Where were you when news broke that the King of Pop, Michael Jackson died? I was in Harlem, NY, home of the Black Renaissance, just one block from the legendary Apollo Theatre. True to form, Rev. Al Sharpton was one of the first figureheads on scene and quickly consoled a growing crowd of devastated fans. Stereos from every corner played MJ tunes while nostalgia filled the air as people cried, laughed and danced in the streets. It was a true life and legacy celebration of the greatest entertainer of all time. *pulls sequined glove out of pocket* Of course, I had to join in and city boy slide one time for ya’ boy *in my best South Florida accent* as Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough played in my head. #iLoveFAMU
I was also in the middle of my first lifestyle shoot with VH1 & CNN correspondent, not to mention huge Michael Jackson fan, Janell Snowden. She has to be one of the coolest and most supportive people I’ve ever met. One look into the shoot, Janell’s phone started to blow up with calls from CNN to be on a panel within the hour. In my mind, I’m thinking, “Party done”. *Jamaican accent* “This shoot is about be rescheduled.” However, in a world/city of people that jumped in reaction to MJ’s death, Janell insisted we stay the course, demonstrating our mutual passion for fashion. *bbm surprised face* Not many people in Janell’s position would have passed up that opportunity. It spoke volumes about her character as a journalist and person. It’s a pleasure to work in this industry with people that share your passion; the end product is always better. Check out Janell’s fashion story with a special MJ tribute in the last look.
***Photographer, Elton Anderson
September of 2009, I was asked to style and direct my first campaign for 3whobelieve inc. *bbm dancing face* with no budget and a week to execute in a city I did not live *bbm straight face*. Initially, this seemed like a daunting task, but hey, I graduated from a HBCU (Historically Black College or University) and have seen tougher times *waits for AMEN Corner to chime in & gives neighbor a high 5*. But honestly, what compelled me to take on this project was the message behind burgeoning brand and the story of its inception.
3whobelieve inc. was created by 3 friends, Bernice, Joy and Kristin who found inspiration and hope in the new birth of freedom that now offers opportunities without limits to all Americans, regardless of race, creed, or color. The core mission of their brand is to design clothing that promotes positive messages to all people with a twist of style, funk, and social awareness. In addition to its clothing line, 3whobelieve inc. provides charitable funds to creative minds and effective institutions committed to empowering, uplifting, and inspiring people to be catalysts for positive change.
Check out this video for a behind the scenes view into how the project came together.
***Special thanks to Photographer, Elton Anderson, Make-Up Artist, Mia Scott, Videographer, George Twopointoh, and Lauren Grant for making this day possible.