‘Shades of Life Networking Soiree’

 

Dr. Dionne Gibbs, Nurse, CNE, Nurse Administrator, Owner and Operator of Shades of Life Coaching and Consulting Service.

You know you’re a powerhouse, when your positive energy enters the room long before you actually make an appearance. The quiet chatter amongst the excited attendees, gave notice that we were about to gain a wealth of life-long knowledge. Entrepreneur’s, family, and old friends came together to celebrate the branding launch of “Shades of Life”, the new coaching and consulting business, spearheaded by Dr. Gibbs. On Friday, June 28th, the beautiful Slover Library in Norfolk, Virginia, was once again the perfect venue, including its magnificent roof-top area overlooking the city.

“Walk upright in your purpose, and support other women”

Dr. Gibbs spoke passionately to her audience on the subject of holding yourself accountable when you have fallen into that space you need help coming out of, first and foremost you must recognize where you are in achieving your goals. If you need to wiggle, then wiggle your way back to that positive space. Networking was at its peak level during the event, others began to acknowledge the resources sitting next to them.

I am absolutely certain every person in the room felt empowered, as well as uplifted and consciously motivated. Dr. Gibbs is on a solid mission to serve, which includes a pursuit and purpose of educating, elevating, and empowering women of all ages to be the best version of themselves while finding their true purpose within the current journey in life.

She wore a gorgeous red jumpsuit, and we all know red is a power color representing energy and determination. Dr. Gibbs was a lovely hostess, as she moved about with her arms extended, greeting her guest with warm hugs and words of encouragement. O’ wow, let me tell you how the aroma of delicious food easily flowed out to the sexy roof-top patio eating area, highlighted by a lovely warm summer’s night.

I personally made a great network connection with a fierce spoken word artist by the name of Neisha Himes, of the Grow Foundation. My love of poetry attracts the deepest souls, we always link, like kindred spirits. I recognized her captivating voice from a previous event I had just recently blogged. As she stood front and center to give her poetic rendition of “Dear Broken Woman”, I knew she was the one to perform a special piece from my poetry repertoire. And that my readership is the essence of a networking event.

“How can I teach my daughter the definition of a strong woman, when my own weakness defines me in a dictionary I don’t want to read anymore”

Poem: Dear Broken Woman      Artist: Neisha Himes

To recap the “Shades of Life Soiree” in one blog is nearly impossible. I believe the mission statement was well accomplished, bringing like-minded individuals into one room for the sole purpose of networking. Dr. Gibbs has been coaching and consulting in her daily work life for quite some time, now that she has branched out specifically with that purpose in mind, it’s a definite win for the Hampton Roads Community. I’ve spent some time researching her platform of empowerment, many of you will be amazed at how kind, yet very direct her statements come across, and how easy her goal setting principals will apply to your life. Let me be the first to congratulate Dr. Gibbs on a very successful brand launch.

Food for thought:

If you are looking for someone to hold you accountable through the steps of your success journey, contact Dr. Dionne Gibbs.

http://www.shadesoflifecoaching.com

Facebook: Dionne Gibbs

Author: Dakota Somerville

Photo Credit: Dakota Vibe/Dionne Gibbs

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“Bea Great, Bea Positive, Bea You”

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Mouth Watering Sweet Potato Cheesecake Dessert

Have you ever dreamed of having your own personal chef? Of course, we sometimes crave those delectable homemade yummies we see displayed on our television screens. About a year ago, I became acquainted with a young single mother, who also happened to be an aspiring chef on the rise. She was somewhat soft spoken, but I could see she was ever so hungry to succeed. I really connected with Chef Bea, also known as Chef Beatrice Copeland, owner of ‘Oh My Loaf, LLC.

Chefbea9 Chef Beatrice Copeland

It gives me a tremendous amount of pleasure to watch this young chef blossom in the business woman she always hoped to be. Its inspiring, anytime a single mother works towards her dreams, you can find me somewhere in the background cheering her on. I had a chance to stop by Chef Bea’s pop up Sunday Brunch, located in Virginia Beach, at the well known Phoenix Restaurant and Lounge. Now listen, I’m nowhere near being a food critic, but what I admittedly am is a foodie girl. The atmosphere was warm and friendly, highlighting my down to earth palate with every food item I love, including an omelet station, shrimp and grits, with an assortment of fruit.

Chef Beatrice, your new positive mantra is certainly appropriate for the trajectory of your culinary path, salute from one single mother to another.

Bea Great, Bea Positive, Bea You

Exciting moves are on the horizon for this lovely young chef, soon she will be blessing us with a bakery filled with sweet treats, and vegan choices, as well. Plans are underway for a easy to access location in the Military Circle Mall food court. Currently Chef Bea has a variety of vegan, dairy free treats available in Norfolk, at Jikoni Café. Stop by and grab a vegan banana bread loaf, or perhaps you’re a chocolate chip lover, is so, check out her newest creation…Chocolate Chip Vegan Banana Bread! O’ My Loaf….Well done baby girl, keep baking your way one loaf at a time, success is closer than it appears.

Fresh product shipping is available as needed. For your unique personal chef experience, you can find Chef Beatrice via social media.

Instagram: Chef_bea7          Facebook: ChefBea Copeland

Photo Credit: Dakota Somerville & Chef Beatrice Copeland

Author: 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s Cooking 757

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“Hampton Roads, Va., a virtual melting pot of all ethnicities, link up for their own tasty personal experience of what can be referred to as a nom-nom heaven”.

As a freelance lifestyle writer of all things interesting, I’m always finding myself deeply engrossed in a tiny bit of this and that!

Much to my surprise, I stumble across events along the way that merit sharing with my reader’s.

December, and January are two months of the year where you may find yourself either eating too much, or beginning a diet of some sort. Well, this blog post is for the foodie lover in you. Chef Tasha Roberts and Chef Beatrice Copeland have set out to tickle your inner foodie, Yes, the review’s are coming in more than favorable.

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Chef Bea: Top – Chef Tasha: Below

The Best Shrimp & Grits Competition was held in Norfolk, Va, Dec 2018. O’ if you missed this event, let me just give you a few highlights. Chef Jessee took home the trophy, the audience, judges, and fellow chefs concluded his dish was exquisitely prepared to warm, as well as, change the heart’s of non grit lovers.

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Winning Dish: Chef Jesse Seward

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Judge: Riika with Chef Jesse

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Judges Table: Riika, Claudine, Dakota with well-known Food Blogger/Host Yummo Buko.

“Blackgirl Magic is no doubt what’s cooking in the 757” 

On January 20th, this culinary duo will launch a chopped style cooking event, featuring four local chef’s, cooking and chopping their way to being crowned a Top Chef. We at the judges table, will cast our votes based upon a strong list of criteria, including presentation. Good luck to the participants…chop…chop!

Celebrity shout out goes to comedian Lunell Campbell, the queen of funny. How cool was it for Chef Tasha to have Lunell join her in the studio kitchen of the Hampton Roads Show. I personally follow Lunell via social media, she can cook up some greatness herself, so two snaps Chef Tasha, you’ve won, Lunell raved about your jambalaya.

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Comedian “Lunell” loves Bonjou Style

O MY LOAF….

Congratulations to Chef Beatrice on the launch of her eye-catching culinary pop up shop, “O MY LOAF”. Serving sweet homemade treats, like sweet potato cheesecake, I can see this one becoming a number one consumer favorite.

Entrepreneurship isn’t easy by any means, salute to these two young woman, who are quickly becoming the movers and shakers in the 757 area. For future events, you can follow both Chefs via Facebook.

BRAVO QUEENS ~

Author: Dakota Somerville

Photo Credit: DakotaVibe – Facebook

 

 

 

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

 

A Party With A Purpose

DREAM2 Claudine Ellis

Philanthropy never looked so beautiful, with her vision, and a dream to help single moms and dads become home owners.

Hampton Roads, better known as “Southeastern Virginia” is well-known for it’s highly publicized social events. On September 16th, you don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to be a part of history in the making. Dream Girl Claudine Ellis will set the Slover Library on fire, with her new project launch, Dream DAP, Inc.

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The 1st EVER Facebook Day-Party will not only bring together many of the areas movers and shakers, this clearly thought out brainstorm will unite a very supportive community of volunteers and those who have a village mindset of togetherness.

WHEN: Sunday, September 16, 2018
WHERE: Slover Library, 235 Plume Street, Norfolk, VA 23510
TIME: 1pm-5pm
THEME: White Top and Blue Jeans

Come out, take Pics on the Red Carpet, win prizes, shop vendor stations, while you enjoy scrumptious food items, but don’t get too full, because dancing is highly recommended for this lit day party. I have one hundred brand new business cards ready to go, as I mingle about, blogging the DEETS of the DAY, in all my Cuteness!

Norfolk, Virginia has never seen anything of this magnitude when it comes to a day party in a downtown library. The Slover Library and its magnificent glass architecture is the perfect venue to kick-off all of the hard work, media chats, and long hours of planning put in by Claudine and her dream team.

                   “A PARTY WITH A PURPOSE”

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Good food shall be consumed, laughter will fill the room, friendships will be made, while positive inspiration overtakes the hearts and minds of all who attend…..

Author: Dakota Somerville

Photo Credit: Dakota Somerville, Claudine Ellis – Photographer 

 

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