NYFW Flashback: Club Lapel

My favorite past-time has and will always be New York Fashion Week. The array of distinguished designers showcasing their creativity always left me with an indelible mark. Watching the Club Lapel fashion show did exactly that. As I watched the illustrious pieces cascade down the runway, I couldn’t help but feel inspired. Each piece that the men wore showed just how much attention to detail, Ackeem (designer behind Club Lapel) thought about. With each of his pieces redefining the man with words of affirmations stitched in, Ackeem’s collection reaffirms and amplifies the beauty behind our Blackness.

Although this particular show was at the end of NYFW, it is the first show where I felt enamored in wanting to write about Ackeem and learn even more about his brand. With his friends and family at the show, this close knit occasion felt intimate and gave me all the more reason in wanting to learn about Club Lapel. Continue reading on to catch an interview with Ackeem and learn about what it meant for him in starting Club Lapel and capturing the essence of empowering the Black man behind his luxury pieces.

Ackeem, Designer of Club Lapel

 Takemetotheheights: Can you tell the readers who Ackeem is?
Ackeem: I am a serial entrepreneur from Brooklyn, New York. I went to Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn and studied information technology at Syracuse University where I later went to work for Dell and other smaller companies in the blockchain space. I currently own a real estate investing company and recently launch(ed) a luxury menswear brand called Club Lapel that looks to focus on dressing the mind, then the man.” 

TMTTHS: How did you get into design?

Ackeem: “Being from New York, I feel fashion is engraved in us at an early age. I’ve always felt that style and fashion is an extension of someone’s personality and (I) always wanted to design something that would bring more of one’s true self out through clothing.

TMTTHS: Why was it important for you to create Club Lapel?

Ackeem: “I felt that with Club Lapel, I can create a brand that could be a new staple household brand that did more than just focus on selling a product but crafting an inspirational brand experience that dresses the mind first, then the man.” 

TMMTHS: What’s been the most rewarding aspect of having your brand?

Ackeem: “The most rewarding aspect of having Club Lapel is being able to add a level of customization to each product that gives it its’ own personality. Most times garments in the formalwear market are your normal black, navy and grey colors which have been the foundation but it’s been rewarding to step outside the norm and create custom vibrant colors and styles.” 

TMTTHS: What’s been the most challenging?

Ackeem: “The most challenging aspect of having Club Lapel has been building the technology to accurately take each client measurements from their smartphone. As we know, technology continues to advance and we want to incorporate this component to our business to not only receive precise measurements as if a tailor took it but also being able to build 3D models so each client can see how the product looks on them prior to purchasing.” 

TMTTHS: What are you hoping for in five years time for Club Lapel? 

Ackeem: In the next five years, I am hoping to become a global brand offering a variety of custom products for men, women and kids that change the way they see themselves. I would love to be able to design multiple wedding projects as well that reshape the formalwear industry. 

TMTTHS: What has launching Club Lapel taught you?

Ackeem: Launching Club Lapel has taught me that being an entrepreneur will require more hours that you worked in a typical 9-5. It requires you to have sleepless nights and a vision that’s bigger than what others and yourself can see. It has also taught me how inspiring each person’s story is as well. 

TMTTHS: What are you manifesting for people in wearing Club Lapel? 

Ackeem: What my goal for people that wear Club Lapel is a manifestation of abundance, love and peace of mind. Studies have shown that formal wear has an affect on the way people think and see themselves and I want to be able to create a positive and growing mental space with these garments. 

TMTTHS: What’s one piece of advice you would like to share to any upcoming/full fledged designer?

Ackeem: One piece of advice I would share to any upcoming/full fledged designer is to shift their focus to not only how their design looks but how their product makes their client feel. A lot of times people may not remember all aspect of a personal, place or thing (product/service) but what they will remember is how they were left feeling after the encounter. If you can provide an overall memorable customer experience whether it be commerce or brick and mortar, you have the ability to create lifelong customers. 

TMTTHS: Any last takeaways you’d like to share with the readers? If so, what would that be?

Ackeem: To never stop believing. You would be surprised to know how many folks you are secretly inspiring just by not giving up on your dreams. 

Be sure to visit clublapel.com to shop luxury menswear.

Above all else, I’d like to take this time in thanking Ackeem in sharing more on his brand, Club Lapel with Takemetotheheights.

God Bless Those 30 Something’s

Good luck on them 30 something’s……

Welcome back to Takemetotheheights.com! It feels incredible to be back in a space where I’m writing again; sharing with you. I do have a question though? Who recommended being an adult? My new bedtime is 9:45 ish (I try to aim for 10) This juggling act of finding that healthy balance between work, school, life and coming into my after 30s (Libra gang) as I like to call it is coupled with my knees cracking and my favorite foods no longer agreeing with me.

If you haven’t reached your 30s yet, please do me a favor and don’t take any advice from anyone. I know that may sound a bit weird but hear me out. Your 30s are simply that. This time, this age, belongs to you. Your experiences ultimately shape what this particular decade will look like. There is no cookie cutter way about it. Lately, I’ve been seeing threads on Twitter that literally try to tell you what you SHOULD do while in your 30s or before then. There is no right or wrong way about it. There’s no formula.

However, having turned 31, I reached a pinnacle in my life where I no longer have the desire of exhausting any energy to people or experiences that don’t serve my highest good. That just might be my favorite part about being in my thirties. At this point of my life, I’m only focused on continuously creating the best version of myself. The version where I continue planting the seeds that’ll lead me to success.

But there are the moments I could do without. Yet even as I begin to think about those not so great moments, I wouldn’t trade this particular age for any other. To me, this is essentially a precursor to what my forties (God willing) will look like. Physically I don’t look the same (weight gain is a lil’ different on this side 😩) but in the same regard, I’ve been maturing more and more into adulthood, physically and spiritually.

So no, there is no one way to entering your thirties. It’s all reflective on what lessons you’ll eventually learn and grow from and what you truly make of it.

All in all, don’t fear your thirties. It’s been a beautiful time and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Before I close out, I thank you for taking the time in reading this post after not posting in quite some time. It means more to me than you know. Also, don’t forget to leave me your thoughts. Let me know if you’re thinking about your thirties as well and sound off in the reply section.

With love,

Love On The Brain

Who’s still swooning over Rihanna’s baby bump?!!!😩 I know I can’t be the only one.

So there I was grabbing some lunch walking back to work when I saw the picture:

There she was with A$AP Rocky and I couldn’t help but think how adorable her bump was and just how genuinely elated she looked.

Then it got me thinking: I remember in my late teens how much I vied for the whole package in my twenties: the house, the two kids, the husband to match. But I realized as I got older, I saw how important it was that my worth and happiness set the tone for how I went about my relationships.

We’re prone to stating the obvious in what we don’t want when it comes to relationships; or love lives, yet what are we doing to ensure we truly place emphasis on the things we desire?

I’ve learned over time that being with someone shouldn’t come at the expense of your happiness. It shouldn’t have you question your values or even be a stakeholder in your mental health.

I knew coming into this post I wanted to dive deeper and stray away from what others wrote about pertaining the soon to be parents.

So no, there’s no time frame you have to reach in order to be in love and ultimately be with someone who wants to grow with you, and honor all that you are. Take the time to cultivate all of who you are. Take the time to figure out your desires. Be intentional with your needs.

And when you ideally find that person who loves you unconditionally, nothing else will matter. There won’t be any doubts nor would you find yourself sacrificing your happiness.

All in all, love can truly be patient and kind when you remember to put you first in all ways, always.

With love,

Let’s Start Over

First and foremost happy New Year to you! I truly hope everyone was able to ring in the new year safely. Aside from that, I wanted to touch on what coming into the new year meant for me. No, it didn’t necessarily mean setting goals(shocking, yes I’m aware) But I felt as though it was important to shed some light on what this new year or this season if you will could potentially mean for you.

I was able to end off 2021 reaffirming my faith in myself and rediscovering my new found sense of independence. Above all else, I was reintroduced with something I’ve put on the back burner due to my then circumstances and how I relatively felt about it (I know it’s hella ambiguous but stay with me. I’ll eventually touch base about it in due time 🙏🏾🧿)

Back then, the thought of starting over was something I couldn’t fathom. The moment I was granted the opportunity to start over, whether it be a job or even going back to school or even dating, I started questioning as to why I’d ultimately started over. I’d be wrong if I didn’t mention the countless times where the thought of starting over frightened me. It went against my better judgement. Why did the thought of starting over or attempting to do so bring up so many thoughts/worries?

And then it dawned on me: the pressures of what it “should” look like when you’re starting over was filled with an overwhelming need of reaching this so-called expectation/perception society has on someone restarting anything. Why did it matter so much to me about how other people felt about the choices I made with my life?

What I started to realize more was that it was ALWAYS okay for me or anyone at that to start over. I know those fears/doubts and even what people may say would often deter you or me at that but I remembered just how much it meant for me to go back and start all over again (and again if I needed to)

I stopped caring about those “expectations”, I stopped worrying about the what if’s. I knew deep down I owed it to myself (in more ways than you could imagine) to just do it over, no matter what it was, no matter how tiresome it was, or frustrating. I was allowing myself to hone up to what I left behind and honored every wave of emotion it came with when I gave myself the time to do it again. Only when it came back around, I moved more intentionally and allowed my deepest desires and manifestations to truly be the foundation I needed to keep pushing forward.

Before I leave this blog post, I want you to take what you will from this post but walk with the grace in knowing it isn’t ever too late to start over.

Let me know what you plan on starting over or simply starting in the replies.

As always, I’ll catch you in next one.

Let’s meet: Maya Davis of Udeen Designs!

We here at Takemetotheheights want to take this time in thanking Maya Davis for allowing us to get to know her and her brand, Udeen Designs a bit more. As part of our mission here at Takemetotheheights, we think it’s crucial to educate ourselves as well as others more about small black-owned businesses.

1. Tell the readers who you are? What is Udeen Designs? My name is Maya Davis. I am an interdisciplinary artist and the founder of Udeen Designs. Udeen Designs is an art & home lifestyle brand.

2. Why did you start? I have always been creative. Art is my very first love. Udeen Designs was born out of my need to be a more creative and ethical designer. I worked as a textile designer and noticed how much waste my industry produced. I began taking it home and making art with the recycled fabric and paper around me.

3. What are you manifesting for Udeen Designs before the year is over or overall? I am manifesting growth for Udeen Designs. Growth in network, in collectors, in sales, and opportunities to showcase my work. I would love to see a Udeen Designs & Anthropology collaboration. I feel I could express my love of art, home decor, and more in partnership with them.

4. Who would you want Udeen Designs to collaborate with?

I would love to see a Udeen Designs (and) Anthropology collaboration. I feel I could express my love of art, home decor, and more in partnership with them. I would also love to work with artist Christina Martinez. I admire her work and her journey as an artist and I believe it would be an incredible opportunity to learn and create.

5. If you could go back in time, what would you say(to yourself or your brand) or want to change?

If I could go back in time I would tell myself to call yourself what you are, an artist, and launch your brand with intention and while you’re still employed lol.

6. Any advice for any up-and-coming artists/creatives who practice your medium?

(The ) advice I would give to up-and-coming artists/ creatives would be to be patient with yourself and your process. Explore all that you can in your own time and in a way that feels good to you. It will only help with your development.

7. Where can people find your work?

People can find my work at www.udeendesigns.com & @udeendesigns on IG & FB.

Before we close out, we just wanted to note what it means for us to showcase a fellow creative. It really does wonders for us whenever we get the opportunity in learning about a creative who not only look like us but can also capture creativity that’s reminiscent of the things we’ve been exposed to or are trying to express.

Let’s continue to remember the power behind our creativity and the lives of those we can captivate through our art of storytelling.

As Maya has mentioned, be sure to check out her beautiful work by visiting her site and let’s continue to support and amplify one another.