Tim Reid’s Cultural Fashion Showcase

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An Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony, and the aroma of culture, filled the venue as I walked in the door. I had finally arrived, after a one hour plus drive to the all interesting city of Richmond, Virginia.  I came for the fashion extravaganza presented by actor, producer, and first time designer Mr. Tim Reid, along with his lovely wife Mrs. Daphne Reid, who slayed the runway with her first design collection.

Perfection may be an understatement when describing Tim Reid’s Cultural Fashion Showcase. The RVA event space was lit on April 27th with local and international lovers of fashion. Well-dressed attendee’s mingled about, smiling at one another, greeting folks who’ve attended in the previous years, from my observation the event was some type of reunion amongst fashion connoisseur’s. People watcher number one, that would be Moi, was here for all of it…..insert handclap emoji three times!

The breathe taking beautiful co-producer and event host Salome was mesmerizing, wearing her beautifully unique designs as she graced the stage hosting simultaneously with Tim and Daphne Reid.

“Fashion models enhance the designers creative masterpieces”

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Step to the side while I shout out the sharp dressed male runway models, wearing designer Malcom Staples, of Malcom’s Custom Made to Fit. The women in the audience began to “oooh and ahhh”, snap fingers, while displaying the biggest smiles as the older more distinguished models hit the runway. Malcolm’s classy fitted suits gave favor to a trendy vintage look, full of pops of color, and fun patterns. I loved the sexy-sexy female tuxedo suit, well put together featuring a cute top-hat, perfect for a swanky dinner party. I haven’t worn a women’s suit in a while, however, if one can be created for a special holiday party, with a little sparkle, I’m all in for it.

Actress, producer and first time designer Daphne Reid, hit the runway with flowing color pops, floppy hats accentuated the swing jacket style, giving you the NYC street look of an older woman, out and about her business of the day. Comfy, eye-catching designs to turn heads, as you walk on by….

I’m excited to attend Tim Reid’s fashion show again, unfortunately I had a family emergency in the middle of the show, causing me to leave early. I missed a lot of amazing designers, international and local. All the fashion chatter for weeks after the event came across super positive, highlighting the charity who benefited from the proceeds, congratulations to the recipient Legacy Media Institute.

Bravo to all on a job well done…

Author: Dakota Somerville

Photo Credit: Dakota Somerville

 

 

Men’s Fashion Extravaganza 2019

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Men’s Fashion Week Virginia 2019, set the fashion industry ablaze, making it very clear, Southeastern Virginia has arrived on the men’s  runway stage with great panache.

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“Real men do wear pink”

Designer: Kenny “Kas” Flanagan – Model: Marcus DeVaughn Sr.

The week of April 8th through April 13th will be remembered in the Hampton Roads community, as the week local and national men’s wear designers elevated our fashion consciousness to the next level. Celebrity producer/host Ron Cooke, along with assistant producer/designer of “Reckless Brand” Mario Daughtry, put together an unforgettable collaboration of new spring designs.

I emphatically feel confident in saying, with a limitless diversity in style, there was something pleasurable to the eye, for each and every event attendee.

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Fashion Week is exciting, every year the designers get to showcase what they’ve been working on. The models get the prestigious honor of presenting those designs to the public, and they walk proudly each night. The added element of the pedestal used in some of the shows, give a fascinating mannequin look to the overall presentation. Virginia is not only for lovers, the state is also a mecca for brilliant fashion designers, as proven by the spectacular talent displayed during Men’s Fashion Week 2019. This being the third year solidified the hashtag usage seen all throughout social media, #MFWV is trending globally amongst the who’s who in the industry, and beyond.

“Some people wear clothes that reflect their mood, others wear clothing that changes their mood, hence we have fashion”

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Local designers were impressive with urban clothing styles, and edgy streetwear, for a more comfortable lifestyle. I loved how their clothing lines reflected a super cool hip-hop vibe.

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With a total of six fashion shows during the course of one week, Men’s Fashion Week embraced every genre of style, from sexy European to kick-back Eclectic. As a blogger, I’m always paying attention to the audience comments, and how they respond to the models. Listen! I just want my readership to know, most attendees were amazed to find out some of the shows had no cover charge at all. 

Dillards – Featuring Spring/Summer Fashions

Springtime in southeastern Virginia has a special meaning. These two models are wearing the perfect attire to check out all the happenings along the beach. This years fashion week didn’t snatch my edges, but I must admit a number of female event attendees left with sore necks! 

From the opening night reception at Baila Fuzion Dance and Creative Arts Studio, to the closing night men’s fashion story “Read” at the gorgeous Slover Library, the energy level never changed. The production team, models, and D J’s (Dave Champion and D J Pynk Dyamond) gave a stellar performance, on each and every night. Bravo…Bravo…Bravo, to a successful men’s fashion extravaganza.

Author: Dakota Somerville

Photo Credit: Runway Authority, Dakota Somerville, Facebook

Event Designers:

Marva Nelson – House of LaMaica

Tracey Langford – 360 Vintage Designs

Kenny “Kas” Flannigan – Kas Collection

Malcolm Staples

Kevin Dickens – KD Sports

TEAM L.A.M.B.

STALLIA – Premium Urban Apparel

PURSUIT

Reckless Kids

Sponsors:

Phillip Michael Fashion for Men

Upscale Men’s Fashion

Dillards

 

 

 

 

Charity Personified With Elegance

 

strawberriesChocolate Dipped Tequila Infused Strawberries

February is the month of love, it is a time when giving comes second nature, the air is filled with decadence and luxury. We find ourselves thinking of others, our heart’s beat to a different drum, charity can also be described as a universal gesture of love. I stopped by to share with my readership all the juicy deets from an outstanding philanthropic event that took place in Norfolk, Virginia, held at the impressively alluring Slover Library, on Saturday, February 9th. A charity with a godly purpose will attract those who support a noble cause. I can’t begin to think of anything more important than lending a supportive hand to a single parent needing down payment assistance, while holding near and dear, a deep desire to become a home owner. Claudine L. Ellis, CEO of Dream DAP, Inc and her team are making it happen.

“HEART FOR HOMEOWNSHIP FASHION GALA 2019”

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Regina Mobley, Queen Claudine Ellis, Quenie Burnz

Hollywood hit Hampton Roads, as each and every guest was greeted with valet parking, and baby it was cold outside. Walking into the venue proved to be upscale upon being welcomed at the door by actor and model Mr. Jack Rose, adorned in white glove attire. Bellissimo, is an understatement describing the ambiance, and elegant décor, I felt so much love in the room as the jazz band played a medley of mood setting tunes. The highlight of entertainment literally flew, twirled, and flipped magnificently above the beautiful architecture, capturing stares from the balcony to the lower level. Can you imagine a beautiful aerialist, floating with the grace of a butterfly? She did just that!

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Hampton Roads has quickly become well noted on the east coast as a mega fashion hub, providing some of the best professional models in the game. I want to personally bow down and congratulate all of the event models for a wonderful job done on the runway. Special mention and all hand claps go out to the one model who turned the catwalk, and staircase into an unforgettable theatrical performance. Screaming bravo…bravo…bravo to model Shawanda Lamb, you my dear are a show stopper, with the epitome of what is commonly referred to as the “It Factor” in the industry.

Shawanda Lamb – Queen of the Runway

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As I buzzed around mingling with the distinguished guest, it suddenly came to my attention everyone was smiling, dancing, chatting it up with one another enjoying all the special moments of the night. This is the foundation envisioned as a successful charity event, hashtag happy people. The V.I.P guest co-mingled with the general ticket holders, which is something special to see, in my opinion. Food galore, delicious edibles made the rounds, one tray after another, filled with crab cakes, bacon wrapped scallops, steak kabobs, fruit kabobs, cake pops, and my personal favorite of stuffed mushrooms. For all the foodie lovers in the room, heaven had officially landed in a scrumptious kind of way!

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“One thing is for certain, Dream DAP, Inc has arrived in a major way”

Major kudos go out to the DJ, Mr. Dave Champion for the music selections of the night. The media deserves special mention as well, I saw the lovely Ashley Dennis supporting the cause, along with many celebrities, photographers, and lets just say the who’s who tribe of Hampton Roads. We were especially honored to see the prestigious Virginia Beach City Council woman, Sabrina Wooten in the building. I have a very keen eye for celebrity spotting, without hesitation, this freelance writer made her way over to capture a quick video with Patti LaBelle’s exclusive holiday decorator, LaVoris Pace and friends, what a dapper looking trio they were. All V.I.P guest received personal catering with delicacies’, compliments of the Executive Chef from Plaza Azteca restaurant, and jaw dropping Furry Swag Bags complete with unexpected high-end goodies, including fur gloves, exotic soaps, designer glasses, and more. Don’t fret if you missed the 2019 gala, team Dream DAP has already put the wheels in motion for the Heart for Homeownership Fashion Gala 2020…..

“Congratulations Claudine, I deem you queen of the red hearts personified”

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Author: Dakota Somerville

Photo Credit: Facebook, Dakota Vibe, Organixx Photography

Follow: Dream DAP, Inc. via Facebook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alex Malay Brand

alexmaylayblogpic1“Love and Light”, as frequently quoted by owner and CEO, Rochell Malay of the global mega brand, Alex Malay. Starting a brand new year, celebrating their six-year anniversary at the top of 2019, her brand’s style and vision proves Alex Malay has definitely landed in the world of high fashion.
As many of her fashion followers may already know, Rochell began her creative business sense years ago, as a young child. She embraced a hard work ethic from her family, spinning those endearing qualities into the timeless fashion brand you see before you today. Women like to feel unique, you can also add super special, whatever your lifestyle goals are to enhance inner beauty, this brand has something designed just for you.

“We wish you to be your own kind of beautiful, and a great way to express that is through fashion”

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Oftentimes we find ourselves at a loss when it comes to gift giving, imagine just for a moment, that you are a lovely bride to be, pondering on a gift selection for each of your bridesmaids. Alex Malay has you covered, choose the “Angelic Soy Wax Candle”, with an enchanting aroma scent. Any bridal shower would certainly benefit from a beautiful display of gorgeous pink bags, filled with love, as a bonus, you may consider dropping a “Girl Power T-Shirt” in each bag. Set up a fun bridal photo shoot, someplace where you, and your bridesmaids can kick back wearing your matching T-Shirt’s. Being the classic beauty you aspire to be, is the overall mission statement for this brand.
Shopping Alex Malay should be an experience not limited to women only, there are a large number of men globally who also derive a great amount of pleasure in selecting a special outfit for that beautiful lady in their lives. He is the man who always wants his significant other to look and feel like a princess, from the inside out, when they enter the room, he is the man who wants heads to turn in adornment.

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This is a season must have for an elegant evening out and about, any man would love the rich vibrant navy tone of the “Royal Gala Skirt”, paired with a classic vintage style black fur throw.

“You never get a second chance to make a first impression”

Alex Malay is a fashion brand on the rise, capturing the attention of global customers, followers, and fans who adore the feeling of wearing such a creative style of clothing. Her integrity as a business owner is evident in the quality of her products. Timeless style and confidence are a few of her core principles, she gives you a feeling of beauty unmatched by any other brand. Women all over the world, are rushing around dealing with the everyday hustle and bustle of daily life, after all it’s the twenty-first century, and truly the age of girl power. The entire Alex Malay team is just a click away from helping you figure out your next outfit needed for any special occasion, or perhaps to just enhance your wardrobe a bit. Stay connected for the upcoming announcement of her new fashion boutique, which will be located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where you will be sure to find a little something to make your heart smile.

Blogger: Dakota Somerville

Photo Credit: Alex Malay

Shop: http://www.alexmalay.com

 

 

 

Community Magic Exemplified

DREAMDAY2  Red Carpet Smiles

“My heart is singing a tune of black girl magic on auto repeat, it’s like not being able to un-see the most beautiful women in Hampton Roads, Virginia”

What am I talking about, you may ask? Well, I’m talking about a vision that turned into a fabulous reality, on Sunday, September 16th in the heart of downtown Norfolk Virginia at the highly popular Slover Library. Dream Dap Inc. launched a charity program to help support single mothers and fathers with down payment assistance needed to purchase a home.

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Queen Claudine Ellis, Sequoia Youngblood and Celebrity Hip-Hop Artist NO Malice

Hurricane Florence was somewhat lurking in the midst of this successful event, but with hard work, lot’s of prayer warriors, and angels smiling down on the purpose intended, this party became the talk of the town. As I mingled inconspicuously through the huge crowd of attendees, everyone glammed in blue jeans and white tops with a lovely glow of happiness, set off with the biggest of smiles. Queen Claudine greeted her guest as if we all were celebrities in her eyes, from pictures on the red carpet to line dancing in the main room, O’ my goodness, how can I not mention the VIP lounge and its colorful ambience. From my personal perspective I deem this charity fundraiser as perfect in every way possible!!!

The Gourmet Appetizers were Impeccable 

Chicken & Waffles…Crab Balls…Cucumber Cream Bites

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Chef Tasha*Chef Beatrice*Chef Dominique

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Vendor*TraciLynn Jewelry*Treavce Whitmore

We are magic when we come together as a community of intelligent beautiful women, who aspire to a level of success. Special recognition and kudos’ go out to a dedicated single mother for beating the pavement to make sure everything and everyone lined up as envisioned by the founder of Dream Dap Inc., Riika Wright you are a real MVP.

1st Ever Facebook Party*Riika Wright*Energi Logan

DJ Dave Champion entertained the crowd with a diverse music sound, a bit of old mixed with the new. Group “KARAOKE” was as much fun to watch, as it must have been to participate, judging from the laughter and enthusiasm of the party goers. The fabulous stage host Ginger Savage killed her themed outfit with studded six-inch heels, every woman in the room, including myself had major shoe envy…..

Ginger Savage and Dakota Vibe enjoying the rooftop

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Vendor*Pink Zebra*Candle Wax Display Smells of Heaven

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When your heart is filled with a giving spirit, it becomes a vibe that will attract an awesome tribe. Let us all raise our glasses to the future success of Dream Dap Inc., single mothers and fathers who connect with this wonderful charity will forever remember Claudine Ellis, we however, like to refer to her as Queen Claudine.

~BRAVO JOB WELL DONE

For information: Visit Dream Dap Inc. via Facebook

Author: Dakota Somerville

Photo Credit: Dakota Vibe and Facebook Attendees

#1stEverFacebookParty

 

Boho Comfy and Cute

Screenshot_2018-06-16-10-11-51Backyard Boho Vibe: plinka.life.IG

Something’s just stand out at first glance, like long strands of fresh sun kissed green ivey, surrounded by multiple flower-pot’s of healthy spider plants. Top that Bohemian combo with a comfy backyard hammock and you’ve got the perfect combination of what I like to refer to as my “ZEN-ZEN-ZENZY MOMENTS”.

Screenshot_2018-06-16-10-21-49.pngBoho Stones: Brimestone.Bindings.IG

Before the summer ends, I hope to have my own personal unique collection of Stone’s. You can feel the flow of energy from each individual stone, as if they all have a story to tell us about the journey it took to become a beautifully finished product.

I’M FEELING SO BOHO TODAY…

Screenshot_2018-06-16-09-51-54.png Sheer Boho: Allison.Elizabeth.Brown

Cuteness Overload on every fashion level, some may think this outfit can’t possibly be Boho, Well…it screams street style, sexy, light and carefree, yet I see a day-time fun Boho-Chic vibe, giving us all the retro feels of the 1970’s.

Do You in Boho this Summer, I certainly intend to explore my whimsical side a bit more!

Author: Dakota Somerville

#blogger #freelancewriter #author

 

 

 

 

 

Sexy Beard Conversations!

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Rugged Evolution, CEO – Arrington Gavin and Creative Director – Patrick Lewis

…..RUGGED IS THE NEW SMOOTH

I have so much ink to spill, and so many awesome beard life moments to share with the men who aspire to a healthy natural beard life, not excluding the women who love to admire the touch of a sexy clean beard. Hampton Roads, Virginia, along with Rugged Evolution Beard Care Products have set the bar very high on the conversation of growing and maintaining the best version of your beard. Saturday, May 19th, renowned leading Trichologist, Dr. Prenik James presented two life changing training session, captivating each audience, both men and women with educational tips on how to master the perfect beard.

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Trichologist – Dr. Prenik James and Rugged Evolution Beard Care Line 

Impromptu Interviews are the essence of a good writer

Impressive may be an understatement, I’m very rarely at a loss for words, let’s just say the Rugged CEO, Arrington is a twenty-three year old entrepreneur with a very bright future. As a young advocate for natural hair products, with such a beautiful humble spirit, it was well understood why he had such a top-notch group of supporters in the room. Celebrity icons from Los Angeles and Georgia attended the Rugged Evolution launch event, held at the exclusive Westin Hotel, Virginia Beach, Va, on May 19th.

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Celebrity Stylist – Patrick A. Lewis, Rugged Models, and CEO Arrington (center)

Sangria and chit-chat with a distinguished daytime Emmy Award winner, who also happens to be a top branding expert, film producer and the brain extraordinaire of money-making conversations, was the highlight of my night. When someone of his caliber of creative knowledge catches a flight to come into town just to offer support and authentic coaching, you can tell the world Rugged Evolution has arrived.

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Kamal S. Rollins Celebrity Cake Designer (left) – Mr. Rushion McDonald (producer) 

Congratulations to Team Rugged Evolution on a successful launch…

The Essence Of A Well Groomed Man Is Admired By Many

…..ON A LOCAL LEVEL

The Virginia Beard Festival Day Party #2 was held in the middle of a terrible rainstorm, but nevertheless, May 19, 2018 should be noted as the day sexy bearded men came out to partake in a very successful event. Congratulations to the handsome Mr. Markie Riddick on being crowned Beard King, I knew, the moment he walked in the door, something epic was about to take place.

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Ms. Keyzia Nikole – Beauty and the Beard and Mr. Markie Riddick (winner)

Congratulations to team Beauty and the Beard, can’t wait for the next event….

Todays blog post is merely a snippet of all the informative spilled ink I have waiting to hit the pages, stay connected with me via my social media platform.

Twitter: @dakotasomervill

Instagram: @IAMDAKOTASOMERVILLE757

Facebook: DakotaVibe

photo credit: event attendees

author: Dakota Somerville

 

 

 

 

The Legend and Newbies

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The Legend – Marcus Clark

A “Phenom” amongst the model industry, still in the game of runway modeling with a twenty year career presenting the most sought after men’s fashion. This year Marcus will be the first male model to receive the “Living Legend Male Model” award, presented at the 6th annual Black Men Rock Image Awards. Should we bow down, shake his hand, give two snaps, or just shower him with never-ending hand claps.

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Vintage Runway Captures – Marcus Clark

The first male model to sign with Jacobby Debouvier in 1998. I personally love the vintage still shots of young Marcus, the swag in his walk was pure fire, along with those sexy facial expression’s; Ladies…what say you?

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Model – Christian Samonte Cimafranca

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Model – Miguelito Ortiz

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Model – Rich Micucci 

The “NEWBIE” talent for season two of Male Fashion Week Virginia left the audience speechless, even maybe a little mesmerized. I like to refer to the newest aspiring models as newbies, please consider this a term of endearment. I’m sure all of the many runway designer’s would agree with me as I scream…Bravo, you guys added a indescribable element of ~Je Ne Sais Quoi~ to each and every show. Pictured above, may be the ones to watch, however, all the newbies were amazing.

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Models – Jared Jalil Howe and Rich Micucci Relaxing before the next show…

Congratulations again to the legend Marcus Clark, we wish you the happiest of moments when you accept your award this year. 

Author: Dakota Somerville

Inspiration: Male Fashion Week Virginia 2018

 

 

 

 

 

MFWVA “2018” Fiercely Snatched My Edges

MFW1 Roxanne Smith – Alfa Custom Clothier’s 
Ron Cooke – Fashion Commentator / Producer and Mario Daughtry – Reckless Clothing Line

Men’s Fashion Week Virginia had a very successful run for its season two, the weather co-operated making it inviting to get out and attend many of their fashion events. Virginia is officially on the map as one of the hottest locations for fashion extravaganzas. Special hand claps go out to designer/stylist Roxanne Smith, being the only female presenting her designs was truly a black girl magic moment.

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Models: Dapper Luq, Erik Castano, Marcus Clark, Rich Micucci, Sanford Gunn, and the Newbies 

The 2018 kick off event Good Life – Still Life was presented at Upscale Men’s Fashion, hosted by The Dapper One and Erik Suave. When I tell you my edges got snatched all the way out, baby girl was in awe…the spring colors, diversity and male model inclusion had me literally and figuratively captivated to the fashion gawds.

I was unable to attend every event on the fashion weeks schedule due to my nine to five obligations, however, according to social media, it looks like every designer and stylist hit their mark.

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The beautiful Pagoda Gardens in the historic neighborhood referred to as Ghent located in Norfolk, Va., was a perfect setting for an outdoor fashion show. All the attendees swooned at the sight of each classic models attire, accompanied by every mans best friend. I absolutely fell in love with the floral backdrop, adding a touch of elegance as each model stepped onto their separate pedestal for viewing. 

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The Finale: Models line up and final walk

The “Collector Norfolk” hosted the grand finale of Men’s Fashion Week 2018 in eclectic style, just what “Saturday Nights” are made for. Vibrant colors, trendy patterns, sexy designs hit the runway bringing the audience to a complete stare. Special snaps to all the designers who presented their hard work for season two, you all are the talent behind the fashion scene. 

BRAVO…BRAVO…BRAVO, Men’s Fashion Week Va, you have let the world know we are popping with talent, style and class!!!

Author: Dakota Somerville

Designers:

Alfa Custom Clothier’s, Upscale Men’s Fashion, Stark & Legum, Andrew Nowell, Reckless Clothing Line & Others

Photo Credit:

Jacobby Debouvier, Sherry Henry & Diana Ramos

Stylist: Patricia Rountree & Others

 

A Taste of Spring Review

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NETWORK makes the dream work, an old cliché I’ve heard many times before, and here’s another one for you, NO MAN is an island…so what exactly do those quotes mean. I like to think in terms of like-minded business professionals coming together to share, discuss, create, and throw around new ideas related to creating revenue or just mind swapping ideas to better their community.

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Celebrity Chef Ponder and Dapper Luq hosted “A Taste of Spring”, on Saturday, April 7th at Stratford College, located in Virginia Beach, Va. It was a cold rainy night, with a strong breezy wind, yet everyone in attendance was pleasant and thoroughly enjoyable. Lot’s of networking took place, chit chats about massage therapy, upcoming modeling adventures, and changing the narrative of some African-American issues via community forums.

Every single morsel of food was beyond exquisite, my favorite of the night was the melt in your mouth crab cakes…I fell into a serious foodie coma.

CLASSY AND FOREVER SASSY……..

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JARED J and his lovely date

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HOST DAPPER LUQ and guest

Congratulations, once again on a super cool networking event, perfect for the Hampton Roads area of Southeastern Virginia, I’m already looking forward to the next one. Your team, including the lovely bartender Patricia Rountree kept the energy vibe flowing.

“BRAVO to the DAPPER ONE”

Author: Dakota Somerville

Photo Credit: Jared J Howe and Dakota