Last Thursday night, I couldn’t stop smiling. Even now writing this post, I find the same grin back on my face. Y’all, the ladies of The Red Pump Project turned it OUT last Thursday at their Rock the Red fashion show!

I had the hardest time choosing what to wear. I knew the ladies in attendance were dressing to impress! So here’s my outfit:


Dr. Martens Women’s 1B60 Boot in Cherry.

The simply must-have slim legging by Newport News

— belt by Torrid

— dress…I got it at Ross Dress for Less like 3 years ago, and it cost less than $15!

— necklace Rachel Roy

— earrings Peace Images.

And I did a kinda-sorta frohawk thang with the hair. Believe it or not there are at least 20 bobby pins in there!

I got to the venue early enough to kick it in the VIP section and sip cocktails by Dragon Bleu Vodka (delicious!) and bob my head to the tunes DJ Bonsu was spinning. The DJ was ON POINT! And from the VIP I got to watch the crowd grow and grow and GROW to almost capacity. There was a tremendous turnout. Lucky me, I got there early enough to sneak backstage and snap some behind-the-scenes pics.

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I see you Rashida B! Rashida was the official makeup artist for the show, and she made the models look flawless!

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There’s Luvvie, cheesin’ before she changed into her outfit for the show!

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Here’s the beautiful Shanna S., better known on Twitter and YouTube as SinnamonS. She helped to coordinate the show!

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And here’s the gorgeous Aramide, AKA DeeDee, AKA The Sassy Peach. She styled the whole show, and let me tell you – remember her name. DeeDee clearly found her calling and made this a fashion show to remember!

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Lo. Behold. The DIVA with AIDS, Ms. Rae Lewis Thornton, glowing like the angel she is and sporting the signature bracelets she made just for the show! Do yourself a favor and read Rae’s blog. Get familiar! An epic post on Rae’s coming soon, BTW!

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Here I am with Leila of Black Girl With Long Hair, and the amazing Shari Neal who designed the Afrobella logo. We met for the very first time – SO long overdue!

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Here’s Luvvie and Brittany of Black Is Breezy. Brittany is instrumental in Team Red Pump, and helped to make the show as flawless as it was.

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Ahem. PLEASE take notes of Luvvie’s boots!

Now! Walk, walk fashion baby!

Photos included in the slideshow below are by myself, Bryan Thompson (Graffiti Photography) and T. Will Photography.

I wish I could label each designer and tell you who designed what, but that’s a mega slide show of almost all of them. Designs were provided by Melanie Lyke of Rockett Mansion, Kortnee Quiza of Verse Boutique, Amber Johnson, Kahindo Mateene and New’d Chicago. The second half of the show featured Crystal B Designs, Spirit Africa and Black Market Caviar. Accessories were by Found Objects, Pretty Afrika, and Ashley S. Drapes.

Rock the Red was rockin’. But the best was yet to come!!

Luvvie and Karyn the founders of The Red Pump Project, made a speech and announced that they were invited to come to Washington DC for a “Red Pump Day on Capitol Hill.” And then Thyatiria Towns, from Congressman Bobby Rush’s office honored them with Congressional Records, recognizing The Red Pump Project’s work in the fight against HIV/AIDS. It was a very emotional moment for them, and I know many in the audience got a lump in their throat witnessing Luvvie and Karyn recieve this surprise honor.

That lump in the throat developed into full fledged tears as the girls presented a beautiful honorary Red Pump Living Legacy award to Rae Lewis Thornton for her life, for sharing her truth so bravely, and for the inspiration she continues to give by living her life with courage, dignity, and glamour. Rae’s speech moved us to laughter and tears.


After Rae’s speech, there was more in store! More fashion, and the debut of the Red Pump Awareness teeshirt line.


Awareness is ALWAYS in style. Too fab.

The show was absoutely amazing. I would like to extend sincere thanks to my friends at Dove Visibly Smooth for providing gift bag donations for attendees — Dove stepped up when brands who you would really think would be on board to lend their support, weren’t there and turned a blind eye to the call. Hats off to them for having the foresight to support a worthy cause!

Putting together Rock the Red took months, and all that hard work paid off. I couldn’t be prouder of my new Chicago friends. And I can’t wait till the next event!


Rashida B. says:
March 30, 2010, 9:26 pm
Yeaaaa thanks for the post Bella! I had a blast and it was awesome seeing you there and you looked FAB and you know I LOVE the hair I've always said you have my dream hair... lol
pets says:
March 30, 2010, 10:01 pm
"Who's that sexy lady?!" sung off-key but wow!!! Bella you look superglam! I am very proud of all that you have accomplished in Chicago since moving there in May 2009 - keep up the great work!and keep hooking up with Dove.
Dee Dee says:
March 30, 2010, 10:12 pm
P thank you so much--this was an awesome recap of the show! & I am still swooning over your Doc Martens boots!
Amina says:
March 30, 2010, 9:52 pm
you look amaazing!
Luvvie says:
March 30, 2010, 10:30 pm
This is an AWESOME recap, P!!! You looked FIERCE! I was drooling over your jewelry. *swoon* Thanks (as always) for the support. The Red Pump Project LOVES YOU!!!! You're honorary at this point, LOL. #Makidada
kisha says:
March 31, 2010, 12:55 am
being from the dc area i would LOVE for the red pump project to get here and i WILL be in attendence to support in honor of my mommy!! also, where can i find those shirts? i love to support the cause and look HAUTE doin it ;)
Myne Whitman says:
March 31, 2010, 5:19 pm
All you ladies were looking fierce and lovely. The red pump project is a great idea.
designdiva says:
March 31, 2010, 11:05 pm
(SIGH) I wish I was there!!!
raven says:
April 1, 2010, 10:26 am
moving to chicago in two months for residency...cant wait to get involved!! Fab post!
paradisebird says:
April 1, 2010, 11:56 am
Bella, you look fab, fab, fab. Hair, clothes, shoes, make up, overall galm factor....First time I am considering doc martens.... Wish I was there....amazing...
Heather says:
April 1, 2010, 1:04 pm
Very nice! You looked great and the event looked like lots of fun. It's so great when we can party with a purpose. Kudos to you and everyone involved!
Rochelle aka @mcmtownhall says:
April 2, 2010, 8:49 am
Lady, You look beautiful! You always inspire my Mrs. PlentyGood. And looking at these photos of the event gets me excited about the possibilities of collaboration. I need the Red Pump founders on The Greenlight Project. Send me their contact info!
cherrylocs says:
April 2, 2010, 10:12 pm
Love your outfit.. You look amazing with your flawless skinned-self.
flygyrl72 says:
April 3, 2010, 11:23 pm
Your hair is ROCKIN, Bella! This post makes me homesick...sigh...
Dad says:
April 4, 2010, 10:00 pm
Hi, this may not be the place to say this, but you were featured, most prominently I may add, in the supplement to our Sunday Guardian newspaper, ''Womanwise''. I believe that it emanated from an interview that was done with you a couple days ago. It was very informative and focussed on your journey to date with natural hair and your plans for the future. I am sire that you will see it soon and will be able to share it with your readership. Congratulations, D
Dasheen Magazine says:
May 4, 2010, 8:39 pm
Bella, I just really had to google this post as I kept thinking about how hot those shoes were and what a very cool choice you made in selecting them. You rocked them well and for a great cause too! says:
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