CompoZition 002: After the Rain

"It's my window, but I can't stand the rain".... The downpour plaguing the city of Houston has been constant for what seems like forever this year. However, this week was the most intense display of Mother Nature's cleansing in a while. My eyes popped open around 7:02am from a restless slumber due to the "wrath of God" the previous night to images streaming from EricMichvel's IG displaying the city underwater. I instantly hit him and headed up the road to get a piece of the action firsthand. 

Flashbacks from Tropical Storm Allison instantly overwhelmed me. In that moment, I was 11 years old again holding on to my mothers hand at the edge of the freeway to see it engulfed all around. After a brief set of deja vu I began to look through Eric's camera to see what all he had captured on the journey. DYNAMO is all I could think of. A powerful depiction of the rain's trauma only seemed like art to me despite the devastation literally in arms reach. 

After calling family and friends in the area to ensure everyone was safe and sound, the hunt for food began, of course. To much surprise, but truly none at all, The Breakfast Klub was our saving grace. Instantly the flood of major news channels began to pop into Eric's IG comments between the bites of chicken and waffles. The man was Jay Z for a second- Washington Post and CNN on the hip just like that. I seemed to not be the only one who appreciated his depiction of the story of the day.

That moment of congratulations and hi-fives made me think about.... what comes after the rain? Once you've been cleansed of your trials and life distresses what is left? Sometimes like in Eric's case the light at the end of the tunnel is bold and bright. Others may have a different tread. I guess this post is similar to the Dirty Laundry photo story done a few weeks ago, but it truly is about becoming a new you. Making those individual adjustments that will only set you up for success no matter what your circumstances. Trust me, these words are more for me than anyone because I'm in that stage of life as we speak. Houston took a hard hit, we even lost the opportunity to advance to the NBA Finals the next day (yes, we're hurt). But there's always a new season up ahead, so weather the storm and push forward....

To see more of work from EricMichvel:

IG: @ericmichvel || Website: || VSCO:

Orange Culture presents "Alex"

When I think of Orange Culture I immediately reflect on youthful innovation. Youthful in its approach of relaying a message; in that it's distinct and clear while always remaining fresh and energetic. This brand has been able to capture the very essence of beauty because they highlight the magic in the details. 

Here we take a different #CompoZers approach and highlight an actual composition- the newest photo story from the brand titled, "Alex". Founder, Adebayo Oke-Lawal breaks down the visual and bring us into his realm. 

What inspired the title?

The idea that two people with entirely different characteristics could be totally tied together by a name . Both models for example - both their names are Alex. From two entirely different worlds and interests but in that moment when someone says the name Alex - they are one.

Give us more info on the theme of this story.

We wanted to explore the idea of youth . The freshness of individuality in youth. The choice to explore the softness of youth as a man and how beautiful it could be . We wanted to explore the art of soft masculinity in youth and how beautiful it could be. The idea of loving art , loving flowers , loving beautiful things as a young African man - all those things should be beautiful even as a man.

When you are deciding on the visual for a lookbook or campaign for Orange Culture, where do you start first?

I start with a moodboard really . I pull what I call inspiration journals - which you can sometimes see on my tumblr - images, music, words that paint a picture of what I am feeling and I present that to a photographer - if he feels the emotions I feel when I see those things - gbam! - the relationship to build that visual begins.

Do you have more fun creating visuals such as Alex or designing the clothes?

Nothing better than creating clothes . Visuals do excite me but the stories I tell through creating clothes cannot be replaced

Do you feel “Alex” is a composition? Why?

I do because I feel it composes of so many different pieces of Orange Culture / so many aspects of what inspires and builds orange culture as a brand - Alex is a composition of one of the pieces of the puzzle that is orange culture. Hopefully that makes sense. 

photography: The Bisbol Man

Follow the brand:

Website:  ||  IG: @orangcultureng