Red Carpet Events LA
While the products and inventions featured at Grammy pre-award parties tend to focus more on fun and funky in comparison to offerings at Golden Globe, Emmy and Oscar events, leave it to Roger Zamudio and his Red Carpet Events LA to create an experience that is as earthy and real as it is upscale.
Celebrities on hand included 2015 Grammy nominees Antonique Smith, Adam Ellison, Charlotte Huggins, Jason Rabinowitz, Jo-El Sonnier, Manny Marroquin, Mindi Abair, Stephen Trask, Adam Ellison, Nimrod Antal, the Order, and Palo as well as actors Sean Kanan and Kelly Perine.
The benefiting charity was the Los Angeles-based African Millennium Foundation (AMF), whose mission is to eliminate and mitigate poverty, hunger and disease in African countries by assisting African women and children with attaining the necessary tools for achieving self-sufficiency. The strategic non-profit and non-governmental organization got word to attendants about their commitment to the social and economic empowerment of African women and their families. It is especially fitting that Ancestry.com was one of the main attractions and sponsors of the Grammy get-together.
The event returned to the W Hotel Westwood in West Los Angeles, a little bit away from the fray, with a cozy courtyard setting with interesting innovations and inventors from the US, Germany and Canada—many of them affordable. One thing that was most welcome was ice-cold Zico coconut water in natural and chocolate flavours, given a spring-like spike in the temperature. Returning vendors included down-to-earth wellness purveyors Nuwati Herbals and Tikkun Holistic Spa (on hand to show off their expanded line of made-in-LA Karen’s Products by Karen Chae). Even pampered cats and dogs got a little something: savoury snacks from I and Love and You (whose cat treats had Lucire contributor Leyla Messian’s cats standing up and singing for their supper).
As this was a pre-award show event, there had to be a couture purveyor on hand to dress VIP women. That firm was Clarisse, Inc., whose designs did not skimp on pomp or circumstance. The guys, meanwhile, could bask in the glow of a 641-horsepower McLaren 650S at the door of the W Hotel Westwood. The state-of-the-art supercar—with its brand’s New Zealand heritage—employs motorsports technology and over 50 years of racing know-how to deliver the fastest, most dynamic and most efficient specimen of its kind on the market. Grammy nominees and presenters got a charge out of a speed test drive.
In contrast, most of the fashion and beauty offerings were quite approachable. Several of them even had their key designers or creators on-site. These included Canada-based costume jewellery line Artizan by Robin Barre, Geek Eyewear by Alena Lehrer, Sweet North Babe handbags and accessories by Yvonne Begemann, and the founders of the Java Coffee Infused Skincare collection, made with coffee as the main ingredient.
There were also very lavish hair care products from Arganesse and salon line Jonathan Product, which is under new ownership and features a new range of goods. Victoria Duke featured her new make-up setting spray. The crew from Joy and Mario espadrilles were back with a new collection that includes fashion forward high black canvas wedges as well as a seriously cool leopard spot design available in April. Even with that, the stock cleared out quite early in the event.
Some of the best things at the suite, meanwhile, could be found in the take-home bags, which were closed tightly to ensure we would wait to open them at home. Goodies included a full collection of Hipsy hair bands (which stay in place even temperamental hair textures like mine and Leyla’s), Pretty Woman nail polish and a certificate for a pair of Australia-based Octavia shoes. I was particularly intrigued as I noticed the line was small and quite specific, focused on very traditional New York basic, sling-back pumps and fashion-forward Versailles and Osaka variations with wedge heels.
Elizabeth Zielinski, creative director and founder, who has worked with Red Carpet Events previously, notes that while celebrities and professional women want styles that complement their individual look, the primary emphasis is on quality materials and comfort, especially with the wedge designs. These are brought to life by a fourth-generation shoemaker family in the countryside of Guangzhou who Zielinsky says demonstrates traditional skill and art form with exquisite attention to detail.
‘Our focus is to celebrate women and share their excitement for life, people and fashion,’ she says. ‘We are very proud supporters of Care Australia, where $5 from every pair of shoes sold from the website goes to supporting social and economic empowerment. Care is an international humanitarian aid organization fighting global poverty, with a special focus on working with women and girls to bring about lasting change to their communities,’ right in line with the charities Red Carpet Events LA supports.—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor
Red Carpet Events LA
Red Carpet Events LA; above right by Elyse Glickman
Red Carpet Events LA