Ten years of Young Leaders. That’s right, we are a decade in the game of recognizing the best and brightest that the region has to offer by way of the St. Louis American Foundation’s Salute to Young Leaders Awards and Networking Reception and I can’t wait until we gather again for the fellowship, well-warranted praises for those young people helping shape the region and overall inspiration. And my own personal guru Rebeccah Bennett will be back as mistress of ceremonies when we take over the sixth floor of the Four Seasons at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 20. Every single year I attend, I leave wanting to do better and be better – and everyone who has been over the years will co-sign that the feeling is mutual and infectious. You have just under a month to bring your best corporate executive swag together to slay like a boss. For more information, visit www.stlamerican.com or call (314) 533-8000.
An amazing Anomaly. Listen, when I tell you I got my whole entire life from the Anomaly Runway Experience presented by Designs by J. Stocking Saturday at the Last Hotel, understand that I was so on fire and uplifted by what our city has to offer that I walked all the way to my car with my coat open and didn’t notice that 20 degree temperature drop. The looks on the runway, the slayage in the seats by the tastemaker audience and the overall energy by the event had me bragging on the talent in our town – from designer Jasmine Brown to the production team of folks that helped her pull the evening together in grand fashion. The whole night was top notch. If y’all do it again next year, consider moving it to the fall and having it on the rooftop. Those are my only notes. They were serving lewks on that catwalk – so much so that I am strongly considering a Designs by J. Stocking original evening gown for Salute.
Week two of the black Greek getdown. I promised last week that I would give y’all a sip of strolls and pretty girl socializing that went down in the name of J15 (also known as the AKA Founder’s Day) well the lovely ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha were sitting pretty at the Marquee for a cute little mixer Wednesday night. I saw some of my favorite pretty girls with the 20 pearls. Hey Lee Haynes. Hey April McKinney. But my mingling with the Divine Nine carried on all the way through Saturday when I stopped by for a second round of kicking it with the Sigmas in as many weeks with Shades of Blue 2020 at the Polish Heritage Center. I thought I had missed the party because Blac Youngsta is a rarity amongst the new crop of rappers in that he gives a whole entire show as opposed to snippets and excerpts, which I will get to shortly. But back to the frats and sorors in blue and white. I got in just as things should have been wrapping up, but the party didn’t stop when the clock struck 12 like it should have because folks were taking their sweet time easing out of the door. The lights were on and the folks were not going home. I thought at any moment that a little elderly polish woman would tell the folks “you don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here” with a heavy accent. It didn’t come to that, but I was almost certain it would. Few things are more telling about how good a time folks are having by their unwillingness to leave. And an extended party hour was in order for the Sigmas for helping their sisters of Zeta Phi Beta celebrate their centennial. And plenty of the other Greeks were on deck to kick it with them both.
Saturday service with Blac Youngsta. Thanks to Phil and hisLiquid Assets crew, St. Louis had the chance to experience Blac Youngsta’s Church on Sunday tour – on Saturday – at the club. No, he didn’t get saved and turn Pop’s into a revival center. Actually, he seemed to sound more savage as far as the explicit content of his lyrics and onstage antics. I can’t say that I was expecting anything else, but if he named the tour after church, he could have at least come out in a choir robe like Nando STL did that one time. Oh well, he didn’t. But what he did do is give a whole entire full-length show – as per usual. I think that’s the reason why I don’t give him as much flack about performing to tracks, because it assures that he has the stamina to be on stage for an hour. I will always give him props for working the stage, even if he could use a stage/production manager to apply all that energy to a fully produced and polished live performance. Youngsta didn’t pull the most impressive sized crowed I’ve seen at Pops, but it was respectable considering that he’s basically here every season. And can I talk for a second about how some woman was walking through the crowd in a bootleg Adidas presents Ivy Park by Beyoncé outfit? Already girl? I was so thrilled with her creativity and resourcefulness in trying to make it look like an original that I couldn’t be mad. I wish I could say I felt the same about her “Tyler Perry’s A Fall From Grace” wig game that she topped the look off with, but I can’t.
The blast that was Bowties and Stilettos. The folks came to party with the Umbrella Group on Saturday at Dos Salas as they presented their annual Bowties and Stilettos bash. They’ve held that party at places all over the city – and once in the county – and I must say that it is a guaranteed vibe no matter where they have it. Folks put on their good clothes and have a good time and Damion aka Super Ego is going to do the absolute most with his blazer and I’m not mad. And they brought that same energy for the 2020 edition.
Triumphant Brunch-ish. Speaking of consistent vibes, Koncepts and the stylish experience they serve up monthly with Brunch-ish was at it again Sunday at Quattro Trattoria + Pizzeria. I really felt like I had stepped into one of the social scenes from “Insecure” when I turned the corner from the Westin lobby and saw all the beautiful black folks in the middle of fellowshipping over food as DJ AJ killed it on the tables at a decibel level that was conducive to conversation. I was expecting Issa Rae to turn around whipping that sew in she’s serving in her new film “The Photograph” at any second. I ran into my girl Lisa West and her wonderful boo Duan as she and the family celebrated her sister Leslie’s birthday. It was a great gathering within a gathering. Brunch-ish goes down every fourth Sunday from 12-3 p.m. and I’m telling you it’s always a good place to see people and be seen – especially if you still have your church clothes on.