Honoree Tamela Mann is this year’s recipient of the James Cleveland Lifetime Achievement Award for her contribution to the genre of gospel. Mrs. Mann was formerly with Kirk Franklin and the Family before having a successful career in acting. Mrs. Mann can be seen in many Tyler Perry productions and presently stars in “Mann and Wife” with her husband, David Mann.
This past weekend was a tidal wave of information at the Synergy Global Forum in New York City. All the speakers, from Guy Kawasaki to Richard Branson, had a golden nugget to share on entrepreneurship and life lessons. The weekend started off with ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’ author, Guy Kawasaki, an Apple enthusiast and Venture capitalist. He was followed by panel discussions and talks with top influencers, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists like Gary Vaynerchuk, Jack Welch, Robin Wright, Steve Forbes, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Malcolm Gladwell, Ray Kurzweil, Jimmy Wales, and Kimberly Guilfoyle. In other words, the functioning top ten percent that are running the world in science, tech and influence.
Richard Branson explained how he came to become such a successful and fearless CEO. He blames his mother for it. He said he had to do a lot to impress her. Most impressive fact is the future space giant, he revealed his moon jet is the only one designed with wheels for easier landing. It gives passengers the opportunity to land on earth without using a parachute and into the sea.
The red carpet was resplendent in color, textiles and gold. Many celebrities wore African inspired clothing with red being the favored color. Lupita Nyongo wore Cushnie Et Ochs with jewelry by Douriaen Fletcher. Chadwick Boseman was casual with garments by Fear of God. The striking Danai Gurira wore a red dress with gold embellishments by Lois Kelly. Zinzi Evans wore a black ruffled dress by Temperley London.
Marvel’s Black Panther NYFW Presentation raised monies for Save the Children foundation. Designers created garments that represented their idea of Wakanda attire. Sophie Theallet, Tome, Ikire Jones, Chromat, Cushnie Et Ochs donated their time and efforts to the event.
Marvel’s Black Panther ‘Welcome to Wakanda’ Fashion Exhibit was filled with all the top actors of the long awaited movie, inclusive of Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Winston Duke, Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan and Letitia Wright. Ruth E. Carter, the movie’s costume designer was also present with a gorgeous crown of blonde curls and Director Ryan Coogler with his lovely wife, Zinzi Evans(wearing Temperley) took time out to mingle with supporters and admirers alike. Demetria McKinney and cast members of the TV show ‘Power’, also graced the red carpet.
The exhibit featured designers interpretations of attire for the people in Wakanda. The garments varied from original African print to black beaded fabrics. Chromat opted for a Nigerian superhero tribute while Laquan Smith preferred to think of Wakandia women in black beaded pantsuits. It was an elegant version of ‘The Matrix’ traditional garb. Cushnie Et Ochs created a gold dress to represent the armor worn by the warrior women in the movie while Sophie Theallet gathered the natural resources of Africa and created wearable art.
The Grammys 2018 week ended with a celebration for acclaimed activist and actress, Cicely Tyson and to help raise funds for the National Cares Mentoring Movement. Created by Editor Emeritus of Essence Magazine, Susan L. Taylor, soon after the Katrina storm in 2006, the Cares Movement recruits and trains Black adults to mentor children in need and in crisis. The national organization has grown exponentially in just a few years. Visit www.caresmentoring.org for more information on how to volunteer and donate.
The audience was treated to the gracefulness of beautiful ballerinas from Ms. Tyson’s namesake school, the Cicely Tyson Community School of Performing and Fine Arts located in East Orange, N.J. The gala was hosted by Tamron Hall(journalist) and Michael Eric Dyson(Professor and author) with singer Maxwell serenading the audience.
The gala also honored Tarana Burke(creator of #MeToo movement) and Reverend Dr. William J. Barber II, whose speeches were moving and inspired the crowd to extend themselves beyond their comfort zone to make a difference and help those in need.
Many celebrities graced the red carpet and supported the Cares Gala with their presence and donations. Monifah(singer/R&B Divas), Roland Martin(journalist), Judge Mablean, Sunny Hostin(The View), Jussie Smollett(Empire), Debra Lee(BET) and many more.
January 7th-9th, UBM Fashion introduced a second season of Vintage@Intermezzo at Jacob Javits, NYC. Les Femmes Vintage NYC, Another Man’s Treasure and Muneca Mullins Studio were just a few of the many vintage apparel exhibitors to share their designs and curated treasures. If vintage accessories and handbags are your vice, Bella Bag of Atlanta, GA, featured an extensive selection of “pre-loved” luxury vintage items to choose from. Their 13-point inspection guarantees authenticity and the best quality.
Check out our video interviews with several featured vintage vendors answering the question, “Why Vintage?”. Vintage@Intermezzo is open to the public with ticket purchase and free to exhibitors and retailers.
I’ve never been the one to be front and center. For me there is safety being behind the lens, staying backstage. I can control what happens there. This time I threw caution to the wind and jumped in front of the camera. Why now? After all these years, I’ve had the intention of doing an editorial but couldn’t find the right time or a collection that worked for me or my casual style. I finally found one. The Tracee Ellis Ross collection for JCPenney. She announced it on Instagram and as soon as I peeped the garments, I knew this was it. JOYFUL. DELIGHTFUL. INSPIRED. Tracee’s style theme.
Ms. Ross’ collection wins points not only for design but for the price point as well. The haul total was less than $400.00 for eight items. My first intention was to purchase it online but decided at the last minute to check it out at the brick and mortar. It was a nice surprise to see the visual presentation. Her choices of textiles and colors were perfect for mixing and matching. You could wear the duster with the wide leg pant or the duster with the print maxi. My mind was running with all the possible combinations. The Rejoice sweater dresses in Aura Orange/Grey and the Kindness print maxi, Groovy Geo were only $34. The Bliss Duster Coat and Trouser were $59 and $44 respectively.
Tracee’s Heaven Pant is the perfect trouser for an evening event. I purchased a size 20W and it fit perfectly. I paired it with a Brooks Brothers vest and men’s tuxedo shirt with an ascot. The platforms are TUK Shoes Creepers. The last look is my ode to the 90’s. I wore a similar dress with my denim jacket for years on end. It was my staple look. Don’t forget to stop by your local beauty store for cheap and trendy accessories. The red leather bracelets were only a dollar!