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  • Marie Antoinette's MELANIN Project Creates Beautiful Art with A Powerful Meaning

    by Devyn Imholt Marie Antoinette is a healthcare professional, fashion stylist, and author whose project MELANIN has received national attention and critical acclaim. MELANIN is a book, docuseries, and lifestyle brand that is centered around demystifying colorism and its associated stereotypes. Marie knew that she loved fashion from a young age, but she also knew that she wanted to make a difference. I had the pleasure of speaking with her about her life and the amazing MELANIN project. When she was a child, Marie’s mother worked in a nursing home where she would occasionally help out. This helped Marie to realize that she had a passion for healthcare and helping others. She also knew from a young age that she had a passion for fashion, styling herself and others as early as high school. Following academia, Marie realized her goal of working in healthcare by becoming an anesthesiologist. Even while working in healthcare, Marie continued to follow her passion for styling and fashion. She continued to style for others, now working for various celebrities and influencers, including Christiane Porter of The Christi Show. Marie even began to create her own pieces. In an attempt to display some of her own original designs, Marie began to work on her own fashion shows, holding “Driving You Wild” in 2020 and “Legend” in 2021. Marie would realize her true calling when a woman in a clothing store told her that she was “pretty for a dark-skinned woman.” This was a phrase that she had heard growing up and had long since realized was a backhanded compliment. Hearing this as an adult, from another dark-skinned woman, made Marie realize that society had not gotten past its stereotypical narratives revolving around skin tone and color. Marie developed the concept for MELANIN; a documentary, book, and lifestyle brand that would positively demystify COLORISM (the biased or prejudicial treatment of people belonging to the same race, based on skin pigmentation). "I always wanted to take care of people, it's why I studied healthcare. I wanted to bring better representation into the healthcare sector. My love for fashion and art, however, made me realize that representation was needed in more areas than just healthcare, and being able to build and create the MELANIN project, has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life,” she explained. The MELANIN book was officially released in February of 2022 with the first part of the accompanying documentary. The project has been met with an overwhelmingly positive reception that shocked even Marie. The book featured beautiful imagery alongside powerful messaging, with every piece of clothing and jewelry being specifically designed for the project. The book and documentary had a special premiere opening in Atlanta which has been followed by a book signing tour. In 2021, Marie launched SAPPHIRE DIAMONDS, a fashion show, and inclusive clothing brand. She also created the SAPPHIRE DIAMOND AWARDS, an award that recognizes members of the community who are making an impact through relevant socio-economic initiatives. While the success of MELANIN caused the SAPPHIRE DIAMONDS fashion show to take a year off in 2022, it will be returning in 2023 with a streetwear theme. In the near future, Marie will be launching Part II of her MELANIN documentary, expanding her messaging about fashion, inclusivity, and art in partnership with several corporate and educational institutions around the country. MELANIN is a project that perfectly exemplifies Marie’s passion and character, merging impactful messages with artistic imagery to create something truly unique. Marie explained to me that she didn’t want to “beat a dead horse” when discussing colorism. Her project MELANIN has been able to effectively tackle a serious issue in a new way, inciting discussion and receiving praise. Marie Antoinette is someone who has her heart in the right place, looking to help others and incite change with her work.

  • The Future Stars 3rd Annual Future Stars Charity Dinner Gala

    The Future Stars 3rd Annual Future Stars Charity Dinner Gala Raised $100,000 and Featured Performances from Jordin Sparks & Bella Rabbit By Devyn Imholt Eszylfie Taylor and Jordin Sparks On Wednesday, October 26th, 2022, The Future Stars Basketball Camp held its third annual Charity Dinner Gala. This star-studded event was held in Los Angeles at the Taglyan Cultural Complex. Those in attendance included Carrie Bernans, Nate Parker, Norman Powell, and the camp’s founder, Eszylfie Taylor. The event also featured special performances by recording artists Jordin Sparks and Bella Rabbit. The event was able to raise almost one hundred thousand dollars and the proceeds will go toward the camp’s scholarship funds. The event was sponsored by Allianz, Grandave Capital, KNPRE, Understand the Grind, Quantasy, US Energy, The Power of You, Taylor Insurance & Financial Services, Incentax, Delaware Pacific, and Parsons Real Estate. The Future Stars Basketball Camp has been running strong for almost nineteen years. It was founded in 2003 by renowned financial guru Eszylfie Taylor, the founder of Taylor Insurance and Financial Services and star of Impact Network’s Mind Body Money. The camp was created in order to provide athletic opportunities for underprivileged youth. A Los Angeles native and former student-athlete, Eszylfie understood the positive impact that a successful athletic camp could potentially have. The organization has continued to grow since its creation, providing scholarships to attend the camp itself as well as educational scholarships to provide academic opportunities. The event took a lot of hard work and preparation, by Eszylfie, his team, and volunteers alike. When asked about this year’s Gala, Eszylfie explained that “it’s not often that my expectations are exceeded… but they were last Wednesday.” Eszylfie was joined at the event by clients, business associates, friends, family, actors, athletes, influencers, and other philanthropists. According to those in attendance, the positive energy provided by the event was truly contagious. With a beautiful venue and a good cause, those who attended the event were left raving about it. Eszylfie Taylor and the family of the "Courage Award" winner Every year, the Gala has an acknowledgment section where people are given a “Courage Award.” This year’s award was given posthumously to Air Tracy, who passed after battling cancer. Air Tracy is the same person whom the Future Stars Air Tracy Scholarship Fund (scholarships given to attend the camp) has been named after. His son, Timothy, was there to accept the ward on his father’s behalf. The previous winners of the “Courage Award” were also in attendance and had high praises to give. Chris Kimbro called the event “a heartfelt, fun-filled night.” Reggie Webb described the Gala as being “held at a beautiful venue…attended by a glittering sand diverse crowd who care enough about kids to support this worthwhile endeavor.” Reggie also added that he is “eternally grateful,” for the Courage Award that he received at a past Gala. For Eszylfie Taylor, events like this are all about the “perpetuation of legacy.” In the nineteen years since he founded the Future Stars Basketball Camp, he has held fifteen annual charity golf tournaments and three annual charity dinner galas. These events have helped to spread the Future Stars message and to provide opportunities for underserved youth. However, in business and in life, Eszylfie is never satisfied. One of the only troubles to come from an event that went this well: how does one top it for next year’s Gala? Eszylfie Taylor with two former camp members All Photos credit to www.debramorrison.com

  • Chris Weaver, aka CJW, Re-introduces Himself with "Take Your Time"

    by Devyn Imholt Chris “CJW” Weaver is a musician, vocalist, and recording artist from Long Island, New York. Chris rose to public prominence as a result of his appearance on the hit show NBC’s The Voice during season thirteen. However, Chris’ musical journey began long before he stunned the judges on The Voice. I had the pleasure of speaking with Chris about his life and musical journey, which both began in his mother’s womb. Chris’ parents, self-proclaimed music fanatics, began to play their favorite records for him even while he was still “in his Mom’s belly.” His father, an avid record collector, helped instill in Chris a deep appreciation for music, even at a young age. His family was also very spiritual, spending significant time at their local church. These two aspects of Chris’ life resulted in the moment that he recalls his musical interest being truly sparked. Chris was eight years old and sang in front of his church, delivering a riveting performance that sent the crowd into a frenzy of joyous excitement. Growing up, Chris was continually involved in musical extracurriculars such as choir. His joy for gospel music pushed him to start a gospel choir at his high school. When it came time to decide where to go for college, Chris knew that he wanted to leave his home state of New York. He ended up attending Central College in Iowa. While at Central College Chris was heavily involved in musical performance, becoming a member of the choir, worship team, vocal jazz combos, and the chamber singers. Through these various groups, Chris was able to be involved in some of the campus’s biggest performances. By the time Chris graduated from Central College, he had honed his vocal performance skills and truly begun to blossom as his own artist. Despite his initial plans to never move back to New York, he realized the potential that came with living in the entertainment capital of the world, deciding to move back. During this time period of his life, Chris began to audition for singing competitions. He auditioned once for American Idol and twice for The Voice but did not make any of the competitions. Chris began performing in local competitions where he eventually met Peter Dunn, a former producer of The X Factor and America’s Got Talent. Dunn was later contacted by The Voice, being asked to recommend people to audition. He recommended Chris, who would audition for a third time, this time making the competition. In his initial TV audition in front of the judges, he turned all four chairs, the highest praise that can be given in an initial audition! He chose Jennifer Hudson as his mentor who helped lead him to a Top-24 finish in the competition. Later, on the season finale of Season 13, Chris became the first talent to ever be returned to the competition as a guest, performing with superstar Jessie J. In the initial years after his success on The Voice, Chris spent his time traveling and performing. Chris admitted to me that he felt as if he did not utilize the buzz from the show to the best of his ability. He eventually realized that he needed to release more music, dropping the individual records “Crying For” and “Mary Did You Know.” In 2021 he signed with Soundherd Records and began to record his first studio project. This culminated in the recent release of “Take Your Time,” the lead single from his highly anticipated project. “Take Your Time” was paired with a single release party where Chris had to schedule three different performances as a result of demand. Now under the name “CJW,” Chris felt like “Take Your Time” was a great song to re-introduce himself to. He will be going on tour with legendary artist Booker T this coming fall. To see where his career has come, he describes it as “surreal.”. What’s more? Chris is only getting started. Chris’ excitement for his career is truly infectious. With a life full of performance experience and a uniquely moving voice, CJW is certainly an artist to keep an eye on in the future.

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  • PressRoom

    Labelleladiva Press Room Press Releases Jordin Sparks to Perform at The 3rd Annual Future Stars Charity Dinner Gala Read More 13-Year-Old Twins with Unidentifiable Disabilities are Attempting to Change the Negative Stigmas on Hip-hop through Their Music Read More Chris Weaver will be Headlining Three Shows at NYC’s Waterline Square on October 14th Read More KING ROYAL RELEASES “BIG OL’ CHECKS Read More 250-Hour Worldwide Karaoke Marathon Spurs Healing Nonprofit and Possible New World Record. Read More Local Business Owner Latasha Brooks Named to NSBA Leadership Council Read More Melody Holt Releases New Premier Skin Care Line Seventh Avenue Copy Read More Latasha Brooks Is Revolutionizing the Small Business Sector with High-Impact Strategies for Success Read More Melody Holt Releases New Premier Skin Care Line Seventh Avenue Read More Melody Holt Teams up with Posner Cosmetics and Creates a Fabulous Lipstick Line Read More 14-year-old Wiz Kid Makes History with The First Publication For Kidpreneurs and Kid Influencers Read More Fashion Reveal, Star Studded Blue Carpet Event Honors Outstanding Leaders at the Upcoming Sapphire Event Read More For all press inquiries please contact: info@labelleladiva.com

  • Charity DInner Gala | Labelleladiva PR

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