WHAT: ESSENCE, the leading media, technology, and commerce company serving Black women and communities, today announced new additions to its stellar line-up for the 2020 ESSENCE Festival of Culture: Unstoppable Virtual Experience Presented by Coca-Cola. Taking place June 25-28 and July 2-5 (Thursdays-Sundays) and streaming on ESSENCEStudios.com, the multi-day experience will extend to a global audience of viewers and feature virtual performances, summits, panels and more including leading musical artists, influencers and experts from around the world.
For the first time in the Festival’s 26-year history, the much-anticipated celebration – which annually draws more than 500,000 attendees and contributes almost $300 million in economic impact over July 4th weekend in New Orleans–will be produced as a fully virtual experience spanning two weekends of programming that entertain, empower, inspire, educate and mobilize. This year, in partnership with Michelle Obama’s national, nonpartisan organization, When We All Vote, ESSENCE will share voter registration and voting resources. The Festival will also include a benefit initiative to raise funds to support the critical needs and sustainability of Black and Brown entrepreneurs, micro and small businesses, and organizations focused on racial equity across the U.S. For an up-to-date artist lineup and schedule, click here. The 2020 ESSENCE Festival is presented by Coca-Cola. Major sponsors include Ford, McDonald’s, Walmart, My Black is Beautiful, P&G. For more information and to register, visit www.essencefestival.com. Join the conversation via social @EssenceFest.
WHO: NEWLY ANNOUNCED: First Lady Michelle Obama; Kerry Washington; Naomi Campbell; Lena Waithe; Ayesha and Stephen Curry; Rev. Al Sharpton; Marc Morial; Tamika Mallory; Tarana Burke; Jon Batiste; Chronixx; Michaela Coel; Wyclef; Iyanla Vanzant; Sarah Jessica Parker; Iman Shumpert & Teyana Taylor. PLUS: Marco Borges; Jemele Hill; Misa Hylton; Jeanette Jenkins; MC Lyte; Jodie Patterson; Michael Jai White & Gillian White; Ebonie K. Williams; and many more.
Previously announced performers include:
Headliner Bruno Mars plus: Amanda Black, Andra Day, Bell Biv Devoe (“BBD”), Burna Boy, Common, D-Nice, Damian Marley, Diamond Platnumz, Doug E. Fresh, Elephant Man, Estelle, India.Arie, John Legend, Ledisi, NAS, Patti LaBelle, Raphael Saadiq, Rapsody, Sauti Sol, Shaggy, Swizz Beatz, and more, hosted by Loni Love. Leading a special tribute to the city of New Orleans will be Mayor LaToya Cantrell,PJ Morton, Big Freedia, Irma Thomas, Tank and The Bangas and Big 6 Brass Band. Also, featured in the popular Sunday gospel Get Lifted celebration are Anita Wilson, Bri Babineaux, Erica Campbell, Fred Hammond, Greater Sound of Greater St. Stephen FGBC,Jonathan McReynolds, Kierra Sheard, Kirk Franklin, Koryn Hawthorne, Marvin Sapp, Tamela Mann, The Clark Sisters, The Walls Group, Tye Tribbett, and more, along with Sunday sermons from Bishop Paul S. Morton and Bishop T.D. Jakes.
Other culture-leaders and influencers raising their voices to speak include New Orleans, LA, Mayor LaToya Cantrell; Atlanta, GA, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms; Chicago, IL, Mayor Lori Lightfoot; Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser; Ferguson, MO, Mayor-Elect Ella Jones; San Francisco, CA, Mayor London Breed; Don Lemon; Ryan Michelle Bathe;Kirk and Tammy Franklin; Lori Harvey; Ryan Destiny; Lexi Underwood; Egypt Sherrod; Lisa Nichols; Master P.; Shaun T.; Tabitha Brown and more.
Last night, Ruffino Wine and SVEDKA Vodka celebrated with alice + olivia designer Stacey Bendet during a special evening in celebration of the launch of the highly anticipated alice + olivia capsule collection with the late Neo-expressionist artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. Bendet was joined by Princess Beatrice of New York, Nicky Hilton, Nina Agdal, Pierce Brosnan, Abby Elliott, Alysia Reiner, Victoria Justice, Mia Moretti, Chelsea Leyland, Fiona Byrne, Genevieve Jones, Jessica Seinfeld, among others.
Guests toasted to the CFDA capsule collection launch at The Hole on the Lower East Side with Ruffino Sparkling Rose and Ruffino Prosecco.The Dolls DJ’ed the party going on in the back black-light room where Bendet and her friends danced, enjoyed glow-in-the-dark SVEDKA Vodka cocktails and channeled their inner artists by painting on the walls with fluorescent paint.
alice + olivia by Stacey Bendet is proud to announce that the late Neo-expressionist artist and frequent Andy Warhol collaborator Jean-Michel Basquiat has been selected, through the Basquiat Estate, as the partner for the second capsule collection that will help support the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s efforts to promote young talent. The 17-piece collection will land in stores and online in November 2016. On November 2, 2016, Bendet will celebrate the capsule collection with an event in New York City at the Hole, a contemporary art gallery representing emerging artists in Lower Manhattan that champions the downtown artist community.
Jean-Michel Basquiat earned his recognition in the art world before the age of 27, even gaining the title of youngest artist to be given a solo show at the widely respected KestnerGesekkschaft gallery in Germany. His personal achievements and participation in an American art movement that ushered in a wave of young new artists make Basquiat the perfect next partner for the promotion of young artists within the fashion industry.
For the partnership with the CFDA alice + olivia works with a new artist to create a capsule collection that will be available for purchase at all alice + olivia by Stacey Bendet stores, aliceandolivia.com, and other retail partners with 50% of the proceeds from select items donated to the CFDA.
Stacey Bendet, CEO and Creative Director of alice + olivia, says “Jean-Michel Basquiat is one of my favorite artists. This partnership is exciting for me as it is very reflective of my brand and our continued collaboration with artists. It is also wonderful to be able to raise funds for the CFDA and support their ongoing initiative’s within our industry that develop new talent.”
The new collection includes a variety of unique apparel pieces, accessories and gifts that feature iconic elements of Basquiat’s art, such as the golden crown and colorful, street-art inspired design, mixed with alice + olivia’s whimsical and feminine touch. “Beat Bop” 1983, “Replicas” 1983, “Ascent” 1983, “In Italian” 1983, “Panel of Experts” 1982 and “Notary” 1983 are some of the artist’s famed works that Bendet cites as inspiration for the capsule collection.
Elements of these iconic works can be seen throughout the collection of apparel and accessories, which ranges in price from $150 – $1,295, and each item is reflective of a different piece of Basquiat’s works. An array of textual references to Greek mythology, Roman history, and African Tribal culture from “Notary” can be found on the printed legging ($150), flare skirt ($395), and one of two printed gownskirts ($1,295). Nods to the hip hop and rap music that inspired Basquiat to create “Beat Bop” are seen in the fabric used for the slip dress ($350), one of two printed crop tops ($250) and Basquiat clutch ($495). The “Ascent” print used for the ruffel maxi dress ($1,195), second printed crop top ($250) and canvas weekender bag ($355) give a glimpse into Basquiat’s creative process – combining the sequencing of unconnected ideas with patterns of images and text from illustrated books. The “In Italian” print used for the printed shift dress ($395), a-line short skirt ($265) and second printed gownskirt ($1,295) highlights Basquiat’s interest in the use of language and multi media, tied in to themes of capitalism and monetary exchange. The pops of blue, red and yellow on the overlapping pattern buttondown ($350) are the perfect pairing to Basquiat’s “Replica”, one of the more muted prints used in the collection and a beautiful contrast to the hues in “Dos Cabezas” which can be seen on the large clutch ($295). The final pieces from the collection – hand painted moto jacket ($1,095), distressed patchwork jean ($595), and crown woven shirt ($395) – all utilize a combination of Basquiat prints and iconic symbols. Bendet delivers a modern interpretation of Basquiat’s iconic artworks with the incorporation of beadwork and embroidery details which add a dimensional element to the iconic Basquiat works as they come to life in the form of dresses, tops, skirts, jackets, handbags, shoes, eyewear and more.
For the first CFDA capsule collection, debuted in April 2015, Bendet partnered with celebrated artist Domingo Zapata, a Spanish-American who has studios in New York, Miami, and Hollywood. Zapata’s pieces created for the partnership included a hand-painted ball gown, hand-painted full-length skirt, and custom two-piece skirt with a matching leather bustier featuring piping in a print painted by Zapata, all of which were auctioned off by Paddle8 with 100% of proceeds benefitting the CFDA.
Steven Kolb, CEO and Creative Director of the CFDA applauds the collaboration with alice + olivia; “Stacey Bendet has been a valued member of the CFDA for a long time” he says, “We could not be more appreciative for her work to help us in our cause to advance up-and-coming fashion designers. The extraordinary support we will be receiving from the brand thanks to this initiative is invaluable to our organization.”
ABOUT ALICE + OLIVIA BY STACEY BENDET
Launched in 2002, alice + olivia by Stacey Bendet is a brand that allows customers to express their personal style. With collections that juxtapose the whimsical and flirty with the sexy and sophisticated, a+o epitomizes the personality and sensibility of its founder, Stacey Bendet. The brand was born from Stacey’s quest to create the perfect pair of pants, and has since grown into a full lifestyle collection including ready-to- wear, gowns, shoes, accessories and handbags. Pulling inspiration from the world around her, Stacey incorporates bold colors, unique prints, and eclectic details to create vibrant and dynamic pieces. The brand is a Hollywood favorite with celebrity fans including Beyoncé, Gwyneth Paltrow, Katy Perry, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michelle Obama and Taylor Swift. alice + olivia by Stacey Bendet is available ataliceandolivia.com, over 30 free-standing boutiques located in major cities around the world including, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Dubai, Singapore, as well as over 800 of the finest department and specialty stores worldwide.
ABOUT JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT
Jean-Michel Basquiat was born on December 22, 1960 in Brooklyn, New York. His father, Gerard Basquiat was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti and his mother, Matilde was born in Brooklyn of Puerto Rican parents. Early on, Basquiat displayed a proficiency in art, which was encouraged by his mother.
In 1978 Basquiat left home for good and quit school just one year before graduating from high school. He lived with friends and began selling hand painted postcards and T-shirts. In June of 1980, Basquiat’s art was publicly exhibited for the first time in a show sponsored by Colab (Collaborative Projects Incorporated) along with the work of Jenny Holzer, Lee Quinones, Kenny Scharf, Kiki Smith, Robin Winters, John Ahearn, Jane Dickson, Mike Glier, Mimi Gross, and David Hammons. Basquiat continued to exhibit his work around New York City and in Europe, participating in shows along with the likes of Keith Haring, Barbara Kruger.
In December of 1981, poet and artist Rene Ricard published the first major article on Basquiat entitled “The Radiant Child” in Artforum. In 1982, Basquiat was featured in the group show “Transavanguardia: Italia/America” along with Neo-Expressionists Sandro Chia, Francesco Clemente, Enzu Cucchi, David Deutsch, David Salle, and Julian Schnabel (who will go on to direct the biographical film Basquiat in 1996). In 1983 Basquiat had one-artist exhibitions at the galleries of Annina Nosei and Larry Gagosian and was also included in the “1983 Biennial Exhibition” at the Whitney Museum of American Art. It was also in 1983 that Basquiat was befriended by Andy Warhol, a relationship that sparked discussion concerning white patronization of black art, a conflict that remains, to this day, at the center of most discussions of Basquiat’s life and work. Basquiat and Warhol collaborated on a number of paintings, none of which are critically acclaimed. Their relationship continued, despite this, until Warhol’s death in 1987.
On February 10, 1985, Basquiat appeared on the cover of The New York Times Magazine, posing for the Cathleen McGuigan article “New Art, New Money: The Marketing of an American Artist.” In March, Basquiat had his second one-artist show at the Mary Boone Gallery. In the exhibition catalogue, Robert Farris Thompson spoke of Basquiat’s work in terms of an Afro-Atlantic tradition, a context in which this art had never been discussed.
In 1986, Basquiat travelled to Africa for the first time and his work was shown in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. In November, a large exhibition of more than sixty paintings and drawings opened at the Kestner- Gesellschaft in Hannover; at twenty-five Basquiat was the youngest artist ever given an exhibition there. In 1988, Basquiat had shows in both Paris and New York; some critics, an encouraging development, praised the New York show.