The Destination IMAN Launch party, What A Flight!

Hello loves,

I’ve had such a full past 3 weeks, I mean one amazing thing after the next. So much so that I have had to literally pinch myself to make sure it’s all like…real. Last month after being introduced to Iman’s new site, DestinationIman.com, I wrote a post about all the things I loved about it, but I had NO idea that a mere month later I’d be at her launch party, mixing and mingling with the fab who’s who of the fashion industry and the stylish alike. No idea. When I got the invitation, I was like, “wait, whaaaa? Me? Is this real life?” ha! I had a little moment, and I thought to myself, “wow”. To some, an invitation to an invite only party, of only one of the biggest fashion icons in the world, may not mean anything, especially if you’re used to attending events of that type, but to me it was everything! I mean, I thought back to barely two years ago when I started talking to Iman on Twitter, to meeting her in person for the 1st time last year, to now partying with her and being known to her on a first name basis. (insert the ‘can you believe this?!’ face) Ok, let me rewind a few days…

I attended The Independent Fashion Blogger’s Conference on Wednesday, September 5th, where Iman was the keynote speaker. When she arrived in this flawlessly tailored magenta-esque suit by Rachel Zoe, the room fell silent in awe, and then quickly digressed and rushed up to take photos of her. I was about 2 rows of people away from her as I tried to get a photo of this suit amidst oohing and ahing, and all of a sudden, there was a break down the middle of the crowd. I looked, and Iman was pointing at me like “Sharontina?!” I just smiled, and she embraced me in the biggest hug and proceeded to nose pinch (yes, y’all…she gave me the long lost auntie treatment) lol. She swung me around so that the photog could get a photo of us, and then whispered to me, “See you at the party this Friday?”. Me: “Wouldn’t miss it!” as I thought to myself, “OMG!”. Girls in the crowd were looking at me with smiles that had a hint of confusion on them, and later mustered up the nerve to ask, “Like…how do you know Iman?” and “Omg, Iman seemed really excited to see you, how do you know her?”. It was endless y’all, and I just smiled and said, “It’s a long story, but it all started from Twitter”, and ended it with a smile.

Iman wearing rachel Zoe at IFB con

Iman wearing Rachel Zoe at the IFB Conference

 

Sharontina and Iman at IFB Con

After the hugs, and cheek pinching, and smiles, Iman and I pose for a pic at the IFB Conference

 

Now, let’s get to this party of hers that I still can’t believe I attended…..like…really. First, let me admit that I was a little nervous before the party. I know it was just a party, but it wasn’t “just a party”! In my own mind, I was still saying to myself “wow”, and then upon learning who some of the attendees were going to be, I was like ‘Okay, I grew up being influenced by/watching these people on TV…what do I say to them besides “Omg, Hi..I love you!”?..ha! I didn’t want to sound like a weirdo creepy fan, but didn’t want to come off nonchalantly as if I attend parties and hobnobbed with Iman and other fashion forerunners when I had spare time (tuh! in my dreams..). It was an interesting pre-party conversation with self going on, but nonetheless, I was going to thoroughly enjoy the experience.

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Beauty masters Oscar James, Valente Frazier, and moi–Fun!

When I arrived, as I walked into the entrance of the posh ‘Electric Room’ of the Dream Hotel (which made me feel like I was entering a sexy ass cave that was dimmed and lit ever so gently by flickering candlelight) Iman, Oscar James, and Valente Frazier were walking out, and Iman caught me with an “Ohh, look at her!” as her, Oscar, Valente gave me their “uhh ohhh” looks, (I got a little dressed up…lol). T’was a fab greeting, and it instantly made me feel like I fit right in. I entered, and the room was filled with a bunch of gorgeous people, dressed in their own unique definitions of style, existent through color, texture, accessories, or the lack thereof. Soon Iman returned and called me over to her to take some photos with her. (PAUSE)…how would you feel taking pics next to a freakin’ SUPERMODEL?!? You would have thought I never took a picture in my life, and for those of you who follow me on social media, you know it’s all I do! I did the most basic pose….aka….stood still and did nothing, it’s hilarious now looking at the photos haha…

Sharontina and Iman, Destination Iman launch party

 

Sharontina and Iman, Destination Iman Launch party

My ‘no pose’ pose..hehe

 

After being photographed with Iman, I’m chillin’, bobbing my head to the tunes, and in walks June Ambrose………………..*HOLD THE PHONE*. BOTH of my STYLECONS ‘at the same damn time!?’ Naw…. this wasn’t real life, nope. After realizing yes, it was in fact real life…I was like ‘Okay, let me calm down and just be natural’. June walks over to where I was standing and started talking to another attendee, all the while I’m staring directly in her face wondering of she’d recognize me from the last time I saw her at our first meeting. As she’s chatting, she kept glancing over at me, then she stops talking, points at me with squinted eyes like… “are you….!”….and I’m all, “Yes!” and she embraces me in a hug, hahaha…it was hilarious! And of course I had to get an updated photo…

Sharontina and June Ambrose, Destination Iman launch party

June and I, Destination Iman launch party

 

Like 5 mins prior, I’d asked June’s fabulous assistant, Eli– (most known for being June’s right hand and for his 1-liners on Styled by June, ie. “I can either be your best girlfriend and we can take pregnancy tests together, or I can be that yeast infection that never goes away” (talking to June’s new assistant, Rachel))– to pose for a pic, and after taking a pic with me, June said to him, “That’s TyrasLilSis Eli!”, He was like “Omg, why didn’t you say so!’…I’m like “Umm…. I don’t know?” LOL! I had no clue that he knew who I was….thanks Twitter.

Sharontina and Eli Wasserman

Me and ‘my friend in my head’, Eli

…and then of course Mr. Jay Manuel walked in and I lost all coolness (he didn’t see it though). Truth be told, I was in true fan mode, but I put on my ‘I’m supposed to be here, I really am!’ costume, and it all worked out… hehe.

Mr. Jay Manuel and Sharontina, Destination Iman party

Mr. Jay Manuel and I, I was totally psyched…

Joan Smalls and Iman, Destination Iman launch party

 

‘The Crew’, Oscar James, Emil Wilbekin, Iman, June Ambrose, and Jay Manuel; all powerhouses at what they do!

 

This party was awesome, the perfect mix of beauty, fashion, conversation that entertained, and photos galore! I was so happy to be included in the celebration of the launch of DestinationIman.com, as I love the site and it’s design, functionality, and personality and it’s barely over  a month old! I wrote a whole post about it, because like I say all the time, I support what I like. I also have to give a major shout to Dana Randall, CEO of Built By the Factory, the phenomenal company who partnered with Iman to create such an amazing website. Plus, Dana is fashion forward and has the most gorgeous hair I’ve ever seen. She’s FAB.

I took many more pics that I’d love to share, but if I keep adding them to this post, the scroll bar will be so small that it will annoy you, like it does me.

Check out more official Destination Iman party photos here and check out my Instagram to see more that I snapped while in awe of the whole experience. A night to remember indeed.

 

Sincerely,

with style~ Sharontina B.

 

Fashionably Late, IFB Conference NYC 2011

Yayyyyyyyy!!!!!! Ok….so I am aware that this post is light years late, but sometimes I need to let things marinate before I write about them. Just one of my “things”…hope you understand ;). First, I have to thank EVERYONE who read the post, contributed, or spread the word to help me get to the IFB conference! I am still completely humbled at your kindness and just know that it meant the world to me!

I totally anticipated the day that I would attend the IFB conference. Think about it… I KNEW that I would be leaving with bags full of KNOWLEDGE and new insight  on how to better my blog. As a newbie in the blogging world, I’m aware that there is always room for improvement and that those with experience and expertise are actually dishing out info more often than not! I went with my notebook and pen ready to learn!

The Conference consisted of a series of panel discussions, including some of the most influential social media, marketing, and business leaders! The panel discussions included…

Bloggers Tool Kit: This discussions covered everything a blogger should use in order to run their blog efficiently. This included highlighting the most effective social media platforms, tips to find out what readers are genuinely interested in, tracking traffic, and ways to promote your blog.
Panelists: Christen Rochon, Leandra Medine, Vahni Georgoulakos, Sammy Davis, Erica Chan Coffman, Lauren Kolodny, Alisa Gould Simon.

Is the Social Media Industry Broken?: This panel was great! Panelists discussed the rapidly evolving changes in social media and our role as bloggers. They emphasized blogger-brand relationships and the way they should develop and sustain, remaining true to YOUR brand and how to represent that, and of course the future of social media.
Panelists: Tony Wang, Carol Han, John Jannuzzi, Mark Beeching, Yuli Ziv, Bryce Gruber, Meghan Donovan.

– Balancing Act:Business & Blogging: This discussion was very beneficial for bloggers, because it is very important to maintain balance between blogging and the rest of your life. There was special emphasis placed on knowing your value as a brand and being able to properly translate that in partnerships or dealings with other brands. There was also a focus on important components of blogging such as media kits and proper ways to present them to those who inquire.
Panelists: Grechen Cohen, Coco Rocha, Annie Tomlin, Aimee Song, Natalie Suarez, Kristina Medhus, Ari Goldberg.

Evolution of Fashion Media: This was a great panel that mainly focused on the question, “what’s next for social media?”. Each panelists had a different answer, which only emphasized the fact that social media is different for everyone. It depends on the reason you use social media and what YOU want to get from it.
Panelists: Ann Colville Somma, Mr. Mickey, Mary HK Choi, Claire Sulmers, Ari Seth Cohen, Joyce Chang, Christian Remrod.

The key note speaker was none other than Joe Zee, Creative Director of ELLE Magazine. He was absolutely amazing! He walked in with a big smile and a boat load of advice. There was one thing he said during his interview that I thought was so interesting and never quite said that way before. he said, “Bloggers are the entrepreneurs of journalism”…I said to myself, “wow…never thought of it that way”. he continued in saying that he doesn’t see bloggers as a threat to journalists because he feels that we have a unique voice, position, and relationship with the said audience that yields a different perspective. He spoke in great detail about how important it is to have a unique “voice” in your writing and also said that just because you have a blog doesn’t mean people will read it. He wanted to bring light to the fact that in a social media controlled world where everyone has a blog and something to say, you have to figure out a way to be DIFFERENT. Joe Zee welcomed a Q & A where people asked the any and everything blogger questions they’d been wanting to ask him. Afterward, I caught up with Joe Zee as he was leaving to snap a quick photo

..and of course I have a bunch of other photos I’d like to share…

How cool?! Marina the doll blogger, for the Missoni for Target collab
Supermodel, Coco Rocha speaking on blog content.

 

Bloggers mixing and mingling
Lovely ladies known as the Idiosyncratic Fashionistas!
Tina Craig of Bagsnob interviewing Joe Zee

 

…and of course some style shots…

Loving the chunky sweater and the perfectly wrapped turban!
yes.
Thanks M.A.C. and Milk studios!

I learned so much at the IFB conference, so many great tools to apply to my blog and life in general! In addition, I got a chance to meet so many fellow bloggers, looking forward to great blogships! (yes, I make up words sometimes ;-))

Special thanks to:

Jennifer James of Jennifer James Beauty
R’Chelle Mullins of Creatively Yours by Ro
Tanica Davis of Intermix blog
Felicia Yvette
Merli Desrosier of Miss Merli
Brittany of Clumps of Mascara
Yumnah of Yumnah Najah Designs
Brittanie Jones
Kimberly Purcell

xo,
Sharontina

Exploring Careers in Fashion Series: So, Don’t Want to be a Model?

These days, it seems that one of the most sought after industries to be in the mix of is the fashion industry. The glitz, glamour, people, events, clothes, and everything else that the industry is, attracts people and can often cause them to dive in head first. As this is true, people also see that as they try to make a name for themselves, it’s not as easy to set themselves apart or to remain relevant if they do score a bit of shine. As I’ve been noticing this, I also see that there are a number of specific professions people ALWAYS go after, because either they see it as an “easy way in”, or they’re just not privy to the many professions that the fashion industry offers. Early on, I knew that I wanted to be a part of this industry, but I knew that I didn’t want to be a model or a designer. Although I’m very creative and enjoy design as a hobby, I wanted to enter from a different approach.

As the reality shows pour in by the numbers, and models are now seen as celebrities more often than muses for designers, it attracts people to that lifestyle and even though there are so many other ways to contribute to fashion, they are inadvertently guided towards the “popular” route. As I journey through my college career and lay the path for a professional career, I continue to do research on the beauty and fashion industry so that I always know what’s available and where my next opportunity could be. I also love to teach others from what I’ve learned along the way, to equip them with the same knowledge and hope that it will help them in some way. I decided to launch a small blog series of posts that will highlight careers in the fashion industry, rising professionals, and tips and advice from working professionals that are paving the way. I feel that this series will not only educate young people on other career opportunities in the fashion industry, but it will also allow them to see what aspiring professionals are currently doing to make their dreams come true and how they can use that information to apply to their own journey.

First up, Fashion Writing/Blogging! This has become increasingly popular over the past few years, and as some consider it a hobby, others are making a living out of it. Check it out here. Stay tuned for the rest of this series throughout the coming weeks!

Thanks for reading,
Sharontina