Nowruz at NYC’s Gracie Mansion

I had the honor of attending my very first Nowruz celebration today. I was elated upon getting an invitation via email from the Mayor’s office. Mayor Eric Adams, never one to miss an opportunity to put a much needed stamp on the ever expanding diversity dna of New York City, hosted the 2nd annual Nowruz at the Gracie Mansion earlier today. The official date of the Persian New Year was on March 19, but that didn’t deter the Mayor from hosting the sumptous feast at the people’s house.

Betty Emamian, an avid champion of Iranian culture and traditions in NYC, an active board member and Director of Communications for the annual Nowruz NY Persian Parade, was crucial in organizing what would be the second ever Nowruz celebration, in collaboration with the Mayor at the Gracie Mansion. NYC is home to a vast number of Iranian community. It’s only befitting to have such an event in honor of the community and also to highlight the diverse fabric of the city. Guests from all sectors of religion, such as Persian Christian, Jews, Muslims, non Persians from far flung regions, et.al were all present! The soirée was complete with live Persian band, entertainment, sumptous tasty meals and a prominently displayed Haft Sin, a traditional Nowruz table featuring 7 items of various representation.

It was a very well thought out affair. Prior Mayors before Eric Adams never hosted the feast nor participated in the annual parades! Hopefully this would be a step in the right direction for all future high city officials.

The annual parade is expected to take place on April 21 on Madison Avenue, rain or shine.

A video reel from the event is on Facebook and Instagram.

Eyd e Shoma Mobarak! 🎊🥂🥳

Betty Emamian and Mayor Eric Adams

The Haft Sin

Consulate General, Raushan Yesbulatova, Ambassador of Kazakhstan

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Me? A Teacher?! Yes!

I had the honor and privilege of becoming a teacher at the High School of Fashion Industries… just for a day! You can imagine my excitement upon getting the invitation, an opportunity to check “high school teacher” off my bucketlist! I’ve always wanted the opportunity to share my career path in life with young minds, the future leaders of business, politics, fashion and like minded individuals, besides my own young kids of course.

When a board member, Robert Di Mauro reached out to me about participating in the 38th Annual J.J. Thomas Career Day program sponsored by the NYC Mayor and Department of Education at the High School of Fashion Industries, I was in heaven! Teaching others has always been high on my list. Our day began with a mix-and-mingle, breakfast with other guest teachers, faculty members, and Advisory Board, spearheaded by school Principal Daryl Blank.

Other notable industry leaders on hand to share their expertise in various fields such fashion design, fashion marketing & management, art & design, visual communication, photography, and software development, were Constance White, Epperson, Harriette Cole, Patti Carpenter, Deborah Hughes, Keli Goff, et.al. Each of us were assigned individual classrooms. Some came with props, samples of their trades and crafts, etc. I brought along with me one of my coveted shoe shaped handbags, to use in teaching the students the art of craftsmanship, fashion business and protecting their creations using intellectual property. I also focused on fashion publishing and what goes into brand promotion and marketing using my own personal experiences and the valuable results attained.

My assigned class was filled with engaged and like minded students who were eager to learn from my world of business school to banking, music and fashion modeling & publishing. When a faculty member annouced through the building’s speaker to start wrapping up the session, the students asked their homeroom teacher to block out the noise, declaring they weren’t ready to end the class! I felt very touched! Who knew teaching could be so much fun! The whole experience gave me so much joy. The reaction and enthusiasm of the students made it all seem like a dream job. Perhaps, I did miss my calling of being a high school teacher. 😃

High School Principal Daryl Blank

Robert Di Mauro, Epperson, Keli Goff, Harriette Cole and Tinu

Constance White

Deborah Hughes

Some of my classroom students

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Harry Benson The Great

It’s not everyday one gets a chance to meet a living legend with talents for keen details through a lense! Such was the case last night at the Museum of Art and Design in NYC where a private screening of famed photographer Harry Benson’s documentary was held. The gracious hostess Barbara Tober and Harry’s friendship goes back decades. To watch both trailblazers reunite and share the stories of their early days was beautiful and inspiring.

The documentary “Harry Benson: Shoot First” detailed Harry Benson’s extraordinary journey with The Beatles from the very start to his remarkable presence at groundbreaking historical moments. Such as Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. While some people may have regarded his presence at such incidences as detached from humanity, his photography gave the world a bird’s eye view into those landmark historical moments. The pictures told a thousand words that can not be disputed. Most of his iconic snaps are forever etched in our memories.

Armed with my cell phone camera, in true Harry style, he didn’t miss a beat to direct our selfie with great sense of humor. I’ll forever cherish the experience.

The video reel of the party and Harry Benson’s heartfelt speech can be seen on Facebook and instagram.

Harry Benson

Barbara Tober

Anthony Haden-Guest

Greg Grimes, Jonathan Marder, Gigi Benson

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8th Annual Blue Jacket Show

The Blue Jacket Show’s 8th time around the sun was another smashing success last night. A fashionable runway affair staged to combat the devastating existence of Prostate Cancer. New York based celebrated fashion designer Frederick Anderson collaborates each year with Zero Cancer organization to help raise awareness and encourage men of all ages to get tested. Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson was a proud sponsor this year once again, along with Fashion Group International.

The event for the first time was televised via streaming platforms to various major metropolis to viewers around the country. Several public figures such as Billy Porter, who opened the show sashaying down the runway to his widely successful single. Other luminaries included Luis A. Miranda, Jr., J. Harrison Ghee, Marcus Samuelsson, Nigel Barker, Don Lemon, Rodney Peete, whose wife actress Holly Robinson Peete watched proudly from a front row seat. She was later pulled onto the runway by Don Lemon for a proper introduction to the cheering audience.

The energy in the room was electrifying! The turn out was remarkable! It just keeps getting better with each passing year! Bravo to all the participants! For more info on getting tested please check zerocancer.org

Video footage from the runway show can be viewed on instagram.

Tinu with Frederick Anderson and his family.

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Art Basel Miami

My introduction to the world of Art Basel this week, will forever be etched in my encephalon. I learned not only about art in all forms and categories, but also about life and trusting one’s intuition. The experience started out rough, but worked itself out the moment I realised I had to take control of my own journey on this trip, to explore beyond my initial confinements. Needless to say, I took the initiative to turn my lemons into a large bottle filled with tasty juicy lemonade. This produced a groundbreaking experience that I’ll forever cherish. I was able to discover and connect with world renowned artists in various fields and categories of art mediums from around the world. The inspiration was abundant in the vast halls of the convention center in Miami. Many of which could be applied to not only art, but also fashion, education and numerous cultural elements of life, aspects affecting our daily existence.
My gratitude and respect to all the exhibiting artists. Thank you for inviting me into your space to explore your thought-provoking visuals and hardwork. And I’m particularly grateful to my dear friend Nick Woolley for helping to make this visit flawless.

Art Basel serves as a great source for aspiring artists and like minded collectors. The ambiance and euphoria gives an immense feeling of a playground for art aficionados, a safe place to let their imaginations run wild, and dare I say… their wallets as well. Art collectors get to dig deep into their pockets here without judgement, because they’re are right at home, among like minded collectors.

Various events surrounding the convention are certainly not to be missed. Several receptions and soirees help boost and promote the art exhibitions. This is after all akin to extensive networking opportunities. It’s easy to get overwhelmed, therefore it is essential to be vigilant and plan accordingly, be alert in and out of the convention halls.

Art Basel is definitely a bucketlister if you haven’t ventured in yet.

Click the images below to enlarge.

Video reel is posted on instagram.

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Root 100 Celebration

The historical theater, Apollo in Harlem, graciously hosted one of the eagerly anticipated Root 100 honoree event tonight, with comedian Roy Wood Jr. as the master of ceremony. Trailblazing honorees in attendance included American Ballet Theater principal dancer Misty Copeland, the legendary weatherman Al Roker and his beautiful wife Debra Robertson, music genius Doug E. Fresh, just to name a few.

My dear friends and I were also in attendance, decked out in our fineries, eager to celebrate. All thanks to my dearest Harriette Cole for making sure I didn’t miss this golden opportunity. Attending an event at the world famous Apollo Theater is always an event in itself. It just never gets old, no matter the type of event being hosted.

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Hosting Toy Drive @ A+O

it is officially the season of giving and receiving. The former part is actually the best of the exchange. Earlier this evening, I had the honor and privilege of hosting the 14th annual Toy Drive at one of my favorite designer’s flagship store in NYC, Alice and Olivia in the meatpacking district, in partnership with Good+Foundation. When I was asked to perform such an honorable role of hosting, I thought what a great way to not only give my time but to also help in spreading awareness of such a beautiful cause. Some of my closest friends did not disappoint. They showed up with toys in hand, and those who shopped were given a generous event discount off their purchases. I’m grateful to each and everyone who showed up to help make it a success.

It’s never to late to support the Toy Drive, an effort to help bring holiday cheers to children less fortunate. Please contact any of their regional stores near you worldwide for further details on how you can help.

The event video reel can be seen on Facebook.

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Caregivers Matter

The season of giving with unconditional love and kindness is upon us! CaringKind, is an organization dedicated to the appreciation and awareness of those who give unwavering selfless support to loved ones in declining health due to aging or otherwise. The organization seized the perfect opportunity yesterday in NYC, to host a sold out luncheon, showcasing a medley of fashion creations by Anne Fontaine and Cesar Galindo.

The multi hyphenated talent and philanthropists Consuelo Vanderbilt did the honors as mistress of ceremony, of which she did ever so flawlessly. She took the golden opportunity to acknowledge her beloved friend Montgomery Frazier, who couldn’t be in attendance due to his partner’s declining health and immobility. Bringing to mind the very purpose of the organization’s appreciation luncheon.

A portion of sales from the fashion presentation is in support of caregivers and the research to aid in the fight of the debilitating disease of Alzheimers. Visit www.caringkindnyc.orgwww.caringkindnyc.org for more details on supporting the cause.

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Salon Art + Design

The iconic Park Avenue Armory is home again to the highly anticipated annual celebration of art and design in New York City, ongoing until Nov 13. The Salon Art + Design, produced by Sanford Smith and Associates, includes some of the most unique and rare designs ranging from vintage, modern to contemporary works of art from around the world. Some new, some sourced from family estates of by gone era. The fall art season certainly doesn’t disappoint! There’s something for everyone! The opening night on Nov 8, saw record sales and high attendance. Art aficionados and luminaries traveled far and wide to take in the opening.

I’m particularly intrigued by the classic craftsmanship of Trunks Company’s mobile wet bars cleverly designed in steaming trunk style. Expertedly handcrafted in Jaipur, India, the emerging brand has been well received worldwide and now aims to draw in the much coveted American market. Judging by the attention the company received in the few minutes I was there on opening night, it’s definitely off to a good start.

Preview the images below, some of which are my favorite picks. A highlight video reel is available on instagram and Facebook. Salon Art + Design exhibition is running until Nov 13.

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Village Halloween @50!

Half a century already?! Congrats Village Halloween on strutting up 6th Ave for the 50th time! The gawds of rain and thunder certainly heard the cries and prayers of the people. The rain held up, allowing celebrants from far and near, young and old, to celebrate New York City’s beloved Halloween Parade without any glitches! For the first time, since the covid haitus, I truly enjoyed myself! With 2 of my dearest friends in tow, dressed in full blown costumes, there was no room to slack! We made the most of it by staying in character as we danced our way up the parade route. My friends Ty-Ron Mayes wooed the crowd in professionally kitted Blacular (which he did himself), and Philip Bloch turned up as the adorable “cautionary boyfriend”, and yours truly decked out in blonde afro wig, vampire fangs and skeletal printed puffer… Alas! The unusually 3 musketeers sashayed through the parade gleefully!

Videos can be seen on my Facebook and instagram pages.

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