What an evening!
So I was invited to an event called the “My Pride | My Way Campaign.” It was for the re-launch of African Pride. Do you remember those products? Well the hair care brand is back and touring the nation in an effort to market itself. But you didn’t come here to read about hair care products now did you?
Well my friend Brandi and I decided it would be fun to go. The event was being hosted by Chilli (TLC) and Lance Gross (Tyler Perry’s House of Payne) and would also have giveaways and food. Well this was an easy decision for me. Did they say food, prizes and Lance? It was a definite “Let’s go!”
So we made our way over to the King Plow Arts Center where the event was being held. A few moments later we were inside with our gift bags loaded with hair products. Nice!
Once inside I realized that maybe I should have gone to the salon first. There was fabulous hair everywhere! Inside the walls were aligned with hair professionals and models posing as clients displaying various hair trends and styling techniques. I couldn’t help but be intrigued. On one side of the building, I was seeing colored mo-hawks, coiled dreadlocks and platinum blonde afros! On the other side women were having their faces done while others stood back in admiration, me included. In case you didn’t know, I’m a hair groupie. I don’t care who it is and where we are at, if I see nice hair, I’m chasing after it and when I get close to the person wearing the look, I have four words, “Who does your hair?”
Once I was finished hawking the people in the lounge area, Brandi and I made our way inside to the main event. I was surprised to see so many people. I guess we weren’t the only ones who didn’t mind coming out on a work night. The room was filled with urban trendsetters, young business professionals and corporate executives. People had already filled the seats toward the stage and the VIP area was filling quickly. It was only 8! So after a few appetizers and drinks it was time for a little fun!
Back outside camera flashes were lighting up the room, so I headed over to see what all the fuss was about. The first person I saw was Tocarra Jones. You may remember her from America’s Next Top Model. She’s made a name for herself from just that one season and a losing season at that. She didn’t win the title of ANTM, but she sure has done a great job of marketing herself into various roles just from that one season. Turns out she was replacing Chilli as the host for the evening. No one really seemed to mind. She looked great and was very personable. I watched as people approached her for a photograph, and with a smile and a pose, she granted their request. I was on my way to get my own snapshot until I saw the photographers run back to the red carpet. This time Lance Gross was there and what a sight he was to see. Of course it was a little more difficult to get a picture as I was being bombarded not only by photographers but by female fans as well. I laughed when I saw the on duty security officers signaling for Lance to take a picture with them. Shouldn’t they be working? Or maybe, you just have to take advantage of the opportunity when you get it… SNAP! I took a winning photo! I was so proud of it I showed it off to friends. “Oh girl, you took some good pictures!” I sure did and when I turned around I knew I had to get one more of Keisha Knight Pullen, fondly known as “Rudy” from the classic “The Cosby Show.” Keisha is a local favorite, having attended Spellman and often seen around town, but it’s always nice to get an up close view of little “Rudy” all grown up.
After I was finished snapping the celebs, we decided to head inside and do some snapping of ourselves! Hey why not? There was this picture booth inside with fun phrases like “Kiss me” and “Censored” in the back of the main room. Brandi and I decided we would take a picture for fun, but one picture turned into us going in and out of the line to take several. We ended asking people to use my camera to take the photos as well. A one time photo op turned into us trying out every laid out phrase on the table. (Of course they had some that marketed the product line like, “I whip my hair back and forth” and “Yes, it’s real” which Brandi chose as one of her favorites.)
As the night was winding down we moved into the main room to do one of my favorite pastimes, people watching. I was already admiring the fabulous hair in the room. It wasn’t just the models who were rocking the latest color and trends, the guests were showing off their hair as well. I wish I had gotten the memo, but I did get the numbers! (I told you I was a hair groupie.) The fashions in the place were also interesting. Some people came dressed in their cocktail attire, others came in 9-5 business apparel and a few were obviously planning to hit the club afterwards. We laughed at these two men who were wearing neon colored tank tops, suspender straps and stretch pants. You can’t imagine the humor in seeing that. Think Richard Simmons (the 80’s fitness personality with big hair and tight clothes), that was who came to mind when I saw their getup. It was hilarious!
Towards the end of the night there was a Q&A session. People in the audience went up and asked the panel (made up of local stylist) whatever they wanted about their hair. I say whatever because there was so much chatting, mixing and mingling throughout the room, I could barely hear anything. If it were not for the big “African Pride” posters and signs around the room, I really would have thought I was at a happy hour.
Before we left for the night I got a chance to hear So So Def Recording artist Dondria perform her hit single, “You’re the One.” She’s a cute girl and thankfully she sounds good live. I’ve always have this fear that when a performer gets on stage it’s going to be everything other than what I expected. Trust me when I say, I’ve gone to enough live performances to know. But Dondria sounded great and the dress she was wearing showed a set of toned legs that I’m determined to have myself by the end of the summer.
Ultimately, the night was great. Afterwards, we went to this little lounge off Edgewood called The Music Room where my friends and I have been meeting to hear live music, and grab a few drinks.
Want to see some more pictures from Thursday night? Just go to my Facebook page or add me as a friend if you’re not already. Also, follow me on Twitter @TIPitts. I’ll be posting about city life, fashion, hot spots and travels on there as well. Okay peoples…
Until next time,