Photographer: Gianluca Senese

Now that it’s officially Spring, I would like us to commit to the act of blasting our gratitude to the cosmos. As the seeds of your dreams, wishes, intentions that you planted at the end of last year or the beginning of 2023 start to bloom this season receive them wholly and without filter - from the simplest blessing to the mega achievements. Savour the realities that you have manifested. Do not fall into society and social media’s bad habit of chipping away at the value of your experience. Don’t miss out on the fullness of your moment by comparing it to the highlight reels of others. Avoid looping into the infinite scenarios of how your experience could have played out. Don’t let instances of second guessing your actions throughout the experience hijack the moment? What you wished for played out as a product of your powerful alignment with your inner self and the generosity of the universe. Sharing Issue 9 with you provides me with immense gratitude as it is the fruit of our team’s thoughtfulness and hard work. Throughout the issue we celebrate the adventures and triumphs of our guests and their stories bring me joy.

In our latest episode of Tamu’s Cafe we sit down with Rachel Scott, founder of the fashion brand Diotima, just weeks before the brand was announced semifinalist of the prestigious LVMH Prize, and in this very moment she was named one of nine finalists. We had originally been trying to set up a call with Rachel for about six months, when her mother dm’d me on Instagram last September and directed me to the Teneshia Carr, Blanc Magazine Camera Della Moda powered presentation where Diotima was being showcased during Milan Fashion Week. Upon meeting Rachel, a fellow Jamaican country woman, this episode was solidified down to the menu of homemade red pea soup and authentic jerk chicken. In our delicious time together, Rachel describes her traditional studio training which included lessons in sartorial design etiquette and innovation focused runway collections. In naming her brand Diotima, Rachel taps into a layered conversation on beauty. The perfect name for the brand in my opinion as an integral part of the brand’s ethos is elevating Jamaican artisanal knitting heritage while uplifting the collective of women who complete the lines signature embroidery. When she defines her vision for Diotima she outlines moving past nostalgia in designing for and communicating the brand as related to Jamaica’s significant cultural impact. In recognizing her influence as a designer and the power of the brand to weigh in on societal issues through imagery and allyship, Rachel provides a platform where the extremely marginalised and persecuted queer community in Jamaica can flourish. With Diotima, Rachel is building a fashion brand for the future. 

For our latest installment of Our Hair, Don’t Care, we chat with Rajni Jacques one of the coolest fashion experts to ever enter the game. I met Rajni more than a decade ago  when I was still shooting street style and she quickly became one of my subjects to photograph because of her unique style. Over the years Rajni, currently Global Head of Fashion & Beauty at Snapchat has risen through the ranks of top media houses because of her sharp eye, command of the culture and fashion intersect, and most importantly, her authenticity. A fan of her beautiful crown since day 1, I am so grateful to share how she has come to embrace every inch of her appearance. As a mother I can completely relate when she says that her children have influenced her to love herself. And always one to drop a gem, I am personally taking note of her assessment of the fashion and beauty industries’ commitment to inclusion post George Floyd. 

This month’s fashion story features Spring/Summer 2023’s prettiest clothes and accessories, and for the first time since we relaunched, a guest model! We are so grateful to introduce you to Amina Ladymya, a rising talent and social impact entrepreneur writing her own story in Milan. Amina’s narrative takes us from Dakar, Senegal to Paris and most recently Milan and details her rich coming of self. Wise beyond her age, empathetic and impressively resourceful, Amina has long been set on making it on her own terms, learning from hard fought battles and being of service to those who are less fortunate. She radiates a refreshing light and moves like a dancer or gazelle as you will see in this story and through her own words as told to All the Pretty Birds. 

Amina’s images signal my return behind the lens after a very long break. I am overjoyed to click the shutter button alongside our collaborator, photographer and video maker Imad Skhairi.

With full gratitude and always love to you Pretty Birds,