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Wear Your Voice chose the Oakland Indie Awards for our official launch because what is WYV about if not supporting indie business owners, artists, and people doing their thang in our beloved Oakland?! So how did we present ourselves to the great indie folks of Oakland? With a live photo shoot, of course, because what is WYV about if not supporting Oakland indie designers by showing their clothing  on local beauties — made up live and direct by local makeup artists and hair stylists, captured by local photographers — all displayed with full disclosure?! Nothing, I tell you, that is totally what WYV is about.

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The brilliant idea for the ‘Behind the Seams’ live photo shoot came from our fav little designer curator and boutique owner, Alanna Rayford. She, Ravneet Vohra (WYV’s fearless leader), Maria Garcia Pacheco, and I styled the shoot and the crowd appeared captivated as planned. Photographer Kola Shobo captured the first portion of the shoot (shown in the slideshow above), and Elena Kulikova shot the last portion (shown in slideshow below). As always, we give our viewers full disclosure about photoshopping our images, so please note that Kola photoshopped his images to his preference, and Elena’s images are not photoshopped.

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Models include (in order of appearance in Kola’s video): Adrianna Reloba, Amore Love, Staneisha Henson, Jaclyn McMillan, Nia Tahani Wilkes, Yustra, and Lauren Miller (shown only in the peach Black Lotus dress in Elena’s photos).

Makeup by: Paola Castro, Rachel Rene, and Nicolette La Franchi

Hair by: Rachel Rene and Nicolette La Franchi

A special thanks to Crown Nine for lending some of the jewelry displayed

A very special thanks to Steve Snider and Steve Baiocchi for their involvement with the Indies Awards and for connecting WYV with Alanna Rayford and Maria Garcia Pacheco.

And a very special thanks to Lula Falol and Aja Cooper from One PacificCoast Bank and Foundation for involving us in the Indie Awards.

For more in-depth coverage of the Indie Awards, check out Liz Vogt’s article by clicking here.


Stri has lived all over the United States. She moved to Oakland from Honolulu, HI in 2009 to get her MFA in Creative Writing at Mills College. Stri prefers odd numbers to even and at a young age began associating gender and personality traits to numbers, letters, words, and objects. For Wear Your Voice she writes about sex and relationships, currently emerging themes in her daily thoughts and life, and local characters, groups, and happenings. She's also known to snap a few pictures - especially if she spots a fly woman on the street ‘wearing her voice’. Favorite place in Oakland - Mountain View Cemetery. If you were a street in Oakland - Piedmont Avenue If you were a tattoo what would you be and where? - a peacock feather infinity symbol she has tattooed on her left side, running from just below her armpit to just above her thigh.

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