Skip to content Skip to footer

Meet Anisa Benitez: The creative redefining the term “starving artist.” 

The life and times of the modern creative are complex, to say the least.

Finding and following your passions on top of keeping the lights on is a mentally and physically demanding journey. Just ask Anisa Benitez, the creative dismantling everything you were told about being a “starving artist.” 

It’s hard to boil down what Benitez does into one word. After flexing marketing roles for brands like Google, YouTube and Time Inc., she just launched her own platform, More by Her, and she is ready to embark on new challenges in her pursuit of creative abundance. 

The KH Squad caught up with Benitez to dig into her mindset and learn how we can rewrite the creative narrative.

Early Days


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by ANISA 💃🏽🌎☁️✨ (@anisabenitez) on

Much of Benitez’s early influences came from growing up in New York and seeing artists flourish, which helped her recognize her own creativity at an early age. From an early age, she found solace in playing the violin, dancing, painting, and designing. 

Both of her parents are Afro-Latino and developed careers based on their passions and helping others, sacrificing a lot along the way.

Her parents encouraged her to invest her time in things that would contribute to a “lifetime,” having the perspective to steer her away from jobs that would be soul-sucking. 

creative redefining
Photo Cred: @Vargas.Visuals

Similar to most millennial creatives, becoming financially independent was always a goal. Understanding the thrill in creating and also witnessing the realities of sustaining a livelihood off of artistry inspired her to find a happy medium to build a lucrative career. 

“You have to learn and accept doing some things that are focused on making money. It might be just a job that also allows you space to do the thing that’s creative.”

She continued, 

“I think artists are people who create and create possibilities. That can be applied to absolutely any space that you’re working in. It’s amazing when you can be creatively and artistically expressive.”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by ANISA 💃🏽🌎☁️✨ (@anisabenitez) on

The Moves

Going to college can be a difficult time for creatives as finding a path that encompasses your interests while securing your future is much easier said than done.

Working her way through college, getting a return on her investment in herself was always top of mind. This mindset of continually identifying what brought her value compared to what wasn’t helped her in her journey to choosing a career path.

creative redefining
Photo Cred: @Vargas.Visuals

Benitez grew a love for behavioral economics which led her to focus on marketing for its fusion of her two loves –  creative and strategy. 

“I didn’t want to just do it to make money for businesses, I wanted to help people. I wanted most importantly to help artists.”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by ANISA 💃🏽🌎☁️✨ (@anisabenitez) on

Recognizing her long term goal of working in the music industry along with shorter-term goals that would help her on the way led Benitez to immerse herself in the music scene at her college and find a way to break in.

During her time at Smith College, she hustled and networked to ultimately land a marketing internship with the school’s entertainment group.

Despite being a fulltime student and working on campus, the internship was beyond validating as it allowed her to move towards her dream, allowing her to put forth energy in something she would do regardless of getting paid. 

“I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to have dreams first, and then set goals that ladder towards those dreams.”

starving artist
Photo Cred: @Vargas.Visuals

Starving vs. Thriving

 This experience was the catalyst to Benitez holding various marketing roles post-graduation, allowing her to support artists while helping build brands in her tenure at many esteemed companies.


View this post on Instagram


2 days left ✌🏽Then I’ll be leaving Google/YouTube Music and off to focus on creative endeavors. Goodbye, Mama Googs! It’s been 3 incredible years with the company! I’m grateful to have experienced so much growth personally and professionally here, but now I need to fly this nest… – What’s next? Doing and learning. Looking forward to having time to invest in myself. My dreams, curiosities and ideas that need to be nurtured. Some I’ve been holding aside for decades because of fear or ego, others are more recent. So to have time, the most precious resource, to pour into these will bring much learning. Thankful to be a beginner again! Spreading my wings again.

A post shared by ANISA 💃🏽🌎☁️✨ (@anisabenitez) on

At the turn of 2019, Benitez’s hunger for more creatively led her to fully dip her toes in creative entrepreneurship and continuing as a performing artist. 

In late 2019, she launched More By Her, a platform highlighting creative womxn shaping culture.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by CREATIVE WOMXN SHAPE CULTURE (@more_by_her) on

Having met a number of women who have pursued their creative loves and are able to sustain themselves from such, Benitez wanted to help give them a platform to show others that pursuing your dreams doesn’t destine you to be a starving artist. 

“The aim is really to dismantle the starving artists stigma through storytelling, because I have identified storytelling as the thing that humans are really good at latching on to. It’s one thing that we retain.”

Benitez continued,

“The more stories that we can share as creatives who are shaping culture who are thriving, the more that becomes a reality.”

It’s often hard to imagine ourselves doing the things we dream of because the media fails to show people who look like us, talk like us, and feel like us in those spotlights.

Platforms like More By Her, give the youth, people to identify with and show that creative artistry exists on a diverse spectrum and cannot be universally simplified to “starving” for all. 

Benitez’s empathy for the artistic struggle also led her to launch the No Starving Artist podcast which she hosts and produces.

The podcast aims to help fellow creatives with career guidance through storytelling in an easily digestible format that can help motivate especially during those long trains rides onto your next grind. 

Of the many gems dropped by Benitez in our chop-up, one of the biggest takeaways was simply to invest in yourself because by doing so, you not only fulfill your personal destiny but also inspire others like you to see the possibilities. Thus, shaping culture. 

Let’s thrive fam.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by ANISA 💃🏽🌎☁️✨ (@anisabenitez) on

Fight Kulture: Reese Scott’s Women’s World of Boxing Part II

What are you fighting for?

When heard initially, the word “fight” may prompt visuals of violence, gore, or an old 90s action flick. But the word speaks to so much more. It’s mental, emotional, it’s universal and when said it can be felt by all.

For too long, the idea of fighting was seen as solely masculine, building a multitude of social constraints that discouraged women from participating in combat sports and while these constraints have slowly been lifting, they still exist.

One of the many pillars supporting and fueling women in combat sports is none other than Reese Lynn Scott, owner of New York City’s first women’s only boxing gym, Women’s World of Boxing. 

Right at the tip of Harlem lies a getaway, a  safe space, a home to women of all ages to do one thing. Fight

Fresh off of its two year anniversary, WWBOX has built a community for women in the city to be themselves. At the heart of this community is Scott, full-time trainer and soul-sister to all. 

Scott fell in love with boxing at a crucial time in her life. On the surface, she had it all – the career, the finances, but at the end of the day, she wasn’t happy even though society told her she should be.

This disconnect led her to fall into a deep depression, compromising not only her emotional health but her physical as well. 

One day, Scott walked into a boxing gym near her office and never looked back. While her determination and newfound energy in fighting helped her find new fulfillment, the manner in which herself and other women were treated in traditional boxing gyms didn’t sit well. 

Scott took a bet on herself and quit her esteemed publishing gig to open a safe haven where women didn’t have to worry about their appearance, their presumed ability or hearing disingenuous remarks during their workout.

She set forth to open a place where women could just be themselves and continue to fight their fight without having to consider any opinions other than their own. 

Peep the video above for Part II of our chop up with the charismatic enigma about her journey and the roots of the iconic gym.

Reese Scott’s Women’s World of Boxing Part I and see some BTS photos below

Women’s World of Boxing BTS Photos

women's world of boxing

women's world of boxing

women's world of boxing

women's world of boxing

women's world of boxing

women's world of boxing

women's world of boxing

women's world of boxing

Photos Courtesy: Jesse Vargas x Zaire Ivey-Bracco

Fight Kulture: Reese Scott’s Women’s World of Boxing Part I

What are you fighting for?

When heard initially, the word “fight” may prompt visuals of violence, gore, or an old 90s action flick. But the word speaks to so much more. It’s mental, emotional, it’s universal and when said it can be felt by all.

For too long, the idea of fighting was seen as solely masculine, building a multitude of social constraints that discouraged women from participating in combat sports and while these constraints have slowly been lifting, they still exist.

One of the many pillars supporting and fueling women in combat sports is none other than Reese Lynn Scott, owner of New York City’s first women’s only boxing gym, Women’s World of Boxing

Right at the tip of Harlem lies a getaway, a  safe space, a home to women of all ages to do one thing. Fight

Fresh off of its two year anniversary, WWBOX has built a community for women in the city to be themselves. At the heart of this community is Scott, full-time trainer and soul-sister to all. 

Scott fell in love with boxing at a crucial time in her life. On the surface, she had it all – the career, the finances, but at the end of the day, she wasn’t happy even though society told her she should be.

This disconnect led her to fall into a deep depression, compromising not only her emotional health but her physical as well. 

One day, Scott walked into a boxing gym near her office and never looked back. While her determination and newfound energy in fighting helped her find new fulfillment, the manner in which herself and other women were treated in traditional boxing gyms didn’t sit well. 

Scott took a bet on herself and quit her esteemed publishing gig to open a safe haven where women didn’t have to worry about their appearance, their presumed ability or hearing disingenuous remarks during their workout.

She set forth to open a place where women could just be themselves and continue to fight their fight without having to consider any opinions other than their own. 

Peep the video above for Part I of our chop up with the charismatic enigma about her journey and the roots of the iconic gym.


There’s More to Porn: Asa Akira tells us what’s really good with the industry

There’s more to porn… 

While the once-taboo act of self-indulgence has now turned into the multi-billion dollar porn industry, many still struggle with the nuances of sex-positive feminism.

As one of the most notable names and most recognizable faces in the game, Asa Akira is a pivotal part of the movement to normalize not just porn, but female versatility all around. 

“We don’t always allow women to be a lot of different things. You’re either a mother or you’re a slut, or you’re a businesswoman. Those three things don’t have to be mutually exclusive.”

They shouldn’t be mutually exclusive. Still, when some first hear that a woman is a “porn star,” preconceived notions of sexual delinquency may be the first to come to mind.

Asa Akira
Photo Cred: @cassellinc


Akira’s entire career demolishes the stereotype. She’s transcended her creativity from off the screen to directing, writing three books, hosting the Pornhub podcast, and even walking the runway at NYFW. 

The KH Squad chopped it up with the playmaker herself this past Valentine’s Day at Pornhub’s Pop-Up shop in New York to find out what’s really good with her grind as a creative. 

Asa Akira tells
Photo Cred: @cassellinc

The Hub (yeah that one)

If you weren’t up on the game, just peeping the line of fans waiting to see the “Anal Queen” proves how much Akira is loved.

While your typical meet-and-greet may just include an awkward thumbs-up picture, meeting Asa hit differently. The Pornhub ambassador embraced, kissed, signed boobs and posed for fans in such a warm way she felt more like a homegirl.

Asa Akira

In 2019, there were over 42 billion visits to, proving that watching porn is beyond normal, even when on your private browser.

The adult industry has thrived in representing the incalculable fetishes that turn people on. Still, struggles with diversity and non-stereotypical representation of talent exist.

Pornhub is a recognized leader in the industry. They have presented challenging narratives for both on-screen explicit content and non-endemic partnerships. Hell, even the drill scene made its way to the platform. 

The website has even taken a step further creatively. It wasn’t too long ago when they established their Visionaries Director’s Club that features debut films by unexpected guest directors to diversify porn production.

Through Pornhub’s club, they help create more varied content. They also keep multiple types of viewers in mind to appeal to their diverse global audience.

Their visionaries are artists who are out there becoming voices for change for the next generation. They are artists creating genre-defying content.

The club was kickstarted with the debut of Young M.A.’s feature film, “The Gift.” For their next installment, Pornhub would work with boundary-pushing musical artist Brooke Candy.

The video featured our homegirl Asa Akira alongside Abella Danger, Kira Noir, Jesse Prather, Remy Cruze, Venus Lux, and Chanel Santini.

In another, Bella Thorne brought her creative vision to life in “Her & Him.” Asa has worked with lots of porn companies but this is the first one where they’re adamant about including women of color.

She spoke on how Pornhub is changing adult content:

“I’m really really grateful to Porn Hub for not just putting me out there but sexual women in general. They’re always very, very, very pro-women, especially pro women of color.”

Asa Akira
Photo Cred: @yannimalo

Akira continued,

“I think that’s really cool and necessary. It sucks that it’s necessary. That they have to make a point to do it, but they’re doing it and I think that’s cool.

The organization also recently collaborated with designer, Namilia for their AW ‘20 NYFW show, Herotiica. Akira with multiple adult stars of Asian descent strutted down the catwalk. 

Akira herself peacocked in a decadent all-black transformer outfit equipped with wings that bore the phrase “COCKWRECKER” on them.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Asa Akira (@asahole) on

Their fits not only represented a fire collab but they were a feminist statement aimed to help shift narratives around women in the adult industry and female sexuality.

“Anytime we cross the mainstream with porn culture, it’s just a really good positive thing. We can normalize sex a little bit more…”

Asa continued,

“I think it’s really unhealthy the way society sees sexuality, especially in women. We’re told that sexuality is dirty and being horny is gross and I would really like that to not be a thing very soon.”

Asa Akira
Photo Cred: @cassellinc

The First Kink

A native-New Yorker, Akira’s appreciation and outspokenness about her sexuality started young. Growing up in New York with an esteemed photographer, she was often his subject and soon began to familiarize being on camera with love.

Akira grew up hearing the same negative sentiments we’ve all heard about female hypersexuality and masturbation. Yet, her curiosity continued to grow. 

Asa Akira
Photo Cred: @cassellinc

She became a dominatrix at 19 and transitioned to stripping at Larry Flint’s Hustler Club. In time, she began to record cam-solo videos and once she starred in her first girl-on-boy scene the rest was history.

Akira’s popularity grew for her memorable anal and double penetration scene. Thus far, her dope appeal has won her multiple awards including an AVN’s Best Anal Sex Scene award. 

Akira’s innate creative desire led her to start branching out of just on-camera work. She wanted to use her platform to help broaden perspectives on feminism and sexuality.

With her personal success aside, she’s adamant about supporting other stars and dismantling the boundaries placed on adult stars.

“A lot of other porn stars are doing so much cool shit right now and I think it’s such a win for everyone when someone does something cool.”

Keeping it creative as a new mother


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Asa Akira (@asahole) on

If all that wasn’t a big enough flex, Akira is also a new mom. Still, it was a milestone that challenged her “do it all” creative mindset. She expressed how she felt in the first stages of motherhood,

“It’s always been really easy for me to compartmentalize different things and have multiple things going at once, until I had a baby. It all went to shit for the first six months. I think I had not a creative cell in my brain and it really freaked me out.”

She continued,

“I’m always used to doing a lot of things and I like to get a lot of fulfillment out of work, so it really really scared me when I thought I didn’t have that anymore. 

Asa Akira
Photo Cred: @cassellinc

Many wouldn’t associate motherhood with the adult industry; for some reason, our minds tend to place the two in separate categories.

Society places such hard borders of different avenues of life that we get too comfortable in doing what’s expected versus doing what we actually love.

So can a woman be a badass, head-giving porn star and a tender loving mother? Fuck yes!

Asa Akira
Photo Cred: @yannimalo

Akira’s creative rut settled out and she has found a proper balance in being a new mother and an entrepreneur. She just wishes more women were transparent with such perils.

It’s hard out here for women, especially women of color, no matter what industry you’re in. If we talked more about the unpretty, un-instagrammable moments it would help other women not feel isolated.

“All I wanted to do was spend time with my baby. And it scared me because I was like, ‘I guess that’s it for me. I can’t have a career now.'”

Asa continued to express her come back,

“It started coming back and I’m fully back in it now but I kind of wish people talked about it because it was scary, not knowing. But if someone had told me, ‘hey, just so you know, that might happen,’ I wouldn’t have been so scared.”

There's More to Porn
Photo Cred: @yannimalo x @casselleinc

More than anything, Akira wants to raise her son to appreciate and value the endless capabilities of women and distance him away from traditional sexism tropes that most of us are accustom to.

“I want him to grow up seeing a woman who’s doing everything she wants to. I didn’t grow up like that… A lot of our generation didn’t grow up like that. “

She continued,

“For me, the inspiration just comes from wanting to show him that women can do everything just like men. That’s my driving force right now.”

Did it Hurt?

There's More to Porn

You might be wondering, what happens “down there” after having a baby? According to Akira, the first time after giving birth was slightly painful…but the good type of pain you know?

She told us it hurt but it wasn’t the worst. Akira also mentioned it was kind of like having sex with like, the hugest penis you’ve ever had sex with.

So it wasn’t unbearable, it wasn’t like the first time she had sex in general or anything but it was weirdly more sensitive.

Know Yourself

Asa Akira
Photo Cred: @yannimalo x @casselleinc

Wanna know Asa’s advice for creatives on the come-up? 

“Masturbate more!”

Meet Maggie Connors, the CEO behind besito, your new favorite vape

Ever hit the vape and think “oh fuck?” 

We’ve all been there, getting the spins and tweaking out from suspect cannabis cartridges and vapes is not a vibe, but leave it to Cali to change all of that. 

Enter besito, the vape pen made for more “fuck yeah” moments. The LA-based brand was founded by Maggie Connors in 2017 and they are reimagining our cannabis experience.

The KH squad got a chance to chop it up and play puff, puff, pass with the Latin-American CEO making waves in the industry and yeah, she’s pretty lit. 

The First Hit

Prior to getting in the cannabis game, Connors flexed for years as an exec at Pepsi Co., Starbucks, and Apple after getting her MBA at Stanford University. With all that professional finesse, Connors always maintained her love for cannabis since her first experience in Central Park before an Oasis concert and recalls how relaxed it made her feel.

When she first started dabbling in cannabis, most people still grouped weed as a “drug” along with other substances that were far from medicinal. This led her, like many of us, to associate the plant as an “illegal indulgence” rather than a health essential. 

“Now what excites me, of course, with legalization, and especially right now in California, is that we can help change the perception and give true information. And so what we’ve done is use good design to help make cannabis more approachable, versus kind of that scary, illicit capital D drug, the way it was presented to me, you know, 15 plus years ago.” 

There’s More to Cannabis

After moving to LA from New York in 2014 to study at Stanford, Connors’s outlook on the world of weed completely changed. As California has been a leader in regulating marijuana for medical and casual consumption, it was a canna-culture shock. 

“As a cannabis lover, but now in California, where it was kind of this very mature medical market, I realized this was a regulatory inflection point, and the laws were changing. This plant that’s so beloved and has been used therapeutically and spiritually for thousands of years was finally going to become a legal industry.” 

This new mindset was also conflicting with how cannabis was discussed in Connors’s family. Growing up in a Cuban household, cannabis wasn’t accepted by the fam and lead her to conceal her liking for it until she started her own business. 

“Cannabis was certainly stigmatized in my Cuban family and my Cuban culture, I hid it from my parents. Until I decided to come into the industry, I was 28 years old and said, you know, not only do I love weed, but I’m want to do it professionally and help kind of create this nascent industry. So on a personal level, it was a little bit difficult to get my family to understand that, given the stigma.” 

Parents really will never understand, but to help remove these cultural stigmas, Connors made a point to infuse Cuban culture, cues from Spanish and Mexican cultures, and communities in LA. Just take a closer look at what besito evolved into – the name, vibrant colors, and flavors. Even behind the scenes, diversity in investors and everyone a part of the brand was a top priority, and it shows. 

Soooo what is it?

Besito, which means “little kiss” in Spanish couldn’t be more appropriate for the luxe pen. 

“Your new favorite vape.” Besito’s current line of products is Sativa hybrids that provide a 2:1 blend of THC and CBD for the perfect hit, every time. Distilled from pesticide-free cannabis, Grapefruit, Mint, and Blackberry are the latest flavors on deck, giving newbies the perfect introduction to cannabis and what a “social high” actually is. 

Constructed from medical-grade stainless steel with a built-in battery, the besito experience is seamless, enjoyable and doesn’t ask a lot of the vaper, other than to you know, vape it. 

The sleek, all-in-one design was cultivated over a significant amount of time. Countless hours of research were spent in order to figure out common pain-points around cannabis and vape pens. Team besito’s also focused on how the experience could be improved.

Using Human-Centered Design Thinking, Connors was able to understand what needed to go into building the next level of vapes that didn’t interrupt life. Not worrying about refilling oil, leaky cartridges, or being indiscrete makes smoking cannabis less of a chore and more of a pleasure. 

“There’s a lot of confusion. And sometimes there was a kind of analysis paralysis and too many choices. So we really focused in on this very social high. A sativa hybrid gives you that uplifting boost, but a bit balanced so that you’re not wired but you’re also not in the corner ready to have a deeper meaningful talk with your soul. You’re ready to hang out.”

The Aesthetic

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by besito ( on

Compared to the majority of vape pens that either favor a large bulky pen figure or a miniature lighter, besito’s hexagonal design fits comfortably when pulling and won’t roll off the table when you put it down – that is a game-changer. 

On the flip-side, when bopping around the streets with my besito in hand, most people assumed it was a beauty product or just something out of a James Bond movie.  The discrete yet chic design speaks to more than just looks, but the narrative that the brand aims to change about cannabis culture as a whole. 

One of the most refreshing elements of the besito vape is how both the product and lifestyle are marketed. Upon scrolling on the brand’s Instagram, you’ll find warm and inviting images of young, multicultural people doing what most of us do when we vape – just chill.

This stands out, as oftentimes in the media, people of color are shown consuming cannabis in the most stereotypical atmospheres such as music studios. Putting us in a box that certainly can’t handle our smoke. 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by besito ( on

Besito paints an accurate picture of the lifestyles of the young canna creative. Not everyone smokes weed to get obliterated, a lot of us spark up to activate and produce new projects, calm nerves before an event, or just stay calm when that Uber is still five minutes away. 

The Vision

The increase in accessibility to cannabis and CBD products raises a lot of questions to new puffers. “How will it make me feel?” or  “What’s in it exactly?” are common concerns that up until this point, haven’t really been laid out for the public. A goal of Connors is to not only elevate but educate both the youth and the old heads around cannabis and all that comes with it. 

For the most part, vape cartridges that circulate underground don’t give much insight to the consumer in regards to contents and purity, which can be intimidating. With besito, there’s no grey area- you know exactly what you’re getting in each hit.

A vaporizer made sense as the initial offering from besito to give consumers autonomy and immediate onset to put them in the driver seat rather than in an edible form. For Connors, this societal shift in the perception and access to cannabis has allowed her and her team to do things right and throw the rope back to those who have been criminalized and discriminated against for simply enjoying some good ol’ bud

Got Gas?

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by besito ( on

As a regular vaper, who’s been through over five pens this year alone, I have my two cents when it comes to gas. Besito’s special blend of THC and CBD is slated for perfect chill and creative but it SLAPS in the best damn way possible.

Each exhale brings a satisfying puff without the burn or clogging in your throat that comes from less pure formulas, not to mention you just look fly while smoking it. Knowing the foundation behind the brand and the community it’s been uplifting makes the hit even stronger.

Connors’s drive and execution as a pioneer in the cannabis industry is something we all can take notes on and bring to other avenues of life, with a besito in hand of course.

Besito is available for purchase at Ona, Eaze, LAPCG.

Just make sure to pass that besito vape when you do cop.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by besito ( on

How Women of Valor is empowering women to boss up

In the era of “putting on for the gram,” it can be hard to appreciate those intimate, in-person moments that allow us to make real-life connections with fellow hustlers on the grind, especially women.

On July 13, Michelle Hockett and Deena Morrison held their inaugural “Women of Valor Brunch,” an event aimed to link sistas in media together for good vibes, food, and of course conversation. Hockett said,

“[It feels] amazing. My heart is so full. I can’t believe that 50 plus people came just to celebrate each other, celebrate us, and support us.  It feels really good. It’s really good momentum and energy to keep going. So, why not keep doing it and bring in a wider network?”

Both Hockett and Morrison have spent their early twenties working in media, at companies such as Revolt, Turner Broadcasting, Madison Square Garden, Arise Entertainment 360, and Hearst. They cultivated the idea for the event while at their current home, TIDAL where Hockett stands as the Marketing Coordinator and Morrison a Content Producer. 

Photo Cred: Jesse Vargas (@vargasvisuals)

Working on the creative and business ends in the entertainment industry is still challenging for many women. Despite being qualified and having that 10K80 mindset, there are still old sentiments and misconceptions that make us have to work 10 times harder just to get a seat at the table.

Not to mention that many of the seats at that table are occupied by white men. At its core, Women of Valor puts emphasis on women of color bonding and helping each other make our OWN tables within the industry.

Over 50 attendees gathered on a ‘gram-worthy roof overlooking the NhunYC skyline in Williamsburg, all of whom were hand-selected by the dream-team from their network of badass go-getters. 

Sponsored by My Executive Room, the brunch started off with some mingling time elevated by curated cocktails from D’USSE. It would then lead on to the most succulent brunch bites by Omar’s Kitchen. As the vibes continued, us ladies were blessed with performances by Lexxy and Hunni, which was followed by a keynote speech from, the very special, Bianca Nicole Edwards.

Photo Cred: Jesse Vargas (@vargasvisuals)

Hailing from DC, Edwards has built an extensive resume and network in media, most recently working as a Talent Booker at Complex Media. During her keynote, Edwards stressed the importance of putting yourself out there and making the most of every room you step in. No matter what. 

Even Hockett had to overcome her biggest fear “always networking.” She’s an extrovert once you get to know her but she still pushes herself to accomplish her goals and see out her visions. Hockett said,

“Put yourself out there, you have to come out of your comfort zone somehow… No one else is going to be stopping you.”

Highlighting the diverse backgrounds of the brunch’s attendees were women holding rank as A&R’s, designers, directors, and other leading roles at companies many have dreamed of being a part of.

The speech and ultimately event as a whole drove home the significance of growing laterally, rather than just seeking more successful people to put us on. For Morrison and Hockett it’s one of their personal goals to “pour into other women and financially fund their ideas.” Morrison said,

“Money isn’t evil, money is a tool. And if you use well, you can reap so many benefits and be a blessing to so many other people. So we need more women of power with that money to invest into other people.”

Photo Cred: Jesse Vargas (@vargasvisuals)

While monetary investment certainly is necessary to help fuel and growth the many movements other female grinders are launching, remember that every little bit of support serves as an investment as well. You know that one chick, who’s always posting about her events or business that she’s trying to get off the ground?

Give her a chance, pull up, and support. It will always come back to you tenfold. In today’s climate, it’s easy to think that showing love for another woman in the same or similar spot as you will stifle your growth.

But honestly, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

The biggest takeaway, for me, from the Women of Valor Brunch: women can co-exist in the same space and all equally shine. Sharing that love for your fellow sista doing her thang doesn’t make your crown shine less. It just makes those crowns more noticeable. 

Another motif of the event was seizing opportunities. There’s nothing like seizing the opportunity and giving your all. It’s also important to understand “that every moment counts.” Morrison said, 

“When you get that opportunity, do you’re 100% best. If you want something, just don’t take that opportunity for granted. You never know who’s watching your reputation… Every moment counts, any minute counts. Take that leap of faith, do what you gotta do, but at the end of the day, give it 100%”

Photo Cred: Jesse Vargas (@vargasvisuals)

If you missed the first brunch, no sweat, the squad is gearing up to cultivate a multitude of events incorporating women of color from all industries, making the movement stronger than ever. 

Check out more flicks from the event below via our homie Jesse Vargas @vargasvisuals

Photo Cred: Jesse Vargas (@vargasvisuals)
Photo Cred: Jesse Vargas (@vargasvisuals)
Photo Cred: Jesse Vargas (@vargasvisuals)
Photo Cred: Jesse Vargas (@vargasvisuals)
Photo Cred: Jesse Vargas (@vargasvisuals)
Photo Cred: Jesse Vargas (@vargasvisuals)

Meet Olivia Anthony, the designer keeping it real with LIV Streetwear

When it comes to LIV Streetwear, a sense of authenticity comes to mind. Over the past decade, the increase in mainstream popularity of streetwear has given way for a lot of busters to misrepresent the culture all for hype.

Amongst the hypebeasts, there is a solid line-up of designers, especially women designers who are upholding and propelling the foundations that streetwear lovers grew up on. Enter Olivia Anthony. She’s the enigmatic visionary behind LIV Streetwear and House of Olivia Anthony. 

“I want my clothes to represent something in which you can have fun, be bold, be loud, and live freely in.” 


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Kulture Hub (@kulturehub) on

The KH squad first met Anthony back at the Billionaire Girls Club ‘Women in Streetwear panel’ on International Women’s Day, and real certainly recognize real.

Hearing the designer’s perspective on being a female designer in the game and how she moves about pushing the kulture had us geeked.  We had to learn more. 

Photo Cred: Zaire Ivey Bracco (@chiefivey)

Growing up in the 90s, Anthony admired the fits of her older sister and her boyfriend. The baggy jeans, over-sized sweaters, fresh kicks, all struck a creative chord.

Being raised on the east side of Birmingham, Alabama, Anthony became a student of the fashion game at an early age, even watching fashion shows while getting ready for school.

Peeping the Style channel and reading Teen Vogue made her fall in love at an early age. 

“When I was a kid, I used to have my TV set to the Style Channel. So, every morning, I’d wake up to fashion shows from Dior, Dquared, all of them, as I got ready for school.”

Anthony continued,

“I used to get excited when Teen Vogue came in the mail. To me, it was a small book fashion from my favorite movie stars and celebrities. Constantly looking through there made me have even more of an appreciation for fashion.”

Stepping into a store these days can sometimes make you question what year you’re in. Retro fits seem to always have a way of coming back, but the essence of that time captured in LIV Streetwear collections is genuine, intimate and truly special.

Streetwear’s origins take us back to a time where the style was not only fly but radical. It spoke to a culture in the streets, in the hood, in spaces where many get few opportunities to express themselves.

Anthony’s appreciation for streetwear started at home, it started with family and the admiration of her older sister’s style. It’s no surprise that the creative is able to capture and recreate this nostalgia, all the while flipping the script. 

“The rugby’s, the overalls, all that old school stuff. It felt so original, it felt so old, so chill, so comfortable, and yet, still vibes. And, that’s what captivated me the most about her and it’s still with me today. “

Photo Cred: Zaire Ivey Bracco (@chiefivey)

Things started to kick off when the southern belle moved to LA and helped styled her friend on a shoot in Montgomery. She posted up for the summer with her cousin who she began working on a movie with as an assistant stylist. 

“That was my gateway into that because when I got back from LA, I joined a group in college called Elite and I was a stylist of that group. By styling with that group, I learned everything — from running fashion shows to photoshoots…”

Anthony continued,

“I’m very thankful for them. Between going to LA and joining Elite Models, it was the biggest eye-opener in my journey. A lot of people don’t know I style, but I got the juice when it comes to that.”

LIV Streetwear launched in 2012. Anthony was in college when she started to have other students model t-shirts with her logo on them for her website.

It wasn’t long until everyone peeped game and wanted to cop some. The buzz had her  traveling to Clark Atlanta University and other colleges in Georgia to do fashion shows. She even presented the brand to Elite Models and the reach just kept growing from thereon. 

Photo Cred: Zaire Ivey Bracco (@chiefivey)

Still, the road to where she stands now was far from easy. Even getting t-shirts produced was a grind, and the realities of what came with being a black female designer started to settle in. 

“I feel like as a woman, period, especially being in college at the time I started, going into a business full of men and doing things like ordering a big bulk of shirts was difficult. They’d try to take advantage of me by upcharging me or assuming I didn’t know the business that well. That’s why it was important to research what I know.” 

Photo Cred: Zaire Ivey Bracco (@chiefivey)

Anthony stresses that no matter what your background is, coming up in the fashion game will never be easy. Like any other creative vertical, it takes a lot of dedication and finesse to stamp your value in the industry, and consistency will always speak louder than any IG post. A fendi. 

I don’t want to blame what I am as the excuse of what I’m trying to do. I just feel like it’s hard, period, trying to have a clothing line, trying to be successful, no matter what race or gender you are. I feel like it’s all about being consistent, working hard, and fighting each day. I guess the challenge I had was finding people who took me seriously and learning the business super quickly.

One thing that truly distinguishes Anthony’s fashion houses from others is the presentation. Scrolling through Anthony’s social feed and website, you see high-quality and beautifully produced content that is unapologetically full of melanin.

Photo Cred: Zaire Ivey Bracco (@chiefivey)

This is important, especially in an age when every week, another luxury brand is coming down with insulting black culture with their interpretations of streetwear elements.

These days, LIV Streetwear is commonly seen on artists such as SZA and Kehlani, not to mention the collabs with Blink Fitness and Teen Vogue. Yet, there’s more heat to be unlocked, in a recent Instagram post, Anthony candidly opens up about the trials and tribulations that got her to this point of success and the community that has supported her from the jump. 


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by “Go Olivia Go” (@liv4olivia) on

Her core team, friends and family have seen the brand and the designer herself grow and develop over the years. They all step in and lend support in some way without any jealousy or fake-nice moves for the ‘gram.

The community behind LIV Streetwear and House of Olivia Anthony is real, it’s family, which is why everything she puts out feels so dang on authentic. Even during our photoshoot, the vibes felt so natural and effortless.

Anthony and the mob behind her move different than most, they care and are willing to embrace and welcome anyone to the movement. 

Photo Cred: Zaire Ivey Bracco (@chiefivey)

My squad consists of my core team, my friends, and my family. They all play a big part in my movement and LIV streetwear. I love them because the majority of them are my day ones. They’ve been with me from the beginning, they’ve seen the highs and the lows. Vincent, one of my teammates, has been there since I freaking started in my dorm!

She continued, 

And that’s beautiful to me — to have people around me. Because one, they genuinely wanna help me because they see something in me and two because they put their heart and energy in everything they do. And we got new people! I love seeing new people jump in as if it’s their own.  My mom, my dad, my family, my boyfriend, I love my squad. Everybody put in work!

Photo Cred: Zaire Ivey Bracco (@chiefivey)

It’s pretty refreshing to hear and see such raw love from a brand, and the train ain’t stopping yet. This year, Anthony will drop the Summer collection that fans got a sneak-peek of samples last year. New colorways and new cities – the gang is going on the road to Philly, DC, and back to ‘Bama where it all started.

Anthony’s star is still rising, and she had some meaningful tips for other creatives on the come-up,

Go hard. Work next to you, not upwards. Ask your best friend to work and collab because that’s what builds your community. That’s what builds your team. I call it my class. I see everybody in my class growing and it’s beautiful to watch. We all have crossed paths because we’ve try to collaborate with each other.

As strong as we are as individual creators, community ties will also help push movements harder and Olivia Anthony and her creative hit-squad couldn’t be a better example.

Photo Cred: Zaire Ivey Bracco (@chiefivey)

How Superare became the go-to shop for fighters around the world

There’s more to fighting. The culture of combat sports spans far beyond the action that happens in the cage, ring, or mat. It speaks to a diverse community of fighters, enthusiasts, and fans that have found solace in the many disciplines that coin the term.

For too many years, the voices of fight fans were misrepresented in everything from media to apparel as the art of fighting was being placed in a box that certainly couldn’t handle its fire.

Thankfully enough, over the last decade, there are more spaces rechanneling this energy, strengthening the bonds that bring the fight community together and welcoming new lovers of the sport. Enter Superare, the fight shop home to some the flyest gear and genuine connections on the damn planet.

Founded in 2011 by lifelong fight fan, Zach Lipari, Superare has evolved into a staple hub for all things BJJ, Boxing, MMA, and Muay Thai. Like most fight fans, Lipari grew a love for fighting from watching UFC and wanted to bring more people together to embrace it.

The debut shop opened in Long Island under the name East Coast MMA which later transitioned to Superare Fight Goods which now has additional locations in New York’s Lower East Side and L.A. Not to mention their online store.

Still, there are levels to this shit. “Superare,” in Latin, means to overcome, to rise above and to exceed. The translation couldn’t be more on-brand.

Superare sells high-quality gear to fit your swag for any discipline practiced in combat sports as well as straight-up dope lifestyle fits. Now, before Superare, it’s hard to think of where people could physically walk in, try-on gloves or gi’s and get expert advice.

The reality is, that many athletes have had to suffer from being overcharged and flat-out disappointed with what came in the mail over the years. That’s’ why one of Lipari’s priorities in creating the shop was to give more access to fight goods and make it personal.

Skaters have their shops, so do basketball players, surfers and almost any other sport, so what about the fighters? Can you imagine getting ready to clang n’ bang and not without the right fitting gloves, or the proper guards for class?

Not only would it be uncomfortable, but it also puts one’s safety at risk, something that Lipari and his team want to prevent at all costs.

You can tell from the very first step you take inside that Superare is a welcoming spot. Everyone is greeted by Lipari himself, his brother Dylan or other staff members who always try to get to know everyone who walks thru the door.

Even while filming our interview, just hearing the different gyms people came from, the different countries, and the different levels of familiarity with fighting was heartwarming and truly felt welcoming to all.

Whether you’re a Gracie black-belt, boxing fitness class newbie or have a love for some Bangarang t-shirts (because honestly, who doesn’t?) there’s something for everyone. Plus, no one makes you feel weird for being curious or not being an expert.

There are no borders in fighting, and Superare couldn’t be a better depiction of that. Holding down the authenticity of the many disciplines while still welcoming and embracing new people in the fight community is something that stumps a lot of brands but the Superare squad just hits the nail on head every dang on time.

The shop gives customers options but doesn’t cut corners on quality. Despite the price range, everything that touches the shop is solid and trusted, so if someone can’t afford a high-end glove, they can still find a great pair that fits in their budget and keeps them safe when sparring.

With such respect built from years of great service and even greater vibes, Superare is the go-to for the majority of fighters and plenty of celebs too. Hell, even Wiz goes straight to the shop for those gloves.

One of the dopest things about the shop is that while it is home to some of the most established brands in the game like Fairtex, the shop also embraces many and does collabs with many brands established by fellow local creatives like Half-Sumo and Bangarang.

The squad especially shows love to the fighters and even dropped a piece with Brooklyn’s favorite, Heather “The Heat” Hardy a couple of months back before her last Bellator bout at Madison Square Garden.

With their latest Superare x Ali collection, the shop is pushing out major heat for the Summer and won’t be slowing down anytime soon. Peep our exclusive interview with Founder, Zach Lipari at the Lower East Side location above and pull up to the shops IRL to feel the love.


NYC – 131 Orchard Street, New York, NY 10002

LA – 7306 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles CA 90046

Long Island – 220 Sunrise Hwy Rockville Centre, NY 11570

Why Justin Bieber vs Tom Cruise in the octagon would be terrible for MMA

Tom Cruise might have the hands but maybe just maybe Justin Bieber has something up his sleeve that we’ve all been waiting to see.

If you haven’t heard, on Twitter, there’s buzz circling around a fight that’s to go down between the movie icon an international pop star.

It all started when Biebs called out Cruise in a tweet, on Sunday, that would change the course of our week, for sure. In his tweet, he not only called out Mr. Mission Impossible but he also mentioned Dana White in hopes that he would organize the fight.

At first glance, anyone peeping this tweet may have lost a breath of air or choked on oxygen. Why? This comes straight out of the left field. What business does the “Never Can Say Never” singer have testing Tom “The Bruise” Cruise?

Absolutely none.

Image result for tom cruise laugh gif

Lowkey, this might be what’s wrong with combat sports becoming mainstream.

Celebrity matchups like these turn the sport of MMA into a spectacle rather than an art form. There are more eyes on Combat Sports today than ever before, so, it’s crucial that new audiences understand the athleticism and ethics behind each discipline.

Earlier this month, the UFC released archival footage from the organization’s inception, including the very first pay-per-view, UFC 1. In various videos, Dana White amongst others give raw takes on the early days, and the struggles the company went through to be taken seriously in the sports industry.

Wouldn’t it be a shame to tarnish that by putting on a fight that (a) technically couldn’t be sanctioned since both Bieber and Cruise don’t have state fighting licenses and (b) would most likely be a money grab for the celebrities, sponsors, and owners? In the end, all they’re doing is taking the spotlight and potential bags away from fighters who have dedicated a chunk of their lives and health to the sport?

On the flip side, if Bieber and Cruise REALLY want to throw hands, they should do it in a manner that would give back to MMA. They could put on a charity celebrity smoker (unsanctioned fight) that is a private event not associated with an MMA organization and have proceeds go to CTE research.

In recent years, there have been significant discoveries related to the brain injuries that plague fighters during and especially after their careers, which sometimes gets overlooked in comparison to the football industry.

Bieber and Cruise’s celebrity would for sure draw attention and raise a lot of money, and having the event labeled as a celebrity smoker not associated with an organization would lessen any risks of the integrity of the sport being compromised.

This distinction matters as many mainstream fans often correlate MMA as the UFC and/or WWE due to recent crossovers from Brock Lesnar, Ronda Rousey, and CM Punk.

At the end of the day, a tweet is just a tweet — until White or any other promoters respond this could all just be some good ol’ fun on the timeline but if celebrities do want to ride the wave of MMA, they better throw some “respeck” back to the game.

Why NYFE 17: Kings of New York 2 is the fight to watch this weekend

It’s hard to believe that just a little over three years ago, professional mixed martial arts bouts were illegal in New York.

The state has been the breeding ground for some of the sport’s most talented athletes and respected promotions. One of which is the New York Fight Exchange (NYFE).

The local promotion celebrates its 17th event this Saturday, June 1 at Resorts World Casino in Queens for NYFE 17: Kings of New York 2.  

Ahead of the event, the KH squad caught up with NYFE President and Combat Sports vet Mike Washington to get the scoop on the weekend’s matchups and how the brand came to be.

Time for a change…


View this post on Instagram


A sweet action sequence from #NYFE16. DON’T MISS OUT on #NYFE17 on June 1st at @resortsworldnyc. 🎟 LINK IN BIO

A post shared by NYFE17: Kings Of New York 2 (@nyfe_kingsofnewyork) on

From working on the business end as a manager for one of the industry’s largest management firms to officiating in-ring action for over a decade, Washington has seen many sides of the fighting. Having this perspective, he uncovered a lot of room for improvement especially in matchmaking aka the art of arranging bouts.

“Being at events, I hated seeing one-sided fight cards or rewarding big ticket sellers easy fights, I always said I would do it differently. When we decided to produce an MMA event, I learned real quick the importance of a solid fight card.”

He decided to take a shot at filling the gaps and founded NYFE alongside Tom Sconzo, who is currently the ISKA Director for New York. The pair met while officiating and shared the same vision for producing fights with more of a professional feel before professional MMA was even legal in the state.

“We went for big venues, quality production and focused on the fighter experience. When ISKA came to New York, Tom felt it was his calling to take the position as director and give back to the sport that has given him so much. So he stepped down as NYFE Co-Owner and I took full ownership and control.”

There’s a lot that goes into executing a solid fight card. At every event, fighters, coaches, fans, and sponsors invest their time, money, health and then some. With NYFE being on the cusp of its 17th event, it’s more than just an accomplishment, it’s a true indication of how much respect the brand has built over the years.

The Early Days


View this post on Instagram


The beautiful @danad0ll is ready for #NYFE17 @resortsworldnyc, are you?! 👑👀

A post shared by NYFE17: Kings Of New York 2 (@nyfe_kingsofnewyork) on

Washington recalls NYFE’s first fight card that took place just a quick drive away from this weekend’s event at The Amazura Concert Hall in Queens, unapologetically titled, NYFE 1: Believe The Hype.  

Back then, NYFE had a skeleton crew so he barely saw any fights since he had to hold down the back of the house. The event ended up being an invaluable learning experience and really put the promotion on the map, setting the stage for further fight nights down the line.

“I learned to follow my instinct and integrity.”

There’s More to Fighting…

Mike Washington @ FNT Vol. II | PC: Setor Tsikudo

There’s more to fighting than what goes on in the cage. It’s about building relationships and understanding the needs of fighters and their coaches as well as fans. Maintaining integrity for the sport while providing an entertaining platform comes with a lot of risks for promoters and matchmakers.

Fighters can get injured or back out at the last minute so building a well-rounded card is more important than ever for the fan experience. For fighters, each match-up means a lot, especially in the early stages of their careers.

A bad matchup can seriously affect the trajectory of their careers and most importantly their health, so it’s the last thing you want to slack on according to Washington.

“I’ve worked my ass off for my reputation and I’m not gonna ruin that for anybody or anything. When a coach asks you to matchup their students, it’s a huge responsibility and you should treat it as such. It’s way more than matching weights and records. It’s stylistic matchups the fans will enjoy and competitive matchups of equal skillsets so that the fighters can test their skills.”

The NYFE Fight Card

Speaking of matchups, NYFE 17: Kings of New York 2 features a pretty stacked card hand-picked from Washington, featuring young talent from a slew of NYC’s most respected MMA gyms. The event will be headlined by four title fights:

Welterweight 170 lb Title – Eric Taylor (Supreme Submission Squad) vs Eric Finch (War Horse Avenue MMA)

Lightweight Title – David “Mike Hancho” Cabrea (Inferno MMA/Soca BJJ) vs. Donnell East (LAW MMA)

145 lb Title – Nate Salva Cruz (Andersons MMA) vs. Kelvin Sterling (LAW MMA)

125 lb Title -Phumi Nkuta (LAW MMA) vs. Orlando Ortega (Team Demolition)

Former UFC Featherweight and Ultimate Fighter (season 14) finalist, Dennis “The Menace” Bermudez will be commentating and calling the fights along with his Menace and the Man podcast co-host, Stan “The Man.”

The night will also feature a number of musical performances from local acts and the announcement of a new partnership Linacre Media and Fight Night Live for video production and coverage.

Amongst all the success, Washington remains humble and forever thankful to the fighters, gyms, fans, and sponsors for supporting NYFE through each and every showdown. 

Peep tickets for NYFE 17: Kings of New York 2 here and be sure to follow the road to the action on IG.