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Introducing King Des to the World

Brooklyn born Destinie, aka King Des, is a 25-year-old stylist, blogger and “momtrepreneur.” She recently sat down with Bleu and gave us more insight on her life. Check out the interview below.

Who are the most important people in your life that make you who you are today?
God, Farren, and my daughter, Kyrie.

When and how did you realize you wanted to be on the career path you are on now?
When I think back I have always loved being creative. I like art, I’ve danced since middle school, and have just always loved clothes. All things creative. I’ve explored so many different styles, which all led to my style now. It’s all personal, through experience.

 What made you start your ‘kingdes’ blog?
I started my first blog in like my Sophomore year of high school. I remember sitting in my friend’s house, on her laptop creating it. I was so inspired by Lily Allen, Gaga, Katy Perry and so on at the time. Karla’s Closet by Karla Deras was my favorite blog at that time. I loved the idea of having a cool fashion blog, sharing my opinions, etc, and then it all just grew from there. I changed my blog name about 3 times before I landed on King Des.


Where did your InstaGram name ‘kingdes’ come from? Why not ‘queendes’?
Using king instead of queen started in high school for me. It was more boss. I like that when people hear king, they automatically connect that to a male. I remember reading this quote that said: “Sometimes the King is a woman”, and it just stuck.

Who are your fashion inspirations, muses, or biggest influencers?
I have always been inspired by Pharrell Williams. He is such a dope and creative person, and his style is phenomenal. I also love Marci Penn’s wardrobe. I’d love to go shopping in her closet!

How would you describe your style or aesthetic?
My style is definitely a mix of a lot of different styles. I like a little bit of everything, which is incorporated into my looks. I can be tomboy and girly at the same time.

What’s your go-to outfit?
All black will never fail you. Leather jacket, a tee, jeans, and either heels or sneakers depending on the vibes.

If you could wear one clothing item for the rest of your life,
what would you be?

That’s a tough one. I’d have to say a leather jacket. It makes every outfit better.

How do you keep up with the latest trends?
You can catch me scrolling on via social media and reading other blogs, but I don’t necessarily like following the latest trends.

How do you create your looks? What’s the thought process behind your outfits?
My looks are based on of many things, but also come very natural. What’s the vibe? What’s the weather like? Where am I going?

What’s a typical day like for your “King Des” brand?
Usually shooting new merchandise to drop on that Friday, while already prepping for the next week’s drop. There’s a lot that goes into it. Sourcing, creating, styling, shooting, editing, posting, shipping, blogging, a LOT. I’m involved in every single part of my brand. I know that very soon I have to start expanding my team, which I’m both grateful and nervous about. I’m very specific about what I want.

How has your social media platform helped your King Des brand and image?

Social media has definitely helped me connect with so many people around the world! I love answering as many comments as I can, and just overall engaging with my following. I learn from them, and they learn from me.

 

What’s your process when you’re styling? How do you decide what’s “right” for someone that comes to you with styling advice or needs a stylist?
Styling for me is more about the confidence, not the clothes. I don’t just want to put clothes on you. I want you to feel good in them. Like they represent you. It’s important for me to get to know you, see what you’re already working with. Body shape and heights vary on everyone,
so that is also taken into account.

 

You mentioned two of your influences, but If you had the chance to style one celebrity, male and female, who would it be and why?
Male, A-Boogie Wit Da Hoodie. When I started seeing more of Artist, I would always say how I wanted to stye him. I have some looks in mind for him! Female, Teyana Taylor. She already has the swag, and goes for the look, so it would be fun to experiment and really do something out
there with her. Something super fresh!

What are you currently working on? What should we be expecting from your brand in the future?
Currently, I’m working on blogging more frequently. I’m getting to know what my readers like and collaborating with brands to give my readers more insight on products before purchasing. You can expect more blog posts, more dope items to shop from, more pop-ups and giveaways.

Where can we buy your items? What items do you offer? Who is your audience?
My items are available on my site, www.kingdes.com. I sometimes open up room for shopping with me via DM, because I love connecting with my following. I offer designer pieces, reworked items, and I also have a curated capsule collection, which I created to showcase what I think
dope women and men should have in their closet! You can also check out my blog on my website.

Earlier you describe yourself as a stylist, blogger, momtrepreneur, how do you balance being all these things?
Being a mom is exactly what makes all of those things possible! Becoming a mother has made me into a superhuman! I’ve grown remarkable strength because of my daughter, as well as my husband, who has shown me nothing but endless support. Nonetheless, whatever you set
your mind to is achievable. NOTHING is impossible!

All of that surely keeps you busy, so what do you do in your spare time?
I like to shop, a lot! I’m always checking out what’s new at my favorite stores online. I also really like catching a movie with Farren whenever we can!

What has been the most challenging thing you’ve overcome?
Not taking things personally. Just focusing on what I need to focus on, and not feeling bad about it.

What’s one thing you feel like you need to work on, in regards to yourself?
Not expecting anything. I’ve gotten way better at it. I just want to do, genuinely.

What is one thing about you that people don’t know from just following you?
THAT I’M REALLY NICE! Some of my followers are so surprised when I respond, or expect me to have this bitchy personality, but that’s not me.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to your followers that you inspire?
Don’t let an obstacle stop you from what you want. There will be ups and downs, people will tell you no, but it’s all in the journey. Don’t lose sight of what you want.

What is your tak opinion on the representation of women in the
fashion world? What advice do you have for them?

I believe women overall need to be nicer to one another. Cut the facade.

How do you feel like you’ve contributed to the fashion world?
I feel like I have encouraged and inspired many people to “GO FOR IT”, which is important in fashion, and in life period. I have had plenty of people tell me they wish they could pull off one of my looks, or that they would never try a particular item for whatever reason. They set these barriers for themselves, forgetting that fashion has no barrier. Neither do dreams. Not only should you wear what you like, but also, NEVER STOP CHASING YOUR DREAMS! GO FOR IT!

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Allow Diggy Simmons To Re-Introduce Himself

Words: J’Na Jefferson

Photography: Andre Perry

Stylist: Raven Roberts

Grooming: Chris Tabassi

Barber: Paris Lebron

Diggy Simmons ain’t new to this shit. Although he’s just 23 years old, the EMPIRE signee has been casually killing the game for nearly ten years. When he was just 14, the son of Run-D.M.C.’s Rev Run and the nephew of music mogul Russell Simmons released his first mixtape, The First Flight, which was followed up by two more mixtapes and his debut, Unexpected Arrival, in 2012.

Sandwiched between the projects were the accolades. Simmons, whose government name is Daniel Dwayne Simmons III, received cosigns from industry bigwigs like Kanye West and fellow East Coaster Nas, who praised him after he murdered a freestyle over his “Made You Look” beat in 2010. Even better? The then 15-year-old secured a slot on the 2011 XXL Freshman list alongside future rap superstars Big K.R.I.T, Meek Mill, and Kendrick Lamar; to this day, he is the youngest person ever included in the magazine’s Freshman class.

 

Outfit: COACH

 

After a brief hiatus and a few impromptu freestyle releases over the years, Simmons is prepping his sophomore studio album, slated to drop this fall. On Twitter in early-August before the video for his first single “It Is What It Is” was released, he revealed that negative notions and overthinking his music prohibited him from releasing new material for a few years. However, he’s no longer sweating the small stuff and taking everything the universe throws at him in stride.

“You just have to draw back to that feeling where you think, ‘this is special to me, this presents who I am,’” Simmons tells BLEU about disposing of his pessimism so that his vision can thrive. “You may get anxiety about ‘what if?’ It’s not reality, it’s just all in your head. It feels really good to be able to get out my ideas and to say the different things that I wanna say. Then, to see how people relate to it… them telling me their experiences, it kind of matches the theme.” Per the artist, the untitled project will explore both the gamut of human emotions and his maturation as both a performer and a person.

Outfit: COACH

 

“It definitely has many different layers,” Simmons says of the forthcoming album. “There are vibes like [“It Is What It Is”], but there are several different layers. From the beats being different to the concepts, it’s well-rounded because that’s what life is. We have those moments where we feel like we’re overcoming, where we feel high or cocky, where we feel lower and we don’t feel so good about ourselves, and everything in between. I gave all of those emotions a chance to see this album.”

“It Is What It Is” doesn’t involve fancy beat drops that’ll make the club go apeshit; instead, the scaled back, choir-accompanied violins give way to the song’s introspective lyrics.

“Once I rapped over [the “IIWII” beat], time in the album just went by,” he explains of the minimalism heard in the LP’s lead single. “By the end of the process, we were like ‘do we wanna put drums on this? This is hard!’ So, we didn’t, and it really does come with a message… It makes people focus on the lyrics, and it challenges the ear.”

After some time away from the scene, one may ask the music vet “why now?” to release new tracks. According to Diggy, he was itching to release his music sooner, however, he had to make sure he was ready on all fronts.

“This is just the time where I’ve finally been able to gather that strength, gather that confidence to just do it again,” he reveals. “This is just a time when I could do it. I’m happy. It feels just right, I’m excited.”

 

While he was away from the music scene, Simmons ensured that he was keeping busy in other realms. Other than being a musician, you may have seen Simmons modeling for Dolce & Gabbana in campaigns and on the Freeform show Grown-ish, where he played the romantic interest of Jaz, portrayed by singer and actress Chloe Bailey. He explains that he’s “blessed” for his career to have blossomed in several ways, and he’s thrilled to be exploring all avenues of his interests.

“Of course, I wanted to make music, I wanted to do things in fashion,” he says. “I wanna do more collaborative things with different people, doing my own projects one day. The same thing with acting, it’s something I really love and have a real passion for, and it’s something I enjoy getting better at. I’d always hoped to do different things.”

Suit: Topman | Shirt: Selected Homme | Shoes: Florsheim

Naturally, growing up as a Simmons taught Diggy how to develop and build a brand from a young age. However, he states that he usually moves in a creative way rather than with a business mindset like other members of his family.

“I’ve definitely been able to just watch them build brands of their own,” he says of his family. “Whether it’s the fact that my dad was a rapper and he’s also a family man, and we ended up having the reality show that was really about family…Same with my uncle and him being a part of projects that have to do with him being a vegan or being a yogi, I’ve really been able to see how they work.”

Shirt: Mr. Turk | Pants: Dickies | Shoes: Adidas

Of course, he shouts out his famous father for always leading him on the straight and narrow, especially when it comes to surviving and thriving in the game.

“From my own perspective, getting advice from my dad, or even an opinion from someone who has done it and seen it, I’m really thankful for him,” he notes.

Despite being in the game for longer than many of his rap contemporaries, Diggy Simmons is continuing his journey of emotional growth and maturity whilst spreading his wings creatively. Especially now that he’s readying his second album and is no longer a teen in the game, he’s done a lot of expanding up until this point. Among the biggest lesson he’s learned in his 20s thus far? Taking responsibility for himself and his choices.

“[There are] no longer any fingers that you could point, nobody you could blame, there’s nothing to really fall back on,” he explains of the most important morsel of knowledge he’s picked up as a 20-something. “If you make a decision, or if you do something that doesn’t have to do with whatever your goal is, or how you wanna go about something…that sticks with you. You have to deal with whatever consequences come with your actions.” All in all, Diggy is loving the maturation process, and is growing more and more in love with his beautiful journey as an artist and person each day.

Suit: Perry Ellis | Shoes: Adidas

“Everything I’ve been through, the process in between me being able to come back and the good things that I’ve seen, it’s a whole process,” he says after some brief reflection on his part. “Really, when anyone goes through a transitional period in their life, they’re trying to figure out if it’s beautiful, because they end up learning [at] the end of it. You learn how to not do things, and it’s a whole process. You have to be able to say ‘even if I did mess up here, even if I did make a mistake, it’s okay,’ I think that’s beautiful.”

We guess you can say, it is what it is.

 

Grooming Products Used

Philips Norelco – OneBlade Face + Body

Blackwood For Men – Bionutrient Foaming Face Wash

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