EMPOWERING WOMEN: Broadening the Definition of Beauty in Fashion and the Media

On the heels of adding author to her list of titles with the release of her debut book, The Art of Dressing Curves, celebrity stylist Susan Moses is now adding the distinguished position of advocate to her resume with the launch of Empowering Women NYC, a platform to advocate for the equal representation of ALL women in fashion, beauty and the media. The groundbreaking organization officially launched on Monday, May 9th with the “Body Inclusivity & Diversity Summit,” held in the most fitting of locations, the United Nations.

Susan gathered over 300 of fashion, beauty and the media’s top thought leaders and influencers to openly discuss how to be “agents of change,” and how to continue to democratize the industry that has slowly began changing its antiquated standards of what is deemed beautiful at the UN’s Prestigious Delegates Dining Room.

Guests of the inaugural Empowering Women NYC luncheon were first treated to the showing of the spring capsule collection of the Christian Siriano for Lane Bryant collection which was held out on the terrace. The models for the show included the who’s who of the Curvy Girl lexicon including models Ashley Graham and Candice Huffine, bloggers GabiFresh and Nicolette Mason and Orange is the New Black’s Danielle Brooks, who served as the designer’s muse and closed the show.

Following the show, the afternoon’s epic agenda continued with the attendees listening to an eclectic mix of stellar speakers and panelists hailing from the fashion, beauty, creative and media worlds. Some of the diverse class of speakers included:

  • Cindi Leive, Editor-in-Chief, Glamour Magazine
  • Linda Heasley, Chief Executive Officer, Lane Bryant
  • Jill Scott, three-time Grammy Award Winning Singer, Songwriter and Actress
  • Sherri Shepherd, Comedian, Actress and Host of The View
  • Emme, the first plus supermodel, Body Positive Activist
  • Ashley Graham, Model, Designer, Body Activist
  • Mikki Taylor, Author &  Editor at Large, Essence Magazine
  • Brian Beitler, Chief Marketing Officer, Lane Bryant
  • Christian Siriano, CFDA Designer
  • Danielle Brooks, Actress and Star of Orange is the New Black and Broadway’s Color Purple

Lane Bryant served as the afternoon’s title sponsor with other notable brands including Bond NO 9, MSA Models, True Model Management, Beauty Blender, Mattel, Decade Citizen, Yandy.com (whose Chief Marketing Officer Charley Clemens was on hand to fete the launch of Empowering Women NYC), EMME, Glamour Magazine, Ashay Media and Kusmi Tea.

When asked about her vision for Empowering Women NYC, Founder Susan Moses responded, “It’s imperative that we continue to nurture the value of all women equally regardless of size, age and ethnicity in fashion, beauty and the media at large.”

For more about Empowering Women NYC, visit http://susanmoses.com/empowering-women-nyc/.

For more about the Art of Dressing Curves, visit: http://susanmoses.com/the-art-of-dressing-curves/.


Susan Moses is a celebrity stylist who has styled for numerous magazines, television shows, films, and red carpet events. Her clients include Britney Spears, Queen Latifah, Brandy, Kathy Bates, Wynonna Judd, Jill Scott, and many others. She is a former stylist for Mode magazine, was named one of the “Six Plus Fashion Power Players on the Rise” in Ebony, and has appeared on HSN to help the network’s plus-size audience dress. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. For more information about Susan Moses, visit her website, www.susanmoses.com.

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Nailah Lymus backstage during a show at New York Fashion Week. (Image Courtesy of ABC News)

Style Maven, Nailah Lymus, To Lead Workshop at Children’s Museum of Manhattan As Part of New Exhibit on Muslim Culture

Visitors to the Children’s Museum of Manhattan’s newest exhibit, “America to Zanzibar: Muslim Cultures Near and Far”, are in for a special treat this weekend. As part of the exhibition that opened last month designed to introduce children and their families to the diverse Muslim communities around the world and right here in New York, kids ages 5 and older will get to participate in two hands-on workshops where they will get to create a unique design and style a new look using paper models, fabric and gems with Brooklyn based fashion maven, Nailah Lymus. Children will explore different designs of head coverings called hijabs (head wraps and scarves worn by women) and kufis (brimless round caps worn by men) and learn about folding and draping fabrics. Nailah will walk the children through the basic design process and share her experiences as a Muslim fashion designer and entrepreneur.

Nailah Lymus, a well know fashion designer and stylist whose work has been seen on the runways ofNew York Fashion Week and Jakarta International Fashion Week as well as in the pages of such top tier publications as Elle Brazil and Time Magazine, launched Underwraps, the first Muslim and Modest modeling agency in 2011. Lymus’ fashion talents and Islamic cultural background were tapped by the Children’s Museum of Manhattan for the American Home area of the exhibition where several hijabs she styled are on display. The America to Zanzibar exhibit will run through February 2017.

The workshops will take place on Sunday, March 20th. The workshops are included with museum admission. Visitors can sign up to participate upon arrival. For more information, visitwww.cmom.org/visit/calendar.

DATE:                        Sunday, March 20th, 2016

TIME:                         2:00pm and 3:00pm

VENUE:                     Children’s Museum of Manhattan, 212 W 83rd Street, New York, NY

ADMISSION:          12 for adults and children over 12 months of age.


Famed Photographer, Jose Pagan, to  Be a Part of Women’s History Month Showcase at Brooklyn’s Kalahari Gallery


New York fine art and fashion photographer, Jose Pagan, recently announced his inclusion in the upcoming BeautiFULL Spectrum exhibition at the Kalahari Gallery in Brooklyn. The exhibit, a selection of blacklight work showcasing the female form, goes on display in honor of Women’s History Month. The open reception takes place on March 18th.

A product of the cultural richness and vast talent that New York is known for, Jose Pagan has been garnering a great deal of attention in today’s market for his work as an artist and as a fashion photographer.  This month has been rather busy for Jose with a successful run of his Charkralicious exhibit in Harlem and sponsoring the photography for the runway debut of luxury plus designer, PLY Apparel during this past season of New York Fashion Week.

BeautiFULL Spectrum represents Pagan’s exploration into the “unseen.”  Combining the beauty of the feminine form and his experimentation with the blacklight photo technique, he was able to “shed a visible light into an invisible world.” Featuring bodies of all shapes and sizes as well as colors and creeds, the exhibit shares with the audience, a human experience—frozen in time.

“It pleases me to honor the female form in all its diversity and who it represents– a blessing from the Creator,” Jose Pagan recently said when asked about his choice to participate in the Women’s History Month exhibition at the Kalahari Gallery.

The opening reception for BeautiFULL Spectrum will take place from 6 to 8pm on Friday, March 18th at the Kalahari Gallery, located at 1101 Fulton Street in Brooklyn. To RSVP, contact Angela Hope Weusi at 917.757.0170 or Jose Pagan at 917.361.5305. For media inquiries, contact Tamara Walker at tamara@qmedia-pr.com.



Jose Pagan is a New York-based fine art and fashion photographer known for his eclectic and creative vision. A product of the culturally rich landscape of Manhattan’s Washington Heights neighborhood, Pagan has been using his dynamic talent to take the market by storm. His work has graced the pages of both high fashion and niche editorial publications around the world including ELLE Brazil, PLUS Model Magazine, Designer Original and Music Insider Magazines. Jose has worked with some of the industry’s most innovative brands including Adrian Alicea and the Underwraps Agency (the world’s first Muslim and modest modeling agency) but all the while still making the time to give back through his work with such charitable groups as Hunks4Hope (anti-domestic violence) and with the X Collective, the non-profit arts organization where he is also a board member. His artist endeavors are routinely on display at galleries around the city. For more information about Jose Pagan, visit. www.paganphotography.org.



In June, E2 Northeast Motorsports (the first multicultural competitive racing team in NASCAR) made an appearance at the BODY SCULPT of New York Children’s Sports & Fitness Expo held at Brooklyn’s Boys & Girls High School.

Kids (and adults alike) got a chance to get up close and personal with the young racing team and its owner, Melissa Harville-Lebron and got a chance to sit behind the wheel of a real race car!

From Left to Right: E2 Northeast Motorsports Team: Eric Lebron, Tyler Gallup, Enico Lebron and team owner, Melissa Harville-Lebron

From Left to Right: E2 Northeast Motorsports Team: Eric Lebron, Tyler Gallup, Enico Lebron and team owner, Melissa Harville-Lebron



Brooklyn’s Aiesha Turman and the Black Girl Project are celebrating today with news that they have been nominated for a Ujima Award

The Ujima Awards are given to an individual, group, or organization who has made significant contributions above and beyond to the empowering and advancement of the community.

Congratulations to the Black Girl Project!

UNDERWRAPS, First Global Modeling Agency Representing Muslim Female Fashion Models To Launch During New York Fashion Week

NEW YORK, NY–  January 25, 2012—Nailah Lymus, the Brooklyn-based fashion designer behind Amirah Creations , announced today that she will launching a modeling agency during New York Fashion Week.  Known for breaking barriers as a Muslim female fashion designer, Lymus has decided to extend her brand and make history by launching UNDERWRAPS (http://underwrapsagency.carbonmade.com/), the first global agency representing Muslim female fashion models.  UNDERWRAPS’ roster will debut in a fashion showcase presented by Amirah Creations on February 11th.

“As a Muslim Women who has also worked in the Fashion Industry, I observe a heavy Muslim influence in all areas of fashion,” Nailah Lymus said. “Designers, photography, editorials all displaying inspirations from Muslim fashion. I feel there is a need to shine the light on Muslim women who have been some of the originators of trend setting modest fashion for years. I’m bringing Muslims to mainstream– covered is the new couture.”

Islam has had a strong influence in the fashion industry for years with stylings gracing such coveted magazine covers as Vogue as well as providing inspiration for noteworthy collections including Victoria Beckham’s Fall/Winter 2012 line. Islamic models have also brought diversity to the catwalk including recent stars Hanaa Ben Abdesslem (Tunisian) and Hindi Sahlial (Moroccan). Representing a seasoned roster, each model brings a modest yet genuine professional attitude combined with an ethical sensibility that “works.” UNDERWRAPS is creating a fusion of inclusion—marrying the best of both the Muslim and non-Muslim worlds.

The Amirah Creations show featuring the models from UNDERWRAPS will take place on February 11th beginning at 6:30pm at Rare by FS Charlie, 317 Church Street in Tribeca (New York city). To view the official invite, visit www.underwraps.eventbrite.com.

For press and VIP inquiries, please contact Tamara Walker at 347.827.1284 or via email at tamara@sienamediagrp.com.



Nailah Lymus, a clothing and accessory designer since 2004 has nourished her deep hunger for all things fashion at the youthful age of seven using her God given talent to accentuate the natural allure of the woman. Being a self taught designer equipped Ms. Lymus with all of the poise needed to showcase her gift amongst more seasoned designers. Recently showing at NYC Fashion Week 2011 and featured in Couture Fashion Week 2011 Lymus has established her name in the Fashion industry. Now combining both of her passions (modesty and fashion) Lymus is launching the FIRST Muslim Female Model Agency merging the best of both worlds.



UNDERWRAPS is the FIRST global agency representing the Muslim Female Fashion Model. A seasoned roster, each model brings a modest, genuine, smart, savvy, professional attitude, combined with an ethical sensibility that makes “it work”.

Influencing the fashion industry for years, Muslim fashion has graced the covers of coveted magazines such as Vogue and has been providing inspiration for noteworthy designers from early on. UNDERWRAPS is creating a fusion of Inclusion—creating the best of both worlds.

For more information, visit www.underwrapsagency.carbonmade.com



Originally founded in 2003 by celebrity stylist Ruth Roche, RARE is one of New York City’s premiere salons, catering to clients who dare to be bold. Today, the torch has been passed on to principal stylist and new owner Fatima Sheikh, who recently merged her brand, FS Charlie, with RARE. Located in the heart of Tribeca, RARE offers and extensive menu of hair and beauty services. In addition to their array of services, RARE works closely with the city’s creative community to produce distinct projects with fashion, music and lifestyle driven brands. For more information about RARE, visit www.rarenyc.com.




CHARITY BEGINS IN BROOKLYN: Miss Brooklyn 2011 to Receive Commendation from Marty Markowitz at the State of the Borough Address

BROOKLYN, NY — Amaris Acosta, Executive Director of
the Miss Brooklyn Scholarship Organization (www.missbrooklyn.org)
announced today that Christina Moore, Miss Brooklyn 2011, will receive
a special commendation from Brooklyn Borough President, Marty
Markowitz, during the politico’s State of the Borough speech on
February 3rd at Sunset Park High School in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

“I am thrilled and honored to be a part of such a wonderful event,”
says Christina Moore. “Over the past few months, with the help of the
Miss Brooklyn Scholarship Organization I have been working hard to
implement my platform and doing everything I can to strengthen the
community I know and love. Being Miss Brooklyn has allowed me to open
doors I never knew existed and has shown me that a passion for what
you do can lead you on an amazing journey. I am both humbled and
extremely thankful to receive commendation from Mr. Brooklyn himself,
Marty Markowitz and look forward to what promises to be an eventful

Being recognized for a numerous contributions to the Brooklyn
community as Miss Brooklyn 2011 and before, Christina Moore, a native
of Bensonhurst, regularly donates her time and services to various
charitable efforts on both a local and national scale.

The Wagner College junior and Brooklyn Cyclones cheerleader is
promoting a platform of “Performance with a Purpose,” Bringing Sarcoma
Awareness to Center Stage (which has her working with the Sarcoma

“We are proud of Christina’s many accomplishments,” says Acosta.  “In
the few short months since she has been Miss Brooklyn, Christina has
created fundraising events for the Sarcoma Alliance and the Children’s
Miracle Network, lent her time to the Block Institute and has a full
volunteer calendar in the upcoming months. She has more than proven
herself to be a fine representative of Brooklyn, with or without a

To find out more about Christina Moore and the Miss Brooklyn
Scholarship Organization, visit www.missbrooklyn.org or email


Join Christina Moore, Miss Brooklyn 2011, and friends this Saturday for the Cosmic Charity Challenge, a fundraising bowling event where proceeds will benefit the Children’s Miracle Network.

The event begins at 8PM at Maple Lanes (located at 1570 60th Street Brooklyn, NY 11219-5088 ) and is open to the entire family. There will be high score challenges, raffles and event an appearance by the Brooklyn Cyclones’ Sandy the Seagull.  For more information, click here.

SPREADING THE WORD: New York-based Filmmaker and Educator Brings Breakout Documentary Film to Phoenix

PHOENIX, AZ – NOVEMBER 3, 2010— With successful screenings in New York and Washington, DC, Brooklyn-based  filmmaker and educator, Aiesha Turman, is taking her documentary film, The Black Girl Project (www.blackgirlproject.com) west…. Next stop…Phoenix, Arizona. Teaming with Phoenix-based social organization, Urban Soulcial (www.urbansoulcial.com), the screening, open to members  of the  group, will take place on Saturday, December 4th.

“Teaming with Urban Soulcial is a great way to reach as many Black girls and their allies as possible in the Phoenix area,” says Turman. “We, as a community need to focus on embracing and uplifting our young women and show them that their lives are just as valued as that of their counterparts so that they too can and realize their full potential.”

Produced by Turman’s Super Hussy Media (www.superhussy.com), The Black Girl Project (BGP) focuses on one core question: “who are you? “That one question spawned another, then another and yet another, but the one initial question is at the heart of the film.

Hosted by Urban Soulcial founder Courtney Crosslin, The Black Girl Project event will begin with a screening of the film followed by an open discussion between the audience and director via LiveStream (http://www.livestream.com/haveawonderful).  Questions will also be fielded from the general public simultaneously via with Ms. Turman (@blackgirlproj) and Ms. Crosslin (@urbansoulcials) following the movie. The social media based event gives participants a chance to ask the filmmaker questions around some of the themes touched on in the film as well as allowing past audience members and those interested in viewing the film to share their thoughts as well. The hash tag for the event will be #BGPinAZ.

“The Black Girl Project is perfect for an Urban Soulcial event,” said Crosslin.  “We created Urban Soulcial to support creatives like Aiesha and bring awareness to projects such as hers. We’re honored to bring this film to Phoenix and hope it sparks discussions that ripple out into the community beyond one night.”

This film, also the impetus for a non-profit (www.blackgirlproject.org) of the same name, seeks to portray black girls as the complex beings they are. Not just the two sides of the coin we see perpetuated in the media: saint or sinner. It also seeks to spark inter and intra-generational dialogue between black girls and women.  The film screening will also serve as a fundraiser for the Black Girl Project organization. For more information about the event or to purchase tickets, visit http://blackgirlprojectphx.eventbrite.com/.



Urban Soulcials are semi-private affairs that cater to an ultra-niche audience (think dinner parties with a cultural twist and an element of surprise). An Urban Soulcial is an avant-garde event that will revolutionize the way you connect, soulcialize, shop and play. Urban Soulcials create one-off experiences in intimate settings.

For more information about Urban Soulcials, visit www.urbansoulcial.com.



The Black Girl Project aims to address the challenges girls face in their daily lives, in addition to helping girls build a strong sense of self, develop healthy relationships and take care of their bodies and minds. Black women and girls are under siege within their own communities and society at large. Not only are they more likely to contract HIV/AIDS, and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), they are at high risk for physical and sexual assault, and death from curable/manageable ailments such as diabetes, obesity and hypertension. In addition, they are more likely to be living at or below the poverty line.

The Black Girl Project addresses the critical worldwide problem of low self-esteem, lack of education, poverty rates and issues specific to black adolescent and pre-adolescent girls regardless of ethnicity. The Black Girl Project is designed to foster positive self-esteem, critical thinking, leadership, academic achievement, community service and entrepreneurial skills among girls, ages 8 to 17, in the United States, the Caribbean, South America, Africa, Europe — wherever there are black girls in need.

This film, also the impetus for a non-profit of the same name, seeks to portray black girls as the complex beings they are. Not just the two sides of the coin we see perpetuated in the media: saint or sinner. It also seeks to spark inter and intra-generational dialogue between black girls and women.

For more information about the Black Girl Project, visit: www.blackgirlproject.org.



Super Hussy Media is independently owned, written, edited and designed by filmmaker and writer, Aiesha Turman. A strong believer in the empowerment of young women and girls, particularly those of color, Aiesha created Super Hussy as a means to explore black life as it related to the female gender across place, class, time and sexuality. The site focuses on projects that are intensely personal and through them, hopes to shed light on the contradictions, triumphs, perils and beauty that is black womanhood.

Utilizing traditional and emerging media as tools for investigation, Super Hussy Media engages in frank dialogue surrounding the issues of race, class, gender, spirituality and sexual orientation and the roles they play in the lives of black women and girls through the use of women and families, both historic and contemporary. By illuminating the hardships, struggles and complexities of black womanhood, Super Hussy Media seeks to change the paradigm through which black women are viewed and ultimately, how they view themselves.

For more information, visit: www.superhussy.com



Conceived + Directed By 
Aiesha Turman

Primary Participants

Chanel Jones

Courtney James

Netchem Hairston

Aurelia Spence

Amanda Rivera

Tiffany Coley

Paige Padgett

Melissa Henry

Chenequa Snell

Additional Photography

Nasheim Williams

Netchem Hairston



BROOKLYN, NY –October, 2010— Amaris Acosta, the Executive Director of the Miss Brooklyn Scholar ship Organization (www.missbrooklyn.org) recently announced the crowning of four new queens that will represent the borough on the road to Miss America. Crowned on Saturday, October 9th, at the Brooklyn Music School in Fort Greene, these four amazing ladies beat out a formidable field to take their titles in one of New York’s early preliminary pageants for Miss America. Introducing the new queens in the borough of Kings….

Christina Moore a native of Bensonhurst, Brooklyn is the new Miss Brooklyn for 2011. The Wagner College junior and Brooklyn Cyclones cheerleader is promoting a platform of “Performance with a Purpose,” Brining Sarcoma Awareness to Center Stage (which has her working with the Sarcoma Alliance). Christina brought poise, confidence and talent to the Brooklyn crown, which was passed on from outgoing queen, Mallory Hagan of Bedford Stuyvesant. Ironically, Moore competed against Hagan for the 2010 title.

Carmen Mendoza of Park Slope, Brooklyn is Miss Kings County 2011.  Pursing a Master’s Degree in Journalism from New York University, Carmen is an Executive Marketing Assistant with Ann Taylor Loft and is advocating a platform of “De-stigmatizing Getting Tested,” Carmen hopes to use her new title to continue the fight against HIV/AIDS by dispelling the stigma associated with getting tested and the social taboo of talking about safe sex.

Also earning titles at the pageant was Brittney Hollingsworth as Brooklyn’s Outstanding Teen and Lauren Mollela, Dutchess County’s Outstanding Teen. The “junior” division of Miss America, the Outstanding Teen competition promotes scholastic achievement, creative accomplishment, healthy living and community involvement for America’s teens. Brittney, a student at the Acorn Community High School,  will travel throughout the Brooklyn community speaking about her platform, “Y.E.S.—Youth Engaged in Service” while Lauren, a Millbrook High School student, will continue the tradition by promoting her platform of “Scoliosis Diagnosis and Treatment” throughout Dutchess County over the next year.

“These four ladies are a wonderful addition to the Miss Brooklyn family,” said Acosta. “We are excited to not only work with Christina, Carmen, Brittney and Lauren, but also to have two shots in each division of bringing the Miss New York title home.”

For more information about the Miss Brooklyn Scholarship Organization or their titleholders, please visit www.missbrooklyn.org.