Saturday marked another successful Cocktails with Claire!
Each year, the event evolves. Years one and two, it was all about networking. Year 3, we added a shopping component. And for the last couple editions, we’ve added informational panels to give advice on how to break into entertainment, fashion, music, and more.
This year was super special to me, for several reasons. First, I partnered with a fabulous woman, Miss Diddy LA (read my post called We are Stronger Together, here). Second, I, and my fabulous panelists, Angela Yee, Yandy Smith, Ty Hunter, Kitty Cash, and Alicia Quarles, were able to give pointed, well thought out, and unmatched advice to a room full of ambitious bombers and bombshells.
But in the end, we commiserated on the need to work hard, keep the faith, and go for your goals.
Fashion is fun and fabulous, but for those people of color looking to work in the industry in a real way, the path is unclear and the door seems firmly shut. We actually need forums where we can make connections, encourage each other to keep going, and figure out what we need to do to achieve the life of our dreams.
On Saturday I realized that life is WAY more fulfilling when you give back. Give of your time. Give of your mind. Just give.
Not everyone is going to support you. That’s ok. Someone will.
At the end of the event, a young lady named Kareen Singh approached me. She had driven 6 hours from Montréal to attend the event. She told me in a mixture of French and English that she always felt alone in her small town. That noone understood her. That she had this love for fashion, but didn’t quite know if she had talent, or if fashion was something worth pursuing.
She came to Cocktails with Claire wearing a skirt she designed, just to see if people would react. Of course I loved it! And she found many people who loved it as well. Heck, I just posted it on Instagram and Kaboom…!
Come to #cocktailswithclaire x @missdiddyla and we'll put you on! Montréal designer @ksinghcreation drove 6 hours to the event, just to see how people would react her chain embellished skirt. She creates loads of custom pieces. We love!! What do you think? #fashionbombdiddy #cwcmd #cocktailswithclaire #fashionbombdaily #teamhennessy #nyc
At the end of the night she was almost in tears as she thanked me for creating a space where women and men of color could feel included, supported, and uplifted. I was almost at a loss for words.
While I still get excited about the daily celeb posts and the Hot or Hmms…it’s must more exciting to help designers grow, help stylists find their way, and to offer career advice to journalists.
Cocktails with Claire will focus on that more and more as it continues to evolve.
The beauty is not just in the content, but in the platform’s power to impact people’s lives in a positive way.
And just like that, I am more sure of my purpose…
Love & Light!
*An Update from Kareen! She wrote, “I wanted to thank you first and foremost for all your words of wisdom and encouragement; you are very uplifting and a positive force. The response I got following your post on IG is overwhelming; I got so many order requests, I don’t even know where to start, going from dressing myself to now dressing people. The dream is now becoming reality. I thank God for placing you on my path.”