NYC Pride

The iconic Pride March came roaring down 5th Avenue like never seen before, it did not disappoint! There certainly was a different kind of electrifying sensation about the event this year. Could it be because some of corporate giants like M.A.C actually gaving away makeups and not just stickers? Or perhaps the unusually high number of attendance, including kids with their families.

Once the usual government officials such as the Senator, Mayor, Governor, made their way out, Grand Marshall Billy Porter led the party. Corporations used the opportunity to show solidarity with the LGBTQ community, and of course to promote their wares. It’s inevitable. Political statements were also prominent at the event.

I don’t recall the last time I left the Pride March with so many swags. I made it home with makeup, towels, shopping bag, Barbie canvas bag and so many items! The March is the only event in the city you can expect not to go home empty handed… provided you know to place yourself in the earlier part of the parade route. Check out the video reel on my instagram post.

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Brooklyn Museum Celebrates “Africa Fashion”

Africa to the world! There’s never been a better time than now for African Fashion. Ever since the smashing success of the fictional onscreen country of Wakanda at the box office, African fashion has moved from the shadows of the down cast to the center stage of the fashion world. Not too long ago, we saw Virgil Abloh’s take on the iconic Ghanaian Kente print on the luxury brand Louis Vuitton’s famous motifs and modeled on the American Vogue cover!

Brooklyn Museum took a solidifying and validating step by celebrating the continent’s rich fashion history and culture with carefully curated collection from pre-colonial era to the works of Africans in diaspora today. The West African classic shopping bag, “Ghana must go” didn’t miss the party either.

I was privileged and honored to wear a creation by one of Nigeria’s finest designers to the opening day festivities.

My pride as an Nigerian couldn’t be more obvious when I saw a room full of guests (including non Africans) clad in various attires from the motherland on opening day celebration. Gone are the days when Dashiki or Ankara wearing Africans were laughed at when walking around the city , not too long ago. Something I myself experienced first hand. We’ve come a long way and I’m hopeful of the better days ahead for humanity.

God is good. 🥳🎉

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New Jack City Reunion

If you haven’t seen the iconic motion picture New Jack City, then you haven’t lived… myself included. To my surprise, I’d never seen it until the 32nd anniversary screening at the Tribeca Film Festival last night! I’d heard of it growing up in Nigeria, know many of the accompanying landmark music, but never saw the movie. Yeah, shame on me. I’m forever grateful to my dear friend, a world renowned artist Renee Cox for the invitation. She was in attendance in support of her childhood friend, the movie director Mario Van Peebles, and had me tag along. I was at the edge of my seat clutching imaginary pearls, transposed by each jaw dropping scenes! To think there was a time America was in fact like what was depicted in this movie?! It was mind-blowing!

The picture would mark the triumphant directorial debut of Mario Van Peebles, and onscreen acting debut of many of the actors including Vanessa Williams, Michael Michele and Chris Rock. It was astonishing to see young Ice T and Wesley Snipes go toe to toe onscreen. They all gave riveting performances, definitely one for the ages!

It was interesting to hear the cast talk about the inspirations, behind the scenes and making of certain iconic scenes in the movie (see the video below). Many of which has now paved the way for others like it. It was so profound and influential at the time of its debut in a drug drenched society of 1991 and still holding solid weight in a social media/hip-hop culture of 2023. New Jack city was ahead of its time with catch phases such as being “canceled”, a very diverse cast and well thought out plots that’s educational and life changing for its viewers at any generation.

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Bethann Hardison, The Invisible Beauty

The Tribeca Film Festival was extra special to me this year with the legendary, iconic and activist Bethann Hardison screening her long awaited documentary on the inequality that was rife in the fashion industry for decades! As a former model myself for over a decade few years ago, a lot of nerves were touched by “The Invisible Beauty” documentary. Certain scenarios from years ago suddenly made more sense. I would wonder why only one or no person of color that looked like me seldom booked a certain job.

Needless to say, the part that really had me choked up in tears were her struggle as a mother. Bethann Hardison balanced motherhood between her models (after forming an agency of her own) and her only child, Kadeem Hardison. She ended up sacrificing so much of her own personal life and welfare for the greater good of others, models of color. Many now regard her as the grandmother and foundation of highly successful models, both past and present. She paved the way for so many! Due to her hardwork, persistence, and tenacious nature of never giving up, the industry is more united.

The Invisible Beauty, a documentary relatable to all works of life, spotlighting the daily struggles of humanity, delving into the inequality and injustice, is definitely one to watch.

I certainly enjoyed watching the documentary with my friends, and celebrated the legend together shortly after.

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The Jazz Age in 2023

What a time to be alive! I literally teleported my friends and I to the roaring 20s today on Governor’s Island in NYC… kids in tow! We all decked out in our finest 20s garb, sans the cigarette holder of course. We really felt the yesteryears the moment we set foot on the premises. Fellow revelers came prepared, complete with vintage picnic baskets, gloves, hats and other notable vintage fineries of the time. Everyone knew the assignment! The live bands had just about everyone swinging and clacking in the familiar dance steps of the decadent bygone era of the 20s.

Preview the video and images below. You won’t be disappointed. 😉

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Gloria Gaynor Survived! Yass!

She said it best! Gloria Gaynor, at almost 80 years old can “never say goodbye”! The legendary disco queen is back with a vengeance! I had the pleasure of getting to know the legendary artist in-depth at a screening of her documentary at the Tribeca Film festival last night. Gloria took us through the journey of how she arrived at being the legend we now know today. There was not a dry eye in the audience when she talked about being sexually abused at the age of 12 by her mother’s boyfriend and again at 17 by her own boyfriend’s cousin. The lose of her mother, her backbone and role model growing up as a child and musically, was a turning point in her life.

After so many years of having a strong hold on disco and then vanishing, Gloria Gaynor regained the courage to embark on her life long dreams to switch to the gospel genre. An endeavor her manager and husband discouraged her from doing years ago. Once freed from the shackles of what she thought was a blissful marriage, she set her sight on her long forgotten mission. Now at a ripe age of 75, the brutal nature and mindset of the youth obsessed music industry, she was a relic! No one would work with her until super fan and artist in his own right, Chris Stevens came along. Much thanks to his beloved wife who reminded him of his fascination with the legend in his early music days, when he too tried to turn her down. Ditching her disco crown, collaborating with one of the best gospel artists such as Yolanda Adams and Jason Crabb, Gloria and Chris created one of the most profound gospel album “Testimony” in recent times! It went on to win a Grammy award! She’s a true testament to perservance and resilience!

I actually gave up on going to a Britney spears party for Gloria! I mean, how could I pass up on what could be a once in a life time opportunity when my dear sister and artist extraordinaire Renee Cox came calling! It was a no brainer! We both dance like 2 high school kids when Gloria took to the stage to sing a medley of her iconic hits! You guessed it, “I will Survive” had the entire room showing off and showing out! What a time to be alive! It certainly was a night to remember. Miss Gaynor, at 80 years old, it’s safe to say, is the hardest working woman in show business!

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Dinner At LongHouse Reserve

Words can not begin to describe what a whirlwind life it has been since Saturday! After dipping out of the Veuve Clicquot polo match event in the city, bright and early, I hot tailed it to East Hampton with my dearest Jonathan Marder! I was invited by LongHouse Reserve and given an opportunity to showcase my doll artistry hobby as art on the sprawling grounds of the property. The breathtaking environment, and it’s well preserved natural surroundings featuring various art sculptures & installations offered a great backdrop for my doll photography. More on that later in July, not to give anything away.

As if the day wasn’t perfect enough, shortly after the photoshoot wrapped, the museum director Carriere Bora Barratt, on behalf of LongHouse Reserve, hosted a sumptous dinner party in my honor! High esteemed guests included, Dianne Benson, Lysbeth A. Marigold, Candace Bushnell. Renee Cox, Jonathan Marder, Daphne Merkin, Naomi Marks, Wendy Moona, Toni Ross and Ray Rogers.

Jason Amis, a celebrated highly skilled vegetarian/vegan chef did not disappoint! Some of the meat eating guests couldn’t believe they were feasting on meatless meals! It was that good!

I’m forever grateful for the new friendship I’ve forged with these lovely ladies and gentlemen. I returned late Sunday night thanks to Daphne Merkin & her lovely daughter who drove Jonathan & I back to the city. My heart was full, humbled, grateful and thankful for everyone’s kind words, and appreciation for my artistic medium. I’m particularly thankful to my dear Jonathan Marder for connecting the museum and my art, effectively putting my little hobby on a bigger platform. I hope this colorful road of joyful artistry takes us further beyond our expectations. I can’t wait to share more in July. Stay tuned! 🙏

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Style For Strength by Donna Karan

What better way to celebrate America’s heros than to call on your nearest and dearest friends and fellow designers to pitch in?! The legendary, trailblazing iconic designer Donna Karan did just that today, along with Cheri Kaufman. Donna reached out to some of the leading and fellow fashion designers in the industry to come up with innovative ways to upcycle, recreate and reimagine military attires as wearable fashion for citizens to wear. Items were on view at the star studded “Style for Strength” soiree yesterday where there were several frantic bidders vying for the one of a kind creations. Many of the unique designs were by Rebecca Moses, Frederick Anderson, Donna Karan, Terry Singh, Thom Browne, Michael Kors, Peter Dundas, Tommy Hilfiger, The affair was a smashing success! Proceeds from the sale will benefit US veterans in need of recovery from PTSD using the RTM Protocol. The event is expected to continue annually.

One of the highlights for me was getting kissed on the cheeks by Donna Karan herself the moment I walked into the venue. 🎉🥳😃❤️

Be sure to check out the video footage and images below…

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Frederick Anderson feat. Natasha Bedingfield

The title almost looks like concert. Doesn’t it? Frederick Anderson raised the bar last night, effortlessly merging fashion into music…literally. The iconic Nebula nightlife temple converted into a mega power fashion venue with the legendary Natasha Bedingfield filling the vast room with her powerful vocals belting out some of her hits. Models clad in jaw dropping resort 2024 collection in detailed knits and lace by the super talented Frederick sashayed down the runway shortly after. Natasha (who had 2 changes wearing the collection) soon helped close the show by walking and dancing hand in hand with the designer.

As you know, if you’re a true New Yorker, no party is complete without the Mayor’s presence. Eric Adams showed up just in time for the after party to congratulate the designer. Fellow designer and close friend of Frederick Anderson Nicole Miller was on hand as well. The show was a smashing success, especially with DJ Young Paris at the after party turntable! Safe to say, Frederick Anderson outdid himself with this one and is fast becoming synonymous with top notch shows and parties in the big apple! When going to a Frederick Anderson event, you can expect nothing but the best!

Preview the video footage and images below.

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Women’s Safe Passage, the MAG Gala

The Luisa Diaz Foundation, Mi Amor Gala, aka MAG Gala, kicked off its 9th anniversary at the iconic Plaza Hotel with all the spring gala season box checked off. The room was filled with who’s who of philanthropy, all more than happy to support the former Venezuelan beauty queen, foundation founder Luisa Diaz. Luisa set out almost a decade ago, to start a foundation to help combat victimized women in abusive relationships, taking from her own grandmother’s bad experience at the hands of her grandfather. She’s made it her mission to help victimized women regain their foothold in the society through the foundation. Some of these women were present at the gala tonight, where they were honored and championed.

The gala was hosted by none other than New York’s news anchorman Ernie Anastos. Other esteemed guests included Jean Shafiroff, who dazzled in B.Michael couture ball gown. Sasha Prendes serenaded the audience in Jovani. Actress & model Alison McDaniel held her own, also in Jovani couture on the red carpet, while the gracious hostest and foundation founder Luisa Diaz dazzled in Anne Fountaine caped golden gown. And of course, yours truly came forth in Alice and Olivia, acquired few yrs ago but finally got the chance to bring it to life tonight.

I’m exceptionally proud of Luisa for all that she’s done for these amazing women by using her platform & network to promote kindness, love and compassion. Bravo Principessa!

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