Seasons Change, People Change: A Fresh Look at Fashionable Lifestyles


The past two days have officially marked the start of a new season. On Sunday, I woke up well-rested (thanks daylight savings!) and ready to hit the streets. Yesterday’s wind rushed me out of the house in a formidable fashion… literally, layer by layer. As I walked around ‘new brisk city’, I pondered on the essence of change. Not simply in the weather, but in my life, my career and my beloved industry.

My first thought was from September… Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. From Lincoln Center to the Gallery at the Art Institute of NYC. The day after our spectacular student runway show, my Fashion Ethics class enjoyed another stylish presentation. 

The documentary Picture Me: A Model’s Diary was undoubtedly the first and last look of my ‘academic collection’ last term. I wanted something that would educate, entertain and inspire my fashion marketing and merchandising students immediately, and definitely bring that wow factor. Well, Picture Me indeed delivered, and having its creator visit our campus was the ultimate model booking.

Model/Filmmaker/Activist Sara Ziff offered a peek into the glamorous, yet gritty modeling world, giving my class a sobering perspective of those who pose. With many successful seasons as a sought-after model, Sara dons another fabulous hat… Founder/Executive Director of her nonprofit organization, the Model Alliance, “a voice for the faces of the fashion industry”. How’s that for a statement accessory?

Sara brought esteemed members of the Model Alliance with her to AiNYC, and altogether (myself and 30+ students), we talked ‘trends’… not the expected apparel updates, but rather the industry’s pressing issues of sustainability, labor rights, women’s injustice and model diversity (shouts out to Iman, Naomi Campbell and of course, Bethann Hardison!!!). The new season of conscious style and commerce had arrived, and it was truly remarkable. 

Such a timely segue into my second thought… Last Thursday’s Lunch. TriBeCa, NYC. Only a few weeks after the launch of Bishop Collective, a new chic e-tailer that boldly pairs style with social responsibility.  

As I dined (and wined! LOL) with Designer/Author/Professor and Bishop Collective Co-Founder Dimitri Koumbis, I was purely inspired by his career journey. After soaring for years in retail, Dimitri later decided to land in fashion education. It didn’t take long for him to realize the middle road (between the two) was entrepreneurship. Together with his business partner/fellow professor, Mai Vu, Bishop Collective was born “to provide a more responsible solution to the current retail model- one that is stagnant and dependent on less than humane international labor practices.” Definitely a power move. 

My final thought was not from the past, but instead the future. Reflecting on my own changes (professionally and personally), I am proud and ready to reveal the next season for Style Root Inc.

For the first time, Style Root Inc. is its own client. PR and Personal Development has sipped its own medicine, and just like that… is healthier than ever before ; )

We are just days away from the launch of YouArePR, a revolutionary approach to branding, and all-new experience of customized fitness, personal development and professional expansion.

The season is here… and PR just got personal ; )  

Right to Left: Sara Ziff, Model Alliance member, AiNYC Student/Model, Trina Morris, Model Alliance members

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Energetic Entrepreneurship: A Holistic Branding Approach

Ask any entrepreneur and they will tell you that one’s area of expertise is merely a fraction of the work required to market and sustain a business. Entrepreneurship has been the most challenging responsibility of my life to date (I know, I know… wait until parenthood! LOL).

While Style Root Inc. is an undeniably awesome ride, I’ve admittedly missed several tune-ups over the years. Sure, my business would get its proverbial tires rotated, oil changed, and insides detailed… but as the owner/SeedEO, I frequently dismissed the vital signs of my individual vehicle. For many entrepreneurs, personal development seems to be the last thing on the To Do List… and honestly, thats BAD for business

Join me at Move with Grace on Saturday, July 13th at 4:30pm,  as I tackle this all to common issue, and provide practical solutions for bringing life and business into balance. Also enjoy a refreshing yoga practice (all levels welcome!), delicious smoothies and the support of fellow entrepreneurs. See below for all of the details. Space is limited, so sign up today.  

Energetic Entrepreneurship eflyer updated


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My Roots Through A Lens

The One and only…

Last week, my grandfather would have celebrated his 91st birthday. I admired him deeply on several levels- one of which as being a creative entrepreneur. On his inhale, my grandfather was a landscaper/mechanic, and on his exhale… a candid and landscape photographer. This year, I chose to honor my grandfather on the same two-sided notion.

Gordon Parks was not just a photographic legend, but also a man who shared my grandfather’s signature features: rich skin, wiry silver hair and a matching bushy mustache. Since missing the Schomburg’s centennial tribute  (tisk, tisk!), I decided to watch HBO’s Half Past Autumn: The Life and Works of Gordon Parks, as well as Parks’ Hollywood debut film (as director-producer-writer-composer), The Learning Tree

This organic theme of “photography and my roots” flipped sides when I heard about Sharon Socol’s Plus One: An Outsider’s Photographic View into the World of Fashion. I guess my Barneys New York book launch invite got lost in the mail, but thank goodness… FIT knows just how to save the day (or evening) with their own complementary event. Sharon was a delightful speaker whose Indiana roots were clear, and oh sooo refreshing. My kinda New York State of Mind ; )

You may be thinking, “How does this all relate together?” Great question! I guess I can say it’s the unique combination of passion, circumstance and hardwork. My grandfather, Gordon and Sharon- their life’s inspiration would never necessarily be classified by category, as they are truly in a category all their own, “Life As Art”. Don’t belieee meh… just read!! (A few people caught that! LMAO)

Each of my muses bravely examine(d) truth and in doing so, gain(ed) inexplicable trust (almost instantly) from their subjects. It never occurred to me (in these brilliant quotes below) that Sharon was talking about photography.

“I’m not here to talk about fashion. I’m a guest in the true sense of the word. This is a world that’s not familiar to me.” 

“My camera is my visual voice expressing my feelings… my shield as well.” 

“Intuitively follow what your feeling. Then it magically happens.”

“If you have an aspiration, you should always look for inspiration.”

“Go through every door that’s open to you.”

The similarities between Gordon and Granddaddy were equally engaging. Both are self-taught photographers and bought their first camera from meager beginnings (Gordon’s a pawn shop, Granddaddy’s perusing through garbage, etc.). Both had a love for individual style. Gordon touch-downed while at Vogue and LIFE, and Grandaddy enjoyed bespoke suits. But the best thing of all… they both shoveled snow. As cold as it must have been… my heart melted. That’s a father… a grandfather…. A good man. A true spirit. Rest in peace to you both, Darnell Morris and Gordon Parks.

Going back to Indiana (as the Jackson Five sang) is always a treat, and will forever be a tribute to my family sages.  I smile knowing my entire early life (and many others) was captured and scored by my grandfather.

I love Sharon’s book and sincerely hope to stay in touch with her. I am also purely inspired to share more of my world with you.  Here’s to the Spring! xo

In Bloom

Its just a matter of time ; )


Me & Sharon Socol

Just two Indiana girls ; )

Just like my Christmas cactus (who is beyond impressive at this point- Its March, people!!!), I’m blooming… more to come.


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Press Play: Style Root Builds Student-Run Firm in AiNYC’s Fashion Classroom

New York, NY.—December 6, 2012. Style Root Inc.’s SeedEO Trina Morris puts theory into practice with one of her classes at the Art Institute of New York City, by creating student-run Public Relations and Special Events firm, “Press Play”.

Each week, Morris teaches public relations and event campaign management principles to her rising graduates (of Fashion Merchandising and Marketing), and then transitions into Lead Advisor for Press Play Events & PR. The students/firm associates fully apply her lectures by planning, producing and promoting AiNYC’s first-ever holiday bazaar

The “BaseCreate Holiday Bazaar” will feature accessory and outerwear designs, as well as home goods and novelties, by current students and faculty. BaseCreate will also exclusively retail select collection pieces from its September presentation, the first-scheduled college runway show featured at this past New York Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.

 Morris’ students have experienced campaign pitching to national brands like Panera Bread, and Manhattan’s own Baked by Melissa. They have also proposed brand development and viral communication strategies to an all-new social shopping portal,, and recently attended a seasonal trend review event, hosted by Fashion Group international, and led by Vogue’s Sally Singer.

“To have had a class like this while I was in school… I would have been on a cloud! The passion I have for PR, fashion and career development allows me to deliver this content and delegate these (student firm) responsibilities in a special way. Nurturing creative professionals is my mainstay, but developing them may quite possibly be even more gratifying. I am definitely looking forward to today’s bazaar,” Morris states. 

BaseCreate Holiday Bazaar launches TODAY, Thursday, Dec 6th, 6-8:30pm and continues on Friday, Dec 7th, 11:30am-2:30pm, at the Art Institute of New York City’s Gallery (11 Beach Street TriBeCa, NYC). Admission is free to students and public. 

AiNYC’s first holiday bazaar

Style Root Inc. is a public relations and personal development consulting firm, based in Brooklyn, NY. Style Root is an original, progressive brand of creative and strategic solutions that harmonize individuality, entrepreneurship and popular culture.

For more information, contact Trina Morris, Style Root Inc. 718.789.0075,                                                        

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An Act of Humility: Stephen Hill’s Journey to USA-TV’s “Political Animals”


New York, NY. July 30, 2012. For Stephen Hill, a recurring role on USA-TV’s new drama, Political Animals, is as much about the journey as the destination.

To reach Sigourney Weaver’s set, Hill commuted daily to Philadelphia from NY in a hardly painted, 1991 hand-me-down sedan with no AC. With all of the windows down, Hill used his drive- literally and figuratively- to reflect on his 10-year commitment to acting. With each passing exit, Hill recalled his past roles on the stage and screen, as well as every sacrifice and disappointment in between.

Nonetheless, Stephen Hill has humbly gained momentum over the past few months. He has shot a Season 3 episode of the comedy series Louie (FX), done a round of auditions for BET Executives and attended the 16th Annual American Black Film Festival as a VIP participant and 2010 “Star Project” Winner. After two years of production, Hill completed his leading role in the award-winning web series, 12 Steps to Recovery (, and gratefully wrapped his role in the feature film Dead Man Down (2013), alongside Noomi Rapace (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Colin Farrell and Terrence Howard.

“Did I mention, I also moved out of my apartment last month? Man, I was all over the place. And this ain’t no coupe deville; it’s a hoop deville,” Hill laughs.

As Hill finally pulled into the Political Animals lot, he admired the fresh paint and flashy details of the other cars, but not enough to get sidetracked. While it may not have been as comfortable getting there, he had undoubtedly arrived.

Hill walked onto set prepared for a role that he previously knew nothing about.

“I’ve never done cocaine or any other drug for that matter, in my life, so to play a cocaine dealer is kind of ironic. It’s cool though. I often play a cop or good guy, so I appreciate the balance,” he explains.

For Stephen Hill, the future is an open road.

USA-TV airs Political Animals on Sundays at 10pm. For more information on the show, visit its Facebook page ( Stephen Hill (@StephenHillActs) is featured in the 1st and 4th episodes. 

For more information on Stephen Hill, contact Trina Morris, Style Root Inc. / 917.859.4217.

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