Tuesday, March 4, 2014

#ThankYouMiami for Supporting Local Talent - Fashion Happy Hour Recap

Talent instinctively flocks to Miami like the salmon of Capistrano and, with so much talent at our disposal, it is sometimes easy to take it for granted. Last week's Fashion Happy Hour event, however, proved that Miami recognizes and knows how to properly celebrate its local talent.

Fashion Happy Hour as a concept is founded on the principle of "local love" because it gives local fashion industry entrepreneurs a vehicle for showcasing their businesses and directly connecting with their audience. In practice, the event also fosters support of our community by encouraging Miami-ans to shop local and network with each other.

As a supporter of all things "local love", I was humbled by the experience of hosting last month's event. Thank you to all of you who attended or expressed your support in your own way. Your enthusiasm for the event and my involvement is one of the reasons Miami is such a fantastic place to live. So, today, I say #ThankYouMiami for you.

For those of you who were unable to attend and for those who want to relive the good times, below are some of my highlights from February's Fashion Happy Hour event. A special shout out to DJ Juan Luv who was the lucky winner of my #ThankYouMiami mug giveaway. For those of you who expressed interest in purchasing a mug, send me an email at info@thankyoumiami.com. They will also be available for purchase soon under the Shop #ThankYouMiami tab above.

The Blogger's Block, from local special event planning, promotions, marketing, and nightlife company Access & Effect Group, hosted the social media bar and kept all those who could not be in attendance informed with live updates throughout the night.
My outfit for the event was all about mixing lace and leather to create a casual, but sexy look. I'm wearing a BCBG Max Azria Leather jacket (similar here), the Radiant Spark White Lace Dress c/o Alma Mei (get it here), and white Converse sneakers (similar here).
Among this month's vendors was Fashssories. The intricate detailing in their wide selection of accessories, including jewelry, handbags, and wallets, is perfect for the fashionista that is looking to make a bold statement. The clutch shown above was a personal favorite.
Also present was the mother-daughter superstar team of MariMaria Accessories and Avril Accesorios. Daughters Mari and Maria create youthful fashion jewelry using colorful and innovative materials, while mother Arliss creates more classic jewelry with metals like this stunning shark tooth necklace in Italian bronze. You will see examples of both distinctive designs worn by the Damaris Aguiar Modeling Academy (D.A.M.A School) models in later photos.
Me and my wallet are both surprised that we didn't buy out Miami artist Pamela Gallegos' entire Pom Graphic Design and Fine Art pop-up shop. She had her vibrant artwork for sale on everything from throw pillows to framed prints. I was already a fan of her work through her collaborations with Vividly and Wysiwatch, but I walked out an even bigger fan. I mean, come on, check out that killer elephant throw pillow!
Stay tuned for the video soon to come featuring interviews with the vendors, as well as some of the attendees. Here, Marta from Just Be Cosmetics, Inc. explains how she is helping to change the way women see themselves. Also shown are products from her all-natural talc, alcohol, and paraben-free cosmetics and soaps line.
The event was a great excuse to reunite old and new friends, because who doesn't like live music, shopping, 2x1 drinks, and socializing after a long week?
Thank you D.A.M.A School for letting me style the gorgeous Yvannie Soto for the night! I had a lot of fun picking out clothes for her from Norka's fantastic selection.
My favorite moment of the night was when I thought I would get stage-fright and proceeded to write some "cheat notes" on my wrist. I didn't use them, but it made for an entertaining five minutes.
True to my beloved "Miami chic" style, the look I chose for D.A.M.A School doll Yvannie Soto features white classics with pops of color (see, #ThankYouMiami for a Unique and Enviable Style). The Avril Accesorios shark tooth statement necklace in Italian bronze completed this look by channeling both Miami's glamour and marine ties. Yvannie is wearing a white racerback tank and electric blue pleated skirt from Norka Boutique (get the top here and the skirt here) and the Lady Bag in White from Ashlie Redmond (get it here).
When I addressed the crowd, not only did I get to highlight and explain the pieces I selected for Yvannie's outfit, but I also had the opportunity to share the #ThankYouMiami story (see, Why #ThankYouMiami?).
Because you cannot put a price on safety, Yvannie's accessories extended beyond jewelry. Here she shows the crowd how to operate R&D Self Defense's lipstick stun gun which she had hidden inside her Ashlie Redmond handbag.
A huge thanks to Valentina, my co-host Tala Delgado from Pineapple Me, our beautiful models from D.A.M.A School: Yvannie Soto and Nathalie Quinones, and to you, Miami, for supporting your local talent. I hope to see you at next month's event!

Did you attend this month or a previous month's Fashion Happy Hour? What were some of your favorite moments? Leave a comment below or send me a tweet @ThankYouMiami!

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