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FLY Events Last Night in NYC

The 2019 ESSENCE Festival Draws More Than Half A Million Attendees For Historic 25th Anniversary Celebration

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – JULY 07: A view of the audience during the 2019 ESSENCE Festival Presented By Coca-Cola at Louisiana Superdome on July 07, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for ESSENCE)

The 2019 ESSENCE Festival presented by Coca-Cola® attracted more than half a million attendees to New Orleans this Fourth of July weekend (July 4-7) for an historic 25th anniversary celebration representing one of the largest gatherings in the event’s history. Forever First Lady Michelle Obama commanded the main stage at the sold-out Superdome on Saturday, July 7 for her first ESSENCE Festival headline appearance. Throughout the weekend, seven 2020 Presidential candidates joined Power Stage segments at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center to directly engage the influential audience of Black women in attendance and share plans and policies to address some of their most pressing issues. In addition, the debut of the ESSENCE Global Black Economic Forum connected attendees with accomplished leaders and chief executives including Walmart CEO Doug McMillon, Chase Consumer Banking CEO Thasunda Duckett, Kaiser Permanente Chairman and CEO Bernard Tyson, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell, Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey, and TDJ Enterprises CEO TD Jakes, among others.

“The 25th anniversary ESSENCE Festival represented a truly transformative global homecoming celebration for Black women and the Black community,” said ESSENCE Chief Executive Officer Michelle Ebanks. “This year’s extraordinary turnout reflects ESSENCE’s uniquely powerful engagement of Black women around personal empowerment, community, and culture as only ESSENCE can. With the debut of 10 new Festival experiences, activations at more than 40 venues across New Orleans, and engagement with more than 300 small businesses and local vendors, we have redefined the Festival as the largest and most impactful destination at the epicenter of Black culture.”

Ebanks continued, “Lastly, in honor of us embodying all that Black excellence and culture represent – beyond entertainment and beauty, we were thrilled to reveal the Festival’s official rebrand to the ‘ESSENCE Festival of Culture,’ with a mission to inform, inspire and uplift Black women and provide a holistic approach to how we offer and deliver Black culture in every way.”

Additional highlights of the 25th Anniversary ESSENCE Festival include:

Live broadcasts of Power Stage ‘Presidential Spotlight’ and “Candidate Conversations” segments on MSNBC and CNN, featuring keynote addresses from Senator Michael Bennett, Senator Cory Booker, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Senator Kamala Harris, Former Representative Beto O’Rourke, and Senator Elizabeth Warren. In addition, exclusive live to tape segments on MSNBC’s PoliticsNation with Rev. Al Sharpton.

New, stand-alone consumer experiences including the ESSENCE Global Black Economic Forum, ESSENCE Fashion House, ESSENCE Wellness House, ESSENCE After Dark, and ESSENCE Passport25, among others, as well as the return of reimagined live content platforms and experiences including Beauty Carnival, Entertainment All Access, business & career summit E-Suite and ESSENCE Honors.

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – JULY 07: Teddy Riley and Pharrell Williams perform onstage during the 2019 ESSENCE Festival Presented By Coca-Cola at Louisiana Superdome on July 07, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for ESSENCE)
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – JULY 07: Teyana Taylor performs onstage during the 2019 ESSENCE Festival Presented By Coca-Cola at Louisiana Superdome on July 07, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for ESSENCE)

Over 100 performing artists across the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Many of the biggest names in the entertainment industry including Mary J. Blige, Missy Elliott, H.E.R, Nas, Pharrell, Patti LaBelle, Teyana Taylor and others performed at the event’s concert series and dozens of others across ESSENCE’s Center Stage and All-Star Gospel Celebration.

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – JULY 07: Zendaya attends onstage during the 2019 ESSENCE Festival Presented By Coca-Cola at Louisiana Superdome on July 07, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for ESSENCE)

More than 300 influencers, leaders, creators and celebrities participated in the Festival’s daytime experience – featuring powerhouse speakers Rev. Al Sharpton, Ava Duvernay, Yara Shahidi, Tyler Perry, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Marsai Martin, Valerie Jarrett, Iman, Common, Mona Scott-Young, Miles Brown and Iyanla Vanzant, among many others.

Photos Courtesy of Essence

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FLY Events Last Night in NYC

BYRON ALLEN ACCEPTS THE ICON AWARD AT THE 4TH ANNUAL CULTURE CREATORS INNOVATORS & LEADERS AWARDS BRUNCH

Celebrating leaders throughout the creative community and upholding a commitment to diversity, Culture Creators hosted its fourth annual “Innovators & Leaders” Awards Brunch at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in the International Ballroom on Saturday,June 22. It was hosted by Tanika Ray, co-host of EXTRA, and DeMarco Morgan, co-anchor of CBS2 News This Morning.

Check out Bryon Allen’s “Culture Chat”, and photos of the event below!

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This year, businessman, television producer, comedian, philanthropist, and founder, owner, and CEO of Entertainment Studios, Byron Allen accepted the Icon Award. His acceptance of the honor was preceded by a Culture Chat that engaged attendees, moderated by Amy DuBois Barnett, the EVP, Digital + Chief Content Officer of The Grio—an Entertainment Studios-owned platform.<

Michael Ealy presented James Lopez with the Culture Creator Award for Film & Television Excellence, while Marsai Martin spoke directly to young girls of color who don’t feel like they belong, as she accepted her honor of Innovator of the Year.

Check out the full list of honorees, below.

Additionally, attendees of the gala were first to hear an exciting announcement from Andréa Richardson, Director, Multicultural & Diversity Relations and Global Corporate Affairs at Hilton.

On behalf of Hilton, she announced a new initiative between the leading hotelier and Culture Creators: The HBCU Summit. This event will allow Culture Creators to extend its impact on our world today with their expanded resources.

More information on the partnership will be forthcoming.

The event also welcomed corporate partners such as Hilton, Don Julio Tequila, Pepsi, and Lexus. The exclusive invite-only gala maintained its status as one of the most sought-after and influential events of BET Awards Weekend for the fourth consecutive year. 2019 saw the event expanded and evolved as it highlights the achievements of thought leaders, philanthropists, executives, entertainers, artists, and other pillars of African American culture in an intimate setting among key players.

Talent from this year’s gala included: Past Icon Honoree Sylvia Rhone, Lalah Hathaway, Ryan Destiny, Lecrae, Chris Chalk (When They See Us), Omar Bolden, Brandon Marshall, Mona Scott-Young, Van Lathan, Kendrick Sampson, and more.

These “Culture Creators” continue to set the pace for diversity in the fields of entertainment, music, sports, and beyond.

The list of 2019 honorees:

Innovators & Leaders Award 2019
Icon Award
Byron Allen
Founder, Chairman, CEO
Entertainment Studios
Innovator of the Year
Marsai Martin
Actress, Executive Producer
Film & Television
James Lopez, President Will Packer Productions
Business
Tiffany R. Warren,
Senior VP, Chief Diversity Officer for Omnicom Group
Founder & President, AdColor
Technology
Morgan DeBaun, Founder & CEO Blavity Inc.
Iddris Sandu, Entrepreneur
Finance
Phyllis Newhouse
Founder & CEO of Xtreme Solutions, Inc. and Founder of ShoulderUp
Music
Quality Control Music: CEO Pierre “Pee” Thomas and COO Kevin “Coach K” Lee
Fashion
Antoine Phillips
Vice President, Brand and Culture Engagement, GUCCI
Sports
Alexys Feaster
Senior Director Player Development, NBA
Art
Simphiwe Ndzube

See more exclusive photos courtesy of The Purple Agency below:

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FLY Events

Culture Creators Announces 4th Annual Innovators & Leaders Awards Brunch Saturday, June 22nd

Photo Courtesy of The Purple Agency
Culture Creators will host its fourth annual “Innovators & Leaders” Awards Brunch at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in the International Ballroom on Saturday, June 22, 2019—as announced today by Variety.
The event welcomes corporate partners such as Hilton, Don Julio Tequila, Pepsi, and Lexus. The exclusive invite-only gala maintains its status as one of the most sought-after and influential moments of BET Awards Weekend for four consecutive years and running. Once again, 2019 sees the event expand and evolve as it highlights the achievements of thought leaders, philanthropists, executives, entertainers, artists, and other pillars of African American culture in an intimate setting among key players.
Endeavoring to recognize “Innovators & Leaders” whose influence sets the pace for everything from entertainment and finance to activism and art, the new vanguard of risk takers takes center stage at the event. In 2016, Andre Harrell received the first Icon Award, followed by Russell Simmons in 2017 and Sylvia Rhone in 2018. Actress Tiffany Haddish received the Innovator of the Year award in 2017. Past honorees include the likes of Jemele Hill, Kevin Liles, Kenya Barris, Jason Bolden, Ethiopia Habtemariam, Brickson Diamond, Charlamagne Tha God, Charles D. King, Tiffany Hasbourne, Valeisha Butterfield-Jones, Jesse Collins, Angela Rye, and many others.
On Friday, June 21st, Culture Creators will also host its first-ever, day-long “C-Suite” event. The “C-Suite,” held at the Stardust Penthouse at The Beverly Hilton, will feature “Candid Conversations on Culture,” with curated panels by Amber Grimes, The Brownie Agency, Vibe’s Datwon Thomas, and more.
In a recent interview with Forbes, Culture Creators founder Joi Brown spoke the mission and vision, “We create the culture behind the scenes that the world consumes. Imagine if we all worked together, became narrators of our own stories, built a supportive inclusive community that made room at the table for those who are ready?”
Culture Creators has done just that and will continue to do so. Watch these “Innovators & Leaders” thrive this year and beyond.
The list of 2019 honorees follows:
Innovators & Leaders Awards 2019
Icon Award
Byron Allen
Founder, Chairman, CEO
Entertainment Studios
Innovator of the Year
Marsai Martin
Actress, Film Director, Producer
Social Action “GAME CHANGER”
David Gross & Steve “O” Carless for Nipsey Hussle
Film & Television
James Lopez, President Will Packer Productions
Business
Tiffany Warren,
Senior VP, Chief Diversity Officer for Omnicom Group
President, AdColor
Technology
Morgan DeBaun, Founder & CEO Blavity Inc.
Iddris Sandu, Architect & Entrepreneur
Finance
Phyllis Newhouse
Founder & CEO of Xtreme Solutions, Inc. and Founder of ShoulderUp
Music
Quality Control Music: CEO Pierre “Pee” Thomas and COO Kevin “Coach K” Lee
Fashion
Antoine Phillips
Vice President, Brand and Culture Engagement, GUCCI
Sports
Alexys Feaster
Senior Director Player Development, NBA
Art
Simphiwe Ndzube
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FLY Events

ONE Musicfest’s (OMF) 10th Anniversary 2019 Lineup Revealed

Celebrating 10 YEARS with its biggest, boldest, and best billing yet, ONE Musicfest unveils a blockbuster lineup for 2019.

Set for Saturday, September 7 and Sunday, September 8 at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta, GA, the two-day festival welcomes legends such as Gucci Mane, Wu-Tang Clan, and Rick Ross in addition to 21st century superstars including Rae Sremmurd, Teyana Taylor, and Summer Walker and once-in-lifetime sets from KP The Great & His Superfriends featuring Pharrell Williams, Usher and surprise guests. Tickets on sale NOW.

For ten years, ONE Musicfest has maintained its place at the forefront of the culture as a platform for timeless icons and explosive upstarts alike. It has notably played host to everyone from the Dungeon Family Reunion featuring Outkast’s last performance, Davido, Kendrick Lamar, The Roots, Migos, Jill Scott, Nas, Miguel, 2 Chainz, and George Clinton. Not to mention, it regularly attracts plaudits from USA Today, Billboard, Consequence of Sound, Rolling Stone, and more in addition to trending across the internet.

“I started the festival with the intent of creating a space where all corners of urban music and subcultures felt welcomed. From Afrobeats to Trap Music. From Alternative to Reggae. A generational oasis of progressive minds and talent. We use music as the catalyst and unity is the outcome. What started as a 2,000 person block party has evolved to a 50,000 person cultural celebration.” – Jason “J” Carter, Founder

10 years on, ONE Musicfest lives up to its name as a musical and cultural force for unification. There’s only one…

“ONE Musicfest will have a $16 million dollar economic impact on the city of Atlanta. 50% of our audience is NOT from the greater Atlanta area. Last year, we had people travel from as far as Australia to attend. This year we already have tickets sales from over 22 various states.” – Jason “J” Carter, Founder

Be sure to experience ONE Musicfest 2019!

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Fashion FLY Events Last Night in NYC

Fly Events: Rémy Martin & Don C Release the FINAL Piece of the “Just Rémy” Capsule Collection During All-Star Weekend

Premium cognac brand Rémy Martin and world-renowned streetwear designer, Don C, have dropped the final piece of the “Just Rémy” co-branded capsule collection- the Duffel. Rémy Martin and the influential online cultural hub Hypebeast, celebrated the final product release at a co-hosted event in Charlotte, North Carolina, amongst industry notables attending and participating in the 2019 All-Star Weekend.

The “Just Rémy” Duffel was designed with a luxurious twist similar to the previously released pieces within the collection. Comprised of black lambskin leather with gold hardware and red python piping, the Duffel also features a gold embroidered “Just Rémy” logo as its signature emblem.

From beginning to end, guests enjoyed signature Rémy Martin 1738® Accord Royal cocktails while enjoying music by DJ Brittany Sky. Basketball enthusiast and reputable artist, Victor Solomon set the scene with custom-made art installations throughout the space; inspired by the aesthetic and energy of the “Just Rémy” Collection.

The Collector’s Series is a program that celebrates the premium promise of Rémy Martin through the collaboration of leading lifestyle brands and designers who are at the crossroads of luxury and lifestyle. The “Just Rémy” partnership, which is the first installment of the series, intertwines fashion, basketball, and luxury to create signature pieces exemplary of the iconic Rémy Martin brand. With a focus on basketball culture, the collection presents premium basketball essentials that double as timeless lifestyle pieces that are essential beyond the court.

The Collector’s Series launched in October of 2018 in Don C’s hometown of Chicago with the debut of the “Just Rémy” 1738 Sneaker Box. The second piece of the collection, the Cap, was unveiled last November in Los Angeles, followed by the release of the Jersey during Art Basel in Miami. Most recently, the Dopp Kit was release at an exclusive event in NYC at the end of January.

The “Just Rémy” Duffel is available for purchase for $750 in a limited supply on JustDon.com. All other pieces in the collection, including the Dopp Kit and Cap ($350) and the Jersey ($750,) are also available for purchase through the site.

Photos by Brandon Todd

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Fashion FLY Events Last Night in NYC

Last Night In NYC: Rémy Martin and Streetwear Designer, Don C Release “Just Rémy” Dopp kit at The Webster SOHO

Last Thursday evening, premium cognac brand Rémy Martin and world-renowned streetwear designer, Don C, debuted the latest piece of the capsule collection –the Dopp Kit. To celebrate the release of the newest piece, the brand and designer hosted an exclusive cocktail party at luxury multi-brand retailer The Webster SOHO.

Guests enjoyed Signature 1738 cocktails and passed bites while interacting with unveiled pieces of the collection and Don C who was conversing with attendees throughout the event. A childhood friend of Don C’s and fellow Chicago-native, DJ Happy, set the mood onsite, performing a live 2-hour set.

The “Just Rémy” Dopp Kit was designed with a luxurious twist, reinventing the traditional travel accessory into a bold fashion statement perfect for the daring jetsetter. Made of black lambskin leather with gold hardware and red python piping, the Dopp Kit also features a gold embroidered “Just Rémy” logo as its signifier. The Dopp Kit is available for purchase for $350 in a limited supply on JustDon.com and available for a limited time in-store at The Webster SOHO (29 Greene Street, New York, NY 10013)

The Collector’s Series is a program that celebrates the premium promise of Rémy Martin through the collaboration of leading lifestyle brands and designers who are at the crossroads of luxury and lifestyle. The “Just Remy” partnership, which is the first installment of the series, intertwines fashion, basketball and luxury to create signature pieces exemplary of the iconic Rémy Martin brand. With a focus on basketball culture, the collection presents premium basketball essentials that double as timeless lifestyle pieces that are essential beyond the court. 

For more information about “The Collector’s Series” and Rémy Martin, visit RemyCollectors.com and follow along on social media at: Instagram @RemyMartinUS | Twitter @RemyMartinUS | Facebook RemyMartinUSA

 

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FLY Events Last Night in NYC

Last Night In NYC: HBO Amanda Seales: I Be Knowin’ NYC Premiere

Last night, HBO hosted the official NYC premiere of the highly-anticipated stand-up comedy special of AMANDA SEALES: I BE KNOWIN’ with actress and comedian Amanda Seales. The VIP event took over TriBeCa’s Roxy Hotel and theatre space to host the intimate viewing party and cocktail reception.

Inside the event, guests enjoyed an event-themed cocktail, delicious small-bites, popcorn, and other concession stand snacks before gathering inside the theatre to get an exclusive first look at the comedy special. HBO’s SVP of Marketing LUCINDA MARTINEZ made opening remarks before passing the mic to SEALES who welcomed her friends, family and influential guests to the screening.

Following the screening, guests were treated to an exclusive Q&A discussion with Amanda Seales moderated by The Breakfast Club’s ANGELA YEE. During the discussion, Seales touched on topics like writing the special specifically for black women, her writing process and the 37 years that lead up to her debut special.

Guests were also treated to a hard-copy of the official “I Be Knowin’” Digital Magazine (available on HBO.com).

Photos: Dorothy Hong/Team Epiphany

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FLY Events Last Night in NYC

Fly Events: Keri Hilson Joins ‘My City 4 Ways Culture Festival’

Over the weekend, Essence and FORD once again joined forces to bring the My City 4 Ways Culture Festival to Houston for its last stop. Ford brought the festival to White Oak Music Hall, to celebrate the city’s most notable tastemakers, innovators and leaders across music, art, lifestyle, and food. R&B star Keri Hilson celebrated the eve of her birthday with a special performance of some of her classic hits, including “Turning Me On”, “Knock Me Down” and “Pretty Girl Rock” while delicious hors-d’oeuvres circulated the gallery, prepared by One Feisty Chef and Chef James Robinson. Guests also enjoyed a Ford “Ride & Drive” experience, where consumers got the chance to test drive the latest lineup of Ford vehicles, including the Mustang, the all-new 2018 Expedition, and the F-150.

Attendees were also able to shop at the pop-up shops of art influencer Ashely Price, who did a live art installation, entrepreneur and fashion influencer Rich God who had his clothing Made By Rich God on display and for sale. Melissa Butler founder of the Lip Bar also had an interactive Lip Bar experience where she gifted guests with her lipstick. Houston’s very own Kam Franklin sang her heart out while she entertained the crowd with a special performance including a cover of Aretha Franklin’s “Do Right Women, Do Right Man”.

Top financial advisor Tiffany “Budgetnista” Aliche hosted the festival along with Tai Beauchamp. The Budgetnista announced the Ford’s Driving Her Dreams contest winner, through which Ford awarded Melissa Mitchell of Abeille Creations a two-year lease of a Ford Explorer. To win this contest, Melissa Mitchell beat out 10 other female entrepreneurs who made a pitch at ESSENCE FESTIVAL explaining why getting a Ford Explorer would help their business go further. Congrats to Melissa Mitchell for the big win!

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Fly Events: Ford F-150 Truck Tour with A-Boogie Wit Da Hoodie

Over the weekend, Ford closed out the F-150 Truck Tour at North Carolina Central University’s Homecoming weekend in Durham, NC. Platinum recording artist A-Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, performed at the Ford Stage and helped Ford’s “Drive 4 Ur Community” initiative raise $20 for every test drive to support The Tom Joyner Foundation.

A-Boogie also teamed up with Ford to honor North Carolina Central University student Jordan Thomas, who is making a difference and going further on his campus through community service. Before his performance on the Ford Stage at NCCU, A-Boogie joined Ford’s Multicultural Communications Manager, Dee Guerrero at a special private breakfast to honor Jordan and present him with a Ford Prize pack.

R&B singer Lil’ Mo performed on the Ford Stage to the crowd of NCCU students and alumni. Recording artist Young Prophit was also spotted in the crowd enjoying the performances.

A-Boogie commanded the crowd and performed over 20 of his most popular songs as well as new music from his upcoming album. The Ford F-150 tour gave attendees the opportunity to support HBCU schools by test-driving the latest lineup of F-150 pickups, including XLT and Lariat. For each test drive, Ford donated $20 up to $6,000 to the Tom Joyner Foundation to support the dreams and goals of HBCU students. This tour is a further extension of Ford Motor Company’s longtime commitment to Historically Black Colleges and Universities continues with the Ford F-150 Truck Tour.

Photos by Nigel Degraff

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Fly Events: Reebok Debuts Two New Sneakers, Hosts Surprise Guest Appearances at ComplexCon & more

After yesterday’s highly anticipated drop of the Aztrek R58 as part of the brand’s debut capsule collection, today Reebok unveiled the final two sneakers in the series: Futsal Fusion R58 and Sole Fury Floatride R58.

A concept fueled by the same attitude and grit of the brand’s co-founders – two defiant brothers who left their family’s business in search of “the future of athletic footwear,” – each shoe in the collection is designed to encourage wearers to be unafraid to push limits.

The Fustal Fusion R58 is a brand-new street soccer-inspired silhouette featuring all three Reebok logos – the Starcrest, Vector, and Delta – as a nod to the brand’s heritage along with a bold yellow and black design that represents the unconventional attitude of R58. The unique silhouette incorporates a Floatride foam core to provide all-day comfort.

The Sole Fury Floatride sneaker features Reebok’s Split Cushioning technology combined with a Floatride Foam midsole to provide the ultimate lightweight cushioning experience. Available for purchase this weekend at ComplexCon, this limited-edition version of the shoe retails for $150 and features a black, yellow and red colorway along with all three Reebok logos and R58 branding. Inline versions of the Sole Fury Floatride will be available for general purchase on Reebok.com starting November 8th.

Celebrating the sneaker drops, emerging rapper Lil Baby was onsite at the Reebok booth, where he purchased and gave away the first ten pairs of Sole Fury R58.

[Photos Courtesy of Reebok]

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