Last night I attended the official launch of Jill Scott's new "Butterfly Bra" at Ashley Stewart on 125th St in Harlem. The start time of the event was listed as 6pm for the "Red Carpet" arrivals....but alas I arrived and the carpet was a lovely shade of pink with butterfly's...lol. It was beautiful though....the entranceway was surrounded in velvet ropes and as I approached and gave the young lady with a clipboard my name, the ropes "magically" (lol) opened up for me. To the left of me were beautifully stacked lavender and purple boxes (the theme color of the night!) with their "Butterfly" logo emblazoned on them. As soon as I got past the boxes I met my "contact" for the event....Linda Kozlowski, an Ashley Stewart Exec (not sure of her exact title...but I'll print it here when I get it), a tiny bundle of energy dressed in a beautiful Black & White dress that I IMMEDIATELY coveted.
She graciously thanked me for coming and quickly began introducing me to folks that she thought I should meet & know (thank you SO much Linda!). The next familiar face that I ran into was none other than comedienne Kim Coles, who greeted me with love and told me that she KNEW she knew me but she couldn't remember where from (Kim and I go waaaaaaaaaaayyy back to high school and her first husband...lol). The far end of the store (where the registers are usually situated) and been set up with stools and backdrops and lighting....so you knew a panel discussion of some sort was coming up.
I quickly made my way down front where I spotted Plus Model Magazine editor (and Mommy-to-be) Madeline Figueroa-Jones and I decided to take a seat next to hers. We hugged and chatted for a while and then I decided to go up to the bar and try out the "Signature" drink of the evening....."The Butterfly" (lol...surely you are not surprised at the name!) which was a mixture of Belvedere Vodka (the liquor sponsor for the evening), Chambord & White Cranberry juice....served in a beautiful LARGE (lol) martini glass! It was actually QUITE tasty family! There were also beautifully plated trays of appetizers (coconut chicken, crab cakes, black eyed pea fritters....REALLY delicious ya'll....codfish cakes and potato rounds with sour cream and caviar!!!! All courtesy of Sylvia's Restaurant in Harlem (hmmmm....they're serving caviar and coconut chicken at Sylvia's now....What up with THAT fam?). I also chatted with one of my favorite photographers Luke Jones (husband of Maddy) who took a couple of "Pink Carpet" shots of The Runway Diva.
The room began to fill up at an alarming rate and all sorts of beautiful curvy women began to make their way to the available seats to see and hear Miss Jill Scott. Along the way I saw and met some modeling legends and quite a few currently popular faces....Peggy Dillard-Toone - For millions of people, Peggy Dillard-Toone is instantly recoginzable. As a leading model in the world of fashion, she has been featured on the covers of international fashion and glamour magazines, like Cosmopolitan, Essence, Ebony and Mademoiselle, becoming only second African-American woman to appear on the cover of Vogue .Miss Peggy is a long time Harlem resident and runs an art gallery inside her Harlem Brownstone, I was absolutely thrilled to meet her in person, we got along famously and quickly exchanged numbers and promised to stay in contact in hopes of working together real soon!
Audrey Smaltz -Audrey Smaltz, the famed commentator of the Ebony Fashion Fair in the 1970s. Well known for her distinctive observations on style and frequent appearances on the international list of best-dressed women, from 1970-1977 Audrey Smaltz was the racy and knowledgeable Fashion Editor of EBONY magazine and the host of fashion's most sought after show - The Ebony Fashion Fair - a mind-boggling extravaganza of over a quarter of a million dollars worth of designer garments. During her helm, Audrey's missive was loud and clear: to showcase the top names in European and American couture.
Also in the house were current Ashley Stewart Models... Anansa Johnson, Curvation model and daughter of legendary model Beverly Johnson,
Beverly Johnson, who was definitely more of the all-American supermodel type, became the first black woman to grace an American Vogue cover in August of 1974, and her face stayed splashed on the magazines for a decade after.
I am always amazed when someone tells me that they have always wanted to meet me...especially when I am lol...thinking the exact same thing. Miss Anansa is striking ya'll and bears an uncanny resemblance to her mom....so when she said that to me I was absolutely floored....she's very nice and gracious enough to pose for a few pics with me....it was a pleasure talking with her....I hope I see her again soon!
Plus Model Muslimah, who's career I have been following for a minute and have been wanting to meet for a long time.....lol...she's absolutely stunning and a joy to be around....I really enjoyed chatting with her!And of course my girl...the always fabulous Mia Amber Davis-Yard (Mia recently got hitched ya'll!!)
As well as IPM Model Wynter, who I worked with recently on this year's broadcast of Rip The Runway.
Miss Wynter was channelling Bo Derek as she had her hair done in braids for a cruise that she was leaving for in the next few days. I like Wynter a lot and it's always a pleasure to hang out with her.
I also met a sister from Dressed To Success and I ran into former VIBE Marketing Director (now at Essence Mag) Fred T. Jackson. An announcement was made that we should take our seats because the panel discussion was about to begin. Minutes later Miss Jill Scott made her entrance beautifully attired in a colorful print wrap dress and gracefully took her seat. Her hair appeared to be a newly dyed auburn/reddish hue with locks on top and the sides close cut. Not everyone can pull off a look like that but Miss Jill did it nicely! Also on the panel was a sister from Essence Magazine who's name escapes me and the sista from Ashley Stewart who was Jill's design partner on the Butterfly Bra.
As the panel took their seats, we heard speeches from the corporate execs involved in bringing the project to life, the concept and idea of how the Butterfly bra came into existence was explained to us as well as instructions on how to get the bra on and off.....sensuously described by Jill Scott...
"First you turn around and you drop one strap....and then you look (over your shoulder...) and the you drop the other strap....and look....."
The Q&A was followed by a brief showcase of the bra on plus models Mia Amber and another latina model who's name escapes me at the moment. After the Q&A and many photos, folks began heading back to the bar, mingling and networking.
On the way out, we got these wonderful gift boxes from Ashley Stewart that were filled with books, Essence Magazine, t-shirts, jewelry, key rings, a bottle of Belvedere and of course....a 20% off coupon for a Butterfly Bra purchase.
Linda Kozlowski, It was an awesome event and I had a wonderful time....thank you for the invite and I will most definitely be speaking with you soon.
"We must look for ways to be an active force in our own lives. We must take charge of our own destinies, design a life of substance and truly begin to live our dreams."