10 Women’s Wardrobe Essentials Moving to NYC

New York City is all about what you wear and what you want people to think of you at a glance. What you wear is your personal story, told in the blink of an eye. Regardless of the story you’d like to tell, there are some essentials that non-New Yorkers or non-East Coasters might not think of.

In a clothing and fashion-obsessed New York, here are 10 Women’s Wardrobe Essentials Moving to NYC

  1. Scarves, hats, and gloves
    Oh my! Yes, this may be a no-brainer but I hardly used any of these before I moved to New York. Now I layer them every winter, so that I may cover up ever inch of exposed skin from the harsh winter air. To think, I almost didn’t bring them with me during my move!
  2. Cozy socks & lots of sweaters
    One thing I wanted immediately after my first winter in the Big Apple was knee-high socks! Maybe they’re a trend or they only appeal to a specific type of woman, but they definitely appeal to me! Especially if you want to wear any kind of dress or skirt in Fall or Winter. These socks (I have both beige and black, for options), are lifesavers.
  3. Heavy winter coat
     …preferably ankle-length! I had hear the winters were cold. I come from Washington state and I know cold, but I didn’t know cold like New York does! I was thankful for my fashionable warm vintage winter coat that goes well past my knees.
  4. Light fall coat
    Personally, I like to have many options. In the Fall, it can get brisk and windy and you may need just light layers. You especially want something light enough that it won’t kill you when you get into the sweltering subway. You’ll probably be sweating.
  5. Crop tops
    Back home, I never owned a crop top. But in New York City, one thing I wasn’t expecting was the extreme desire to be wearing as little as possible at all moments in the Summer. You’ll want enough options to sorta last you through those sweat-dripping days. And if you think Fall is warm in the subways, just wait until Summer. There will definitely be a moment of mutual understanding when you see everyone in the subway anticipating that air-conditioned car, with shiny foreheads and sticky hair.
  6. An all-black wardrobe
    Black is the new black. Black is the old black. Black will always be black, and New York loves it’s black, head-to-toe wardrobe. If you ever want to truly fit in, look more slim, or like you just walked out of a model-casting, make sure to have many black options. You may also often be required to wear all black dress clothes/black dress shoes for jobs, soo… even if you don’t want to fit in, you still need to.
  7. An outfit for every occasion
    Speaking of black, don’t forget to pack your essential little black dress! You’ll also want to make sure you have proper career-oriented clothing, interview/casting clothes, going out to the club, rooftop parties, networking parties, etc.  
  8. Cute rain boots and/or snow boots
    When it rains, it pours. No, really. Expect an unexpected downpour of rain, especially if its in the forecast on on a warm day. If you see the native New Yorkers breaking out their umbrellas and rain boots on the train, it’s probably too late for you. Next time, you’ll just know. It’s like a sixth sense. Also, one of my favorite winter pieces are my snow boots that I use in the place of rain boots. They are so much more impervious and multi-funtional. They keep my feet warm in the winter and dry in the rain.
  9. Your favorite swimsuit
    It’s easy to forget that New York is surrounded by water. Especially if you don’t know the geography that well, like when I moved here. In fact, there are several great places to go enjoy the sand, ocean, and sun in the sweltering height of summer. So… don’t forget your favorite swimsuit that you feel like a million bucks in! (I personally suggest the Rockaways off the A train).
  10. Something that is oh-so-you
    Wear something colorful! Or something hipster, or business-casual, or whatever suits you. You want to have the perfect outfit for that day you’re feeling especially awesome and powerful. Don’t get too pulled into the black funk. Show the world your individuality!

As you can see, the people of New York City need very weather-oriented clothing. I used to just wear tank-tops, t-shirts, and rain coats. (Well, it “always” rains in Washington, so I almost never took that rain coat off). If there is anything you’re not prepared for ahead of time, the weather may just catch you off guard and you may be forced to make an emergency purchase you might just regret!

Where ever you’re from, it’s likely you just don’t have the variety of weather that New York does. Hopefully this list will prepare you.

Be Fierce!!

Briauna Mariah (:

A Model’s Unfiltered Thoughts on Agencies

Photo by Annika Forslund

I’ve been quarreling with myself on this topic for months now. I have provided you with plenty of info on modeling agencies in the past. However, I feel there is a missing element. Bias. Today I will impart my bias in regards to the topic of agencies. Today I will open up.

While I have not had a horrendous experience with agencies, like some, it has not been particularly pleasant either. Often, agencies have felt very intimidating, even bully-like.

A model is hardly ever allowed to be herself. She is scrutinized in detail. She is never good enough, always expected to fill in this role of the unattainable. As a society, our beauty standards are warped. They are unrealistic. Yet, young girls are expected to conform. This is what it feels like to be a model. Moldable.

At age 15, I was told I had too much baby fat. My legs have been called doughy. Some people have told me I can’t “make it” due to my size. That I have to conform. I have been pressured and harassed about my skin, urged to see a dermatologist I couldn’t afford, for a problem that was occurring because of my genes, and because I was unhealthy. Being with an agency has always been a stressful experience for me. I was always pressured one way or another, bullied strategically, bossed around, and strung along waiting for my paychecks.

This is my bias. And the experience is not too different from those girls around me.

Girls. We are women, young women. Yet, why do I keep calling all models girls? It is because even I feel diminished as a model sometimes. We are girls. Young. To be manipulated. Some never grow up. Some never learn. Some girls grow up learning from this industry and are left wondering what is wrong.

Agencies not paying their models has become a norm. Clients paying months after a job. Sexual harassment on jobs, and bullying. How can they get away with this?

For one, the industry remains wildly unregulated. On the other hand: we let them. A year ago, I decided I no longer wanted to be taken advantage of by a shady company with only their own interests in mind.

Unfortunately, a model can’t advance her career much without an agency.

To be fair, I have had a lot of exciting moments with my agencies. I have been in Mercedes-Benz fashion week. I have booked huge, lucrative photo shoots. I have been given the chance to book career-changing campaigns. I have been in Anna Wintour’s office building. There are always the plus sides. I often found myself in exciting jobs and opportunities I wouldn’t have gotten without an agency.

Without having been with the agencies I have been with, I wouldn’t be where I am as a model today. My portfolio is strong. My experience is strong. From the platform of being signed with an agency, I have been given the opportunity to expand and grow, not only as a model, but as a woman.

Here’s the thing. We can change this. Together. The fashion industry doesn’t have to be a harsh reality, but a positive environment.

My experiences in the fashion industry have pushed me to create a revolution. I want to promote positive change and health. Poor, low quality living is generally secretly applauded by many industry peers. Young girls loosing too much weight is celebrated! This helps perpetuate and encourage eating disorders among young girls across the globe.

So I need your help. Soon, I will be launching a crowd-funding campaign for We Speak, the agency of the future. I’m creating a healthy branding system for retail and fashion brands to use to encourage healthy living, and healthy women.

If you help fund and promote this mission, you are contributing your piece of a huge undertaking and fashion revolution. The industry has made small movements to a more positive industry, yet the experiences detailed above are still very much alive. Are you ready to roar?

www.facebook.com/wespeakny

Be Fierce!!

Briauna Mariah (:
Founder of We Speak
(917) 274-7324

P.S. We are on the lookout for experienced, healthy models in NYC! Email briaunamariah@gmail.com for submissions (our email system and site is currently undergoing construction!)

10 Reasons to Hire a Holistic Health Coach

In a world of diets and dietitians full of different opinions and solutions–that may or may not be giving conflicting messages–Jaison Greene, CHC, AADP, certified holistic coach, and member of the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, takes what I believe to be a unique approach to nutrition.

I came up with the idea to find and interview a dietician through the desire to spread knowledge of health to my peers as I travel my own path to healthful knowledge. I found a true gem in Jaison and would recommend him to anyone, after only just one meeting. One piece of news is that he actually prefers virtual consultation due to ease, as well as the comfort his clients find there. So, you don’t need to be in New York if you’re seeking someone of Jaison’s level of expertise!

Jaison and I chatted for a good hour and I learned about many topics from orthorexia to detox cleanses to how blood type can present health challenges. I had no idea blood type played a role in diet! I didn’t even know my blood type.

I learned about these things and the one thing that stood out the most was how put together Jaison seemed. Jaison started his journey to healthy living in his early thirties, driven by his mother and sister, who had both been diagnosed with breast cancer. After realizing the power of healthy eating and biannual detox cleanses, he read up, studied, and earned his credentials. Now he is a certified holistic health coach.

The other notable thing that stood out to me was the way Jaison approaches his profession. He focuses on healthy LIVING. Not diets. Not fads. He focuses on YOU and your uniqueness, all the way down to your particular work environment.

My journey to healthful living has been rough, as my career relies on a slim body, and I’ve seen the damage it does firsthand. Continually striving for a skinnier and skinnier body is not a way of living for anyone. But developing a healthy lifestyle can be very rewarding and can give you just what you need, for anyone, no matter what your lifestyle demands.


What is a holistic health coach?

As a holistic health coach, Jaison Greene doesn’t not focus merely on diet. He analyzes many lifestyle factors into your overall health. So the term “dietician” is not really fair, because he is more that just a dietician. He focuses on two food sources: Primary foods and Secondary foods. Secondary is what you eat. Primary is what nourishes you. This includes in terms of relationships, spirituality, and physical activity.

So, if you’re looking to drop a quick few pounds (which I’ve been there, I do not suggest this route at all!), you’re in the wrong place. If you are looking for balance and healthiness, but you need a little nudging and encouragement along the way, you’re in the right place!


10 Reasons to Hire a Holistic Health Coach

  1. They are more encompassing than regular dietitians. 
    As mentioned before, a holistic health coach is more than a dietitian. One realization I would love everyone to consider is your health is not just diet and food, it is your lifestyle and all the factors that surround you. Everything you do and feel, every one of your interactions, make a play on your health.
  2. The approach is unique and modern.
    This is a much more innovative way to tackle your health and lifestyle, by looking at primary and secondary “foods.” In hiring a holistic health coach, you are conveying your commitment to yourself and your desire to attain the next level of health.
  3. They help you attain your goals.
    Through helping you discover the root of your issues, a coach will help you accomplish your goals and more.
  4. You will have more insight on how your relationships play into your health.
    Are you in a bad relationship with those around you? Is your work depleting your energy? These are some things you may not be thinking about fixing. You may not realize how interconnected everything is.
  5. Even “healthy” people may still be unhappy and may not fully understand how their actions affect their bodies.
    Are you orthorexic (too strict with what foods you eat and critical of everyone else’s food, too)? Too lenient? Are you making healthy changes for what is right for you? Do you even know what foods are right for you? Maybe, maybe not. But one or more of these unanswered questions might be keeping you stuck and unhappy where you are now.
  6. You will have support to keep you on track.
    Don’t get me wrong, you have to do the work. You will discover things about yourself. However, you’ll have support, positive reinforcement, and guidance along the way.
  7. No one knows everything.
    Even just one consultation will be a beneficial learning experience. I learned much more than I thought I would. And some of the knowledge was completely unexpected.
  8. Your questions and concerns will be answered.
    It’s a different approach to health, but concerns such as weight loss, what to be eating, etc, will be addressed.
  9. The help you are getting is personalized.
    Each session is completely different than the next. While dietitians can advocate for one diet or another, this will be customized to fit your needs and match to the lifestyle you already have in place.
  10. Avoid cancerous habits.
    As you address the root of your problems, overall health, and different habits, there are ways to incorporate ways of prevent cancerous cells from growing. Merely diet and exercise may not be enough.

Jaison Green may be contacted for a free consultation at jaison@cleanfunliving.com
I recently met with him a second time, and got some answers to some good health-related questions. If you’re not convinced now, you might be after a little Q&A!

Be Fierce!!
Briauna Mariah (:

Beginner’s Guide to Mercedez-Benz New York Fashion Week

Here is my personal, insider look at Mercedez-Benz New York Fashion Week.

If you have ever watched the show “America’s Next Top Model,” you can kind of get the sense of craziness that is Fashion Week.

Tyra Banks has her girls running all over the city to go-sees and castings, trying on clothes, walking for big names, and all within a five hour time frame. Sounds like a handful, right? Similar deal for models during fashion week.

MBFW CASTINGS: Tourists and locals know a couple of weeks before Mercedez-Benz New York Fashion Week, that a whirlwind is coming. “Invasion of the tall pretty girls,” someone told me in an elevator this last September. You know you’re a part of something big when you have 10 castings all with different time frames and locations and you’re running around, seeing so many other models about. The time before Fashion Week is crazy, invigorating, and fun. However, you have to make sure you’re keeping yourself in tip-top condition. Here are 12 pointers to remember while on castings for Fashion Week (some more obvious than others): Continue reading “Beginner’s Guide to Mercedez-Benz New York Fashion Week”