Asia Riddick is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the TheAfroBleus Magazine, a fashion, art, and culture digital publication that aims to inform, share and bring to light the latest happenings in media. Here she discusses her start with TAB, challenges she faces as the owner of a start-up, and how she balances it all as a full-time student. Stay up to date with the latest happenings at TAB on Instagram and Twitter.
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF (I.E. WHO IS ASIA RIDDICK, WHERE ARE YOU FROM, WHAT/WHO WERE SOME OF YOUR INSPIRATIONS GROWING UP?)
Well, I’m a native New Yorker, born and raised. Growing up my parents were, and still are, my biggest inspirations. I was a huge nerd as a child and still am in many ways. I love to learn and actually was a hardcore Biology student for most of my college career. It wasn’t until recently that I realized how passionate I am about what I do now, which falls under the umbrella of communications, my current major as of a year ago.
HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE TAB AND WHAT DO YOU HOPE PEOPLE GAIN FROM IT ?
I’d define TAB as a community for creatives. We are a digital fashion, art, and culture publication and are big on creating spaces where people can learn, thrive, and grow together. We saw how influential that was with our “Streethearts” event last month. There’s power in being unified, so we hope people gain a sense of community with us here at TAB.
WHAT ARE SOME OBSTACLES/CHALLENGES YOU FACE AS THE FOUNDER OF A START-UP MAGAZINE?
The biggest challenges for me is time and having a really small team. There’s a lot of work that goes into running a business, let alone a start-up, and what many people don’t know about me is that I am a full-time college student. I started TAB when I was a Junior and now that I’m in my last year, it’s not always easy balancing homework and exams. However, challenges shape and grow you so I try my best not to get overwhelmed.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE OTHERS INTERESTED IN PURSUING CAREERS IN MEDIA/FASHION?
I still feel and am very new to this industry and the world of fashion, but I’d say be persistent and don’t get discouraged when you hear a “no.” Dabble in as many different things as you can; you learn by doing. In getting your feet wet, you’re able to figure out what you’re really good at and what it is you like. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Work hard- it may seem obvious but this industry, and any other industry for that matter, require diligence.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE PUBLICATIONS FOR FASHION CONTENT? WHY DO YOU ENJOY THEM?
I don’t have a favorite, but a few publications for fashion content that I enjoy are AnOther, Dazed, and HYPEBEAST. I love both men’s and women’s style, so these publications give me the inside scoop on both worlds. Even more so, I enjoy reading articles that analyze fashion beyond its surface level and dig into the cultural or societal perspectives of influence on style.
IF YOU DIDN’T RUN TAB, WHAT ELSE WOULD YOU BE DOING?
Definitely something within the Public Relations field. I really have a passion for it and that’s what I go to school for and do outside of TAB. So it’s a perfect fit for me.
JUST FOR KICKS
- Finish this sentence: I can’t leave the house without… my eyeglasses.
- Top 3 music artists: Cole, John Coltrane, and as of recently my new favorite is Masego. There are more, but these three artists I listen to most often and are incredibly talented.
- Favorite fashion brands: Toga Pulla, Shrimps, Tibi, Brother Vellies, and A.W.A.K.E. are a few of my favorites.
- NYC or LA: New York, hands down!