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BKNY Tastemakers

When you choose the shirt that covers your back, you probably never think about how it was made.   Jose Andrade, pioneer in the custom screen printing industry, probably had a hand in creating most of the t-shirts in your dresser drawer.  Printing shirts for the likes of Jay-Z, Eminem, 50 Cent and Drake…BKNY Printing finds its home right in our own backyard, Brooklyn, NYC.  “Everyday hustling, hip hop and house music.  Dealing with the most talented people on the planet,” says Andrade.  Think hip hop, think BKNY. 

Everyone with a cell phone is a photographer these days but you’ve most likely seen Shirley Rodriguez’s work all over the place and just never knew it.  Fruit of the Loom, Olay, Vibe Magazine, Cover Girl, Pantene…Rodriguez, a professional photographer since her early 20’s, is constantly capturing memorable images that speak to the Latin conscience.  Her latest project, “The Master’s Tools,” is a journey across the country recording the tragedy of manual workers disfigured by backbreaking labor.  During your next jaunt to Williamsburg, look for her shooting one of her many fine artist portraits (one of her particular passions), with cafe con leche in hand.

Scene Stealers is comprised of two young Latinas, Jessica Ramirez and Samantha Vargas, looking to make their mark on the entertainment and marketing industries.  Using their blog and website, they pool their creative talents to encourage girls like them to follow their dreams and pursue their aspirations.  With interviews, reviews, and other tidbits of cultural interest, Scene Stealers has become well known on the event circuit and continue to bring their unique perspective to already-interesting events. Jessica, the creative genius, and Samantha, the social butterfly, can be found on Urban Latino Radio every Monday night at 10:30 pm and Blogs for Latinas as well as their own websites, www.officialscenestealers.com.

Fashion mogul and all-around entrepreneur, the name Willie Escobar Martinez immediately calls to mind Willie Esco – streetwear brand created by Escobar Martinez that exploded onto city streets in 1996, quickly becoming a household name.  Since then, Willie Esco, as he is otherwise known, has grown to become a marketing guru extraordinaire, launching Makaveli Branded and bringing Coogi back from the depths of bankruptcy.  Now focused on the Latin market, look for his latest projects, LCN (La Cosa Nuestra), for those looking to be achieve trendsetting looks and Blanco Label, for the fashion savvy who are also price conscience.

Words by Nicole Ashton

Photography by Josh Dehonney


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