down with it and make Pinned X Stitched our child.  

We really wanted this idea to be a great source for young African American people in New York City and a great way to network and connect young creative minds within this cultural melting pot.

What audience do you guys hope to target?  

B Hawk: I think the audience that we really want to target is mostly young African Americans… people of our generation… I mean Pinned x Stitched… is open to everyone—anyone that is open to art.
We are targeting the mover and shakers of New York City—people who are receptive to art, a portion of Pinned x Stitched shows people doing other things-artists, musicians, etc.… fashion is what we are passionate about, but we are creating a network so that people can get to know each other creatively and be inspired by one another.

What is most exciting about being immersed in the vibrant culture of New York City?

Meron: The fact that it never gets boring…there is always something and someone different—I get bored easily- – but like walking down the street seeing different people truly inspires me. 

B Hawk: I completely agree with Meron… New York City is such melting pot of so many different creative things… this city has so much to bring to fashion and culture and more generally to the arts.

Did your upbringings inspire your styles in any ways?

Meron: Hmm…this is so hard—I was born in Ethiopia and raised in Jersey and walking around in Jersey city—my style is not really a reflection of growing up in Jersey.
My style is based on my mood and how I’m feeling—the colors match my feelings.  Bright colors if I am in a great mood… maybe darker colors if I am in a not so great mood…

B Hawk:  I grew up in the Bronx… The Bronx is the birth of hip hop, dark and cruel, graffiti…. I wear a lot of black, silver and metal, and lots of shapes… that is because of the Bronx… that is where it comes from.  I am also in the city a lot—I am a new Yorkers can’t help that… so the color and funkier side of my wardrobe is a result of walking the streets of New York City and absorbing all that is around me.

What are your future hopes for your video blog and goals in contributing to

Meron: A platform—I want us to be, I want people, even the next generation, to look forward to this.  Sort of like 106 and park… we want it to be a large platform for young people in New York City – I want it to be a tool for us, as African American creative youth to be seen.

B Hawk: (laughs) I was going to say TRL. I want people to look at it as an idea of their own. I want young people to be able to create something from scratch—I want people to be like wow they did it first.
The hope is for the future generations to continue this legacy and for people to be inspired by it.

Meron:  AFROPUNK has so much culture—it is so inspiring to us… It was so refreshing attending AFROPUNK Fest… there were so many unique personalities. We want to inspire people and the AFROPUNK community inspires us!

Who are your art/fashion/music inspirations?

Meron: We always get asked this and I just don’t know… Let me think about this.

B Hawk:  First thing that pops in my head… right now, Adam Lambert-anyone that is funky, cool eccentric… someone who knows who they are as a person and artist. I love Jimi Hendrix and Pink! These are the random people who pop in my head. Artists who are confident with themselves and inspire others.

Meron: I hate saying Rihanna because everyone loves the way that she dresses but… I appreciate her fashion because she is not afraid to try anything… like she came outside in a doobie… Like she just doesn’t care…. and because she comes outside  and says, you,  “I do what I want” that is just great… She owns her sexuality… she’ll step outside in a sheer t shirt… no bra… that is just cool and confident. Also, another inspiration: June Ambrose – I like here because she is so classy and amazing.

What would you say are the most essential clothing items for this summer?

Meron:  Sunglasses… like finding a really great pair of sunglasses… other than that, a really cool pair of sandals, jellies, they are really cute, maybe not the most comfortable, but they make my outfit really fun.
Matching tops and bottoms are also great, for women and men!

B Hawk: Something that is easy breezy—pum pum shorts are very 2009 Beyonce “Crazy In Love”… that is old… yes it is hot, but just no, let’s move forward (laughs).  Boyfriend fit type short, that is a need for the summer. Something really casual. A statement piece like a tank top… I don’t like seeing people out here almost naked. Just keep it cool and casual. 

Any last remarks for the AFROPUNK community?

Meron: We are just working the show right now—trying to create.  We want to make people excited to watch it… we want people to say, “so when is the next episode coming up”… so we are trying to focus on that right now—once we get on our feet then we will try to do many things like t-shirts, accessories, etc.  

B Hawk: Let me just say we are very appreciative of AFROPUNK… you know, a big capitalized “THANK YOU” you and exclamation point. We are very passionate about this so we are appreciative of AFROPUNK for believing in us and taking the time to reach out to us to support our mission. We are excited to be part of this community.

Follow Pinned x Stitched on AFROPUNKTV, AFROPUNK’s Youtube channel!
Instagram: pinnedxstitched
Facebook: Pinned x Stitched

* Aliyah Blackmore on Tumblr: