Thursday, June 26, 2008

Deborah Gregory's Catwalk Book Launch Party

Whew Family!!!

A sista is T-I-R-E-D!!!! Last night was the official launch party for Author DeBorah (The Cheetah Girls) Gregory's new book Catwalk!

In Catwalk (Delacorte Press), the newest novel from bestselling "Cheetah Girls" author, Deborah Gregory, Pashmina Purrstein and her posse--Angora, Felinez and Aphro--are poised-ready students at Manny Hanny's famed fashion central--Fashion International High School. These four friends blessed with feline fatale attributes vie for entry into the Catwalk competition where the winners really will take all. We're talking college scholarships, modeling contracts with Snooty Inc., and a trip abroad with all the trimmings of la dolce vita (that's the sweet life to all you non fashionistas) . But first, Pashmina and her friends have to assemble the ultimate fashion street team--while four other "houses" are struggling to do the same thing. Will the House of Pashmina earn their purr points? Wake up and smell the catnip--they're gonna rip the runway...
The event was held at Laboratory Institute of Merchandising on East 54rd Street and was scheduled from 6pm to 9pm with a special show beginning at 7pm. I had never even heard of the Laboratory Institute of Merchandising but I knew how to get there because it was in my old NY Magazine stomping grounds. Jacque and I agreed to meet at the venue at around 6:30pm and I was also supposed to hook up with IPM Models Owner, Fallon Sinclair as well. As I exited the subway station on 53rd & Madison at around 6:45pm (yup...I was a little late) my cell phone was buzzing like I reached the venue, I saw Jacqueline in front of the venue and Fallon was across the street ringing my cell phone looking for me. The place was packed and folks were dressed in wonderfully vibrant colors. The big girls were trying to take it to the next level ya'll....I was simply LOVING it!!!!

Fallon & her entourage were having drinks and snacks across the street as they waited for the show to begin....I decided to pass on the drinks and told her I would meet her inside. Also standing outside was 3/4 of singing quartet The Glamazons,

who were all done up in beautiful bejeweled bustiers that I was SERIOUSLY They told me that they have a new reality series about to debut on Oxygen and that things were going really well for them! (Congrats Ladies!)......

We decided to go inside and see what was going on....I passed two young ladies at the doorway all done up in pink T-Shirts with Cheetah printed head bands with cat cute....holding poodles on leashes! They pointed us to the check in area just inside the door and I got my little VIP wristband and made my way inside.

The place was more long than wide and as I said was absolutely PACKED!!! Miss Deborah had a phenomenal turnout, (I was taken aback for a few seconds at the number of children at the event but it made perfect sense to's a children's author....of COURSE there would be children there.)

The first familiar face that I ran into was that of my girl Plus Model Angellika, who was there with her new protege beautiful chocolate diva Kemi Lyles. It was a little warm inside so I chatted with Angellika for a few moments and then made my way to the bar where they were serving the "cocktail of the day" an alize rose martini. On my way to the bar I also greeted Couture Cake Designer Margo Lewis (, who I had just seen a few days ago while I was attending The Female Success Factor at BAM. I quickly got a pink (the color of the day) Martini and made my way to the main room where the show was about to begin.

As I reached the insanely crowded main room, Nole Marin of America's Next Top Model, took the stage to announce the beginning of the show. As my eyes scanned the room, I began seeing folks that I hadn't seen since my early days as a newbie model, Menswear designer Shaka King ( and fashion show producer Terrance Taitt. The room was literally filled with all a veritable list of "who's who" in fashion and entertainment, among them were:

Former Plus Model-Makeup Artist Kim Baker, Stylist Kimberly Suggs, Plus Model Shellie Bivins, Celebrity fitness trainer Voltage, Supermodel Beverly Johnson (She's Got The Look) and her beautiful daughter Plus Model Anansa Johnson, Director/Actor Melvin Van Peebles, Menswear Designer Renaldo Barnette (who came over and introduced himself to me - and told me he was told by my old friends Craig Bannister & Bruce Bowens to say hello if our paths ever crossed), PR Mavens Renee Foster & Yvette Hayward, Managing Director of Mars Model Mgmt Melody W., Author Terri McMillan, Yvonne Forbes (Miss Full Figured 2008), Actress Lynn Whitfield, Supermodels Janine Green & Cynthia Bailey, Corrine Corbett (Real Simple Magazine).....the list was absolutely endless.....EVERYONE came out for this event.

Anyway, as I chatted with Terrance & Shaka the show began with Voguing legend Benny Ninja & The House of Ninja taking the stage with a group of young people....who proceeded to "Vogue" their behinds off!!! After a few minute of the madness of people standing on chairs trying to check out the show ( was THAT crowded ya'll) Terrence, Shaka & I decided to head back to the now empty bar for refills on our cocktail (lol...we are all children of the Voguing inspired fashion scene from back in the day and the show wasn't anything new for us....we're used to it!)....and it was really hot in that room!

I decided to go outside for some fresh air and I was quickly joined by Fallon & Shellie (I guess we all got hot at the same and when we reached outside we realized we weren't the only ones with that we sat outside talking and taking pictures (a lot more folks began to come outside for a smoke) I saw an old friend of mine emerge from a taxi, it was Demetria Jennings (her mom and I went to...gasp! elementary school together!) and she and I talked as she waited for a friend to arrive. She was rushing to get here to catch the show but unfortunately as her taxi pulled up - the show had just ended.

We must have been outside for a good 15-20 minutes talking and I decided to go back in and find Jacqueline - who I lost sight of right before the show I re-entered the venue, my phone started was Jacqueline.....looking for me. We met at the bar, where I secured my third and final cocktail for the night (yup! they were quite tasty ya'll!!) and grabbed something from a passing food tray and popped it in my mouth..............

Well, from the moment that appetizer hit my taste buds, I knew I was in trouble....I don't know what it was but it was er....deadly? I went to say something to Jacqueline and I swear to you her eyes crossed as she said to me:


When I told her she said something real close to:


(okay, that line above is me "Flat lining" from her nearly killed me- for real!)

So after that I was on a mission to find some gum, a breath mint or SOMETHING!!! I wasn't trying to play myself here...

So I made my way over to Model Cynthia Bailey

who had tried to flag me down earlier...but before I could get to her...I made a general announcement to the group she was with:


Well, after they recovered from the peals of laughter that my statement brought, a young woman gave me a piece of nice minty fresh gum - which I hurriedly popped in my mouth and chewed on until I felt like it was "safe" enough to talk to I hadn't seen Miss Cynthia in a long while and she looked beautiful as always....she invited me to a dinner party that she was having the next evening and sealed the deal with "I REALLY think you should be there" if you KNOW me then you KNOW that I was already altering my schedule in my head to fit her event in.

As the evening came to a close a spoke briefly to Deborah, who was absolutely mobbed with adoring fans and made my way towards the exits....on the way out we were treated to a beautiful patent leather pink bag compliments of Alize Rose. (I walked in the doors carrying the same bag - I had acquired it at another Alize Rose party a few years back, it's one of my favorite you KNOW I wasn't turning down another!)

But the night wasn't quite over for me, Jacqueline and I walked across town to the #1 train and headed uptown to catch Rasheeda Wallace's event uptown at The Shrine on 7th Avenue....more on that event later.....

Mary Moore - You missed a wonderful event, I was looking forward to seeing you...I miss you - let's get together soon busy woman!

Continued Success Deborah!

For more info on Deborah Gregory check out her website


"Don't limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as you mind lets you. What you believe, you can achieve."

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