Dealers of the Purple Cloth t-shirt, nOir ring.

My purple tee couldn’t say it any better: HATER REPELLENT.

I wore purple yesterday as a collective statement for Spirit Day, in memory of “the LGBT youth who have committed suicide in recent weeks/months due to homophobic abuse in their homes and schools.” The two groups that organized and raised awareness for this worldwide event:

Spirit Day Facebook group

It’s ridiculous that a person who’s perceived as “different” is subject to taunting and discrimination. Totally unacceptable in our modern culture. While it’s terribly sad that these young gay men took their lives, now is the time to acknowledge this issue and start the healing and educational process.

Here’s a popular video series where peers let young gay men and women know they are not alone and things will get better.

In general, whether it has to do with race, sexual orientation, disabilities, etc., we don’t need any more haters… In my book, it’s all about self-awareness, respect, and human decency. Treat others the way you want to be treated…

Cover outtake. Photo: Jackie Roman.

My latest art direction/styling project for New York Press is a cover shoot for musician Frankie Rose, formerly of Vivian Girls/Crystal Stilts, who currently fronts the band Frankie Rose and The Outs.

I had the opportunity to work with talented rock photographer Jackie Roman and after brainstorming, we decided on this theme: Mystery, occult, and magic, with late ’60s Russ Meyer/early ’70s “Witchcraft Today” paperback covers and altar imagery as inspiration.

Imagery from the photographer’s inspiration board.

The photo shoot turned out really well and we got some amazing images. Here is what we picked for the cover:

Photo: Jackie Roman.

Now this is where shit hits the fan; this photo caused quite a stir in the online community, particularly on the music blog, BrooklynVegan. First of all, I don’t care whether or not someone liked the concept or execution of the cover; everyone is entitled to their opinion. I personally stand behind the work though, and no one’s comments will change that.

However, this is where I found some of the reactions annoying: It’s really lame that some people felt the need to be immature, obnoxious, a hater, or worse, sexist in their comments. Not only that, but some of the commentary were based on inaccurate assumptions. For example, some people thought a man was in charge of this photo shoot. In answer to this comment from the post:

“fuck the guy who suggested she take her top off…”

Ahem… for the record, the art director (me) and the photographer (Jackie) are BOTH women. This was a creative collaboration between me, Jackie and Frankie, approved by all female parties involved. The goal was to create beautiful, compelling imagery of a woman who’s very confident and comfortable in her own skin and we achieved that.

Nudity is not a new thing (think Janis Joplin’s iconic nude portrait, among countless others). Yet, decades later, some people still freak out when a woman poses shirtless. Big fucking deal. Plus, have you heard?… Sexism is stupid.

There were some other juvenile comments which are not worth reposting here but to see my point, you can find it at Sadly, it seems that Crystal Stilt Kyle Forester’s quote from the New York Press feature rings true:

The girl thing is weird because it’s good and bad,” says Crystal Stilt Kyle Forester, who used to play with Rose. “People love girls in bands but they want to write lewd shit about them on Brooklyn Vegan. It is weird that the indie rock world is supposed to be politically progressive, but in terms of gender politics, it’s sort of like Mad Men.”

This started out as a straightforward, behind-the-scenes post, but I felt compelled to speak out as the absurd comments unfolded. Regardless, I stand behind the decisions that I, Frankie and Jackie made. Frankie’s a strong, independent woman who’s not afraid to be herself and I can respect that. Now, back to my original intent: Here are outtakes and behind-the-scenes shots.

Unless noted, photos by Jackie Roman.

Experimental shots of Frankie with filters, different exposures and motion.

Me styling Frankie as Jackie sets up the shot. Photo: Danny Goldshtein.

Frankie blowing sage on the set.

Amazing prop styling by Masha Gvozdov,

Danny assisting as Jackie clicks away. Photo: me.

Tarot card/dresser scene.

Love this shot of Frankie primping while Danny’s perched on the loft above, lighting the shot. Photo: me.

I’d like to thank my creative team for creating the magic that day:
Photos: Jackie Roman,; photo assistant: Danny Goldshtein,; prop stylist: Masha Gvozdov,

Jewelry, courtesy of & Urban Outfitters.

Check out Frankie Rose and The Outs here.

Also, click here to read the New York Press article by Jamie Peck, “The Ballad of Frankie Rose.”

Lastly, if you haven’t seen it, interior photos from the print edition below.

During my research for an upcoming post on snowboarding outerwear, I picked up two issues published by Snowboard Magazine:

1. Snowboard Magazine Women’s Annual

2. 2009-2010 Snowboard Magazine Premium Brand Buyer’s Guide

While perusing the pages of the Women’s Annual, I came across an article titled “Buying a Board.” Intrigued, I read on, but I was sorely disappointed. Reading the intro paragraph, I was thinking, ok, senior editor Nate Deschenes wants to crack a few jokes. Whatever, no biggie; let’s see what he really has to say, jokes aside. Ladies, I’m telling you, the whole article is utterly useless; not only did I learn nothing about buying a snowboard, but it’s really patronizing to chicks! Here are excerpts from the article to prove my point:

(Intro) “To any of you ladies out there who are serious about buying a snowboard, this will not help. See, I haven’t bought a snowboard in over 10 years, I am not a girl, and I tend to lie.”

INTUITION: “Buy the very first one you see—that is, if it has pretty colors…Technically, your snowboard purchasing experience should end here, but if you insist on getting scientific, read on…”

SIZE: “Does size matter? See, here is where I am confused and often times intimidated. I have heard girls say “yes” and I have heard them say “no.”

CAMBER: “See, I always thought camber was a rock from prehistoric times that trapped ants and rodents in time for cloning purposes…”

“Buying a new snowboard may seem overwhelming and I don’t expect you to digest this all at once, but with some careful consideration and totaly disregard for this article you should be fine. Good luck!”

Are you fucking serious?? Ok, so dude did fess up in the last paragraph to disregard this article. But I just wasted a few minutes of my precious time and $5.99 buying that magazine. In this day and age, when magazines are getting dangerously thin or folding, how can you have the luxury of printing a whole page of useless, male chauvinist-tinged crap?!!

But wait, then I look through the Premium Brand Buyer’s Guide and find a technical spread about “Camber or Reverse Camber” (a rock from prehistoric times, ahem…) followed by 11 pages of snowboards they recommend. All I get is a cutesy little illustration in the women’s issue, but there’s full diagrams and explanations in the buyer’s guide??

Ok, so let’s play devil’s advocate for a moment. Yes, since it is the Premium Brand Buyer’s Guide, we should expect more pages of technical info. And to his credit, the writer, Mike Basher, did a great write-up. However, even if you’re lazy and don’t want to assign another tech article for the Women’s Annual, you could just reprint excerpts from Basher’s article.

Back to the Women’s Annual, associate editor Tawnya Schultz did devote one page to her board picks in the Gear Guide section of the issue, but it didn’t completely erase the bad taste I got from Nate Deschenes’ womens-specific article.

Look, it’s not usually my style to call people out, but when I think something’s whack, I’m going to sound off. I have no issue with having men editors on a women’s interest magazine, but be aware of your demographic!

The fact is, we are not merely “snow bunnies.” There are some amazing women, such as Torah Bright, demonstrating some sick skills in the halfpipe and getting recognition in the snowboarding community. So please give us better articles that are actually informative; we can totally handle it, ok??

P.S. Apparently, I’m not the only chick who feels this way. Check out what Tundra Wookie had to say about that article. She even goes on to comment on a fashion editorial in the same issue, of half-naked models modeling base layers, Maxim-style. I agree with Tundra Wookie; I have no problems with girls scantily posed as long as there is some equality involved; when can I see some half-naked guys wearing nothing but goggles and snowboard pants? Bring it on!

FOLLOW-UP: A response from Snowboard Magazine.

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