Diva’s Quick Tips: Shopping Luxury Smartly

There are several popular movements on social media among Black women and one, in particular, pertains to luxury. For many years, Black people as a whole have been excluded from the luxury world. The finer things in life have been associated with the Black elite such as athletes, musicians, and the demographic’s top earners. Now that more people are climbing the wealth ladder, more “common folk” have access to luxury goods. However, from what I’ve seen, many people are buying what’s popular amongst their favorite celebrities or on social media without considering if it’s practical for their everyday lives. Then they don’t get their cost per wear from the item and that’s money wasted. As with anything, we must shop smart! Here are a few tips on how to shop for luxury goods the smart way

1. Ask Yourself Why You Want the Item

Does this purchase fill a gap in your wardrobe? Does it serve a function? Do you like it for yourself?

2. Stick to Your Style

If you do not normally wear heels, will you wear a pair of designer heels more? The answer is likely not. Take what you currently wear and elevate it. For example, I don’t wear sneakers often. If an occasion calls for a flat, I usually choose a chic flat or loafer. So I will upgrade to a designer flat or loafer. That way the item still fits my aesthetic.

3. How Many Ways Can You Wear It?

Is this a one-time wear item or can you fit this into many outfits? Think about the cost per wear when shopping, especially luxury goods. Interchangeability adds versatility.

I hope these three quick tips helped! Try thinking of building a timeless wardrobe with pieces that can be worn interchangeably for years to come.

Fashion News: Pharrell Williams Named New Creative Director of Menswear at Louis Vuitton

Music industry multi-hyphenate, Pharrell Williams, has been named Louis Vuitton’s Creative Director of Menswear following the late Virgil Abloh. The position starts immediately and he will show his first collection June 2024 during Men’s Fashion Week. This is great Black History Month fashion news!

Image Credit: Getty Images

Letter from the Editor: Diva Chronicles is Now Southern Diva Magazine

Happy New Year from Southern Diva Magazine!

Diva Chronicles Magazine is now Southern Diva Magazine. The content will remain the same only with the fusion of Southern Black culture. Diva Chronicles was founded in the South, Georgia, specifically, and covered a wide range of topics with the experiences of Black people and other BIPOC people at the forefront as I thought this type of content was still lacking. What I saw was lacking, even more, was the coverage of the Black southern experience was minimal, even from southern-themed publications. I aim to fill that gap with Southern Diva.

Southern culture is rich, and it is also very diverse. There are some similarities across cultures, but everyone brings a little something different, and that is why I love my homegrown culture. I was born and raised in the South. We are known for our food, culture, and hospitality, to name a few, but I rarely see faces that look like mine positively showcasing various aspects of Southern culture as I know it. With Southern Diva, I aim to showcase Black southern tastemakers, entrepreneurs, chefs, scholars, artists, institutions, businesses, etc.

I hope you will enjoy reading Southern Diva as we embark on this new journey.




Three Southern New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day Superstitions from My Childhood

Growing up in the south, my mother was just as superstitious as she was religious. I still loosely hold on to a few I grew up with. There are three key superstitions on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day that she was serious about. Even when I lived away from home, she would call to ensure I was following the cardinal rules. So what are they, you might ask? Keep reading to find out.

1. Take Out the Trash

Take the trash out on New Year’s Eve, never New Years’ Day because if you do, you’ll “throw away your wealth.” This also included doing laundry and cleaning. Get it all done before January 1 or wait until the 2nd

2. A Man Must Cross the Threshold

A man must be the first person to enter your home on the first day of the year for good luck. This was adjusted over the years to being a male. Therefore, several male relatives have brought us good luck over the years.

3. The Feast

Both tradition and superstition, you’ll find many southerners prepare a meal of collard greens and black eyed peas along with cornbread for wealth and good health in the new year.

How will you ring in the new year? What are some traditions and/or superstitions your family practice for the new year? I will be spending a quiet cozy night in with some bubbles and caviar while watching the festivities on television.

Tik Tokker, @CamilleViviana, is Showcasing the Rich History of HBCU Queens to her Followers

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are a unique group of higher education institutions, mainly in the South, that were founded during a time Black students were not allowed to attend predominately white institutions (PWIs) solely due to their skin color. Please note, this does not mean these schools were exclusively Black, because they never were. Many other races and ethnicities have and still do attend HBCUs. They provided a safe space to receive a quality education. There are now 107 HBCUs today.

New traditions were born from these institutions and one is that of the school queen. School queens are not a new concept, but HBCU queens and the traditions surrounding them, are rarely known outside of the world of HBCUs. Mississippi native, Camille, @CamilleViviana on Tik Tok, is changing that one video at a time.

Video Credit: Camille Viviana

Camille narrates her video with such enthusiasm and doesn’t shy away from affirming and showering each of the ladies with compliments.

One of her followers asked if the queens ran campaigns, and was their voting involved and pageants. Yes, yes, and yes. The basic criteria is usually that the candidates have to be in good standing with their college or university, have the minimal required GPA, are usually expected to be involved in their campus and surrounding communities, and have a service mission they will implement if elected. Campaign season is a special time at HBCUs and I remember at my alma mater, posters were all over campus, campaign teams worked diligently on behalf of their perspective queen candidates, and the student body voted on who they wanted after hearing from the candidates. There were campus events, a town hall were each king and queen candidate got to speak and receive questions from the student body. Then we voted. Those votes were factored into the votes along with the judges votes at the pageant at the end of the campaign period. Then we got our queen! She would be crown at a coronation the following fall and her reign would kick off then. I’m sure every school is different, but much more goes into becoming a campus queen that build a pretty dress.

Video Credit: Camille Viviana

Product Highlight: Pattern Beauty x Melody Ehsani Juicy & Joyful Bamboo Earrings

Juicy and joyful! That’s how Tracee Ellis Ross, founder and owner of Pattern Beauty, often describes curls after they’ve been styled with with her brand’s products. Now you can wear the moniker all the time in the form of bamboo earrings. Tracee is known for rocking her own pair of bamboo earrings throughout the years so the collaboration is very fitting.

Pattern and Melody Ehsani teamed up to offer a limited edition pair of bamboo earrings that reading “Juicy”and “Joyful”. I have a pair of custom Melody Ehsani earrings and can attest to the great quality. Around the Way Girls know you need at least two pair, so add a custom pair by while you’re at it.

The bamboo earrings retail for $48 while supplies last. Get them here.

Feature Image and Article Image Credit: Pattern Beauty

My Top 7 Picks From the Brandon Blackwood Fall 2022 Collection

New York City based handbag designer, Brandon Blackwood, has released his catalog for the Fall 2022 collection under his eponymous handbag label and it is good! I mean really good! A girl can dream and imagine spending a month’s worth of bill money on several bags, but we are being responsible adults, right? So let’s make a list instead! Over the past few weeks, the BB team has been hitting us hard with clever marketing showcasing several of the new bags. Here are my top picks!

  1. Lisa Shoulder Bag
Image Credit: Brandon Blackwood

Shoulder bags offer a classic silhouette that never goes out of style. This will serve well as an everyday work bag, especially for those of you who work in a corporate environment. Do not fret, the hardware comes in gold as well in brown and black cracked leather as well as mink fur options.

2. Vanity Purse

$550 (Python Only)
Image Credit: Brandon Blackwood

It was this bag that took my breath away. I had been looking for a box-like bag for a while and none were wowing me until the Vanity Purse hit my timeline. This version is made with python skin and 24K gold plated hardware. The black and brown leather versions are just as fabulous and retail for $350.

$550 (Python Only)
Image Credit: Brandon Blackwood

Did I mention the mirror? This is likely how the bag got its name. It is the full length of the bag and not one of those mirrors where you can only see one eye at a time.

3. Acrylic Basket Bag

Image Credit: Brandon Blackwood

Let’s have a moment of silence for this color…

Can you even?! There are several structural bags in this collection and the Brandon Blackwood team understood the assignment. They gave what needed to be gave. This bag reminds me of a modern take on the vintage lucite bags of the 1950’s. See what I mean here. This here is a showstopper!

4. Acrylic Duplex Purse

Image Credit: Brandon Blackwood

Not to be outdone by her single level cousin, the Acrylic Duplex purse in blue wants us to know she is THAT GIRL and I am not getting in the middle of that fight. To keep things fair, let’s also have a moment of silence for my good sis…

Image Credit: Brandon Blackwood

Because she said she WILL NOT MISS! She rings in at the same price as the one above so it is up to you which route you will choose, both are stunning.

5. Kuei Bag

Image Credit: Brandon Blackwood

If you don’t carry your entire life in a bag like I do, the the original Kuei is for you. I personally have the medium in black and brown and that is the smallest I can go for my lifestyle. I love the structure of the Kueis and the overall style of the bag, I just think it is so unique.

Image Credit: Brandon Blackwood

The front zipper feature is functional and you can unzip the flaps if you need more space. I think it give the purse a more casual look this way and a more formal appearance zipped up. It also comes with a crossbody strap and is offered in 22 colorways.

6. Bamboo B Micro Tote

Image Credit: Brandon Blackwood

The Bamboo B Micro Tote has had the BB fans abuzz since we first spotted it earlier this summer. It is the perfect bag for a night on the town and even red carpet events as we recently saw with Queen Latifah. The bamboo trim is a nod to the girls from around the way who wore bamboo earrings (word to L.L. Cool J.).

7. Bamboo Tote with Silver Hardware

Image Credit: Brandon Blackwood

In keeping with the bamboo theme, the bamboo tote will now be available in silver trim. The original brown and black bamboo totes with gold trim will also be available.

Please note these are just my top picks based on my personal taste to give you an idea of what Brandon Blackwood has to offer. I love the brand. There are many more styles on the website from micro to back backpacks. There is something for everyone.

My Sergio Hudson x Target Wishlist

The fashions are coming! The fall designer collection form Target is coming soon! Sergio Hudson announced his upcoming collection with the big box retailer and I have my wish list ready! Check out the collection video and which pieces I have my eyes on.

Dresses with Endless Possibilities

I love a great dress! I’m a dress girl more than anything, as I feel most comfortable in them. I enjoy statement dresses in solid colors or neutral patterns because it allows me to mix and match with other colors and patterns. These by Sergio Hudson serve as the perfect foundation for statement jewelry, bold accent colors, and patterns.

Versatile Basics

I love a colorful basic piece like this turquoise turtleneck. It can be worn casually or dressed up.

I’m a sucker for an animal print and this zebra print blouse is a satin like fabric is right up my alley. I wear blouses like this with skinny jeans and stilettos or with a pencil skirt or slacks.

Statement Coats

The coats in this collection are divine! Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean you have to stick to neutral outerwear. Jewel tons are surprisingly versatile and often go with most if not all other jewel tones. The deep rich purple pea coat can get more wear than you think and I can plans for it already.

The large houndstooth printed coat is perfect as a statement in its in or to compliment a pop of color underneath.

Product Highlight: JW Anderson Spiral Lambskin Sandals

With Fashion Month upon us, you may be looking for a statement shoe that will be sure to land you on the street style sites. Metallica are always having a moment, and you can do no wrong with gold. These spiral heeled sandals by JW Anderson are it, okay!

They retail for $995 and if you feel like indulging, shop for them here.