As New York Fashion Week comes to a close, it’s only right that I share one of my favorite annual events from the epicenter of all things fly and fashionable in NYC. Harlem’s Fashion Row events powered by Pandora kicked off fashion week fun with a Blogger’s Breakfast (sponsored by McDonald’s) as well as an editors luncheon offering a preview of the designer collections that would be gracing the runway during the 7th Annual HFR Runway Show and Style Awards.
Designer Kianga “Kiki Kitty” Peterson (K. Milele) seen with models at HFR Editors Luncheon Sept. 4 in NYC.
After media previews throughout the week, celebrities near and far gathered to NYC for the 7th Annual Harlem’s Fashion Row Runway Show And Style Awards. A show filled with designers from near and far, the HFR show is one of the anticipated runway events of each season. In addition to K. Milele designs, models dominated the runway in Harlem Haberdashery, Josh and Nicol and kept fashion fans in awe during the entire show. Discover moments from the show and surprise model appearances below.
TV personalities Miss Lawrence and Bevy Smith attend Harlem’s Fashion Row 7th Annual Fashion Show
Iconic model Beverly Johnson attends Harlem’s Fashion Row 7th Annual Fashion Show And Style Awards
A model wearing K. Milele during HFR Fashion Show
Model wearing Harlem Haberdashery Harlem’s Fashion Row 7th Annual Fashion Show
Model wearing Josh and Nicol during at Harlem’s Fashion Row 7th Annual Fashion Show
Model Bree Scullark wearing K. Milele during during HFR runway show
Recording artist Fat Joe walks the runway wearing Harlem Haberdashery during HFR runway show
Brandice Henderson, CEO and Founder of Harlem’s Fashion Row, has over 12 years of experience in fashion ranging from retail, buying, costing, and production. In May 2007, Henderson created HFR and produced the first fashion show which received critical acclaim and a mention in Women’s Wear Daily.
In just 5 years, Brandice moved Harlem’s Fashion Row from a small restaurant venue to the striking Allen Room at Lincoln Center. She’s gained corporate support from companies such as Target Stores, Iman Cosmetics, Sprite Green, and BET. Harlem’s Fashion Row has also been covered by NY Daily News, New York Time Out, and Jones Magazine as well as NYC TV “That’s So New York”, The Cut, NY Racked, Black Enterprise, and Centric.
Harlem’s Fashion Row is now a movement to increase diversity in fashion by producing events to teach, inspire, and encourage as well as by providing a platform for designers of color during fashion week. Harlem’s Fashion Row is a business with a purpose.
Is it just us or does NYFW suck away all of your energy too? The NYFW madness has just begun and we’ve been running to fashion shows, hopping in and out of cabs, waiting impatiently for the trains and just as quickly as it began, it’s now almost over.
Since we’ve survived another hectic fashion week we’ve decided to reward everyone for their hard work. We’re bringing our Relax, Renew and Recharge event back with AT&T and this time, we’ve moved closer to the fashion week action – just steps away from Milk Studios in Chelsea NYC.
This year, we have some amazing prizes and gift bags for all our hard-working NYFW friends and we can’t wait to catch up, talk shop and Relax, Renew and Recharge from all the fashion week excitement this season!
Relax, Renew & Recharge with INGLOT & AT&T
RELAX with an evening of free blow-outs, makeovers and beauty consultations by the world’s leading beauty brands. RENEW with a little “retail therapy” – complementary INGLOT gift cards for shopping during the event. RECHARGE from NYFW by tweeting for a chance to win AT&T smartphones, gift cards and more than $1000 in prizes!
Did you miss our last #NYFWRRR event? Relive the experience here and don’t forget to reserve your spot for an amazing celebration of Fashion Week Survival below! See you there!
Click here to RSVP: nyfwrrr.eventbrite.com
Over the weekend, Beautiful Textures haircare brand and the lovely ladies behind TalkingTexture.com hosted an intimate brunch for beauty editors, hair enthusiasts and more. Held at one of NYFW’s chicest hot spots for bites, Cafeteria – guests mingled over mimosas and hot talk about beauty, hair and fashion.
Led by Ty Alexander and Christina Brown of Talking Texture, the debate over natural hair, “curlism” (aka the divide of women based on their natural hair curl pattern) and inclusion in the natural hair movement ensued and many opinions were shared. Guests shared candid thoughts on their hair and how hair versatility can make any women feel unique and beautiful from the inside out.
We checked out Beautiful Textures product line including the TMS (texture manageability system) and talked about how we manage to keep it cute with our hair during fashion week and beyond. It was a great afternoon of candid beauty talk, tips and sharing what makes us beautiful and unique – our hair. Check out photos from the fun event below.
Deena Campbell of Essence Magazine shares some beauty and hair secrets with the ladies at brunch.
Danielle Young and Joy Adaeze of Curl Sistas share a smile over brunch at Cafeteria Resturant in NYC.
Christina Brown snaps a pic of Kela Walker of KelasKloset.com and Danielle Young of HelloBeautiful.com.
Kela Walker, Christen Rochon and Danielle Young striking a pose.
Style writer Geneva S. Thomas (of Bravo TV’s Blood, Sweat and Heels) and her mom share a moment over brunch
Talking Texture is an online community and style resource for women with textured hair. They educate women on how to maintain healthy hair, empowers them to embrace their inner and outer beauty, while we celebrate our hairstyle history and culture. TalkingTexture.com would love to hear from you. Become a member of the Talking Texture community and submit your texture styling tips, questions, suggestions and comments. As a hair style resource, Talking Texture values your opinions and input. Celebrate the beautiful history and culture of our hair by connecting with Talking Texture online, Twitter, Instagram or Facebook today!
If you’ve ever wandered about the glitz and glory that is the Kentucky Derby – did you know you can place your bets on finding the hottest fashions, prettiest horses and all the fun at a track a little closer to home? Recently, a few of my blogger friends and I were guests of America’s Best Racing and visited the historical Saratoga Race Track in Saratoga Springs, NY. Check out some of the racing fun and fashions found at our day at the races below.
On your mark, get set, GO! In addition to the beautiful stables filled with race horses trained to win, the racing experience begins way before you step foot inside of the racing center. You can’t just show up for a fascinating day of racing without the right fashions from head to toe. That’s why my girls and I made our way to Dora Marra for luxurious fascinators to kick our day at the races off right. Dora Marra offered a variety of stylish head pieces for our big day at the races. We were like kids in a candy store looking for the perfect fascinator for Saratoga [Check out our hilarious behind the scenes video and more photos from our Dora Marra shopping day.]
The fascinating fashion: Picking the right attire for the races isn’t an easy feat. I wanted a dress that wouldn’t show up my amazing feather fascinator, but I also wanted to dress for the weather (which is unusually hot and humid for this time of year in upstate New York). I opted for this coral and cream number which got it’s fair share of compliments while at the races.
Necklace & Accessories: J. Crew / Michael Kors
The fascinating horses: There were plenty of thoroughbred horses on display at the Saratoga Race Course grounds, many of them were seasoned pros just waiting for their next chance to prove themselves on the track. This beautiful runner was not only very active, he practically made posing for a selfie impossible. Every time I got in close enough for a good selfie, he’d move in for a kiss (or headbutt) and I freaked out. Eventually we settled on a topic of conversation that made us both calm, happy and ready for our candid photo.
Place your bets: Did you know that you can enjoy the races with or without placing your bets? With bets starting at $1 – I couldn’t see why you wouldn’t want to get your feet wet with a little wager. Tickets to the races start as low as $5 (that’s cheaper than a movie ticket!) While there, guests enjoy the sun, shopping, food and up close and personal thoroughbred moments throughout the 350-acre racetrack in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Although the season has come to an end, visiting the Saratoga Race Track next summer should definitely be on your to-do list. It’s the perfect opportunity to grab your girlfriends, dress up and enjoy a fabulous day of fun! For more information on Saratoga Racing and to plan your next trip visit NYRA.com. In case you’re looking to get into some racing fun before next summer, you can also check out the fall racing schedule throughout at Belmont Park in Hempstead (Long Island) NY below:
Huge thanks to Dan, Victoria and the entire NYRA team for a lovely day in Saratoga Springs, I can’t wait to do it again soon!
The MTV Video Music Awards have come and gone, but not without an air of controversy, ratchetness and omnipotent Bey sightings. If you’re like me and endured this year’s show in hopes of seeing Beyonce accept the coveted MTV Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, then you know it was all worth it. There were a few highlights of the VMA’s last night, and I’ve sprinkled a few of Beyonce’s opening act moments for your enjoyment below.
Ariana Grande, Jesse J and Nicki Minaj kicked off the show with a medley of hits, Ariana Grande’s (aka Big Sean’s new boo) performed followed by a scandalous and booty-filled “Anaconda” performance by Nicki Minaj and then the heavily awaited performance of Jesse J’s “Bang Bang”.
The first award of the night went to Katy Perry (ft. Juicy J) for “Dark Horse” and then a few performance, awkward comedic monologues and epic crowd reaction side-eyes (Gwen Stefani and J.Lo – I’m looking at you…)
Even Taylor Swift got into the action performing “Shake it off” from her new album “1989” and Iggy Azelea and Rita Ora’s rendition of “Black Widow” had the crowd on it’s feet.
But nothing equalled to the moment we all waited for, the arrival of Beyonce’s earth-shaking and emotionally moving Video Vanguard Award performance. Performing every single song from her self-titled album, Beyonce’ sang, danced and gave fans the best performance of the show. Check out just a few award-winning moments from last night’s Video Music Awards below.
Best Video With a Social Message:
Beyonce – “Pretty Hurts”
Beyonce – “Pretty Hurts”
Beyonce ft. JAY Z – “Drunk In Love”
Of course the night wouldn’t be complete without Jay Z and baby Blue presenting the Video Vanguard Award to a tear-filled Beyonce following her mega performance. It was by far, my favorite moment of the show!
What were your favorite moments from last night’s MTV Video Music Awards? Share your favorite and twitter worthy moments below.
If you’re looking for an unforgettable experience that stimulates your sense of sight and sound, why not check out the “Inseparable: Soundwall Experience” in NYC. “Inseparable: The Soundwall Experience” is a hybrid art, music and tech series featuring artist collaborations, exhibitions and events that seamlessly integrate art and music like never before. The summer group exhibition in partnership with Soundall reaffirms music and visual art as inseparable forms of expression. Soundwall is customized, hand-crafted, framed artwork that hangs on the wall and plays music wirelessly. Using the Soundwall technology as a channel to explore the bond between sound and sight, each artist was asked to curate a song paired to their visual work.
Recently I got the opportunity to explore “Inseparable: The Soundwall Experience” for myself and discover the artistry of Ricky Aiello Jr. (son of famed actor Danny Aiello), Bradley Theodore (artist behind the infamous Anna and Karl NYC mural), Fab 5 Freddy and more. The instillation of art and sound was an experience that went beyond the initial senses. It was interesting to learn the stories behind the artwork as well as how music played an integral role in the creation of some of the pieces on display. Apparently Soundwall pieces are the next big thing in heightening the art and entertainment experience. Curated by Laura O’Reilly of Wallplay and Mike Namer, Founder of Gallery 151, “Inseparable: The Soundwall Experience” can be viewed at Gallery 151 – 131 W. 18th Street in New York. For more information online visit gallery151.com and experience.soundwall.co.
Get a look inside of “Inseparable: The Soundwall Experience” below…
An annual staple to ESSENCE Festival weekend, the McDonald’s 365Black Awards are given annually to salute outstanding individuals who are committed to making positive contributions that strengthen the African-American community. This year’s event was hosted by actor/television host Terrence ‘J’ Jenkins and actress Tika Sumpter and was held in conjunction with ESSENCE Festival™ presented by Coca-Cola®.
Notable community leaders, celebrities and entertainers were out in full force at this year’s McDonald’s 365Black Awards, held during ESSENCE Festival weekend at the New Orleans Theater in the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.
They were joined by a full house of spectators who converged to salute this year’s recipients of the distinguished award, including civil rights activist the Rev. Al Sharpton; film producer Will Packer; music executive Kevin Liles; inspirational leader Iyanla Vanzant; former NFL athlete Dhani Jones; and McDonald’s owner/operator Henry Coaxum. Additionally, artist Skyler Grey and entrepreneur Gabrielle Jordan Williams were recognized alongside this lineup with the first-ever McDonald’s 365Black Community Choice Youth Award.
“We commend all of this year’s honorees for their diligent service and dedication to bettering our communities,” said Rob Jackson, McDonald’s U.S. marketing director. “We are proud to continue this tradition of recognition and are grateful for the contributions of all 365Black Awards honorees, both past and present.”
I caught up with Terrance Jenkins, Will Packer, Kevin Liles and more on the McDonald’s Golden Carpet. Check out our special correspondent and what the honorees had to say about ESSENCE Festival, The McDonald’s 365 Black Awards and more below…
R&B recording artist and New Orleans’ own Ledisi opened the show and got the crowd in the mood for the soulful sounds of Pastor Kim Burrell, Tank, Leela James, Jazmine Sullivan, Kierra Sheard and Mali Music. Singer/actress Michelle Williams, veteran radio personality Tom Joyner, news correspondent Soledad O’Brien, film director Warrington Hudlin, actress Naturi Naughton and news correspondent Nischelle Turner were among celebrities on hand to present the illustrious awards.
Watch the McDonald’s 365 Black Awards broadcast August 10 at 10 p.m. EDT/9 p.m on BET®. The awards ceremony will also air on CENTRIC on August 17 at 11 p.m. EDT/10 p.m. CDT. You can also follow @McDScene on Twitter for commentary on the awards and join the conversation using #365BlackAwards.
photos by Chris Mitchell / CME 3000 / DivasandDorks
Verizon Wireless Impacts And Empowers Essence Festival With Lance Gross And Regina Hall #VZWEssenceFestJuly 7th, 2014 by Christen
Did you miss out on one of the biggest 4th of July experiences this weekend? Each year, people from across the globe descend upon in New Orleans to see some of the biggest names in the music, empowerment and entertainment at one of the biggest and longest running festivals in the United States. ESSENCE Festival 2014 has barely come to a end but the impactful performances, influences and celebrity moments will be remembered forever!
Now in its 20th year, the event has grown to be more than a series of concerts and performances. It is an opportunity for the thousands who attend to connect with each other and their passions. The ESSENCE Festival also provides an opportunity for Verizon to connect with the community and power the passion of festival attendees. Hundreds of thousands came to New Orleans, Lousiana for the 20th Annual Essence Festival sponsored by Verizon Wireless and got the opportunity to meet and greet celebrities such as R&B songstress Jazmine Sullivan, R&B crooner Kem, Actress Sanaa Lathan, Regina Hall, Lance Gross and many more!
In addition to a star-studded celebrity experience, Verizon Wireless also showcased the power of Verizon’s network with the community by showing how individuals can transform their lives through technology & more. Representatives from Verizon’s HR team were at the ESSENCE Festival hiring talented and driven individuals who share their values of leveraging technology to create a better world. Verizon empowered girls between the ages of 12 and 17 years old to help address teen dating violence. They hosted the loveisrespect hackathon competition in New Orleans, an event that teaches software design and promotes healthy relationships in partnership with Black Girls Code and Break the Cycle.
I got the chance to sit down with Verizon Wireless celebrity partners Lance Gross and Regina Hall to discuss their favorite Essence Festival moments, must have apps and more at the historic Dooky Chase restaurant in New Orleans. Discover what makes their partnership with Verizon Wireless special and more #VZWEssenceFest moments below.
Photos via Chris Mitchell / CME 3000
For more on how ESSENCE Festival celebrated it’s 20th Anniversary with Verizon Wireless, visit VerizonWireless.com.
Your next business trip or vacation will only be as great as your next hotel stay. A hotel room with alleyway scents and views, bad plumbing or noisy neighbors can potentially ruin an entire travel experience. One of the most asked questions I’ve received is “How to score upgraded hotel stays?” I’ve discovered what travel insiders have known for years, upgrading your next hotel stay is a lot simpler than most people think. From rooms with spectacular views to complementary meals, beverages and more – uncover four insider secrets to upgrade your next hotel stay recently shared on Essence.com today.
Upgrade Your Hotel Room
There are many ways to request complimentary room upgrade, but you’ve got to be smart, stealth and polite about it. Typically, guests checking in later in the day have a better chance at scoring an available room upgrade. One of the best ways to score a complementary upgrade is to greet the front desk agent with a smile and tip up front. By simply walking up with a smile, id, credit card in hand and greeting the front desk agent with a $20 tip you open up a world of upgrade possibilities. Make sure you’re assertive and let the agent know “This is for you. Whatever you can do for me, I’d appreciate a room upgrade, late checkout, wine, whatever…” and watch the hotel experience upgrades come rolling in.
Upgrade Your In-Room Ambiance
Celebrities like Beyoncé, Mariah and Madonna upgrade their hotel room ambiance with signature essences like flowers or candles all the time. Nothing makes a hotel stay feel more like home than adding unique touches that appeal to the senses to ensure a more relaxing stay. That’s where a pre-planed hotel travel kit with lavender bath salts & pillow mists become essential when packing for your next trip. Packing satin pillowcases, scented candles & a Bluetooth speaker for your favorite music are also great additions to include in your hotel travel kit. For less than $20, you can create and pack your essential hotel room kit filled with your favorite scents, sounds and even sweet treats that will make your next hotel stay a great visit.
Looking for more insider secrets? Check out my full article on Essence.com HERE.