BACARDÍ Rum Room: Celebrating premium spirits in style

Last week, BACARDÍ invited me to a festive party on the Lower East Side called the Bacardi Rum Room experience. The party celebrated the launch of BACARDÍ’s premium rum portfolio: BACARDÍ Añejo Cuatro, BACARDÍ Reserva Ocho and BACARDÍ Gran Reserva Diez. Notable attendees included Chef Roble, Broderick Hunter, Olay Noel, and Karrueche Tran. Nina Sky, DJ Moma, and Brittany Sky served as the event’s DJs. Guests were welcomed with three floors of immersive experiences that featured different cocktails such as Ocho Passion and El Presidente and a variety of bites prepared by Chef Roble. I enjoyed the artistic elements that included a dance performance by Alma Mayo and drum performance by Malik DOPE.

It was fascinating to explore the different rooms and taste BACARDÍ’s different premium rums. My favorite cocktail was the Cuatro Smash: BACARDÍ Añejo Cuatro, St. Germain, and Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice. I also enjoyed Chef Roble’s fried chicken lollipops. The cocktails, food, photo opps, and music were on point!

Speaking of Chef Roble, I had the chance to ask him at the party about his partnership with BACARDÍ:

Lesley Reider:  How did you decide to work with BACARDÍ?

Chef Roble: I only work with brands that I personally respect. Otherwise, I won’t do it. It’s about integrity. I love BACARDÍ. It’s quality. I cook with BACARDÍ Rum. I drink BACARDÍ Rum. I enjoy BACARDÍ. It’s a natural fit. It’s an honor for me to work with the brand. I’m happy to be here. It’s not work for me.

LR: Which BACARDÍ Rum is your favorite?

CR: BACARDÍ Silver. I enjoy them all, but that’s the go to. It’s the most versatile for every application: cooking, cocktails, neat by itself or on ice. That’s the essence of BACARDÍ in my opinion.

LR: What’s next for you?

CR: I’m opening up a bar & restaurant in Brooklyn and BACARDÍ is going to be heavily on the menu.

What a fantastic evening with an iconic, captivating brand!

NEW YORK, NY – MAY 10: Roble and Olay Noel attend the Bacardi Premium Launch at The DL on May 10, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Bacardi)

NEW YORK, NY – MAY 10: Actor Broderick Hunter attends the Bacardi Premium Launch at The DL on May 10, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Bacardi)

NEW YORK, NY – MAY 10: Nicole Albino, Natalie Albino of Nina Sky attend the Bacardi Premium Launch at The DL on May 10, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Bacardi)

NEW YORK, NY – MAY 10: Recording artist, DJ Brittany Sky attends the Bacardi Premium Launch at The DL on May 10, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Bacardi)

NEW YORK, NY – MAY 10: Malik DOPE Drummer performs at the Bacardi Premium Launch at The DL on May 10, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Bacardi)

The Flex Brush: Cutting-edge technology for haircare

Recently, I attended the launch party for The Flex Brush at Angelo David Salon in Midtown. The Flex Brush is revolutionary in that it works both on wet and dry hair. Plus, it gently untangles hair and stimulates hair growth and health. Angelo David, well-known hair stylist and owner of the salon, and Jacob Guttman, founder and CEO of Creative Pro Hair Tools collaborated to create this innovative brush. They wanted to design a forgiving brush that would flex according to the shape of each individual’s scalp. The brush is so soft, created with all-natural rubber, and the smooth coating is comfortable and easy to grip. It’s also perfect for all hair types ranging from pin straight to ultra curly.

I’m a firm believer of The Flex Brush. I’ve been using it for the past month and have noticed great results. My hair feels super smooth, my scalp feels healthy, and I have less hair breakage. I also have a lot less knots during the day. The Flex Detangle Spray, an innovative leave-in conditioner is another tool that I use, which increases flexibility to lessen damage when I’m styling and detangling my hair. I love how lightweight the brush is and how I can take it with me wherever I go. I can even use it when I’m blow drying my hair, and I won’t cause any damage. No more hair destruction! And of course, I love how the brush flexes!

The brush is available in 3 different variations: The Flex Brush Petite Mixed Bristle, The Flex Brush XL Nylon Bristle, and The Flex Brush XL Mixed Bristle. The smaller brush retails at $19.95 while the larger brush retails at $25.95. Depending on the style, the brush comes in pink, blue, or black. It’s a complete game changer! I highly recommend it and know that you’ll love the results!

Angelo David showcasing the flexibility of The Flex Brush

 

Foot Locker debuts an artistic and innovative campaign

Recently, Foot Locker invited me to the opening night of a unique gallery installation in Soho. The installation celebrated the April 18th drop of the brand’s exclusive profile of the Nike Air Max Plus. It’s available in “Before the Bite” and “After the Bite” colorways. These sneakers embrace the hard work it takes to succeed (“Before The Bite”) and the dedication to continuing to thrive (“After The Bite”). These traits are relatable, and Foot Locker has done a great job in presenting a campaign that spotlights the sneakers’ stories.

Speaking of spotlights, Foot Locker featured 20 emerging artists from the U.S. and Canada at the gallery. A group of recognizable individuals in the art arena selected them: MADSTEEZ, 13th Witness, and Baron Von Fancy. These three curators picked the 20 “Before the Bite” submissions particularly for their innovativeness, quality, and expected probability of the artists to prosper “After the Bite,” as inspired by the Nike Air Max Plus sneakers. Each of these artists got a pair of both the Nike Air Max Plus “Before the Bite” and “After the Bite” sneakers. They now have their artwork showcased online. Check out www.footlocker.com/beforeaftergallery to see the work of all of these talented artists.

In Brooklyn, there was also a larger-than-life installation that showed off the sneakers and their shark-like mentality. You can see what it looked like at the end of my post. Such an incredible feat!

Continuing this hustling and thriving journey, Foot Locker partnered with up-and-coming rapper LGP-Qua on his new music video for his original track “Hungry.” Every verse reveals LGP-Qua’s perspective on his journey to success. The video features LGP Qua wearing “Before the Bite” and “After the Bite” sneakers. What an amazing way to bring together fashion, art, music, and the path to success!

LGP-Qua (Photo Credit: Foot Locker)

Baron Von Fancy, MADSTEEZ and 13th Witness (Photo Credit: Foot Locker)

Photo Credit: Foot Locker

MedixBeauty App: An innovative medium for professional makeup techniques

About a month ago, MedixBeauty invited me to a press preview for the MedixBeauty App. MedixBeauty CEO Michelle Schaffer created the app in response to people’s passions and interests within the makeup community. This app is incredible in that it gives access to video tutorials by talented and recognized celebrity makeup artists. Each artist has his/her own channel with engaging content. The current lineup includes James Vincent, AJ Crimson, Orlando Santiago, Danessa Myricks, Aga Kaskiewicz, and many more. The tutorials are updated weekly with the latest trends and techniques. Users can reach out to the artists directly for questions or to request specific makeup looks. The app is truly revolutionary for the professional beauty and makeup industries.

Some of the artists attended the event and conveyed their passion for sharing their knowledge on the app. They also did mini facials with TwinMedix products and provided makeup applications for attendees. Later in the day, they led educational seminars on red carpet makeup, beauty tips and techniques, and mastering creative execution. What a phenomenal way to showcase talented artists and share makeup education! Download the MedixBeauty App for in-depth professional makeup tutorials. It’s available for iOS and Android platforms. You will absolutely love it!

R to L: MedixBeauty CEO Michelle Shaffer with her sister Tammy Shaffer Fleming

TwinMedix products

Aga Kaskiewicz holding TwinMedix products

Lesley with James Vincent

 

An exquisite tasting at Conrad New York

Not too long ago, I attended a media tasting at the ATRIO Wine Bar & Restaurant inside Conrad New York. The tasting served as a collaboration between Conrad New York and Conrad Dublin in tribute to Saint Patrick’s Day. Executive Chefs Gerron Douglas and Marcin Kolnierzak from the two properties, prepared an array of delicious dishes that embraced cultural elements. The dishes included Traditional Irish Breakfast, Salt Meadow Lamb Hand Pies, Potato and Smoked Ham Croquettes, Carlingford Irish Oysters, Whiskey Cured Salmon, and Irish Coffee Pain Perdue. Each one had an artistic presentation and paired well with Teeling whiskey.

One of the winners of the evening ended up being the Whiskey Cured Salmon which was served on a potato pancake with lemon jam and herbs. The other winner was the Irish Coffee Pain Perdue with molasses raisin gastrique and valharona cream. The salmon dish was served at the Conrad NY all of March, while the coffee dessert was served at the Conrad Dublin. These culinary specialties showcase the immense talent and creativity found at the Conrad properties. The chefs are always trying to find new ways to captivate customers at the establishments. Definitely check out the Conrad New York, and if you’re ever in Dublin, pay the Conrad Dublin a visit!

Photo courtesy of Ken Goodman Photography

Photo courtesy of Ken Goodman Photography

Executive Chefs Gerron Douglas and Marcin Kolnierzak

Right to left: Martin Mangan, General Manager of Conrad Dublin and Marlene Poynder, General Manager of the Conrad New York

NYC Winter Wine Festival: The perfect event for wine lovers

Last month, I checked out the NYC Winter Wine Festival at PlayStation Theater in Times Square. This annual festival is a great way to learn about wine varietals, and to speak with a number of reps from a variety of wineries and distributors. It featured over 250 wines curated by Vintry Fine Wines from all over the world. Some of these included: Maiden & Liberty, Dr. Konstantin Frank, Sanino Vineyard, and Jamesport Vineyards. I was impressed with the great mix of hors d’oeuvres and artisan food samples available that complemented the wines. Jazz saxophonist Michael Lington offered musical entertainment at the event with his captivating sound.

With so many wines to taste, it’s hard for me to pick favorites from the festival. However, I will mention a couple of notable wines. I enjoyed tasting a Fulkerson Estate Moscato, a Romilly Cidre, a Sanino Vineyard Savingnon Blanc, a Benmari Winery Dry Rosé, and a Maiden + Liberty Chardonnay. These wines were flavorful, vibrant, and definitely ones that I could see myself enjoying with my family and friends. I loved the atmosphere at the festival. It was so full of energy, wine experts, and wine lovers in a convivial setting. I’ll definitely be checking out the NYC Winter Wine Festival next year, and I hope you will too!

 

Kellogg’s NYC National Cereal Day celebration: Cheers to cereal

Earlier this month, Kellogg’s invited me to its National Cereal Day Countdown Bash at its café in Union Square. I loved the food creations that ranged from custom cereal mixes, Special K® Falafel bites to liquid nitrogen Froot Loops® cheesecake bites. There were also Froot Loops® and Cocoa Krispies® infused specialty cocktails. This is the first year that Kellogg’s has hosted such a celebration and it was impressive. Guests enjoyed posing with Kellogg’s characters including Tony the Tiger and Toucan Sam at a customized photo booth.  They also listened to beats spun by DJ Flipside and marveled at the giant disco “bowl” hanging from the venue’s ceiling.  Giant cereal boxes also lined the ceiling and shelves of cereal boxes appeared throughout the venue as well.

The biggest treat of the celebration included a performance by Hailee Steinfeld. She sang “Love Myself,” “Let Me Go,” “Starving,” and “Most Girls.” Her set was electrifying and had everyone dancing and singing along. Hailee is a huge cereal fan so fittingly she closed her set out by leading a midnight countdown to mark National Cereal Day officially. Tons of confetti flew throughout the venue. The following day the venue opened to the public where they could try all of the new cereal recipes. What a wonderful mix of treats! Looking forward to Kellogg’s National Cereal Day celebration next year!

 

Il Fiorentino: Luxury and heritage at the forefront in NYC’s West Village

A couple of weeks ago, I checked out the launch party for Il Fiorentino, a boutique in the West Village. It carries women’s and men’s Italian luxury leather goods and accessories, furs, and ready-to-wear. Everything is crafted in Florence with the highest quality materials. Chris Tattanelli runs the boutique, which is the brand’s first NYC flagship. In 1978, his family started Il Fiorentino in Florence with a focus on craftsmanship and Florentine style. This year then marks the brand’s 40th anniversary. So it’s a special milestone that brings admirable recognition to the boutique.

Speaking of the boutique, the layout is impressive. The grey walls are lined with white shelves of handbags and accessories. Gold apparel racks line the boutique’s white floors.  Tables with sweaters and accessories are strategically placed throughout the store. I love the color combination as it gives a clean and classy aesthetic. Each item in the boutique is crave-worthy, but see my favorites at the end of this post. At the event, Chris custom embossed leather wallets, and I love my wallet. Il Fiorentino is a remarkable brand that represents luxury and flawless craftsmanship. Definitely check it out- you will not be disappointed!

Bold features and flawless detailing: LFW Recap 2

LFW had some bold elements and impressive detailing. Here’s a look at my last set of LFW highlights for the AW18 season:

Oxford Fashion Studio

Oxford Fashion Studio hosted a variety of AW18 collections at Devonshire Square. I attended the 5:00p and 7:00p shows. The first set featured Norish Kareem, who displayed contemporary dresses with floral and lace detailing. Femi Handbags followed with bold, sophisticated, and vibrant bags. Bogomil Group closed out the set with luxury, innovative urban menswear.

The second set started with Distinctly Unique, a line of couture dresses in vibrant blues, reds, and pinks. Mel Brookes followed with crop tops, form fitting pants, and dressy dusters. Next, Banni Peru presented its line of puffy outwear in a vibrant color wave. Lastly, Nasheli Juliana showed her nunnery-inspired collection of black and white avant-garde pieces. What an innovatively dynamic group of designers!

Jamie Wei Huang

Jamie Wei Huang showed her AW18 collection at 180 Strand in Covent Garden. It has a nostalgic feel to it, inspired by the 90s in Hong Kong. The collection is all about details with fringed pockets, accented sleeves, and ruffle detailing. My favorite looks include a white blouse with mustard flare pants, a dark blue denim shirt dress, a white blouse with blue plaid pants, and a beige sweater with a denim mixed material skirt. The collection is mod, passionately creative, and free-spirited!

Passavant and Lee

Passavant and Lee, a luxury men’s accessories line, hosted a cocktail event at Blind Spot at the St Martins Lane Hotel. The brand previewed a couple of its leather bags consisting of backpacks, briefcases, and carry-on bags. These bags all carry a great mix of British and American style with high quality materials and impeccable sophistication. DJ Amazonica spun the beats while guests enjoyed Haig Club Clubman specialty cocktails. Such an elegant evening with a brand focused on craftsmanship and originality!

The Great Hat Exhibition Preview

Monique Lee Millinery and X Terrace hosted a preview for The Great Hat Exhibition Preview at PINKO Flagship Store in Knightsbridge. It featured 32 hats designed by milliners from all over the world such as Switzerland, Ireland, Italy, Australia, the UK, USA, and Germany. There was also a live presentation of 4 models wearing the hats. Each style is super creative and exquisite with the utmost detail. The Great Hat Exhibition Preview started today at The Living Centre in King’s Cross and will go through March 28. 200 hats are on display from 130 milliners worldwide. If you happen to be in London, definitely check out this impressive exhibition!

The Commonwealth Fashion Exchange Exhibit

The Commonwealth Fashion Exchange Exhibit opening reception took place at Australia House in Covent Garden. Notable attendees included Colin Firth, Lily Cole, and Jasmine Hemsley. The Commonwealth Fashion Exchange showcases designers and artisans from across the Commonwealth’s 53 countries. Some of those designers include Karen Walker representing New Zealand, Stella McCartney representing the UK, and Bibi Russell representing Bangladesh. This group is all about creating new networks and connections as well opening up the potential of artisan fashion trades. The dresses are gorgeous in a range of colors with assorted detailing elements. So tough to pick a favorite- I loved them all. What an admirable program with a beautiful vision and creative direction!

 

Unexpected innovations at London Fashion Week: Recap 1

London Fashion Week had some unexpected but impressive elements. It was my first time attending so I certainly took everything in with excitement. Here are some LFW highlights with those elements:

Fashion Hong Kong

The Fashion Hong Kong presentation took place at The Somerset House in Covent Garden. It featured a beautiful mix of brands: Heaven Please+, HOUSE OF V, MAISON VERMILLON, and methodology. Heaven Please combines 50s western influences with Hong Kong fashion style. It has a literary, artsy feel to it. HOUSE OF V embraces architectural elements such as lines, texture blocked, and detailed collars. It’s contemporary, minimalistic, and unexpected. MAISON VERMILLON combines Chinese paper cut with Western lace fabrics. It celebrates romance, classic elements and rebellion. Methodology uses textured and color blocking, highlighting plaid patterns. It’s playful, chic, and alluring.

Romeo Hunte

Romeo Hunte hosted a pop-up for his Pre-Fall 18 collection at Wolf & Badger in Notting Hill. Attendees included Actor Kyle James, UK Rapper Tino Kamal, and a variety of fashion influencers. Hunte’s collection features crop lumberjack jackets with shearling details, blue varick shawls, and leather jackets. Hunte’s signature 6 blocks logo was also featured on t-shirts. With this pop-up, Hunte wanted to introduce the brand to a different international audience. His goal is to build a connection with the community and to share exclusive pieces that are only available for a limited time. The luxury outerwear collection truly is one-of-a-kind!

Edeline Lee x Glass Magazine LFW Party

The Edeline Lee x Glass Magazine LFW Party took place at Kadie’s in Mayfair. It celebrated Edeline Lee’s Fall 2018 collection and the latest issue of Glass Magazine. Guests enjoyed D1 London Gin and Potato Vodka specialty cocktails. They also danced to beats by DJ Fabienne and lounged on Kadie’s plush couches. Notable attendees included designers Romeo Hunte and Malan Breton and actor Kyle James. It was definitely a night to remember!

Mark Fast

Mark Fast showcased his AW18 collection at 180 Strand in Covent Garden. The collection has a Greek goddess motif with sequin maribou yarns and beaded metallic knits. Party dresses carry banded lycra and feathers in a vibrant array of colors: peacock green, white, blush lilac, and black. My favorite dresses included a white feather and beaded gown with a black yarn netted neck, a peaclock green feathered and metallic yarn dress, a lilac beaded and feathered yarn dress, and an off white yarn fringed mini dress. All of the looks are sophisticated and attention-grabbing with impeccable detailing!