Saturday, November 27, 2010

Seven Questions with HUMAN INTONATION Founder Verneda White

During this past Fashion's Night Out in New York last September, I attended the Style Thirteen launch party where I got to meet the beautiful Verneda White - a fellow LL lady and London expat. As we enjoyed the collections that were on display and helped ourselves to some refreshments at the event, I got a chance to learn about Verneda's global background and her altruistic clothing collection called "HUMAN INTONATION." For someone who is still only in their 20s, and has gone through some trials and tribulations in their life, she has made quite an impression on me. Verneda is one of those persistent, vigilant folks who still have hope for this world by trying to make it better than it is through social awareness on global issues. What better way to give this young entreprenuer and social activist crazy kudos than featuring her on the Ladies Lotto blog?! 

What is your name, age, occupation(s), location(s)?

"My name is Verneda Adele White, age 26, and I am the Founder & Creative Director of a charity-driven apparel brand called HUMAN INTONATION. I am based out of New York, with reach to London and Hong Kong."

Why do you do what you do? What inspires you in general and in your work? What makes you stand out from other artists?
"I started Human Intonation after two life changing experiences: My family’s survival through Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the loss of my 22 year old first cousin and best friend Wesley to AIDS five months later. In the last 2 years I launched Human Intonation to use fashion to raise social awareness and funding for a number of social & human rights issues including rebuilding New Orleans, LA, youth & minority HIV prevention, and have expanded into children in Darfur and Haiti.

I love fashion and I am obsessed with men and women graphic tees, tank tops and jersey dresses so I decided to create my own tees and tanks from scratch. Everything from Human Intonation is made from our original patterns and fabric. Most t-shirt brands buy their tees from a warehouse; we make our own! It is a privilege to take what I love and use it in a way to help make a difference in the lives of others. What makes my line stand out is that it is a fashion statement with the power to get people to start the conversation about these issues in a way that can change perceptions, change choices, change lives. We donate 20% of the proceeds from each sale to one of our non-profit partners working in the causes we support and create community events to get people involved."
What are some current projects you are working on?
"I am very excited about December 2nd when Human Intonation will host its first Co-Ed HIV forum and fashion presentation to generate an engaging, informative, and controversial discussion linking the tie between the dynamics of today’s male/female relationships and their impact on the epidemic of HIV among Women of Color. The event is titled “Protection is the NEW Black: Sex, Love + Lies in the Age of HIV” set to commemorate this year’s World AIDS Day."
What are you hoping the future will bring for yourself and your career?
"At the end of the day it is my goal is to get people to think about these issues in a way that they may not have done so before and to take action in how they live their lives. I hope my career lends itself to re-directing 'The NEW Purpose of Fashion,' to making an impression on others, and hopefully help another family avoid the type of loss my family has experienced.

When I think about myself in the future there are an endless number of things I aspire and look forward to. My sights are on Dubai and Egypt for travel, writing a book, becoming fluent in Spanish, and one day having a family too!"

 What are your favorite places in the general NYC area?
"I am such a foodie! I live in Brooklyn and love checking out neighbourhood haunts to eat at like Song for Thai food in Park Slope and Madiba for South African in Fort Greene. But you can find me anywhere in the city with great food, cocktails, and friends."

What's it like to be a creative in a city like NYC? Do you feel happy, sad, stressed, paranoid, etc.?
"I used to live in Europe and Asia but I am grateful everyday to create in New York City. The pulse of the city both motivates and encourages me to keep pushing forward even when times are tough. I love being surrounded by other creatives and find more often than not that people are genuinely interested in thinking of what we can accomplish together. It is great to live in a place where I have received support for Human Intonation from the likes of Wyclef Jean and Harriette Cole. You definitely have to be tough skinned to live here but if I did not love it I would have moved already!"

Do you have any advice, life tips, suggestions for the Ladies Lotto community?
"With all of our drive, ambition, and constantly being on the go, please take time to care for yourself. Down time is so important where you just do nothing. We are an amazing group of women doing so many things, sometimes we forget to put ourselves first without feeling guilty about it. It is ok to unplug when you need to so you can stay healthy, avoid burnout, and keep kickin’ ass. Love you all!"

Join Verneda White on Thursday, December 2, 2010 as HUMAN INTONATION hosts a discussion about the dynamics of today’s male-female relationships impacting the increase of HIV in Women of Colour during their first Co-Ed HIV forum and fashion presentation culminating their 2010 campaign.
Dwyer Cultural Center Gallery
258 Saint Nicholas Ave.
(enter @123rd St.)
New York, NY 10027

Doors Open at 6:30PM
No Cover
Wine Reception to Follow

For more information on Verneda and Human Intonation, be sure to visit  Feel free to send Verneda an email at

Seven Questions is a Q+A segment I, Susie G, will be doing EXCLUSIVELY for Ladies Lotto. Seven Questions will be featuring female artists, creatives, and the like from various locations worldwide. The goal of this is to introduce creatives to the LL community and the interwebs, and hopefully create potential collaborations, networking opportunities, etc. All interviews are done via e-mail correspondence. Please feel free to e-mail me if you have suggestions for future interviewees @ d j s u s i e g [at] g m a i l [dot] c o m.

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