Downtown Fashion Week New York: Fashion & Entertainment Show.

I was contacted by the performance & recording artist Damion Anthony who told me that he would be performing at the Downtown Fashion Week New York show on September 27th, and would like me to come and cover the show as well as his performance (as I only seen him perform live once). I expressed that I would love to see him perform again (and cover the show). On the day of the show I was sent two V.I.P. tickets to the event and made my way to Times Square that evening to cover the show, but more so to see Damion’s singing and dance routine.

received_525931524650143(Damion Anthony: Downtown Fashion Week New York)

20190927_175143(Damion Anthony)

For those of you who have not heard of Damion Anthony, he is an Indie recording artist of the pop/reggae/fusion music genre as well as a high energy performance dancer. He also appears in Amanda Holley’s first music video (tommy boy records) Feening. Damion known for his energetic dance moves, and outfits always deliver a great performance of song and dance.

20190927_174037As I sat in the front row waiting for the show to start, I spotted Damion in the back chatting with members of his dance troupe and walked over to greet him and offer words of encouragement for his two set’s he was about to perform. I returned to my seat with anticipation for the entertainment segments of the show, and of course the fashion.

The show opened with a female Dominican dancer, which was very lackluster followed by an Indian Hula Hoop dancer that was a bit more entertaining and interesting I thought to myself, as the main performance of the entertainment segment would be Anthony and his dancers.

20190927_182028After a few sound and music snafu’s, the fashion show commenced, and while some of the designs was not any thing special really, the models were all quite stunning.

20190927_182137

20190927_182455

20190927_182617

20190927_182801

20190927_183022

20190927_183045

Now while the female models were all quite beautiful, It was the male models that gave more swag and attitude while walking down the catwalk!

20190927_184650

20190927_184743

20190927_185057

20190927_185034While this fashion show was not bad, and the entertainment portion was able to fill in for what the other parts of this lacked, it was Damion Anthony’s performance which really brought fashion week excitement to this show.

20190927_194839I left after Damion’s set and will wait for February 2020 Fashion Week to give you more coverage of the fashion week world in the new year. See you then!

 

Femme Progressive Fashion House: Designer for the Modern Women.

I was on a brunch date with a young lady (actually our 2nd date) around the end of August in Harlem, and after a lovely meal, conversation and playful antics we found ourselves wandering around the village of Harlem on Fredrick Douglas Blvd enjoying the summer weather as well as the shops and restaurants.

As we walked further downtown on FDB we came upon a women’s fashion boutique FEMME PROGRESSIVE. My female companion stopped to peer at the designs displayed on the mannequins, (while I realized that I’ve been there before) and called to me for my opinion on one of the dresses. I spotted one of the dresses that I thought would look absolutely smashing on her, and headed strait for it inside the (not realizing that I walked in the shop and left her standing outside) boutique to inspect it further (the stylist persona took over) and check the size.

20190820_184320As I walked in I was greeted by the owner/designer of Femme Progressive, Marima Conde while I searched through the racks to find at least two more designs to style my female companion (I just can’t help myself) in out of habit.

In addition to being there at the boutique beforehand in the past, I remembered that very recently Jean Germain (My Logistical Executive) had been to the shop and posted pics on social media wearing one of  Ms. Conde’s T-shirts that he liked so much he purchased one.

20190829_180730(Jean Germain)

After presenting three outfits (that I hand picked) to my companion, she flatly refused saying that they were “not her style”. I insisted that she try all three on, and lo and behold she loved each of them and had to agree that I was right all along.

After this styling episode, I spoke to Ms. Conde about interviewing her for an article to which she agreed. So I gave her one of my business cards and told her that I would contact her soon to arrange a time and date to meet and sit down and talk about her designs. So after a weeks worth of texting, calling, and rescheduling we finally caught up to sit and talk.

We sat down on a comfortable red couch in her boutique, and began to chat about her vision, background and designs. She told me that she originally studied business in school, but her passion for fashion and design was what she knew in her heart was the path that she needed to pursue. I inquired how long she been in business, (with her designs) She said: “The brand is about ten years of building. I started selling online for eight years, and opened the boutique about two years ago, actually it will be two years this coming November.”

20190820_185321When I asked her “what exactly is Femme Progressive” She said that “she is a archetype of the modern woman”. “All women can see themselves in each other, and can relate and honor that through fashion. Rock Star by day and a Lady at night. I’m a fashion designer that makes women’s wear custom to their choices of fabric, colors, prints, to their measurements. I like to make women’s fashion vision come true, and bring it to life. I went to business school for a year, then left for F.I.T. which was a good fit for me.”

20190820_184756(“My Original Line was a T-Shirt Line”)

When I asked further about her background, she informed me that: “After F.I.T. I interned for Oscar del la Renta, which was my very first entry into the industry. It was a great first job and I learned a lot from everyone there. I also did some technical designing to branch out a bit, but I had to return to pattern making because that’s my first joy, and I also did some work for Ann Klein. I also love to bring other designers ideas to life.”

 

 

 

 

20190820_184804Femme Progressive also sells costume jewelry & accessories to pair with her custom designs.

 

 

 

 

Ms. Conde’s Passion and vision, along with her training from F.I.T. and her work with a host of big fashion designer brands shows in her designs.

20190820_185514

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20190817_180408I could not help but fall in love with the designs of Femme Progressive, simply because, she is that good, and if you don’t find anything you like on the racks, (which is next to impossible) she will sit down with you and create a one of a kind dress that will be the envy of your friends.

20190820_190310

 

 

 

 

I just can’t wait to style my next female muse in one of her designs (or have one custom made to match my vision).

20190820_184729Femme Progressive is located at 2166 Fredrick Douglas Blvd in Harlem NYC. So stop in and be prepared be amazed. Also check her out on social media: Instagram: @femme_progressive.

 

 

Style X Fashion Week: Sony Hall Day 2.

On Sept 7th Day 2 of Style X Fashion Week, The Elegant Classy Gentleman team was back to cover the events exciting designers and performers. Style X and Kimac teamed up with Make A Wish Foundation for Sarah, a 15 year old with Leukemia from Dublin Ireland, who’s wish was to walk down the catwalk for Fashion Week. The Elegant Classy Gentleman team and performer and recording artist Amanda Holley was backstage to support Sarah, and watch as her wish became reality!

70536810_444254709510321_2534633069508296704_nAmanda then joined us in VIP 2 to watch the amazing designers show off there 2020 collections in STYLE of course, and watch the performances of other artist’s from the other side of the catwalk.

70003246_437860673488540_9143162332896034816_n

20190907_174728Designer: KAWAII collection was the most enjoyable! With their fusion of Street/Punk Rock/BDSM inspired collection was a sight to behold as the energetic models took to the catwalk and did justice to the concept of modern street wear!

 

20190909_144141

At the end of KAWAII’s set, all the models returned to the catwalk and danced to my (and everyone’s) delight! So moved by this collection and the lively model’s, I myself got out of my seat to dance along with them!

20190909_143830Another notable designer: Sweet Talk also presented a Sexy collection which was quite enjoyable.

20190909_143931

20190909_145217

Designer: Emma Altman also wowed everyone with her collection.

20190909_150324

20190909_150418

20190909_150252

20190909_150058

Style Fashion Week just seems to get better and bigger every year.

69756984_461004084629556_2902831141096521728_n

69954209_2361232390803294_7134288072790769664_n

We will definitely be back next year to cover this fashion event. This year was bloody hot!

CREDITS:

Mike Strange: Editor in Chief

Jean Germain: Logistical Executive

Jessica Phillip: Business/Marketing Executive

Photos: Mike Strange/Jean Germain

Videos: Jean Germain

Sony Hall

Kimac

Amanda Holley

Make a Wish Foundation

NYFW: Style X Fashion Week: Sony Hall Times Square. Day 1

On September 5th 2019 the Elegant classy gentleman team received a warm welcome to fashion week from Style X fashion week at Sony Hall in Times Square!

20190906_225735 Once again Amanda Holley kicked off fashion week day 1 with her spectacular opening  performance with songs from her new album.

 

 

20190906_224100

20190909_142336Amanda is in fact a tough act to follow, but you know what they say……the show must go on!

20190906_223600The first designer collection following Amanda’s amazing set was Chicago Playground! The Varsity Collection.

 

 

20190906_223657

 

 

20190906_223417

20190906_223055

20190906_224031(Jean Germain, Mike Strange)

While Jean and I watched Amanda perform in VIP Area 1 the crowd gathered round and began to mingle and network with us as we planned our press and media coverage of this very hot event.

20190909_142008After Amanda finished her wonderful performance, we were summoned backstage by Amanda’s manager Ralph Cooper II for some private time with Amanda before the other Media and Press.

20190905_204404(Mike Strange, Ralph Cooper II)

20190906_222944(Amanda Holley)

20190906_222335(Mike Strange, Amanda Holley, Jean Germain)

20190906_221311(Mike Strange and Filmmaker/Videographer Roderick Giles)

 

 

While I talked with my industry friends and Amanda, Jean worked the room backstage and having fun with Amanda’s staff and others making sure everyone was having a great time!

20190906_221721We also worked the crowd outside full of models, fashionista’s, and guests to round off a brilliant day 1 of NYFW Style X fashion week.

20190906_220811

 

 

(Designer: Phil Harris)

20190905_194022Stay tuned for Day 2 of NYFW: STYLE X Fashion Week coverage.

 

CREDITS:

Editor in Chief: Mike Strange

Logistical Executive: Jean Germain

Business/Marketing Executive: Jessica Phillip

Photos/Video: Jean Germain/Mike Strange

Venue: Sony Hall

Amanda Holley

Amanda’s Management: Ralph Cooper II

Roderick Giles

Sony Entertainment

Unique Blend Models Fashion Weekend Show.

On August 3rd I attended the Unique Blend Model Fashion Weekend Show (the last fashion show of the summer) which I was invited to cover for the Elegant Classy Gentleman Magazine as the press.  The show started at 5pm but was set to run till 11pm?

20190815_150149

I thought this to be quite odd for a Saturday weekend show to last for 8 hours a month before Fashion Week officially starts in September.20190815_150435(Photo Credit: Karl Lee)

So I decided to stay around just for the men’s designs that I thought was……well “unique”.  These are the men’s collections that I thought was inspiring.

20190815_150045

20190815_150508

20190815_150708Stay tuned for next month for Fashion Week Coverage from the Elegant Classy Gentleman Magazine.

 

Credits:

Photos: Karl Lee

Millennials and Fashion: How they are shaping and influencing the industry.

Yes I know the millennial generation gets a very bad rep at a whole slew of things, but the one thing that is for certain is that they are exerting a huge influence on the fashion industry, which is shaping the way they present their brands and guiding new ones.

imagesFN2XUW65

Millennials are geared towards fashion, that is of good quality, durable, and timeless. (meaning the fashion their buying will not go out of style, and made of lasting quality). According to Business Insider in a recent report, they prefer more the “classic/heritage style’s”. Millennials heavy use of social media allows them to know what brands that embrace “social responsibility and environmental sustainability”.

imagesUBVXSI93According to the Business Insider’s report and study on this topic “found that 94% of Gen Y consumers want products that are functional and 93% favor high-quality purchases.” Long lasting clothing of very high quality is what they are spending money on rather than fast fashion such as Zara or H&M. Millennials still shop and buy “fast-fashion”, but at a much lower rate and more infrequently.

imagesE1HF6VBS

Authenticity,Sustainability,Durability, the call for their shopping loyalty. However like much else in life, their moods, taste’s and needs can change very rapidly, so it’s important for fashion brands to be more inclusive with their millennial shoppers, as they are replacing magazine and poster ads with social media, and models with social media influencers.

imagesXYDEVO9OEngaging them with your “core” values as a brand will go a long way with customer loyalty with them, and many brands are “bending & shifting” the way that they market their clothing to Generation Z.  Fashion’s future is for them to shape and direct for better or for worse.

 

Fashion on the Hudson: Fashion Runway Show.

20190722_092800

On July 20th and one of the hottest day of summer 2019, I made my way to Riverbank State Park on 145th Street in Harlem to attend the Fashion on the Hudson runway Show presented by Fashion Ave News.

 

Now this fashion house seems to get better with every new show. Being that I love the fact that they showcase small and emerging designers, they have this knack for finding and promoting the best and most stylish emerging designer fashion brands.

These are the showcased designers that caught my attention:

 

RICHARD Q DESIGNS

20190722_084720(Fashion Designer: Richard Q)

20190722_083320

20190722_083749

20190722_084225

20190722_084418

 

MALCOM STABLE DESIGNS

20190722_091936(Designer: Malcolm Stable)

20190722_090855

20190722_091820

 

HEAT CHIC

20190722_093942(Heat Chic Designs)

 

20190722_092800

20190722_092708

20190722_093116

20190722_093259

20190722_093834

 

BOSS LADY RESORT WEAR

20190722_101351(Boss Lady Designs)

20190722_100827

20190722_101132

 

D COUTURE

20190722_102119(D Couture Designs)

20190722_101516

20190722_101721

 

 

CLARENCE BLACK COUTURE

20190722_103217(Designer: Clarence Black)

 

 

 

20190722_102630

20190722_102352

20190722_102542

20190722_102718

 

LARRY UNDERWOOD

20190722_103639(Designer: Larry underwood)

20190722_103557

 

I was quite impressed with these designer collections, and look forward to seeing more of their collections at the fall Fashion Week shows in september!

20190722_103317

See you at fashion week this fall!

Urban Street Wear Chest Rigs: The ultimate accessory.

Urban street wear has been around for quite some time, constantly evolving from one trend to another. Now urban street wear accessories are making a striking rise in the form of “Chest Rigs” as an alterative to the so called “Man-Bag” or “Fanny Pack”. However the style and it’s practical use is the big draw here.

20190707_153235Many different styles have been seen on the streets in New York, and while some are a bit ornate and others a bit more tame, it does offer a very unique look and style to your outerwear.

(Will Roberson: of Will Roberson Designs

20190707_152753(Meeco Suave: on right wearing one of his Pmf Piece$ rigs)

Meeco Suave of the brand PMF Piece$ says: “The brand is a new streetwear brand based out of New York City, made for the youth by the youth. We take pride in our motto: Locally grown, Globally known, because we started this in a small fashion community and allowed to spread coast to coast. eventually attracting the attention of the world. The brand is geared towards working for and with the culture to keep it going.”

“The company was founded four months ago in February, and we launched on April 9th 2019 with a limited run and sold out, so we had to push all orders to pre orders until we officially drop. This was a proof of concept experiment at first, and we got so much positive feedback. I’m looking forward to the final launch date which is any day, and I couldn’t be more excited to present my brand PIECE$” Meeco informed me.

070(Mike Strange: The Elegant Classy Gentleman)

I also have been inspired by Meeco to create my own rigs, which will be a little more sophisticated with a futuristic and utilitarian urban environmental bend to it. Here I’m wearing a basic chest rig, which will serve as model for the proto-type of my chest rigs.

Meeco Suave in collaboration with Kendall Stevenson, owner and president of PMF enterprise curated the brands chest rigs. Meeco told me: “The fact that we came up together in the game, it felt right to bring the businesses together and become partners. This allows us to relive some pressure of doing everything by ourselves, and two minds think better then one. We basically complement each others businesses, as well as personally.”

You can purchase PMF PIECE$ chest rigs @Pmf-Pieces or on their website: p-m-f-xpieces.myshopify.com

Join the brave new world of urban street wear!

Kevin Shahroozi Fashion Show and Panel Event.

On May 31st Fashion Designer Kevin Shahroozi held a Fashion Show & Panel Speaking Event at the Grace Room Mate Hotel located on 125 West 45th Street New York, NY in Times Square.

20190531_193437Guests at the event were able to speak with and mingle with fashion industry insiders such as Janel Tanna (The 2019 Maxim Magazine cover girl/actress and model), Jon Harari (CEO and Co-Founder of WindowsWear), Kimmie Smith (Celebrity Stylist and Co-Founder of Athleisure Magazine) and Mark Moore (CEO & President of Debut Model Agency)

20190606_210715Kevin Shahroozi asked each of his panel speakers provocative and insightful questions to answer regarding the industry and their personal experiences working in the fashion industry. The panel speakers shared their personal challenges and gave advise that was straightforward and useful in real time.

(Mark Moore & Kevin Shahroozi)

 

Kevin Shahroozi Designs also has a exciting collaboration with Sneaker Brand: Royal Elastics. Seems like a great fit to us!

20190601_115643(Kevin Shahroozi & Mike Strange)

This event was full of well dressed gentleman and ladies who were very festive and turned the event to a full blown party!

20190606_210240

20190606_203517The Models were a delight to hang out with as well (between catwalks) which added to the formal yet casual vibe of the event.

20190606_203745In fact everyone was so cool and chill, the models let me hang out with them backstage and just chat for a bit.

20190606_214118Thanks to Mark Moore CEO & President of Debut Model Agency, for introducing me to the models from the agency in the show!

20190606_203957(Mark Moore)

20190603_153805(Mike Strange & Mark Moore)

I had such a great time at this Fashion Show Panel Event. I bumped into old friends and definitely made some new ones for sure.

20190601_115106Chocolatier Milene Jardine also graced us with her presence and her delicious chocolates for all to enjoy!  I could not stop eating these. Treat yourself and order some at: milene@milenejardine.com http://www.milenejardine.com

20190606_210749Kevin Shahroozi’s event was so interestingly stimulating on so many levels. I can’t wait for his next show. It’s a different sort of experience that’s difficult to pull off, but he just effortlessly let it flow into a wonderful time for all who attended.

20190606_215132Like I said…….I made some new friends!

Harlem Derby Run for the Roses 7th Annual Gala and Watch Party.

May 4th 2019 marked the 7th annual Harlem Derby Run for the Roses Gala and Watch Party Event at the Red Rooster in Harlem.

20190506_143543(Rob Owens: Founder of Harlem Derby)

The Elegant Classy Gentleman Magazine team returned this year to cover the event and party with the elegant guests and party goers who came out to celebrate the 7th year of the Harlem Derby Gala!

20190504_182848Also this year NBC News was on hand to shoot live footage from Harlem New York, and other cities that had watch party events of their own.

20190506_142848(Anthony McGowan: NBC News)

2019 was a big year for Rob Owens Harlem Derby Gala. Having three Harlem Derby Events leading up to watch party gala truly making it a Harlem Derby Festival indeed!

20190506_141823(Mike Strange and Marcus Samuelsson)

Celebrity Chef and Red Rooster owner Marcus Samuelsson was front and center, as well as in the mix of it all at Red Rooster admiring the well dressed men and women attending the event in Harlem Derby Style!

20190504_170026(Jean Germain, Sonya Hensley, Mike Strange, Marcus Samuelsson)

Harlem really showed up and showed out for the Harlem Derby 7th annual gala.

20190506_141222

20190504_193108(Harlemwood Glamor Girl: Sheila D and her husband Michael)

20190504_195116(Jean Germain, Men’s Fashion Designer: Andrei Giovanni, Mike Strange)

20190506_141023(Jean  Germain and Sonya Hensley)

20190506_142007(Bartender: Diamond Roxy)

20190504_164903(Evan Stern)

20190504_181920(Sonya Hensley)

Movie & Broadway performer and Jazz artist: Sonya Hensley gave a stunning and energetic performance for the Harlem Derby Run for the Roses Gala at Red Rooster’s Ginny’s Supper Club!

 

(Yvette Wright Gauff and Barbara)

59498893_549394858919579_8490163498146332672_n(Harlem Derby Run of the Roses Gala is Presented by Woodford Reserve)

59583711_645162059261645_8459884373846523904_nHarlem Derby attendees awaited the fashion judges to announce the Best dressed: Man/Woman-Women’s Hat/Men’s Hat…etc. But this years gala was so huge they ran out of time. The winners will be announced on Facebook.

Meanwhile the founder of Harlem Derby received an award himself!

The Elegant Classy Gentleman Team will return to cover this wonderful event next year…..This gala was the best so far!

59747717_544146459322578_4066946984039153664_nWe will see you next year…….at the Races!

By the way I won Best Dressed Male!

20190504_143641

Credits:

Photos: Mike Strange, Jean Germain, Jessica Phillip

Elegant Classy Gentleman Team:

Mike Strange: Editor in Chief

Jean Germain: Logistical Executive

Jessica Phillip: Business Executive

Event:

Red Rooster Harlem: Venue

Marcus Samuelsson: Celebrity Chef/T.V. Personality/Owner of Red Rooster

Rob Owens: Harlem Derby Founder

Anhtony Mcgowen: NBC News

Sonya Hensley: Movie, Stage and Recording Performer

Woodford Reserve: Sponsor