Disclosure: This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of ESSENCE Magazine & ESSENCE Street Style Block Party. The opinions and experiences expressed below are all mine.
It’s been three years since ESSENCE Magazine has disrupted what street style means to everyday people in NYC. Throughout the course of three short years, celebrity style icons, stylists, fierce fashionistas and beyond descend upon DUMBO in Brooklyn for the fashion and style party of the year. New York Fashion Week is known for the style cascading down the runways, but those that are in the know, knows the real creativity and fierce fashion takes place on the streets of NYC.
ESSENCE Magazine’s Julee Wilson and Kelly Rowland.
In addition to celebrating real women with real style, the ESSENCE Street Style Block Party transformed the DUMBO Archway under the Manhattan Bridge in Brooklyn into a summer street festival for all things fierce, fashionable and FUN!
ESSENCE’S 2016 Street Style Awards honored stylish bloggers, designers, stylists and celebrity trendsetters. This year’s stylish honorees included:
Kelly Rowland – ESSENCE Street Style Closet Crush Award
Khadija Shari – ESSENCE Street Style Curator of Cool
Zendaya and ESSENCE Street Style Disruptor honoree Law Roach.
Law Roach – ESSENCE Street Style Style Disruptor Award presented by Zendaya
Blake Von D – ESSENCE Street Style Chevy Street Style Maven
Romeo Hunte – ESSENCE Street Style Designer To Watch Award
The ESSENCE Street Style Block Party driven by partners SheaMoisture and Chevrolet was the epicenter of stylish inspiration. Chevy kept the block party rocking with a silent disco and included a chance to get to know and get inspired by creatives who are fueling their passions in art, fashion and music.
Chevy’s Fuel Your Hustle Silent Disco
Artist Jade 1911 will create original artwork inspired by the Chevy Cruze
The SheaMoisture team was all about the preserving the beauty and style, as stylists tamed tresses, refreshed curls and supplied plenty of tips & tricks for preserving natural hair care and beyond.
The runway show showcasing the best of street style hosted by Naturi Naughton was great inspiration for on site shopping and ESSENCE made it easy with local vendors and designers selling exclusive accessories, fashions and more via the Street Style Shops.
Of course no block party is complete without great foods and drinks and the Essence Eats curated local food truck experience and custom Caribbean-inspired pineapple drinks made the ESSENCE Street Style Block Party the perfect celebration of sights, sounds and styles and tastes of a unique New York Fashion Week experience and beyond.
For more information check out all the super stylish pics on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using #EssenceStyle. You can also visit Essence.com/streetstyle or pick up ESSENCE’s upcoming fashion issue for a full recap of New York Fashion Week’s most stylish event of the season.
DISCLAIMER: This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of Macy’s; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
Macy’s Fashion’s Front Row
Macy’s Somerset – Troy
Saturday, September 17th
Working the new trends and adjusting your wardrobe for the new season can be hard work, why not allow the team at Macy’s to make revamping your closet easy with Macy’s Fashion’s Front Row. Join the fun featuring the hottest looks from your favorite designers. Rock out to beats by a live DJ, enjoy refreshments, snap a photo at the Be Your Own Blogger wall and get style advice from leading style experts on site. It’s the biggest shopping party of the season- you won’t want to miss out! RSVP Today!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Chevrolet. The opinions and experiences shared are all mine.
How much do you know about mastering your financial health? I’m talking serious financial literacy! Did you know that many Americans aren’t as educated as they’d like to be about properly financing college education, understanding credit or long-term money management? As a teen, I wasn’t taught much about money management and knew nothing about establishing good credit until I reached college. By that time, it was too late! The resources I needed may have came along later in life, but lucky for you – there’s financial experts waiting to help you today! Rainbow PUSH Coalition and Chevrolet have teamed up to host a series of workshops aimed to educate African American consumers on financial literacy and assist you in developing concrete steps toward financial security, health and financial freedom!
Rainbow PUSH Money Matters sponsored by Chevrolet is a workshop designed to help demystify the complexities of college financing, understanding credit, and offer helpful insights on entrepreneurship. The interactive curriculum for the Money Matters series, taught by some of the nation’s leading public and private sector financial experts, is geared to help you – no matter of your financial literacy. Participants can expect to walk away from the sessions with tools and resources to develop best practices that will help support stronger financial health.
Some of the educational workshops include:
Budgeting Basics – i.e. how to create and manage a personal budget, pay off debt, and help protect yourself from fraud.
Understanding Credit – i.e. understanding how to apply for credit, the meaning of credit scores, cleaning up credit history, and understanding debt.
College Financing – i.e. overview of financial options to consider when planning for college, including Financial Aid Programs.
Investing 101 – i.e. how to find multiple sources of income, stocks vs. other investments, creating a simple portfolio.
Entrepreneurship – i.e. how to establish your personal brand and get your idea off the ground.
Rainbow PUSH Money Matters sponsored by Chevrolet
Harlem Commonwealth Council
361 West 125th Street
New York, NY 10027
10am – 2pm
There are workshops available for any and everyone you know that’s serious about their financial health. If you seriously need to make a change to improve your financial health and want to make your money work harder and smarter for you, you need to meet me at the Money Matters workshop on Saturday, September 10th in NYC. To register for the Money Matters workshop in NYC and discover other Money Matters workshops in your area, visit www.rainbowpush.org.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Chevrolet. The opinions and experiences shared are all mine.
Hundreds of Metro Detroit’s best dressed socialites, entrepreneurs and business tycoons alike enjoyed fierce fashions and a fun night out with Founders Junior Council, Lincoln Motor Company and The Detroit Institute of Arts.
Fash Bash is an annual summer celebration of fashion and art, is one of the DIA’s signature fundraisers and one of metropolitan Detroit’s premiere, exhilarating social events that is an annual sell-out event.
Since the inception of Fash Bash, the Founders Junior Council has raised more than $4 million for the DIA, not including their recent $1 million gift commitment announced earlier this year. Guests in fashionably chic attire enjoyed a VIP cocktail reception prior to the Neiman Marcus Art of Fashion runway show featuring the latest designer fashions in the DIA’s Great Hall.
Afterward, the Lincoln Black Label late night party kicked off with drinks, dancing, and delicious bites all night long. The Lincoln MKZ and Lincoln Continental were the belles of the ball adding premium Black Label style and flare to the biggest style party in Detroit!
There’s an epidemic going on, and yet no one has recognized and addressed the elephant in the room. There’s a mass exodus of New Yorkers fleeing the city that never sleeps in search of a better quality of life. Just as quickly as transplants are finding their way to the city that claims “If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.” There’s a subset of New Yorkers in search of their “anywhere” outside of the five borough vicinity of New York City. People are escaping NYC for something new and it’s a common epidemic that no one seems to talk about, until now.
The irony that I recently participated in Ford’s unique pop-up event in the heart of Manhattan, doesn’t go unnoticed. The Ford Escape NYC experience was a 1-day activation inviting journalists and consumers the chance at problem solving highlighting the new features and benefits of 2017 Ford Escape.
Based on the ever-popular “Escape The Room” event concept, teams of four were challenged to learn about the 2017 Ford Escape and utilize features and benefits absorbed to solve puzzles, riddles and problems in order to escape to the next level of the game. Check out the recap video here.
It’s funny how a simple game can have you analyzing career decisions you’ve made in life. While this may be news to some (if we’re Facebook friends or you follow my shenanigans on Snapchat, you’re already well aware) – I’ve recently taken a career shift and have graduated into the next phase of my multimedia career by accepting an integrated marketing role in network television.
While this amazing experience has afforded me the opportunity to utilize my 10+ year broadcast marketing expertise on a largely valuable scale, it’s also afforded me the moment I’ve waited two years for, an escape from New York. Don’t get me wrong. My 6-year New York experience was an eye-opening and life-altering chapter in which I was forced to grow and become the woman I am today. I’ve traveled the world, made genuine life-long friendships and learned that you never want to intentionally eat a street hot dog. I’ve also learned that while New York offers world-class food and entertainment, it was lacking the quality of life experiences that I was now ready to live out for the remainder of my days.
Early morning commutes with hundreds of people on the subway was one of the leading factors behind my escape from New York. I’m all for building up communities, however my tolerance for roommates, shower sharing, NYC rats and roaches really made me question if I knew there was a better quality of life out there, why am I allowing myself to suffer? For the sake of saying I live in NYC? I don’t think so.
CHALLENGE ACCEPTED. LESSONS LEARNED.
So as the Escape The Room concept goes…you identify the problem and use what you’ve learned to find the solution. Once I realized that I my time in NYC was winding down, I made the decision to make the leap into a new career, happier commute and escape the city I called home for years.
Since my escape, I continue to stay connected to my NYC friends and family as well as visit on a monthly basis (for business – and as a friendly reminder as to why I left in the first place.) So what did Ford’s Escape New York experience mean for me? Other than a super cool activation experience / game affording me the opportunity to reconnect with friends, it’s also opened my eyes to the possibilities of stepping outside your comfort zone in order to grow into new levels and new possibilities.
Now that I’ve ‘leveled up” let’s see just where exactly this escape leads me six years from now. It’ll undoubtedly lead to new challenges that require problem-solving skills that I’ve learned throughout my journey, but I’ve never been more excited to use lessons learned to solve puzzles and problems in order to escape to the next level of this game called life.
Disclosure: I am a spokesperson for OLAY participating in the ESSENCE Festival Style & Beauty chat, while the talent appearance has been compensated all views expressed below are my own.
During Essence Festival in New Orleans, My Black is Beautiful celebrated 10 years of inspiring women of all ages to cultivate and celebrate our Black Girl Magic from the inside out. Utilizing beauty consultations, intimate conversations breaking beauty myths, I teamed up with Essence beauty editor Nykia Spradley and Dr. Thompson from OLAY to share tips, tricks and the science behind achieving naturally glowing skin for the summer.
For more than 60 years OLAY has delivered phenomenal products to celebrate and enhance generational beauty passed down from our grandmothers, mothers and now for us. Cultivating quality ingredients and formulas that enhance our skin and empower the idea that ‘Black Don’t Crack”. In addition to vitamins like B3, retinol and SPF, there’s a complex blueprint behind the science of creating beautiful skin and OLAY has cracked the code.
Everyone wants beautiful, healthy, radiant skin and it all starts from the inside out. Clean eating with emphasis on fresh fruits, vegetables and plenty of water is the key to unlocking younger looking skin. If you’re not a huge fan of drinking water, grab a water bottle infuser and add fresh strawberries, cucumbers or lemons for a refreshing splash of taste.
If you’re ready to upgrade your skin from the inside out, try pairing OLAY Regenerist Luminous Collection because its properties and ingredients really do enhance my skin by fading dark spots and giving me a beautiful, healthy looking glow. The Luminous Collection uses a Skin Brightening Complex which penetrates 10 layers deep into the skin’s surface to fade the appearance of dark spots. That’s some deep tissue moisturizing right there!
Olay’s #1 selling face cream – Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream – is enhanced with vitamins and skin firming properties to keep you looking ageless with the added bonus of SPF 30. Since Olay is committed to helping women make smart beauty decisions, it includes SPF in its facial moisturizers and body lotions for convenience.
I know we’re busy women with careers and children, but you must also wash your face daily (especially before bed), and moisturize. Don’t go to sleep with make up on! If you’re really on the run, Olay has made it easy to remove make up and wash your face with convenient micro-exfoliating wet cleansing cloths.
We all know the mantra “Black Don’t Crack” but now we can make sure we have flawless and ageless looking skin with a few changes in our diet and adding OLAY to your daily beauty routine for an easy skin fix. How do you keep your skin glowing all summer long? Share your thoughts below!
Disclaimer: I have partnered with Ford Motor Company and have been compensated to share my Ford Fusion and Essence Festival experience. All opinions are my own.
The 2016 Essence Festival has come to a close in New Orleans, ushering with it a vibrant trail of excitement to rival festivals of years past. There was no shortage of amazing performances, celebrity sightings and more. From Oprah, TD Jakes, Puff Daddy, Maxwell, Kenny Lattimore, the cast of “Power” and more – the Big Easy was filled with big fun all weekend long. Fueled by Ford Motor Company, this year makes my fifth Essence Festival Experience and like a fine wine, it only gets better with time.
Kenny Lattimore serenades the Ford fans during Sirius XM interview with Heart & Soul.
In celebration of and pushing entrepreneurs to “Go Further” in business and finances, Ford hosted panel discussions featuring need to know tips from new media trailblazers. I partnered with Tiffany Aliche of The Budgetnista to tackle the conversation of “Financial Preparedness” and getting your money right for business and beyond.
Christen of DivasandDorks, Tiffany Aliche of The Budgetnista and Comedienne Loni Love.
Moderated by Loni Love (The Real), we discussed tips on how to budget for the entrepreneurial leap and the importance of owning your credit blueprint. The forum was not only insightful and informative for guests, I learned applicable tips first hand from The Budgetnista and even shared super easy hacks to jumpstart and automate your money saving dreams starting today. (#AutoMakeThatMoney – more details coming soon.)
Ford Family Fun
For most, Essence Festival is an annual family reunion and the Ford experience is the epicenter of games, giveaways and family fun. It’s a great place for celebrity sightings and entertainment. Ford fans got a special surprise when renown relationship life coach and Ford Spokesperson Tony Gaskins explored the latest Ford vehicles on display. He posed for selfies and answered questions from fans and even checked out the all new 2017 Ford Fusion display. (Are you unstoppable? Check out an interview with Tony Gaskins here.)
Relationship expert Tony Gaskins poses with fans at Ford Essence Festival experience.
My Ford family kept the family reunion fun kept it moving all weekend long. Whether you’re running into old friends from high school or hometowns or getting reacquainted with new friends, the Ford booth was the epicenter and the Essence Festival experience. It was the perfect spot to reconviene after performances or meeting point to gather before heading out for New Orleans fun. Personally, it was a great chance for me to catch up with my dad and show him what this year’s Ford/Essence Festival partnership entailed. (Plus reconnecting in a city that defines our family name is always a huge WIN). Of course, it was only right that we chronicled the moment with plenty of selfies and entered for a chance to win cool prizes like Fitbit fitness trackers, HD cameras and more. (Did I forget to mention that I won this cool HD sticky cam?)
One of the many things I appreciate about Ford is that they fuse a variety of experiences that empower guests of all ages and backgrounds at Essence Fest. From entrepreneurs to retirees and everyone in between aren’t only entertained, but they’re empowered with tools that can impact their families, communities, businesses and more. In addition to Ford’s Warriors in Pink initiative raising money and awareness for cancer research, Ford awarded lucky Essence Fest fans a chance to win the all new 2017 Ford Fusion!
From celebrity guests to community empowerment, Ford is committed to representing for Essence Fest fans and once again I’m proud to be apart of this unforgettable experience. Did you check out Ford at this year’s Essence Festival? What did you think? Share your comments or tweets us at @DivasandDorks using the hashtag #MyFordFam
Want to learn more about my spectacular drive in the 2017 Ford Fusion? Discover what drives the festival fun on the Road To Essence Fest! Looking for pricing? Or details on how to schedule a 2017 Ford Fusion test drive of your own? Discover the all new 2017 Ford Fusion Energi Titanium edition online at Ford.com and get social on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram today!
Making a great film requires a skillset of great storytelling, magic and an eye for style. Finding the right look that conveys an emotion, sense or feeling not only helps tell the film’s story but costuming can make or break the success of a film, period. In film as in real life, playing the part is only half the challenge, the other half consists of dressing the part and becoming the living embodiment of the character – a job that seasoned costume designers like Ruth E. Carter knows all too well.
During the 2016 American Black Film Festival – Harlem’s Fashion Row hosted a panel discussion with acclaimed costume designer, Ruth E. Carter (Roots, Selma, Lee Daniel’s The Butler, Sparkle, Malcolm X) to discuss the collaborative process of planning wardrobe for a film, and its powerful impact on the story.
Presented by Prudential, this unique perspective spotlighted just how influential style and design is in film and storytelling. Moderated by Brandice Henderson-Daniel, Founder Harlem’s Fashion Row – guests witnessed the stories behind the design from Ruth E. Carter as well as inspirations behind her illustrious career in film.
Ruth E. Carter & Brandice Henderson-Daniel discussing Hollywood insider costume secrets.
In celebration of Ruth E. Carter’s career, Harlem’s Fashion Row emerging designer – Fe Noel previewed her design presentation reflective of Ms. Ruth’s work and legacy in film. With designs that spanned decades and beyond, Fe Noel shared her vision of designs once inspired by Ms. Carter’s career with a fresh approach that only Fe Noel can do.
Fe Noel shares her inspiration behind her collection presentation.
Ruth E. Carter and Fe Noel share a designer moment at ABFF.
With celebs like Mary J. Blige, Jordin Sparks & Tracy Ellis Ross fans of her collections, Fe Noel has established a brand and career designing unique pieces for the trendsetter in all of us. Fe Noel is more than a designer and fashion collection, it’s a conceptual lifestyle brand that embodies personal style and sensibility. Defined by simple silhouettes, plunging necklines and quality fabrics, each design exudes an innovative mix of sensibility and sensuality.
Take a closer look at the Ruth E. Carter inspired collection and ABFF fashion presentation by Fe Noel below.
Disclaimer: This editorial content above has been provided and compensated in part by Harlem’s Fashion Row, however; all opinions shared by author are her own.
Cartoon Network and co-host Google welcomed Made with Code, Mayor of East Point Jannquell Peters and Black Girls Code at Turner in Atlanta for a special event launching GIF: The Powerpuff Girls. The event and coding activity are part of the collaboration between the companies with a mission of combining their entertainment and tech expertise to bring the power of creative coding to kids in every community, at every income level and in every demographic group.
The event’s special guests, forty five teenage girls from Black Girls Code, were greeted by female executives from Cartoon Network and Google, including Christina Miller, president and general manager for Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and Boomerang; Katie Krentz, Senior Director, Comedy Animation Development, Cartoon Network; Lilyn Hester, Public Affairs Manager for Google; Google Engineer Monica Renneke; and Mayor Peters. Each woman reaffirmed the importance of coding as an essential language to fulfill your goals and dreams, and encouraged the girls to continue to explore their creativity through coding.
“This day is exactly why we at Cartoon Network committed ourselves to encouraging kids to explore coding and the intersection of creativity and technology,” said Christina Miller, President and General Manager of Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, and Boomerang, during the event. “We know how important this is, and that is why we want to be part of the community who helps all kids learn the language of coding to build their futures – and frankly – all of our futures.”
As one of the entertainment industry’s preeminent ceremonies, leading up to the Academy Awards, ESSENCE and Lincoln honored African-American women who are pushing the limits, raising the bar and breaking through barriers in both film and television with the ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood award luncheon.
Honoree Debbie Allen, Chris Rock alongside Lincoln’s multicultural communications manager Raj Register and Michelle Eubanks from ESSENCE share a moment before the luncheon begins.
“Grey’s Anatomy” “Scandal” and “How To Get Away With Murder” producer Shonda Rhimes arrived in a daisy-inspired dress, with matching golden-hued shoes to match.
Zendaya served on the scene and introducing honorees in a burgundy Thakoon silk dot robe and jumpsuit, pairing it with some white pumps.
Nicole Ari Parker and Boris Kodjoe posed and served up a hot dish of black love on the red carpet.
Held at the famed Beverly Wilshire Hotel – this year’s theme “The Power of our Presence” celebrated some of the most extraordinary African-American women in film and television.
Kelly Rowland stunned the red carpet in a beautiful blouse and buttery colored pants.
Erica Campbell styled beautifully in a scuba-styled ensemble.
Actress Garcelle Beauvais graced the red carpet and added to the celebration of black excellence above and beyond.
[Flashback Friday] 5th Annual Essence Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon Presented by Lincoln
Honorees included powerhouse actress Tracee Ellis Ross (Fierce & Fearless Award); multi-talented producer, director and actress Debbie Allen (Legend Award); and entertainment attorney Nina Shaw (Lincoln Power Award).
Powerhouse Entertainment Attorney – Nina Shaw.
The 2016 ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Awards will air Saturday, February 27 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on OWN. Want to get behind the scenes looks at more celebs, fashion and fun? Follow @DivasandDorks on Instagram and Snapchat to see some of my favorite moments. Also get social with Lincoln and @EssenceMag and follow all the selfies, instavideos and more via #BlackWomenInHollywood today!