1st Annual Men’s Fashion Week Virginia was created by Ron Cooke (Fashion Show Producer) and Mario Daughtry (Fashion Show Co-Producer). Ron and Mario collaborated together to bring excitement to the 757 by way of FASHION specifically focusing on Men’s Fashion. The venues were chosen by the artistic eye of Ron Cooke (Stylist/Fashion Show Producer). Ron brings over 35 years of experience as a fashion show coordinator and his experience was validated by how well the event was planned. Ron Cooke is a former Virginia Beach resident now living in Washington, D.C. His partner Mario Daughtry is a local designer and currently living in the 757. Mario is the man behind the urban designs of the clothing line “RECKLESS”, which was showcased at the 1st Annual “Men’s Fashion Week Virginia” designer expo on Saturday at the COLLECTORNorfolk in Norfolk, VA.
Men’s Fashion Week Virginia was held in Norfolk, VA , April 5-9, 2017.
Wednesday (4/5/17) was the kick off event at the Monticello Arcade Foyer in Downtown Norfolk. This building was constructed in 1907 on land leased from the Selden Grandy Estate. The building was restored in the 80’s and today the building is the historical heart of the business and retail district in the downtown area of Norfolk, VA.
The first day of the “Men’s Fashion Week Virginia” went back to the 15th Century where mannequin modeling was first introduced to the public. Mannequin or “Freeze” Modeling was generally used for store windows or for an event to draw people in, the human model poses as a lifelike mannequin and may make subtle movements to attract onlookers and draw curiosity. The mannequin models at the “Men’s Fashion Week Virginia” kick off event did just what it did years ago and drew the curiosity of everyone in the Foyer. Each model wore designer pieces from Lord & Taylor Department Store and Chevy Chase in Washington, DC. The models also wore shoes from a local business and tenant of the Monticello Arcade, “MS Shoe Designs” handmade in Brazil. The event also had food tasting, vendors and music by DJ Stretch.
The next event for the Men’s Fashion Week Virginia was Friday (4/7/17) at “Stark & Legum on Granby Street in Norfolk, VA. This store is also apart of the “City of Norfolk” historical history. Stark & Legum has been around for 90 years and has always been a place to find the top men’s fashion. The original building for Stark & Legum was on Church Street in 1924. The business started as a pawn business that sold used boots, clothes and shoes. In 1955, the shop moved into the business now occupied by the Attucks Theatre. Twenty years ago the business moved to 739 Granby Street, also known as the NEON district in Norfolk. For the last 3 years the business has been owned by Mike Benton. This historical Men’s store specializes in classic and contemporary designer suits, shoes and accessories for men.
“Men’s Fashion Week Virginia” held a invite only “Press Reception” at Stark & Legum. This reception gave the fashion show designers a chance to introduce their clothing line and answer any questions of the attendees. Each designer shared something unique about their designs along with a model display, which increased the anticipation of all for the next day BIG Designer Expo.
Now for the DAY everyone has been waiting for the BIG Designer Expo held on Saturday (4/8/17) at COLLECTORNorfolk in Norfolk, VA. This unique vintage recording studio warehouse was perfect for this event. Walking thru the doors of the event were vendors and food tasting. On the show itinerary was LIVE Entertainment and fashion from several east coast designers and two Men’s fashion stores.
The event started with a performance by K’bana Blaq. The MC for the show, Ron Cooke, prepared the crowd for the ride. The garage door raised and the models entered on bicycles; an epic moment that took everyone by surprise. During one of the breaks, D.C.’s Hot New Artist “THEORY” performed. DJ PYNK DYAMOND rocked the turntables in a high raised DJ Booth. The rooms center piece was a giant size display of the “Men’s Fashion Week Virginia” logo. The lighting was perfect and all the designers gave a show to remember.
Also, in attendance was one of the lead singers and original member of Grammy Award Winning R&B Group Blackstreet, “Levi Little”. He is the smooth voice behind the platinum hit single “JOY”. Levi thanked the 757 and all the Blackstreet fans on behalf of the other members (Chauncey Black, Mark Middleton and Eric Williams) for helping them win a Grammy and go diamond on the Billboard charts. Right now the Group is on a 41 City Tour throughout the United States, check them out on Facebook @therealblackstreet.
The “Men’s Fashion Week Virginia” closed out at the Hilton Norfolk THE MAIN in the downtown area of Norfolk, VA. The final event was hosted by the “Gentlemen’s Brunch”. Luqman Haskett and Erick Castano are the founders of the “Gentleman’s Brunch” and both live in the 757.
Guest speaker for the brunch was actor, producer, model and singer; Michael Copon. Mr. Copon is known for playing Felix Taggaro in the television series Beyond the Break, and Lucas Kendall in Power Rangers Time. The staff at the hotel took the attendees on a tour of the newly built Hotel. There was food, vendors and music by DJ HAVOC.
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