By Walter Greene
SALON SERIES FASHION `CONVERSATIONS.'
To kick off a new Salon Series of `Conversations,' DREAMLEAPERS hosted the event launch at `Ruby's Vintage' the new restaurant, due for it's grand opening in October. Located at 2340 Seventh Avenue @ 137th Street, in the historic, Strivers Row
Section of Harlem, Ruby's Vintage was named after the legendary Black actress/activist Ruby Dee, who actually lived upstairs of the restaurant back in her youth. A nice bit of `Black History.'
SO for the `Salon Series' HARRIETTE COLE Dreamleapers Founder, sat down with CONSTANCE C.R.WHITE, Fashion's most illustrious editor and author of the new Black Style Bible "How To Slay - Inspiration From The Queens & Kings of Black Style." (Rizzoli Books) This is Constance' second book, her first, `Style Noir' was released in 1998. The ladies talked about starting out in fashion when there were very few, if any, people of color playing a leadership role in the industry. Challenges and breaking barriers were discussed. Constance shared experiences like being on the front row, and, getting fashion scoops, including a big scoop on Ivanna Trump while she was an editor at Womens Wear Daily, the then Bible of the fashion industry.
Harriette shared some of the exquisite photography and dazzling images featured in `How To Slay' including the recently lost legend Aretha Franklin. Constance expounded on some of the fashion stars in the book like Naomi Campbell, the original supermodel who became a constant while editing the thousands of beautiful Black men and women featured in the book. "Naomi was the one image that came up every time as the epitome of `slaying' in every photograph. She is so good at what she does. It was very difficult to select her images for the book," noted Constance. Not only are models plastered on the pages of `How To Slay,' but ramdom folks, unknown in the fashion and entertainment industry, including several African tribes people, and a stunning photograph of an African King, from the Akuffo family of Ghana. In the early 20th century photograph, the King is swathed in gold, kente cloth and leopard skins.
A plethora of `fashion slayers' make up the other featured images displayed in `How To Slay' They include: Pharrell Williams, Iman, Beyonce' and Jay Z, Viola Davis, Lupita Nyong'o, Janet Jackson, LL Cool J, Grace Jones, Bob Marley, MC Hammer, Whitney Houston, Sophia Richie, Janelle Monae, Pam Grier, Billie Holiday, Rihanna, Judith Jamison, Roshumba Williams, Nicki Minaj, Joan Smalls, Kerry Washington, Halle Berry, Isaac Hayes and Constances' own daughter Nefatari, an accomplished singer/songwriter who also just landed a Cover Girl Cosmetics ad under her belt.
Among the well heeled guests spotted at the fashion fueled affair were: actor JUSTIN DAVIS, photographers KEITH MAJOR and HOSEA JOHNSON. style mavens SHARON MILLER, and NEFATARI COOPER, writers OYINKEN OGUNLEYE, JULIA CHANCE and SEKOU WRITES, artist manager RAMON HERVEY and the President of IMG Models & IMG Fashion Properties IVAN BART.